Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Literally, a Pain in the ***.

In southern Minnesota, where I live, we have been having summer-like weather for a week and a half. Seriously, until yesterday it had been sunny and in the 80s for something like 9 or 10 days straight. And then yesterday was cloudy and 75. Which isn't bad for October.

We have been doing things like wearing sundresses and running through the sprinkler. In October. The girls come home from school in the afternoons with their jackets stuffed into their backpacks, their cheeks rosy red. I've been going running (uh, running/walking? hobbling? trying to run? running a little bit?) as often as possible despite my nagging injury, because come on--sunny and 80 degrees? In October? There have been years I've been in gloves by this time.

I could not feel more grateful for this lucky string of extra summer. Winter is hard on me. I don't remember it bothering me this much when I was younger, but in the past few years, the cold and dark days of late autumn and winter have really done a number on my brain. I start to feel a sickening dread round about now, and it doesn't really go away until spring--which last year didn't start until May. Even this year, with all this extra sunshine and warmth, my brain knows that it's only daylight until 7 p.m. or so, and that's if you count the fading light of dusk. My brain can tell that the angle of the sunlight is different; the sun isn't as strong. I know I should order the lightbox that my nurse practitioner and my psychologist best friend have recommended since last spring (my NP made me promise, back then, that I'd start using one by August, because that's how early the sun starts to change--crazy, right?), but Christopher and I both lost our part-time jobs this fall, and lightboxes are expensive. And I have a lovely backlog of medical bills piling up at the hospital across town for a summer's worth of physical therapy and MRIs.

Having said all that, I think I had better get my hands on a lightbox fairly soon, because I will surely need something mood-altering next week, when I will be getting a cortisone injection in my injured hip and inflamed glute muscle. Because that will involve my handsome and charming (male) sports medicine doctor--the one who was the team doc for the U.S. 2010 Winter Olympics, and who therefore has no doubt seen his share of perfect, uh, glutes--stick me with a needle in my bare behind. Which will definitely alter my mood. But not in the direction needed. Because "mortified" isn't quite the mood I'm going for.


Anonymous said...

Hi ,
I wish you have a wonderful fall season... I know how much you love summer , I am the same way. I really get depressed during winter days . I thought about getting lightbox too, but they don't know long term effect on the eyes. I wanted to know your opinion about this...

To sunny days :)

Shannon said...

Eileen, lightboxes have been used to treat seasonal mood disorders for over 20 years, and my best friend who works at the Mayo Clinic (best/most famous medical center in the world) recommends them highly, so I feel comfortable with it. I just can't afford it.