Friday, January 13, 2012

The Friday Forum - January 13

Yesterday, on a bright, sunny day, I noticed that the weeping willows along the Potomac River had started to show color - about a month too early. Nature is confused by our unseasonably warm weather. Overnight, a front brought in rain, heavy wind, and cold. I hope they can pull back with that shock.

This was a crazy week. Because we had clouds almost every day, I didn't get photos of everything I want to feature. Plus, I started a new consulting project, and I was amazingly busy (and frustrated trying different routes to the client site in Maryland). I have now determined that there's no "good" way to get there by car, so my next trip will be a Metro subway test. I know it's going to take much longer on the subway than it would take in my car (estimate is 1.5 hours each way!), but at least I can be "doing something" more fun (blogging?) than trying to preserve my life and my car.

Yesterday, I left Maryland and went to the hospital for "the grand experiment." Have you ever had an epidural injection of steroids? I have - now. It was not entirely pleasant. The first thing the doctor did was hit a nerve with his needle, sending a bolt of pain down my left leg. It subsided, although my lower back on that side is extremely sore today. After the nerve-wracking procedure, I was taken on a bed to a room to "rest" a bit. Fifteen minutes passed, and the nurse asked if I wanted to get up. I said, "Sure," and proceeded to stand. Both knees buckled, and I was helped back onto the bed. Next nurse, 30 minutes later: "Want to try again?" "Sure!" I got one step, and my right knee buckled. I grabbed the door to keep myself from falling.

Then they gave me more time - maybe 45 minutes. I called them and asked to try again. I was able to make it up and down the hall with a human cane, so they plopped me in a wheelchair and took me to my car. My neighbor made sure I got in OK, and I recovered pretty quickly then.

The whole thing reminded me of the time, during outpatient surgery, when an anesthesiologist accidentally injected a local into my sciatic nerve. The feeling didn't come back to my leg for over 12 hours. In retrospect, that could have been a sticom (if the risk hadn't been so serious). Nurse: "We're going to get you up now." Patient: "I don't think so." Nurse: "Why not?" Patient: "Because I can't feel my leg." Nurse: Oh, no problem, you'll be fine." Patient: "I can't walk. How am I going to walk when I can't feel my leg? Will you support me?" Overconfident nurse: "Sure." Patient stands, topples immediately, and nurse yells for help. Nurses in recovery summon a doctor, a sheepish anesthesiologist, who explains what had, apparently, happened.

He suggested I could spend the night in the hospital. I told him I'd crawl out of there if I had to. We had a contest of wills. A walker was found, and off I went a bit later. "A bit" at most hospitals is two hours. I think I got home around 10:00 pm. I remember the feeling starting to return to my leg (with pins and needles) around 3:00 am the next day. It was joyful.

How do I feel this morning? Sore! I feel better on my bad side (right) than I do on my "good side" (left). I should know by Monday whether the grand experiment was worth the effort. If any of you have taken this "trip," did it work? I am supposed to schedule two more visits, and I'm reluctant at this moment. The odds of success are only 50-50. My neurosurgeon was very clear about that. Can you believe I've now added a neurosurgeon to my doc list?

That's my week in a nutshell. Aren't commuting and medical care fun? It's time for The Friday Forum, our open chat. What new products did you discover this week? Did you find any deals you couldn't resist? Are you using a fabulous product and want to sing its praises? Did you find a beauty product disappointing? Do you have a question others might be able to answer? Want to talk about skin care? What's new in your life? Just use the comments. Don't be shy. Just make sure to ask any question you might have over the weekend. By early the next week, most (not all) readers have moved on.

This week's giveaway contest is for a great set of Benefit minis, representing their best sellers of recent seasons. Make sure to enter at this link. The deadline is tomorrow, January 14, at midnight.

Photo courtesy of


Brooke @ Blushing Noir said...

ugh... what a trial! =( I'm glad you were able to get home and recover!

we've been passing around sickness here all week like we're getting paid per tissue. I'd gladly pay someone a million dollars to watch my kids today (if I had it lol) so I could sleep!

there are so many beautiful spring products to photograph I find myself running around the house to get accurate pictures. it's not a fun game, but it's keeping my mind off of the stuffy nose!!

Charlestongirl said...

Oh no, BlushingNoir!

I'd rather have pain than a cold!

Brooke @ Blushing Noir said...

well yesterday I wished I'd get it over my kids, since they're both sick... I half got my wish lol I'm sick WITH them now. #BeCarefulWhatYouWishFor

AnneR said...

I am so sorry for your pain. I have had that treatment twice. The second time was not successful and very painful. I eventually found a chiroprator that helped.

Charlestongirl said...

Hi Anne,

That is what I fear. The doctor was very clear that it helps some people (enormously), but does nothing for others. I didn't know there was a third possibility - that you could end up feeling worse. Hope it was "temporary."

I've thought about a chiropractor, but I'm not sure what one can do for my particular pathology. What I REALLY want to try is acupuncture. :) Done that?

Kate said...

Hi C-Girl,

So sorry to hear about your less than stellar experience with this procedure. My mother has back issues, and I know how awful they can be. I hope that this procedure "took" and that you are provided some relief.

I am actually recovering from the stomach flu. I will spare everyone the gory details, but somehow, having the stomach flu as an adult is WAY worse than having it as a kid. Or, I am a gigantic baby, which is entirely possible. Either way, I am just happy to be eating normal food again.

On to happier, makeup-related things! I have been looking forward to the Friday Forum all week! I purchased the Rouge Volupte Pearl in #115, the tangerine-ish shade. It is very pretty. Also, I nabbed the KissKiss Gloss in 872, Flush Pink. Also lovely. Of course, both were purchased based on your reviews and swatches. I have never owned a Rouge Volupte Pearl before, and I really like it.

Eileen (I'm hoping you check in on the FF today!), I finally got my hands on Violet Blonde. I adore it. I love the green opening, and the powdery, almost musky dry down. My perfume descriptions are quite elementary, I'm afraid, but needless to say, I am thrilled with this perfume. I feel sophisticated and elegant with this perfume on.

I also want to mention a great brush I received for Christmas. It's the Chanel #6 Foundation brush. I have never owned a traditional "paddle" foundation brush before. I usually use Armani's blender brush, which is nice. But for some reason, I like the application with the Chanel brush better. Part of the problem could also be that the Armani is showing many signs of wear, including bristles that are breaking. But I found that the Chanel brush gives a lovely finish to my foundation.

We got about 2 inches of now last night and you would think it was the snow-pocalypse. I grew up in Cleveland, so 2 inches is a dusting to us. It's made for some interesting driving, to say the least. I hope everyone stays warm and safe!

Have a lovely weekend, ladies!


Gabby said...

Oh no! Am so sorry to here about your hospital visit! I'm glad you have a kind neighbor to help out.
And as someone who uses the metro system here every morning I would advise you to look into it before taking the trip. Service is deplorable lately, delays seem to be de rigueur and you sometimes need to add up to an hour to your commute time based on how far you traveling and if you will be transferring lines. I still take it because I only go two stops but I can't imagine getting anywhere on time if I went farther than that! And they are talking of raising fares soon - the nerve;)

Eileen said...

Acupuncture? I'm a believer! I have had severe and chronic migraines for several years and do not respond to the various prophylactic or pain management meds. After trying countless classes of medication, my doctor finally asked if I'd like to try acupuncture and I said yes. Although it's early on in my treatment plan, I am making steady progress. I still get migraines, but they are now a couple weeks apart and last less than 10 hours from start to finish. I also no longer have the milder daily headache pain and eye strain that used to plague me. That probably doesn't sound all that great, but for me, that's huge progress. Prior to starting acupuncture, I was experiencing 4-5 full blown migraines a week with constant headache pain and eye strain in between. I'm thrilled with the progress that acupuncture has brought about and am looking forward to making even more. It is accomplishing what medication failed to do--and without side effects. I'm glad so many insurance programs now recognize acupuncture as being a legit treatment option.

Beauty! I had a special evening out and wanted something with a bit of drama to highlight my cheekbones and so I purchased MUFE's Uplight highlighter. It has a very fine golden sparkle that captures the light beautifully and it comes in several skin tones. Other than that, though, I have no new purchases. I've been so thoroughly enjoying my new Chanel, Guerlain and Tom Ford goodies this past week that I haven't even felt like checking out new products. I'm sure that will soon change :-)

Hi Kate,

I'm so pleased you like Violet Blonde. It is a real winner in my book; a refined and elegant kind of sexy wrapped in a soft floral melange. My husband also wears it occasionally ;-) On him it is all about the wood and musk with a gentle floral background. Very sexy. That's probably why I'm already on my second bottle LOL

Happy weekend everyone!

toughdoc said...

As I read your blog, I am sending healing vibes your way Charlestongirl--I do see many patients who have had epidurals for pain/arthritis and it's not a walk in the park. But the alternatives are worse. I do hope you get relief and feel better!!!
In skin care news, I tried Elizabeth Ardens' 8 Hour Cream Unscented for my ragged winter worn cuticles and dry patches and I am amazed. It's better than anything else I've ever tried, it lasts for hours, it doesn't run...and zero smell. The original has a fragrance that gives me a headache so I am elated that the unscented version is available.
Have a great weekend and thanks for your wonderful reviews!

Charlestongirl said...

Oh my, Kate. I hear that GI virus is rampant. I really don't want that! Miserable. One of my friends daughter just got it, so that means her whole family is at risk.

I think you will like your Rouge Volupté Perle more and more with each use. I am extremely pleased with how long-wearing it is on me. I can usually wipe out a lip color in 45 minutes, but not that one!

I'm going to have to look into that brush. I must have 30 foundation brushes, including the Armani Blender, but I'm always game for the next best thing.

Happy weekend!

Charlestongirl said...

Gabby, I am dreading it. I may have to punt and go to the car - or switch off - but for the nasty months, when one wipe-out on the Beltway or bridge can cost hours, I think I may be better off on Metro with bad service. Sigh!

Charlestongirl said...

Hi Eileen!

I bought Groupons for acupuncture...the first step, right? :)

I wish I could get revved over Violet Blonde! Maybe I shouldn't. Would just be more money spend. LOL It is enormously popular on the Facebook fragrance boards, so I guess I'm the oddball.

The Armani spring testers just arrived, and the product will probably come Monday. I am excited about that. Can't wait!

Happy weekend!

Charlestongirl said...

Ooh, Toughdoc, I LOVE the EA 8-hour "franchise." You must try the lip balm.

Yes, the epidurals are way better than a surgical intervention. That would be a very big-deal reconstruction of my spine. That would be a last-ditch alternative.

Unknown said...

Oh my goodness, I feel for you with both the steroid injection and the accidental anesthetic! I've had a couple of spinals and also an epidural and the loss of sensation in ones legs is most odd! Fingers crossed that the big experiment has positive results.

Have a lovely weekend everyone!

Charlestongirl said...

Hi Modesty!

I was told it happens with some people, but not others. Maybe I'm a lucky girl. Going to buy a lotto ticket to see if my luck changes.

Kate said...

Forgot to mention, after seeing those swatches of the new Golden Glosses, I think I must have both! The tangerine shade will pair nicely with the Rouge Volupte Pearl tangerine shade. And that hot pink color is unlike anything I would ever wear, but it is so gorgeous! Thank God Nordstrom offers free shipping now!

You won't be disappointed with the Chanel foundation brush. I have been using it with my Burberry foundation and it gives such a nice finish. And it cleans well, which was a complaint I had about my Armani Blender - not the easiest to clean.

Eileen, I will give VB to my husband to try. He is pretty open-minded about fragrance. I have several of TF's Private Blend fragrances, which are very intense. VB is still a powerful fragrance, but in a slightly different way.


lovethescents said...

Goodness, C-girl, your week was tumultuous to say the least. You never get to take it easy, do you? Wishing you an uneventful weekend.

Well, I picked up that EL Topaz palette you reviewed and am glad I did. It's so beautiful. I also swatched the Dior palettes and wasn't crazy about anything there.
Also swatched the Guerlains for Spring 2012. Really didn't like the eyeshadow palette for myself, and was surprised by the glosses. I had expected to love Frosted Pink but once I swatched it, I knew it would make my teeth look yellowish....and they aren't! Did quite love Rose in Bloom which I didn't buy because baby started crying....thankfully, because we ended up booking a spontaneous trip to Orlando in Feb! Okay, that bit isn't beauty related but with all our traveling, lately, we need all the pennies we can get.

So there it is.

I hope you have a quiet weekend :-)

lovethescents said...

By the way, I'm sorry the nurse who dealt with you was such a dingaling. She should have assessed you properly before getting you up, putting you and herself at risk. Goodnessss......

LoveSugarBabyDoll said...

oh my dear Charleston Girl- I am so sorry to hear of your travails. In my experience- acupuncture has worked for many many things from endometriosis to pain management. It does not cure Celiac disease- but does help with the stress of chronic illnesses. I highly recommend it.
my mother had the shots for her sciatica pain. eventually- after a few treatments- the pain went away and she has not been bothered by it in years.
sending good energy and healing vibes
feel better sweetie

Anonymous said...

Love that picture. I miss the DC metro area SOOOOOO much!

I pray you get better soon.

Evelyn said...

Yeesh, what a crummy week! I hope you will be feeling better. You should definitely look into acupuncture, it can't hurt and could potentially be of great benefit. I'd really like my mother to try it too but she's leery of complementary treatments.

My week started out badly with a jerk who rear-ended my mom's car (with me in it) and took off. So fast that I couldn't catch his license plate. I am not amused since my neck and back have been achy and stiff since but improving. Thank goodness for seat belts.

On a positive note, my Cruel Gardenia powder came and it is so very pretty! I can't wait to use it, yet don't want to ruin the flower. I'm still thinking about what to choose from Zuneta during their sale. More Rouge Bunny Rouge eyeshadows or blushes!

Have a good, relaxing weekend.

P.S. I am going to need a larger bottle of Violet Blonde. I want to wear it all the time, it's so beautiful!

lov2read68 said...

So sorry to hear abt your trials with the steroid injection. I've done injections as well as epidurals for pain. Had good pain relief in my neck abt a year 2 yrs ago from an inj but have not had pain relief from any I've had done in my back. I do know how bad it hurts when they hit a nerve. *Hugs* Yep, I have a neurosurgeon in my arsenal of drs. as well! Chiropractic wasn't a good option for me. Tried acupuncture but it was eons ago...
On a beauty note - I'm loving all of the postings of Spring collections that I'm seeing. The various shades of pink from pale to punchy are all calling my name!

Charlestongirl said...

Hi Lovethescents!

I could have been a fall statistic, but oh well, didn't happen. :)

Sounds like to you bought some great new makeup! I really love the EL palette.

As for makeup vs. a fun trip, there will always be more makeup. It's something we have a hard time believing when the latest greatest thing in staring back at us, but I've learned over time it's true. :)

Charlestongirl said...

Evelyn, that sounds awful! No witnesses?
Have you seen a doctor to see if you have whiplash? Most people feel achy and stiff after car accidents, but you would want to get treatment if needed. People are such distracted drivers; it's scary. This week, our local news showed photos of bus accidents, including bus videos of the drives rear-ending people. Amazing!

I want to order Zuneta right now, but spent too much last month. Trying to "recover."


Charlestongirl said...

Hi LoveSugarBabyDoll!

Thank you. Y'all are talking me into acupuncture. Think I'll call that place for which I have the Groupons and schedule something.


Charlestongirl said...

Thanks, Anonymous. Isn't the DC area (my home) a marvel. I'm so glad we have people here who rigorously advocate to keep our view sheds unspoiled.

Charlestongirl said...

Hi lov2read68!

I passed on the neck treatment after my NS told me that pinched nerve problems were usually self-limiting. Sure enough, it got better.

On the lower back, I'm feeling a bit less pain, only 1.5 days after the injection, so I'm hopeful I'm falling into the good 50% of those outcome stats.

Isn't spring gorgeous? With Armani's pastels arriving next week, I'm in heaven.