Hitting the Wall

It’s the day before we leave for DragonCon, and I, my friends, have hit a wall.

It is not necessarily the same wall that runners come up against. Obviously, I’m not a runner. It is not a wall standing in the way of costume progress. Well, yes, in some way it is. But it is not the same kind of wall I hit earlier this season, either, when I had the realization I had spent a good chunk of time working on something that was entirely too big and blocky to go with the rest of the costume.

No, good people, the wall I have hit is a relatively monolithic wall called “Back Pain.” It started on Saturday, with a few little twinges and aches as I cleaned up my corner of Robert’s workshop. I figured I might have stretched it a bit earlier, when I was cutting out patterns on Robert’s floor, but I didn’t think it would be much of an issue. A good night’s rest and I’d be right as rain, I thought. But Sunday morning brought no relief with it and, by the end of the evening I had dug out my Icy Hot and some of the leftover extra-extra strength anti-inflammatory pills leftover from my surgery in July. It was still hanging around Monday and Tuesday. Last night, as I climbed into bed, I could tell it was getting worse – I couldn’t sit up in bed.

This morning was agony.

I’ve thrown out my back this badly before, though – thankfully – it doesn’t happen too often. The last time it was this bad, I was also on the cusp of going to a convention. That time, Costume Con was in town (technically, it was just outside of Baltimore), and I spent the entire weekend wishing I had painkillers. That, by the way, is a big indicator of how bad the pain was. I don’t even like taking Tylenol or Advil. In that particular case, I actually lived with the pain for a month before I asked someone to help with it. I didn’t have health insurance at the time, so a doctor was out of the question. However, I knew someone who was a Reiki practitioner. I had never done Reiki, and really wasn’t expecting it to do anything to help, but I was to a point that, if someone had suggested smashing my back with a bag full of hammers would work, I would have tried it. To my tremendous joy, the treatment worked. I am seriously considering calling this individual up today, after I get off work.

With luck, the excruciating pain of this morning will not set the tone of the coming trip to Atlanta. Quite honestly, I am worried about sitting in the car for the long drive down to DragonCon. I really can’t see how I can go through an entire weekend feeling like this. Especially since I couldn’t even put my shoes on by myself this morning. All I can say is, thank goodness for Robert. That man deserves a medal. He said goodbye this morning with the admonition to take it easy and try not to stress out. I’m pretty sure he’s correct in thinking this might be related to stress. After all, it’s the last day in the “real world,” before we escape to geek heaven, and the day is, naturally, full of stress. Do I have all my costumes finished? Is everything packed? Where did I put my registration postcard? Do we have enough gas to get out of town and make it to the station with the cheap gas? Et cetera, et cetera.

I will admit, of course, that I am stressed. I still have some things to finish on Toothless and, due to tending to the important task of messing with the fuse box yesterday (as well as not being able to lift some of the stuff I needed out of the back of my closet), I am still not packed. Today’s “whilst at work” task is actually not necessarily costume-related. Instead, I will be creating my packing checklist, to make sure I have everything in order tonight.

And, lest you think I got no work done yesterday, I managed to do the following: made the wing harness for Toothless; finished the ends of the front paws for Toothless; finished the collar on the Toothless suit; stuffed Oogie Boogie’s head, so it hides the wire; added more velcro to the back closure on Oogie Boogie; cut and painted the eyes for Toothless.

After I pack and get my stuff to Maggie’s we all generally work on a few little tasks here and there. Tonight, my list includes: sewing the spikes and claws on Toothless; gluing the eyes to the head; adding a small opening in Oogie’s hands, so I can do things like use my phone, or get myself in and out of the costume by myself. I think that should be it. We might possibly add a few scales to Toothless, to tie the head and body together a bit more, but that’s not absolutely necessary.

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