In any event it took quite some time before the docs decided the arm pain originated in my neck. I found I couldn't sit at my desk at all by mid February without it feeling like someone was stabbing my arm with a butcher knife. I kept trying to check my email and my LJ and Facebook quickly but I had to give up in short order and switch to using my laptop.
I am perhaps one of the last few people to use software to download my email to my computer. If I had used gmail or yahoo or hotmail I'd have been just fine. But I used Thunderbird to download my email. We set up my primary email address that I use as a catchall for all of my shopping, facebook, LJ, and so on, on the laptop. Thinking that this was very temporary we set it to leave on server and my desktop still was set to download from the server. I figured I'd return to my desktop computer soon and wanted to make sure the emails all ended up there even if I read them on the laptop.
Dave continued to do maintenance on my desktop such as critical updates and virus protection. What I didn't realize right away is that whenever he opened Thunderbird to do updates it downloaded my email as it was originally set to do. So I was missing emails and for quite some time I didn't even know it.
I don't remember how long this went on but one day I found out and we had a bit of an argument because by that time the pain was so constant that there was no way for me to even sit down at my desk and find out if there were any important emails I had missed. This worried me but I figured that anyone who really needed to get in touch would try again. I was in too much pain to allow myself to worry over it.
In late May I had my first cortisone shot and I hoped this would solve my nerve pain for good. But soon the pain returned and in September I had a second shot. All of this time I stayed away from my desk and it sat there gathering dust and assorted junk. My chair has a bunch of stuff piled into it so I'll have quite a job to do to reclaim my desk when I'm out of this collar. (I don't want to sit at an obviously less than ergonomic space right now while the fusion is in progress.)
A few months ago I learned that someone had unfriended me, someone I had known on a few forums from 2005 on. I wrote to her via LJ and asked why, was there something I said to offend her?
It turns out that she had visited my general area and had emailed me an invitation. I still haven't been on my desktop to try to find it but apparently she was offering to send a car to pick me and my husband up and bring us to the city for dinner and return us. What an amazing, generous offer and I cried to think that I had missed it because pain had driven me from my desktop computer and it got downloaded there without my knowledge. Dave felt awful too, after I told him, but he couldn't go back in time and change the fact that he'd inadvertently downloaded it from the server.
I was quick to explain that I had never seen this email and of course I would not have failed to respond to it if I had read it. I'm not the kind of person that would blow someone off like that, and certainly not such a kind and generous offer. I love to meet people I've known online and had, in fact, fantasized about someday traveling north to meet this particular lady who I've long admired and respected.
I received no reply from LJ (I'd also explained that her email address is in my desktop address book but not my laptop's) but was restored to friend status. I thought that things were settled between us.
Apparently not. I found out a few days ago that I was unfriended again. Once again I wrote via LJ message and asked if she didn't believe me or ??? I even offered proof of the neck issue and that Dave could verify the email being downloaded without my knowledge.
Dave and I have discussed this back and forth as it brought me to tears all over again and he feels bad once again over his part in the misunderstanding. He points out that she is the one who made the default assumption that I just blew her off rather than assuming something happened that caused me not to get that email.
True, email isn't foolproof. Another friend used the other email address that isn't set up on this laptop recently, and when I didn't respond she messaged me at Facebook because she knew I was always quick to respond and guessed that the email address for me was no longer current. (I thought I'd told her.) No worries there.
I received no response and finally I decided I must let go and stop trying to explain myself, and so I unfriended her.
And that's how pain lost me a friend.