Down, But Don’t Count Me Out!

Alycia Nichols, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One,, “Down, But Not Out”


Alycia Nichols, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One,, “Down, But Not Out”The look on my face says it all: My back has finally pooped out on me, and I am scheduled for surgery Thursday morning, January 8. I knew this would all eventually catch up with me, and the pain has reached a point where I can no longer independently function. So…check-in at 9:30 a.m. (CST) with surgery at 11:00. I’m told it should take about 1-1/2 hours.


Patiently waiting for the horrors of the EMG and myelogram to begin.

Patiently waiting for the horrors of the EMG and myelogram to begin.


I have no good veins in my arm, so they went for the hand...AGAIN!!!

I have no good veins in my arm, so they went for the hand…AGAIN!!!

The neurosurgeon will focus on a nerve that is trapped in a canal due to a hideous bone spur that has developed between L4 and L5 of my spine that looks kind of like this:


We’ll worry about the discs – a whole different issue – another day. Meanwhile, what does this feel like? Think perpetual root canal across the lower back and down your leg, AND being stabbed, AND your leg feeling like everything in it is being stretched to the point of popping, AND being unable to feel your foot much of the time.
In other words, it hurts like hell!!! 🙂


My Mommy served me  a lovely breakfast in bed while "babysitting" me New Year's Day.

My Mommy served me a lovely breakfast in bed while “babysitting” me New Year’s Day. (Isn’t my hair just lovely?! 😉 )


Mom also whipped up a wonderful New Year's Day dinner with blackeyed peas and collard greens for prosperity.

Mom also whipped up a wonderful New Year’s Day dinner with blackeyed peas and collard greens for prosperity. Check it out…SHE EVEN SERVED IT UP ON A SILVER CHARGER!!!


Mom playing "Nurse Ratched/Dr. Jekyll" :-)

Mom playing “Nurse Ratched/Dr. Jekyll”. She’s helping me to maintain my sense of humor. 🙂

I hope you will think good thoughts on my behalf so that I can sail through this. Quite frankly, I am scared out of my wits. Needles, blood, and incomprehensible multi-syllable Latin words are my Kryptonite. They leave me weak and confused! 🙂


Alycia Nichols, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One,, “Down, But Not Out”

Hobbling along with my trusty walker. I need some PINK tennis balls!



Back at home on Tuesday night, awaiting surgery on Thursday morning.

Back at home on Tuesday night, counting down the hours ’til surgery on Thursday morning.

I hope to return to tablescaping in time for Spring inspiration. I hope you’ll hang in there with me. Laying around these last few weeks has given me nothing but time to create in my head, so I hope to come back strong in body, spirit, and creativity.


It will all be just fine! I'm putting my trust in God.

It will all be just fine! I’m putting my trust in God. I will also be in the capable hands of my patient, sweet husband who has been a gem these past weeks, my sweet and loving Mom, my best friend who has promised to come as soon as they wheel me out to slather moisturizer on my face and feet 🙂 (can’t have any lotions on during surgery…or I might catch on fire!), and my incredible neighbors.

Happy New Year! Nichols…..OUT!!!

79 thoughts on “Down, But Don’t Count Me Out!

  1. Oh my goodness! Positive vibes and heartfelt prayers dear friend! I love your spirit and know that in a few short weeks you will be dancing around setting tables like crazy!!

  2. Sending you good vibes for all to go smoothly! My prayers will be with you and your doctors and nurses for steady hands and caring hearts. I am sure you will be the life of the party again in no time.

  3. You are in my thoughts and prayers, Alycia. My son had a very similar surgery just before Thanksgiving. Of course there is a recuperative period, but he said he felt much, much better when he woke up after surgery. I’m looking forward to those spring tablescapes you’re envisioning. It sounds like you have a wonderful support group, so I’m sure you’ll be better in no time.

  4. Praying for a successful surgery and a speedy recovery. You are an inspiration to many. I am in awe of your talents and look forward to next round of designs.

    Be Blessed!

  5. Well you know I’m rooting for you and keeping you in prayer. Looks like your moms place is comfy! I wish I was closer and could help. Stay positive and you’ll get through this. I know My hubby felt so much better after surgery it was amazing. Hugs and love, Liz 🙂

  6. Girl you know we have got your back! Definitely riding with you. The prayer circled has been formed and I am laying virtual hands on you. Rest, recuperate and regroup and we will be here when YOU are ready to come back. If you need more cake to see you through recovery shout me a holler. No ftets or worries you are in good hands!

  7. I am so sorry to hear this news about your back Alycia. Know I will have you in my thoughts and prayer and look forward to the next post from you that pops into my mailbox! Then I will know you are better. You are so lucky to have your mom there with you. You are a cutie in all those pics. Take care dear friend and let us hear from you and how your are doing ASAP. Hugs………..

  8. My dear friend, my heart goes out to you.. I know how you feel about pain.. I’ve struggled for years with my hands and they hurt all the time. I’m sending snoogies of prayers up for you. You’re a strong willed person so I know you’ll get well soon. You’ll be like the bionic woman – better than ever! It’s a blessing to have mom and hubby by your side taking care of you.(girl, off the subject – I LOVE THAT TRAY!!) You’re starting the year off by getting rid of the old pain to begin this year with a fresh start. We are here by your (cyber) side cheering for you and sending well wishes your way. Sending you a hug!

  9. Bless your <3! Sending you positive thoughts, and prayers for comfort, peace, and healing my friend. You're in good hands with your Mom and Ramon, just breathe. May Jesus wrap his loving arms around your heart and fill you with peace. † Speedy Recovery! Hugs xx

  10. Oh, my gosh, Alycia! This is huge! Sending prayers and the absolutely most positive energy your way. I know you will be fine. If you can manage to crack a joke at a time like this, you’ll make it just fine. God bless you!

  11. Sending prayers your way so I know you will be fine after all this is over. In the meantime I will miss your creativity and inspiration!

  12. God Bless You.  I had sciatica nerve pain for three years and finally got some relief after 5 epidurals.  Living in comfort for the first time and I will tell you if I had a weapon last January my leg would have been shot off I was in so much pain.  Nerve pain is the absolute worst.  I will say prayers for you.  This will be such a relief for you. 

    Barb Lutman

  13. Awww, bless your heart, Honey…I am SO sorry you have to go through this. I hope & pray that all goes well & you’ll soon be schlepping dishes back & forth with vigor.
    Your Mom is a crack-up…♥ the silver charger on the bed tray…too fun!
    Hang in there & touch base when you’re finally able to deal with the computer.
    Healing Prayers winging your way!!!!

  14. Oh, poor baby! I will have you in my prayers and my thoughts. It looks like you are in good hands. I mean….who has a Senator serve you meals in bed, and a physician to hold your hand and translate the blither-blather into English for you. Still, YOU are the one who must face the scary anesthesia, so I’m sending you bravura and relief. We will all miss the inspiration you send us, so take care and be a good patient.

  15. Oh, Alycia–it’s tough when you’re in that much constant pain. I wish you well before, during and after the surgery–think how much better you’re going to feel after it’s all done, eventually 🙂 I’ll be thinking of you Thursday and sending you good thoughts! Glad your husband and mom are helping out so much–you’re a lucky lady. Take advantage of it while you can! I hope you have some good books to read during your recovery–I like, among other things, mysteries, and just started the series set in Provence by M. L. Longworth–I’m on the second one called Murder In The Rue Dumas, and I like them because they often focus on life in France and the food and wine at times–fun to imagine it. Can’t wait to see all your new, creative ideas come to life this spring. A big hug to you!

  16. Oh with all of the pain that you are experiencing, you still maintain your sense of humor…you are one incredible lady Alycia!….Let everyone around you wait on you hand and foot, as it is a way that they can show you how they so love you…I know you are in good hands…I will be praying and thinking of you on Thursday…you are a strong, focused person and I know that coupled with your faith will get you through all of this!…Sending you love and prayers!…
    P.S. Wish you were on Instagram, that way we can follow you pictorially! and see how Nurse Ratched/Dr. Jekyll is treating you!…But we all know that she will be accommodating your every need and wish…God Bless you Alycia!!!

  17. awwww, I will be thinking of you, and sending prayers and healing thoughts.
    I know how you must feel, facing surgery. To be free of pain will be worth it.
    Hang in there! You have a great support team.

  18. God bless you! As you begin a new year in your life, I wish you joy, good health and much success! Stay strong and feel better soon!

  19. I will be praying for your successful surgery and speedy recovery Alycia, You are in good hands between your mom, your Doc, and Ramon. We will all be cheering you on every step of the way. I will be missing you and looking forward to your return to BlogLand….. Candy

  20. So sorry to hear you’re starting 2015 with back surgery! NOT fun, not fun AT ALL! I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers. Sounds like you have a good team supporting you!

  21. I am praying that God will perform the procedure through the surgeon’s hand and guide the nurses and the anesthesiologist as they performs their duties. With God as the leader have no fear you will have a speedy recovery.

  22. Alycia,You’ll be in my thoughts and prayers for your surgery on Thursday, and for a quick recovery. You’re in good hands. Loved the pic of your mom in her doctor’s coat. Hugs and God bless.

  23. Best wishes and good luck. I am wishing you a painfree (or at least less painful) future. It sounds like you have an amazing support team!

  24. Alycia, I’ve been thinking of you a lot, ever since I started putting all my Christmas stuff away, wondering who would do that for you. I ended up with a migraine from the musculoskeletal strain I put on myself in my badger-like approach. I have bone spurs too, but mine are in the C3-5 region. I also manage severe scoliosis, so I know a little bit about living with the pain, but certainly not to your extent – very descriptive, I get it. Like you, I am scared of all things bloody, prickly and mouths full of syllables that need studied before trying to even pronounce, let alone knowing what they mean. Lucky for you to have Ramon…and Nurse Ratched. 😉

    I know you have capable hands to work on you, and with God’s blessing, I pray for a swift and successful outcome. May light and love enfold you, calm you, and heal you quickly. I’ll miss you, and look forward to hearing that your surgery was a success.

  25. Only you could make me laugh while reading about surgery. Pink tennis balls?? You haven’t lost your sense of humor, and that’s imoortant. I see you get it from your mom ;).

    You may be down, but of course you’re not out, and I for one will be here waiting anxiously for your boundless creativity to reemmerge better than ever!


  26. You are in my prayers that everything goes smoothly and that this gives you the relief from pain that you need and your life back….You have been such a trooper thru all this….Saying a prayer for you and crossing my fingers and toes!

  27. Alycia, I’ve been thinking about you a lot lately! Prayers coming often. My cousin had back surgery several years ago. I think it was more of a disc issue but the result was remarkable! She’s a very active and happy now!! I know your surgery will go well and you’ll be feeling SO much better soon!!

    I love how your mom (and family) are taking such great care of you. You also seem to have a great attitude, even though it’s pretty scary. I think that a big part of the battle.

    We’ll all be thinking about you this week and saying LOTS of prayers Thursday (and Friday, and Saturday,….) Stay positive, my friend!!!

  28. My Goodness! With all the things you do and accomplish and create, I had no idea it was through such hardship and pain. My very best thoughts and prayers for you tomorrow and all through your SPEEDY recovery!


  29. Awww you know I’ll be thinking about you and praying for you, dearest Alycia. My son describes the pain very similar to your description, but he mentions a Jack hammer down the leg. Thanks for showing your cute face through all this pain and misery. You’ll be well taken care of and loved. Love,hugs, prayers and blessings are sent to you.

  30. Now, don’t fret… you’re braver than that 😉
    God will keep you in his hands and we’ll be praying for you.
    I hate that you look that fine when you’re in pain… I don’t look like that at Disney 😛 ahahahahahah 😉
    Delightful Face and Wonderful Soul you’ll be ok! Great. Better.
    Come back soon.

  31. What I hope is that the surgery goes well and relieves you of the pain. A lot of patience is likely to be require for the healing process. Another thing we have in common is poor arm veins.

  32. Oh, Alycia, my heart, thoughts and prayers go out to you. You have a strong spirit and faith, and coupled with all of the loving support around you, you have the recipe for a successful procedure and recovery. Feel the embraces of the many of us in blogland who wish you well and can’t wait until your posts pop again in our mailboxes! I’ll be thinking of you on Thursday. Take care and when you get frightened, just close your eyes and plan an exquisite tablescape in your mind! (that’s what I did in pre-op last year! It works!) With loving thoughts and wishes, Rosie

  33. Dear Alycia, I’m so sorry to hear that your back has given out on you. I hope the two weddings that you so wonderfully planned for my children years ago didn’t cause the problem. I come from a long line of back sufferers. My lovely mother had 5 back surgeries, my sister has had one, I have had one and Natalie is scheduled for hers on February 4. We share your pain!!! My thoughts and prayers are with you. Please recovery quickly so we can all resume reading your tables cape posts…I need some spring inspiration…when and if we get spring!! Love you, Rene

  34. Oh sweetie I am right beside you. Here is the plan, you relax and I will be scared for you. I cannot begin to tell you how brave I think you are. Hospitals and needles terrify me too. I will keep you in my prayers ~ especially tonight and I will think of you all day tomorrow. I am trusting your doctors so they better take care of this problem once and for all so that you can go on with your happy life with your family and friends. Give your Mom a hug from me. She is a saint and you are so lucky to have her. God Bless dear friend. I’ll be staying in touch with you even if you can’t blog.

    Big Texas Hugs,
    Susan and Bentley

  35. Of course my prayers are with you that all will be well! Continue to heal as we eagerly look forward to those wonderful ideas that are presently residing in your head to be manifested in print for all of us to enjoy. God bless you and your family!

  36. Alycia, I’m with you on the scary needles and stuff. I will be praying for you! Please keep us posted as to how you’re progressing along the way. I look forward to the day when you are back to your usual monkey business and beautiful tablescaping! I pray for smooth sailing surgery, a quick recovery, blessings to your dear husband and mother (Queen in my book!), and skilled surgeons hands! Hugs, my dear friend!

  37. Oh no, Alycia!! Surgery??? Not on Elvis’ birthday…..You should be celebrating with me by having peanut butter and banana sandwiches at our “girls” luncheon. We will all be thinking of you (we are all nuts about your tables – however, some of our ladies do not like the – sorry – Kansas City Chiefs. We hear about it frequently.) Anyway, kind thoughts and prayers coming your way. Katie

  38. Hi, Alycia. I had my calendar marked to check in on you yesterday or today, to let you know I’m thinking about you as you go into surgery. You, and the professionals who will take care of you are in my prayers, but based on our son’s experience you will be ever so glad you went through with your surgery. How sweet of your mother to be there to baby you along with husband. Your are blessed with love and tender care, and with many of us praying for you. My tightest hugs (as long as they don’t hurt you!) to you, Alycia. ~Zuni

  39. Oh gosh, Alycia! Only you! Lol!! Well, just know that you are in my thoughts and prayers for a successful surgery and speedy recovery! (Not sure if the doctors and nurses know what they are in store for with you! LOL!) But, it’s nice to see that you haven’t lost that sense of humor! Take care of yourself!

  40. Alycia,
    Prayers coming your way today and everyday, dear friend until I hear. . .
    It Is Well With My Soul!!!
    Looking forward to some enchantingly lovely tablescapes come Spring!!!
    Keep us posted!!!

  41. May God bless you with a successful surgery and a full and complete recovery. We will remember you in our thoughts and prayers. Please keep us posted.

    In appreciation for all you share with me and others. Get well soon!


  42. Thanks for the Prayers and Good Wishes from everyone regarding Alycia’s upcoming surgery. I will be with her through it all. This time next week we shall all be rejoicing in her recovery looking forward to more lovely Tablescapes.
    Alycia’s Mom

  43. Alycia, lots of love and prayers and good wishes coming your way. I know all will be well–God needs some angels here on earth, girlfriend! You’l be here for a long while. 🙂

  44. So sorry to hear you have to have back surgery. I have a pinched nerve in my neck that acts up now and then. When it does, nothing stops the pain…babying it now. God bless you and I will be praying for your speedy recovery. 🙂

  45. I prayed for you a successful surgery. I have a bone spur in my neck so i know about pain. Take care and see you soon. 😊

  46. Dear Alycia! Your surgery is on my computer and I’ve been praying for you. You will undoubtedly bring some joy to that hospital! May God keep his hand upon you and the surgeons and give good results from the surgery!! Hugs….

  47. There are certain years in our lives, if we live long enough, that appear to go on forever. Every bit of life is colored with something awful and then, one day, you’ll see a ray of hope. Maybe it will be the first walk you take when you aren’t completely exhausted or maybe it will be the first time you realize the pain is lessening. Then the sun will come out again and you will get back to living and creating. At the time, it seems like it will never end, but I promise you it will. We will all be waiting to hear, so I hope someone will drop a line for us. Wish I could drop a casserole off.

  48. I have been wondering and worrying! I hope your surgery today was a grand success and your recovery is speedy! You have a whole world full of loyal fans and friends out there and we are ALL rooting for you!! Sending you prayers and love~

  49. Hello dear heart. I have been following your beautiful blog for more than a year now. I always fancied myself to be creative, but what you bring to the table (pun intended), is nothing short of an awe inspiring gift from God. You have made me smile, filled my heart with the warmth and also given me inspiration. I can only pray that God is allowing you this period of rest only to slow you down long enough to anoint and infuse you with greater ideas.
    A’Doris Andrews

  50. Sending prayers of recovery and healing just for you. Hope you are on the way to feeling better so you can get back to doing the things you love. About the time you start feeling better, I’ll be having my knee replacement and feeling not so good. Spring will look good to both of us. Take care!!

  51. Hey there! Just wanted to pop in and say hello how ya doing? Everyday is closer for you to be up and doing what you love. Stay warm, the sun is out and shinning today, that’s always a good sign. Take care my lady.

  52. Thinking of you and continuing to offer prayers for healing and recovery. Keep in touch and let us know of your progress.
    In appreciation,


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