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The Good, The Bad and the Reality

Monday, August 24, 2009

For six weeks Iíve been unable to put weight on my right leg without really bad pain. So Iíve been unable to walk without a limp. Iíve gone from wearing a pedometer and getting my 10,000 steps a day, to trying to get from the bedroom to the kitchen with the fewest number of steps possible.

You can imagine I Ďve done a lot of sitting; a lot of time in my recliner with my feet up, listening to books on my ipod with my cat Rosie by my side.

I only go places I really have to go and where I can get what I need with the fewest number of steps. Getting in the car is difficult because it really hurts when I lift my right leg to get in. Iíve started backing up to the front seat, sitting, then swiveling around until Iím in position to drive. Still some pain there, but not nearly as much. I can only get in and out of the car about twice on any given trip, then I have to go home. Some days I wait for Joe to get my mail and put out my garbage so I don't have to walk to the end of the drive.

Iíve lived with chronic pain for about 7 or 8 yrs. This is the first time Iíve had pain anyone could ďseeĒ. Ususally, pain is invisible, except to me. Now I canít walk, so itís visible. I really donít like that.

Iíve tried chiropractic, massage, ice, rest, and now am scheduled for MRI and Orthopedic appointments.

All this has brought me to a lot of thinking about my life. Iím big on counting my blessings and start each day that way. Now Iíve divided my paper into two columns - Good and Bad. The Good column goes on endlessly, being thankful for family, loved ones, good health, excellent blood-work, seldom ill, nice home, nice neighborhood, reliable auto, steady income which does not depend on me working ever again, many toys like HDTV, ipod, endless art supplies and books, etc.

The Bad side has only one entry - Pain.

After my last massage late one afternoon, the following day showed some improvement for the first time. I began to have an hour or two during the day when I could put weight on my leg and walk around the house without limping! Still some pain, some residual soreness, and I had to be careful not to walk too fast or over uneven ground. Next day, even better. As long as I interspersed an hour of rest in between times on my feet, I could get around a little longer, still with some pain but not enough to make me limp.

Itís so amazing how the act of putting one foot in front of the other can be such a great and wonderful thing. Pain brings you to a halt and gives you lots of time to think. Iím so grateful now for the act of walking which we usually take for granted and have added it to my morning litany of ďThank You for...Ē

Iíve gained about five pounds over these past six weeks of immobility. I wasnít able to exercise much before the limping began. Once it took hold, despair set in; fear of never being able to walk again without a limp, etc. etc. The only thing I can do that feels good, when pain is bad and Iím so down, is eat. Now thatís a hard habit to break, especially after eight years of it.

But, hey, thatís why Iím here.


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ESHTEMOA 8/25/2009 10:41AM

    Sorry to hear that you are experiencing so much pain.Don't give up ,continue to pray about it .
HE is the great physician for whom nothing is impossible.
Keep up your positive attitude and it will help with your healing.
Just said a little prayer for your healing.
Much Love,

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GRANDMAHOWLEY 8/25/2009 7:47AM

    Good morning Karen! I hope your strong positive attitude and realistic appraisal of your situation gives you the strength you need to deal with your pain. I am so sorry to hear that you are suffering.
Pat emoticon

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BETTERCATHY 8/24/2009 7:45PM

    Remember that you are so much more than your weight. Take care of the whole Karen. It sounds like you are understanding that you have to deal with each challenge as it arises! Stay strong and believe in yourself!

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SERENITYSEL 8/24/2009 3:38PM

    Hi, I know you are in severe pain, but you are still an inspiraton to me. Your positive attitude is contagious.

My personal belief is we are "allowed" to go through these trials so we may help others, and you surely are doing that here.

I'm praying for you my friend!!!! So you gained a few pounds, when you are well enough, you WILL lose that 5 and 5 more in no time. Your sheer will and stamina will NOT allow you to do nothing about it, when you are able.

It is nice that you have times of being able to walk a little without pain, but don't overdo it or you will only hurt yourself. God bless my dear friend. Huggs too!!!! emoticon emoticon

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JUDY1676 8/24/2009 11:46AM

    Sure hope you find out what's going on really soon! Pain is no fun!
Keep up the positive thinking and counting your blessings! My prayers are with you.

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FISHINGLADY66 8/24/2009 9:18AM

    I hope you can find out what is causing the pain soon. Keep counting your blessings and keep thinking positive. I will remember you in my prayers. Bless you.

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BELTONWALKER67 8/24/2009 8:22AM

    I sure hope the MRI can find out what's going on and a treatment can be found to fix the problem so the pain will go away. Just rest and continue to keep those positive thoughts until the pain free days arrive. Take care of yourself.



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Status Update

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Well, I spent a day reformatting my computer and re-installing and tweaking everything. The only major problem I had was I couldn't get back online. I called Time Warner RoadRunner, my cable, phone and internet provider, and a very nice lady there worked with me for over and hour! Everything showed I was connected but I still couldn't access any website or email server.

I called my son's tech employee and he very nicely spent almost another hour with me on the phone - still no luck.

Then the TW woman called me back and said she found the problem. TW had quarantined my account due to a virus problem they detected. All fine and good, the virus is why I reformatted to begin with, but I can't believe they didn't FLAG my account so their own employees wouldn't waste so much time trying to resolve and issue that only TW could fix!

Also, if you pay for cable tv, phone and internet, you'd think they could send you an automated phone message if you've been quarantined!! You can believe I'll be writing a letter to them about that. So glad that's over.

You may remember, I decided to undergo a month of electronic impulse acupuncture in the hopes that it would help me with the chronic pain I've been living with for years. The result is - It DID! My back doesn't hurt, my shoulders and neck don't hurt, and all the general body aches I used to wake up with are gone. I feel so much better!

However................. It's like finding a miracle cure for pain and in the middle of it - breaking your leg!

I didn't break my leg, but I have a badly injured ligament in my right leg, up around where my leg joins my body. Every time I put weight on my leg I have excruciating PAIN.

I started with chiropractic, massage, ice and rest. I then went to my M.D. who gave me Ibuprofen and x-rayed my lower back and hip. I go back tomorrow to see him again and will ask him to refer me to an Orthopedic specialist. I have all the symptoms of a loose ligament - the ligament doesn't hold the bones tightly enough, so they move out of alignment. It's like your leg is out of joint. VERY painful.

I've gone from wearing a pedometer, trying to get in all the steps I can, to counting and planning every step so I don't have to take more than absolutely necessary. I limp.

Joe has been so sweet, picking up things for me at the store, waiting on me when I need it. I've tried to keep on living life the same, just a lot more slowly. I've learned from living with pain that if I just stop everything when I hurt, I'll never do anything at all. So I keep going.

Ever optimistic that improvement is just a day away.

Happy to be back here with my SparkFriends.


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BETTERCATHY 8/23/2009 6:52PM

    Do you think acupuncture could help you with this new pain? I started having treatments for migraines, which have improved tremendously. Now, she is working on other issues that I have...don't know what she does with those needles, but it seems to work! Hoping that you can find an answer!


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LADYNLI 8/20/2009 1:12PM

    Glad you are back. Hope you will be feeling better soon. Hopefully you will find something that helps the leg pain.

emoticon Nancy

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SERENITYSEL 8/19/2009 10:33PM

    I'm glad you are back too. emoticon emoticon

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BELTONWALKER67 8/19/2009 8:41AM

    Dear Karen,

So sorry you have gone from one pain to another. Glad you got your computer fixed and are back online with us. Knock on Wood, I haven't had any issues with TV other than the fact they keep raising their prices. Take care of yourself and I hope the doctor can take the pain away.



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Technical Difficulties

Monday, August 17, 2009

I'll be down a few days. As soon as I'm back online, you can be sure this is the first place I'll be!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SERENITYSEL 8/17/2009 9:07PM

    We will see you soon. I will miss you lots. Hope all is well with you and your family. (((Huggs))) emoticon emoticon

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BETTERCATHY 8/17/2009 8:02PM

    Isn't it amazing how dependent we can become on our technology? If I can't get online, I feel like a part of me is missing! We will be looking forward to having you "whole" again!


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JORETTA2 8/17/2009 2:38PM

    See you soon. We will miss you.

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GOALIEGRANDMA3 8/17/2009 1:24PM

    Will miss you... still will walk

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LADYNLI 8/17/2009 12:42PM

    Thanks for letting us know. We will miss you!


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The Best Place is HERE!

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Over the years I've participated in various on-line communities, both health and diet conscious.

I've met a lot of interesting and nice women in my age group along the way.

None of those groups compare to the Spark People teams here. I love all the interaction and advice, the support and sympathy when needed.

Most of all, I love the way that no one pressures you, demands an accounting of you, tells you when to weigh in and reports your loss or gain to the group, examines your food diary and critiques it.

In other words, no one is controlling or pushy. Gee, it feels like we're all grownups with a plan of our own helping others with their own plan.

I love it!

Thanks to all of you for friendship and kindness.


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BETTERCATHY 8/15/2009 7:18PM

    This is a great blog, Karen! You are so right!

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SERENITYSEL 8/8/2009 4:06PM

    That is exactly why I have stayed here so long. I love the people I've met and the NO judging attitude. emoticon

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    Karen - You have it exactly right. emoticon

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MAYBELL75 8/8/2009 1:32PM

    Sparks is an addiction to good things, enjoy reading your blogs

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ROSILEIGH 8/8/2009 1:16PM

    I agree , i found sparkpeople by accident and i am so glad i did.


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EARLYBIRDM 8/8/2009 9:32AM

    Amen to that, Karen!


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HIPPIEFREAK66 8/8/2009 9:20AM

  i checked this place out and stayed. i feel like here we all have similar goals and because of this we all want to help each other. we all want to help each other reach our goals.

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Do you belong to a cat?

Saturday, August 01, 2009

If you share a home with a cat, you know that you belong to the cat - not the other way around. At least from the cat's point of view.

Cats are very patient in trying to train their humans. After a while we know what it means when they sit in front of the door, or in front of their dish, patiently waiting for us the get the idea, lol.

Rosie sits in one certain spot every evening and gives me a buzzy twirping sound that means, "It's time for you to throw the mousies so I can chase them." If I don't do this, she refuses to come to bed with me unless I pick her up, carry her in there, and put her on the bed. Humph!

My good friend Joe is owned by Solomon. You can see their photo on my Spark Page. Solomon the King, runs to the counter in the dressing room in their house and jumps up there waiting to be brushed. He loves being brushed more than any cat I know and purrs really loudly during the whole procedure. He has patiently trained Joe, and later, me, to know just what we're supposed to do!

Neither Rosie nor Solomon thinks sitting on the sofa is acceptable, for some reason. Sitting in the recliner with their human is good, but never on the sofa. Joe and I accuse them of talking on the phone because they have never met, never been in the same house together, but have this thing about the sofa, lol.

I really started this blog because I need some thoughts and opinions about something. I often wonder if I should have another cat join me and Rosie in our home. Rosie is 3 yrs old and she's always been my only cat and is totally an indoor cat. Sometimes I wonder if she gets bored because I don't play with her enough. Or if she gets lonely for another of her own kind.

Have you ever BROUGHT IN A SECOND CAT to live with a cat who has always been an only child? Is it a good thing or not? Will Rosie adjust well? Should the second cat be a kitten?

I don't want to do anything to ruin Rosie's happy life, you know. She'd never forgive me.


I should also add that it's just Rosie and me living here. I wonder if it makes a difference, knowing that I am hers exclusively and not shared by any other critters - either the two legged or four legged ones.

Thanks for the comments so far!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SERENITYSEL 8/7/2009 6:17PM

    First, I loved your blog! I am a cat lover too. I had a cat named Onry. She was my one and only and she knew it. She too had me trained, but in all fairness I too had her trained.

I would have never thought about bringing another cat in to her home. I had to have her put down, because of an aggressive form of bone cancer. I had some of her toes removed, but the cancer spread anyway. I cried for months! I finally (after 3 years) got a kitten. I should have called this kitty "Diablo" instead of Lucky. But to be honest, I thought maybe she needs a friend. Well, the lady who fostered Lucky and her brothers and sisters (they were found in a trash dumpster), brought Lucky's brother over, and let me tell you, it was NOT pretty. Lucky hissed at him, smacked him and growled at him. So we thought maybe it was because he was a male, so Erica came back the next with with one of Lucky's sisters. Oh this was so much worse.

Lucky let me know she is queen of this place and there is NO room for any other animal.

My advice, try it first. Now remember these were brothers and sisters, and they seemed to forget that. Its only been 2 months since they saw each other.

Good luck and let me know okay? emoticon emoticon

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SHASTA11 8/5/2009 11:34PM

    I loved reading about Rosie and Solomon. Personally I wouldn't borrow a cat. It could go terribly wrong and one might get bitten or clawed.

Also, getting a kitten is iffy as you know it will be a bundle of energy and want to play all the time with Rosie. Of course any new cat you bring into the home is going to cause hurt feelings. I might try a male cat Rosie's age, but not a female.

Except when I was younger and my daughter or I was always bringing cats home, I always get 2 initially. I have two 8 yr old females now and even sometimes they get mad at each other and fight terribly. I get a "hormone" spray from the pet store and spray it in the hall between the two rooms the cats go into most often. It helps mellow them out. I have to use it 2 or more times a week. I"m going to Louisiana in Oct and am worried about what they will do. I have 3 ladies that will take care of them, but the cats don't like anybody but me and if one of them gets hurt the ladies will never know as they'll probably never see the cats. My last sitter didn't and I was gone 2 wks. I'll be gone longer this time.

I wish you the best if you do get another cat.

Hugs, Joan

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RUTHF73 8/1/2009 10:43AM

  I am owned by an 8 year old cat named Chance, and I have had him since he was a kitten. I recently brought in a new kitten named Bella, and so far Chance is not liking this new intruder into his domain. It has only been a couple of weeks, so I know it will be some time before he will tolerate her presence.

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BIRDLEGS29 8/1/2009 10:39AM

    My daughter is owned by several cats and a dog. She brings in new cats often and at first it took some time for the "only child" to adjust but now they are all fine. She has had as many as four but is now down to two. They all get along fine.


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SUSMAX 8/1/2009 10:31AM

    I am owned by a bunch of animals, 2 of which are cats.
Ravioli is 9 years old. He was an only cat until 2 years ago when my daughter found a kitten at college and brought it home.
Pucki is the kitten, and our terror child. She gets into everything!!!
Ravioli accepted her quite well.(although she does think our dog is her mother). Ravi will play with her when the mood suits him, or just swat her away if he's not in the mood.
Can you "borrow" your friends cat to see if she is receptive to other cats?
Hope this helps. There are pictures of ravioli and pucki on my sparkpage,come visit!

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