Monday, February 04, 2013
I have learned a bit about football tonight, and the big game was pretty interesting--especially after the lights went out. I have never "gotten" football, but I know now why part of it has been confusing. Mitchell is a pretty good teacher. Unfortunately, I probably won't attend to another such game until next year's Super Bowl--so chances are that he will get to teach me again.
We had our first regularly scheduled Sunday Communion service today since Micahel retired. We usually have Communion on the first Sunday of each month and then for special Sundays like Easter and World-Wide Communion Sunday. We have had several people in charge of our "pulpit" since Michael retired and if they aren't a full-fledged minister, they cannot administer Communion. We have two more weeks until our new pastor starts, but the current interim pastor who we have can do communion. It felt as if things were coming back to a more normal situation today than they have in many months. Our new pastor is a young lady and she comes with her husband who works for our denomination, traveling for them during part of each week. It will be an exciting time for our church to get settled in with a new pastor. Michael has been on my mind a lot lately and we haven't been in contact for a while--I have prayed that he is doing okay and hasn't taken on far too much at the beginning of his retirement with his interim position combines with his other interim position as director at QCAIR (Quad Cities Alliance for Immigrants and Refugees) and the part time position he has had at a local community college teaching psychology. I suspect he is more like me than I ever considered with taking on too much because it seems like it is the right thing to do.
We had our special event that used to be called the "Souper Bowl of Caring" but I think that that was changed for legal reasons. They now call it our "Descending Dove Diner" with a 50's theme--people donate food or money for our food pantry in return for a diner-style lunch. I over did it some, but I enjoyed the pork sandwich a lot. The choir did a lot of 50's music--Elvis stuff and "to the Hop" and "Lollipop" and the like. It was a fun time to visit with a lot of people and to relax a bit.
Then, we came home to get ready for Micah's party. I had gifts to wrap, a cake to pick up, my meds to pick up as well, some chores around the house to get finished and some food to prepare. I had a lot of help--never the same person for any two activities in a row, but we got it all done. It was fun to eat and watch the ball game and talk and laugh together--all of my kids were here. Mitchell came but his girlfriend was at home sleeping after a longer than usual day at church so she could go to work at her third shirt job. That shift for her sure interrupts some family activities that I would like to include her in, but we respect her need to sleep. People who work third shift need to sleep at the same time every day, and until she can negotiate a different shift, this is the way that it will have to be.
Anyway, the party was fun--but I would be fibbing if I didn't say the highlight of my evening was watching the "Puppy Bowl" on Animal Planet. That always cracks me up. There were three Catahoula Leopard Dog (mix) puppies. Sadie, our growing by leaps and bounds puppy who belongs to Mason, is a Catahoula Leopard Dog. I had never heard of the breed in my entire life until he begged to have her--and promised to take care of her (cough, cough), so I researched the breed. It is an interesting breed with a long background. She is a sweet puppy, but big and boisterous with my limbs often getting int he way of her activity. Her head is even with our table now and she is scamp enough to climb up and investigate that which is of interest to her. She is intelligent and loving and busy, busy, busy--spending the majority of her waking hours chewing things--like toys, flip-flops, the remote control. the doggie brush, Little Frankie (our pug) and anything else that gets her attention. She is training the people in our home to put their things away far better than I have ever been able to do.
As for my and the title of this entry... I am aware that my recovery period is not over due to some calendar date, but I am also aware that I should be well on my way to being recovered from the surface wounds from my surgery. I believe my hip is in rock-solid shape and has healed well. I do not have all of my range of motion, strength, endurance, or balance back, but now that I have been released to go to the pool, I will work on this each day and get it back. I can do that.
I am extremely tormented by my right knee and I wore the brace today with a bit of improvement while I was running errands. It is definitely more secure with it on. I plan to have it examined and hopefully x-rayed and the like tomorrow when I see my ortho. I hope to be released to return to my job because it is time for me to get back into the swing of things. I am not wired to sit around and "get better." I am wired to help others and share my gifts with the children who need them.
I am also growing more and more weak in my left shoulder. I have not been able to lift my left arm today. I have been aware of soreness, but it is logical soreness brought on by using my arm strength as I walk with my walker to relieve that right hip--and now my right knee from bearing all of my weight. I seem to be damaging my body in a lot of ways without even trying.
So--I have a lot of ground to cover in my recovery. but my official 6 weeks ends tonight. I am moving on, dealing with the many issues that my body has given me over and over again the past many years. I can do this and have done it with dignity. I hate having constant pain and issues with walking and my back, knee and shoulders, but it is a part of my life. I will apologize for singing this same song, but I will also thank you for listening and giving me a forum to speak what is on my mind. I have to shield my family from some of my whining because some of them have been through so much with me, my husband in particular. I cannot imagine what it is like to sit and wait through surgery after surgery. I cannot imagine what it is like to watch someone you care about go through one thing after another. I almost fell coming down the single step off of our front porch this morning. My walker veered to the left when I was moving straight ahead and it got away from me. Fortunately, my son Marshall was behind me and he caught me. It took my breath away and scared me greatly. It took a while for me to shake it off. I had let out some squeal and my husband--who is 66 years old, came running around the jeep in a panic. I can only think of the fall I had a month ago and it being on his mind, with me getting bundled up on an ambulance and taken away. No, I cannot imagine what it would like to be in his place and having to deal with my constant issues.
All said, this has been a great day in so many ways. I love time with my family and sharing with them. It was the best kind of a day--part of today's scripture was Paul's First Letter to the Corinthians, Chapter 13. That helped me to meditate about what is most important to me--loving my family, my friends and my spark friends, my students, others who need my help, people who help me in many ways--at the restaurant, the grocery store, in the doctor's offices and so on. Love is the big thing and it cannot be about anything but the person I love and that relationship. I am so glad that we meditated on that scripture today. It is an old friend in so many ways, but it was a refreshing way to consider what is important to me.
Next week, we will be having a special service at the end of the church service for married couples who wish to to renew or refresh their vows. I think that will be a wonderful touch for us after we just celebrated our 25th anniversary a few months ago. I am looking forward to that as a way to really celebrate Valentine's Day.
Take care my friends. Take time to consider those who you love and their places in your heart, your life, and your world. I am guessing that you, too, will realize how much that they come before everything else. You will also realize that with love, you can handle anything and do what you need to do.
Saturday, February 02, 2013
I'm having a blue day. It has been colder than cold here--wind chills of -50. Schools were on a 2 hour late schedule because of the frigid weather. I made a parental decision to keep them home today because yesterday (when it was some 40 degrees warmer), the buses had trouble keeping the fuel from turning to gel. I couldn't send my daughter on crutches to school when it is like this and I am even more frightened to send my son on a bus that might become disabled somewhere between here and there. That made my older daughter angry with me, accusing me of babying them and letting them "get away with everything." Grr-rr. I am the parent and I make the best decisions I can at the moment. I told her so as well and she said that I never let them just stay home--and that isn't true, I can remember a few times that the weather gave me reason to make the same decision.
I had a rough time at therapy today. I couldn't lift my right leg off the floor and I couldn't bend it either. My knee is totally acting out. I walked three laps around th egym today without a squeak of trouble in my hip--but it was a good thing that the PT had a belt on me because my knee kept giving out and it finally got ugly. I am totally frustrated over this--I keep reliving my knee history and I cannot go back there. I cannot sit comfortably or lie comfortably or find any position that gives me peace. I finally, for the lack of sleep fell asleep in the car today for 2 hours. My husband had them drive around so I could keep sleeping because he knows how awful it has been for me with this knee.
I went to the pool tonight and I realized that I have to start way back at the beginning, doing the exercises I did when I first had water therapy. I expected to lose some ground, but I didn't expect to lose everything. This situation has had me crying three times in two days--once for pain and twice for frustration. I will regain my ground, but I am fearful over what is going on with my body.
The nasty cold weather is certainly not helping me, adding to my stiffness and achiness. I am in a full blown fibromyalgia flare that has been coming on all week long. However, this thing with my knee is above and beyond my regular pain that I live with every day of my life. I am hating this and need something--what?? Relief and answers, I think would help. I see my ortho on Monday and I am guessing he isn't going to care a lot for revisiting knee pain with me. That is what brought him to me and my right knee had 3 scopes, 2 total knee replacements, syn-visc injections, cortisone injections, 2 manipulations under anesthesia until they realized I had RSD. I have been to the wars and back with this and I am nervous as much as in pain. I wish I understood why this has surfaced, of all things that could have gone on.
Anyway, maybe tomorrow when it is a bit warmer and I have some rest and maybe even some peace--maybe then, I will feel better. Thanks for listening to all of my whining today. It's been one of those days!
Friday, February 01, 2013
Today has been a somewhat sad day for me--I think the frigid temps here are having something to do with it. I know that I am feeling a bit blue and that the pain in this knee has gotten on my nerves today.
I putted around and did a lot of quiet things around the house this morning. Then, I left to run a couple of errands and finally, I went to the pool. It was a tough experience for me. I knew that I would have to back down from the intensity and types of activities I was doing before my hip replacement surgery. I started with walking around the pool and quickly found out that all I could really do was regular walking--no marching, no side sliding, and definitely no lunge walking forwards and especially not backwards. That hurt my knee more than anything I can describe. I tried some arm exercises and the one foot work is also totally out right now. I did some of the kicks I have been doing in therapy and they went okay. I couldn't swim either, but I really enjoyed just floating around and relaxing in the pool. I guess I didn't realize how hard I had been working out, but I now know that I am going to be taking things slowly for a while.
While I was at the pool, Sadie managed to get the remote to our Direct TV equipment and chomped it seriously. That cost us $25.00 because somebody left it down where that silly puppy could get it. She is getting so big and she weighs at least as much as Lady, only is 3 times as tall. She is sleek and slender, but is all puppy. I have to remind everyone that she is just barely 5 months old and does puppy stuff--she is just as big or bigger than many adult dogs which is hard for them to notice.
I don't even want to admit this, but after not having made it to WW last week, I went tonight and gained 4.2 pounds. That seems pretty unreasonable, but I also noticed that my hip and knee are swollen like crazy tonight. I did a bit of crying over this knee because my husband brought me one of our "hard" ice bags that wouldn't sit on my knee, let alone relieve the pain and that left me feeling pretty frustrated. Oh well, now that it is said, I can get to the task at hand, of losing this post-op weight. I have tried hard to be active while I have been home, it is just that I am not working with the intensity on balance, endurance or strengthening like I was doing. I have been working on mostly functional movements. It's important activity, but hasn't helped me with weight management or loss.
Throw in some of the typical squabbling that can go on in a family, especially one the size of ours and that makes my day completely off-whack for me. (for example, I decided we would have chicken for supper--oh my, I think they should be glad they had good food to eat--and no, we haven't had chicken for 5 days. I try to balance things out so we eat a variety of things without repeating. It is my guess that pizza would have made them happy, but I won't allow that more than once in a week. I get to make those decisions and that's that!!)
Anyway, it's colder out now than when I started writing this. Lots of schools are starting late and I will probably keep mine home. I don't trust the bises enough to let my kids go on them when it is at a below freezing temp like -20 or whatever they are saying. It will be my loss, more bickering, no doubt.
Stay warm today...Happy Friday!!
Wednesday, January 30, 2013
"The snow is leaving our area and we are moving into the coldest weather that we have had this season over the next two days. Then, we are looking at having more snow on the weekend." That is what the weather forecaster just said on the news. Yuck--and I am not surprised. My body has totally predicted all of this weather. I am hurting significantly in my lower back, my left shoulder and my right knee. My back pain is my constant companion and my right knee has been hurting a lot the past month as my hip has gotten better. I don't know how to explain my left shoulder--but it hurts to lift things in my left hand or to reach off to my left. Together, it makes me want to consider going to bed and forgetting to do anything.
I did get an email from the US Dept of Education that they received my job application, my letters, and that as of early this morning, the application window has closed. They will notify finalists in late March of further interviews, so I am going to try not to dwell on this too much. I am hoping that my doctor lets me return to work next week when I see him on Monday so that I can get back to the job I love so much. I have plenty I can do there--not so much here because the things I need to do here are very physical and that doesn't work well with my body. Anyone I have chatted with in the past few days who deals with chronic pain has a similar story to mine to tell, some of them adding quotes like, "I just didn't want to get out of bed again" and "I hurt in more places than I have." OK, I have gotten out of bed and ran errands and did what others have asked of me this week, but sadly, I couldn't get anyone to take me to the pool since I cleared my six week mark. I wore my swimn suit under my clothing all day today, but given our weather, I guess I understand why I didn't get to go. I am extremely frustrated--because 6 weeks ago, the weather wouldn't have stopped me from going.
There are a few funny things going on at work. I need to go back because people who don't understand my work are asking questions and getting poor answers about things. I am going to have to straighten more than a couple of things out when I get back. Part of me doesn't want to deal with it all.
I am back at the drawing board with Micah's school and that English teacher again. I have a meeting scheduled on Monday in between my doctor's appointment and physical therapy to straighten out some of their problems. I know it is an over-zealous teacher who doesn't understand
Autism Spectrum disorder and has no interest in doing anything but flexing her muscles and power over a freshman. Wow, lady, get a life. These are kids who will do just fine if they aren't forced to jump through hoops they cannot reach. grr-rr.
Tomorrow is the day for me to plan Micah's combined birthday party with the Super Bowl party he wants to have the day before on that special Sunday. He was pretty worked up that I needed to have a Super Bowl Party and that isn't quite my thing, but in combining it with his birthday, I can do a few things and all of them will work out well. Some things are good for us all and this will be all--he can open his gifts on Monday when it is really his birthday.
The news and the weather is equally annoying around here. I got past it by looking at photos from our trip to St. Louis this past summer. I sent a few by cell phone to others today to make them smile a bit and it sure helped me. I am dreaming of that 108 degrees that most of everyone else was fussing about this morning. I wish it were back, I never complain about heat--can't have enough as far as I am concerned. I can always cool off in the pool!
Saturday, January 26, 2013
Apparently we are expecting some horrible weather starting late tonight. My husband just called from work to make sure I knew about ice, icy rain, sleet, dropping temps and snow for 2 days followed by warmer weather and then a second drop. Yuck, I really don't like winter weather. It doesn't do well for me physically and much of anyone else emotionally. However, it will be spring in less than 2 months and that is what I am thinking about.
Lady got her stitches out yesterday--and except for bumps all over her ear and the area that has been shaved, she is none the worse for all that she went through. We took Frankie along for his annual visit and that made it a lot of fun. Lady hates riding in a car and cries the entire time she is in there, and she barks the entire time she is at the vet (until they take her away from us.) Frankie is a social little pug, silly boy and while I was trying to calm Lady down for everyone's peace of mind, he lifted his little pug leg and squirted the cat food display. I was pretty embarrassed, but the lady with the mop and bucket came out and cleaned it up, no big deal. Frankie was a good boy, not a peep when he had his exam and got his shots. He is such a different personality than my big basset hound girl. The most interesting part to me was how they lie on the back seat of the jeep on the way home and Lady didn't make a sound. I think I will start bringing Frankie with whenever she has to go somewhere because it seemed to have given her some sort of stress relief. (By the way, Frankie has a multitude of nicknames that include Lil Frank, Frankie doodle poodle, Franklin Delano, Franklin P Dinwiddie, and others that are escaping me at the moment. He answers to all of them!)
Physical therapy went the same as it has been. It occurred to me as I write the title for this blog that on Monday, it will be 6 weeks and I CAN GO TO THE POOL!! I will have one more week to be home from work (as far as I know) and I am going to get to go to the pool during grown-up time every day. That is sure to brighten my spirits and help my body get back to normal. I am guessing it will help my knee and my hip to do even better. I am so excited to think about the water, my first time in the pool this year!! WooHoo!! The Pool!!
I got the letter from my professor for my job application. It was so wonderful it almost made me cry. I was so touched by her kind and thoughtful appraisal of who I am as an educator and a learner. I will cherish that letter forever and it will be there for me to use when I need a boost. I didn't expect that to come of all of this, but it is such a blessing and a special gift.
Speaking of gifts, those of you who respond to my blogs sure help me along the way and in some of these blue moments, it is nice to be able to come back and read your thoughts and support. I need to do more with the blogs of others, but I don't know how to get enough computer time in to do that. I need to find out how the rest of you get in your daily sparking, your exercise and time for visiting spark friends' pages and feeds and the like. There must be a way to make it all fit in and I haven't figured out after over 3 years here. If you can help me to get there, please let me know!!
It's been quite a month and I thought I would be bored and have spare time on my hands. That hasn't happened though. I still have things to do, like 3 books to read (plus two more that I got for Christmas) and an afghan I am making for Megan. I am sure she is convinced that I will never get it done. I have a collection of books to sort out for Mitchell and myself. I also wanted to make some posters for my classroom. I am not sure what I have spent my time doing, but I haven't been bored. I think I could have been a full time mother and been busy all of the time without a job, had this been a generation where that kind of thing was common.
I need to do some shopping today, especially with the bad weather forcast. I sure don't want to have to send someone out for a last minute run for toilet paper or something similar. That will help me to get in my steps today. I am also hoping to go find myself a couple of neutral colored tops. My winter shirts are all too big and look pretty silly on me right now, so before I go back to work, I want to take care of things so I can use the majority of my wardrobe. At some point, I will be purging myself of a lot of things.
I hope it will be a good family day tonight. I haven't decided on dinner yet, I think I'll plan something when I go shopping. It should be a good trip and it should also be fun.
Have a great weekend--think of a tropical island and all of the great summer things we can enjoy. That is far better than thinking of dangerous winter weather in my book.
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