Sunday, March 20, 2011
18 year old son getting ready for a dance. So when he and his girlfriend got out of work, they picked up my groceries and brought them home. Because the roast needed immediate attention, Ali helped to put it in a pot for me. Then, after peeling one potato, I realized that peeling carrots and potatoes for the roast was going to be an insurmountable feat for me as it was too much for my neck to deal with. I asked Ali to help me peel the veggies, and she graciously did. Now Ali has said she wishes I were her mother sometimes, and that makes me a little sad. On the other hand, she is a great little gal to have around, and she is as vivacious and busy as a hummingbird. The dress she bought for the dance was cute, but she felt her mom wouldn't approve, so she got ready for the dance here. Another slight sadness that she felt she couldn't share with her mom. The dress reminded me a little of my tiger number that I bought for that wedding in August, except the fact that little Ali is probably about a size 3 or less, and the dress was asymmetrical one shoulder number in a blue animal print. Very cute, and she wore it well. I took pictures for her. Danny wore a royal blue shirt with a black dotted tie, black pants, and black sneakers (converse style). He got her roses. My husband said to Ali he felt like we had the teenage daughter and she was getting ready for the prom. It was a sweet moment for us. Meanwhile, my roast was cooking, and they were off to the dance.
Running off to the dance
Hubby and I enjoyed a fabulous roast. With carrots and potatoes. Delicious, nice tender cut of meat. It was the first time I used the internet shopping feature of our local grocery store where Danny and Ali both work. It is something that I will use again, and it will save my husband having to hobble around the store looking for what I want. I was very pleased with the nice fresh veggies and meat that were in the order. Happy Happy.
Skip forward a few hours. Older son and his wife Lisa arrive. Older son promptly falls asleep in a heap in the recliner, and looks like something my cat would refuse to drag in. He makes me sad. Lisa arrives eager to learn how to make banana bread. I saved aging bananas for the task. Their task - to stay with me since younger son was out on a hot date, and hubby would be working til 6 a.m. So in the kitchen I guided Lisa through the step by step of pulling ingredients from the shelf, and making the banana bread, a recipe from my RI friend that I really adapted. Everything that was in it, I changed.
Easy Banana Bread (oven 350 bake 1 hr.) aka Luna's Banana Mania Bread
soften one stick of butter, then cream with 1 cup of packed brown sugar.
3 mashed bananas and 2 eggs - mix well, then blend with butter/sugar.
1 cup oat flour, 1 cup whole wheat flour, 1 tsp baking powder, 1 tsp baking soda - blend dry ingredients well then slowly blend into wet ingredients.
Turn into well greased bread pan (I grease glass pan with olive oil)
Sprinkle top with about a teaspoon or so of white sugar, and about a tablespoon of brown sugar - makes nice crusty top to bread.
Now, the actual recipe calls for 1 teaspoon of vanilla, and a pinch of salt added to the wet ingredients. I forgot. It tasted fine, so it is your choice.
Lisa had a slice, I had a slice, older son had a slice last night. This morning, I had a slice, hubby had a slice or two, younger son killed off the rest of the banana bread. Not a crumb is left.
Ali learned how to peel veggies. She never peeled a potato before or used a vegetable peeler.
Lisa learned how to make banana bread. Lisa's mom never taught her to cook anything. She too looks to me as mom.
I learned my younger son who will not eat bananas will eat banana bread.
As for last night. Lisa fell asleep on the couch, older son woke up after that. I fell asleep in the chair, but kept waking with trouble breathing last night in a panic three times, so did not head to bed til just before my hubby came home. Younger son came home late from the dance after bringing Ali home. Then, he tackled laundry for us today, and learned he has got to learn to save some of his hard earned cash, as he has used it up fast between Valentine's Day and the dance. I told Ali that if Danny put $50 into his savings account every week from his pay, he would have over $2,000 in one year's time. Ali told Danny. Sometimes his learning has to come from someone other than mom.
Ali actually brought me some mauve roses this week, to join the rose colored rose Ron got me, and the red ones. She gave me a bouquet, save one rose she gave to Danny. Note - bananas in the background.
I don't feel as rested today. Yesterday was hodge podge crazy. Peaches is nearby to lend me a hand - he is in sleep mode at the moment. I probably will nap in the chair, I did not feel up to stretches, and am not going to stress over it. Exercise is not my priority right now. Getting well is.
My husband praised the substitutions in the banana bread today. He said I need to make those same substitutions with zucchini bread, etc. I love oat flour. I have made my own by running oatmeal through the blender, but recently found a store that had some. So, even my 68 year old husband is learning to eat a little healthier with my substitutions. I know, I use real butter when I cook. I do not use shortening. I do not use margarine, as I can actually digest butter easier. Since I don't bake all the time, I am not going to worry about it.
Saturday, March 19, 2011
I felt this way yesterday too! 10 days into cervical spine surgery recovery - Despite my low slow motion, and my slightly upped nutrition - I am eating sensible, balanced, but not stressing if something is slightly higher than it should be - except for sodium - I really watch that and keep it low - I am really ultra positive thinking. I am focusing on calcium, low sodium, 5 fruits/veggies, whole grains (as much as possible), protein, fiber, HEALTHY! Back to my vitamins again too.
The sunshine and warmer weather helps.
The positive health steps help - nurse advocate, bone growth stimulator, positive stats regarding my prognosis, support, e-mails, phone calls, cards from friends.
A cat that really truly is quite supportive of me - kept me company all night last night, when last night was not a happy night - I wasn't hurting, but was very frustrated, and he climbed my chest, kept his distance, got comfortable (for both of us) and purred me to sleep. I therefore woke up in much better spirits than when I went to bed.
Peaches followed me around the yard.
Today, I went outside to get the mail, check my crocus, feel the sunny but cooler fresh air today. Yesterday - my outside jaunt, if you want to call it that, I walked to the back yard, front yard, back inside, and back to the front yard again - totally wiped me out - I came in and fell asleep for over an hour, and was very tired.
Real fish blend in with real food beneath a false duck - time to clean out all the leaves that landed in the pond - not me, the hubby that is.
Test driving the soft collar for an hour or so a couple times on Friday. My upper back/neck get sore/tired fast though, and I am afraid of napping in this collar - if I jerk my head while falling asleep.
Basket weave bricks on the patio - nice to see the snow is gone.
Since I can't turn my head to see my side view - here is a snap of my current side view. I am wearing two shirts, and a hoodie zippered jacket here, with my bone stim gizmo in the pocket.
Front view of the contraption - Miami J collar - I will remember from whence I came. I will be hoping that my movement will not be frozen, I will be hoping that I can drive again. I am not totally unhappy with my profile. It is another important piece of my journey. Pre-surgery, my movement was pretty limited due to two disc herniations and pain - hopefully afterward the limitations will be better. Physical therapy will tell. (March 30)
How many calories do I burn wearing this contraption???
Crocus in my garden bloom.
Oh, and MOST positive:
This morning before breakfast (an awesome spinach, onion, mushroom, cheddar cheese omelet that my husband made), I managed a good 10 minute very very light pt (physical therapy home routine) stretch - with the approved exercise given to me by the therapist. Amazing how much I feel slipping away in 10 days time. 10 minutes was definitely a major stretch of time as well!
Now, the rest of the day is just that, rest...
Hugs to all, enjoy the day and weekend.
Friday, March 18, 2011
Friday. I am over the week mark in being post-op. Although I have done a few stretches almost daily, and I mean extremely light stretches, my brain is eager for more. But I am behaving, and putting it off. Since it is difficult to stay at the computer long and type, I have not been logging my food, except for water and fruits/veggies. I slept pretty well last night, and the time between pain medication is stretching out a little. I can feel the muscles in my neck tightening up and I wish I could stretch a little more, but I must be patient. I have pulled out my light 1 lb hand weights to lightly strengthen. Very lightly.
Dropping stuff and not being able to pick it up is aggravating. Last night a water bottle slipped out of my hand and broke open spilling all over the bedroom floor. Blah. I can't run for the towel, or bend over. I drop drink straws almost daily, or food as I aim for the narrow opening over the collar. Here kitty kitty!
Last night my hubby was feeling under the weather, and I had to try to fend for myself, and it was tough. I was frustrated because I needed stuff I could not (read should not) reach. I used the long handled "grabbers" but I can't always get everything. I needed to eat, and had to make do with what I could scavenge.
I wanted to take a walk down the street, but we didn't. I hope he feels better today so we can do something. I don't want to go to a store, or ride in a car, but I would love to get outside a little - but the weather doesn't look as nice today as it was yesterday.
Today's plan - rest (no choice), sleep (probably), eat healthy, drink my water, hug my cat, stay positive, try to move a little more. Repeat.
The whole long time I was learning to eat right, drink my water, exercise my body, work at reaching lower weight/bmi, strengthening my core and body, in preparation for surgery I was/am getting healthy. I truly believe facing the surgery with a healthier leaner stronger body was key to feeling as good as I do right now. I really do feel ultra positive, despite the little hiccups and setbacks and tiny roadblocks. I really do feel I am going in the right direction and am getting healthier.
Thursday, March 17, 2011
So this morning, the tech came in this morning with the electrode gizmo called a SpinalPak II Stimulator - basically two electrodes attach to my neck and to a small battery pack that emits a low dosage of bone growth stimulating electric current. The neck brace was taken off, electrodes attached, brief instruction given, pack of materials given, and let the zaps begin. Hmm. And I thought my hubby was bionic.
battery pack for the little gizmo
Then, I just really felt the need to rest. And rest. And rest. So I did, I did, I did. Cat on my lap, slept a lot off and on. Perhaps this is because I didn't rest as much yesterday.
Peaches on watch
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
Amazing. I was just reading an article on acdf (anterior cervical discectemy and fusion) and trying to figure out how long I should be wearing this hard Miami J collar. I think I probably can switch between the hard collar and soft collar, definitely using the hard collar when I am in the car, and most probably at night, and soft the other times, but I am still a little too chicken. Because my own bone matter was used in the fusion, and there are little plates and screws, the success rate has a high 90 something percentage rate. It still amazes me that I don't get more freaked out than I do about the whole thing. But, every once in a while I wake up startled, a little trouble with the breathing or swallowing, and have a mini semi-panic.
Getting back to my first statement, I had just read about a device you can wear that can stimulate bone growth in the kinds of procedures that I had (major surgery) last week - and the phone rang about 5 minutes ago. A technician ordered by my doctor, and approved by worker's comp, is coming out to visit me tomorrow with a cervical bone stimulator (similar to www.orthofix.com/products/spine_cerv
How's that for instantaneous information transfer? Sometimes I am too much the librarian as I love the research process and gathering all the information I can to be fully informed, especially medically.
So, I guess now I will be concentrating even more on regrowing this bone in the two disc spaces. That is really pretty cool. Technology is amazing.
It is amazing what a week brings... here I am home, healing, recovering, and past that hurdle. Giving praise and Thanksgiving to God.
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