Wednesday, December 07, 2011
Yes, I know, Sparkies...it has been a VERY long time! Not that I've forgotten about Project ME!!, but had some bumps and bruises along the way. To catch you up...
Had a lovely summer vacation with my family in France, and I was sad to see it end, especially since it meant I wouldn't be seeing my girls until probably Christmas vacation (both in Montreal, both relatively successful and happy). Plus the fact that I found myself at loose ends was a little tough: no big plans on the horizon for the new school year, which always gets me panicky. No classes to take, no work, no big projects...all I could see was a big, fat void. The comedown wasn't pretty, I can tell you!
However, my empty calendar turned out to be a blessing in disguise. My husband had taken a big fall while kite-surfing with my son back in May. Other than a broken rib and lots of bruises, we thought all was okay. We were wrong. When he started running again in August, he had some weird pains and tingling in his hands and legs, so was sent for x-rays and an MRI, which showed that he had a fractured dislocated cervical vertebra due to the fall, and he was very lucky that his symptoms were not worse. He was scheduled for immediate surgery, to stabilize his vertebra with rods and screws, and has spent the last two months recuperating.
The surgery was a success, but my husband has been an athlete since his early teens. Which means he has no experience with the aches and pains of bodily dysfunction, and his fitness level dropping drastically. He panicked at every twinge and every cramp, and I've had to be very patient and teach him what I learned about dealing with disability at a very early age.
I don't envy him the pain and the suffering he went through post-op. But in one respect, it's been wonderful: he finally understands some of what I go through on a daily basis because of chronic diseases which affect what I can do physically, and which sap my energy. He had, up until recently, been convinced that will power and discipline could overcome just about any condition; now he understands that this is not always the case. Not that I shouldn't try to have more willpower and discipline, but that sometimes, it's just not enough. It's taken him almost 25 years, but now he's had a taste of my reality, and he's not likely to forget it anytime soon...
Now he's back driving and at work, and I'm happy that the prognosis is good for the future. He should be able to attain his former fitness level in less than a year. And while he's frustrated he can't run yet (and he's not a happy camper when he can't run!), he's learning to be calmer and more patient without running as a release. Not easy, but doable.
As for me, I had my own physical scare right around the time of his operation: woke up one morning, and my right knee (the one I always have problems with) was cramped and swollen. Couldn't completely straighten it, and couldn't walk more than 10 minutes without pain, in addition to it being very unstable. I felt like it was going to give out on me the little I did walk. Needless to say, I wasn't comfortable walking on my own with the fear of falling, so became trapped at home for far too long. The orthopedist six months ago had said I'd need a new knee in five - ten years, but this seemed to have happened too quickly, and I got very depressed. It was a lovely pity party at my house for most of the autumn, between my husband and me!
Well things are looking up, since I saw the rheumatologist this past Monday. She said it sounded like a tendon problem, and a cortisone shot might be enough to reduce the swelling and give me back my mobility. It's been two days, but I'm seeing a huge improvement: the swelling has gone down, and I can walk around the house with less discomfort. I'm waiting a few days before taking a "real" walk, but I'm cautiously optimistic!
And, in other news, I'll be starting some art courses in February...over the internet! I couldn't find high-level courses here in The Hague in English, so researched and found courses which are streamed live over the internet (and can be viewed at other times, if the streaming times are not convenient). The courses have gotten good reviews, so I'm going to try them, and see how it goes. Finally something I can be excited about, something for my mind to go with the work on my body...
Which is coming along nicely. I still haven't lost any more weight, but I also haven't gained. And considering the ups and downs of the last couple of months, I'm pretty proud of myself. My personal trainer has been wonderful at working with my knee issues, helping me strengthen the muscles around my knee to support my funky joints, and keep me on the path to fitness. I'm now hoping to add walking back into the mix, and get my cardio going again.
So there you have it. Never got completely off the path of Project ME!!, but had some challenges to deal with and resolve. I'm now hoping to start the New Year with a fresh attitude, and be stronger than ever.
Wish me luck!