Total Weight Loss

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Kind & Gentle

I'm still battling the crud here, but it isn't as bad as yesterday.  I really slammed the water and vitamin C yesterday.  I'm sure that didn't hurt and maybe it helped.  I'm doing the same thing today.

The crud has taken my appetite away.  I'm going with it.  I am trying to really pay attention to my body and give it what it needs.  As a result, I have slipped to a new low weight!

I got to my pre-op weight several days ago.  I didn't mention it because my body has this uncanny ability to know when I announce reaching a milestone and the very next day, I have a bounce up!  I am taking a major risk sharing this now.  

Just like Tuesday, when I announced 2016 was the year of health, I started getting sick!! Yesterday, I slogged through the day hardly doing my workout I had just outlined.

Maybe there is another lesson here.  Maybe I'm learning that this is how life works.  Just like my recovery wasn't a straight line from surgery to well, but had lots of ups & downs along the way, so is everything in life.  Nobody told me to suck it up and push through when I was tired and wanted to rest after surgery.  I was never told I needed to have more willpower or that I needed to make better choices.  Not once!  Nope, everyone around me was kind and gentle.  I was determined to do my best with therapy but even then, there were times when it just wasn't happening.  That was OK with me and those around me.  We just tried again later.

I need to apply those same principles to other areas of my life, namely weight loss.  Odds are, my weight will go up again.  I can't freak out.  I need to be gentle with myself and move on to the next meal/workout and do my best.  I think I can do that.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Good Grief!

Yesterday, my post was full of vim and vigor.  I was ready to conquer the world.  I took some time to really think about goals for 2016 and how my days would have to look to accomplish those goals.  I wrote it down in a very different manner than has been my norm.  I listed that each day I would accomplish certain things, but not at 8:00 am to this and on to the next thing.  This time, I left all of that out.  To me, that feels like a great accomplishment.

I did a similar thing with milestones.  Much like I mentioned in yesterday's post, I will add more Wii as therapy decreases.  As I grow stronger the work out will grow more intense, but other than 30 days minimum of therapy, there is no date listed.  Nothing that says my goal is to bellydance by June 1.  Bellydancing is there, but the goal is when I am strong enough.  I feel good about this new way of goal setting.  It feels much more doable since there is plenty of room for grace.

BUT, as great as I felt yesterday, I feel rotten today.  As we were eating last night, I began to feel achy and tired.  I took some Tylenol.  Still, by bedtime, I knew it was coming.  I woke up in the night with full on crud.  (TMI-my sinuses were draining so, I thought my nose was bleeding!)

Yesterday, my biggest irritation was not being able to load the cake pictures.  Today, it is having to stop every three minutes to cough up a lung!  BTW, I haven't given up on posting the pictures.  I just don't feel like messing with it now.  I will share a funny story instead.

Yesterday, as I was working on the aforementioned goals/plan for 2016, I decided to take a little break and scroll through facebook.  I have a friend that always ends her status updates with the scripture reference Proverbs 31:25.  That references the chapter about the virtuous woman.  I couldn't remember specifically that verse, so I went to to quickly look it up.  I accidentally put in Proverbs 13:25.  Look them up in NIV and then laugh in the comments.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Ah, Freedom!

Sweet Freedom!!  Last week I was released from outpatient therapy and started driving.  It is amazing how much better I feel now.  It is because I am free from the idea that I am recovering.  Although I am not 100% recovered; I am 90% to 95% there.  I can do just about anything I want to now.  That last 5% to 10% will be slow and probably unnoticeable.  One day, I'll just realize that I'm fully back.

I have little bits of recognition now and then of how it will be.  I'll stand up and realize that I didn't push off from anything.  Or, I'll carry something like the laundry basket through the house without concern.  On the other hand, sometimes I realize that I'm swinging my body to walk rather than my leg or I'll get too tired too fast.  In time, I won't even realize that I've carried the laundry basket, and I'll walk by swinging my hip and never give it a thought.

For now, I have my exercises to do at home.  I am do to them every day for a month and then every other day for as long as I feel like I need to.  I am supplementing that with the Wii.  (my golf game is better now that I'm swinging my hips but baseball is not going so well???)  As I continue to recover, and the therapy exercises wane, I'll add more Wii.  I'll move on to Walk Away the Pounds and my long awaited belly dancing!  All of that can be done indoors so I don't have to be worried about bad weather.  When spring arrives, I should be ready to walk outside.  65MD and I are also discussing buying a treadmill or exercise bike.  We won't until the floors are finished.

I'm getting back into the groove with drinking water and eating as well.  I'm on target to hit it hard January 1.  I am declaring 2016 the year of good health for me!

And since I know everyone wants to know about my niece's birthday party and the bouncy did not work out so well.  It was lower than I felt comfortable crawling in to, because I wasn't sure how to get out..  There was an edge outside of the netting.  I decided to sit on it and bounce.  (I was cleared by my therapist to sit so I wasn't cheating!)  I sank much further than anticipated.  The weight limit was 250 lbs so that wasn't the issue.  The age limit was 8 as my nephew pointed out. So I'm going with that rather than my hips as to why I could not get back up.  I was getting worried that someone would have to pry me up with a crow bar!  I got up with much rocking to get some momentum and 65MD risking rupturing his hernia completely by pulling with all his might!

Anyway, the party was delightful.  My niece had an absolute blast.  All she wanted to do was jump.  She had to be coaxed into opening her gifts.  She loved the Elsa/Anna cake, but only ate a bite or two because she wanted to jump!  It turned out so well, 65MD was afraid she'd cry when it was cut, but she didn't.  I tried to attach a few shots, but I can't get my iPod to cooperate.  I'll keep working on it.

Friday, December 4, 2015

My Current Roller Coaster Ride

Since my last post I've been up and down the roller coaster a few times.  I want to share a couple of humorous ones and one that is a little more serious.

First the Wii:  I've been getting back on the Wii.  I've made it three days in row now.  I'm not really trying to set any records, or workout for a specific time, or get my heart in the target range.  I am just trying to establish the habit of getting some sort of workout done each day.  That may sound strange knowing that I have gotten a good workout in therapy since surgery.  Somehow, in my mind, therapy=sick.  Healthy people don't have to go to therapy - at least not to me.

So, back to the Wii and then on to something a little more challenging at the first of the year.  The roller coaster part?  The first day I got on the Wii and did the body test, my center of balance was almost exactly 50/50.  It was something like 49.5/50.5.  I, obviously, took note of that.  The surgery did its job.  I was no longer listing to the right!

This morning, I was so badly out of balance that I had to position myself in the blue dot.  Anyone with a Wii should try leaning to one side during the body test to see what I mean.

As I said, this really wasn't upsetting.  I've had two very good days in a row.  Last night was a little hard and my left thigh is bothering me a bit.  It is part of recovery and will just happen sometimes. 

Then the Scales:  So, we all know about this one!!  I am so very close to getting to my pre-op weight, less than I pound.  I've been mentally rehearsing that blog post for a few days now.  Everyday, I wake up and think this is the day.  Yesterday, my weight shot up over a pound.  Today, I'm about half a pound away.  Again, I shrug that off.    I'm not consistent yet with my eating or water intake.  I don't expect much.  BUT, 65MD decided on Monday that he wanted to lose 10 pounds.  He weighed last night and has lost 5!  I accused him of putting his hand on the wall or something!  Nope.  Five pounds gone!  It is just not fair.

Finally 65MD:  As much as I wanted to be mad at 65MD, I couldn't.  He can't help it that men lose faster than women.  Besides, without him, there is no telling where I'd be right now.  Not just related to recovering from hip replacement but all of life, quite frankly.  It is the reason he felt compelled to lost weight.  He has an umbilical hernia.  He's had it since I've known him.  Until a few weeks ago, it was quite small.  His doctor told him at his annual exam, in the fall,  that it was probably time to go ahead and schedule something.  He didn't.  My hip collapsed.  I got surgery and he's still waiting.  (Actually, he is actively trying to schedule it for the break between semesters.)  This is much more distressing for me.  The hernia has gotten larger.  It is clear to see.  He insists that it has nothing to do with practically lugging me around for the past 6 weeks.  I don't agree.  Plus, if that thing were to become strangulated, we'll be facing emergency surgery rather than scheduled surgery.  So, in our household, there isn't much going on.  I've halted the flooring.  Those boxes of tiles are heavy.  We'll not get out the massive amount of Christmas decorations this year.  He certainly isn't carrying the tree up from the basement.  (I might get my nephew to do that.  I'm not a total Scrooge!)

The first two, don't bother me at all.  They are just examples of the ups and downs of everyday life.  The third is too, but it is much harder for me to take.  I want off that part of the roller coaster ride, please.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

On Roller Coasters

I love a good roller coaster.  In fact, give me a thrill ride any time.  At an amusement park, I'm always up for the fastest, scariest ride in the park.  This comes as no surprise, I'm sure, to those who know me in real life, and those readers who have been with me from the beginning, since skydiving was the reason I lost weight to begin with. A few years ago, 65MD and I bought wristbands allowing us unlimited rides when the fair came to down.  I left him in the dust after about the second or third ride.  He got an upset stomach from one and had to sit down.  I, on the other hand, would go ride something and then go check on him!  I'd do it again, except for the part about 65MD getting nauseated from the rides.  

My niece is turning 3 in a few weeks and she's getting a bouncy house at her party.  I am determined to bounce in it!  Her mother is dubious as is my therapist.  So, my therapy is now working on balance and stability.  At this point, I can get in the house and lay down if no one else in there!  I have three more sessions to work up to standing and then actually jumping.  The fear, of course, is falling and hurting someone or damaging fragile, hardly healed tissues.  I don't want that at all, so I will be smart when the time comes.

As much as I enjoy the excitement of roller coaster rides, it is only those in the park I enjoy.  I do NOT like the roller coaster rides life doles out.    Right now I'm on a recovery roller coaster.

Monday, was a great day.  It was a real glimpse of what life could be like in a few months.  I wasn't 100% pain free, but I felt good.  I felt like I could do whatever I wanted.  I knew the feeling wouldn't last, and tried to pace myself and temper my feelings.  It was/is hard to do.  When I finally felt good, I wanted to conquer the world.  Part of me wanted to strike while the iron was hot because I knew the feeling wouldn't last.  The other part wanted to preserve the good feeling by taking it a little more slowly.  I don't think either side 'won' the battle.

Tuesday came and I felt bad again.  I had pain in the incision site, my muscles were sore like I'd done some crazy workout routine (I'd had therapy), my stomach was upset (side effect from medicine) and I was freezing!  It was made all the worse by the day I'd had on Monday.  I knew what it felt like to feel good and knew it was within my grasp, just not then.  It is frustrating to say the least.

Today, is shaping up to be more like Monday.  My incision hurts but at a low level.  I can take this pain.  It is nothing like what I've been through and I know it is temporary.  It is a wound that is going to take time to heal.

As I was going to sleep last night, I started thinking about how all of life is like a roller coaster ride.  There are peaks and valleys.  Sometimes, the valleys are deep and last longer than we want and the peaks can be all to fleeting.  This is true in weight loss, relationships, work and everything else.  It is life.  I, for one, have got to figure out a way to enjoy life's roller coaster as much as I do the ones at the park.

Monday, November 30, 2015

What a Wonderful Day

Back when I learned that the hip surgery was going to have to be earlier than anticipated.  I selected today as the day to be back to myself.  I thought by today, I would be finished with PT and that other than a few remaining tweaks, I'd be back to myself.  I was mostly right.

I'm not finished with therapy.  I didn't anticipate starting late because I was so weak, nor a week off due to the holiday.  I have four sessions left, two this week and two next.  Hopefully, then I will be able to drive.

I've shed most of the hip related accommodations.  I still have the sock aid, and the toilet raiser at home.  I am still taking the cane in public both as an aid to me and a warning to others.  At home, I hardly use the cane at all.  Today, I walked to the mailbox and back.  I took the cane to help me get up the stairs.

I've weaned myself off of the pain medicine except for before therapy.  I'm too much of a wimp to try PT without a little numbness, in both mind and body.

It is great.  I am glad that I was able to get so close to the goal I set for myself.  But, it has not been easy.  Even this morning, I had to really give myself a lot of positive self talk just to get out of the bed. It was dreary and rainy and the days of me being able to lay in the bed whenever I want are drawing to a close.  I knew though, that if I didn't get up and get on the Wii as I had told myself last night, today would be a washout.

I got up and weighed on the Wii.  I only did the body test part because I do have therapy this afternoon and I didn't want to overdo!  I'm also getting back with the water drinking and food monitoring.  I'm not going to say weight loss plan just yet.  We have too much food that isn't on any one's nutritious food plan.  Still, without my pain meds killing my appetite, I need to be careful about my intake.

I'm hoping by easing back in to things, the transition won't be so abrupt or difficult.  So far, it is great!  

Friday, November 27, 2015

A Thanksgiving to Remember

We had a very nice day yesterday celebrating Thanksgiving.  The weather was perfect.  We even had the doors and windows open to let in the fresh air.  We ate at my sister's house.  Both her sons and their wives were there along with her grandchildren, and with various other friends and extended family.

I knew that we would have a good time.  We always do, but Wednesday night I cried because there will not be a time during all of the holiday season this year that the whole family will be together.  I intend to show up at everything and I know it will be fun.  It just isn't the same without everyone.  I'm not so sad for me but for the ones not there that miss out.  I want to remember two especially fun and funny events from yesterday.  So, I am recording them here.

My nieces were dressed in adorable brown dresses that were alike but not matchy-matchy.  Both dresses had turkeys appliqued on them and they both looked precious.  The older niece (N1) who finally has hair had a cute bow in her hair.  The 10 month old (N2) is still adorably bald.  (It is hard when I don't have permission to use names!)

N1 and I were playing after we'd eaten.  The bow fell out of her hair.  I told her I'd put it back in but she was too busy with her games to bother with that. So, I handed the bow to 65MD.  He decided to put it in his hair.  He just clipped it on top of his head, and didn't say anything.  He just waited for N1 to notice.  When she did, she laughed so hard she could hardly stand up. She then had to tell everyone in the house individually, that Pop had a bow on his head.

Then she decided that Daddy needed to put the bow on his head.  Then Uncle D.  Then Nanny.  Then Lolli, etc.  It got funnier every time.  We were all laughing like we hadn't laughed in a long time.  It was, indeed, hilarious.  Pop might just have to start wearing bows whenever he is around N1.

Later, N1 decided that she wanted to "sing the pokey-pokey" which translated is "hokey-pokey" although I'm not sure about the spelling.  We are very loose with the hokey pokey.  We don't say left or right.  We just say put your hand or foot in and out.  Our verses are:  hand, foot, head, and whole self.  We sing those verses over and over.  N2 was in the room sitting in my mother's lap when we started.

I actually do not participate in all of the movements just yet.  It is OK for me just to sing while N1 prances around.  She mostly does the 'turn yourself about' part anyway.  And the clapping.  When I started to sing, N2 began to lean back & forth to the rhythm and we thought that was cute.  When I started singing the 'head' verse, she put those fat, little baby hands on her bald head and clapped at the end of the verse.  We all thought it was adorable and that she must be very advanced for her age to do the hokey pokey.  Just to be sure, I sang that verse again.  Once again, she kept the beat, put her hands on her head and clapped at the end.  This time she even sang a bit.

I wound up singing that verse about 10 times.  EVERY time, she put her hands on her head and clapped at the end, while she sang along.  She wouldn't do the other verses.  She had no interest in putting her hands or feet in, only her head.  We called the others in to watch and she would perform on cue, except for when her mother was watching.  Even when her mother was hiding, which we couldn't quite figure out but agree it has to do with extremely high intelligence!!  It was a blast.  I can't wait to see her again and she if she still wants to 'put head in' or not.

Baby number 3 will be here at the end of April.   I cannot wait to see what joy s/he brings!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope everyone has a wonderful time with family and/or friends tomorrow.  

I've had a good week.  65MD has been off from work all week.  He started laying tile!  I got my hair done and no PT this week.  Family starts arriving tomorrow afternoon, so we will have a late meal together.  Most everyone will stay through Monday, so I won't be around much.  This will be my first time seeing our newest family member.  He or she is still inside Mommy.  Maybe we'll find out if we'll be getting another girl or a boy.  My feeling is girl.

Until next week, here is a progress picture on the floor

Friday, November 20, 2015

About Last Night

My almost 3 year old niece was in a Thanksgiving production at her school last night.  Wild horses could not have kept me from that performance.  It was my first outing that was not medically related since surgery.  It totally knocked the stuffing out of me but that is not the point of this post.

I haven't seen my baby nieces since before surgery.  I was missing them a lot.  I'd been in touch with their mother.  She was concerned that they might hurt me somehow.  I assured her that if they bumped the incision it might cause pain for a while, but it would not do any damage.  Still, she was cautious.  When she mentioned that the nearly 3 year old was asking for me, I could hardly wait to see her.

We happened to arrive at the same time so we met in the parking lot.  65MD expected tears from both me and the toddler but we managed to keep it together.  I had taken my walker since I knew there would be lots of little ones around and thought it would be safer.  My little one decided she'd like a ride to the door.  Of course, I accommodated her and she rode on the walker to the door. 

When we got into the auditorium, she was to sit with her class until after her performance.  Then she could come sit with family.  She decided to forgo the performance and just sit with me. Oopsie.  If I'd realized that, I would have made myself scarce until her class had sung.  Who knew?

My sister sat with her and her classmates until performance time.  Then she had to carry her to the stage and put her on the stage.  She would not sing, nor would she wear her cute little turkey headdress.  In fact, standing there was too much for her.  She sat down and waited as patiently as she could for everyone else to finish.  Then she made a beeline for the family.

After the last class performed, we all had dinner together.  My niece insisted on sitting next to me.  I had gotten a brownie for dessert.  Her dad had filled her plate and did not get her any dessert.  As we were eating, I noticed that she pulled the brownie over in front of her.  We all did.  She wasn't trying to be sneaky.  She just wanted the brownie. Her dad told her it was mine and to give it back.  I said that was OK.  She could have it and I would get another one.

It was actually a pretty large serving and I thought we might share it.  Nope.  That child ate the whole thing.  It must have been good too because she wanted another one.  I wanted one too, or at least a bite or two.  We went to the dessert table and there were no more brownies like those.  She opted for a mini pumpkin cupcake with cream cheese  swirl on the top.  I got a cherry danish that looked good.  
When we got back to the table.  She wanted both.   I took one bite of the danish and didn't even want to swallow.  It was not good at all.  I gladly gave it to her.  She only wanted one bite too.  We also shared the cream cheese swirl on the cupcake.  Neither one of us wanted the cupcake only the cream cheese part.  Her dad thought she'd had plenty of dessert at this point.  As did I, but she disagreed so back to the dessert table we went.

There were still no brownies, but there was some chocolate bundt type cake there.  She picked up a slice and took a bite.  It wasn't what she wanted so she put it back and picked up another slice and did the same thing before I could get to her.  Our minister was standing there watching and laughing.  He said it was the best thing he'd seen all week.  Truth be told, I thought it was pretty funny too.  Of course, I had to tell her that we couldn't do that here.  I grabbed the 'tasted' slices of cake and tossed them in the trash.  She continued to look at the desserts but could not find one to her satisfaction.

I realized then, that she was looking for another brownie.  They were gone.  She tried a chocolate chip cookie and a couple of mini pecan pie tarts before giving up.  Her grandfather finished those off for her, along with the cherry thing and the pumpkin cupcake!

All in all, it was a wonderful evening.  We got to be together and she saved me from the brownie.  Instead, I just had a few bites of dessert and that was enough.  Oddly, my weight was down this morning.  I am finally just 1.8 pounds over pre-op weight.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Visit with the Surgeon

I was the surgeon yesterday.  He was very pleased with my progress.  He said my job now is to get stronger.  He agreed with the therapist that I need more sessions.  I didn't cry this time.  I've made peace with that.  I won't have any next week because it is a short week and we just couldn't get our schedules together.  Beginning the next week, I will have two session per week for two weeks.  That really isn't so bad.  

Currently, my last session is scheduled for December 11.  At that time, I'll have another evaluation and know if I'll need more or if I am released.  I've decided to make the best of it.  The only real limitation this puts on me is that I can't drive.  And, since I don't like driving, that isn't a bad thing! 

I have a hair appointment between now and December 11.  I mentioned this during the sob-fest in the car on Monday.  Of course, 65MD would have said anything to make me stop crying and he said he'd take me to my hair appointment!!!  I might not hold him to it, but I will get my hair done.

I can't drive because I am still on pain medicine.  The dosage has been dropped down, but as long as I am going to therapy, the medical community believes that prescription strength pain medicine is required.  I can't say that I disagree.  So, as long as I am on pain medication, I can take naps any time I want.  I have an easy out for any slip of the tongue, memory lapse, typo, etc.  I even think that I am exempt from housework and cooking.  I just might get used to this. 

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

What a Difference a Day Makes

I had a wonderful weekend.  I walked around the house without my cane whenever 65MD was in the house.  I cut back on pain meds and gave serious thought to stopping completely.  I had a real glimpse of what life is going to be like when all of this is behind me.

I went to bed Sunday night thinking of the blog I would write on Monday.  It was quite witty and well written.  It was all about exercise, eating & water, and how I'd managed those things while I was recuperating, my transition plan and how I saw them going forward once I was fully recovered.  Then I woke up Monday morning.

Oh my!  65MD convinced me to take half of a pain pill before bed.  I am glad he did or we might have been in the ER!  I woke up at 2:00 am hurting, so I took the other half.  I don't know what I was thinking.  I should have taken a whole one then.

Clearly, I didn't blog yesterday.  If it hadn't been for PT, I wouldn't have left the house.  I hardly left my little nest.  65MD has made me a very cozy little place to rest during the day, that we've taken to calling my nest.

By the time to go to therapy, the pain had diminished but was still very much there.  This was my evaluation as I see the surgeon tomorrow.  My therapist told me several visits ago that I might not need any extra time.  Yesterday's visit proved that to be untrue.  

She took the measures to send to the doctor but I knew I was not making the marks I needed to.  One one measure, she kept asking me to push just a little harder.  I knew I must have been close to the mark she was wanting.  I just couldn't do it.  The pain had come roaring back and I could not push through.

I knew she was going to have to tell me that she was recommending more sessions.  I let her off the hook.  I told her I was OK with the extra time and even smiled as I told her I'd  call and make more appointments after checking the schedules of my PT 'taxi' drivers.

As we got in the car, I told 65 the news.  I was a little surprised that not one tear slipped out.  I thought my voice would crack or something.  It didn't.  He sighed and started to say something encouraging, and I burst into sobs.  Something about that sigh broke me.  The dam burst and I sat in the car sobbing like someone had died.  I'm talking deep gut wrenching sobs.  Poor 65MD, was trying to comfort me but couldn't quite figure out how to since we were both in the car.  He finally just patted my leg over & over.

We had planned to go out to eat since he had a BOGO coupon from a place we really like.  We were going to stop by my mother's with some boxes while we were out too.  I guess, grasping for something to say, he suggested that we just go home.  And, of course, it would make sense that I would not want to be running around town while I was hysterical.  But, I said no.  I said, I was not going to let this setback defeat me.  We were going.  

I secretly decided that I was going to order dessert.  Probably something creamy, like ice cream or better yet a warm brownie with ice cream on it.  Yes, I was going to order dessert.  I deserved it.

We went by my mother's.  She came out to the car, so we didn't even get out.  She knew this was evaluation day and was eager to get the news.  65MD jumped in and told her so I wouldn't have to.  She was disappointed for me, but didn't seem to be upset by it.

We went to eat.  I got full before I finished my meal and then I did not like any of the dessert options.  There was no warm brownie with ice cream.  There was no ice cream at all!  I confessed my secret to 65MD.  He said I could have gotten dessert, but perhaps this was a sign that it was an emotional response and I would enjoy dessert more another time.  He was right.

I am better today.  Not in so much pain, because I'm back taking my medication.  And, I have a nice post about how I'm going to lose these last two post-op pounds and then move on to a more aggressive plan to get to my goal weight, all ready to go in my mind, when it is time.  No brownies with ice cream are included.

Friday, November 13, 2015

The Laundry

So yesterday the laundry issue became bigger than life.  I had to do something about all of those clothes piled up on the dryer.  Not to mention the dirty clothes that were piling up in the bathroom closet.

I knew that I could fold clothes, even on high doses of percocet.  That is a fairly low impact thing to do.  I could sit on the bed and fold clothes.  My biggest issue was getting the clothes from the laundry room to the bedroom.  I'm using the cane, so my right hand is occupied with that, leaving only my left hand to carry stuff.  I have taken to wearing a smock around the house because it has nice large pockets and I can carry stuff that way.  That wasn't going to work with the laundry.  My house isn't that big, but I was not willing to make the number of trips necessary to carry those clothes in my left hand and/or smock pockets to get them from the laundry room to the bedroom.

I hit upon a wonderful idea though.  I put the laundry basket on the walker so that it could be used like a scooter to transport the clothes.  First, I dumped the clean clothes from the basket on to the bed.  Then I got the reachers/grabbers/whatever those things are called, and got the dirties from the bathroom closet floor to transport to the laundry room.  I was very careful to keep the weight of the clothes to the front so that the basket didn't topple over.  (OK, it toppled over several times before I figured that part out. I am on percocet!)

I got to the laundry room and encountered a small problem.  The walker would not fit.  Let me take a moment to define "laundry room" so that there is no confusion.  We keep the washer and dryer in that room so we feel justified in using the term but it is not 100% descriptive.  We also keep cleaning supplies, wrapping paper, a refrigerator, some food staples and just about everything else we want to keep in the house but don't quite know where to put.  Calling the room the laundry/cleaning supply/wrapping paper/refrigerator/food/everything else room would just take too much time and I'd forget why I was even mentioning said room to begin with.

Also, the washer and dryer fit snugly against the back wall.  These are not those lovely washer/dryer combos seen on TV in those wonderfully large rooms that are probably bigger than my living room.  Think scratch and dent specials that aren't even the same color, in a room crammed with everything imaginable.  I mean really, every time we can't find something, we ask "Did you look in the laundry room?"

So, it was no surprise that the walker would not fit, especially now that it had been retrofitted with a laundry basket.  I am nothing, if not a problem solver.  The percocet helps with that.  I just backed in to the laundry room pulling the walker as far as it would go.  Oh, and I should add at this point that the laundry room was added on to the house.  It is not part of the original structure.  That makes the threshold into the room a little wonky and I had to give the walker a good tug to get it over that.

Once, I was sure the walker was as far in as I could get it thus saving me and my new hip precious steps, I put the dirty clothes in the washer.  Then, I piled the clean clothes in the basket keeping it nicely balanced.  The plan at this point was to take the clean clothes and pile them on the bed with the others and then lay down with them until it was time to move the clean clothes to the dryer.  This was just a little more than I bargained for.  Only there was one small problem.  .

The walker was stuck.  It would not move.  No way no how. I had a real problem because in my zeal to get the clothes done and glorying in my lovely invention, I had not put a phone in my smock pocket.  I could not call for help.  I had the grabber thingies but I could not reach the phone from that distance.  Even if I could, who would I call?

Was this important enough to call 65MD home from work?  I could call my mother but I was pretty sure the door was locked.  If she could even get in could she unwedge the walker? I feared I was stuck in the laundry room until 65MD got home from work.  There is a window.  I could open it and scream for help.  Were the neighbors even home?  What if they heard a woman screaming and called 911?  That would be majorly embarrassing.  No, I was left to my own devices to get out.

I had to get out.  There was no place to sit and I needed to sit.  I could lay in the floor.  There was probably enough space for me to curl up.  There were a couple of problems though:  1.  How would I get down?  2.  How would I get back up?  Then, I wasn't sure if it would be comfortable.  What time was it anyway?  How long before 65MD came home?  If he called or emailed and I didn't respond maybe he would realize I was in grave danger and come rescue me.  Fat chance.  I was on my own.

I jiggled, jimmied and jammed.  I shoved the grabber things all around the edges of the walker to see what was hanging it up.  How in the world could it go in and not come back out?  I finally mustered all of my strength and shoved the walker as hard as I could while trying to lift it. It finally broke free and I did not go sprawling with it.  Plus, I think those marks on the door jamb add character to an old house.

I made a beeline for the bed.  I don't know how long I rested, but I had a nice long lay about.  I went back to the laundry room sans walker to move the clothes to the dryer.  Luckily, it was a small load and when it was time to take them from the dryer, I left the walker in the kitchen and I was able to gather up the newly clean clothes in just a couple of trips.

After another rest, I folded all of the clothes.  By the time 65MD came home.  My clothes were folded and put away.  His were folded and piled neatly (I'm on percocet so interpret that loosely) in a chair.  The towels and wash clothes were on the walker but not in the basket,  I had put that away, ready to go to the linen closet.  

The first thing 65MD did after greeting me was to wheel the walker out of the room.  He went towards the bathroom.  Wow!  I still needed rest so I stayed in the bed.  I heard noises coming from the kitchen and figured he was getting something together to reheat for our supper and I continued to rest.

When I got up sometime later, I found the walker in the hallway with the linens still on it, just outside the bathroom door.  I chuckled to myself and went on into the kitchen to see what was for supper.  I found nothing to eat, but all of those groceries that I mentioned that didn't quite get put away, were gone.  So were all of the clean dishes that were near their homes.  I went straight to the walker and put the towels away!

As we were going to bed last night, I noticed that 65MD's clothes were still in the chair.  I told him they were his clothes, and he said he'd noticed them but didn't realize they were his.  (Making me think that perhaps they weren't quite as neatly folded and stacked as I thought.) This morning when I got up they were gone.  He must have needed some clean underwear.  I found the clothes later right next to the dresser where he keeps them.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

The End is Near!

My therapist told me yesterday that Monday would likely be my last session.  At this point, she sees no reason for me to continue.  I see the surgeon on Wednesday and she thinks he will agree.  If so, I'll be doing therapy on my own at home and will go back for x-rays periodically for a year.  In my mind, once therapy and this appointment are over (and go as expected), I will be largely over surgery.

My biggest issue right now is the incision. 65MD calls is leprosy.  It is ugly to say the least.  The blisters from the reaction to the tape turned into red sores which have dried and are flaking off.  TMI, I know.  It is still quite sore.  I'm still not real happy when something touches it.

I still have a way to go in several areas before I consider myself 'well' but mentally, I am over a huge hurdle. I have cleared my calendar as much as possible through the end of the year.  It will probably take me that long to get my stamina back.  

Now, I am wondering what to tackle first.  I've been working and have managed to clear through that minor backlog.  Now, I am thinking about laundry or the kitchen, or cooking.

I am NOT knocking 65MD at all!  He has shouldered a huge burden these past few weeks and has done a magnificent job.  No one could keep up with what he has tried to do.  Yet, the house is a disaster.  Of course it is the easiest thing to let go.  I totally get that.  I would have done the same thing.

It started in the laundry room.  He would wash a load of clothes and pull out what we needed.  The rest would get piled up on the dryer.  No problem.  Close the door.  No one goes in there anyway.  Only now there is about 4 weeks of stuff piled willy-nilly in there.  Probably more than I can tackle right now.

He's done a fine job of loading the dishwasher and running it.  He has the same philosophy with the dishwasher as the dryer.  Just get out what is needed and worry about the rest later.  He's had to actually empty it a time or two to load it with the dirty dishes that have piled up, only stuff doesn't actually get put away.  Stuff just gets put on the counter close to the cabinet it goes in.  I get it.  Everything can't get done.

He went to the grocery store yesterday.  He did a fabulous job there.  No strange things like 10 cans of chili starter this time!  Once again, he just took the stuff out of the bags and put it near where it is kept.  Actually opening the door and putting the item away is too much.

The clothes explosion that happened in the laundry room morphed into a kitchen explosion with stuff all over the place.  I don't think that is the place to start either.

I think the place for me to start is resting in the bed and contemplating a little more.  After all, I need to pace myself and I've written this whole post.  Right????   Plus, food is being delivered tomorrow.  I don't need to cook.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

This & That

Not much to share.  I'm making progress in PT.  I gave up the walker yesterday and am now using a cane.  That is mostly for stability while I regain some stamina.  It is a very good thing.

My weight is still floating around 2 to 3 pounds over pre-op.  I'm not really trying to do anything about it though.  We're still eating food that is brought by friends and family, with a little take out here & there.  My exercise is PT, which is actually a pretty good workout.

I started back working yesterday.  I hadn't really not worked except the days in the hospital when I was largely disconnected.  Even though, I'd put the word out that I was having surgery and would be out of commission for a while, those emails kept coming.  I'd even put a vacation responder. I think people thought they'd just email me and I could respond when I was up to it.  Since I don't like having stuff hanging over my head, I responded to most emails as they arrived.  Yesterday was the day I started initiating emails, calls. etc.

Anyone remember the floor?  The bedroom redo that we started over spring break?   Anyone???  65MD actually said that he thought he might get back to that over Thanksgiving.  I'm not holding my breath, but at least the subject has come back up!!!

My next challenge is finding something to wear below the waist that doesn't hurt.  Anything touching that incision at all, hurts!  Around the house, I've been wearing long shirts and nothing below the waist.  I have some giant shorts from last time, that I've worn to PT.  Now, the weather has turned on me and I need to have my legs covered.  I tried some old nylon pants of 65MD's they are loose enough but when they touch the incision they really hurt.  I put on some soft stretch pants hoping the softer fabric would be the answer.  It isn't.  Now, I'm back to the giant shorts and turning up the heat.

See?  Not much to say.  I really appreciate everyone checking in on me.  I especially appreciate the supportive comments and emails.  I think it helps with the healing.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Health Conditions

I was looking through my discharge papers yesterday to be sure that I am following all of my post-op instructions.  I have three health conditions listed:
*THR (total hip replacement)
I was heartened to read that.  I am a very healthy person.  Two of the three, will resolve themselves in time - THR & menopause.  I will help them along, of course, with PT in the case of THR and dealing with the symptoms of menopause as they arise.  That only leaves me with obesity to deal with.

And we all know that is easier said than done.  Somehow, though, knowing that is my only issue, makes it seem so much more manageable.  I think I'd become so focused on my hips and all of the issues surrounding it, wellness seemed so far out of reach.  Now, all I have to do is lose weight, and I will have no ongoing issues.

Funny aside - 65MD was reading some of my medical records to me while in the hospital and it said I was "well nourished" which we both thought must be the current euphemism for fat.  We had a good laugh with that one.

Back to the weight, I have stalled out at between 2 and 3 pounds to go with getting to my pre-op weight.  I knew that I would stall out eventually.  I just hoped it wouldn't be until I got below pre-op.

Today, in therapy, I had the therapist that helped flush out so much fluid last week.  Before I could say anything about stalling out, she told me not be be concerned if I stopped losing and gained a pound or two.  She reminded me that I was rebuilding those cut muscles and that would offset any other losses, fluid or fat.  I was glad to know that as well because that is indeed what has happened and my intake has not increased.

For once, I'll be glad with a stall on the scales and maybe not get upset about an uptick!  She also tried to work some of the remaining fluid out.  I've been thirsty today, so she may have done it again. I'll have to let my clothes tell me this time, since the scales won't.   

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Four to Go

I have now lost 11 pounds since Friday.  My skin does not feel as though it might pop, still there is excess fluid.  My pants are still tighter than I like for them to be.

Yesterday, my mother came to help me get dressed for PT.  She commented that I looked smaller.  I know she wouldn't just lie to me, and I also know that she wants to make me feel good.  She was right though, the scales were down again.

Since I am a mere 4 pounds away from pre-op weight, I feel confident in believing that I have lost actual weight post-op.

Now, is the time that I need to be extra careful.  My appetite has returned but my ability to move normally has not.  I'm still having a high level of pain and tripping in the kitchen this morning didn't help!  So, I'm on percocet and most comfortable sitting in the bed with both legs stretched out in front of me.  I can do several PT exercises from this position and do, but I know I'm not really torching the calories.

Plus, my family and friends are  determined that we will not run out of food.  So far, everyone has been quite considerate in asking about likes/dislikes/allergies, etc.  I say that I'm avoiding white flour & sugar and that I don't like tomatoes and mayo.  I hope that doesn't sound too picky.  These people are being generous and I don't want to seem ungrateful.  At the same time, I don't want their efforts to be wasted on something I won't eat.

Right now, I have some strawberry cookies that are scrumptious - a treat from a church friend.  They are the perfect mix of sweet and tart.  After two I am satisfied.  I also have a chocolate prune cake my mother made in an effort to help with OIC.  (It is a struggle to say the least!)  It seems so sweet that I can hardly eat a whole slice.  My sister told me that the anesthesia or something has screwed up my taste buds.  She did not think the cake was extra sweet.  Plus being too sweet has never been a problem for me in the past.

I have been eating chocolate pudding like it is the last day for eating chocolate pudding.  Well, not really.  I eat about half a cup per day, but it is the only thing that I have thought of that would taste good and actually did.  With a nice little serving, I'm satisfied and don't obsess about it the rest of the day.  65MD is going to try his hand at making me some from scratch!  He's such a good man.

Other than those three sweet treats, my intake has been good.  65MD is helping me monitor my intake as well, wanting to make sure I get plenty of vegetables, particularly green ones. (OIC!)  

It is a new thing for me for him to be so invested in my eating.  He's also been monitoring the scales along with me.  In times past, he's been supportive, but hands off.  He's let me do my thing, eaten along with me and shown interest, but this is a whole new level.  It is making me a little paranoid.  I'm wondering just how distorted my mental image is vs reality, or maybe paranoia is a side effect of the medication.

I'm not going to worry too long about that.  I'm going to focus on being happy that I've lost 11 pounds since Friday and enjoy the downward trend while it lasts. 

Saturday, October 31, 2015

I Lost 7 Pounds Yesterday

I am not sure my exact weight when I went in for surgery.  I didn't weigh that morning.  We'd gone out to eat the night before so the number would have probably been up.  I weighed often enough in the days before surgery that I have a pretty good idea of the neighborhood.

I weighed several days after coming home on a lark.  I knew it would be up because my left leg was incredibly swollen.  There was an obvious difference in the size of my right and left legs.  My weight was up 15 pounds.  I didn't get upset because I figured there was more than 15 pounds of fluid in my left thigh alone!!

That, and the fact that my appetite was virtually gone.  I was (and am) trying to listen to my body, and eat when I am hungry.  I got some protein bars and nuts to eat during recovery to have a quick and nutritious snack on hand when I got hungry.  Since I wasn't wearing my regular clothes, I didn't have that guide, I felt like my weight would be down if I could somehow discount the swelling.  One day, I even thought my face appeared thinner in the mirror.  That is a hard one to quantify.  I just enjoyed it without 'proof' and went on.

I go to therapy on MWF.  My therapist is great.  She is the kind of person, I'd be friends with.  We work hard on getting my muscles back in shape so that I can move my left leg again.  I am making progress.  When I first came home 65MD (or whoever was here) had to left my left leg in to the bed.  I couldn't lift it at all.  Nor could I make a side to side motion with that leg.  It was a fluid filled sack of meat hanging from my body.

Now, with great effort, I can lift my leg into the bed and under the right circumstances move my left leg from side to side.  That is just the first wave.  I have to be able to lift my leg while laying on my side.  We haven't even begun to work on that.  Then there is the whole walking thing.  I need to be able to walk without the assistance of a device.  Those things will call come in time.  That is why I am going to therapy.

Yesterday, my therapist wasn't there.  She had a well deserved day off.  I had another therapist.  She was very nice and very different.  Yesterday's therapist was very concerned about symmetry and balance in my body.  I did not understand a lot of what she was doing.  We didn't do the exercises I am used to.  Instead, she put her hands on various parts of my body starting at the top of my head and working down.  I laid on my back on the table as she put her hands under my head, under my shoulders, under my waist, under my pelvis, etc.  She just laid her hands under me.  She didn't massage.  We chatted about family and life as she moved through this process.  

At the end, we did a couple of exercises.  She actually did more of the movement than I did.  She wanted me to see how it would feel to move the muscles properly.  Finally, she told me that she was moving the fluid through my lymph system so it could leave.  She showed me how to put my hand on my left hip to help shed the fluid myself at home.

I wasn't quite sure how this shedding was going to happen.  I could think of two possibilities.  I could pee it out or it could seep out the incision.  I was right.  Both happened.  We put a towel in the bed in case the incision oozed.  It was a good idea, but the sheets are in the washer now.  I also got a lot of practice walking to the bathroom.  It seemed I was peeing far more than the urgency of need.  Even 65MD, commented on perhaps my bladder had expanded.

So, this morning, I weighed.  I'm down 7 pounds.  Now, if I could just do that a few more days...

Thursday, October 29, 2015


WARNING- Major whine and rant ahead!!

Really!?!?!  I know that recovery is going to take longer than I think.  I know that it will be harder than I want.  I know that there will be set backs along the way.  Just because I can do X today, doesn't mean I can do it again tomorrow.  I have tried to hard to prepare myself mentally for whatever comes my way but I was NOT expecting this.

I am allergic to the tape used to bandage the incision.  I just can't wrap my brain around that one.  The tape?!?  Who is allergic to paper???  Me, apparently.  I am not taking this well.  I am angry and insulted.  Of all things that can happen  - a tape allergy happens to me.

Don't get me wrong I'm not hoping for worse.  It is just that I thought I had prepared myself for any eventuality.  I cleared my calendar as much as possible through the end of the year.  It never occurred to me that I might have been made worse by what was supposed to help.

65MD had been changing my bandage regularly since coming home from the hospital.  It drained, as was expected, and the hospital provided us with extra bandages and tape for that purpose.  Early on, I told 65MD that it hurt when he pulled off on of the tapes.  He was surprised and thought it was just because my leg was super sensitive and neither one of us thought much more about it.

Tuesday afternoon, he took the bandage off so that I could take a shower.  He pulled and I screamed.  He thought I was overreacting, but it really, really hurt!  Then we noticed a blister not quite as big as a dime at the top of the incision.  I wondered if I had been burned accidentally during the surgery.

I sent a picture of it to my sister who is a labor & delivery nurse.  She said she thought it was the tape.  So, as a precaution, we decided not to re-bandage the incision.  I showed it to my therapist yesterday and she confirmed that it was an allergic reaction.  She gave me another type of bandaging material if I needed it but advised to leave it off if I could.  She also suggested that I but a small band-aid type bandage over the blister in case it ruptured.

Then, last night, as I was getting ready for bed, I felt another blister.  I had 65MD look and I have blisters of varying sizes all down the back of my leg all along the side of the incision right where the tape had been.  Nothing to do for that.  I would have used a whole box of band-aids if I could have figured out how to put them on without getting on the staples.

We just put a towel in the bed to catch the goo as they ruptured, quite a few of them did.  Sigh.


Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Recovering Nicely, I Think!

A week ago today, I had my left hip replaced and the fun really began!  I've heard that women forget the pain of childbearing or they'd never have another child.  I believe the same applies to hip replacement.  There have been some improvements in the procedure and I was in a different facility so I can't really do an apples to apples comparison.  Suffice to say, this ain't for sissies.

I really liked the new facility and the changes that came along with it.  Everyone that took care of me there was wonderful except for one Nurse Ratchet.  I may or may not discuss her in another post.  Today, I want to share about the spinal tap and the extreme joy it brought me.

I found out Tuesday during pre-op that I was to get a spinal tap.  This would numb me from the waist down.  While I would still be under general anesthesia, I wouldn't have to have as much and avoid those nasty side effects that plagued me so much in times past.  There were other advantages as well, like having narcotics directly injected into my spinal fluid.  Still, the whole idea of someone messing around with my spine freaked me out and I was not in favor of it.

The two pre-op nurses didn't press the issue and went on with the other duties which included giving me pain meds and what I labeled 'nerve' pills.  Having not had any pain medicine for 7 days and no food since midnight, the lovely little pills worked their magic very quickly.  I told them I was feeling relaxed and they said that was a good thing.

Soon, a very kind doctor came in.  He was a little older than me and could have easily been a favorite uncle.  I liked him right away.  We had instant rapport.  I was soooooo glad he was my doctor.  He took lots of time to explain the spinal tap procedure to me  and although I was still fearful, I agreed.  Although I felt like the doctor and I were having a nice coherent conversation, he seemed to chuckle a lot.  At one point the nurses got so tickled that they hid behind the curtain and guffawed.  I am pretty sure that they were laughing at me.  My only concern was that I wasn't quite getting the joke.  I wanted to laugh too, even if it was at my expense.

I was awake as I was taken into the OR.  The first face I saw as I was wheeled in was a man who was the older brother I never had.  I knew instantly that he was a good man and I could trust him completely.  He told me not to be afraid because he would be with me the entire time and that I could lean on him while the doctor was doing the spinal tap.  He called me "sweetie" and names like that.  I let him.  Ordinarily, that is a real pet peeve of mine.  How could a man I hardly know use terms of endearment?  This time, it sealed our bond.  The last thing I remember was sitting with the top of my head on his chest and holding to the sides of his scrubs for dear life.

Then I woke up in my room.  I told 65MD all about the nice, nice man that let me lean on him.  He made such an impression on me that I told 65MD repeatedly just how nice he was.  65MD decided the thing to do was record me telling him all about my new friend.  I've only heard snippets so far, but I didn't think I was slurring my words quite as much as the person he recorded.

The surgeon came in to check on me and I thanked him profusely for the spinal tap and exclaimed how good I felt.  The nurse pointed out to 65MD that I was still numb from the waist down.  The doctor, did not tell me that little bit of information.  I realized later that pain was going to happen no matter what.

Besides, making me hilarious to the medical staff, and being able to tell who the good guys were immediately, the spinal tap also made me quite dizzy and have double vision.

When the therapists (it took two) came to get me up the first time, I could not do it because the room would not be still.  I was determined to walk.  It was my first post op goal and I was not going to get behind from the beginning.  I insisted that they get me up and hold me up until the room stopped spinning.  After about three tries, I began to feel as though the ride was coming to a stop and was ready to take a step.  I asked the therapist for my 'walking frame' using a British accent.  She started laughing so hard that she let go of me.  I fell back in to the bed and bonked her head with mine on the way down.  She refused to get me back up after that.  So, the failure was not mine!!!

Actually, I got a lot of visits from the medical staff and more than one person said I was her favorite patient.  Aside from the one aforementioned grump, everyone I encountered was my favorite as well.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Benefits of Not Taking Pain Meds

I have been off all pain medicine except TylenoT (sic) since Tuesday.  To say I hurt is an understatement.  I have been in some pain now for years.  It is a rare thing for me to be pain free.  I didn't realize just how well the pain medicine has been working until I stopped taking it.  I am trying to stay out of The Pit, so I am thinking of the good parts of not taking pain medicine.

The first I already mentioned.  Now I know just how well the pain medicine was working!

Second, 65MD is cleaning house, and even doing laundry.  I gave him the floors some time ago.  Sweeping, vacuuming and mopping were too hard.  He doesn't quite have the same level of desire for cleanliness as I do, but I just had to let that go.  He has a demanding job, and takes care of millions of other things around the house.  Since, last week, he has suddenly turned into Mr Clean.  He's washed, dusted, swept, mopped just about everything there is to wash, dust, sweep and mop in the house, in addition to those million other things.

Third, 65MD is planning meals, cooking and cleaning up afterwards.  We developed a pattern early in our marriage that one of us cooked and the other cleaned up after the meal, mostly loaded the dishwasher.  Since I've been working from home, I've done most of the meal planning & prep.  He's cleaned up.  

This morning, he made waffles & sausage for breakfast.  His idea.  He even cleaned up afterwards.  The first thing he ever made for me while we were dating was waffles.  We were watching a movie at his house and I was hungry.  He had nothing in his house to snack on but had waffle mix and a waffle iron.  Since that time waffles have become a 'romantic' food for us.

Fourth, 65MD went to the grocery store with me yesterday and I got to push the cart.  That is a two-fer.  First, he does not enjoy shopping any where any time, and when he goes he pushes the cart.  I think he does it to keep me moving.  This time, I needed the cart to lean on as I walked shuffled through the store. He also brought them in and helped put them away.

Next, I am getting a lot of work done on the blanket I am making for my niece.  I'm hoping to get it finished while I am recuperating and start one for the baby coming in May.

Finally, I can mess around on Facebook and play Candy Crush as long as I want guilt free!

I am not quite looking forward to Tuesday and the nightmare that will start then.  But the sooner it starts the sooner it will be over.  Plus, I'll be back on the super-duper pain meds.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Much Ado about Nothing

I don't have much to say.  Still, I wanted to check in.

I've been spending most of my time getting ready to be out of commission for at least 8 weeks, and maybe through the end of the year.  I have much more realistic expectations this time of how long it is going to take to get back on my feet.  I'm even trying to convince myself that it is OK that I may not be 100% pain free for a year.

This time we are allowing food to be brought.  That is fraught with danger, I know.  I'm asking for no white flour and no sugar in what is brought.  At the same time, I am planning to accept whatever is given with graciousness and worry about my weight on January 1 with the rest of the nation.

My niece will turn 3 in December.  I am really hoping to be able to make her birthday cake.  She's already asking for "Elsa Anna cake and presents."  Every time she sees me, she says that over and over.  I wish I had a sound clip to share.  It is more like "ElsaAnnacakeandpresents" as if it was one word.  She is jazzed about her birthday.  Last time she was at my house, she decided it would be a good time to make the cake.  It took some convincing but she finally agreed to wait closer to her birthday.

I can understand her confusion though.  In the interest of planning ahead her mother and I have been gathering supplies since I most likely won't be driving before her birthday.  And, her mother can make the cake with my instructions if I'm not able.

I've been a little surprised by the number of things happening in the next 8 or so weeks that I feel like somehow need my attention.  Maybe this is a good thing.  Maybe I need to see that I am not so vital, and just enjoy life.

I've had to stop taking pain medication. Until surgery, I am allowed as much acetaminophen (Tylenol) as I want.  Woohoo!  NOT!  Folks, if my pain were manageable with that stuff, I wouldn't even be considering surgery! I have already pre-apologized to 65MD for being a grump.  He was kind and said so far I hadn't been too bad.  He ain't seen nothin' yet, I fear.  He's a good man.  He understands.  For my readers that pray, it would certainly help to spare one for him.

I'll keep in touch as I can.  I'll probably have a lot more time for blogging.  Although, I can't address the coherence of what might be blogged!!

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Out of the Mouths of Babes

I co-teach the 4's, 5's and kindergartners on Sunday mornings at church.  I love that age group.  They are becoming their own individuals and at the same time are so sweet an innocent.  They are excited to learn and give love so freely.  And, they are HONEST!    What's not to love?

They are also quite into birthdays and how old everyone is.  That subject came up as the children were coming in on Sunday.  The co-teacher said that she was older than me.  She is.  The precious little girl sitting next to me piped up with; "Yes, but she is bigger" referring to me.

Now, I am choosing to believe that she was giving me high praise rather than calling me fat.  In her world, being bigger is better, as is being older.  Since I was not older than the other teacher, at least I was bigger.  I am.  The other teacher is a normal sized lady.  I'm still falling on the plus side of the spectrum.

I am sure I am making more out of the offhand comment made by a 4 year old, than I should.  Still, I keep circling back to the fact that she said "bigger" not "fat."  Maybe just maybe, her sweet little eyes don't see me as fat.  I am not as big or as fat as I once was.  There's that!

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Here We Go, Again!

I saw the surgeon yesterday for a one year follow up on my right hip replacement.  To the day, it was one year when I had surgery.  He was very pleased with the way my right hip has healed.  He even used the word 'perfect' to describe it.  That made me very happy.

He x-rayed my left hip as well since it has been bothering me off and on for most of the year since the right replacement.  He told me in the spring that the left hip had the same deformity and would eventually need to be replaced.  I was hoping to make it until January because I don't like January & February.  It would be fine with me to feel worse than dirt for those months. (not really fine, but better than in the summer)

But, the best laid plans, as we all know, don't always work out.  The x-ray showed that my left hip had 'collapsed.'  I wasn't surprised to hear that something like that happened.  About three weeks ago, I was standing up and it popped.  It hurt.  It hasn't stopped hurting at some level ever since.  

The pain medicine beats it back some but not completely.  I can hobble around and get things done that are necessary but not everything I'd like to do.  It has been longer than I want to think about since my house has been actually clean.  I keep the clutter and crumbs beat back, but the dust is piling up, especially in the bedroom where the new floor is being installed.  I don't even go back there most days.

Anyway, the only treatment for a collapsed hip is replacement and it is a bit more urgent.  So, I am scheduled for replacement on October 20.

On the one hand, I am so ready to get this behind me that I am OK with the escalated date.  On the other hand, the memories of how hard it was are still too fresh and I really don't want to go through that again.  The full truth is, I am fearful that even this won't help.  Even though the doctor said that my right hip was fine, it still hurts from time to time.  I'm hoping that is just because I'm favoring my left hip and putting too much stress on it.  

Being in pain for years, literally, years makes me wonder if I will ever be pain free again. I see people walking and am envious that they appear to be walking with ease and pain free.  Will that ever be me again?  Or, will I wind up in a wheelchair?

No one, not even the surgeon, who knows my weight because I weighed at his office yesterday, has said that if I lose weight it will help.  No one.  Still, we all know that losing any amount of weight will help.  I had finally gotten into a routine, however pitiful with the Wii and my eating that my weight was finally slipping down.  Now, I see all of that struggle to lose 10 lbs about to go up in smoke.  I hate it.  

I know that once I heal (if I heal) I can get back to the Wii or maybe even actual exercise and lose weight again.  I'm tired of losing the same pounds over and over.

I guess the bottom line is, I'm scared.  Scared of the surgery, scared of the recovery, scared that nothing will be fixed or even improved in the long run, and scared of becoming the fat old lady in a wheelchair.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Tybee Time!!

65MD and I just got back from Tybee Island.  He had a conference in Savannah so I parked myself on the island for a few days.  All in all it was a good trip, but since it was us, we had our share of misadventures.

First, as 65MD was about to get in the rental car he noticed that one of the tires was leaking.  It was wet and making bubbles.  The agent quickly got another car for us.  The one 65MD was about to get was a step up because they did not have the mid size model we reserved.  Since the nicer car, was now out of the picture, we were given an economy car.  I laughed when he pulled up in it.  And asked if we could get all of our luggage in it.  (We could.)  

We headed out and somewhere north of Atlanta it popped out of gear in the left lane, at highway speeds.  Now, I might have a little post traumatic stress from the accident last week, but both of us yelped.  Somehow 65MD managed to limp us over to the right shoulder without incident.  At this point neither of us knew what had happened. we just felt a jolt and suddenly lost speed.  I thought we'd had a blow out.  He saw nothing wrong externally with the car - all the tires were up.  We limped up to the exit and pulled into a McDonald's and called roadside assistance.

The nice woman said that the particular model of car we had could be either and automatic or standard transmission depending on where the gear shift was located and it had probably just popped out of automatic into standard.  She talked us through putting it back in automatic.  65MD drove while I passed instructions along.  

Everything seemed to be fine so we pressed on.  It was early afternoon as we got to Atlanta and we were told it was best just to go through downtown at that time of day.  I have no idea what my BP was but probably stroke level as we drove through.  The traffic itself really wasn't bad.  I was totally freaked out about the possibility of the car slipping out of gear again.  I prayed a lot and wondered if my friend Jan, who lives near Atlanta might be able to rescue us if something happened.  Nothing happened in Atlanta.

Just about an hour away from Savannah the check engine light came on.  65MD didn't tell me because he was afraid I'd make us walk the rest of the way.  (Like I could walk that far!)  We got there in one piece and found our accommodations very nice.

The next day, 65MD left for Savannah for the conference and I sat in the room reading because it was pouring rain.  The day after that, 65MD got a major award at the conference and I continued spending time in the room because the weather was chilly and damp, although the rain had stopped.  During the afternoon I found a nice room at the back of the hotel with a view of the ocean.  The wall facing the water was all glass and the windows could be opened to let in the sea breeze.  They were closed at this point but it was still quite nice to be out of the room and be able to read with a lovely view.  The only down side was this was the room with the pool table and arcade games, so it was less than peaceful.

Saturday made up for the other two days.  It was very pleasant with plenty of sun and not too hot.  As the day wore on, however, the gentle sea breeze turned into something more like gale force winds.   The pool, which we were in, appeared to actually have current like a creek rather than a pool.  Needless to say, it was quite cold when we got out.

We went over to Wilmington Island for supper.  We noted the roadside signs noting that during high tide that water may come over the roadway.  We wondered when the last time that happened.  We'd been through that way during low tide and the water in the marshy area was gone.  It was a mud bog.  At other times, the water seemed to be several feet from the roadway.  When we came back through after dinner, we discovered that the signs were right.  The water was quite deep in some areas.  We were glad for the warning signs then!

We got back to the hotel with no incident and were laughing about how we should take warnings more seriously, as 65MD was turning on the TV to get the football scores.  Apparently, the TV comes up with emergency information automatically.  The screen was showing safe places to go on the island in case of tsunami.  (We were on the Atlantic ocean.)  Somehow 65MD missed the part about "in case of emergency" and thought we were in real trouble.  Remember the gale force winds and extremely high tide.  He began to try to figure out where the safe places were and should we take our stuff or not.  I said that I didn't think we would have been allowed to come back to Tybee from Wilmington since it was further inland.  We probably would have been directed to go the other way.  Plus, no one else seemed to be evacuating.  That is when he noticed that he was looking at an information channel rather than a news channel, so we did not embarrass ourselves by fleeing the hotel!!

We got home yesterday afternoon without incident, even driving through Atlanta .  We'd had enough.  It was a nice trip.  It was nice to get away.  I got a lot of reading done. I had packed four books.  I finished two and am more than halfway through the third.  65MD and I had plenty of time to discuss life, plan, and just be.  That is always good.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Wonderful Weekend

Saturday was the first Saturday in a long time in which 65MD and I had nothing scheduled.  No place to be, no one coming to our house, we weren't going to any one's, no demands, no deadlines, no nothing.  And we were glad.

We decided that we would truly make it a day of no demands.  We would do what we wanted when we wanted for as long as we wanted.  We have the perpetual household chores like everyone else.  There is always something to be washed, swept, dusted, mown, etc.  We opted to ignore those things, guilt free, for the day. 

We slept in.  We read, We sat on the front porch.  We sat in the back yard.  We spoke to the neighbors.  We checked football scores and watched a game.

We did three loads of laundry - wash, dried & put away.  We (not me) mowed the grass.  We swept.  Somehow with the pressure off, it wasn't a big deal to throw in a load of clothes.  They could wash while I read.  Since there was no pressure to get to the next item on my list, I took the time to pretreat the collars and cuffs of 65MD's dress shirts. 

I finished a book, I'd been trying to finish for a long time.  That even gave me a sense of accomplishment.

When we went to bed, we were relaxed and happy.  We weren't concerned about what didn't get crossed of the list.  We were extra happy for the few bonus items that were done.  It felt good.

I think I see a few more unscheduled Saturdays in our future!

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Quite A Fright

Yesterday my day started like most days.  I woke up with a plan.  I had a mental and physical check list of things to do.  I am trying very hard not to get so wound up in calling a day good or bad based on the number of items I check off each day.  Most of my deadlines are self imposed.  If something doesn't get done today, it can almost always be rolled over to tomorrow's list.  Google calendar is both a blessing and a curse in this respect.  I can make lots of lists and plan weeks in advance.  

Of course all plans are out the window when my niece wants me.  I like it that way.  Although I find comfort in having a plan, I am glad that most of the time when I get a call to have fun, I can answer it with a resounding "YES!"  Still, I love my lists.

First item on yesterday's list was an appointment at the doctor.  Nothing major just a follow up.  As I drove there, I wondered how long the appointment would take.  I'd failed to pick up a book to pass the time, plus I had things to do.  The longer the appointment the fewer items I'd check off my list.

I was stopped at a red light about a block from my destination.  I was the second car in the lane.  I was looking at something to my right, thinking about my plans and hoping to get a good parking spot.  Then, I heard a horn blowing.  It was the car in front of me.  A car was headed towards it - head on!  The car was on the wrong side of the road and coming fast.  The driver did not stop and crashed into the car in front of me sending that car in to me!

I totally freaked out.  I called 65MD screaming "I had a wreck!" over and over.  I could not comprehend what he was saying to me in response.  The woman in the car behind me did not get hit and called 911 immediately.  She got out and checked on all three drivers.  None of us seemed to be hurt.  A pedestrian about to cross the street came to our aid as did another driver behind us.  When it seemed that the damage was limited to our cars and not our bodies, I calmed and told 65MD to stay at work and I'd keep him informed. 

The driver that caused the accident seemed disoriented and wandered around in the oncoming traffic.  I asked the pedestrian if she felt the driver was impaired in some way and she did.  In a bit, the driver got in the back seat of the car and stayed there.

After about 10 or 15 minutes when the police had not arrived, I called the non emergency number to see what was going on.  I was told that there had been several accidents in the area and help would arrive soon.  I was also told by the doctor's office that I was the third person to call that morning cancelling due to a car accident.  So, we continued to wait.

As we were about a block from the hospital, an ambulance came by.  They stopped and asked if we were OK.  We said that we were but perhaps the driver in the back seat of the other car might be hurt.  They checked and came back quickly saying she was beyond their help.

Soon after that a van came up in the lane beside the accident and asked the driver if she were OK.  Then the people in the van began to yell at us saying the driver was terribly hurt and having seizures.  They were angry with us for not calling 911.  We tried to explain that we had called twice.  A man got out of the van and came over to us very upset that we had not taken car of this driver.  I was getting fearful that we escaped injury with the accident only to get hurt on the sidewalk.

Thankfully, the emergency vehicles arrived and the angry man and his van load of friends quickly left the scene.  Four EMT's and two officers quickly assessed the situation and got that driver in the ambulance.  The poor, sweet woman in the middle car insisted that she was fine other than a headache and declined medical care as did I.  (We had both been standing in the sun for 40 minutes, I had a headache and felt nauseous and faint, but I knew I'd be fine with a cold glass of water.)

The officer got my information and then since my car was still drivable, I was asked to leave the scene so that the tow truck could get to the other two cars.  I was quite rattled and did not feel comfortable moving my car.  I asked the officer to do it for me, but he very politely declined.  Instead, he very patiently helped me get the car out of the tight spot and stopped traffic so that I could pull into the lane safely.

I came home and drank a cherry coke zero because it was the strongest thing I had in the house, and got in the bath tub.  I texted 65MD to let him know I was home. When I got out of the tub, let my family know what happened and that I was OK.  I laid down.  I read for a bit.  I played games on Facebook and I did not do one thing on my to do list - at all.  And it was fine.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Another Weekend Gone

Another weekend has zipped by.  I worked hard and a lot of progress was made - just not on the floor.

My younger sister was in town (YS) from midday Friday until Monday afternoon.  She was here to help my older sister (OS) help our mother clear out and pack up her house.  

Being us, we started the weekend Friday night with a birthday party for the three sisters!!! It was a great time and then we had even more fun sifting through the debris of 50+ years of life for the rest of the weekend.

We started early Saturday and worked until well into the evening.  Then again on Sunday afternoon through early evening.  We drug everything out of the attic.  That, my friends, was no small feat.  We went through every spider infested box and relived many happy days of childhood.  

Even though a lot of what we pulled out would be considered by most as trash, we saw it as it was that Christmas morning when we opened it.  Or, recalled happy hours playing with it.  Surprisingly, a lot of the games still had all of the pieces.  

We had no issues dividing the spoils between the three of us, our mother, Goodwill, or the trash can.  I don't think there was anything that two of us wanted at the same time.  The closes thing was a few cookbooks we all remembered.  There were plenty so, we each took some and there was enough to go around.  That really wasn't a surprise.  My biggest surprise was there were no tears, no even tears of nostalgia!

OS took most of the toys and dolls because she has grandchildren.  It was fine with YS and me.  OS insisted that if at anytime one of us had a child in our life that wanted anything she had, she would give it up.  Personally, I was just glad my baby dolls found a good home.

We were very in to Barbies.  At this point, all of the dolls and her accompanying clothes, houses, cars,etc. remain at my mother's house.  We are going to sort through them more closely and then decide what to do with them.  

We also found some giant magazines from the early 1970's.  I had forgotten that magazines were ever that large.  We are wondering if there is a collectors market for those things.  We saved them along with a few games that remain in exceptionally good condition.  We will see if there is a market for those as well.

In my mind the attic was going to be the worst.  That is where most of our toys and games wound up.  There are still five bedrooms and closets to go.    Most of that will be packed to move with her.  The rest will be divvied up between us or sold.  There could be a yard sale in our future.

My mother is already packing the non essentials.  That is a task she can do as she has time and energy.  We won't all be able to be together again until Christmas.  In the meantime, various nephews, nieces and in-laws will get together each month and keep the progress going.

We drove by the new home site and they've started moving dirt around to level the lot.  The spring will be here soon and the house will be ready.  Packing and clearing out the house is the biggest obstacle.  We have already had offers on the house and it isn't even on the market yet!

And just to prove, I have not been totally lax on the bedroom.  Here is a picture of the sham top: