Saturday, February 28, 2009


It occurred to me that it has been a few days since I gave you all, my loyal readers, an update. I have a cat taking up most of my lap, so this is difficult to type, so I'll make it quick.

  • I'm taking almost no pain meds now, just some occassional tylenol.
  • I'm moving with the walker, a little more each day.
  • I have a shower bench and hand-held shower now, so I can finally shower again!
  • My incisions are looking good and healing well.
  • Bu-ying came over for a bit today, helped with some kitchen work, and helped me get a puzzle started, which is really fun!
  • Mike (DH) was diagnosed with pneumonia Thursday, but is healing now, as he coughs and coughs.
  • Simon is still being greatly helpful!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

3 beautiful things

1. Mom and Dad sent an edible arrangement for us - yum! Samwise loved this piece of cantaloupe - the only bit he got to before he was unceremoniously pushed away. We did let him continue with that piece, though, on the floor. We're suckers that way.

2. Being able to sleep on a bed again, even if I need a little more pain med to handle it. The cats join me, too, sleeping with me. It's the warmest my feet have been in a month.

3. This lovely, artful video in my email from Mom:

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Accomplishments of the day

I feel like every day I could give props to my dear husband, Mike. He's been so wonderful. Today he did a month's worth of laundry - toting it all around the house, folding it, putting it away and everything. What a blessing he is to me!

I managed to sleep nearly all morning . . . and as a result have been a little off my schedule all day, but still good. I woke up with a cold, too, which sucks.

I haven't taken any narcotics since last night, and only took one dose of regular Tylenol at lunch time. not bad! I also did my PT exercises (well, most of them), including going further with the walker than before, doing some of the scissor leg things on the couch, etc. yay me!

My sweet sister, Linda, will be with me most of tomorrow. I hope to get the guest bed cleaned off, and the room cleared out enough to navigate it with my walker, so that I can sleep in the bed tomorrow! Wahoo! Si helped move some junk around, to the basement, etc, tonight, so we've started. I also hope to re-org my recliner ecosystem because it's getting pretty cluttered.

Ah well, it's fun watching the Oscars as the night winds down, but I think I'll sign off, kick back my recliner, and nod off.

Thanks for reading!


My friend, Cheryl, recently took and posted about the Myers-Briggs personality test. I've always found these to be interesting, so I took the test again.

I am ENFJ, Extraverted (78%), Intuitive (75%), Feeling (62%), and Judging (1%). Yea, that's about right! Famous people with my same type include: Ronald Reagan, Pope John Paul II, Nick Nolte, Tony Blair, Katharine Graham. Not bad, really.

What personality type are you?

Saturday, February 21, 2009


Here I am, ensconced in my recliner amidst my personal ecosystem. Samwise is taking advantage of the lap space, I have my laptop, water, books and various other sundries around me. Yup - this is where I'm living at the moment.

My DEAR HUSBAND! has taken pics of my Xrays so I don't need to scan them. Isn't that smart of him? This first pic is straight on the front of the leg. You can see the plate, the 7 screws, and the line of staples where the incision is. Kinda cool, don't you think?

The faint waffling pattern is the dressing and ace bandage that is around the leg.

The second pic is a side view, from inside to outside. You can see the bulge of my calf muscle, and the line of staples again. Note how the patella (knee cap) is way north of where it should rightly be. All I have to say about that is . . . ewww.

Here it all is, wrapped and splinted in the knee imobilizer in my hospital bed. See those blue hose-like things? They are the cooling system! There is a cooler on the floor filled with ice water, and those hoses are hooked up to an ice-pack/bladder thingy around my knee, constantly circulating the cold water around. It's really nifty, and I have to tell ya, the cold helps tremendously with pain relief. Yes, my foot was really poofy for several days after the surgery, and I still have to watch it and keep it as elevated as I can stand it most of the day.

These are some of the flowers I received. The smiley one is from the AIMS PTA, of which I've been President this year. I have stepped down until I can work again, which may not happen before the end of the school year, actually. My friend, Cheryl, who is our Treasurer, works at the hospital where I was, and it was a real treat to see her the morning of my surgery.
The purple flowers are from my staff - isnt' that thoughtful? They're lovely, and are lasting so nicely!
The red tea roses are from my friends, N and J, who very kindly visited me the Friday evening I was there, on their way out to celebrate V-day. It was great to see them, too!

Now that I have the equipment nearby, I will be able to take more pictures and try to make the blog a little more attractive. ;-)


Poetry Friday . .. a day late . . . and the vid following inspired me to write this:

I can't dance,
I won't take the chance
but that doesn't mean
I can't still be a smarty pants . . .

enjoy the vid:

Friday, February 20, 2009

X-Ray Vision

I had my first follow-up appointment with the surgeon this morning. He unwrapped all the dressings and I got to see my gruesomeness in person for the first time. It's actually kinda cool, and healing very well, so all is good.

I have a long scar, about 3-4 inches, down across the front of my knee (a little to the interior side), and 4 smaller incisions around the knee where, assumedly, he used probes and junk. He removed the staples from the smaller incisions and sent us home with a staple remover so Mike can do the rest next week (ew!) It hurts a little, but it feels good, mentally, to get the staples out.

Note to self: take a pain pill about 1/2 hour before letting Mike attack those staples!!!!

I wish we had our scanner set up. I've got copies of my X-rays from today that show the metal plate and 7 screws. Holey moley, Batman! It's surreal to think it's actually in my leg! As soon as I get them digitized, be assured I will share them with my loyal readers!

So I got home from that trip (getting in and out of the house with Mike pushing the chair and navigating our ramp), and was totally exhausted. I had a very light lunch and basically passed out in my recliner for 1.5 hours until the physical therapist came. This new guy is named Tony, and he was very nice and encouraging like the others have been.

My assignments: thigh/bun crunches, straight leg lifts (right leg still too heavy to do this, but I'm working on it), and what I'm calling body lifts (sitting on edge of wheel chair, arms bent back to arms of chair and lifting up butt using shoulders/back), as well as walking with walker a few steps further each day. Tony says to get up and "walk" every 4-5 hours as possible.

I am now able to get in and out of my chair independently again, get to and from the potty alone, and can navigate about 20 steps and turn around to get back with the walker. Not bad, really, just a week after surgery. My goal these next few days is to get the guest bed cleaned off and start trying to sleep in there at night. We'll see. Mike is VERY tired from taking care of me, and cleaning is not his gifting. I think I'm going to have to rely on some of my GF's and my sister for this!

What I'm thankful for:
  • First, last and always, I'm thankful for my wonderful, caring, compassionate husband. He is such a great guy and is doing so much to assure my comfort, my quality of life and my peace of mind. He is even dealing with my crying jags with amazing fortitude. I am having fewer and fewer, but when they come they shock us both.
  • My dear kiddo, Simon - he has no idea how precious those hugs are, and how much Dad and I both appreciate all that he's doing to help out around here.
  • Friends and family (especially Mom and Dad and MIL and FIL and sister and brother(well, brother's gf writes and calls -lol)) who check in often, by phone, email, twitter and other means
  • People who I know are praying for me - those prayers are working because my mind and soul feel very peaceful most of the time (not really my M.O.)
  • Already being able to go longer periods of time between pain pills (and yes, I am staying ahead of the pain - I promise!)
  • A great surgeon - I have so much confidence in him, and I feel like he did a great job on my leg so far, and is giving good advice for the knee-fixing to come.
  • Samwise and Rosie - proof, to me, that it is true that pets can provide healing juju. Sammy has been sleeping on top of me every night I've been home, keeping me warm and letting me know I'm not alone.
  • God - I know he didn't cause this, but I do believe that he can and will use this to strengthen me and help me grow up again, which is pretty cool.
Sorry I don't have any illustrations, again, today! I will work hard to figure out how to get some for next time . . . and I actually knit a few rounds on the socks I've got going, so a knitting update may be forthcoming.

It's supposed to snow here again tomorrow - be careful on the ice!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Physical Therapy

The physical therapist came out today.

She had a lot of paperwork/computer data entry to do since it was my first visit, but the time went really well.

She showed me how to take off the knee immobilizer and adjust all the wrappings, which is great. Knee braces and stuff tend to slip down the leg every time you move or stand or anything, so it felt great to get it all adjusted and to know that I can do it again anytime (with help).

We also went through the basics of what I have to do to get up and go to the bathroom, and then get back into my chair. Then she gave me some exercises to help build my leg muscles, my upper body muscles and so forth. Just a few things that don't require me standing but will still prepare me to be able to move around better.

She was extremely encouraging and positive, not to mention helpful. I even learned how to scoot from my recliner to my wheelchair without standing! I doubt I'll need to use it much, because it involves removing one of the wheelchair arms, and it is frankly just easier to stand on one leg and pivot, but it is still cool.

I will probably get about 2 visits a week from a PT, sometimes less if there's no more to learn before getting more freedom from the surgeon. As we move along, getting more freedoms will allow me to do more, of course . . . and the PTs will adjust what they ask of me as those other parameters change.

I'm tired tonight, but I'm feeling pretty good about things, and I'm feeling very blessed. Thank you all for keeping in touch, and for your support, encouragement and prayers.

We'll now return you to your regularly scheduled recliner

Hi honey, I'm home! Mike brought me home from the hosp yesterday at around 5:30 or so. We drove through the pharmacy on the way, but (thankfully) I already had the meds I needed to last til today. Mike will go to the store this morning for the rest of what I'll need.

It's so nice to be back in my recliner - so much better than that bed! Admittedly, that call button was pretty nice, but here at home, when someone responds, it's quicker and it can even include a kiss or a hug! yay!

I've not felt like knitting for a few days, but I might get back to it today. We'll just have to see if I can stay awake long enough. :-)

Pain - under control most of the time.
Leg - awkward and heavy
Chair - so very comfortable
TV - better than at hospital
Food - better quality but less variety . . . but more controllable
Company - love being home with Mike, Si and the cats!!!!!!!!!!!
Phone - able to take calls again . . . :-)

Monday, February 16, 2009

Dearest Husband!

DH was just here, helped me wash my hair, held my hand and talked for a long time, comforting one another. He's a great guy, and it's really cool that he understands how much it helps to have clean hair!

Thank you all for your kind, supportive comments and stuff. At this point I don't really need/want visitors, though. With all the Dr.s and techs and other people who work here, I get no sleep as it is. Once I'm home I'll put out the call for visitors - I promise!

Thanks to Nick, I'll have a wheelchair ramp at my house tomorrow afternoon (he's handy like that!), so I'll be going home again! Yay!

For now - it's naptime! Washing your hair can really wear a person out!

Prez Day

Very tired today, but seem to have turned the corner a little on the pain. In other words, it's a little better today than yesterday. I'm enjoying some music today, washed up this morning (hair still gross), and feeling like maybe I can make it. Mostly I'm just tired. Seems like everytime I get to dozing, someone comes in, the phone rings or something. Please don't take it personally, but I think I'm going to turn off my phone for a while.

Had a bad nurse yesterday - she was awful! - and I think that made my emotional state even worse. Today I have great folks again, and everything looks/feels better. Still in pain, but taking it one hour at a time. Not thinking further into the future than just getting home.

It's the little things that make a huge difference:

  • Simon drew me a great forest scene on the whiteboard in my room, which is really sweet.
  • a nurse's assistant who is pro-active (do you need more ice in your cup?)
  • someone who thinks to pull my hosp gown closed in the back, giving me some sense of dignity and privacy
  • a smile from the dr, understanding that the pain sucks
  • being able to adjust my bad leg on my own . . . a little
  • washing my hands at the sink
  • sunshine outside the window
  • turning the TV off
  • planning what I'll write in my letter to the hosp. about that bad nurse yesterday who rolled her eyes when I said I was in pain

Just about everyone here has been really great. Don't you worry, folks, this will eventually be over.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Creative Post Title

I was going to try to write a limerick, but the pain meds have taken over and my rhyming facilities have diminished, so you're going to just have to settle for a quick list update.

  • The pain seems worser today than yesterday. Taking more meds, slowing down my mobility rehab, and sleeping more.
  • I'm turning down visits from just about everyone today because I think I need the rest. Also the narcotics make me really uncontrollably weepy, and it's ridiculous to try to carry on a conversation under these conditions.
  • I finished my simple knitting project and I don't feel like starting something new at the moment. (How is THAT for an indicator of where I am at the moment?)
  • I know this will improve, but at the moment I just feel sucky.
  • Whoever invented the ice-water-circulation-knee-brace-thingamajiggy should be given the Nobel Prize.
  • Real pudding and real jell-o and real popsicles (with sugar!) are totally delicious, and I believe that they will actually help my boo-boos heal faster.
That's all for now - it's naptime again.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Post-Op Playlist

Good Stuff:
  • friends have been so kind - so encouraging - emails, FB notes, flowers, tweets - thank you all so much
  • Hubby and Son are both wonderful, kind, loving, the best, really!
  • surgery is done, bone is repaired (screws and a plate)
  • pain is under control, as long as I don't move much
  • got up already! can hobble across the room, even . .. with the walker
  • my surgeon (a.k.a. Dr. Cajones) is fabbo
  • the nurses and the assistants are all fantastic - excellent customer service from everyone so far
  • my PT was way fun and inspiring and got me up and moving, Bless him
  • this wifi at the hosp is amazing - what a blessing to be able to be online!
  • good music through (Chuck Mangione at the moment)
  • sunshine coming in the window - looks beautiful!
  • phone calls from Mom, sister, MIL . . . and friends - yay!
  • new issue of Interweave Knits came in mail yesterday and DH brought it to me!

Bad Stuff:
  • nearly all the ligaments in my knee are torn, and I will need more surgery once the bone is healed - maybe even a knee replacement
  • pain still hurts - go figure
  • I hate the way the pain meds affect my brain. . . but I guess that's the point of what they're supposed to do, right? Sigh
  • our home still has no power - Mike and Si went to a hotel last night, and might need to hotel until Sunday!

Isn't it cool how the good stuff outweighs the bad? God is good.

Black ice, however, is evil. My buddy, JB, declares a word of the day on twitter every day, and today's word is EVIL. This inspired me to write the following poem for Friday, the day before Valentine's Day . . . surely you'll figure out how this all connects (you're a smart bunch).


E is for the exit lines you gave me
V is for the very vicious pain
I is for the injuries to my knee, and
L is for the limping once again

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Oh yea, breathing

I didn't mention - my chest X-ray did show a little spot of what might be the beginnings of pneumonia. Seriously? So I'm getting antibiotics for that . . .and I have a cool breathing thing - some incentive breath-something-or-other. Blah. Cough! Thing is, my lungs already feel better. Sigh.

So - icing on the cake for my DH? we have no power at our house. Wind messed it up somehow, and there's about 4 houses in our neighborhood w/o power, including ours. Like we needed more stress!?!?!?!? Pray for DH - handling the household/simon/no power/me in hosp. He's taking the next 2 days off work, which is good for him. I'm encouraging him to spend some of this time just taking care of himself . He needs regular alone-time to stay sane.

3 Beautiful Things (and 2 bonus Things):
  1. A fun, relaxed nurse on duty, willing to laugh with me and bring me graham crackers . . . and who put my cranberry juice in an actual cup with ICE! instead of just bringing me those little cupthings with foil lids that always spill.
  2. The smiles of my DH and DS as they brought me my laptop so I can use my WIFI here!
  3. Cable TV in the room that allows me to watch Top Chef and Alton Brown's Good Eats.
  4. Dr. Cojones (not his real name) working extra time tomorrow to do my surgery as soon as possible.
  5. Knowing that I have lots of people praying for me/thinking of me/caring.
BTW - we have 3 tickets to see the Tannehill Weavers Friday night. I'm encouraging DH and DS to go, but they might have an extra seat - anyone else a fan? Yea, I'm a huge fan and am bumming to have to miss it. Blah.

Over the Hump, but not really

I went to the "new" orthopedic surgeon yesterday. He was appalled that it's been 11 days since my fall and I was just getting to see him (it's not my fault!). He suggested I come straight to Riverside and be admitted so they can monitor my heart/lungs for a day to make sure my other health issues aren't aggravated by the surgery. I'm set to have surgery tomorrow morning (Thursday) 8 am (although that is subject to change). They're going to have to put in some screws, possibly a metal plate, some synthetic bone grafting material, etc. It is more complicated that it would have been a week ago, but it's all necessary. I'll be going home, probably, Fri or Sat, I hope. I'll need 8-12 weeks recovery time. (gack!)

So - that's what is going on with me. Not pretty, but on the upside, I was able to take an actual shower today! Also, the hospital has wifi! Props to Riverside!

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Comics Crack Me Up!

I laughed very loudly when I saw today's Foxtrot. I don't know how to embed the image in a readable format, but you can, I think, see it here. I've had a great admiration and fascination with Fibonacci for a while. I've even tried writing some fibonacci poetry. :-)
And, speaking of poetry, I also enjoyed Sally Forth today. What kind of poems will you share with your loved ones? Free verse? Iambic Pentameter? Fibonacci Poems? Limericks? Double Dactyls? Haiku? Do share!

Sunday update:
  • The pain seems to be under control, and I'm gaining a little bit of mobility (which really just means that I'm not completely glued to my recliner all the time anymore - still can't do stairs at all)
  • Ran out of yarn for my mini-Clapotis, and sending DH to LYS today for more (if he's ammenable)
  • I'm enjoying sleeping with the cat on top of me every night - he loves having Mama downstairs in the recliner, too, I think . . . and immobile
  • discovered (thanks to MM), a sort of online music social network - I'll try it out and see if I like it or not, but for now:

Friday, February 06, 2009

Poetry Friday!

I've been thinking alot about being adaptive this week, so our poem today comes from an online project where people are striving to write a comprehensive dictionary entirely in limerick form. They are currently working in the D's somewhere. If you're interested, you can check it out for yourself.

adaptiveness by David Schildkret

My adaptiveness, much to be praised,

Leaves the people who meet me amazed.

I speak Roman in Rome,

And Alaskan in Nome,

And in Amsterdam, pure Hollandaised.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

To tink or not to tink . . .

Settling down in my recliner for the evening, I picked up the easy scarf I've been working on. It's nearly mindless knitting, which is why I wanted to work on it. As I was knitting along, however, I realized I'd made a mistake every 4 rows for the past . . .hmm . . . well, many rows. I had about 10 more stitches than I should have. Now, I could have tinked back and fixed it to make it perfect (it's not like I don't have the time right now) . . but I didn't. . .

Maybe it's the pain meds, or maybe it's the odd sleep patterns of convalescence, but I'm feeling philosophical about knitting. Why don't I care about making it perfect? This led me to think . . .

Why do I knit? Why has it become so large a part of my life? Why do mistakes drive me crazy in some things, and in other projects I let them be?

Well, first of all, why do I knit?
I love:
But sometimes, I also just appreciate:
  • keeping my hands busy (it helps keep me from being distracted by other things)
  • doing something quiet that helps me think
  • having a project that helps me not feel obligated to maintain eye-contact with whoever I'm with
  • having an excuse to get together with knitting friends
  • feeling cool because I'm making cool stuff
So back to my point - should I tink this or not? Here is what I consider when faced with this decision:
  • Is this project for me, for an unknown person, or a gift for someone specific?
  • If it's for someone else, who, what kind of person are they (perfectionism-wise)?
  • Is this a project where every stitch counts (pun intended) or not?
  • How important is it that I follow the pattern to make it look decent?
Often, if I'm going to be gifting the item, I'm more likely to tink. If it's just for me, I can deal with these little "design features" without a guilt conscience. If the project is one where the mistake will be GLARING (lace, cables, something that will show every imperfection), I'll probably tink. Of course, if it were a project like that, I'd notice the problem LONG before having to tink back 40 rows . . . usually.

Confession time:
I did not tink today. The scarf I'm making is an extreme modification of a loose design that will not show the mistake as horrible or disabling (in terms of wear-ability), and frankly, I doubt most people seeing it would even notice. I will keep on with my nearly-mindless knitting, engage my mind enough to compensate for the error, and complete my scarf.

And, heck, aren't you glad I finally found something to post about other than my damn leg?

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Doctor Which?

I went to the surgeon this morning, and he took some Xrays, and then he said that he's not the best Dr. to handle this case. He's referred me on to a different surgeon, who specializes in this particular knee injury.

Good News: the fracture is going to heal just fine on it's own, mostly likely. My bones are all in proper place, and all is well there. I do have to stay off it, though - no weight on it at all.

Tiring News: there is most likely a ligament injury, probably the ACL. I'm doing some research on this, and it looks like it's going to be a while before I can renew my dancing career (ahem!).

The new Dr. can't get me in until next Tuesday, 3:45. Gack! For those of you keeping track, that's another week before we know if/when/what the solution will be. Sigh.

Luckily, the pain meds make me drowsy, and I've spent a lot of time sleeping.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Tuesday Night

Well, tomorrow morning I'll go see the orthopedic surgeon. I'm anxious to hear what he says! I don't even know what to hope for, though. NO telling if it would be better to have surgery or not. I'm praying that he just has a very clear mind and is a very good, ethical, thoughtful doctor so that he makes a good recommendation.

What I did today (not in particular order):
  • took several naps
  • ate delicious soup brought by my friend, Bu-ying yesterday
  • had yummy red grapes - sweet!
  • took a sponge bath and washed hair (my husband is a saint)
  • watched a few sappy movies
  • watched a few silly movies with Simon
  • commanded Si through his morning routine so Mike could sleep in, but somehow we managed to make so much noise that Mike woke up anyway - naughty us
  • talked on the phone to workers' comp people and several times to Mike who was test-driving a mini van that looks like a good deal
  • knit a little
  • acted as matress to Luxury Cat (see point #1, because when we nap, we nap together)
  • played online Canasta with my seestor
Boy, my life is so freakin' exciting, huh?

Oh, although I didn't really take any of the pain meds yesterday, I'm back on them today. It is better to be able to relax and heal than to tough it out and be grouchy and miserable. (paraphrasing both Mike and our heart surgeon from a few years ago). No point in being "brave" if it makes everyone around you feel like S%$T.

Be careful on the ice!

Monday, February 02, 2009

heart murmur?

I've always had heart murmurs . . .but this one takes the cake . . .

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Sunday night

Just realized I forgot all about Poetry Friday - maybe this week I'll do Poetry Monday, unless I forget about it again tomorrow!

What I've accomplished today:
  • got myself to the potty w/o assistance several times
  • talked to several folks on the phone, and online
  • figured out how to get myself situated in my recliner w/o assistance
  • stopped taking the narcotic this evening and just taking Ibuprofen (might take one more narc for the nighttime sleepies)
  • knit a little (2 diff. scarves, one boring, one lace), read a little (The Graveyard Book), fooled around online a lot (blogs, twitter, facebook)
  • visit from my BFF - she brought Chinese carry-out! Yum!
  • watched most of the super bowl
All is well in my little queendom, a.k.a. the recliner.