Saturday, April 11, 2015

Pet Peeve

Anyone that knows me knows that I am a sucker for animals. I love 'em. If I see someone with a dog, I will usually see if the dog is friendly and pet it if it is. I love that stuff. This applies for people that take their dogs into stores as well. I'll be walking and SURPRISE! Dog in a basket!  I always ask, I always make sure it's ok, because let's face it, not everyone wants people petting their dog. And that is ok.

However, if you have a yappy dog, that will start barking its head off at people, then do the dog and other people a favor and leave it at home!! SHEESH! Don't be an asshole and bring it with you to the store, where you know people will be around, and that the dog is going to start barking.

You're rude by doing this. Both to your dog, who is obviously stressed by the situation, and to others around you. So, don't be an asshole. Leave the dog at home.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Falling apart!

Man, I tell you what. Just when you think things are getting better, something hits you out of left field!
What? you may ask. Well, of course, the knee recovery has been slow but I've been making steady progress. I've been able to start riding my bike. Walking and standing still causes issues, but at least the biking has given me an outlet to exercise.

Then…. my ankle.  On the other leg. My good leg.

My ankle decides that now is a good time as any to just seize up on me and cause shooting pain. What the hell??? The other day it did it as I was getting out of the car, but then it went way pretty quickly. I didn't think much more about it. Until today.

I've been volunteering at a school, trying to pick up as much as I can. All was good. Class #1. Class #2. Planning period, then lunch. Everything ok. We came back from lunch, I sat through the initial class announcements, then turned the chair to get up and go make copies, and WHAM!!!

My ankle seized up on me again, much worse than the last time! If I tried to put weight on it, shooting pain. If I relaxed my foot, it diminished to a cramp-like feeling (every had a Charley-horse in your ankle?) Tried to flex my foot. Shooting pain again. Relax. Back to ankle Charley-horse. Foot down on ground? PAIN! I couldn't walk. I waited, seeing if it would relax on its own. Nope. I tried some alternative stretches. Nothing. How will I get to my car if I this continues???

So, I call my physical therapist.

"I know it's not related to my knee, it's not even the same leg, but I need help, I can't walk I can't put weight on it I'm here at school and I don't know what I'm going to do!"
"Can you come in right away and I'll take a look at it?"
"I can't walk! I can't put weight on it!"

And so he had me move it. It hurt. Keep moving it, just gently back and forth. It hurt a little bit less. Slowly, gently.
And finally…
Finally, the pain receded and I could put weight on it. I could walk again.

Relief.

I left school and immediately drove to the PT office. He poked and prodded at my ankle:
"Does this hurt?"
no
"How about this?
no
"Thi-" AAAAH!!!

And then the question: Have you sprained your ankle?  OH YEAH. Plenty of times.
"When was the last time?" Well over a year ago, but I have a history of sprained ankles.  So, it seems that although the ankle appears to have been ok all this time, it's not 100% and it has decided to come back and bite me now. And, very importantly, my poor ankles could be a reason that my knee is having a hard time recovering because of the instability! (Hey, I can honestly say I'm unstable!!)

He had me do a number of ankle exercises, just small things like flexing my foot with a resistance band. I did it on both sides and OH! It was hard! The muscles in and around my ankles and up my shin were struggling! So, now I've got an appointment in a couple of days with the doctor so he can check up on my ankle. I will probably have to add ankle exercises in addition to the knee exercises.
So, looking for the silver lining, if my ankles are causing me problems, by strengthening them, it will lead to faster recover and less problems in the future with my knees! That's a relief.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Patience is a long time coming...

At the end of January, things seemed to be getting better with the knee. I was no longer on crutches, I could drive. And then…then something happened. I don't know what. I do know the pain in my leg woke me up in the middle of the night, and I had a hard time getting back to sleep. The next day, when I tried walking, my knee would buckle-it felt as if a nerve was getting pinched and I just couldn't support it properly. Back to crutches. Back to hobbling. It felt like a huge setback. I was scared because I didn't know what was happening-and then, the doubt about my recovery snuck in and I started wondering if I would ever be able to even walk normally again. 

I walked into physical therapy that week, on crutches, and just started bawling. (Incidentally, that was also the day the new physical therapist started, so I'm sure that was a great way for him to start a new job!) You know, physical therapists are amazing, because along with the physical stuff, they also have to deal with meltdowns like the one I had and my new therapist did a great job. He tested my leg, and reassured me that everything was just fine and this was just a setback but not to worry because it happens and it's ok, and I'm going to be ok, and we're going to get through this and so forth. 

Turns out, I have a lot of scar tissue in there and it needs to get broken up (which is not a pleasant process whatsoever-they massage the area, tissue massage, to break up the scarring, and it hurts like hell!! But when you can walk better afterward, it is so worth it!) And I have adhesions, which is basically what it sounds like, things sticking together that shouldn't be sticking together.  fun. And we've been working on it and I've steadily been improving.

One of the most difficult aspect of the recovery process is learning to accept that I cannot do things that I used to be able to do. I have to learn to be patient with myself. And be kind to myself. There are days I am so frustrated, thinking, "Damn! Why is it so difficult to just step. up. one. step??!" I can't walk for very long yet. Standing in one place is tolerable only for a bit before I need to sit. And don't even get me started on things like going out, which I now avoid going out because I just don't want to deal with standing, or trying to find a place to sit, or parking and then walking, and then dealing with the crowds, or weaving through people to find somewhere to sit. No. No. No. Just no. I can't handle that yet. 

And in one of my moments of frustration, I realized that while it's been 4 months since the last surgery, it's only just over a month since that little setback so I need to give myself some slack. I've made great progress since then. No more crutches. I'm starting to walk a bit better (it's a really weird feeling when it feels like your leg is flopping as you walk because the muscles just aren't there yet.) AAAANDDDD…

Today was great! I was actually able to swim. Like really swim! And kick. And not have it hurt! (I tried the other day and it was still too tender.) These little breakthroughs always seem to follow a bout of depression/frustration. Now, the key thing is to not charge full steam ahead. 

Patience, grasshopper. Take it slow and easy. Do just enough so you feel it and then let it go. Today, I swam a bit. Did some leg exercises in the pool. Stretched. Swam a little bit more. And then, that was it. I could have done more. I could have pushed it. But I didn't. I'm learning.

Saturday, January 31, 2015

And so another month...

My good intentions to blog on a regular basis have once again been derailed like a drunk trying to walk a straight line.

The new started peacefully enough, but then the flurry of activity started and I've been working on personal and volunteer projects all month. I went from the relative calm (and semi-boredom) of recovery into what feels like almost frenetic activity as I've had something to do every day, whether it's volunteering, physical therapy, trying to maintain some semblance of order in the house, or other things that crop up (you know, things like making sure I have food in the house...)

As for the knee? yeah....it's still giving me problems. I have been going to physical therapy on a regular basis but I seem to be stuck at this point. My knee does not want to bend past a certain point, and if I'm on it too much, it lets its tremendous displeasure be known by swelling up to pre-surgery dimensions and aching. Some days, it seems that it's just persnickety, and then I realize that the weather is changing (either rain or cold front moving through) and I sigh, knowing that there is not a damn thing I can do about that; my knee will let me know there's change even if I can look out the window and clearly see it. I can't walk for very long on it or I pay the price for days afterward.

I look forward to being better, even if it feels like it's taking forever. I am compiling a list of things to do when physical capabilities are improved. I won't make any promises about blogging regularly, so until next time...have a lovely February!

Thursday, January 01, 2015

Happy 2015!

For the first time in many many years, I was in bed and sleeping by the time people were celebrating the beginning of the new year.  And it was marvelous! After two nights of being woken up in the middle of the night, and two days of go-go-go, I needed sleep.

So, the new year started with something different. Some might think it boring, but, quite frankly, my dears, I don't give a damn. Nope, not one smidge of a damn. I chose to take care of moi, and that is one of the best ways I can think of to start a new year. So, new year's resolutions? Hmmm…. haven't really made any new resolutions. I guess I will have to think about it. In the meantime, 

Happy New Year! 

Saturday, December 27, 2014

The day after...

twas the day after Christmas,
and all through the house…
everyone was stuffed, probably even the mouse
garbage bags full of wrapping paper and bows
in the garage waiting for pickup day
while kids played with their new toys
and the grownups smiled that it was over
at least for another year..

Saturday, December 20, 2014

5 more days...

Wherever you may be, I hope you are having happy holidays. For my family and me, it's Christmastime! Only 5 more days! Yay!  Yes, it can be stressful, but it is nice when everyone gets together. So, Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Festivus, Good Jule, and any other I might have missed!