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!

Monday, December 08, 2014

sparkly...

A few years ago, as things became a little bit busier in my life, I caved in and started using a planner. Yes, I did. 
And I found it helpful! Yes, writing something down helped me remember the stuff I had to do/get done etc, and when I didn't remember, well…it was written down! Now, my problem with planners, however, was how much they cost. Tried finding something at the office stores…minimum was 20 bucks. For a planner. Hmm. I suppose in the grand scheme of things, for something you'll be using on a regular basis, it's not that much, but still, it irked me. Not only that, but I didn't need one to schedule my days down to the minute. I needed something I could write notes in, but not necessarily schedule my full day out. So, I kept searching and searching...
Until…
Until I stumbled in the planner section at B&N and they had these really cute planners- with different designs and different sizes. They have some that look like composition books, some that are 5x8, some that are even smaller. I prefer the spiral bound (with plastic cover) that is just a bit smaller than a notebook. And I've been faithfully buying one each year since (Last year, I tried the 5x8…too small…I kept losing it!)  They usually come out in August (my only gripe is the time span- they go from July to December of the following year. That's way too much of an overlap. You end up with a partially empty planner when you switch.)
Anyhoos, I had bought mine for this next year back in August or September this year. And, now that I wanted to start using it, do you know I couldn't find it? I looked in boxes, on the shelves, here and there, and nope. Cannot find it. So, still needing my planner, off to B&N I went. And got myself a new one! I don't think it was the same design I got back in Aug/Sept…but this time I got one that is purple and sparkly! It's got birds and butterflies and flowers and nifty designs that look a bit like fireworks!  I like it! So, as 2015 quickly approaches…I hope this fun planner is a harbinger for the year!

Thursday, December 04, 2014