Monday, November 26, 2012

The Lost Disneyland Posts - Part 1

Just before I had knee surgery we spent the week in Disneyland, soaking up the small crowds and Halloween decorations.

Bob running ahead for splash mountain

The girlchild and I on Grizzly River Run

That dog from Up

Vanna White and the Mad Hatter...no big deal

57 pictures on the carousel, every one blurry.  This one turned out kind of cool I think.

Hey mom, take my picture with these strangers....


Knee Progress - week 3


Still a little swollen - but scarring up nicely



Physical therapy - more of the same:
straight leg raises
Toe presses
hamstring curls
Hamstring stretches
Wall Slides
10 mins of recumbent bike
9 minutes of Electric stimulation standing
4 minutes of standing on the slanty wall board

It's such a process to shower/bath, but a necessary one! Standing in the shower without my brace on feels like being Linus without his blue blanket, and I am still not supposed to soak the knee so bathing is uncomfortable.  So far there has been supervision from the sister-in-law, the boy, the other sister-in-law, the girlchild and most recently my mother.  Hoping to rein in this ever growing circle of people who have been witness to my naked-ness.

Chicken leg is still looking chickeny - if I can figure out the logistics of getting a good picture it's going to happen.

I finally had time to switch out the summer/winter clothes in my closet.  I found my tough mudder technical tee thrown in the back of my running shelf.  I had forgotten I sweet talked the medic man into driving my broke-knee self to the finish line so I could get my t-shirt.  Haven't decided if I 'earned' the right to wear it yet or not...

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Cloud Atlas

The cookies and cream were the first to be pilfered from the Halloween candy bowl
I carried Cloud Atlas (by David Mitchell) around with me for weeks and quite a few people commented on the book and how much they loved it.  But I had such a hard time finishing it, I had to check it out from the library three separate times to get it read all the way through.

Cloud Atlas is a series of 6 tales, with one leading into the next and a series of reincarnations of the main character.  It travels from the 19th century South Pacific through to a post-revolution future, and then travels backward through all the stories to the character's end.

The concept of interrupted, related stories was interesting but it made the first half of the book feel disjointed to me and I struggled keeping my interest.  The second half of the book went a lot quicker and I enjoyed it a lot more.  The story has similar concepts as Ann Brashares' My Name is Memory, except this one is for for adult audiences and less YA.

I haven't seen the movie yet, but the preview looks pretty good:

Making progress

Took ten minutes but I did get all the way around a couple times and 0.25 mile

What physical therapy looks like right now:
10 minutes on the stationery bike
a billion straight leg raises (all directions)
toe presses
hamstring curls
hamstring stretching
heel slides

And this week "something new":


The electric stimulation with brace over the top and standing at the same time. 

Are we having fun yet?

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Week two post surgery

I got my staples out yesterday, that felt weird.  They have a tool that looked suspiciously like a regular, old staple puller.  I wondered if it would bleed but thankfully it did not.  The nurse has sufficiently scared me though.  She said my knee looked really swollen still and was quite worried about the staple that sits over my knee cap.  So now I keep wondering if that's going to bust open any second now.  I've had ice on my knee close to none stop since I got home yesterday.

We are in the middle of the second, poorly time work trip for the husband.  So far it's been going alright.  I'm on my second night in a row of sleeping in my own bed instead of on the couch...that's progress.  The two biggest concerns right now is that the dog keeps getting out of the backyard and how am I going to get myself to work? 

Because of the bone contusion and cartilage damage the doctor recommended that the running miles come way down and I find a different activity to spend most of my time with.  I guess it's going to be triathlons for me.  I don't care for bike riding that much but I've done swimming before and it wouldn't be terrible to return to it.  Or maybe I'll just aim for 5 or 10Ks and not too many of them.  Not the news I wanted to hear or the way I wanted to end my running days for sure.  I guess we will see how it goes with time and rehab.

Sunday night, when I was attempting a bath while trying not to get my right leg wet (it was heavily saran wrapped....), I noticed that my calf is already very noticeably smaller than the other one.   I measured it today, a full 1.5 inches skinnier than the left one. Great, now I'm going to be a gimp with one chicken leg!

But I finally finished reading Cloud Atlas and I got an Indian shooting a star on my tootsie roll pop, so we'll call it a good day.

Knee progress v.1

I was thinking I'd keep updating this link with knee pictures.  Even if no one else is interested it'd be a nice way for me to track my progress, especially when I start to feel frustrated.  Which I know is going to happen. 
I figure updates should go to the top so no one has to see the gross, just out of surgery picture every time I add a new picture.  See how thoughtful I am??



Staples out - 11-12-12 (12 days)

Staples! After first bath 11-4-12 (4 days)
Getting the drain out - 11-01-12 (1 day)

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Not Literally

Mammoth, CA 2012

Me: I'm just going to run into the library really quick and get the book that's on hold for me.

Bob: Mom, you just had knee surgery.  You can't run anywhere.

One week post surgery

Week one by the numbers:

sister-in-law assisted baths - 2
times I whacked my head on the nephew's top bunk - 3
longest time I've gone between pain pills - 6.5 hours (that's progress!!)
band aids used to keep staples clean and dry - 30
times I've threatened Bob I'm going to spank him with my crutch - 4
Times I actually spanked Bob with my crutch - 0
times I've been to physical therapy - 3
number of ebay purchases I've made from the couch - 1 (one's still pending)
number of downton Abbey episodes I watched on netflix - 6
number of black widows that had to be dealt with - 2
number of pieces of Halloween candy stolen out of the kid's candy bags - too many to count


It's been one week since my ACL surgery.  To be honest I really thought I'd be moving around a lot more than I am by now.  The handful of trips I've made into Reno for follow ups and physical therapy leave me exhausted and ready for a nap.  I thought I'd be so bored that I'd spend all my time reading but I keep falling asleep mid page.

Still working on the whole using crutches thing.  Someone told me that if you learn to use crutches as a kid then it's like riding a bicycle and it comes right back to you.  If you're first experience with crutches is as an adult, you are basically screwed.  I think I have finally mastered the up and down of the two steps at my front door though.

The electro-shock therapy at PT...I know it's necessary but I don't like it!

The boy has been gone for the last 5 days for work, so I have floated from mother-in-law to sister-in-law's house.  There have been tasty comfort foods, warm sponge baths, and lots of naps.  Thank goodness!


Last hot breakfast before I went home to my own place

Last night I spent the night at my own house with both kids by myself for the first time since surgery.   The house is a little messy but we all survived!

I'm off to do my leg exercises.  Here's to hoping that there's a lot more progress in week 2 and a lot less of a need for prescription strength pain medicine.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Bob's encouragement

Bob as Sensei Wu:

Today you have failed.
Tomorrow we will try again.

The Whiskey Rebels

Have you ever picked up a book just because of its cover? I am such a sucker for an interesting title or eye catching cover. The Whiskey Rebels was just that. I didn't even bother reading the synopsis on the back of the book before I cracked it open.

The whiskey rebels is set in newly established United States. Washington is still president, and Hamilton and Jefferson are at odds as to how to run the government-owned financial system. The timing of this book with our current elections made it even better for me. It's the same bickering over property loans, who should be taxed, how much government involvement there should be in the stocks and bonds system.

If you are a US history junky or enjoy historical fiction, this would be a great read!

A new friend

Scenes from day 5.

Friday, November 2, 2012

The Fault in Our Stars

I have been trying to limit the number of young adult books I've been reading lately.  Seems I might be on YA overload right now.  But I made an exception for John Green's The Fault in Our Stars.  I'm glad I did.

My middle school years contained a lot of Lurlene McDaniels' books.  A LOT.  I still have them tucked away in a box in the closet.  We don't really have to talk about it.   The Fault in Our Stars started out a lot like one of those books.  A young, terminally ill person falls in love with someone.  Except this one had all the humor of an episode of Gilmore Girls (the first couple of seasons anyway....not the last couple that were kind of craptastic).

It was as up-beat as book about cancer can be I think, but also fast paced and had not entirely predictable plot lines (which is a good thing of course!).

My favorite excerpt from the book (complete with the reference for the book title):

'Everyone in this tale has a rock-solid hamartia: hers, that she is so sick, yours, that you are so well. Were she better or you sicker, then the stars would not be so terribly crossed, but it is the nature of stars to cross, and never was Shakespeare more wrong than when he had Cassius note, "The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars / But in ourselves." Easy enough to say when you're a Roman nobleman (or Shakespeare!), but there is no shortage of fault to be found amid our stars.'(p. 111-112)



Thursday, November 1, 2012

Day 2


Highlights:
Flowers delivered from the peeps at the boy's work.
Got the drain removed and the bandages changed.
The hole where the drain leaked quite a bit. 
That was gross.
I got these "hot" TED compression stockings I have to wear to prevent blood clots.  All I need now is a nurse's cap and I'll have next year's Halloween costume all set.

I took a picture of my knee before they bandaged it this morning.  But it's the kind of thing someone needs to be warned about I think.  6 stitches holes and several staples and all kinds of swelling.  Maybe later I'll have a fun before and after to compare.

Add another tally to October

Statistically speaking, October has always been a terrible month for my health.  There's been mono, and thyroid radiation, and that one year I had terrible morning sickness, a month long case bronchitis.  This year, instead of trick or treating, I got a new ACL, lost 50% of my medial meniscus, got stitches in both meniscus, and some fancy staples down my shin bone.

This year's halloween costume

The part I was most worried about (the anesthesia going out and coming back) was no big deal.  The part I was sure I would get through (the pain) was so much worse than I thought it would be.  Everyone said day two would be so much worse than day one.  But upon waking, on a scale from 1 to 10 on pain, I'd give it a 57.

Highlights:
After waking up my throat was really sore.  The nurse said that was from the tubing they put in my mouth to keep my tongue from cutting off my airway. 

Me: Can I see it?

The Nurse: Are you sure? It looks like big vagina.

Me: I'm sure.

Except I don't really remember what it looks like, I think I wasn't fully awake yet.

We emptied my drain twice in the night for a total of 90ml of blood and whatever.  Fun right?

Here's to day two, hopefully it is filled with less pain, more sleep, and getting the drain removed.



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