Saturday, June 17, 2017

Dollar Store Find


This invalid finally made it out of the house!  This morning I treated my sister to breakfast because she came by last week and cleaned our downstairs for me.  I am walking slowly and figured I'd press my luck and try one side trip, which I chose based on my current state of bargain hunting withdrawal. My pick was Dollar Tree.  Their pepper stir-fry frozen veggie bag is a staple of quick and easy dinners at our house.  Along the way, I hoped to find a large gift bag to use for Father's Day -- which was shopped for in advance.  Alas, all of the big bags were for baby showers.  Of course, I still did my usual sweep of their health and beauty aids -- where I tend to score the best bargains.

This week, they had Sebastian Volupt hair conditioner.  There were only five bottles left on the shelf and no shampoo to be found. I scooped them all up.  If there had been 20, I would have bought them all.  The 250ml cost, on average, $17 bucks.  To get them for a buck a piece is a real deal.

Anyone who has a Dollar Tree nearby may want to check to see if there is any to be had.  Not only is it a steal, it's a good product.  And for me, it was swell to make my first recovery expedition such a success!

Thursday, June 15, 2017

A Small Victory

I can't claim total victory yet, but I have made it through two weeks of my knee replacement recovery.  My blogging has had to take a back-seat to resting, icing and exercising.  I can now sit in a chair and put in some desk time.  At first I was stunned by the pain and lack of mobility.  Now I am mostly uncomfortable but making progress each day -- as long as I don't give it a rest or slack-off.  TBG has been keeping me fed and drives me to PT, helps me with exercises and keeps my morale up.  This has been a very difficult process. I consider it a victory that after two weeks I am bending my knee beyond 90 degrees.  I'm told that is a good thing!

The staples were removed this morning and that has been a relief.  I am now down to steri-strips which aren't painful (staples pinch!).  I do my PT exercises once per day and go out for short walks three or four times per day.  I have met many men on my block who have had this surgery and they offer me encouragement too.  Today I did not have to use my cane at all and was able to go on a three block walk by myself.  I've also been managing to use both legs on the stairs -- with ample support.  Not just the "up with the good, down with the bad" method I was using at first.

I had hoped to only miss two weeks of work then do a week at part-time,  but that was based on a smaller incision on the side of my knee that is common for a partial replacement.  My ortho went in from the front so I have the incision and underlying wiring to deal with -- basically the same as if I'd done a full.  I'm feeling badly about that and am pushing for progress.  My plan is to be back at work on 6/26, just short of four weeks.

Hopefully, my life will get more interesting once I can expand beyond my house and the few blocks around it, and I'll have better material to post about!

Sunday, June 4, 2017

My Turn

I would have to say that Friday night was one of the most painful periods of my existence, as it was my first night home after my knee replacement.  A few other injuries/post-op adventures have been as bad.  But I have a flair for the dramatic and it was my fault for pushing to get home from the hospital too soon.  They would have kept me another night, but I wanted to go home.  Little did I know that the nerve block I had been enjoying blocked so much pain.  But I survived!
Now everyone in our house has a scar on their left knee!  Of the three of us, I would say I was the biggest sissy of the family.  Teddy was up and walking the day after her knee surgery. Tommy had two done at once.  I had my partial done on Thursday and I am just now getting around on my own a little bit at a time with a cane.

The surgery was a little more involved than I thought it would be.  Rather than go in through the side, my orthopedist cut me right down the front, the way it is done for a full replacement.  He explained that sometimes he ends up doing a full once he gets in, and that to adapt a side cut to a front one makes a huge scar, so  he always goes down the front.

I learned a few things afterwards. First, I am knocked-knee so I have to work on that.  Secondly, I have really small bones and am lucky that the smallest size implant made fit me.  My necrosis wasn't actually all that bad.  No one would or could explain to me why necrosis in the side of my knee was causing so much pain in the middle.  That was the worst part.  The middle of my knee hurt almost constantly.  It turns out I had been walking around on a fracture that neither the x-ray nor MRI picked up.  So, that part of the femur is gone too.

My goal was to be back to work in two weeks and I hope I can do that.  I start PT on Tuesday.  I do plan to work part time for a few weeks.  At this point, I am in bed a lot, but spending time sitting up, doing light walking and moving around.  I can say that it is not easy and this is not something I ever want to do again!

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Dog Update

The dog is doing absurdly well after her major orthopedic surgery.  At four weeks, she's walking almost normally and we've let her have access to the couch.  By the guidelines we were given, this is a no-no.  But then, she should also just now be putting full weight on the leg -- which she has done from the start.  Ignoring all time-lines of recovery, she has gained full range of motion, can raise up on her hind legs and pulls like an ox when we take her on walks.   As for walking, she gets eight blocks two to three times per day, and we can increase that.

The PT guides mentioned getting her to walk in circles and figure-8's around week 6, and she's been doing all sorts of maneuvering -- backing up, sitting, standing, hunting for toys, that the exercise is basically futile.  She just moves around like normal -- minus the sad limp she used to have.  In fact, she is doing so well that I am scared that we did something wrong and will get in trouble for not moderating her movement more.  We are not letting her upstairs, just the few steps in and out of the house. So there are still restrictions.

She goes back for an x-ray on June 7th.  They don't want her to swim until 14 weeks out -- but I don't know if we can wait that long.  She is going crazy from the lack of activity and not seeing people that she is bonkers on our walks and we have to watch her in the yard because she decides to start tearing around in circles.  I just hope I have an easy time like this after my knee surgery!

There is still strength to recover and we are working on getting her to place the leg normally.  When it was weak, she held it away from her body for more stability.  We are working on getting her to place her weight evenly.  But all in all, I consider the surgery a success.  There is a big bill to pay for it this month, but once that is behind us, all I want to think about is the future.

She and I did stay home for the long weekend because there are too many temptations at camp and the car ride would be a problem too (she likes to stand the entire way).  Hopefully we can all go together on the 4th of July.  But for now, we are doing fine at home.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

How Does My Garden Grow?

It is a sad fact that the only reason I have a garden, is because my husband plants it.  We decide on things together, I tell him what to do, and he does the work.  I am really that lazy.  The design of our yard is based on a plan that I drew up and our handyman/landscaper implemented.  Tommy helped with a lot of that labor too.  Since I am frugal, a lot of time is spent splitting perennials and planting things that spread out.  It would probably be easier on him if I just let him put in all new annuals each year.  But that gets to be too pricey for my cheap tastes.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Second-Hand Therapy

Cool shoes have mostly  been stricken from my wardrobe in the past year.  But I am seeing a light at the end of the tunnel, so I decided to partake in some shoe therapy to ease my mind.  I have a rough couple of weeks ahead of me -- I can no longer take NSAIDs or supplements and am having a lot more knee pain.  What better way for a girl to gird herself for her suffering than to concentrate on what is in store once it's over?

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Girl in the Graveyard

I'll admit that I have a morbid fascination with cemeteries.  That doesn't seem odd to me because there are other people I know that do as well.  It's a sculptural thing.  Either I am sucked in by the architectural elements or struck by how old some of the gravestones are.  The picture on the left features a set of headstones from the cemetery in Pultneyville, NY.  Graves there date back to the early 1800's.  Many are contemporary as well.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Mother of a...

A happy Mother's day to all matriarchs.  This dog-mom spent the weekend away from her puppy but was heartened to get an eager greeting upon her return.  Teddy is doing very well, we are working on getting her to keep her repaired leg straight under her body and doing work to build up her strength.  She is not aware that she is in recovery at all.  Lucky for her, mommy found large trays of chicken necks at the store in Sodus -- something we can't find in our city supermarkets in Buffalo.  I am a good mother after all!

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Shoe Bag

I had not posted this picture from camp when I was out the weekend before last.  It's the way I am dealing with extra sneakers and flip-flops.  Liquor stores here are giving out free re-usable shopping bags right and left.  But you really only need one or two.  If you're going to buy more than six bottles, you need a box.  But I take the bags anyway.  Here's a bag that I brought four bottles of wine to camp in.  I repurposed it to hold footwear.  It works great.

This past weekend TBG went to camp and I had the dog to myself.  It's a lot of work but she is doing better.  She can now walk around the block and is putting weight on the leg, although it is shaky at times.  We have run out of sedatives, which is a problem because all she wants to do is play.  Tomorrow night we go back to the vet to have the staples removed and she will be liberated from the cone.  Our charge card bill should be coming any day now and it will be beacoup bucks.  She is an expensive family member but we are also glad she is on the mend.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Who'll Stop the Rain?

I don't know about anyone else, but I am sick of rain. I can't recall a day in the past month where we haven't had some precipitation.  Our yard looks crazy bad. Weeds are everywhere.  Grass is growing between the flagstone.  There has not been any window of opportunity to work on the back yard and boy does it look bad.  When we first moved in, there was grass and a big tree.  The area was one big mud puddle.  We have it a lot better now.  Alas, poor Teddy is not allowed out back anyway.  While I feel badly for her recuperation restrictions, with this weather, she would hardly be getting out anyway.   

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Camp Updates

I courageously set out for camp myself while TBG stayed home with the puppy.  We appreciate all the kindness and support she is being shown.  This has been traumatic but the prayers and wishes have helped!  Thanks to the hard work of the boys last weekend, I could tackle a few organizational tasks this weekend. It was sort of helpful to be by myself and have more room to work.  I called home a few times but wasn't neurotic!

This small set of drawers started out life in our small outdated bathroom.  It then did time in my  bedroom holding socks and pantyhose.  The new nightstand had enough drawers for me to eliminate it so it came to camp and is extra storage.  I can put devices in the top bin and let them charge.  I figure keeping devices there when they are not in use will eliminate the possibility of forgetting one.  Before we leave, we'll just pull them all out of there.  I am thinking I'll also stash a box of tissues and maybe a few other things we might need at night.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Back Where She Belongs

My sweet baby girl is home!  Her surgery was yesterday morning and it went well.  They put her tibia in the new position but also had to remove her meniscus.  That is apparently pretty common.  Hers was so bad that it all ended up in the garbage can.  I thought it was damaged because I would hear her joint pop.  Like I hear mine!  I hope I get to keep mine...

I took the day off which was a bit of a waste since she wasn't discharged until 3PM and I normally work until 4. While I could have chosen to work from home, that is hard for me.  My dining room table is not ergonomic, which means I am sore typing and looking at my small laptop screen.  So, I prepared for my weekend alone at camp.  I think baby girl will be fine with daddy -- although I couldn't handle her on my own because she needs to be assisted with a sling under her belly.

She can walk a little but the orders are for her to rest.  Peeing in the yard for the first time was hard for her -- she did not want to bend the knee.  But she did it.  We have her on pain meds, a tranq, and antibiotics.  Of course this dog will never refuse food and has been eating fine.  She whimpered when I was in the kitchen cooking without her and she didn't like not sitting with us while we ate dinner.   Her confinement isn't as bad as it could be as we are not crating her -- she has her own futon which is blocked in on all four sides.  

I hope we do everything right for the next 12 weeks. If we can keep her lean and be careful, the arthritis due to the missing meniscus hopefully won't get bad.  It will be wonderful if her ligament stays intact on the other leg.  Going through this again does not appeal to me in the least!

Everyone at the vet's office raved about how sweet she was.  Our vet was in late in the evening to check on her too.  They told me she was very cooperative and well-behaved but they could tell she wanted to be home.  We had to be careful when I went in to get her because she got so worked up. Now we are aiming to keep her as calm as we can.  If only the next twelve weeks could take place in warp speed -- calm is not her forte!

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Spring is Springing

Spring bulbs are coming up in our garden.  The beds are a mess but other than scraping out leaves, I try not to thinking about weeding or really making the plantings look nice.  There have been too many years I pulled out something that I shouldn't have, thinking it was a weed.  Our yard is bunny central these days.  Since there is nothing they can damage, it doesn't bother me because I think they are cute.  We have a small rabbit escape hole so they have a way to exit if Teddy takes notices.  Teddy loves bunnies, but I don't think she'd actually touch one.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Teddy Update

Thank you to everyone who was thinking of  my girl!  Rather than respond to the comments, I'm just putting up this post instead because the whole thing was a no-go!

We got her to the vet on time, starving her in the morning as instructed.  TBG went into work late so they could go for a nice walk.  He got her to office and met with our regular vet who assured us we are doing the best thing.  To Linda, yes, we are doing a TPLO.  For those who don't know what that is, it is a Tibial Plateau Leveling Osteotomy.  She tore her ACL (in dogs that call it the CCL -- Canine Cruciate Ligament).  The result is that one of her leg bones (the tibia) is not being held in the right position and her femur hits it at the wrong angle.  A TPLO is a fix where they saw off the top of the tibia and then bolt it back on with plates and screws so that it is at the appropriate angle.  It sounds barbaric but the beauty of it is that rather than repairing tissue/ligament which would grow back with scar tissue and be prone to tearing again, the fix puts bone to bone -- which heals by creating more bone.

Tommy said his hands were shaking as he signed the consent form because it mentions life saving measures if there is a complication.  But both he and Teddy got through that and he went back to work.  They called him an hour and half later saying the surgeon never showed up.  So even if she was to make it in after that, the OR was booked and they also wouldn't have time for other stuff they needed to do.  So, she was back home by 10:30 with two bandages on her forearm where they started the IV.  There was a message for us later in the day that we are on for next week on Wednesday at the same time.

To say that we are bummed is an under statement.  We wanted to be one week in to recovery by the time she's going back.  Plus, the pre-surgical jitters were enough once.  On top of that, I'm going to have to rearrange my day off again.  I don't have a schedule that is easy to shuffle around once meetings are set.  I coordinate a lot of stuff between 12 accounts and when I get people lined up for meetings, it's hard to move things around when there is a sudden conflict.

The emotional impact on Teddy is marginal.  I guess it gave her another opportunity to go to the vet without the world ending.  She wasn't happy going back for her pre-op bloodwork but this time she trotted into the office just fine.  We are leaving the big mattress out for her so she will be used to that by next week.

I just wish we could have had it go according to schedule. It would nice for this to all be over with.  Thanks to all who thought of us!

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Getting Teddy Ready

Teddy's surgery is tomorrow.  TBG is bringing her in at 8AM.  She will stay over night.  After that, she will be living the restricted life for 12 weeks, the first six to eight being the worst.  At first, she will be in The Cone of Shame.  After that, I hope the Doughnut of Sadness will do.  Stairs are off limits for the full 12 weeks so we have set up a futon between the dining and living rooms.  We will barricade her in with chairs, ottomans and other obstructive pieces.  Here she is on the futon getting used to it.

We've had mild weather so she's been swimming since the weekend, but she won't be allowed back in the water for another ten weeks -- and at that point, only on leash or in a very controlled way.  I have read up on the post-operative care and PT regimen we will have to follow and I can say that I am not looking forward to it.

I have to work tomorrow because I have obligatory training all afternoon.  Then I took off Thursday.  As bad luck would have it, I broke a tooth this evening so I'll have to deal with that while this is going on.

Please keep my old girl in your thoughts, prayers and whatever it is you do to send out good vibes.  I know we are doing the right thing, but a mom worries whether her baby has two legs or four! 

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Peace Be With You!

Regardless of religion, I hope everyone had a reason to celebrate today.  I am secular, but I love candy.  Optimism is also big on my list.  So even though the day has no meaning to me religiously, for those whom it does, it is a day of joy, hope and the positive message that we can all experience a rebirth after a troubling time.

I get ridiculed, pitied, lectured, etc. for not being religious and it bugs me.  No amount of debate or chastisement is going to change my mind and I wish people would leave me alone.  However, that doesn't stop me from appreciating the positive aspects of faith. I don't need to be Christian to appreciate the concept of any sort of resurrection that involves love.  Nor do I need to be Jewish to appreciate the courage it takes to escape oppression.

So regardless of what you do or don't practice, I hope you had a joyful day and the good will of this day carries on throughout the year.

Be kind everyone!  And don't forget to brush and floss...

Monday, April 10, 2017

I Think I Won!

Today was what should be the last hearing of my Workers Comp claim.  The legal end of this perplexes me but from what I could understand today, I think I won.  The defense rested solely on the assertion that I am a liar and there for nothing I say can be trusted.  The medical evidence, however, indicated otherwise.  When it is all said and done, a claim the comp carrier could have paid for about one thousand dollars probably cost them three times that to fight.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

55 Going on 15...

Does this look like the bedside table belonging to a 55 year old woman?  Well, it ought to because it's mine!  My birthday was last week on Tuesday.  There was a present waiting for me in the kitchen from Teddy -- a yellow dog solar light.  TBG told me I'd have to wait until the 5th for his present for me to be delivered.  At first I was worried, because he came home with a new Viper toilet for the basement.  Turns out he secretly brought in two nightstands before I got home! 

Monday, March 27, 2017

Misadventures in Crafting

 They family who bought the foreclosure house next door, who have been doing nothing to fix it up, did have a dumpster day about a month ago.  Prior to the dumpster showing up, I found this on the curb outside the house.  It's an old-style bathroom vanity.  It had been a painted over a few times and was in rough shape.  But I grabbed it anyway.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Head Games

I took an on-line IQ test and did very well.  However, I'm wondering if I did well simply because this could be a marketing tool trying to suck me into a mind-training/challenge sort of service.   Because the thing is, I don't feel smarter than 95% of the population.  And I  know of plenty of people who know me who think I'm an idiot at times.  I know that I often feel stupid and confused at work.  My job absolutely calls for more intelligence than I have. And maybe I hang out with too many intelligent people (like my husband), because I always feel as though I'm just not at their level.