Tuesday, November 29, 2011

A Bit of Working

Worked a bit this morning.  Sunday at church I picked up my bulletin folder and e-mailed the bulletin template to myself.  Only problem was, the church has Office 2007 and my laptop has Office 2003.  Not sure I can even do an upgrade.  Anyway any Word file Office 2007 saves is in DocX form, something 2003 can't open.  Never fear, put the question on Bing and I found a patch that allows my 2003 to open the DocX files!  So I was able to get some preliminary work done on the bulletin.  My plan is to have it ready and send it to the office on Friday.  I'll have Stan drop me off and I'll run, fold, stuff, etc. then.  I'll do a dry run today-I'll send it to myself and check when I go for my deacon's meeting tonight.  I can always print the one here at home and bring it in if the e-mail thing doesn't work.

Was very excited at PT yesterday-I was able to pedal all the way around on the exercise bike!  Backwards, but forward will come.  Jason said he thought I had stalled on the bending motion, so he pushed me.  Boy did he-I had sweat running down my back doing a tiny little pedaling motion!  If the sciatica weren't so bad it would have been easier.  I kept getting a muscle cramp in my calf next to my knee.  I finally just pushed through it and got it done.  Now there's no turning back-he will expect more and more of me!  That's fine, I want total knee function, no matter how bad it hurts.

I talked to Jason at the doctor's office yesterday and he is setting me up with a spine doctor to get rid of the sciatica.  If it weren't for that I would be very close to 100%.  I have very little pain in my knee now-yay!  I almost have my braking motion back, so in two weeks when I am released to drive I will be ready.  Stan wants to go fishing today, so if the doc wants to see me today I may have to bum a ride from someone.  Will be SO GLAD when I can drive!  Besides, I am itching to get Christmas done.

The one thing I am not itching for is housework.  The first time I cook dinner the jig will be up and I will have to cook all the meals, so I'm not jumping into the kitchen for a while yet.  (Married women will understand!)  I make my own breakfast and coffee, and heat up lunch, but that's about all.

Think I'll call my friend Joyce to see if she'll pick me up for coffee today-a confab with friends is good for the soul!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

What a Weekend!

Here it is only Saturday but I am whipped!  Wednesday was physical therapy which usually means I am worthless for the rest of the day.  I managed to get some cranberry salsa made, but the "safe" dessert I wanted to do for Thanksgiving never materialized.  Then Thursday was church then dinner at the Senior Center with Stan's family.  We were there from noon til 9:00-wayyyy too long for this girl.  I did crash on the couch for a while, but sitting has been hard anyway and I was toast.  I tried to get Stan to take me home 2 hours before he actually did, but I don't think he got it that I really needed to.  He wanted to pitch in to help clean up, but nobody would have resented his taking me home.  When we left, we went straight home, I took my pills and went to bed.

Then yesterday, Millie came and picked me up.  Jo-Ann's had pajama flannel for $1.49 a yard so she agreed to stand in line for me.  I always make the grandkids Christmas pajamas.  Gracie went along too, and we had a good time even though the Jo-Ann's line took 2 hours!  We went for coffee, got Gracie's ears pierced (a story in itself), had lunch at the Community Co-op, and went back to Macy's to get Gracie a beautiful Christmas dress for her children's choir concert.  Then Millie dropped me off to meet Stan at my niece's 50th birthday party.  We were there for a couple of hours, then Brother-in-Law and his wife suggested we have dinner, so we went to our favorite place, Fiesta Mexicana.  I spent too many hours on my feet.  Today Brother-in-Law and his wife came to the house to help Stan cut up TWO deer.  Sister-in-law and I spent the day in recliners watching Debbie Macomber Christmas movies on the Hallmark Channel.  They've left and as soon as Stan rests for a bit he'll make some hamburgers.  I'm not moving far from my chair tonight.  My leg is a bit swollen, and I'm sore so I think some rest is in order.  I need to make a trip to Walmart but I think I'll put that off til after church tomorrow.

Hope everybody had a great Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 21, 2011

I Had to Do It!

Every year, during the holidays, I make several batches of toffee-"Almond Roca" if you will.  I knew I had to make a batch for Thanksgiving, so today was the day.  I got everything set up, pan buttered, almonds chopped, and a stool set up.  The candy doesn't take too long to make, but you do have to stir and stir.  I'd sit and stir, then stand and stir.  Got it done and it's cooling in the garage.  Resting now!

If you are interested in the recipe, I have it posted here.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

And So It Begins!

Well, winter has arrived and that nasty chore of shoveling is back.  Darn it, I can't shovel for a while.  My heart is really broken about that!  Sydney helped Grandpa shovel this morning-funny how kids think chores are fun.

He kept shoveling the snow back where Stan had already shoveled, but it was still fun to see him want to help.  The temp was 7 degrees F this morning-darn, I wish I were in Mazatlan!  Quite a contrast between these pics and my blog header!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

I Must Be Healing

I must be healing because, boy am I stircrazy!  I really want to get out and do something, but Stan is hunting, all my kids are working, and I am not cleared to drive yet.  I would just love to pop into town, do a bit of shopping and stop at my favorite coffee spot.

I've been doing a lot of things, fix my own meals, etc., but no housework.  I have heard of people that drive at two weeks but I wouldn't feel safe-my "brake muscles" aren't working right yet.  I need to be patient, it will come, but right now I'm really antsy.  It's a good sign, like I said, so healing is on its way.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


Well, the pain was not a blood clot but severe sciatica.  The PA said, "If you saw how we treat your leg you'd know why your sciatic nerve is so irritated!"  And the tourniquet they have to use to keep me from bleeding to death also irritates the nerve.  A nurse friend on Facebook said that is the most brutal surgery one could ever have!  Nice to know now-no wonder I was reluctant!  The pain in my knee is subsiding, slowly day by day, now if I can keep that nerve quiet I'll really feel better.  I've been walking around the house a lot, and making my own coffee in the morning.  I'd love to go somewhere but that doggone nerve makes it really painful to ride in a car.  I'll have to get creative about that!  Since  it hasn't snowed yet I'm going to try walking on the street again-just with the cane.  Whenever I used the walker I ran into little pebbles on the pavement and came to a grinding halt.  My shoulders get so tired I come in early.  But my gait is more surefooted every day, so I think I'll try it without.

I forgot to tell you the results of Stan's Holter monitor.  They found a bit of irregularity, but don't think it's anything life threatening and the meds he's already on are enough to keep it under control.  In fact the doctor said the meds probably masked the irregularity for a long time.  Good thing-I'm in no shape to take care of him!  I don't think he's as vigorous as he used to be-he went hunting Saturday and came home early-too exhausted to stay out longer.  Plus his knees were complaining about walking the hills.  He might be next for a knee replacement or two!

Monday, November 14, 2011


Today I should get my staples out.  I'm very happy-they itch like mad, and I think my "bending therapy" will go better without those dern things pulling.  I had to cancel my PT session with Jason this afternoon because I almost had an overlap.  My appointment with Jason at Bridger Orthopedics is at 1:30 in Bozeman and my appointment with Jason at Excel PT was at 3:00 in Manhattan (30 minutes away).  Didn't sound like I could make the PT so I cancelled.  I still have my machines at home.  I kind of have an abundance of Jasons!  I have some pain in the back of my leg I want Jason (Bridger) to look at, just to make sure it's not a blood clot.  I have 9 blood thinner pills left and if all goes well I will graduate to aspirin.  I decided that, given my age, I would stay on baby aspirin for the rest of my life.  Just a little insurance.  I am able to lift my leg up onto my hassock now, so that's progress!

I have been knitting some.  I am making a toddler's sweater-not sure for what purpose, but it was just a really cute and easy pattern.  I knit a few rows, Facebook a bit, nap a bit, then walk around the house working on my gait-who knew I'd have to learn to walk all over again!  Most of my big blocks of time are spent on my passive motion machine-I'm supposed to do 6 hours a day!  Not there yet, but I'll get there.  The physical therapist said a lot of people get in it at night, turn it on and sleep.  When Millie told Jason she wanted to go back to work after 4 weeks he told her she wouldn't have time-she needs that time to get her new knee in shape.  I will be going back to the church next week, but I only have to work for 5-10 hours a week so I shouldn't stiffen with that much.  Only thing is Stan will have to drive me in, so I probably will work from home for part of it.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

A Family Thing

My daughter-in-law and I share the same knee surgeon.  Today she got the news that she is next to go under the knife!  Actually she should have been first, her knee is much worse than mine was.  Now she has to find a good time.  They want to do it the day before Thanksgiving but why ruin the holidays?  They also have December 28 open so I think that's the day she'll go with.  It's better for me, too, I can help more and will be finished with the "family walker."

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

A Bit of Progress

My recovery is coming along, hampered only by the fact that I can't take any narcotics.  There were a few bad pain times and I only had Tylenol to take the edge off.  I think I'm beyond the really bad part, now.  I still am sleeping in the guest room so I can prop my head up.  But I can't get past 3:00 A.M. yet.  Of course I'm out by 9:00 P.M. so it isn't horrible.  I work so hard to get the leg limber and after it lays for a bit it stiffens again.  Had my first physical therapy session on Monday, another one today.  I will go twice a week with a goal of a leg extension of 0 degrees and a bend of 120 degrees.  A bit of work, but I'm at 7 degrees and 90 degrees so it could be worse.

I'm still mostly camped in my office, but my bum is getting tired of the same chair and I think I need to walk more.  I'm hoping that today after therapy I'll feel perky enough to stop at the local cafe for a bite of lunch.  Maybe later (or tomorrow) if it doesn't snow I can walk a bit on the street.  I alternate between walker and cane because my upstairs is not particularly set up for a walker.  I'm hoping to spend more time downstairs in the next couple of days, too.  Goals are good.

Well, I think I'm going to instruct Stan on how to make hot buckwheat cereal for a change.  And finish the paper.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Glad That's Over!

Well, I'm home from the hospital!  Tired and sore, and not liking my physical therapy, but time will pass and every day will get better and better.  They tell me 2 weeks are the marker, that after that I will start being glad I did it.  It is very good to be home, and I had superlative care.  They were very careful to note all my allergies.  I ended up not getting much for pain besides Tylenol because even with the anti-nausea meds the narcotics still made me sick.  I could live with the pain.  The anesthesiologist phoned me in pre-op and discussed my allergies.  He told me he would do a spinal and a femoral nerve block.  He must have used more painkiller in the block because my leg has not regained its strength and is in danger of buckling, so I have to wear the immobilizer.  I took it off at home, but I'm very careful-falling would really hurt!

I had THREE allergy wristbands-the admitting nurse said she wasn't taking any chances!

Only thing, I don't think they quite knew how to read the allergy panel report I brought and she listed everything that was on the test, not just the allergens!

It was just fine-I would rather they err on the side of caution.  Well, back to resting.  I have a ton of work ahead of me to get the new knee into shape.  They sent me home with an extension board to keep my leg from freezing bended, and a CPM, or continuous passive motion machine which keeps my knee bending.  And I go to a physical therapist.  Whew!  And I can't drive for a while, so I might as well work on my knee.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


Tomorrow is the big day-I get a new knee!  Still kind of shaky about such a big surgery.  I have lots of allergies and it's going to be tricky balancing pain control with the reactions those meds might cause, but I have spent a lot of time discussing this with all the staff involved, so here goes nothing...

Thanks to all those who are praying for me and thinking of me.  I don't know what time it will happen yet, they will call me soon with that bit of info.

I set up my office as a kind of recoup room, since we have stairs in the house and no bathrooms on the main floor.  I have a TV, and my laptop, lots of knitting and my phone so I should survive.  I put together a box of things like napkins, salt and pepper, silverware, cream and sugar to have there-to save Stan a few steps.

I'm off to town to find a footrest and a little table to set up in there.  And to get my City Brew fix before I get cooped up.  Stan has to see the cardiologist today because he has been having some irregular heartbeat so they're fixing him up with a Holter Moniter to wear for a few days.  We're going to look like a fit pair in the hospital!

I should be able to blog a bit unless I'm really out of it, so once I'm home (approx 3 days) I'll be talking to you.  See ya later, Blogland!