Thursday, April 27, 2017

Week 16

I started the week exhausted from another night of Drew being up until the wee hours and me waking up each time he used the bathroom or went into his room. The alarm going off on Monday was a rude awakening and then having to fast track my morning routine to be at PT at 7:00 was killer. I went bak home after PT to change and pack a cooler for Drew full of all kinds of homemade goodies and most of the leftovers from Easter. He had sworn he'd be awake when I got home but he was so sound asleep that I had to poke him to wake him up to say goodbye. I left for work happy that he'd come for a visit but also happy to know I'd be going home to an empty house. Nirvana!

But Monday was a long day because Connie was in Lincoln on her way back from Easter in Oklahoma so we met for dinner at Noodles. Her granddaughter Connie was with her and I hadn't seen her since she was about 6 and she is graduating from high school. She is a perfectly pleasant quasi adult and we had a nice time. We ate a Noodles then walked around campus, which was in full bloom and gorgeous, then got dessert in a new bakery in the Haymarket near their hotel. It's always fun to have face time with Connie and going home to an empty house was another bonus. IT was a lovely evening.

Tuesday at lunch I ran down to Yarn Charm to pick up my Knit Nebraska t-shirt, which I will proudly wear on game day Fridays and maybe even to Sue's retreat in Canada. After work, Anne and I went to the movie Kedi at The Ross. It was about the feral cats of Istanbul and was totally enjoyable. This was a slightly earlier night than Monday but I still didn't get home until 7:30. Considering it was only my 2nd week of working full-time, I was getting tired.

I left work at 4:00 on Wednesday for PT and had a pretty disturbing encounter there, experiencing the negative side of small town living. My neighbors have had a bogus drug charge pending on them for 2+ years from when a new neighbor called the cops and told them they were selling drugs out of their house, which was absolutely NOT the case. So the new neighbor, who has living 2 doors down for a few years, also goes to PT and they asked me where I lived from her. When I explained, two of them said in unison, "You live next to the drug dealers?" I immediately started defending my neighbors, who are salt of the earth people who would give you the shirt off their backs, but they were having none of it. They were laughing at my defense, which left me fuming. I was so upset that I had to call Carolyn to vent when I got home. Grrr....

Lorri stopped by later to give me a thank you gift for watering her seedlings while she was away. The plants she'll invariably give me would be thanks enough mind you. Anyway, I vented some more to her and she suggested I call the ACLU. We ended up talking for a long time so it became another long night. At least I was at home and the week was half over. I threw in a load of laundry and went to bed.

It felt like I did nothing but laundry for days. I hung a load out before work on Thursday and while it was dry when I got home, there was bird poop on the bedspread. I also went into the spare room to find that one of the cats (Tot most likely) had peed on the mattress pad on the spare bed, probably because it smelled like Drew. So now I had to wash that too and the new blanket I'd found while thrifting. It took 4 loads of laundry just to get everything washed and the bed remade. Luckily it was good drying weather and the only thing that got bird poop on it in the 2nd round of drying could wait to be rewashed.

Friday was a long day with me prepping training materials for our new analyst who was starting Monday but I left at 4:00 for PT and the weed was done. And other than a haircut at 8:15 on Saturday, I had the whole weekend free. Yee ha! 

I spent a lovely weekend at home getting chores done, knitting some fun new socks and cooking. And when I got the spare bed made up with the freshly laundered linens, I promptly loaded it back up with all the totes and bags of yarn. As part of this, I went through a big tote of clothes, culling some for donation, leaving some to try on later and putting a few in my closet. I also swapped out a few sweaters from my main closet so I'd have room for a few short sleeved shirts to get me through until after Canada when I could worry about pulling out the capris and summer tops. And in amongst all this productivity, I managed to stream season 3 of Shetland so thoroughly enjoyed my weekend. Add the progress at PT that was giving me more mobility with my shoulder and it was all good. Now to get ready for Canada.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Week 15 - Better Every Day

It was a good week with lots of progress on my shoulder and a visit from my nephew on the weekend.

First with the shoulder milestones. Here’s the list:

  • I was officially brace free on Wednesday. Now I hadn’t been wearing it much during the day but was still sleeping in it so having it completely gone was huge.
  • Other than a brief stint on Tuesday morning, when I went to my recliner out of desperation because I could not find a comfortable position for my last 2 hours of sleep before the alarm, I am sleeping in my bed. Having success for 5 nights in a row means the recliner really is retired. Yay!
  • I’m back to work full time. I do have 3 shorter days because of PT but since I’m only missing an hour of work on those days and will be doing so for months, I’m counting it as full time. With the brace off, I’m actually more comfortable at my desk because it’s a controlled environment. I have a thin pillow under my arm and a folded towel that keeps my arm at the exact right position, all of which means I’m fully functional and typing with 2 hands without a problem.
  • PT is progressing, with new things added on Wednesday that have me moving my arm more and more, albeit with pulleys doing the moving instead of my own muscles. Still, it’s progress.
  • Small victories to add to the list – I can now grab my seatbelt with my left hand to latch (from below instead of above my shoulder but it works) and if the door isn’t opened all the way, I can close it with my left hand. I was also able to put the toilet paper back on the holder because I can pull it with my left hand now. It’s the little things.

My nephew Drew had called to ask if he could come for Easter this year, which he’d once before. I said yes at the time with the warning that I wouldn’t be up for much activity. I considered cancelling but decided against it. His only request was home cooking, which I could handle. I’d also warned him that he would have to move some furniture before he could sleep in the spare room because the chair the recliner replaced is in that room and the bed is covered with yarn totes that are too large for me to move with my bum shoulder. He didn’t seem phased by any of it so his trip was on.

He was due to arrive Friday evening so I made a big pot of sausage and potato soup late Thursday so he could have some whenever he arrived and bought a loaf of my favorite asiago cheese bread from HyVee to go with it. First meal done and he seemed to enjoy it when he arrived ~8:00 on Friday night. Now Drew is a night owl so was up way past my bedtime and then slept until noon on Saturday. That gave me some quiet time and when he got up, I had 2 pies ready to go in the oven. We made plans to meet Helen and Charlie for an early dinner at Farmer Brown’s, which meant we didn’t have time to do much that afternoon so just watched a movie. Helen was running late and Charlie opted out so he dropped Helen at my house and we got the last table in the first seating, enjoying yummy prime rib all around. We dropped Helen at Wal-Mart, where Charlie would pick her up on the way to his niece’s for Easter egg dyeing and we headed home for more Netflix. It was a low key day but worked for me. I headed for bed at my regular time, leaving Drew up watching TV into the wee hours again.

We had a plan to go to Freedom Park in Omaha on Sunday and then antiquing before heading back for a nice Easter dinner, featuring the ham Drew had brought from the butcher shop he works at for one of his 4 jobs. I should mention here that Drew had asked if I wanted any meat from the butcher and I’d checked their website, expressing interest in 2 of the funky brats they sell. Well, Drew arrives with a huge cooler FULL OF MEAT! I’m guessing on quantities here but in addition to the ham, I’d say there were 8 six packs of brats (all kinds), 8 more white wrapped packages of various meats (I have yet to check them all out) and as many packages of sliced meats, including 3 types of head cheese! I put what was still frozen immediately into the downstairs freezer and found room in the already full refrigerator for everything else. I have enough meat to last months. Literally.

Back to Sunday…. I was making a nice breakfast of bacon (from Drew’s haul), pancakes and eggs when Drew got up on his own just before noon. After a nice breakfast, I had to convince Drew of the need to get off the couch if we had any hopes of getting back in time for me to cook dinner. We drove all the way through Omaha to the Missouri river only to find the entrance to the park blocked off. Grrrr… We headed to The Brass Armadillo antique mall on I-80 and browsed (separately) for a couple of hours. Drew found nothing and I got a Blue Q bag (not antique but I love their products) to use for knitting and a 25 cent postcard. Way to kill an afternoon when nothing else is open.

When we got home, I made ham (just a chunk of the enormous, double smoked, boneless ham Drew brought), asparagus, the best mashed potatoes ever and Cracker Barrel biscuits for dinner. Streusel topped strawberry/rhubarb pie was dessert. Yum! I took control of the remote for an evening of PBS and got no grumbling from Drew. Having to be up at 6:00 for work on Monday, I went to bed at 10:00 but struggled to fall asleep and then woke up repeatedly.

While I love my nephew, between the sleep differences and his male obliviousness to cleanliness, I would be happy to have my house back. He was leaving on Monday and while he vowed that he would be awake when I got back from PT to change before work, I had my doubts. Regardless, it was a nice weekend visit and with my shoulder getting better with every passing day, I’d call it a good week. I hope you all had a happy Easter.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Week 14 - Back to Work

The alarm was a rude awakening on Monday morning but I jumped right into the shower, got dressed, made a lunch, ate a quick breakfast and was out the door in record time. This wasn't my normal morning routine but I was afraid if I sat down, I wouldn't get up. I was at work on time, a rarity to be sure, but was disappointed that I was the first one in so no one was there to witness me being there at 8:00. 

It felt good to be back and I got busy immediately with my quarterly reports. It was good that I had those to focus on because I could do them on auto pilot. My head was a foggy mess! I had hoped to make it until 3:00 because I had PT scheduled for 4:00 but only made it until 1:30. I called to see if I could go to PT early and they said I could so I headed straight there and got it over with. After a nice cup of tea and dinner, I was good to go to knitting. Tuesday was another day.

Despite having trouble falling asleep, I woke up at 4:18 and couldn't fall back asleep so got up and knitted until it was time to head to work. I felt remarkably normal and was fully functional mentally at work. I powered through more reports and made it until 3:00, which was progress. Wednesday was also a good day but I did more typing with my left hand and was in pain when I left at 2:00 for PT. I went early again but it worked. Thursday wasn't so good. I hadn't slept well the night before and had done too much typing with my brace off so was in pain again. I was also cranky as all get out so left shortly after noon. I ran a few errands then went home to put my arm up on my pillow and relax, which felt great. By Friday the pain was less, most likely because I brought a pillow for under my arm and tried not to use my left hand when typing. Regardless, I had only been able to get an early PT appointment so left at 2:00, which was only an hour after I'd gotten back from lunch with Layton. Still, not bad for my first week back. I'd gotten my quarterly reports done and worked more than half-time. All good.

I talked turkey with the PT on Friday and only then did it hit me how little I would be able to do. I knew that they'd always said it would take 4 months of PT to get back full mobility but when I asked him where I'd be in a month when I'm in Canada, his response was that maybe I'd be able to lift my arm 2". Two inches! That's when it hit home that I really would be useless for a long time, which meant there'd be no gardening anytime soon. Damn!

Friday night was a surprise birthday party for Erica at the library and I was in charge of ice and the pink lemonade. She was totally surprised and it was fun but quick because I'd made plans to meet Andrea at the Vets' Club for their fish fry at 6:05. Heidi and Donna came too so I had my first ever lenten fish fry with a big mug of beer for dinner. It was a nice end to the work week and I had no plans for the weekend. Perfect!

My only commitment for the weekend was to go out each day to water Lorri's seedlings. This was a good thing because it meant I had to get dressed and out of the house so couldn't just sit and knit all weekend. Between laundry, dishes and general neatizing that was plenty after my first week back at work. 

The weather was finally cooperating with no rain and warm (too warm actually in the low 80's) so when Erica's kids couldn't come over to do yard work, I called Heidi to see if her boys were available. John, her 8th grader, was so I picked him up Sunday afternoon and got him going. He was excruciatingly slow and took almost 2 hours to rake my front yard, which is only about 15x30 feet. It was super frustrating watching him, knowing Erica's son would have had it done in half an hour. After 3 hours I took him home and called Erica to tell her to call when they got back from their vacation. The rest of the work would to wait for Wyatt and Macy. Gladly.

So I made it through my first week back and have scheduled PT for later in the day for the next week. Other than the days I leave early for PT, I'm hoping to at least get back to full-time at work. The shoulder is clearly going to be a long haul to get back to any semblance of normal but I'll keep working at it and do what I can. And I slept 100% in my bed both Friday and Saturday night with no ill effects so I pulled the sheet and pillows off the recliner and am done with that. Progress! It's the little things. : )

Week 13 - My Last Week

Where did the month go? It was my last week at home and while I was feeling better with every passing day, I had gotten absolutely nothing productive done all month. Now I know, I was recuperating but I still thought I'd get something done. Anything! But no. Keeping myself clean and fed was all I got done and now here I was with only a week left. Oh well.

It was another gloomy week and it started out slow with me staying inside starting another pair of socks and having tomato soup and grilled cheese for lunch. I went out for Monday night knitting, which is always a bright spot in my week but especially this month when I've spent so much time alone at home. On Tuesday Nancy stopped by and I did it up with strawberries and cream, cookies and tea. I needed those two quiet days because I had two busy ones coming up.

I had my 4 week follow up appointment with the surgeon on Wednesday morning and had hoped I could lose the brace and start taking my anti-inflammatory again but both those hopes were dashed. I had to wear the brace for 2 more weeks but at least he took the pillow off, which was attached around my waist so it'd be much more comfortable without it. As for the drugs, I'd have to wait until May 10th, which is the date of my next, and hopefully last, appointment with the doctor. It was also time to start PT, which I scheduled for the parking garage for later that day. I then went to lunch at Green Gateau with Dodie (yummy and fun) then went to work for an hour. I had just enough time to run the quarterly EHS transfer so was actually productive. Yay! I took 2 tylenol and headed to PT.

It wasn't bad. They started me out with heat and some hand exercises (not that my hand had been idle at all with all the socks I knitted) then some dangling exercises before the therapist stretched my arm into positions it hadn't been in in a month. If it hurt, he backed off so it wasn't bad at all and any soreness was nixed by 15 minutes of game ready icing and I was out the door. It was a long day so I was happy to be home. 

I had a dentist appointment first thing on Thursday then headed to Omaha with Lorri for lunch at Panera, where I thoroughly enjoyed a crisp salad and got a free cookie for my birthday. Then we went to the movie Lion, which was a tear jerker and worth seeing. We ran a couple of errands and got Starbuck's for the ride home. I was finally beginning to feel normal, probably because I was doing normal things. That said, I was happy to be home relaxing and with nothing else planned for the rest of the week.

I had skyped with Eileen a couple of times making plans for going to Sue's knitting retreat in early May. I was hesitant to ask Nora for the two days I'd need off but Anne, who was going too, egged me on so I called Nora and she approved it. We'd be making a quick trip of it - flying to Toronto Thursday morning, where we'd meet up with Cindy and her friend to rent a car and drive to Port Elgin for the start of the retreat Thursday night. We'd leave right after breakfast on Sunday to drive back to Toronto and fly home Sunday evening. Quick but that's the only way I could justify going and it'd be fun. No hanging at Eileen's but maybe next year. Anyway, I dinked around online and found us dirt cheap tickets and car. Maybe I should count that as an accomplishment.

While I was talking to Eileen, she mentioned that she'd spent time watching knitting podcasts while she was recuperating from her knee surgery. That brought to mind the Knotty Knit Wits - a podcast I'd heard about from one of the hosts who sent me yarn from Ravelry. At the time, I couldn't fathom watching 2 women I didn't know talk about knitting for 2 hours at a pop. Well, after a month at home facing gloomy weather and a gimpy arm, it was perfect. I spent the next three days watching episode after episode and knitting  up a storm. 

On Sunday I finally started getting ready for work. I cleaned my thermos and got my book bag ready to go, put the coffee pot on autobrew and set my alarm. Yikes! That was going to be a rude awakening, especially from my recliner. I would only be starting back part-time but I was ready to do more than sit at home and knit. I'd made 3 pairs of socks and worked on several other projects but it was time to get back to reality and I was looking forward to work.

I was also SO grateful for all the help I got from my friends. They dropped food, helped me with dishes and folding laundry, neither of which I could do in my sling, drove me around and kept my spirits up. My sister called almost every day too and there were daily Chronicles of Rosie postings from my cubie mates. If this month taught me anything, it's that I'm loved and have a wonderful support system. I am truly lucky and life is good! Now to get on with the PT and getting my mobility back.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Week 12 - A Voluntary Recluse

So, week 3 at home. It ended up to be another week like the last one - busy at the beginning but this one ended with some antsy days inside with dreary weather out.

My friend Nancy, whom I hadn't seen in ages (could it be almost a year? I think so), came over to hang out on Monday. The plan was to order pizza for lunch and then catch up. We were thwarted on the pizza delivery (not available at lunch) so had to go get it but it was worth it (delish!) and then we had a lovely afternoon of chatting and knitting in my back room. She didn't leave until 4:30 and I had knitting at 6:00 at the library so it was a full day. So full that I was exhausted at bed time and so decided to try to sleep in my bed for the first time. Shock of all shocks I was able to fall asleep. Yay! Not so much when I woke up all creaky and in pain in the wee hours and headed back to the recliner. Probably not the best idea to try my bed the night before my busiest day since surgery. Oh well. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

Tuesday was the big day of driving to Lincoln for the first time for lunch with my work friends. I got there just early enough to hit my 2 favorite thrifts and pick up books at the Library Commission before meeting them at Honest Abe's for big, drippy burgers. Of course it was drizzling and I couldn't find a parking spot but it was great to see them. Faced with the greasy burger, I took my brace off to eat but put it right back on when I was done. I passed an art supply store on the way back to my car and couldn't resist buying a picture I saw in their window to brighten my day. It was spring break so I drove to campus and parked illegally behind my building so I could  visit with Mary and Nora while they ate the take out Cheryl had brought them. I then made the rounds on 4th floor. It was good to see everyone but my energy was waning and I still needed to hit the market. I got home at 4:00 and had just put the groceries away (everything takes longer with only one arm) when Darla stopped by at 4:30. We hung out and chatted for a couple of hours. So many friends in one day! I was feeling the love.

Needless to say, I was exhausted on Wednesday. Denise from the library emailed that she needed a check immediately and offered to pick it up on her way to work. I jumped at that so that I wouldn't need to get dressed and out the door. I spent the morning watching daytime TV in my nightie and knitting away. I did get dressed eventually but only to sit and knit some more. I was fine with a low energy day after my busy 2 days. My stamina was still sub par but that's what healing is all about I guess.

Unfortunately I slept like crap that night and woke up with feet like ice cubes at 5:30 a.m. I got up to try and get warm and and ate breakfast but was so tired after a couple of hours that I had to go back to bed. I slept until 11:00 so my morning was toast. Oh well. By this point, I wasn't wearing my brace when I was in my house so wasn't minding being home. I had yarn to mail and missed the mail pick up so had to head out to the post office that afternoon but since I had book club at 7:00, I had to get dressed anyway. I headed to book club for a lively conversation on The Sixth Extinction, which I had only finished that afternoon after a marathon reading session.

When I had talked to Cindy last week, I had told her I was a week away from being able to enjoy any part of being home. Well, at some point since then, I seemed to have skipped right past the enjoyment. It didn't help that the weather was gray and dreary EVERY SINGLE DAY and that my desire to stay home so I could not wear my brace was keeping me inside. I was getting cranky and felt like I was missing out. Now I could tell myself that I was at home to heal not to have fun but I had hoped that I would get some enjoyment out of being home and that was clearly not happening. Despite talking to friends and family, having all the time in the world to knit and even having season 2 of Outlander DVD's to watch from the library, I was antsy and not satisfied not matter what I did. Grrr..... I decided that a nice pasta dinner with wine might help so \rummaged around and made leek and pancetta pasta in a parmesean basil sauce (found a can of that in the cupboard) and had it with a glass of 3 Buck Chuck. You would think I'd drunk the whole bottle from the buzz I had. Sheesh!

Maybe the wine was why I decided to try sleeping in my bed again. I got all situated - wedge pillow with regular pillow on top, 2 pillows propping up my braced shoulder and another under my knee. It wasn't conducive to reading so I struggled to fall asleep but eventually did. I woke up in the wee hours and rolled onto my side (brace up) and fell back asleep. When I woke in the morning, I was shocked that I'd made it all night. I was also creaky and as the day progressed, I had some pain like I hadn't had in awhile so I can't say it was a complete success but still felt like some kind of progress. I'd be back in my recliner for a few more nights but this gave me hope.

Despite feeling creaky, I got up Saturday and picked up the house because it had become a pit in the past few self imposed hibernation days. I unloaded and reloaded the dishwasher, folded the small load of laundry I'd done that was strewn across the couch and did a general neatize. I even managed to do a few pots and pans very carefully (I did crack one bowl) by bracing each thing in the corner of the drainer to wash it. When it was all done, I was tired and sweaty but at least the house was more pleasant. Now watch - no one would pop by just because I'd gotten everything back in order.

Lori, Andrea and I were meeting at the cafe in Mead at 1:15 for their belated birthday lunch. I had declined an after lunch Omaha run with Andrea (more time at home without my brace on, thank you very much) so we all drove separately. We had a nice lunch, presents were exchanged and we even split a piece of pecan pie 3 ways. After a lovely time, I went home to find a get well box from my friend Eileen, who knows me so well. It had sock yarn, a vintage tablecloth with baskets of kittens embroidered on it, some l'Occitane toiletries, a pin from the V&A (from her trip to England) and 2 packages of my fave candy OMG's, which are only available in Canada. YUM! Yet another example of the wonderful friends I have.

It was Sunday again and I couldn't believe I'd already been home for 3 weeks. With only one more week of recuperation in store, it was time to start getting back into some kind of routine. The house was all picked up so no chores needed doing but as usual, because the kitchen was all squeaky clean, I felt the need to mess it up again. I started by cleaning out the fridge, which resulted in a bunch of old produce for Lori's chickens, which I drove out to Lori's place immediately. For dinner I made cheesy baked cauliflower with cornbread and ham. Yum! I'd been eating out of the freezer for so long that it felt good to cook something new.

That brought week 3 to a close. I cannot believe how quickly the time has flown by. I've been doing a bit more each week but am still not at 100% and don't think I will be even close at the end of week 4. I can only hope that when I see the doctor again this coming week that he'll say I can lose the brace for good. Whether that's the case or not, I know I will start PT, which Donna says is very painful - like taking pain pills again painful. Whatever. There's no point in stressing over it now. I'm still in getting through each day mode and have let go of the fantasy that I'd enjoy this month off. Don't get me wrong - there have been some lovely times but the enjoyable veg time I anticipated hasn't come to pass. Damn body! I have a few busy days coming up again this week and need to try and get back to more normal sleep times so I can get up for work on the 3rd. I don't know if I'll be full-time day one but I at least need to try. Just one more week. Wish me luck for continued progress on the healing front. There's no hope for the weather with more clouds and rain forecast for the entire week. At least the daffodils have started to bloom. 

Week 11 - Making an Effort

The theme for my second week at home was doing something, anything to keep busy. After my successful driving on Saturday, knowing I could get in the car and go was a big help.

I started the week making pie. For all those people who thought I was nuts when the last thing I did before going to bed the night before my surgery was roll 2 pie crusts - HA! Those crusts were the basis for 2 pies for Pi Day. I was still wearing the brace full time and so couldn't make a fancy edge but with frozen fruit and a simple crumb top, my ugly but delicious pies were a big hit. I brought blackberry peach to knitting on Monday night and there was a strawberry rhubarb for actual Pi Day.

Tuesday afternoon I did my first distance drive to visit Darla at work. UNL's Ag Research & Development Center is east of Wahoo and so it took me ~20 minutes to drive to Darla - a bit on the highway but mostly on gravel roads. I'd never visited her at work there so brought my pie and stopped in. Her co-workers were all appreciative of the treat and I got to see Darla's office. It was also the perfect intermediate distance to drive. All good. I was exhausted after only being gone less than 2 hours but still - I got out of the house and talked to people. I had Ed, my friend Donna's husband who does handy work for me once in awhile, stop by to pick up a couple of pieces of pie on his way home from work. It's good to keep Ed happy. : )

Wednesday was a busy day. The cleaning lady was coming at 9:15 and even post-surgery, I couldn't deal with the guilt of watching someone clean my house so I got out of Dodge before she came. I went to the library and hung out there until she called to say she was done. I had my Kindle to stream and my knitting so just perched in a chair the whole time, which was as comfy as being at home. I needed to rest up because I had to go out again that night for Jan's husband's funeral. 

I put on real clothes for the first time since surgery (there was some painful wrangling to get the jacket on but I survived) and I met Lori there (she was supposed to pick me up but had such a horrible cold that we figured it wouldn't be healthy for me to be in her car so I drove myself) at 5:30. It was a mob scene but we had a chance to chat with Jan and then I picked up Chinese food (I'd had a hankering for fried rice of all things) and headed home for the night. I was pretty tired so slept like a rock that night.

Having been so busy every day so far, I took it easy for the next couple of days. I did run to the market on Thursday afternoon and did a drive up pick up of a reuben sandwich that the local nursing home had as a fundraiser for St. Patrick's Day lunch but otherwise laid low. I was so desperate to be outside in the gorgeous weather that I picked up sticks in the backyard because it was all I could do with one hand. Whatever it too to not be bored and feel minimally productive. I ended the day Friday with a delicious turkey dinner courtesy of my freezer. Nice.

Saturday was a big day with our spinning (wool not bikes) meeting in Fremont and I'd agreed to go if Andrea drove. But I had a brain storm that morning - if I drove, it would be a test for whether or not I could drive longer. I called Andrea to say I'd drive and off we went. The meeting didn't go very long so after only 1.5 hours of knitting with my brace on, we headed to Goodwill and then home. I drove just fine, even with being there a couple of hours. That meant I was ready for a trip to Lincoln. Yay!

I tried to have a relatively normal Sunday, which is chore day for me. I put a load of sheets in the laundry because it was finally a sunny day and I figured Lorri would stop by after church and so could hang them on the line for me because being unable to get my left arm up makes it pretty darn difficult to hang laundry. They weren't quite done when she stopped by but she waited and got them on the line for me. It's good to have friends. I could easily get them in but folding them wasn't an option either. At least they were in the house by the end of the day and smelled great.

So week #2 was successful. I was making an effort to get out of the house, even if it meant I needed a nap once I got back. There had been a rare couple of sunny days so I'd had some deck knitting and by the end of the week, I was even able to take my brace off for brief periods of time when I was in the house, which helped to ease stiffness in my neck and back. I was very careful to keep my elbow supported on a pillow and still not use my arm at all but it still felt like progress. Two more weeks to go!

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Week 10 - First Week Home

It was so weird to be home but since I was taking drugs, there are big holes in my recollection. Here are a few highlights.

Drugs - ick! I took my last oxi on Monday morning. I wasn't in tons of pain and the side effects were just not worth it. I switched to tramadol and took my last of that on Wednesday morning before I went to the doctor to have my stitches out. From there is was only Tylenol, which did take the edge off. As long as my arm was in the brace, I wasn't really in pain. All good.

OMG! Only having one arm is hard! Everything takes so much effort - going to the bathroom for instance. Try it with one hand. Just try it. Sleeping in the recliner. Also a bitch. I slept great while I was stoned but once I switched to Tylenol, I had more trouble. I'd wake up in the wee hours uncomfortable, not my shoulder but more from not being able to move. Or I'd wake up hot because the recliner is like an oven. I would be awake, tired, uncomfortable and hungry, which often lead to being awake for awhile, reading or playing online, and eating in the middle of the night. Not good. The time change didn't help. After being awake for an hour or two in the middle of the night, I would fall back asleep and luckily get several more hours in, most days not waking again until 8:00 or 9:00 even.

After the first shower that Lorri helped with, I was able to take them carefully on my own. It hurt to have the brace off but was worth it to get clean, especially after sleeping in the recliner. I was eating fine, mostly from the freezer but Andrea dropped me some yummy curried chicken salad one morning that was delicious. I was enjoying tea every afternoon, which helped chase away the gloom from the dreary, cold weather. I was spending ridiculous amounts of time online and knitting.

Enough talk about logistics. Here's the good stuff when I actually got out of the house.

My first foray into the world was when Donna took me to the doctor on Wednesday morning. My appointment was at 10:15 so I took Donna to breakfast beforehand at Cook's Cafe for waffles and sausage. Yum! I was out in public without a bra, which felt super weird and very "people of WalMart" but the brace hid it well enough I think. After the doctor, we went to HyVee and I picked up a few groceries, including the things I hadn't bought on purpose. I had thought that not having ice cream would work but I found myself eating lots of other things because I wanted ice cream and didn't have any. Chips too. So those things bought, we hit the bread store before heading home. I survived but had to take a nap that afternoon. All good.

I drove myself to downtown Wahoo on Saturday and lived to tell. I went to the market and picked up a book and some DVDs at the library. Later that night, I took a walk around the block and did it again on Sunday evening. It was bitter cold and my hideous cape didn't keep me very warm but at least I was moving. Progress in my book.

So that was my first week. As I said to Cindy on one call (I called work most days), I was still a week away from being able to enjoy any part of being home. But I was better every day and not in pain as long as the brace was on, which was ALL THE TIME. One week down, three to go. At least the weather was supposed to get warmer. I was looking forward to that.