Monday, February 23, 2009

Week 8 - Hangin' with Kitties

Well, the week didn’t start out the best but turned out OK. My knee was feeling fine and I was simply walking across the office when it popped again. There wasn’t much pain (the cortisone shot is doing its job) but the instability was back. Out came the brace and I started walking very carefully again. One good thing out of this was I called Lincoln Orthopedic and moved my appointment up. I can’t see the doctor but have an appointment with a different PA on Monday and she’ll be able to order an MRI so it’ll be ready for the doctor to evaluate when he gets back from vacation. Hopefully moving this earlier will mean I have a diagnosis and maybe some PT under my belt before I head to Vegas next month. I’m also looking for the OK to do water aerobics again, which I skipped last week out of fear I’d do more harm.

So what did I do with all the time I wasn’t in the pool? Something productive? Not so much. What I ended up doing most nights after work was hanging with the UNL kitties. Since I was limiting my walking, I usually fed the cats after work so it’d be on the way to my car. Without having to rush to the pool, most nights I just took my time and loved on the two cats that are so tame now that they want to be petted. Fun but not the best use of time. Oh well.

And what did I do with my completely free weekend? I read a book – the Memory Keeper’s Daughter. It was OK. I had only read a few pages and book club meets Thursday night so I pretty much had to read it, which took some of the pleasure out of it. I’ll have to see what we’re reading for next month and decide whether I’m going to totally drop out or just take every other month off so I only go to the library club in the months my other book club doesn’t meet. Between both clubs, I’m having very little time to read the books I want to read. And we’ve read quite a few dogs at the library because we’re stuck with the limited list of book club packs. At least with my other book club we pick the books. Life is too short to read bad books! I did manage to do quite a bit of cooking between chapters and got my weekly chores done but it was otherwise a lost weekend.

P.S. I wonder if my knee pop can be chalked up to bad karma because I kept using my handicapped parking tag when I really didn’t need it. The pop happened on the exact day it expired. Hmmmm…… I just couldn’t give up the rock star parking.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Week 7 - All Caught Up

Or close enough anyway. I had a really productive week, which was desperately needed. I had things on my to do list that had been languishing there since Christmas break. Plus I had been behind on my regular chores since my knee gave out so the house was a wreck. But no more! The kitchen is spotless, all the piles of paper are not only gone but the culled stuff has been dealt with and I got all this done plus my normal weekend chores. On the “way behind schedule” list, I got a haircut, finally got my car serviced (so much for the $59.95 special – mine cost $302!) and got the kitten spayed. I even inventoried both freezers (I have a ridiculous amount of food – go figure.) But the icing on the cake was the door prizes. The Friends of the Library’s Wine & Dine was Sunday night and I was in charge of door prizes. So I started going through the house, finding all kinds of brand new things that I’d bought for some reason or other, gifts I wouldn’t use, etc. I even went through my gift box under the bed (which is mostly filled with enough tea party favors for a lifetime) and pulled out a few more things. My friend Nancy came over with her basket collection, I dug out some linens and gift bags from the basement and we got going. After a quick trip to fill in some holes, I had 9 door prizes to donate. They ran the gamut from an Ikea throw I’d bought years ago and had never taken the label off to a garden basket with gloves, seeds, etc. Not only is all this stuff out of my house (yippee!) but I get a tax deduction too. To top the weekend off, the Wine & Dine was fun, the food was good and for the first time in years, I didn’t have to MC or speak so I actually had some wine. : )

Monday, February 9, 2009

Week 6 - Striving for Normal

My knee is MUCH better. I started the week on crutches but ditched them for a cane as soon as I got to work (I had left the cane there last week before the “pop.”) It didn’t take long to realize though that walking with the cane had its own set of issues. By the end of the day Monday, between the cane and the fact that I’d worn my brace all day so hadn’t bent my knee, I had aches and pains all over. So my goal became slow but normal. I still used the brace to drive and the cane to get to and from my car, which is parked right in front of my building thanks to a temporary handicapped permit, but once inside it all went and I just walked slowly with as normal a gait as possible. Every day the knee felt better and better and by the end of the week I was completely off the cane and brace and was down to 400mg of ibuprofen at a time rather than 800’s. I even went back to water aerobics! Thursday I didn’t do many of the moves but did most of them Friday – again slow but normal. It felt great to be back in the pool. Now I just need to get caught up on all the chores I didn’t get done while I had my knee up. I made a big dent on Sunday but still have a ways to go. I even managed to get some cooking done so won’t be eating out of the freezer this week. Life is good!

P.S. I scrapbooked on Saturday and picked my friend Cindy's brain (she's a physical therapist) about my original injury. She thinks I pulled my popliteus muscle. I googled it when I got home and I think it's the culprit that caused it all.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Week 5 - Rice Krispies Knee

A couple of weeks ago, I was lamenting the problem with my left knee. Little did I know that it was just the tip of the iceberg! I had continued to baby my knee but on Wednesday things went from bad to worse I walked over to CBA at lunch to feed the campus cats (that's less than a block away) and by the time I got back, I was using the wall to hold myself up. Putting any weight on my knee hurt like hell. I started calling around looking for crutches (Campus Rec came through) and made an appointment with Lincoln Orthopedic for the next day. I had to see the PA but at least there was an appointment available. Fast forward to the next morning.

Here's your orthopedic tip for the day - if you have a bum knee, lead with the bad leg going down the stairs and with the good leg going up. I learned this the hard way. When attempting to get out of my house the next morning, I lead with the good leg causing the bad knee to pop audibly. The pain was instantaneous and horrible! I couldn't catch my breath and was immediately in tears. I could not miss the appointment though so got in my car and headed south, pulling my leg up by my pants to work the clutch. I called Cheryl from work to meet me on the north side of town and drive me to my appointment since there was no way I could handle all the shifting required for city driving.

Long story short, they said I have arthritis in my knee so they could only give me a cortisone injection and would evaluate any further problem next month. They sent me home with a pain prescription (I didn't fill it) and I spent 2 days sitting with my leg elevated, bored to tears. Normally I'd love nothing more than sitting on my butt watching TV or reading but since that wasn't a choice but a necessity, I spent all day Friday with a bad attitude. There were a few bright spots in my day - a 2-1/2 hour phone call with Auntie Margaret, the realization mid afternoon that the shot had kicked in and I wasn't in pain anymore and a visit from Helen, who dropped off a knee brace that she'd picked up for me in Lincoln. It was this last that gave me the courage to uncancel my birthday plans with Connie.

I called Connie and asked if she'd be willing to pick me up in North Lincoln, thereby limiting the city driving again, so we could still have our play day. She agreed and brought her husband's handicapped parking tag (yay!) so we had a nice lunch at Texas Roadhouse and then went to Frost Nixon. It felt SO good to get out of the house. Add that to the excellent company and beautiful weather and the bad attitude was gone, gone, gone. After the movie, it was so gorgeous that we got a mocha and went to Hazel Abel Park to sit in the sun (that's where the picture was taken.) It was so warm that I didn't even need a coat. What a wonderful way to celebrate my birthday and a nice end to a pretty crappy week. Despite the snap, crackle and pop in my knee, life is still good. : )

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Week 4 - My PBS Dilemma

Whenever someone gasps at my saying I don't get cable, I always have the same reply. I know myself too well. Having dozens of channels would NOT be a good thing for me. It would undoubtedly lead to hours of unproductive time, with me sitting in my chair flipping between cooking, travel and gardening shows. This past week has just validated why the no cable lifestyle is my only option. Here's the problem....

When I did the channel scan on my new TV, it came up with not 1 but 3 PBS stations, all in lovely HD. In addition to the normal PBS I've been used to getting, there's now PBS World (lots of politics, nature, science, etc.) and Create (cooking, travel, crafts...what's not to love?) While this hasn't impacted my weeknight television viewing much at all, it's definitely had an impact on the weekend. I now have so many options for viewing that I'm getting nothing done! I spent my entire Saturday sitting on my butt watching PBS. No kidding. I flipped happily on the hour between the 3 options and always found something that piqued my interest. As the sun was going down, I realized I'd just lost the entire day and had accomplished nothing. And this with only 3 stations. Imagine if I had cable?

Besides the PBS dilemma, I have to say my back room is the nicest place to be on a cold winter day when the sun is beaming in. I had worried that the new sliding door with all that glass would make the room colder but it's been exactly the opposite. The door was not cheap and so has well insulated glass. Add that to the solar benefits and PBS or not, I'm hard pressed to come up with something more enticing in the dead of winter than sitting in my chair soaking up the sun. Give me a good book and a cup of tea and I'm happy as can be.

And look at my geraniums! I always bring them in over the winter but they used to be relegated to various much less sunny locations. This year they're front and center in the family room window. Not only are they happy and blooming up a storm, but they're providing me with a spot of color and the hope that spring is on its way. Just a couple more months.....

P.S. I grew the ones on the bottom from seed. They're a variety called Orange Ice and are gorgeous. They did next to nothing outside this summer but have really come into their own this winter. And that's with the same spent soil and no fertilizer. Imagine what they'll do when I repot them and put them out this spring! This success has inspired me to buy more gernanium seed to start this winter - Geranium Inspire Appleblossom.