Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Bronzed Tennis Shoes

The PT schedule is a little different today. All the hard work of stretching and standing and working took place this morning. This afternoon I have OT, which I realize is necessary, but dang it, so boring for me. The morning ended with ice packs to the front and back of the knees. You see I had worked very hard this morning and it is dawning on me that in the year of 2016 and at the age of 62, I am in the process of relearning how to walk and how to climb stairs. While rehabbing the good ol hip, I learned that my brain needed to reconnect communication wise with my feet. So the year has been filled with many moments of brain talk. The result is a steadier gate and no falls. Today, after Jasmine and I walked outside for a bit to navigate less than smooth terrain, we worked on stairs. At first she was going to have me climb the regular stairs to the second floor but I reminded her I have not done any stair work, at all. So glad she rethought the practice because today relearning out to use my knees for climbing stairs was some of the most difficult and challenging work I have done. The steps we worked with are less than deep regular steps and I struggled. The obvious became so apparent that I have spent years and years and years adapting to how I could climb stairs. The strangeness of having straight knees was almost too much to comprehend. The right knee as has been the constant is the knee that will require the most work and the most to overcome. The feeling of accomplishment washed over me as we were able to increase the reps but never once in the whole exercise could my mind wander because it was just like being a baby whose steps are tennuious. Only thing, it will hurt a lot more if I fall down and go boom than it does a baby.

It might be a good thing to discover the 3:00 am pain pill late in the game. The most agonizing time are those hours before the 8:00 am pain pill for workout purposes. Oh my, today's 3:00 am pill made a huge difference. And now since my side effect of pain pills has made headway, I don't feel tool bad about taking the pills.

Seeing the images of Gaitlenburg burning are unbelievable. I have never been there and really never have had an interest in going there but I am saddened for all those who have lost homes and businesses. I'm still trying to grasp the enormity. I saw earlier that the Stump Dump on Monticello was on fire but it had been contained. Now that my friends is just a little too close to regular routes and our house.

I'm wondering if I should get these huge tennis shoes I wear bronzed to commentate my first new steps with new knees?

Monday, November 28, 2016

Monday Evening Recap

Got my schedule for tomorrow and PT doesn't begin until 10:00, then I have a big break in the afternoon and will finish out with OT until 4:00. The hardest part of the day will be getting through OT. I have a feeling if I didn't have such a strong advocate in PT, OT would try to hold me back because I am breaking apart the criteria and breaking all the known therapy rules. It is obvious to anyone who watches me any length of time, there aren't any real concerns. Tomorrow I get to walk outside as well as work with a cane and begin making the switch from the walker to more moveablity.   Parts of OT want to see if I can still brush my teeth by myself. Oh my.....

The day could have started out really, really strained. The PNA bounded into the room, turning on lights and announcing she could not work in the dark. No good morning, nothing. When I responded back to her you could tell she was not expecting anyone functional or responsive...and there it started. My schedule didn't begin until 10:30 and she wasn't too happy that I didn't plan on getting ready until right before breakfast and then would continue my morning grooming afterwards. I did not see her again for a long time. Others brought things in or did vitals. She made my bed but didn't use clean sheets, just turned everything inside out. The day had gotten better with her as I resolved to show the love of Jesus to her but I was prepared to go all turn over the money changer tables if He gave me the nudge. She was one of the ones from last week that created quite a stir over who and who wasn't going to receive attention that day. I think her goal is to sit at the front desk as much as possible. There are very few like that around here and I was delighted later in the afternoon to spend some time with the woman in charge of the food service here and we had a great conversation and encouraged one another in the Lord.

Roy has been such a help and love these days here and I think he is like me, ready to move onto the home portion of this program. But me being here has been such a help for me and really for him. Kathleen and Peggy came by for a visit today. Very fun and filled with DC treats.

That is about it. I have pondered many things today and had the opportunity for praying. So thankful and grateful to the Lord and His arrangements. He is so good!

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Sunday Morning

It has been a quiet day here at rehab. The day nurse was telling me that three patients have been admitted today and you can set a clock by their arrival, right at shift change. Last week I came in the late afternoon, so that didn't apply. The halls have been noisier with family and friends visiting loved ones. The interns and those who help with rehab are a little easier and funny than the usual week staff. Funny thing here, we all wear our bracelets and labels open to one and all to see our allergies or if we are fall risks or need lots of assistance and of course those every pesky flight risks. I had a safety moment Saturday before going to rehab. It was well done. Having a laid back schedule was so welcomed. Talked with Gale today. She is my NC Sunday School teacher. Judy C and I texted back and forth and Vivian sent an early encouraging text this morning. I am remembering that a year ago today, Darlene and Patsy were having a wonderful trip to the Biltmore and we took most of Saturday to do some sightseeing. The little store in Bat Cave was closing up last year but this year we wouldn't be able to get close to it due to the fires in the area. Sounds like rain will make an appearance on Tuesday and for this, we are most thankful.

The night nurse this evening is one of my favorites here. Before the holidays we were talking about how she became a nurse. Her story is one of those treasures that the Lord allows us to discover. I asked her how she became a nurse. Her confidience and demeanor makes her a picture perfect look of what you would want to have in a nurse. She shared that she had a young child and at that time she was making a living as a cashier. She had gone over to Memorial Hospital to take a CPR class and she saw a card...a postcard announcing new PCA classes that were going to be offered. She talked with the director of the program and was accepted. The director also found her a job with a Dr in the area and she would be able to support herself and her child as she went to school. She continued on by becoming an LN and working double shifts at the hospital on weekends, coming home on Sundays, studied for her tests and her young son miraculously found someone who would wrap up a plate of Sunday lunch so that he could feed his mom when she got home. Night nurse now has a son working on his masters and she is considering applying for nurse practitioner school. Such a small thing, a postcard announcing a class changed her life, changed life for her son. It wasn't easy. Her story so touched me and many a time I have thought about what she said and how life unfolded before her.
If there are asterisks that means it is a new day here on the ol' Monablog. There is a slip of morning left this Sunday. I have had OT and talked to my Sunday School class in NC. Roy has brought me coffee and my s-i-l and I have talked. Been a little reading and napping in this morning's activities as well. I was kind of dreading OT because at times it can be so boring...but Rachelle had me working with a ball and trampoline and of course all she did was endear me to her for that. I'll throw a ball a lot longer than I will build towers with golf balls. My night was pretty good and now that Nancy, s-i-l, explained to me why my body is doing different things to regain normalcy, with a better understanding I know maybe a little better how to deal with things.

Last night I realized if anyone wanted a good look at what fear looks like in all its forms, a rehab hospital just might bundle them up for you. Staff, patients...it doesn't matter. It is interesting to observe fear in its finer, seemingly less destructive form around here. You see a lot of manipulation of circumstances to achieve peace, inner peace. We all do this but say there is something you don't want to respond to or you don't want to justify or give an explanation for, fear gives an out and what is so funny, we think we are being so clever. This kind of manipulation is so easy to see thru. Fear allotment is what I call this, when you think someone or something is going to take from you time, schedule, words, whatever....the easiest way to use this fear is denial. So, around here you can ask a question and it might take you all day to ever get an answer because some think if there isn't a response, you'll forget or they can ignore and just excuse it all with, I have been busy or there is so much going on. Around here, the agenda sets the tone. So if there is something you want to express and that's all, things are quickly shifted into, oh yes, the next person, service or whatever will listen to that or help with that.

Time for BP.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

I'm Back!

I'm back!!!  Well, kind of back. I started this and then had to leave, so now I am back. Believe me I left for a glorious and wonderful reason that has to do with....let's see how shall I put this? Oh yes, in my least favorite expression of a word problem. A train is leaving for Seattle. Nancy has had surgery, change, stress and lot of work plus iron pills, painkillers, not as much normal schedule. Add the daily question of "have you" with the recent, "if you don't" to add to the day's concerns and learning curve. What time did the train arrive in Houston? Thankfully, I would say about 7:00 am, extra credit if you knew they made me drink warm prune juice last night...total bonus points if you know I didn't put up much resistance to the idea. I just met today's nurse as I came out of the bathroom and announced this great good news to her and then said nice to meet you. I have probably been written down in some notes someplace.

There has been many a day I have written a blog post in my mind but never had the time or energy to write it down. I've taken some notes on my observations of being in a rehab hospital that over 80% are recovering from a stroke or some other impairment. You have to have another condition for admittance here. Bilateral knee replacements is my ticket. I have been here a week today and the program is excellent but they are not as well prepared for the tall or for the mentally sufficient. I'm learning very quickly to keep up with things because you do not want to admit around here you are confused cause that drops you in another pool. There is still a Dr here that is covering for my internal meds Dr that cannot decide whether I am really competent or a good faker. It doesn't take long for the RN's and nurses to see the conversations with them are real. I have had one scary PCA and would hope not to see her again in the rotation but if I did, what a difference a week makes. There was one "iffy" nurse and I think the combination of Thanksgiving, subs in PT and the like made that experience one I hope not to go through again.

If you are tall there is a lot of preparation  work you'll need to do beforehand because it will make recovery and pain a whole lot different.

It will be two weeks out of surgery on Tuesday. By this week Tuesday evening I had begun going to the bathroom at night alone, dressing myself and other little daily things we take for granted. I am trying to think outside the box and make things a little more creative for myself. I have met some incredibly gifted people in these service profressions. It is not a standard rule thing but what helps the patient. I have also met some of the most rigid, this is how we have always done it professsionals that are merely holding on, finishing out the working season of life. They almost pout when you go outside the lines coloring or stacking blocks. The last two therapists knew that is not what I needed and made therapy useful and helpful. The PT woman I work with is awesome and helping my recovery happen faster.

The coming weeks I anticipate going to out patient therapy and getting back to driving. Roy has been so supportive and helpful. He ended up taking off days when I was in the hospital because I needed an advocate and the rehab hospital is nearby his park and ride lot. So he comes to see me after work. We have had the holidays too freeing up his time. He had fun yesterday doing Black Friday shopping. We watched the first half of the LSU game...Geaux Tigers! My favorite part of his visits is when he prays for me.

I'm nearly finished with breakfast and will have a nurse visit soon. Then I will get semi cleaned up for the day. Just an hour and a half of therapy today. A shower after lunch...a walk with my honey this afternoon is all good because the train arrived in Houston at 7:00 am.

Monday, November 14, 2016

T-One Day and Counting

As noted before the last three months have been a countdown till this Tuesday. I have tried to do everything possible to go into this surgery prepared physically, spiritually and emotionally. There are successes and there are failures in this three month time period. It has been a keeping my eyes on the prize kind of thing. Along the way the directions given to me were keep from triggering afib as much as possible and keep your stress at a minimum. For the most part I feel like I gave it my all to do so although that sense of panic remained barely under the surface of things more times than I would like to admit. There have been many a night's prayer after waking up in the middle of the night a tad panicked. I have kept the Word close by and in me to answer those qualms and fears. Basically, I have been on the countdown for this surgery most of my life. As a child being severely pigeon toed made my legs ache and hurt. All the years I spent playing sports kept pressure on my knees. It seems that in my 30's my knees began to turn inward even more. When all my heart things started, I had to stop taking anti inflammatories and OTC pain relief. Those were some painful years. The injections started in 2007 but I did not keep up with them consistently until the last four years or so. Holistic meds and procedures helped a lot by keeping the ache to a minimum.  I have a lot more pain to endure after surgery but I am motivated and ready to tackle rehab full spot on. I cannot remember not being in pain, I want to experience rising and sitting a little more normally. I know I am not going to run or take up tennis again, but I want to be able to enjoy walking and working in a garden.

Several verses and stories from the Bible have given much comfort and strength. A new verse in the cue is in Ephesians 6, having done everything to stand...stand. I've been reading all the path verses found in the Psalms and Proverbs. But two of the stories in Mark 5 have had my attention. The story of the woman with the issue of blood and the story of Jairus' daughter. I once heard Beth Moore say, I think in Sunday School, that the story of the woman in Mark 5 was the least preached part of the NT by men...guess it's like when women are studying the OT and the whole circumcision thing in Bible is not that familiar to us. But I digress....I like the woman's faith and that is truly the story. I identify with all the doctor going, money spending, and cure seeking that has happened over the years when it comes to my knees. And even though I am not a little girl, the story of Jairus' daughter brings me much hope. I am holding onto those verses where Jesus takes her by the hand and tells her to get up...

  • She immediately stood up
  • She walked around
They were totally amazed and overwhelmed....those who saw this. And if as right on cue, I just got a text from my sister in law and she wrote, you are going to AMAZE the surgeon and physical therapists with your attitude, determination and persistence....
Then Jesus said, give her something to eat....So, that's my plan having done everything to stand, stand. When it comes time to PT and the first attempt at getting out of bed and sitting in a chair...by walking over to the chair....I will immediately stand up and when the opportunity comes to walk around, those witnessing the process will be amazed and overwhelmed. And then a really good part, give her something to eat and I will be thrilled to be past the JELLO and broth stage of recovery. 

If this wasn't enough to strengthen me and focus me, the Lord did a wonderfully, kind thing yesterday. As some of you know and some might not know, but for these three months I have wrestled with doubts of my recovery from surgery. My flawed thoughts being, I have found so much happiness, purpose and love at our home in NC. Surely, God wouldn't let me return to such joy and happiness...you know you think things like, well...if it is my time to go...I know where I'm going... but I would also say to the Lord, you know I want to spend eternity with you but could you let me have more time in the mountains? I so love living there and finally feel like I am living someplace where I belong and can serve out the rest of my days with purpose and who you created me to be. Those feelings seem to dissipate on the road to Texas. That good old resolve came back the closer I got to the Lone Star State but in the past ten days here, I have wavered a bit and found myself thinking again, will I recover and come out of surgery? Will my heart be strong enough for the length of time under anesthesia? Of course taking six times to get an acceptable EKG reading took me down that road.... But God!

This past week in my daily reading of Mark 5 I had this fleeting thought...wouldn't it be so kind of the Lord if I heard the verses that have come before significant seasons in the recent past in my life. Fleeting thought, didn't give it another speck of time...until yesterday morning in Life Bible Study, which for NC friends just means Sunday School. Carole Lewis taught on five major fears we experience and that hold us back. In the course of this great teaching, she read and commented from John 21. Yep! There it is! God's kindness and compassion right there and it truly made me want to shed a few tears of joy. God is interested and involved in the tiny details of life. Your life...my life. Some might think since I am older that the verses that speak to me is verse 18...

 18 “I tell you the truth, when you were young, you were able to do as you liked; you dressed yourself and went wherever you wanted to go. But when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and others[a] will dress you and take you where you don’t want to go.” 

Well, it is true but the story beforehand of Peter and the guys going fishing and breakfast on the beach with Jesus. It is what you are doing in those waiting times, changing times, and transforming times...In the big picture I have a sense of waiting and in the immediate, I am waiting to recover and rehab these knees to return to the smokin' hot....literally right now in this season of drought and fires, mountains... Pray for WNC....for rain and the end of the drought. 

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Taking Care Of The Particulars

This morning I came across some workout capris that will work perfectly for the next few weeks. I'm trying to get my mind around what I need to take to the hospital and what I will need for the rehab hospital...I am packing by faith. I woke up really early this morning and used the time to read and ease into the day. I waited to run to the grocery store till after 10:30 because doctors and hospitals seem to call between the 9:00-10:30 time slot. But no, not today. Roy shops at a newer Kroger that is HUGE! I think it is a Kroger Plus store but I went to the tried and true Kroger that I always went to this morning. They have rearranged and remodeled, but I was able to find my way around quite nicely. During this season it seems Roy and I get hooked on peppermint ice cream and the Kroger brand is pretty darn good. Roy had mentioned he would stop at the store on his way home from a Bible study meeting and prayer time. I called him to let him know he didn't need to stop and then he asked....did you buy mouthwash? Uh no, didn't know he needed any and mentioned the bottle I saw on his counter top but he informed me the Walmart brand of mouthwash had a moldy look in the top of the cap. Ugh! Always go with name brand mouthwash.

Well, it is Friday evening. The recliner we bought last Saturday is positioned just right to look out our back windows. We are fortunate, even though we have houses right behind us, that there is a good size clearing to see the sky from this chair. I have enjoyed watching the changing of the clouds and the color of the skies from the sunsets. This will be a great seat when I am rehabbing the knees. It's like our home in NC, the recliner there is situated to look out one of the front windows and I have seen many a rainbow from that point.

Today I began with a hair appointment at Emmanuel with Stevie. It has been a long time since I have had highlights just due to schedule etc...Lisa and I were supposed to meet for lunch afterwards but Lisa had a change in plans. I walked around a bit, stopped in Sephora and then had lunch at Las Alamedas. They have brunch now on Saturdays as well as Sundays. The best of both food worlds pancakes and salsa and chips. I have some happy Saturday mornings to look forward to.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Finding The Unshakable

I gave election coverage the same amount of time I gave to game seven of the World Series where I went to bed after the top of the ninth. Last night, I went to bed when Trump had 254 and Clinton had 215 in the electoral college. This morning around 4:30 am Roy told me that Trump had won the election. I hadn't intended on watching any of the coverage because I could watch Andy Griffith reruns, The Simpsons and Roseanne but I found myself flipping over to CBS every once in a while. Then I flipped between all the major news networks just because of what I was reading on Twitter. So there is where I got hooked in, not so much for results but to watch all the commentators reel, backtrack, and stumble through the coverage because it was not what anyone thought it would be. This included commentators that supported both Trump and Clinton. There wasn't any shortage of shock.

The Christian blog, Twitter and FB world has been rocked as well. These months of endless arguing and wrangling over differences and perceived sin has torn people apart. On both sides, I had to hide a few on my FB timeline because what they wrote was too much and where did these stories originate? I had no idea if articles posted were valid or not...so I stopped reading them.

My vision of disenfranchised blue collar workers changed from my long time view in Texas. Around here I don't see too much poverty or at least on a daily basis. Poverty in the burbs disguises itself rather well because one must keep up appearances. Here I haven't seen a family put back groceries while they shopped because they only had X amount to spend. Around here I know of people who have lost jobs but not due to the fact the entire industry has moved overseas thus eliminating higher paying jobs. I know several people in NC who work 2-3 jobs and it still doesn't meet all the needs. I can see why pollsters and politicians missed seeing this group of Americans.
Good Thursday morning! I'm watching the sunrise over Rancho de Five. The sky is a beautiful golden hue. This morning I am squinting to make the roofs look like long range mountain views.

Emily and I met for breakfast yesterday at the Black Walnut Cafe. Yummy pumpkin pancakes! Had a great breakfast and catching up with each other. I came home and had a message from orthopedic office. Called them back and left a message. Knowing it was probably their lunch break, I headed over to Academy and then decided I should return home instead of running into the grocery store. When I hadn't heard back I called again and talked with Karen. We discussed clearances and blood thinners and new scheduled surgery time. It feels like all the details are falling into place.

I read a good blog post by Julie Pennington-Russell yesterday. She writes for Baptist News Global. A quote she used by Harry Emerson Fosdick in 1952 concerning the Cold War got my attention; "The highest use of a shaken time is to discover the unshakable." Of course she is writing about the election and how various people and tribes have felt their world rock and reel. She writes of hope and finding comfort in Psalm 46.

Sometimes when we are in a shaken time we are quick to rush to the immediate fix for our emotions and feelings. While the immediate may provide a blast of redemption for the moment, it usually is the hard work and behind the scenes hours of prayer and action that sees the most desired longevity for attacking that which has shaken us. I often think of a radio show I heard in the late 70's, The host interviewing children about getting a good education and what that means. The interviews and conversations revealed that all these children knew to say was, they wanted a good education but they didn't know what work or time  was involved to pursue an education. Finally, one of the adults with the children being interviewed interrupted the host saying, " look, we had a parade about getting a good education, what more do you want them to say?" We had a parade to bring attention to education became the mantra for the rest of the program. Over the years when Roy or I don't want to put the time into something or the work for a desired result, we would laugh and remind each other, but we had a parade.

Of course there is a big picture sense to these words yet at the same time it has a small world...after all....ear worm for the rest of the day singing that annoying song....  Anyway, next week my shaky knee world is going to be shaken up something fierce and I will need to discover the unshakable, of more than my walker. I will need to hold fast to the One who holds me and tells me to be of good courage, to be strong and very courageous. To strengthen the knees that are feeble and the hands that are weak.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Thoughts On A Tuesday

Good morning from the world of beige land, Rancho de Five. Although Christmas wreaths and trees are up at most entrances into the neighborhoods around here. Warm and muggy, with a slight cool breeze at time invades physically but the sight for eyes is red and green at almost every turn. The signs are up advertising light installations and removal for Christmas. That is big around here, white lights along the roof line. It is pretty. I'm blogging from Roy's study and the view from the windows is now covered by big leafy trees. I can't even see across the water feature but when the leaves fall, I will be able to once again squint my eyes on foggy mornings and make the roof tops across the way become a version of Blue Ridge Mountains.

Yesterday was an interesting and long visit to see my GP and get clearance for surgery. When she first came in the little room, she was on edge and really quite upset that she is having to do the EKG and asking all manner of questions about why the cardiologist office isn't doing this. I explained the situation and she sent in her nurse to do the EKG, only thing it took six attempts to get a good reading. I began wondering if it was me, if my heart was producing the bad readings, but after bringing in another tech with worse results with an older machine and finally one last ditch effort with another nurse or tech assisting, they got an acceptable reading. I could never get an answer if it was me, tech, or machine. In today's litigiousness world, I don't think a definitive answer could be given to me. Thus I came home a little worried and a tad upset. Of course imagined aches and pains began arising. I very rarely travel down this road of thinking. I do know this, all that retaking with no one telling me anything wore me out. When the offices open I will make some calls to the orthopedic and cardiologist offices.

Before heading over to the doctor office, I stopped in at Whole Earth Provisions to see if any Flax clothes were on sale. Yes, I am happy with what I bought but I asked if they were discontinuing Flax because the fall line was dismal. They assured me that their location hadn't received shipment yet and that Flax is one of their best selling brands. Going to The Galleria area was full blown immersion into Houston traffic. Had to make a couple of assertive moves on San Felipe but for the most part I was able to keep calm and collected while revisiting an area in me that needs lots of patience. So many buildings have been torn down and apartments or condos have replaced them. Many of those houses in the Briar Grove area have seen many residents and updates since we lived on Winrock our first few years of married life. Looks like the constant has been foundation problems. When I was younger I loved being in the center of busy life and traffic, close to restaurants and to shops. Now, well, I'd rather be out in the country, in the mountains of NC.

Today marks the five year anniversary of my mother's passing. She passed away around 6:30 am and one friend wrote me these words which still give me great comfort, she found her joy, because joy comes in the morning. I think about my mom a lot and remember her fascination with birds and her garden. She loved moving those plants around her yard. In the last house my parents owned, the backyard looked like a park. Even in the throes of Alzheimer's, she was able to keep up with her flowers for quite a bit of time.

Today, also is the day that our nation has either been looking forward to or dreading.

Well my yogurt and granola are calling me to breakfast and then I hope to finish up a few things around here.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Countdown Over Several Days

An easy Saturday morning. I woke up around 7:00. Roy was already up and moving because he has November Ethics downtown at the courthouse to get the required ethic hours for his law license. He made me coffee and went to his favorite donut place and brought me home some iced donuts. So I don't really need to be eating those but dang, they were so good.

I stayed around the house yesterday working on unpacking the too many clothes I brought and getting laundry done. Somewhere along the way I lost my black jean jacket which is an integral part of my wardrobe planning. So I got online and ordered one from Macy's. There were a few other things that seemed to jump in my cart as well. That's the bad thing about being back in Texas, I clothes shop a lot more. So, around the house it was a productive day. Now to go through the books and junk to entertain me and get it organized.

When Roy returns we are going out to look at recliners that don't look like recliners and able to purchase it and not wait 6 weeks. So that means we are going to Gallery Furniture on 99. I have heard how entertaining it is to go there. When I online chatted with a salesman I asked if anything else was available than what they showed online, which is big, manish recliners, that look like recliners. In my research I read that once you get over the initial few weeks of recovery, sleeping in a recliner works really well for those nights when sleep doesn't come quickly. Jamal, online guy, said go to the store because there are more to choose from and he was right. But I am getting ahead of myself because it is now Monday morning and I am sitting in said recliner, drinking coffee out of my Celebration mug.

So, we ate fajitas at El Rancho before going to Gallery Furniture. Delicious as always. When we got to GF we were met at the door by Patrick. Once again I remembered how God arranged in the book of Jonah and he was a good fit as a salesman for us. Gave us just the right amount of information and gave us space as we looked around and finally decided on a recliner. They had several come in from a showroom in High Point NC, but we chose a tried and true recliner, that doesn't look like a recliner, with great lumbar support, compact and the only surprise in our purchase? We bought a leather recliner, not something we had even considered. True to GF form, they delivered the chair that night and even moved a heavy slate coffee table for us. Roy and I put sliders on one of the couches and moved it to the front room which used to be my reading room.

Yesterday, I went to First Baptist for church and Life Bible Study,just another term for Sunday School. Choir was outstanding! Loved being back in Dayspring class even though I missed my class back at home. Sat at a back table, I'm consistent, with Sandy, Peggy, and Jeanne and heard a great lesson from Carole Lewis. Added bonus, knowing the difference between a dish towel and a guest towel along with a historical explanation of their use. Great example to show us what sanctification means....which is set apart. Got to see Lisa P and Malcolm too.

Dena came over after church. Then she and I went to Carabba's for lunch. Such great food with a great friend. Since we were in the same area, we stopped in at Whole Foods for few things. OK, for me it was the sliced and peeled oranges.

Today I have my last appointment for final clearance to approach the landing...ha! No last clearance for surgery next week. Wow, it has gone from saying three months, two months, two weeks, and soon it will go to saying, tomorrow. I am encouraged and ready to roll. I begin decreasing meds and the like today.

Friday, November 4, 2016

Joint Camp But No T-Shirt

I am so thankful that my session of joint camp today is the afternoon session. I didn't stay up and watch the ending to the World Series Game 7 but went to bed before the home 9th and hoped the Cubbies could pull out a win. As I was falling asleep I heard the vibrations of my phone indicating text messages but resisted the urge to check. Then in the middle of the night I looked at my phone and saw that the Cubs had produced a victory. For this I was so happy. My cousins are Cubs fans and once in Chicago for a conference, Roy and I bought tickets and had a great time at Wrigley Field. It was a cool to cold October evening.

It wasn't the best night's sleep for me because Buddy was restless and my arms just couldn't take the awkward positioning that she wanted. Desperate for sleep, I got up and put some sleepy essential oils on a wash cloth and breathed in deeply. I was taking a chance because Roy has become so sensitive to fragrances but he didn't wake up complaining about it.

Also, this just in, I am officially temporarily handicapped till May 2017...well, parking wise that is. Went over to the Katy courthouse and turned in my prescription for the temporary placards. I don't know how I got the extra month but I am thankful for it. The clerk helping me gave me instructions for getting a permanent tag to which I responded, I didn't want the permanent status cause of what that implied. Maybe that's why I got an extra month, who knows but remembering how God arranges I had prayed for the right clerk when my number was called. This touch screen system is really so much better than standing in long lines.

I used my placard at Whole Foods mainly because I couldn't find a parking place that I could park SequishShawn. I think WF makes their spaces smaller to promote driving hybrids or smaller cars. No one ever thinks about tall people needing the space in bigger vehicles. With the additional heat for me to sustain and because my knees are locking up more than ever, I don't think anyone would doubt I was using the space illegally. When I went to Home Goods, I just parked in a regular spot. Oh Katy Home Goods, you are the best! Except the container I was looking for to put Buddy's food in was no where to be found but I found a lot of other things I didn't even know we needed. It's kind of like Roy who has become a gadget guru or gadget guy. We have digital thermometers in so many rooms. Why? The kitchen is now tricked out with every kind of gadget known to man. I am no better though, but my gadgets lean toward anything that organizes books and the like into a better stacks for easy finding and using.
Oh overcast Friday morning. What a wonderful day to stay in. I was pretty much gone yesterday from late morning until early evening. That is tough on me these days. But Joint Camp was really good, but no tshirt. In prescreening I was able to get my blood work done and answer a million questions. While the nurse took care of a phone call she let me read my cardiologist's clearance for me. It was very factual but said I was a very pleasant patient. I thought of the old Seinfeld episode when Elaine's chart says she is difficult. Then we had camp where the pain medication nurse spoke to us, I want her to be my BFF in the hospital, case manager and PT person whose group works with my Dr. The universal greeting to me from hospital and doctor staff is, are you still going to do both knees? The PT person told me in her sixteen years she has never seen a bilateral knee replacements patient go home for rehab...I feel like she has thrown down the gauntlet. I'm glad I have been doing strengthening exercises since July and that I have good upper body strength..

I am happy I have only a few more necessary appointments for all this next week but I have more time to be footloose and fancy free. Peggy and I went to Lupe's on Wednesday but I still need at Tony's Mexican Food cheese enchiladas fix. Roy and I are going chair shopping tomorrow. Next week I will hit the Galleria and The Nord.

Back here in the Lone Star State and happy to finally get this season moving not to be in so much pain. Looking forward to seeing friends at church on Sunday yet at the same time missing my Sunday School class at home.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Thinking And Praying, Singing and Dancing

Leaving the mountains is always difficult for me on many levels but the descent from mountain beauty to the flat land of Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas is too much to take sometimes. I intended to blog a little each night on the road but dang if I was pretty much tired and not able to concentrate. I did do some shopping along the way and had some delicious meals. There was a lot of down time while driving. Did have some phone conversations but not as many as I anticipated to make.There are lots of things to think about and pray over. There were a lot of songs to be sung, really loud and as usual, a little bit of car dancing to round out the time.

Each state has its own car language. In NC, people will pull out in front of you with barely room and time to spare. It's because there are too many cars for the infrastructure and not enough traffic lights to give a little break in the traffic, so people do some wild pulling out in front of. Tennessee seems to have a combination of Texas and Louisiana traits. On the freeways in Louisiana, I 10 especially people pull right behind you, and  intimidate you to move over. Sometimes I couldn't even see them because the cars were so little behind my big truck. I don't camp out in the left lane but sometimes it take a little bit of time to get around a bunch of slow moving cars and trucks. Texans see an inch in front of you and think it is enough room to pull in. Coming into Houston today wasn't too bad. I left Covington around 5:30 am with only one stop, Buc-ees and I got home a little before 11:00. I've been trying to bring things in a little at a time but I will wait for Roy to get home to help unload the back of the truck.

Buddy was so happy to see me and I, her. We sat together for the longest time. I think she is pretty darn happy to have me back. The little LSU tiger that Roy brought her from the football game several weeks ago is already missing an ear. Good old Buddy. Since I hadn't seen rain in so long, I didn't understand what these drops of water were coming out of the sky. We had a tad of rain and I noticed the tree in the back isn't doing well and we will need to water it.
It is Wednesday morning and I slept very, very well. Monday night sleep was difficult with all the air conditioning noise. The Holiday Inn Express in Covington is an almost new hotel and should not be having the problems it seems to have. I think consistently the Holiday Inn Express in Ooltewah is the best one we have stayed in, well in the Express Hotel genre.

I was so happy to see Roy last night and not because he was bringing home dinner. And not because he carried in all the stuff from the truck. Our schedules have meshed for years but now we have to get used to each other's individual schedules. It will all work out, probably about the time for me to return home to the mountains. Ha ha!

Double checked with doctors and everything is good to go for joint camp tomorrow. So this afternoon I will be out and about because Chris comes to clean. I worked on getting things put away last night that would affect today. Now to find where I packed my capris. It will be rather warm here today.

My brother and I were talking the other day as he drove back home to Nashville from Houston. Neither one of us minds the drives because it is good think time, pray time, dance in the car time, and sing as loud as you want time. I mean you have to be able to entertain yourself on that long drive through Alabama. That is one of the most boring Interstate drives around and Mississippi is just a tad better. To be fair, Louisiana and Texas on I 10 is one of the WORST drives ever! The traffic is horrible with the constant in and outs in the lanes, see above mention of tailgating, and a whole lot more 18 wheelers. Buc-ees is the reward both going and coming on I 10. I need to go check on the progress of Buc-ees being built in Katy.

Brenda R called yesterday while I drove through the area that is filled with refineries to let me know to keep my truck gassed up because there were problems once again with the Colonial Pipeline. I hate that my NC friends will go through another shortage this being the second one in two months time. Thankful, I did not change my dates for leaving cause I would have been smack dab in the middle of Alabama and they too are suffering from this break....cause it happened in their state. I told Brenda that I was in the midst of where the pipeline begins but didn't have the heart to tell her gas is $1.83.

Well, I will finish up my coffee we made this morning from Smokey Mountain Roasters. Maybe have an apple cider donut with my yogurt.