Saturday, December 31, 2016

2016 Thoughts and Advice For Bilateral Knee Replacements

The last morning of 2016. I'm happy that Buddy stayed with her regular routine and spent a good amount of time in my lap while I read and drink coffee. She has moved on and is now taking her first nap of the morning and the sun isn't even up yet.

I've been thinking of what I will post on the so you are having bilateral knee replacements site I found those months before surgery. What I read was about 95% helpful in my rehab and recovery these past six weeks. If I was to give any advice or share thoughts on bilateral knee replacements, this is what I would recommend.

  •  If you have time before surgery, I had three months, exercise and try to get into the best shape possible. You will need upper body strength cause there will be quite a few days into weeks you are pulling yourself up from chairs, potties, bed....etc. I worked on my quads but didn't do much work on hamstrings. I know now hamstring work is just as important. 
  • If you don't have a recliner, buy or borrow one. I read an article before surgery and everyone interviewed in the article proclaimed the goodness and helpfulness of a recliner. I was in the hospital for five days and then in a rehab hospital for two weeks. When I came home I tried sleeping in bed the first night and it wasn't an hour later I headed for the recliner. The first week home I slept in the recliner every night and now I occasionally nap in it. It is great for keeping your feet and knees elevated. The recliner paid for itself the first night home. 
  • Wear comfortable clothes. I found that I liked wearing cotton more so than spandex or nylon. I wish I had brought more cotton capris than workout clothes. For long pants find workout pants that have zippers at the ankles. You will have lots of people looking at your incisions over the course of six to eight weeks. 
  • Take the opportunity if offered to go to a rehab hospital to begin the hard work. I had at least three hours a day of PT and OT with lots of extra walking around thrown in. I was approved for two weeks by insurance. It helped Roy with me being in there and it helped me tremendously. Everything about you is monitored and evaluated which is good but can also be a pain. 
  • Even if you have friends and family come and visit be prepared to spend a lot of time by yourself. The nights are long and sometimes uncomfortable so have a plan on what you will contemplate and think about. Some of the staff worried that I didn't have a lot of visitors, less than most in the facility. I assured them Roy came everyday and friends came during the day, not in the evenings like the others. Make sure those late night thoughts are positive and don't let yourself get used to the status quo. There will come a day and you will rejoice exceedingly with great joy when it no longer hurts to stand up. 
  • Bring a few things to keep you amused but you will rarely need them. With pain meds and lack of stamina, most of your down time will be sleeping and resting. Even now when I try to read, I get sleepy because I am not back to full speed, although I am working on it and each week can feel and tell a difference. 
  • Do your exercises! It is the key to recovery. Don't over do but keep those feet and ankles moving. There is a lot of swelling in your feet and calves the first few weeks. I used a detox gel and a honey rosemary mint balm to help with the skin tightness and the relief in my ankles. 
  • Talk to as many people as possible about their knee replacement. Take good info and make it part of your recovery. Learn from their mistakes and what they would do differently. 
  • Laugh! You have to laugh at things so you don't get overwhelmed. There are parts of recovery I don't think I will ever talk about unless specifically asked. 
  • Let others help you and when you don't get help, don't get bitter. I came off pain meds early so I could drive myself to PT. I am happy to have been able to do that. Have family and friends that are supportive to talk with and laugh with. 
The room at the rehab hospital had a small window where others had several large floor to ceiling windows. At first I was disappointed with the small window but when I saw the scenery or lack thereof outside, I was happy to have the small window. It kept me focused on what needed to happen in that room, not daydreaming of what to be. 

So, that's part of my thoughts on this last day of 2016. I am hoping for no surgery in 2017. 

Friday, December 30, 2016

Friday And Thursday

Gee, you take a nap and upon awakening you hear your hubby on the phone with computer people or someone like that going over stuff that sounds really, really tedious and boring. This is when I would just go buy a new computer or something. Of course his computer is a rather new computer so who knows. I am just happy that it isn't me having to do all of this. When I started my nap he was talking with the Turbotax people. I do not know if these things are related at all. Hmm...after about 45 minutes on the phone, they just hung up. I've just been informed the icons were too small and this is what he and the guy have been working on. Again, so glad it isn't me that has to deal with this kind of stuff.

Today started with the early appointment at PT. A little bit of stretching and we were off to the races working on squats and balance and climbing stairs and balancing on one foot with no hands and my eyes closed. People, this is scary stuff for this one. Kelly kept saying you are overthinking this and I finally responded, not overthinking but it is pure de fear. For the next week on my own I need to keep strengthening my hips. I found a pair of 3lb ankle weights at Home Goods the other day and that will help me with homework.

Headed home and waited for Roy to get home from a follow up Dr appointment and working out. We went out to lunch and then had a delightfully scary ride to Waller. How people drive on 290 past 99? Well, I guess with all the construction, very carefully. We went to Buc-ees. For once we had time to actually look around the store. We are always in such a hurry on our way to or from Houston when we stop in Baytown. About halfway through our shopping tiredness hit me like a ton of Buc-ees beaver nuggets and we left after making our purchase. Which brings us back to the fact I took a nap this afternoon.
Good Friday morning! Even with a nap yesterday I found myself heading for bed a little before 9:00. We watched Arkansas collapse against Virginia Tech. I think Roy watched some of the Alamo Bowl. This now explains why there were several tables of people in orange at lunch yesterday. OSU was playing in that bowl. Guess the people were on their way to San Antonio.

We might make a trip to Brookwood today. Roy asked me if I thought there would be room in the truck for more since I have done a fairly good job at finding things that will need to make their way home with me. There are also things I brought here that will not go back with me.  I will look for small things. Kelly and I were discussing the next course of action in my rehab and if I haven't met all my goals she is requesting additional sessions for me. I told her not to request too many because we are planning on a February exit to the mountains. It is almost like I need to delete several things and places on FB because they make me so homesick yet the thought of ice and snow keeps my feet firmly planted here on the prairie. Thinking of and missing friends has my heart in the mountains.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

The Year Coming to a Close

The year 2016 is winding down and quickly coming to an end. There are so many so happy to see this year go into the books, for so many reasons that I won't go into. It seems as if many of music's royalty have departed this year. Last night on the news they said it equalled the year 1971 when so many young rock stars like Janis Joplin and Jim Morrison died. 1971, I was a junior in high school. FB did those year in pictures thing but I didn't publish mine because it seemed all the pictures had to do with my hip and knee surgeries. 2016 would be the year of repairs for me. Because of my accidental fall in January it paved the way for the bilateral knee replacements to almost be free of costs because I had met my deductibles and out of pocket expenses. If I hadn't fallen, I don't know that I would have had knee replacements this year and my SIL brought up the fact that I was getting dangerously close to have waited too long for them to do the surgery. Yesterday was six weeks out from surgery and I took a little bit of time to think of how far my recovery has come in six weeks. A friend from NC and I were talking last week and she mentioned those dark nights of the soul in recovering from surgery and pushing forward in health. Those dark nights of the knees were hard and like most dark night things, you experience them by yourself but of course I knew I was never alone and depended on the Lord. In those times I knew better times were coming and I just needed to proceed and endure till the different trials faded away.

I started doing the One Word thing instead of New Year resolutions several years ago. One word is easy to keep focus on. My word this year was ful and I was able to put a word in front of ful, like playful, grateful, etc... Proceed and persevere are too words from years in the past that fit their years perfectly. I think I have my word for 2017 narrowed down.

Fitbit, it's an ok gadget. I don't know how accurate the step counting is but I love it for the sleep breakdown. What I have learned is, I am a restless sleeper, well I kind of knew that but didn't realize how restless I truly am.

Yesterday, Dena came over from the foreign land she has moved to, Well, that is what I call it. We had such a great afternoon. We exchanged Christmas gifts which was a whole lot of fun. Love the Texas mugs and the NC cheese plate. The mugs look like oil barrels and are red, white and blue with the Texas star. They'll be going back with us to NC for sure. What a happy way to remember Texas and the time I have spent here since November. We went to Taste of Texas for a late lunch. It was delicious as always. Good conversation and good food go hand in hand. We took some pics and headed back to Rancho de Five. So glad Dena didn't have to rush back to the foreign land because Roy got a chance to sit here with us and visit.

The other night Roy and I had such an interesting discussion. We were talking about the Christmas sermons we heard this year...he has heard more than me this time around and somehow we got into the conversation of the 400 years of silence thing. Roy said, that is so misunderstood. God still spoke to his people, He didn't use major or minor prophets to do so. Then he began naming people in the Bible who were part of the 400 year generation that heard from God, Mary, Joseph, Elizabeth, Zechariah, Simeon, and Anna. Something really to think about.

Roy and I think differently on many things but as the years have come and gone, we are now more alike than we are opposite. I mentioned that there seemed to be a lot of platitudes coming on Twitter in these remaining days of 2016. All these ministry types are flooding the Twittersphere with "wise words" and teachable moments in 140 characters. Roy said, I unfollow so many that start doing that because it is so easy to buy into the theme or platitude and get farther away from scripture. Roy is a wise man.

I had planned to have lunch with a friend today but had to ask if we could reschedule. I was feeling the tireds last night and knew I would need today to recover. I have early PT tomorrow and then next week I am on my own since the rehab people are moving to their new digs in the second professional building at the hospital. So this morning I slept in a bit and now easing into the day. Chris comes this afternoon and I might go out for a bit while she is here.

Monday, December 26, 2016

A Day After Christmas

The day after Christmas and we are pretty darn happy that we don't have to contemplate taking down Christmas decorations and then hauling them over to the storage unit. We learned after our first Christmas in this house we weren't much for trudging up and down the attic steps. We only have a cute reindeer to put away and he might just go back to NC with us when the time arrives. We had a great Christmas with our time wide open and able to do whatever we wanted to do. I finally was able to sample some of the Thanksgiving dinner we had ordered and then Roy froze when we realized Thanksgiving would be in the rehab hospital. So, we had a delicious Christmas lunch. We also went to the new park that just opened by Cinco Ranch High School. It is well done and even has a Frisbee golf course. I had forgotten about the constant breeze out here and nearly got blown over as we walked around for a bit.

On Christmas morning I also started wearing my Fitbit. It's kind of fun and I have set the amount of steps at a lower level as I continue rebuilding strength and stamina. Roy went to church on Christmas morning and well, I slept in once again. As a child I didn't require very much sleep but I can't say that now. I feel like I am finally getting caught up on sleep and rest since the first four weeks of recovery were so chaotic schedule wise. Roy was prepared to make Christmas morning breakfast but we opted to have that this morning and instead had Christmas morning donuts. Ah, the best donuts of the year.

On Saturday we went to the 4:00 pm Christmas Eve Service at Houston's First Baptist. It was packed and since we arrived a little early, we had great seats on the main floor. I wasn't too much in the mood to climb stairs. We also went up to the rehearsal hall and saw choir friends. We left church and drove over to River Oaks to go pay homage to Scary Angel. River Oaks doesn't disappoint with a myriad of lights in trees and on houses....or should I say mansions or as Maxine Messinger used to call them swakendas. We opted out of going to Fu's Garden and opted instead for take out close to home. We dropped off a book at Peggy's, mailbox delivery, and then picked up our food and went home.

Doug gave us a flash drive with home movies on it. Oh my, watching the girls in dance recitals and such so fun. I did get taken by surprise when my mom was on. She was always so much fun. I also watched the Christmas that was at my parent's home in Georgetown, TX. Instead of being involved I sat in a chair to the side and at first I was like, what? But then I remembered this was the Christmas my father didn't want us to come, refused to let us stay at the house and ignored us during the time we were there. It was also the Christmas we gave the girls an Easy Bake Oven, so that activity put him over the edge. Now that was fun. I knew it was best if I stayed subdued and aloof from activities because we would experience another one of those memorable Christmases and I was determined for the girls never to have to experience a Christmas like that. Months later my mom and I were talking and I mentioned that Christmas and my mom asked me never to bring up the Christmas happenings of that last year. She paid a high price emotionally now that I look at it in retrospect. The funny thing we learned later is that my father had asked his Dr for a pill to take the edge off of from our family visit and the Dr replied, maybe it would be better for me to give the family prescriptions to take the edge off of being with you.

This morning we made flight and hotel reservations for Easter. Southwest is back to the early morning/late night non-stops. This time I made reservations at the Holiday Inn by the airport instead of the Express. We will see how that works out. We also looked at flights in February just in case I am released and can go back home.

This morning I have also been online looking at western boots. I don't know why I have a hankering to have some....more. I just might have to order some.

Well, I better get moving. Roy went to workout and we are considering lunch out this afternoon.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Merry Christmas Eve Day!

Merry Christmas Eve Day! It is quiet around here this morning. Roy is at Bible study. Buddy left the soft and warm confines of my lap to take her first morning snooze in her little bed in the front room. KHCB is playing over the Amazon Echo in the kitchen. Good coffee and maybe a Christmas donut greet me this morning.

I like this quiet, the silence in which to think and ponder and to be grateful. Back in the day I loved the chaos of Christmas mainly because it masked a deep emptiness and kept it at bay, somewhat. Holidays were difficult and beginning in November the big count down till January 15th as the days were marked off for one more day closer to back to normal. We just needed to get through Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years and my father's birthday. For many years my father controlled the holidays with a mighty grip. Sadly, he had unrealistic expectations and he was good to sabotage Christmas Day. Nothing could develop naturally, everything was manufactured, pictures were dictates of how to pose, how to look...There were moments in the day that he couldn't control, like when you wanted your mom to open her gift first because it would make her so happy. But many times the gifts he had chosen shouted to you loud and clear, you were more trouble to buy for and thus he hadn't given much thought to the gift. He did this to my mom almost every Christmas. And you could be sure he would be disappointed in whatever was given to him. Sometimes he would turn his chair to the corner of the room and open his gifts by himself so as not to interact with everyone gathered. Yes, it is so good to have those days behind us. Roy and I have settled into Christmas by ourselves. We have usually already received and given our gifts to each other way before Christmas Day. Some years we spent Christmas at The Inn on the Biltmore Estate, last two years we spent Christmas at our home in NC and this year, like many other years, at home in Houston. We will make lunch this year and Roy has started a new tradition of making gingerbread men this year. I know I will get some reading in. Yes, these are good days.

Yesterday, was such a fun day. Nancy and Megan came by. We went out to lunch and then came back here for wassil and opening gifts. Lots of laughs and fun. After they left I napped off and on but last night Roy and I watched the first episode of The Crown. I like it a lot. Then we watched one of his favorite movies We're No Angels. Yes, I stayed up past 8:00 pm and went to bed around 10:30.

I think we will go to a Christmas Eve service at First Baptist today. Maybe we will catch some Christmas lights along the way. Maybe we will stop for Chinese food like we used to do every Christmas in the recent Houston past.

Merry Christmas Eve Day!

Friday, December 23, 2016

Sleep Comes So Early

Last night I made it till 8:30 and woke up at 6:30 am. Gee, I guess I needed some rest and sleep. Physically, I did not feel tired even though we cranked it up a bit in PT, but no, it was more like I could not keep my eyes open as the sleepies overwhelmed. Roy was a bit shocked because he is usually the first one to bed. Sleep is becoming more restful as the days go by because I am not in pain like before. The only thing that seems to hamper good sleep is when I have slept too long in one position and I need to stretch out those new knees.

I had my only late PT appointment in this series yesterday. I was kind of worried I might be too tired for it but it worked out well. I was able to get up without using my arms and hands off the mat. It still takes a little time if I stop and think about it. I haven't been able to replicate this daring feat off of soft chairs and couches. Lots of strengthening exercises and I did lots of stair work. An early appointment is left for this week and then two appointments next week, then a week off because the PT office is moving to the new professional building next door. I have one more week scheduled after they move. I anticipate that I might be released at that point. I will probably know more about that after a follow up appointment with my Dr. If you ever have a knee replacement or bilateral knee replacement, do the exercises and be diligent to do them at home. It helps...a lot. There were things I did well yesterday that I had not worked on but the effect of the other exercises influenced abilities. One thing they said yesterday is now I need to work on increasing my cardio. Glad we have a recumbent bike but I also need to go over to 24 Hour Fitness and see if they have a sitting elliptical  trainer.

Peggy dropped in for a bit yesterday and we exchanged Christmas. She made me this great calendar with scenes from her trips to NC and of our house. I love it and it will find a home on my project desk. Today Lisa P and CourtneyS are coming out here. I am so thankful for friends who have made the time go by quickly with visits and calls. Well, except for the two visits that Peggy made at the hospital...cause every time she was there I threw up. That was just coincidence and a funny one at that.
Well, it has been several days since blogging. On Wednesday night I couldn't even make it till 8:30 and went to bed around 8:00. Last night I stayed up till 9:30. Wow, a late night.

Wednesday CourtneyS and Lisa P came out to the prairie. Such a fun afternoon as we shared laughs and solved world problems over Mexican food at Alicia's. I think I like their cheese enchiladas better than Tony's. Fun takes energy so when they left I took a nap. A short one.

Yesterday I had 8:00 am PT. Kelly was running a little late but she made up for it in intensity. We did whole new sets of exercises and began working on me returning to the mountains. We did reverse treadmill, not at a very high speed because I was a little freaked out over it. She is diligently trying to rid me of bad habits I picked up over thirty five years of living with really bad knees. I also did lunges which I cannot tell you the last time I ever did any of those.

I stopped at Target on the way home. It was crowded but not too bad. I picked up a few things and then headed home. Roy's office got off at noon but he had a couple of meetings before he could leave. He stopped at Memorial City Bakery for some Christmas cookies and then came on home. Then he was off to workout. We spent a nice quiet evening at home. Even though we are home together every night, one of us needs to go to bed early because one has to get up early or one has no energy left. Last night we watched TV together and talked about all kinds of things. I even got a compliment on my hair and believe me those moments are to be cherished because those hair compliments are few in number.

We are excited to see Nancy and Megan this afternoon. Erin will be at home sleeping because she is working four nights in a row. I think of several nurses that worked over the Thanksgiving holidays that took care of me and other patients at the rehab hospital. I was so grateful for them and the care they gave.

I got such a nice surprise on Wednesday, a package from one of my favorite shops in the Hazelwood area, Haywood Soap Company. My Sunday School class in NC sent me lotion and soap. Now I have another reminder of the place I love so much and really call home. Having these things around I work hard to be able to get back on the time table that we feel is realistic for me. Stairs are becoming easier so that is huge progress. Yesterday I received a beautiful throw from a friend in my Sunday School class and such a meaningful note. So unexpected and I will treasure it always.

For the new year coming up I am working on my word for the year. Last year I picked ful so I could add a prefix before the ful, like playful, grateful, prayerful. I think I have a word in mind but praying and searching just in case there is a word better than what I picked for this upcoming year.

We have been listening to the five days of Christmas on KHCB and I have heard so many Pageant songs from years gone by...even the little boy who is probably in his 30's now that memorized the Christmas story from Luke. Good songs, good memories.....

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Too Much Fun!

Hmm...I don't know what kind of coffee Roy made this morning but it has blended perfectly with the Bailey's Irish Cream creamer and the coffee tastes like maybe it has been spiked. Of course it hasn't been but it sure tastes like it.

Yesterday certainly was a lot of fun. Lisa and I met at Taste of Texas for a very fun and fabulous lunch. I arrived a few minutes before 11:00 and the parking lot was already packed and the entry way hummed with excitement. We had a great table in the corner in one of the little side rooms. I forgot how much I love their salad bar. It has been a while since I've been there and it is one of my favorite places to go. Of course we came for steak and mushrooms because we wanted to remember one of our lunches this summer when Lisa was in NC. We went to Bogart's in Waynesville. Had steaks but I don't think I have ever walked out of a restaurant feeling so full and miserable. We paced ourselves yesterday and I am happy to have leftover steak for lunch today. We did the obligatory pictures at the table and in front of the fireplace. As we left the building and returned to the chilly temps of outdoors the man driving the golf cart around the lot picking up passengers talked to us for the longest time. He asked us right off the bat how long we had been friends. We don't remember when we became friends but it was in the early 90's we think. This is the second person to ask us this year. Let's face it, we have a great time together. In contrast the table beside us were four friends who hadn't seen each other in a long time. The one lady who organized it seemed rather excited with preps and gifts but everyone else seemed a little less enthusiastic about it. They did the "correct" thing by ordering salads and maintaining as they each shared little snippets about their lives. Good night nurse! Maybe they hadn't been that close after all or they might have all been of the serious ilk. I don't think they had nearly the fun Lisa and I had. After we finished our long lunch and we left the parking lot, I headed over to a store to pick up a gift. Then I headed home and once here went straight into nap mode.

Roy made his delicious spaghetti last night. I was still kind of full from lunch but had a small portion.

This is my fifth week out from surgery. The shower chair has been removed from the shower. Surgical pain is gone, I mainly ache from workouts so that is a good thing. My stamina is increasing but not as much as I would like. I'm still working at getting out of a chair without using my arms. I can get off a counter barstool, so my problem is with lower seats and chairs. My stair work has improved a lot. Each week gets better and better. So thankful for the Lord's hand on my recovery and healing.

Well there are things to take care of before leaving for PT so I better get started.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Hunt Retreat, Brrrr....and Little Things is below freezing out here on the prairie. In fact it was colder here yesterday than in NC where we live. The wind cuts right through you and the feel of cold moisture hitting against your skin made the journey to whatever warm place you were seeking a little faster. Operative word little for me cause I'm not able to really move fast yet, but that fun and wonderful day is coming.

I had thought about going to church and LBS yesterday before going out to Hunt Retreat with Dena for Dayspring's Christmas Party. My level headed side made the decision I should just keep it to party attendance and that was the better decision. Dena came here after church and she brought cookies from Memorial Bakery. Just that morning I gave a thought toward cookies from there and trying to think when I could make it in town to get some. For my NC friends, these are rodeo cookies I brought back last year. Dena offered to drive but height is my friend, so we went in SequishShawn. I haven't been out to Hunt Retreat since they tore down the old house and buildings and built a fabulous retreat center. Oh my, it is so well done. The furnishings and decor are perfect for the setting. Too bad it was so cold cause it would have been nice to sit out on one of the porches. We had Dozier's BBQ for lunch and then we sat around in the big gathering room and sang Christmas carols. Joan Brunson who was the church pianist for over fifty years played the piano for us. Her memory isn't as good as it used to be but not in those magical fingers stroking the ivories. Her son led our singing and he said we would have to watch it or she would default to her favorites, Amazing Grace and Old Time Religion. Carolyn, Director of the Class and Darlene, Assistant Director, planned a lovely afternoon for us. I loved getting to see all the cows huddled together around the hay on our drive there. Made me miss my cows across the street and hope that when we return there will still be cows. Lots of land in the area is being sold to developers building homes. Hunt Retreat used to be way out in the country but now it is eight minutes from our Katy home. I could not believe all the new buildings and shops in Fulshear. I think it has been over a year since I have been out that way.

It might be cold but the sun is brilliant this morning and reflecting off of windows and making our living room filled with beams of light. I keep adjusting how I sit so the beams aren't hitting me directly into my field of vision. In my narrow field of vision between the two houses behind us, the clouds have been putting on a spectacular show in the mild blue sky. I am so thankful for these moments of time. Right now I feel like I have a good mix of staying at home and getting out. Each day feels like progress is being made. I don't feel surgical pain, my stamina makes little gains each day and the ache I feel in muscles while not particularly fun, those aches are welcomed because it is a sign of progress. Strengthening the knees that are feeble and the hands that are weak.

Before I close out this post I am reminded of something. I am a nerd for quotes especially doing the small or little things in life. When I saw Carole Lewis yesterday I was once again able to thank her for her visit and lunch at the hospital. Roy and I saw her visit as a turning point for me. I was discouraged, not enough hemoglobin to do PT, waiting for blood transfusions, and praying I would be accepted in the rehab hospital. I couldn't stomach the food at the hospital and felt weaker each day. Then Carole came on the scene with lunch, encouragement and Round Top goody. Carole and I are not everyday friends, we love one another and enjoy each other's company. We keep up with each other's adventures on FB. It meant so much to me for her to come and visit. Her words gave me hope. Her lunch gave me much needed protein. She told me yesterday she felt compelled to visit and I am glad she followed that leading. Such a little thing to come visit but it was a big thing in my recovery. I did not look back after her visit. My prayer is to be like Carole and follow those leadings, to be present and what might seem like such a little thing, be diligent because God can and will use it.

Well, I'm off to get ready for the day. As always thanks for reading.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Scary Angel Update, Cold and Home

Back in 2007 I wrote about Scary Angel here. Every Christmas we would make the annual drive by to see her. Since I spend most of my time in North Carolina now I would ask at Christmas, is Scary Angel still around and I was always happy to hear the good news she was.

This morning I was going through email and saw I had a comment on that December 17, 2007 post. And much to my delight and surprise the comment is from a person who lives in the house with Scary Angel. She said they consider her to be scary as well but beloved. I think she is right! She also mentioned that angel has had an upgrade since these pictures and I seem to remember noticing that the last time we did an angel driveby. I am hoping that we will get a chance to drive over to River Oaks and pay homage to this icon of Christmas outdoor decorating.

It is colder in Katy than at home in North Carolina. The wind is whipping about and the trees are moving in synchronized time. The wind chimes are giving great background music this morning. Roy has gone to church and the church has lost power...not Holy Spirit power but electrical power. Hopefully there will be enough people to generate some heat. I will be bundling up today. When I was at PT on Friday, Kelly and I talked about the fact that I am so cold most of the time now. I usually run hot and when everyone else is freezing I am basking in the delightful cool. Not so much here of late. Someone told me that when they had a blood transfusion that they found themselves allergic to seafood and they hadn't been before. I wonder if the two units of blood in me came from someone who is prone to being cold. Who knows. Kelly said it could be possible but she said more likely it is from the vast amount of anesthesia used in surgery and my body is still fighting to rid itself of that and to acclimate to having more titanium in the ol' body.

Yesterday after Roy had run all his errands we went to Red River BBQ. I have been thinking about their fried shrimp for several weeks. It is fried in corn meal which makes it taste like fried shrimp I remember from childhood. They have great sides at Red River, so it was difficult to make a choice but I went with onion rings and coleslaw. Roy went with BBQ but he got several shrimp and a hushpuppy to fill out his lunch.

I am hooked on the book I'm reading, "Love, Alice." I can only read small bits at a sitting because I tend to get sleepy. I have several good books on the TBR pile and look forward to working my way through that stack.

My brother asked me the other day if I was chomping at the bit to get back to NC. I think he was surprised with my response, of no, not yet. The three months I had for prep before surgery not only included physical activity to try to be ready but also mental and emotional prep. Realistically, February would be the first chance for me to get back for several reasons. I know I cannot give energy pining away when that energy can be put to good use. So yes, I am looking forward to getting back home but at least for now content to be here recouping. Now the first of February, I think there might be some anxiousness to return sooner than later. I changed my profile pic on FB to the scenic view from our front porch. That view never gets old to me.

Before falling asleep last night I watched The Song of Bernadette on TCM. Never had watched it and found it so interesting.

Buddy has found a warm place and I have too now that the fireplace is going. I'm thinking of my friends who are presenting the choir Christmas music at Newfound this morning and I am thinking of my friends at church. I am so fortunate to be blessed with good friends both here and there.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Easing Into Saturday

I was raised to make my bed. You got out and immediately began adjusting the covers and pulling them up to the pillow, then the bedspread and put pillows or stuffed animals on made bed for decorative purposes. It was so ingrained by my mom and even when she was in the throes of Alzheimer's she always made her bed. I started not making my bed in NC. I wasn't upstairs that much, so I didn't see it. Then I came across an article stating that making the bed each day might be overrated and after some testing it was found that beds left unmade with the covers pulled back was better for your health. Letting air get to the sheets and covers was good. There are those in the opposite camp who believe a made bed sets the stage for the day and I totally understand that, but living outside the box with this whole make the bed thing has been good for me. You can still hear from time to time those who believe that making the bed goes hand in hand with your quiet time. Again, outside the box here...I just don't see it working for my life. I know there are those who are super disciplined and love having that structure but me, not so much. I have a hard time committing to devotional books that have the month and day set up for you. How do you know that December 15th entry is meant for your day, what if April 29th fits your circumstances? Then when we have perfected, well to the best of our abilities, our schedule and the way we do life, we want to share it, you help others. But what if it's just boils down to positive re enforcement that we are doing okay and pleasing God with our efforts. Sometimes having set times is good and fun but it can squelch the serendipity aspect of life. This might be too erratic for some.

Since writing this the other day I finally convinced Roy to put the bedspread back on our bed. He had taken it to the cleaners several months ago and liked not having to mess with a spread. Thursday night the quilt returned to its proper place and now with all the added color that makes the room bright, I will probably start making the bed more often.

On Tuesday morning I went to Target and that little hour shopping trip took me two days to recover. I tried to be efficient and not going all over the store but it did take a toll. Yesterday morning I had PT and once again we worked hard on strengthening my muscles so that I can do things normally. The hardest thing for me right now is getting out of a chair without using my arms. It is hard, hard work. I did do that a couple of times yesterday but nothing all in a row. When I finished up there I headed straight home because my brother and I were having lunch. We had a great visit and a great lunch at Carabba's. We were trying to find a place that might not be filled with moms and kiddos since there had been an early dismissal yesterday for the Christmas break. When Doug left I took a 30 minute rest and then I was out again to La Centerra for my haircut. I came straight home and crashed. It had been a fun but tiring day. Bill and Peggy dropped by last night. She is picking up a giftcard for me in The Galleria as she is brave enough to make that trip today. Good luck Peggy! One of my favorite movies was on TCM last night, The Best Years of Our Lives but I finally gave up trying to watch it and went to bed.

Now I am easing into this Saturday morning. I'm enjoying Christmas coffee from Smoky Mountain Roasters. Buddy has settled in for her first morning nap.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

A Boring Update

Up early once again but this morning I have The Bob Newhart Show playing in the background. I have always enjoyed this show. These past few weeks I have watched more TV than I have in years. Once all the recuperation takes place, TV watching will return back to the normal routine.

Roy thought he would be later getting home last night due to a meeting but thankfully he didn't have to attend and he got home at a normal time. We ate the rest of the leftovers from our tacos on Monday and then we took care of some Christmas gifts and the ever, very fun paying bills. The tamales that Roy bought from a neighborhood child to support for her dance club was delivered last night. They look really good.

I think my field trip to Target yesterday took more out of me than I realized. Then when you add the exercises I needed to do for PT, it felt like a very nap taking kind of afternoon. I ended up going to bed kind of early and not sleeping well, so today I stuck around home. Even when Chris came this afternoon to clean, I stayed here. Buddy and I hung out in the front room napping and reading. Well, Buddy didn't read. My friend Mary Madeline sent me a book by Francine Rivers, Earth Psalms. I love it! I have written before that it seems the hymns that I have always loved the most are nature hymns. It just so happens that Mary Madeline and her husband are at the Biltmore right now and did the candlelight tour this evening. She might come back in the spring to see the tulips and stay with me. She and I are long time friends from the way, way back.

There are a couple of topics kind of rolling about in my mind and spirit and I have no clue if I will ever venture to write any of these thoughts on the blog but it is nice to have things to ponder and wonder about.

Well that's it, I'm kind of boring right now....

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

A Foggy Tuesday Morning

It is a foggy morning and of course foggy mornings make me think of NC and the beautiful layers of silver and gray fog across the pastures and gently lying on the mountains. I have to squint to make a similar scene here using roof outlines as mountains and the green space and water feature as a pasture type view.

Yesterday was my first appointment for outpatient therapy. I had to be there about 20 minutes before the appointment time to fill out mountains of paperwork and the traffic was horrible. The office is probably 22 minutes away from the house in normal conditions but with morning traffic and a light misty rain, it added to the time. I decided not to go the regular way because I wasn't in the mood to jockey for position to get on the flyover onto I 10. I really like the PT person I will be working with and again reminded of the story of Jonah where God arranged....I believe God arranged for Kelly to be the PT to help me. When I mentioned that I spent a lot of time in the mountains of NC and needed to do hills, hollers and valleys, she told me she would map out a plan that included "mountain" work along with the strengthening. Really, such a small thing, getting out of a chair without pushing and pulling and adjusting and it is one of the hardest things I have ever attempted. My brain comprehends what I am wanting to do but my hips and legs are saying, WHAT!!! We haven't done this in 35 years. I did stand up a few times but not in good form. I would have definitely spilled food off my imaginary paper plate I had in my hand. To give a sense of having something in my hands, Kelly tossed a volleyball to me and instinctively I volleyed the ball back to her. Gee, how many years has it been since playing volleyball? The next time, I caught it like she wanted me to do in the first place. So there I was, sitting on the mat, with a volleyball in my hands and a mirror in front of me. The only thing I liked in that scenario was the volleyball. The good news is the degree my knees bend which is off the charts at 136. If I was on medicare, I would have probably been released from PT yesterday because 125 is the guideline for livability. Getting my knees completely flat when stretched out is my harder thing, especially my right knee. I'm working on it.

After PT I decided to stop at Home Goods. I should have probably gone on home. But I wanted a little field trip. I did find a container for Buddy's food and several other things I could not live without. Made it home and fixed lunch and then I was down for the count the rest of the afternoon being worn out from PT and from Home Goods.

Today is one month out from surgery and I am so thankful to be a month out and able to work out. I'm enjoying my recoup time in Katy, keeping myself entertained. I'm not getting as much reading done as I had planned. I start reading and the next thing I know I am asleep. Stamina will come. But I do miss NC. This past weekend was live nativity and the cake auction for the student ministry. The choir concert is coming up. I was watching TV on Sunday and caught a program Appalachian Wild. The scenery of the place I love so much got to me. They were at the Cataloochee filming and tagging the little baby elks. They were also keeping an eye on all the bears. But I know it is best to wait and be near 100% with knees and of course the weather...

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Field Trip Day Two

A Sunday afternoon nap was just the ticket. And it came after my second field trip of the weekend. The past few days were downright bone chilling but today it is warm and muggy and humid. Oh just like all the Houston Christmas seasons can be. The sky, overcast, so it looks cold outside.

Yesterday our field trip was to Carabba's and then over to Whole Foods. Lessons learned from field trip one, use the walker in crowds and with lots of walking, not the cane, figure out how to get the lidocaine patches to stick and pace yourself...stamina is not back all the way. So today on our field trip to Barnes and Noble and then over across the way to Escalante's for brunch, we took my walker to use in the bookstore. I wasn't nearly as worn out. I hit pay dirt on the magazines I was looking for. I had a 25% off coupon and a $10.00 gift card to help defray the costs. Brunch at Escalante's was delicious as usual. We then headed home and changed out the air filters. Roy went to workout and I took a nap. It is all good.

For the past few days we have been searching for my glasses that I got this summer. I changed out to my old pair for after surgery and during rehab because they are sturdier. I remember taking off my glasses and putting them in their case and placing the case in a basket close to the red chair in our front room. On Friday I began the search for the glasses and they were nowhere to be found. I was beginning to get a little freaked out and Roy and his trusty flashlight began helping me search every nook and cranny. Yesterday, we began a new and Roy asked me if I had prayed about finding my glasses? Well, uh, kind of thought about it, but no. So I prayed and as the day turned into evening I told Roy I could not freak out about the glasses and I would just have to trust the Lord we would find them. Today we checked the truck and once again around the red chair but nothing. This afternoon while folding clothes I looked across the room and on top of a small table was an old glasses case probably from circa 2005. I opened it and low and behold, there were my glasses. Now how they got in that case instead of their rightful case that we found in a drawer. Probably in haste one of us changed out the glasses for the sturdier case but neither one of us can rightly recall if it was us. So there you have a boring story of the case, haha, of the missing glasses.

Tomorrow I began outpatient rehab. It is an exciting day.

Oh happy day the frother we ordered came today. I'm getting ready to froth up some milk for coffee or for hot chocolate. All of Roy's love for gadgets is rubbing off on me. He is dubious of this latest thing but I have reminded him I felt the same way when he ordered what seemed like a million thermometers for the house and for the garage.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Playing Catch Up

Good Saturday morning from the prairie. Overcast but not dreary. I'm writing from the couch this morning. I started a post on Thursday and I will probably cut and paste some of those thoughts into upcoming blog posts. The world and my view is a bit myopic since it has mainly revolved around being inside of these four walls.

Thursday afternoon Peggy came over with our supper. She made vegetable soup and these lemon cookies that are out of this world good. So thankful for the timing on this. Roy had such a late night Thursday. We have done a good job of planning prepared meals here and mixing in a few pick up dinners. Unlike the hip thing in January, this didn't catch us by surprise, so we were able to plan but sometimes plans fall through. Glad Peggy had our backs for dinner that night. The soup was delicious!

Joy and fun came bursting through the front door yesterday in the form of one Lisa P. She came bearing Lupe's for lunch, We spent the afternoon laughing and talking. When Roy got home from the eye doctor, he joined us too. What a blast! The day was such fun. It wasn't too soon after Lisa left that I began fading quickly and found myself in bed ready for sleep at 7:30. I slept well until about 10:00 and I woke up with knees aching and screaming at me a bit. I got up to go to the bathroom and Roy would meet me at the bed to give me my meds...only thing, he couldn't figure out what I needed. I have to confess, I lost my temper and got upset that he couldn't find the simplest thing along with the description of what made the med bottle look different from the rest. I made it over to the meds and quickly, without much effort found the bottle. And then I became the inquisitor asking Roy why he couldn't see the difference in the bottles. Of course Roy isn't going to answer me, he clams up and I would too if I were being questioned. I apologized quickly to him. The pain, tiredness and lack of sleep the past few nights bundled together and I fell into the trap. On the bright side, we did not hold any grudges and realized we needed a better system so that Roy can actually help me in some state of crisis. I took my meds and went back to bed. The good news is I stayed there all night! I didn't feel the need to get up and go to the recliner. It did me a world of good, so I am hoping for a same result tonight, sans the I need my med blowup by me.

Think we are going to try a field trip today. I might do a little driving to work myself back into shape driving wise. I have to because I begin out patient rehab on Monday. I've been doing my exercises and I don't believe I will have a problem getting in and out of the truck. Stamina is what I am working on too. I am worn out by 6:00 pm because of the exercise and of course daily life.

One of the great benefits of spending an afternoon with Lisa P is the depth and consideration of conversation. We were talking about an opportunity that has fallen into her lap and she is hesitant to the time and idea. It is not a question of whether she is talented enough to do what she has been asked but the direction and time. Which brought up an invite she has received to participate in a WM thing at a church in Cypress wanting to help women find their talent and gifts and to be comfortable with them. Not only comfortable but to be used by God. The other two women in the series are talented by one being a potter and the other a painter. Of course I always have an opinion and sometimes the opinion overflows before I can stop it but a potter, painter and singer...come on church, think outside th box. Yes of course, love the idea but in reality out of the women attending the study the percentages are not there for having a potter, painter and singer not knowing their giftings in the audience. It seems to me women need help in seeing their talents and giftings in everyday, mundane life and being willing to use them in everyday, mundane life. I never realized until moving to NC the emphasis of a "stage" ministry being so prominent here and rather nonexistent there. It seems there ministry is ministry and not a point to begin building a platform and building your tribe. No...people are doing the work of God, in and out of the church to serve Him, not build a ministry. Because as Roy says once you step on the stage, you can like the separation it brings while at the same time it brings a type of togetherness. But stage stepping makes ministry not so messy by having to get your hands dirty and maybe actually become involved with people and their messy lives. Most can't do it but I think Beth Moore is the best at it, using social media and yet staying so close and involved with women she ministers to. Oops, I have gone down a bunny trail, Back to talent and gifts...if more emphasis found its way on everyday blessings, I think there would be a lot more content and happier Christians doing all that behind the scene stuff that makes life grand or bearable. If I was here when the Bible study began, I would only go to hear Lisa cause she is my friend. The others, not so much. I appreciate their talent and gifts and might find myself a bit envious. But it has been will remain done...and in a couple of will be done again. Funny even, I remember when I was on a church staff I had to find a potter for a thing just like this.

 By the look of FB, Celebration's opening night at Houston's First Baptist Church looked to be a hit last night. Loved seeing the pics of friends in and friends attending the experience.

The past few weeks I have watched more TV than I have in years. Thursday morning I discovered on the Sundance Channel that the old Mary Tyler Moore show is on Thursday mornings for several hours. I am more excited that Bob Newhart Show is on Wednesday mornings. It has been years since I have watched The Mary Tyler Moore Show and I am realizing even more so how cutting edge it was for the time. A couple of funny quips were pretty much "on" even now in the 21st century. When I really started watching these shows in the long ago, they were on Saturday nights. If I didn't have a date and sometimes when my roommate didn't have a date, we would make a cheese, cracker and fruit plate and watch Saturday night TV. My roommate was more of a Mary type while I reprised the role of Rhoda. It is kind of fun watching these episodes this morning. I think back in the day I wished I was more like Mary but you know in hindsight, I'm glad I'm not. Mary cares too much about what others think, she is overly protective of her thoughts and feelings, Rhoda was a better friend to her than she was to Rhoda, and her job took on too much importance in how she saw herself. Also in these episodes there are quite a few character actors that later on were in sitcoms where they had more of a recurring role. I am looking forward to the Bob Newhart Show next week.

I have an ease into the morning pace today but I should get moving. I need to be ready for my field trip.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Three Week Report

Something special that has come out of having knee replacements is Roy praying for me each night before he left the hospital and now praying for me before he goes to bed. He takes a moment to settle his spirit, puts his hand on my head and begins to pray such faith filled prayers for healing and for strength. He reminds the Lord what He said in His Word and then Roy thanks Him for such a great provision. As soon as Roy has pronounced amen, he kisses me goodnight. Sometimes he moves on and goes about the things he needs to take care of or he will sit here with me and visit a bit. Something occurred to me yesterday in one of the many naps upon the bed, I don't remember being wheeled into an operating room, I kind of remember Roy walking alongside the bed for a bit. I don't remember the recovery room AT ALL and I don't remember being brought into the hospital room. I do remember they did not start me out on broth and JELL-O but solid food. You see in just about every other surgery or procedure, these are the things I remember but not conversations. In recovery the nurses call your name and start trying to wake you up. They bring those warm blankets. I kind have a sense of being moved into a room but nothing at all this time. Maybe it's because this surgery took longer than any other I have ever had. Roy seems to remember I was in recovery around 4:00 or 5:00. I don't remember them giving me any drowsy drugs but maybe they did and didn't tell me on the way to surgery.

On Wednesday they tried to get me up to begin PT and I fainted. Low hemoglobin and a nurse who would not, even with orders hook me to the pain medication machine, until someone higher up had to get involved. I knew by the Wednesday happenings, I needed Roy or someone with me to advocate care. Roy had to go to the office on Wednesday and it was good Lisa P came by. Roy decided he needed to be there on Thursday because things were being left in the lapse, no bed changes, no clean up or sponge bath for me. He was there listening to the conversations about having two units of blood to help build me up. Those were some very difficult and hard days as time slowly crept by and I felt I was getting further behind day by day. I was afraid that I would no longer qualify for Memorial Herman Rehab Hospital but at some point I came to realize it didn't matter how much I worried it wasn't going to change a thing. They had accepted me, the liaison had come by and saw the amount of work ahead for me. She was confident that MHR could knock it out of the park and get me going. She was so right!  But there was something I was more sure of, everything was in God's hands. He knew the desire of my heart and the request we had brought to Him. From then on Thursday until I left on Saturday, the care was better, I was getting better. I had different PT people working with me and it is so important to gel with those you are working with you.
So, yesterday was three weeks out from surgery. I'm making progress and have welcomed this week at home, not trying to get to out patient therapy. But I have been doing the exercises they gave me and doing everything possible to be ready to begin again with supervision. Last night, in the middle of the night, I transitioned over to the couch. It was 50% successful. When I moved to the couch that is when Buddy decided it would be just hunky dory to sleep under my neck. When she was a kitten, she would do this quite often but as she grew bigger and since I rarely sleep on my back she rarely finds the opportunity. She has loved me sleeping in the recliner and when she found me on my back on the couch, she took advantage. We were drifting off to sleep once again when in true, middle of the night fashion that scares the pee waddling out of me, Buddy moved slightly and when she did, her tail came to rest across my nose. I scream, Buddy jumps off me and as I struggle to get up off the couch picture turtle on its back and can't get up, I see Roy running through the living room in a blaze straight to the front door. He is asking are you okay? Are you okay and banging on the front door with his fists. Uh...yes...but I'm back here not at the front door. Yes, over the years in any true emergency fashion of the middle of the night, a noise, words from his sleep Roy runs to the front door. He did this at our condo too. I dread the day this happens in NC for there will be stairs involved.

Erin came over yesterday afternoon. We dined on Whole Food's finest chicken and tuna salad on cranberry walnut bread, ate both chips and cheetos, sliced oranges and strawberries with orange juice and chocolate chip cookies. Delicious!

Roy was a little late getting home from the office yesterday. Makes the evenings too short.

Well little Miss Buddy is back and sitting on my lap and on part of the laptop. I love these quiet moments with Christmas music playing in the background.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016


This morning, right here in the living room, I was treated to a wondrous display of lightning flashing and charging through the skies. The lightning didn't seem to be that close and while I watched in reverence, the notice came through on FB that there was a message from Ria, way over across the ocean in Amsterdam asking me why I was up so early on a Monday morning. New normal is all I can think it is but we had a good time messaging for a little bit. When you add that last night I began transitioning from my walker to my cane...there was much joy. I told Roy since I had watched so much Will and Grace lately, I was naming my walker Karen, after Karen Walker on the show. Roy left for the office and I decided to try and take a morning nap on our bed. Success! I was able to get up on the bed without trouble, find a comfortable position and fell fast asleep. I awoke kind of started because I couldn't place where I was...and then I remembered. I do believe I am on a Buddy type schedule; complete with early, mid and late morning naps and then repeated for the afternoon. I'm awake in the night and doze off occasionally.

We have had a bit of a mystery going on and we think we have come to the end of it without knowing too much more. Last week American Express called Roy asking if he had placed an order with Victoria Secret online? No, he hadn't, I hadn' someone had gotten ahold of his info. He got a new card from them and it wasn't until yesterday while going through some things he had put on our church pew in the entrance way that I found the VS package. It was activewear pants and the Pink genre. When he got home I showed him the invoice and clothes. He called VS and an account had been set up which they quickly marked as fraudulent and asked him if he could return the merchandise. He then called Am Ex to talk with their fraud division and they told him that several other attempts had been made to order things but have them delivered to a different address.

So I am noticing I am picking up a few more physical characteristics of my Grandma D. When most are dealing with thinning eyebrows while aging, mine are thickening up and turning black, just like Grandma. I do not want this at all. I mean if I ever have to go to live in assisted living, I will be one big uni-brow with a mustache. Not an attractive look.

Last night I had fun phone conversations with Lisa and then a little later with Dena. I'm laughing and talking loud, which brings Roy to the rush of checking in on me yet when he is in the room with me and I am struggling with a task or I have hit the wall physically, there is something on TV that has his attention and I barely register a glance. He and I laughed about this later, you know after I took my shower and meds, when I felt much better.

This morning I had Christmas music from Dish playing in the background. I went with Traditional and heard a lot of Frank, Dean, Johnny Mathis, big band, Rosemary Clooney and Peggy Lee renditions of very familiar and some not so familiar Christmas music.
Yes, the familiar asterisks means another day has dawned. Monday was a good day but as the afternoon turns into the evening, my energy level depletes faster than I want it to. I used the cane most of the day. I iced my knees and ankles, did the stretches, and a bunch of other exercises for me to do. I also read and got some notes written. Today, Erin is coming over around lunch time and I am looking forward to seeing her. The sun is out and it is a beautiful day. I got a bunch of cards in the mail from NC and those notes always make me so happy and are so encouraging. Cards are my love language.

Once again the new normal took over the morning. I woke up when Roy did, around 4:00 am. Had a cup of coffee or two and then washed white clothes, which reminds me those clothes now need to be put into the dryer. I watched a little news and then turned over to a Christmas music station. Around 6:00 am I took my first nap of the day with Buddy on the bed. I don't think I am at the place yet where I can make it a whole night in bed because I get uncomfortable quicker there than I do in the recliner.

Roy made his delicious tacos last night for dinner and I think we are having them tonight as well. That's about it for now. I better start my morning grooming because I am sure a short nap will be involved somewhere in there. So glad Erin is a late lunch-er.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Beginning The New Normal

A rainy Sunday morning in Rancho de Five. The tree in our backyard just a couple of weeks ago looked like it was just barely hanging in there but with the rain over the past week or so, has come back once again. When we first moved in, this tree had a tremendous amount of stress and each evening we would water and care for it as our area managed to get through the last part of the drought that had controlled the weather for quite sometime. I noticed yesterday that some of the trees on the green space next to us have quite a few bird nests.

Last night was a much better night than Friday. I slept in the recliner and slept hard till about 3;30 am. Then I dozed off and on with the addition of Buddy to my lap. Roy decided he would play sabbatical from church this morning. I am so glad he did because he has worked hard at the office and he has worked hard taking care of me. He needed the rest.

The neighbors behind us have broken the trend out here in beigeland of white Christmas lights lining the outline of the roofs and they have gone with multi colored lights. The view from the recliner through the windows I can see a small portion of the lights. Very festive and relaxing in those 3:00 am moments.

It seemed ironic that the last night at rehab the PNA was the same one I had the first two nights. She is a little rough in her care and I constantly had to make sure my feet and legs weren't being run into the wall as she maneuvered the wheel chair. Maybe in her own way, her impatience and roughness inspired me to get to the place where I could do a lot on my own because it was tough. That's the thing when it come to caretaking, I think we observe those who are rehabbing and make a decision that they might be moving kind of slow but it is an unsure thing. That is the thing that bothered me the most, many just thought if they pushed or moved your legs, you would go faster...uh no cause it hurts. That last night there the PNA was stationed in the hallway near my door. She coughed all night long and it was a note to self kind of thing, make sure there isn't a reason to have her come in, even though on an average visit by staff, 3-4 sets of latex gloves would be used.

The Christmas pics of families and children are especially good this year. What cuties! The out take pics are delightful as well. My long time friend Mary Madeline is a lover of tea and family. She prepared a tea for the girls in the family, along with the other Mimi's. Oh my goodness, the tables were beautifully laid, the treats and dainties looked delicious and everyone in attendance had a Christmas glow that could not be contained. How fun that Mary Madeline has such wonderful memory making fete for young and old, boys and girls.

Our taco soup turned out very good last night and Roy makes some great cornbread. Think we are opting for ordering Chinese for lunch today. Orange chicken will be my choice. Roy is going over to Whole Foods to get some peeled and sliced oranges for me this week and a few other Whole Food treats.

Living the new normal this week and we will see how it all works out. I do know that new normal will be adjusting everyday.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

A Much Needed and Looked Forward To Saturday At Home

It is good to be home. It is good to begin this portion of the journey. The last twenty four hours were hard and didn't go according to plan, but it all worked.

Just like each morning in rehab, the day begins a little after 5:oo am when they take vitals and apply pain patches. Then you are left with an hour or so to go back to sleep or begin your morning grooming. Around 7:00 am they take more vitals and then you either go to breakfast or eat in your room. The dining room was so chaotic and noisy, so most mornings I ate in my room. Yesterday, there was more of a spring in my step and I actually got ready like usual, not like rehab ready which consisted of brushing my hair, teeth, applying deodorant, and apply lotion. The Dr had so kindly filled out the paperwork the night before, the pharmacist went over prescriptions and meds and then the nurse went through your release papers, think sign here, here and here...initial here.  I was then ready to go to the gym and do my final required thing, ring the bell signaling I had passed and graduated to the next level in this recovery. Funny thing, all haired and makeup upped, they didn't recognize me at first.

We then headed over to Dr Smith's office where the waiting room was packed. I believe they saw 22 patients who had had surgery during the past few weeks. We were there a long time, but when I saw the x-rays of new knees, it was so worth it. Also getting the staples out. Dr Smith was blown away by the progress I had made. Next week out patient therapy will contact me and we will get all that scheduled. I might wait a week before starting to get off pain meds as well as help Roy out timewise. That week also might give me the time needed to be able to drive so I can get over there. I am motivated and find myself doing my exercises subconsciously while sitting around.

After Dr Smith's office, we celebrated at Tony's, fajitas for Roy and cheese enchiladas for me. By this time we were starving and I was exhausted. We ate quickly and then headed home. At first Buddy did not know what to think of the walker, which after watching a few Will and Grace episodes yesterday I decided to name my walker, Karen Walker. She finally came around after investigating it and deeming it safe. She was in my lap. Roy's fun was just about to begin as he went on an adventure to find a pharmacy that stocked my pain meds. CVS said they could get them on Thursday. Uh no, wasn't going to work. He called around and found a Walgreen's that could help us. So, he was off to get the prescription filled, went to prayer time at his church, returned and picked up the pills and brought some dinner home.

After we ate, I went through the tons of mail that had piled up getting rid of catalogues and the like. Roy put together the shower chair and brought stuff in from the car. I hit the wall around 10:00 and would love to say I went right to sleep. I did sleep some but could not get comfortable. I am so thankful that I found that website for people who share their stories of bilateral knee replacements. Reading about and then getting a recliner was a great decision. Funny though, I am taller after replacements and my ankles hit the edge of the recliner now. Pillow to the rescue, made it comfortable.

Around 3:00 am I got up and moved in here. Put Hulu on I Love Lucy. Took pain meds, read a little bit and then fell asleep. Meanwhile tired Roy was up and down with me throughout the night. Good news is, I can get into bed by myself and I can get out. It is the moving off the edge of the bed that is difficult for me. It will all come.

While going through the mail, Roy brought me a box that had been delivered. It was from Brenda and inside the cutest story she had written about the penguin she had sent me. Buddy of course investigated the newest addition to our household. Roy had brought home the turkey she had sent me from the rehab hospital and Buddy had found where he put it. She commandeered it as her own and dragged it around the house for a couple of days. Thankful, she did not rip the face off.

Roy has returned from the Kroger loaded down with groceries. He brought me a little rubber ducky as a surprise.  Buddy is up from her nap. I am so thankful for friends who continue to pray for us and I used the restless night to pray for friends facing surgery in the coming days, facing decisions and plans for their health future. I prayed for those near and far, friends participating in Celebration both on stage and behind the scenes.