Road to recovery

Ronda’s husband called me at about 8:45 Pacific time tonight to tell me that Ronda was in the recovery room.  From what I understand they had to totally replace the artificial knee she had with a new one.  I am so glad she is through the surgery, but now the trauma of pain and recovery begins.  Before I had my back surgery, I filled out paperwork to participate in a study on post traumatic stress disorder.  I’ve had many surgeries in my life and have never felt particularly distressed by any of them.  Yes, they were painful, yes, the recovery wasn’t always great, but I never felt as though I had PTSD.  Well, I think I have it now — not particularly from the first back surgery, but from the one I had four days later.  I don’t think I will soon forget that pain.  Today, as I thought about Ronda going into surgery, I was just so sick to my stomach.  Apparently, the knee surgery was so bad for her the last time, she felt the same way.   I am praying the new technologies, even in just the last three years make this a more comfortable recovery than the one she had last time. 

At any rate, we are now both on the road back to health.  Mine has been agonizingly slow.  I hope Ronda’s progress is faster than mine.  We’ve had to cancel our fun retreat to the coast in February and I’m hoping we’re going to be able to travel to MQX and have a good time.  We’re both teaching, so we’d best make it!  We’ll probably both set off the metal detectors in the airport. 

So goodnight all.  Thank you for your prayers for Ronda, and keep ’em coming!

Anxiety and aggravation

Ah well.  Here it is 2:15 a.m.  I cannot sleep.  I’m not really sure why.  Perhaps it is that my dear friend is having knee surgery tomorrow and I am in fear of the pain I know she will feel.  Lord knows, I’ve been through enough of it lately.  It IS getting better, don’t get me wrong, but the memory is still too fresh and the going is long and slow.  I do not wish it upon anyone, especially someone I care for so much.

In spite of all the pain she has suffered pre-surgery, Ronda has been very busy.  She even took the time out to help me dress my kitchen window up a bit.  We had a fun day in Portland when I was last up for my check-up, and we picked fabric from her stash and then visited a home dec store for the beads at the bottom of the curtain.  The shelf for my orchids is my own doing — from the local home improvement store.  I knew I had to move the orchids from touching the window after my favorite paph sprouted its flower stem and then the bud froze against the window and dropped off.  I was heartbroken.  It had the most spectacular lady slipper bloom on it, and I missed it this year due to the cold.  Here is my very dull and messy window and sill before:  dscn0435

And here is what it looks like now:  dscn0447  

sort of that French Provincial look.  Well, at least as much as can be achieved in an old house in Eugene, OR.  Between the flowerpots sits a small plaque emblazoned with one of my favorite sayings:  “Old age ain’t for sissies” – Bette Davis  Somehow, Ronda always seems to find the right thing to brighten my day.

Of course, I couldn’t resist adding to my collection of orchids.  I love most kinds, but am best at growing paphs – paphiopedilums (lady slippers).  Yesterday I picked up a new one — unsure of the variety, but it is called Pacific Blue Bird.  I love the flowers on this one, and it actually has TWO flower spikes, so I’m in for a show, if I don’t kill it first. dscn0449

The other is a phaleonopsis cross bred with something else.  Not quite sure what.  It’s name, however, is quite entertaining.  It is called, and I kid you not, Sunrise Red Pecker #2.  I have no idea what Red Pecker number 1 looked like, but here we go: dscn0448

My other big news is that I managed to do this entire blog entry from the Mac side of my computer.  While the MacBook is quite impressive, I am not at all thrilled with the way it handles photos, nor am impressed with it’s file hierarchy.  Maybe there’s just a lot more I need to learn about Macs, but I have an awfully hard time finding something once I’ve saved it.  Even when I’m sure where it is, I oftentimes cannot get it to appear so that I can actually use it.  That’s one of the reasons I’ve written so infrequently lately and the whole reason why I haven’t been posting photos.  I’m hoping this will be but a temporary frustration.

So, even though I am still not sleepy, I guess I’ll give going to bed another shot.  I’d like tomorrow to be a productive day.  If you all can find a minute, please say a prayer or send some healing vibes into the air for Ronda.  She’ll have a repair, revision, or replacement of her artificial knee tomorrow (well, actually TODAY, Monday).  Pray for small pain.  Big pain is bad.

Small blessings

Well, small change to this blog post.  Today we are thankful that we don’t quite have the camera hookup ready to go.  Junior (for whom I made the new kitty hammock) is either ill or having trouble passing a furball, and my house is a total disaster today.  I awoke to the special sound that precedes kitty vomit at about 2:30 a.m., only to find him in his brand new hammock, which he did christen on his way out.  He then visited my room while I tried to go back to sleep and we had a close call with mom’s bed, but that was avoided.  I’ve now found several surprises on the rug and in the kitchen.  All this for a woman who is not supposed to bend.  Just how do you get down and scrub cat yak with no bending?  I can hear Michael, my physical therapist already.  “You lower yourself to the floor by squatting and then get on your knees or sit and then take care of it.”  Yes, but then, how in the heck do you get back up???  All the little things that used to be so easy, if so terribly unpleasant (I know — aren’t you glad I shared?).  I did the best I could with the mess, but it wore me out and I headed back to bed.  I didn’t get back up till 1:30 p.m., so loath was I to deal with the disaster.  So, I’m about to get a trifle cleaned up myself and head out for two purposes.  First and foremost, some carpet shampoo (which I will follow up with some wonderful cleaner my bestest friend gave me to remove the smell).  Then I will head over to Costco to get my NEW PHONE!!  Yes, today is my Verizon “new in two.”  A much-anticipated event that all you Verizon customers who have current phone troubles will understand.  My old phone is dying a slow death and I must get a new one.  I badly want the Blackberry Storm, but I’m afraid it’s additional charges will put it out of my pocketbook’s reach.  Doing without my quilting income has put a big hole in said pocketbook!  So, when I get home and have dealt with the cat yak (ewww).  I’ll give Eowyn (my APQS Liberty) her first flip of the switch in what? about six months?  EGAD, you say!  My sister’s quilt is on the frame.  She has been enough of a severe PITA lately that I am not wanting to get started with it, but I am dying to quilt.  I may only manage 5 minutes (lots of SID to do), but after letting her warm up a bit, I’ll bet Eowyn will be happy to be taken for a small run.

I’ll let you all know what phone I get.  Surely it will be a much more pleasant topic than that above!

I sewed!!

Well, it was only a kitty hammock, but I made something.  One of my cats, Junior (I actually call him the Fat Bas&%rd), loves his hammock in the window.  When I first made the hammock and put it up, both kitties could fit in it.  Now Junior spills out of it, but it’s always been his favorite perch, as it is almost right above the heating vent in the winter.  The fake sheep skin cover on the old one had gotten disgusting and beyond the capabilities of even my amazing Dyson Animal to clean, so it was time for a new one.   I’d post a pic, but I’m still having problems with my camera talking to the Windows side of the computer and then having problems getting my photos out of iPhoto and over to the Windows side.  I may just have to start emailing them to myself.  Hmmm – I don’t know how to email from the Mac side either!  Anyway, I have determined that there is a book called MacBook for Dummies — and I am definitely a Mac Dummy.  So I am off to the local Barnes and Noble to pick one up.  The book supposedly even talks about using the Parallels software I have that allows me to run Windows on the Mac, so I should be enlightened.  I have to paint the other side of the shelf I am about to put in my kitchen window (because my orchids are falling off the window sill) and finish my MQX Pet Challenge Round Robin block so I can mail it off to Ronda tomorrow, and then I will lie here on the couch and educate myself about this computer.  I understand the Mac side is really cool.  I just wish I understood how to use it! 😉

I’m still here

Has it really been over a month already?  Time seems to fly when you’re asleep through most of it.  This has been a very tough recovery.  Days when I have no problem getting up and even getting dressed; days when I can barely get out of the bed.  I’ve been reading a lot on the internet, but have seldom commented.  I generally tend to fall asleep in mid-post, so it’s been a bit of a waste of my time to find I’ve started a post and wake up two hours later to find that what I was saying is irrelevant.  LOL – perhaps it is most of the time, anyway!

I am up and walking.  Actually, one of my biggest achievements is that I can now stand at the kitchen counter and make a cup of coffee without having to take a long stroll between each step of the preparation.  Early and, hopefully, temporary nerve damage made it impossible for me to stand still and do something.  My legs muscles would spasm and I would have to walk to get it all to stop.  It still happens now and again, but not much at all.  I’ll be in physical therapy twice a week for three months starting next week.  Thank goodness for insurance.  The co-pays alone will take a substantial bite out of the fabric budget!  I have permission to go back to work at up to 1/4 time.  However, this will be work from home.  Thank goodness.  The few forays I have made into the office have been like feeding time at the shark tank — not much of the ‘how are yous?’, but plenty of the ‘oh! you’re back! here are my receipts!’  Ah, Ph.D.s — can’t live with ’em, can’t kill ’em.  I think I will pick up my work and drop off the things I have done after hours to avoid the feeding frenzy.

I have a new MacBook.  Not that I know much about Macs at all, but for now I am running Windows on it using a program called Parallels.  My blog will be somewhat bereft of photos for a while as I cannot seem to get the Mac to recognize my digital camera.  Well, actually, it recognizes it, downloads my photos to iPhoto, but I can’t seem to get them out of there, even though I have little tutorial videos explaining just how easy it is to share photos between the two operating systems.  Generally I am not one to admit defeat in computing problems, but at present I don’t have enough energy to pour into solving the problems.

I manage my daily walk.  I have a swanky green cyclone cane to help keep me from falling, and I’ve done a little bit of sewing.  I should get my niece to put my sewing machine up higher so I can sew while standing.  Sitting is still a major problem for me.  I can do it, but it seems to set my spine back ten paces from the two I’ve gotten ahead.  Today I plan to finish the center of my round robin block I’ve made for the MQX Pet Challenge.  A couple of friends and I are making the small quilts for the challenge and they will be donated and auctioned off to raise money for the New Hampshire SPCA.  I really wish that I could get back to quilting.  I think it may not be too terribly long till I can do it.  I can now stand still, as I said, and I’m getting better at reaching, so I should soon be able to handle the small quilting surface that comes with my Liberty.  I do have a quilt on the machine, all ready to go, I’ve another here from my other sister to quilt, and a wonderful piecer in town is waiting for me to do three more king-sized quilts for her, so I certainly won’t be idle once I can get to moving without much pain and without falling asleep while the machine is running. 

I miss you all terribly, wish I were awake in the evenings to pop into MQR chat, but I generally mis-time my naps and miss it altogether.  Hopefully, it won’t be long before I’m back in the swing of things. I have an appointment with my surgeon next Tuesday which I think will involve some xrays to be certain the fusion is well underway.  I feel as though I’ve had a small board inserted in my back, so I would assume all is okay.

So, here’s to 2009.  May it be a better year than its predecessor.  It certainly wouldn’t take much to make it an improvement.  Too much illness, sadness, death, and disappointment in 2008.  I hereby pledge that I will do my best to make 2009 fun.  I will get my health back and hope to see many of you at quilting shows and on the various quilting lists.  Bless you all for your wonderful notes and phone calls since my surgery.