Friday, December 30, 2011

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Between Christmas and New Year

Time for another update, though it might not be much because of my arm fatigue.  I've found I can find a way to do many things with one good hand and arm.  It's just that the constant doing all the time with that one what you'd normally be doing with two really fatigues, stiffens and makes sore that one that is constantly doing.  Right now it is saying it has done enough.  (I have resolved the 2 liter Dr.Pepper problem and can now open and pour into a glass of ice with one hand.  Hooray - no wasted precious Dotor)

Christmas was nice.  Dan and Martha invited us for dinner and it was a good meal, good company, and fun to be around the kids.  Christmas Eve and Christmas Day both Joe and I were feeling really tired and lethargic.  We keep having good days and bad days.  We help each other through as best we can and if we can't do it, we just let it be.

Tomorrow will be just 3 weeks since Joe's surgery so he still has a long way to go,  But, he is off oxygen and the new valve is working well.  We saw the surgeon on Tuesday (thank you Dan for driving us) and he said things are going well.

On December 21, orthopedics put a bright pink cast on my entire left arm, almost to my armpit, with my elbow at a 110 degree angle.  You talk about cumbersome and un-handy, this is it!  Because of the angle it won't even stay in a sling.  But the good news is the set is holding and it looks like no surgery will be required. Yay!  It may be a little off when healed but nothing I can't live with.  And in one more week the cast will be cut down to below my elbow and I'll have a "little" more flexibility.  Doc says elbow will be problematic for a little while after being immobile, but I'm used to physical therapy and will work that out.

My quilting friends continue to be amazing in providing meals for us.  I can hardly wait to be well and pay it forward.  And I will write a thank you not to everyone of you but I am slow at everything right now with one hand.

My sewing machine calls to me day and night.  She misses me and I miss her so much.  Over on Bonnie Hunter's group they are working on a mystery quilt and talking about it a lot and I can hardly bear it.  All I got done was a few pieces of fabric pulled before Joe's surgery.  I was going to sew my brains out on it while he recovered.  Oh well.

Here's to a wonderful new year, full of all we want it to be.  Pick out a word or two to concentrate on everyday in all you do and it will certainly help you have a more meaningful life.

Kindness, Gratefulness, Order in 2012

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Smiling on a cloudy day

I  shampooed my hair myself, alone, at the kitchen sink this morning!  Then I even bathed myself with this one hand and I feel so much better. I even blow dryed my hair.

It is cool and very cloudy this morning.  It feels like winter.  Last night a package of gifts arrived from Jody and Renata and it finally feels a little bit like Christmas.   When Joe woke up this morning he was smiling!  That was so nice to see.  Then he said he wants to do a little shopping online.  Surprise!  We agreed no more gifts              this year because he already got me the diamond hoop earrings I've dreamed of for years and I took him to see Riverdance's farewell performance at the McCallum Theatre.  But now he is so happy that he has made it through this and is home that he wants gifts under the tree and surprises.  What he doesn't know is that he has some surprises.  I just can't wrap them very well with one hand.

This posting was just interrupted by a nice long telephone visit with my sweet sister in Florida.  She seemed to know that I needed to talk. She and David are really into Christmas this year and she sounds so happy.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Update and Gratefulness

A lot has happened lately and I have so much for which to be grateful.  A week ago today Joe had the mitral valve in his heart replaced by the best cardio/thoracic surgeon on the planet, Dr. Habibipour in Palm Springs.  We had been told to expect complications and that he was extremely high risk.  Joe came through it like the champion he is!  23 hours later he was up for a walk!  God answered our prayers and I have promised in return to be a better person and not whine so much.

That promise was immediately put to the test 15 minutes after I brought Joe home on Wednesday.  As I was bringing his things in from the car, rushing to get him settled and comfortable, I stepped off the sidewalk, fell, and broke my left wrist. badly. painfully. two bones.  Thank God grandpa was available to take me immediately to ER at the Naval Hospital.  I cried because I had to leave Joe when he was just home and so weak and vulnerable.  Finally I reached his buddy Dan and he came over and sat with him.  And I cried because it hurt so very badly and I was scared.

Ortho doc put it in place with a temporary cast to see if it will hold.  As of today he said it looked good.  He will check it again next Wednesday and either put a real cast on it or arrange for surgery if required.  In the meantime this thing is heavy.  It has made my upper arms, neck and shoulders really hurt.  AND, I can't take a shower or shampoo.  Heck, I can't even sponge off very well with only one hand.  Joe can't help much because he can't reach, stretch or lift as he is protecting that sternum incision.  But we are doing the best we can together and laughing at our ineptitude.

GRATEFUL to amazing friends who understand how difficult it is to cook with one hand and yet very necessary that Joe receive proper nutrition now as he heals.  They are bringing wonderful food to us!  I will try my best to pay it forward as soon as I am able.  It really is difficult without family or anyone else in the house to help.  My dear friends are the best.

I am continually looking for the things that I CAN do with one hand and finding more ways to get things done.  I'm keeping  it positive with these and trying to ignore the fact that I can't do a  lot of stuff.  In 2 days I've learned to hold things between my knees to open them.  This does not work well on a 2 liter bottle of diet Dr, Pepper.  Just trust me on that one.  I learned I can lay clothing out flat on the bed or table and then get a hanger in it, or fold it for putting away.  And since I can only carry one thing at a time as I walk through this house, I'm getting twice the exercise doing routine chores.

The pain relief meds make me itch like crazy, but then my friend Adell suggested I take Benadryl for the itching.  I asked doc his morning and he said yes.  Maybe I will be able to sleep tonight. 

I can't sew or quilt though, and that really hurts.  I will whine about that.  It is what keeps me going on a daily basis.   But I can design and plan and dream and scheme and keep making those beauties in my mind.

If you are healthy right now, thank God, and go hug someone who matters in your life.  That's what I am about to do.