Thursday, May 30, 2019

Changes coming

The oldest grandchild graduated from high school last night.  That is the first of those graduations in a line of six!  In her family, there are great changes afoot.  She from high school, her brother from middle to high school, and little sister from elementary to middle!  In my son's family, there won't be a "graduation" from elementary for another year.

I was standing there as the high school graduates marched in (all 913 of them), and I couldn't control the tears.  This is the beginning of big changes in the family.  They are growing and leaving the nest.

I cried because she will be so far away from our little "hamlet" outside the greater Houston area.  She will be in New York at Marist College.  She has been to busy this year - and so have we in actuality -  that I haven't seen her that often.  She lives exactly one mile from me.  But I knew she was close and I could arrange to see her.  Now I will have to travel. 

She will be playing water polo for them - her dream for six years.  At Christmas time, or shortly after, the team plays in a tournament in HAWAII.  Guess I will have to save my pennies and head to Hawaii!!

Regardless - I am going to miss this girl greatly.  And wow - I am getting OLD!

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Improvement

After three weeks - my poor back has improved.  While still far from perfect, it is much better.  I would say I am back to where I was pre-fall.  And while that is not perfect, still is painful, and still debilitating at times, I can live with it.

G, on the other hand, is a wimp.  He has sciatica.  You would think it was a terminal illness.  He moans and groans - claims he cannot bend without support.  The problem is that he is SEVENTY-FIVE!  He cannot do the things he used to do.

He really doesn't help himself that much either.  Every afternoon is spent with his behind parked in a chair or on the sofa reading book after book.  I am not against reading, but ...

He will do his "PT" faithfully twice a day - and that is 10 minutes per session.  He will put out the sprinkler when needed and take the trash out once a week and recycling once a week, but other than that he is READING.

When we go to the SSB - for a WEEK - 75% of the time he is READING.  I know things have to be done.  But for him, it is either too hot or too cold all year.  So he is in the climate controlled environment on his rear READING.  And I am away from the things I need to do here.  We could get things done in a day and a half there  The excuse is that "traffic is too heavy Friday to Monday - so we have to stay over." 

So his solution to the sciatica problem - surgery.  I personally think he is going way over-board.  He is sounding like his mother.  She had not one but two surgeries and still was in pain.  Our tenant has had SEVERAL surgeries and is only hopeful this past one was her last.

OK - rant over.  Had to get it off my chest.  Me and surgery.  On my back - NOPE.  I will do the joints.  But I will NOT do my back - ever.

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Not "Golden Years!"

At our house, the bottom step of our staircase is known affectionately as the "killer step."  It gets this identifier because each and every one of us who has held residence in this house has fallen from this step - some more than once.

I joined that frequent "flyer" club a week and a half ago.  It has been a long time since I fell.  I diligently count the steps leading to the ground floor after the turn.  There are three.  The handrail goes right along with those three steps.  No more hand rail means you are safely on the ground floor.

I am paranoid about falling - anywhere but especially on those steps.  When I had my knees replaced the surgeon told me that I shouldn't kneel.  He said that the patella is just a thin bone which can be shattered when it is between a hard surface and the titanium replacement.  I don't know of any way for anyone let alone a 70+-year-old gets up without turning over to be on their knees!  So I try very hard to never fall.

But after not going upstairs to my beloved sewing/embroidery machines for two months post shoulder replacement the call of the crafting was too much.  I was working on a project for my granddaughter who is graduating from high school this year.  It was the end of a long day and I had a battery to be recycled so I was going to bring that and some tote bags to be used as grocery bags down with me. 

To help me down the stairs - I threw those bags with the battery down ahead of me.  One of the bags has very long straps.  They landed on the first landing.  I picked them up and was distracted by those straps - I didn't want (wait for it!!) to FALL after getting my foot tangled in those straps. 

That meant I didn't count.  I didn't pay attention to the handrail.  And before I knew it, was airborne.

I landed - hard - on my right butt.  That didn't hurt.  The small of my back was in immediate pain.  Knowing that my spine is narrowed, disintegrating and I have sciatica I was really scared - plus in a lot of pain.  I really was afraid I might have broken my hip.  But no - fortunately.

After several minutes I was able to think about how I was going to get up.  G asked what he could do and honestly, there was absolutely nothing.  Finally, got turned around so that I could push myself up on the killer step, use the handrail and get up.  That was a no go.  I still have tenderness and a lack of strength in the shoulder.  I just bit the bullet and figured that since I was on the et I would just get on my knees and get up.  It worked.

By that time my right buttock felt like there was a softball under the skin.  So I worried about what I had done there but it seems like that is inconsequential.  My back, however, is still killing me.  The left hip hurts - a lot!  Standing isn't pleasant.  I believe I will now have sciatica on the left side.

Since I am looking at a time lapse of two weeks on Wednesday, I am thinking this is as good as it is going to get.  I think I am going to have to get professional help.  I see the shoulder surgeon on Friday and have sent his office an email asking for his suggestion and I am waiting for a response.  I will ask him, but I believe I will be making an appointment with someone else - who is closer than 40 miles for this problem.

Just who says these are the "golden years?"  Obviously not someone who is in them or someone who has taken better care of themselves.  Two days before I fell, my SIL fell and suffered a spiral fracture of her right humerus.  A few days after my flight, an acquaintance from the SSB area fell and broke her leg - requiring surgery. 


Sunday, May 05, 2019

Potpourri weekend!

We had been planning for almost a year to attend the State Water Polo tournament that was held this past weekend in Austin.  This is Katie's last one and we wanted to be there - with hopes they would e the winners AND she would bet the "most valuable player" award.

We left on Thursday so we would be there for the first of her games - about 9:30.  It was a very easy win and left me with high hopes for the second game.  The second game was a horrible mix of really poor officiating - the ref doesn't even know all the water polo rules - and the fact the girls simply couldn't make a goal in the second half.  They lost by one.

To see that second game, we practically swam to the game.  It was during a severe thunderstorm and flooding event.  Austin got five inches out of that rain.  We were there early and sat in the car for 30 minutes hoping the storm would pass over.  It didn't.  It was one of the training severe storms.  So we walked through two inches of water ON THE SIDEWALK!  I felt like WE had been in the pool by the time got into the Natatorium!

It was still raining and flooding when we left, and we hadn't had dinner.  The hotel we were staying in had no kitchen - so no dining.  There were no restaurants between the nat and the hotel, and by the time I saw a Burger King (which would certainly have worked in the pinch we were in) we were in the wrong lane on the access road.

We got to the hotel and there was a folder that was "room service."  Knowing it was not on premises, AND there was flash flooding we decided to give that a try.  Well - the menu was outdated.  But we ordered greek salads.  After an hour and a half, and it was 10:30 pm the food arrived and we weren't speaking to one another.

The next day the only game they had since they lost the second was at 2:30.  I pretty much knew Katie was not going to get MVP and G already said we weren't going to the awards.  So since neither team was going to play diligently (they had no reason) we decided to come home.  We considered checking out, going to the game and leaving then.  We would still be home about 6.  But I said for us to just come home.

Reagan (grandson) was to be confirmed today at church.  I was sick that he was going to miss that.  I let my daughter make the suggestion, and I didn't hesitate.  We brought him with us.  He stayed the night with us and we took him to church.

Three years ago we missed Katie's confirmation. We were out of state somewhere.  Today - we got to be the ones at the altar for his confirmation and rebaptism and placing of hands during the blessing.  I was so honored.  I was so glad all things with him came to what I had dreamed of.  

So we are at home.  Shadow was so glad we were back.  I am sure there was a lot of "caterwauling" for two nights because he really doesn't like being alone and really hates missing his little serving of wet food.  He wasn't sure why the big guy stayed all night, and why G slept in the bed (G snores and sleeps elsewhere).  But things are all back to the same old boring normal now!!

Loved the weekend.

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Updates

We are still missing Clyde terribly.  When I come into the den in the mornings, I always look to the couch to see him.  We went to the SSB last week.  When we went through Austin and got to the place where I heard (without realizing what it was) his last breath - a wave of sorry went through me.  Every night when it was time for his last outside time, I would think of him.  I would think of him running free with those ears flopping when I would go outside.  Time will heal us more, but it is painful.

I was reading on one of the many Boxer lover sites that someone lost their fur baby the same way we lost Clyde.  He just dropped dead.  For their baby, it was an arrhythmia, which I surmise was what happened to Clyde.  Boxers are disposed to heart problems, and our baby had been heart-worm positive when we adopted him.  He was probably 8 which is getting up there and I am sure his heart was weakened.

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I poked fun at G for having a cold.  Well - I got it the next day.  AND I STILL have the remains of it.  I am so careful when around people with upper respiratory infections because once I get one, it lingers.  I still have drainage and cough. Hope that wasn't TMI, but this has been my life. 

I did tell G the next time someone comes to church, sits behind me and coughs constantly, I am moving.  This is my second time to have this happen.

This did motivate me to find a PCP though.  I have been lazy about it.  I absolutely hate the one that I have seen before.  They order blood tests several times a year - even my oncologist and cardiologists don't do that.  They order tests that are not needed.  I need someone else.  I won't go to one of the specialists with a cold.  It DID help G though - I guess.  His mess lasted a week while mine has lingered.

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I saw the orthopedists a couple of weeks ago.  He is more than pleased with my progress, and basically said I could do what I please with the shoulder.  My range of movement is great, and mostly all pain is gone. 

When I went to PT, I had an intern with the therapist who massaged the shoulder.  I believe she "tweaked" the nerve a bit because I have some pain that had gone away.  But overall, things are going well.

The surgeon ordered six more weeks of PT.  I was ok with that.  The therapist said he didn't believe I needed it.  So - I am not going to go back.  I don't think I need it either.  Especially if I do what is basically stretching here at home, I am good.  The strength is good.  I helped G load a lawnmower at the SSB, and it was easy - so ...  Plus I will save over $60.

And you are caught up on my exciting life.  Just a lot of nothings!

Thursday, April 04, 2019

I am here.

It has taken me a while to not be so teary-eyed when I think of Clyde.  I am not feeling so totally incompetent as a pet owner not seeing anything that could have caused the sudden death.  I know Boxers are prone to catastrophic heart problems that suddenly present themselves.  But, that said, I still miss that sweet face terribly.

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I am recovering quite well from the partial shoulder replacement.  Physical Therapy is working wonders and my flexibility is improving a lot.  I went through a rough place when I was afraid that I had used the arm too much and damaged the tendon that is attached to the shoulder from the bicep.  But after Tuesday's PT, I feel so much better.

I see the surgeon next Friday for my six-week return.  I think that will be good.

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 Yesterday I saw a meme on FB that I wish I had copied and saved because it is so true today (and yesterday for that matter).  It said that women in labor experience pains that come close to a man with a cold.  Well, G has a pure and simple cold.

I KNEW we would  probably get a cold this week because the woman who sat behind us coughed the entire service.  Turns out she is the Pastor's mother, but regardless she coughed the ENTIRE service.

Yesterday, G moped around, barely speaking in an audible voice, complaining of a sore throat.  I told him mine was a little scratchy too, but you would have thought he was absolutely going to die!

I had a follow-up with the new Oncologist (since mine for the past 11 years finally pulled the plug).  I told the poor dying man I would drive myself - against surgeon's orders.  In the meantime, he made a doctor's appointment.  For a sore throat?? For the first hours?  Yes - he had a cough, but that was because that was the way he handled the sore throat and probably mild drainage.  I would have thought he would simply go to the drugstore to get some cough syrup, antihistamines or the like, and some type of pain reliever (since he now has to take blood thinners due to the DVT from last year).

I think he was disappointed it wasn't the flu.  And he is still wandering about like he is a dead man.

I, on the other hand, went about my normal routine - taking Advil and cough drops,

He wants to have back surgery - fusing two vertebrae.  First of all - I will have knees replaced, shoulders replaced, but I will NOT have back surgery.  That scares me.  There are too many nerves there.  And secondly, if a cold sends him into preparing for death - I don't want to have to deal with this surgery.  It will take explosives to get him out of the hospital.

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So with that - enough said.  Hope your life is going smoothly!  Mine is getting better all the time.

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Change in direction

I had been hatching a different post - one about this and that, but all that changed yesterday in a horrible way.

On the way to the SSB to spend spring break with my son, his family, and one of his friends and family - we had a disaster that I don't even want to happen again - and it won't.

We were over half way here when the truck was filled with a foul odor.  Then came what sounded like a loud fart.  I really thought it to be the cat in his carrier because he moaned when I was loading him at home.  And it was about his usual litter box time.

We stopped for lunch, and I didn't turn around to check on either animal.  And we proceeded on.

What we smelled was his body relaxing and letting go - what we heard was his last breath.

We got here.  G went to open the door and I turned around.  Clyde was still laying in his favorite sleeping pose.  That wasn't normal.  I tried to rouse him.  He didn't respond.

G asked if I were getting the dog and I replied "I think he is dead."  By that time I had gotten the door open.  I touched him, and he was cold.  I shook him - no response.  I slapped his haunches - no response.

Our fur baby died on the way.

We have such huge holes in our hearts.  We were dreaming of him being able to run free because it is still cool and there is little worry of snakes.  I knew this would be such a great time for him - five more adults and five children to love on him.  I didn't know there would be three other dogs for him to play with, but there are.

But today, he is in the freezer at the vet's office waiting for cremation.  We love you sweet boy.  Rest in peace.  And I hope you found the others on the other side of the Rainbow Bridge and they are showing you around.

Here is Clyde - on the right with his two "girl friends" Angelica and Princess (my daughter's babies}at the ranch who are on the other side of the Rainbow Bridge and hopefully they are reunited running and playing.