Monday, November 30, 2015

And Here Comes Christmas

After church on Saturday we came home to turkey sandwiches, sweet potatoes and cranberry jello salad.  Tasted even better the second time!  We were more than happy to settle in and not even think about going out.

It has been on the cool side but Ted went shooting Sunday anyway and I went to the strip mall shopping center.  I needed address labels to print my Christmas card address list.  While there I bought three toys for our church giving tree and also to take to the Forum holiday party.  Both of these things are next week.  I need to think about the other gifts I need to get.  I do believe Santa is into checks and gift cards this year!

Ted wanted to go out to eat but I wanted the refrigerator cleared out of all the restaurant boxes.  So he had the second half of Larry's ribs from Willie's and I had the rest of my pork chop from Brio.  We had a variety of sides to choose from so we accomplished two things - Dinner and a clean refrigerator!

I thought my doctor appointment was Monday but it was actually Wednesday so the day was pretty restful.  Then I received a call changing it to late Tuesday afternoon and Tuesday turned into a pretty good test for me.  I had to be up and out by 7:45 to work at the Lutheran Church for a senior's bingo and lunch.  Everyone was very considerate of me and I made it through with flying colors.  However, when I arrived home I took a nap.

Later in the afternoon we went to the post office and then the doctor.  I am still on tract and it is ok I am still needing pain pills on days where I am on my feet for several hours.  A new prescription was given to me with the instructions to start weaning myself and using Tylenol when I can. That evening I took a Tylenol PM and did okay.

I had to hang out waiting for the A/C guy to come Wednesday and change out our thermostat.  When they installed our new unit they left our programmable one in place but it wasn't totally compatible so now we have an off/on up/down one that you have to fool with constantly!  It is smaller and I had to paint around it.  Of course we didn't have any of that color paint left so I used the Sherwin Williams color app to determine the color.  I knew it was a shade lighter than Sandstone and was something like Plain Beige which I thought was funny at the time.  Turns out it is Familiar Beige.  I spent $14 for a quart of paint I used a thimble of!

Ted headed to Beaumont Thursday and I used the time to pick up the aforementioned paint, had copies made of the game we are going to play at our Christmas Bunco luncheon and did four loads of laundry.  I knew Friday was going to be busy with a capital B.

I was up before daylight Friday to finish putting away all that laundry, straighten up where needed, got myself ready and headed out about 9:15.  The December Board of Directors meeting for Forum is always a brunch and everyone attends because it is a fun time.  Then I had a hair appointment at noon followed by a trip to the hardware store.  Our toilet flap was not sealing and periodically the water was leaking enough and you could hear the tank refilling itself.  I bought a new flap, came home and changed it out.  It seems to be working.

In the evening we met Gerre, Barry, Mary Ann and Mike for dinner followed by the play Meet Me In St. Louis.  The young girl who played Tootie Smith absolutely stole the show.  The two older girls had beautiful voices.  All in all, a great performance.


Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Onward and Upward

This is the last week of my post surgery.  Six weeks is a pretty standard timeframe for recovery from most surgeries.  I have a doctor's appointment for next Monday.  I am still dealing with soreness and stiffness around the incision.  I don't recall ever having this much discomfort the last time for this long.  I am 8 years older which is probably contributing to it. Maybe I need some additional PT.

That aside, I was up early to begin the day with our company.  I had a French toast casserole ready for the oven so when folks started to stir I popped it in the oven and cooked a pound of bacon to go with it.  We had a nice breakfast and once finished, Kristin and I started making two pumpkin and a cherry pie for Thanksgiving dessert.  I used cherries that Ted and I picked in Traverse City MI last summer.  Next up was getting the marinated green beans ready.  Last for the day was the cranberry jello salad.  Of course then the kitchen needed to be cleaned and the dishwasher emptied.  I had been on my feet over six hours and wasn't even dressed yet.

Kristin and I finished setting the table and it looked very nice.  I was not sure of my numbers because there were a couple people recovering and others with fluid plans.  We always had 7 eating dinner with us and right then it stood at 9.  I set the table for 10 because there were two separate single folks who may or may not have joined us.  Regardless, I would make it work.  With Gerre bringing a 25 lb. turkey it was not a problem!

Ted and Larry had gone to the gun club so we ladies all got ready and when they returned we headed to Brio to have a very late lunch or early dinner.  Either way, Larry treated us all to a very nice meal.  I imbibed to the tune of two glasses of wine with dinner.

We were going to walk through the lighted display at the ice rink but my muscles were objecting big time.  After a quick stop at the mall, we headed home.  A pain patch on my muscles and a pain pill (which I haven't taken for days) were first up.  I crashed on the couch and quickly felt much better.

I had a good night's sleep and was up by 7:00. After breakfast, first up was peeling the white and sweet potatoes and then Ted and I peeled the shrimp.  I had my cheat sheet telling me at what time I had to put different things in the oven.   Once the drinks were iced and the appetizers ready we were able to sit for a bit.  

Three o'clock was the bewitching hour and all our company arrived right on time, 10 in all.  I had all the dishes under control and Barry proceeded to slice the turkey.  It was so moist and tender.

It was a great meal if I say so myself.  Everyone cleaned their plate.  The cherry pie was gone before either of the pumpkin were cut!  We chatted over coffee while the first dishwasher cycle ran and then made some doggie bags to go.  After everyone left we emptied and filled the dishwasher again and I immediately fell asleep on the couch.

We had been concerned about the weather but the reports kept changing so we kept our fingers crossed.  Thanksgiving was fine and Friday dawned warm but cloudy.  After quiche for breakfast we gave the kids my car to go to the mall.  No way did I want to go there.  This gave me an opportunity to straighten up a bit and run a load of laundry.  Once I was dressed I took a nap on the couch!

When it was dark we headed to the Magical Lighting Lantern Exhibit at Sam Houston Raceway.  This is apparently the first time it has been exhibited in the US and will run for 52 days.  Imagine our dismay when it started raining while we waited in line to park. It stopped shortly and was dry the rest of the night.  But the rain had turned everything into a wet, muddy mess.  There were no handouts to show you the best route to take so we wandered around until we thought we had seen all but the rides and midway.  

The exhibits are beautiful.  The Statue of Liberty, Sydney Opera House, Taj Mahal, the pyramids, Under the Sea, Dinosaur Land, London Bridge, Chinese Zodiac Signs, etc.  I had my photo taken with the Rooster, my sign.  There was a special Houston exhibit with all our sport teams, a NASA rocket, the rodeo, etc.  All in all an enjoyable evening except for the mud!
We stopped at our favorite Mexican restaurant before going home.  I have umpteen take-home boxes filling the refrigerator from our various meals out.  The packing commenced and the scale was brought out to see if the Christmas gifts purchased put any of the suitcases over 50 lbs.  Initially it appears things are OK.

I stayed out of the way so the showers and bathrooms were available to the others.  They stripped their beds and I started laundry right away.  By the time they left I was putting the towels in the washer and took the last twin set of sheets out of the dryer to put back on.  While Ted drove to the airport I took the pads and leaves off the dining room table and put that back in order and straightened up other odds and ends.    We are back in business!

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

And So We Begin Anew

Success!  I finally slept in bed for the first time in a long while.  Trying to sleep on my side with nothing supporting my back sent my hip into overdrive.  It would only take seconds and I had to get up so I had been sleeping on the couch with my back up against the back of the couch.  That worked but I was anxious to get into my own bed.  The PT suggested I take my pain pill at night, not in the morning, and it worked!  I was not as stiff and sore so I didn't need that pain pill in the morning.  I can only pray it continues to work as my muscles get strengthened.

I ended my PT by taking a 15 minute walk around the neighborhood with Katena.  She discharged me and I am on my own.  Two things continue to bother me.  The muscles above the incision are always very sore in the morning but loosen up as I walk.  I think it must be some way I lay while sleeping.  The other is a hesitation before I take a step.  I call it getting my leg in gear.  Or as Michael Berry says on the radio "Time to lock and load!"  It may just take more time for all that new stuff to get firmly attached.  After all, they did saw the top of my femur off and shove a titanium piece down in it!

We have been getting ready for Thanksgiving company and dinner.  I put the suitcase racks in the guest rooms and made sure there was space in the closets to hang things.  Then I cleaned the refrigerator out and also the pantry.  Ted went to the grocery after I pulled out my recipes to see what I still needed.  Gerre and Barry are bringing the turkey, dressing and gravy so the rest of the meal is the easy part.  Mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, green beans, corn, cranberry jello salad, rolls, pumpkin pie and cherry pie made with cherries we picked in Traverse City last summer.  I already have the table opened up with the pads and tablecloth on.  I sat the chargers and plates out and folded the napkins.  I will wait to put the glasses and silverware out.  Dusty crystal or tarnished silver is not pretty!

The weather report for Thanksgiving went from 75 and sunny to 75 and rain.  Friday is supposed to be rain!  I bought tickets to the Magical Lights show at Sam Houston Raceway and I am not sure how this will play out.  I am going to inquire about the ability to change the date in case the weather is just too bad.

Saturday night we went to church and then attempted to drive to Cracker Barrel.  It took us longer to get there than it did to eat our meal due to an accident and the traffic back-up.  When we came out it was cold, cold, cold!  I was happy to get home and get under my blanket on the couch.

The weather has turned unseasonably cold for our part of the country.  We had to turn our furnace on. My sister in law Carol has had a health issue but came home from the hospital on Sunday.  We took dinner over to them and stayed to visit.  When their kids started calling we came home.

Monday I drove myself to the hairdresser to get rid of my gray hair that is streaking through big time!  Cindy came in on Monday since she won't be working on Thursday.  Lucky for me since Tuesday will be busy with our company flying in that night.

I was busy Tuesday getting all ready for Kristin, Larry and Maureen's arrival later in the evening.  With the house in order, the groceries in, the French toast casserole ready for Wednesday breakfast we were off to a really busy airport where they arrived right on time.  And thus begins the holiday season of 2015.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Week Four

Recovery Road is in sight!  Wednesday Ted left me alone to attend the men's lunch and I did just fine.  But I did get a headache in the afternoon so I kept a low profile all day.

I had PT Thursday morning that ended in a walk with Katena to the cul de sac and back.  She said I am doing great and next week I will be discharged.  She sees no need to ask for an extension.

I had about an hour to rest before Norma came by to pick me up for the ladies lunch.  Even though I can get around fine, it is very tiring for me and the incision gets very tight and uncomfortable.  I don't want to push too hard and end up causing a problem.

We did receive news from my brother Dan that his 15th grandchild arrived on Veterans Day.  He was welcomed by his two sisters and named Gunner.  Babies, babies and more babies.  We are awaiting grandbabies #94 and #95 of Ted's parents.  This includes grands, greats and great-greats!   Babies R Us and Bed, Bath and Beyond (showers and weddings) know me on a first name basis!

Out of 15 ladies we had 3 for lunch!  Medical issues continue to plague so many.  Pacemaker, dental bridge, hand surgery, bruised coccyx, etc.  It was a nice lunch in that Merry, Norma and I got to know each other on another level.  It is hard to have those deeper discussions in a large group.

While I was gone Ted attended the layout of a camping friend who died after 10 years in a nursing home.  I see his wife at the Senior Lunch when I work at the Lutheran Church.  She knew I had surgery and said not to worry, she will see me at the church in December.  If I knew the lunch crowd was so small I would have suggested we cancel and attended with Ted.

When we both returned, Ted went to "shoot a hog" at the gun club.  He has tried several times and so far the hogs are winning.  I just told him not to bring one home.  These wild boars are so destructive and there is open season on them all year.  Isabelle came to clean so we are off to a good start of the weekend.

I talked Ted into getting a haircut at the salon I go to.  His haircuts at the local barber just don't cut it for me.  So Friday we both went and his hair looks so much better.  Cindy did a terrific job.  Afterwards we were heading to dinner when the news broke about Paris.  All I can say is "There are none so blind as those that will not see."  It is so frightening to imagine what lies ahead for our children and grandchildren.

We stopped for dinner and received a phone call from Tommy and Susan.  We called them back as we drove home.  We all were so angry about Paris!  Once home I watched Amazing Race, my favorite show.

We attended church on Saturday and then I drove us to Connie's to play cards.  I can feel it in my leg when I move from gas to brake but now, for short distances, I am OK to drive.  Ted won at his table, but I, for lack of a 7 of Hearts, did not.  It was late when we got home.

Ted shot skeet on Sunday and then we met Terry, Carol, Vicki and Steve (their old Indiana neighbors) for dinner.  Afterwards we played cards.  Again, Ted won and I didn't!

Sunday night I was finally able to sleep in my bed.  I was very stiff in the morning and stood in the shower under real hot water to loosen my hip up.  I drove myself to play Bunco without incident.  More and more baby steps.

In the afternoon we hooked up the trailer and took it to get two new batteries installed so we will be ready next month.  I have no trouble driving but it still hurts swinging my leg to brake.  I have given up the narcotic pain pills and pretty much given up the other pain pills but I think it will be necessary on busy days to consider taking one before I start out.  

Tuesday is my second last PT visit.  I will have one more on Thursday which is the first day of Week 5.  I think it is time to return to normal life now.  I am still very stiff when I wake up and my hip hurts when I am on it too long but at 70 I guess you need to deal with some aches and pains.  Thanks for listening this past month.  It felt good to know others were interested in my progress.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Week Three

PT was at 9:30 Wednesday and I am doing great they tell me.  I can walk slowly by myself but it hurts and eventually I give in to limping.  The cane takes the brunt when I use it so I will continue with it for awhile.  

I did a load of laundry and wrote out thank you cards to all our food and flower contributors.  And that was pretty much it for my day.  I stayed alone for awhile when Ted went to the grocery for a few things, staying put while he is gone so I know I won't fall.

We finished the steak and chicken kabobs Judy brought the day before for our dinner.  And I watched Survivor and NO football.  We are both getting bored but we will just have to be patient for another few weeks.

Ted drove me to get a haircut, only my second outing since surgery.  It felt so good to get it done and look human again.  It was about 1:30 when we were finished so we stopped at Whataburger for lunch.  That worked out OK and I was able to use the handicapped restroom with no difficulty.  I used only my cane for walking.

It tired me out so I took a little nap when we got back.  Shortly after 5:00 Marleah came with vegetable soup and muffins for our dinner.  Ted loves soup and he pronounced it Good Stuff.  She stayed for a visit and we all enjoyed that.  Later on Cleveland played Cincinnati in football so it was exciting to see the two Ohio rivals face off especially since the Bengal win made them 8-0 for the season.  I slept through must of it though.  Going out just wears a girl out.

BORING!  That was Friday.  I am about to lose my mind.  I pick up the few things in the morning and one by one (since I only have one free hand to use) I put things where they belong.  I can get my own coffee so Ted sleeps in and I use my IPad for email, banking, etc.  Once he is up I can be a bit more adventuresome in moving around and he stays with me while I do my PT.  After lunch the whole afternoon and entire evening stretch before us.  He did leave to check the batteries on the trailer so it was back into the recliner for me.  After dinner the TV shows were good so that helped pass the time.  Next week is looking better so I just need to hang in there a bit longer.

Saturday was the wedding we missed in Michigan.  Our daughter Kristin was Matron of Honor for her friend since age 8, Sheetal.  Friday night was the traditional Indian Garba and the wedding ceremony was Saturday.  Kelly, Pat, Kara and Bill were there too.  Everyone was so disappointed we couldn't make it but there was just no way.

Traditional Indian dress.

The wedding venue.

Congratulations, Sheetal and John.

Judy came by on Sunday to bring lunch and take me for a ride while her husband golfed and Ted went shooting.  It was a glorious fall day and I welcomed the chance to get out into the sunshine.

On Monday I had PT early and then Gus and Melissa drove all the way from Austin just to take us to lunch before they head home to Michigan.  We usually try to meet half way but it wasn't in the cards this time.  I thought we would have to skip but they said they would just drive here.  And they paid for lunch!  There was no talking them out of it.  Such wonderful, faithful friends.

I received this photo of my great-great nieces and nephews taken at the lake house this summer.  We spent the 4th of July with them.  They are all so cute and fun to be with.  Jameson, Maddy, Morgan, Lily, Jemma and Lucas.

Jameson and Jemma's Daddy works with my nephew Dave in operating the fireworks for the Bengals and Colts.  Ted is jealous of the field access they have!

I had a doctor's appointment today and tomorrow I start Week Four.  They took an x-Ray of my new hip and all looks good.  For now I will finish up my PT this week and next, do my PT on my own on days the PT doesn't come and then until 12/1 when I have my next doctor appointment.