Saturday, May 31, 2008

I seem to have survived

Well, I am quite surprised that I survived my medical tests.
They were scary, quite uncomfortable, and not a good time at all.
I don't know what the results are, other than I lived through
them. I take that as a good sign. I was so relieved they were
over, I didn't even ask how I would get the results.

I like a lot of things about living in the here and now -
especially the internet - but medical tests are still a bit
barbaric, on the whole. Even when they are using supposedly
high-tech equipment. It always involves needles, painful blood
pressure cuffs, and an amazing array of uncomfortable things
that can be done to your body.

The medical future can't get here soon enough for me.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Stressed Out By My Stress Test

I have to have a stress test tomorrow at the hospital. I'm totally
freaked out about it. I had one of the traditional stress tests
about 7 years ago, (and failed). Because of my asthma, I couldn't
get my heart rate to anywhere near my target heart rate.

On my pre-op EKG, it showed an abnormality. A Right Bundle Branch
Block. Lots of research later on the web, it seems this isn't
horrible in itself, but my doc, thought it was high time to get
a stress test. Since I had such difficulty before, and I just
had the foot surgery, I'm having a "Pharmacologic Stress Test
with Nuclear Imaging".

They shoot you up with a drug that makes your heart go fast,
simulating exercise, and then they fill you full of some
radioactive dye and put you in this camera thing for a 1/2 hour.
Then they do it again after awhile to get resting images.

I've felt stressed out about this all week. If my heart doesn't
want to go that fast, I'm not sure it is a good idea to make it.
Maybe it is just being sensible, and knows it shouldn't
do that. All week I was convinced that they were going to
kill me for sure, with their drugs and IV's and nuclear stuff.

Maybe I'm just overwhelmed by too much medical tests and needles
this year. Wish me luck, and hope I pass my test! A guy at
work told me to "study hard" for my test! :)

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Rites of Spring

In between getting everything ready for the party, we indulged
in Minnesota spring "rite of passage". We braved the crowds at
the garden nursery and got flowers and plants. We put most
of the flowers in pots, and set them around the yard, but this
got me in a gardening mood, and I felt well enough to weed 3
large areas along the borders of the yard.

I found that most of the perennials I put in last year made it
through the tough winter. The yard now looks very nice and all
is ready for the huge barbeque party tomorrow. I found all the
new muscles one finds in the spring from crawling around weeding
the gardens. Ow, ow OW!

My foot is holing up pretty well. I can go shopping and do things
around the house, just fine. I still don't think I could go for
a long walk, and my walking speed is really slow!

Here is to nice weather for the party! It looks good, but a little
on the cold side. A bunch of bad weather and tornadoes went
through the northern suburbs this afternoon, but we didn't even
get rain. So - on with the barbecuing madness!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Party Time!

Things are picking up around here. We have started all the cleaning,
shopping and trying to remember everything for the huge Memorial
Day Barbeque that we throw with our friend Joel every year. It
is quite the fun event, and probably the only time our yard and
house look good. Well, at least clean!

Joel and Chris are planning their fabulous food, they take it
far beyond barbeque fare. Chris does Korean barbeque, and Joel
has gotten a huge Wok and burner, and whips up the most amazing
things. There is usually home brew, and tables groaning with
food. Wait, wasn't I dieting?

I'm walking faster and better every day. My limp is pretty much
gone, and I can go at about 1/2 speed now. The pain is also
nearly gone - just a little residual soreness. I have to start
thinking about doing my show again. Maybe after the party. I
have my hands full!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Fleeting Spring Weekend

Waah! How can it be Sunday night already?
I don't want to go back indoors to work!

It was a nice spring weekend, and just driving and doing errands
was quite pleasant. Green trees and flowers everywhere. It is
finally spring at it's finest. Now I'm in a gardening mood,
and almost able to walk around to get things done. Maybe I'll
be able to plant some flowers next week.

I think the foot turned a corner this weekend, after more than
5 weeks. I was able to walk through some stores, and it stopped
being so painful, I couldn't even touch it. The bones seems to
be doing some serious healing, I can feel them doing something
in there.

The diet is working very well again, now that I'm back on it.
I went through the 900 / 1200 calorie rotation week. Next
week it is 1500 whole lovely calories, before rotating back
to the tough week. The 6 1/4 pounds lost this week helped me
overcome the hungries! That and a friend at work who is on
the same diet. It really helps to whine "I'm so hungry, I'll
die!" - at someone who is going through the same thing.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Still Pondering

Happiness. I'm still thinking about that.
Being an American, we think we should be happy. We are guaranteed
the right to the Pursuit of Happiness. But we aren't guaranteed
that we will find it.

I keep thinking something is wrong in that I am rarely happy.
I'm not all that unhappy, most of the time, I'm just sort of going
along. Is that really the way most people are? Maybe that is the
norm, and being happy a lot is an ideal.

Still, I'd rather be happier, than not. I think I would be happier
if I were rich, healthy, and surrounded by friends. But maybe I
wouldn't be.

It would be nice to give it a try, though ;-)

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Where is Happy?

I realized this morning, that I'm just not happy anymore.
Where did it go? Yes it was a really tough year, with
way too much sickness, and surgery, cold weather, layoffs,
sick pets, and steadily mounting food and gas bills.

But was that enough to get me down? The job I loved so
much if full of stress, but I'm used to that. It seems no
one at work is happy. No one seems to be having fun, where
we used to have quite a bit. Why has that changed there too?
And can I fix it, or do anything about it?

My body is filled with tension and a vague unease.
I was driving along to work and I asked my body, "What
is wrong? What do you want?" I thought maybe it was unhappy
because I'm on the 3rd day of 900 calories. But that wasn't
it. It felt good to be losing weight.

I think it wants green trees, sunshine, and play.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Bath from Heaven

I had a bath! The first one in 5 weeks! (no not the first time
I've cleaned up) but the first time I was allowed to soak in a
tub for that time. The pin holes in my toes finally healed up,
enough to put them in soaking water.

I really like baths over showers. Mostly because everything hurts
all the time, and nothing sets it right like a lot of hot water.
I am a happy woman. Or at least a more comfortable one. It made
my foot feel better too.

I'm getting around a little better every day, but there is still
some pain and soreness. I can do a very slow walk with a bit of
a limp, but I'm getting around work to go where I need to.

I started back on The Rotation Diet on Monday with a friend at
work. It was working well for me, when I suddenly had the surgery
and put back on the weight I had lost while sitting on my butt
for that month.

It is fun to do with someone at work because we are both doing
the 850 calorie phase at the same time, so when we run into each
other in the hall, we can whine about how hungry we are, and talk
incessantly about food. We compared lunches today. Trying to
figure out how to eat that little and not suffer is quite an art.

I HAVE to get some excess weight off of this foot, if I have any
hope of walking well. I hope that is enough impetus to keep me
at it. This time for sure!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Brief rest

Yay, weekend! I made it through one of those hair-raising days at
work where 2 critical projects collide on your schedule, and
everyone needs something RIGHT NOW! At one point I was on the
phone trying to get something worked out with a developer,
while my project manager was trying to call me and email me,
2 more emails came in, needing something and 2 people showed
up in my cube needing something else. I started laughing at that
point and just enjoyed the ride.

Being barely able to walk made it even funnier. I ended up
using the knee walker the last half of the day to race down the
halls and to the labs. I was far too sore to walk. Today my
plans definitely involve the couch, and putting my feet up.

The bad news. I think I am getting Cay's cold. I got up and
took every immune booster and vitamin I had in the house -
but I think it may be too late. I hope I don't get it - it seems
to be one of those that has a bad cough and chest congestion.
I prefer the kind that stays in your nose (if I had to pick).

The old dog is still doing pretty well after the scare a couple
of weeks back. He is getting around, fully hydrated, eating well.
He seems quite prepared to stay around longer. I wonder if he'll
make it to 15? I'm just amazed he is still going, with all the
heart and arthritis medicine he is on. What a trouper. (But
it still won't keep me from whining, if I get this blasted cold!)

Thursday, May 08, 2008

She walks, she talks, she crawls on her belly....

I drove to work and I walked today! (A little). I put
on a shoe and walked without crutches. I did have to
use the knee cart for all the meetings on the far side
of the building. Probably will for a few days.

My foot is pretty darn sore, and my leg muscles are really
weak from not being used for a month. But this is big
progress towards getting back to normal. I am tired but
pleased. Oh, and the shower this morning was awesome!
I feel so clean!

Cay is sick with a spring cold, but otherwise things are
looking up in these here lands.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Free at Last .... Ouch!

It is National Pin Out Day! Hallelujah! Yes indeed, the pins came
out of the foot this morning. It hurt a little, and bled a bit.
And continued to hurt. My foot knows "Something Was Disturbed"
down there. And it isn't sure it likes it.

There is a lessening of pressure where the pins came out, but
otherwise it's all pretty sore. So, I still couldn't put on a
shoe, I'm still in the surgical boot. I was able to walk a few
more steps without crutches, but continued to use the knee cart
around the halls at work.

Tomorrow is the next milestones. I can put on my shoe. I can
drive for the first time in a month! I can take a real shower!
I've been cleaning up by sitting in a lawn chair in the bathtub,
with my foot over the edge outside, and dumping water on myself.
Not the most efficient (or effective).

The doctor says I can walk without crutches, but warns that I
wont get very far. So now I do whatever my body lets me get away
with, before it hollers. My next goal - to soak my tired
muscles in the bath. No soaking for 1 more week :( The tub is
the final frontier! (Well that and actually walking more than
a few feet .....)

Sunday, May 04, 2008

I am soooooo ready!

It is about 4 weeks after the foot operation now. The pins should
come out on Wednesday. I'm finally feeling really well enough to
be impatient with the whole thing. I've been chafing all weekend
over my lack of mobility. I'm missing a May Day party that I really
wanted to go to, because I can't walk far enough to get to it.

I really want to walk, and work out, and bike. My body hasn't
moved enough in the last few weeks, and it is starting to complain,
loudly. I want to be able to soak in the bathtub. I want my foot
back!

I always think I'll like the idea of an enforced rest, but the
reality is, it sucks after about a week! Well, happy late May day,
and stay tuned for my personal happy Pin Out day!

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Hazy blur

It took until yesterday to get over my exhaustion from the lack
of sleep from the weekend. Work has been awfully busy, and I'm
dashing from one meeting to another on my little knee cart.
I'm completely wiped by the end of every day. The week just
went by in a blur of tiredness.

Last night the garage door opener completely broke, and the
door release also didn't work. We have a really old garage,
and it doesn't have an access door. There was no way to get
the car out. Luckily Cay had his car out, and could come get
me at work. He had to smash the side window in the garage,
so the repairman could get in to fix the opener. $260 later,
it is all better.

Between the dog and the door breaking, I'm $1000 poorer this
week. It is a bit discouraging to have those kind of unplanned
expenses. The handyman also finished the basement today - another
$1000. I did have his fee saved up, though. And the house will
need painting next year, and we need a new sidewalk..... It
really never ends! Oh well, it keeps me from quitting my job
and becoming a beach bum.

I'm able to take a few more steps each day, and the foot looks
like it is healing up. It still is a little sore, but I think
it is just annoyed that the pins are still sticking out if it.
6 more days until the pins come out!
(I hope - it does depend on the x-ray being o.k., but I refuse
to admit that it will be anything other than great!)