Monday, December 31, 2012

Another year over...

2012 is almost over, only another hour or so left to go. The older I get, the faster the years go by. 

2012 had some big milestones. June 27 I got my new right knee. July 30 I had a cardiac ablation and got rid of my atrial fib, hopefully permanently. 

In the spring, Ben got a transfer that he'd requested- to Seattle! They truly hated Texas, both the climate and the atmosphere, so they were delighted. They lived in the city for a month, then moved to an apartment in Mill Creek. Manda started running, and did a 5K, which totally impressed us all. 

In September we had a big early 90th birthday party for Mom Florence at Scotland Run. We managed to get all 6 of her grandchildren and spouses there, and almost all of her great grandchildren. 

In October we all journeyed to W. Va. to see our nephew David marry his lovely Juliette. 

In December our sweet Cliffie cat passed away. Mom Florence's Sheba passed early this fall. We are all still heartbroken.

In 2012 I read 145 books. 80 of them were mine, mostly on the Kindle or the Nook. Also this year, I got an iPad 2. Recently Ralph decided he'd like one also, so we got an iPad 4 that I use, and he uses the iPad 2. When I go to Heather and Ed's house, I hand Eddie the iPad- he says I'm the best grammy ever!

I just totalled up the yarn I used in 2012. 28.6 pounds of yarn! That's a lot of afghans! I spent most of the year crocheting, as my sewing mojo was still missing in action. The mojo suddenly returned home this week, and I've made several burp clothes, and a dozen flannel supersized receiving blankets. 

I spent this afternoon opening up over a dozen pairs of jeans that were Sam's. This evening I started cutting them into six inch squares. A stack of squares will take up a lot less space than a stack of jeans. When I need another jeans quilt, I'll just have to sew the squares together. 

While I've been sewing and crocheting all week, I've been catching up on shows that I've DVR'd. I watched the whole season so far of Nashville, and I'm working on Once Upon a Time. The amount of commercials that I'm fast forwarding thru is amazing. 

We usually dog sit on NYE, but Steph and Dan are both under the weather, so they're staying in. The house is so quiet! We went out for an early dinner, then settled in for the night. 

Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas to all!

We had multiple celebrations for Christmas. We had Thanksmas when Ben and Manda were home for Thanksgiving. We celebrated at Heather and Ed's, and they made a lovely meal. That was a busy week- Thanksgiving, Thanksmas, Joe and Ali's baby shower. Fun and exhausting.

We had a family celebration last Saturday at Steph and Dan's. We had a vegetarian meal of baked ziti, veggies and dessert, with more gifts. Having our get together early freed up Heather and Ed to go to his sister's today, and Steph and Dan to start new traditions of their own. 

We did something different today- we had all the Oehrls over for brunch. I made the Brunch casserole, a french toast casserole, and a fruit compote. Mike and Donna brought a big dish of various kinds of bacon and sausage. I assembled everything last night, and just had to pop them into the oven this morning. 

We had a big surprise for Mom. Ralph and I, Mike and Donna, and John and Morgan put together and got her a Bose CD player with a multi CD changer. She's been wanting one. She was speechless. 

Ralph and I relaxed the rest of the day, and had brunch leftovers for dinner. I texted with Manda. They are in Nebraska, with several inches of snow. I spoke to Heather this evening, and saw Steph on facebook. Everyone had a good Christmas. 

We haven't heard anything about the results of Mom Florence's wrist xray, so we're assuming it was negative. She spent the day at Sharon's for yet another Christmas celebration. 

Joe and Ali's baby boy is due in about 3 weeks. The poor girl is huge! Mike and Donna are so excited to be first time grandparents, and we're so happy for them. The baby will be Mom Mary Jane's third great grandchild.

The house feels so empty without Cliffie. Amazing how one (formerly) ten pound cat can be such a presence. She was well loved and will be sorely missed. 

And to all a good night!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Ho Freakin' Ho

Yesterday was not a good day. Cliffie cat had been steadily declining, and yeterday she started not being able to walk straight. Ralph called the vet and left a message that we'd need an appointment for this morning to release her to cross the Rainbow Bridge. He laid down on the floor with her and loved her, and she passed peacefully a little while later. 

It's amazing how quickly cats can go down. Thanksgiving she was fine, or appeared so. the labs the vet did a week later when she suddenly dropped a lot of weight said liver failure. We're grateful for the time we had with her- she lived in the garage, in a heated little house for years, and in our house for almost a year. She was a sweet girl who tolerated the dogs well. 

Then last night the phone rang. When I saw the Assisted Living on the caller ID, my heart sank. Florence fell when opening her apartment door, and landed on her wrist. The nurse was calling her doc for an order for an xray, and they put ice on it for comfort. The xray will be done right at the asst living this morning, to rule out a fracture.

I'm ready for something good to happen!

Monday, December 17, 2012

I know, I know

I know I haven't posted in a month. A combination of reasons, one of which is my glasses. The first lenses were awful, hurt my eyes terrible. They reordered them, and the new ones were OK for distance, terrible for on the computer or reading the paper. Since I have to be on the computer at work, I wasn't on as much at home- my eyes felt strained all the time. I went back today, and the bifocals were set to low, so they ordered yet another set of lenses for me. I haven't even been reading very much!

Three and a half school days, then Christmas break! We have birthdays in December- Ed, David, Megan, Kamee and Heather, my school friend Doris. 

Thanksgiving was wonderful. We had Manda and Ben home, and Mom lent them her car for the visit, which worked out great. We had Thanksgiving dinner at Donna and Mike's. Friday was a day of rest and wrapping and knitting lessons. Saturday was Thanksmas at Heather and Ed's, and Sunday was Joe and Ali's baby shower. Manda and Ben left right from the shower for the airport and back to Mill Creek. They leave this Friday night for Omaha, to spend Christmas with the Briles. 

Last week we had our cookie-less Cookie Swap dinner. We went to Riverwinds, which is a beautiful place right on the Delaware River in Deptford. It was great to catch up with Franny, Carol, Kamee and Sandy. 

We're having our family Christmas this Saturday at Steph and Dan's. That frees up Heather, Ed and the kids to spend Christmas Day with the O"Flynns, and Steph and Dan to have a chill day. Christmas morning Mike, Donna, Mom, Jake and whoever is around are coming here for breakfast. 

Heather, Steph, Julianna and I had a Lancaster day on Saturday. We're really late with it this year, but it wasn't as crowded as we were afraid it would be. We got a lot of shopping done, and had some bonding time. 

I think my quilting mojo has returned from it's long journey to who knows where! I made a couple of small Christmas gifts, and enjoyed doing them.I'm also still crocheting, and fooling around with knitting. 

Cliffie has been sick, which is heartbreaking. All those years in the garage she was perfectly healthy, a year inside and she's sick. Labs were good, but she was put on an antibiotic. Ralph and I wonder if she had a TIA- she's just not herself, and is so thin. She doesn't appear to be in any pain, and Ralph watches her very closely. 

And the beat goes on!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Halfway thru November!

I can't believe November is halfway gone, and Thanksgiving is in a week! Once Halloween is over, the year flies by. We just had a three day weekend, and I had such a bad cold that I didn't enjoy it, I just slept all day for 2 days. I still have a cough from it.

I sewed! I found great fabric at Joann's that is made up of 4 inch flannel squares already sewn together. So it was a matter of putting batting and backing with it and quilting it together. It's for my future great-nephew Joseph. 

I picked up my new glasses lenses today, hopefully they got it right this time. So far so good.

Ralph dug out all the reel-to-reel tapes that he sent to his family and they sent back, when he was overseas in the SeaBees. He's transferring them to CD's. It's amazing that they are still playable after more than 40 years. 

Manda and Ben get in on Monday night! We're doing our usual Thanksgiving dinner at Mike and Donna's. Then Saturday will be Thanksmas at Heather and Ed's, where we'll do gifts with them. Sunday is the baby shower for Joseph and Ali, then they fly out Sunday evening. 

Manda is bringing the supplies to teach me how to knit socks! I'm very excited by that. I need something to frustrate me! 

The time change is terrible. It's nice to leave when the sun is up, but it's dark by 5 pm. 

And so it goes!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

It's November!

Hurricane Sandy has left, and the cleanup is ongoing. The shore is a real mess, and I hope the people who lived there have good insurance. Ed worked long hours all week for the power company. 

Our district missed two days, and some missed three or four. For the first time in over 100 years, the NJ Teacher's Convention is cancelled! It's always held in AC the second Thursday and Friday. Since AC is such a mess, it's cancelled. 

Our district did the smart thing, and we have school next week, as does the town I live in. We already have off every holiday known to mankind, and some that I swear they make up, so we're always the last district to get out in the summer. Adding the two hurricane days would have brought us up to the next to the last day in June. As it is, we're off Tuesday for Election Day, even tho the kids can't vote, and next Monday for Veteran's Day. 

Yesterday we went to Bob Evans for breakfast- I had a coupon. From there we went to AC Moore, since I had used up the last of the yarn I had for baby afghans. I hit the last day of a 30% off all yarn sale, and stocked up. Then I came home and took a nap!

Last night daylight savings time ended, so for a while I'll be getting up after it gets light. The downside is that it will be dark by suppertime. 

And now that it's November, it's time to think about Thanksgiving and Thanksmas. This year Manda and Ben come to us for Thanksgiving, and go to Nebraska for Christmas. So we'll have Thanksmas the Saturday after Thanksgiving and exchange gifts with them, and have a family meal. Also that weekend, on Sunday, is the baby shower for Joe and Ali. 

And Manda agreed to teach me how to knit socks while she's home! I'm excited. When I told Barbara, she invited herself down for a lesson. She's knitted forever, but is just learning socks, and she's stuck. 

So November is going to be busy!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Falling down on the job!

I haven't posted in weeks! What's up with that? Just a total lack of ambition. 

We survived Hurricane Sandy. Our power was out for two hours last night, and Mom's was out for 18 hours- hers just came back on. I'm so glad Ralph is retired- it was so scary when the power was out and the wind was howling. It was just so dark! All the schools were closed yesterday and today. Tomorrow is back to the real world.

Today is a sad anniversary. It's one year since Sam died. She fought the good fight for ten years with grace, dignity, and a snotty sense of humor. We all miss her so much! It snowed the day she died, and we had Hurricane Sandy on the one year anniversary. Is she trying to tell us something? 

I really have to learn to post pix here from my phone, and from FB. I have a lot of beautiful pix from David and Juliette's wedding. 

Dave and Juliette have been married for over 2 weeks now! We drove down, and it was a beautiful drive. As soon as you leave NJ, it's not flat anymore! Five minutes from the hotel, the car started to make a funny noise- not good. I texted Ed and got some advise from him. 

The day of the wedding, Steph and Dan and Manda and Ben went to Antietim in the morning, and brought us back lunch. The wedding was at 4.30, on the grounds of a B&B. The B&B is built along a hill, and was built by the brother of George Washington! 

The ceremony was beautiful! The bride cried, the groom cried, we all cried! It was a lovely evening.

The next morning Ed and Ralph took the caravan out, and no sound! yay! To be safe, we had Steph and Dan bring Manda and Ben back to the airport, since they had an early evening flight. We made it home fine, they made their flight, and all was well. 

And it's going to be November! We have birthdays- Kevin, Morgan, Donna, Joseph, Franny, Carol.

I joined yet another ABC swap on the HGTV message boards. I took the letter P and got pumpkin fabric. I cut the squares today, and Ralph will mail them off to the swap hostess for me.

And the beat goes on!

Thursday, October 11, 2012


The week goes by much faster when it starts out with a day off! I saw Dr. Furey Monday about my foot, and he ordered an xray, but said he doesn't really think there's a fracture. By the time I saw him, the foot was feeling much better, and only painful to the touch in one small area. I ended up waiting til Tuesday and having the xray on my way home from work.

After seeing the doc, we went to Applebee's- Monday is broccoli cheese soup day! Then I went into Target for the first time since I got my new knee. I did fine walking around the store. 

Last night was Camden County School Nurses Assn. We had dinner courtesy of one of the drug companies, and an inservice on Glycemic Control. It was mainly boring, but it was good for 1.5 CEU's. I was home right before 9 pm.

Manda and Ben get in tomorrow night around 7.30. Ralph is going to the Amish Market to get dinner for them. Tonight I have to put sheets on the bed. I already raked off the kitchen table. There was about 2 weeks of mail that has to be sorted, so I put it in a bag and I'll go thru it while I watch TV. 

Saturday we leave for W. Va. for David and Juliette's wedding! Manda and Ben will ride down with Steph and Dan, and back with us. Heather and Ed will come down on Sunday, so that Ed and Jeanne will only have the kids for one night. 

I stopped at Saladworks and got us salads, which we had for dinner and we each had enough left for lunch tomorrow.

It's been getting so cold at night! We have the windows closed, the heat set at 68, and the electric blanket is on the bed. Every morning Cliffie runs to the porch door. We let her out, she goes on the porch and realizes that it's cold out there, and comes back in. 

And the beat goes on!

Sunday, October 7, 2012


All of a sudden it's Fall! We knew today was going to be in the 50's and dreary, so we closed all but the bedroom window last night, and that got closed in the middle of the night. We turned on the heat for the first time today, and I put the electric blanket on the bed. As Ralph says, Cliffie will never get out of bed now!

Somehow I hurt my left foot. It's swollen so much that I had to buy different shoes- my slides won't go on my foot! I've left a message for my doc asking for a referral for an xray. I'll get that done tomorrow, since we're off for Columbus Day. It also hurts to walk on it. 

I need to find out what's up with the foot, because next weekend we go away! David and Juliette's wedding is next Sunday. Manda and Ben get in on Friday evening, and Saturday they'll ride down to W. Va. with Steph and Dan, and Ralph and I will go by ourselves. We're all staying at the same hotel. Heather and Ed will come down on Sunday. We're all coming back up on Monday, and Manda and Ben fly out Monday evening. We all took personal days for Monday. 

My new knee is doing great! I've cut the tylenol way back, to one in the morning and one in the afternoon, and that's mainly for the old knee. I also use the cane for the old knee, although right now I'm using it for the sore foot, also. 

And the beat goes on!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

It's October!

September sure whizzed by! The weather has been gloriously cool and clear, til yesterday. It started raining, and got humid, and foggy. all of which make my new knee stiff. This morning I limped into work, following the aid that had major foot surgery this summer and is in a boot. A teacher limped in after us. Even getting out of the car I have to twist more than usual. 

October has Mom Florence's actual 90th birthday, Charlotte's birthday, and Justin's birthday. 

When I saw the cardiologist who did my ablation, he cut my beta blocker dose in half, and the last week in October I can discontinue it altogether. I can't believe how much better I feel with the dose cut! A beta blocker makes you tired all the time- everything is an effort. 

In September I read 13 books- 2 from the library and 11 on the Kindle or Nook. I also continued crocheting baby blankets for various babies who will be arriving soon, or have recently arrived. 

This weekend is a three day weekend, for Columbus Day. I'm looking forward to sleeping in. 

And so it goes! 

Saturday, September 29, 2012


It's been such a nice day- fall feeling. It's going to get chilly tonight. Toast is visiting for the evening. Steph and Dan are having a party, and Toast gets anxious around a lot of people. Whiskey is very sociable, and goes to everyone. She's better off here, curled up with Ralph. 

I'm getting back into the work routine. Other than the part about getting up at 6.30, in the dark, I like it. We're getting in a bunch of new kids. At the end of the week, Health Services was notified that we all had to enter the doc's order dates on the med kids onto the website where we document meds. And it of course had to happen within two days. Since I was one of the few who knew how to do it, Health Services had anyone having issues call me to walk them thru it. It was easy enough to help, and it earned me some brownie points! 

I just finished another baby afghan. It seems like there's a bunch of pregnancies this year! I've been using various colors of varigated yarn, and making big granny squares, so they work up fast and look cute. And they require no concentration. 

Ralph and I still each have a cough, but are feeling much better this week.

I read a "real" book from the library, and it felt so strange after reading on the Kindle and Nook all summer. The new TV season has started. I've only DVR'd two new shows- nothing else looks like I want to be bothered with it. 

When I was at the cardiologist a couple weeks ago, he cut down the beta blocker by half. In six weeks, I can stop it altogether. It's absolutely amazing how much better I feel! The beta blocker made me tired all the time, and everything felt like it was such an effort. I'll be so glad to stop it altogether, and I haven't had any palpitations or episodes of afib since the ablation. Mom was at the cardiologist, and the EKG lady told her that they have so many people with afib now! 

Two milestones- I can come up the steps one foot per step, after years of putting two feet on a step. I have to hold the railing and the cane to do it, but it feels good. And the shower chair has been put in the basement- I took a standing up shower for the first time since my knee surgery. That felt so good! 

And it's time to change the laundry!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Another Sunday morning

Good grief, I can't believe I've gone so long without posting! School has started, and I'm back into the work routine. Getting up at 6.30 is the hardest part of the day. The kids at school are wonderful, and I really enjoy them. The staff is pleasant, our teacher in charge is an angel, and the physical plant is very nice. 

Last Monday I started feeling lousy, and coughing and congested. I called out from work Tuesday, and made a doctor appt. I already had a routine ortho followup visit scheduled. I was so short of breath that I asked Ralph to drive me! Ortho was concerned about a PE, and was glad I was on the way to medicine. He was happy with my knee progress. 

Dr. Furey didn't see any signs of a PE, and diagnosed me with viral bronchitis. He ordered robitussin DM, fluids, and rest, and stay home. Tuesday night and Wednesday passed in a blur of sleeping and not eating. By Thursday night, my friend Barbara could here me wheeze on the phone, and ordered me to call the doc. I did, and he sent me for a chest xray, which was negative. He had me take a hit of Ralph's inhaler, which helped the wheeze. 

By mid afternoon Friday I was feeling like I might live after all. By Saturday morning I felt human, tho still tired. I hate that I used up 4 sick days on being sick, but I was so down for the count that I had no choice. 
I'm still tired today, but I know I'll make it to work tomorrow. 

And the beat goes on!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Week One Survived

Our first week of school is done! Staff went in on Tuesday, and the kids came in yesterday. It was so humid all week that I felt like my head was going to explode, and walking made me want to cry. Toast and I were hobbling around like we were 100 years old. Today was the first day that it's almost decent out. 

I had PT after work Wednesday, and the therapist said that all the patients said the same thing about being especially achey. I almost cancelled, and was glad I didn't- I felt a lot better after the session. Monday I have a re-eval. It's been 10 weeks and a couple days since the surgery. 

Today is Steph and Dan's last full day in Portland. They'll be home tomorrow, which means they'll take their dogs home! Yay! I love the dogs, but 8 days is a lot. They're still afraid of my cane, which gets old real fast. 

Amazon announced yesterday that they have added a bunch of new kinds of Kindles. One is a tablet, to give Apple some competition. There's also a faster Fire, and a new lighted ereader. All nice things, but I'm not ready to order any. My Fire is less than a year old, my baby kindle is only 3 months old, and I love my iPad. 

One week from today Manda and Ben will be home for the weekend! They'll be here for Mom Florence's 90th birthday brunch party. 

And the beat goes on!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Good Grief, it's September!

It's so humid out that it's like walking thru soup. I think we're supposed to get some rain, courtesy of Tropical Storm Isaac. The dogs are here, while Steph and Dan visit Manda and Ben. They've been really good so far. Ralph fenced off a big play area for them, so we don't have to take them on the leashes, they can just wander. Whiskey loves to just lay in the grass in the sun, and Toast wanders like a tourist. 

My pedicure left me with a little infection of my toe- I remember her saying there was an area that was ingrown, and she clipped it. I saw my family doc on Friday, and because of the new knee, he put me on an antibiotic for 5 days. It's looking a lot better today. 

August was a reading month- I read 23 books, all on the Nook or Kindle! I haven't read a physical book since June. 

September has birthdays! Linda G is the 3rd, her sister Pat is the 15, Eddie will be 9 on the 23, and Ralph is the 21st. Roseanne is the 6th, and Barbara and Sharon are on the 9th. Mikey is the 13th.

Heather, Ed and the kids brought Honey Rose up to meet her cousins yesterday. We were laughing trying to take pix, because no one stood still for two seconds! We took them outside to play. Toast didn't want to be bothered, so Ralph held her. Honey was jump on Whiskey, then take off running, with him chasing her. There was some wrestling, and a lot of falling down. Then she was trying to stand in the water dish. After a half hour, all the dogs were exhausted. 

We had dinner at the home of our friends Barbara and John last night. Their PC is at death's door, and they got a laptop, so Ralph hooked up a wireless router for them, and they fed us. A great bargain for all concerned! Their yellow lab, Chloe looks the way Honey will in a couple of months. We had a nice visit and sympathized with each other about having to return to work on Tuesday. 

We skyped with Manda and Steph last night, while they were waiting for Dan and Ben to get back from the PAX con, where they were geeking out. Steph wanted to see the dogs, and she confused Whiskey- he kept looking around for her. 

I went thru a huge stack of catalogs and magazines, and pulled out a few patterns. Heather took the cooking magazines, which she'll read and then take to work. I took the quilting magazines to Barbara, and the catalogs can be recycled. 

And the beat goes on!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Wow, nine weeks!

Nine weeks postop, and the summer is shot. I had a good PT session today, tho the new knee still doesn't bend as far or as easily as I'd like it to. I have PT on Friday, then next week it'll drop back to once or twice a week, after school. 

We have a new grand-dog! Ed and Heather got an 8 week old yellow lab puppy that they named Honey Rose. Ed came up with the Honey, and Julianna gave her a middle name. She looks adorable, and Ed's sister Michelle will be the designated dog sitter. 

I went and got a pedicure yesterday, so my toes are ready for fall. This Friday, Steph and Dan fly out to see Manda and Ben. I'm jealous, but I know my knee isn't up to a long flight and a lot of touristing. Maybe next summer. 

I'm still reading my way thru John Sandford, and enjoying them all. I bought more baby yarn, and I'm working on afghans. One of these days I'll get the urge to sew! I have been working on going thru magazines, and tidying up the sewing room. 

And the beat goes on!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

It's the end of August!

We're running out of summer! The days are getting shorter and shorter already. I won't miss the extreme heat that we've had this summer, which is reflected in my electric bill. 

PT continues. I'm having trouble lifting up my leg, so a new exercise was added. PT puts small cones in a row of 3 or 4 inside the parallel bars. I have to walk sideways and step over the cones. I can really feel it, so it must be a good exercise. That and the straight leg lifts are the hardest. I know I have to walk more, but I'm limited by the other leg. 

Mom Florence will be 90 in October! We're giving her a party at Scotland Run on Sept 15. We went with a brunch party, with an omelette station. It's mostly family, since sadly, most of her friends have passed. It was quite a production setting up a date around the grandchildren's schedules. First we got a list of Saturdays that Manda and Ben could fly in from Seattle. Then we had Heather subtract out the Saturdays she had to work (which has changed now with her change to pool- no assigned Saturdays!). Then Naureen subtracted out the Saturdays that Kevin is on duty. We were left with a choice of 2 Saturdays, so we had Juliette pick one. She picked the 15, as it is the furtherest one from the wedding. The party is not a surprise.

It'll be a short visit for Manda and Ben. They get in Friday night at dinnertime, and leave Sunday late afternoon. We haven't seen them since March! 

This week is Kevin and Naureen's anniversary! 

I was having trouble with my glasses, so new lenses were ordered in July. They finally came in. They made my eyes hurt so much that I called the next day. When they checked, two things were off on the lenses, so they're sending them back and getting the correct ones.

Manda is going to run a marathon! I'm so impressed! She started a program called "From couch potato to 5K" and she's doing great. There's an exercise room at her apartment complex, and she uses the treadmill, or she runs trails near her. And Ben's company has a program where if they walk 10,000 steps they get awards. From what he says, the company is so spread out that he almost makes the steps at work, and when he doesn't, they take a walk at night to finish up the numbers. 

And now I'm off to get some laundry started. Always fun.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Eight weeks postop!

Good grief, we're running out of summer! Only one more full week, then it's Labor Day weekend, then back to work. Staff goes back on the 4th, kids on the 6th. I have PT three times next week, then it'll get scaled back to twice a week when school starts. 

What a strange summer it's been. One long surgery/rehab/procedure/PT. No traveling, no vacation. But it's been very productive. I just got a regular straight cane from amazon, to use instead of the quad cane. The only disadvantage is that I can't just stand it up anywhere and leave it, it has to be leaned on something.

Mom Florence told Ralph that she needs a hobby, since her cat has passed. I suggested reading, and Ralph took her to the library this morning and got her some large print books. She's always liked to read. I don't see her learning a craft at this point in her life. 

It's been really nice out all week, and we've had the AC off and the windows open, which makes Cliffie very happy. She wanders on and off the porch, and on and off the window shelf in our room. Lots of things to watch and smell. 

The hummingbird feeder on the deck has been getting quite a workout. It's quite entertaining to sit at the kitchen table and watch them feed and chase others away. My neighbor was over to bring us tomatoes, and he was watching the little birds and decided he might need to get a feeder for his deck. 

Next week Steph and Dan leave for a week split between Seattle and Portland, which means that Toast and Whiskey come to visit us for the week. Whiskey's foot has been bothering him, and I'm hoping he feels better before they come to visit. I forget how high maintainence they are, until they come. 

I've been catching up on the Lucas Davenport series by John Sandford. I'd read the first 10 years ago, and somehow not kept up with them. I'd forgotten what a great writer he is. Mysteries, of course. 

And so it goes!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Seven weeks!

I'm 7 weeks and 2 days postop! The scar is looking great, but the leg and foot still swells up. I was at PT today, and the therapist complimented me on how flexible the leg is, and how much extension I have. I had 110 degrees of flexibility. 

And I'm driving! After PT on Tuesday, we went over to Lowe's parking lot and I practiced, and I was able to brake easily, so I drove home. It felt good, and Ralph was so happy! He hates to drive. Wednesday I drove the Heather and Ed's, and stayed with the kids from when Ed left for work til Heather got home. Eddie is so easy to babysit- I take the iPad, and he's good for hours. Julie flits between playing, the Kindle Fire games, TV, and bothering Eddie. 

Today I took myself to PT, then went to the library to pick up a book I had requested. There are 2 handicapped spaces there. The office that shares the library parking lot had both of them blocked. one had boards in it, and the other had a tarp and trash cans. Luckily, I was able to get a close parking space. When I came home, I called the non emergency police line, and told them. The police said they would go over and make the people clear out the handicapped spaces. The library is very busy, and there is almost always someone in at least one of the spaces, and I couldn't believe the office people were ignorant enough to block them. I hope they get a fine. 

It's Friday, so Ralph and Frank went off to the movies. They go at least once a month, which is great. 

Mom got cleared to not have her head down all the time, and her vision is coming back to that eye. 

And so it goes!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012


Yesterday was sad. Mom Florence's cat Sheba was having full blown seizures with increasing frequency, so Ralph called the vet, and the cat was euthanized last night. She most likely had a brain tumor, and they did the kindest thing for her. It's going to be very hard on Mom Florence- the cat has been her constant companion in the assisted living. It was hard on Ralph, being there to support his mom. 

I had PT yesterday and today. Yesterday we got there a little early, and it wasn't open yet from lunch. So we took a walk up the strip mall- Ralph paced it out to be 400 steps each way. Then the PT session began with 5 minutes on the treadmill, and went on to a lot of stretching and flexing activities. I was wiped out when we were done! 

Today it teemed outside while I was having PT. Afterwards, we went out to lunch, then stopped in the Lowe's parking lot so I could see if I have the range of motion to drive. I did! So I drove home, and it felt wonderful! Tomorrow while Ralph is at senior citizens with Mom Florence, I'll go to Heather and Ed's and watch the kids from when Ed leaves til Heather gets home. 

I haven't read a single physical book since my knee surgery- it's been all ebooks on the Nook or the Kindle. I had told the library I would be missing in action for a while because of the surgery, and it might continue just because I love reading on the ereader so much. 

I was watching an episode of House Hunters Vacation where they sent the family to St. Michael's, Md. It was so beautiful! It may have to go on my bucket list of places that I want to visit. 

I worked in my sewing room for another hour or so last night, tidying up. It's looking pretty good, and I keep finding things that I'd forgotten about. 

And so it goes!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Saturday night

It's been a fairly quiet day. Mom Florence called at 8 this morning, to say her cat was running around and wouldn't let anyone in the apartment. Ralph went up and they went to the vet. The vet did some bloodwork, but Sheba seemed fine at the office. Late this afternoon Florence called and said Sheba was having a seizure, so Ralph went up there. He's not sure what occurred was a seizure, and the cat was friendly when he was there. So it's wait and see. Sheba is probably 12 or so. 

I've been doing my exercises faithfully, but haven't walked outside for a couple of days. Either it's raining, or Ralph isn't home, or my other knee hurts too much. 

I've been reading the Body Farm series of mysteries by Jefferson Bass. A good set of mysteries- I just finished #3. 

I finished a oversized lap afghan in shades of blue and white, which if for the Farm Fair's raffle. Every year they raffle off a quilt and an afghan, and some other craft items. Definitely a good cause. 

I finally got a little bit of mojo, and I'm cleaning up my sewing room. Even the piles have piles! I worked in there for almost an hour tonight. 

I also watched the last show on the DVR. Now I have to remember - or ask Ralph- how to make the DVD player go on, and I can start on some DVD's. 

Tomorrow we're going to Sharon's house for Connor's birthday party. 

Mom is doing OK with her postop eye. She's annoyed with the entire thing, and sort of sorry she had it done. Barbara heard the same thing from her husband, so it's just waiting it out at this point. Sitting with your head down would get old real fast!

And the beat goes on!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Thursday night

Mom is doing OK after her eye surgery. She saw the doc yesterday, and can have the patch off during the day. She goes back next week, and has to continue to keep her head down. The only other person we know who has had that surgery is Barbara's husband John. Today I asked Barbara, for mom, how long it was til John was pleased with his vision. Two months! 

Yesterday we went and hung out with Eddie and Julianna while Heather went for CPR recertification and Ed was at work. It's always fun to spend time with the kids. 

Tuesday my new knee had it's 6 week checkup with ortho. I can flex it 105 degrees, and he said some people never get that much flexion, so he's very happy with it. The little knot that I can feel under the skin (the one that was giving me nightmares that the kneecap had moved) is scar tissue, and nothing to worry about. We discussed the fact that my left knee is getting more sore, and I know it won't last til next summer. I see him again in 6 weeks. 

The cardiologist who did the ablation will be the one who decides when I can go off the anticoagulant for a few days to have the old knee replaced. I see him in mid-September, so I should be able to make plans after that. 

This morning I had my first outpatient PT appointment. It was mostly an assessment session. I told him what exercises I've been doing, and he tweaked a few of them. He said that I'm where he would expect someone to be at 6 weeks post op, and maybe even a little ahead. He asked my goals- to build up endurance! I'll go there 3 times a week til school starts, then back it down to twice a week. This afternoon and evening, the old knee was bothering me so much that I skipped walking laps. 

I've been reading on the Nook. Nothing wonderful, just OK books. 

The administrator of the rehab called me, to discuss the survey that I'd returned. I signed my name- if I'm going to complain, I'll stand behind it. I had complained about the nursing staff not checking ID bands or even asking my name before handing me meds, including narcotics. I told him I had made the nurse manager aware, and he told me he takes the issue very seriously, and will follow up with her. I had also complained about the menu listing fresh fruit, and being served canned peaches almost every day. He said he had already discussed that with dietary, that you can't write fresh fruit and then serve canned. So I felt good about sending back the survey. 

And so it goes!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Another hot Monday

We had major thunderstorms last night. Lots of pouring rain, and intermittent thunder and lightening. I tried to go to bed early-ish, but tossed and turned and got back up.

Ralph took Mom to Vineland to have her eye surgery. He just called, and it's finished. Now she has to stay head down 24/7 for 5 days and see if it worked. 

My right foot swelling just won't go down. I asked the cardiologist for suggestions, and he said to try wrapping it in an ace wrap. I tried that last night, and this morning it looks normal! He's a genius! I've already done some of the knee exercises today. Today is the first day that I'm allowed to exercise after the ablation. It's already 86 out, so I won't take a walk outside til this evening. Last night's walk got rained out! 

This is Heather's last week as staff, before she goes Pool and can have a real person's schedule. 

No good news about the medical situation in Barbara's family. Life can change in the blink of an eye. 

And the beat goes on!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Postop Day 38

Our power went out last night right before 11 PM. It must have been something major, because Mom's side of the main road was also out. I was just thinking of getting in the shower when the lights went out. I couldn't get to sleep, so I read by my Nook book light. The power came back on a little before 2 AM, so we had to get up and turn off lights. I decided I was still taking a shower, so it was after 3 AM when I went to bed. 

This morning Ralph decided he wanted to go to Cracker Barrel for lunch. We haven't been there in a while. I grabbed the latest Joann's Fabrics ad, since we'd be in the area. We had a nice lunch, then went to Joann's. They had flannel on sale, and I got enough to make 5 oversized receiving blankets for Joseph's baby. There was a girl orienting who was doing the cutting, and she took forever! My knee was so stiff by the time the fabric was cut- and I was the only one in line!- that I wasn't sure I'd make it to the car. Ralph went and brought the car right to the entrance for me. I came home, iced the knee, and took a nap. 

I'm not supposed to do any exercising until Monday, as part of the post-ablation orders. But my knee has been so stiff that I felt like I had to do something! My chest has felt fine, and I finally stopped coughing, so I assume everything is healing well. 

I finished the latest of the Virgin River series, and the next one won't be out for a few months. I'm working on the latest Farm Fair afghan, which gets chanced off in December. It's in two shades of blue and white, and is looking good.

I've been watching the summer series Dallas, which I DVR'd. I have one more to watch, and the season finale will be this week. It's deliciously evil! 

Thursday night we went to Frank and Charlotte's. Ralph hooked up their new computer, and they fed us dinner- a good bargain all around! And we had a nice visit with them and Charlotte's mom. 

And the beat goes on!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

A new baby is coming!

My mom called and said she was going to be a grandmother again. Hmm, one sister in law will be 50 this year, and the other is older than that. Then she clarified that she's going to be a great-grandmother again. My nephew Joseph called her and told her that he and his girlfriend Ally are having a son the beginning of January. 

Mom has been really worried about the eye surgery that she is having next week, so news of a new baby came at a great time. She told Joseph that she'd call me to spread the word to my girls. First I called the new grandparents to be to congratulate them, but they were out so I left them a message. 

Then I called Heather, Manda and Steph to tell them they are going to be cousins. They are all very excited for Joseph and Ally. The baby is due January 3, so maybe he will arrive early and come on Heather's birthday! Heather, unlike Steph, doesn't mind sharing her birthday. 

Mike and Donna will make wonderful grandparents. Donna will be 50 when the baby is born, the same age I was when Eddie was born. And Mike has this gruff exterior that puppies and little kids see right thru. Donna's mom used to joke that Donna carried the kids for nine months, and Mike carried them for the next 6 years! 

And of course this means that I need blue yarn! 

And I wonder if this means there will be another little Joe Oehrl running around?

And the beat goes on!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Wow, it's August!

Today is postop day 35, and I'm at a standstill. I can't do any exercising until next Monday, as part of the ablation recovery. They make all these little cuts inside the heart, and they want them to get a headstart in healing. So PT had to be postponed. I'm mainly using the cane, and just doing the necessary walking and resting a lot. 

And it's August! Summer break is half over! We have birthdays- Tori will be 16, and Ben will also have a birthday. 

I've noticed in the last week that I'm sleeping much better, using less tylenol, and moving easier. So it's all starting to come together. 

In July I read 18 books, all on the Nook and Kindle. That brings the year's total to 91 books, 40 on the e-readers. I won't go back to the library til I can drive again, probably in another two weeks. I see ortho next Tuesday for a 6 week checkup. 

We're getting rain, a nice steady rain that we need. Of course it's also making my new knee achey. 

And the beat goes on!

Monday, July 30, 2012


We got to the hospital at about 6 a.m., and all the paperwork was done. They took me into the EP lab about 8, and the anesthesia started about 8.30. Dr. Levi had asked if I understood the procedure, and I told him vaguely, and that was all I wanted to know!

I woke up in Recovery, with my leg uncomfortable, and that took some wiggling to fix. I dozed off and on, and was returned to the same day surgery area where they fed me ginger ale, crackers, and a turkey sandwich. I ha a little of the meat, and the crackers, and the ginger ale, and woke up completely. I was discharged at 3 p.m., and we were home by 4. I had a little to eat and drink, and headed off for a nap. I barely slept an hour last night, worrying about the ablation. 

So I took a 3 hour nap, was up for a while, and now I'm headed back to bed! I see the ablation physician in six weeks, and I'm to continue the meds til then. I have two small dressings that have to stay til tomorrow. I was happy to find out that they go in thru the veins, not the arteries, so I didn't have to lay flat for 6 hours, only one hour. 

So the two big summer issues were the knee and the ablation, and they're both done! Along with the bonus tooth issue! I can concentrate on continuing to rehab the knee.

There are still family concerns- Mom has the eye surgery for the macular hole next week, and Barbara had a family medical disaster today. Seems like it's always something. 

And so it goes!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Happiness is normal sinus rhythm!

At 4 pm, my heart went back into sinus, thank goodness! I immediately felt a thousand times better!

I'm still up because I slept half the day. Ralph went to bed early, he'd been up early because he heard an animal knock over our trash can, then later he was worried about me. 

I have to consult my apple tech support guy, AKA Dan, to see how to put pix from my iPhone onto here. I finished a blue and white granny stripe afghan that I've been working on forever. It's huge! 

And I finished Harvest Moon, another of the Virgin River series. I only have 4 more to go to be caught up. 

And now I'm off to bed!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Monday can't come fast enough!

I woke up at 4 a.m. in afib. The meds keep the rate down, so it wasn't real dramatic, just annoying. I hung in there til noon, then called cardiology. The on call doc said since I'm on the meds, not to do anything, and come in Monday as scheduled. That was a relief, as I sure didn't want to spend the weekend in the hospital. I'm still in hopes that it will break. 

I'm not dizzy or anything, but I've gotten nothing done all day. It's more likely to break if I'm not real active. 

Ralph just said it's thundering off in the distance, so I guess we're getting another storm. 

Angela discharged me from home PT. I can bend the knee more than 100 degrees, which is great. And I'm up to about every 7-8 hours with the tylenol, and the pain med only at bedtime. I'm sleeping better but not great. I used the cane almost all day yesterday, and only switched to the walker late last night. Today I've stuck with the walker- no use tempting fate. 

Cliffie has turned into quite the house cat. She hasn't asked to go out for over a month. She will meow to go out on the porch, and loves to lay out there and look around. She's discovered she likes a little milk from Ralph's cereal, and usually meows at him at dawn to come feed her- which he does not do. 

Steph, Dan and Toast stopped in. Toast had a haircut appt, but the place lost power, and of course did not call them to cancel. It was funny to see Toast without Whiskey. 

I'm still working my way thru the Virgin River series by Robyn Carr.

And the beat goes on!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Ack- tooth update

After seeing that I have a history of afib, the oral surgeon would not do general anesthesia. He was right, of course, but I wasn't happy. It worked out fine, the novacaine stopped any pain, and I didn't have to deal with anesthesia issues. It took about 15 minutes for remove the shell of the tooth and the roots. I had to come home with gauze in my mouth for almost an hour, but the bleeding was scant. I was able to eat cottage cheese for dinner. I iced my jaw for a couple of hours off and on. It's still sore, but bearable. 

The dentist said anyone with a joint implant has to be premedicated with an antibiotic before any dental procedure, especially cleaning. I never got discharge instructions from ortho at the hospital, since I was being transferred to rehab, but that was never mentioned that either Ralph or I could remember.

I emailed my nephew Joseph, who has a hip replacement as a result of a car crash when he was 21. He said when he got his wisdom teeth removed, the oral surgeon had him premedicate, but he'd never heard of doing it before dental work.

Then I remembered my hospital years. Generally, the ortho's loved ortho, and consulted medicine for everything else. So maybe the ortho's figure the dentists will take care of it. 

I spoke briefly to Heather on her way home. She's got some job changes going on that will let her be off Thanksgiving, Xmas Eve, Xmas, NY Eve, and NY Day! She's very excited, and I'm delighted for her and Ed. Here's a rant- when other professions, like police, work holidays, they make double or even triple time. Nurses only get time and a half, which is not enough to make me want to work any holiday. Hospitals give a lot of lip service to valuing nurses, but they don't put their money where their mouth is. 

Monday is the ablation for my afib. I have my instructions as to meds, but I've been too distracted with everything else to think about it much. Good thing, because it's a scary procedure. I'll be glad when it's over. 

PT comes today, and it will probably be my last in home session. I start outpatient PT next Thursday. I only did a few of my exercises today, with the trips to the dentist and oral surgeon. I did go up and down the steps twice, in and out of the car, and some walking, so it wasn't a lost day altogether. 

We had a thunderstorm, and I slept thru most of it. I woke up needing pain meds, for my knee and jaw. It should take effect soon, so back to bed!


Thursday, July 26, 2012

Postop Day 29

I had a crown on the bottom left molar, since 1999. My jaw was feeling a little funny, and when I touched the crown, it felt spongy- not a good thing. I called the dentist, who was closed yesterday, and went in this morning. The crown was so loose that they were able to lift it off. The tooth underneath was in terrible shape, and needs to be extracted. Some things I don't do awake, so I'm going to see the oral surgeon this afternoon for extraction. Because of my new knee, I need to be premedicated before dental work. 

Tuesday I had a doctor's appt, and we went to Olive Garden afterward for a late lunch. I filled up on salad, and brought the pasta home and had it for lunch yesterday. 

I'm supposed to be walking laps with the cane to build up endurance. Yesterday I did two laps and had to stop. Angela was due to come today, and I had to cancel her due to dentist appointments. I'm pretty good about doing my exercises. I might not do them all at once, but I do them. She'll be here tomorrow morning. 

I'm starting to sleep a little better. I slept last night from 11 til 2, was up til 3, and slept til 6. My foot is still swollen enough to be annoying. 

I'm able to put my leg up on the ottoman in the sewing room, and keep it up longer and longer. It needs to be stretched out often. And the last two times I've gotten in the car, I haven't used the leg lifter! So I'm definately making progress! 

And so it goes!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Postop Day 26

Angela the PT was here today. We went outside and worked on going down the steps with the cane. She wanted me to go down left foot first, and I couldn't do it. I can do it if I'm holding on to the rail with both hands, but not while holding with one hand. I could barely go down right (new knee) first. 

Then she had me lay with my legs hanging off the bed from the knees down, and she bent the new knee. It did OK, and when she let the legs hang, I could feel the pull. I also made an appointment to start outpatient PT next week. 

Angela said that no matter how many exercises I do, and no matter how much walking inside I do, I'll improve faster when I'm out and about. So we went to Applebee's for dinner! Of course I had to ice the knee and elevate it when I got home! But I was able to get the new knee leg into the car without using the leg lifter! Progress is definitely being made, slow and steady!

One of my internet friends told me to keep reminding myself that I had major surgery less than four weeks ago. I emailed today's knee picture to Amanda, who was amazed that it looked so good. It's just a scar now, now bruising, no staple marks, no scabs. 

We skyped with Manda, Ben and Kitten. Ben napped thru a lot of the conversation, and Kitten kept trying to cuddle with him. Cliffie also had a lot to say during the conversation. 

Tomorrow Sharon comes to clean, and I see the cardiologist in the afternoon. Next Monday, July 30, is the cardiac ablation for the afib. I think I'm missing the summer! 

I've been reading the latest Virgin River books on the Nook. I'm at least 6 books behind. I finally caught up on all the TV shows from the regular season that I had on the DVR. I watched the season finale of NCIS last night- what a cliffhanger! Now I'll start watching the summer series that I've DVR'd. 

And now I'm off to bed!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Postop Day 25

I went on an outing today! It was the surprise bridal shower for Juliette, my nephew David's fiancee. I decided to take the walker since it was at a restaurant and I wasn't sure how much walking was involved. I was glad I did- it was a bit of a walk. I did a little walking with the cane before Steph picked me up..

Steph pushed the front passenger seat as far back as it would go, and I got in and out with no problem. There was about 20 women at the shower. Juliette showed up dressed up- she said she'd been planning to get dressed up no matter where she thought she was going, until a shower happened. Good plan- she looked really cute. David stayed long enough to hug everyone, then he bailed. 

We were at Brio Restaurant. We had a choice of soup or salad, and four entrees. And of course cake! She got a lot of nice gifts.

We left here at 11, and got home about 3.30. My right foot is still swollen- it just won't quit. So I came home, elevated, iced, and napped. I did some of my exercises first thing this morning, and I'll do some tonight. 

Tomorrow Angela comes at noon. Her plan is to have me lay down on my stomach, and bend the knee from that position. Sounds like pre-medication is in order! I finally am able to sleep on my stomach, so the knee gets some stretching that way. 

And so it goes!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Postop Day 24

Today is a discouraging day. Both knees ache. Angela thought some of it might be the dampness in the air. Ralph fixed the quad cane so it's set to use in my right hand, to support the left knee. The right, or operated on knee, is the stonger one now. 

I counted the steps from my loveseat in the sewing room to the kitchen sink, and it's 63. I walked from the sewing room and back one full time, and one time using the walker. After so long of matching the cane to the right foot, it's hard to match it to the left foot. Since they both hurt, I didn't feel as steady, so I went back to the walker rather than chance a fall. 

I've done some of my exercise routine today, but not all. It's just too sore. I laid back down for an hour this morning and an hour this afternoon to elevate and ice it.

Ralph and I both didn't sleep well last night. At 2 a.m. we were in the kitchen snacking. So I've been trying to stay awake today so that I sleep better tonight. I'm going out with Steph tomorrow, which should be interesting. I'll take the walker and the cane. 

Before I had the surgery I bought all the cards I'd need this summer. Put the bag...somewhere. Can't remember where, can't find it. Ralph looked, since he did a lot of rearranging to make it easier for me, and he can't find it either. 

On the positive side, the incision looks great. No signs of infection. The foot is still stubbornly swollen. 

And so it goes!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Postop Day 23

It rained last night, finally. No thunder or lightening that I heard, but it seemed like every time I woke up, it was raining. I was up from 4-5.30 a.m. Same old, just couldn't get comfortable. Angela the PT was to come at 10, so I got up around 8.30 got dressed and had breakfast. At 9.30 I laid down to elevate the knee, which was sore. Angela called to say she was held up at a staff meeting and would be here at noon, so I took a nap. 

The knee was still sore when she got here. She suggested that it might be the weather, as I'm not the only patient complaining. Since she had been here yesterday, we didn't do all the exercises. I walked back and forth down the hall with a straight cane that she brought for me to try out. My left knee has been sore, so I used the cane in the right hand, and she said my gait was better. The surgical knee (the right) seems to be stronger than the left. 

The flexion was about the same as yesterday, about 95%. Extension was OK. She'll be back on Monday, and my assignment is to walk the length of the house til I get tired twice a day. 

The day was dreary, and after Angela left we had lunch and took naps. Even the cat slept on Ralph. Then he headed out to a Wounded Warriors thing, and I settled in to watch some TV and crochet. I've been massaging the knee trying to reduce the hypersensitivity of the skin of the knee. My right food is still swollen- it is somewhat down in the morning, but goes right up as soon as I walk around. 

I've been reading a book called Under Her Skin by Vicki Lane on the Kindle. The book is the latest of a series, and I'm enjoying it, but I get sleepy every time I read! 

John called from Florida last night while Heather and the kids were here, so they talked about dates in November. She and Ed and the kids are going to Orlando for a week, and John plans to take off a day and meet them. 

I used the cane while Angela was here, then went back to the walker- much as the walker is a pain, it's also more stable. I'll walk with the cane again tomorrow. Angela gave me the names of a couple PT places, so I looked them up online. I have to call one to see if they take my insurance- that's on Monday's To Do list.

And so it goes!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Postop Day 22

Angela the PT was here today. She asked if I was ready to try using the cane. Yes! I did good with it, so she said I can alternate the cane and walker as I feel like.

I did the full set of exercises under Angela's supervision. The swelling continues to go down, and I can get more flexion. She didn't measure, but thinks I'm at about 95%, with the goal being 115-120%. Flexion makes me wince, but extension makes me go "uh." To have a normal gait, I need both full flexion and full extension. It'll come.

I expressed concern about getting into the car, and she told me to lift the leg while sitting down, and ease it over to the right- the motion I would use to get into the driver's seat. It'll be another 3-4 weeks before I can drive, but I'll need to get into the car by myself to do so. 

I was actually able to lay on my stomach for a few minutes last night. Not long enough to go to sleep, but it's a start. 

Angela will be here again tomorrow, and Monday. She gave me names of local PT places, and will discharge me to outpatient PT around August 1. 

They keep saying rain and thunderstorms. It's down to 94 out, and no storms yet, tho it's overcast out. Cliffie can't decide if she wants to be in the house or on the porch, so she goes in and out. Ralph worked outside briefly this morning, before it got too hot. 

Heather and the kids are on their way up to visit. It's so great having them back in Jersey! 

And the beat goes on!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Postop Day 19

Not much new today. I did my PT exercises, and the home care nurse was here. She asked if I thought I really needed to be seen by a nurse- not really. So she discharged me from nursing services. I'll just be receiving PT services now, which is fine. 

The incision looks good, and the leg is much less swollen. Hopefully the foot's swelling will be next to disappear. I can move the knee more by the day. I'll feel like I'm making no progress, and get really discouraged, then sort of look back at the progress I have been making. 

Today I only took one nap, and it was short- about 15 minutes. I try to lay down to elevate the foot every time I do the exercises. 

Yesterday I talked to my friend Franny, who is also part of the walking wounded. Today my friend Pat called from Florida, so we caught up. Manda called tonight, so I talked to her for a long time. She and Ben were in Nebraska for a wedding, so I heard all about the house Polly and Randy are moving to. 

Tomorrow I go for the bloodwork for the cardiac ablation, which is scheduled for July 30. I'll be glad to have that done and over with. 

So life at the moment consists of PT exercises, reading, catching up on TV shows on the DVR, talking on the phone, and a little crocheting. Could be worse.


Saturday, July 14, 2012

Physical Therapy

The PT was here yesterday. Michelle was covering for the PT who will be mine, who is on vacation. She guided me thru a series of exercises, non of which seem hard on paper. Some in a straight chair, some standing at the walker, and some either laying on the bed or in the recliner. The whole series only took about 15 minutes, and I could barely move at the end! I'm to do the whole series 3-5 times per day. She predicts that I'll be off the walker and onto the cane within two weeks. 

The swelling in the leg is resolving, but my foot is still very swollen and annoying. Luckily I have a pair of sandals with three sets of velcro straps. I can't fasten the middle set of straps at all. I spend so much time with it elevated! 

Today is postop day 17. The bruising is all but gone, the incision looks great, and the knee feels strong. I can do more by the day, and I sleep better every night. I'm managing on the one vicodin at bedtime, and tylenol the rest of the time. I know I don't have to worry about addiction issues because I am in pain, but I still don't want to take the narc any more often than that. 

I had an eye doc followup appointment today, so I did the steps, the car, and the parking lot. I was so tired and sore when we got back! I had lunch and went in for a nap. When I got up, I did a set of exercises, then elevated the lower leg so the knee would extend. I read a quilting magazine while I sat, and I'm eager to be able to get back to quilting. It'll probably be mid-August before I'm able to. 

Ralph got us some jersey tomatoes to have with lunch. It tasted so good on my sandwich! 

And so it goes!

Friday, July 13, 2012

In the middle of the night...

I went to sleep around 11, and got up around 2.30 and tossed and turned, so here I am! I don't want to wake Ralph up. The home care nurse was here yesterday, and PT will be here this morning. I want her to work on the outside steps with me, if it's not to hot out. 

I walked back and forth thru the house all day, which the carpet makes not as easy as tile. Seems like I'd be up for two hours and sleep for two hours. Sitting on the loveseat is just not comfortable for long. It's not that the knee actively hurts, it just is there. And putting the right foot up on the ottoman to stretch it out hurts! Ortho said I need 0 degrees for a normal gait, so I'll persevere. 

The nursing staff at rehab was - interesting. I was there 10 days, and only one nurse looked at my ID bracelet! Two times a nurse tried to give me the wrong narcotic, and once they handed me someone else's labelled eyedrops. What set me off totally was the day I was told that I didn't have a 6 a.m. med. When the day nurse came in with my synthroid, which nights never signed out, and my vicodin, and handed them to me, I went off. 

I said "You are handing me a narcotic and you have no idea who I am! You did not look at my bracelet, or at least ask my name! That's Nursing 101." Her response was to ask if my room # was correct on the bracelet (the one she didn't look at) and the answer was no.

Patient relations made her daily visit, and I told her of my concern. She went right to the nurse manager, who later came to see me. She started out defensive- rehab is different, the nurses know their patients, yada yada. I called her on it- it was several nurses, who didn't know me at all, handing me narcs and cardiac meds. By the end of our conversation she was planning refreshers for her staff in proper procedure and giving them all letters about what happened. 

The day I was discharged, the nurse manager walked out with us. She told me she was cringing inside as a nurse when I told her what was happening. One of those things she assumed her staff was doing correctly, and was horrified to find out they weren't. She assured me there would be changes made, and she seemed quite sincere. I hope she follows thru, before there is a catastrophe. 

And now I'm going back to bed. 

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Home again!

After two weeks away, I'm home with my new right knee! I had no cold symptoms at the hospital, so the surgery was done. It took less than 2 hours! I understand it's a very bloody surgery, another reason that I didn't want to watch one on you-tube. 

I had a dressing from thigh to foot, which got annoying real fast. It was on til Saturday morning. Wednesday was a space in and out day. Thursday I couldn't stay awake, and I realized why when they said they substituted another beta blocker for one of my meds. I refused that, and my head cleared and I woke up by the end of Thursday. I had a nerve block that kept the knee mostly pain free for the first 24 hours, then I was on morphine, which I only used once. Vicodin was the drug of choice for the pain. 

Physical Therapy got me upright on Thursday, but I felt like I would vomit, so they put me right back down. Friday I was able to get up to a commode with assistance and a walker, and PT walked me about 8 feet in the morning, and about 15 feet later. 

Saturday PT showed me how to move my dead weight leg in the bed, and I walked about 30 feet with the walker. I felt like I did so much! Saturday evening I was transferred to rehab 

Sunday I was evaluated by PT at the rehab, and was able to walk to the bathroom with the walker. PT really wanted me to wait for an aide, but as I told them, I'd put on the light, go the the bathroom, and be back in bed before anyone showed up to help. 

I worked hard in PT and OT. As I told them, I was there to be able to get out, not to screw around. I did everything they instructed me to. I could see daily improvements. Yesterday they said I might be able to get a few more rehab days, but I was ready to come home. I will get home PT and OT til I can easily transport to outpatient. 

The outer part of my leg started out one big bruise, which is now mostly resolved. The 29 staples came out yesterday, and I can get it wet tomorrow. It still feels like there is a tight band around my knee area, and that area is hypersensistive to the touch. I have to work on flexion and extention. I can flex better than extend at this point. 

I'm so glad to be home~

Tuesday, June 26, 2012


I sneezed all weekend. Yesterday I had a runny nose all day, and last night I started coughing. I was up and down all night. This morning I sounded terrible, so I called the surgical scheduler. We decided to wait and see. By 3 p.m.after sleeping all day, I sounded and felt somewhat better.
The ortho said our choices were to either postpone (which would be at least 2 weeks, with next week being July 4), or come in tomorrow and let anesthesia decide. I chose that option. So I have to be there at 0630. If it had been a one week delay, I would have chosen that immediately, but two weeks bumps everything else back. So we'll see. 

So I'm almost all packed. Two duffles, one for the hospital, one for rehab. The baby kindle has a bunch of books on it, and the iPad will come up with Ralph Thursday or Friday. 

My mom asked if I'll sleep tonight. Who knows? 


Sunday, June 24, 2012

Getting ready!

72 hour til surgery! Yikes!

School is finally out for summer break! Not vacation, vacation implies pay, and we don't get paid for the time off. Which is OK! It's worth it to have a break.

Today we're going to MacKenzie's 5th birthday party.It's hard to believe that she and Julianna are 5 already. 

We had a spell of awful heat- it was near 100 the middle of the week. It's calmed down to the 80's now. 

And it's almost July already. In July we have birthdays- Steph and Dan start the month. We also have John, Helen, Connor, MacKenzie, and Nadia.

The end of July I get my ablation for the afib. Such a fun summer! Surgery, rehab, and a procedure. Some people take fun vacations, I get body parts fixed. 

It's amazing how different it is to read on the Kindle or Nook versus a book. It takes a very short time to get used to, and it's so convenient. I adore the iPad, but the Kindle and Nook are more of a book shape, so for just reading, they can't be beat. 

So the next time I post here, I'll have a new right knee!


Sunday, June 17, 2012

Ten days to go!

Ten days til my new knee! One more doctor appt, with my primary for clearance. No problem, she said if it's good with cardiology, it's good with her. 

It's been so nice and cool at night. We've been making the cat happy and sleeping with the windows open. 

Today is Father's Day, another Hallmark Holiday. 

Barbara came down yesterday and basted her double wedding ring on the HQ. She plans to handquilt it this winter, and this way she doesn't have to worry about anything shifting, or pin marks. It's a huge quilt, queen sized, and just gorgeous. 

I saw the ortho partner in charge of rehab, Dr. Nolan. Day one and two postop will be in the hospital, getting out of bed with a walker, and CPM. He recommends acute rehab starting day 3, to jumpstart the rehab. It would be PT three times a day, and last  a week to ten days. His office will get that into the works. 

I had dinner with Roseanne Thursday night. We email every day, but rarely see each other, so it was great. Her daughter Lauren works in an EPS lab, and she sent me a powerpoint presentation on afib ablation. I think I'll wait til after the procedure to read that. Ignorance can be bliss! 

John is coming up for a long weekend, arriving the day after my surgery. So I won't get to see very much of him, but it's always a bonus to see him. 

EasyShare is being discontinued, so I have to figure out another way to post pix. I was considering a new camera, since mine is 6 years old, but Ralph is keeping his on the computer desk so I can use that. Another summer project. 

Four more days of school! We are always the last district to get out, because of all the ridiculous holidays we have off. 

I read the newest Jennifer Chiaverinni book, The Wedding Quilt. I think that series has run it's course- this book was set 25 years in the future. It's one of those series that I'm not sure why I read. 

And the beat goes on!