30 June 2012
Way back when I was young, a young man disappeared while cruising downtown. I remember the story because all the kids said it was foul play and the adults said no it wasn't. It was a little contentious because who would know better if a guy had plans to disappear but his friends and classmates. (or former, as he was 18+)
Fast forward about ten-fifteen years and I'm dating Kevin. It turns out that he knew the guy pretty well and he (the guy) was married to one of Kevin's longtime friends. I know, small world.
Kevin & his friends were in the No Way would he disappear on purpose camp. He had a wife, a child, and was a mama's boy. They had even gone as far as to search for him everywhere they could think.
But he was gone, no trace.
Fast forward again about ten-fifteen years and the guys remains are found. He was murdered after all and left behind up in the mountains. The killer confessed after years of guilt. It wasn't someone anyone knew.
We went to the memorial service, which was so surreal as twenty years had passed. It became a little effed-up school reunion as "kids" gathered together to finally put him to rest.
Now, his widow has managed to have the case featured on the ID Channel. (Investigation Discovery) The episode will air later this month, July 30th.
It will be very strange to sit down with Kevin, who actually lived through this, and watch.
Here is the link: Stolen Voices, Buried Secrets.
29 June 2012
I returned to work this week. I can manage a whole three hours A Day. I know, quite impressive.
I've done eff-all since my return. No one seems to mind but I'm a little out of sorts about it.
Then today! Today I had the best job ever:
I held a client's three month old baby for an hour. An hour of cuddles and wiggles and smiles. We even had a bottle together.
Ten pounds of pure joy and hope. For an hour. For sixty minutes all was right in my world. Babies just bring out the best, don't they?
28 June 2012
26 June 2012
24 June 2012
Here's what you can give or do for someone that has been incapacitated for whatever reason:
Magazines, books, puzzle books. Simple stuff that can permeate pain meds
Lotion...especially if you have a cast because you will SO NEED IT when it comes off. Also, it's something soothing to do while you're just laying around.
Lip balm...someone wonderful sent me some and it turned out to be a GodSEND.
I needed it so much while I was stuck in my chair. I don't know if it was the meds or what but my lips were chapped.
Movies and mindless television suggestions. My television rarely moved from the Lifetime channel.
Funny emails and texts. Pain and meds make actual conversations awkward, if not entertaining. I loved having texts while I was laying in the hospital.
Easy Food...I've said it before and you'll hear it again OMG Clif Bars. I existed on those for days. Also, someone sent Lunchables home with Kevin. While they are kind of awful in the way of Twinkies, they were easy to eat while sitting in a recliner.
Also, think Take-Out, casseroles, and coffee cards. Consider the overwhelmed spouse.
That's actually another suggestion: Consider the overwhelmed spouse. I'm so pleased with our friends who stepped up & supported Kevin. I think spouses get lost sometimes in situations like these.
Easy clothes...think track pants, cozy socks, hoodies, or baggy t-shirts. Something that can be slept in. I have worn nothing but these items for eleven weeks.
Volunteer to do something, or actually might I suggest to just do it. Think laundry, vacuuming, changing bedsheets, grocery shopping. Pick up their mail. Take them to doctor appointments.
These all seem like simple things. It was the simple things that we needed the most help with. Not having our bills paid, or our house painted, or the grand gestures. It was the little things that we needed and appreciated the most.
22 June 2012
My solution was a dollar store basket. I put it on the top shelf with another one filled with cookies and a smaller one filled with snacks for Kevin. Top shelf to keep me from temptation. It is almost too far for me to reach, another reason for the baskets.
When I fell down, Kevin had to make his own lunches. (I usually do, every morning, while he eats breakfast. I am Old School Wife.)
When I was able, I started to make his lunches again. But I couldn't get the walker into the pantry easily nor could I stretch to reach the baskets. So I moved them to the bottom shelf.
I noticed that Kevin, in his mad genius ways, had begun clipping the "chip clips" to the side of the basket instead of tossing them in the drawer or in the bottom of the basket. What a simple idea that works fantastically.
It is also an example of how another set of eyes can help improve even the simplest of systems.
21 June 2012
The bad news is two-part and not so much bad news as disappointing.
I have to wear hiking boots. Seriously. Hiking boots. In July. With a gladiator style ankle brace. Now that's hot.
I still can't bear weight while bare-footed. *dammit* This means STILL no shower! For four more weeks! Gah. I can hobble with my brace and no hiking boot. I'm supposed to be able to walk freely without the hiking boot by the next appointment.
Here are some fun facts about hiking boots:
They're not cute.
To boot...hahahaha, get it?...I have to buy two sizes too large to accommodate the brace. I have size 9's and I feel like I'm wearing clown feet. (I'm sorry if you wear size 9+) So I have to wear a thick sock on the normal foot. Did I mention it's summertime and I'm wearing hiking boots? With extra socks? I did? It's because I'm a little BITTER about it.
I'm back to using a cane when I walk. I've been not using one for almost two weeks. I hate the starting over aspect of healing. My leg has been weakened due to the injury so it feels a little wobbly. I'm stooped when I walk with a cane. Then add the fact that I've been walking with a five-pound weight on that leg for four weeks and now it feels weightless. I feel like I'm goose-stepping when I walk.
I just realized that OMG, I'm Ed Grimley.
I need one of those 1950's etiquette classes that teaches good posture. I have to remember to stand straight, step lightly, and not limp (because it's a habit now).
I have to return to work on Monday. I'm starting back at part-time to accommodate physical therapy and my lack of endurance. It is going to be such a change after "hanging out" for the past ten weeks. I have to say that I am very surprised how quickly it has gone by. I still have 30-something Ghost Whisperer episodes to watch and a bunch of books to read.
Last night when Kevin got home from work, I was struggling to learn how to put this complicated brace on and being frustrated with the not-fitting boot. I was sitting on the bed, having a little pity party.
He helped me with the brace, muttering just like I was. I had him dig through the laundry basket I keep my shoes disorganized in. I used to have a pair of hiking boots but I gave them away. I had him check anyway, to make sure my memory wasn't wrong.
As any man would do, he had comments on the amount and kinds of shoes I had. He took out my dansko boots and asked "Aren't these the shoes that tried to kill you?" (no, they're in the give-away pile) "You don't wear these." and "Why do you even HAVE these?"
I was complaining about having boots that were too big. He suggested that I just wear the boot on the broken foot and a sneaker on the other foot. I worried about having my hips misaligned due to the difference in shoes.
And the fact that I would be wearing MISMATCHED shoes, like I don't have enough on my plate. I don't look disabled enough, let's add special needs to my appearance.
So, that's what's going on around here. You know, the usual. I must say.
20 June 2012
Like the swiffer thing. I'd been considering that purchase for months then suddenly I needed it.
I was at a place at work where I was caught up and had things under control. If there was a good time to be gone, this was it. (sort of)
I had been on a cleaning and organizing binge. Thank God for that or this whole disaster wouldn't have gone as smoothly as it had.
My bills were paid early. This doesn't usually happen. Because we're not racing yet, we have more money than usual. I haven't had to think about it almost the entire time I've been down. Kevin has been working monster hours as well so this hasn't been financially punishing. We are So Lucky in that way. So Lucky.
We're not racing yet. We are getting a late start this year due to scheduling and weather. This, of course, is beyond our control but it's one more thing that went our way. Normally we would be so in the thick of it right now.
I had just brought home a few pairs of track pants. I don't usually wear them but they were nice so I brought them home. Now I've worn nothing else for the past two months.
Now that life is slowly regaining balance and normalcy, I keep seeing instances of Oh Yeah, I must have known something was going to happen. So weird.
19 June 2012
Today would have been my 24th wedding anniversary had I stayed married to Michael.
Not that I miss him in any way. I surely do not. In fact, I can barely remember him now. Which is odd to me and I think that's why this day finds me wistful. It's like missing something but being unsure what or why.
When you're nineteen (I know!) you live in the now and while you think you know what the future holds or what it's like to be a grown-up, you have no idea. I am in my forties now and I am still unsure. At nineteen, I couldn't have been more wrong.
I haven't seen Michael in twenty-two years. He did pass me in traffic a few months ago but the only reason I knew it was him was because I have a friend that randomly mentions him. (he lives by that friend's business) I only caught a glimpse and he didn't see me at all.
It's strange to me that someone that I had promised my eternity to is now a complete mystery to me. I can't recall the sound of his voice, the feel of his hand, or even what he really looked like. Sure, I can cite that he had blue eyes, blonde hair, and a swimmers build (He's German) but nothing of note.
And it's a moo point as he was a guy when I last saw him and now he's a middle-aged man. I'm sure he (nor I) look anything like he used to. I hope that, like me, he is not the person he was then.
But twenty-four years ago we were saying vows, posing for pictures, and celebrating with friends and family. Now nothing of that day remains.
I don't have any of those people in my life now. In fact, I can't think of a single one that I talk to. Some I lost in the divorce, some to time, some by conscious decision.
It's almost like the day never happened. Except I have the scars to prove it, hidden as they may be. Those still remain.
18 June 2012
I swear if I hear "Get rid of sentimental clutter" one more time, you are going to see me on Good Morning America shouting them down.
I blame Oprah for this. Years ago she had a show about Use Your Good China! Throw out your child's drawings! Why are you keeping that cup that was your grandmas? she doesn't live in it.
I think that sentimental items give comfort. I think that items remind us of who we are and where we've come from.
Yes, keeping that ugly rabbit from my childhood isn't helping me any but it isn't hurting me either. I see no benefit from getting rid of it. I'm not a hoarder. It's not holding me back from living a grown-up, fulfilled life.
I just imagine people tossing out/giving away items from their past on impulse and deeply regretting it later.
My mother-in-law is a good example. Now that she's older and her memory is starting to go, some of her things have gotten more important to her. They have become a talisman of sorts. Or a physical reminder of someone or something important that she would might have forgotten otherwise.
Or even I am a good example. I have very few things from my extended family. A dish here, a picture there. Because we did not spend time with any of our family members, what I do have is important to me.
To say that "It's just stuff" is actually offensive to me. I know, there are examples of people keeping things that are holding them back. But the articles and the talk shows are geared toward us "normal" folk.
I also believe that every kid should have a box of stuff from their childhood or that has been passed down from their parents or grandparents. We live in such a digital, disposable society now that I think we have to make an effort to keep stuff, not throw it away.
17 June 2012
One of the things that I learned while in the hospital is the meaning (and importance) of chasing pain. Chasing pain is letting the pain overcome your meds and/or tolerance.
For instance, letting your pain meds lapse so that by the time you take the next dose, the pain is unbearable and you have to tough it out while waiting for the meds to kick in. This is just as fun as it sounds.
As I've had plenty of time on my hands recently and perhaps may have experienced the above mentioned phenomena, I have thought about the concept of chasing pain.
Couldn't it be true and thusly applied to emotions? How many of us have experienced the heartbreak kind of pain but just picked ourselves up and walked it off only to have it return and hit us twice as hard later?
Such as the death of a loved one, the loss of a relationship or job. It's all loss, it's all painful. Many of us just move on, believing that we'll just deal with it later. Then later comes around and you're knocked to the floor with it.
I think it's important to try to acknowledge it while you're in it and move through it, if you can. I'm not sure that I'm that kind of person. I tend to bulldoze my way through situations then collapse later. And because of that, have experienced chasing pain.
It's about as much fun as chasing physical pain and the regrets are just the same.
Hmmm, must to think about this further. What do you think?
16 June 2012
It hung in our old house and in the duplex before that. It was painted by one of Kevin's great aunts, sadly neither of us knows which one.
I don't think either of us are particularly attached to it, it's just always been there. It is kind of big so it fills up one wall nicely.
Do you have anything like this? Something you just hang up or put out because you always have or because it's been handed down?
|wonky photo courtesy of droid|
15 June 2012
He came for Kevin's birthday and we met him at the truck when they pulled in. As we waited for the kids to get unbuckled, Scotty said to Kevin "I've thought about this all the way here and there's just no other way to say it. Kevin, I have cancer."
My knees buckled right there. Thank god his wife brought out their baby girl so I could focus. I watched Kevin sway and stammer "What? what happened?" and listened carefully as he explained.
To get an NHRA license, a through physical examination has to be passed. Scotty is also a racer and during his exam, they found something. Thank god his license needed to be renewed or they might not have found it. (his words)
He has/had colon cancer. They took out a section and so far, it shows that they got all of it. He has regular exams coming up and he knows that treatment is always waiting at the door.
You know that you're going to experience this as you age. Family members get sick and die or you hear of former classmates or coworkers that are sick. But when it's your friend, omg, it's awful. It's so real.
We're grateful every day that it was caught early and this will hopefully just be a one time occurrence. We just can't imagine life without Scotty. Thank god that we don't have to.
14 June 2012
They signed the lease on the day I got hurt and started moving the day of my surgery. By the time I was home, conscious, and sober they were gone.
It has been in the works for a while but once the ball started rolling, it went fast. Because I was so out of it, I missed all of it.
I'm grateful for that. I don't know that I would have handled it well. Sure it would be fun to help unpack the kids rooms and see their excitement but still. I have gotten so used to having them around that now it seems like half the neighborhood has moved away. (well, there were five kids & two adults, I guess it did)
I miss not hearing them play outside or seeing them ride bikes past the house. I miss having dinner with them and having them just come over for a visit. I miss seeing or hearing the bus drive by and know they're not on it.
Now I join the ranks of all other aunts and uncles, birthdays and special occasions is when we get to see them. Sucks.
They're only twenty minutes away so I can see them anytime but I'd prefer to just be able to yell their names in quick succession and see them come running. The nephew is good at sending pictures and texts so there's that. It's just not the same.
In July it will be three years since those five crazy monkeys came into our lives. We will never be the same. Thank God.
13 June 2012
(Sidenote: One of the brothers slept with and married the others wife, so we don't see a reconciliation there anytime soon. Although they're still married so it least it was love and not lust)
Through the magic of the facebook, he reunited with one of sisters after 25 years. Twenty five YEARS. Twenty five years they lost. Anniversaries, grandchildren, deaths, retirements, milestones all missed because of pride and hurt feelings.
As you often hear, they really had no idea what precipitated the break. They each kind of know the timing (their mother suffered a debilitating stroke) but each confessed that it was all unclear now.
And more importantly: that it just wasn't important anymore.
Again, we hear it all the time: once you get older, it just doesn't matter anymore. The stuff you thought was huge just really isn't. It's all little stuff.
12 June 2012
Today though I have kept the house quiet, not even turned it on. I've been tempted but I've kept it off, like some strange little psych experiment. I haven't even turned on the radio.
The quiet is soothing once you get used to it. Although right now my father-in-law is mowing so there's not so much quiet. It's warm out so even the dog has given up her ever-diligent barking at things known and unknown.
Usually I don't enjoy the quiet. The ADD doesn't like it and begs for something, someone, anything to entertain it. For some reason today, right now, it's all good.
It's not like I'm working on some huge project or obsessed with something that needs concentraton. I've done little tasks off and on and read a book. That's all.
But beyond the mower, I hear the birds, the windchimes, and the creek. Occasionally I'll hear one of the dogs moving around or a door close. (I jinxed it. As I write Missy Jo is on yellow-level high alert for something she thinks needs attention)
A person forgets how quiet it can be in the country. No car horns, no people, no sirens or traffic. Just the wind, birds, and occasional dog bark. In this electronic age, I think we all forget how good the quiet can be, regardless of where you live.
Maybe I can get used to this.
Take a few minutes. Just be quiet for a few minutes. Do you hear that?
11 June 2012
A little to my surprise, many things did not go back.
Out of five rugs, only one went back and even then it was a new one.
The dining table did not get moved back to it's original space because we like the extra room.
To Kevin's chagrin, two decorative pillows returned to the bed. One did not simply because I repurposed it.
The laundry hamper returned to the bathroom from it's temporary location next to the washer. This I am ambivalent about and I think bears more discussion. It usually lives near the shower in our bathroom. Because I couldn't lift anything (technically still not supposed to) Kevin moved it next to the washer then carried our clothes out to it.
The carrying dirty clothes out individually part is inconvenient yet I do enjoy having the hamper right there where I need it. However, I don't like that it's the first thing you see as you walk in our back door. Then I thought that perhaps I would just buy another hamper but that's just silly and unnecessary. We'll just have to see how it goes. In the real world, this is not a problem and I should probably worry about something else.
I switched where some bins were in our pantry because I couldn't stretch to reach and now I wonder why I put them up there in the first place. Actually, they are the cookie and chip bins so I believe it was an "out of sight so I won't eat them" tactic. There's this thing called discipline that I am going to practice because they're also staying in the new location.
With the refrigerator, we put the milk, creamer, and juice on a lower shelf for when I was wheeling about. This bothered the both of us. Milk belongs on the top shelf where God intended. (:-D Now everything is back in it's rightful place.
The ramp is gone from the stairs outside and the chair that Kevin put on the stair landing is as well. It was too difficult to get out on the big deck so he put a chair out on the stairs so I could still sit outside in the sun. He, nor the dog, appreciated having an already small space being occupied by a chair.
It's funny to me that these changes that we made on an emergency basis have turned out to be good things in the long run. It's as if this fall has forced me to feng shui the house.
07 June 2012
It went well. I have exceeded expectations and was advised to slow down a little bit. Clearly, he doesn't know me. To quote Kevin: "I don't have time for this sh*t"
The one thing that struck me with him and upon further thought, many of the people I've spoken with regarding the injury is that most everything is phrased in the Can't category instead of the Can category.
Don't bear weight
Don't move beyond what's necessary
yadda yadda yadda
The physical therapist kept questioning me with "Did they tell you that you can do this?" All I kept thinking was "They didn't tell me that I couldn't."
I realized that as I'm listening to the instructions this morning that all I am thinking about it what I CAN DO. Oh, don't walk but I can wheel, hop, whatever. Don't drive but I can RIDE? I'm a toddler.
Perhaps it's because they sense that I am toddler that they tell me what not to do.
The surgeon actually laughed at me when I said I would be up and moving by July. (So far, it's a tie)
It's all about phrasing. Like what is taught in early childhood education, tell them what they Can do, not what they can't. Tell me what I can do, not what I can't. Or actually, I will just hear the Can on my own.
But that's just me, just my perception of the world. Not everyone is wired like I am. What about the people that only respond to the negative? There are certain people that would hear the above instructions and follow them to the letter, thus lay in bed for the entire duration.
I believe everything should be phrased in the Can category. Tell us what we can do.
04 June 2012
The overwhelming lesson I've learned is that daytime television thinks you suck. It's very obvious, it doesn't try to hide it's opinion. It's our frenemy.
You're too heavy
Your hair is dull and the wrong color
You have too much hair.
Your make-up is all wrong
You can sue the pharmaceutical companies for everything that is wrong in your life.
Your clothes aren't good enough
Your closets are a mess
Your kids should be constantly misbehaving
You need to spend less time cooking, but eat better.
You're spending too much time cleaning your house
You are using the wrong toothpaste, drinking the wrong thing.
You are even going poo all wrong.
A person needs a strong ego to watch daytime television. If you allow it into your brain, you will learn that you most definitely suck.
Mute the commercials. They're a bunch of liars.
03 June 2012
One of my incisions is taking it's damn sweet time to heal. It's the gnarliest one that runs from my heel to mid-calf. It's certainly going to scar.
Because I can't turn my ankle yet, I am forced to use modern technology to track the healing process. I use the camera on my phone to take a picture.
It has been a really good solution as I can look back when I'm not clear about it looked yesterday.
So that's fun. And no I'm not posting them, it grosses me out a little.
Imagine if I lost my phone right now. The finder would have questions for sure!
I'm back in the recliner without the boot and the sock off as much as possible. My thrice daily "spa" treatments are on hold until the incision heals.
Oh and my first physical therapy is on Wednesday. All kinds of fun happening over here.
I am trying not to be disappointed but I am. I had actually and literally taken huge steps forward just to land on my ass again.
It could be worse, I know. I just assumed that after eight weeks the incisions would not be a problem.
Shiny side... I have nearly 30 episodes of Ghost Whisperer on the DVR, Swistle has me addicted to peanut butter Clif bars, and I have so many books to read that I felt guilty buying another the other day.
There is always a shiny side.
02 June 2012
Oh, my phone.
I love my phone. I was able to keep up with everyone while lying in the hospital, in my own bed, and in the recliner. Or lately in the tub where I've been having a two times daily spa treatment for my foot. (not as fun as it sounds)
But email tends to pile up when viewed on a small screen. I finally sat down with the laptop today and began furrowing my way through all the emails.
I think I responded to everyone that emailed. It might have been in Pain Meds-ese but responded all the same.
I had a whole whack of pictures from the day before the accident (Mother's Day?) that I hadn't done anything with.
A LOT of "Oh, I'll go back and read that later when I'm not high." Yeah, I so hit the delete button on those.
To my chagrin, there were new blog commenters that I haven't followed through with. Gah I hate that. My deal is that if you comment, I go check out your profile/bloggity and comment if I can muster a comment that doesn't fill me with anxiety. So, I have some work to do there. Tomorrow maybe.
I'm also catching up on everyone's blogs. I only have the lovely Swistle and Dooce on my phone so I've got some serious reading to do. CK wrote!! Melina went to ALASKA? Daydream Believer is in Germany! You guys went and Lived your LIFE while mine stood (not really) still?! (:-D
And Twitter...OMG Twitter. I tried really hard to not post while high and I think I managed that. (anyone?) Although today I tweeted that wheelchairs were fun, albeit because I know I can walk. While not on pain meds anymore, probably not my wisest decision.
@Duwaxloolu...the pictures of the baby and the dog helped my days pass as well. thanks!
If you're not following @HonestToddler on Twitter, you're missing out. Especially if you're a mom.
So I'm back and venturing out into the interwebs. What else did I miss?
I will be writing regularly again, starting Monday. My brain is getting full and I need to shake it out.