28 July 2022

5% Lucky

 Way back in March, I mentioned here on the bloggity that I wondered if the Covid had messed with Kevin's Graves Disease.  Then he got Covid again in June.  Because why not?

He had a physical the other day and his Graves Disease is active again.  His thyroid numbers are high.  Alarmingly high.  They changed his dosage and now we wait to see. He has another blood test in a few months, sooner if he gets more symptomatic.   If they don't drop, then it's possible radiation again.

ELEVEN POUNDS he has lost.  I bought him a size smaller jeans and we need to cull through his shirts.  He wears them a little big anyway but now they hang on him.

During the exam, the doctor - a general practitioner because Kevin hadn't needed a thyroid doctor - initially attributed it to age.  Then Kevin asked "What effect does having Covid TWICE have on it"  The doctor didn't know but agreed that it could be a thing and will look into it.  #thankscovid

So, here goes me to search with my Grey's Anatomy Medical Degree on the University of Google.

Well, look at that. The second result was from the National Institute of Health:

And, YES, I did send this to the doctor. It feels like I shouldn't have to but here we are.  Kevin pointed out that he is not the doctor's only patient; because he's more reasonable than I am most days.

I feel both relieved and sad about this.  And then oops, there goes my anger again.

Because for the eleventieth time: he got Covid twice due to unvaccinated people who didn't practice social distancing and/or came to work sick and/or have any empathy/respect for the people around them.  And now, he's back in active status for Graves.

Deep breath....

His meds were changed and I'm back to tracking symptoms on a calendar and squelching the PTSD that comes from having an ill spouse.  We're assuming that the meds will put him back in remission because we can't think about going through radiation again.

He's been on his new dose five days now.  His body went at WTAF on Saturday and that was a really bad day.  He actually said "I am not alright right now" at one point.  He was shaky to the point of not being able to do fine motor tasks.  He was spacey, not able to keep the thread of a conversation, he looked pale and wan.  We checked his heart rate and blood pressure and by some miracle, those were normal. 

All of that reminded me of the speech we got from one of the specialists that said "No big decisions. No buying a car or a house. No getting a divorce. No big decisions until you're in remission."

As for the Why Didn't We Notice question:  we had chalked any symptoms to stress from the parents/family and he's in the busy season of his work.  In addition, because of the Covid taking away the sense of smell and taste, we attributed weight loss to that.  (it can be a factor but the Graves is more likely the culprit)  And, I had gotten out of the habit of tracking symptoms because I hadn't needed to.  

So that's just...neat.

Then while I was busy with being a research nerd, I found an article that states approximately 5% of people who had Covid and a loss sense of smell/taste, have NOT recovered that sense.
Kevin is just so doggone lucky.

Aren't I a bundle of good news today?  

HOWEVER, on the same NIH site, in a different article, was information for rehab to get the sense of smell to return. Then that led me to an NBC article, link here.   Wouldn't you know that the amazon has a kit for that. (it will be here Sunday)  It's worth a try and I wouldn't consider it if it hadn't been recommended by the NIH.

AND this is much easier than the other therapies: injection of plasma or placing of electrodes into the nose.  Kevin is skeptical about the above kit but he was a Hard Pass to the other rehabs.

I'm posting about this on the bloggity not for sympathy but to give everyone who has an autoimmune disease - or has family/friends that do - and had the Covid, advice to Check In With Your Doctor.  Make sure that everything is steady and unchanged.  Don't assume.

16 July 2022

Everything is Fine

 Okay, so....there's just been, like, A LOT.  

The mom is "fine".  She's more easily confused now, sleeps more, and isn't able to get around as much as before.  She still insists that she is "fine" and that she will be better because she is "tough".  Nothing makes me want to punch an old lady more than repeatedly hearing how "fine" and "tough" she is when she clearly is not.  She told Kevin she isn't able to use her phone or her tablet because she "can't remember."  Clearly, OBVIOUSLY, she is fine.

Kevin is "fine" from the last Covid adventure.  He has a physical this week and we'll see what the doctor has to say.  I will say that I had to buy a size smaller jeans and his shirts are hanging off of him.  We continue with the "Oh, can't eat THAT anymore" and "That smells TERRIBLE" adventures.  (melon and vinegar floor cleaner)  Nothing sensory has been regained, it's actually gotten worse.  It's not "oh, that's unpleasant" but more of a RETCH, I have to spit it out/get away from it reaction.  

I am "fine" from my fall the other day.  My leg is a rainbow of bruises AND I discovered that my foot was also bruised.  I didn't notice because I don't wear shoes when I am home and the shoe made me notice the bruise.  Yes, one would think that I would have noticed but here we are.  The bruise on my jaw stayed beneath the jawline so that was good.

Right now my job is on summer break - all of July, historically.  Well, they forgot to tell me (because I work from home and don't attend meetings) that some of the programs are running through the summer.  So I'm all lalalalala and still should have been working.  

ALSO, there was a change in the database with an upgrade.  This created a data gap (I will not be nerdy) that created a need for an item to be changed for ALL the kids in the program for the school year.  SUPER.  AND it had a deadline of not only 07/30/22 and ALSO sooner than that because my job partner had a task to do which was contingent upon MY WORK.  No pressure there, at all.

All of this seems super fun and I know you're probably feeling a little jealous.  I am not done.

The lovely PNW had record rain this Spring.  We also had what we call "June-uary" where we had winter weather instead of Spring weather.  What this showed us is that the roof needed replacing.   Again, in the lovely PNW, we have finite days of nice weather for this kind of thing so we had to hurry.

Upon a glowing recommendation, I met with the roofing company, who were charming and helpful.  We were on the schedule for the end of July at the earliest, but most likely August.  Fast forward one week and they had a break in their schedule and would be here LAST WEEKEND.

A few things:

We made the mistake of saying "Start as early as you want."  I was awoken to the sound of a ladder being opened and rested against the house at 7 A.M.  Kevin was awake but not showered so that caused a momentary Three Stooges episode as we quickly got ready.  

If it were during the week, Lucy and I would have had to go somewhere for the day.  Because it was the weekend, she could be outside with Kevin and I could be wherever.  I was very much wanting my dreamed about nap closet though.

We financed three-quarters of the bill so we didn't empty our savings.  And then the universe laughed and said "That's adorable." with a gentle pat on my head.  The overage was an additional $3500 because there was a flaw in the original construction.  The flaw was not surprising but the overage was; especially since lumber is at a PREMIUM right now.  I'm trying not to stress about it but I have been in the mourning process for our savings.

Now it's done and it's beautiful.  The company gave us a break on a few things and also gave us time to pay the overage because of the surprise.  I mean, I can't complain about that. (yes, I can)

Here is something to know if you ever have your roof replaced or repaired and it's probably not what you're thinking.

You are going to be sweeping, vacuuming, mopping, and dusting over the next few days.  

You are going to be resetting pictures and paintings on the wall

All of your ceiling fans are going to need cleaning.

And bugs.  It's like all the banging drew them out.  It's not gross or overwhelming, it's just little ones like a random spider that got scared out it's home.  We had a few ants that tried to take cover in our bathroom. (vinegar fixes that, if you need to know) 

So, yeah, everything is "fine" here.  Just FINE.

Kevin just came in to let me know that the parents washer has died.  This is the fourth one since they've begun living with us in 2008.  Somehow they found a laundry service and are sending their laundry out to be done.  This is instead of asking the people who live on both sides of them to help with the laundry.  Earlier this week they called me to get the number to "information" so they could look up a number but they figured out how to find a laundry service.

Because they are FINE.

13 July 2022

At Least I Got the Shot

 I had to take Lucy to the vet today for her checkup.  As a "treat" afterward, I took her to the park nearby to forget the horrible invasion of her privacy.  We had just started when we went down by the creek so she could get a drink and I could take photos.  

And the next thing I know, I'm on the ground.  Somehow, I had turned, caught my foot on a root or a rock and fell.  

Of course, my first two thoughts were "Where's my phone" and "I hope no one saw that"  Clearly, I have my priorities correctly organized.  Oh, and there was a little cursing sprinkled in there for decoration.

Lucy, meanwhile, had scrambled up on the bank because I startled her.  She just looked at me like "Really?" and waited for me to gather myself again.

It's been discussed before that when I am hurt, I am a Nothing is Wrong, Nothing to See Here person.  So, of course, we continued our walk like nothing happened.  I did a damage assessment as I walked.  First, checked my phone to see it wasn't broken then looked at my forearm holding the phone because it hurt.  Not a scrape or a bruise (yet) so then I looked at my knees.

Oh, this is where I mention that this was the ONE TIME that I was wearing shorts.  I never wear shorts away from the house.  But the vet doesn't require the human to come inside so I didn't worry about it. Super.

Next up: my knees.  One was scraped and sore and the other was just sore. 

Then I noticed my shin. Luckily, not the broken-leg leg.  There is a handprint sized bruise growing there.

Finally I stopped and had to take an awkward selfie - all my selfies are awkward but that's not the point - to discover that I have bruise/scrape along my jaw to my chin.   You know I was fine with all the other injuries but that had my alarm bells ringing. 

Still we continued walking because I was In It now.  We went to another part of the creek, where there wasn't roots and rocks, and I started taking photos.  As I leaned down to take a ground level shot, I noticed my shin is bleeding.  Because of course it is.

This is where I explain to Lucy that our "fun" is now over and we needed to head home. Remarkably, she didn't fuss. It's like she realized the human had hit her limit. Half a mile walk back to the truck and home we went.

Once we got home, I got ice out of the freezer and put it on my jaw.  I'm not missing the absolute IRONY that a week and a day ago we were in the E.R. with my m-i-l for a fall.  

Then I washed all the scrapes, put antibiotic salve on the bleeders, and bandaged my shin.  At this point, I texted Kevin this:

"Lucy is not getting a bath today for the dumbest possible reason"

He phoned like two minutes later with a patient "What did you do?"

He suggested that I sit on the couch until he gets home in order to stay safe.  He also suggested that I could first go over and show his mom my injuries.  Funny guy, lemme tell you.

Instead I attempted to eat lunch while holding ice to my jaw and that worked about as well as one would expect.  Then I had to work a little bit and now I have to go check on the parents.  I may just peek around the corner to verify they are there and then slink home.

I am not looking forward to the rainbow of bruising that I will have in the morning and the possible discovery of other bruising.   I'm not so much worried about any of it, except my jaw.  That could be unsightly but at least I still mask up when I go into stores.  

This is the shot I was going for:

And then this happened:

06 July 2022

Waiting - A Raising Parents Story

 We haven't had a Raising Parents episode in a while.  They had been on a steady path for a minute. Then they weren't.  So what had happened was….

The mother-in-law thought it was a good idea to go outside at 10:30 pm on the 4th of July without her walker and her oxygen and unassisted.  She fell, no surprise. 

We got a call from my father-in-law just before 11:00 pm and we both rushed over there. Kevin was a few steps ahead of me so I lost sight of him.  I went into the house and....no one was there.  I walked back to the bedroom and the door was closed and everything was quiet.  Of course, I go to the dark place that she fell while going to bed and this was all over.

Then I realized that couldn't be, turned around to go find Kevin and he yells. They were carrying her, clearly dazed, back into the house. This is when I learn that she fell outside.  OUTSIDE.  I was momentarily stunned into inaction.  

Once settled, she did the infuriating "I'm fine, go home".  Kevin asked her why she'd gone outside and she explained that she took the dog out because the dog didn't like fireworks and didn't go potty earlier.

This is when I notice her walker right in front of her chair, at about the same time that Kevin did. The obvious question was asked and her response was "I didn't need it"  then sensing impending doom, she adjusted her statement to "I forgot. I just stood up and went outside."  This is all a lie because there is no "I just stood up".  It is physically impossible.

This is where I lost my cool a little bit and rose my voice "That is incredibly RECKLESS,"  She kind of waved me off and my temper rose a little more.  "That is incredibly RECKLESS."  She continued to try to justify and Kevin intervened.  She continued and I admit I lost my temper a little bit.  
"You had to WAKE US UP. It's 11 o'clock at night and you WENT OUTSIDE.  OUTSIDE where you don't belong and WITHOUT YOUR WALKER. Then you're saying it's not a big deal and we just need to go home. YOU ARE MAKING IT VERY DIFFICULT TO BE KIND TO YOU RIGHT NOW."

THEN she tried the "We don't want to bother you and that's why we didn't call right away."  WUT.  WHAT THE EVERY LIVING WHAT.  Kevin intervened again so she returned to the "Just go home" and Kevin explained emphatically that we can't just go home.  He mentioned that she had bumped her head.  This is where I alerted and said "She what....?"  He asked me to look. 

A BASEBALL SIZED goose-egg kind of bruise on her forehead.   With scrapes.  I hurried to get ice and improvised with frozen peas. Then I sat at the table because I had to center and think this through.  My impulse was calling the ambulance but it was the 4th of JULY.  Everyone was calling the ambulance at that point.

Instead, I asked for my f-i-l's phone to call the doctor.  He fussed that I wouldn't be able to reach anyone and we didn't need to.  Kevin rose his voice this time and said "Give her the phone, she is calling the doctor.  The other option is calling the ambulance."  I phoned her doctor office, got the service who took the info, then her doctor called back less than five minutes later and was absolutely lovely.  

I explained what happened and paused for the "She did WHAT" and because the parents couldn't hear the conversation I responded "I KNOW RIGHT"   I could hear that she was reviewing her chart and she paused.  "She is on blood thinners" she stated/asked.  I confirmed it and her tone changed.  "She has to get checked out.  Don't wait."

We disconnected and I just plainly stated "She said to call the ambulance."  The m-i-l begins to fuss because she is embarrassed and doesn't want the attention.  Kevin squelches it right away.  

I dialed 911 and the person was cheery for working on a holiday known for 911 calls.  Her demeanor also changed when I explained why we needed the ambulance.  She said they would be there but it was busy.  Almost a half-hour later and they arrived.  They were from the next town south so our fire department aid vehicle must have been very busy.

The paramedics assessed her and confirmed that she needed to go to the hospital.  They did offer that we could take her instead of them, in an effort to triage their own calls.  We made the decision that Kevin would take her and they helped get her out of her chair, into a wheelchair then into the van.  The ambulance could follow us until they had to turn off to return to their station or get another call.

My father-in-law stayed home with the dog, which I'm still very surprised about.   Kevin and I had a debate if I should stay because this is the year that Lucy has decided that she doesn't like fireworks.  I realized that he not only needed support, I am the one with all her information.  I grabbed my bag, soothed Lucy the best I could, then we left.

We arrived then I went to the front desk, as instructed, and asked for assistance.  Right when we got her into the room, I could hear a trauma code being called.  Suddenly there were five people in the room to assess her.  I had a little rush of adrenaline and realization that this is suddenly very real.

So, this is a heads up for anyone who is raising parents: you have to not care about upsetting them.     She always fusses when I say she has vascular dementia.  When I listed it, she fussed.  The ER triage nurse just kind of laughed and looked at me when I eye-rolled, "That's normal" she replies.  They were asking if she hurt anywhere else and she did the "I'm fine" thing.  I interjected "She lies.  She wants you to think she's tough." The nurse kind of giggles again "We hear that a lot too."

They asked us to step away for a minute and did a quick assessment then told us that they were going to do a CAT Scan.  They wheeled her back to find a room but there wasn't one available.  They parked her - and us - next to the nurses station.  As frustrating as that was, we had to recognize that this means not only the ER is full but the hospital is busy as well.  This also means that while they're worried, they're no longer WORRIED.

This is where she starts in with the "You just go home. Dad will come get me in the morning."  I thought Kevin was going to lose it, I really did.  He explained again that he can't just "go home" that we were waiting for the CAT scan.  She tried to insist and he did lose it, a little bit.  "MOTHER, if the CAT scan is bad that means you're going to SEATTLE for surgery.  You still want me to go home?"  Then about five minutes later she kind of tried again.

So this is where I mention that I'm on my annual summer binge of Grey's Anatomy.  I'm at the point where one of the characters had a memory issue that caused her to forget every few minutes.  This popped in my head and I looked at the clock.

Sure enough, about fifteen minutes later she asked me what we were waiting for.  (Kevin had walked away to go to the bathroom)  I explained again and we did the whole "I'm fine, you can go home" "No we can't" carousel.

The tech came and took her for her scan.  We just sat there and stared at the wall.  Kevin expressed frustration with her "She just doesn't get it."  Then he explained that she had told him to call his brother.  Kevin said he did and he didn't answer.  Then the mom flipped into the automatic defending of him "He must be talking to someone"  Kevin reminded her that it was 11:00 at night when he phoned.  Kevin finished the story and I just said "He didn't answer the phone?"  and he shook his head.  I leaned toward him and whispered "Seriously.  Eff that guy."

Kevin explained that the brother had recently broken his cell phone and was using his work phone, which sometimes doesn't work.   While that offers a little need for grace, this is not the first time - or even the third time - that he hasn't answered the phone in this kind of situation.  Also, we don't have the luxury to just not have a phone but let's not unpack that right now.

The tech brought her back and said it wouldn't be a long wait for the results.  The mom was clearly tired now and quiet.  Then again, she asked what we were waiting for.  I looked at the clock and it was about twenty minutes from the last time she asked.

Kevin walked away to phone his dad with an update.  I noticed that the m-i-l was rubbing her leg.  I asked her what was wrong and she said that her leg hurt.  She pulled up her pants and there was a bruise developing about the size of my hand on her calf, below the knee.  She has Peripheral Arterial Disease and Neuropathy.  She can't have an injury to her leg.  Because she hadn't complained and was able to transfer to a chair, they hadn't checked her.  I can be both frustrated and understanding in this situation.  She presented as fine so they took her at her word.

The doctor arrived to tell us that the CAT scan was clear but we weren't out of the woods. She definitely had a concussion and still had to be monitored.  Her bruise would get significantly worse before it got better.  Then he explained that we could go home. I was relieved and also a little disappointed.  It would have given everyone a break to have her stay.  But we understand that not only was the hospital busy due to the holiday, the pandemic is still a thing.  Also, the consequence of a hospital stay would have been perfect in making our point of the whole situation.

Then I mentioned that her leg was bothering her and her health history.  He examined her leg and she winced.  Now we're waiting for an x-ray.  He was gone about five minutes and she asked Kevin again what we were waiting for.  I looked at the clock and it was about fifteen minutes that had passed.

They took her for an x-ray and about five minutes after that, the doctor returned.  Nothing broken but very bruised.  He explained that it also needed monitoring and she needed bed rest.

It's now past 2 o'clock am and we're heading home.  Kevin was so tired that I was a little concerned about him driving but he had to see this through.  We got her home and settled, not without a little drama.  As she settled into her chair, she had an adrenaline dump and began to shake.  I honestly thought we were calling the ambulance again.  

She calmed and settled down so we began to give instructions to my f-i-l.  She had to stay in her chair, she had to keep her leg elevated, she had to be monitored for consciousness and responsiveness.  Kevin mentioned that they said for her to take ibuprofen for the bruising.  The m-i-l literally whined that they don't have ibuprofen.  Kevin just turned and looked at me.  Wordlessly, I just backed out the door and went home to get ours.

Upon my return, Kevin was having the whole "You have to be monitored, this isn't over" conversation again.  We left and he just quietly said "They so don't have this."  

When we went to bed it was 3:00 am and I was wide awake.   After a debate of whether or not he was going to work in two hours that he lost, Kevin went to sleep almost immediately.  I watched television for a few minutes then forced myself to go to sleep.  Kevin woke up at 5:00, called his guys to coordinate the work day, then went right back to sleep.   

Then his phone rang again and it was the brother.  I heard "What's going on?" as he walked out of the room.  Kevin said that he explained what happened and the brother CANNOT just not be available. To his credit, he apologized and Kevin said they would talk about it later.  Kevin went back to bed and was asleep in seconds.

We both slept in late in the morning.  Kevin got up first, cleaned up then checked on the parents. They were fine but still a little flip about the whole situation.  Kevin said he just left and came home, tired of arguing with them.

I explained that I had a project that needed attention and I would be working.  I suggested that he just go out into his shop and relax, take a break from the parents and just do whatever he wanted.  Remarkably, he agreed without fuss.  

He checked with the parents later in the day and he said his mom admitted that she had "learned her lesson."  Surprisingly, Kevin just replied "I hope so but I don't believe you."   Because we know that this is happening again.  There is just no way that it's not.  We've heard this before.

Today he went back to work and it's my job to check in throughout the day.  The 48-hour window is complete at 11:00 tonight.  I think we dodged a very big bullet and I can't believe that we did.  We both thought that this was it.  

Kevin mentioned that the most frustrating thing is that this is a glimpse of the future; in the way that there is no Getting Better.  This is our life now.   I remembered feeling that way when my dad was terminal and acting up.  There wasn't nothing to be done but wait.  Wait for the bad thing to happen.  

So, that's what we're doing now:  Just waiting.

02 July 2022

Passive Resistance - A To Do List

 In light of the previous post, it occurred to me that part of powerlessness is 

Not Knowing What Can Be Done

There's the obvious: Protesting in the streets. Calling your Representatives and Senators.  Burning down the Patriarchy.

Not everyone is wired for big crowds, felonies, and telephone calls though.  Here are some passive ways to protest or support that might be helpful:

Email your Representatives and Senators.  

The addresses are relatively easy to find and often there are letters already written and available online.

Follow them on your social media.


Whoever came up with this idea should get a chocolate cake every Monday for the rest of their lives.  You don't have to have a twitter account, it's just where they started:

Sign Online Petitions:  

Make sure they're from reputable sites like Change.org or MoveOn.org or organizations/leaders you trust. They can increase your spam/email so just know that moving forward.

Volunteer/Donate to Organizations  

Cash is always a good thing but not everyone can donate. See if there are volunteer options that are accommodating for your situation.  Know that even $1 is helpful, no need for embarrassment if that's all you can give.  $1 still helps toward a goal.

Stickers, Pins, Signs or Flags:

Put out flags in your yard, put signs in your windows.  Let your neighbors know that you support them.

You can do the same on your vehicles but it creates the risk of damage to your vehicle, depending on where you live or work.

Do the same at your workplace, if it's allowed.

Remember Lucy's collar?  We bought it at Mud Bay but I'm sure they're available everywhere.

Wear or Use your support: Every org has merch. Order tshirts, water bottles, or whatever.  Make your own stuff to wear.  Pay attention the "Wear Red/Orange/Purple/Jeans" days.  

These are tiny little actions that may seem like not enough but to the person who spots them and feels supported and accepted? it's everything.

Organizations that I Follow: 

MoveOn.org, Human Rights Campaign, ACLU, Moms Demand Action, EveryTown, Occupy Democrats, The Lincoln Project, PlannedParenthood.org

Don't Sh*t Post on Social Media:

What does that mean, you might ask.  That means just constantly reposting every meme, video, etc. on your feed.  People will unfollow or block because they'll tire of it, even those who agree with you.  I balance mine with Lucy and racecar photos and memes. 

Be conscientious about what you post.  Don't be the "I don't care who I piss off" person. Because you don't know everyone's beliefs and feelings. Oh, there are moments but choose wisely.

This meme summed the idea up for me better than I could:

Fact Check. For the love of dog FACT CHECK:




How to google/search:  

Searches can be written in the form of a question (no punctuation)

Do not click at the first 3-4 results as they are almost always advertising or paid to appear first.

If you go to the second page of the google, you're just purposefully looking for nonsense

Check the site or publisher name.  Make sure it is reputable and known.  the IdahoTimes.net is not going to be helpful. (I don't know if that's an actual site, it's just an example)

Check the DATE of the article.  Make sure it isn't from 2015 or 2007

If you're worried about confirmation bias, marketing or tracking algorithms, etc. Use an incognito browser page that prevents that.  (that's some high level nerdery I just dropped there)

Stay Informed - How Do I know Who to follow?

Make sure your follows are balanced.  I follow some writers and representatives from the opposite party for balance.  Obviously, they are moderate or independent leaning. Follow historians, they provide so much knowledge and perspective.

It is too easy to get caught up in following everyone so be careful.  Cultivate the ones who "speak" to you.  Don't overwhelm yourself with All That Is Happening.

One news tip: follow Reuters, AP, BBC, Canadian news, The Guardian.  Get news from out of the United States for a better perspective.

Here are some of my favorites.  I noticed that they mostly happened be women but I do follow men too. (Seth Abrahamson, A.R. Moxon, Dan Rather, Tea Pain) 

Click the names to connect to their twitter pages

PoliticsGirl (on all the socials)

Charlotte Clymer

Molly Jong Fast

Under the Desk News  (on all the socials)

Dr. Joanne Freeman - Historian  

Rabbi Danya Ruttenberg

The Volatile Mermaid

The Hoarse Whisperer 

Beau of the Fifth Column (on all the socials)

Trae Crowder (on all the socials) (Also: his phrase of "math hating, mayonnaise eaters" regarding particular voters will forever be seared in my brain. You're welcome.)


It's easy to lean into the feeling of powerlessness.  Everything is overwhelming right now.  All we as society ask is that you participate, in any way that you can.   VOTE.  Make sure everyone around you Votes.  I don't care if it's the dog catcher and the school board, vote at every opportunity you can.  Help register voters, carpool, support folks who are standing in long lines with food, water, bathroom breaks.

01 July 2022

We Got Work To Do

 This April it was ten years since I broke my foot off of my leg.  That's graphic, I know, but that's what happened.  It's actually called an ankle fracture with enclosed dislocation and tibia/fibia break, but that's more difficult to say.

Two plates and eight screws, two months bedrest, three casts, two months in a wheelchair, and almost a year of rehab therapy later, I am back to 97%.  Actually, I'm back to 91% as deemed by the state, who proclaimed me (hilariously) 9% disabled.

There are few residual effects but none that a person who is not me would notice.  I worked really, really hard to not have a limp, I don't use a cane.  I'm not on narcotics, even though they said I would be for the remainder of my life. (there are days, lemme tell you)  

However, there are a few things I can't do.  Hiking a steep grade, standing for prolonged times on concrete floors, sitting for prolonged periods at a ninety-degree, running.  I can jog a few steps then nope.

Sidebar:  There are a few things I distinctly remember separate from the few things that I can't do:

  • The paramedic announcing "That's not supposed to look like that" upon arriving; making me laugh as I was laying on the floor.
  • Thinking Oh SO WRONGLY that a "Break is better than a sprain" and the doctor being surprised that I was surprised when he mentioned surgery.
  • For years I couldn't remember what Kevin said to make me laugh as my leg was being reset in the E.R.  I finally remembered a while ago:  As the ortho doctor explained he was going to reset my leg, he said "I'm sorry, this is going to hurt when I put it in."  My husband dropped a "That's What She Said" joke.  I remember busting out laughing and the doctor looking at both of us like we were crazy.
  • I actually didn't mind the wheelchair at all.  It was kind of fun in the grocery store but that adventure was a real test of our marriage, let me tell you.  Kevin went by himself after that, lol.

The point of this whole post is that I have been a Whole Mood since the Court Decision. In the past, when Big Moments happen, I will text/message/email my friends and we commiserate.  With this though, I just didn't have the energy.  I was disabled, if you will, with disappointment and frustration.

And that's still not quite the point. Because of course not.

Yesterday I decided to do something that I "can't" do.  There is a trail five minutes from the house.  It is way off the beaten path and I've wanted to go on it for a long while.  The issue is that the first third of it is an uphill hike. I asked two people who've used that trail how bad the beginning of it was and they agreed that it would be rough for me but totally worth it once we reached the top. Here is the site description:

From the trailhead, the route makes a quick, moderate climb, gaining about 300 feet in elevation over 0.3 mile before easing and connecting with the loop trail where you’ll get your first peek at tree-ringed lake.

I woke up in a F&*k It mood, packed up Lucy and my cane, and off we went.  Parking is up on a high hill and from there the trail starts off immediately into the forest. There is no gentle introduction to this trail.  "Moderate" is accurate.  Switchbacks with small flat spots to enjoy the view catch your breath, gaining elevation and pitch the higher the trail travelled.  I was very glad that I had the forethought to bring my cane.  It provided not only a method of balance and rest but also a sense of security.  

Still, whew, I regretted my decision multiple times. The amount of times that I questioned my decision-making processes are numerous.

As promised, once you reach the top and spot the lake: so worth it.  

There is a pretty and easy trail that loops around.  Because it was our first time, unfortunately we only went about halfway around, which was still 1.5 miles total by the time we returned to the truck.  Relatively, that's not far but it is for me and for a 10-year-old puppy.

Going back down was both easier and harder.  One: going down is easier on the respiratory and muscle systems.  Two: the ability to plant (and feel) both of your feet going down steep-ish trails seems important.  Lucy was really good at waiting while I made my way around the hairpins and steeper parts. I didn't take many photos because of the whole trying not to fall thing.

But I did meet a few people along the trail; one of whom was very admiring and appreciative of Lucy's Pride collar. Getting that collar for her was such a little gesture yet has gained us appreciation from strangers quite often.

Lucy says "Be an ally"

So, we've chatted about broken legs, hiking, and being an ally.  What in the world of Give A Mouse A Cookie is my point?

We can do hard things.  If I can go hike the side of a mountain that I'm not supposed to be able to do.  If I can subtly support our LGBTQ+ citizens with a Pride collar.  If I can rest for one day and wake up with an attitude the next.  We can do hard things.

Ten years ago my life was altered and it felt like I was starting over.  Hopefully ten years from now, we will have done hard things and made lives better for ourselves and the people around us.

We gotta do hard things.  Get up.  Show up. We got work to do.