Saturday, May 1, 2010

What's Happenin'?

Howdy.  A lot has happened since I last wrote, not necessarily to me, but it's been quite busy.  We had visitors in town after my last hospitalization: a huge heaping of gratitude to Mariam and family -- hanging out on the deck the afternoon you left made me realize how much Ethan & I have missed being social beings.  Why'd you guys have to move away?! (I know why, because we would have too if it had been us!).  Cousin Buffy came up from North Carolina to be my personal chauffeur & must have been so bored, being a 23 year old stuck in Lynchburg.  Her mom, Ethan's Aunt Candy, showed up mid-week & took over, bringing food, cooking, and exhibiting the familiar trait of fast & furious DeSilvey cleaning (Ethan did not inherit this, though he does dig a mean garden).  I also got Candy's fiance's recipe for Pimiento Cheese Spread, which I devoured.  I remember people ordering this when I worked at Timberlake's Soda Fountain in Charlottesville in high school and thinking it was gross.  But Louie has learned me!

This is cousin Buffy with Bea

An old Missoula friend, from '01-'02 days, Sam, came through on his way up the Appalachian Trail & stayed 3 days, 2 nights.  He rested, cooked, cleaned, entertained the kids -- it was great.  His wife Jen is in Madison, WI, working as a nurse & hanging with the 2 kids.  Saint Jenny!

 Our old friend Sam taking a break from the Appalachian Trail

A special thank you to my friend Barb, who brought us 4 or 5 meals, even though she is a mother of 3, nannies for 2, is a Girl Scout leader, a volunteer, and super-wife.  She will be taking me to campus 3 nights a week in May so we can both cower our way through the required (& dreaded) public speaking class at CVCC.  We talk politics too often and agree our new governor makes us both cry.

Yesterday was my last day of physical therapy.  Legs are done! I could have used more time but my insurance only covers 30 visits and my arm/hand needs more attention than the legs.  I still will have occupational therapy.  My gait isn't totally normal but that also has a lot to do with my arm throwing off my balance.  My arm is all about trouble these days.  Mischief maker! There's always something going on.  Besides the periods of it feeling like it's numb or asleep, my ring finger and pinky are not getting the message to shape up.  I'm trying to use them typing here but it's slow.  My grip is good (from 6 lbs to 21 lbs), but I'm still at around 20% recovered, and the goal is 40% since it's my non-dominant hand.  I have a very strange clicking in my shoulder, which I try to avoid, because the sensation is like a mini-dislocation.  However, I have been told by the great ladies who have been working on me I have a non-gliding scapula, which is causing the humerus to catch.  It is not a nice sensation.  I still can't pull anything, like wet clothes out of the washer or the bottom dishwasher rack without a nasty crick-crack of pain or weird stuff rearranging itself.  I'm working on stretching out the scapula by reaching into cabinets, washing my hair with both hands, and putting my shirt on over my head.  My OT Candice had me playing Connect 4 yesterday.  Except here in therapy, I get a 2-lb weight on my wrist, have to reach 3 feet up to retrieve my black checker from the top of this platform, get a pair of pinchers, put the checker in the pinchers (pinching with my left hand), and lift it up into the Connect 4 plastic holder and drop it in.  We played 6 games of this.  But I didn't cry! Just worked through it.

 Our beautiful chives -- under-appreciated blooms

I did a little planting in the garden to use my left hand (parsley, marigolds (I noticed I bought the "Disco" variety (wha?), and a nice big Columbine).  It was a good exercise for my hand but also frustrating because it takes forever.  I told Ethan: "I am SO over this".  Of course, taking your time in the garden isn't a bad thing.  I saw a mound of dirt moving & saw an insect I'd never seen before, watched the worms wriggling around, even the half-worms Ethan created by turning the garden over.  Poor guys.  I listened to all of the birds in the trees, watched Odette pretending to be a tiger in the grass...Right now she's at the window sill eating moths and mayflies.  I also pruned our gigantic Rosemary shrub in the front, I took off about 15 2-foot branches.  Anyone need any?!

I still am over medicated and asked for "incompletes" for my classes.  I'll have until July to finish but I'll aim for the end of May.  I am confused easily, forget the words for things, space out, my face has been breaking out since my time in UVA Hosp.  I haven't had zits for years, since I stopped caking makeup on my face (they like that in the south).  Bummer.  My friend Mariam treated me to a haircut when she visited, which was nice.  I was so self-conscious of my hair and scar but the hair dresser was great (Amanda Caldwell, Hair Dimensions, near the Boonsboro Kroger). 

What else can I say? Not much.  I'm here, haven't gone back to work yet, but I need to -- we're feeling the pinch.  I'll still be gimpy but luckily it's not a super-physical job.

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