Small Victories and Major Setbacks

So very concerned about my friend LB, who had emergency abdominal surgery Sunday because they finally decided that the reason she kept throwing up (for over a month!) was that she had some kind of blockage, and did a CT on her (which they should have done a lot sooner if you ask me). She had to have part of her stomach removed (because it was dead) and they did what is called a Roux-en-Y bypass on what was left of her stomach.  The cause of the problem is this honking great tumor snuggled up around her aorta and other such essential things, and it had strangled her small bowel.  They already knew she has breast cancer cells in her liver, and now this.  They want to put her on this new chemotherapy drug that’s just been approved (that’ll be $16,000 a month, thank you very much), that her oncologist is very excited about.  This is all a major setback for her.  With my background as a medical transcriptionist, this is one of the times when I can read the bad news between the lines and just have to keep my mouth shut.  It just breaks my heart.

I get to have a surveillance CT myself Monday to make sure some of my health problems aren’t acting up again.  But that’s Monday.

I did have this one tiny victory yesterday.  Each time I go to physical therapy for the new knee, the first thing I do is go on the exercise bicycle.  I push the pedals as far around as I can, gently forcing my left knee to bend as much as I can.  Yesterday, it bent enough that I could go all the way around on the pedals.  (Slowly, slowly, slowly, climbs the snail up Mount Fuji. . . . .)

This evening, to celebrate, I’m doing two loads of laundry.  Such is life.

Woop! There It Is!

A while ago, when I was doing laundry, like the time before last, I came out short a sock.  It was one of those “low-quarter” socks without a top like you wear with sneakers.  It wasn’t left in the washer, or caught in the dryer, or left behind in the clothes hamper.  Nuts.  I put the odd sock on top of my dresser to remind me there was a sock loose somewhere, and life went on.  So, today, because I’m not going out, I put on this pink and red sleep shirt with cats and hearts on, because cats (and because why not?).  It’s light cotton and it’s been washed enough that it’s soft and comfortable.  I faffed about and puttered around, booted up the ‘puter, read the latest installments of the blogs and webcomics I follow, started working on a story, exchanged texts with a dear friend, LB, who’s in the hospital again having to have worrying things done to her.  A while ago, I realized I was hungry, noticed it was after 1 o’clock and went into the kitchen to make me some lunch.  Toast and these frozen enchilada things.  I was putting the margarine away in the fridge when I stepped on something.  It was one of those topless socks just like the one that had been sitting by itself on my dresser for weeks.  It was lying on the kitchen floor. The universe is a strange and wonderful place.

Caught a trailer from SDCC for the new CBS All Access “Star Trek: Picard.”  I was already interested when I first heard about it, and then I saw this:Star Trek with Elves!  Be still my geeky heart!  The actor’s name is Evan Evangora.   Yowsa!

Old Age Ain’t for Sisyphus

Pushing the rock up the hill again,  which is what rehab is feeling like.   I rehab-ed this knee after I broke the kneecap and had it surgically reassembled with a set of K-wires and a figure-of-8 cerclage wire and had to do a month in a knee immobilizer and wait for the bone to heal.  Then I rehab-ed it again after I had to have the hardware taken out because one of the K-wires twisted out of position.  Very safe bet that this injury and the subsequent surgeries set up the cartilage loss that led to my replacement surgery.  Now I’m rehabing following total knee replacement.  Hopefully the third time is charmed.   I am making progress.  I’ve gone from 82 degrees of flexion to 114 degrees of flexion (with a straight leg representing 0 degrees).

Monday, I went back to my orthopod and he was pleased with my progress.  Then I went hiking at Wal-Mart, came home, put all my groceries away, crashed and burned.  Was in bed by 8 p.m. While I was at Wal-Mart, I got a 17-oz stainless steel (double walled so it won’t sweat all over the place) water bottle that will fit in my bag. I made sure to get one with a neck big enough to fit ice cubes in.  I tested it today and it worked great.   (iced Peach Mango Crystal Light — Nums!) A high of over 100 F/37.7 C tomorrow and Thursday, which is going to be the first time our high has not been in the 90’s in weeks.  Humidity has been around 35%.  Today I went to therapy and then got my hair trimmed.  I’m trying to get it all one length again and am letting it grow out, but I get split ends so bad I have to have it trimmed regularly.  It’s grown out even more insistently curly than it was before I lost great wads of it from chemo last year.  Apparently, I’m going to be sporting a dandelion clock do until it grows out long enough to put back.  After I got my hair cut, I went to Market Street to get the things Wal-Mart doesn’t have.   (Rosemary olive bread, for one thing. . .)

Last Tuesday, was the appointment that TriWest (VA) got me with an optometrist to have my eyes examined and I got a new prescription for glasses.  Now I’ve got to call the VA and find out the hours the VA’s “optical shop” is open so I can turn in my prescription and get new glasses made.  Manaña.

Old Boss
New Boss






Here follows the obligatory Who reference.  Depressingly, the lyrics are as relevant today as they were when the song was released in June of 1971.

In the knitting news, I have two finished objects (FO’s)




A sparkly little baby beanie and a pair of baby booties.  They’re not cute or fancy booties, but with the ribbed cuff folded down once, they stay on.

So, after I got home from my errands this afternoon and was changing out of my slacks and into the cotton sleep shirt I wear around the house, I looked down and saw this:

It’s my right leg, and I’ve got bloody scratches as well as a pair of stonking great bruises, and no idea when I done the deed, never mind what deed I dood.  You’d think if I whacked my shin hard enough to raise bruises like that, I’d remember doing it.  No clue.  About a week ago I had this spectacular bruise on my forearm and no idea how it got there, either.  I mean, I’m not in the habit of pinballing off the walls or tripping over the furniture or anything.  Sigh.  Welcome to the wonderful world of blood thinners.


Books Read in 2019

107. Good Omens, Pratchett, Terry and Gaiman, Neil (re-read
106. *The Lightning Struck Heart, Klune, T. J.
105. *Today I Am Carey, Shoemaker, Martin L.
104. *The Corinthian, Heyer, Georgette
103. *Wanted, A Gentleman, Charles, K. J.
102. Tales From Outer Suburbia, Tan, Shaun
101. *The Man With Two Left Feet And Other Stories, Wodehouse, P. G.
100. The Arrival, Tan, Shaun (graphic novel)
99. *Hell or High Water, Cochet, Charlie
98. *Manners and Mutiny, Carriger, Gail
97. *Waistcoats and Weaponry, Carriger, Gail
96. *Curtsies and Conspiracies, Carriger, Gail
95. *Salt Magic, Skin Magic, Welch, Lee
94. *Enemies with Benefits, Martin, Annika and Chambers, Joanna
93. *Lark and Wren, Lackey, Mercedes
92. *Tribute Act, Chambers, Joanna
91. *Brat Farrar, Tey, Josephine
90. Fortune’s Favor, Lee, Sharon and Miller, Steve (novella)
89. *The Soldier’s Scoundrel, Sebastian, Cat
88. *The Lawrence Browne Affair, Sebastian, Cat
87. *The Ruin of a Rake, Sebastian, Cat
86. Shout of Honor, Lee, Sharon and Miller, Steve (novella)
85. The Little Paris Bookshop, George, Nina
84. *Brilliant Devices, Adina, Shelly
83. *Magnificent Devices, Adina, Shelly
82. *Her Own Devices, Adina, Shelly
81. *Lady of Devices, Adina, Shelly
80. *Romancing the Inventor, Carriger, Gail
79. *Cast In Honor, Sagara, Michelle
78. *Cast In Flame, Sagara, Michelle
77. *Cast In Sorrow, Sagara, Michelle
76. *A Gentleman Never Keeps Score, Sebastian, Cat
75. *Cast In Peril, Sagara, Michelle
74. *Cast In Ruin, Sagara, Michelle
73. *The Damnation Affair, Saintcrow, Lillith
72. *The Ripper Affair, Saintcrow, Lillith
71 *The Red Plague Affair, Saintcrow, Lillith
70. *The Iron Wyrm Affair, Saintcrow, Lillith
69. *The Underwater Ballroom Society, Burgis, Stephanie, editor
68. *Cast in Chaos, Sagara, Michelle
67. *It Takes Two to Tumble, Sebastian, Cat
66. *Cast in Silence, Sagara, Michelle
65. *Unnatural, Chambers, Joanna (re-read)
64. *Seasons Pass, Chambers, Joanna (reread)
63. *Enlightened, Chambers, Joanna (re-read)
62. *Beguiled, Chambers, Joanna (re-read)
61. *Provoked, Chambers, Joanna (re-read)
60. *Merry and Bright, Chambers, Joanna
59. *The Ruin of Gabriel Ashley, Chambers, Joanna
58. *Once Burned, Frost, Jeaniene
57. *Night Shift, Harris, Charlaine
56. *Day Shift, Harris, Charlaine
55. *Midnight Crossroad, Harris, Charlaine
55. *Cast in Fury, Sagara, Michelle
54. *Any Old Diamonds, Charles, K. J.
53. *Tea With the Black Dragon, MacAvoy, R. A.
52. *The Omega Objection, Carriger, G. L. (re-read)
51. *Summage Solution, Carriger, G. L. (re-read)
50. *Marine Biology, Carriger, G. L. (re-read)
49. *Threshold, Hawk, Jordan L.
48. *Widdershins, Hawk, Jordan L.
47. *Band Sinister, Charles, K. J.
46. *The Hollow of Fear, Thomas, Sherry
45. *A Conspiracy in Belgravia, Thomas, Sherry
44. *A Study in Scarlet Women, Thomas, Sherry
43. *Poison or Protect, Carriger, Gail
42. *Cast in Secret, Sagara, Michelle
41. *Cast in Moonlight, Sagara, Michelle
40. *Think of England, Charles, K. J.
39 *A Case of Possession, Charles, K. J.(reread)
38. *The Magpie Lord, Charles, K. J. (reread)
37. *A Gentleman’s Position, Charles, K. J.
36. *A Seditious Affair, Charles, K. J.
35. *Cast in Courtlight, Sagara, Michelle
34. *Cast in Shadow, Sagara, Michelle
33. *Inside Job, Willis, Connie
32. *The Tea Master and the Detective, de Bodard, Aliette
31. *Waiting on a Bright Moon, Yang, Jy.
30. *A Fashionable Indulgence, Charles, K. J.
29. *The Curious Case of the Werewolf That Wasn’t, Carriger, Gail (reread)
28. *The Parasol Protectorate: Timeless, Carriger, Gail (reread)
27. *The Parasol Protectorate: Heartless, Carriger, Gail (reread)
26. *The Parasol Protectorate: Changeless, Carriger, Gail (reread)
25. *The Parasol Protectorate: Blameless, Carriger, Gail (reread)
24. *The Parasol Protectorate: Soulless, Carriger, Gail (reread)
23. *How To Marry A Werewolf, Carriger, Gail (reread)
22. *Romancing the Werewolf, Carriger, Gail (reread)
21. *Competence (The Custard Protocol, Book 3), Carriger, Gail
20. *Imprudence (The Custard Protocol, Book 2), Carriger, Gail (reread)
19. *Prudence (The Custard Protocol, Book 1), Carriger, Gail (reread)
18. *An Unnatural Heir, Charles, K. J.
17. *His Consort, Calmes, Mary
16. *An Unnatural Vice, Charles, K. J.
15. *An Unseen Attraction, Charles, K. J.
14. Chanur’s Legacy, Cherry, C. J. (re-re-read)
13. *An Enlightenment Story: Unnatural, Chambers, Joanna
12: *An Enlightenment Story: Seasons Pass, Chambers, Joanna
11. *Enlightenment Series: Enlightened, Chambers, Joanna
10. *Enlightenment Series: Beguiled, Chambers, Joanna
9. *Enlightenment Series: Provoked, Chambers, Joanna
8. Chanur’s Homecoming, Cherryhh, C. J. (re-re-reread)
7. Chanur’s Venture, Cherryh, C. J. (re-re-reread)
6. The Kif Strike Back, Cherryh, C. J. (re-re-reread)
5. The Pride of Chanur, Cherryh, C. J. (re-re-reread)
4. Alliance Rising, Cherryh, C. J.
3. *Introducing Mr. Winterbourne, Chambers, Joanna
2. *Mr. Winterbourne’s Christmas, Chambers, Joanna
1. Merchanter’s Luck, Cherryh, C. J. (re-reread)

* Ebook

Independence Day

I was reflecting on the fact that yesterday was “Independence Day” and, in view of the current political climate, I thought this was apropos.   We’ve needed a day of reckoning for way too long on way too many scores.

I’m in pursuit of my own personal independence day in my quest to return to full mobility after my total knee replacement surgery.  The VA finally got its rear in gear and I had my “induction visit” for outpatient physical therapy Wednesday — only three weeks late.  Fortunately, it turned out that the facility I wanted was in TriWest’s network so I get to go to the one that’s literally right around the corner instead of to a facility that’s way over on one side of town, or one that’s way over on the other side of town.

I like it.  The therapist is not only professional but nice.  I was pleased to note that I did not lose all that much ground in the three weeks I twiddled my thumbs waiting for Godot. . .  I actually did gain some ground.  I went from 82 degrees of flexion at 18 days postop after a week in-home PT (which is really good, BTW) to 102 degrees of flexion at 6 weeks postop, which is past 90 degrees (a measurement of how far I can bend my knee, assuming a straight leg is zero degrees, and remembering that the furthest I can bend my good leg is 125 degrees because I’m a real woman with a real woman’s thunder thighs!, not some anorexic stick-figure of a fashion model, so there. )  Starting next Wednesday, I will have two sessions a week of PT for 7 weeks.

All since the surgery, I’ve been having intermittent nerve pain as part of the healing process — as nerves heal and reconnect, they yell at my brain, “Can you hear me now?!”  It’s like being savagely stabbed six or eight times with an electrified fork, suddenly and without warning.  Sometimes the jolt is so strong my foot even jumps.  Then it stops.  Not everybody gets this, but apparently I do, and it’s totally on the curve of a normal healing process.  Remember, I’ve done this whole thing, surgery and all, on nothing but a local nerve block for immediate post surgical pain, Tylenol and Aleve, that’s it.   Of course, I had no choice in the matter, because I’m allergic to practically everything else, but still.   I stopped taking anything for pain over two weeks ago.

The reverse osmosis water guy was out Wednesday afternoon for the 6-month filter change on my under-sink unit, and ever since, when I’ve turned the regular sink tap on, I get the spits and splutters of air in the line.  I let the water run for a good minute that first time, and that should have taken care of it, but when I ran water a couple of hours later, it spit and spluttered again.  It’s happening consistently.  I’ve got to try calling them in the morning and have the guy back out because something is out of kilter.   Bother.

For weeks now, high temps have been in the 90’s F(32-37 C) with lows in the low 70’s F (21-24 C).   Thankfully, I haven’t had to go out in it much.  We’ve been having thunderboomers intermittently.  Afternoon and late evening storm moves in, with a lot of thunder and lightening.  It rains torrentially for about half an hour with pea to marble size hail more often than not, then it quits.   Then for a couple days afterward we get 60%-70% humidity (stop laughing, you east Texans!) which is really high for us (39% to 49% is average).  (Where I live up in the flatlands is considered “semi-arid” with average rainfall of 16-17 inches/40-43 cm a year.)

Late Wednesday night, after things cooled down some, I baked three potatoes in the oven.  The way I do my baking taters (wash potatoes, rub them with olive oil while still damp, cook at 360º for 1 hour) makes the skin tender and thin.  I had some of those Birdseye steam in the microwave packages of broccoli and cauliflower mix veggies which I nuked, and some thick cut deli chicken, and a green onion, and some Sargento sprinkle cheese to load my tater with.  I got one tater left.  That’ll be lunch mañana.

I thought I’d leave you with this little vault over the language barrier from a restroom in Japan (?).  Words to live by.