Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Checking In

I start this on Monday, April 10.

It's been awhile since I posted, mostly because of shoulder surgery. The range-of-motion machine, or as I call it, “The Wing Flapper” has taken six hours out of my day, every day, for two weeks since the day after surgery, during which I've had to sit in an uncomfortable chair that tends to cut off the circulation to my legs and has caused my knees to swell to the point where my new knee started screaming at me. So I went to the workout center with Hubs, which I don't normally do during gardening season, just so I can walk around the track and try to get my fluids moving around the way they're supposed to, and that takes another hour out of my day, three times a week.

I've tried various things to make it easier, some have helped, some have not, but the time for the machine has now passed and today I start conventional Physical Rehab three times a week. That will last for a month, perhaps longer if I need it. They can get the doctor to extend the time and if he orders it, my insurance will pay for it. But I want to be done with this and able to get on with my life so I will be making the most of my rehab time. 

When I went for my follow-up appointment I was seen by the doctor's Physician's Assistant, otherwise known as a “P.A.”. I guess this is OK but I'd rather be seen by the doctor, if you know what I mean. She's about the age of my grandsons and she really chewed on me for not wearing my sling all the time and I was kind of offended by that. For one thing, those people that design and make those slings should have to wear them 24/7 for a few days. Velcro tears up my skin. The strap that goes around my neck makes my neck hurt. And there are only two positions in which it's possible to sleep, neither of which is comfortable for very long. Wear the sling two more weeks, she said, then start removing it for short periods to “taper off”. She said too much weight hanging on my shoulder will pull on the repaired areas and might do damage, and that if I should fall, I will instinctively try to catch myself and, without the sling, will undo everything that was done in surgery. But I fail to see the benefit of that, since I have been out in the garden with my sling on, doing limited things with Hubs helping, and every time I bend over, the strap that goes around my waist un-velcroes itself and hangs down to the ground like a loose wrapping on a walking mummy. So how would I be protected in the event of a fall, I wonder? I have been unable to take the drugs they prescribed for me for pain, so I had been taking Ibuprofen, and I was chewed out about that, too, and told to take Tylenol instead. Something about how Ibuprofen has a component that fights swelling and they want me to swell. Go figure. I don't like Ibuprofen. It coats my tongue and leaves a bad taste in my mouth. I brush my tongue when I brush my teeth and that helps, but Tylenol feels less effective than the Ibuprofen was. *Sigh*. And yes, I am, in indeed, swelling, in lots of places that would be better off without it. So as you can see, the last two weeks have been a kind of a love-hate situation. I'm grateful for the machine and for pain-killers and for the sling as far as they go. If you know what I mean. 

On other matters: 

I was very grateful that we didn't get a late freeze, and the tomato plants Hubs and I set out a few days before I was to have surgery are still alive. I had decided “if they die, they die”, and had been thinking about just direct-seeding tomatoes if that happened, and maybe I could have tomatoes by fall if the plants didn't die from the heat and dry during July and August. I don't want a year without home-canned tomato juice, as I like mine thin. I add 1/4 tsp of citric acid and 1/2 tsp of salt to each quart jar and that really makes for a flavorful drink. Tomato juice from the store is as thick as tomato sauce, almost, and contains about twice the salt. I had a couple of cans I'd bought on sale one year, so I mixed some half and half with homemade tomato juice. I was really disappointed to find that, after a night in the refrigerator, this mixture thickened up again. There must be something going on there. I didn't start any peppers this year and I'm kind of beginning to wish I had at least started some Jalapeno peppers, as I have been really enjoying my home-canned nacho-style peppers. Hubs doesn't like spicy food so these are perfect to add to my serving, everything from beans to scrambled eggs, to salad, to toned-down mexican-style dishes that I make so Hubs will eat them. So I may start a few seeds soaking and then plant them somewhere in the garden. My pepper plants don't normally start producing till fall, even when I start them early, so I might be wasting my time starting them early. This will be an interesting experiment to that effect. I used to know some “little old ladies” that lived just out on the edge of the town where I grew up, and their father always grew a big garden. He never started anything inside. And so they always made their tomato sauce and ketchup in the fall. 

Last Friday, the phone rang and it was JC on the other end. “Are you OK?” he asked. It turned out a local rancher was burning off his pastures and JC had driven along Bison Road and seen the fire. Well, of course it was a windy day (!~@#%^&*****()++!!) and the fire got as far as behind Bob and Sharry, Joe and Cathy, and Jay and Claire. Sheesh. At least there were people out there managing the fire, which is not something I usually see. But it was sufficient to drive the rats out of their burrows on the prairie and we started seeing the tell-tale signs the following day. I have since trapped, drowned, and had Hubs bury ten rats. There's something in the shed that eats the bait but doesn't trip the trap, so I've put some D-Con pellets in there in a lid, and they're always gone in the morning. I don't like to use the stuff, and I won't put it anywhere out in the open or let a rat get a full belly-load because that's more than is needed to kill it, and is enough to injure or kill a dog or a cat and drop a hawk right out of the sky. It would sure be better if the poison would drop the rat dead right after eating it, rather than wandering around for 3 to 5 days spreading nasty bloody pee everywhere they go. And if they wander out into the open, something can come along, kill it and eat it. Hardly anything will eat a rat that's already dead. Who knows where the end of this will be. The acreage burned wasn't as big as it was the year I took out 178. I hope we'll see the end to this soon. 

My weight loss plan has gone to hell in a handbasket. I'm up about ten pounds. So now that I'm going to be able to be a little more active I've decided to get back into it. Yes, I saw Mama June and how she lost somewhere around 300 pounds and she doesn't look all that tall. So --praise God-- I'm so glad that 210 is ALL I weigh, if you know what I mean. But that is still too heavy for me and now that I'm An Old Chick it's too much for me to be carrying around. I know what has to be done. I'm grateful that I don't have to resort to surgery for this. I'm grateful that all my past years of bad eating habits and unbridled consumption of sugar has not resulted in a metabolic disease that makes weight loss almost impossible. And I feel the need to not push my luck. 

This is now the 12th and I will try to post today. 

I have started Physical Therapy now and it is clear I have a long way to go for full recovery. I had my walk at the workout center first and that felt good. But while I was there I became aware of what terrible physical condition most of the people around me were in. They do physician-ordered cardiac rehab on the east end and I guess what heightened my awareness was that, as I walked by that area, there was a very large man who was giving the staff that were guiding his therapy a very hard time, supposedly in jest, but I, just observing, found myself annoyed by his behavior. And then I got behind a very large woman who was doing a slow, painful walk around the track. It got so every person I looked at, I thought, “There, but for the grace of God, go I.” And I just began to feel like I wanted to cry, for the inhumanity of it all. I mean, here I am, weighing in at 210, and I'm feeling blessed. Is that wacked, or not? From there we went on to the rehab center, and it was the same thing there, only worse. We are the victims of The American Lifestyle. Kitchens full of processed and/or sugar- or fat-laden foods. Restaurants that carry on the recreation and/or celebration aspects of high-calorie foods even beyond the lengths that some of our mothers did when we were kids. Food as a reward. Food to make you feel better. Food to show love. Desserts withheld or “going to bed without supper” as punishment. I have heard that American Millenials are in worse health than Americans from any generation before them were at their ages, but look at what they've been fed all their lives. Is it any wonder? At least, when people in my age group were babies, most mothers breast fed. And if we had formula, it was made at home, from water, canned milk and karo syrup, before they were contaminated with fluoride and chlorine, GMO soy and before corn syrup was high fructose. We weren't exposed to vending machine food until we were teenagers and during most of our formative years, our food was not as contaminated as it is now. I've said before, no country has to attack us. Save your money and time, folks. Just stand back and watch us shovel the poisons into our mouths till we overwhelm our livers, then sicken and die in misery and pain. Big Chem and Big Pharma are the terrorists here.  

Well, that's enough. I hope you all have a lovely Easter and please remember The Reason For The Season has nothing to do with a bunny that ? lays colored eggs. Peace, Love, Prosperity, Joy and Safety to each and every one of you. Hugs xoxoxoxo


  1. Dear, dear Ilene ~ I pray that you will soon be doing much better, that your PT will do wonders for you and that your pain will lessen. I also pray that the rats will not be as plentiful as the last time.

    Have a lovely Easter ~ Love & hugs ~ FlowerLady

    1. Thank you, my dear friend, for your prayers and good wishes. And may you have a wonderful Easter. Hugs xoxoxo


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