Thursday, November 10, 2005

Feeling hopeful...

I have been so frustrated by not being able to exercise, so I ordered 3 chair dancing DVDs from this week. Reviews assure the reader that it really is a good workout, so here's hoping.

T and I went to CORE on November 5, which was fairly enjoyable, but I'm getting sick and tired of some of the couples' making little digs at each other. Have they learned nothing from Retrouvaille?!? It's embarrassing to listen to.

T took the girls to see "Chicken Little" while I worked during the day on the 5th. He said it was cute -- the girls, of course, loved it. R mentioned casually that she was thinking of asking Santa for Harry Potter or Hermione's wand. I panicked, but after googling "Harry Potter wand" and finding a very cool online store, I'm thinking I need to reinforce her suggestion.

Sunday we went to the mall to have C's third year portraits taken. They actually turned out darling! I was amazed. I went into a couple of stores, but by then T was completely stressed out by being in the mall and my knee was sore. It was really sore by Tuesday afternoon. Ugh. I feel scared that it will always be this way and I'll never walk normally again. I can take a few lurching steps without the crutches, but my leg feels as though it's bending the wrong way or buckling or something. My knee always hurts. Surely by spring, when it's completely healed, it won't be sore anymore? I will feel awful if I can't do aerobics ever again, but I suppose as long as I can do the elliptical and walk I'll survive. As long as it doesn't hurt and I don't limp permanently.

Monday, October 31, 2005

Happy Halloween!

I'm happy T will be going to R's halloween party at school. I know he values his time to himself on his day off, but your kids are only little once.

On Saturday we went out to Lowell to go to the haunted showboat. R was very excited, but they closed early because "no one had come for a while". She was so disappointed she was almost crying. The annoying thing was that we had already paid and they closed while we were getting our faces painted. We got our money back, but mom was really upset. She said she was going to write a letter to the paper. Then our bad experience continued as we had dinner at "The Big Dish". It took 75 minutes to get our food, some of it was lukewarm, and some of it was wrong. What a day. We had carved pumpkins in the morning and I have to give T credit -- he did 99.9% of the work.

Yesterday I worked. Haiden came over to play all afternoon and ate dinner with us. T had a great time teasing her. His basketball was canceled, and we planned to watch "Hotel Rwanda" after the girls were in bed. Ha Ha. He was asleep before 8pm and I think I might have made it until 10, reading in bed. We're such a wild couple...

I dressed as Winnie the Pooh today. I'm ROASTING, but the kids' reactions are worth it.

Friday, October 28, 2005

the big bet

T and I started a bet today, to end December 2. Whomever loses the largest percentage of body weight wins. The loser has to plan a date for us. I think we'll be winners no matter what, but he is so competitive this should be fun. I'll be happy if I lose 5 pounds, though it would be fabulous to lose more.

I've gained 12 pounds since my lowest weight after getting out of the hospital. I did so well with eating until I could get out of bed and walk again. Since then I somehow totally lost control of my emotional issues and I'm at my highest weight in 2 1/2 years! I need to lose 14 pounds to get to my lowest weight and I'd love to lose 20, just to see how I look. Somehow I don't know that I'd ever get that low, but I never thought I'd see 136 and I did it for my 40th birthday -- so you never know.

It's frustrating not being able to exercise much right now, so I'm really going to have to watch my portion sizes and try and eat extremely healthfully. I hopped on the exercise bike for 23 minutes this morning on level 2 -- that's as high as I can go without my knee hurting. I'll be able to go to Novacare this afternoon, so I'll ride their bike for 20 more minutes. I can usually do level 3 on theirs without pain, but I think I'll stick with 2. I don't want to overdo and be sorry tomorrow. My leg seems as though it's definitely getting stronger since my disastrous one-crutch experiment, so I can't take a chance on screwing it up again.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

C's Birthday Party

C turned 3 yesterday and her party went swimmingly. We had 18 for dinner -- Mom E, Dad E, Mom M, Dad M, Julie, Cade, Caleb, Doug, Ellen, Rachael, Chele, Matt, T, R, C, me, Michael, and Kim. I had made spaghetti sauce on Monday, Mom M made a huge tossed salad, Mom E made a huge fresh fruit salad, Julie brought bruschetta, Ellen brought a veggie tray, and I made garlic bread. We had a TON of food left over. I had baked a chocolate cake with peanut butter Oreo frosting for Matt and C had chosen a white Dora the Explorer cake with white frosting. It was darling. We had ice cream too of course.

C had a zillion gifts and after she opened them she handed them to whomever had given them to her. This morning she came downstairs and said, "MOM! Everyone forgot their presents!" I explained that the gifts were FROM those people and she was happy and wanted to start playing. We gave her a book (How Do Dinosaurs Eat Their Food?), a DVD (the 10th anniversary of the first Toy Story), a little doghouse with a stuffed puppy, bone, food dish, and ball, Ariel pajamas, and a Dora the Explorer backback. Mom and Dad M gave her a backyard treehouse for her talking Dora house, the nursery for the house, and some other accesories for the house. They also gave her a stuffed animal, a net and chain to hold stuffed animals, a doll playpen, a bee change purse, and $50. Ellen and Doug and family gave her a big box of Duplos, Michael and Kim gave her a Dora bath toy, and Julie and family gave her a play vet kit. R gave her a little fairy with "October" stitched on it. She chose it from her own dolls, and wrapped it herself. It was very sweet.

Caleb is the sweetest, happiest little 3-month-old. He contentedly sat on anyone's lap who wanted him. R had a great time holding him a few times, and she was very nice playing with Cade. We're going to drive over the Grand Ledge on Wednesday so we can see Chris and Jacob. R can't wait to see Jacob.

I've been trying to research digital cameras, but it's totally mind-boggling and confusing to look at the different features and try to decide what to buy. I think I'll look at Consumer Reports -- or maybe wait until they come out with ratings on the 2006 models -- if they do, that is.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

saw the doctor yesterday

Dr M said I just need to be patient and let my leg heal when I told him about my disasterous experiment trying to graduate to one crutch. The x-ray looked good and I didn't screw anything up. There's a horrible crunching sound in my knee when I do a leg extension and he doesn't quite know what it is. It could be a ligament rubbing or the hardware in there. He said we just have to see if it goes away or not. He seemed a bit puzzled by the fact that my knee hurts so much, especially when I do a leg extension.

He was thrilled with my flexion, however. They had measured it at 128 degrees at Novacare on Friday and he said he never thought I'd get that much bend in it with the severity of the injury combined with the closeness to the joint. That made me happy, yet made me sad. That means it is unlikely I'll get much more bend out of it, and will never again be able to sit cross-legged on the floor or crouch down to tie a shoe. I'm trying to be thankful that I can walk, ride a bike, etc., but I still mourn the loss of flexibility I had before. T and I went to see the movie "A History of Violence" on Saturday and there was a scene when the wife seduced the husband. She was on top of him and all I could think was, "I wonder if I'll ever be able to do that again?" I forgot to ask the doctor if it was safe to kneel (like in church) on it. I imagine it would hurt.

Our neighborhood had its first block party on Sunday afternoon and it was a lot of fun. We got to meet several neighbors for the first time, and everyone was very nice. There are three little girls in the neighborhood that are close to C's age, which is great. R had a great time -- carved a pumpkin, dunked for apples, and ate too many desserts. C also had a great time.

Tomorrow is C's third birthday. I spend the morning wrapping presents and baking a cake. She chose a Dora the Explorer cake from Meijer, but since we're also celebrating Matt's birthday with the family I had to bake one too. I'll have to zip to Meijer in the morning to get a small cake to take to C's daycare. We somehow ended up with 19 people coming to dinner! Julie is in town from Seattle with Cade and Caleb, Ellen's whole family is coming, both sets of parents, and Michael and Kim. I made a double recipe of spaghetti sauce last night, so I'm not quite as stressed out as I'd normally feel. Mom is making a tossed salad, T's mom is making something with fruit, and Ellen and Julie may bring something, so I think we'll have enough food.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Our weekend

Not much excitement over the weekend -- R had soccer Saturday and I worked. In the evening R went to "Little Cats Night" at the local high school. The cheerleaders have a fundraiser some Saturday evenings for kids K-gr6. They babysit and entertain the kids from 6-9pm for $6. R swam, ate pizza and several desserts, and got her face and arms painted. She had a wonderful time. While she was there, T and I took C to Burger King for dinner and to play for a while. She also had a wonderful time.

On Sunday we took the kids to The Country Basket to pick out pumpkins. They were ecstatic because they got to pet a kitten. Now R is on her "I wish we had a kitten" kick again. We got apples and freshly made donuts too. To be honest, the donut wasn't that great -- definitely not worth the calories. I hate when that happens.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

busy weekend

R had a soccer game Saturday morning. I didn't go -- had an appointment to get my hair cut & colored at noon and didn't want to get too tired. I had to go to someone different and she cut it too short and colored it too dark. Oh well.

Saturday evening we went to Dan & Megan's wedding. It was a very short wedding and the reception was a the Van Andel Museum. It was a lovely place to have a reception -- cold though. They had beautiful huge bouquets on the tables -- white hydangeas, white roses, and some other white flower I didn't recognize. T got quite toasted -- he was dancing with four or five women at one point. We sort of danced a couple of slow dances. My ankle was hugely swollen by the time we left around 11:30. It was fun though. We sat with TJ & Lisa, Ryan and Carey, Steve, and someone who didn't show up.

Sunday I worked. It was busy and my knee ached by the time I was done. We went out to Sears after I got home to buy me an exercise bike. T already put it together. I'm afraid to overdo, so I only rode 5 minutes today -- just to warm up before doing my exercises. After Sears we drove out to Logan's to meet Michael & Kim for dinner. I managed to stick to mostly healthy choices, but ate two rolls.

Yesterday after work I went to Novacare to work out. Jason was too busy to help me much, but he measured my knee angle -- still 120 degrees. I rode the bike for 2 15-minute segments and the area of my tibia break started hurting when I tried to go up to level 3. I turned it down to 1 and it seemed to be okay. I've been really concentrating on trying to keep most of my weight off the crutches. Maybe it's working -- this morning I managed to walk around for a while with only one crutch! I'm beginning to believe that I really will walk without help again.

I don't know what is wrong with me though -- I ate lunch and then polished off the goldfish crackers, the pretzels, a bunch of spray cheese, and a small bowl of ice cream. ARGH! I'm beginning to wonder what on earth it is. While I was confined to bed I did so well -- ate very small portions and lost 10 pounds. I've gained it all back though. I can't seem to stop myself. Before my accident I thought it was work. I definitely don't love my job and feel sort of stuck in it. I don't hate it, but don't enjoy it like I used to. I feel very pulled in many directions between working full time, running a household, having a husband, having 2 kids, and trying to have a social life too. But I really missed work while I was off. Besides, I've had a bingeing problem off and on since I was 13 or so. I try to stop and think about what I'm feeling when I get the urge, but even if I can pinpoint my feelings, it doesn't help. The only thing that has really helped is to leave the situation. Next time I am going to make a concerted effort to walk away and get involved in something else when I get that urge. I don't want to gain back all the weight I've lost!

Friday, October 07, 2005

last physical therapy visit

I wrote a note to Dr. M asking him to increase my work hours to 20-25 a week and he did -- yea! He shook his head and sighed over the therapy issue and dictated a letter to the HMO. It probably won't do any good, but it is very nice of him to try.

I practiced walking today and Jason told me to try and develop a smoother gait, not worrying about how fast I'm going. I need to start standing with equal weight on both legs, instead of putting most of my weight on my good leg. I also need to spend some time each day shifting my weight from leg to leg to build up to putting all of my weight on my bad leg. He said I won't be able to walk without crutches until I can balance on my bad leg with all of my weight on it. I stood on the scale there and was able to put 135 pounds on my leg, which is only 10 pounds shy of all my weight. That was good, since on Monday I only put 75 pounds on it. My knee hurts like heck tonight. I always worry that I'm pushing it too far and I'll mess up the healing process.

I rode the bike for 11 minutes and then 12 minutes. I almost broke a sweat. He said I can add a few minutes each day unless my knee starts hurting too much or getting too swollen. Sears has an exercise bike on sale til Tuesday and I think I want to go and try it out. I need to have one at home.

Betty came to clean today -- I love coming home to a clean house! I feel as though I'm ripping her off only paying her $45. I'm definitely going to keep her even after I'm better.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Feeling better today

I felt so depressed yesterday -- I couldn' t summon the energy to do anything. I found out that tomorrow is my last day of physical therapy and the HMO is refusing to extend my benefits. In fact, Dr. Kerby apparently said that in his 20 years there, no one has ever had benefits extended. I find that difficult to believe. So anyway, I'm being left twisting in the wind when I'm not even walking unassisted yet. I feel frightened. Jason (the physical therapist I've been seeing this week) says I can pay $40 to work out there for a month and he can provide me with some guidance, but it won't be like he is my therapist. At least I can do that, but I feel rather discouraged. My foot is still so sore to walk on, my calf muscle is still so tight all morning, and my knee still doesn't bend much past 100 degrees without a lot of stretching. There's no way I can do the kind of stretching at home that the therapists do. I'm beginning to be scared that I'm never again going to be able to sit cross-legged -- or even put my sock on without a struggle.

I just called the after-school care program to tell them R wouldn't be there today or tomorrow and Crystal said, "Oh, I'm sorry she won't be here -- she's such a great little girl. Give her a hug for me and tell her we miss her". Wow -- that's nice to hear. She is a sweetheart. I worry sometimes -- okay, a lot -- that I'm doing more bawling her out than praising her. Actually I worry more that I don't spend enough quality time with her. Even now that I'm working only 12 hours a week I somehow don't have time to do fun things with my girls. How can that be?!? Somehow I have got to carve out more time with them. Poor C has been so neglected. At least R had a few years when T worked nights and we'd do lots of fun things while he slept during the day on the weekends.

When I'm walking again, I'm going to make some concrete plans to spend several hours on my weekends off just playing games, coloring, scrapbooking, cooking, and doing other things they like with them. Life has to be about more than work and household chores, but somehow that's all my life has become in the past few years. Well, that and exercise before mid July. I need to shift my priorities in that respect too. I was spending way too much time exercising just to be able to eat junk. That is totally screwed up.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

At home today

I'm at home today, fighting the desire to go eat everything in the kitchen. Sigh. I feel so out of shape. I can't wait until I'm walking again so I can buy an exercise bike. I'm avoiding the scale for now. I saw the physical therapist yesterday and he was very pleased with my progress. He thinks I'll be able to give up the crutches in a week. Oh, I so hope he is right! I know that exercising again after 3 months will be worse than starting from where I was 2 years ago -- at least then I'd been walking fairly regularly. Now I laid in a hospital bed for 8 weeks, and sat around for 4 more.

Having Claudia here for the weekend was so lovely. She is one of my dearest friends, even though we go years without seeing each other. When we do see each other, it's like we just start off where we left off and we're very comfortable with each other. I wish we lived closer together. We couldn't do much with me on crutches, but we went to R's soccer game on Saturday and then to her school carnival. She took R to the mall and bought her two outfits and a dog from Build-a-Bear. They had dinner together too. T and I went to CORE to hear a speaker talk on communication. It was very interesting, but not too applicable to our everyday lives as a couple. There was a great turnout -- probably 12 couples. That was awesome to see.

On Sunday we went to Anna's House for breakfast, and then met my parents at Meijer Gardens. They've done a lot of work at the gardens since I was there a few years ago and it is really an incredible place to visit now. I did a bit too much walking and had to get a wheelchair. Thankfully, my knee didn't swell up any more than usual. We weren't hungry til dinner, so we drove up to Rockford to eat at Sam's Joint and get ice cream at Rocky's. There was definitely an eating theme to our weekend. T was working overtime and then went to play basketball, so wasn't with us. On Monday morning we took Claudia to The Garden Cafe for breakfast before her flight. When R came home from school she told us that she had started crying on the way to school because she didn't want Claudia to go back home. I'm so glad she now has a godmother she knows and loves instead of just a godmother who is a voice on the phone who sends her packages in the mail.

Friday was our tenth anniversary, but we didn't do anything to celebrate because of Claudia's arrival. We'll celebrate in a couple of weeks. We did exchange cards and T wrote the sweetest note in mine about having found true love twice in a lifetime with the same person, thanks to me and Retrouvaille. I'm beginning to think that someday I may be able to live without doubts about us. He's been so great this summer, never blaming me for my accident (even though it was alllll my fault!) I'm not sure I could have done the same had the situation been reversed. Well, R is due home any second and we have to go pick up C from daycare. She's staying with us tonight instead of going to T's parents' house. It will be a trial run for me to make sure I can get her up and dressed and to daycare by myself on a day when I work. I think it will be okay.