Thursday, August 30, 2007

I'm a Yarn Whore and Happy for It

My knitting friend, Debbie, was recently talking about a family trip to Scotland. I was excited for her, but didn't hear the whole story. A few days later, my other friend, Alice, excitedly told me she was going to Scotland with Debbie.
Now, I was intrigued.
I went home that night thinking, "How can I get myself invited on Debbie's family trip to Scotland?"
Turns out, it isn't a family trip at all, but a knitting trip put on by a Scottish woman who runs a Pittsburgh yarn shop. (Don't ask me how I thought it was a family trip -- I'm still trying to figure that out.) Anyway, when Alice clarified that for me, I became VERY excited and she sent me the info.
I approached Len on the idea and he simply said: "You better get your passport renewed quick!"
The very nice Scottish lady (whose hometown is a big part of the trip) told me there were a couple spots available still, so I'm IN! I'm going to Scotland for eleven days next May, with my good friends Debbie and Alice! Scottish yarn, here I come!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

My New Hip

It's been five months since my accident and I have just one more big step in the recovery process.

Total hip replacement surgery.

Sounds scary to me, but I'm actually really excited about getting this done. From everything I've read, it's a very successful surgery and all my caregivers believe this will be the thing that really puts me back to "normal."

I went to see Dr. Furie this morning. Today was his first day back from his own leg surgery and he looked pretty uncomfortable with all those pins sticking out of his tibia and the halo cage-type thing he has on to protect those pins that stick out. But he was in good spirits, and actually more personable than he's ever been with me.

Seeing him like that, though, sure reminded me of how far I've come these last few months. This stuff is not easy.

The x-rays showed my right tibia is doing very well, but that left hip really needs replacement. Dr. Furie won't do it until it's been six months since the last surgery -- just to make sure the original break is healed before creating more injury that needs to heal.

It looks like I'll have the surgery October 11 or so. First, I have to have a CT scan and we have to order my parts and that sort of thing. Then we will have a firm date for the surgery.

For those of you who don't know much about this procedure, this is what I can expect:
The surgeon will reopen my hip incision, move the muscles away and dislocate my hip joint. He will remove the top of my femur and the acetabula from my pelvis (these compose the ball and socket joint -- and, yes, it is as gruesome as that sounds). Then, he will remove any excess bone that has grown around the joint. He will attach the new prosthetic femur head and acetabular cup. He'll check for fit and to make sure the joint moves well. Finally, he'll sew my muscles back together and staple the incision.

The next day, I get to learn to use crutches again and very likely will go home.

If you really want to know more about the procedure, go to the edhead website for a virtual experience.

Monday, August 20, 2007

My life lesson.

Sometimes I get way too serious. Especially now as I wait for my bones to heal. It could have been so much worse. And, since it wasn't worse, does that mean I should do something more important with my life? And, if I don't do something more with my life, does that mean I'm disrespectful of my life?
I just read an article about an 18-year old boy in Michigan who died of cancer this week. In the last couple years, he had developed a following on his blog: A following of folks who felt admiration for his courage, and those who felt comforted by his irreverent attitude about his certain death. They read as he hit life milestones like prom and high-school graduation. He was an inspiration to tens of thousands.
Then, I read another article about a 23-year-old Serbian man who was eaten by a bear at a beer festival in a zoo. What kind of inspiration is that? Don't get drunk in a zoo because you might jump into an animal exhibit and get eaten?
It's a fluke that I had my accident. It's a fluke that I am still alive. I know that in the end, my only obligation is to me, and that is to live a good life. Be happy. Have fun. Be kind. Don't harm others in the process of living my life.
I think that's a good philosophy. But in truth, that was the way I lived my life before the accident. So, what is my lesson in all this?
Don't drive on the wrong side of the road.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Ch Ch Ch Changes

Len's summer internship ended last week and he starts school next week. Year two in his three-year law program. It's hard to believe so much time has passed since he first came up with this scheme.

I went to work yesterday: It was the first full day I've spent in the office since March. I was really tired when I got home last night, but not in extra pain. I went to lunch with some pals and had a couple meetings and made some phone calls and wrote an article. It was a good day. I've committed to going in on Wednesdays from now on, and adding additional days as I build my endurance.

Chuck, my physical therapist, took pity on me on Tuesday when I told him how uncomfortable I'd been. He zapped me with some electric current and some sound waves, and a good bit of the pain dissipated. Thank you, Chuck.

I finally got around to making some CDs to listen to in my car (it has a 6-disc CD player and I don't have an MP3 player). I'm old. I went through all the thousands of songs Len has in his i-tunes library and really had a difficult time coming up with a good mix for myself. In the end, I just grabbed some songs and plugged them into my player. Not so good. Half the music I don't recognize and the other half I don't like. I only knew of a few of the bands on his list. He's much more hep than I am. Clearly.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Feeling Puny

It's been a rough night at recovery central. I don't know what I did to myself yesterday, but I feel like crap. My body aches and I have shooting pain in my left hip. I felt so bad last night that I didn't go to knitting night -- and Knitch had the world's biggest sock for me to knit on! It's a sock that requires nine people to work it at a time. It started in England and is making the rounds to cities in the U.S. My chance to have a real connection to the Guinness Book of World Records and I blew it. Ah, well.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Out of Captivity

I'm currently working on a fabulous meandering cabled vest and I am really pleased with my progress. It was slow going at first, but once I figured out that while I casted on the right number of stitches for the size I wanted, I wasn't working the same size in the pattern, then things started working out. I finished the back, but made a couple mistakes in the pattern (cables going over instead of under, etc.) so I'm now reworking the back. I'm nearly finished with that side, and then it's off to the front! Since it is a vest, I'll be finished in no time! The vest is made of a lovely yarn from Debbie Bliss called Rialto, a superwash merino. The yarn splits more than I'd like, but really creates clear stitch definition -- great for a cabled work.

Next, I think I'll make myself a big v-neck pullover from the Malabrigo I have. I have a good bit of a pale water green and one hank each of natural and orange. I see stripes in my future.

I've been spending many of my Saturdays at Knitch lately. Before the accident, I spent my Saturdays there working. It's a great place for me to go, since I can stay as long as I want and I'm out of my house for a few hours. I can't easily go shopping anymore and since I just can't sit still for long periods, movies at the theatre are out. Walking around museums or botanical gardens or bicycling are all problems for me just now. So, knitting at Knitch is a great outlet for me. Thanks, Kim and Steph and Lois and Michelle and Nell and Haley, for making it such a nice place for knitters to be!

Friday, August 03, 2007

Support for Cruelty?

Anyone who knows me knows that I have four rescued dogs at home. In fact, over the years, Len and I have taken ten rescues into our family. We love our dogs. I love cats, too (but I'm allergic), and horses and sheep and llamas and alpacas (the list goes on). When we bring these wonderful creatures into our home, they become part of our family. They trust us, they love us, the need us. And, we need them. This is why it is so difficult for me to understand how people can neglect or actively harm their pets. But, people do. Fact is, there are a lot of people in this world who do not feel as I do about pets.

A recent article in the AJC, it was reported that 200 people rallied in support of Michael Vick, angry that he has been vilified for his alleged role in a dogfighting business. They held up banners that read: "We support Michael Vick, a Human Being, over Dogs." They are angry that the Falcons and the NFL don't stand up to the Humane Society and PETA.

Folks, you backing the wrong guy in this fight.

Regardless of whether you care about dogs or not, if the allegations are correct, Vick broke the law. He participated in multi-state gambling and broke animal cruelty laws.

Not cool behavior.

Nike and other companies have dropped Vick as spokesman. Why? Because they don't want the buying public to associate their brand with these activities. I can't blame them for protecting their businesses. And, I can't blame the NFL if they decide to drop him. That kind of behavior is bad for the NFL brand and bad for their business, too.

The protesters have a good point that others in the NFL were only temporarily suspended or given minor punishment for breaking laws like buying drugs and obstructing justice (in a double murder case). Maybe those guys should have gotten bigger punishments.

Let's wait to hear what the courts say.