Monday, December 17, 2007

2007: Good, Bad and Ugly

When a colleague/friend approached me today to express condolences at the loss of Daisy the Whippet, she ended it by noting that this has been a pretty terrible year for me and Len. And, I thought, yes, that is true, it has been a terrible year, but it has also been a really good year.

Yes, I was in a terrible accident that I am still recovering from. And, I lost my oldest sister. And, Len's dad had painful knee surgery. And, we lost a beloved pet. But I frankly feel pretty positive about the future.

Without sounding too gooey, I have to admit that without all the hardships we faced this year, I don't know if we'd be fortunate to know just how much those around us care. I truly believe I have had more hugs in the last twelve months than in the previous 40 years.

This year woke me up to just how good my life is: I have a wonderful husband and family (which includes three precocious hounds), and fantastic friends. The company I work for is extraordinarily supportive and I enjoy my work. My body is healing, so I will soon have my health. And, I still have a job waiting for me at the best yarn shop on the planet, Knitch. (Thanks, Kim!)

As for the ugly, I have three giant surgical scars on my legs. But that's no biggie: I never liked how I looked in a bathing suit, anyway.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Daisy the Whippet, 1992-2007

Daisy the Whippet came to us in 1999, not long after we lost our beloved Dolly the greyhound. She was seven years old then, and full of energy and spunk. Emily the greyhound was annoyed at that energy and took a couple bites out of Miss Daisy early on. But, eventually the two became good roommates. When Emily passed away several years ago, we brought Scully and Maggie and Devon into our home, a move Daisy did not seem to like. But, she dealt with it, and reorganized her Whippety life around her newest roomies.

Since coming to us, Daisy lived in Michigan, Georgia, Washington and Georgia. She has the dubious honor of having peed in more states than most people.

A couple years ago, we thought we'd lose Miss Daisy, but with the help of the great Oz, her cardiologist, we managed to medicate her into relative comfort and her spunk resumed. But, she took a turn for the worse in the last few days, refusing to eat and not leaving her little Whippet nest. It was clear she was ready to cross the bridge. So, Tuesday December 11 was her last day with us. She spent it on Len's lap or on my tummy, resting and getting lots of love and attention.

We'll miss you, sweetie pie.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Let the Swelling Begin

So far, recuperation is going well. I have a good bit of pain in my muscles and I still have around 40 staples in my leg. The worst part is the swelling. My left leg is at least two sizes larger than my right, which prevents me from wearing pretty much any pants I own. So, I'm living in pajamas, and that's not a bad thing.

I had my first visit from an in-home physical therapist yesterday. She seemed happy with my progress thus far, so I guess I am, too. This first week home from the hospital is nothing like that first week back in April. I am working, knitting, blogging: Except for the Oxycontin and the fact I can stand up straight, it's almost as if nothing is different from two weeks ago.

Every day it's a little easier to move my left leg. I'm having to lift it with my hands less and less. Once the pain dies down and I can stop taking pain meds, I think I'll be fine to drive. Eventually this whole experience will be a memory. A memory punctuated by giant scars.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Home at Last

I left the hospital yesterday morning and spent most of the afternoon asleep on the green recuperation sofa. My friend, Staci, dropped by to see the new me and was witness to my walking with two straight legs -- the first I've been able to do that in eight months. Pretty exciting stuff.

Today, my plan is to do a little work. do my exercises, and sleep. Tomorrow, a little more exercise and less sleep and so on.

I am feeling really good and can finally see and end to the injury prison sentence. Until this surgery, I wasn't sure if I'd ever be able to walk normally again. Now that it's over and I can stand up straight and put weight on my left leg, I know it's just a matter of time and exercise before I'm walking the hounds and back on the bicycle. It's a good feeling.

Scully and Devon are all over themselves with happiness that I've returned. Devon must have been smothering me a little during my sleep because I dreamt we put him down after he called in a bomb threat because he was afraid I'd leave again. Yes, I'm on a little pain medication.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Life is fine at Crawford Long

It's after midnight, the morning of Sunday, December 2, and the need to scratch the itch under my 'circulation stocking' has awakened me. At my age, I shouldn't even know what a 'circulation stocking' is, let alone have an itch to scratch under one. I have seen snippets of old age, folks, and it isn't pretty. At least I don't have first-hand experience with menopause. Yet.

There is something going on outside the hospital, somewhere on Peachtree Street. The muffled noises I hear through the double-paned windows sound an awful lot like the Carpenter's Union, when outside my Peachtree Street office they protest my company's landlord, Richard Bowers, for not hiring union carpenters. But it's after midnight and I'm hearing it outside my hospital, so that can't be it.

i can also hear the giant wind chime outside my window. I didn't notice it until someone pointed out it was there yesterday. Ignorance is bliss, I guess. It is beautiful, and seriously large. Like the size of a house large. It's a big wind chime.

i also understand this hospital has a lovely aviary in the lobby. I've never seen it. The quality of the food here is hit and miss. It seems to me that the weekday food is much better. My lunch today was odd. Thankfully Len was here and offered to get me something from the outstanding cafeteria so I had a nice macaroni and cheese instead.

In all, this is a nicer place to be than Atlanta Medical Center. The Emory Crawford Long folks seem to understand that aesthetics are important. It's just prettier here.

My recovery is going very well. Except a dag-ummed butt screw has started shimmying itself loose. It is a large screw that had been inserted into my left sit bone right after my accident. It's now pushing out an inch or two outside the bone, probably a result of all the activity that went on nearby during my six-hour hip surgery. I can actually see the tip under a layer of skin and butt fat. Very painful.

But, the good news is, that screw is the most painful part, and it will be unscrewed first thing Monday morning. Doc says I don't need it, so we are getting rid of it.

Otherwise, it's going very well. I've been walking using a walker down the halls here and using my crutches to move around my room when necessary. I'm exercising my left leg as required by my physical therapists. I'm on minimal pain meds, and am lucid and clear. I've even been able to do a little work while here in the hospital.

Thanks for your good wishes for the surgery. And for all the nice messages about my sister. Means a lot to me.

In return, I won't post pictures of the errant butt screw. At least not while it's still in my butt.