Therapy Notes – Friday, 9/3/21

Counting down the days until I move out of here to my next stage. Today was my next-to-last therapy day and I tried to make the most of it. PT started, as usual, with walking. I did 60 feet (woohoo!), took a break and went another 50 feet using an unweighted walker. Before today, Veronice wrapped a weight around the walker bars to keep it more secure. Today we used it plain. I prefer the wider size walker than the one I had this morning, but it still worked. The foot still feels weirdo and clumsy, so I have to pay extra attention to position. But I’m feeling much more steady, and graduated to an assist of one person who sometimes just held on to my gait belt and didn’t actually help me do much. Progress! At the end of PT, I walked another 30 feet from the mat to the NuStep and did my 15 minutes.

OT started with the hallway arm bike, which has a much nicer view than the one in the rehab room. Doesn’t make doing the exercise any more interesting but at least there’s something better to look at. Then we did arm weights, followed by standing up to a raised table, about kitchen counter height, and doing stuff. First was standing and moving each arm, then using arm weights, and finally, moving a ball with both hands, with resting in between and then more standing. I did lots of standing 🙂

One of my rehab friends went home today. I’m so happy for her and know that she made huge strides after the stroke and fall that put her here in the first place. She was one of my cheerleaders, and I was hers. Three of my other friends are leaving before Sunday, so it feels like it’s time to go myself. Wondering about how things will be at Meadow Lake but I’ll find out soon enough.

I closed on the Emerald Bay house today. It’s the end of an era in the Bay for our family – and for them, too. In the best Bay tradition, the house will be known as the “Myers House” for the forseeable future.

Therapy Notes – Thursday, 9/2/21

I had a shower today – my first one in almost a month. Words can’t tell you how normalizing it was to be able to do that, to get my body and my hair washed, and to not need an army of people helping me do it. I think it was my best shower ever. The difference between today and last week when they asked me about getting a shower is that I’m no longer using the wooden transfer board to move from one surface to another. It was super scary trying to figure out how to do that in the shower, even with grab bars. But now I’m doing my transfers using a walker instead, and I have more control over where and how I move.

I spent most of PT time this morning practicing standing up. I walked 52 feet, but I really wanted to practice standing because I’d had some trouble in the morning getting dressed. I’d lost the rhythm. There’s lots to remember: suck in stomach, squeeze the butt, push off from either side of my body, reach for the walker, push down into the feet, thrust up the bottom so I’m fully standing – and then stay up. I’ve been counting 1-2-3 to get up but Veronica said I could just stand. Huh. I like counting it off better but it’s smoother if I just get up.

My quads and thighs are quivering and oh so tired from all the work outs they’re getting. I have written instructions from Veronica on exercises to do on the weekend when I don’t have therapy – and to use as the basis for my continuing therapy after I move, in addition to whatever they give me at Meadow Lake.

I heard two important things this week. Monday Veronica told me that I’d proven that I COULD walk. The muscles aren’t damaged, they just need to be retrained and reminded of how to do this, and then given lots of practice to get stronger. I need confidence in them, and I’m getting there slowly. When I got here, I couldn’t walk so this was huge.

The other thing was something the case manager told me: I’m still making progress, I haven’t plateaued yet. I want that point to be a long way off. As long as I’m progressing, even in tiny steps, it’s worth the effort. That’s now a mantra, that I’m making progress and haven’t plateaued.

And in other news, I’m closing on the sale of my Emerald Bay home tomorrow. I didn’t get a chance to say goodbye to the house and to Daddy’s big tree in the front yard, but I have memories of the house with people and fun times. That’s a better way to remember it than an empty house that will belong to someone else tomorrow. I hope they love it as much as we have these last 36 years.

God is Winking

there is no such thing as a's a God wink | Coincidence  quotes, Amazing inspirational quotes, Faith quotes christian

The neurosurgeon told me this week that I needed spine surgery (specifically a lumbar laminectomy) to be scheduled in 3-4 weeks. But I was going to MOVE in 3-4 weeks. You can’t have surgery and move at the same time, especially with cats. How can things move that quickly? Moving takes time. But God is winking.

A week ago today I decided to sell my house and move to Meadow Lake. Two weeks from today I will actually do it, which is crazy. Things are racing along at a speed I could never have planned or expected, and this morning I set the date for the local movers to come and pack (August 4) followed by moving day the next day. My house will be listed after I’m gone.

People seem surprised at how quickly I’ve gone through items and pulled them out to give away or sell, but the truth is, I’ve been looking around at my stuff for a while as other friends have moved away, because moving is when you make those big decisions about little things. I’d look around a room, and mentally think, “Keep, keep, toss, keep, sell, toss” and just move on. Now that it’s time to really do that weeding, it’s actually quite liberating and freeing to let it go because there isn’t room. I don’t hate a thing and would probably keep it if I stayed … but in letting go, I have permission to put something else into that place in my life. Big things like furniture and small things like that 3rd set of plastic measuring cups. Who needs that many? Not me.

Last weekend I had a “house cooling” event, posting pics of bookshelves full of mostly decorative give away things and a kitchen table covered with pans, trays, crockpot, cookie jars, etc., that I wouldn’t need. It was a first pass through, but there was still a LOT of stuff. People stopped by and picked up more than they thought they would because, let’s face it, I have nice things in great condition. Some also wanted to see the house which was fine.

But then the God-winking continued. One person came for a few things and bought the couch, and then asked about the chair that coordinates with it. I hadn’t necessarily planned on getting rid of the chair but, sure. Another came for a few garage items and took pics of the dining room table and chairs for his daughter to consider. A friend offered me packing paper and boxes, and ended up offering to buy my guest room king size bed that I had just decided the night before I wouldn’t be taking with me. A brief conversation with someone in the office ended up promising her the bistro patio set. A text message asked if I was selling my washer, dryer, and fridge, and if they could buy them as a set. The Veterans are picking up in my area and will take all the furniture I don’t sell or give away. The moving company, which usually doesn’t accept checks, will accept one direct from Meadow Lake, which is covering up to $3,000 of moving costs.

I mean, really?

When things fall into place this quickly, this effortlessly, it’s not coincidence. God is winking and I’m paying attention.

House projects

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My big landscaping plans of redoing everything, front and back, are now on hold because all of the landscapers I’ve contacted are overwhelmed with work. So many houses lost massive amounts of shrubs, bushes, trees, and plants due to our February freeze, and the earliest I could get work done would be June, which is wicked hot here in Texas. Plus I only have the landscape plan for the front of the house, not the back yet, and I need it all to get accurate bids for time, plants, and total costs.

The Plant Lady designing my plans is up to her eyeballs in her landscape business. What she sent thus far has beautiful plants that I never heard of but will be soft, low, and colorful. So it’s worth waiting for what she sees for the back. Right now I’m thinking about doing the landscaping in late September instead of trying to squish it into Now, which is just not looking very feasible anyway. This would let me get bids and then get on my contractor’s schedule for ripping out old plants and fixing things up with the new with time for them get rooted before the cold weather sets in. I’d rather wait and do it right.

Today the electrician was here to fix two problems. The outlet at the end of the penninsula in the kitchen hasn’t worked and now we know why: it is wired so that the light over the kitchen sink has to be on for the outlet to work. Quirky but given how little I actually use that outlet, it’s a lot easier to just go with it than to have to undo and run new wires. The other project was outside on the porch where the ceiling fan didn’t work. A handyman took down the old one but there’s no power to the drop for the fan, which is why the old one didn’t work. The attic space above it is only inches high, which is going to make this tricky. He’s coming back on Saturday with a buddy and has a plan for trying to find and poke through wires to a place where they will work. I’d really like to put the fan up so it’s worth it.

Friday another company is coming to clean out the air ducts in the house. Who even know that was a thing that could or needed to be done? They charge based on the number of air openings for vents, registers, and intake. I’ve been trying to wrap my head around how this will work and how to keep the cats out of the way, but I think getting rid of extra dust and crud will help my allergies as well as keeping the house cleaner, which is always a good thing.

Next week the sprinkler people are coming to adjust two sprinkler heads that are going off like fountains. Everyone who sees them calls me to let me know about it – duh, thank you. I reset the sprinkler control box using Youtube instructions and am feeling pretty accomplished. Hopefully this will keep the yard from being over watered and bog-like.

I bought a new TV for the living room after having someone ask how long the colors had been muddy. Uh, they look fine, don’t they? No, they didn’t. It was more like tinted black and white images. The Geek Squad delivered and set up the new TV and hauled away the old one AND my old printer, since I just replaced that, too. Who knew that the TV shows were in actual color? The eyes got used to what was there but now I’m seeing things in living color. Big improvement even if it wasn’t something I expected to be buying.

This is all expensive and it makes me tired just thinking about everything.

Checking in and Catching up

I forgot to get on the scale this morning. That sounds so small a thing to have thrown me off but it did. Almost every day since I started Noom in January 2020, I start the day by peeing and then getting on the scale. It’s gotten to just be habit, as a way to get information, instead of a judgment. But today I just forgot. I slept badly because of neck and arm pain and too many things parading through my head, and was awake before 4am. Instead of getting on the scale, I went right to the living room and started guzzling water while updating the scheduled church newsletter with something I remembered while in bed trying to sleep. And then it was 6am. After drinking 50 oz of liquid, there’s no way I’d get on the scale. But it threw me off.

It’s been a while since I checked in with my body. My right side is kind of a mess from top to bottom: neuropathy in the foot, torn MCL at the knee, sciatica, neck and arm pain. The left side has a weak hip and more sciatica, but that’s not much. Two days ago I went to the hospital for a steriod injection in my right SI joint and a right knee genicular nerve burn (neurotomy). The meds to help me relax and not remember what happens didn’t work as advertized; there was no relaxing and lots of remembering. The burn itself was a new kind of pressure/pain but if it makes the knee happier, it will be worth it.

Now that I have been fully vaccinated and am 3 weeks past my second shot, I’m starting to get out more. I ate out in a restaurant with a friend last Friday, the first time I’ve done that in a year. I got antsy from being around so many people after a year of limiting exposure, but the food was great and it was a window of normal after a very long time of isolation. This weekend I’m off to my brother’s house for a weekend, my first trip there in 9 months. As he said, it’s time to unbuckle the seatbelts and start to move around the cabin. I’m taking baby steps and we’ll see how it goes.

In other news, I bought an air fryer and have been having fun trying to figure out how to use it. Mostly so far this has been cooking frozen foods such as prepared chicken and salmon, egg rolls, or reheating leftovers. Tonight I’m trying a new air fryer recipe of marinated chicken thighs (remember, I found a whole bunch of those when I cleaned out the freezer). We’ll see. But so far I think it will be a good tool and will help me do my small-scale one-person cooking without heating up the whole oven every time.

I’m also planning additional work on the house. Two years ago it was replacing half the windows and my renovation. Last year it was replacing the other half of the windows. This year I’m hoping to replace all or most of my landscaping, swapping out a very dated set of “solid green wall hedge” style with something shorter, cleaner, and more spaced out. I’m excited about making some changes and having time to enjoy them, as well as adding value to the home. I hired someone to draw out a plan and come up with plant options that will work with me making final decisions. So many plants were killed in the long freeze in February that nurseries are having problems filling orders, so that may be a factor. But at least I have a plan.

And on the inside of the house, it’s time to get my air ducts cleaned out and the carpets cleaned. I have no idea when the ducts were cleaned last but know it’s been at least 10 years, and the cats throw up a lot trying to get rid of hairballs, so both cleanings are past due. This home ownership game is expensive.