Just living my life now

I recently read over all of my blog posts from the first when I was in Rehab #1 in August 2021 to the latest, covering progress, setbacks, pain, challenges, emotions, and regained skills. Wow, lots of words covering all sorts of mental states and physical change. Thanks for hanging in there with me as I babbled my way through. I’m putting all of those words in a format to produce two bound volumes as a way to track my “recovery time” of August 2021-December 2022. It’s how I marked the timeframe I’d be mostly like to get back my mobility.

Mostly now I don’t think about it; I’m just living my life. I’m in the wheelchair most of the time but am planning to get a power chair so I can travel down to the front of the building more often to be part of various activities. I just can’t roll down with the manual chair more than once a day or my arms want to fall off. My arms are strong but could be stronger; I need to work on that, but today am dealing with arm soreness from my neck and shoulder down to my wrist. Using a manual chair puts a lot of strain on the shoulders and arms. Even walking does for me.

I haven’t done as much walking lately as I should be doing, and it really doesn’t bother me. I know it should. First it was my ingrown toenail that cause sharp pain with every step. Now it’s the place on my back/side that I hit on the arm of the wheelchair when I fell in the kitchen 2 weeks ago. Not on the floor, thank God, but even just falling into the chair left me with pain and soreness that hurts from the shoulder to the hip. It’s better by the end of the day but in the evening and again when I wake up in the morning, moving is painful. Well, just breathing is, to be honest.

My health aide now gives me regular massages, either full body or back/shoulders/feet. Oh my, it feels soooooo good to have those stress knots released, and I have so many of them! Living alone through Covid concerns has meant no hugs and little physical contact, which takes a toll. I have the cats but they’re not really cuddlers, much as I want them to be. I’ve been touch deprived except in a clinical sense and very much appreciate these massage visits.

Christmas decorations are mostly up except for my tree, and I’m debating on that. Right now the place where I would put it is blocked by my old lift chair that’s waiting to go to a new home. Last year the tree was in my bedroom but that doesn’t work now because I have a chair there that I need to keep to put on the AFO’s. But directly in my line of sight is a super cute table top wire tree that I got at a consignment shop, waiting for its small ornaments. Maybe this would be enough for me this year. I need to put the ornaments on – after getting the box out, which is a task in itself – and then we’ll see. I have stockings for Ellie and Emma, a basket full of elves, two nutcrackers that were my father’s, an angel made from my mom’s wedding dress, flameless candles and pretty ornaments in lanterns, and two nativities. Not to mention the Christmas Pillows which mostly have gnomes on them. I have a thing for gnomes 🙂

Through this blog I’ve met two people who found posts that linked to their families. Come 2023 I want to write more family history oriented posts instead of all of these “today I walked X feet” posts. It’s been necessary and important but I’m ready for something else. Go me.

Birthday Cake for Breakfast

Today is my birthday and I had carrot cake for breakfast because, why not? My brother and sister-in-law brought it with them yesterday to celebrate my day a bit early, and there are carrots in it, so it’s healthy. It certainly is tasty. Cecelia gave me the best b’day present ever: a massaging foot bath followed by nail trim and foot massage. Honestly, my feet have been so unhappy (it’s been 3 months since the podiatrist was here and I really can’t cut my own nails because of the neuropathy) that it was the perfect gift. Plus I’m touch deprived and dearly miss regular pedicures and massages. At least I can touch and cuddle the cats, even though they’re not all excited about being cuddled.

For my birthday, I’m buying myself a loveseat for the living room. This was the original plan last year when I moved in but it never happened. Now it’s time. I’ve had a great time looking at furniture online and trying to find something that’s not too big, not too boring, and made of lighter colored fabric that the cats won’t want to immediately claw. They leave soft chenille fabrics alone so that’s what I looked for. I also bought a coffee table from Pottery Barn in wood and metal that will match my shelving unit. Both loveseat and table will give the girls more places to nap and change up the look of the space while still giving me ample room to wheel or walk around. I needed more space for that when I first moved here but I know what I’m doing now. It makes a difference.

My belly is sore from my twice-daily Lovenox shots, and I have lots of purple splotches. I do morning shots on the left and evening on the right to make sure I’m spacing them out properly. The first few days I had waves of nausea that I finally realized were from the shots, and on one walk in the hallway found myself in a cold sweat bad enough that I turned around because I was so shakey. That might have been low blood sugar which usually isn’t a problem. I’m hoping these shots are actually starting to work on the blood clot.

I see the cardiologist on Tuesday for my regular annual exam and will see what he has to say about the clot. But first I need to call the vascular people to have a report of my visit sent to the heart doc so he has all appropriate information. We shouldn’t have to do all of this checking and tracking but I don’t expect the offices to do it on their own anymore. My work experience in dealing with vendor customer service for a zillion different reasons helps enormously but I wish I didn’t need it.

Quick Checkin from Anaheim

It’s 5:30am here in California and I’ve been awake for half an hour – after sleeping like the dead for 10 hours.   Yesterday was a very long day, up at 2:30am to do my “get ready for the day” stuff  (I’m not a fast-starter in the morning) and having some cuddles with Tessie before heading to the airport.

Flights went smoothly except for some weather in Dallas, but nothing that messed up flights too much.  After the 3 days I spent at Newark airport on my Christmas trip, a small delay and bumpy air was not a problem.  I sat in rows with moms with small children which is NOT my favorite thing to do – but I had two seats “for my comfort and safety and that of the passengers around me” and on a trip this long, it did make a huge difference.

Food actually was good.  I fixed some little sandwiches of Arnold’s sandwich thins (1 point each) with Laughing Cow cheese, had some cut up apples and Late July cheese sandwich crackers, and some tootsie rolls for a chocolate fix.  In Dallas I picked up some pineapple and yogurt at a little shop along with some soy crisps.  I didn’t eat anything after I got to California other than finishing off the soy crisps.  I just wasn’t hungry and concentrated on downing as much water as possible to help with dehydration.

And I had a massage that was awesome.  The woman used a combination of Chinese and Swedish techniques and really concentrated on some horrible muscle knots and tightness made worse by a long day in the plane.  I’m feeling a little sore this morning but in a good way.

Now it’s time to dry my hair and sit down to a nice hotel breakfast because I need refueling.  I can’t afford to do this every day but a breakfast buffet with fruit, protein, and carbs is a good thing.  The conference stuff starts at noon for me, with a workshop on electronic resource management.

Have a great day!

4 Handed Massage

MassageYou all know that I am a big fan of massage and get them regularly. What I had today was a 4-handed massage – no, not from a Hindu deity with multiple arms. Instead, it was a double massage with two therapists working on me at the same time for an hour. Oh. My. God. it was the most amazing experience ever, even beating my beloved hot stone massage.

For a massage to work best, all the muscles need to be totally relaxed and it’s always a bit of an adjustment to having strangers touch your naked body. I’ve been to both of the massage therapists before and was familiar with the space, so that helped. That familiar New Agey Celtic music was playing softly and there was the sound of water.

Having four hands work on me at the same time relaxed not only my body but also my mind. There was good energy between the therapists and it was almost like a little ballet as they moved in tandem around me, working on arms and feet and back and neck. it was too much for the mind to keep track of it all so I just let go and felt and enjoyed and was totally present in my body.

It turns out that I was the very first client to get this new treatment, which the center just started offering 2 weeks ago. I’ll definitely be back.

Trip to NYC and More

It’s been a busy weekend. Yesterday I took the train down to NYC, meeting up with our Frances for some Christmas shopping. I should have figured out that everyone and his brother would be on the train, to see the Christmas windows, skate at Rockefeller Center, check out the Rockettes, maybe see The Grinch on Broadway, and, of course, shop. I actually saw one of my WW meeting mates in the line for the ladies’ room at Grand Central.

Vegetable PeopleOur first stop was Union Square for the Christmas Fair, which is full of color and over 100 vendors with all sorts of things we all just have to have. Ornaments and Christmas decorations, of course, but also textiles of all shapes and kinds, jewelry, art work, ceramics and pottery, candles, and just general stuff. We went last year and found a number of the same vendors (yes, the woman with the chubby ladies ornaments was there and they are still adorable). Frances and I both did quite a bit of Christmas shopping and left loaded down. No, I’m not telling you what we got because some of you will be seeing packages arrive soon.

We took the subway uptown (or maybe downtown – I’m pretty directionally challenged underground in NYC) to Chinatown. Our goal was to have lunch and wander around to see stuff, taking some pictures. Much to my delight, four different people asked us if we wanted handbags. FK says that in all the years she’s been in NYC, she’s only been asked that when I was with her – it happened the last time, too. We only visited two because, well, how many bags do I need? And how much cash did I have anyway? One was down some steep stairs to a basement room full of bags including some yummy patchwork Coach bags and some tiny moc croc kiwi green Pradas.

Lunch was in a tiny Malasian restaurant with a menu the size of a book, yummy with Asian flavors and aromas. I rarely have Chinese or Thai food here and really miss it. It was good to sit down and have the chance to reorganize our various packages. After lunch we found ourselves in Little Italy, all bedecked in an overabundance of decorations. To look at the lights running across the streets, Buon Natale was being brought to us by Sorrento Cheese, which I thought quite endearing.

Our next destination was one we discovered on my last visit – a Chinese back rub place on Spring Street. Both of us were tied into major knots up and down our bodies and spending an hour with very strong hands working them out was simply divine. The time flew by in the quiet of the dark room, interrupted only by the almost orgasmic sounds of a man on another table near us. Something to giggle about after we left, feeling refreshed and pummeled at the same time. I admit that I’m pretty sore today in the places that had the deepest work, but they were in the worst shape in the first place.

Rice to Riches Dessert SignWe had dessert at a place called Rice to Riches — a whole shop that sells only rice pudding. Yeah, I know, it has to be a New York thing because it wouldn’t last long anywhere I’ve ever lived. It was very clean and trendy, full of happy people eating exotic flavors like pecan pie, gingerbread, apple pie, and about 12 more kinds, all in large size containers. It was rich and creamy and I enjoyed it a lot, but the single serve portion was huge. I only ate about 3/4 cup or less and threw out the rest. Whoever said it was a single portion has never been to WW.

I had a small crisis at home when I finally got there. My kitty was inside meowing for me but my key just went around and around in the deadbolt, which was locked. Oops. Tessie was too short and doesn’t have opposable thumbs, so she would have been hard pressed to open the door from the inside. Maintenance was called and came quite promptly, I have to say. Their solution was to break a window to break in and open the door from the inside, with window and door both to be repaired on Monday. It worked but it was messy and it freaked out Tessie.

Today was gray and you could feel the approaching snow heavy in the air. I spent the morning wrapping presents and then finding the UPS Store to ship out most of the pile, which was really festive, I must say. I also picked up the ubiquitous milk and bread, among other things, at the grocery store before the bad weather comes, as well as dumping trash and recycling. This afternoon I paid bills, did laundry, and tried to tidy up the mess left from wrapping this morning, with Tessie trailing me from room to room.

It’s time now for frozen peas on the knee and a heating pad on a sore spot on the back, preferably with a kitty cuddled close. I don’t want to go to work tomorrow but since that’s on the agenda, I need to get refreshed and ready.