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Hello Everyone!

I haven’t written for a while.  But if you “like” my page on Facebook you’ll know I haven’t fallen off the face of the Earth.  I’ve just been either busy or too tired to commit to writing.

Today is the five-week mark following my total knee replacement surgery.  I’m doing pretty well!  I’ve returned to a few normal activities, but have a long way yet to go.

Last Saturday I worked for a few hours.  And plan to stop in the office briefly again tomorrow.  It’s nice to go on Saturdays though because I can get the most work done and am tempted less to chat with friends.

Then on Sunday I actually went to church!  It hadn’t been since before my surgery.  It was so nice to see everyone and just BE at church.  Then we went out to lunch.  Another big deal! On Monday we spent a nice chunk of a beautiful Labor Day afternoon on the deck of our favorite restaurant in town.  It’s right on the Mississippi River.  Perfect weather for a leisurely day.

Physical Therapy is going well.  It’s not fun, but there’s a little more progress every week.  I even ride the stationary bike for a while.  Nice and slow, but it’s a great exercise for the knee.

Today I have all to myself.  Hubby is working.  Daughter who visits a lot is working.  No PT.  I have been able to do some work from home and write to you while sitting on my back porch.  There’s been a sweet little hummingbird buzzing and chirping around.  It ate from both our feeders, sitting briefly at one.  And it ate from both the hanging flower plants bought especially for it.  I think I held my breath the whole time it visited! haha

As the end of summer approaches, I look forward to getting back into an even BETTER than normal life.  “Normal” to me wasn’t all that great.  But now, with both knees replaced, things should get better.  I’m looking forward to our favorite fall activities that include a trip north to view fall foliage.

GARDEN UPDATE

How did your gardens do this summer?  Did you plant in ground, raised beds, or in containers?  Share pictures with us on my Facebook page.  Ours has done very well.  We’re buried in cucumbers right now.  And the tomatoes are amazing!  Hubby replanted some green bean and snap pea seeds several weeks ago in hopes that we would get another harvest before it gets cold.  They are doing very well!  The green beans are stretching skyward with all their might and should be just as good as the early plants.  I am so glad I planted a few sunflower seeds too.  They’ve been beautiful!  And the bees have been constant as they fly in and out of the flowers all covered in the yellow pollen.  We’ve done our part for the local ecosystem.  🙂

Well, have a great end of the week everyone.  I hope you can all get out this weekend and enjoy one of the last weekends of summer.  Be sure and visit me on Facebook for other news and brief updates.  And let me know WHAT’S NEW with you!

(Did I mention that I’m on Facebook? haha)

Our view on Labor Day afternoon.  So nice to visit this local favorite again.  Perfect weather.

Our view on Labor Day afternoon. So nice to visit this local favorite again. Perfect weather.

Our Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle tomatoes!

Our Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle tomatoes!

Garden Candy.

Garden Candy.

I know, you've seen them before.  But ain't they beautiful?! :)

I know, you’ve seen them before. But ain’t they beautiful?! 🙂

Hello everyone!

It’s a beautiful late summer day in the Midwest.  Warm, but nice.  I would love to be on the deck of our favorite local establishment over looking the Mississippi River.  Sipping on a margarita.  But I’m not.  I just don’t want to go while I still have a darn walker.  It’s awkward.  Once I graduate to a cane though…watch out! 🙂  I’ll also be glad to be rid of the walker because I’ve developed calluses on the palms of my hands!  That happened last time too.  Your hands hurt from the walker for a while, then blisters and calluses.  Very attractive…sarcasm intended.  I don’t know how those old gals do it when they must depend on a walker 24/7.   Anyway, I wish I was out enjoying dinner and a cool beverage and the river view instead of sitting at home.  Cabin fever sucks.  But I had a long afternoon and I’m done for the day.  Plus, I doubt the margarita would mix well with the pain meds I’m still taking. Or would they? heehee

Physical therapy was rough today.  But again, it’s all in the name of progress.  Which I continue to make.  Yeah!!  After PT I went into the office for a while.  I had a big to-do list that I didn’t get completed.  That’s a bummer.  But I did enough that I could email myself what I had done, and then complete it at home over the weekend.

Good news!  I slept through the night last night!  For the first time in a very long time.  I some how got comfortable enough that pain didn’t wake me.  And my bladder didn’t wake me! (TMI, sorry) I woke up at around 7:00 a.m. when the dog decided it was time.  I was confused for a moment because the sun was up and it wasn’t the middle of the night.  I’ve spent most nights laying awake or in and out of sleep with pain and discomfort.  And I’ve gotten up to go to the bathroom at least once, if not twice, each night.  Side affect of meds I hope and not a new trend in aging!  So yeah…very grateful for a night’s rest.  Helped my mood if nothing else.

That’s about it for today.  Have a great weekend everyone!

Remember to find me on Facebook too.

Calluses suck.  :)

Calluses suck. 🙂

Well, it’s been three weeks today since my second knee replacement surgery. As I’ve said before, I am doing much better than I did after my first one. That said, it’s still no party.

Sleeping has gotten more difficult. I have lower back and hip pain that keeps me awake. It’s painful to sleep on my back. Yet my knee won’t allow me to be on my side for very long. So, nights and sleep are painful. We did some e tea stretching at physical therapy on Monday and I went to the chiropractor. All in hopes of getting some relief. But it didn’t help. Still had the pain that night. I’m just going to have to be faithful in doing my PT homework so I heal faster.

My kids have been very helpful. My youngest daughter and my son both live near by and can walk over if needed. My daughter and her almost three-year-old daughter have come over many days to keep me company and offer me help. And comic relief! That little one is hysterical. Very animated in her gestures and vocabulary. And she’s always good for a nice hug when I need it. My son is driving me to PT when hubby is working. This is a valuable gift that I couldn’t do without!

I’m getting cabin fever pretty bad too. I just miss being at work. Being with my friends there and knowing what’s going on. I’m so disconnected and out of the loop of information. I hate that. My nosey self needs to know what’s going on! Ha!

Well, that’s about it for this three-week report. I’ve kind of hit a plateau and need to push myself with PT to get stronger.

Have a great week, talk to you again soon!

Remember to find me on Facebook!

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Hello!

It’s been two weeks today since my second knee replacement surgery. I’m proud to say I’m doing much better this time around. At physical therapy today I was able to bend to 80 degrees! If you’ve never had this kind of surgery you may wonder why that’s a it deal. But it is! Especially since it took me a LONG TIME to reach that point last time.

Hubby went back to work Monday night so I was on my own. Due to age and medications I have to get up a few times in the night to “go”. Sometimes I still need a little help moving off and back on to the bed. But I managed alone! Every time gets easier.

The stairs…oh the dreaded stairs. They’ve gotten easier, but I’m still not steady enough to go it alone. I need a spotter. 🙂

The walker. I’m pretty sick of the blasted walker. I’ve been using it because it’s necessary. But I’m starting to think I could toddle around the house with just a cane. I haven’t tried yet, but will let you know.

There’s still pain of course. And there’s still a long way to go with physical therapy. But I’m so grateful that I’m doing this well so soon. God is good!

OTHER FAMILY NEWS

It has been a rough month for my oldest daughter and her family. They lost their precious bull dog when she was hit by a car. My oldest granddaughter was there and tried to give the dog mouth-to-mouth. Unbearably heartbreaking circumstances around the whole event. Then one week later this same grandgirl broke her arm! She ran into a fence, fell, and was injured when her friend fell on her. She starts 6th grade tomorrow with a new injury that may not yet be casted. Not to mention the fresh broken heart over her dog. Prayers for them all would be appreciated.

In other news… We have another new granddaughter! She lives a half a country away so we don’t know when we’ll meet her. She’s a cutie though! Thank goodness for the Internet.

GARDEN UPDATE

Hubby harvested 18 cucumbers yesterday! Among other things. We’ll never eat them all, and I’m in no shape to stand and can them as pickles. So we’re giving many of them away.

What’s your favorite way to eat cucumbers? Share your recipes with me!

I’m sure there is more to report, but that’s all I’ve got right now. Time for more pain meds. And as you know, they ARE the boss of me. When the meds say “sleep” I must obey. Have a great week!

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Hello! Did you ever think I was coming back? I do apologize for my post-surgery absence. I guess I’m not much of a writer if I can’t write during the roughest days. I partly blame the wonderful pain meds that have kept me in a fog. They truly have been the boss of me. And that’s OK! The alternative would be unbearable pain. And I ain’t goin’ there.

GOOD NEWS

The good news is…I’m doing much better than I did after the first knee replacement in April of 2012! Hallelujah! Better muscle strength and proper pain management drugs have a lot to do with that.

I had my surgery done at a “surgery center” as opposed to a hospital. This means that its out patient and they ship you out the morning after. They think this is a good thing. I do not. I’d much rather stay for a few days than come home and climb the stairs. But it is what it is and I think we’ve finally mastered the best way up and down the stairs. Only took us 10 days and the second surgery to figure it out. 😉

PHYSICAL THERAPY

I have a wonderful physical therapy team. Sometimes you see the main dude; sometimes a team member. I started PT one week after my surgery. It’s always an awful experience getting down stairs and out to the car. But knowing I was already at a more advanced stage than I was the first time was encouraging. It didn’t hurt that my young PT team member looked a little like Jake Gyllenhaal! Maybe it was the drugs, but he really does.

PT following my first surgery was a nightmare. Both for me and for the therapists. I had no muscle tone after years of bone-on-bone knees. Turned out that severe pain caused me to scream and cry. Not a pretty sight. So this time everyone was amazed at how well I’m already able to move. No screaming or crying…yet. 🙂

DOCTOR FOLLOW-UP

I had my first follow-up appointment yesterday. First of all, it’s out of town. No fun traveling yet. Very uncomfortable in the car.

My first knee incision didn’t show stitches or have staples. They must glue it shut somehow. I remember my irrational fear that it was going to stretch too far and rip open. Imagine my surprise when I discovered that this time I had 20 staples under the bandage! This, of course, was not a concern to the nurse or doctor. They didn’t understand why it was a big deal for me. Um, because no one told me I had 20 staples in my knee!! Sigh.

The nurse took out my staples. I was really hoping that this one part of the experience would be pain free. But no…it hurt. Sharp poking and burning 20 times over. More sighs. This part just wasn’t supposed to hurt! But it’s over. She finished by smearing on some nasty red-orange goo and adding a row of butterfly bandages. It all makes look worse than it did with staples. And it stinks!

I’m so thankful that I’m doing better than the last time. God is good! Today I’m out on the back porch enjoying a perfect weather day. Blue sky. Nice breeze. Low humidity. It’s a simple thing, but it really makes me feel better. In fact, I’m writing outside on the ol’ iPad and I just saw a gold finch! We never get the gold ones, maybe they like the sunflowers??

GARDEN UPDATE

We’ve so enjoyed this garden! Right now we have more peas to harvest. And we’ve had an abundance of cucumbers. The large tomatoes are finally turning red and I think we’ll enjoy some simple BLTs In the next few days. And my sunflowers are beautiful!

Have a wonderful weekend everyone! Again I thank you for all your kind thoughts during my surgery. You’re the best!

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Peace

I woke up this morning, too early of course, and was feeling the same uneasy anxiety I’ve been feeling for weeks.  Tomorrow is my second total knee replacement surgery.  I do not yet know what time my surgery will be.  They’ll call me some time today and let me know.  That doesn’t help the anxiousness!  When talking to hubby about how it would be nice to know, we decided it really doesn’t matter.  Not for this day.  We’ll know before it’s bed time tonight and that’s all that really matters.  My little bag will be packed and ready whether I have to get up at 5:00 a.m. or I’ll be able to sleep for a while.

While getting ready for work this morning I was listening to KLOVE Radio.  As I usually do.  I’ve heard the particular set of songs many times, but today the meaning of some of the peace-signlyrics meant so much more to me than usual.  The words of the song writers were so comforting and encouraging.  If you listen to Christian music, you know that many of today’s writers are inspired by Scripture.  So it feels as if it’s God’s Word in song, touching my heart.  I’ve had the radio on all day at work too.  Which is also the norm.  Songs I’ve heard every day forever… hearing in a new light today.

Peace.  I’ve got peace today about my surgery.  God is so good!  I know what I’m going to go through.  But I also know that a few things will go differently.  Because I know what is coming and I know what to say to the nurses and doctors tomorrow.  I know what I need to speak about…loudly if need be.  And I know what to expect once I get home.  Do I WANT to go through any of this?  Heck no!  But I still have a peace today that passes all understanding.  God’s Peace.

Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life. Philippians 4: 6-8 The Message

And that’s that.  I doubt I’ll be blogging for several days.  I look forward to touching base with you all again soon!  Remember to find me on Facebook for updates until then!

Also, a huge THANK YOU to all of you who have left me encouraging messages.  Your kindness means so much!

Blessings!

What does the “T” in T-Minus in a countdown stand for? haha  Do they even still do that?  There aren’t any more NASA launches to count down!

I can't believe I'm showing you all my secret post-surgery needs.  But I'm proud that I cleaned and set up my nightstand! :) Had to have my "Be Brave" picture.

I can’t believe I’m showing you all my secret post-surgery needs. But I’m proud that I cleaned and set up my nightstand! 🙂 Had to have my “Be Brave” picture.

Anyway…

Day after tomorrow is my total knee replacement surgery.  Knee number two.  My driving leg.

I’m doing a lot of sighing and “wowing” today.  I’m still in disbelief that I’m doing this again.

I still have so much to do in the office.  My desk must be under these piles somewhere!!  I have six different people covering my office while I’m gone.  I am blessed by those who are willing and able to help.  It’s a great gift to me and our Pastor.

Much to do at home as well.  But I was a good girl yesterday and cleaned my room.  Well, my side of the room. haha  I got my night stand all cleaned off and reorganized.  All ready for a long stay.  I even remembered my “Be Brave” picture which reminds me to be Strong and Courageous.

I’ve seen most of our grandkids in the last few days.  I’m glad to touch base with each of them prior to my surgery.  Because afterwards I’ll be no fun at all.  I don’t need them to see me whining about pain and so forth.

Tomorrow will be crazy busy too.  All that last minute stuff to do.  I may or may not be blogging again until after.  And if after, who knows how long it will be before I’m feeling up to it.  A good way to stay in touch with short updates is by “liking” the Thoughts From a Real Life Facebook page.  HERE!  That’s probably where most of my short updates can be found.

Talk to you all on the other side of this thing!  Thank you so very much for your support, thoughts and prayers.  Even though we are strangers, I feel the love and am grateful!

I AM BLESSED!

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