Thursday, December 30, 2010

The Stitches Are Gone!

Alyssa and Lexi were able to drive me to the orthopedic surgeon today to get the stitches and staples out. He had x-rays taken as well of both ends of the rod. Everything seems to be OK at this point, so I will go back to him in eight weeks. In the meantime, I will be having radiation therapy on the leg. I go to the Radiation Oncologist, Dr Locken, on January 19 for an initial evaluation. then I expect three weeks of treatments five days a week.

I asked Dr Jackson when I can resume driving. He said, "Oh, I think you can drive now." I had assumed he would say whenever I feel it's safe. So next week I'll be driving myself to my doctor's appointments. I'm not sure I'd really want to today, but after a few more days of walking on it, etc, I expect that leg will feel more 'agile'. 

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Strange Sensations

When I told my older sister about this, she couldn't get her brain around it - I'm not sure I can either. When I was in the hospital and the first night I was home, I felt like I had two pairs of legs; one pair when I lay on my right side, and a different pair (not just the same ones in a different configuration) when I lay on my left side.

Also, when I tried to read another chapter of Anne of Green Gables to Lexi Saturday night, it felt like my teeth were out-sized and were knocking into each other.

Could these things be related to the anesthesia? I need to tell my knitting friend Lisa G (Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist) about it. I'm sure she has heard plenty about people's reactions to anesthesia.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Max's Blanket

Max now has his blanket, so I can write about it here. Since my daughter tells me that his mother sometimes reads my blog, I didn't want her to see it here before she saw it for real.

A couple of months ago, Carmen asked me to make something for her to give to a co-worker who was pregnant. The baby was a boy. He would be born in December, He would be named Max. His room would be decorated in browns. I thought about it for a while, and then came up with this.

 Yes, this is two sides of the same blanket. The yarn is cotton with a bit of silk, and can be machine washed and dried. The top, middle and bottom stripes are a stitch pattern that I like for scarves, shawls, etc., because it looks nice on both sides. In fact in my Mon Tricot Knitting Dictionary from 35 years ago, it is listed on one page as 'bicolor half-linen stitch' and on the next page as 'the footstools' with a note that it is the reverse of the bicolor half-linen stitch.

The other two stripes are done in Shadow Knitting, which creates a now-you-see-it-now-you-don't 'pattern'. In this case, the pattern is HELLO WORLD! on one stripe and MY NAME IS MAX on the other. If you look at the blanket straight-on, you don't see the words. You have to look at an angle to see them.

I hope that Max enjoys his blanket. My wish for him, and for all children (after love, food, shelter and clothing, of course), is that he retain the feeling of awe and wonder at the world around him that I hope to convey in that HELLO WORLD!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Home Again, Home Again

Tuesday, Dr Stephen Jackson put a rod in my right femur, using three screws (1 at the top and 2 at the bottom) to hold it in place. He had said that I'd be there one night, but I only got home Yesterday, Christmas Day. My granddaughter's father-in law drove me there Tuesday and stayed until I was in a regular room. I told him he didn't need to, but he said Lexi would beat him up if he didn't. I asked her yesterday if that was true, and she said that she and Nana had both said that.

The surgery went well, but didn't start until at least two hours after its scheduled time of noon. (I had to be there at ten o'clock). Physical Therapy didn't get me up until the next afternoon. I was not expecting to have as much pain as I had 3 1/2 years ago with my hip replacement, but I  did. The first two days I had a morphine(?) pump. I felt like I was pressing that button frequently, but the nurses said I used less of that pain medication than most people do. I guess I take after my father in not needing much pain meds.

Yesterday afternoon Alyssa and Trevor came and brought me home. We stopped on the way and picked up Lexi from her grandparents' house. She spent the night with me. I know she's only half the age of the person the medical community expects to be there for the first day or so after release, but I figured I wouldn't need anything she couldn't take care of. We did just fine. 

I slept in Rose's bed because there is no step up to the bathroom there as there is in my room. Lexi was going to sleep in Sara's bed, but while we were getting ready for bed, I goofed. She mentioned that some of her dad's family have 'seen' her Papaw's parents in his house in the time since they've both been dead. We talked a bit about ghosts, etc, and I mentioned that her mother and a friend of her father's had both seen a man in this house.(I described what they saw to a man I knew whose brother-in-law used to live here. James poo-pooed the idea of ghosts, but said that description sounded like Harry Green.) Lexi changed her mind quickly, and started setting up a pallet on the floor in Rose's room.

Right now my leg is hurting; I think because I've been sitting here too long. I need to get up and walk a bit, and then take a pain pill.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

How the heck!

am I supposed to use my walker? Rose spent the day with me. Sara called last night about 8 and asked if I could watch Rose today. I guess she thought that with upcoming surgery I wouldn't feel that I could. Sara said she'd bring her either last night or early this morning. When there was no sign of them by 10 pm, I turned off the light and went back to sleep (I had fallen asleep reading). About 7:15 this morning, I was awakened by a soft, "Grandmother?" at my bedroom door.

Rose is old enough to not need much 'care.' She even fixed her own peanut butter and jelly sandwich for lunch (and I fixed mine.) She uses that stool from her little vanity for several things.

Later she got mad at me because I wouldn't go anywhere, except maybe the Dollar General store in Fancy Farm. During her little pout, she fell asleep for about an hour. After that she played nicely with her dolls.I love listening to her tell them stories and sing to them. Sometime after 4 pm we met Reggie at the Dollar General in Fancy Farm and she went with him.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Busy Medical Week

Last Wednesday, 12/8. when I saw Dr Winkler, I told him that for two or three weeks, whenever I lean forward and put my elbows on my thighs, the right thigh hurts, Rose jumped into my lap one time and I yelped. Dr W sent me to have x-rays of my right hip, thigh, and knee. By the time I got home (28 miles) after a half-hour stop at Kroger, there were three messages in my voicemail.1) Tracy from Dr W's office saying that there is a lesion on the femur and they have made an appointment for me with Dr Jackson (orthopedic surgeon) the following afternoon. 2) A woman in Dr Jackson's office telling me of that appointment. 3) Dr Winkler saying that there is myeloma in the femur and he wants Dr Jackson to look at the x-rays. He wants me to use a walker or crutches. Also, he may want radiation therapy in the future.

The 2:40 appointment worked well with the 12:45 one I had with Dr Heine (oral surgeon), but meant that I couldn't meet Rose's bus at 3:50.

Dr Heine said that my mouth is now healing well and that I can go off the medications when I finish my supply on hand. I will go back to him on January 6.

Dr Jackson said he can put a rod in my leg. It would require only a small incision in my knee and would not interfere with radiation if that is used in the future. I didn't give him an answer about that, because I wasn't sure I wanted more surgery and more metal in my body. However, I thought about it a lot over the weekend, and decided to have the surgery. My thinking is that although my body did a good job of healing my left femur after radiation killed the myeloma cells four years ago, it likely would not heal so well after all the medication I've had in those four years. Therefore, I think I need to have the rod to strengthen my leg. I'm already tired of using the walker!

My surgery is scheduled for noon on Tuesday (12/21) at Western Baptist Hospital in Paducah. I need to be there at 10 am, and will spend one night there. I went there this morning to have the pre-op lab work, EKG and chest x-ray.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Project complete?

What can you do with a cone of red/green/white variegated cotton, two size 7 double-pointed knitting needles, scissors, a yarn needle, needle-nose pliers, and 18-gauge aluminum wire?
I've been making candy cane ornaments for Lexi and Rose to give to their class-mates. There are only ten of them here, but I have seventy done so far. When Lexi and I had supper together Monday evening, we counted up her classmates and the kids on the cheerleading squad. After backing out duplicates and adding teachers, she'll need four dozen. I don't have counts yet for Rose's pre-school and dance classes, but it's likely to be more than 22. I'd better continue.

Lexi's cheerleading group placed first in the Paducah competition on Saturday! Last night they all went to the Paducah city commission meeting to collect their trophy and $300. The money will go toward their trip to the Nationals in Chicago in January.

I'm proud of Lexi for being in that group and helping it win the award. However, I'm more proud of her for something else she told me about at supper on Monday. Of the five sections of fourth grade at Mayfield Elementary School, she scored highest on the reading test! So she's not only agile in body, but also in mind. 

Monday, December 6, 2010

Done for another year

About 10 o'clock last night I got home from the last night of the Walk through Bethlehem. We had to cancel on Saturday because of the wind - too dangerous with bonfires, but in the other four nights we had about 1500 visitors, total. Last night, I think there were several van-loads from other churches who came in place of their regular Sunday evening services.

Friday night Rose did wear a costume until her mom came to get her. She looked really cute! I think she enjoyed the whole experience.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Two down - Three to go

Nights of the Walk through Bethlehem, that is. So far, so good. It's been cold, but I've worn several layers of clothing, and there is a bonfire behind me and a chimenea (sp) beside me, so only my fingers, toes and nose have gotten cold. My toes are always cold anyway. I wore thin, cotton gloves at the beginning, but couldn't work that way, so I've just had fingerless gloves with the disposable hand warmers like hunters use..

The first night, there seemed to be dust on the top of the loom. I thought maybe it came from the smoke from the fires. I reached out to wipe it off, and discovered that it was frost! That probably was part of the reason that the harnesses were sticking. Last night was not quite as cold, and I think tonight may be a couple of degrees warmer.

I had Rose there with me part of last night, and she'll be there even longer tonight. She wants to wear a costume. I hope they have one to fit her, so she can be one of the Bethlehem children. 

I took Rose for allergy testing yesterday afternoon. She protested a great deal! I finally had to hold her. I wanted to do that from the beginning, but the nurse wanted to see if she'd hold out her arms by herself. After it was done, she realized that it wasn't too bad, after all. The only thing that she reacted significantly to was dust mites.

Today she's playing dress-up and watching movies on her DVD player. She just asked if she could have a peanut butter sandwich for lunch. When I told her I'd fix it in a few minutes, when I finished this blog entry, she said she could fix it herself. I said OK, so she did - did a very good job of it, too.