Okay, so it is raining, and looks like it will continue to rain through the day. Terrific. 🙁
I’ve begun the wash/rinse process for yesterday’s dyes. Learning how to use the cycles of this new machine is interesting. And time consuming.
Got about 6 hours last night, and my numbers this morning are pretty good. I’m still unsure why my body behaves differently one day to the next, even when I do the exact same things each day. I’m trying very much to figure out what works best for keeping my glucose down most of all. I want to stay under 100 if I can, but that’s a rare treat for me so far, apparently unattainable most days. I’ve also noticed that I start to hesitate just before plunging the insulin needle into my belly. I don’t know why. Sometimes it hurts a teensy bit and sometimes the little needle just slips right in. But I have been self-injecting since November, so I don’t understand the hesitation. Hmmmm….
Oh yeah, and this wet raining weather is apparently contributing to my hip/knee joint pains. There’s little I can do about it. The pain meds work sometimes, but only sometimes. 🙁
Didn’t get my best night’s sleep (<6 hours), but I caught a couple brief naps during the day today. My numbers today were surprisingly low, especially this evening. Glucose at 100, and bp at 125/67 on the left arm but 111/60 on the right arm, within minutes of each other. I normally just do the left arm, but the first time I did it it was 115/60-something so I did the left arm again, and then the right. At mid-day the glucose was 124, which pleased me, since I don’t have to do the Novolog insulin injection unless it is over 130. I still have to do the Lantus in the morning, regardless the number, although it was only 105 first thing this morning.
I was surprised this evening because I had a fairly large (for me) lunch, and then had a pint of Budweiser at mid-afternoon while I was working. I’ve always assumed all the carbs in beer would not be a good thing for my numbers, but apparently the lunch and beer didn’t hurt my glucose or my bp. Weird.
I did the custom dye job today, so maybe that amount of exercise countered any carbs….? Hell, I don’t know. I’ve been hurting a lot lately with the hip and knee, but once I got into the dyeing process I didn’t notice the pain too much but after the work was done and I sat to rest a spell, the pain returned. I’ll do the wash, rinse and dry stuff tomorrow — testing the washer to see how the rinse-&-spin cycle works. I have new mesh bags to hold each skein separately, so I hope it isn’t a disaster.
That is discouraging, and I think most of this was preventable. The state pushed to reopen far too soon, plus too many people choosing not to mask or follow social distancing guidelines.
And it doesn’t help at all that Trump is trying to reduce testing, because more testing means more cases, and more cases make him look bad. Ignorant fucker. Hiding the numbers just gives people a false sense of security. We Are Not Okay right now. I would not openly advocate for his soon demise, but …
In my life there have been times I had to sleep on floors, couches, overstuffed armchairs, back seats of cars, and even in a bathtub one time (long story, don’t ask). Basically, I’ve learned to fall asleep in whatever situation I find myself in. Sure, a luscious bed is glorious, but I’ve never had the privilege of becoming a bed snob. And yes, there are people who actually require certain types of beds for legitimate health seasons, and I don’t begrudge them their necessities. There are also those princess wannabes who will bitch and moan over the slightest inconvenience. Fuck them. Or not.
So anyway, when I moved to Houston I brought with me a queen size folding futon frame, and purchased a new futon to fit the frame fairly quickly. It was usually folded into a couch position. I had also brought a full-size bed with frame, but soon after moving here I gave it to my son because his kids needed more bedding. So my futon became my bed for sleeping.
Fast forward to 2020. Over 13 years, that futon had become lumpy and bumpy, and had developed a significant valley down the middle. I had purchased the best I could afford at the time, and I certainly got my money’s worth out of it. Last fall I decided I would take my time and shop around to find a suitable basic queen size mattress that would fit squarely on the futon platform. I had no interest in gimmicky beds — adjustable air-chambers, memory foam, water beds, etc. I just wanted a basic innerspring mattress.
But then I got sick from uncontrolled diabetes. Then I was restricted due to the aortic aneurysm, followed by surgery and recovery. And then the COVID-19 pandemic hit and there was no way to get to a bedding store even if I had wanted to go to one or another of the many bedding stores.
Recently I’ve been seeing ads during the evening news for a place called Texas Mattress Makers, saying they were still open for business and they were having a 35% off sale. They are a local small business and all they do is mattresses and bedding. I went online, found a queen size medium-firm mattress and box spring set at a ridiculously low price (with their 35% off deal) compared to what I’d seen at the national mattress stores. I got on the phone and made the deal on Thursday. The mattress I wanted is normally over $800, but I got the mattress with box spring and delivery for just over $500, and they agreed to haul away my futon.
An aside, in praise of the company. They called Friday and told me the delivery window would be 9:00 to 11:00 on Saturday morning. On Saturday morning, a driver called at 7:43 (I had it marked on my phone log) and said he would arrive in 20-25 minutes. They showed up at 8:10 and were gone by 8:20. WOW!!! Excellent service, and I’m helping a local company stay in business during these hard times.
Anyway, so this is the before and after:
The box spring alone is taller than my old futon! I happen to have a tiny stool that is perfect for climbing onto the bed; thank goodness for that.
So, anyway, on to the ‘blues’ part. I went to bed around 10:30 and got about four hours of sleep. The entire time, though, I was aware of the arthritis in my hip. I mean, I could not find a single position that didn’t hurt. And shifting about was worse since moving actively involved the joint. Damn it! Did I choose the wrong sort of bed? Was I a fool to purchase a bed without trying it out first? I slid down off the bed and went to the kitchen. Yeah, this bed is so high I have to slide down until my feet touch the floor!
Wait! What’s that?? I walked to the kitchen without a stitch of pain, without a limp, without anything hindering me. How can that be? Painful to lie on and try to sleep, but nearly free motion when I’m upright and awake? Hmmmmm….
Obviously, the first night on a new bed isn’t enough to know for sure. I will give it a while and see how my body responds over time. I may end up having to change out some other furniture as well to see if such other changes can also improve my physical experience. I already know I need new bed pillows; it’s been a few years since I bought new ones.
It was very difficult to make up the bed — stretching a new mattress pad over it, and then stretching the fitted sheet took a LOT of exertion to get things all tucked underneath the mattress. That sucker is heavy and I definitely did more than I should have — I spent much of the rest of the day with abdominal pain. When I went back later to put on the top sheet and blanket, I knelt on the floor to shove the sheet and blanket under the mattress using my upper arms instead of the usual lift-and-tuck method I’ve always used for making a bed. I got it done, but golly gee it wasn’t comfortable. At all.
At one point yesterday, the weather was terrific and I decided to take an exercise walk. I figured I would use my regular cane instead of the walker. Mistake! I got only halfway between Nancy Rose and Manor and simply had to turn around and come home. I suspect it will be a while yet before I can leave the house without my walker. I will keep trying — I can’t stop trying — but I will absolutely pay more attention to exertion levels and other factors.
P.S. – went back to bed and got a few more hours of sleep. And the pain is back in my hip. Not so bad, and I think I can slog through the day, but I did too much yesterday so I have to go slow and easy today. Most of what I need to do can be done sitting down, which is good. Tomorrow is a work day, so today I need to just focus on what my body needs – food, meds, blood sugar, blood pressure, low-exertion exercise.
Okay, so I worked on Tuesday and Wednesday, just pulling hanks to dye so it wasn’t a lot of work. And I worked on Thursday and Friday to get a full batch of Blog Reader Specials done. That took a lot out of me. When I slept last night, I slept well and hard, but there was a 3-hour period when I was awake; got back to sleep around 4:00 or 4:30 and slept until almost 7:30.
I fed the boys and took the trash out, and now, as I sit here sucking my first morning coffee I feel sooooo wiped out. Not sore or particularly hurting in any new ways, just feeling super drained. I’m going to sit on my ass today, I suspect, and just veg out and try to replenish myself.
A Facebook friend made me a few face masks to wear in the even I need to actually go anywhere. They aren’t quite as wide across my face, but they will do for my purposes. There are three different fabric designs, and they are different insides as well.
I’ll come back later and see how I feel.
OOOPS!!! I waddled off to bed and realized I didn’t finish or post this.
Anyway, so there was a 4-hour sleep, then a 3-hour sleep in the night. And during today I had another several hours of assorted naps throughout the day. Yeah, I was pretty wiped out from the work of the previous few days. I’m still feeling exhausted and not walking at all well. Grateful for the walkers and cane, all available and close at hand as I need them.
I keep reminding myself I’m not all done getting better, but it doesn’t help me all the time. My body reminds me I’m not there yet and it pisses me off. Probably more than I should let it, but it does.
And even though I’m taking the celecoxib and the gabapentin as prescribed, I continue to have assorted pains in my right leg. Sometimes I can tell if it is the actual hip and knee joints, but sometimes it feels like muscles or nerve pains. But it just hurts most of the time, although less after the meds for a while. It also doesn’t help that I have a wonky sort of couch and I was hoping to replace my 13-year old mattress this spring. But with everything shut down, it doesn’t look like that will happen. It is nearly impossible to find a position that doesn’t hurt when I lie down. Or sit. Or stand. Or walk. Half the time when I do actually find a pain-free position, within minutes my bladder is screaming as if I’d not peed all week. Go figure.
Yeah, I know — I’m whining and bitching and moaning about shit. I went to bed at 10:00 and it’s now 10:45 and I’m awake and hurting. Oh well…..
Today was a mostly down day (although I did send out notices for the Blog Reader Specials), and tomorrow is Sunday and I’m taking an extra down day to get ready for the week ahead. I have work projects to pursue, and they won’t get done if I don’t do them.
Lemme see if some classical music will help me relax enough to get to bed.
So I just took my walk to Manor and back. I was about halfway there when I realized how much pain I was having. All morning I’ve had twinges of joint pain where the hip joint and knee joint are deteriorating; these are greatly reduced with the celecoxib, thankfully. But walking any sort of distance at all causes the supporting muscles to hurt. It’s a different kind of pain and I’m learning better how to distinguish it. I know that if I take this walk at least twice a day the muscles will strengthen, however much it hurts along the way. It will get better over time.
This is critical for me because when I am dyeing, I am on my feet an hour and a half or more for each dozen skeins per session. If I hope to be able to get back to work like I once did, I have little choice but to do these walks regularly. UGH
Another aspect of the process is pulling hanks from cones. This is also a mostly stand-up task. Clearly I can’t be pulling cones and dyeing in the same day. Not yet anyway. So today and tomorrow I will focus on pulling all the hanks I’ll need for the dyeing I plan to do later in the week.
This morning I was up early (a little less than five hours of sleep) and got my Kroger order in for the week. This time I printed out my order so I can more accurately check the order when it arrives instead of guessing or trying to remember what I’d request. I also put in specific substitutions for specific items (like canned peas if they can’t find frozen). I’m hoping that will mean I get more of what I want.
Tomorrow will be 12 weeks from surgery, and I am FINALLY getting to a place where my lower tract is getting close to normal. That is, I am beginning to once again get the ‘normal’ (for me) signals that it’s time to use the toilet. I’ve been getting unfamiliar signals from other parts of my lower tract, so I didn’t know what they meant. But yesterday and today, however, I got the old familiar signals. Yayyy. I hope this means I will begin to be normal in my toilet routines as I have been for most of my life. I certainly hope so, anyway. The last several months have been, quite literally, a pain in the ass.
It is nearly 5:00 a.m., and I’ve been up since just past 2:00. UGH It is 61ºF and 98% humidity, and alllll my lower joints are aching. A lot. No, really — A LOT! Anyway, it is nearly time for morning finger-stick, then insulin, then breakfast, and then I can take my morning meds to deal with the pains.
Yesterday I mentioned that I wanted to start getting my normal daily life routines back into place. Today, being Sunday, that means I need to get my hair cut, among other things. It used to be my Sunday routine, but over the last few months I’ve let it slip.
wow….7:00 now. Shit. So I went ahead and got my hair cut and a shave. Holy cow, that took a lot out of me. Not sure if it is because I didn’t get enough sleep, or because the act of standing there, bent over cutting was so exhausting, but golly gee my back hurts and I feel utterly drained.
The good news is that my finger-stick is only 114 just now. 🙂
And now, another hour later, my body is still feeling like shit. I took my insulin, ate a bowl of cereal, and took my morning meds. I’m just going to check out for the day and rest. I am so fucking sick and tired of goddamn “resting”. I’m tired of various and sundry aches and pains cropping up (surprise!) here and there and everywhere. 🙁
Here’s hoping I will feel better later in the day. I do have things I want to write about, particularly concerning the growing fears I keep hearing from various people about the virus, the necessary isolation, the economic impact (personal, national, and global) that will inevitably result from the worldwide shut-down. Everyone is feeling it, and I have things to say about it. But for now, I need to just lie down and ‘be’.
So today marks nine weeks since surgery. The scar is beginning to lighten a bit, AND my chest/belly hair is growing back in to help disguise part of the scar.
There are a couple of yellow spots about an inch left and right of my navel and up about an inch. They look like old bruises or something. Not sure what they are from. Also, in the picture, it seems like a dull faded bruise above the yellow marks as well. Oh well….
So, how am I feeling? Generally, I am feeling more and more like my old self, except that my hip continues to give me a lot of grief. I should be getting the Celebrex in the mail tomorrow or the next day. I’m also supposed to be getting the new walker later this week. Once that is here I will be more able to be moving yarns here and there as I need to, so that will be a good measure of progress when I can start working. I’m looking forward to that.
This morning, Harris County Judge Hidalgo issued a “stay-at-home” order for the county. Not strictly a lock-down, and various essential businesses will be allowed to remain open. But for the most part people are being advised to work at home if they can, and only leave their homes for essential errands like groceries or doctor visits. For me, this isn’t a big deal since I hardly ever go anywhere at all, but it will definitely impact a large chunk of the population.
Today will be the last day for the visiting nurse to check me over. Last week was my last PT visit.
Okay, so today marks 8 weeks since my surgery. It is hard to see the difference from the picture two weeks ago, but I can feel a difference in the scar.
I’m still not sure what that little dogleg jog to the left was all about. I was told that the discoloration is greater below the waistline is because it wasn’t open to the air as much. I don’t know. Maybe that’s where they had to go back in to install the drainage tube in the second surgery; the actual opening for the tube itself is barely a tiny line.
Yesterday was my last visit with the PT. I appreciate his efforts, and I think he did his job well, encouraging me to walk as well as to do my leg exercises when I could. I pretty much think some of those exercises aggravated my hip too much. I didn’t do any of them today and I’m nearly pain free in the hip. 🙂
Yesterday afternoon, I was going to package some things to send to my granddaughter. I thought I could fit them into the large Priority Flat-Rate box. Sadly, my large boxes were under some other things. I had to lift and move all those things, and then move and lift the box of priority boxes. Just doing that much wore me out and seriously set my hip and knee and sciatica pains to screaming. And, it turned out a large priority flat-rate box isn’t half big enough for what I need to send. Dammit. So I spent the rest of the afternoon and evening practically crying in pain. 🙁
Clearly I am not ready to get back to working just yet, not if a few minutes of shifting things put me down so quickly. Obviously, of course, I am well aware of what is required for a reqular dye session, and it has nothing to do with shifting boxes around. What I need for dyeing is fairly straight forward, so next week I will try to begin working. Slowly, cautiously, carefully, but I have to start somewhere, right?
My glucose numbers seem to be doing fairly well — no super high or low numbers, although sometimes the numbers confuse me. I’m still learning how to eat, I guess.
Friday I put in a grocery order at Kroger and the soonest delivery window was 4:00 – 5:00 p.m. today. I’ve been hearing that other people have been having their pick-up orders at Walmart cancelled, without reason or warning, so I was concerned. But my delivery was made just about 4:30, as promised. I asked for six 5-oz cans of tuna, and she brought me two 12-oz cans, and she couldn’t find my cereal. But otherwise I am happy with Kroger delivery, using Instacart shoppers instead of in-store personnel.
Slept sorta okay last night. A couple hours, then awake for almost an hour, then several more hours of sleep. Still not a good eight hours, and still waking up to pee several times. But when I got up this morning I realized I am actually starting to feel almost normal. Almost.
And when I took my glucose reading, it was only 90! Very nice.
The hip and leg still hurt, but not quite as much. My general overall body is pretty good, and the occasional aches and pains I’ve been feeling are starting to subside as well, so I’m guessing that is part of the healing process and not a bunch of new problems cropping up to worry about.
Tuesday will be eight weeks since surgery. I’m not naive enough to think there is anything magical about that (or any) time marker. It just means I’ll be able to do a little more than I’ve been doing.
All this coronavirus panic is crazy, but understandable. Schools are closing, grocery stores are cutting back on their hours, and all sorts of public gathering places are shutting down.
I have no idea what I did, or what might be causing it, but my right hip is giving me SO MUCH grief and pain this morning!!
Actually, I suspect it might have to do with doing the leg exercises with the resistance band. But that doesn’t really make a lot of sense — the band I use is very light-weight and the exercises are supposed to be strengthening muscle to better support the joint.
I truly do not know why this is happening, but I DO know that there is not a single position in which I can sit, stand, recline, walk, or anything without the hip firing off pain signals constantly. I can’t even sit on the toilet without severe pain interfering with why I’m sitting there. On a side note, however, now that I’ve stopped taking the iron supplements, I don’t have to sit there forever practicing my Lamaze breathing just to make something happen. But still, how crazy stupid is that when I can’t sit on the toilet like I always have done? 🙁
An hour later (and 3 ibuprofen later) the pain is beginning to calm down. Sheesh!
Mid-Afternoon — So I went to Kroger this morning, ordered meals from Mai Thai (their House Special Lo Mein, and their Chicken and Broccoli). Ate half of the Lo Mein for lunch; actually I ate most of the goodies and hardly any of the noodles.
Took an hour and a half nap, and just now took my walk to the end of the block. Oh good golly, my legs feel so heavy and tired and sore; I could barely walk today. Very strange, since I’ve done that walk 2 or 3 times a day previously.
I’m guessing it is just one of those ‘down’ days on the road to recovery. And possibly not enough sleep. And possibly using the resistance bands for my leg exercises. Or a combination of it all. Hell, I don’t know. It all just hurts. Tomorrow is another day, I suppose.