Monday, June 30, 2014

T Minus Three Days

This month has zoomed by... 
  • I've been going to physical therapy twice a week and my friend Amy was right, they are really physical terrorists!  I was assigned to Nic, a very nice guy who's all "we're gonna get your knee ready so you can walk around Ireland" at the initial evaluation.  And then at my twice weekly appointments, he turns into a sadistic dictator!  They have this rolly chair, which I lovingly call the "Chair from Hell" and they make me sit on it and then push myself across the room using only (now get this...) my BAD leg!  Oh, the humanity!   Ok, it probably isn't that bad, but the chair is agony.  One day, I think I really depressed Nic when, after he did his best to kill me, he asked me to rate my pain on a scale of 1-10, and I said "0."  It was like I'd ruined his day.  My last appointment before "vacation"  (NOTE: imagine angels singing the word "vacation" there) is Wednesday.  Assuming I survive, maybe I'll bring him back a postcard.
  • In addition to my twice weekly appointments, I've had my at home exercises to do.  Admittedly, I've never been good with homework.  I credit it as a miracle from God that I graduated, because actually doing homework was not my forte.  But Nic laid on the "do you really want to have paid all these big bucks for surgery and not do your best to get a good result?" and "do you want to have spent all this money on a trip to Europe and not be able to enjoy it because you didn't do your homework?"  (Did I mention that I think I hate Nic?)  Anyway, while I may not have done them twice a day religiously, I've been doing them.  The best part are my assistants who show up to help me the minute I lay down to start my exercises.  Sophie immediately hops up and plops her fluffy butt on my stomach, and Cleo tends to hop up and plant her chubby butt on my ankle... the ankle on the leg that I'm supposed to be lifting.  It's one thing to attempt to lift my leg, using muscles that are being reconditioned, but it's totally another to have the Super Chunk sitting on the leg. 
  • Despite one of my four bosses being on vacation for the first two weeks of the month, it's been very busy at work culminating in two of the bosses have BIG things due on the same day.  I have to admit, there were a few tears that day.  Sniff...
  • One would think that the weekends would be relaxing, but this was my month to be the "clicker" in the soundbooth at church on Sundays.  It's amazing the amount of stress I feel when I'm doing this.  During the songs, I'm generally doing good.  As long as I don't get carried away in singing along that I forget to click.  Or, like there was this song we sang yesterday.  Don't recall the name, but on one slide, the same three lines were repeated twice, then the next two slides were identical... so basically, the same three lines were repeated six times....  (4 times too many for my taste), but the big problem was that I had to pay attention - and if you know Rose, you KNOW that I'm easily distracted.  I mean, I've had to force myself to just pay attention to what I'm writing here!  The second stressor that I have is during the actual sermon.  Now, one Sunday, the Pastor didn't have a PowerPoint, and I told him that if he loved me, he could feel free to take the rest of the month off, PowerPointedly-speaking.  Well, I guess he showed me, because we had one for the rest of the month!!  And yesterday was really bad.  Now, first, when Pastor Dave is opening up with a prayer, I'm sitting there praying that I won't make a spectacle of myself via the Powerpoint.  So having said my usual, he starts his sermon, and I'll be darned if within the first three minutes he isn't already talking about stuff that's on the LAST SLIDE!!  Oh, my stars... Rose was almost having palpitations.  Fortunately we both made it thru and I don't have to click for the rest of the year.  Whoo hoo!!
  • Saturday I started packing for the great trip.  I swear to you, after gathering all of my electronics, the iPad and its case, the iPod, the iPhone, the Kindle, and all of their assorted chargers, and that thingee that allows me to use electricity in the UK, I may have to take another suitcase!  
Anyway, I'll be leaving on Friday, July Fourth - (don't take that as an invite to come rob the 'do... Mom'll be here with our fierce guard cats).  And yes, I suppose it's possible that we'll get to see fireworks from the air, although I don't know how high fireworks go or fully understand aeronautics, so I don't know how high in the air we'll be, but...  

I do hope to have access to wifi at some point and maybe get some blogging done on the road.  If not, I'll take copious notes and we'll have tons of pics, I'm sure, so I'll be able to fill you in on the fun when I get back.  Until then... Rose OUT!

Monday, June 2, 2014

Don't Know Much about Geography...

I've decided that passport stamps, like tattoos, can become addictive.  It took many moons and
several "Year(s) of the Passport" for me to actually get my passport, then once I got it, it was another couple of years before I actually used it.  But I did.  Of course, we all know how that trip worked out for Rose... leaving a body part, in bits no less, in Scotland and all.  I didn't really get to see much of Scotland.  I saw the countryside from the train window, but I was in pain and feverish, so I can't claim that I took much in.  I saw the city from the train station to the hotel, then from the hotel to the hospital, and then hospital to the dorm where we stayed while I awaited being able to leave the country, then the dorm to the train
station.  So I'm sure Scotland is a very nice country, and while I can wholeheartedly recommend going there for emergency surgery, I just don't think spending a week at the hospital was a good way to acquaint myself with the country of (some of) my forefathers.

I want to return.  My mother, who graciously bankrolled the previous trip, is no long up to doing the airport 5K, running from one gate to another, so she is out as a travel companion unless we can get where we're going by car.  I had two options: 1) my friend Annette and B) my sister Holly.  Well, sorry Annette, since Holly had actually suggested that we might like to go back and see all that we'd missed before, I asked her first and she was game!

So here we are now, Me, Holly and her hubs Tom will be traveling on Fourth of July - there's nothing quite like being in a different country on the Fourth of July, or as Europeans call it, Friday... although technically, we won't arrive until Saturday morning, so we'll be spending the bulk of the Fourth in the air skipping time zones like a stone in a pond.  Tom, for those of you long-time readers, is the Tom of the Dear Tom feature which appeared during the blog entries regarding mine and my niece Natalie's vacation to Gulf Shores in 2010.  He knows a lot and what he doesn't know, he's not afraid to make up.  Anyway, he was invited to go as me and Holly's chauffeur as neither of us wanted to drive around in a foreign country.  Since he'll be along to share his "wit" and "wisdom," the Dear Tom feature may rear its ugly head again in future posts about this upcoming trip.

The plan is to spend one week in Ireland, see if we can find us some Lucky Charms or a pot of gold.  Tom's friend Bill will be joining us on this leg of the trip.  I gather going to Ireland is on his bucket list.  I don't plan going into details of the trip at this time because a) I'll probably be blogging about it then, and don't want to bore you; and 2) we don't really have any firm details set.  We know where we'll be laying our collective heads each night and that's it.  We learned on our previous trip that a lot of the universities there rent out dorm rooms during the summer and other breaks super cheap, relatively speaking, and you get breakfast in the dining hall!  So Holly and I spent an evening a couple of months ago plotting out our plans, and making room reservations!  If nothing else, we'll have a good knowledge of the university dorms!

The second week will be spent in Scotland.  There are a couple of things
I'm really looking forward to.  First, we're going to spend the night in a castle!!  I'm a big fan of time-travel romance novels, and while one of my vacation dreams is to find a dead body on the beach, meet a cute detective, solve the crime and live happily ever after, the other of my vacation dreams is to be in England, or Scotland, or Ireland, you know, somewhere in that general geographic region, and fall and hit my head on something and wake up in another century, meet a cute dude and live happily ever after.  Of course, with time travel comes the issues related to germs, food prep, bathrooms (or lack thereof), and no air conditioning... so of course the end result is the cute dude would come back to today's time to be with me, of course.  Anyway, spending the night in a castle gets me a little closer to that possibility.  Especially since I've been to various beaches multiple times and have yet to discover a dead body.  The dead jellyfish doesn't count. 

The second thing I'm looking forward to is going to the Battlefield at Culloden.  There's a really good series of books (time travel romance) that I adore and the first book of which is being made into a TV series later this summer, and the Battle of Culloden plays a big part.   Plus, it just wouldn't be a Barger Vacation without going to either a cemetery or a battlefield, so this is a must!

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Like a Surgeon, Hey!

Just a quick post-op update on the knee.  My surgery was Wednesday and
as advertised, it took only about  20-30 minutes.  I'd intended to ask the doctor if someone could take a pic mid surgery for my blog, but as I'm sitting here typing, several days later, I can't recall why I didn't.  Not that I'd have actually thought they would do it.  I'm pretty sure that my phone has to be the nastiest thing in existence so there would definitely be sanitary issues!

So the doctor came out and told Mom that all went well, and that I'd be in recovery soon.  I, on the other hand, woke up feeling as drunk and druggy as I ever have.  You know, that "your head is too heavy for your neck" feeling and my brain was somewhat awake, but my mouth was unable to speak the words it was told to speak.  My peeps at work had high hopes that I'd "drunk text" them, but I don't think I could have even held the phone!  And by the time I had the phone, my usual self control had re-exerted itself.

After getting my snack of sweet tea (I'd earned the real stuff) and peanut butter crackers (NOTE: if you have dry mouth, do NOT choose peanut butter crackers as your snack), Mom packed me up in the party van and drove me home.  I got ensconced on the couch with my knee propped up and an ice pack on it and Mom left to go pick up my pain meds.  She also had instructions to go to the grocery store and pick up some Bunny Tracks ice cream.

Despite the pain meds and very good nursing care, that first day, I was pretty sure that I was going to die.  I tend to get maudlin after surgery - don't know if it's the pain, the drugs or the difficulties associated with getting up from the toilet.  I also had the mother of all headaches - a side effect from the anesthesia, one supposes.  The sad part was that none of the pain meds were even chipping away at the headache.  Thank God for Aleve - I popped a couple of those and laid down - upon waking it was gone. 

Thursday and Friday, each day the leg was better.  I still needed the crutches to motor around but, if I use the difficulty of getting up from the toilet as a barometer, I was definitely improving. 
Saturday, I was motoring around without the crutches.  I even took the elevator down (stairs are not something I'm ready to tackle) and walked around to the front of the condo to get the mail.... the sad part being it was all trash.  I even took a shower!  I do have to say that there were a couple of minutes of fright getting the leg in and out of the tub, but all worked out.

So, tomorrow morning, at (gulp!) 7 am... I really wasn't thinking when I scheduled that, was I?... is my first physical therapy appointment.  My friend Amy tells me that they are actually physical terrorists, so she suggests that I take all the pain meds as I can before I go.  The only problem is that I plan to go to work at least for a half day afterwards.  I'm not concerned about working on drugs, it's the driving from the condo to PT and then from PT to work.  I'll have to figure something out.