Oh hey, it’s November already, in case you haven’t noticed. Things have been pretty quiet on the blog for the past few weeks, but for good reason. To catch up, here’s a quick Around Here covering the past three months.
Recovering. I had total knee replacement surgery on my left knee on July 20th. The surgery went well and I’m recovering nicely, but there were some difficult days, especially early on. I’m back to work now (after seven weeks off) and feeling like myself again.
Rehabilitating. Rehab for knee replacement sucks, there’s just no getting around that. It’s hard work, physically, mentally and emotionally. Physically because it hurts (obviously), mentally because pain is natures way of saying “something’s wrong, stop what you’re doing immediately” but you have to push through anyway. And emotionally because there are days when you seriously believe you’ll never feel ok ever again. Rehab also pays off though – if you put the work in you’re going to see results.
Earning a free t-shirt for perfect attendance to my Physical Therapy sessions! There is a high drop out rate for PT (see above comments about how hard it is), so they offer the t-shirt as an incentive to keep showing up. I never considered not going to a session, even at the lowest point – I was determined to walk comfortably again and I knew I had to do this. But it wasn’t always easy. I am very proud of that t-shirt.
Exercising. I will probably always have to do exercises to keep my knee strong and flexible. I try to do two sessions a day (although it doesn’t always happen) and I try to take a brisk walk every day (also doesn’t happen everyday). At some point I hope to get back to biking and yoga. Unfortunately the weather is going to force me to walking indoors pretty soon – not my favorite but needs must.
Watching. I was very happy that the Olympics were on during my recovery. There’s only so much HGTV you can watch without going crazy. The Olympics were just the right amount of interesting without having to follow a storyline – I could dip in and out as my schedule of naps and exercises allowed. Another bonus was that the sports shown during the daytime tend to be the less popular (with Americans) but which I enjoy a great deal – sports like equestrian, bicycle racing, rowing, etc. Later, when I finally started feeling stronger I spent a few pleasant afternoons watching the latest season of The Great British Baking Show which was absolutely delightful. Everyone, contestants to judges, were so friendly and helpful and kind, a sharp contrast to most American reality shows (which I avoid like the plague). Maybe it helps that the final prize is the title of Best British Baker and a bouquet of flowers – no fancy tv contract or cash prize – but it probably also has a lot to do with traditional British stoicism. Also, the food was pretty amazing.
Gardening. During my recovery from knee surgery I was lucky to have some great help – my brother mowed my lawn and picked tomatoes, my friend Chris, without complaint, picked flowers from the cutting garden for me and my friend Carol drove down from Madison for a weekend and weeded my garden. How’s that for an amazing friend? Thanks to these three my yard and flowerbeds kept looking good all summer.
Now I’m working on putting the garden to bed for the winter. Our autumn has been very warm and very late this year. I’ve cleaned up most of the garden except for raking leaves (which I’ll be doing for weeks yet since the trees in my front yard are oaks and drop their leaves very late). The houseplants that summered on the porch are safely tucked inside and the rain barrels have been emptied. I’ll have more thoughts about the garden soon.
Dreaming of traveling but, sadly, any definite plans are on hold. My travel list continues to grow but I am going to take next year off from globetrotting. This is so frustrating – I’m worried that I’ll lose some of my “travel smarts” (a skill that needs to be practiced just like any other) that I worked so hard to acquire. But the fact of the matter is, the house needs some repair and updates and I need more surgery, this time for the right knee. I hope to make it until next July before going through with that, but it might be sooner depending on the knee (it’s bone-on-bone already). I do plan to get to Madison a couple times, and I’ve already booked a trip to visit family over Thanksgiving, but longer trips will have to wait until 2018. In the meantime, I’ll get the house spiffed up and get myself (and both knees) in good walking shape!
Grateful. For skilled medical care. For being able to be off work to recover. For family and friends that checked in with me and stopped by and encouraged and motivated me. Grateful to be on the mend and looking forward to returning to all of my usual activities in better shape than before.