Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Surgery postponed...Really?!?

And the answer would be... yes. It all started out great. Up at 3:20 AM, Jeff on the computer in the writing room. I made our bed. Placed my lotions, etcetera into my makeup bag. Hung out with Jeff and the indoor gang while I enviously watched Jeff sip French roast coffee as we watched Morning Joe. It's primary day. Political stuff...
When it was time to leave we set off. Delayed a few minutes by having to turn the car window defroster on. And... we're off.
Arrived at ER to check in the same time as a close friend and her family arrived for her surgery. The lobby was like party central with lots of laughter and storytelling. Not a bad way to kick off surgery.
I was called a few minutes later. Jeff went out into the lobby, a different lobby to wait while I was prepped. Endless questions, more had to be asked but the nurse, a lovely woman, whom i really liked, filled them in.
Blood pressure taken. Temperature taken. IV inserted. 60 cc tube of blood taken, I'll be honest, that one I could feel. They draw your blood then circulate it in ER inject it to your knees for quicker healing.
I had on a haute couture hospital gown that was paper but... it has a place where you can insert a hose and it keeps you warm. Plus, totally cool purple socks with paw prints, did they see me coming, or what? Paper hair net for surgery (in white).
They brought Jeff back in to talk with me.
My surgeon arrives, looking very handsome in a JFK, Jr., kinda way. He is very causual in his jeans and takes one look at LIGHT razor burns. I shaved my legs yesterday and I NEVER repeat NEVER have gotten a razor burn in my life, with the exception of using Nair in my teenage years.
Carie, you can't have surgery.
It's a new hospital policy. Because of a 1 in 3 percent chance of infection setting in and then they would have to uncement my bilateral surgery and basically it just wouldn't be pretty.
What are the odds? I never get a razor burn and the hospital just implemented this policy. 
So, I think we're looking at Thursday for me to go into his office to make sure the razor burn is gong and we'll go from there.
On the bright side (quoting my surgeon) you'll know what to expect when you arrive back for surgery.
Oy !
And there you have it. Thinking positively, Jeff did treat me to a country breakfast before we arrived back home. And on an amusing note to myself, I will be having a a trapese overhead to help me move around. And a wristband that reads, a warning that I am a fall risk.  Well as dad used to say I don't think I've had this much fun since the hogs ate baby sister! It's not going to be dull for sure...

Monday, February 27, 2012

Monday Morning

                                             Show Me How You Burlesque, from Burlesque

Monday has dawned with rain in the Mother Lode. It's somewhat wet outdoors. Sprinkling lightly. Jeff's left for work. His last work day before being home with me for 4 weeks. Speaking of which... I opened up a book of affirmations that I keep on a bookcase shelf in the master bedroom. Glancing ahead to tomorrow  it reads:  Life is uncertain. Eat dessert first. Assignment: Eat dessert first today. It's always wise to glance ahead (I've discovered). Since I am having surgery tomorrow and can't ingest anything after midnight tonight, I think I should have dessert today. Well, after all my testings and screenings schedules for today. Today's affirmation: Always be a little kinder than necessary. Today, be a whole lot kinder to yourself than you had imagined possible. It that does not confirm that I should have dessert today I don't know what does!
Jeff and I had a great day yesterday cruising about. First stop was Sonora. Selecting a new laptop case for my laptop computer. Found the perfect one. Picked up other miscellaneous items before leaving. Ducked into Big Lots afterwards- looking at patio furniture. Then it was time for lunch. What better place for Mexican food than El Jardin's in Columbia?

Lunch was scrumptous, as always. I kicked started my lunch with a margarita, then ordered their snow crab/garlic enchilada while Jeff opted for their pork chimichunga. Afterwards, we decided to go for a drive... and found ourselves cruising toward Murphys- such a lovely afternoon.

After arriving home we hunkered down in the master bedroom. While Jeff read I watched Secondhand Lions on my laptop and got caught up on my journal writing. I've been slacking over the past few days. A low key evening- just what we both needed...

Friday, February 24, 2012

My fav place...

My Favorite Things, Julie Andrews

What are your favorite places? Things? We all have them. I can name mine on one hand. My grandmother's Santa Clara garden, my uncle's sister Dorthea's rambling estate in Colefax, my Godmother's (who also happened to be my great aunt) Mountain View home. My very favorite place of all is the Santa Clara Carmelite Monestery. What do they have in common? Aesthetic beauty, love and tranquility. 
The Carmelite Monestery has always been my fav place to go on walks.  Aunt Bette, gram and I would stroll through the grounds when I was very small. Then when I went to Jr. High, we didn't have middle schools then, the Monestery was next door, cloistered behind strawberry pink stucco walls. The high tower bell would ring out when the nuns were in need of food.  The grounds occupy a square city block and have two gated entrances. Click on pics to enlarge.

Jack London wrote Call of the Wild, in a pink colored ranch styled bungalow on the grounds while staying as a guest of his friend, a judge (click on above plaque to read), The next owner a US senator's sister was a Carmelite nun. When the Senator died he bequethed the grounds to the Carmelites.
When David, Tara and Amanda were small they would walk the grounds with me after they woke from their afternoon naps. When ALL of us went to Santa Cruz in 2010 we showed the grounds to Erin, Jeff, Sam and the grandchildren. We walked through the grounds, taking pictures... thought I would share this special place with you. Enjoy!

                                                               Carmelite Monestery, Santa Clara.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Sunday musings

Giving Up (is hard to do), Aaliyah from Sparkle soundtrack 2012

This is my weekend update from elle magazine:
On Sunday, the domestic diva within you emerges, as the Sun moves into Pisces and your home zone for a month. Spruce up Chateau Sagittarius already, whether that means replacing your bedding or doing a total d├ęcor overhaul. You live for original touches, so check out vintage shops, indie furniture designers, or try your hand at a DIY project.
Which pretty much coincides with our plan. Jeff is in the writing room working on a story while I blog and enjoy a demitasse cup of French roast coffee.
I actually slept in til 9 o'clock this morning, a rare occurance. I did manage to lift my head from the pillow and see a very gray world outside of the master bedroom, then covered my head with blankets and drifted back to sleep. The fog has burned off. The sun has emerged in the soft gray colored sky.
Jeff is going to wash the floors later this afternoon. Afterwards, we (as in I directing) will be moving some pieces (as little as possible) around to make the foyer walker friendly after my return home from the hospitial, placing the long sofa table behind the sofa, etcetera.
I usually purchase new bed linens every spring, but I sped it up a bit and picked them up Friday afternoon. So, interestingly... my elle horoscope is somewhat spot on, go figure!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

I heart Cooking

One Step At A Time, Jordan Sparks.

Saturday has arrived after what has been an exhausting, non-ending and insanity filled week. I woke feeling simply overwhemled. Overwhelmed with everything. There are SO many unfinished things on my to do list before surgery that it's almost mind-boggling.
I've decided to put things on hold until tomorrow and just take 5. I have a long weekend ahead and will finish what I need to do by the beginning of next week. Meanwhile, I decided to plung into an afternoon of cooking following a morning of grocery shopping. When I just can't do anything, I cook, it's therapy. I love the sensory process. So what do I have cooking on this overcast afternoon with rain expected to check in soon?
Well, for one thing... a large pot of portugee beans. In the crockpot I have a porkloin roast hanging out in the pool with fresh thyme, mushrooms, creme fraiche, wine, brown sugar, saurkraut and a few other secret ingredients. When finished the pork will be beyond tender and I'll be able to pull it apart with my fingers, but I'll use a fork.
Late yesterday afternoon I went shopping for a bathrobe, etc. for my upcoming hospital stay. Found a very cool plush Ralph Lauren bathrobe in pink- the perfect color, because let's face it- you never look so unappealing as when you're under those bright fluorescent lights they have shining on you. Found everything on my list. Stopped in at a store that will remain nameless, carrying a hand basket, I had placed 3 items in, when I had to leave as I couldn't walk, by the time I made it to the jeep, I could barely get in. Came home, left the packages and bags in the jeep and went to bed.
Today has been a test of endurance, but you just have to push yourself and not give in.
The beans have finished and are tasting really good with just enough of a kick to be wonderful tomorrow. The pork is still simmering and should be ready after Jeff arrives home from work.
I am going to hunker down and read The Other Side of Loneliness, a spiritual journey by Ned O'Gorman. One of the most beautifully writtem memoirs I've read recently, I get lost in his words and wonder why I can't write like that? It's a process.
As the world says goodbye today to Whitney Houston, I'll close out this blog with her singing I Look To You:

Monday, February 13, 2012

bilateral total knee replacement surgery

                                                                    Walk this Way, Aerosmith.

I thought in this blog I could be your everything you ever wanted to know, but were afraid to ask girl.
Surgery is definitely on for the latter part of this month. Just had my last pre-op visit with my surgeon prior to surgery, thus the term pre-op... we signed and exchanged enough paperwork to re-plant a small Siberian forest. New high tech phrases have entered my vocabulary like
"Surgery Experience."  Considering I am going to be unconscious (one hopes) how will I really know what kind of surgery experience I underwent? Is this told by word of mouth to the patient. Wow, you had the best surgical experience of anyone we've ever had in the OR. Everyone is still talking about it! Wish you could have seen it, You were really just too cool for words.... and you were SO funny. Or, do they say... Man, I'm so sorry. Your surgical experience just sucked, wish we coulda made it better for you, bummer.
Who thinks up these hip new phrases?
I'll be up and walking short distances the day after surgery. Remaining in the hospital for at least 4 days before being released.
My new best friend is going to be a machine that circulates/exercises my legs and who will be coming home with me in addition to a walker... and, a pair of When-the-hell-can-I-take-off-these-knee-hi-socks that I will have to wear so that blood clots won't form.
In addition to blood thinners that have to be injected into my stomach twice a day during my stay and after arriving home for a total of 14 o-so-lovely days after surgery. Although, on the bright side they've just made this blood thinner into an oral form, a first. It's cheaper for the hospital and me... and I just might be the first to try it out up here in our neck of the woods. My surgeon just placed an RX for it through our local pharmacy, which would mean I wouldn't have to stab myself in the stomach twice a day.
I also will have an in-home visiting nurse, who will also assist with physical therapy, until it's time a few weeks after surgery, to go out and have other physical therapy at the hospital.
I'm going to have scars several inches long on both knees until they fade. I can live with that.
Meanwhile, it's no more NSAIDS, etcetera for pain, as I'm nearing surgery. After having my knees tweaked into positions they haven't been in for awhile during my examination and the rain.. walking this week, well... is going to be very challenging, probably no more so than usual and the end is near. 
Jeff will be taking time off to assist me. Aims, Erin & Dave are only a phone call away. There is no doubt that the first 3 months are going to be absolutely brutal, but when you look at the BIG picture, it will be well worth it.
I'll be blogging and filling you in as I go, no reason for overload at this point.

It's time for an afternoon nap. The rain is falling and the indoor gang is already asleep.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Saturday Morning Happenings

                                                                Chocolate Shake, Duke Ellington

It's an overcast Saturday morning with a predicted forecast of 30% chance of rain. The energy is palpable and envirgorating as I found out while I fed the outdoor gang- a wonderful start to the day... Jeff has long since left for work.
So, far this morning I've listened to Swing while sipping coffee and watching the indoor gang play tag until they've exhausted themselves and are now scattered about the living room like discarded ribbons of furr thrown onto chairs, sofa, hardwood floor, ottman and their new fav next to my laptop on the oak dining table.

                                                                     Autumn & Gus

Talked with Amanda this AM, who made me laugh when she said, Landie had suggested they drive up to Bear Valley for a morning run, then afterwards, take the boat out on the Delta. because that would be a perfect day. Amanda counter suggested perhaps just taking the boat out on the Delta would equal a perfect day. Amanda laughed and asked where does she get these ideas?  The answer would be: Landie's 6.

                                                          Landie getting a manicure, yesterday...

So, not quite up to Landie's energy level, after all, it's only 9:30 in the AM, I have to slowly gear up to that speed. I plan on scoping out my DVR, seeing what programs I have recorded, watch. Read: About Alice, will talk about this later. Maybe watch a movie or two and just see what develops in my day. Whatever your plans are I hope you have a wonderful Saturday....

Friday, February 3, 2012

Here N There

Where have I been? Nowhere terribly exicting, but I've been terribly creative... in my head anyway. I've been pulling together a family album from our summer vacation last year. If you haven't discovered Shutterfly.com, I urge you to scope them out.  I just received our album in the mail and it surpasses my expectations which were set really high, anyway.
The album is 8x11" and is a totally cool way to keep memories au currant and within reach. The paper is high quality and feels wonderful to the touch.. like an expensive gloss magazine page, love it!
So on the way home from work, I thought I needed to stop off at the market, and pick up a few items for dinner.
Cruising down the produce aisle I decided to grab a Caesar Salad kit bag assembled with everything included.

Next stop was the butcher section:

Craving a steak, I chose a New York steak for dinner. Steak and salad, one of my fav childhood dinners that seemed to be calling out my name.
On the way to check-out I picked up another childhood fav snack which I planned to eat on the drive home:

I've been really good about snacks, not eating them, but when you're sick and don't feel well comfort food is high on my list. And, orange Hostess cupcakes are so filled with yummy goodness, how could I possibly pass them by? Not happenin'... into the cart they went.
Arrived home. The indoor/outdoor gang were waiting patiently for their din-din which I served up before getting started on other thngs like plumping up the pillows of the living room sofa, asking Anna Chan to get off of them so I could do this. Turning on the tv, lights, changing into scrubs, putting groceries away... we all have our different routines.
Then I sat down at our oak dining table and began working on my laptop. Creating more vacation albums, well... the beginning process. Santa Cruz and Virginia City are saved to my other computer, so I downloaded those onto Shutterfly while catching up on facebook, etc.
Jeff arrrived home and was very much looking forward to dinner. He grilled the French bread whlle I sauteed the mushrooms in wine and garlic, then fried the steaks; kind of a Steak Diane which went perfectly with the salad and grilled bread.
An early Friday evening for Jeff as he was exhausted and could barely stay awake. I remained at the dining table working on albums, while the indoor gang ran a muck. They put in a few rounds of floor soccer, followed by several wrestling matches and a few good smack downs while I worked away on the laptop.
At the end of which, I was too tired to get up and move. The thought of putting forth the effort kept me in my chair for another 30 minutes. Eventually, I made it to bed- stocking up on tissues, water and cough drops before heading off in that direction.

Miss American Pie, John McClean