Saturday, January 29, 2022

Where are we going and how do we get there?


On a snowy, cold, icy Friday morning, I made it down to see Dr. Mike.  The parking lot was covered in ice and snow and thought wow here is some job security for all the orthopedic guys in this building.  Every single handicapped space was taken and I watched seriously hobbled folks trying to maneuver across the parking lot, which is also on an incline.  Go with God tottering people of the impaired.  I quickly realized it was busy season due to skiing accidents, icy sidewalks and general mayhem.  People Yak Trax are your savior, delivering you from the crash and burn of this treacherous parking lot.  Unless you're a skier and then all bets are off!

Filled out obligatory paperwork, filed insurance card, and waited.


10 points because I was seen 10 minutes early and once in the room, very short wait, did an in depth interview with his assistant. She is on my plus list as she has chickens.  It's not a very high bar to get on my plus list but chickens will take you to the top of the list pretty quick.  

She said wait right here, returned with the dreaded paper shorts.  Struggled to get off the boots, the jeans, long johns, coat, over coat, and other layers and the lovely Tiffany Blue paper shorts on.  I marveled at the mound of insulation as I leaned against the table.  A knock at the door and a jovial guy in a mask entered and said; We are off to X-ray.  They do everything in house. Yay! But honestly, walking around the halls waving at people in blue paper shorts is not on my bucket list!  Pictures of both knees and walked back to the "room" smiling and waving and wanting to die.  Thought oh this is gonna be awhile because they need to develop the x-rays.  That is how long it's been since I had an x-ray!   Dr Mike was in the door in under 5 minutes and the x-rays were already loaded on his computer.  Awesome, because my mind tends to go down a very dark tunnel if there is much waiting involved.  
No breaks but torn meniscus.  Then he showed me the other knee.  Pain?  Sometimes.  Really?  Your right knee is bone on bone where there should be a the lateral meniscus.  Oh well that is the one they worked on in 2014 and I'm not thrilled with how that turned out so I would like to avoid surgery at all cost on this leg.  Back to the injured knee. Poking, prodding, no pain, to scrap me off the ceiling pain and do not touch that again! 
So torn meniscus and a hyper extended hamstring on the back of the knee that sends me to the moon if you touch it!  We agree to no surgery and instead physical therapy and something called dry needling.  And doesn't that sound like ball of fun?  
Turns out the bike is the best thing I could do for this injury and I can still keep spinning.  Although instead of all at once; 30 minutes in the morning and 30 minutes in the evening.  I will be touring English gardens for an hour a day on YouTube.  Gave me a bunch of exercises to do twice a day and after two days this now feels like a full time job.  

And for a person who hates leaving this compound I will now be traveling to physical therapy twice a week for a month and then we will re-access and see where we go.  
I'll wave be waving....... 


Wednesday, January 26, 2022

The Gift that just keeps giving.......January


After coming off the colonoscopy fun I thought I was home free.  Dragged out the garden plot, seed catalogs, seed inventory list, also big plans in the studio, garden plants on the hit list and on and on.  Amazing what a clean bill of health will do for future plans.  All in all things were looking up!

 The day after the "procedure" I was pretty wiped out.  On Wednesday I sat down to take notes on starting microgreens in the studio via YouTube and promptly fell asleep.  Woke up with my hip and knee at weird angle, tried to get up and limped to the kitchen for coffee.  Dammit, now what?!  Hobbled around for a day and called the chiropractor because I have stuff to do!  She had a cancellation, could I be there in 45 minutes?  Vroom...... adjusted, leg and hip were better and went to work in the studio.  
Thursday, back too limping and decided to hop on the bike.  My bike fixes just about everything, it's my "go to" when my body is flailing around.  Friday morning back on the bike, watched BBC gardening shows and back out to the studio to finish up an order.  3pm ran in the house to shower and change for an opening in Cleveland.  Van was loaded with boxes and wrapping paper for people to pick up their purchases.  Hit the steps and see old Kirby tossed his kibble on the landing.  Ack! 

Had a cup of hot coffee with me so when I hit the landing I pivoted to run back down and pick up a bucket and towels to clean up the mess.  
The last thing thing I saw before I heard the crack....

My knee and leg buckled after the crack, hot coffee doused the wall and I slid through the semi-digested kibble as I careened down the a flight of stairs.  I laid at the bottom, scalded, slimed and doing a body check.  Ahhhhh my annual bone density test.  Didn't feel like anything was broken but my knee was screaming and what was that crack before I feel?  It woke the dog up because now he was standing over me, CPR? Wanna play, got anything to eat?  For the first time in my life I had my phone in my pocket!  Called Mr Potter and no answer, left a message.  5 minutes went by and I called again, left another message.  OK it's you and me Kirbs.... but Kirby had already returned to the second floor and was napping, not Lassie and Timmy really is in the well! 

Got to my butt on the first step and onto to my feet.  Holy ouch!  Called the gallery, not coming, apologies.  Finally Mr Potter called, he just got the message and he was heading home or should he call emergency.  Nope I am OK!  Besides who has time to wait 4-8 hours just to be seen by a Dr at ER.  
this could be me.....

So the weekend was a figuring out of what I could and couldn't do.  I made it back to the studio as my upper body was still intact; trimmed a bunch of pots and carved a bunch of pots.  Thankful I didn't have kick wheel..... although I might have yelled Klopfenstein when I was in free fall.

an original  Klopfenstein kick wheel made in Mansfield Ohio long ago......

By Monday I had enough limping around and pretty sick and tired of the whole incident.  Also by Monday I realized my other knee was a mess, my back wasn't the best and I had more blooming bruises than I could count.  So I hopped on the bike.  If it hurt I could bail and wait to see the Orthopedic Dr, who wasn't available until Friday, seven days away.   I have bike shoes, you are clamped onto the pedal so you and the bike are "ONE".  I grew up on a bike and really can't ride a bike without them, my feet fly off the pedals.  So off I pedaled while touring English gardens with Carol Klein on youtube.  After 40 minutes it felt pretty good; until I had to twist my foot off the pedal to release the damn shoe.  Stuck again.  I sat there for minutes and just started laughing because stick a fork me I am so done.  Finally bent down unvelcro-ed the shoe, eased my foot out and got off the bike.  Ok, no twisting, pivoting or jumping up and down.  
Back to youtube to see if anybody posted any videos on knee pain.  To my absolute amazement the amount of content on knee pain was mind numbing!  Some are from crazy people but then I found the "Sports Injury Physio" channel, an online group of sports physiotherapists providing researched based advice for injury.  While I rode my bike I got an anatomy lesson on the knee joint and all the things that can happen, how and why.  Really great information and explained why I could ride the bike but not kick my shoes off.  Also perfect to get me to Fridays appointment with the orthopedist.  Sounds like I tore a meniscus but that is just my uneducated youtube guess.  During the pandemic so many sports therapy groups turned to YouTube because offices were shut down and facilities.  They have come up with some pretty inventive ways to keep you in physiotherapy while on lock down! 

Kind of over January and hoping February will be a bit kinder and gentler.  Just heard we can now get N95 masks free, myself I will looking for the pedestrian airbag! 
Living large for Valentine's Day and my fingers are crossed for Friday as they are one of the body parts still working. 

Monday, January 17, 2022

Hit the ground running....... hello January!

I love January!  The desolation is wonderful; the wildlife move back and the humans are holed up in holiday food coma.  I try to get to the beach as often as possible, Kirby is grateful for January too. 


So much has transpired since last posting!   January is a month I try to get my ever growing "to-do" list wrangled back into something I can live with.  Clean the studio, order clay and go pick it up, annual taxes, sales tax, colonoscopy....... ya finally did that little trip.  Tried to get in right before covid hit two years ago and well we all know that story.  Then garden season hit and then show season hit and knowing my family history and my age that little voice became louder and louder about 1 AM.  So I called ....... kill me.   I have a chiropractor who has kept me vertical for 40 years.  I almost never get sick and then it's just sniffles and a day in bed takes me back to GO.  We are very lucky, I think.  

My Dad was hypochondriac and my Mom was the opposite. "you know they start poking around, they're just gonna find something."  And my Dad who drank Metamucil like Koolaid would just shake his head while she muttered under her breath:  Jesus Christ, his gonna shit himself to death.  I am a happy blend of both. 
As two years passed and that nagging voice kept yelling at me in the middle of night I was pretty sure I would be told I had terminal colon cancer, go home and put your affairs in order and we will see you on the flip side.  Yup, that is exactly where I was, so when I had my video consultation with the butt scope guy I had pretty much resigned myself to death.  The consult lasted 10 minutes, on a Friday afternoon, he was matter of fact, prescribed a "new and much better PREP", and see you on Tuesday at the clinic.  OH, Ms Miller, would you be interested in our research study?  Will it help to eliminate colonoscopies?  Perhaps.  OK I'm in.  During the call I explained I didn't eat the traditional 'merican diet of cheese, meat, fat and white bread and ate pretty clean......... except at the holidays.  So he prescribed some stuff called Su-Tabs.   Never heard of it but it was supposed to be so much better that drinking gallons of the other stuff. 

The research lab called me right away and seemed surprised I would volunteer.  You need to give blood.  Fine.  I do home renovation and garden, I give blood regularly.  Well since this is your first colonoscopy your are eligible for 3 studies.  Can you come in Monday at 8:30 am.  Sure!  Monday morning I ran up, gave 11 vials of blood, brought home a cologuard test and picked up the prescription for Su-Tabs.  When I got there she said; We found 4 other studies you qualify for.  Cool!  I would participate no matter what because I have kids and we have a family history of polyps and cancer.  Told the tech.  I want my kids to go to a drive thru;  Here sit on this and download the app.  we'll be in touch in 5 minutes.  My hope for the future and anybody who has family history.  Both arms punched, blood drawn, poop in a can and she gave me something called a clinic card with $750.  WHAAAAT?    WHAT IS THIS FOR?  My van has bumperstickers (more than one) that state loud and clear: "I BELIEVE IN SCIENCE"  The more data you have the quicker we can move this forward.  The tech said they need 125,000 people to participate and they have a hard time finding people to participate!  They thought money would be a good a motivator.  Are you kidding me?  How about your kids might be able to get a blood test to find out if they had the DNA linked to certain cancers?  I asked the tech; so science is taking a hit, even here?  She confirmed.  
 I just don't get it.  However I took the money and bought a new phone.  I had been using a hot spot and a crappy old phone that really didn't work; gonna be a game changer.  

Anyone contemplating a first time colonoscopy I don't think I'd take Su-Tabs.  First off, as I don't do Dr's and medical stuff and I don't have a GP Dr.  this was mind numbingly terrifying.  I had a midwife to deliver my babies and my labor was 10 minutes on the first and 20 minutes on the second ( and I wanted to know what was taking so long!).  Kids were born at dawn and I was home for lunch.  I hate all this stuff! 
Monday night with bruised arms, I downed 12 large pills and drank 16 oz of water.  Waited 20 minutes drank another 16 oz. Waited another 30 minutes and drank another 16 oz of water and waited and waited and waited and googled.

while drinking I decided to read the pamphlet that came with the new and improved PREP.


and so here is how it went.......

I am here now......... nothing to eat since Sunday night and scheduled for colonoscopy at 2:30 pm on Tuesday.  I am so sick I can't even talk right now.  This is the new and improved stuff, Bullshit.  Took 12 pills at 5 pm.  was supposed to kick in by 7 or 8 pm.  Well it sort of kicked in at 1:15 am... I have been up all night, bloated, chills, nausea, headache.  Took a hot shower, got on my bike at 2 am and rode like the wind for 30 minutes.  Drank hot tea, drank hot water 5 glasses.  Collapsed on the bathroom floor at 5:15 am.  Crawled downstairs at 7 am to take another 12 pills and mandatory 16 oz. of water while Kirby danced at the back door.  Suited up in hat, boots, gloves, goose down parka and rain slicker because it was -1 at 7 am.  On the way back to let the chickens out and give Kirby his morning toot I promptly threw up in the fire pit.  Hmmm no white pills just water and an awful acid taste.  Let the chickens out, Kirby face skied all over the backyard while I puked again and even better shit my pants.  I just stood there, looked up at the moon and said; Take me.  Wrangled the dog back in the house, fed the dog and ran up to burn my clothes and shower.   So on a -1 day in January I was sitting on the crapper and puking into a trash can while my clothes laid in a pile staring back at me.  Honestly I have no words but death was looking real good!  

Butch came home and drove me up to the clinic I prepared for I don't know what but wished I had eaten a handful of glitter before this butt scope!  If you're gonna die go out with sprinkles.  The one saving grace of all this......... they let me keep my alpaca socks on.  Rolled me in, I passed out and woke up 20 minutes later with a clean bill of health.  

Two years of stress just disappeared.  There were projects I had put off that are now viable.  And I have a new phone to record everything! 

Back on my bike 40 minutes everyday, filling a couple orders and I'm sitting here in our first winter storm with the wood stove burping and the coffee is hot.  The taxes are done (as I was sure I was dying).  
 Best news, I don't need to go back for 10 years and I hope it's a drive thru with an app! 

January just sort of sucks sometimes.......