Saturday, February 28, 2009


Yeah, I'm uncomfortable all the time right now. Sometimes I can't settle down because of the pain and discomfort. Knee replacement surgery will do that to a person. Part of the rehab is spending an hour, twice a day, with my leg strapped into a continuous passive motion machine, known 'round these part as The Machine. The Machine slowly moves my leg from straight to bent at the knee, increasing the degree of bend by 5 or 10 degrees a day. It's uncomfortable and boring. And sometimes I whine, complain, and cry (a little).

Thursday afternoon, I was strapped into The Machine, working my way toward a 100-degree bend (yay me.). To pass the time, I decided to watch Oprah. Her show highlighted her visit a few weeks ago to Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, DC. She spoke with soldiers who are recovering from wounds sustained while on duty in Iraq or Afghanistan. All of the soldiers she talked to have lost a limb, most of them one or both legs. Some of them have been at Walter Reed for over two years, working to rehabilitate their bodies.

These soldiers have suffered pain so much greater than what I'm dealing with. They have witnessed horrors that I thankfully will never see. They have participated in "maneuvers" that will probably haunt some of them for the rest of their lives, a fate I have been spared. Most importantly, these men willingly walked into gravely dangerous situations in order to support their country and their countrymen...which means me.

I was impressed by the acceptance and determination exhibited by all of the soldiers with whom Oprah talked. They are on long, perhaps life-long, roads of recovery...while I will be back on my feet - my own feet - in a matter of weeks.

Suddenly, the discomfort of my surgery and recovery doesn't seem so overwhelming. Suddenly, I don't feel the need to whine over every twinge of pain I feel. Suddenly, spending an hour, twice a day, strapped into The Machine isn't so daunting or distasteful. Suddenly, I am grateful that the pain and discomfort I feel are in real limbs that are still attached to my relatively healthy body.

Thank you, God, for the wonders of modern medicine, that doctors have the technology to repair my broken-down knees and to create artificial limbs for those who need them. Thank you, more importantly, for reminding me that my own troubles are small.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

I have become comfortably numb

Mostly, anyway. Surgery went well - I'm home from the hospital and just starting to remember the "joys" of physical therapy. It's no wonder I don't remember very much about this period from the first time around - this first two weeks sucks golfballs. I am, as one of my wonderful professors put it, staying "delightfully sedated" as much as possible.

Things with Mom are...ok. She is, as are so many of her generation, judgmental and not very open to other points of view, which includes clothing styles and especially (oddly) hair styles! If I had a nickel for every time she has already said, "I don't like her hair," I could afford to hire a caretaker. I bite my tongue and remind myself that she is here by choice and that she wants to take care of me.

Himself has called almost every day to see how I'm doing. He's been sweet, sweet, sweet again the last couple of weeks and of course I am soaking it up.

I haven't seen Mary Alice in almost three weeks!! She and Brick went to Florida for two weeks and now she's dealing with a complication from her ankle surgery so she can't come over. We talk and IM every day, natch, but I miss my best girl!

Thank you so much, all of you who sent good wishes. I appreciate your thoughts and prayers and it has made me so happy to read your comments and emails through the narcotic haze.

Time for a Vicodin and a nap - later, dudes.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Impending doom

OK, fine, that's a bit dramatic. But...

My mother is coming. Today. She is in the car even now, wending her way toward Illinois.

My second knee replacement surgery is Thursday so she is coming to take care of me for a couple of weeks. I love my mother. I am glad and grateful that she is able, and willing, to stay with me. As an unwilling single person, it will be very, very nice to share my space with someone who loves me, very nice to have someone to do things for me, a real luxury to be able to say "would you bring me whatever it is I want/need right now, please?" My parents live 9 hours away so I don't get to spend time with them very often. I will enjoy having my mother here.


My mother is very uptight. The Ex liked to say that her ass is so tight that one of these days she's going to turn herself inside out. Lately she's gotten very pessimistic and negative about things, which I think is an age thing. I try to bite my tongue and just let her snarky remarks roll off my back but sometimes I. just. can't. And then I call her on it, we argue, she gets emotional and starts to cry and says she should never say anything at all. At which point I get disgusted, say I'll talk to her later, and say goodbye. Except for the next 2-3 weeks, I can't hang up!! I won't even be able to swiftly walk from the room to get some space.

The other issue is that my parents have never stopped parenting. I take responsibility for part of that because I share too much of my life with them. I try to stop myself but I guess that's just how I am. I process things by talking about them...with whomever happens to be available. But my dad is the ultimate fixer. If I mention a problem at work, he always has a "you should" or "you need to" even though he has absolutely no idea what he is talking about. When he starts warming up, Mom jumps right on the bandwagon. Well, having my mother here for a period of time, she is bound to hear phone calls between me and Himself or the Tall One, and even with the best of intentions, the narcotics are bound to loosen my tongue and I will end up talking about the state of my affairs. So to speak. (HEE - I crack me up!!) She "just [doesn't want me] to get hurt" and I appreciate that but I still don't want to hear what she thinks I should do.

I don't want to argue with my mother. I will do whatever I can to keep myself from responding to her negativity, even if it means that my head explodes right off my shoulders.

But if she rearranges my Tupperware cabinet again, the gloves are off.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day - check

Himself came through.

Monday morning, my birthday, he IM'd me to wish me a happy birthday. So while we were chatting, I asked him if he sent me a card. See, I was on my way out of town later that day and wouldn't be home until Friday night, so I didn't want to wonder about that all week. He laughed and said yes, he sent a card.

He also called me that night after I was settled in my hotel room. And he called Wednesday evening.

I got home last night but I had my mail held until today so I was anxious for the mail lady to arrive this morning. She delivered not only a nice birthday card from Himself but a Valentine, too!

I'm a happy girl today.

Monday, February 9, 2009


Cute, wasn't she?

Today, she is 44
but she often still feels like this little girl...
and still has the same belief that life is good and that
more good things are coming.

Friday, February 6, 2009

An update

It's been about a month since Himself and I decided to be "just friends." For the last two weeks, he has called and IM'd a lot more often and has been acting like he did before his life exploded...the self-professed texting hater even texted me - twice!! Maybe because I have backed WAY off, maybe because his life is finally starting to settle into something that looks like a somewhat normal, albeit crazy busy, life. I can hear the panic and stress fading from his voice more each time we talk.

Most of our conversations have been sweet, funny, silly, normal - like they used to be - but in one conversation when we were talking about serious stuff, I said that he has a lot of making up to do and he said, "yes, I do." OK, so...

My birthday is Monday. I made sure that he knows and he has made it very clear that he is aware of the date. Since my life is even more interesting to you than it is to me, I'm sure you remember that he didn't send me a Christmas card or even call me on Christmas. Well, as hard as I am trying to have no expectations where Himself is concerned, I EXPECT a birthday card. I'm mildly ashamed of that, but I own it. If I don't get one, I think this may be The End. He loves me, I have no doubt of that. So far, he hasn't shown me that his love goes any deeper than enjoying the conversations we have. It's time for some kind of action.

I realize that a birthday card is really nothing but I need more than just words on a screen or over the phone. Even if we are "just friends" (and I think you know why it's in quotes), IMO it just isn't real if there isn't any effort to be more than words. So I have entered the time of waiting to see if he sends a card.

I flirt with the edge all the time, but this may drive me straight over the brink of insanity. See, my birthday is Monday. I will leave home early that morning, work for a few hours, then drive to Chicago...for the whole week. If a card doesn't arrive from Himself tomorrow, I won't know until next Saturday! Nothing like setting myself up...

Monday, February 2, 2009


SheShe tagged me:

I-L-L -- I-N-I

This is a shot of the Illinois - Penn State football game in October 2007. Yes, that is the 50 yard line straight ahead and I was only about 20 rows up. I lucked into the ticket the day before and was so excited to go! Because it was so last minute, I didn't get a chance to tell the guy I was sort of involved with that I was going, so I took this picture with my cell phone and sent it to him. No message, just the picture. He texted me back:

Tall One: you're there, aren't you?
Me: yes
Tall One: you are SO off my Christmas card list!

It was a big win for Illinois, one of the games that put them on the road to the Rose Bowl (which they tanked, but that's another story) and I had such a good time.

Coming across this picture was bittersweet. The Tall One is the addict I've mentioned a couple of times. We were romantically involved on and off throughout 2007 and it was real roller coaster for me. This picture reminds me of a time when we were very close and I was happy. A few months after this, the Tall One made a decision that ended any romantic hopes I had with him and that eventually led to his relapse. He is trying to stay clean and we are still friends but it's a much different relationship now.

Now, I'm tagging:
Green Girl
Barbed and Wired
MichelleSG at Just Had to Do It
Mrs. G at Derfwad Manor (because I'm sure she'll need inspiration when she gets her new site up and running. She won't have anything better to do, right? OK, fine...I just worship her bloghighness)

Here are the rules:
1. Go to the 4th picture folder on your computer.
2. Post the 4th picture in that folder.
3. Explain the picture
4. Tag 4 more bloggers.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

I'm just sayin'

Beyonce ain't got nothin' on my girl Jennifer Hudson.