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Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Measuring Progress

Progress can be hard to measure at times but I'm just finishing week five and beginning to see some real signs. 

I've made two puzzles and ths morning started the third.  While they are only 500 pieces each, they are fairly challenging...or at least the right level of challenge for the moment. 

We have had such unseasonably warm weather that the streets are now bare and dry.  Getting totally bored with laps round the central fireplace, I asked Doug to walk outside with me.  I probably pushed a little further than I should have, but we made it all the way to the corner and back.  

Unfortunately it is still winter, so it took nearly as long to get dressed with warm coat, boots, gloves and sunglasses as it did to walk!

But there was a brisk breeze so warm gear was required, along with my Buddy in case of coughs or sneezes.  

Still haven't heard from the cardiologists office.  I need the all clear from him/her before I can ramp up the activity, although I think I might be ok to start hemming.  

I will see how I feel tomorrow.

And no, the scissors are not for making the pieces fit.  They were used to open the plastc bag the pieces came in. ;)

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Early Spring?

Week five is now well underway and I'm finally feeling as though significant healing is happening.  Still a ways to go, but I'm hoping to get the all clear on the sternum healing so I can start to do some hand work.

Unfortunately yesterday mom was suddenly taken ill with a nasty stomach bug.  She spent the night in emerg where they are monitoring her for dehydration, and her blood sugars as she is diabetic.  Doug spent nearly five hours with her last night in emerg, until they decided to keep her in.  We are waiting to hear if they will keep her longer.  I'm hoping they will because I'm not able to 'nurse' her.  Not to mention I don't need to catch whatever she's got.  :(

The weather has been unseasonably warm and people are talking about an early spring.  Thing is we can still get cold weather in March.  So I'm not holding my breath looking for early blooms.  But the level of the snow has gone down considerably.

Currently reading The Beat Goes On by Ian Rankin.   Collection of Rebus short stories.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Day by Day

Tomorrow marks the end of week four which will put me 2/3s of the way through the first six weeks of healing.  

It has been a slow journey...and it isn't over yet.  I remeber when I broke my ankle how I assumed that at the end of six weeks I would be up and at 'em.  The reality was that the end of six weeks was just the beginning of 'recovery'.  

The good news is that there is significant progress.  I can go longer between doses of pain killers, I'm sleeping better and things just generally seem to be settling down.  The reduction in the beta blocker dose helped my energy levels but I think it needs to come down again.  When I went in to hospital I was taking 12.5 mg per day; when I left I was taking 150 mg a day.  

I'm hoping that things continue to be stable and that I can reduce that further next week. 

The incisions are healing nicely and bothering me much less.  The bad news is that my left hand is taking a very long time to stop being numb so typing is still difficult...which means I'm mostly doing the hunt and peck thing on the iPad.  Thank goodness for the Internet and wifi!

Finally felt well enough to set out a small jigsaw puzzle and between surfing the net and reading, the days trickle by.  

Two thirds through the first bit.  Not much longer until it is over.   Well, the first bit, anyway.

Currently reading Soul of Discretion by Susan Hill

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Mood Elevator

After days and days of grey days, many with freezing rain, Mother Nature has seen fit to grace day one of the Canada Winter Games with sunshine.

It is still too warm for February, but the appearance of the sun is very welcome.  

It looks like the weekend will be quiet, more reading, perhaps a jigsaw puzzle will be set out.  

Currently reading Gods and Beasts by Denise Mina

Yes the snow bank is taller than the truck...

Wednesday, February 11, 2015


Recovery from this surgery is multi-staged.  The first milestone is getting the bone healed.  In order to do that the staff stressed that no more than 5 pounds be lifted and to keep any loads close to the body.  No reaching for anything of any weight.  If the sternum doesn't heal properly - well that's not good and extreme measures need to be taken.  And you essentially wind up at square one and start recovery all over again.  

Since I really don't want to wind up going down that road I am being good and not doing anything that will stress the sternum.  That includes handwork.  

Today I reached the half way mark of the first six weeks.  While every day is a tiny bit better than before I'm a ways from the first milestone, let alone the parts that come once the bone has healed.  Like breaking my ankle...once the bone was healed the real recovery had to begin.  I have no illusions about being able to leap back onto the loom at six weeks, one day.   I had hoped to be weaving by week eight, but that is just a hope.  Reality may present something quite different.  

Then there are the unexpected adverse effects...minor in the larger scheme of things, but annoying nonetheless.  

Visits from friends have helped distract me from the grey dreary days and the slow ticking of the clock. I'm feeling well enough to read and today we went to a local Indy bookstore where a very generous gift certificate was waiting for me.  I scored four more books to add to my reading pile.  I'm hoping to feel more alert tomorrow because Dr gave permission to start reducing the beta blocker.  

Currently reading The Last of the Lumbermen by Brian Fawcett.  Fawcett grew up in Prince George and has used the town as a setting before.  This time he called it something else but it's a pretty thin disguise.  I've had some fun with it identifying some of the locations. 


Sunday, February 8, 2015


February has to be the most difficult month.  We are in the dead of winter.  Snow is piling up, grey skies.  My usual coping mechanism is to hie myself to the loom and work on something with saturated colour to counteract the fifty shades of grey.  

This year I can't.  So I am trying hard to focus on the subtle beauty of the monochromatic view out the window, the sculptural shapes of the snow bound trees.

In the meantime Doug is the one dealing with moving it from here to there.  

A steady flow of friends, either in person or on the phone or Internet has provided much needed gentle distraction.  Every day sees a tiny step forward in healing.   Recovery will be a multi-stage process with several milestones to be reached.  The first is the six week mark when hopefully the sternum will be healed.  Once that has been accomplished physio for the muscles will commence.  

For now I am working on the second third of the first six weeks.  Time does not stand still although its passage definitely feels relative.  But the days do end, another day gets crossed off.  I set myself conservative daily goals which I don't always meet, but at least I do try.  As a friend reminds me, almost daily because I need to hear it, the most important thing is healing, all else can wait. 

But I still need to set my goals because I also need to stay focused on what comes after recovery.   Life is a process and this experience is all a part of it.  We live in amazing times.  So many of my family members simply died from cardiac disease.  I get another chance.  Besides, I've got all that yarn to use up!

Thursday, February 5, 2015


It was supposed to be 'light' snow today, continuing over the next couple of days.  Instead we have near blizzard conditions.  

It is also very wet snow, not our usual powder, which makes clearing it so much more difficult.  We were lucky because the road crews came by this morning and ploughed the street of the last wet dump.  Unfortunately the pundits are saying 50 cm or about 20 inches.  Not as bad as other places but...