Saturday, May 24, 2014

Knitting, Crocheting, and Spinning

As if I weren't crazy enough with the cross stitch, I've recently become addicted to yarn crafts, specifically crocheting and knitting.  Because one can't just buy yarn or thread, I've also decided to start spinning and making my own yarns.  So, about a month ago, my friend Tara and I went out and bought a couple of fleeces, spent some time learning how to wash, dry, and card them.  We both bought spinning wheels, and now we're spinning fools.  Well, she spins very well, and I'm the fool.  I'm not good at it--yet--but I have a great deal of fun with it.

I should probably try to figure out how to change the name of my blog, but I'd rather be spinning or crocheting or knitting.  Look for pictures soon!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Knees, Part Two--In the Hospital and on to Rehab

After the surgery, I spent four days in the hospital. While I've had surgery before, I've never had to stay overnight in the hospital. As many have said before, you don't get a lot of rest in the hospital. I was awakened a couple of times a night for a check of vital signs, and the lab work was always done at the crack of dawn.

The physical therapy people showed up twice a day every day that I was in the hospital. My room opened not only to the hall but also to a PT work-out area. Around 10:00 in the morning, I'd hear a knock on that inner door; it would open, and here would come the PT team. Getting up was always difficult. Because of the femoral blocks, my legs stayed numb and kind of stupid for almost the whole time I was in the hospital. Anyway, the PT people would get me up, and I would stagger into the work-out area. The first day, I was able to take only about 20 steps. Every day, I was able to go a little further, but to call what I was doing walking is a bit laughable.

On the fourth day, I was transferred from the hospital to a PT rehab unit at another local hospital. During the transfer, my pain meds ran out, and I didn't get another jolt of anything for hours. Needless to say, my first night at rehab was awful. As the nurses took my history and did all of the other stuff they have to do when a patient first arrives, they also told me that I would be expected to get up and get dressed Monday through Saturday. Additionally, I would have breakfast and lunch in the dayroom with the other rehab patients. Each day, I would have 3 hours of therapy. Saturday afternoons and Sundays were rest times. Thank goodness!

The rehab sessions themselves could be real bears. At first, I couldn't do the exercises very well at all, and I could only walk about 30 feet down the hall. By the time I left rehab two weeks later, I could walk 350 feet (with a walker), and the exercises had gotten a little easier.

Life in rehab was not just about the exercise. I found that I also became interested and invested in my fellow rehabbers. Many of them were elderly patients. A few had had strokes, but there were other joint replacement patients there, too. The day I left, two patients were admitted who had had hip replacements. Obviously, I felt a kinship with the other joint replacement patients. It was really nice to have others pulling for me when I was working in the gym, and I liked being able to cheer others on, too.

Monday, July 12, 2010

New Knees, Part I

I'm on the other side of knee replacement. I had surgery on June 7, so I'm beginning my 6th week of recovery. It's been--and continues to be--a long and often torturous road. I thought I would write about it before I forget about all of the highs (!) and lows.

Before I had surgery, I lost my beloved Spenser. I didn't think he would be with me for very long after his birthday, but I wasn't ready to lose him. He fought hard, but finally he was just too tired to keep going. I still miss him.

On to the surgery. I don't remember much about the day of the surgery. We (my sister and I) got to the hospital around 5:45 am. I was the first case of the day for my surgeon, so things moved pretty quickly. I had my blood typed and cross-matched, was hustled upstairs to outpatient surgery (even though I most definitely was not leaving the hospital that day), and then the nurses got to work. I was surprised at how fast things moved. In previous surgeries, none of them as major as this one, the old adage of hurry up and wait had held true. Not this time. Before I knew it, I was being wheeled down the hall to the elevator, on my way to the surgery holding area.

In the holding area, things continued to move fast. At one time there were four or five people--OR nurses, anesthesiologist, etc.--all doing something to me or telling me something. My head was reeling! After an IV was started, they wheeled me into the operating room. The anesthesiologist and one of the OR nurses did an epidural. I remember that the doctor asked if I felt anything, and I told him that my toes were tingling. He laughed, and said, "That's good!" They laid me down, and we all talked for about 2 seconds. Then I was out.

I have no memory of the recovery room at all. The next time I was conscious, I was in the hall, being taken to ICU (typical for a bilateral knee replacement). I saw, or more accurately heard, my sister and the friends who had waited with her during the surgery. I'm not sure I opened my eyes, but I do remember hearing all of their voices. The next time I woke up, I was in ICU. At one time there, I was cold, so I pulled the sheet up over my head. I thought, "Maybe not a good move since you're in ICU." I didn't want to doze off again and then find myself in the morgue. LOL.

I spent one night in ICU, and the following morning I was moved to a regular room. Before I made the move to my room, though, the physical therapists showed up. Not quite 24 hours after surgery, they stood me up and had me take a couple of steps. No rest for the wicked!

More to come later!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Long Time, No Blog

I knew I hadn't been around in a while, but I had no idea it had been so long. Wow!

Those baby kittens are now almost a year old, and Billy's name is now Simon. Billy just didn't work for him, so he became Simon. I joke, though, that I should have named him Alvin. I spend a lot of time, saying, "Simon, Simon, Simon." He can be quite the terror. Little Gracie is a sweetie, most of the time. She can get herself into a spot of trouble, too.

Spenser, my oldest standard poodle, just celebrated his 14th birthday. He is frail and fragile, but he still seems to have a drive to live. As long as he demands his "cookies," I know he's not ready to go. Everyone else is doing fine.

I am getting ready to have bilateral total knee replacement surgery this summer. My sister has helped me get my house cleaned up and ready for a person with a walker, canes, and/or crutches. I got the news today that the cardiologist has cleared me for surgery, so now I just have to get my surgery date from the orthopedic surgeon.

Off now to try to get some grading done.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Kitten update

Two kittens, one gray female and the gray and white boy, found a new home with a friend of mine. A few days after taking them home, he called me and said, "I thought you gave me kittens." I said, "I did. What's up?" Then he tells me, "They're not kittens; they're terrorists!" We both started laughing. Apparently, Madison and Taylor (he's a history prof, hence the presidential names) keep him busy!

I've got two kittens myself, one of the black and white boys and the other gray girl. My little girl's name is Gracie. I can't even tell you why that stuck on her, but from the time she was little bitty and I had to bottle feed her, she was my little Gracie May. I'm having trouble naming my boy, though. Right now, I'm trying out Billy, as in Billy the Kid or Billy Bad-Ass, depending on what he's doing at the moment. I'm not fond of the name, but nothing else that I've tried has worked. If anyone who reads this has a suggestion, I'm listening.

The other black and white boy, Spike, unfortunately, had a liver and/or cardiac problem and didn't make it. We sweated it for a while, worrying that he had FIP, but all of the tests for it came back negative. I made the very hard decision to put him to sleep on Wednesday. I've lost a number of pets over the years, and I've got a 13-year-old dog right now whom I know won't be around a lot longer. The decision is always difficult, but this one was almost unbearable. I think it's because he was just a baby and never really had a chance. I'm tearing up just thinking of him.

I'm working on introducing Billy and Gracie to the dogs and my other cat. The dogs find the kittens fascinating. The dogs don't seem to have a desire to kill the kittens--thank goodness!--but I do worry that because they are so much bigger than the kittens that they'll hurt them just by stepping on them. So, kitten-doggie playtime is monitored very closely.

I'm off to spend some time doing the much dreaded housework. What a horrid way to spend a Saturday afternoon!

Thursday, June 4, 2009


Last week, my friend Tara called me and told me that she and her family had found a litter of five kittens in a piece of heavy machinery that had been bought at auction. There was a wee note of panic in her voice--she and her folks have never had a cat--so I volunteered to take the kittens off her hands. I foolishly thought that it would be easy to give these kittens away. WRONG! I've got one taker and two maybes. I'm praying that the maybes turn into yeses.

The babies are very cute, though, and I do enjoy taking care of them. They were three to four weeks old when I got them last week, and just a little bit malnourished. They've more than made up for the hunger they had when I got them, though. They're getting four meals a day now, with kitten milk added to help moisten it. The smallest one, who did have to be bottle fed for a couple of days, weighed three-quarters of a pound at the vet's office Tuesday, while the biggest one weighed a pound and a half.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Didn't Know It Had Been So Long

I knew I hadn't updated the blog in a while, but I didn't realize it had been almost three months. I'd love to say that time flew because I was having so much fun, but the truth is I was just busy with work. Finals are over for me, and while I still have a mound of grading to do, I feel liberated. Summer vacation has begun! I'm off until mid-July when I go back for the second summer session, but I'll be ready to go back by then. I'm looking very forward to the time off, but I know I'll get bored.

I've got lists and lists of things I want to do while I'm out of school. There are many things I want to do around the house. I'm really in a throwing-out mood. I've got so much junk that I don't need. I really want to purge the place and start fresh. The packrat in me won't let me completely purge, though, but I am going to clear things out and try to get some semblance of organization into things.

I'm off to a dance recital in just a few minutes, but I want to spend some time stitching tonight. I'll try to get some pictures of the few things I'm working on and post them later today or tomorrow.