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Week 38 – Reset

Today marks 38 weeks since I broke my ankle.  It also marks my second week back at physical therapy since my month-long hiatus (forced upon me by insurance).

You might recall that my previous post was one big pity party.  I couldn’t help it – I’d had a horrible week beset with a lot of pain.

Well, this week was so much better!  Although I wasn’t pain-free, the level I experienced was down a lot.  I suspect a big reason for that was the REST day I actually allowed myself on Sunday . . .

It was supposed to be a leg day, but I’d been asked not to work this part of my body at home, so I actually complied.  I had thought that I would go for a walk, but I wound up sleeping in a little, and then the Mr. and I kept pretty busy after church.  By the time the evening rolled around (when I thought I might still sneak in a walk), I was too tired.

So, my ankle was fairly well rested.

I arrived at physical therapy on Monday raring to go.

As always, I warmed up on the bike . . .

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The athletic trainer I’m working with had been doing her homework, so she was ready for me.  I’d sent her a link for the Body Beast workout sheets that detailed the exercises I’d been doing.  She had made her own list . . . of things she didn’t want me to do right now . . .

Y’all, I just about died.

That’s a crap ton of moves . . . that I can’t do!

She explained that we are doing a “Reset.”  Like I mentioned in my previous post, we are going back to basics and will work our way up from there.

She wants me to get back to being able to do easy moves with no pain and then proceed, slowly, to harder moves.

Slowly is not a word I use very often, unless I’m talking about my running speed.  Ha!

So, I started out by doing stretching moves to help me get my hamstrings flexible again . . .

Two moves involve me putting my feet on this board while keeping a rolled towel between my thighs, raising my hands over my head, and sliding them down, very close to my body all the way down to my toes.  After holding them by my toes for three seconds, I have to slide them up again and start over.  After thirty reps, I moved so that my heels were on the board with my toes on the floor and repeated the movement thirty times.

This might not sound difficult, but this girl was really feeling the burn in my hammies.

The next move involved me standing in a band of sorts, walking forward until it was stretched tight, and then sliding my arms up and down, reaching for my toes, thirty times.

I also had to do the move from last week where I held onto the stick at the front of my right foot and leaned my foot forward with my knee moving to the outside of the stick, thirty times, to stretch my Achilles tendon.  I did this exercise with my right leg bent on the floor, stretched by a smaller band, while leaning forward to stretch.

I felt a bit like Gumby.

I did some other work in the main room on a mat using a band to do windshield wipers to help with my range of motion.  I also had to do some pulling and pushing band exercises.  Then, she had me do some work with an exercise ball (I’ll show you a picture in a sec).

After all of that, it was “Tool Time” because my tendon was knotted up . . .

This has to be one of the most painful things I have to endure at therapy; my bruises stick around for a week or two every time I get the “tool.”

My ankle was a bit swollen after all of the hard work I’d done that day . . .

I was rewarded with a heating pad and ice, with STEM treatment underneath . . .

I’m pretty sure that I spent a few hours at the pool after therapy, but I didn’t take a picture!

On Tuesday, I got up and walked four miles . . .

It was not an easy walk; I was sore most of the way, but I pushed through.  This was the day when I had the most pain.  I even considered sending the following picture to my surgeon’s nurse to ask if I needed to go in . . .

That’s the area where I’m experiencing the most pain, and it’s different from the pain I’ve had before.  It’s a very confusing thing.

I am not one to be held back for long, though, and I really wanted to work in my classroom, so I headed out after my walk, with a stop at Chick fil A first.  They gave me two extra boxes of hash browns, y’all, because they said that they had extra.  I wound up eating only two of them but still!

I tried not to overdo; my main goal was arranging the furniture.  Here’s how my room looked after a couple of hours of work . . .

After that, I figured I’d earned a trip to the pool . . .

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What a great way to relax!

Wednesday was supposed to be a cardio day, but my PT had, in essence, removed almost all of the exercises I could do, so I worked out my abs instead and then headed back to school.

I cleaned every single table, counter top, and bookshelf and put more of my room together . . .

I repurposed our old DVD shelving units by loading them up with books . . .

I grouped some of my favorite authors’ books together . . .

I was a little shocked when I got a shout-out by one of my favorite ladies on Twitter.  I totally fan girled, y’all.

See, Allison van Diepen and I have been friends on Twitter for a few years now – ever since I sent her an email about how much one of my students had loved a book she’d written.  She’s such a nice gal!  ❤

I’m going to be organizing my students’ work a little differently this year, so that will leave my back counter free for books to be displayed . . .

After all of that work, I needed some water therapy . . .

The forecast was calling for a lot of rain the next few days, so I figured this would be my last chance to read in the pool for awhile.  I accidentally got part of my book wet.  I guess I misjudged where my elbows were.  Ha!

Because I’d taken it a little easier, Thursday’s trip to physical therapy was a lot easier.  I repeated the same exercises with a slight twist on the ball one . . .

The trainer thinks I’m going to be coordinated enough to roll the ball back with both legs at once.  Ha!  We didn’t actually do this one yet (she was actually prepping me to work on my left leg to make sure both leg muscles stay balanced), but she promised that we would be doing this next week.  I told her that she must really need a laugh.  😀

I had a doctor’s appointment Thursday afternoon so I could finally get a prescription to get a bone density scan.

I’ll be talking more about that in a different post once I get the results of that and the twelve vials of blood I had drawn the next day (the rainiest summer day thus far) . . .

It’s a good thing that Friday was my real “rest” day.  I doubt I would have had much energy after fasting for the blood work and having to wait for over an hour for the bone scan.  I think that having two rest days each week is going to be another key to my ankle healing fully.  I might tend to overdo things . . . just a bit.  Ahem.

Saturday had me back to the routine and working out my chest and triceps . . .

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Overall, I am feeling a lot better, aside from stomach woes that are the result of the stress I put myself under with my doctor’s appointment (I do not do doctors very well).

My ankle is almost back to its normal level of pain, which is a good thing because I have to report back to work tomorrow.  We don’t get our kids back until the 17th.  I fully expect my ankle to be a hot mess the first couple of weeks with me being on my feet six straight class periods before my planning time, but that’s really no surprise given the severity of my injury.

Thank you for your prayers and your indulgence last week while I cried.  Some weeks just require tears, while other allow for shouts of joy.  I’m somewhere in the middle this week, which is a good thing.

#findingjoyinthejourney was a bit easier, and for that, I’m grateful.

Week 37

It’s been five weeks since I posted an update about my ankle.  You might remember that I had to take a break from physical therapy because I had to wait for my insurance visits to kick in again (I am on a six-month rolling program).  Ultimately, it’s been 37 weeks since I broke my ankle.  Crazy, eh?

Monday, the 24th, was my first day back.  I was excited because I had missed the routine of it.

I was a little dismayed when the office staff told me that the physical therapist I’d been working with had been relocated to the the beach office.  Ugh.  I wish I’d been told sooner because there’s a distinct possibility that I would have asked for my visits to take place there, which would have been a little inconvenient but would have helped with consistency.  However, I know that all of the PTs at this place are excellent, so I decided not to say anything.  The girl I’d been assigned to is very athletic, and she is a DPT, meaning that she’s a doctor of physical therapy, like my other guy.

My Monday visit wound up only being an eval so she could get the lowdown on my case since she had not worked with me before (we had chatted, but she had not been in charge of me).  She also measured my range of mobility and pulled and pushed on my foot.  A lot.  I discussed my concerns, which I’d made a list of on my phone, and we discussed some of the issues I’m still having.  She wasn’t going to be there for my Thursday appointment but said that another PT would work with me.

Rather than having me do any exercises that day, she iced me down and hooked me up to the TENS unit.

That evening, I began experiencing a high level of pain.  It was so bad that I may have shed a tear or two.  The Mr. and I weren’t sure why my ankle was throbbing so badly.  We thought that the manipulation of my ankle had been the culprit.  I was pretty desperate to get the pain to ease off and found myself running a bath at 11:35pm.

Despite the pain, I did my cardio and ab workouts the next day.

On Thursday, I had my second appointment, and as soon as I got on the bike to warm up, I knew things were going to be tough.  My legs felt like lead; they just did not want to pedal.

I then did my regular calf stretching exercises while the physical therapy assistants tried to figure out what I was supposed to do because my new therapist had not left anything in the computer for me.

Ugh.  That was frustrating because my surgeon’s PT script had been written for six weeks, and I didn’t want to waste any time.

This office has a program called MVP that helps athletes transition from physical therapy to more intense athletic training to get back into their sports.  My Chicky girl had gone through several rounds of the program, which we credit for getting her in the best shape of her life after she tore her ACL.  A couple of months ago, a new athletic trainer was hired for this program, and she wound up working with me on Thursday.

I loved her!  I was already in a lot of pain.  In fact, I’d been in more pain than usual last week, which I couldn’t understand.  We discussed the Beach Body program I’ve been doing for the last three months – specifically the leg workout.  I had done this workout on Sunday and had upped my weights.  Prior to that day, I’d walked four miles two consecutive days, so I’d pretty much set myself up for the pain.

I pulled up a list of the exercises for her to look at, and she was dismayed.  She explained that the moves were too big for what I was ready for, which was why I was having so much pain.  She’s got a plan to break down each move into their fundamentals, help me master them where I’m pain-free, and then help me transition to the bigger moves – slowly.  She also told me not to do my lower body workouts at home – to do them when I was in physical therapy.

Hearing her tell me that I will be pain free made me cry.

Y’all, the week was just awful.  I cannot even tell you.  I had to take Aleve two days, which I never, ever do.  The pain was probably at a 9 – bone pain that I hadn’t felt in months and months.  I’ve figured that I’m going to always be in some kind of pain for the unforeseeable future.  The Mr. constantly tells me that I’m doing too much, but I just cannot live my life sitting in my recliner.  My body NEEDS to be active; I NEED to burn calories.

So yeah, I had a little cry session right there in the PT’s office.

Bless J’s (the trainer) heart.  She was so sweet.  She understands my angst because she messed up her knee during a very important track meet that would have allowed her to go to State when she was in high school.  As she told me the story, her voice cracked, so my fear was something she could personally identify with.

I got myself together quickly, apologized for my weak moment, and we proceeded.  I wound up doing a couple of new moves.  One involved putting a tight band around my ankle, with me kneeling on the floor.  The band also went around a heavy piece of workout equipment, so it wouldn’t move.  Then, I had to, with one foot planted on the floor and my left knee on the floor, lean forward on my right ankle to stretch it, hold it for three seconds, and then return back to neutral.

You might remember that my surgeon diagnosed me with Achilles tendinosis, which is characterized by extreme tightness in that tendon (because of the lack of use while I was in a cast and boot).  We have to break it down to allow it to rebuild stronger.

It’s so freaking painful.

The second exercise she had me do involved me in a similar position on the floor, right foot planted and left knee bent on the floor.  I had a pole that I had to place at the top of my right foot, toward the right side of my toes.  As I held onto the pole with my left hand, I had to lean forward, hold the stretch for three seconds, and then return to neutral.

This was VERY painful; I felt the pain in the muscle on the inside of my ankle behind the ankle bone.  It was the PERFECT move that targeted my area of trouble precisely.  I’m sure I’ll be doing this move a lot.  In fact, during one of my reps, I felt a pop, which was a good thing because that muscle/tendon had been soooooo tight.

Then, I got iced down while I was hooked to the ever-wonderful TENS unit.

I spent the rest of the day extremely sore.

That didn’t stop me from completing the Hogwarts Running Club Eternal Glory 4-Miler virtual race the next day (it was a rest day from my Beach Body program).

Y’all, this was a hard walk for me.  I was in pain from the moment I left my house – pain that I had not felt in months.  I wasn’t sure that I’d be able to do the entire four miles.  I purposely walked slower, thinking maybe all I needed to do was stretch out my ankle.

Nope.  It stayed sore nearly the entire walk, but I did complete the whole distance in one try, so the feeling of accomplishment was HUGE.

I rewarded myself by spending the afternoon at the pool and got to chat with my friend, Megan, who was there as well.

On Saturday, the Mr. and I headed out to see a movie, but we had some time to kill beforehand, so we hopped into a store and did a bit of shopping.  The walking around was still tough.  Ugh.  I felt like I did back in March with my foot hurting every time I took a step.

I’m considering calling the surgeon’s office to schedule an appointment; however, I may give myself a few more PT sessions before I do that.  I remember him telling me that the new protocol would be very painful.

Check.

He had told me that I needed to ask myself if I felt any better than I did the month before.

Well, I had . . . until Monday evening.

Ahem.

I’ve pretty much decided that I’m definitely going to schedule another surgery to have a few pins removed.  One in particular is, I suspect, the culprit for 80% of my pain.  Crazy, eh?  I’m aiming to have the surgery the week of Thanksgiving but am trusting in God’s timing.  All I know is that I’m going to have it before the end of the year.  We’ve had a lot of medical expenses this year and have met all of our deductibles, so it would be more cost effective.  Plus, I don’t know how much longer I can go with this pain.  Some days, it’s almost unbearable, and I’m a tough cookie, so to say that is saying something.

So that’s where my progress stands at this point.  I feel like I’ve taken a few steps backward, and I’m frustrated.  I’ve had a few pity parties this week as I’ve tried to find reasons for the extra challenges I’ve gone through the last few days.  Ultimately, I know that my progress depends on 1) God, 2) consistent physical therapy, and 3) TIME.

I’ve been reminded that I am not a very patient person.  I want my old ankle back, and that’s just not going to happen.

I’m not going to lie – #findingjoyinthejourney was a bit difficult this week.  Pain is a thief of joy, y’all.  I feel overwhelmed sometimes, and that hurts my heart.  So much.

I am so grateful that God loves me when I lack faith – when I can’t see the finish line.  I’ve had glimpses, only to turn corners and discover hills that weren’t on the original plan.

If you would continue to pray for me, I’d surely appreciate it.  This is one hard, long road that I’m still trudging through, a bit unwillingly and very much resentfully at the moment.  That’s just me being as real as always.

Thanks all!

Childhood Ruminations on the Hodgepodge

I took a two-week hiatus from the Hodgepodge to mourn the loss of my sweet fur baby, Molly.  I’m turning a corner in the grief and am getting back to my routine now, which includes Hodgepodging.  So, without further ado, let’s get to the questions!

1.  Growing up, were you close to your grandparents? Tell us one or two specific things you remember about them.

I was not close to my grandparents while I was growing up because they lived in Canada and France.  I did get to visit them one summer, and they came to visit us once.  I remember that my maternal grandfather was a silly man.  He made a lot of fun of himself.  My maternal grandmother was more serious.  They had divorced a number of years prior to my seeing them, and my grandfather had a live-in girlfriend, which probably made him happy.  My grandmother was bitter until her death.  My paternal grandparents were interesting.  My grandmother loved her wine and sweets.  My grandfather was very serious.  He was harder to get to know.

2.  What’s an item you were attached to as a child? What happened to it?

I was attached to my books.  I have a few from when I was younger but not many.  I didn’t take much with me when I got married and moved out of my house.

3.  When you look out your window, do you see the forest or the trees (literally and figuratively)? Explain.

Literally, I see trees.  I live across from a small pond that has trees that separate it from the road outside of my neighborhood.  As far as figuratively, I am doing my best to keep my eyes on the forest despite the trees.  Life continues to be chaotic with random, hard things hitting.  I’m trusting God, though, for His grand plan while trying not to feel overwhelmed by all of the unexpected happenings that are popping up every time I turn around.

4.  Do you like sour candies? Which of the ‘sour’ foods listed below would you say is your favorite?

grapefruit, Greek yogurt, tart cherries, lemons, limes, sauerkraut, buttermilk, or kumquats 

Have you ever eaten a kumquat? What’s your favorite dish containing one of the sour foods on the list?

I do like sour candies.  Sour Patch Kids are one of my favorite types, but I also like the tart cherries you can buy at convenience stores.  As far as sour foods, I’d say that tart cherries are among my favorite.  I also like grapefruit.  I’ve never eaten a kumquat.  I just can’t bring myself to do so.  A favorite dish I made a few weeks ago was A Couple Cooks Veggie Burger with Tart Cherry Salsa.  It was delicious!  I’ve never made salsa before, so for my first go, what a great pick!  I found the cherries at Walmart.

 5.  July 1st marked the mid point of 2017. In fifteen words or less, tell us how it’s going so far.

Imagine the world’s highest roller coaster with harrowing twists and turns.

6.  My Random Thought

The Mr. and I went to Bonefish Grill the other night.  We used to go every couple of weeks; however, we had not been since January.  I remember that the last time we were there, I was still in my boot and on crutches.  Then, he got sick at the end of that month, and we pretty much didn’t go anywhere for weeks.

It was so much fun to order a martini and indulge in my favorite dishes . . . edamame and the house salad (no meat).

Life’s been so hard these past two weeks; the sadness so heavy to bear.  Going out and being around people, in small doses, is proving to be a balm to my tender heart.

Script Change

In my last post, I think I mentioned that I was going to be having a couple of busy weeks.

It started off with some packing on Monday . . .

On Tuesday, after leaving explicit instructions with the house/dog sitter, the Mr. and I jumped in the car and headed down the road.  Snacks were a must . . .

The Mr. drove all day while I made him listen to the pre-season episode of Rob Has a Podcast Big Brother.  The Mr. was not amused, and I was forced to listen to talk radio for the next two hours.

We hit some rain during our trip but finally arrived at our destination . . .

The sign is a little hard to read, but it says Mayo Clinic.

You may remember my post back in February when I described the health issues that the Mr. had been suffering from.  Over the last few months, he’d been back and forth to the Mayo Clinic for periodic testing.

In May, after another round of MRIs and other tests, he decided to push forth with a very complicated surgery.  This surgery would involve a team of doctors. Surgery was scheduled for June 29th.  He had a round of pre-op appointments on the 28th, which was why we left on the 27th.

The Mr. was very nervous about the surgery; the recovery time was expected to be six to eight weeks with a possible follow-up surgery.  Success was expected but not 100% guaranteed.

Let’s just say that those six hours in the car were not exactly what you’d model the perfect marriage on.  Tension was high.

On the 28th, I got up at the crack of dawn and visited the hotel’s fitness room to get in a walk.  I knew we had a long day ahead of us . . . hours of walking back and forth between doctor’s offices . . . lots of sitting time.

I didn’t plan very well, so we were scrambling to get ready in time for his first appointment, which had been scheduled bright and early . . . 7:30.

I can’t say that we showed our best sides to one another as we fussed.

Ahem.

It’s a good thing our hotel was right next to the hospital, though, which saved oodles of time.  Jacksonville traffic ain’t not joke, y’all.

I love the Mayo Clinic for so many reasons.  Timeliness is a biggie.  We have all experienced the horrors of waiting for hours while doctors deal with double-booked schedules.  This doesn’t happen at the Mayo Clinic.

We did have to wait a very short time, but we’d been told that the doctor we were seeing . . . the urological surgeon . . . had a surgery that morning.  He was popping in to see us before he went to that surgery.

Now, let me tell you.  We have talked to a couple dozen doctors, at least, since the end of January when this ordeal began.  Many of them have not had good bedside manners.  Most have been knife happy . . .  as in let’s do surgery right now kind of happy.

We don’t like those people very much.

This doctor was not like that at all.  He was very approachable and talked at our level.  He began by going over the risks of what he would be doing.

Yeah, yeah, yeah.  Every surgery has risks.  We weren’t really worried about those too much.  I mean, we were at the Mayo Clinic, for heaven’s sake.

Then, the doctor sat back in his chair, and he said, “I’m not really sure why you’re having surgery.  In fact, the GI doctor and I were talking about your case yesterday, and we don’t know why you are having it.”

Now, imagine for a second that from January 23rd, you’ve been told that you’ve got to have surgery . . . that you’ll die without it.

Every single doctor had been telling us that.

Then, this much-educated, very respected doctor sits and tells us that he doesn’t know why the Mr. is going forward with it?

We were majorly confused.

I cocked my head to the side . . .

Accurate

The doctor went on to explain that the Mr.’s most recent MRI had shown . . .

Wait for it . . .

That he was GETTING BETTER!

Double accurate

The doctor, in turn, looked confused.  He told us that typically, patients are completely on board with surgery, but to see us so confused was a signal that surgery did not need to be happening.

The Mr. then shared some of the things that his GI doctor . . . the doctor we started out with and the one who specializes in Crohn’s patients . . . had told him in May.

Well, Mr. Urological Surgeon rang up Mr. GI doctor right there in front of us, and they had a brief meeting of the minds where we learned that the GI doctor had not made the Mr.’s situation sound quite so dire the last time.

I looked at the Mr. and said, “I guess this is why I need to come with you to these appointments – so we have two sets of ears.”

Apparently so.

But I was still confused.  Were we talking about canceling the urological part of the surgery or both parts (the GI part too)?

Both.

I looked at the doctor and said, “Well, now I won’t have to take care of a sick man!”

He genuinely laughed at that.

Y’all KNOW what I’m talking about and don’t pretend that you don’t.

The doctor said that the Mr. had been showing fewer symptoms the past few months (I attribute this to God answering prayer and to the Specific Carbohydrate Diet, which the Mr. has been following pretty religiously since February), so they don’t like to operate on asymptomatic people.

Now, to be sure, the Mr. still has a messed up intestine from the 30 years he’s been dealing with Crohn’s, but we both know that surgery won’t cure it.  Crohn’s can hit multiple parts of the intestine.  Getting rid of one affected section won’t guarantee that it won’t reappear elsewhere.

The doctor assured us that if the Mr. takes a turn for the worse, he can always reschedule surgery.  He also put the Mr. on a plan to visit him in three months for tests to monitor his progress.  His abscess isn’t fully healed.  A new MRI will check on that, as will some other tests.

The doctor walked us back to the GI doctor’s nurse, gave her instructions to cancel the rest of the day’s pre-op appointments, and then sent us off with his blessing.

Y’all should have seen us walk out of there.

We were shell shocked – dazed looks on our faces.  Our brains could not process this change of events.

We started texting people immediately.  His parents had to be notified first because they were about to drive several hours to be with us for the surgery.

I had to let my friends from home know.  There’s a small group of us who are really close, and they had been praying non-stop.

I let Rebecca know.  She and I had been texting for days.

Then, because we didn’t know what to do, we got breakfast in the wonderful cafeteria at the hospital.

Crazy, eh?

The Mr. ate with gusto, let me tell you.  I don’t think you could have wiped the smile from his face if you’d tried.

When we finished, we went back to the hotel, loaded up our stuff, and checked OUT!  We took a selfie (which I posted on IG and FB with the update) in the parking lot and began our long drive home.

Gosh, y’all, but we were still so confused!

We tried to figure out how we’d gotten things so wrong!  What the heck?  We talked back through the series of appointments, but honestly, I think we would have made the same decision!  The Mr. was trying to figure out what the GI doctor wanted him to do.  The doctor couldn’t tell him explicitly what to do because things were not clear cut.  Thankfully, the urological surgeon gave it to us straight, God bless him!

We listened to praise music the rest of the way home, let me tell you.

We did make a pit stop to see the Mr.’s parents.  We also visited with Chicky’s puppy, who’d been visiting the grandparents for the past two weeks while Chicky traveled.

We got to see Chicky as well.  She arrived about an hour after we got there.  She’d flown into her city the night before and had made the drive up to retrieve her fur baby.  The original plan had been for her to go to the Mayo Clinic so she could be there for the surgery, but with the cancellation, she adjusted her plans.

It was a blessing, in so many ways, to get to go home.  Our fur babies needed us . . .

Molly had been refusing to eat (she’s been pretty sick).

We were eager to resume life.

I have to credit Rebecca for the title of this post.  As we were texting, she said that it was like God had called for a script change in our plans.

In my mind, the summer had been split in half . . . the first being one of luxury, and the second being one of care giving (i.e. not relaxing).

Waking up LATE on Thursday, in our own house, made the Mr. and me smile all day. It was a relief to partake in normal activities without the stress of a looming surgery hanging over our heads.

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I didn’t realize how exhausted I was until I took a two-hour nap in the recliner that afternoon, despite having slept in past 9am.

We were able to attend the reception for a precious young couple who just got married in May.  They are the children of dear friends of ours.  I’d RSVP’d no, because of the surgery; my friend eagerly told us to come when I texted her that we were going to be home.

As I said in the update I posted on Facebook, although surgery could still be in the Mr.’s future, we are celebrating the miracle of TODAY.

Isn’t that what life is about – finding joy in each moment?  Heck, it’s been my hashtag since November 13th.

I know that God doesn’t answer yes to all of our prayer requests, but there’s nothing wrong with asking for things.  His no’s are for good reasons because He sees the whole plan for our lives.

But, when He does say yes, hello world, but you just can’t deny that it’s Him.

A friend commented on how good we looked after I posted a selfie from the reception.  I told her that gratefulness is a good look for us.  It’s one that we should wear every second of our lives, because we have so much to be thankful for, good times and bad.

The Mr. and I have certainly had some difficult days in recent months.  We are thrilled to be able to bask in the sunshine of a good day for a change.

Week 32

Here we are at almost Tuesday, and I’ve failed, once again, to post a timely update.  That summer sun must be doing something to my brain!

So, let’s talk about last week and my continued recovery from my trimalleolar fracture and subsequent surgery.

Last week was a big milestone – 32 weeks (i.e. eight months)!  It’s hard to believe, isn’t it?

When I last left you, I’d had a rough weekend, and my ankle was not looking its best.

I went to physical therapy on Monday and, after completing all of my exercises had a long chat with my therapist.  It was, after all, my last visit for a month (remember the insurance issues I mentioned a couple of weeks ago?).

First of all, he was shocked when I told him about my time for the Superhero 5k I’d walked the Saturday before.  He told me that he knew people who couldn’t run it that fast.  He’s a good cheerleader, let me tell you.

Then, I told him about my leg workout the next day and the exercise I did that I probably shouldn’t have done.  I expected to be properly chided, but he actually told me that it wasn’t the move that had done me in.  It was, most likely, the fact that I’d done a lot of yard work the previous Friday, walked the 5k at a brisk pace the next day, and then had worked my lower body out that Sunday.

He explained that I should have rearranged some of my activities.  For instance, I could have done an upper body workout on Sunday or gone much lighter on the weights for the leg routine.  He said that doing so many things that required a lot from my ankle in such a short span of time led to the swelling and pain.

I also told him that I’d had a lot of tightness in my right knee when I’d done the 5k.  I figured I’d walked too fast, but he told me that it was lack of strength in that leg, which is what my exercises and therapy will continue to improve.

Ultimately, he said that I still need to give myself time to heal.

There goes that word again.

This process has hammered into my head the fact that I am not a very patient person.

Those who know me best would probably agree.

Ahem.

I feel like Ariel, when she sings Part of Your World . . .

Flipping your fins, you don’t get too far
Legs are required for jumping, dancing
Strolling along down a – what’s that word called again?
Street.

Up where they walk, up where they run
Up where they stay all day in the sun
Wanderin’ free – wish I could be
Part of that world.

That’s me.  To a T.

As J and I talked, I got a little teary.  He reminded me of how far I’ve come since January 23 when I first walked into physical therapy.  I was on crutches still, unable to walk properly and in so much pain when I tried.

Now, I’m lifting weights, walking 5k’s, and mowing the grass without the aid of a self-propelled mechanism.

I want to be able to do these things and run again . . . without pain.

Time.

J and I talked about what I can be doing during my PT hiatus.  The Mr. has been very concerned that I’m doing too much.

Ya think.

<insert sarcastic look>

J told me that he wants me to walk as much as I can . . . every day even.  He wants me to be more cognizant of how I’m lining up my activities.  He wants me to stretch my calf muscle on that right leg every day.

He promised that when I get back in there, we will start working on my jogging.

He gave me hope.

Then, he worked on the back of my leg again and actually got two tools out to get the knot out of my tendon.

Some things do NOT change.

I felt sad as I left, but I knew that it was a temporary goodbye.  I’ve already got my next appointment set for July 24th, and I’ll pick up where I left off.

Meanwhile, I started PT at home, following the exercise regimen that he gave me.  I’m supposed to do them at least three days a week, incorporating them into my workouts when it’s convenient or doing them separately if it’s not.

Did I mention the stretching, my favorite (not) exercise?

The rest of the week went okay.  I continued to have good and bad days.

I walked a little over three miles on Thursday.  My pace was a lot slower than the 5k I did the weekend before, but that was okay with me.

I always feel accomplished when I’ve moved my body . . .

I spent time watching the rain . . .

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I thanked the Lord for sending the sun . . .

I had a little buddy on Friday . . .

And a different book  . . .

I literally sat in the water the entire time I was at the pool (thanks, Megan, for the suggestion a few weeks ago) and let my ankle do its non-gravity thing, which made it feel better.  Call it an excuse.  My physical therapist chuckled when I told him my game plan.

The sun cooperated on Saturday . . .

I even managed to sneak in an hour of pool time on Sunday before the rain paid another visit . . .

I probably won’t post weekly updates until I return to therapy next month.  We’ve got a lot going on in the next two weeks; it’s going to be all I can do to fit in my PT exercises, and I’m not sure if I’m going to see a drastic improvement in that time (fingers crossed that I magically become pain-free because we know that miracles can and do happen).

Please continue to pray for healing.  This journey is still frustrating.  I am beyond ready to be normal.  I’d love to be able to teach class, come August, without pain.  Maybe that’s a little unrealistic, but one can always dream, eh?

National Selfie Day

Did you know that Wednesday was National Selfie Day?

Yeah, I didn’t either until I happened to switch the TV from the DVD to the cable mode after I worked out that morning.  The Today Show was on, and they were talking about how much time we spend taking selfies . . . seven minutes for each one!  It is estimated that we will spend over 200,000 hours over the course of our lives taking selfies.

Unbelievable, eh?

I’ll admit that I am as guilty as anyone else.

Hello Snapchat, which has the BEST filters, y’all!

Disney, anyone?

I am one cool cat.

I always match my ears with my workout clothes.

Weighing the pros and cons of doing anything productive during my break.

 

Of course, Instagram had to get in on the action.  Their filters are okay . . .

If you need me, I’ll be hibernating until August.

Queen – of Everything

When I’m not sleeping or working out, I’ll be driving . . . to the beach . . . if the sun will ever come out again.

So, what is this obsession with fish-lipped selfies?

I really don’t know except that they are fun, and they give people a glimpse into our whimsical selves.

They allow us to be silly without taking ourselves so seriously.

Life isn’t always pleasant, so indulging in a bit of fun, seven minutes at a time (cause you know you’ve got to delete fifteen photos before you get THE perfect shot), can be a much-needed pick-me-upper.

Selfie on!

Sunday Shopping

Last Sunday afternoon, the Mr. and I headed out to run a few errands.

One of the places I wanted to go was Best Buy.  Rooster had called me a couple of days before to tell me about a purchase he and his girl had made.  The pressure was on.

I wound up indulging my inner geek when I purchased this . . .

It’s the Apple Watch 2, which was on sale for $70 off.  What girl doesn’t like a sale?

The newest Apple Watch can be worn in the pool or beach!  That was the main reason why I had asked for my Garmin watch a couple of years ago.  I’ve loved it too!

But the Apple, y’all.  I have had an iPhone for years, and my laptop is a Macbook Pro, so I’m all about Apple stuff.  I bought the smaller size.

It didn’t take me long to find a watch face I liked . . .

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When you tap on the center of the clock face, Minnie tells you what time it is.  She’s adorable.

Now, I’m not going to lie, making the transition was a little overwhelming.  Although it immediately synced with my phone, I still had to figure out how to navigate, which buttons to push, etc.  I had to change a few things in my setup (I’m using Apple Health now, which integrates with MyFitnessPal).

The good news is that my Under Armour Record app works seamlessly with my watch.  When I start a workout on my phone, my watch automatically starts up, so I can look down and see my calories real time without pulling out my phone.

I was able to use it to track Monday’s physical therapy session.  I had been curious about how many calories I’d been burning during these sessions . . .

Apparently, I work hard.  Crazy, eh?

I also love that my watch tracks my heart rate.  That was the biggest drawback to my Garmin.  I didn’t have the HR model.

By the end of the first evening, I’d even learned how to set up the watch as my alarm clock.

One less-than-ideal thing is the battery life.  It’s something like 18 hours, so it needs to be charged each night.  My Garmin lasted for ten days without a charge, unless I was using it to track runs.

I still have a ton to learn, but I can honestly say that I’m in love with this device.  I can use Siri on it (and actually did while I was getting directions, and it even connected automatically to my car and started talking through those speakers while I was driving to a new place).

Happy Summer to me!

After we finished at Best Buy, we headed to Kohl’s.  The Mr. had some Kohl’s cash that had to be used that day.

I had not been feeling well, so the plan was to run in, quickly pick out something, and leave.

I wound up trying on a few tops that had not been on sale the week before.  I really liked the tank top in the picture below.  It made me think of my Rooster boy.

I loved the next top.  It’s a sweater material and wine colored.  It is so soft.

By the way, I have no idea why I felt the need to flex my muscles in both pictures.  I guess the weight training I’ve been doing each day has gone to my head.  Ha!

I liked the next top as well.  Blue is one of my favorite colors, and the Mr. thought this top would pair nicely with a pair of flowered shorts he had picked out for me (I didn’t pose with those though).

After all of that shopping, I had to go home and take a nap.  Who knew that spending money could be so exhausting!!

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