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When Two or More are Gathered

Tuesday evening, I received a Facebook message from a gal I graduated high school with.

One of our classmates has a daughter who had been in a serious car accident earlier that day.  The young lady had been flown to a hospital in a larger city.

My friend was asking for prayers; she’d included nearly our entire class in the message.  All eighteen of us.  Because when you attend a small school in a tiny town, your graduating class doesn’t number very many.

Thank heavens for social media, though.  Despite our years apart and the distance that separates us, we are coming together and praying for our friend’s daughter.

She’s got some serious injuries and is not out of the woods yet.

All of my classmates have children.  Our mama and daddy hearts are hurting.

We are gathered together, though, as God’s Word promises, knowing that He does hear prayers, that He has a plan for young K’s life, and that He will work all things out for good.

Where two or more…say 18…are gathered, God is present.

Will you join us as we lift K, my friend Pam, her other daughter (not in the accident), and their other family up in prayer?

Thank you!!

Gut Check

This week is my Spring Break.

Normally, I’d be sleeping in until 9 or 10am, lounging by the pool, and taking a nap or two every day.

This year has been a lot different.

The Mr. and I have spent the past three days at the Mayo Clinic, where he is undergoing several procedures that will help his doctor formulate a plan for treating the severe complications discovered when he became very ill in January.

Tuesday was full of several pre-op appointments.  I do believe that we walked across most of the hospital’s large campus.  The view from the 5th floor was incredible!

We did have the afternoon to ourselves.  I spent the latter part of the day sitting outside at the hotel, toddy in hand, watching Dancing With the Stars on my phone via a streaming app by my cable provider.

Wednesday was an early day; the alarm clock went off at 4:30am.

Ugh.

Neither of us had slept well the night before, so we were d-r-a-g-g-i-n-g.  On top of being up early, we had to load up our car because we were going to be changing hotels when we were finished with the day’s itinerary.  The nightly rate at our hotel was going up, so we had reservations at another hotel down the road.

After getting the Mr. settled, I headed down to the cafeteria for some breakfast.  The cafeteria at the hospital is large and offers a great assortment of food.  No matter what your diet, you’ll find something you can eat.  This vegan approves!

On my way back to the waiting room, I couldn’t help but notice this…

There is an entire wall dedicated to the women pioneers of the Mayo Clinic.  I didn’t take pictures of the individual boards for the women on this list, but they were beautiful!  If you’re ever here, make sure you stop and take a look at them.

Then, I went back up to wait.

Now, let me tell you, the Mayo Clinic really does things right.  Patient care is exceptional!  They don’t only care about the patients, though.  They are very mindful of caretakers.

When we’d checked the Mr. in, I’d been given a paper that required me to put my name and cell number on it.  The Mr. had been given a unique number by which I could be linked to him.  I could look at an electronic board on the wall to see where in the queue he was.  The volunteers could also use the number and the information I’d provided to give me updates throughout his procedure.

I continue to be impressed with the professionalism of the volunteers here.  They’ve all been of the elderly sort and very tender.  In fact, the ladies who were at the desk in the surgical unit on Wednesday found me, without calling my name, in a vast waiting room that was full of loved ones.

At one point, I went out to my car to retrieve an item and was struck, once again, by the beauty of the landscaping.

When you’re anxious about your loved one’s health, fountains like this, along with all of the lush lawns and bright flowers, soothe your soul and remind you of God’s presence.

The Mr. got through his procedure quite well, and we were back at our hotel by 10am, which left me a lot of time to explore a bit of Jacksonville (once I got the Mr. settled into the room).

Later that afternoon, after a brief nap, I settled in by the pool, another toddy in hand, and read a few chapters of my book.

We had another quiet evening while the Mr. prepped for the procedures he’d be having this morning (as I’m typing this, in fact).  He wasn’t feeling well, but that’s par for the course with his health right now.

We were back up at 4:30 this morning for his last day of tests before we start the long drive home.

Rather than this post just being a narrative of our week, I really wanted to talk about something besides the aesthetics of the hospital.

Being around so many people who are so ill has been a gut check…literally and figuratively.

There are so many hurting people in the world…so many needs we just don’t know about.

On Wednesday, I was struck by the young woman waiting in a separate curtained-off section in pre-op, where the Mr. was also waiting to be rolled back to the operating room.

Not that I wanted to eavesdrop or anything, but when you only have a curtain between you, you can’t help but hear things.  She was scared about her procedure.  She’d recently had a baby.  Her precious husband, who I’d noticed in the waiting room, was by her side.

Scary, y’all.

In the waiting room, which was seriously huge, there was a large contingent of people who, it appeared, were there to support a patient having some kind of surgery.  I pictured that being my family when the Mr. has his big surgery soon (date still to be determined).  The love that came from that group reached out and enveloped me as well; their smiles and gentle laughter lightened a stressful and tiring morning.

I heard a man who was checking into registration shortly after the Mr. had gone back.  This man’s surgery was going to last twelve hours!  It made the Mr.’s hour-long procedure seem minor in comparison.

Walking through the hospital, I saw so many with masks…a lady wearing a scarf on her head…people with walkers or in wheelchairs.

We’ve had a lot of health issues since November.  Because of that, I notice things I never did before, and my heart goes out to people in a completely different way.

I am more empathetic than I ever was…more understanding…more aware.

What we are going through with the Mr.’s health is serious business, but we are not alone.  There’s a world full of hurting people…some better off…some not so much.

Is this what happens when you get older…this gut check?

Maybe I should have titled this post “Heart Check,” for that is really what this experience has become.

I know that I, for one, am feeling my heart beat a little faster with a renewed appreciation for God’s hand in my life and those around me.

Marching Through the Hodgepodge

Isn’t it crazy how quickly March is flying by?  Sheesh, Louise!  So, after a brief break, Joyce is back with another round of questions.  Link up with her to play along!  Oh, and thanks for visiting!

1.  Setting aside the real March Madness (NCAA Basketball) describe something happening at your house this month that might earn the title ‘March Madness’?

As I type this, I am at the Mayo Clinic with my hubby.  He’s got another round of procedures before his doctor lays out a plan for treating him for the complications his Crohn’s brought on.  So, we’re here this week (during my Spring Break), and we go back next week to find out results from these tests.  It’s a long drive too, so that adds to the madness.

2.  What’s a favorite made up word from your childhood or a favorite from your children’s childhood? Does your family still use the word today? If there’s a story behind the origin please share.

I’ve got nothing as far as my own childhood goes, but when my kids were growing up, and we had early wake up calls for soccer, we used to call the time o’dark 30.  That has stuck over the years.

3.  Will you be doing any spring cleaning now that the season is upon us? I read here a list of 15 quick (under one hour) spring cleaning tasks. They were-

clean out a drawer, vacuum furniture, whiten tile grout, dust the nooks and crannies you don’t get to year round, degrease kitchen cabinets, wipe down walls, go behind furniture, wipe down ceiling fans, vacuum the mattress, clean the range hood, wash baseboards, shine the stainless steel, clean out vents, tackle the windows, and wipe down gadgets

Of the fifteen ‘quick’ tasks listed which two most need doing at your house? Will you do them?

Spring cleaning?  Ha!  I’m barely keeping my head above water these days, so I’d say that all fifteen tasks on the list need to be done!  I will say that going out of town makes me clean my house like nothing else.  I cannot stand to go home to a dirty house.  So, there was a spur of cleaning on Monday but nothing crazy.

4.  A favorite movie set in Paris or New York?

The first movie that came to mind was The Devil Wears Prada.  I just adore that movie, and Paris during Fashion Week?  :::swoon:::

5.  What’s put a spring in your step this month?

The warmer weather and my ankle’s continued healing have definitely put a little more pep in my step these days.

6.  Did you ever want to be a teacher? Why or why not?

I, like most little girls, played “School” when I was growing up.  I even had a large, two-sided chalkboard!  I loved the idea of imparting knowledge.  The grading, as a child, was fun too!

I did fulfill my dream.  Instead of a chalkboard, I have a Smartboard (love, love, love)!  The grading isn’t as fun as I thought it would be.  Oh, don’t get me wrong.  I really enjoy reading what my students write.  Their samples give me glimpses into their personalities.  It’s the pressure and volume of the grading that gets to me.

My favorite thing about teaching, and something I really didn’t understand until I started doing it, was the impact the kids would have on me.  Teaching high-risk kiddos is a double blessing.  I soak up the loving I give them, and the return it tenfold.

7.  What’s your favorite floral scent? Do you have this somewhere in your home or maybe in a perfume? How do you feel about florals in food? How about wines with floral notes-yay or nay?

I have discovered that I really like lavender.  I find the smell very soothing.  I get migraines if I am surrounded by floral aromas that are too strong.  I don’t have flowers around my house.  I’d like to, but life keeps me busy, and I forget to buy them.

Florals in food…hmmm…I can’t say that I’ve ever experienced this before.  Wines with floral…did somebody say wine?  Please and thank you!

8.  My Random Thought

I have much to share, but those are things that belong in different posts.

Since we’ve just been talking about florals, I’ll show you a picture I took a couple of days ago…

My roses are in full bloom.  This was a baby one.  I didn’t mention that I love the smell of roses.  I don’t necessarily like the smell in perfumes, but fresh flowers?  Yes and yes!

I hope you all have a wonderful week!

18 Weeks

Today marks eighteen weeks since I broke my ankle.  I say this every week, but it bears repeating…I am in awe of God and His healing grace.

First things first.  Remember when I posted last week and said that I had not done anything that Saturday…as directed by my physical therapists?

Well, let me tell you that I noticed a HUGE difference in my ankle this week…all because I took it easy last weekend.

Normally, Mondays are hell on my ankle.  Please pardon my directness there, but that’s the only word that fits.

I seriously cannot function well and hobble into PT on Monday afternoons.  The swelling in my ankle is usually pretty bad too.

Not last week!  I’ll admit that slowing down is not how I like to do things, but I can’t argue with the results.

It’s frustrating because this means that I am still further away from a full recovery than I’d like to be.  On the other hand, I’m closer than I was four and a half months ago.

During Monday’s PT session, they measured my foot to note my range of motion / flexibility.

I’d had this done during my first visit, but I was so overwhelmed with everything that I had not bothered to ask about the numbers.  All I knew was that I couldn’t move my ankle much.

When they measure, they’re looking at the way I can move my ankle four different ways…

During my first visit, my Dorsiflexion was at -5.  I couldn’t even get to neutral (90 degrees), y’all!  Now remember, this was only a week after I’d gotten out of my boot, and I was still relying heavily on my crutches.  On Monday, I was at 20 degrees!  Granted, that was with the PT pushing on my foot.  Ahem.  But the fact that it could move toward me that far was excellent!  Get this…the normal range is 20!!!  Woo hoo!

My Plantarflexion started off at 16 degrees during my first visit.  On Monday, it was up to 30!!  The normal range for this movement is 50, so I have a ways to go.  Nearly doubling in number though was GREAT progress!

My Inversion range started at 12 degrees; on Monday, it measured at 33!  The normal range is 35, so I’m just about there!

Now, the Eversion was not great.  During my first visit, I measured at 4 degrees.  Y’all, turning my foot outward is so stinking hard!  On Monday, I was at 7 degrees.  The normal range is 15.  This was discouraging, but I have to remember that most of my hardware is on the outside of my leg.  That’s where my plate and nine pins are holding things together.  I may never get full range back, but like the Mr. said, the only people who really need this motion are those who are making moves by cutting outward.  Still, being the overachiever that I am, I’d like to be able to get back as much of it as I can.

The most important of the above are my Dorsiflexion and Plantarflexion movements.  They are what I need to take simple steps…to walk up and down stairs…to step down off of curbs…to walk uphill and downhill.  That’s why I’m required to stretch on an elevated board every time I go to therapy.  I’m giving serious consideration to purchasing one for my house, because I’ve read on message boards where people continue to struggle with the Achilles tendon getting tight long after “recovery” is over.  The price is hefty, though, so we’ll see.

Overall, I was thrilled with my measurements.  Last week was my eighth since I started physical therapy.  The progress is slowwwwww, but it’s there, nonetheless.

I didn’t get any new exercises added to my regimen.  The only thing we did was to tweak one movement.  Up to last week, I’d been sitting on a bench while using my wobble board to work on all four of the movements listed above.  On Monday, my therapist had me start standing while holding onto a pole and doing the exercises.  Monday was easy, so on Wednesday, she had me stand on my tiptoes on my left foot to put more weight on my right ankle while standing and doing the exercises.  This was decidedly harder.

I’m doing better on the Bosu ball.  The balancing is getting a little easier, although I’m super happy when each minute is over.  My hips still aren’t strong…yet another source of frustration but part of the process.

My gait is continuing to improve.  I recorded myself walking across the house.

I’ve watched it numerous times and am beginning to notice a few things.  My right leg is still stiff, and I seem to still be walking with a heavier step on that side.  It also looks like I’m walking with that foot further out.

I also noticed that my right knee seems to turn in when I walk.  I’m going to ask my physical therapist about it when he gets back from his honeymoon.  He was an athlete in high school and college and knows a lot about this stuff.

Hey, though, my walking is FASTER than it was even a couple of weeks ago!  I still go slow, because I want to focus on my form.  I also go slow because my foot still hurts when I walk.  My big toe is still feeling some pain when I push off of it, and the top part of my foot closest to my ankle is sore almost all the time.  It cracks and pops a lot when I walk, which feels wonderful but can’t be exactly normal since my left foot doesn’t do this.

The word “normal” is such a subjective word, isn’t it?

My new normal looks like this…

In addition to the Juice Plus I’ve been taking for years, I’ve now added bone health supplements…D3, B12, and a magnesium blend.  I’m also taking a turmeric blend for inflammation.

My new normal also includes a lot of days ending like this…

Under the ice is my TENS unit, emitting soothing waves of electric stimulation.

#bliss

17 Weeks

Four months and one week…that’s how much time has passed since November 13th when I broke my ankle.

Each week brings me closer to a full recovery, but I am still a long ways out.

This past week, I learned some painful, yet powerful lessons.

Last weekend, I thought I’d be all that and did three very tough weight lifting routines.

I’d wanted to start Body Beast ever since I’d been sidelined in November.  I had done chest and triceps the previous Friday, legs that Saturday, and biceps and back that Sunday.

To make matters worse, I spent about seven hours on my feet on Sunday…cooking four different recipes.

Boy, was I hurting when Monday rolled around.  I always say that it’s not the day after a workout that you’re most sore but the second day after.

This was me on Tuesday…standing like a gorilla because I couldn’t straighten my arms from Sunday’s bicep workout…

My ankle was a hot mess from Saturday’s workout, let me tell you.  It was so bad that the outside of my ankle…the side where I have my plate, was hurting.  This side rarely gives me problems.

When I got to physical therapy on Monday afternoon, I was doing some serious hobbling.

My physical therapists were not happy, and because I’d done too much, they weren’t able to add new exercises to my regimen.

The ice and stem therapy when I finished that day were much needed.

I struggled all week with my ankle…all because I’d tried to be my former, overachieving self.

Here’s what’s hard for me…remembering that, although my ankle might feel okay while I’m doing something, the effects of being on my feet or doing whatever it is I’m doing don’t hit until later.

I have to start thinking about the after-effects, which is so hard for me because I feel as though I’m missing out on stuff.

Sigh.

So, last week was frustrating, and I might have had a pity party or two when nobody was looking (and even when someone was).

The Mr. got a bit upset with me and fussed…in a loving way (ahem).  He reminded me that I am only four months out from breaking my ankle.

Yes, I can walk.

Yes, my limp is getting better.

Yes, I can drive and do some things.

The key is the word “some.”  That doesn’t mean all, and it doesn’t even mean that those “some” things are going to be to the full extreme that I’ve done them in the past.

YET.

One day, I’ll be able to.

Just not yet.

Just like I can’t wear pretty shoes for very long, so it’s tennis shoes and dresses, on the days when I feel like looking uber-professional.

Don’t be jelly of my fashion style.

Before I left my PT session on Wednesday, I was instructed to take it easy over the weekend…to not do any more than a mile without checking to see how I felt (it had been my intention to get started on my S.P.E.W. virtual race…six miles…broken up for me, of course).

I took their words to heart and went home on Friday determined to be a better patient.  On my way in the house, I stopped to smell the roses…literally.

It had been a tough couple of days with work stuff, and I listened to my body and crashed in the recliner.

Then, I did NOTHING on Saturday.  I stayed in my pajamas and read my new Neal Shusterman book, Scythe.  I had started it Friday night after the Man in the Brown Truck delivered it and finished it early Saturday evening.  It was FANTASTIC!

There were a few twists I didn’t expect, which made this a real page turner.

I took a bit of time out on Saturday to watch the movie If I Stay, which is based on Gayle Forman’s book.  I read it last summer and enjoyed it.  It was a heart-wrenching book.  The movie didn’t disappoint except in a couple of places where things strayed from the book a bit.

Gambit chose to interrupt my “me” time periodically throughout the day.  Being in the recliner puts me at the perfect level to give him a good scratch or two.

All of the resting made a huge difference for my ankle, as evidenced by the fact that you can see most of the bones in my foot.  They’re usually slightly obscured by the swelling that seems to be a constant part of my world right now.

As I type this, it’s Sunday afternoon.  The Mr. is grocery shopping, and I’d like to try to make a couple of things.  We found some recipes that don’t look like they’ll require a lot of standing-up time.  My fingers are crossed.

This journey is reminding me of the importance of rest.  So often, I, along with most of America, use the weekends to try to catch up on tasks that aren’t able to be done during the week.

My body, however, tells on me.  I need the kind of rest that requires purposely sitting down and not doing a whole lot of much, whether it’s thinking or finishing chores.  Everything gets done eventually…it just doesn’t have to be done now.

Speaking of now…the Mr. just pulled into the garage which means for now, I’ll be starting work on those recipes and then hunkering down in my recliner to watch a little NASCAR and, perhaps, enjoy a quick nap.

Thank you for your continued prayers as I press on in my recovery. ❤

300th Hodgepodge

Good golly, but can it be?  300 Hodgepodge posts by Joyce, and she’s still going strong!  Props!

Despite spending the evening trying to crunch test data (I’m a reading teacher…this was uber-difficult), I’m here and playing along.  Join up with Joyce to join in the fun!  Oh, and thanks for visiting me today!  🙂

1.  What is one area of your life where you’re a perfectionist? Is that a good thing?

Oh goodness…where am I not a perfectionist?  Let’s see…how about my physical therapy (following my ankle break in November, for those of you who are here for the first time)?  I’m all about doing things right, you see.  I want to be able to run again, so I’m trying to do things by the book.  It’s a good thing because my physical therapist says I’m making great progress!

2.  What’s something you find perfectly ridiculous?

This hits home right now as I just spent a ridiculous amount of time looking at test data that really can’t be compared because of so many different factors.  I really wish that I could just do what I do best, which is build relationships with my students and instill a love for reading without the extra hurdles I have to navigate around (I was going to say “jump over,” but that would sound even more ridiculous and ironic given the state of my ankle these days).

Teaching.  It’s so freakishly hard.

3.  What’s a skill you’ve developed by way of that old fashioned saying, ‘practice makes perfect?

One of my students asked a pretty great question of me the other day.  He asked me how I got to be good at writing.

First, I wrote the name of my English teacher on the board.  If you attended my school, you’ll know exactly who I speak of.

Second, I told him that we weren’t given the opportunity to keep turning work in for revised grades.  Your teacher bled all over your paper with a red pen, you got the grade you got, and you started writing the next essay.

Practice made perfect.

4.  What’s your idea of a perfect breakfast?

Heavenly Hash (hash browns with sauteed veggies) hits the spot any time…from my favorite local all-night diner.  Yum!

5.  What’s a trip, holiday, vacation, or day outing you’ve taken that you’d rate a perfect 10? Tell us why.

The first thing that came to mind was my trip to watch Rooster graduate from basic training last May.  We flew to San Antonio and spent Thursday through Sunday basking in the glow that surrounded graduation ceremonies.  It was the most amazing experience ever and made me even more proud to be an American.

6.  What quote or saying perfectly sums up your life right now? If you can’t do perfect, how about one that comes close?

“Slow and steady wins the race” is a saying I repeat at least once a day, if not more.  I do everything so much more slowly since I broke my ankle, and I find myself even more appreciative of everything.  I am slowly plodding my way through this school year, eager to see the arrival of summer vacation.  I am slowly navigating my way through the physical therapy process…each new exercise marks progress.  I am slowly learning how to take care of my hubby’s special dietary needs as he prepares for the next step in his medical treatment (we’ll know more in a couple of weeks).  All I can do is take one careful step at a time and trust God to keep me steady.

7.  How would you spend $300 today?

I would buy three pairs of Vionic shoes.

I’m not kidding.

I am in love with these shoes, even if I can’t really wear them yet.  I bought my first pair last Saturday.  My physical therapist advised me to only wear them for short periods of time.  But…I would like to have more options for when my foot is ready.

8.  My Random Thought

On Monday, I took one of my classes to the library for a special get-together.

We met up with one of my school’s developmentally disabled classes, where my students read Dr. Seuss books to them.

It was one of the most amazing things I’ve done as a teacher.  My students were very tender with those precious kiddos.  They showed so much patience…even when one of the girls was in a bad mood and didn’t want to be read to.  She eventually warmed up.

I was shocked when I saw one young lady begin to read to my students.  She was such a fluent reader!  I pulled up a chair to listen to her.

Several of the kids wound up reading to my students, and let me tell you, they made an impression!

When we returned to my classroom, my kids talked about how shocked they were that the other kids could read…some better than them!

Then, they did me even prouder when they asked if they could read to the kids again.

Oh yes they did!

I signed up for another day.  We’ll go on Thursday.

My media specialist was in tears, y’all.

So was I.

It was an experience I’ll never forget.  I just love this class of mine.  They’ve been extra special all year.  Monday was more proof of that.

16 Weeks

Yesterday marked 4 whole months since I broke my ankle!

Can you believe it?

Sometimes I can; other times I can’t.

I do know that it was the first thing I thought of when I woke up Sunday morning.  The milestone meant that much to me.

I told a friend at church on Sunday that I am a completely different person from who I was four months ago.  Between my ankle and the Mr.’s health issues, I’ve changed.  So much.

My physical therapy is going well, as always.  I seriously love the place I go to.

Tuesday was tough (work-wise), let me tell you.  It was the day that I had to proctor the FSA writing test…two sessions of it.  This meant an entire day on my feet with not a lot of breaks.  I also proctored in the building furthest from my classroom (props to the Guidance administrator who wanted me to be able to use the latest technology).  Walking back and forth with tubs of material was just too hard.  I made a special request to proctor in my building when the kids take the FSA reading comprehension exam in April.  That was a day I wished I could have had PT so I could be hooked up to the TENS unit afterward.

On Wednesday, I got to add a new exercise…balancing one-legged on a Bosu ball.

That’s not me, and I don’t balance while holding onto a medicine ball.  I place it between two parallel bars and stand in the middle on my right ankle (the one I broke).  I had to stand for one minute.  I couldn’t balance the whole time.  It was soooo hard, and my hip got very sore.  Strength training is a big part of what I’m working on right now, in addition to flexibility and mobility.  Still, it felt good to move from the foam pad to the ball…progress!

Wednesday evening, the Man in the Brown Truck dropped off something I’d ordered the week before…

It’s a TENS/EMS unit…similar to what my therapists put on my leg after I finish each session, only smaller and portable.

Can I tell you how much I love this?  It has different settings, and they are just wonderful.  It was worth the $60 I paid.

I’m still not at the point where I can wear regular shoes for long periods of time.  I’m starting to get frustrated, though.  I want to wear my favorite dresses, so I finally caved and put together this ensemble on Thursday…

Yeah, it wasn’t my favorite, but I’m learning that some things don’t matter when you’re recovering from an ankle break.

On Friday, I decided (sparked by me noticing my shoulders…and decreasing muscle definition) to start the Body Beast program I had planned to begin the week I broke my ankle…

It’s almost all weight lifting.

I want to be buff!  Bikini season is right around the corner!

So, for Day 1, I did chest and triceps.

It felt wonderful to pull the weights out again.

It was hard, though.  I started with low weights because it had been awhile since I’d worked out.

I wore my new ear buds the Mr. bought me for Christmas.  Look at the calorie burn!

I felt so accomplished when I finished…a little more like my old self!

Saturday morning, I did Day 2 – Legs.

It was ugly, y’all.

I had a meltdown halfway through; some of the moves were not feasible for me.  I discovered that I couldn’t do lunges where I had to put my right leg back.  My ankle just wasn’t flexible enough yet.  When I told my physical therapists about it, they said I’m also not strong enough.

It was sooooo frustrating, but I watched the guy doing modifications and incorporated them into my routine.

Pushing through built my confidence.

The calorie burn was BIG too!

On Sunday, after church, I did Day 3…biceps and back.

I loved this video, even with my modifications.

After I worked out on Sunday, I spent almost seven hours in the kitchen preparing several dishes.  It was almost 8pm when I finally sat down.

Sixteen weeks out, I think I’m strong enough to do what I want.

I’m learning that I still have some serious limitations.

For instance, working out three days in a row was brutal on my ankle.  Not taking Sunday off to rest did a number on me, and I paid the price today (Monday).  Not only was my ankle swollen, but it hurt pretty badly on the outside where my plate is.

My physical therapist wouldn’t add a new exercise because I’d overdone it, so I’m relegated back to just upper body workouts.

There’s a fine line between working hard, as I promised my therapist I’d do during my first visit, to remembering that yes, I’m still recovering, and no, I cannot push myself so hard.

I think, too, that people see me walking and assume I’m better.

I’m not there yet and won’t be for a long time.  Although I’m on my feet, and I’m smiling (most times) on the outside, I’m still in pain.  It’s not always bad…especially in the mornings…but my ankle is shot around lunchtime, and it’s downhill from there.

I’m on my feet a lot more because the Mr. has been sick.  I am cooking tons, which means more time on my feet in the afternoons.  I don’t mind attitude-wise, but my ankle hates life.  Thankfully, the Mr. is very understanding and makes things as easy as he can.

I guess the message for this past week is that I continue to make progress, but it’s still slow.  My physical therapists are incredibly encouraging and tell me that I’m making great progress, but they gently remind me that it’s going to take a long time.

I still can’t walk down steps without holding onto something.  It doesn’t matter which leg I lead with; each presents its own problems…either lack of flexibility or lack of strength.

But I’m walking…a little faster than the week before.

My balance is getting better too.

And so I continue to plod through this journey…slowly…gratefully…aware of the blessings that I would have never received had this not happened to me.

God is so good.

God is so great.

He loves me; He provides for me; He’s healing me.

His timing is perfect, and I trust in that.

As always, I continue #findingjoyinthejourney…even if that journey takes me two years.  I’ll never stop being grateful.

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