Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Potpourri

Just a touching base post. Very good news is that today is the first day that I can say that my knee is better! The painful places that were sharp and harsh before are definitely more dull. Present, but more tolerable, and allowing my gait to feel smoother and more normal. Frequent resting between long treks up the hall at work help a lot. Bottom line, the light at the end of the tunnel is evident in the distance now. I don't know what the light will bring and I'm trying to keep my expectations low, but of course if I wrote the script the light would illuminate me jogging and walking back at my beloved Ridley Creek State Park eventually. Seems likely somewhere on down the road, but I know I have to keep an open mind and be willing to let the process take as long as it takes.

I scheduled my first Physical Therapy to begin next Tuesday, and I think that will really help. In reading about post arthroscopy progress, restrengthening the thigh and calf muscles is key to helping support the knee in the best way possible. Prior to stopping cardio for the knee a few months back, my thighs felt really tight and toned, and were the body part where I'd lost the most inches. It's amazing to feel how un-tight my left thigh feels now, which is surprising. When I read about "re-strengthening", I thought, "well, my thighs are my strongest part"; but apparently the accomodations my legs have made to this knee injury, esp. post op, have really caused me to go flabby! Long sigh =O.

With this awareness, I've started doing a lot of isometric exercise and quadricep setting with my left leg to get things moving a bit, and maybe that is part of why I'm noticing some improvement. I'm still treating it very gingerly, but intuitively I know that starting to use the muscles will help it along.

Per some of your suggestions yesterday, as well as my own procrastination finally showing a chink in its armor, I went online and got just about all the Christmas gifts I had left to get. Also took #2 son, Mark, out to Kohl's for some clothes and shoe shopping, which will comprise most of his gifts. So I'm feeling better about holiday preparations. A good friend who cleans houses did my downstairs Sunday (a luxury in which I rarely partake) and so I've thrown up the stockings and a few holiday chatchkas. Christmas will come whether I'm ready or not, so I'm trying to not stress over it. I'm not a Martha Stewart kind of gal (other than as a wannabe), and so lack of perfection in my surrounds is just fine. I have up the stuff the kids will expect to see, and I guess we'll get a tree this weekend. Truth be told, I'd be just as happy without one this year. It will just flare up my allergies and chronic sinus stuff, but my husband would rather prostrate himself over hot coals than not have a "real" tree. Another sigh.

On a sadder note, my friend with metastatic lung cancer, Lisa, is experiencing a sudden increase in pain where one of her tumors is putting pressure on her rib cage. She put it to me like this: "I think I've taken a turn for the worse." She sounded horrible yesterday, and stayed in bed or on the couch most of the day. Her husband spoke with the oncologist, who said Lisa needs to be taking maximum pain medication at this point (of course). She's been trying to use pain meds sparingly, and the doctor told her she needs to get over that, what with being a stage 4 cancer patient. It's not fear of addiction, but rather the blunting of awareness and not being fully present that she's wanting to avoid. I understand, but expect that the pain will start calling the shots.

Today she sounds better after having had a good night sleep, and has an old friend staying with her for a few days to help with kids and life stuff. I didn't ask, but I'm sure she's started on every 12 hour oxycontin for pain - otherwise she wouldn't have slept. It's gut wrenching to see this happening to a friend who's younger than I am (or to anyone for that matter). She alternates between sounding totally resigned to her impending death with sounding optimistic and hopeful that her designer chemo drug is going to work. Please shoot up a prayer for her and her family if you're so inclined. This gal is not ready (yet) to leave her rich, wonderful sober life that is full of children, family, friends and possibilities. But watching this unfold is demonstrating to me how people do eventually become more accepting and ready, especially when there is tremendous pain and suffering.

Sorry to end on such a tough note, but Lisa is on my mind almost continually. She's the person who said to me once, when I was complaining about someone doing something I thought was wrong, "Let her be your teacher today." I've gotten wisdom, acceptance, friendship and love from her like I've gotten from precious few in my life. Have any of you been through this with a close friend? It prompts me to remind all of us to cherish the people we love every single day, and let them know how we feel about them. And to let go of petty resentments and anger. Life really is too short.

12 comments:

  1. so sorry about your friend - hugs to you and her.

    and if your hubby is so dead set on the work required for a tree - LET HIM DO IT - the putting it up part and the taking it down part. amen.

    we have two trees up this year - with NO ornaments. they are strung with lights, bead (strings), lace, etc. and will be SUPER easy to put away. Actually I have already said - since they just look wintery and bright - let's leave them up until Jan/Feb. They are on timers - so are very pleasant - sort of like the fireplace. Allergies and asthma here - no real trees - but good quality artificial.

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  2. I am sorry to hear about your friend Lisa - that must be SO HARD to witness.

    I will be keeping you both in my thoughts and prayers Leslie.

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  3. Hugs and kisses for you and Lisa.

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  4. It's great to hear that your knee is doing better. I'm sorry about your friend and I'll keep her in my prayers.

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  5. DITTO, LESLIE. I JUST CALLED TO ASK ABOUT LISA. WROTE HER AN EMAIL LAST NIGHT. GREAT ABOUT YOUR KNEE. THIS IS COOL, CAUSE IF I CANT CALL YOU, I CAN READ YOU....CALL ME. JOOD

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  6. I am always inclined to pray for people with stage 4 cancer...she is on my prayer list. I will also pray that she and her family have a wonderful Christmas together.
    How could anyone not have that on their mind continually.
    God bless her and her family. I am glad your knee is starting to heal. I hope things get better soon.
    God bless.

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  7. Thanks for sharing about your friend Lisa. Sobering thoughts, but also we can learn as you said. I will say a prayer for her. And I am glad you are feeling some positive progress with your knee.

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  8. I am so sorry to hear about your friend. I am happy to hear that your knee is doing better though! I hope that you have a great week!

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  9. Hi Leslie. Very tough about your friend. She sounds full of wisdom and a great to support to you over the years. So difficult to see her suffering like this. I can't find anymore words for this right now.

    Hope your knee continues to improve.

    Bearfriend xx

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  10. Hi Leslie. Thank you so much for stopping by my blog. I am very sorry to hear about your knee. I am also extrememly sorry to hear about your friend. I hope you both continue on with as little pain as possible. I am keeping you both in my thoughts.

    Thanks again for stopping by. I am adding you to my favorites, so I will be by often. Have a great day!

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  11. I'm so sorry to hear about your friend. She is lucky to have so many people who love and care about her. Will send as much positivity as I can muster. I am sitting here with tears rolling down my face (I'm annoyingly emotional!) as it really puts things into perspective when someone who has so much to live for is at such a precarious time in their life. I hope she remains in as little pain as possible.

    So glad your knee is beginning to improve properly and you can begin to imagine a time when you can use it properly again. :o)

    Love Patsy xx

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