Sunday, December 21, 2014


Christmas is almost here! Are your plans all made, menus set ? .... gifts bought and wrapped?  Its become a crazy time of year and there are a lot of stresses on everyone. I have found that as you get older your feelings for Christmas undergo a change. Gifts are nice but not really necessary as we tend to buy what we need through out the year.   You may even start to scale back on the decorations.  Its a darker time of year and I find the sparkly lights are the best part for me.  With the Solstice today, the emphasis is on the return of the light!

Now that I have a grandson, and a grand daughter on the way, I can see where Christmas is truly all about the children.  For little Ethan this is a magical time of year as he learns the customs and experiences it all. For him, its real!  He also wants it all, and now..... (patience Grasshopper!)

So it comes down to what is really important.  Spending time with family and friends and if not in person, then make a call and hear their voice.  Face Time or Skype is another good option too.  (try not to have them looking up your nose and get the camera angle right!)

I had to get my cards done a fair bit early this year due to the operation. There were several letters needed for older family friends and relatives far away.  I sat and hand wrote them out as my attempt to keep something authentic about communication! No dispersions are being cast on the computer  generated family newsletter; its just not my style.

Our only festive plan this year is to go with a friend and see the third and sadly last instalment  of the Hobbit movie. That will be a big night out for me!  I already know their theatre seating is very low and soft so I will take my four wheel walker and my booster cushion and sit at the end of a row.   The movie is out now and I reckon another week and I can do it given my recovery and how I feel.

So how goes it here?  Well, Bruce has been doing a stellar job of keeping me fed and in clean clothes and taking me to medical appointments.  He's even starting to spend time in his hobby room again and work on his models.  I am moving better and feeling stronger with the two wheel walker and even taking a few steps (with a hand hold) on my own and I can see where using a cane alone is in my near future.  My dressing is off and things have healed well.  Its just all the internal healing and strengthening that must carry on in the coming months.  Its a slow process but there is measurable progress daily.   Its the slow part that had me bugged today.  You feel good enough to do more, but you can't ! (yet)

So I indulged in some retail therapy instead. I purchased a large ball winder with a tensioner (picture to come later) and I went bonkers shopping at Etsy! I shopped for the coming grand baby and grandson as you have to have something for him at the baby showers to come as well.  Ethan is now train crazy and so we are going to be feeding that fire very well!   My daughter in law wants a dragonfly theme for the new baby girl's room and Nana found some nice essentials with just that.

I also found yarn! I have a nice  cone of a luxury fibre coming.... to be revealed later!  Yes, my thoughts are returning to weaving even if the flesh is weak still!  And my willpower is too....

So from our family to yours, we wish you a Merry Christmas and a healthy Happy New Year! May your shuttles fly true and well.

January 8th, 2015 is this blog's  7th anniversary date and I will be having a  random draw of a kitchen towel based on comments left to this post. Draw will be made on January 7th  and the winner will be announced January 8th. I simply can't believe that I have been writing this blog for seven years. To those of you who have been here from the start, you have my grateful thanks!

pink and white only... spoon not included  :)

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Friday, December 12, 2014

On the Other Side

This is my view today...

And there's much to be grateful for... . quiet home,  own comfy bed,  having hubby and the dog near by and time to heal.

Roll the clock back a week....there was tension, sweaty palms and a lot of worry!

This was my first view of Victoria's Royal Jubilee Hospital at 6:30 am..... cold, dark and rainy.... and apparently, we might be early? The only other car next to us had a card that said 'ER Doctor".

So, once I was signed in, multi ID bracelets secured around my wrist and a feeling I just signed over my life, they wheeled me to the surgical floor. It was quite the hike and so I was glad of the chair ride.  The surgical wait room was very quiet as yet. There were two other equally nervous looking people looking like they were working getting their game face on!

After a barrage of questions on everything you could possibly think of,  I said my good bye's to Bruce and they get you gowned up and move you to a surgical bed.  I had a visit from the Orthopaedic surgeon,  Dr Duncan  Jacks who came through the door rubbing his hands together excitedly " I've got a great team in the OR today.... this is going to go great!" We confirmed the part to be replaced and he initialed my upper right thigh.  I met my anesthesiologist ( sadly, I forget his name but he was very nice) and discussed my previous allergic reactions post surgery.

Then this nurse came to see me. Her name is Carrie and I have a daughter Carrie. I asked what her second name is and she replied "Lynn".... and my daughter's second name is Lynn too!  Carrie was a lot of fun to talk with and she said she was the warm-up crew. She wasn't kidding! She lay a flat plastic sheet over all of me and then hooked it to a blower that looked like a shop vac and it inflated like a pool raft with pockets of air.  Apparently things are kept very cool (to downright cold) in the OR and they pre-warm you. I asked why so cold and she told me of the multiple layers of scrubs, gowns and plastic like aprons (yuck), face guards, masks and gloves. They simply get too hot to work comfortably.  Well, I want them in good shape and I won't care if I'm cold!

There's no more hospital pictures from here on for the squeamish of you out there (including me)  But if you are made of sterner stuff, googling "hip replacement surgery" will yield all sorts of video clips. I've read up on the techniques but fell short of watching the actual videos.

The OR was very large, very cold and very full....  with gowned people, tools of the trade and equipment. I don't think I ever registered just how many people it takes in the operating room to fix you up.  There was a formal identification of who I was and what was being done and then one by one they all acknowledged hearing.  This is good thing at any time but in particular with me as I had switched from a knee to a hip.  I breathed into a mask and took three breaths...... { I guess it didn't matter really as I needed both done! }

I awoke in a bed with a nurse saying it was all over and that the surgery had gone very well.  I woke up yet again with the bed being pushed through a hallway as they took me to the semi private room.  There was no scooting over... or pulled over as in the past. The bed I was on was the one for my room. I later found it was valued at $25,000.00 and it did everything! There was a switch to control the lights, the television if you signed up for one and the blinds on the window!

Six hours after the surgery started at 10 am, I was helped up and used a commode chair beside the bed at 4 pm.  My surgeon was impressed!  I told him the lack of a catheter more or less made it necessary....     That evening I made some phone calls and felt just fine.  I even slept okay that night.

The next two to three days.... not so much! Little sleep, dizziness, nausea and vomiting and  a bad, bad head ache. It was happening all over again just like my last hip replacement thirteen years earlier!
After two days of this, I took a deep breath and then refused the Dilaudid.   Six hours later, head ache is easing off and tummy is feeling better.  Opiate intolerance again!  Some phone calls to and fro and I was given another class of pain meds and after crossing fingers and toes, tolerated a low dose of another.  [There are three classes of narcotic pain medicines for them to choose from]   I fell behind on  progress and physio but I managed to start doing more as I felt more my own self again.

I came home this past Tuesday and that was the major event for the day. Getting dressed,  getting into a car, driving the hour home and getting into the house was more than enough for me.  I came in and settled onto a hospital style bed and took a nap straight away!  Two or three hours later, I very, very slowly went up the fourteen stairs to the main floor.   Each of the last three days feels just like the other but I tell that I'm moving better, not getting so tired and best of all.... thinking more clearly!  All the stress and strain, pain and such had me feeling muddled and off my game and I'm happy to be more myself again.

Some lovely flowers from my brother and father.

Physio starts Monday and apart from that we are home for the holidays!
I hope you are all busy weaving away and nearly ready for Christmas....   we're all snuggled in and as done as we will be for now!