Happy 2008!

What a year 2007 has been... A year ago I was feeling pretty miserable... about a lot of things. Of course I feel like my knee issues were at the root of that... but still... I was not a happy person... and I was in pain. This New Years... well... I am happy to look forward to a new year... I feel like there are going to be a lot of good things in 2008... I have spent a lot of time thinking the last few days about it all... though you wouldn't know it from the lack of blogging. (Which I apologize for...my mom said I am going to lose my audience...)

PLus I have been busy... I had my first meet on Saturday... and I am glad it is out of the way.. the kids did ok.. but I was disappointed in their performances.. I know they can do better, but.. it is a starting point. Hopefully nerves got to them and that won't happen again. Also, a friend of mine from CA is visiting and I haven't wanted to be online...for fear of being a rude hostess. Unfortunately he has been a bit under the weather and is resting right now so that he can be a good sport and still go out tonight. I am going out with some friends, there will be 6 or 7 of us. Sara and Phil invited us up to their house to party with them and Matt and Melissa to play board games AND Guitar Hero... which by the way... I should nEVER buy because I would become addicted... and quickly! I played it at my sister's house and there is no way I would be good at sharing that game... though I would quickly become a rock star...if even in my own mind.

OOOOOOOOOOOOOHhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh yeah.. I almost forgot to tell you all...
It's a GIRL. Sheldon went to the vet last week to find out what all the howling was about... and well... HE.. is not a he... he is a SHE... and has come into heat... (will be having surgery on Thursday!) So... I need to come up with a new name... for this cat.. who is so affectionate...Today I watched the movie Little Misss Sunshine and LOVE the spirit of the little girl in that movie... her name is Olive... so I am thinking about that name... it is a bit odd... but so are the circunstances surrounding this cat. THe vet suggested calling her Shelly because it is close to Sheldon.. BUT.. I have a bad association with the name Shelly. I am not sure how I will ever name a child.. if I ever have one... maybe from being a teacher I have known so may kids with so many names.. and have associations with many names... some good associations.. some not so good. Oh well.

I will continue blogging my friends... and I know I have said it before, but I truly truly truly appreciate the support I have gotten from you all over the last year. I promise to read my emails soon...(haven't read them for about two weeks...) and I will write back.

HAPPY NEW YEAR! I wish you all a healthy and happy 2008! And for my fellow PVNS patients... sufferers... don't give up your hope... I know this time of year can be hard on its own... and coupled with physical pain... well... it can seem unbearable... but you can make it through! Reach out to people.. and you will get support!


I'm Baaaaack!

Aren't you excited? I had a good Christmas. It was nice to be with my parents, my sister, her hubby, and her sons.... the boys were SOOOOO incredibly excited about Santa... especially when they actually heard Santa's bells AND caught a glimpse of Rudolph's nose out of their skylights.... I saw them and heard them too... so... there's the proof... Santa DOES exist!

My knee was a little stiff most of the trip... especially yesterday and today...(we drve back last night and it took longer than usual because of traffic. But I am ok. I had planned on making it to the gym today... didn't happen. I went to practice this morning and am tired. very tired. I haven't gotten much sleep over the last few nights... but hoping to go to bed early tonight and get a little caught up on sleep.

Plus... one of my cats... Sheldon... has to go to the vet tomorrow... he... may be a SHE.... he has been acting like a female cat in heat.... though the shelter where I adopted him from claimed he had been fixed....that shelter promised me that they would pay for any health stuff with him because he has some physical disabilities and I was reluctant to bring him home knowing there may be additional costs... but they wanted him to have a home so badly that they said they would take care of his medical bills... not the routine stuff... but if things out of the ordinary came up... I would say this qualifies as out of the ordinary.

So... if Sheldon is a she..... there may be a name change in his/her future.... What do you think about Ru-paul?

I will write more soon, I promis, but tonight I am heading to bed early... and hopefully Rupaul will stop the crying!!! (Last night it wasn't too bad... but that's because I had him in a cat carrier in my room...)



I went to a hibachi restaurant with friends tonight. I love those kinds of places... entertaining and delicious. (This was a sushi place too, but also hibachi.) There were 5 of us in our party and it was a good time. I was the only one in the crew who was comfortable with chopsticks... however I challenged my friends to use only chop sticks....as that is how I learned... on a date, the man I was with challenged me to use chopsticks. And... they all did it! They all used them- granted it was a little quiet with all the concentration, but it was fun. Our chef was a fun guy... he did the thing where he tried to flick rice up in the air and have someone catch it with their mouth... none of my other friends volunteered....so I did. I didn't catch it... but after I made a fool of myself, a couple of the other girls tried it too... none of us managed to catch the rice. I had been to this restaurant a couple years ago with Sara, Phil, and someone we shall call Mr. X. Sara and I had a few drinks and Sara was trying to convince me and Mr. X to try sushi. She tried...several times... and I tried it... I did not like it...the fish part... but I tried it. From that night, and Sara's strong encouragement to try sushi... is why my fish is named Sushi. (Sara gave me the fish...so I thought it was appropriate.) Anyway... tonight I ordered some sushi... Avo-kyu... and it was delicious. It contained no fish! it was avacado and cucumber wrapped in seaweed and rice. It was very very good. I ordered it as an appetizer and also wanted to share some sushi with friends who may not have tried it before. So tonight I was the sushi pusher and some people did like it. Yay! We had fun. (The pic is not from our adventure... but from the internet!)

Last night I was with Sara, Phil, Matt, Melissa, and Tobias. It was also fun. We had thai food for dinner and had a little mini Christmas celebration. gave Tobias a new hat that I had knit. The first one I had made for him was too small, but this one was perfect! He ran around with it on, laughing, so I think he liked it. I had planned on spending the night at their house, but around 9 last night I was thinking I wanted to sleep in my own bed.... is that a sign of getting older? I was talking to Meg just now, and she said that she prefers to be home...and attributes it to getting older... maybe that is true... or maybe I am just more a creature of habit than I like to admit. But I was glad to be home this morning because my friend Sue called to ask if I was going to the gym... and so we met up at the gym and I was glad we did. We are planning on going tomorrow morning too, as a Christmas present to ourselves. My knee felt good today, the best it has felt in a couple weeks... maybe from not shovelling in a couple of days.

I am not sure how much blogging I will do over the next few days...as I will be with my family, celebrating Christmas. I wil take some pics and will post them when I get a chance, but if you don't hear from me, know that I am wishing you all a Merry Christmas AND a happy HEALTHY new year!


Snow..... I blame Jill

Ok folks... It is only Dec. 20...not even winter yet...officially... and we got ANOTHER storm. Another SIGNIFICANT amount of snowfall... and I am blaming Jill. (Jill is my friend from high school who currently lives in California who said she is a little envious of us having a white Christmas....Take it back Jill, take it back!)

I had another snow day today... so that is two so far...and that means a shorter summer because we Will have to make up these storm days. Oh well. I had planned on getting some wrapping done, however, instead I spent the day going out and shovelling...coming in...melting...then going back out and doing more shovelling. I had to do it because I need to make sure I could get out of my driveway because I had an eye appointment. I wanted the appt. because I thought my vision had worsened and wanted a new glasses prescription. No such luck... though it isn't that bad.. my eyes have changed so slightly that there is not a change in the prescription... so.. I expressed my frustration because I am not happy with how I am seeing...granted ALL of my eye doctors have always said I am VERY picky about how I see...so to most people this change would go unnoticed... so in order to try to make me happy, we are trying a couple of different brands of contacts to see if they make a difference. I do have contacts that I have worn infrequently because historically I have seen better with my glasses...however I am willing to try the new contacts.

Anyway... when I left for my appointment nothing had been done to the driveway except for my minimal efforts. I made sure the small bank at the end of the driveway wasn't solid...by using a shovel to loosen it up... then... I drove out..through the pile of snow... and went to my appt. I was happy when I got home because people were here plowing! Yahoo.... THe problem with plowing is that it keeps the driveway more narrow, but I am hoping that the neighbor will do some touchups to the edges to keep it wide... but where can we put the snow? Good question.. the way that my driveway is...there is little room for snow storage...the snowbanks are already significant. Here are some pictures to give you an idea of what it looks like around here.

I am not sure about my plans for going to the gym tomorrow... I would like to go, but am not sure I should...because I have felt stiff from all the shovelling... so I may wait until Saturday... but maybe if I wake up early tomorrow I will try to go before work. Tomorrow night I am having a family dinner... with my family to whom I am not related by blood...My friends Sara, Phil, Matt, Melissa, and Tobias.... so it should be fun. (Which may mean no blog tomorrow, Mom!)

Gotta go so I can do some wrapping......since I am done with the shovel for today!


snow.... MORE snow....

Yup... it is snowing again. I had dinner with a friend tonight and then did some shopping... and the roads were pretty bad on my way home... greasy. We have had so much snow this year...compared to the past couple of years. I am not thrilled by it....though I do like a white Christmas....but would prefer tulips blooming by January 3rd. I tried backing into my driveway tonight... and it didn't work... the incline in the driveway doesn't always agree with the rear wheel drive of my truck... so I ended up driving in... then did some shoveling... and tried again... and did get it backed in. I prefer to have it backed in when there is a storm.

I bought some wrapping paper today too, so in the case of a snow day tomorrow, I can be productive.... though I realized when I got home... I may not have any scotch tape. Oh well...

My knee is stiff tonight. I had not planned to go to the gym tonight... and didn't... but not sure I would have made it had that been my plan.

Wow... boring blog.... not even any pics to spice it up... I need to have some new adventures so I can share them with you all...


Got church?

I went to the gym tonight after coaching. That's 2 nights in a row... yay me! I did not do much either night because my knee was a little stiff after the weekend.... I think walking around a lot Saturday after the gym was a bit much... but you live and you learn, right? I did increase the resistance on the bike.. so that is a step in the right direction. I have not yet returned to the elliptical because I think it caused my other knee to be sore because I probably favored my left knee...but I will work it into the routine soon enough. I was sooooooooooo tired last night and am again tonight. But I have been sleeping well, so that's good.

As I was leaving the gym tonight a car was pulling in and the windows went down and I heard a friendly voice. It was the distinct voice of the father of some kids I have coached. This family is wonderful... they moved to the US from Africa... This family consists of 6 children, 5 boys and 1 girl. This man asked me how I was doing and where I had been... as he had not seen me in a while. After exchanging pleasantries and shaking hands he asked me something.... "When are you going to come to our church?"

I am not sure what church he attends...what denomination...and... if I want to go... so my response... "I don't know where your church is!" (Smile... start to walk away...) He told me where it was and said, I will send a pamphlet to school with one of the boys! Soooo... we'll see if that happens... and if it does... will I go? should I go?

Religion is not necessarily my cup of tea... however, I do believe in God...very strongly. Beyond that... I don't have it all figured out. I have never read the bible... don't plan on reading the bible... I pray... not on my knees...and often not out loud. There are times I have sought a church in which I felt like I belonged... as a kid I remember going to a Baptist church...then later went to the congregational church with my grandmother... my most vivid memories of going to church? People gossipping about other people....what they were wearing as they came into church... who they were sitting with...and whatever else popped into their heads and did not go through a filter. Not exactly what I thought church should be...

As an adult I have gone to a couple of local churches...and while the people made me feel welcomed... it didn't "fit." My parents have become very involved in their church recently... my mom has always had, I believe, a strong faith and belief in God. I don't think her beliefs has changed as of late, but her expression has... she talks more openly about her beliefs and enjoys talking about it. I think that the church has given my parents a better sense of community... and it is good for them. Will I go to the church to which I was invited by that gentleman tonight? Who knows...

As Christmas approaches... perhaps the most religious holiday of all... I find myself without a church.... but with a lot of faith.... which I suppose is better than with a church and without faith...

Oh yeah... my Christmas travel plans have been finalized... I am heading out to my sister's house... with my parents... It will be nice.


It feels like Christmas

Craig and I went shopping last night. We left my house at about 11:30p.m. and arrived at our destination - Freeport - LLBean at about midnight. (I had been there earlier in the day with another friend, it wasn't about what we were doing, it was about spending some time with my friends.)

The parking at midnight was much better than the parking during the day even though we were not the only late night..err... early morning shoppers. LLBean is a Maine landmark. They have been very busy decorating. The huge tree was beautiful. The colors of the lights changed and hanging from the tree were things like fish, LLBean boots, and fishing creels. It was beautiful.

One of the trademark's of the factory store at LLBean's is the indoor trout pond. There are live trout that swim around in a pond and it has been that way as long as I can remember. LLBean has recently added on to the main building...and they have a couple of separate buildings in the area too. In their addition they have added another fish display, a large aquarium.

The aquarium includes a bubble in which you can go inside the world of the fish. This is my friend, Craig. I know it is hard to see him because of the reflection, but it's kind of cool. I am sure the display is designed for kids, but we thought it was pretty cool. We did some shopping and then walked around outside to look at the lights more closely. They really were beautiful.

This is an ice sculpture of a squirrel. There were other ice sculptures too, and all were contained in these little log cabins with a big window in the front. Some of the windows were covered with frost, so conditions were not conducive to taking pictures, but there was an ice bear riding an ice snowmobile.

We had a great time... I got home around 2 a.m. - the latest I have been up in a LONG time. I really felt the Christmas spirit... more because of feeling relaxed and enjoyed the lights. My knee was hurting by the end of our adventure. Climbing up and down the stairs all day at Beans was a little much... plus the gym in the morning, but... it feels great to know how much I was able to do in a day.

Today I am getting snowed in. It is coming down pretty hard out there. It is a fine snow, not the huge fluffy flakes that are my favorite. I will go out later and do a bit of shovelling. My neighbor is responsible for snow blowing...but...well.. we'll see.


Midnight Shopping?

I went to the gym this morning... did about 4.5 miles on the bike and then walked a mile. IT felt good. Then I went shopping with a friend/coworker and walked around a lot. Tonight I am going shopping again... not leaving my house until 11:00 p.m.... to go to some stores that are open 24 hours a day. I may or may not take some pictures... My knee is a little stiff tonight, so either walking around tonight will loosen it up and help...or make it worse... I am hoping for the first of course.

Anyway... I am having a hard time with Christmas shopping... not so much because of what I want to do for whom...but because I am not sure where I will be for Christmas... and that determines what I do for people.... If I go to see my nephews I would buy things that I could take with me, but if I am not with them I will send them a package with other things in them... but I am formulating a plan for what I could do in either scenario. So it will work out.

We are supposed to get hit with a big snowstorm tomorrow. I am sure it will be pretty...and may insure a white Christmas!


Spicing things up...

Ahhh... it's midweek already. Sorry I haven't blogged much this week...
Mom let me know that my lack of blogging has made her online surfing a little boring, so I figured I would blog tonight to spice things up... also... I had Thai food for dinner, so spicing it up seems appropriate. I am still trying to get into my routine with coaching... which has included not sleeping well at night...being a little stiff from standing at practice and lengthening my day...so blogging has not been a priority... sorry! Things are going well though.

My knee is feeling good... though we have had some messy weather that has made me very nervous. The last thing I want to do is slip and fall on my BFA...(BFA is a term created by my friend Meg...to refer to an ample hind end...big...fat...well you figure it out.) I am not sure if I fear the falling more or the having to get up part.

I am still excited about my victory over the elliptical machine... however I did pay for it... but not in my left knee. My right knee bothered me for a few days after... so while I have been so focused on the left knee, I have forgotten that my right knee has been working pretty hard for a long time... and putting more activity on my right knee has to be done smartly too. So While I know I can beat the elliptical... I am not yet going to incorporate it into my regular routine. I will get it in again soon, but one thing at a time. I have not done great at going to the gym...partly because of the not sleeping well and partly because of the coaching...and partly because I have been LAZY... so I need to kick myself in the BFA and get myself going! Coaching is GREAT... there is a kid that just signed up... a kid that I worked with about 4 years ago when he did track as an 8th grader... and he was a sweet sweet kid... he has changed sooo much! I did not recognize him and had to ask another kid who he was. He was one of those kids who...in 8th grade....had...well grown up. I never knew the details of his life, and I am ok with that. But I think he is a person who has taken life pretty seriously. He was one of those kids when he laughed... a strong laugh... it made me happy... because he was enjoying something... not stressing out about something. He is excited to be back...and I hope to regain the trust I think he had with me in middle school... and also hope to hear that laugh...

Track is such a cool sport... to coach... and to participate in... a lot of people assume that I would coach basketball...which maybe someday I will... but track... it's a different kind of kid that does track... who sticks with track. There are cliques within any team...and there are some with track...but... they are less in track... track is a team sport, but is also very very much an independent sport... athletes try to beat their own times or distances... and there is comradery between kids on the team...between events...and between kids from other schools. There are rivals in track...during the events... but in between throws or between heats/events kids from opposing teams encourage each other and mean it.

It's pretty nice to have a group of kids that I have been coaching since they started track in 7th grade. Not just to know the kids, but to know their parents. Not all of the parents have always agreed with my persoectives on things and there have been some ... clashes... but I think for the most part he amount of respect is pretty high. Kids are very different between 7th grade and seniors... There are some parents with whim I have had a great rapport every year and it's great to see them each season.

There is a meet this weekend... kind of a pre-season thing... teams can go to participate in specific events... and only a few kids from the team compete. (because we haven't had enough practice for all the kids to be at a level to compete.) We have 4 boys going and 8 girls. I can go or not... so I will have to decide if I go.... we'll see.

Anyway... I hope you are all having a great week... stay warm... the temps are supposed to drop.... at least around here!


Happy Birthday Dad!

Today is my Dad's birthday... I called him this morning to wish him a happy day and he sounded pretty good... didn't sound like an old man... ha ha ha...

My day... was spent being lazy... lazy... lazy. I did nothing... knitted a little... watched Christmas shows on tv....enjoyed my cats and the tree... How's that for a day? Not very productive, but a good day.


The Ocean...

Two blogs in one day???!!! Yep... This is me at the beach today. After beating the elliptical machine I wanted to get outside and enjoy this gorgeous day. It was amazing... to be on the beach and not be freezing today. Not long after I left the beach it got cloudy and precipitated a little... but while I was there it was AMAZING.

Great day... exercise... walking the beach.... ahhhhhh.... I love Maine... love living in a place that I can get to the ocean in a reasonable amount of time. Life really is good... I made sure to take time to celebrate it today... just by doing something just for me... the fresh air and sunshine was something I really needed!



Oh Yeah!!! I did it! I kicked the elliptical machine's butt! Oh yeah... oh yeah!!! I did FIVE minutes.... FIVE WHOLE MINUTES... without the machine thinking I was pausing at all!!! ZERO pauses!!! ya ya ya ya yay ya ya yaaaaaa!

I am VERY excited. Granted... 5 minutes is not a lot compared to what I used to do....BUT... it is a new beginning, and that is the most I have done on that machine in a LONNNNGGGGG time! I am relieved too, because there was that possibility that I may not be able to get back to the elliptical, that maybe after surgery that machine and I would not be a match.... but... I can tell we are going to be spending time together. YAY! I am sooooooo lucky to be able to do that. So lucky...

My friend Sue was at the gym today to cheer me on... she clapped and everything! I think other people may have wondered why there was clapping... but...there was a good reason. Thanks Sue for going with me!


Tomorrow... the elliptical will be mine.....

(Insert evil laugh here...) Yep.. that's right. Tomorrow is the day that the elliptical machine and I have our showdown. I WILL win... 5 minutes... with it only thinking I pause twice... (Even though I won't pause even once!)

I went to the gym today, but didn't do much in anticipation of tomorrow. I did not go to the gym as much as I had intended this week... but I was really tired after starting to coach, really made me worn out this week... so I consider that an increase in my activity level.

Tonight was a lot of fun. My friend Sue and I went to the gym together, then went to this cool Thai place, went to an art museum, then went to a little bar to have a drink and listen to some jazz... it was fun. Howeve,r we were noth pretty tired by 8:45 ish... and decided to call it a night... She is going to meet me at the gym tomorrow to cheer me on as I BEAT the elliptical machine's behind... by the way... I stared the elliptical down today as I waked on the treadmill... it was scared... I could tell!

Jill, thanks for the comment about the yarn guy... at first I wondered if he was hitting on me... but I don't think so.... and even if he was... he mentioned something about his daughter being a teacher... so that means he is too old for me....you know... cuz i am soooo young.

I will let you know how the showdown goes tomorrow. (Though we all know the outcome... Kim 1... elliptical 0!!!)

Insert showdown western whistle sound/music here...


"You don't look like the knitting type..."

That's what a man said to me tonight when I was buying some yarn. Is that a compliment or an insult? When I think of someone who knits I think of an older lady in a rocking chair, her lap covered by a quilt, with white hair and glasses. I am glad I don't look like that kind of knitter.... yet anyway... I also think of someone who knits as someone who has people to knit for... family... kids... making something with love to keep someone warm... maybe that is the kind of knitter I want to be thought of as being...

Anyway.... I was so tired last night... I had our first track practice after a long day of teaching and a morning workout. I went to bed last night, my knee feeling stiff, and worrying that I was going to wake up and barely able to walk. So I made a conscious decision to not get up to go to the gym this morning. Surprisingly I woke up and didn't feel overly stiff... so, that's good. I made it through the day and coached again tonight, and feel much more energetic than last night. Coaching was awesome tonight. I have a group of kids who are very coachable... some of the kids are new to the sport and do not know what to expect. We did a lot of conditioning drills and the kids were into it. It's going to be a great season... I may not have as many star throwers as I had last year, BUT... their attitudes are awesome and they are young... so... it is a building year... but I may have a couple of kids who surprise the heck out of people! Fun.

The news about my knee is still settling in... and more and more I am believing that PVNS may be in my past. Though I found myself hesitating to say so yesterday, when a parent of one of my track kids asked something about my knee...remembering I had surgery (the biopsy/arthroscopy) last March... I told him I had gone through a major surgery this summer and said that I "have" a rare condition.... I started to say had when I was talking to him... and couldn't... even though I know that once the lining of my knee was removed, technically I no longer had PVNS... I still have felt like I have it... so...my brain is starting to wrap itself around this... and... I catch myself doing things... being happy... or silly... in ways I haven't been for a while.... I have been worried about how to return to my life... how I would re-enter myself... if that makes sense... and I guess it will just happen...naturally... the tentativeness to engage in physical activities is lessening... and I think that my confidence is resurfacing... I don't think it has been gone...my confidence...but I do think that I felt so bad with my knee stuff, that I felt bad in a lot of ways.

Life is looking good....I gotta go for now... gotta put some of that yarn to use.


I'm beat...

I worked out this morning... Got to the gym around 5:40... I did 10 minutes on the bike (2 miles) then walked a mile on the treadmill! I felt great throughout the day. Tonight I had my first track practice of the season and it was fun... but my knee is not used to being up on it for two straight hours... and I think I am going to be sore from it. I may or may not go to the gym in the morning... depending on how it feels. We'll see. I am tired though... and am going to call it a night.


Let is Snow...

The storm that was predicted arrived today... and I got a day off out of it. Yippee! I was going to go to the gym this morning, but got the call early that there was no school, so I decided to stay in bed and go tomorrow morning instead. So I slept in. Throughout the day I got some more Christmas decorations up, including my tree ornaments. I also made some chicken salad. I ate well all day and feel good about that, but I was hungry a lot... but I made good choices. I also knit myself a hat today... I went outside to clean off my truck so that I would be ready for work tomorrow and realized I do not know where my hat is... I only had one winter hat...I don't look good in hats, but the one I had was made for me by a former student and I actually liked it. So...since I couldn't find that hat.. I decided to make one for myself... so I knitted myself a hat. It isn't one that I will necesarily wear in public, but it will serve its purpose when I go outside to shovel when it snows.

My knee made me very nervous today... as I was descending my stairs outside I was nervous about slipping and falling... but I did ok. I was glad I had gotten some sand yesterday...not sure it will help, but it made me feel less likely to fall. I will try to take some pictures of the snow, because I did not think to do that today. It definitely feels like winter...and is beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

The tree smells GREAT!!!


'Tis the Season

Today was a busy day, a productive day. We are supposed to get walloped with snow tonight into tomorrow. So, I wanted to get some things done... I took my recycling to the recycling place, got some sand to have on hand this winter for my walkway and driveway, cleaned the refrigerator, grocery shopped, did laundry, bought a tree, brought up all my decorations from the basement... put the tree up... put lights on it... and cooked dinner and am finally relaxing. Needless to say, I did not get to the gym today, but I think I did enough to compensate. I am planning on packing my things to go to the gym tomorrow morning, however, if school is cancelled I am planning on going back to bed and going to the gym after they get the roads cleared.

The picture above is the start of my Christmas decorating. It came out kind of fuzzy and I like it like that... I remember as a kid squinting my eyes as I looked at the lights and it looked pretty.

My knee is a little tired today...but I feel good. I feel good...

The showdown is next weekend.... Saturday. Remember? With the elliptical, 5 minutes... with it only pausing twice... hopefully less, but... I gotta give myself a little leeway... This is a big week, coaching starts and I am excited. I will keep you all posted... my fitness goal this week is to go to the gym Monday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings...

On another note... the scarf I made for Tobes was great... the hat was too small... so I am trying to figure out how to make it bigger or I might start over. I gave Sara and Melissa each a scarf and they were pleased with them... so that's good.

That's all for now....


a MILEstone

I went to the gym today... and walked a MILE on the treadmill... a MILE... one mile... an entire mile...without stopping... AND I did it at a speed of 2.2 miles per hour... my fastest speed yet. I had set this goal for myself for the weekend, that I would walk a mile at the gym. and I did it... in order to be careful and not verdue, I did not do my usual bike routine before the treadmill...but I did do 5 minutes on the bike after walking as a cool down...and so far I feel good. Plus today I went up to Sara and Phil's...with Matt, Melissa, and Tobes... and we got a Christmas tree... which involved walking on uneven ground up and down which did not seem to bother me either. I am stil at their house.. we enjoyed some holiday cheer...and I am crashing on their couch... what great friends I have... I gave Sara and Melissa their scarfs that I had knit for them... and brougt te hat and scarf to Tobes... the hat was too small, but I think I can make it bigger if I put my mind to it.

Yesterday's news is still setting in... and I think psychologicaly I feel like my body is stronger...just having the knowledge that PVNS is ... well...most likely gone.... [yes I have to add the most likely part]... makes me feel like I can take more risks... that someting I do isn't going to cause the PVNS to return... I walked less tentatively today... I noticed that as I was leaving the gym... or maybe it is because I am feeling more confident... just knowing I am doing things to take care of myself. I feel good. I did go to the other branch of my gym today... and it was set up differently than the one I usually go to...and it was a little overwhelming, but good... it was very busy and it felt good to be a part of that... there were a lot of very fit people working out.. and I was motivted by that. I thought less about my scars than I have in a while when my legs have been bare at the gym... it feels like things are coming together for me in a lot of ways... I feel fortunate. Soooooooooo fortunate.


Tulips in November

I am very excited! I got really good news today... REALLY good news. I had my appointment in Boston and spent more time with one of my doctor's ..well... assistant doctor...I guess. The assistant guy... (not Dr. McDreamy by the way)... did an assessment and examination...then I got to see my doctor... my PVNS guru...there is no fluid on my knee... My ligaments are in good shape.. no signs of arthritis... still a small amount of weakness in my quad, but overall... a healthy knee... a HEALTHY knee... a HEALTHY KNEE!!! Hard for me to believe...not that I am being pessimistic, but it really is hard for me to believe that it is healthy.... and here's the even better news... my doctor thinks PVNS is gone... G - O - N - E.. gone... I asked him if it was going to come back if he would already be able to tell... and he said that I would already be exhibiting symptoms... like swelling, significant pain, and would not have made the gains I have made. So... I was fully expecting to set up another appointment with him to have an MRI in either January or February... but he said that he doesn't think he needs to see me until July of '08... one year after surgery!!! He said I could have an MRI at that time or I could have one done locally in Jan. or Feb. and could send the results to him for him to read... and he said he would then call me to tell me that the MRI was clear of PVNS... which is what he anticipates... WOW... I was a little taken aback and didn't get to ask all of my questions... but feel like I got what I needed to know and may email him as a follow up just to get my answers... and again... to have in writing... that he really thinks PVNS is gone... I do trust him... he has years of experience with PVNS... he said today... with his 20 years of experience with it... he is confident that I will be fine. FINE... F - I -N - E Fine!

This is a bit overwhelming and is sinking in slowly... more as I write... my head is telling me to not accept this good news so easily.... But the rest of me.. my heart and soul WANTS to accept it.. NEEDS to accept it... to be able to not have to think about it...wow... I know that PVNS is tricky... and I don't for one second doubt its power and ability to command my life again... and knowing the way I work, my brain works... I will never 100% believe that it is never going to come back... never just is too risky of a word to use...... too risky. but... maybe when I work out and have a twinge of pain... I will attribute it to my workout...not PVNS.... when I wake up in the morning and feel stiff... maybe I will say it's because I am getting old, or the weather is bad...NOT that PVNS is back... wow...

I have only shared this news with my parents, sister, emailed one of my aunts, and talked to a few of my friends...when I was still at the hospital after my appointment I was able to talk to my parents and sister pretty easily and on the way home when talking to a couple of friends, it was easy to say... tonight after I had been home and started to relax a little...another friend called... my gym buddy... and asked how things went... her reaction... she got so excited for me... and it is starting to hit me... and I cried on the phone with her... from relief... is this really happening? Yes...It's almost like I felt when I was diagnosed with PVNS...well not exactly... but when I got my diagnosis it validated how I had been feeling and gave me a reason for feeling so much pain... and I was relieved that they knew what was wrong... and would be treated... Now... I am on the other side of that... I HAVE been treated... treated and maybe cured... it was really hard to type that word...because I don't want to curse myself...

My journey is not over. I still have a ways to go before I feel like I am back to myself... fully... but this means so much to me. I can get HEALTHY again... be ACTIVE again...how lucky am I??? What a whirlwind... phew...... A new beginning... like Spring..... so I am adding a picture of tulips... probably my favorite flowers... because they mean spring has arrived.... my spring.... in November!



Road Trip

Tomorrow... tomorrow... tomorrow... Beantown or Bust!

I made it to the gym this morning... and set some new personal records.. (since surgery at least!) I did 17 minutes on the bike.....4 miles... then did 22 minutes on the treadmill at the very fast pace of 2.0 mph... and that was about0.7 miles... before today I was doing 3.5 miles on the bike and 0.5 miles on the treadmill... so it is a little progress... I did not do any of the stepping up exercises this morning... mostly because I had to be at school early to print out some paperwork for an early meeting. I do have to say that throughout the day.. knowing my workout is already accomplished... feels pretty darn good. I am going to go to the gym Saturday morning... but I am trying another branch of my gym... now that I have that special membership I can do that... so we'll see how that goes. I think it will be nice to be someplace new. Plus.. new people to scare with my scars.... be afraid.. be very afraid!!!

So folks.. I will let you know how my appointment goes tomorrow... keep me in your thoughts and cross your fingers that all is ok... for now!



Too much... or not enough...

My knee is sore today. It gave out on me once and I almost went down in a heap... that was the worst it has gone out on me... so I wonder... did I do too much at the gym yesterday, or not enough... did I do too much of the step climbing sets and not enough of the bike or treadmill? I don't know... not sure how to know... should I go to the gym in the morning? Or will that be too much? I want to go... think I should go... have been trying to get into a healthy routine and so far so good....but not going tomorrow will disrupt that... and I want to go... so I think I will go... but maybe just do the bike and treadmill and let the other stuff wait for the weekend. I would like to think that my appointment Friday with my doctor would be like the golden ticket in Charlie and the Chocolate factory...that it would result in a happy ending after the tour...the tour being the appointment... then afterwards I could run, jump, skip, fly if I wanted... without pain... without pain afterwards... but I think I have yet to find my golden ticket.... maybe soon.

Maybe I am more nervous about the appointment than I think...maybe not the actual appointment... but the appointment makes me focus on PVNS.. and that frustrates me... I mean... it is a part of my life.. every day...but more and more it is starting to feel like part of my past... which is where I want it to stay... but what if it doesn't? I won't know that from this appointment... but it brings it into focus... into the spotlight. Maybe I let it be in the spotlight too much... or maybe I need to think about it daily to think positively... that is it gone.. never to return...

I also try to remind myself of something from the Conversations with God book I have mentioned here before...that which we fear is what we draw to us.... so if I put energy into worrying about PVNS... will that energy bring PVNS more into my life? Who knows...

Do I think too much... or not enough??? ahhhhhhhhhh.


Trying to Blog

I had a friend on my lap tonight as I started to use my computer... Stella decided that she needed some quality time with me, which often happens when I start using the computer. Maybe She wanted to blog tonight... maybe she wanted to say a special hello to Rico... who loves cats so much!

I had a pretty good day. My knee is sore tonight, but it is sore because I went to the gym this morning and maybe did a little too much. I was at the gym at about 5:40 this morning... and met up with my friend Sue... it is nice to have someone who is also making health a proirity and who is willing to get up so early to go to the gym. So... what do I think caused the pain... well.. I think it was the step exercise I have been building into my routine... I added some height to it today and did three sets of 10... maybe I should have done 3 sets of 8... or even 5... but sometimes I just go jump into it... but I will be ok. I am planning to go again Thursday morning. I won't go Friday before my doctor's appointment.. I don't want to be sore when I see him... want to be at my best and the driving will be enough. I did my other regular parts of my workout at my gym... the bike and the treadmill... I think I need to start building in some arm stuff...so I can feel all buff.

Stella got down for a minute but is now back up, sitting on the arm of my chair and is pushing on my forearm with both paws... so I am going to sign off tonight and spend some quality time with her. awww... am I a sucker or what? (I blame any typos on her!)



Hello Blog Buddies... Today is kind of a slow day for me... I debated about blogging because I don't really have much to write about... but then again once I get going who knows what will come out...

I am trying to think of questions to ask my doctor when I see him on Friday... it will be a pretty routine appt. Just an xray to see if arthritis has set in and to assess my range of motion and progress... but I want to make sure I ask questions that I should know.... what do I have so far?
1.... when will I be able to wear my heels again???
2.... is it normal that my knee gives out on me from time to time?
3.... should I be icing it still?... (which I haven't been..)
4.... Is Dr. McDreamy going to be at the appt... if not, CAN he be at the appt.... ok maybe that shouldn't officially be on the list, but I will be keeping my eye out for him...
5...How soon will I be able to kick the behind of a certain piece of exercise equipment? hopefully dec.8....
6.... when will my MRI be and if PVNS is coming back, what would be on the MRI and what would be next? (Scary question there...)
7....Does the weather affect my knee long term?

I need help coming up with more questions to ask... I feel good... great actually, though I am timid to say that... I feel like I am stronger and stronger almost daily and feel scared that I am going to slip on ice and set myself back... what would that do to my knee now, if I fell, would that make recurrence more likely since one of the theories is that PVNS is caused by trauma??? oj... maybe that is question #8...

I should tell you that I officially took the handicap plackard off my mirror in the truck... no more handicap parking for me... well... maybe if I have a bad day... but I don't want to have to use it... and feel grateful that I don't NEED it anymore...

Anyway... that is all for tonight... I see that there are visitors from new places... please say hello!

Good Night.


As promised... Thanksgiving Photos...

This is a group shot of our Thanksgiving gathering. It was impossible to get everyone in the shot without at least one pole in the picture. Also, there were two people operating the cameras. Fun Stuff!

I love this picture of my mom, because it shows her with her favorite beverage, and she looks happy. The other is a shot taken from the end of one of the tables. We had three rows of tables that were full like this one! I had a great trip home. IT was nice to be with my parents and to get to see other members of my family too. Mom and I played a lot of games, Scrabble and canasta... I think she ended up being the queen of the Scrabble board, but I was the Canasta Queen!

While I was home I managed to knit two complete scarves and started another one. I like to knit. Today Dad helped me get something set up so that I can access my yarn without the cats getting into it. Thanks Dad! I am glad mom taught me to knit, but I blame you for my sore index finger on my left hand, Mom!

This last picture was taken on my way home today. It is that time of year... the trees are migrating... from the forests to our houses. I am not sure when I will put up my tree, but think that it iwll be a small one this year so that I can put it on something, so it is easier to water... while my knee is feeling good, I don't want to be kneeling a couple times a day watering it.

That's all for now... I will write more tomorrow, but I wanted to post pictures.


39 people... maybe 40 for Thanksgiving!

Yep! We had our annual Thanksgiving Dinner with a few family members... there were 39-40 of us, depending on who was counting. Our Thanksgiving festival involves renting the basement of a church. Today we were trying to figure out how long this gathering has been going on in our family. The location has changed a few times, from people's houses, to a large hall, to the church. Best 'guesstimates' are at least 40 years. My parents have been married for almost 37 years and Dad remembers going to these kinds of gathering before he and mom were married. So... it is quite a tradition. It involves my maternal grandmother's family. My grandmother had 4 siblings, so there were five kids in her family. My grandmother and her two remaining sisters have made sure the tradition has continued. So today all three sisters were in attendance with their children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren... My grandmother who, I am sure was the first to arrive at the church to get things started, sat down when everyone started going through the line. She refused several offers of jumping in ahead of people and of people offering to bring her a plate. She waited, patiently, sat off to the side and watched. I have no idea what thoughts she was thinking... but I am sure it was a lot for her to take in.

I DO have pictures that I took, but I forgot my cable that connects the camera to the computer... so you will all have to wait until the weekend to see the photos. We tried to get one picture of everyone, but it was a challenge.

It was a nice day. My knee held up pretty well... I was able to stand and talk with people for a while before we all sat down to eat. However, after the meal, I was ready to just stay sitting. The cement floors of the church basement were a little tough, so I visited with those sitting closest to me.

I got to see my cousin today, the one who had recently been injured in an accident... and my first thought at seeing him was Wow.. he looks great...Since last year he has been diagnosed as being diabetic and has had to change his eating and exercise habits. He had been doing a lot of running, and he looks like a runner... he has that physique now. He did so well to be there today, to be with everybody who had so many questions. He got tired quickly and was more than ready to head home after the meal to lay down, but he did great. He has some obvious injuries to his face, but overall, he really looked well. How amazing that he is out of the hospital.

One of my cousins... second cousins I suppose, made sure to come and talk to me about my knee. This cousin is an eye doctor and was highly interested in what PVNS is all about. I am sure with his medical background, it intrigues him more than some. My parents had seen him recently at their eye appointments and had been updating him on my knee. It was nice to talk to him, and others about how I was feeling. My grandmother kept telling me to take it easy and be careful... not to push to hard. Advice I will take to heart.

I also got to see my aunts, one of whom I had stayed with the night before Thanksgiving last year. It was nice to see her though I would have liked more time with her. But, I will get to visit with her again, maybe close to Christmas, depending on where I am to celebrate it.

Of course there was a missing person today... my maternal grandmother. Traditionally she would stay at home and my mom's sister and her family were here for Thanksgiving. On years when my aunt did not make it to Maine, Gram would join us with Dad's side of the family. She was so welcomed and loved there too. Tradition has always been coming home from our day away and telling her all about the food that was there...lots of food... and the dessert table... and of course how various people were doing. Coming home yesterday...knowing Gram wouldn't be here was hard. And I am sure that today was especially hard on my mom. A year ago she spent Thanksgiving with her mother...just the two of them. Gram had been too sick to travel to join the big gathering, my aunt wasn't coming up at Thanksgiving because she was going to come up the following week for Gram's surgery... and mom really wanted Dad to be with his mother... so mom and Gramie spent the day together... in their nightgowns... eating Thanksgiving day food..and enjoying each other's company...one of mom's favorite Thanksgivings.

While I am not thankful that I got to see only one of my grandmothers today, I am thankful that in our hearts, my mom's mom was with us today... every day...

That reminds me... I am learning a new skill... something my grandmother had spent hours, probably years if we added it all up... doing... Knitting. Yup.. I am knitting a scarf! I have made a few mistakes, but I am doing it. It is something that takes time to show progress, but it is kind of nice because it gives me something to focus on without having to think about anything else.... now I have to figure out how I could knit at home... with yarn... and FOUR cats!

Pictures to come soon, I promise! I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving!


Bright and Early...

I did it... got to the gym by 5:30 this morning and did a small work out... I just stopped by my house to grab a bag, some cds, and feed the cats before I leave... Happy Turkey Day!! Gobble Gobble..



I graduated from physical therapy today! YAHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! I am very excited. I know that I am not done with rehabilitation, but to be at a point where I can do it alone... is... well... amazing! I am sooooooooooooooo happy! I know I will still have aches and pains as I overdo or understretch, etc... but... I will do it on my own and will keep improving. In order to graduate, I had to do some assessments today... making sure I could straighten my leg, bend my leg, step forward, back, balance doing a variety of things... hopping... (I am sure that was pretty funny because it was in no way automatic or fluid!)... and some other things... I really appreciate the effort the PT folks put in to helping me get better. Again... I am not cured...or fixed...but I am recovering and it feels great! Something to give thanks for... absolutely.

Speaking of giving Thanks... I saw these turkeys today on my drive home. I see them almost every day when I drive that road, but I have been wanting to get a picture of them. I could have gotten closer, but that would have involved driving up a pretty long driveway... so... that's all that you get... there were like 30-40 birds there... that was a whole lot of turkey!

It also snowed today... normally that would make me sad... but I have to say that when I looked out the window today and saw the snow... it felt like it was time for Thanksgiving... and that feels nice. Combining that with graduating, and I am HAPPY!

I am getting up early tomorrow to go to the gym, then I am hitting the road to see my family. I will blog from there too and will try to include some pics of the festivities... the hall...the many tables of food, family...and of course the dessert table!

Thank you all... without getting too emotional... While PVNS has been bothering me for a few years without me knowing its name... the last year, year and a half, has been the most painful. I have to say... that the last year and a half of my life has been the most difficult for me...physically and emotionally...knee related and not.... I have truly learned about myself and those people who love me. I have also learned that I am not alone this PVNS stuff... there are other people suffering with the same condition... and together we are helping each other LIVE with this condition. Yes... live... there have been many many days over the last year that I did not feel like I was living... I was existing...surviving... but not living. With your support, you... the people I know well, who know me well, AND those who I am just getting to know... I have made it through a tough time...I have learned I can lean on people... that people are there for me... unconditionally. I am blessed... truly blessed. Thank you... all of you.

My blog is going to continue and I hope and pray that I will have more and more good news to report. I know that PVNS is a part of my life and will be for some time, maybe forever, as I will have regular MRIs and appointments...I know every time I feel pain I will be scared...but I know I can face things and get through them ... without being alone...

Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!


I need to buy a house...

My neighbors had another fight last night... yelling screaming, swearing... not fun to witness. They have done it a few times before and have enven chased each other down the street yelling. I have not seen them get physically abusive with one another, but I would not doubt that it happens with the banging I hear. The last BIG fight they had I confronted them and told them enough was enough. At that point I informed my landlord when I paid my next rent check and he offered no insight on how to handle it. So last night at 11:30 when they started ... I tried to wait it out... and then it got louder... so I called my landlord... who was annoyed that I would call him at that hour... that my neighbors fighting was between me and them... so I said, well, do you want me to call the cops, and he said, if you need to.... If I need to??? thanks. I got out of bed and went knocking on my neighbors door telling them to stop... apparently at that point he had left and she was crying. I thought that my landlord would not appreciate the reputation of having a building to which the police are called... but... I decided I would call the police. Now.. here's the thing... I opened the phone book... because I didn't really want to call 911... looking for the non emergency number... in the old phone books the police numbers were right in the front... not in this one... also not under police in the city of... section... so I went online and found the number...well found one wrong number, then found the right number. It took so long to find the non emergency number... I called the police... who asked if they were still fighting... I said that I could not longer hear them. So they said, next time call us and we will come over. So... I stayed awake... listening... hoping that the fighting wouldn't start again... and I got little sleep... PLUS... get this... when I went outside to go knock on my neighbors' door, it smelled like skunk... and in the middle of the road was this huge...dead skunk... STINKY!!! So... I am tired today... very tired.

But... I think I am heading to Sara and Phil's for dinner tonight... which will be fun, but it is not going to be a late night because I need to sleep tonight.

Grrrrr... I need tobuy a house and not have people living directly above me....


New things...

Last night I went out with some friends and got to meet one of their boyfriends. It was nice to put a face with a name. It is very hard to get to know someone when meeting someone for the first time...and first impressions can be hard...depending on how nervous someone is. I know it would be important for my friend... him meeting us and would want some feedback. My barometer... is she herself with him...the way she is when he isn't around... I am happy to say that while she was a little reserved... she was herself.. she had her giggle, the fire in her eyes, her spirit...and I am happy to see that. In the past I have seen those things pushed out of her and I hope that never happens again...I remember a time when I felt like she was a wild horse and her spirit had finally been broken... I hated that feeling. So seeing her with someone who she seems comfortable being her with... makes me smile. Maybe he is her Mr. Right, maybe not... but either way, she has seen that there are possibilities and being herself, no matter who she is with, is worth it... it was nice. Another great part of the night was that we went to a restaurant that none of us had been to before. It was really nice. There was some live music and good food....with good company what more do you need? So it was great. The other friend that was there has decided to join the gym again... the same gym to which I belong. YAY! She has access to a small gym where she lives, but doesn't use it regularly. So in the spirit of motivating each other she joined the gym...and I upgraded my membership so that I can access any branch of this gym... which is great, because they are also building one near my sister's house, so if I were to go out there for a few days I would have access to a gym. Nice. That was an exciting decision.

So today I got up... and was lazy... and around noon decided I needed to get off my butt. So I called my friend and said... so are you still sure you want to join the gym? She said yes... I said... do you want to join today...because I sure could use some motivation...like you saying we will meet at the gym at a specific time... and she said yes. So... we did it... we met at the gym. I did the bike for 15 minutes... a new high... and walked on the treadmill also for about 15 minutes... also a high! Yahoo... I think I will stay at those numbers for a while...don't want to get too confident... then I went upstairs and did some lunges, a little ab work... some balanceing things...and did some stair stepping things... I do think I can add a little height this week to that...

I also have decided about my holiday travel plans...I want to spend time at home and also want to try to stay in my workout routine...and want to do a trial run at the gym of getting up in the mornings to make sure I have all the things I need to shower there... so I am going to go to the gym Weds. morning... with my friend...who wants to start going in the morning too... so since she committed to the gym I can commit to her for one morning...even though I don't have to work Wednesday... so our plan is to get up early Wednesday and work out... from there she will go to work.. I will head north... to see my folks... I think I will come back here Saturday...

I feel good going to the gym... today I did stare at the elliptical machine while on the treadmill... and it taunted me.... actually they all did... there are a lot of them... and many of them were empty...and they mocked me while I was walking...slowly walking... so my goal... I will attempt...no... I will do 5 minutes on the elliptical machine on Dec. 8...without the machine thinking I am pausing more than twice....Why Dec. 8... it is a Saturday... and it is about three weeks away... that way, if it hurts, I will have the weekend to recover...and it gives me some time to build up some strength...to kick that machine's butt... I would like to think that I could do 15 minutes by new years... but... I will get to Dec. 8th first... gotta be realistic... gotta be realistic...

So...some goals...
This week... go to the gym Weds. morning... (I have PT Tuesday night...so that can count as a gym visit...) and then I will walk on the treadmill at my parents's house on Friday... and eat reasonably... I am not going to deny myself anything this week... but I am not going to overstuff and will try to eat balanced meals...

and... Dec. 8... Showdown... me vs. elliptical... 5 minutes..... BRING IT ON!!!


Rearview mirror...

As I was driving today, to do some errands, I was stopped at a traffic light and caught some cool things in my rearview mirror. There was a car behind me... I fisrt noticed the driver...clapping his hands and snapping his fingers and laughing.... that was fun in itself, but then I realized there was a little girl in the back seat laughing and I think singing... so...in my mind it was a father and daughter out for an adventure...and they were living it up. How cool! I then thought about whether the daughter got her dancing from her dad or if he got it from her. I started thinking about some ways that I am similar to my dad. As I was thinking I realized I had the window down a little...with the heater on.... why? I needed some fresh air... and I smiled because THAT is like my dad. I am a lot like my dad...and like my mom... some of those ways I am not yet ready to admit....though there is that saying.. mirror mirror on the wall... I am my mother after all.... eek! Of course it is important to always look in the rear view mirror... though.. sometimes... I do that too much in my life... not necessarily while driving.

Anyway... I did some errands today... got gas...which was expensive... then hit Walmart to get some toiletries that I will need when I to go to the gym in the mornings and need to shower there. Then... I went to the gym. I walked longer on the treadmill than I have since surgery..12 whole minutes! and then did 12 minutes on the bike...then did some leg stuff upstairs... which involved sitting on the mats... that took some thinking and some strong self talk... how would I get my behind that far down...to the floor... and more importantly, how would I get it up? Well... my first strategy was to make sure that my ass was facing the wall....or more importantly away from all other members of the gym... the motto there may be 'judgement free zone,' but everyone has their limits and people don't need to see that... I stood there, thinking about it for a while..and decided I should just try to get down and not think about getting up...because once I was down I HAD to get up... eventually... so I did... slowly slowly slowly... lowered myself to the floor... graceful? NOPE. I needed to get to the floor to do some stretches and also to do some of my PT exercises that I could do while sitting on my bed, but I want to be ablt to do them at the gym. I did manage to get up... again, not pretty, but... I did it. The other "first" I did at the gym today was I began a stair stepping exercise... sounds way more exciting than it is. I I used a step that would be used for step aerobics and did 10 step ups with each leg...the step is very low...maybe 4 inches off the ground. But I will slowly build up to doing more sets, then I can add things under the step to make it higher. I think that will help me get ready for the elliptical machine... which is my goal... I feel like it is my nemesis and I MUST conquer it!

Anyway... I gotta run, gotta take a shower and hit the town... I am meeting the boyfriend of one of my friends for the first time... it is kind of a big deal... and I am looking forward to it.


Rainy Day.....but now snow....yet.

Yep... it was a rainy day... rained hard parts of the day...and it turned off really cold and windy, after the rain stopped. I came home after school...well stopped at the dollar store first, to pick up some cleaning supplies. They have a lot of scrub brushes, etc. which is great. I can't use the same brush more than a few times. I also stopped at target to get some new bath mats... the ones I have are faded and I needed some newer, brighter ones. Then I came home and cleaned my bathroom... I am talking scrubbing the floor...the deep cleaning, not just the surface stuff. I also threw away some stuff I haven't used in a while... like a variety of hair products. It tired me out...the cleaning...I think it was a good thing to do, for exercising my knee... being in different positions than it usually is. It is tired, but that's ok. I had the window open while I was cleaning because I was using bleach and did not want to leave the door open to have the cats exposed to bleach.... so now I am a bit chilled... maybe I will make some hot chocolate... I rarely drink hot beverages, but tonight it sounds good. I don't really have any weekend plans... I might take myself to a movie... I want to see the Martian Child... I think that's what it is called. Brrr... ok.. I need some cocoa... gotta run.



Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh... On my way to work today I had an exciting moment.... some of the construction on my work route has been finished....and my detour is GONE... Yayyyy......yayayayayyayyayyaaayyaay.... I am happy.... The next happy part of my day was at the meeting I had this morning. One of my bosses was at the meeting... and while I have a lot of respect for her, she can be hard to read. I was worried about the meeting this morning because it was a meeting that would decide whether or not one of my current students would still qualify to receive special education services or not... this was a complicated case... I won't go into the details..but knowing my boss as I do, I thought she may be looking for a way to NOT have this kid qualify... he NEEDS services...regardless of what label we give him.. he needs help and support... and he is just starting to come around after many transitions.... So... I had tried to plan something that would make my boss happy...something that may impress her so that she would be thinking about other things before the meeting started besides ways to dismiss this kid from services... So... I had created individual portfolios for each person who was to attend the meeting. In the portfolio I had an agenda, one that encompassed some things that the student enjoys...I had dividers that had pockets on them...and had strategically placed the various reports, graphs, grades, etc. in different pockets, in a sequential order based on how the meeting would go... I had dome something similar in the past, but used post it notes to create tabs to which I could refer parents as we were reviewing information. This method, today, was much better and efficient. Well... my trick worked...she ooooed and ahhhhhed appropriately and even complimented me...which this woman is known for NOT doing, especially at one of these kinds of meetings. So I scored some points with her, which may help in my hopes of getting a new position next year.... but more importantly I helped create a positive environment for the meeting. And....... it worked!!! Well, I would like to think that the outcome of the meeting today would have been the same with or without the portfolios (glorified binders really) but... I do think it helped... and this kid WILL get services...that he needs... I was happy. I talked to the kid about it later in the day and he was relieved too... he is not the most animated of kids, but he is a good kid...with a great heart...who has dealt with a lot in his life...and most importantly.... will, I believe, let me help him... YAY! I LOVE that.

The rest of the school day was a little hectic. The kids are getting that vacation itch...as tomorrow is their last day before Turkey Day break...(teachers have to go to 2 inservice days next week.) After school I had a meeting for sign ups for my track team. There were some key athletes missing and I am going to try to see if I can do some recruiting. It was great to see some of those kids... kids I have coached since they were in sixth or seventh grade...now seniors... how cool is that? A couple of the girls, sophomores, are awesome. Not only are they amazing atheletes, but they are steller people...with awesome character. They were happy to see me and that felt great.

the down side of my day was not going to the gym. My knees are both feeling stiff today... maybe it is the weather? So I am a slacker... Plus... I had to get oil...heating oil... so... that I don't run out... gotta love paying out the behind for that.

Today I got an email from a woman in NY... she got good news form her doctor about her PVNS... it is not cancer!! YAY! I can sooooooooooooo relate to that feeling of relief... I have a lot to write to you my friend....and will....but probably not until tomorrow..just know that I am happy for you...and really enjoy our communications.

That's all for today my friends. I am trying to formulate my plans for Turkey Day... I will be spending time with my family and am looking forward to it. I am just trying to figure out when I want to head up there, and when I want to return.

Oh... GREAT news about my cousin... I think he is being released from the hospital tomorrow!!! How amazing is that?! He has a long road ahead still, but he has done amazingly well.


No gym...

I did not make it to the gym tonight because my knee felt a little stiff and gave out on me a couple times today, so I didn't want to push it... so I will have to go tomorrow. I probably could have pushed myself to go, but... I had a coaching meeting after school and by the time I was on my way home I was beat...and did not want to go home to get clothes then leave my house again... the lesson... have clothes for the gym always in the car...

I have a big meeting tomorrow morning... one that decided whether or not a kid has a disability... he has been identified in the past...and if he qualifies tomorrow...I think it will be under a different label. So... I tried to get as organized as I can be for the meeting. It may be a little over the top, but I want to present the information in a way that makes sense. Plus... I have to admit... I may be applying for a different position within my school for next year... and getting some points with the boss is not a bad idea. Right?

I got a phone call last night from someone who is a part of my life...but not... this person was in Boston on business and figured since Boston is in New England, and Kim is in New England, why not call her? I don't mind the phone calls... but it gets under my skin a little...this is a person who has brought me a lot of joy into my life.... and a lot of sadness and frustration... The "relationship" between us is complex... or maybe I just I make it that way... I have created rules for myself when it comes to him... rules... to protect myself... does it work? to an extent...

oh well.... o blah dee oblha daaaa life goes on, right?

Anyway...There are rumors that it may snow on Friday... Nooooooooooo!!! I am not ready for snow. Not ready... I wore flip flops today...and loved it...

I have some exciting news...one of my cats, Stella... the orange one... is starting to act more like herself again...since the black and white kitties have arrived. Stella is once again wanting to be in my lap and wanting affection. This makes me happy. She is still not a fan of the newbies, but she seems happy again...with me and older sister Tess. yay!


$5 Fun...

Oh my gosh my friends... In the past I have mentioned another blog...a bit more famous... Ross's blog. (There is a link on my page to it.) I hadn't been there in a while and today was a GREAT day to return. There are 2 videos that made me laugh out loud... mostly because the dynamic between Ross and his friend Nikki...reminds me of me and Sara at times... just silly...and others may not get us...but we have so much fun we don't care... So please, watch these... they are awesome... but be forewarned... I am not responsible for any jingles getting stuck in your head!

Video #1 link: Click Here

Video Link #2: Click HERE This one takes a little more time to get into...but I love it. It totally brightened my day.

Not that my day needed brightening, but... it did.... Today was a pretty good day. My knee was pretty stiff today... I am blaming it on the elliptical machine from Sunday. I did go to the gym last night but did not do much... 15 minutes on the bike...10 minutes on the treadmill... ok 10 minutes is kind of a big deal...it is the longest I have been on it all at once. But... tomorrow I will head back to the gym and will do my longer workout...including lunges...

I want to say hello to Norben again...he sent me an email. I was very excited. I had not heard from him in a while, and am glad to know he is doing ok.

It still amazes me how much of an impact this condition has on people... daily...moment to moment... Today I cried at work... not from sadness...but one of my supervisors and I had a few minutes to talk and she asked me how my knee was doing... I was telling her about how good I was feeling and hopeful.. and out of nowhere the tears started... and A.) I felt stupid... but 2.) I realized how much different I feel now than I did a year ago... even though I am not fully recovered from surgery... Last year at this time I was really struggling...more than many people know...I tried to hide it, but I was too exhausted to hide it and people figured it out. Last year at this time I had already missed several days of work...some for my gram's surgery, but most because of my knee and my mood. I have not shared this with my bloggers, but feel like I can share it now... and it is a part of this condition, so I want to share it. I have thought about it a lot...before deciding to put this information on here...

About a year ago I went to the doctor to get some help. Life was not good. Every day was painful. On top of the pain I was emotionally drained...scared that the rest of my life was going to be painful, that I would have to exist...not live, but exist...feeling like that...I had days where getting out of bed was not an option...because I didn't want to move if I awoke with less pain than usual... but also because I was depressed. I wasn't finding things enjoyable that I usually loved. Spending time with my friends felt obligatory...not fun. It meant I had to leave my apartment, go down some stairs, get into my truck, drive, get out of my truck and walk into someone's house... sometimes I had to take ice with me... Because of my knee I couldn't do some things...like walk around town barhopping with friends...because it hurt... I ordered out a lot...from places that delivered because shopping was hard...and standing to cook was harder... so ordering pizza was very common...along with other places that delivered...Of course I didn't order from the same pizza place more than once a week... I rotated... Then came the anxiety... As an overthinker... I thought...about what other people must be thinking about me... thinking what's the big deal.. you have a sore knee...get over it....she has put a lot of her weight back on... if she would lose it she would feel better... she's a slacker...missing work...skipping work.... drama queen... so.. there were days when depression wasn't as pronounced as my anxiety. As I drove to work, the closer I got, the more anxious I became. There were times I pulled over and talked to myself...tried to talk myself into going to work...telling myself it would be ok... I would try again... sometimes it worked...other times I would make it to the parking lot, sit in my truck, look at my school... and could not get out of my truck... and had to leave... had to go home and get in bed and pull the blankets over my head. So I went to my doctor and started taking medication for anxiety and depression. It was soooooooo hard to make that appointment...hard to go to that appt. (I must say that making the appointment was not originally my idea... some of my coworkers with whom I feel close...got together and kind of did an intervention...which basically meant one of them drew the short straw and had to talk to me and tell me that I wasn't hiding my sadness as well as I thought I was...) Prior to the appt. I had made a lost of stressors I had experienced in the previous couple of years... knee stress, family stress, personal stress, job stress... and my doctor was great... basically had one question... why are you just coming in now for meds.. with this list, you should have come a while ago...

The idea of going on meds...being on meds... is hard for me. I felt that it had a huge stigma with it. Thought that it meant I was weak... that I couldn't handle my life. That I wasn't able to be normal...that my life was pretty easy compared to others....so what did I have to complain about... but the meds do help...when I take them. I stopped taking it after my surgery... partly because I thought I was on enough other medication... and partly because I wanted to see how I was feeling, without worrying if my emotions were being dulled... (which I never thought was happening with the meds.) So when fall started coming I had a decision to make... to start meds again or not...there is that part of me that says I don't need them...even though I know winter is a tough time for me with all the darkness...I have not yet come to peace with a decision about it right now... but I am going to take them through the winter and revisit it in the spring. I feel like I can handle life right now. But... I also know I still have stress...the worrying about the recurrence of PVNS...trying to recover, to do PT without setbacks... still mourning the loss of my grandmother...and other things that seem to go round and round in my head. I think that at this point the meds are a bit of a crutch...but I am not yet willing to give that up...and I know... truly know deep in my soul, that chemically my brain has been on the fritz because of overload...and that the meds are making that chemical piece come back again...

So why share this here? In this forum? Why put it out there when people I love will see it and worry about me? Because... it is a part of this condition.. I truly, truly believe that... and if I don't share it, I am not being completely honest with others who may be experiencing it. What if there is one person out there who is suffering with PVNS, depression, and/or anxiety and is feeling like that isn't normal... or on top of the PVNS they are crazy or ridiculous for feeling so down?? I HAVE to let that person know that they are not alone and I do understand. More than that... I feel like it is a part of this condition... a big part...but one that is not talked about. I truly think that only those who know chronic pain can understand it...

Am I worried that some people will think differently of me? A little... People are overmedicted in our society... but... it is a part of this experience. I am not necessarily proud of this...but I am not ashamed... The process of recovery is a big one... and it goes way beyond my scars.... but I am healing...slowly...and steadily. I am getting healthy...holistically...not just physically.

Whoa.. how did a blog about Ross's blog get so deep? Because my fingers apparently wanted a workout tonight.

Seriously....visit the videos from Ross's blog... if you don't smile at least once... well... you should make an appt. with your doctor and let them know that your funny bone is broken!


Thanks to the soldiers

To all those who have served....are serving... Thank You. No matter what we each feel about the rightness or wrongness of the war... we all should support the troops.

I did not do anything patriotic to commemorate this day. I did fill my day with trying to become a little more modern...high tech. After dropping my portable cd player twice at the gym yesterday, I decided to upgrade to an MP3 player. Why? Mainly because it will fit into my pocket and I can take a ton of music to the gym. I was able to load some music onto it and will try it out at the gym tonight with Sara. I am sure I can load more songs on it, but for now, I think I have a few hours...and I am not planning on being at the gym that long.

I figured I would blog now because you never know what may happen when Sara and I get together... I think that after the gym I am going to meet up with my friend Sue Ellen and am hoping Sara comes too... My friend Meg refers to Sara as Crazy Sara...not because Sara is crazy...but because she brings out the craziness in me... at least that is the rumor.

My knee is sore today, but I think it is more from walking around a lot today looking at MP3 players... I went to a lot of stores and even broke one of my rules.... I went to the mall between Halloween and Christmas. And... as I suspected..it was crazy... I did run into one of my cousins though...someone I have not seen in a while. Her name is Nicole and I haven't seen her in maybe 5 years... When she was younger she reminded me of me... the shape of her face combined with a few freckles... I don't think that we look alike much now. I was surprised to see her. She lives in the same town I do and I hope to get together with her at some point. She told me her dad is going to be moving here soon too... wow... nice.

Anyway... my point I think... is that while my knee is sore I am still going to go to the gym... because I have to try out my new MP3 Player. And... it is good for me. :-)

I will let you know how the work out goes, and if this night turns into one of those Kim and Sara nights....plus Sue!


The Gym called....

Yep... the gym called today...As I was being lazy this morning I kept thinking.. I should go to the gym...I want to... don't I... so it kept calling and I answered... actually I called them this afternoon hoping that they would tell me they close early on Sundays... they do close early...earlier than usual....8 p.m.... so that excuse was lame... I also had procrastinated in going in case my friend Meg stopped by to say hello after seeing her mon. She didn't... so the only other excuse I had was that my legs weren't shaved...well not enough to bear them in public. I wanted to go to the gym...in some ways... in other ways I was content staying home... but... I really do want to get into a healthy routine again... I need to. So...I shaved my legs..... then I got to the gym and this is what I did:
- 15 minutes on the bike
- 5 minutes treadmill (forward)
- 3 sets of arm stuff with free weights
- 2 sets of 1 minute balancing on this thingy called a bossou (half a sphere... I balance while standing on the flat side.
- 2 sets of 10 abductor exercises
- 5 lunges each leg forward
-5 lunges each leg backwards
- 2 sets of 10 hamstring curls each leg
- 2 sets of 10 adductor machine (50 lbs)
- 2 sets of 10 abductor machine (50lbs)
- 2 minutes n the elliptical machine...

I ended with the elliptical machine...who still has not seen it fit to rekindle our friendship... although today we made progress. It recognized that I was on it... During the 2 minutes I was on it, it only thought I was pausing twice....even though I wasn't. I do think that the elliptical is going to prove to be too much for my knee at this point....but I love that machine and am determined... but I am thinking I may try to incorporate some other things at first.. like at the gym they have a step that would normally be used for step aerobics... I think if I start doing a few sets of just stepping up, leading with that left leg, that it will build up that muscle a little more... I also tried, at the gym, doing the stairs with alternating legs... it worked for about 3/4 of the stairs... then I did one leg followed by the other... But.. I feel good that I went. I am sure every little bit helps.

I am supposed to go tomorrow with Sara... I will go and maybe do just the bike and treadmill...and maybe some other arm stuff.

I am off for now...going to cut up some salad fixins....


Human Again...

At about 5:30 last night I started to feel like my sinuses were starting to feel better. I slept pretty well last night, tossed and turned, but got a lot of sleep. This morning I stayed in bed for a long time then was lazy in my comfy chair in the living room. This evening I felt well enough to go to the store and buy some groceries. Picked up stuff so I can eat healthy this week. I have been slacking a little, and now that I am oging to be going back to the gym in lieu of PT I am once again in health mode. I did not go to my PT appt Thursday because of how I was feeling, but played phone tag with my PT guy and we scheduled an appointment for the Tuesday before Thanksgiving to do an assessment before my appt. in Boston. I am hoping to be doing well when I go back to see him. I do think I will be up for hitting the gym tomorrow, which I am happy about. I would like to be able to go every other day and see how it goes. Maybe by Dec. 1 that elliptical machine will recognize me again...

I have had some new people contact me about PVNS and I am excited about that. I am grateful to have other people share their experiences with me. It is interesting how the same condition can impact people so differently and in different joints. Treatment is also different. One person who wrote to me is going to have a synovectomy, part open like mine, but also partly arthroscopic. Another person I heard from had surgery a couple of weeks ago and is recovering rapidly from the surgery, but I think she also had a partial open and partial arthroscopic... It fascinates me that this impacts people of all ages. If anyone who has PVNS wants me to share their name/email address with others let me know. I won't do that without people's permission. It is hard for me to hear about how much pain other people are experiencing... because I feel for them... but it is comforting to me, to know that my symptoms were not more extreme than what some other people have experienced. One person shared how painful it was to simply go grocery shopping... I can so relate.

I haven't really given updates about how my knee is actually doing... and I think that I should do that because my topics lately have been all over the board. So... my knee... my incisions are better... the one on the front is still purplish/pinkish, but it is flattening out a little... the back one is fading a little, but still kind of gross looking. My knee is feeling pretty good. I do have moments that it feels stiff, and I have had moments that make me worry... when I feel pain...and I am not sure if it is recovery pain or returning pain... Of course I hope and pray for recovery pain, but I fear the other.... I shared that with someone who had emailed me who also has PVNS...but had not yet shared that with any family or friends. I don't think it is something to worry about at this point... and I know that I can't worry about it....I will find out more when I have another MRI in Jan. or Feb. I really do believe, but am I wanting to believe.... that it is just from doing more activity... besides PT I am trying to climb stairs normally... The swelling has gone down quite a bit... I can start to see the shape of my knee again... feels less like a blow up raft... I think a lot less about each movement. When I first stand up I am very conscious of my movement, but things are really feeling more and more automatic for me. I feel like life is more do-able... Life is about to get busy for me... coaching will begin in Dec. I will resume taking classes in January towards my masters.. just one for that semester, but with coaching and teaching...one is plenty. I also hope to get back into working on the turnpike. I miss that money. I just want to make sure I keep monitoring how I am feeling and accomodate for that. I will... I am excited for coaching to start again. It will be fun.

Anyway... that's all for tonight, tomorrow I am planning to go to the gym... if I can breathe!

My Favorite Place

My Favorite Place