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!
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!
Posted by TallGal at 8:01 PM
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.
Posted by TallGal at 6:59 PM
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!)
Posted by TallGal at 6:41 PM
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!
Posted by TallGal at 9:14 PM
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.
Posted by TallGal at 6:00 PM
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!
Posted by TallGal at 6:06 PM
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!!!
Posted by TallGal at 4:22 PM
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....
Posted by TallGal at 3:27 PM
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...
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!!!
Posted by TallGal at 5:11 PM
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.
Posted by TallGal at 4:14 PM
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.
Posted by TallGal at 8:11 PM
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.
Posted by TallGal at 7:33 PM
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!
Posted by TallGal at 5:51 PM
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!
Posted by TallGal at 8:24 PM
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!
Posted by TallGal at 3:55 PM
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....
Posted by TallGal at 4:23 PM
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!
Posted by TallGal at 7:37 PM
I am home sick today... not homesick, though I suppose when I don't feel well I do wish I had that feeling of being taken care of like I did when I was a kid. I made my decision to stay home around 4 this morning... when I got up because I was hacking up all kinds of stuff and felt like my head would explode.... Oh well...
The cats have enjoyed having me home... had me pinned a couple of itmes in bed... strategically positioned on top of my blankets making it practically impossible for me to move...but they are nice to have around....
Today I have been in and out of bed...resting...and will return to bed shortly...right after I type this blog... oh yeah... and take my meds!
Posted by TallGal at 4:16 PM
I hate sinus infections... they hurt...they make me tired...and grumpy... my whole head hurts...my eyeballs hurt... I went to the doctor today... instead of PT... and got some antibiotics... so I should be better soon... so blog buddies... I am off to bed...
I am lucky though....just need some meds.... I do have some amazing news to report though.. my cousin is doing really well... he is still in the hospital, but doing well... walking around, started eating today... he has at least one more pretty major surgery before he goes home...but our family is blessed that he is doing this well. Someone was looking out for him...
Posted by TallGal at 5:37 PM
I am home... seems like this has been a long week. I am not sure why. I feel like there are a million things I need to do and not enough time in which to do them.... but when I really look at it...there are no pressing things that NEED to be done. Tonight I would really like to just curl up with lots of warm quilts and relax.. but I feel like I should be doing school stuff... there is always stuff I can be doing... should be doing.... but I am beat and feel like my cold is returning... or it's mom's cold hitting me... either way I am tired...oh well enough belly aching...
Physical Therapy... today I went to PT. I had felt stiff most of the day, not sure if it the weather or if it was the weekend... but overall I felt up to doing the PT. I did my usual routine and my PT guy added some more of those lunges that I love so much. I am scheduled for one more session with him and asked him about the need to schedule appts. for next week. He said that he thinks he wants me to try to do my own thing for a little while before I go back to Boston..to see if I can increase my activity in the day to day stuff as well as going to the gym and doing what I can...carefully doing what I can. He would then schedule an appt. for me right before I go to Boston to measure my progress and see if he feels that I need to come back for regular sessions or if I can increase my activity more and maybe then check in with him after a month...and see what the dr. says in Boston. If he agrees that I should start slowly increasing activities without formal PT..... I have to say that part of me is singing OOOOHHHHH YEAHHHHH!! No more PT... I do have a hard time some days going to that office and going through the paces. And... the idea of being set free to do my thing... is exciting..... and SCARY... Can I do it on my own? Will I do it on my own? We'll see. So... one more formal PT session... until further notice.... maybe I should be more excited than I am...but maybe I am too tired to be excited....
I do see the growth and improvement in my knee. Seeing my family this weekend was nice because dad had not seen me in a while and he commented that at some points this weekend he forgot that I had even had surgery...Sis said that too... but it is deceptive at times... yes I am doing well, but there is still some pain...and there is still some fear. Part of the process I suppose...
This weekend I introduced a new game to my nephews...well new to them... we call it pass the trash... and they loved it. It reminded me of when I was a little girl, going to my aunt D's house....one of my dad's sisters... and playing games. Believe it or not I remember sitting on my aunt's lap playing pass the trash and I think UNO.... What a good memory... I hope my nephews have memories like that of me.
Posted by TallGal at 4:56 PM
Brr... I do believe winter is getting close. It is cold...the windshield is frosty in the mornings...my toes are cold at night... I really hate winter.... grrr.... So...what can I look forward to over the winter? Well... my dr.'s appt in Boston at the end of this month will hopefully be more good news...my coaching season begins in Dec.... I will resume taking classes in Jan.... and at some point during the winter... I will be able to start being active on my terms... doing what I want to do...not just what I can do... Overall, I felt pretty good today. My knee was stiff, but not as bad as I expected. Last night my dad helped me get my satelite tv hooked up in my bedroom...in that process I knelt on the floor a couple of times and don't think that was a great idea on the heels of being in a car for so long. I have PT tomorrow and I hope it isn't too hard. So while winter is approaching... I want to keep my eye on the spring...when I will be able to walk around the bay...feel great... and not even think about how long it has been since surgery. That will be nice.
Today my parents left to head home. It was nice spending time with them this weekend. I know that my mom's mind is still heavily weighted with my grandmother's death and all that has changed since then. I think that she is so used to being on edge...so used to worrying...that she has yet to "exhale" completely. I think she is getting closer, but I think it is hard for her. She has taken care of Gramie for so long... soooo long... and taking care of herself has been set aside...You are worth it mom... take care of you... I think Dad is worried about her too...but I think that he is trying not to let her know that because she would be more stressed knowing people worry about her. Of course we do... that's what we do... loving each other means we worry at times... enuff said.... love ya mom...
I am off to my bedroom where I can watch tv...and relax...ahhhhhhhhh......
Posted by TallGal at 7:23 PM
This is the cake we had today to honor my Grandmother's birthday. She would have been 83 today. Why the Queen of Hearts? well... It is a family joke...partly... and the other part is that Gram loved playing games with her family...canasta...scrabble...yahtzee... and Gramie had a pretty big Heart... It was nice to honor her that way today. When we had planned on meeting at my house I had planned on making a cake and decorating it to be the queen of hearts and also do some other game themes throughout the food...but since we decided to come to NY... I called Sis and she was able to get a cake ordered... Thanks Chickie. Mom and Dad did not know about the cake...and it made mom get a little teary...not my intention...but nothing wrong with that. Getting emotional about Gramie means that she is missed...and people who are missed are worth missing...it speaks to Gramie's character and how much she is loved. My youngest nephew kind of blew the surprise by mentioning that there was cake... he was confused and asked me about it... asked me why we got a birthday cake. I told him because it would have been Nana's birthday. (The boys called her Nana.) He was confused and said to me,in his innocent little voice, "But how can she eat it? She is invisible 'cause she's dead...she can't eat it." But we can... and did... and it was YUMMY.
This is a self portrait of me and my mom... I asked her permission before posting it because she, on some level, believes that those who can read information about people online and/or see their faces... they can somehow be tracked down and bad things can happen... so for all you people who want to stalk my mom.... her name is Queen Victoria...her address is 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue and she lives in Washington D.C... just try to get through her security!
I took a lot of pictures today and got some great shots. I would post a picture of Lola and her husband, but permission has not been granted...Lola may not want her true identity revealed...and... with all those crazy stalkers... she may want to keep her boy toy all to herself. I also got some great pics of the boys today at their soccer games and at their house as we were all in game mode... very nice...
My knee is stiff today... think it is a combination of being out in the cold for the soccer games and the ride here..but overall I am ok....more than ok... I am around some of my favorite people this weekend....and life is good...
Love ya Gramie... Happy Birthday... I miss you.
Posted by TallGal at 9:30 PM
There is not much news to report from here... my parents and I are in upstate NY visiting my sister and her family. Tomorrow the boys have soccer and we will enjoy the day together. It will be a nice way to spend what would have been Gramie's birthday.
My knee is a little stiff after the long drive, but I am ok. My nephews wanted to see my scars and my middle nephew Jack thought they were pretty gross.... no confidence building there.... Thanks Kid! I was actually impressed that I could pull the leg of my jeans up high enough to see the scars...I think the swelling is starting to go down.. Yippee!
My parents and I staying at a hotel near my sister's house... though my respiratory system is wondering if that was the best idea... eeewwwwwwwwww...
Posted by TallGal at 9:39 PM