A letter...

Dear PVNS,
I don’t remember the exact day that we met. You became familiar to me before I knew your name. Your presence grew daily until you became all I knew. It’s hard for me to remember my life before you entered it. You changed me slowly, yet greatly. You made your presence known by limiting me. You gained your strength by taking mine. Once you inflicted unbearable physical pain, you attacked my mind. You made me doubt myself, my senses, and my abilities. You changed my outlook, from seeing possibilities to seeing everything as impossible. You stole from me; you took my time, energy, pride, dignity, modesty, and control… you stole my life. The longer you attached yourself to me the weaker I became…physically, mentally, emotionally… you weakened the person I was. You led me down a long road of pain, depression, and anxiety. You caused me to feel inept, undeserving, and burdensome. You made me isolate myself and keep people on the other side of my strong walls…

I knew you were toxic even though you remained nameless…Because of you, I was tested and pushed to low places. You were determined to survive, to outsmart doctors while I was still suffering. Normal became anything but…You made me endure painful procedures to find your identity. After a few years, after pain medication, after antidepressants and anxiety medication, after draining fluid from my knee with a colossal needle, after cortisone shots, and after an arthroscpic biopsy, I heard your name in passing. I was told your existence was so rare that I didn’t need to consider you as an option. Although you were unlikely I needed to know about you. Knowledge was a way for me to begin to reclaim myself. Your reputation was negative, but I needed to know as much as I could about you. The road to our official introduction took us to Boston.

Pigmented Villonodular Synoivitis… your ominous name… you were the reason for what I had been going through… your name was a gift to me. Giving you a name confirmed my sanity… proving that you were real, not something I was creating. You validated my pain and suffering and gave me permission to no longer beat myself up for not being able to do things… Your name provided direction and gave me the opportunity to start once again navigating my own life… though I needed a lot of help with that task. Meeting you…began a power shift…away from you, towards me. You came so close to breaking me – so completely. Identifying you eradicated some fears while instigating others. You were frightening because your impact had already been so huge and a future with you had some horrible possibilities…terms like malignant tumors, bone degeneration, and amputation were associated with you.

My only choice was to remove you, though there really was no choice. You had been extremely aggressive with me for years and I had no choice but to return the favor. I was fortunate to have the PVNS expert on my side. You were not a stranger to my superhero and he knew how to proceed. More new words…. An open anterior and posterior synovectomy was your kryptonite… an extreme procedure, very invasive. But it was my only hope… my ONLY hope… and I had not felt hopeful in a long time.

The day we were officially introduced was a day that offered me some freedom. I had reason to cry and had proof that something was really wrong. I was able to break down in front of my friends and family because I knew I had a valid reason for why I was in pain. I didn’t have to feel like I had simply been complaining about soreness. That day I committed to allow my superhero, someone I briefly met, to alter my body. Weeks later he did just that with two massive incisions. He removed you from my body, but you were not out of my life. Physically recovering from the surgery has not yet been completed, but it is close. Emotionally recovering will take longer…

It’s almost a year after you were removed, and I just learned that you have not returned. I am free of you. You are gradually exiting my life and because of the damage you have done to me, I am struggling to believe you are gone for good. I want to believe it, but do not want to trust in that only to be slapped with your return later on. You made it easy for me to expect the worst… you drained my glass so that it was always empty, never even half full…so I need time to slowly pour my faith back into the glass and believe there is no crack from which it may escape.

You will never be absent from my life… my scars will remind me of your existence…and I will think about the journey you caused… but I will not give you power to hurt me any more… I choose to see my scars as postcards from this trip. They say: I will not doubt myself again, I will fight even harder for what I know is true, I am even stronger, it’s ok to lean on people, people will not let you down, my relationships with people are even more meaningful, I know how much I am loved, and I know that I can make it through something even when there are times I wanted to quit. And they say, it’s part of my past…not part of my future.

PVNS you are powerful. You are no longer welcome, not that you ever were. You arrived uninvited and remained even after you have been kicked out of the party… But it is time for me to say good bye to you. It’s time for me to take away your power. I choose to use your power to make choices that will make and keep me strong. My life is once again mine and you no linger dictate what I can and cannot do. I fought you… with a strong army on my side.

I have shed so many tears because of you. Because you were painful… because I had to create tools to help me physically pull myself up… because you got stronger and I got worse… because I regained the weight I had worked so hard to get rid of…. Because walking was excruciating… because I doubted myself… because I thought people didn’t believe me… because I was unable to see things getting better… because you damaged my spirit… because you turned me into an angry resentful person… because you allowed me to isolate myself… because you altered the way I saw who I was… Tears were also shed because you existed which meant there was a way for me to get rid of you, there was hope…There will most likely be more tears shed, but not because you are defeating me…but because I have defeated you… and for that… I am grateful.


The Results are in...

Drumroll please................
I got the results of my MRI yesterday... the call came at about 9:15 last night...

I do NOT have PVNS! Let me just say that again.... I do not have PVNS....anymore... it's gone... my knee looks good... there is some arthritis, but that's expected... but no PVNS... no PVNS... really? Really.

The written report of the MRI had noted a cyst that was suspected to be the result of a meniscus tear... which... I was told last night...to someone who is unfamiliar with PVNS and the surgery I had would appear like a cyst... It's not. It is a small amount of scar tissue from where my doctor had made the incision through my meniscus to get to the lining of the knee....

so....................... do a cartwheel... dance.... jump up and down and join me in shouting from the rooftops.... I no longer have PVNS!!!! Yeah yeah yeah!!!

It was emotional for me to learn this... I broke down a little...and have cried a bit today in thinking about this and what it means... I feel like I have been given something back... I feel like I can stop fearing PVNS and fearing what the future held for me physically... I don't have to wonder about what limitations I will have and if what I am doing is damaging my knee or worsening something that might be there.... it means I can .... let go of this... I can say goodbye to something that was soooo difficult for me. PVNS hurt me physically... emotionally....mentally...and spiritually... It took such a huge toll on my life.. on me... on my confidence... on believeing in myself and feeling optimistic....

I think letting go of this will be a process for me... one of my friends asked me today, if I believe it... if I trust the doctor's report.... and with hesitation... I answered... "I will..." It really is hard for me to believe... that something that impated my life for so long really is something I can take out of the equation....it's good news... REALLY good news. Really really good news!

(Jill, I got your voicemail and will call you soon...I have to work tonight... although...when I will be heading home here... it will only be 9 p.m. there... maybe I will try to call you on my way home!)


Rock On DMB!!!

The concert was a lot of fun! It now feels like it is really summer! We left here around 11 and started the festivities immediately. It was me, Sara, Phil, and Alyssa. We checked in to the hotel and met up with some other people who were joining us... we left shortly after to go to the parking lot to start tailgating. This was some friends who were following us to the show...
We were in a borrowed truck and the back window rolled down... very cool. You can see the traffic lining up to get in... that was crazy.

So we got set up to tailgate... with grill master Phil ready for anything...we had burgers, chicken, sausages, pasta salad, chips and cookies. We also had some festive beverages... which led to this Charlie's angels pose with waterguns... We shot other concert goers with ice cold water... and hid the guns so people were clueless... unless they were cute then we admitted it.

After plenty of tailgating, we headed inside the comcast Center... this is me with two of my coworkers... whatever happens at DMB... stays at DMB!!!

This is our view... granted we couldn't see that well, but... the music was still awesome.

After the show we tailgated a little more with cake, lots of water, and some chips... we hung out in the parking lot for a LONG time because it took so long for traffic to leave anyway. This is me in my new baseball hat... I don't often wear baseball hats, but... I was told I looked cute while wearing someone else's, so... what's a girl to do?

It was a lot of fun... I am so fortunate to have the friends I do....

It was good to be able to completely relax.... I have been in touch with my dr's office this week... and they got the MRI images today and should be in touch tomorrow... I have A LOT of anxiety...so yesterday was a real treat.


Today is the DMB...

DMB concert is today! Yahooooooooooooo... it will be a day filled with dancing, singing, laughing, drinking, and relaxing....I will take pictures... I promise...and will post some of them...

Dance dance dance!!!!!



One of the sites I like to visit online is another blog… Ross the Intern’s blog. Ross works on the Tonight Show and became famous when he was an intern for the show and his zany ways got a lot of attention. He cracks me up. There are days when he is out and about and he runs into his blog buddies, live and in person. He always handles it well. And I think… I bet that when people meet him they see him as the same person they see on his blog… but I wonder if that is true. Like me, he chooses what to share on his blog and conversely,and perhaps more importantly, what not to share.

So I wonder… through my blog… do people who do not know me think they know me? Do the people who do know me, know me better, or think they do? Or is it like hearing a dj on the radio…hearing that voice creates a picture of that person in your head…then you see their picture one day and he/she looks totally different than what you had anticipated? Do people picture me a certain way… I mean my pic is on the blog, but do people anticipate my mannerisms, voice, and expressions? Do people expect that my speech patterns will mirror the way that I write? Do people think I am witty? Intelligent? Crazy? Self absorbed for having a blog in the first place?

I wonder about these things when we live in a world with so much technology… with so much communication based on emails… and meeting people in the cyberworld feels like reality… what happens when you meet someone in person who you have communicated with online? There is always room for disappointment… from the other person… do I live up to the expectations? People can intend to not set up expectations…but I think that we naturally have expectations… in some form or another.

I like that people read my blog. I like that people follow it, but it’s interesting at times, even with my friends… I start to tell a story and they interrupt with, oh yeah, I read that on your blog… so in some ways it gives me less to talk about…. And it means that people do know me.. .on some level… who may not otherwise know me… which is not a bad thing… I create it and people read it… I made it so that I could share aspects of my life in a manner that, for me, has been an outlet of sorts.

Where is all this thinking coming from? Today I met a blog buddy… in person. The invitation to meet had been on the table for quite some time… I wasn’t sure why meeting was necessary…necessary isn’t the right word…. I wasn’t sure if/why meeting would be a natural progression of contact. This blog buddy has been someone who has been supportive and respectful of me for a long time. Originally we had communicated through another website…and have emailed periodically for some time now. When I began my blog I sometimes referred to it in my emails and agreed to share the blog’s address when it was requested…

I think that sharing my blog, sharing that part of myself, can make me feel vulnerable in a way… Granted I don’t put everything on the blog, but those of you who are regular blog readers know that I do put a lot of my thoughts… inner thoughts here… and for someone who has often worked hard to keep strong walls around me, it is a bit intimidating to know that people know a lot about me… perhaps that sounds counter intuitive… a blogger who shares information online but builds tall walls between herself and others in real life…. and then feels vulnerable for sharing said information…. I think that at times when I blog, I forget that there is an audience… after all, the blog is an outlet for me, not designed to be a anything else. I am surprised at times, that people do read it so often… I appreciate that… am humbled by that.

The person I met today made me reflect on something about myself that I don’t think about often… my inability to gracefully accept compliments. Conversation came easily and began with compliments about my writing… I didn’t anticipate that… I expressed gratitude and tried dismissing it and changing the subject. There were times that I referenced something and was met with that person recalling a blog entry about that subject… making me wonder if I do share too much here… giving people a false sense of not only knowing me, but understanding me…and wondering if that is fair… making people feel like they know me…when they don’t.

Other blog readers have told me that the journey I have been on with PVNS and other crazy things in the course of the last year or so have inspired them or impressed them… or made them feel empathetic for me…proud of me… I don’t think people would feel inspired or be proud of me when I cry so hard breathing is hard… or… when I am so angry at god for all the crap that has happened and is happening…. So I wonder… have I painted myself in this blog in colors that are more flattering than truth?

The person I met today… made me feel held in a high regard and makes me wonder if I am deserving of that. It gives me something to think about. I have tried to blog with truth.. and have tried to be honest.. because I blog as a way to express myself…because somehow in my life or somewhere in my life it became easier to express myself in writing than through conversation… writing has been a way for me to process things in my life without needing to depend on another person… a way for me to build and keep strong walls around me. In middle school… after a hard day I would tell my family I was tired….I didn’t want to tell them I was upset or had had a bad day… I didn’t want to burden them with whatever things had happened… I remember some of those days included me sitting in the woods with a notepad… writing… maybe I have not matured past that point. Do I want to change that about myself? I am pretty comfortable with it… but if I want certain things in my life, is that something I will need to adjust? Should I or do I need to be more open and forthcoming with people in person… in reality? I don’t know.

Today was a nice surprise… before meeting we had said there were no expectations… the raw truth is that I did have expectations… I expected to be polite as I sat through a meal with this person… and expected that I would feel awkward and find reason to leave soon after arriving. But… it was nice. Good conversation, laughter, good food, getting sprayed by a lobster… very nice. We left, as we said we would, without further expectations…in theory… but maybe there are expectations. Because it was fun, one would expect to do it again sometime, right? Isn’t that the logical, right thing to do? I don’t know yet, though I did say that it may be nice to do it again when the weather was nicer. The things that would hold me back.. would be… not wanting to send mixed messages…not wanting to create more of a sense of knowing me…or knowing me in theory… and …realizing that the knowledge we have of each other is not balanced… there is more knowledge of me ‘out there’ and I am not sure how I feel about that. But that applies to my friends too… I don’t hear form all my friends daily… don’t know what goes on with them or what they are thinking about…so those who read this know more about me than I do them…. Is that ok?

It’s interesting… and has given me more to think about…. Which as an overanalyzer is just what I need.

MRI news... Kind of...

So... I contacted my dr.'s office about the results of my MRI... and it shouldn't be a surprise that they had not yet received anything from my MRI... ??? not a surprise because it seems like in order to get medical communication done correctly the patient has to do all the legwork... no pun intended... legwork..knee... anyway... So.. I called the place that did my MRI and asked them to forward a copy of the report AND the images to my dr and the woman I spoke with was sweet and told me everything would be sent out today. Great. I hung up and thought to myself... do I trust that? Nope. I called her back and asked if I could have an additional copy for my personal records... the report and the cd with the images. She agreed and I picked them up today. The results... are a bit confusing and I hope I get clarification soon... it has terms like... mild degenerative irregular catilage thinning...joint effusion...multiloculated cyst...posterior horn...miniscus and popliteus tendon... so... from that I get that there is a small cyst somewhere in my knee... and of course I wonder if it is a tumor of some kind....BUT... it also says... No nodular masses or focal areas of decreased signal are seen within the joint to suggest PVNS or hemosiderin deposition... So does that mean there is not PVNS? In the conclusion or impression it says... no bovious change of PVNS... so I wonder if something isn't present it can't change... so is it present? Ahhhhhh... I don't know... It has been on my mind a lot this afternoon... more questions than answers at this point... ahhhhh why do I google things... I just googled some of those words and found that sometimes PVNS can present as popliteus cysts... ... so I am going to stop googling.. and wait... another surgery.. no no no no no... I'm fine fine fine fine fine...... soo.. we'll see...


Just got an email from my doc about my MRI... he is going to check and get back to me ASAP.... fingers crossed...

Shut Up Already

I worked at the toll booth last night.... wasn't a scheduled shift, but was called in last minute. I was happy to get some more hours. It would have been a nice shift had my coworker of the evening been a little more.... silent. Oh my... he did not shut up... and usually I enjoy chatting - it makes the shift go by faster, but this guy had one topic on his mind... his "girlfriend." Now... normally conversations about girlfriends are pretty harmless... this guy... I felt bad for him... I think he is a couple of sandwiches short of a picnic. His "girlfriend" is a woman he has spent maybe 8 hours with in the last 10 months... those hours have been while she is at work....with him paying her.....She... is a stripper at the local strip club. Their "quality time" has involved him paying between $300 and $500 dollars AN HOUR! He is convinced that they have a future together... that they are boyfriend/girlfriend... that she has been honest with him and that she does things for him in their private sessions that she doesn't do for other clients...that they have seen all of each other... Ewwwwww... I wanted to poke my eyes out with coin wrappers... I basically told him she was using him and that she had no use for him outside of the club... he said he knew that but that they had told each other that they love each other... LOVE? Oh My GOD!!! Seriously? He gave me some details that I didn't need to hear. Finally I told him that he needs to be careful because he was going to get himself into trouble at work talking that way... he asked what I meant and I said that some of the things he was talking about could be taken as sexual harassment and that obviously this woman has messed him up... and that if it was impacting him at work.. enough so he droned on and on for about 6 hours straight.... he was not in a good place.. He added that he trusted her... SHUT UP.... He did stop talking about it after I told him that he could be accused of sexual harassment... adding that he had been warned by his manager already...for talking about going to the strip club, without the details he told me. Gross... I feel bad for the guy...but really... $300-$500 an hour to have a conversation with benefits?

That was a looooooooooong shift people... very long....



Do you ever hear music that makes you feel like summer? There are a couple of bands whose music makes me feel like summer. DaveMatthews Band is one of those bands... I love how you can really hear the individual instruments...trumpet... saxophone... love the bari sax... it's not just guitars and drums. I saw DMB for the first time two years ago at Fenway, which was a lot of fun. My good friends Sara and Phil are big DMB fans and have gotten me into it too... I love music.. all kinds of music, but those who know me well know that I am terrible at identifying bands, songs, etc... I am not one of those people that can be in a restaurant or anywhere else, hear a song and know its title and the band. But... when I hear DMB I think of summer...and being with my friends.
Next week I am seeing him again... and I am happy about that... I am once again going with Sara and Phil as well as another friend of mine, Alyssa. We are heading down early to tailgate and it should be a lot of fun.

Today is my first official day of vacation. Yippee! Yesterday after the kids left... a few of us went out to celebrate. Our celebration included margarita's, beer, hot wings, mexican food, laughter, and cute, flirtatious waiters...which is always fun. The celebration did not last as long as it has in years past... we headed home while it was still daylight... that's crazy. Today I am being laszy... but am thinking about heading towards the beach... with a book. I have started a book about buddhism. Maybe I will figure out the universe and will give you all the answers... although... I hear that the point of buddhism is the exploration of life's questions... therefore if I get the answers I won't be able to share them because it will be better for you to go on that journey yourself... how zen does that sound?

Anyway... I have not heard from my dr. about my MRI... but I need to let that go... I may send one more email this week, but if I get no response I will just wait...

enjoy the weekend..


2 days...

2 more days until summer vacation. I am excited. I am done with my paperwork for the year... phew... I am a little overwhelmed with the moving process at work. People who are further ahead in the process keep showing up in my classroom... some with math materials I will need next year and others who need computer help... ahh... come on people.. I just want to get MY stuff done... but I understand that's how we are all feeling. Tomorrow I am going to make the kids work.. help me move stuff from my room into my new room... that should speed up the process for sure. Then I should only need to move my desk and file cabinets and decorations. It should be nice.

No word from my doc in Boston yet... I would love an email that said... congratulations... you are PVNS free! When I talked to my primary care doc... or her assistant the other day... I asked her if it had come back normal... she said there was a note about the incisions... and something about a tear... not sure what that means... but it didn't sound significant. Fingers crossed.

With the year winding up I am finding that I have more time to think... a lot of my thoughts have been about work... there have been a lot of changes made for next year. I think it will benefit the kids, but not everyone sees it that way. Some people are feeling targeted or punished... people are down right rude too...adults... talking about each other as if we were the students. Get over it people. enough is enough. When I look back at this school year it is hard to believe that I began the year on crutches...with my bell... and it took some time before I was crutch free... My grandmother died after a harrowing battle with cancer... and my mom was diagnosed with kidney cancer... yet... work... well.. dare I say that it may be the highlight of the year... that and getting rid of the crutches for good... but I really feel gratified this year, work wise. I was able to focus on one subject and was able to really help kids understand the processes of math. Some of the students I had this year will also be in my class next year. I will be excited to see what they remember. When the year ends I have high hopes of doing a lot of school work over the summer... but then once summer starts... I am all about summer... I have sent out a letter already... to the parents of the kids I will have next year... intoroducing myself and letting them know I will call them in August and invite them into my classroom before school begins.

I am feeling kind of blah today... it may be a side effect of staying up until 1:00 a.m. cheering for the Celtics and watching some of their celebrations. I also had to call and harass one of my friends who lives in LA and is a big lakers fan... ha ha ha..... All I can say.. is that it's a good thing Kobe wore waterproof mascara... that way his girly face wasn't covered with black tear stains from all his crying! He really is a pretty woman.

oh well...


The final countdown...

(The song, The Final Countdown, should be playing in your head right now!)

3 more days... until SUMMER VACATION... Yahooooooo! There will be smiling... there will be celebrating.... there will be dancing.... and the kids think they get rid of their teachers in the summer... I think it's the other way around... teachers get rid of students for the summer. I shouldn't say that... I do like my students and love the work we do together, but... I am ready for a break.

Tonight I am finishing the last of my files... making sure everything is set before I send it to the next teacher. Then... I am done. I now have to pack up my classroom because I am moving to a different room. (This is a good move, one I chose!) It is right next to my current room, so not far to move... it will decrease some of the hallway noise which I am very much looking forward to.

I ran into a former student the other day... he was one of my favorites... though I am not supposed to have favorites. He said that I was taller than he remembered... this made me smile... he remembers me for things besides my height. I like that. It's actually a lesson I try to teach the kids... that their appearance is not what counts...and not how they should judge people... maybe it works... I hope so.

I got some beautiful pictures in my email today. My ex-boyfriend's younger sister had a baby recently. It's hard for me to believe because she was just a kid when I was with him... but I guess it has been a while. The baby is beautiful of course. Being the analyzer I am... I wondered, just for a split second... if we hadn't broken up... would I have had a baby yet? Why do we ask ourselves the what ifs? I have a lot of them... the what ifs... Even entertaining that question is silly because there are no ifs... in this situation. He was not right for me...and I was not right for him... but I do contemplate things. Some people may be surprised that I got an email from my ex. We've exchanged emails over the last couple of months... at first I was not open to it, for many reasons, but it has been ok. I don't hate him and am glad to hear that he is doing well and hearing about his family. It is hard breaking up... because you lose contact with more than the person you were dating...I haven't had much experience with that because I haven't had many serious relationships... but there is a part of me that would love to send something to my ex's sister, for the baby... but it feels like I shouldn't do that. It feels like I would be intruding a little... and I am sure they wouldn't want to be reminded of me... after all the last time I saw them all... was at the wedding of my ex's other sister... and everyone was asking when we were going to get married... not if... when... that's strange to think about. Life happens... it goes on... and beautiful things can happen. That baby... that baby is beautiful.

Meanwhile, life for mom and dad is also moving forward.... they came home for a doctor appointment and I was wondering if they would stay home for a while... but nope... they are leaving again tomorrow to go back up. That makes me happy.

Procrastinating also makes me happy... but... it means things don't get done... so I need to go now... stop procrastinating... and get that file done!!!

3 days THREE DAYS!!!


Some Luck... maybe

On my way home yesterday the CHECK ENGINE light came on in my vehicle... ahhhhhhhhh... I was mad... anxious... pissed... to be quite frank. Remember.. not even a month ago I spent mucho dinero on my truck after the check engine light came on. So this was not a good sign... So... today I called the garage... and explained what was going on and took it in... telling them that I wasn't going to pay for a diagnosis since I was just there. I sat in the waiting room and every time one of the service guys came in I cringed... then my guy came in... Hey Kim.... pause pause pause... knot tightening in my stomach.... "You're all set, Kim." The light was on because of something with the previous repair... some tube was bent or something... so they fixed it... Yahooooooooo! I couldn't believe it... the car gods looked happily upon me. Thank you car gods! I have to admit that I was expecting the worst... I used to think more positively... optimistically...

AND... mom and dad came home from camping today...and are planning to go back. They only came down because they each have an appointment tomorrow. Mom sounded good today. She said it has been nice to be at camp... said it was good to hear dad laughing with the people up there. She even said that she is contemplating kayaking... that makes me feel good.

I had emailed my doc to see about my MRI results... and no word yet... maybe though.. maybe today is my lucky day and I will get a response... maybe...


Toll House.... Cookies

I returned to work today at my part time job... collecting tolls... it's a job that I actually enjoy... because it is so different than my other job. The plaza I was at today was one of the smaller booths, and my legs got a little uncomfortable... not much room to change positions... but it was ok. I listened to some music, saw some interesting people....and got the usual creepy winks from the old men... dirty old men... as well as the appreciative truck drivers who don't have to hang out of their windows to reach the toll booth worker... my height gives them an advantage..... and one man did ask if I had any toll house cookies.... it will be nice to do that job once in a while again. I hope to get more hours to make some gas money...

Anyway.. I am watching the Celtics, but had to take a moment to post something...


My own advice...

After my posts about my MRI, I got an email from someone who has had a similar experience with PVNS... I actually think it has been harder on her than it was on me... but anyway... she told me to call my doctor to get the results of the MRI before my July appt. Why hadn't I thought of that? I encourage people to be assertive when it comes to getting the needed tests and referrals, etc. SO why should I wait? If he will have the results before my appt. in July, he could look at the MRI sooner... and let me know, right? Right! so... By the beginning of next week the results should have made it to Boston... so... I will check. Thanks Cheri!

I am TIRED this weekend. My allergies are terrible... making my throat sore and making it hard to sleep... yuck.

I am scheduled to work tomorrow at my part time job. I haven't done it for over a year because of my knee... so I am a little nervous about what it will be like... hopefully I remember what I am doing.

I want to give a shout out to Mrs. Rico... who recently fell off a horse and has done some significant damage to her back... Please take care and don't push too hard too fast!


Ahhhh the dreaded MRI.

2 part blog…

I am anxious today. I have an appointment tonight to have an MRI on my knee. The MRI that will tell me whether or not PVNS is gone… or back… and I am worried. I haven’t talked much about it because I figure people have enough on their plates and, quite frankly, don’t want to burden my family with more things to stress about. But… I am trying to think about all the possible scenarios. I have found myself today… willing my knee to be normal, willing anything that is in there to hide…. Or go away… My instincts have not really given me any direction. I know that my knee is not where I want it to be. But… it is better…so much better than it was. So does that mean that it is gone? Or does it mean that it is mostly gone? Are there degrees of gone when it comes to PVNS? I won’t get the results today. I won’t get the results until I go to my doctor in July. Over a month. Waiting. I have fear about the results of the MRI, but I also have fear about the MRI itself. This will be MRI #4 for me. The first three were painful, very painful, all ending with me in tears. The pain stemmed from having to keep my knee in the same position for an extended amount of time. Before surgery, NOT moving my knee was horrible. There was a delicate balance between finding a painless position and maintaining some movement to prevent my knee from locking up on me and hurting so badly…. So, I am not sure what tonight will entail. Pain? I hope not. Anxiety? Yes. I have tried to be all Zen about it… that it “is what it is”…. That if there are signs that PVNS has returned… it is out of my control… that there is nothing I could have done or could now do to prevent it… and I am also trying to think positively… to will the PVNS away from me…. Maybe I should go back and remove all the p’s, v’s, n’s, a_d s’s from this entry just to be safe… but maybe that is going too far? I just…. want…. good news… good news from a medical test… that has been something very rare in my family recently. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh…

Post MRI: I arrived at the MRI place well before my scheduled appointment…hoping that if I got there early I may get home in time to see the start of the Celtics game. No such luck. I was the last patient of the day. This MRI experience was the best one yet. I got to choose some tunes to listen to… a nice distraction from the sounds of the MRI machine… so I got to listen to some DMB. Yeah! And… the BEST part. I did not cry because I was not in pain. I kept waiting for the pain to come and it didn’t. My knee got a little stiff after being in that thing for close to an hour, but… it was virtually painless. Yahoo… The radiologist couldn’t give me the results of course… but when I said that it was the best MRI experience yet, she said, well, maybe this is the lucky one. I hope hope hope…. I really am not sure what I will do if it is back.. I cannot go down the PVNS highway again… I just can’t. So… that is behind me. I am trying to unwind from it as I write this… and I think I was more tense than I realized… but it’s over… and now… I just have to wait to get the results. Fingers crossed… check… toes crossed…check… begging the universe for good results… check!

Ok.. something a little deeper… I want to share my experience at the homeless shelter on Sunday. It was a great experience. The thought that was most in the forefront of my mind was.. why have I not done this before? I was not sure what to expect. I arrived well before the meal was going to be served and there were already people gathering outside to get in line. To be completely candid, I worried about leaving my vehicle parked close to a homeless shelter where I knew homeless people would be gathering. There is that snap judgment, a prejudice, a stereotype. Of course something could have happened to my vehicle. But I think that I trusted the intentions of the people who were there. The volunteers were there to help people, and the people needing a meal were there to get food, to accept help from people, not to damage my property.

I was not sure what I would be doing when I got there. I ended up making some PB & J sandwiches. (These are available for people to take with them, to eat later.) Then I helped get some desserts on plates.. but most of my time was spent in the kitchen, putting dishes away after they came out of the dishwasher. They were HOT. It was a hard job in that it was so hot and I had to grab hot dishes and quickly get them stacked and take clean plates and trays out to the part of the cafeteria where the guest were eating. This afforded me the opportunity to have some closer interactions with the people in attendance. My height, was of course, a topic of conversation. I was introduced to some people as security, by a man who runs the facility. After the introduction he told me that next time he introduced me as security I needed to look meaner. Like I said, I mostly stayed in the kitchen, but I did see the people as they came in. People. Not homeless people… people. Young… one as young as maybe 18 months… men, women, children… pregnant women…. People my age…lots of ethnicities…. And I couldn’t help but wonder how many additional people will need this kind of place as our economy continues to suck. I also wonder… for each person who came to lunch that day, how many people who needed lunch didn’t come? Working in the kitchen kept a wall between me and the people who were there to eat. It was very real to me… the need to have a soup kitchen. But… there was still something separating me from them. I found that comforting… and felt guilty for feeling comforted by that. I don’t think that it was about me judging them as much as I wondered about how they would judge me. Would they see me as someone there, volunteering to ease some guilt I have somewhere, to say she had helped people, to make a spectacle of them, or to do something to feel better about her own life? I don’t know… I do know that many people thanked me for being there… volunteers thanked each other and the lunch crowd thanked the volunteers. How close are any of us to needing a place like that shelter for food? One of the volunteers there shared with me that they are not sure how much longer they can provide meals because the food supply is dwindling… sad. How do people survive?

Anyway… I am beat… going to try to relax a little then go t obed and watch the rest of the Celtics game. Go BEANTOWN!


Sunny Summer Day

It was a gorgeous day yesterday! Absolutely beautiful. I was afraid I wasn't going to be able to enjoy it because I was pretty sick on Friday. I left work early after waking up with a cold that made me feel like I had been hit by a bus. But... I did something I don't often do.. I took cold medicine...and I think it helped. So... as a result, I was able to rally and follow through with my plans. I went to a cook out at the house of one of my co-workers. It is a beautiful home, steps away from the ocean. A few people from work had gathered to celebrate that another coworker/friend had finally sold her house. Yahoo! Following the bbq, a few of us headed in town to watch a baseball game - my first of the season. It was great because the game started around 6 and the sun was on its way down. I did need a sweatshirt, but it was fine. It ended up being only 4 of us at the game. Two women, two men. It was nice to go out with guys and not have the dating nerves... I mean usually when I go on a date... not that I do that often, but when I do, I am myself. I don't try to be or act in certain ways... I just am me. Even so, there is some nervousness with dating. Last night it was so relaxed...I really had fun.

Today I am doing something I have never done before. I am excited and nervous. I will be volunteering at a homeless shelter, serving lunch. Why be nervous about that? Because it is something new, and I am not sure of what my role will be.

From there, if the timing is right, I am going to try to go to a place where one of my favorite artists will be today. I would love for her to sign a print that I want to get framed for my apartment. It would be great to have her signature on it. Not sure why we put value into autographs, but it would be great to meet her.

It is going to be hot today... and I am hoping to maybe make it to the ocean later today... we'll see.

My internet connection at home... is no longer in existence... darn. So.. my blogging will have to be from remote locations for a while. My upstairs neighbor and I are considering pooling funds for internet... eek. Maybe I should just visit free wi-fi and pretend to be like Matt Lauer (spelling?) You know, on the today show, where they play, where in the world is... Matt Lauer? We could play, where in the cyberworld is TallGal?

BREAKING NEWS..... Today my parents are heading up to their camper!!! They are unsure if they will be there for an hour, three hours, or five days... it will totally depend on how mom is feeling. I am sooooooooo happy they are going, and keep my fingers crossed that it goes well so that they don't get discouraged and will want to try it again!



I am a pirate without a ship...

I can no longer pirate internet access at home.... so I am a pirate without a ship... no method of transportation to sail across the cybersea... I will post though... somehow... and may have to think about actually paying for internet... eek!

Stay tuned!


Cock a doodle dooooo!

My alarm went off at 5:00 a.m. And I listened to it, wondering what the hell was going on. Then I remembered that I committed to going to the gym this morning... so naturally I hit the snooze button. But I did get up, and did go to the gym... was there by 5:30 and did 8 miles on the bike in 30 minutes and increassed the resistance so that I can try to strengthen my quad... It felt good and I could tell I had worked out as the day progressed... well combined with yesterdays walk and short bike ride. I also did a few of the PT exercises for my knee that I really should do daily. I thought about going for a walk tonight, just a short walk.. .just to try to start and end my day with something healthy. But... I am not sure if I should or not. I also have some paperwork to do tonight, so I may have to just wait and go in the morning. I also went grocery shopping today and bought healthy food... Yep... doing the healthy thing again... lower carb, balance of fruit veggies and protein... and am in the process of cooking some chicken so that I can make some chicken salad. (Adding some dried cranberries and pecans to the mix!) That will be used for lunches this week.

The morning was nice... peaceful. I thought that it would be nice to walk the beach that early one day... maybe I will have to do that someday soon... How cool would that be... to walk the beach at 5:30 in the morning and then go to work... what a different day that would be... ahhhh...


I went...

I went for a bike ride... not far... but I went. It's a starting point... and maybe next time I will go a little further. I have committed myself to going to the gym in the morning before work.

Slowed Down

Today one of my friends and I did a little walking... there was a festival in Portland today and it was nice to be out and about with so many people on such a beautiful day. It truly felt like the beginning of summer. We parked pretty far from everything and walked around. On the way to the festival we were walking mostly down hill. On the way back, obviously we were walking uphill. At one point she asked me if my knee was starting to bug me. She said she noticed my pace had slowed down. My knee was bothering me, but not in a painful way... but in that it was tired. It was more my quad than my knee actually. It's funny how I still notice that my head thinks my body is more capable than it is. When my quad is fatigued, I notice it is harder to extend my leg out as far, making my stride shorter and it does tend to go slower than I expect it will. The other thing I notice is that uneven surfaces, especially on an incline or decline, are very hard. It's comparable, I suppose to depth perception in a way.. I know where the ground is, but my leg doesn't react as quickly as I think it should, or expect it to. But... A year ago... I would not have been able to even thinkn about being able to go to the festival because of the pain... so today was a day that I can measure progress from... And while it is still a process... it is progress... and there will be more... I am contemplating a short bike ride after dinner. But... it may not happen... we'll see.

My Favorite Place

My Favorite Place