6/29/2009

Daffodils



I felt like looking at some daffodils today... like my favorite flower, tulips, daffodils mean spring has spring and symbolizes new beginnings... I am ready for some new beginnings... in lots of ways..

I have digested my good news about my knee... and feel like I can start looking ahead... maybe even planning ahead... haven't felt like that was possible in a while... but now that I know I can start planning... what should I plan for? I'm sure the wheels will start turning soon.


One big beginning I am hoping for....I hope that Maine will be beginning to see the sun...SOON.... Come on Sun!

6/27/2009

Cautiously optimistic...

Last night I stayed home and just kind of let myself be... I was very happy about my knee news and strange as it may sound... it's kind of hard for me to believe. The way that life has been in the last few years... has taken away some of my optimism... and I am pretty angry about that. Just when things seem to start settling down, something dramatic happens and life feels so out of control. It's been a long time since I have felt hopeful about anything... When I write that it sounds so desperate. I have had moments of fun and good times with people who mean a lot to me, but in the last few years, especially the last year and a half.... my energy has been splintered between what was happening in the moment and what was going on elsewhere... I am a person who can be having a conversation while having a million other things on my mind... and in recent times, it seems like that ability has only increased. I find it difficult to live in the moment anymore...not that I was ever astute at that... but it's even harder for me now...

The closer yesterday's appointment came... the more it was on my mind... I had devised a plan... that if I needed another surgery I would arrange to go to a rehabilitation place following the surgery.... I would bravely tell my dad that I had expected bad news and that I was okay with having to have another surgery... and try so hard to not fall apart when hearing or seeing the concern in his voice/eyes....I feared that getting bad news would stop me from being active, from wanting to be active...I thought about how hard it was... to go through the surgery for the first time... and was ready to get my walker and crutches out of my basement... I really had NOT thought about what I would do IF I got good news...I really wanted good news.. but have been very afraid to hope for it, to really want it... to think of that possibility...

Yesterday I had my xrays first... then reported to the doctor's office... and he was running behind schedule. Great... I thought... MORE time to think... to freak out...I made conversations with Sara and some small talk with other patients in the waiting room... all the time thinking about the word 'unfortunately'... assuming that after reviewing the MRI and xrays, my gentle doctor would turn to me and say, "Unfortunately...." and something about PVNS's return...I hadn't predicted how the rest of his sentence would be delivered, but I was certain that 'unfortunately' would be its opener... eventually they put me in an exam room... and Sara came in with me, to take notes...and to offer some humor relief... and we sat there and I am sure my heart was racing... wanting this to be behind me, but also not looking forward to what could unfold... so I at on the little table thingy...swinging my legs... playing with the ring I strategically wore for that purpose...waiting...

The first doctor I saw was one of the doctors who works closely with my doc... I have spoken with her before and she was the person I harassed so much last year before my appointment to give me the news before I faced them in person... She asked how I was doing and I shared that I have some pain in my knee after doing twisting motions.... she asked me to bend and straighten my knee... and pushed and pulled on it a bit..... then she looked at this year's X-rays...compared them to last years... and said that there was no progression of the slight arthritis... and that it looked good...then she moved to the MRI, and compared it to last year's MRI... saying that some things looked better this year even... she purposefully zoomed in on a couple of areas and said that she would wait for my doctor to officially say that things were good, but that to her, things looked good, clear of PVNS.... She concluded that any pain I am having is just because it is a new movement... which makes sense to me...I asked her about things that I have heard form others with PVNS, about the disease going into the bone....and she explained that PVNS is never gone, once it is present... that there ARE microscopic PVNS cells that will be present... and that I should know that it WILL come back... it's just a matter of when... and to what degree... but she said that when people talk about PVNS going into their bones... what that means is that the PVNS has caused lesions in the tissue of the joint and naturally our body sends many cells to that area to try to combat that lesion... and as those well intentioned cells are working to eradicate the lesion, they inadvertently erode the bone... she said it is similar to the process of arthritis....which made sense to me when she explained it... and now it seems less clear, but...the way she explained it.... it is not common for that to happen... for this disease to cause bone erosion... and that when it does happen it is usually a result of lesions being present for some time and not being treated... and those extreme lesions do cause symptoms and that sometimes treatment routes are not very aggressive... and that's when people get into trouble. She left the room to get my doctor to give me the official news... and as she left Sara smiled at me and said "It sounds like good news..." I returned her smile... not because I was happy, but because I knew she wanted me to be happy...and I was very unsure of myself in those moments... could it be real? could it be true? I felt my nose get a little tingly, like before your eyes water and quickly told myself to regroup... and then my doctor came in... and said that he had heard that I have some discomfort after Zumba... and asked how I was doing otherwise... he also had me straighten and bend my leg... and asked if my range of motion was better than prior to surgery... prior to surgery, yes... prior to PVNS? I can't recall... prior to surgery my knee was so swollen... so swollen... and painful... that bending it was difficult... climbing stairs... awful... even just sitting was, at times, excruciating.... so my knee now, compared to before surgery... AMAZINGly different... and I have feared that it is too good to be true. So I told him it was so much better than before surgery... so much better.... he reviewed the MRI and said that he concurred... there is no regrowth of PVNS at this time... he said he has been dealing with this disease for 20 plus years and in his experience he thinks I am doing great... and asked me how I would feel about not having to see him for two years... I'm not sure what expression came to my face at that time... but I was in shock, frankly... what? Did he just say 2 years without having to come back to be checked? Uhhh.. okay... yeah, sure, absolutely... I said something like, "While I do enjoy you Dr. so and so... I would enjoy not having to see you for two years." I gladly took that as the news...I did ask if I had any problems in the meantime what I should do, and he said not to hesitate to get in touch with him and I would come back to see him...as I left the exam room... I kind of wanted to bolt out of there... but I had to stop at the desk to schedule my next appointment... in June 2011...wow...what will life be like then?

As I left the offices in that part of the hospital I wasn't sure what to say...Sara reached over and put her arm around me congratulating me on the good news and again I felt that little tingle in my nose... and did feel relieved... but refused to cry...there...in that moment... and have developed the ability to push that stuff down, to knd of shake it off in that moment... and revisit it later... I have cried so much in the last several months... and didn't want to cry about something that was good... I left my dad a message, somewhat relieved that it was his machine because I may have cried in hearing him at that moment... and called my sister and kept it short and sweet with her... and then we went to retrieve my truck...

I think Sara expected me to feel more celebratory...but I was kind of numb... as we drove out of Boston... in rush hour traffic... I kept thinking about it, still thinking and replaying it all... I found myself sighing from time to time... releasing some of the stress I had been feeling... remembering the xray and MRI images on the computer...and hearing two years... come back in two years.... wow... all that I heard reinforces that if I have any issues with my knee, I will be aggressive in getting back to Boston...As the first doctor said... I do still have PVNS... but it is not causing issues/growth at this time. Last night I just kind of let myself digest the day... and as the rest of my body relaxed my stomach made me pay for all of my anxiety...but that subsided...

I am cautiously optimistic that this is a turning point for me... that maybe the universe has decided to let me have some good things....some good times.... and while I am happy about it, very thankful about it.... it makes me very uneasy... maybe that doesn't make sense... but... it's true... so I am just going to sit with this information for a while... and see what happens....

6/26/2009

YAHOOO..



Good News... no... GREAT news!!!

My knee is healthy... no signs that PVNS is returning... and I don't have to go back for 2 years! yah yah yah... I am soooooooooooo relieved! Thanks for all the thoughts and emails wishing me well.

I am off to relax... with a lot less anxiety!

6/25/2009

Boston Bound...

Tomorrow... I get the results of my MRI... is PVNS back or is it still absent? Obviously I am hoping for the latter... I am very nervous...very anxious... I just don't want to go through this again... I don't want another surgery... and I fear that if I get bad news I am going to fall apart... I have been able to keep my emotions about mom in check for the most part... but...I am emotional...after being at the mountain... and I fear that bad news will be the rock that shatters everything
... so... we'll see... Sara is coming with me... and I am thankful for that, but admit that in some ways I would love to go solo... those reasons involve being able to just sit with the anxiety and let myself react to whatever I am told in a more private way... but... I think that those reasons are also my defense mechanisms kicking in... some of my closest friends have told me more than once... that I need to let people in more... and I do take comfort in knowing someone will be with me...especially Sara... she was with me when I was diagnosed properly and has seen how PVNS has impacted me.... so..regardless of what the results are... it will be nice to have some moral support...

Today I went on a brief bike ride 2.5 miles then tonight I went to Zumba... I am planning on getting up early tomorrow and going to the gym so that I can work out some anxiety and head to Boston with some of the stress gone from my body and mind...

Fingers crossed... all will be okay... as mom would say... it is what it is... I can't change it...


By the way... I am VERY happy to report that my Dad has bought a new truck! He has wanted a diesel truck for a long long time, and he finally got it! I am happy for you dad! Here she is: Is that a sharp looking truck or what? My mom always chose red for the color of the trucks... I think she would approve!

6/24/2009

The Mountain...

I am home after a few days of camping with Dad... the weather was less than ideal, but I was still happy to be up there... well happy is maybe not the right word... I was content... it was a hard trip to make... heading to the mountain, one of Mom's favorite places...knowing she wasn't going to be there. Usually when I would drive in to the campground I would find Mom and Dad sitting under the awning or with their friends... and can clearly picture my mom's face light up at my arrival... Dad was happy to see me and I was happy to see him... but there was definitely something different. It was nice to see the other people that camp at the campground... and it was nice to be there... in that place... but there were some interesting and maybe symbolic aspects of the trip... one being that Tadpole Terrace was inaccessible... Tadpole Terrace as mom and I named it, is one of the side ponds off the river... Mom and I spent a lot of time in there getting startled by the tadpoles, watching animals, getting drenched from a sudden downpour... but over the course of the fall and winter, the beavers dammed it off... someone said that it was because Mom wanted that part of the river to herself...that may be so. Dam beavers! Another aspect was that the mountain was covered with clouds for the entire duration of my visit...at times part of the mountain would peer through the clouds, but not once did it show itself completely. I have spent many days up there... and even when it rains, usually the mountain reveals itself at least once, if even for a moment... but not this time... and the river was tumultuous... I cooked Dad breakfast on Sunday for Father's day and gave him a card... a cheesy card... didn't want to get all emotional, we've done that a lot lately and cheesy seemed a good option.... then Dad and I went kayaking together...Dad hadn't been in the kayak in a couple of years... it was my first trip on the river since Mom died... and it was hard... it was neat to go with Dad, I was happy to see him in the kayak... later that day I went on a solo journey because the rain had stopped and the river looked calm... however, after turning a corner on the river it was rough... I debated about whether or not to keep going or to turn back... and I felt like I needed to go on... against the current... and I think for the first time, I was nervous on the river... the way the light was it was hard to see what was under the water, rocks, branches, etc... and it made me uneasy... it felt like I was on that river for the first time... and even though the river changes each year, with more trees that have fallen in the river or logs that are in new places underwater... that river is a place I know well, yet it felt like a stranger to me... but I paddled up to some familiar areas and it was soothing... but my first solo trip up the river was brief... On Monday Dad and I decided that we would go on an adventure... it was raining, again... and we thought we would go into the state park and see what we could see... we went on a short hike, about a mile round trip, into a small pond...on the way we passed a beautiful brook and the water level was very high... but the sound of it was beautiful... it's called Roaring Brook for a reason....
videoonce in the pond we found a female moose dining alone... then on our drive out of the park we startled a bear that was meandering down the road and it took off into the woods... it was a big bear; I hadn't seen a bear in a long time. Later that day I returned to the river and it seemed more familiar to me...even without the mountain watching...Tuesday was a decent day... Dad did some fishing and I ended up going for a kayak ride that lasted more than two hours! I explored all of the offshoots of the river... and became quite emotional in Baxter Bay, as we named it... really missing my mom... Wishing we were there together... wishing she hadn't had to be so sick... wishing the last year and a half had been different...so very different... wishing dad wasn't camping alone this summer....wishing for some sign that mom was there with me... feeling quite sorry for myself... but... I recomposed myself and went up further in the river... and did find it comforting and peaceful... while hoping my sinuses would clear and the redness would leave my eyes before I returned to the campground.... Last night the rain prevented us from sitting by a fire, but we managed... played some cribbage and did some reading. This morning, I went in the kayak again, planning a brief excursion... on my return Dad signaled to me that there was a moose in the stream, so I kayaked up there and found the small female moose who had been around the campground for a few days... she is small... I estimate that she is last year's calf... unusual for her to be without her mother so soon...hmm... a parallel I suppose.... this is a picture of her... I also took some video but it is not as clear as I would have liked... but it does give you an idea of how close our moose encounters get... she knew I was there and kept a close eye on me, but as you can see... she moved towards me... at which point I moved back a bit to give her more space...I love being so close to these animals, hearing them chew and splash... I stayed with her for about 20 minutes or so, just watching her... ahhh.... it was nice...
video

I had a lot of anxiety about going to the mountain... feared being emotional... or maybe being emotional in front of people... feared that the place that has been an integral part of my life and of my time with my mother would not feel welcoming....feared that seeing my dad there without mom would break my heart a little more....feared that I would want to leave there almost as soon as I got there...afraid that it wouldn't be a place of peace and serenity anymore....it was different... without her... but it is still a place that touches me in a way I cannot articulate... a closeness to nature...to myself... and I look forward to going back....hopefully soon.

6/17/2009

The bright side....

My friend Sue and I went out for a bike ride tonight... with a goal of 11.4 miles... it was relatively flat and I was doing great. at about the 9 mile mark I shifted my gears and the gear thingys that the chain moves around somehow came loose and got caught in the spokes and stuck... so my back wheel can't move... Suellen had to take my keys and ride her bike back to my truck and come pick me up... grrrr... so back to the bike shop tomorrow.... but the 9 ish miles felt pretty good, even after last night's Zumba... the good news... I am psyched I am capable of doing double digit mileage on my bike.... and when the gear disaster happened I was slowing down and it didn't cause me to go over the handle bars... it will work out.

6/16/2009

Zumba and hearing voices?!

Ok... the school year NEEDS to be over. The last two days have started out well and ended with me being super grumpy... yesterday I was feeling pressured to get my files sent to the high school... and today the afternoon was spent with a school wide assembly... Bob Crowley, winner of Survivor, came to speak with the kids... and the kids were so rude... talking while he was talking... I take that stuff as so disrespectful... and it seemed like I was the only teacher who was trying to control the kids. If I had been Bob I would have walked out of the gym... seriously... be respectful. I also think I am feeling a little anxious about my appointment in Boston next week... I had some bad dreams the other night and each time I woke from it and went back to sleep the same dream restarted... I was in Boston, Sara was with me and we were in my doc's office... and in the midst of telling me that things were questionable...he got an emergency call... and told me he had to go, but that we could go with him... so he, Sara, and I and another lady writing everything down... are in the back seats of a station wagon driving.. my doctor is tying a bow tie (which I have never seen him wear) and calmly tells me that PVNS is back and that there are a few options...and in my dream he is so calm about it and I am freaking out but unable to say anything.... over and over with that dream... ugh... just my anxiety... I hope... Fortunately my mood both days was able to be changed... because I worked out... ahhh... yesterday I did 30 minutes on the elliptical then did weight training with arms and legs... today of course is Zumba day... and before the class I did 20 minutes on the elliptical... not a great idea... made my legs a little tired for Zumba... but I made it through... Debbie came too! Yahoo... we had fun shaking our bodies... She is thinking of joining that gym too and I am excited about that. We may try pilates soon! ooooh something new!

So I was on my way home from Zumba-ing and had the radio on and thought I heard some voices in the background of the radio... and then it stopped... I heard it again and thought maybe it was my cell phone... nope... then I thought maybe I was crazy...really thinking maybe my mom was talking to me from beyond...like on an episode of unsolved mysteries she and I watched years ago...I was getting a little nervous because I couldn't make it out... so I turned the radio off... then I realized that it was coming from my gym bag... I had not turned off my mp3 player that I had been using while on the elliptical machine...and THAT was what was haunting me... silly girl...

6/13/2009

AMAZING Day!

My day began with sleeping in... ahhh... woke up with the cats all around me... then Sara caled... she was on her way to meet up... we had plans to go run/ride back bay... so we loaded up my bike so I could ride while she walked. (Last year we tried this and I couldn't keep up with her because I was so slow on my bike!) We planned to meet back at the parking area and we were off... We started and I got ahead of her...it was a busy place today... there was a pet walk, so there were peple and canines everywhere! Along my rie I ran into Debbie and her son. I knew they were going to be there, but wasn't sure if we would cross paths. She and her son did their first bike ride outside of their neighborhood today. GREAT JOB! I ended up going around twice... for a total of 7 miles. Then Sara and I headed to her ouse where we got in ou kayaks and went out on her pond for about 2.5 hours. We had a great time... we saw all kind of critters.. geese...loons... ducks... little turtles...and a ginormous turtle that tried to eat us! Okay maybe not, but... we were kayaking kind of next to one another and I told her to look out for the stump that was sticking up... I said I thought it might be a turtle but is has stayed up to long and that we should't hit it... about the time we were each on one side of the stump, it went under water fast and we both were startled... and that stump turning out to be the nose, was attaced to a huge turtle... HUGE! To funny... now we are hanging out for the evening... god day... VERY god day... Mom's kayak had its maiden voyage outside of the river it is used to.... it still floated...and I think was hapy to be back exploring a waterway!

6/11/2009

Long Week

This week has lasted forever! I think it's a combination of the weather, having a lot to do at work...and... it being so close to summer vacation... but tomorrow is Friday! I did not work out yesterday... I planned to take the day off... and it was hard, really hard. I found myself having a lot of anxiety last night and struggled to calm myself down... So am I working out to meet a goal of being healthy, or am I working out to escape from the anxiety? Both... I think... it's hard. I guess fitness is a better way to cope with emotions instead of other vices like drinking or overeating... but... I also want my fitness to be part of a healthy lifestyle... and don't want to overdo it... just food for thought...

I did not go to Zumba tonight... instead I went to a dinner to celebrate the graduation from pre-school for the daughter of one of my friends... it was a nice gathering... but I admit I was thinking of Zumba while at dinner. I made some good choices at dinner... more unhealthy than cooking at home, but I did well... even refused the cookie cake that was brought for dessert... when I got home I decided to go swimming... and I am glad I did... it is the last night that the pool I use is open for the summer... so I tread (is that the proper past tense of tread? treaded? anyway...) I treaded water for 40 minutes and feel better about being active today... my head is a little quieter tonight....

I am thinking a lot about my friends tonight... Jill in Ca... and Deb here... lots going on for them both... love you guys!

6/09/2009

Zumba and MRI results...

I am just getting home from another Zumba class (Debbie and Suellen came too! Good job girls!)... I took it a little easy in the class, as much as I could... because my knee was a little stiff tonight... but part of that may be psychological...I stopped earlier today at the place where I had my MRI and got a copy of the written report. (because I don't trust that the report will get there on its own) The report might as well be written in German, because I can't read it/understand it.

I think it says... there are some irregularities within the synovium (tissue that lines the knee) but it is not clear if that is due to post surgery scar tissue or due to recurrent disease... [Mental note: last year's report stated there was a cyst - about which I was a little freaked out...and it turned out to be scar tissue from surgery...] The report continues to state that there is another abnormal area where there is somewhat nodular tissue...there is no evidence of bone erosion (YAY!) There is some cystic change ... whatever that means... It also says something about my menisci... there is no obvious tear (YAY) but they are not well elevated.... not sure what that means either...cruciate and collateral ligaments are good (yay) some degeneration is evident...(this could be the arthritis that I know had started from previous visits in Boston) The last line says recurrent disease would not be excluded... Hmph... what does all this mean?? I suppose I will have to wait and see... the report gives me more questions than answers... I will be ok... if there was something major happening I would not be able to be as active as I have been... right? Right... I hope....

6/08/2009

A Peaceful Moment

I had a moment today that I haven't experienced in a long time. I was riding my bike... I had already been to the gym today, but felt like going for a recreational ride... so I left my house and rode along a path that follow the river...there was a moment when there were no other people in the immediate vicinity and I looked through the trees into the river and I felt peaceful...it reminded me of the many moments I have had, with mom, in our kayaks... I looked at how the sun was shining on the water and on the trees, how it changed the colors of the leafs and created shadows... it felt familiar, calming. It was short lived as I approached other people, but it was there... a moment... and it makes me feel like there will be many moments of peace... life has been so tumultuous in the last few years...that moments of being centered, where my mind is at peace and I can enjoy being.... have been rare... but I found that tonight... and look forward to more.

6/07/2009

What is Zumba?

I am home...after a good weekend with Dad. The weekend went by fast. Today we went to one of my aunt's houses and had a good time. My uncle asked me, "What is this Zumba thing?" Since I was not about to break into my Zumba dance moves in Aunt Donna's kitchen, I referred him to Youtube... but that was new territory for him so I said I would find a 'safe' youtube video and post a link... so here it is. Click Here for the zumba video... I chose this one because the first part of the routine IS part of the routine I do at my new gym... and it is a lot of fun. The video is a good representation of the kind of Zumba class I have been doing... the video is 9 minutes, but the class I take is an hour... and all this fast, upbeat music...I also like this video because it shows people taking the class who have varying abilities... the woman in the green shirt in the back... that was me at first... now I am closer to the taller lady in the black, kind of in the center... I can keep up with most of the moves, but modify them a little and also don't have that Latin flair... yet... I do the moves on a very basic level, but don't feel comfortable enough with them yet to add any kind of style or facial expression other than concentration.... but it will come... I am nowhere near being able to move my body like the instructor...not sure this body will ever move like that... but it is a lot of fun... so this video is not exactly what my class is... it is similar... It is a great workout! Fun!

It was great having lunch with my family today. Leaving my aunt's house was a bit emotional, saying goodbye to dad... not sure if he felt that way, but I did... tried to do a quick getaway... but driving off with mom's kayak... was tough... like I said... in some way I am sure it feels like another piece of mom is leaving.... and I hate that for him...

I stopped on my way home... to pick up a few things at Walmart... including a new lock system for my bike that will make it easier to secure to my bike rack... and across from the Walmart was a restaurant that is well known for its huge desserts...and whose motto is...eat dessert first... and I was craving something sweet... and I gave into that craving and bought something called the 'sinful square.' Just as its name would indicate, this bar had it all... chocolate, sugar... coconut....on some kind of graham cracker crust... I was kind of upset with myself for giving in, but promised myself I wouldn't eat it all.... and am proud to say I didn't eat it all... less than half actually... it was almost too sweet for me. WHOA... yes... too sweet... so maybe the way I have been eating and exercising is changing what tastes good... I can live with that.

Anyway.. I am tired... and off to bed... but wanted to post the zumba link. Hope it works.

6/06/2009

Two racks, a ride down a dirt road, plus beans and franks

I got up this morning around 8:15. I had been awake for a while, but wanted to still be sleeping.... I got up and it was a beautiful morning...and Dad was already outside puttering on the two big projects I asked him to do... install my kayak rack and my bike rack...

I have a rather large 'tool box' in the back of my truck... I don't use it for tools, I consider it my 'trunk.' By the time I was up, Dad had already detached the tool box in preparation to get the kayak rack on... I stayed outside for a while 'helping'... which consisted of cleaning out some of the leaves and dirt that had collected under the tool box... and telling dad he was doing a good job... Getting the kayak rack on proved to be a bit tricky because of the where dad had to put bolts while trying to work around the hardware already there needed to secure the toolbox... but he did it... then came the bike rack which we thought would be more challenging... because it is not a bike rack designed for a vehicle... it is one that is designed to sit on the floor of a garage... but I thought that I could put it in the back of my truck if dad could drill holes into the bed of my truck... and after consulting with him... I had ordered it a while back and dad had assembled it... The tricky part was going to be drilling the holes in the bed without hitting things underneath the truck that shouldn't be drilled into... like the gas tank! But... Dad did it.. and even though he had to run to Mardens to get a few longer bolts... it went smoothly. So now... I am all set to have a sporty summer...

I had planned on taking my bike into town tonight while dad was working at the bean supper at church, but while dad and I were installing the racks (notice I said we both did it! HA!) his friend Kenny stopped by and hinted that they could use some extra help at the supper tonight... so I agreed to come down and help... But wanting to stick with being healthy, and to test out the new bike rack, I loaded my bike into my truck and rack...(Which works perfectly!)... and headed down to a dirt road close to here... and went for a bike ride... I rode for about 3 miles, which wasn't that far, but the road I was on was dirt and is much harder riding than on pavement... so I am okay with that... I feel like my butt worked harder on this ride than it has on others, so it's good...

Then this afternoon Dad and I headed to his church, where he and mom were married, where the service for mom was held, etc... and we worked the supper. He served the beans, I served the coleslaw... about 100 people attended the bean supper... so we were busy... we ran out of coleslaw, potato salad, and biscuits! My body is a little sore from standing on cement floors for a few hours and helping to clean up, but I am glad I helped out.

Tomorrow Dad and I are going to go to one of his sister's houses for lunch with her, my grandmother, and my uncle and another aunt. IT should be a good afternoon. Before leaving here we will put my bike in my bike rack and load up the kayak...the red kayak... the red kayak that was my mom's favorite kayak... Mom had two kayaks, a green one and a red one... the green one was her first kayak, chosen because it was the only one available at the time...but she always wanted a red one... and eventually she bought a second one, and it was red. Whenever we would go kayaking together I used the green one, she used the red one... I knew Dad had taken one of the kayaks up to the campground... not necessarily for his own use, because it is really hard on his back.... but I think to have that part of mom there... and he and mom always welcomed other people to use their kayaks... I had assumed that Dad had taken the red kayak to the campground... but he has chosen for me to have that one... along with mom's special paddle... we always called it the powerful Pocohontas paddle... because it is a little longer than most kayak paddles and gives the user a speed advantage...

It will be strange to put Mom's kayak on my truck tomorrow... and take it away from the only place it has ever been used... but I know that Mom would want me to use it, to enjoy it... and I am sure I will... I want to go kayaking with my friends, but think that I want to do a solo voyage or two... just to have some time with the kayak, time with mom...first.

I will post a picture of my truck loaded with all my sporting equipment soon... I don't have my camera, but I will take a picture tomorrow... but for now... I will post this picture...my favorite picture of the red kayak.... and my mom...

6/05/2009

Up North.

I made it to Dad's house.... it's hard to say dad's house... when it is Mom and Dad's house... but it seems strage to say mom and dad's, yet it seems strange not to. Anyway, I got here around 6 and we went out to dinner. The family of one of my high school friends own a local pizza place and she and her sister had sent a gift certificate to Dad... so we went there and had a nice meal. Not a healthy meal, but a good meal... that's ok... I am not going to worry about it. I am going to go for a good bike ride tomorrow...

I saw a moose on my way up...getting up from relaxing under a tree. My first moose of the season... and I wasn't even in a kayak!

Tomorrow Dad and I have some projects lined up... installing my bike and kayak racks onto my truck... I hope it goes smoothly! On Sunday I will be taking one of mom's kayaks back to my house... it will be hard... taking it, knowing that in a way it is taking another piece of mom away from dad...but I know mom wanted me to have it...and to use it...

6/04/2009

A second post today...

I went to Zumba again... One of my friends was supposed to go with me... and truth be told had she not planned on coming, I don't think I would have felt like going tonight... but... I did not hit the gym after school because I had planned on doing Zumba... my friend called me to let me know that she wasn't up for going to Zumba, she wasn't feeling well and had a long day at work... so I was happy she was taking care of her mental health... and admit I thought it was a way to let myself off the Zumba hook... but... I had told myself I was going to go... and I was going to be more able to keep up... and needed to push myself... so I went. I got there about a half hour before the class... and even though one would think I had learned my lesson on Tuesday, I decided to do a little weight training with my arms... not many reps... but a few... just to let my arms know that they were not off the hook either... then I did 20 minutes on the bike.... which was 7 miles... (soooo not realistic!) then I did Zumba... and I did better than Tuesday... there were some of the same people there and some new faces...(new to me) and there were a couple of people who had not done it before... and we all did well... we kept moving... I was sweating like crazy and even though I opted for the lower impact version of most of the moves, I did it... I moved... and I burned calories. And... I am pushing myself beyond my typical comfort zone... going to a class like that solo... is not easy... but tonight was easier than Tuesday... This fitness thing...taking care of myself... truly is something I need to do for myself... I love having my friends involved whenever possible, but I can't depend on that for my motivation... On my way out of the gym the instructor was still there picking up her things and I stopped in to tell her I was enjoying the class and told her that even though I may look lost, I am ok with that... she chuckled and said she figured because I came back I liked it, at least a little.... she said no matter what just move your body...zumba is fun above all else. I like that... fun... and challenging...

Survived the MRI... we'll see about the results


I had my MRI yesterday... I got there early, as they had requested...and I waited...and waited... They started about 40 minutes later than they were supposed to. Plus... they had to put an IV in because they needed to inject dye at one point. The woman who had to stick me, did so in one place and it wasn't a good vein... she told me my veins were very small... a little irony from the universe... so she had to do a second attempt... and that one worked... after all that... we got going... it lasted about an hour and a half and it was not as pain free as I hoped. The pain wasn't terrible, but after that amount of time in the same position I was ready to have it over. One cool part was that in order to do the MRI (and all the other ones I have had...) they put what is called a coil around my knee... basically, it is like a pipe that goes from my lower thigh to my upper shin... they put it on by having me put my leg in the bottom half of the coil and then place the top half on and secure it... in past MRIs... my knee was either too swollen or just too big to fit into one of their coils... so in the past, they had to figure out an alternate way to do it... but last night, my leg fit in the coil with no problems and maybe even a little extra space... that's good. I was very happy about that. So, I got the dvd with the images on it and I have yet to look at it. I am not sure what I would be looking for, and if I found something questionable... I would worry...so I am just going to wait.

The stressful part of getting the MRI was getting is all set up and arguing with my local dr's office ... and then there was the debate about whether or not to use dye... the place where I had the MRI done said that because I had it done with dye in the past, their protocols required it he done that way again... so today I called my doc's office in Boston and they told me I hadn't needed to do one with dye, but that the office where I had it done required it... that makes no sense to me... why does the radiologists get to make decisions that don't align with the doctors? Oh well... for now... this one is behind me... I will get the results in 22 days.. and then... I have decided that I want to change my primary care doctor... not because of my doctor, I really like her, but... because of the hassle that happens every time I need a referral. EVERY time... so I am going to change to an office where that does not happen. (I hope!)

After the MRI I had a nice evening with a friend and was able to relax... Today has been a long day... for some reason this day seemed like it was never going to end! But it did... I left work and went to gas up my truck to head up to see Dad this weekend. Then I went to Cabela's and bought myself a life jacket so that when I kayak this summer I am nice and safe. I am looking forward to heading to see my Dad... it will still be hard of course, but it will be good to check on him, in person. He is working at his church's bean supper on Saturday evening... so I am planning to take my bike with me and when he's serving beans, I am going to riding my bike.... good plan. (I want to make sure I do it because I won't get to the gym tomorrow unless I get up early to go... which I am not planning on doing.... but I am heading to Zumba tonight... wish me luck!

6/02/2009

Zumba kicked my BFA!

Okay... so there are some things that one just simply should NOT mix with Zumba... including: getting to the gym ahead of time and doing weight training with arms and legs, riding a stationary bike for 25 minutes before class, and fiber one bars.... I will explain two out of three of those... the third...I will just say: UGH!

I got to my new gym tonight about an hour before the Zumba class was supposed to start... I was worried that I would not get a ticket to the class if I arrived later than that, so I got my ticket and figured that I had some time to kill so I would check out the machines at this new gym... so I warmed up on the recumbent bike for 10 minutes and then decided I should do some weight training with my arms... I have been slacking in that area of my workouts... and after I finished that I still had a little time so I tried out a couple of the leg machines... that work my quad muscle and another that worked my inner thigh... it felt good so I did a few sets... no big deal right?

Well... the class starts and there are a lot of us... maybe 23 people or so, in a fairly small room, so we were fairly close to each other... and the instructor is a woman who meant business... you could totally tell. She wasn't there just to teach us how to Zumba, she was there to work out too... so... she asked if there was anyone new tom Zumba... I look around, confidently... thinking.. I am not new.. I've done 2 whole classes... I can handle this... (overconfidence is another thing that does not mix with Zumba!) And the instructor said, "Ok then!" Suddenly she is moving her hips in all kinds of directions and I am finding myself unfamiliar with many of her Zumba moves. I admit... I felt a little like a fish out of water... flopping around on the floor with no coordination, but... I stuck with it, and found myself very envious of the way the instructor can gyrate those hips... If I stick with Zumba maybe I will be able to do that one day... I was trying though... things were shaking like crazy I am sure... but I was there to work out and work out I did. About 30 minutes into it my legs felt very heavy and had they not been so heavy I would have kicked myself for doing the weight training beforehand... So I totally felt lost, but am totally going back... I want to learn those moves and be able to add some of my own style to it... ok ok... what style I may add to it is not the point... nor is how graceful or hip I may look doing it... I was by far the tallest person there... which normally is the case, and normally I am not acutely aware of it... however... there were two very petite ladies there... and where did they choose to be... in the back with me... but I will say I had more rhythm than they did... ha! I think the more I go, the more fun it will be. When I first arrived I met two women in the locker room. They are originally from Somalia or Sudan... I can't remember... and they were both going to take the class...they were both in awe of my height and asked me how tall I was... and told me it was beautiful. It was a nice thing to hear... lots of people comment about my height, but not so many associate it with beautiful, so, I'll take it. During class they kept looking over to check on me... and we exchanged many many smiles. They totally did their own thing for most of the class... they did some of the moves, but totally just kept moving. I love that. Love that they were there to move their bodies, with other people, and they did.... and they were smiling, so it's all good. I am going back...Thursday... even though I fully expect to be sore. Oh well. Tomorrow I am not going to exercise... just taking it easy.

Besides Zumba, another exciting thing happened today. I went bike shopping with my friend Debbie! I am so proud of her. She got on a bike tonight for the first time in 10-15 years.... and she did it! So after the test drive at one bike shop we went to two other places... then returned to the first place and she bought a bike! I am soooooooo excited for her. She has changed her lifestyle so much since January. She's not trying to change her lifestyle, she has changed it. Exercise is a part of her daily life, eating well, making choices and taking care of herself... she has done so so so so so so well. She has helped keep me motivated and I was so happy to go with her tonight. It was fun! I can't wait to go with her on a bike ride.

I have my MRI tomorrow... I am hoping I get through it without pain... I remember how much the MRI's hurt before surgery... because staying in one position for an extended amount of time was unbearable... I cried at the MRIs I had before surgery...and the MRI people didn't seem to understand that pain.... last year's MRI was pain-free... and I am hoping the same is true tomorrow. Heck... after Zumba I hope I can walk tomorrow! Ha!

6/01/2009

I joined!

I joined the second gym! The deal was even better than I thought... The gym that offers the classes is a 'sister' company with the gym to which I already belong. So... they have a deal $30 per month to belong to both! WHAT A DEAL!

I am so excited! So... I think I am going to head to a class there this week... maybe the Thursday Zumba class... I didn't know they had it on Thursdays until tonight... there is a small catch that I may end up not liking... the class sizes are limited due to the space... and in order to get into the class you have to get a ticket...which has to be picked up on the day of the class.... so it is possible that the tickets could be gone by the time I get there... But... the good news is that if I get there and the class is full, there are a lot of machines I could use, they have the same elliptical machines I like... so that's good. Hopefully it won't be an issue.. .but we'll see. If it is too frustrating, I will just end my membership there... so it's all good... Definitely worth a shot!

After joining the new gym I walked 3.5 miles outside... it was a beautiful day for a walk. I took it pretty easy, a slow pace, but hey, 3.5 miles is 3.5 miles.

My Favorite Place

My Favorite Place