Sunday Morning Report at Westlake

Things take time to get done around here. The first day I was very disappointed in the response time after putting in a call for pain meds or "other" needs. Turns out this is typical in a facility like this where they employ one nurse and one aid overnight and during the day I think they add a floater who goes between the wings or units.

Physical therapy won't start until Monday. They work 5 days a week. I can't leave this bed until a physical therapist says so.

Although I have learned to adjust the timing of my requests, i.e. don't wait until anything is urgent, it can still be frustrating.

I note the bedside manners of some of the aides varies and I try to keep in mind the work these folks do can be downright nasty and always in demand. These people who do the dirty work should be paid well and recognized for it. The fact that response takes time is not the fault of these workers, but the organization itself for not having enough staff. So I treat the aides with respect and gratitude, because they deserve it, usually. There are cases where an aide is just an asshole and I hope to the Creator the one I got when I was in the hospital is on vacation when I have to go back for surgery.

Tomorrow I am planning to meet with the social worker here to discuss and possibly arrange moving to a different facility. I wish I had researched the rehab facilities on the list that was given to me at the hospital, but I was so eager to get started with physical therapy in a rehab facility that I met with the available rep and just went with his organization. How could I know that there are differences in care and approaches?

Luckily the facility I am considering moving to is within a few miles from here, and so my hub is going to go over to visit it and see what it's like. A few things I liked about The Neighborhoods were the holistic approach of care (body, mind, emotions, spirit), available services, and proximity to the physicians office and hospital itself. I will learn more later today, hopefully positive!

Fingers crossed for the best outcome in care and met needs,


A Dream

First night here at the rehab facility. Well, the first night is not quite over, but I am awake now. I have lingering thoughts and feelings of peace as my last remembered dream was that a visitor came to me and without too many words, we picked up as if there was never a rift between us. It was such a peaceful feeling and I really felt how much missed her. If I could hug her, I would do so with heartfelt love and gratitude for our friendship and the journey that that friendship started. I miss and love you my friend, my sister.


The Ankle Story

Well, the story was yesterday. Heres the ankle: swollen, splinted, but not too sore, as long as they leave it alone!

PS Bedpans suck… or rather, having to use one sucks. And don't try tell me to look at another way. I am sure you can think of "alternatives". You know who you are. 😉

Oh boy! Or … yikes what next?

Spent last night in the hospital. Got home from grocery shopping and when I was trying to step up to the house from the garage, I lost my balance and fell backward to the garage. Well, I knew my foot was going to miss the mark when I was falling but I didn't get it out of the way quick enough and ended up breaking a bone on the outside and fracturing the inside.

I have a broken shoulder on the same side that I actually had scheduled for a shoulder replacement in 10 days. Now that is going to be rescheduled to who knows when.

In the mean time, I am going to a rehab facility where I will remain until I can gain enough strength in the good leg and arm, and the foot swelling goes down so they can operate. I'm back on Norco but they haven't needed to give me morphine since last night.

My husband was out of town getting his father to a rehab, to help him further as he recovers from pneumonia. So much going on I was actually worried for my hubster who has had a plateful of various events over the past few weeks.

Well, onward march. Only thing to do is keep moving.


Update: 4-Weeks Post-Op

This past Friday was 4 weeks post-op. That morning I took my last “regular” dose of Norco. I was still feeling pain and noted most were headaches during the week prior to stopping. When I went to see the neurosurgeon for my first post-op check-in and to get staples removed, he suggested that headaches could be partly due to the Norco and I should start trying to take an over-the-counter pain reliever called Aleve to avoid the long-term Norco usage problem of addiction.

I decided to start taking the OTC in between doses of  Norco because I wasn’t sure how well I would tolerate the pain. I did experience headaches and pain, and truly felt that I was going to need to go back to Norco after my 8 hours on Aleve was up. But closer to the 8-hour mark that Friday, I felt like I could get by.

Over the weekend, I used Aleve exclusively. By Sunday, I decided to take a drive and aside from being tired, it felt good to get out of the house.

I still have balance issues, but the dizziness isn’t so much a problem when I stand. Maybe it was that Norco, maybe it was my body adjusting to the flow of spinal fluid. Whatever the case, I seem to be doing better in that area.

I will need an MRI in 3 months to see how that syrinx is doing. I think it’s going to improve. 🙂

This is my first full day home alone. I thought I would be nervous but instead, I look forward to a few home chores that need tending and getting back to it, as they say.

I’m going to shower without the chair I think. I’ll know how that’s going to go soon enough, after a dose of Aleve.


In the Company of Women

Before the Chiari Decompression surgery, I found myself getting rid of a lot of things, from books to clothes, and odds and ends in drawers, closets, and shelves. I went through most of my photos and distributed them to family members.

As I was going through everything, it was in the back of my mind that I was not only decluttering, but I was also thinking that I was making less work for my family should I not survive the surgery.

As I got rid of stuff, I began to feel lighter, and I liked that. I guess I was also making room in my life for something, though it was and still is undefined.

I am still downsizing as I go through my home doing daily things. Sometimes it is mental, and sometimes it is streamlining an area like kitchen drawers. The thing is, when is it enough downsizing? And there is still a sense of waiting for the arrival of whatever I as making room for.

I’m quite bored waiting here expectantly, especially when I see all the summer activities going on. My mind is often cloudy from the pain meds so learning something new by reading or watching videos on youTube seems tedious. Maybe it’s because it’s not the right fit yet.

One thing feels certain, and that is that I am tired of staring at the blank canvas that is my life. Perhaps I just need to pick up the brush and get that first color brushed, and see what comes of it. So what color will it be? Will it be a literal color on my canvas, in hopes that I find my inspiration and direction to begin stepping towards?

Oh, my head hurts just thinking about it… or maybe it’s my helper’s 5-year-old son screaming at his mother while she vacuums.

The day went quickly and was overall pleasant. We had a good discussion on communities and intentional communities, and talked about personal dreams of land, gathering spaces, and food forests.

It’s exciting to talk about places and events that bring people together in a positive way. I am drawn to people who share visions of community-oriented solutions and of a better world. It stirs my soul and I’m glad to feel that after feeling like a wanderer lately.

Let’s see what’s happening out there in the communities of women.


Wake Up, Kitty!

It’s nearly 1 in the afternoon. I just woke up the cat from his daily 23-hour nap. He woke me up wanting to be fed at 5, 6, and 7 until I got out of bed to fill his bowl.  So I woke him up just to say hello. 😉

Aside from boredom, bothering the cat, and binge watching Downton Abbey and Game of Thrones (I’m on Season Three), I’m in good spirits. However, seeing all the garage sales, festivals and pow wows going on this gorgeous weekend isn’t helping the boredom factor. Guess I’ll look into a craft project, though I wish I had an open-air space to do it in.

Heart happy observance: Watching the neighbors gather the family for lawn games and lake activities, it would be nice to sit on a deck somewhere, to get a bit of sun while watching play time. It’s fun to see them playing and doing things together. I noticed no one is preoccupied on their cell phones or other devices other than inflating water toys and spreading beach sand.

I hope they have a fun weekend. 🙂


Three Weeks Post-Op

Pain management: Norco every 6 to 8 hours. The current plan is to introduce Tramadol, a non-narcotic pain med, probably over the weekend. The doctor’s office said to try switching out Norco with Tramadol every other dose to see how well the pain is managed with it, and if it is effective enough, phase out Norco.

Norco makes me drowsy, but it seems intermittent.

Diet: I’m on a normal diet.  Once a day, I enjoy a green smoothie that starts with a handful of greens, frozen fruit, protein powder, greens powder, and coconut water and sometimes with a splash of Jumex, a flavorful juice nectar.

I still have trouble swallowing; maybe it will get better over time. Time will tell.

Activity: Fairly limited to taking things slow yet. Balance is still off; some may be partly due to the Norco, but it was a pre-op condition too, though now when I stand I feel head rushes that feel like I might topple over or pass out.

Going to the grocery store the other day was a bit much, a lot of getting up and down from the scooter cart. I went out again yesterday and it was fine but the movement of the car seems to be a factor in aggravating symptoms.

Yesterday and today, we dug up my art supplies, scattered here and there throughout the house. Art therapy has always been a joyful way to let off steam, pushing those brushes and paints around on a blank canvas.

Well, Norco seems to be kicking in. I’m feeling drowsy once more so end this post now. Maybe tomorrow I’ll talk about what a grouch I was yesterday. I ended up apologizing to my mother for it.

“You were right, mom, I’m sorry for being an asshole to you.” It took me a few to step up to the plate to tell her she was right and I was sorry for being such a prig. I’m glad I did though. For both of us. I love you, ma! ❤


10 1/2 hours without Norco; but ….

I woke up excited that I hadn’t had Norco through the night. I was a bit uncomfortable but able to hold out to see how it was going to go upon awakening. I tossed and turned a lot though, not quite sure what that was all about.

10:39 a.m. I took a Norco. I guess I need to come off it slowly, go with the 6-hour plan and let my body just sleep through the night if I can.

Oh well. I’ll keep working at that mountain until it is moved.