Friday, March 28, 2008

Various problems and successes

I have had some problems off and on the last couple of days with my right tush and right groin and thigh area. Then at night, if I wake up, I sometimes find my body doesn't want to cooperate. It is stiff and feels heavy. Perhaps it is the meds. I am taking Hydrocodol every three hours when needed and especially at night. I am not taking any anti-inflammatory medication for my arthritis and wonder if that may not be contributing to it also. I woke up tonight at about 3:30 pm and wasn't as bad. I had cut back to half of a dose of the Vicadin. Hope that helps. I also find I have had some "Stephen King" type of dreams and attribute that to the meds. None tonight though.

Ardmore and I redid my dressing again today. I look almost healed, have had no discharge since the beginning to speak of. I also took a shower and we washed my bedding. Just climbing into a clean bed felt wonderful.

The exercises are a going fairly well, with the exception of some of the groin and tush pain. I am looking forward to physical therapy and wonder when that will start. I notice some people go to rehab straight from the hospital, not I. I was handed a set of exercises to do at home. I am going to ask when I will start physical therapy.

Michelle called this evening. She has an audition for the California State University-Stanislaus' music school next week and had the opportunity to practice for 3 hours in the afternoon. I think she says she has three years left. She has also applied at Sacramento State.

I think I will see if sleep is still evasive.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

It’s like being on a roller coaster…

Monday was a day of depression. No sun and terribly windy outside, with a late snow fall which made my room feel cold and I didn’t want to put an electric blanket on the bed. The electric blanket had felt so heavy prior to surgery, now I worried about getting caught in my covers at night, and Ardmore not hearing my cry of distress when I needed to go to the bathroom. Yes, I felt totally helpless. I was still on pain pills and trying not to take them but would begin to get some pain and discouragement would set in and I would give in and take another pill. Perhaps it was a good day to feel sorry for myself; Ardmore noticed it and came to my rescue and began to coddle me. Something he and I just don’t do enough for each other I then learned.
We watched Dancing with the Stars and went to bed at 9:30. I woke up at 11:45 and tried to call Michelle. Her phone was busy, I did some exercises and tried to call her again and my darling granddaughter Leah answered. Her mom had gone to bed early and she was the one on the phone.

We talked about the last edition of Harry Potter and the death of her dear little dog, Winnie, a beagle, a couple of weeks ago. When he was out of the house sometime during the day (they live in the country) he must have been somewhere that someone didn’t like and poisoned him. She was overwhelmed with grief. He was her love. He waited for her to come home and would go to the cupboard for his treat the minute she came home. Then they would romp and chase, her teasing to take his food and he running and teasing her back, finally running under her mother’s bed. Her mother and Leah noticed he was lethargic, she had to force him to take water that evening, and he had not touched his dog food. Within hours he started to have convulsions and had bloody stools. By the time they got him to the vet he was died. Why would someone do such a terrible thing?

She had one bright spot the next day. She decided to rent a movie and watched Robin Williams in Where Dreams Come From and where Williams dies and the first thing that meets him on the other side is his dog.

We visited some more and finally hung up. I felt so much better until I went to plug in my cell phone at 2:30 am and it fell on the floor behind the bed. Tomorrow I would have Ardmore fish it up, I thought. When I took off my glasses and put them up, and they too, fell on the floor. I tried to get them with my reacher but couldn't, then I hit my water glass which splashed water across the floor. With all the commotion, Ardmore came down. By now I was back in bed half in tears and feeling helpless again. Remember this is now about 2:45 am. This compassionate husband of mine moved the platform he had made so I get into bed easier, and fished everything out from behind the bed, plus a few other odds and ends. Filled my water glass, then I proceeded to hit it accidentally again and the water went flying all over the floor. Still patient, he cleaned up the mess, kissed me and headed to bed. I slept like a baby after that.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

No pain & sleep at last!

Surgery was on Monday and seems to have gone well. I was released Friday and when I got home took to the bed, James’ bed, it was the closest to the ground. That was ok for that first night. On Saturday, I recognized it was not close enough and Ardmore tried to help me get into bed, his help was more of a hindrance than a help. He proceeded to design a platform so I could get into the downstairs bed. I go up one-step to get onto it but it works.

So far, there is no back pain. I do not suffer from sleep deprivation anymore. I am not sure if I should say the pills are the help or the surgery and will wait to make any permanent declarations on that after I have healed more, in another once up and walking and sitting in the living room limbers me. Doing the leg exercises were easier after that.

Ardmore is a good provider as long as I don’t ask for much. Yesterday I made an omelet, but I think I will let him do most of the cooking.


Saturday, March 15, 2008

Daffodil Days

All I can say is, after washing, folding, putting away three loads of clothes, and cooking some chicken, I am exhausted. I cannot believe how pain debilitates and drains a person of strength and endurance. And keeps one from getting a good night sleep.

One thing I really need to tackle tonight is the office. It is so overwhelmingly cluttered right now. It is interesting to read that. I had just cleaned it last weekend and here it is looking messy again. Is that the way it is with busy people, we have time to work but not clean up the mess? Well my office at work is sure going to please me when I go back to work. Everything is so neat now. I went through my files, everything that needed to be filed, went out on my staff's desk for her to take care of :) and everything else either went into the trash or into the right file. Of course, I didn't leave work until 9:00 pm, but knowing that I won't be there for about a month made a big difference.

Our daffodils were delivered last Monday. I have purchased daffodils for our staff, during the local cancer sale, for several years now. It always amazes me how quickly they open, one night we go home and they are tight buds, the next morning they are smiling on the desks. Lovely! Such a wonderful sign that spring is soon coming.

It was like spring this week; we had sun and about 35 plus a couple of days. So nice that when I went to Cenex to get lunch yesterday, I ate my chicken burrito in the car instead of inside somewhere. Chicken burritos from Cenex are delish, and not expensive either.

10 pm

Michelle has little Damen this weekend while Breanne and Josh get some personal time together. Breanne said they are going to Sacramento. Michelle sounded like she was really enjoying the baby. I just wish I lived closer.

The new baby furnishings are different from when my children were babies, much nicer and most complimentary to childcare. Damen has a portable crib, like a playpen with a height adjustment and diaper changer on it, I was very impressed with it. Michelle said they also have a vibrator for the crib to sooth the baby when he sleeps. I had bought my nephew a baby swing with all the bells and whistles, which she gave back to me to give to Breanne. So cute, plays several songs and has lights and some action.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Tying up loose ends...

Yesterday, one of our board members and I began working on the newsletter. We would like to see it out by April 1 so we can get it in the mail to our members. We have the annual meeting of the Roseau County Historical Society on April 19. I hope I feel well enough to attend on that day. Today will be another day of tying up loose ends.

Michelle called yesterday morning to ask if I would like her to come home. I thought that a very nice gesture, but know that she uses her spring breaks as catch up of homework so told her not to. Ardmore gave me some second thoughts about her homecoming, so I called her last night and we discussed it again. Still decided not to have her come. I hope my recover for the first month is good and will be easy for Ardmore. It is just before spring work so I need to get in good shape quick.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Sleep is evasive when one has pain...

I awoke at 2:30 am with sever hip and back pain again. This is one thing I am hoping is relieved once I have surgery. The last four hours have been spent surfing the web. I visited the National Review magazine website. As a William F. Buckley fan, I am saddened by his death. His conservatism was the strength I often saw lacking in many people today. I also appreciated his love of family. I became familiar with him during the 60s and have continued to follow his actions and ideas. Although I have never read any of his books (non fiction or fiction) I have been a follower of the National Review for years. I guess that would make me a republican by political standards.
Even though sleep is evasive, I will try it again now.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

If the time on your watch stops does that mean that time is standing still?

9:00 am - We set the clocks ahead on Sunday am so yesterday my watch was losing time during the day, it stopped working at 3:15 this morning. If the clocks all stopped would we be on hold during that time? Don't you feel like there at times when you would just like to see the perfect day go into a hold cycle and stay there? (Well not indefinitely but for a reasonable period.)

The museum staff is busy working on labels for a traveling exhibit for the Minnesota’s Historic Northwest consortium. The consortium received a $5,000 grant to put together a historical exhibit of 150 photographs that tell the story of NW Minnesota from past to present. We are also going to produce a photo book. It has taken way more time than I thought it would. Then we decided to change the large label format. I have only a few days to completed my part as much as possible.

11:00 pm - What a wild day. I decided to go in late because I had a historical society board meeting this evening. At 10:00 this morning, my reminder alarm went off on my cell phone. I had an appointment in 5 minutes with the orthopedic surgeon and I was 20 minutes away from the clinic! Of course, I called and told them I was going to be late. I ended up only about 15 minutes late and then waited for the doctor for at least a half hour, thank goodness there were others who arrived early.

I felt very good about the surgery after talking to my doctor. Dr. Schall works out of the Bone and Joint Clinic in Grand Forks, North Dakota. His training is what first impressed me (I always look at the doctor’s certificates when I visit their offices). His residency was at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN for 5 years in the orthopedic department before coming back to his home town of Grand Forks. The next thing that impressed me was his “bedside manner”. He took all the time necessary to answer any of my questions. Then I went home and looked up everything I could and studied hip replacement. Today, he answered the final questions I had. I guess I am as ready as possible to have hip replacement. Ardmore is more worried than I am. He is a pessimist by nature, although he calls himself a realist. If anyone wants worry about something, talk to him, he will help you worry!

At 11:45, I finally got to work and started on the consortium posters. When I finally think I like something and then change my mind, someone else changes their mind about something. I had about 22 messages on my email this morning and at least 15 were from the group. Boy was I ready for my massage at 1:15! Picked up some lunch after the massage and headed back to the museum.

At 4:30, I had a newsletter or program meeting, depending on who showed up. We did the program committee. Our board meeting started five and ended at about 6:45. I worked until 8 on some business the board had passed so it wouldn’t be hanging over me in the morning. The consortium group is coming at 10 and I knew I wouldn’t get it done if I waited. Working in a museum is never boring, there is just not enough time in a day to get it all done.

I forgot to mention that last week Lakeland Public Television was in and filmed our recovery from the 2006 flood. It was shown on the news last night. I missed it but saw it on their website. We have had lots of coverage these past few day, tv and radio both!

Oh, oh, it is 11:30, time for some shuteye.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

It's getting warmer!

We set a record for cold weather this past week. I drove to work in 30 below F on Friday, absolutely unheard of for March. Today was much better, warmed up to 21 above. Tomorrow is going to be in the upper 30s, like Frog told Toad “Spring just Around the Corner.”

Hockey didn’t go so well at the state for the Roseau Rams. Seems like they just weren’t able to get past goalies in the games on Friday and Saturday and lost both games. The wonderful part about the Rams going to state is that they play in the Class AA section against the larger schools. Last year, they were state champions. The Warroad Warriors also were at the state in the Class A section and took third place. We are so fortunate in our area to have the wonderful background of pro hockey with the Brotens, the Christians, and so many other players who put on the jerseys of professional hockey teams. So many of these men come back and coach the high school teams.

I have been reading up on hip replacement from a blog by Francine Hardaway. It has given best in-depth coverage on a personal level I have found. It took me about 3 weeks to find it but it was worth searching for. She presents a straightforward story of her recover including the medical and physical therapy she under went. I hope I can be a fortunate as she has been in my recovery.

I spoke with Brian today. He quit working for Nordstrom’s and is focusing on his hair and makeup profession. He sounds so much happier and is doing very well. He is a very talented person and has a dynamic personality. He said he would be assisting another stylest the middle of the week. I believe we will see his name in a magazine one of these days. I feel his name is going to be out into the public soon.

Well I need to head to bed, I am going to be a guest on Wild 102 radio at 7:15 tomorrow morning so I need to be rested with my wits about me. Jeff Fraiser is interviewing me about the museum and he will ask pointed questions!

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Pre Op examination

Yesterday I went for my preop examination. I am having hip replacement surgery on March 17. It was quite a surprise to discover my hip had degeneration. I had been suffering with a lot of back pain for about 2 years. The doctor had given me a injection of Kenalog for sciatica pain. It had helped but after two repeat injections, I found I was beyond the comfort stage. The doctor then did an MIR of my back and found that I had hip degeneration from arthritis. I had knee arthroscopic surgery on both knees in the late 1990 and knew it was time to have knee replacement surgery. Now I found out that my hip also needed replacement. It was suggested that I replace my hip first as it my help my knees, so that is what I am about to do.

Although I have received some good pain medication, I still find I have trouble sleeping due to pain. I am hopeful that the surgery will eliminate the hip pain and I will then be able to sleep better.

A positive thing at the museum right now is that we are working on a traveling exhibit for the Minnesota’s Historic Northwest consortium. This year is Minnesota’s sesquicentennial. Our organization applied for a grant for a traveling exhibit of 150 photos of Northwest Minnesota. We have been working on the photos and the panels at this time. The Beltrami County Historical Society in Bemidji displays first. Most photos are black and white reproductions but some are color. It will be nice to have this exhibit up and see what it looks like. Tomorrow several contributors will be coming to our museum to work on fabrication. It is going to be exciting to see it displayed.

The house smells so good right now (11:00 am). Chicken soup with dumplings are stewing on the stove. I hope to have a cup before I go to work. I stayed home this morning because I am not sleeping well and needed to rest a little more. Michelle thinks I should take vacation the week before my surgery. It would put me way behind at work and besides, I would not rest if I was home anyway.

Thought for the day from Chuck Swindoll


“The longer I live; the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness, or skill. It will make or break a company… a church… a home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change the fact that people will act a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude…I am convinced that life in 1% what happens to me 90% how I react to it. and so it is with you…we are in charge of our Attitudes.”
Charles Swindoll

10 pm

Well it past my bedtime but one last word on the day:

Well, Roseau headed to St. Paul again yesterday for their birth at the State hockey tournament. Ironically so did Warroad, although in the lower class A group. Warroad won their second game this pm so they play in the finals tomorrow at 12. Roseau played their first game tonight, beating Blaine 7 or 8 – 2, in a no competition game. I think the big game will be on Saturday when they meet either Edina or some Catholic School called St Margaret’s School. It is hard to believe but if Roseau were to win this tournament they would have won when Minnesota celebrated their Centennial in 1958 and this year when MN celebrates their Sesquicentennial. I would say that is class! Both Roseau and Warroad have hockey that is hard to beat.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

It's a Beginning!

This is something I have wanted to do for some time. It is a bit intimidating but anything of value usually is.

Although this is not where I imagined I would live, here we are in Northwest Minnesota on a farm. We farm 815 acres on which we raise wheat, canola, soybeans, barley and sometimes grass seed. My husband, Ardmore retired in 1997 about 3 months before our youngest son graduated from high school. I suddenly was released from driving the tractor so much. Now I focus on hauling grain during harvest, the bookwork, and the miscellaneous things necessary to make the farm run smoothly; such as being the gopher when parts are needed.

Ardmore's retirement has also left me with more time to devote at my off farm job. I work as the curator/director for the Roseau County Historical Society. It is a rewarding and enjoyable opportunity to do a variety of things and meet the public.

Plus I get to visit our children and grandchildren. We have three children who all live in sunny California; a daughter, Michelle, and two sons, Brian and James. Michelle has three children, Breanne, Leah, and Bryce. We were recently blessed with our first great-grandchild. Our granddaughter Breanne had a sweet little boy, Damen. I had the great pleasure of holding him and spoiling him a bit after the New Year.

Our precious little Damen

Proud Daddy