Friday, June 06, 2008

I'm Alive and ... Free, Free, Free at Last (sort of)

Look, look! I've been outside! Later tonight I plan to post a longer TV-related post I worked on for a few days, Unfortunately, my computer corner isn't as comfortable for my knee as I thought it would be. Stints of over ten or fifteen minutes get very uncomfortable. I find it hard to keep shifting positions and try to think at the same time. Of course, right now I'm not sure if I can walk and chew gum at the same time either!

That said, since the beginning of last weekend, I've deliberately been cutting down on the heavy duty pain meds. All this week, I've only taken them about an hour before my physical therapy appointments. Since I do have some pain outside of the appointments, I have to ask my doctor for some kind of lighter duty pain relief. I don't like the zombie feeling I get from the heavy stuff (though it's definitely needed for the physical therapy -- PAIN!).

But the big news is ... I'm walking with no walker, no crutches, no cane around my apartment! When I go out in the real world, I'm walking with a pretty even gait using one crutch. It's tiring, but not painful. Until I rebuild my quad and calf muscles, I'm going to rely on the one crutch for stability.

I've had out patient physical therapy twice so far this week and will head off my the third time after I get this posted. To get there, I've walked a block to the bus stop near my apartment and have taken a city bus two towns over to Scotch Plains and the therapist. Once in town there, it's a half block walk. I got there early yesterday and took some photos in the park and of the cannon in the street. Don't ask me why there's a cannon in the street, I do not know. In the cannon photo, I used layers to make only the flowers have color.

I know someone mentioned Roofus in comments, but I won't get that way for a while. That's about seven blocks in the opposite direction of anywhere I have to go right now. And, though I know I'm improving and feel stronger every day, my jaunts are still pretty limited and I'm only really going where I have to go.

But it is nice to actually get out of the apartment, feel my mind clearing a bit from the medication and the surgery itself. I'm starting to have more of an appetite, but think I may have lost nearly 20 pounds -- my clothes are all loose. That's a good thing, mind you. My range of motion is at a 92 degree bend now, up from 60 leaving the hospital. I can actually stand on just the operated leg, but not for long.

So that's the latest. Later on tonight I'll get that long written while a zombie TV-related post up.

Today's musical non-sequitur:
"I've been through the desert on a horse with no name
It felt good to be out of the rain
In the desert you can remember your name
'cause there ain't no one for to give you no pain."
"Horse With No Name" - America


Sydney said...

YAY JACKIE!!! It was so good to talk to yo today and find you'd been out of the house, able to sit in a park, take a photo or two, and actually read a little. It's so nice to feel like a human being again. Could you imagine if you had tried to do this when there was any ice or snow on the ground... NOT. YOur plan was perfectly timed for both a TV break and good weather.

It sounded like you are truly over the worst and it can only get better from here! This is the day we all were waiting for. Congrats!

Sydney said...

PS: Sorry that I just wrote up a big long list of what's on in June TV and posted it apparently just as you were posting yours so it's right on the heels of this post. I tried to cut and paste it to save for a few days from now, but I can't seem to figure out how to do that.

sharon said...

Absolutely LOVE the pictures,but the cannon one,the most!Glad to know you are mobile and out and about and that the news is good! Your drug hazed musings might be very interesting,but a lucid,punny Jackie is what we are all waiting for. The weight loss is a plus,the walking with only a cane,another big plus and getting back into a routine,well life will be normal in no time. Great news!! Keep up the good work,you must be one hard worker,Miss J.!

Give that kitty of yours a tummy rub for me,I know she's been a great comfort.

WV is "jeese"...funny!

Anonymous said...

I am so happy to know you are doing so well. I have never posted here before although I have been reading your page for about 3 years. You are an interesting group for sure....I feel like I know many of you....

Zoetawny said...

WHOOHOO! ((((Jackie))))
What a delightful surprise to hear from you. :)

You are making such good progress and must be working very hard. Walking a block is amazing. Managing to go up the steps of a bus is even more amazing. I knew you had such a strong spirit and wouldn't let anything get you down for long.

You're very brave to want to get off the zombie pain meds and only use them prior to your PT. That's a really good step in the right direction. You will feel more like you're alive on lighter pain meds. I'm distressed to say that my husband is still taking Oxycontin two years after his back surgery.

Loved seeing your photos again, but the fact that you could even get out to take a few photos is heartening. Keep up the hard work but stay with the slow and steady pace. Jackie Rocks!


A big thanks for all your tireless efforts maintaining the blog and to all who keep us informed with newsy bits (as Jackie would say).

Now you've got me singing "Horse With No Name". :D

Did anyone watch "Swingtown" last night? I did enjoy it. I especially got a kick out of the styles, colors, and trends from the 70's. Did anyone notice the olive green and orange tupperware bowls...and the olive green kitchen? LOL I should mention the polyester bell bottom slacks the guys were wearing. Wasn't there a brand called "Angel Flights"? Besides the trivia which had me giggling, the change in morals and thinking in that decade will make for interesting viewing. I think the show's going to be a lot deeper than just about swingers, but I'll have to continue watching to decide.

Have a good weekend all!

Sydney said...

Hi Zoe -- I saw it too. It was a hoot just to see all the hairstyles (men's as well as women's), clothes, remember phones attached to the kitchen wall wtth long curly cords, record players, 8 track tapes in cars,etc... and the music!

My god, I keep thinking the 80's was a pretty bad time for clothes but I think the 70's takes the cake with those quiana shirts with the pointy collars and the high waisted wide leg pants for men with platform shoes and mustard colored leather jackets.

We had a olive green and orange kitchen for years and it was the hottest thing back then...

Sasha said...

Jackie...that is the greatest news!!! I'm so glad you're feeling better and it sounds as if you've had quite the breakthroughs! I was reading how you get to PT and was amazed, especially getting on a bus. We already knew you rock, now we know you roll, too!!

Ok, I'll confess. I watched Swingtown and loved seeing all the 70's stuff. Not that I exactly liked it but I do remember most of a young teen of course :) I absolutely noticed the "avocado" stove and the tupperware. OMG.

Sydney, I know it's been said but a big thanks to you for all you've been doing keeping things going and keeping up with Jackie. Also, I read your SATC blog post and in addition to it being interesting, it was so cool to see you. You are as beautiful outside as it's clear you are by your writing. Just had to be said.

Zoe....HI! I am around, just been caught up in all kinds of medical/family/not much TV time stuff.

Hope all's well. I try to read even when my commenting time is minimal. LOL, of course if I left shorter comments...

Hello to all...and again, I'm so happy, Jackie, to see you on your way back!!!

joy n said...

Wow! What a nice surprise to hear from you, Jackie!

Sounds as if you are much improved since we last heard from you. How gutsy of you to wean yourself off the stronger meds. Doesn't surprise me, though, you strike me as an independent woman, which became even more obvious as you went through this whole process; The planning, the preparation, the surgery and now the healing. Hope we're going to be hearing from you more often.

Your pictures are beautiful. It was 94 degrees here today but I'm still grateful that winter's over, finally, even if I have to look out the window from my AC-cooled home to see the flowers. LOL!!

Sydney's been great about keeping the line of communication open for all of us. She did good!

Welcome back, even if it is part-time. We'll take what we can get.

SueGee said...

Hi Jackie - glad to hear from you again and that you are doing better. I know the times I had the heavy-duty pain meds I finally had to find something "lighter" so I could stop sleeping so much and actually try and function during daylight again. Listen carefully to your body right now and push but not too hard. No setbacks for you!!

Sue (who used to do health/surgery chats on AOL)

Patty said...

Hi Jackie,

Glad to hear things are going a bit better for you. I hope they continue that way.

Great pictures!

Zoetawny & sasha-I watched Swingtown and agree with you on your take of things. I found myself singing to every song LOL! Color and styles, music and such were so real of the times. They did an awesome job with it all. I will tune in again to see where it goes.

Anonymous said...

Yea, Jackie! Enjoyed the pics! Welcome back to the land of the living!


dla said...

Hi everyone!

Ms Jackie, welcome back!! Thrilled to hear you are moving about, and your progress sounds amazing!

I am visiting family in OR, but wanted to check in... I missed Swingtown last night, but will watch online to get caught up.

Clearly Dexter will now be on my viewing list with Jimmy Smits joining the cast! ;) I was sad to see Cane bite the dust, but will take him wherever I can get him! lol

Also excited to get back on track with Army Wives and Weeds, so this summer will probably be pretty good in the big scheme of "summer viewing"!

Does anyone else ever catch Workout on Bravo? It is one of those train wrecks that I can't stop watching...

sue said...

Jackie, Great to 'see' you up and about. Your entire post was filled with sunshine. I have a entry-level digital camera One of those that supposedly : ) anyone can just pick up and use. I can take a picture with it, although I still want to hold the viewfinder up to my eye instead of looking at it as a screen. But, because of your mention of filtering the cannon color, I looked a little closer at my camera and found out it can take black and white, sepia, or color. I had no idea! Thank you for that. Do you filter through your software or your camera? I really need to spend some time reading the directions on things I use. Just this week I received an email saying that the roll of Reynolds wrap foil, that I have used for years, has a tab on the end to keep the roll from coming out when I pull a sheet of foil. This dog and new tricks need to get together.

Along the same lines (those lines being my not knowing the obvious) is Dexter. I knew it had been on Showtime, but had never watched it until it ran on NBC. I like the show. After the last NBC show a few years ago, I was waiting for the Fall for a new show. Then, somehow, a light dawned on me and I realized I had watched Season One on NBC, Season two was available through my cable server and it is really Season 3 that will be out in the fall. Now I am watching Season 2, an episode at a time, so I will be ready for the new one. So once again I had missed the obvious.

It is around 6, Saturday morning. I have to hurry and get to the Farmer's Market before all the good fresh vegetable are gone.

TerryinCA said...

**doin myhappy dance for you** So good to hear you have made so much progress Jackie!!! WOW!!! walking to the bus, that is no small feat...and heck 20 pounds almost makes the whole thing worth it...wonder if I did that I coudl lsoe 20, that would be bliss.
I loved the cannon picture and the overlay of color, very nice indeed.
For some reason I thought Roofus was closer, I did ask about him before. When I see pictures of him then we know yooua re really out and about!
Hang in there!! You "sound" great too!

Jackie said...

Thanks for all the great comments everyone!

Sue - I generally use a photo editing software program to make the mix of black and white and color. You may have something which either came with your camera or scanner which might do the trick. Enjoy those modes on the camera -- lots of great exploration is ahead for you!

nancy in pa said...

hi everyone. have not been around for quite awhile....sick, thought i was getting better, then relapse worse than the first time. mending slowly....hopefully back on track. have been readng a few comments....feels like coming back to old friends. not OLD mind you...:)

jackie....oh my!! i am so impressed with your progress!! so very glad you are making such a speedy and impressive recovery! you remain in my prayers.

nana...will try to get an email to you soon.

dla..i watch workout....yes a train wreck i can't stop watching.

just thought i would say hi as i make my way back into the world.