Showing posts with label recuperating. Show all posts
Showing posts with label recuperating. Show all posts

April 12, 2010

the jointed brace

i saw the orthopod today and he was pleased enough at the way my elbow is healing that the nurse removed the splint and i got to scratch my skin for the first time in two weeks.

just removing the splint felt weird. my arm felt so naked! i had to place my left arm on a pillow and, supporting it with my right hand, walk to the xray room. then after the doc's exam, he had me lose the pillow and support just the hand while we walked over to the therapy room.

my arm hurt a bit and ached a bit more, like when you bang your funny bone and the "echoes" continue. i felt very fragile, especially when dr w told the therapist that my elbow was still unstable.

dr w assures me my edema doesn't seem to be any worse than anyone else's with the same injury. the therapist placed a stretchy tube of material over my arm. it provides minimal compression but seems to be a good first step. then she helped me put on my glove so that any edema didn't back into my hand. she helped me back into my zip-front top and then put this contraption on over it.

she told me the four buckles lock into place like ski boots do. since i don't ski, that meant nothing, but rik recognized the idea. there are two buckles above my elbow and two below, locking my arm into a 90 degree angle. in two weeks i will return for a checkup and to hopefully have the angle increased from 90 degrees to a wider angle. thus, incrementally over the next 4-6 weeks, my arm will be allowed to straighten out to its full length.

i will wear the brace 24 hours a day for the first week, even in the shower. (we'll continue to put a plastic garbage bag over it to keep it from getting wet.) i will be able to wash my arm gently with a cloth and put lotion on, an important part of lymphedema skin care. after a week, dr w wants me to try sitting on a bath bench and cradling my naked arm against my belly while showering. i am so thankful we re-did the bathroom last summer! the walk-in shower, second, hand-held shower head and teak bench have all made this unpleasant experience a bit easier.

i will wear the glove during the day and bandage at night to maintain compression in my hand.

from the doc we went to costco. look, when you need toilet paper, you need toilet paper! we also picked up fresh mushrooms, dried cherries, maple syrup, smoked salmon, tissues, vanilla, salty marcona almonds, dishwasher AND dishwashing liquid soap, "he" perfume and dye free laundry detergent, gassed up the car and each had a hot dog for lunch. i also found a cute purple cotton jacket-y thing that buttons up the front so i will have a third clothing option for the next six weeks.

because the brace weirded me out for the first few hours. i felt a bit like dr frankenstein's monster. after all this i did a little sleep therapy (i.e. took a long nap) and woke up more in touch with everything. by the end of the day i was able to wrap my brain around the concept. and of course rik has been very patient with me as i adapt to each new change.

tomorrow it's off to the dermatologist to have the bumps on my head biopsied. these days when asked what i do for a living, i answer: "i'm in health care management -- my own!"

April 05, 2010

quiet weekend

the dislocated elbow has kept me quiet all weekend. it's just as well that typing with my other hand is limiting, since i don't have much to report.

we went out to shabbat dinner. had a lovely visit saturday afternoon with our good friends on mercer island, including a scrabble game and scrounging dinner together. on sunday i went to choir rehearsal and as the only soprano present, managed to stay (mostly) on tune. rik made roast cornish game hens for dinner and we were in bed by 10 pm.

today he went back to school so we both got up early - him at 6 am, me at 6:15. the ativan i took the night before to help me sleep hadn't quite worn off and i noticed some vertigo after my shower when rik was helping me dress. i took a nap and that seems to have helped.

this will be a week of medical appointments. today the dentist!

April 01, 2010

ouch my elbow!

it would have been a wonderful start to pesach if, after the first seder, i hadn't slipped on a steep, wet driveway and fallen on my left elbow. i was convinced my arm had broken; it hurt almost as much as the left femur did seven+ years ago. our hosts called 911 immediately. c brought out a blanket and pillow for me (it was wet on the street and really cold outside). everyone else freaked out.

the fire truck arrived first and they rolled me onto a back board. then the ambulance came and after some discussion, the emt's decided not to try to put an inflatable splint on my arm for fear it would cause me too much pain. (a good call.) they took me to swedish hospital's er on first hill where the wonderful medical team cut my purse, coat, dress, t-shirt and bra away so they could access my port, get a better look at the elbow and see if i had any other injuries.

after accessing my port they gave me very strong pain meds. the er team tried twice to "reduce" or relocate my elbow but it kept slipping out again. at about 3 am they reached an orthopedist specializing in hands and he came in, was successfully able to reduce the joint. multiple xrays confirmed that there was no fracture.

my left arm is splinted from the knuckles to the shoulder to immobilize my elbow and the arm is in a sling to support the weight. since they'd had to cut off all my clothing, the hospital sent me home in a gown and sweat pants. we finally got home around 5 am.

since tuesday my pain has steadily decreased. with rik's help i've been able to shower, put on clean clothes, get around the house. he is doing everything -- feeding me three meals every day, doing all the household stuff, feeding and walking the dogs, you name it. thankfully he was home this week on spring break.

i see the orthopod again friday morning and will learn more then about whether or not i need surgery. in the meantime our friends have stepped up to help and the synagogue's mitzvah corps is on alert.

my lymphedema is out of control. (i had to fall on my left arm.) the physical therapist called from her vacation to suggest some tips on reducing the swelling in my hand and fingers from the splint.

sorry for typing all in lower case but it is really hard to shift with one hand to get a capital letter. i will post more as i am able but it looks like i am facing 6-8 weeks in a cast. more tomorrow after we see the doc.

at least i get to dream about all the shopping i will do to replace the raincoat, dress and bra...

February 18, 2010

A double-duty medical day

Today I had two medical appointments scheduled back-to-back.

The first was with the lymphedema therapist, who agreed that there was something we could try to reduce the swelling in my hand and wrist. I've had increased edema there since Labor Day and was willing to try again with another therapist. For months my left hand has been so swollen with fluid that I can barely close it, much less make a fist. Today's evaluation appointment led to one recommendation. I am going to try bandaging my hand and wrist only at night. If I see softening in the tissue (the step before reduction in edema volume), then we will know it works. If nothing happens, all I've wasted is a few nights of good sleep. And if it seems to increase the edema, I will stop. I have three more appointments scheduled with this therapist.

After a ten minute break between appointments (at least the two places were close enough to walk to) I saw Dr. F for the first post-op checkup. She was adorable, calling her work on my tummy so perfect that I could wear a bikini on the French Riviera and no one would know I'd had surgery. (I should have asked her to pay for the trip or at least the bikini.)

Dr. F also did a pelvic exam. I had mentioned that I have some pain after urinating, and she thought it might be due to stitches rubbing against my bladder. The stitches will dissolve. I see Dr. F again in mid-March, six weeks after the original surgery date.

I drove home, felt so ooghy from the exam that I laid down on the sofa, took some vicodin and then some lorazepam to keep me from feeling like I was crawling out of my skin, slept a bit and now am feeling better. (Of course, I also got in my jammies at 6 PM.)

February 14, 2010

Recovery two weeks out

I've been feeling fine recently but yesterday had more pain around my tummy than I'd expected. Vicodin took care of that but also put me to sleep for too many hours. I napped from 10-ish to 1:30 and then again in the afternoon.

Same thing this morning. I woke up feeling fine but within an hour was hurtin'. Again vicodin to the rescue but it still put me to sleep. (I guess I have to readjust to it after the week off after surgery..)

At least I got in that hour -- made waffles for breakfast with maple syrup, cut kiwis, and Greek-style yogurt for me. Neighbors going on a trip had given us some citrus, so fresh grapefruit and Jaffa orange juices were on the menu. I made Rik an Americano. (For you non-Seattleites, that's a shot of espresso with hot water added to fill the cup).

Now we're off to a shiva minyan for the father of a good friend. Then run an errand. I must be feeling better.

February 09, 2010

Recovery one week out

It's been just over a week since my hysterectomy and I feel about 85% recovered. I still needed pain meds yesterday, last night and this morning, but as of this moment I feel pretty good.

Monday was harder than expected, probably because I may have overdone it at the choir retreat/slumber party: walking up and down stairs, singing for hours, and generally probably moving more than I was ready for. I got very cranky at the end of the day and must have been pretty unpleasant to be around. A nap helped but didn't improve my mood. Watching the final episode of "Heroes" for the season did make a difference, but by the time it ended the time was already 10 PM and Rik had gone to bed.

Last night I put out a call for more dog walkers and J answered the call for today. I just can't quite bend over far enough to pick up the dog poop! Plus if the dogs got excited about something I think they could pull me off balance and I don't want to fall. Having a friend help walk them makes it much easier for me and gets me outside for a bit.

I did manage to bake more of the NY Times No-Knead Bread recipe (as adapted by the folks at Cook's Illustrated and Seattle Times writer Nancy Leson). It tastes so good and is so easy that I believe I will stop buying expensive bread for a while and just bake a couple of loaves each week. Why pay $6 for a loaf of artisanal bread when I can make it at home?

February 05, 2010

Recovery days 3 and 4

I felt even better yesterday than the day before, so good in fact that when G came over to walk the dogs I went with her. I can walk, just am not so steady on my feet that I want to walk alone in case I should fall. And certainly can't bend over quite far enough to pick up the poop....

Taking a walk, eating a bagel and lox and visiting with a friend were clearly the highlights of the day. I took the morning and afternoon naps as usual and managed to reduce my pain meds again. Ran three loads of laundry also (not a highlight but still an achievement). By 7 PM I was aching and so took more meds in order to relax and fall asleep later. I have to figure out the timing better so that I take something at 10 PM and get into bed, instead of waking up at 3 AM needing more meds.

Today's dog walker had to cancel unexpectedly so the pooches will have to manage on their own in the back yard until Rik gets home from school. For Bob this won't be a problem but Pumpkin might have issues.

Hoping to continue to improve and wean myself off pain meds half a tablet at a time.

February 03, 2010

Hospital recap

It's day two of recovery and I spent much of it on the sofa napping. C came over to walk the dogs and L made us both lunch, but I did have both morning and afternoon snoozes.

Some highlights of my hospital stay:

In the surgery prep and waiting area there was a new touch. Instead of warm blankets, the gurneys are covered with a Bair Hugger. It looks like a down comforter made of channeled "paper" with a hose in the middle. Warm air blows into the "blanket" and the heat keeps the patient toasty, so you put energy into healing instead of into shivering. Rik and I laughed out loud when we saw it, but I LOVED it!

Rik went home to feed and walk the dogs, then came back to the hospital around 5 PM.

The anesthesiologist tried hard to access my port but was unsuccessful. He then tried to start a line in my arm -- twice -- with no success. At this point he said he wanted to give me ether to relax me and then he would start an IV in my hand. (I had warned him that my veins were crappy.) The ether worked great. I immediately relaxed and the next thing I know I was in recovery.

By the time I got upstairs to a room it was past 6 PM. Dr. F had already spoken with Rik, who then called my mom, his mom, my sister and several close friends. He sat with me until about 9:00, by which time he was asleep in a chair and I was drowsing on the bed, so he went home.

I needed assistance to get into the bathroom the first couple of times, and then I was good on my own. But I was on the toilet every hour all night long! My pain appeared well controlled; I just had to pee all the time. The good part about being a patient at Swedish is the 24-hour meal plan. I called down for a snack at 4 AM and enjoyed vanilla yogurt with Cheerios and a decaf mocha, then went back to sleep until the next time I had to pee.

The next morning they removed the IV line and I was able to take a shower. I had a second breakfast of mashed potatoes, turkey sausage, a whole wheat roll and some fresh fruit. (I saved the espresso shake as a snack before discharge.)

When Dr. F came in on her rounds, she agreed all was good. When I told her about my having to pee every hour, she checked the rate on the IV pole and it was properly set. The nurse then chimed in that they had just lowered the rate from 50 to 25. "50!" said Dr. F. "I ordered 25!" No wonder I was in the toilet all night long. I had been getting twice the recommended fluid amount.

The morning ended with an unexpectedly pleasant surprise when the room telephone rang. It was the anesthesiologist, Dr. Max Lucero. He was calling to make sure that the port site was okay, and that I had managed well with the IV in my hand.

I gotta say, I have had a number of surgical procedures over the years, and in my experience the anesthesiologist comes in a few minutes before the surgery starts, introduces himself (it's always been a him), starts a line, and I never see him again. That Dr. Lucero called to make sure I was okay is a testimony to his being a caring, concerned medical professional and to Swedish Medical Center, who hired him. Kudos to Dr. L! He can put me to sleep any time.

February 02, 2010

Home again

Just came in, greeted the excited dogs and have unpacked from my one night hospital stay. This is a quick note to say that the surgery went well and I feel fine. The pain has been easily controlled with oral pain meds, but I slept only a bit at a time due to overly ambitious hydration and so was up to pee every hour on the hour all night long.

I plan to take a big nap now and will post more details later. It feels good to be home!

May 31, 2009

Really good friends

While I have been recovering I haven't done any work in the garden. Rik has kept the grass mowed, but the strawberry and raspberry patches were choked with weeds and grass. I haven't wanted to water anything (and we've had a dry spell for the past two weeks), because I didn't want to encourage the weeds. Every day the strawberries and raspberries would put out more flowers and fruit, and things were just out of hand.

So I took S's idea from seven years ago, when I was recovering from the broken leg and couldn't do things for myself. She said, "Ask a group of people to come over and do the project. You'll be amazed at how easy it is for people to say yes."

Last week I sent out an email "invitation" to many friends to come over and help weed the garden today. Eight people showed up and in the course of two and a half hours we did it all. Weeded the strawberries and raspberries, trimmed back the ferns, removed starts that were growing in the wrong places, and even hacked up a whole row of unwanted raspberries, weeds, and a cherry tree offshoot which we have been trying to get rid of for years. We even spread compost around the strawberries and raspberries, something they haven't had since we moved in seven years ago. Rik transplanted the cherry tree and we will see if it takes.

Now that's what I call good friends -- they work all afternoon in your garden, visit and tell stories, and all they ask in return is a cold drink. Of course we also had some nibbles -- goat cheese and crackers, fruit salad, vegan orange/lemon cake, chocolate pound cake, rosemary shortbread cookies, iced lemon-ginger and mint tea.

It was a glorious afternoon to be outdoors in the sun with friends.

May 27, 2009

Beauteous toes

My feet have finally lost all the swelling and are practically back to normal, so I got an appointment at Spa Nordstrom for a pedicure. I wanted to go to a place where I'd really be pampered. Also, every year for the past many years, Spa Nordstrom has donated a full day of services by their employees to people with cancer. First it was through Swedish Cancer Institute, then through Gilda's Club. I have taken advantage of their genorosity many times over the years and thought if I was going to spend money for a pedicure, it might as well be to a place that supports people with cancer.

L got up early to drive me downtown for the 10 AM appointment. There was no traffic on the highway, and we found a parking spot on the street within two blocks of Nordstrom, so we were able to use my disabled parking permit and park for free.

The Spa was ready for us the moment we walked in. The lovely Dang washed my feet, massaged lotion into my legs and feet, trimmed my toenails (which were in sad shape and desperate for a trim), removed dead skin, pushed back cuticles, and pumiced up any rough spots. Then she applied a coat of tangerine orange polish and a top coat sealant. L drank tea throughout and watched me enjoy this sybaritic pleasure. We waited 15 minutes to be sure everything dried completely.

Then we wandered through Nordstrom looking at the sale items (no cool shoes, alas) and had a yummy lunch at the fourth floor Cafe.

After leaving downtown, we made a quick stop at the PCC for fruits and veggies for Shavuot, which starts tomorrow night. I bought Copper River salmon, chard to saute with garlic and raisins, and a piece of cheesecake to have for dessert. R can have baklava. Looking forward to cooking it!

May 26, 2009

A quiet day after Folklife

After the frenzied joy of my afternoon and evening at Folklife, I really needed some down time. Monday's weather was perfect -- sunny and warm all day long. We went out for a fabulous breakfast at the The Breakfast Club on Lake City Way, a diner serving some of the best hollandaise sauce around. Rik and I both had eggs florentine (poached eggs over a bed of spinach on a toasted english muffin, topped with that amazing lemony hollandaise sauce, and served with yummy breakfast potatoes). Although Rik didn't have the hollandaise - he asked for it on the side and I ate most of it. Plus orange juice and coffee.

That scrumptious and filling breakfast lasted for hours. Rik mowed the lawn while I sat on my lounge chair in the sun and read a book. Then I took a nap in the hammock. S and Y arrived at the end of the afternoon and we had a quiet visit together. S worked on altering the Afghani door hanging so it would fit the wider door. She excels at this kind of project.

Then Rik and I went to friends for an impromptu barbecue. P hadn't cooked all weekend, so he was feeling creative and went on a grilling spree: grilled mustard potato salad (a recipe I got from W and passed along to D & P), turkey thighs, Korean short ribs, Copper River salmon, and served up his usual amazing green salad. I ate a full plate of food for the first time since being discharged from the hospital. I think my appetite is now normal and I have to begin watching food quantities or I will begin to gain more weight than I want.

I had baked a parve cream sherry cake for dessert -- the group ate all but three slices! We served the cake with leftover frozen berries from our harvest last summer and some vanilla ice cream. Delish!

May 25, 2009

Phenomenal Folklife

I spent the most marvelous five hours at the Northwest Folklife Festival yesterday.

We arrived about an hour before my performance call so that I could walk the grounds of the Seattle Center and look for the merchant who sells the Afghani door decorations. I thought we needed one more for our dining room ( we have two already, but there are three doorways in the dining room). Luckily, Gazdi was in the same location they've had for the past few years, and even more fortunately, they had three of these items for me to look at. None was quite wide enough for that third door, which used to be a door to the back porch before someone enclosed it to add space to the dining room. But the owner made a terrific suggestion. Since they are very long, why not cut some of the length to add to the width? I am sure I will spend part of the day sewing today. Such an excellent suggestion to make it fit in my house!

Then I needed a snack. No way was the leftover mac and cheese I ate at 4 PM going to last until 7 PM, after Dunava's gig. So I enjoyed an Indian spiced chicken kabob. Five deliciously moist chicken pieces on a skewer with some cabbage too. It was the perfect snack to give me energy through Dunava's set.

I left Rik and our friends to enjoy wandering the festival and listen to some good music. Dunava was meeting to rehearse before our set. We all went up to the fourth floor of the Center House where there were fewer people wandering about. (I insisted we take the elevator. No way was I walking up four flights of stairs!) I sat, the rest of the choir stood, and we reviewed one verse from each song. Then it was back downstairs to the Center House Theatre for our gig.

We had a few minutes to sound check. Luckily the theatre was empty and so we could do so without an audience. We went backstage at 6:20 when people began to enter the house. At 6:30 the emcee spent a few minutes talking up Folklife and then announced Dunava.

It was a standing-room only, full house of fans and friends. We had prepared eleven songs but only sang ten. The emcee gave us the old vaudeville cut off. It's too bad that he spoke for three minutes at the beginning and stole time from our set.

But we received a loud standing ovation from the audience, who were amazingly enthusiastic about our singing. I grabbed some business cards and with Dina, handed them to people so they would join our mailing list and then know about our summer CD release party.

After all that musical high, I was hungry again. We walked back to the main entry to the Seattle Center for a fabulous crepe with chicken and artichokes. (Rik had his with strawberries, Y had the vegetarian). We found a wall to sit on and enjoyed our dinner immensely.

Then it was back across the Seattle Center grounds to the Balkan dance, where I actually danced two dances!

I am so thankful to my doctors, my own body, and to God for giving me back enough health that I could enjoy Folklife to this extent. I can hardly believe that a little more than two weeks ago I was in the hospital, and last night I was singing and dancing, the things that bring me the most pleasure in life.

It was an amazing day. I came home totally exhausted, could hardly wait to get into my pajamas, and fell soundly asleep at 10 PM. What a great day!

May 23, 2009

A lovely day - might have done too much

I felt so good on Friday morning that I baked Rik a batch pf snickerdoodle cookies, readall the paper, did the crossword, took a short nap and puttered around the house until 11:30 when A picked me up for an afternoon of bathroom fixture browsing.

First we had a delicious lunch at Gorgeous George's restaurant, owned by an Israeli Christian Arab. His food was remarkably tasty! I had lamb gyro meat over rice; A had kofta kabobs (seasoned ground beef) with rice. We both shared a phenomenal salad tossed with George's own home made salad dressing. All in all, a lunch worth lingering over!

Then we drove down Stone Way to check out a couple of design/fixture places. I found some of the items I'd seen online and it helped to see them in the flesh, so to speak. Plus there were a couple of new ideas that came our way.

A dropped me off and then W came over to take me to help her look for a refrigerator. I've replaced all our appliances in the past few years and I learned a lot about shopping for these big ticket items.

W and I went to Almvig's, which has the best customer service in town. We got some tips about why not to buy LG (they have the highest service call numbers), how to make room for a taller fridge under a cabinet (if the cabinet is stand-alone, not attached to others, it can be removed and made shorter to allow for the now standard 70" fridges to fit in the space below the cabinet). W didn't want to buy a GE model, which left us looking at Kitchenaid, Whirlpool and Fischer & Paykel.

I am sure W and G will find the fridge they need with minimal fuss, since they took my advice and measured their available space BEFORE going shopping.

I then crashed for an hour and slept hard. We went to R and L's for Shabbat dinner. I was still sleepy from my nap, but a cup of mint tea with honey soon woke me up. L prepared a delicious Shabbat dinner of her special salads (no one makes salads like L), salmon, couscous with dried fruit and nuts, asparagus and fruit cobbler for dessert. I ate as much as I could - which wasn't much -- had some salad, a teaspoon of couscous, a small piece of salmon and one asparagus spear. I did have some cobbler after dinner.

It was a lovely day but I just might have done a smidge too much. I slept well after my second dose of Megace and only awoke twice in the night to pee. I actually slept in until 7 AM!

May 20, 2009

Good news from the doc

I saw Dr G today and he says my blood work was fine and my chemistry is in good shape. So no more potassium or Imodium, although I am to continue with the Bactroban (daily up the nose to prevent infection) and the tincture of opium (to fight diarrhea). I can taper down from four times a day to twice a day on the opium since I didn't think I wanted to go cold turkey on it.

I can schedule my next Zometa at any time, including waiting out another few weeks until the cycle starts again. Dr G says to call him tomorrow and he will start me on the Megace. And I am clear to eat whatever I want!

G drove me to the doc, sat with me while I had the blood draw and waited for the results. Then we went out to lunch at Quinn's Pub where I had a truly delicious hamburger and fries and G had the delightful vegetarian sandwich and shared my fries. There were so many fries we brought some back for Rik to nibble on.

This has been a good day and it's not close to over yet!

Post-hospital checkup #2

Today I am scheduled to see the oncologist for my second post-hospital checkup. I have finished all of my antibiotics, still taking potassium and tincture of opium/Imodium for the diarrhea, plus my usual vitamins etc.

I imagine it will be like last time: the receptionist will check me in. I will have my port accessed to draw blood for labs. I'll wait an hour or more for the labs to come back. Then I'll see Dr. G, we'll talk, he'll want to examine me.

Maybe he will send me home with more meds, depending on my blood work. Maybe he will want to start me on the Megace. Or maybe I'll just get another week to increase my strength.

I do feel as though I have 5% improvement every day. Yesterday I felt like I was at 80%, today I feel a little stronger.

More later when I return....

May 18, 2009

Catching up on household chores

There were fourteen shirts to be ironed, just about one for each day I had been in the hospital. Anbd Rik had already dome this much ironing while I was inpatient!

I had Rik pull out the ironing board and spent the past couple of hours alternating between ironing and sitting with my feet up to watch "Good Morning America."

Ironing and polishing the silver have always been my favorite household chores. There's something very satisfying about taking a wrinkled mess and turning it into a pressed shirt. Or turning the blackened tarnish into shining silver again.

I also swept the floor to pick up all the dog hair and vacuumed the sofa (same reason). In all, it's been a remarkably busy and satisfying morning of catching up on household chores.

(And no, I don't clean the bathroom.)

Restaurant dinner

Last night we enjoyed a dinner out in a restaurant with our usual Sunday night dinner friends, G & W. They had a coupon for Buca di Beppo. We arrived before 6 PM but the place was already hopping. Who knew we could make a reservation? W told the hostess that I had to eat right away, we couldn't wait for a half hour to get a table, and they seated us at the only booth in the bar.

So we were quite private and didn't have screaming children around. This chain serves everything family style -- large portions in a single bowl -- and we made some good choices. For the three who love seafood, they ordered pasta frutti di mare (shrimp, baby clams, mussels and calamari tossed with spicy red clam sauce and served over imported Italian linguine). They ordered a caesar salad as well (I ate the croutons).

I enjoyed chianti braised short ribs and some fettuccine with marinara sauce. And I shared with everyone else.

I wanted a glass of wine but restrained myself. The bartender brought me some soda from the fountain with lime sweet/sour mix. It was good but not sweet enough for me. I am still really into sweet and cold tastes.

To conclude our festive meal, we each enjoyed a small cone of house-made gelato (chocolate and pistachio).

It was the perfect conclusion to a day full of outings!

May 17, 2009

A busy and lazy Sunday

Is it possible for a day to be both busy and lazy?

We got up closer to 7 AM than 5 AM, and I only had one night-time snack last night (still got up four times to pee though). It was great to sleep a little longer and heavier than during the past week.

After pancakes for breakfast and peanut butter on crackers for second breakfast, we went to synagogue for the annual meeting. There were yummy bagels with cream cheese that I could eat, and orange juice to drink, so my "elevenses" were delicious. The meeting ran smoothly, although I hit the wall sometime around 11:30 AM and we had to leave.

"Hitting the wall" is an interesting cancer fatigue issue. No matter where I am, I can get that sudden sensation of not being able to do ANYTHING. Like this morning -- we had to leave immediately, once I felt I'd hit the wall, I couldn't even sit in a chair any more.

We came home and ate a little lunch, were prepared to visit a friend in the hospital but when we called, he was being taken for a procedure. We went to Bellevue anyway -- there was a top I wanted from Lands End
and the Sears in Bellevue has the largest Lands End shop in town.

I was able to buy the top in both turquoise blue and sea green, both really good colors on me that I have trouble finding.

Then we went across the road to Fred Meyer and picked up some necessities: WD40, Imodium, moisturizer with SPF 15, eggs -- the usual motley supply of stuff. FM did not have more than one box of sparkling water at the 6 for $10 price, so we only bought the one and will have to go back with our coupon again this week. It's the best deal in town and we go through so much sparkling water in the warm weather that we need to have extra on hand!

After all this fresh air and shopping I made us a banana-mango smoothie (thanks L for the orange-peach-mango juice), then fell soundly asleep on the sofa. Rik bathed the dogs again so they wouldn't stink, and we plan to go out for our usual Sunday dinner with friends.

In all, this has been an excellent day!

Shabbat again

I was able to celebrate Shabbat again after weeks of practically no Jewish content in my life. Shabbat for us has always been about spending time with friends and family. We may go out to "play" sometimes (i.e. see a movie or a theatrical performance) but we have only missed spending Shabbat dinner with each other on a handful of occasions in the 14 years we have been married.

Because I am still not 100% on my feet, Rik offered to take me to shul for Shabbat morning services. I wanted to atttend only briefly, because the kiddush (light lunch) after services is such a lovely social moment. So we went for what one rabbi calls "kaddish and kiddush" -- showing up at the end of services, just in time to socialize.

We arrived in time to hear the second half of the guest speaker's talk on Israel - very powerful. Then we slipped into my usual spot and tried not to make too much of a fuss being greeted by others. I was able to sing full out, I stood for portions of the musaf service but not the whole thing, and I was able to say the final kaddish for my father.

It meant so much to me to be able to remember my dad in the context of my community. I had missed the end of the eleven months of saying kaddish for a parent while in the hospital, and knowing that I could mark the moment with my synagogue community was fulfilling. I started to cry a bit and realized that I had to focus on saying the words of the kaddish as well as remembering Dad.

Then after serivces Rik escorted me to a table and brought me a plate of egg salad, part of a bagel nd a small brownie, all I could eat. People came up to visit with me for at least an hour. All in all, going to shul was a tonic for my soul!

In the afternoon I visited with K while Rik took the first nap of the spring/summer in his hammock. Then I took a snooze, we ate some leftovers for dinner and went to the grocery store for a few things. What an exciting Saturday night! I was thrilled to be able to go out twice in one day.

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I dance with cancer. Oy!