Wednesday, September 17, 2008

History Lesson

I've been hearing it, again and again and again. All day long, since 8:00am this morning, and it's now 2:00pm. And every time, I hear it, I still jump. Grrr. So what the hell am I talking about? Let me answer that question, with another question.

Question: Why, starting as early as 8:00am (grrrr) this morning, have there been loud, scary noises right outside of our windows, surrounding the three local schools we live near, that sound like cannons going off, and guns unloading in the suburbs?

Answer: "Historical War Reenactments." Yes, that's right, historical war reenactments. Going on live, and outside, located on the Middle School field just around the corner from us. And, so far, they've been going strong all day long (grrrr).

Um, I don't want to knock experiential learning, but, uh, hmm, I wonder: might there be a better way to teach history to children rather than blowing off faux cannons and unloading blank firearms? I don't know. Just saying.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Up and Running

First, some personal good news to share. All of Aqua Man's family are safe, healthy, and doing okay in the aftermath of Hurricane Ike. It was a terrifying experience for many of them, and so scary from this end not knowing if they were making it through intact. Most of them still have lots to deal with, some more than others, in terms of the aftermath, but all are safe, and we are so thankful for this. For others who did not fair as well in the wake of Hurricane Ike, still our hearts are with them.

Second, I am back up and running, er, walking to be more exact. I'm on day three of barely using my crutches and for the most part doing so entirely pain free. I can still feel my knee talk back to me if I move it just so, but I have come so far in my healing. Just four weeks ago I was in so much pain I was only mentally projecting myself into this place, trying to remember what it used to feel like before the pain, trying to remember what it was like to walk without wincing. At times the pain would spike so strong that I wasn't sure I would be able to get to the other side of it, or if there was another side to get to at all. Now I have arrived at this point, and for this I am so, so thankful.

And, lastly, on a slightly lighter note, I have to say that I have never been so happy to arrive at Monday morning. Or for a weekend to end. It truly felt like one thing after the other (some trivial), after the other (some not); worrying about Aqua Man's family, staying up until the wee hours of the morning watching hurricane coverage and, watching tornado and flood warnings in our area, our basement filling with water in response to all of the rain, precious pictures sitting in stagnant water with all the yet to be unpacked boxes joining them, our roof dripping in our den as the rain kept coming, and coming, The Kid waking up in the middle of the night crying, not feeling well. By early Saturday morning, a trip to the doctor revealed that The Kid had developed a nasty ear infection, and all the while we were preparing for our small house warming party that seemed to need still so much to be done to host. More rain, more rain, flood advisories, trips to the pharmacy and finally.....we threw in the towel, and canceled our party. And you know what? In the end, it felt damn good. There, I said it. Instead, we just stayed home, all three of us, the rain and The Kid's ear infection, and the state of our ridiculous basement (given the context), influencing us to stay put together. And it turned out to be a welcome relief.

Like my BFF from H.S. puts it, sometimes when things are just not going right with trying to get something done it seems like life is talking back to you, telling you the timing is off. The Universe is telling you, 'Hey, this just isn't gonna happen!' Things are not lining up and they are not going to, no matter how hard you try to make it so; it's not the right time, clue in!' This is what it felt like this past weekend, regarding the trivial things.

Response to Universe regarding this past weekend: We heard you loud and clear.

Or as The Kid puts it:
Roger, roger.
Over. And out.

Friday, September 12, 2008

What Can I Do?

I was going to put up a light hearted post today, but as time passes, I feel compelled to do something-albeit, a very small something-regarding Hurricane Ike.

My heart goes out to those who live in the immediate area of Galveston, TX and all other surrounding areas that will be impacted directly, and as a residual of this serious hurricane. I send the highest of positive thoughts and intentions across the miles for safety, help, assistance, strength and healing for all those who need it. Including Aqua Man's family, some who live in Galveston, TX and the rest in Houston.

Positive thoughts can't hurt, but I also know that there will be a lot of after math from this hurricane. To this end, I've just made a small donation to The American Red Cross through there on-line web site. I am thankful that I was able to do this today. I ask that, if you can, please donate today. A $10.00 minimum donation is needed to do so on-line.
I also know, and respect, that $10.00 can be too much to donate. I've been there myself and know that $10.00 can be just too much to give, or that you may not have $10.00 extra dollars to give.

But together-positive thoughts, monetary donations, donations of food, water, clothes, and donating blood-however you may be able to help, together, it will all add up. And it will make a positive impact for those who need it most.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Like Riding A Bike

I had my second physical therapy appointment on Monday, and I go again today. I met with a new PT and this session was way more intense than my first session. I walked in and met my new PT, and he was all, "Hi, how are you! (including enthusiastic, strong, hand crushing hand-shake. Gulp.) Why don't you get started by riding the stationary bike? Go, on, jump up there and get started. I'll check back in a minute!"

And I was all like, "Um, yeah. He, he, he. You see, while I totally want to be cooperative and I'm all about healing, the thing is Mr. PT, there are two issues with this idea. 1) Jumping. Jumping concerns me. I can't really step, let alone jump. And 2) Riding a bike? A bike? The thing with the pedals that go round and round? Right. Um, not to point out the obvious, but, uh, doesn't that require one's knee to be able to bend? Okay, great, just checking.

So, I didn't jump up. I used my crutches and a step up stool and the help of a PT assistant, and low and behold, I rode that damn bike! Slow, and with no resistance, but I rode that damn bike! Then I went on to use a recumbent step machine, with resistance, and a stability ball, and weights on my knees, and lots of, I'll say "interesting," strength resistance exercises. And while I'm no stranger to using my body, or working out, I was t-i-r-e-d.

However, it's the first time that I've been able to consistently bend my knee! This was a huge relief; to learn that I can bend it without worrying about blowing my knee cap out (sorry, that was gross!). The movement itself helps to move the fluid out from around my knee cap which then gives me a greater range of motion. This has been so liberating to learn. The creeks, and snaps, and cracks I hear are just part of the healing process (sorry, that was probably gross again? I'm just really into movement and how our body works...).

My session lasted for 1 1/2 hours which took me right up into the time I had to pick up The Kid from school. It was supposed to be just 1 hour, but, Mr. PT is enthusiastic, as I mentioned. And it was pouring rain, again, which makes the logistics of getting where I need to be, on time, and crutching without falling, that much more of a challenge.

So, on my drive home I called Aqua Man and did what I needed to do. I had myself a good cry. I cried for most of the ride. Then one block away from The Kids school I pulled myself together, found the closest parking spot I could, and crutched out to pick up The Kid carefully avoiding puddles. I was so sore from the long session, and so afraid that I wouldn't even be able to get out of the car again to get The Kid. But I did. And I was so afraid that I wouldn't be functional for him. But I was. Thankfully, later that night, I was feeling great with an amazing range of motion.

And yesterday, for the first time in weeks, I took The Kid outside and we went for a very short walk up the street so that he could pick up leaves. And, for that short time, I walked without my crutches (the goal is to "ween me" from these)! Woo-hoo.

Now, let's see what Mr. PT has in store for me today. Yea! Gulp.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Trying To Make This The Picture In My Mind

It's not exactly working, yet, but I'm trying to let my mind roll and refresh like these waves.

(St. Petersburg Beach, Florida, June 2, 2008)

And...breath...The past first few weeks of The Kid's kindergarten, in combination with the logistics of getting around on crutches, while dealing with knee pain, and a new home that we've moved into that I haven't yet been able to unpack, shop, or take care of, have been, at times, really, really exasperating. Like, I-want-to-scream-at-the-top-of-my-lungs exasperating. And breath...

On the positive though, my first physical therapy appointment went well in that I was able to get their (despite the pouring rain which made crutching around very dangerous, and despite the fact that our sliding glass door came right off the hinge and fell out right as I was on my way out the door, allowing rain to blow into our carpeted den while I watched helplessly unable to move the door because of my knee, and despite the fact that The Kid was struggling with adjusting to all the new changes lately) and, I successfully made it through! Woo-hoo. I was sore later that night, which I had totally expected, but I also had more mobility as a result of the session. A welcome relief and sign of hope for my rehab in general.

Now, if I could just crutch my way back to this beach, and hang out there for the day tomorrow. I'd sit with my toes pushed deep into the warm, white sand, while listening to the waves crash onto the shore and the birds crying out overhead, feeling the warm sun healing my body.

Yes, I'm definitely going there tomorrow.

Well, not literally, since I'm over a thousand miles away now, but mentally, for sure. I'm there.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Hump Day Giveaway Notice

Aqua Man and I stayed up very late into the night talking about some serious things we both just haven't had time to talk about lately. As a result, I woke up this morning a little crabby, and kinda low on energy. It's also rainy where I am, so its clear that my day could head into a bummer mood...

So, I decided to grab my mood by the, well, you know, and head it in a better direction. And what better way than to hop on the Internet and search for a cool, handmade, beautiful Etsy item that an artist is giving away? And then to pass this awesome info. your way? None, I tell you, none. I'm feeling better already...

So, I searched Etsy and came across this beautiful necklace over at Cthings blogspot. I signed up for Cthings giveaway, and have my fingers crossed-love, love this piece. Good luck to you, too.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Good News on My Knee

So, I went to see my Orthopedic doc this morning for a follow up on my MRI results, and the doc had good news for me! No visible tendon or ligament damage. Yea!!!!! I started celebrating in the office, clapping, Woot-ing, and such, but the doc interrupted me to tell me that I had a bit of a long road ahead.

So, I'm starting physical therapy this Thursday and will go three times a week, one hour each session, for the next four weeks. Little caveat-if in three weeks my knee does not improve, worst case scenario would be-and I quote-"a very painful knee surgery in which we shave off..."

When I heard these words I interrupted the doc and yelled out, "Stop! I don't want to hear anymore. That's not going to happen. I am going to be the best healer, ever! Physical therapy sounds great. Sign me up!"

Still Going.....


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Monday, September 1, 2008

Free Running (in my mind)

I learned about free running several years ago while mindlessly flipping through channels, watching TV. I stumbled onto a documentary (not sure which one anymore) about it and was instantly blown away (if you search You Tube you can find plenty of free running videos to check out). I hurried to find a blank video and was able to record most of the documentary. Shortly after, years ago, I invited some movement-loving-friends over to watch the video, and that's the last time that I've seen it. Since then, between all the moves we've made, I've lost track of it. Yet, for some reason this morning, I woke up with free running on my mind.

Maybe it's because my weekend has been spent watching Aqua Man unpack a good amount of boxes that I haven't been able to get to since I injured my knee. Boxes that hold lots of memories; pictures, videos, movies. Maybe this video is somewhere in there? I've watched box after box be moved as I sit, still icing and elevating my knee. Pretty frustrating at times. I was, however, actually able to go outside yesterday for a short stint while wearing a (giant)leg brace from the doc (Aqua Man decided to call me "Lieutenant Dan" because I was crutching around so much. Perhaps, also, because I was swearing and cursing just as much? The upshot? That left Aqua Man to be cast as "Forest Gump" in his own drama. Frankly, I'd rather be Lieutenant Dan on his worst day, than Gump on his best:). Anyway, I crutched around the yard, watered a patch of flowers, and even pulled a few weeds while sitting in a chair. It didn't last long but it was still an accomplishment that I took as a good sign. Especially since this was the first time I've been able to wear that leg brace and find relief from it rather than more pain.

Tomorrow I have an appointment to meet with the Orthopedic doctor to get the results from my MRI. I've been playing a vision in my mind that he tells me everything looks good, that there is no damage other than a sprain, that healing is already happening, and that with time and, perhaps, physical therapy I will be fine. I'm assuming this is what will come of it. In part, because I'm trying to stay positive and only call in thoughts of healing. In part, honestly, because I just can't begin to prepare myself for another scenario; I'm too afraid. These past two weeks I've already had to put many, many things on hold because of my new reality. And it doesn't just affect me; it affects every one in this house. Occasionally, my mind will wander to my fears and I quickly imagine scenarios that scare the shit out of me. I will not write about them here because I don't want to fuel my fears. So instead, I choose to challenge my perspective.

Free running and free runners view the urban and rural terrain as their landscape to interact with and co-create a fluid path. There is no "perfect" path; rather a sustained momentum in which one keeps on moving and interacting with the other objects in relation to its path. What might normally be viewed as an insurmountable obstacle, or object to go around, over, under, or to be avoided all together, free runners view these very things as a way to gather momentum, energy and inspiration for their flowing movements.

The first time I saw the documentary on free runners a seed was planted. I wanted to be like them--um, okay, don't get me wrong. I know that I will NEVER, EVER be capable of engaging in the simplest of free running activities! But, why, years later, did I wake up with free running on my mind? Perhaps, in the face of the unknown, my subconscious kicked this philosophy to the forefront of my mind? However it came to my attention, I'll take this as an opportunity to explore the philosophy. To free run in my mind.

I wonder what would happen if I mentally free run? What opportunities might arise? What exciting new path might I take because of the "obstacle" of my knee? Can I approach hurting my knee as a source of new possibilities rather than a block? What adventures are still unexplored for me? In general, how would my life be different if I consistently viewed "obstacles" in my life instead as sources of inspiration and possibilities? How would I move, act, feel, be?

How about you?