Sunday, August 21, 2016

Tackling the Back

I'm usually the type of procrastinator who puts off decisions and actions in hopes that things will sort themselves out while I let my fickle brain mull it all over. It is so unlike me to take a drastic action like voluntarily having hip surgery. You know that I had to rely on Jeremy to urge me on, reminding me that torn up hips do not sort themselves out. The short story to the present day brings us to my being glad he did, happy with the surgery results, and even beginning to run again.

The longer version has not yet ended, and the back pain I've had since Hunter was a rapidly expanding infant wrapped to me via lumbar spine, was not directly related to my hip's torn off labrum. I was hopeful all was fixed in the weeks following surgery, when my back, while sitting in a wheelchair most of the day, wasn't causing me many problems. But now, oh now! I have such sympathy for people in chronic pain. I never realized that everything hurts worse -- a toy truck to the shin, a small child running across your stomach-- when you have a constant pain elsewhere. 

I was on a roll after taking charge of the hip pain, and having met my insurance deductible for the year helped me speed myself up. Back I went to my original sports med doc, who ordered an MRI on my lumbar spine, then sent me to a pain specialist at the Spine Institute. After finally meeting with him, I am super optimistic about my prognosis. No, really! He thinks that a steroid injection into my right L5/S1 facet area will decrease the inflammation enough to take the pain away, since the findings included facet arthropathy with fluid on the right side (where the center of the pain is located) and some neural foraminal narrowing on both sides. Apparently I have extra large facets. I win! Er... There is a disc bulge with a small tear and protrusion, but he does not think that is causing my problems. I have some additional facet arthropathy and a mild disc bulge at L4-5, but, I mean, who doesn't? If the steroid does not do the trick, we can just do a little rhizotomy back there. Nobody really needs sensory input like this anyway.

Getting this injection had to be put off until after we vacation next week, since last Friday wouldn't work: it was Hunter's first day EVER at school! He was excited before, a bit nervous during, and not completely opposed to going back. So that's a win at our house.

Oh, did I mention that I can run? Why yes I did. When he heard the news, Hunter exclaimed, "What?! You can run now?" My ortho doc released me to walk 10 minutes, run 10 minutes, and walk another 10 minutes three times a week, conceding that 10 minutes surely did not seem like much. To me, it's huge! The muscles in my legs had certainly forgotten how to run, and it seemed like a very foreign movement that was followed with some delayed onset muscular soreness the next day. Running isn't without pain, since I feel twinges randomly with every step, which could be attributed to my hip, weak muscles, back bulges, or tactile hallucinations-- who knows really. But still, I have quadrupled my 2016 run mileage with my 6 one-mile runs. I will surely never sit criss-cross-applesauce again, and please don't ask me to do a sit and reach test. But I do look forward to my putters around the nearby flat church parking lot.

And at least some of us get to run around like with puppies when they come to play. Do we need one of our own? 

Monday, August 8, 2016

The vintage hutch

This strays a bit from my original blog theme of all-things-triathlon, my later all-things-baby, and lately all-things-labrum-repair-surgery. Hmmm, now I'm seeing randomness as the unintentional theme. Alas.

From Ethelyn's house, the family took ownership of furniture according to what each person loved most, what fit in our houses, what was most meaningful, and what we could find a use for. I have so many treasures. Some, like the magnets that greeted me on her fridge, holding dozens of photos in place, are almost as memorable as the smell of lavender soap in her drawers. Others I had seen a hundred times in her closed in garage storage room, but never put much thought into or asked of their history. Like this hutch, below.

It's beautiful, seven feet long, and extremely heavy. You should have seen how much directing I had to do for the four people getting in the house. For having spent at least 60 years in a garage, it is in excellent condition. Obviously there is some chipped paint, newer spray paint in white and green on the front, and a broken door. But the beadboard, perfectly wavy glass, and adjustable shelves!

I need some information from an antiquer, or just someone who knows more than I could find out from my mom's cousin. He said that in his earliest years, it spent time inside, in Ethelyn's bedroom maybe. Mom doesn't remember it ever being in there. Maybe it came with the 130+ year-old house when my great-grandmother and great-grandfather bought it around 1905.

It has few pieces of metal holding it together, and just one detailed lock. One caster wheel was attached to the bottom, of which the double wheel was wood.

I am sure it is a custom piece, and definitely painted with lead-based paint at some point. But not all of it. They got tired before finishing the last foot. I have been cleaning and sealing with polycrylic so that when, not if, my children lick it, we don't need to call poison control.

I am excited to finish cleaning and sealing it, and get to filling it! With something other than babies. 

Friday, July 22, 2016

One Year Old Life

Being a one-year-old is pretty cool, y'all. You cover yourself in paint and chill in front of the fan while soaking up the rays. Your spend your days with friends, swingin', swimmin', and having three celebrations of your birthday.



Cake! Have some.

You got me what?

Mommy is this icing colored with...beets?

Well it is delicious!

Whew, that was exhausting. 

Monday, June 27, 2016

Suntan lines and chigger bites

Oh how I love summertime and all of its sweltering heat, sun shining so bright it makes the bottom of my feet melt off when I step on the hot deck. Not worrying about clothing the children when we go outside, naked swimming on the secluded upstairs deck's baby pool has been just the thing to wash off chiggers before they work themselves into the most private of crevices. Apparently my youngest has the darkest skin so far, since she tans just walking to the car, as evidenced by those lines made noticeable when we strip down for garage fingerpainting followed by a run through the sprinklers, at just the perfect time, as the next door neighbors host an open house.  Or maybe she just tans because I forget to sunscreen everybody but myself when going out to pick blackberries or the garden vegetables leftover after the critters have had breakfast.


We have enjoyed having a string of visitors stay at our house this summer, either while passing through on the way to new cities, coming for a weekend visit, or catching up around a conference, and a surprise visit from Damie and Isla one evening was such a fun time. Family has come recently and the cousins are here now, and we are about to celebrate the first year of our sweet Josie baby! I'm thankful to have that baby help me keep things clean around here.

Summer has, for the past 20 years, been the season of training, and I'm thankful to have had that. The difficult recovery from the reattachment of my hip labrum is something nobody wants to hear about, but if you are interested in the effects of dry needling and foam rolling, talk to me.  I'm focusing all my triathlon energy on writing the schedules of athletes who get to run and race and be fast.

Ethelyn was always telling me to slow down, and now is the time to sit back, lounge by the pool, eat snowcones, and enjoy the slowness of summer.


Monday, May 16, 2016

May Days

In the last 4.5 weeks I've gone from a wheeling whiz, maneuvering master of the big chair, to crutching champ, and now to hobbling hipster. I've learned of all the tight spaces in the house, the worst of which is the hall to the kids' room, which helped me hone my reverse wheeling skills. Around the kitchen island is a one-way route. If you pass what you need, you gotta go around again ("Look kids! Big Ben, Parliament...")

I've garnered sympathy from my sweet family (I think), as well as gym enthusiasts who hold those heavy doors for me, Target patrons who were warned by a loud beep of my backing-up (and bumping around) presence, food truck festival goers who helped with food handling, and brunch eaters, who steered clear of my toe-smushing crutches.

In other big news, I shaved (most of) my legs. My number one goal of walking before Josie has just barely been accomplished, and she actually looks at me again after weeks of being Fed. Up. Hunter is probably the most surprisingly helpful. He likes having a job to do.

And since pictures are worth a thousand words, the following will fill in the details.

The hair. I'm loving the baby girl hair.

I heard her gritting her teeth and realized that one can only grit teeth when they have uppers and lowers! That's how I discovered the one top tooth. 5 total!

I love him but, ug! Hands off the neck, big brother.

One of the THREE food truck festivals of the last month.

Another food truck festival. It's a way to avoid cooking.

"Mommy, let me tell you something" is followed by loud whispers! I love it.

The cousins used an entire bottle of dish soap and the hose to create the MOST exciting trampoline jumping experience possible. And they were really dirty before. So, win, win.

Silas, I think you're going to be my best friend, so let me show you my shutter closing trick. 

I just think she's beautiful. :)

Happy to be sitting in the brace's Mommy's lap? No, she just wants Daddy. Poor brace.

After Mother's Day brunch. Before food poisoning kicked in. Did I mention that?

Sweet Hunter. He picks me any flower of my choice from the yard. 

Headed to the latest food truck festival, burning some calories before. I drove my handicapped self. 

Musical girl just wants to play the piano and dance. 

She also wants to learn all about the ipad. She has the button pushing down.

My Target just needs some wine. And cart cupholders.