Samuel Jerome and Richnightder

Samuel Jerome and Richnightder
Our boys in Haiti

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

My new blog

I invite everyone to hop on over and check out my new blog.  The new blog  will exclusively deal with the impending wind turbines and the effect they will have upon our way of life.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Conquering the mental fears

Physical therapy was brutal last Wednesday.  Since my leg felt tight, which means it is scarring down as expected, they had me side stepping over cones.  Just so you know, it's the sideways motion that puts all the stress on the MCL and side stepping was definitely physically painful, but even more so, it was mentally painful.

I've been experiencing some pain in my knee around the medial line, or joint between the tibia and femur.  The therapist thinks it's most likely cartilage scarring that I am feeling and not my damaged meniscus.  All I know is that I actually did work through the pain of it at therapy and was able to push ahead and complete all the exercises.

I left therapy, donning a pair of jeans and strapping on my leg brace, Marc and I ventured into Walmart.  Never in my life did I think I would celebrate walking into Walmart.  For me, yesterday was a physical and mental achievement.  It's been 7 and a half weeks since I wrecked my knee and I have reached my goal of going shopping in a store by Christmas.

To prove to  myself that Wednesday's achievement wasn't a fluke, I headed into town with 3 of the 4 kids today.  I drove as it had snowed about 2 inches and the roads were a smidge icy, otherwise I would have let Madison drive.  Anyhow, I managed to get out of the car and into the store on the icy, snowy pavement without falling and commenced with shopping.  I felt like Sheena, Queen of the Jungle after conquering this battle. 

You know, I still walk with a pronounced limp and a gimpy kind of gait, but I'm grateful for being able to ease some of the load from Marc.  He's been a Super Trooper these last 7 weeks.  Not only has he taken almost everyday off these last 49 days, but he's picked up all of the household duties.  Today when he called from work to see how things were going, he said that his work day is MUCH easier than my days and he isn't nearly as wiped out as he was doing my chores at home.  It's good to know that he now has a full appreciation for everything I do here to keep us living life as picture perfect as a Home and Garden magazine.  Sheesh, about time he lived my chaotic days!

I sure hope Marc picks something up for dinner on his way home.  I'm whipped from shopping!  I love being back to 'almost' normal!

Saturday, December 10, 2011


Well, hobbled into a store today and pushed a shopping cart.  One milestone down a gazillion more to go.  I can now walk about 50 steps without using a crutch at all.  It's not pretty, but I.CAN.DO.IT!

I tend to move very slowly and must consciously think about the mechanics of walking with the right leg, all the while holding my right arm out at my side in some freakish wing-like display.  BUT. I. CAN. DO. IT!

I might get to Wally World tomorrow, but today I ventured into Tractor Supply.  It was a small enough store for me to make it across the parking lot and the store is small enough to maneuver, so although it wasn't the store of my choosing, I've still done it. 

Just had to share that at 6 and a half weeks, I am putting 100% weight on my injured knee/leg.  YES!!!  And for any cradle Catholics that may follow this blog, I have something to share soon regarding novena's and saints!!  What can I say?  I'm a practicing Lutheran with a devout belief in asking for the intercession of saints.  HUGE believer!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

F-bomb to the rescue

When I started this blog in 2008, I originally intended to vent about the frustrations involved with our adoption of the two little boys from Haiti.  It was my sounding board to express my grief, frustration and ultimate joy in the adoption process.  It served as a venue to meet new friends and to commiserate with people who were stuck in the same boat.

Over time, it has morphed into a blog about the oddities in my life.  I've addressed issues dealing with raising four black kids in rural 'white' North Dakota.  I've belly-ached and celebrated the joys of home educating the kids.  I've shared all the weirdness that is MY life.

The last 6 weeks I've done nothing but complain about my MCL knee injury.  Not that I'm counting, but it's been exactly 6 weeks today.  The first 4 weeks were relatively easy, physically and mentally.  All I did was sit around on the couch with my leg locked in the straight position and was not allowed any weight bearing.  Week 4 they began to allow me to use my leg and put about 50% of my weight on the leg.  Last week they knocked me down to one crutch and almost 100% weight.  It took me until Saturday or Sunday to really begin walking on using a normal gait and to make an effort to not lean on the one crutch.  I went to today's therapy with trepidation.

I knew the expectation was to be sufficiently strong enough to throw away the remaining crutch and walk unaided.  What a load of horse poop!  While I am happy my MCL seems to be scarring and tightening up nicely, per the PT, I had to emphatically stress that I know my limitations and my knee is not strong enough to stand on alone.  I demonstrated how I'm having to physically force my leg into a straight position when standing as it has a tendency to flex forward.  That is now causing pain in my hamstrings.  Oh friggin' joy!  Nonetheless, we forged ahead and did some 'Old lady' exercises in the hallway which provided some entertainment for the old farts in the therapy center.  At one point the PT assistant had me standing facing the wall in the hallway taking itty-bitty side steps which hurt like a totally dirty MOFO!  Then to complete the humiliation she had me use my one crutch, lift my right leg up to my waist and then place it down in front and then hold my left leg up like a flippin' stork.  I think it was about right now, that I may have shouted the f-bomb as I felt my leg burn like hell and feel really weak.

I'm not sure if the old farts around me heard my expletive or not as they were in various states of their own personal torture, but screaming that word, did seem to impart that I was adamant about my knee's limitation.  My personal torture session ended fairly quickly and I left with instructions to continue exercises on my quads and to 'wean myself off my crutch.'  Oh yeah, right!  I might as well just spend the day walking like Igor in Young Frankenstein.

So my goal now for next week is to be able to walk without a crutch at all.  Quite honestly, that scares the hell out of me.  I guess I'll feel more confident and comfortable doing that as I stretch my abilities and find success in some accomplishments. 

I never intended this blog to be all about me....well, at least not all about me with an injury....but this is the state of my life right now.  So as my life has evolved, changed and tossed me unexpected challenges, I guess I'll continue to share the unusual happenings of my world.  Now, if I can just get back to normal chaos someday soon, I'll be extremely happy....most of the time.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Dreams of pushing a shopping cart

In my continuing theme of lamenting about my knee injury, I will one again bore the two people who still read my blog and complain and moan about the healing process.  I've learned a lot about myself during this injury and healing process, mostly that I am not patient at all.

I returned to the physical therapist on Tuesday and was pleased to learn that my injured knee is continuing to heal and is scarring down and tightening up.  This is all good news, but the flip side of the good news is that I must push ahead and step outside (no pun intended) of my comfort zone with my knee.  I was told to use only one crutch and begin to bear almost full weight on my right leg.  This is scary stuff.  Five weeks ago when I injured it, I couldn't stand with any weight on my leg without my femur flopping to the inside of my knee by about 7 cm.  Wickedly gross stuff.

Now I'm supposed to stand and 'trust' my knee to support me.  I get pins and needle like shooting pains through the MCL portion of my knee that remind me it still isn't like it used to be.  I've been told that it will take a full year for the scar tissue to mature and for the knee to be as stable as it once was.  While my physical healing is progressing, my psychological healing is taking longer.  Every time I take a step now, I am acutely aware of where I place my foot, and what it feels capable of bearing.  I must be super careful about not twisting or rotating on my right foot as that will cause the knee to twist too. 

OK, let me just cut to the damn chase and say it.  I'm friggin' scared as hell to begin using the leg again as I worry that I'll injury it again.  I know the pain it caused and I really don't want to have to feel that again......EVER!  See, mentally I'm a basket case.  Even though I'm a nervous wreck, I am pushing myself to do just as the PT told me to do.  Next Tuesday I return to the PT and if it's continuing to heal as expected, they take my crutches away and will ask me to stand like a stork, bearing all my weight on the bad knee.  OH MY GOD, this scares me.

How do I get beyond the fear of re injuring my knee again?  I am so impatient to get back to my normal full-steam-ahead pace of life, that my mental fears hold me back.  I can't trust my knee yet and still I dream about the day I can drive to the grocery store and push my overly-burdened cart thru the store with great vengeance. 

Pathetic!  My great motivating dream is to push a cart thru the damn grocery store.  Holy Toledo, I need a life!