Tuesday, April 30, 2013


I'm trying the pool again today!!  I forget how long this most recent set-back for my back lasted, but the swelling is gone, I did a full PT workout yesterday and am still mobile, so it's time to try pool walking again. 

Wasn't it this time last year when I was excited about trying running again?

Monday, April 29, 2013

I Think It's In The Intent

I grew up in a very, VERY small town--a place many people consider idyllic, but a place I visit as little as possible.  In some ways, it's very interesting to be from there, because even people you barely knew up there are still people you know to speak to.  Last week I ran into a couple from up there whom I hadn't seen in at least 20 years and would never have known well, but that sort of thing doesn't matter.  You have a common bond and we still knew each other.  That part is nice.

But the part I could never stand was the gossip.  Not much happens around there, so talking about what happens in other peoples' lives is a main topic of conversation.  I don't think I'm a terribly private person, but I was still furious when I found out my mother was sharing details of my dating life with the town in general.  They weren't even people I knew extremely well--but it was NEWS.  That people may wish to choose for themselves who knows details of their lives is not a consideration in a small town.  Forget HIPAA--If you don't want the entire town to know your medical records, you pretty much just have to keep them to yourself.  When I was in junior high, my mother had a hysterectomy, and my sister and I were forbidden to even mention to anyone what type of surgery it was.  Which made sense, as I assume she wanted some privacy and if you told one person, you pretty much told the entire town.

Recently a friend and her family were going through a very rough time, and things were not looking good.  I wanted to let people know, but still respect their privacy.  I know my father's illness has been a general topic of conversation in the area for months, but it was unusual and it ended well, so that's okay.  Their battle wasn't going to end well, and I could so closely identify with what they were going through that I wanted to protect them from being part of the gossip mill.  I let people know who would (I thought) visit, send a card, call, or in some way be there for the family.  But if people weren't actually going to do anything, then I didn't tell them.  A family's pain is not a news item.  All my adult life I have loathed gossip, and have always made little rules for myself about information to be shared.  If it was happy news that wasn't private--fine.  If it was positive about the person--fine.  If it was bad news but the other person would likely do something for the subject (such as a card or visit), fine.  But if it was just "news," then no.  I think the difference--in this as in most things--truly lies in the intent. 

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Being Housebound Is Easier In the Spring

.....but not by much.  Yesterday was my first day with much mobility, so I could at least get out to the greenhouse--until the rain and lightning came.  I know the greenhouse isn't the tallest thing on our property, but I still don't want to be out there when lighting is popping.  I did get some things transplanted into bigger pots,
including the basil, which is exciting as I just took the last container of basil mustard out of the freezer.
 Two of the first zinnias had outgrown their pots as well, and so far a cucumber has even survived the process.  Personally, I've never had good luck transplanting cucumbers, but I thought I'd give it another shot. 

The tomatoes are progressing,
and the tray that NOTHING grew in so I just plastered it with zinnia seeds is

sort of a mess.  And three tomato plants finally decided to pop up in the middle of the flowers.  Whatever.

My first petunia has bloomed!
which would make me want to go get more of them if A) I could drive right now, and B) if I wasn't going to have to find spots for 50+ zinnias in a few weeks.  While I appreciate being able to make it down the stairs and even get outside at times, I am REALLY ready for this whole back saga to be over.  I can't even opt for the specialist that would be the next step yet, because it isn't my hip that hurts.  The pain is all related to when I sprained my back doing the new version of PT exercises, and until all the ancillary injuries clear up, they can't send me to an SI joint dysfunction specialist, because that might not be a problem once everything else heals.  So, I've done the exercises I can, am resting now, and am hoping that everything heals enough to be able to get somewhere--anywhere--besides our house in the next week.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Well, At Least It's Cold.............

I think I'm making a bit of progress, but this is the worst week my back/hip has had in quite a while, so I've been resting all week.  Not exactly what I had planned for the week, but at least it coincides with a recent spate of cold weather so I would really not be very excited about tackling the yard work anyway.  I think it's safe to assume that the weeds will be there waiting for me when I'm mobile again...............

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Hate It When That Happens

Sometimes if my back/hip are really sore, a night of deep (a.k.a. drug-assisted) sleep really helps.  Of course, that means sometimes it doesn't work at all, and last night was one of those nights.  When I woke up this morning, my hip had turned quite a bit, and now that I have more muscles trying to STOP it from turning, that really, really, REALLY hurts.  I hate mornings like this.  I did the exercises to move it back in place that I could stand, and am now waiting for the pain pills and muscle relaxers to kick in so I can do the rest. 

Interestingly, last year when this all started, the physical therapist's office had me take regular surveys on level of pain and level of depression, which I thought was odd at first but understood later.  I did get very, very depressed at times.  This year they didn't ask at all, and strangely, I've probably handled it better this time around.  Maybe it's because I now am more realistic about how slow progress is really going to be, or maybe--because of my father, several friends, and several relatives--I have a whole new appreciation of what a bad medical problem really is.  I still hate days like today--especially if the 1/4 of a Valium pill doesn't work and I have to take a full half a pill, which makes me dizzy and spacey all day--but they're down to once a week now.  I've learned to take any progress I can get.................

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Laugh For Today

This cracked me up:
When working campaigns last year, Facebook and Twitter were the bane of my existence.  Sure, they can help spread a message.  BUT, neither could get votes or money, which are the two main things campaigns need.  However, guess what everyone wanted to do?  Yup, Twitter, Facebook and the web page.  Because they were a great way to pretend one was making contact or doing something productive without having to do anything out of one's comfort zone, like actually talk to a human.  They're fine tools, but my stress level would have decreased significantly had Twitter gone off line entirely.

I actually feel sorry for charities since the invention of social media.  Even before Facebook and Twitter, I would have people show up at my diabetes walks and be chapped that they didn't get a free t-shirt just for showing up.  Thanks to the ribbon campaigns, they had convinced themselves that them showing up and snagging a free t-shirt somehow "raised awareness" and "showed support."  One, you pretty much have to have grown up under a rock to have not heard of diabetes at least once in your life.  Fastest growing disease in America, in the news every day, all sorts of scams touted as "cures," and shelves of supposedly "diabetes-friendly" products everywhere made it hard to avoid.  Second, t-shirts cost MONEY.  Charities typically NEED money--they don't so much need to find ways to spend it.  Trying to raise money with the onslaught of status shares and the ability to "like" a page and feel you've accomplished something has given rise to the new term "slacktivism"--doing absolutely nothing but pretending you did.  I'm not sure what charities will do in a few years when there are entire generations of potential donors who have been raised to think clicking a mouse actually helps anyone, but thankfully, it won't be my problem.  :)

Monday, April 1, 2013

Best April Fool's Jokes of the Day

Personally, I love April Fool's day.  Admittedly, as a kid it seemed to be a really mean-spirited day, but as an adult I think it's a funny and creative day--especially since the internet.  There are all sorts of fun fake-news stories and creative programming tricks, but I think my favorite this year is from Coursera, the free online college class website.  If you visit their website here:


you can see the full course description and introductory video for Underwater Basketweaving.  Kind of fun for what has seemed a rather stodgy organization.

What fun things have you seen today?

Fall! Finally!

Even without extremely hot summers, I've always loved fall.  A little coolness in the air, leaves starting to turn, sweaters coming out-...