Tag Archives: fun with bodies

What I Did on My Summer Vacation

momwristSo, my 75-year-old mother broke her wrist while roller skating.  She fell.  (I’ve been instructed to point out that she fell in the most graceful of ways.)

Go ahead and laugh.  I did and so did she.  She even laughed when she found it was broken in two places and required surgery.  She laughed during pre-op and laughed post-op.   She laughed when she viewed the x-ray showing her dandy new titanium plate and pins.

I ferried her about for a couple of days while we got the medical stuff taken care of, but she’s been pretty self-sufficient.  Luckily, it was her left wrist.

Orthopedics have come a long way.  She’s not in a cast; she wears a brace which allows her to move her hand.  In fact, she has exercises she must do requiring her to move her hand this way and that.  Initially, I was worried she wouldn’t do the exercises.

Oh pshaw.

She does them near constantly in between doing stuff she probably shouldn’t be doing:  like using her cordless drill to replace a large board in my fence.

Mom’s a character.

On the other end of the spectrum, Chef Boy ‘R Mine has been having trouble with his back.  It’s pretty serious and he has a referral to a surgeon.  I’m pretty wigged out about it all.  He’s only 30.

Step One is for him to have a steroidal lumbar injection to help manage the pain.  I’m leaving for Atlanta on Wednesday to be with him and act as his chauffeur the day of the procedure.

Me?  I’m more or less intact.  I just did a freelance project on self-care and I’m all hyped up to be good to myself.  I’ve been doing a pretty good job of it.  I had a lovely week at the beach with my best friend.  I’ve been getting out and about much more than I have in the past couple of years.  I’m active with a book club and a writing group; and starting to hang out in Charleston again.

Although I’m worried about the kid, it’s mostly good to be me these days.    While the rain has been unrelenting this summer, I’m having a good time.

2 Comments

Filed under July 2015

Sucker Punched

tuckered emmylouA few weeks ago, I fell for no good reason and landed on my knees.  The impact was such that I’m quite sure I left an impression in the concrete sidewalk.  One knee was torn up and developed a horrendous scab; the other swelled to the size of a softball.  Both of them astonished me with their cries of pain.

The pain took my breath.  For a good four days, I couldn’t stand or sit or walk or lie down without pain so intense I was reminded of labor.  The pain wasn’t baby-producing intense, but it did provoke the same sort of awe.

This week, I got news that sucker-punched me.  No.  Nobody died.  My relationships are all intact except maybe for the relationship I have with myself.  For several days, my self-esteem has been crying out with the same level of pain as did my knees.

I have decided to get over it.

Today, I spent my time in the much neglected garden doing triage.  I didn’t get as far as I had hoped due to the electric lawnmower dying, but I accomplished much in getting my equilibrium (and self-esteem) back.  The puppies frolicked in the warm spring air and I tended to tender plants while guiltlessly executing weeds and banishing leaves.

Gardening season is upon me.  I much prefer the awe of an Appalachian spring over the awe of surprise pain.

2 Comments

Filed under May 2015

Too Big for My Britches

Soon I'll be rocking the 501s again!

Soon I’ll be rocking the 501s again!

The Atkins Diet and I are having a fight today. So far, it’s winning.  I have what is called The Atkins Flu – headache and malaise being the chief of my symptoms.  It occurs at the beginning of the Induction Phase of the diet – the first two weeks – as carbohydrates are limited to 20 grams or less and the body switches from storing carbs to burning fat.

Yes, I’ve gotten too big for my britches.   The stress of the past few years, plus my love of carbohydrates, has flooded my system with cortisol.  Combine that with menopause and it all becomes an unsightly mess.  More importantly, carrying this extra weight hurts.

After the vacation, I felt serene enough to plunge myself back into low carb dieting. Years ago, things got a bit out of hand and the Atkins Diet straightened it all out in record time.  This, after I’d tried the low fat, counting calories route for some time.  Please.  No criticisms.  This strategy works for my body.  It’s only been a week and I’m already down 6 lbs plus I’ve lost a lot of the bloat that gluten provokes in me.  I know what works for me and this is it.  By the time I reach my goal, my cholesterol and triglycerides will be very good and I will be rocking my favorite pair of jeans.  Just you wait and see!

In the meantime, I have another day or so of feeling crummy. By Sunday or Monday, I should be energetic and ready to take over the world.

2 Comments

Filed under September 2014

Oh for Pete’s sake. . .

brokenfootSo, of course I broke my foot four days before I leave for the Great Southwest Ash Dash. It’s almost appropriate given HMO’Keefe’s interest in bone.

Last night was rough. I was in a lot of pain and certain I would have to cancel. I was bereft beyond words and under the influence of hydrocodone. It was not a pretty sight.

So the breaking of the foot is not even an interesting story. I merely stepped on my right foot wrong, wobbled, caught myself and then gaped in astonishment as my foot exploded into fiery pain. I hobbled about a bit until it was clear something was really wrong. My mom dragged me into the nearest doc-in-a-box where they pronounced me broken, sent me home with pain pills, crutches and dire warnings about putting any weight on my foot.

Last night was just awful.

This morning I saw the cutie-pie doc that did the three foot surgeries following my car accident. He’s a bona fide sweetie, nice to look at it, and a really caring guy not to mention competent. You can’t ask for more in a doc other than looking older than 12. He’s nearly my age and looks like he’s skipping school and hanging out in an orthopedic practice.

He tells me that I was lucky. The fractured bone usually completely separates in these types of fractures and he has to pin it back on. I didn’t separate. Consequently, I’m in an ace bandage and walking boot with news that once the swelling goes down, I’ll feel a whole lot better. The really good news is that the swelling should abate before I get on the plane. Yes, I can still go although I won’t get to wear my spiffy new hiking boots and the suitcase needs to be re-packed to accommodate my needs-based itinerary of lots of sitting.

My co-travelers are being real troopers about my limited trooping ability. I’ve been blessed with some really wonderful people in my life. So the epic trip now has a heroine with an obstacle as all good epics must.

Leave a comment

Filed under March 2014

Berry Berry Bad

my dog is incredibleSo, the Berry Berry Sweet Dog is not getting better in spite of my efforts and that of the vet’s. So today” I took him back to Olson’s Animal Hospital fand we learned that he’d lost another 1.25 pounds. He now weighs 6.9 lbs. He was almost 9 lbs. when this adventure began and that was after a week of not eating much. Bless his sweet little heart. He’s been on antibiotics and decongestants, but whatever has a hold on him is not letting go.

drolsen

Berry, Dr. Olson and Sasha

Dr. Olson wants to keep him which is good because I told him that after losing Doug to a long illness and then Babette, my nerves are shot. This sweet little dog is never going to bond with me as long as I keep torturing him with pills and force-feeding. I’m sure Plan B which involves injectable antibiotics, IV for his poor little dehydrated body, and Sasha (the tech) doing the force-feeding is going to be good.

I love my vet. I got hooked up with him quite by accident. When my mom was running Doggie Daycare, Babette came down with a life threatening, indeed we nearly lost her, uterine infection. I told Mom to take her to the vet and I’d meet her there. I gave her directions. She went to the wrong vet. What a serendipitous event! Dr. Olsen and his staff are everything you want in a pet care team. He saved Babette and I’m comfortable about Berry’s future.

plan bAll of this has been nerve-wracking. Babette died while I was already grieving. Berry showed up in a rather spectacular way and now he’s in very bad shape. I really am a mess. I need this little dog and he needs me. All this chaos!

But I glanced at my magnet laden refrigerator this morning and found a Nietzsche quote I love:

One must still have chaos in oneself to be able to give birth to a dancing star.

I think Berry’s name is now going to be short for Baryshnikov. I promised him I would be back for him. My little Mishka!

2 Comments

Filed under November 2013

DragonMan

bonemanWhen I wasn’t calling him by his real name of Doug, I called him either HMO’Keefe or Dragonman (sometimes shortened to DMan.) The former was a nickname of his choosing based on an historical character. The latter, and the subject of this blather, is my nickname for him. Once in a great while, I called him Boneman which was his online moniker when he wasn’t using HMO’Keefe.

I don’t really remember how it got started.

We met on an anthropology listserv (a kind of online forum.) I was the middle-aged undergraduate student with no fear and he was the gentle scientist. As is my wont, I blasted into the group with questions and commentary. He was one of the first to respond. In his gentle manner, he told me I might want to tone it down a bit. I said, and I’m pretty sure this is exact at least in meaning, “Ah hell, y’all are hollering ‘fresh meat’ and loving every second of my nonsense.” He laughed. The group gave me a hard time, but they gave everyone a hard time. They also seemed to like me. I’m kind of likeable on some days. Doug became my academic mentor.

columbus in the springWith respect to the listserv, I think, he said something along the lines of “I’ll help slay the dragons.”

I said, “You are the dragon! And, besides, I’ll slay my own dragons, thank you very much.”

We were friends a good while before we were lovers. During that friend phase, he was the Dragon in the Computer. It wasn’t until later when we both left our marriages that we became a couple. I don’t know when it was that we went from platonic to romantic, but I do know when, where and how it was consummated. Most of our time together was spent 800 miles apart. I remember our 3D meetings in vivid color.

Boston in the snowI think the nickname tickled him. He adopted Dman. I have mixed CDs he put together for me labeled A Dman Compilation. I called him DragonMan. I had no interest in slaying the dragon, but I may have tried to tame him. He had a stubborn streak particularly with respect to his leukemia and the ensuing chaos. There was friction. Oddly enough, I was the fire breathing one.

For Mother’s Day this year he gave me a gift certificate to a gardening catalog. After much fretting and carrying on, I chose the lawn dragon. I didn’t tell him what I ordered. I wanted him to be surprised. At the time, I was sure it was priced too high and would be too small. I was wrong. It’s quite substantial, just the right size, and a fitting memorial. It was delivered a few days after his death.

The eye of the dragonI put it out Monday, finally, just before the first snowfall of the year. I set it amidst a bed of white stones. The stones are temporary. This spring I will plant the area with Irish Moss.

I bought one small clump of the moss this year and plopped it in the yard to see if it would thrive, just survive, or plain old die. It has thrived and is remarkably beautiful. I was loathe to buy more than one as it was expensive and I need about 20 of them, but since it’s doing so well I’ll get what I need or maybe more. I’ll probably have to take out a mortgage to fund this, but it will be spectacular.

snow dragon in the gardenI enjoyed seeing the dragon frosted with snow this morning. As much as DragonMan bitched about it, I think he liked snow. I don’t think he could have done 30 years in Boston otherwise.

I miss him, but the dragon makes me smile much the same way he did.

—————–

I typed the draft of this post on a Neo2. The Neo is a nifty little keyboard with a small screen. It can hold 8 small files. Allegedly it’s all the rage with writers, although designed for classrooms. It weighs next to nothing, is cheap, uploads to word processing programs easily, and nobody would be interested in stealing it unless you’re in a room full of writers. My dad showed me his and I drooled all over it, so he gave me one for my birthday.

It’s great for dragging out to the garden, or the auto shop waiting room, or any place that a laptop might take a beating. It runs on AA batteries and is just a little gem. If it breaks, or is lost or is stolen, you haven’t lost your whole life. It’s a nifty little tool and I’m quite impressed with it. It reminds me of my misspent youth when I worked in a law office on IBM’s first electronic typewriters. They too had a tiny memory, but were tremendously useful for storing paragraphs or legal descriptions used over and over in a case. I think I love this little thing.

http://www.renlearn.com/neo2/default.aspx  (Aw damn, like they’re discontinuing you them in the states.)

2 Comments

Filed under November 2013

Every Body and a Lot of Things Took a Bath Sunday

bathingbeautyEvery Body and a Lot of Things Took a Bath Sunday

OK, that’s an exaggeration. The two cats did not have a bath though it may not be a bad idea.

The day started with Berry getting a bath. Early evening I had a long, luxurious soak. We’re wrapping up the evening with patio cushions soaking in the tub. In beween bathing events in the tub, there were laundry, dishes, more laundry, and another glorious day in the garden.

gruelLittle Berry Berry is still quite sick. Per the vet’s instructions, I have been feeding him extremely stinky critical care food watered down to the consistency of gruel via a syringe shoved into his mouth every two hours. It’s not pleasant for either of us, but he hasn’t eaten much at all for nearly 3 weeks. Critical care, indeed.

The good news is he seems a little better; the bad news is the gruesome gruel method of feeding provoked a bout of diarrhea this morning. And so we had Bath No. 1.

He was filthy before the attack of diarrhea, but it was harmless dirt. I didn’t want to bathe him given how sick he is and how cold it is. However, the stinky food excreted and soaked into his fur made a bath mandatory. He’s lost nearly 25% of his body weight over the past weeks and every lost ounce showed once he was soaked and lathered.

Poor little guy. We are not going to properly bond at this rate. The wet dog in the picture is Babette. Little Berry looked even more pitiful.

The diarrhea necessitated the washing of couch throws and pillows, my pajamas and the floor. All three probably needed cleaning anyway, but I really wanted to get into the garden. However, stinky critical care food excreted through the bowels of a sick dog left me no choice. I hate being a grownup pretty much all the time, but today especially so.

leafmulchingI did finally get into the garden. I managed to tame the leaves in the fenced part of the yard. The new little electric lawn mower is a peachy leaf mulcher and the old electric leaf blower is a champion mulch placement device. The garden beds giggled as I tucked them in with a couple inches of leafy blanket.

I do not understand why people wage such wars against leaves -war that involves raking and bagging or raking and burning. Chopped up leaves are a blessing and a boon to garden soil particularly that which tends toward clay. And mine doesn’t just tend; I could open a pottery studio. But over the years, leaf mulching has made it possible for me to plant daffodils like a normal gardener which means I don’t have to use the pick axe and auger.

meBy the time I was done, various body parts were complaining loudly. I crawled into the bathtub with Dr. Teal’s Chamomile Epson Salt Moisturizing Bubble Bath. Epsom salts are a gift! Sore muscles and menopause symptoms both will benefit from a long, leisurely soak in slickery, fragrant Epsom salts.

Following the bath, it was time for the next gruesome gruel feeding, but thankfully this one was uneventful. I was thus able to drag patio cushions upstairs to soak in a bath doctored with dishwashing soap and Oxyclean. After the wet summer, I’m afeared the mildew stains are permanent. I’ll probably ending up “dying” the cushions with house stain. I don’t really want dark brown cushions, but they’ll probably not show dirt like pale blue does.

bathingcushionsSo now I’m sitting here drinking wine from the Dollar General (no kidding – another blog post for another time) and thinking about the conversation I just had with Chef Boy ‘R Mine. Damn, I raised him well. (Connie preens and twirls.)

Leave a comment

Filed under November 2013