Sunday, May 31, 2009

Week #3 of The Sling

Well, here at last is a photo of this awful contraption taken by Gail during our Maryland Tour last weekend. It does kind of envelope my whole right side, doesn't it? I was at the Amish market and you can see their horses in the background. I've gone through 3 sessions of physical therapy and believe me, this is going to be a long haul. I can lift my right arm at 110 degrees - a bit more than right angle to my body.
Gail, unfortunately, flew out Tuesday and I was all alone for the first time in 2 weeks, which was gloomy for me. Not only that, but Veeka suddenly came down with a fever at noon so the last thing Gail ended up doing was racing to the daycare to pick up Veeka and bringing her home and putting her to bed while I nabbed a co-worker who drove me back home. Fortunately the Little One "only" had a 24-hour virus that most of the little kids - I later found out - in the neighborhood all got but all the same, it was nasty seeing her temperature rise and being trapped, unable to drive even to a pharmacy. A friend who has 7 kids took pity on me and brought us some cooked rice, iced popsicles and Tylenol suppositories to get medicine into Veeka since it's hard to ingest orally when you're vomiting. That got me through the night - it's so nasty when you live alone and you can't run to a pharmacy when there's a sick kid at home.
Later in the week, a similar situation arose where I needed to run out for 10 minutes but Veeka had just fallen asleep and it was so frightfully hard to get her down for a nap, I was frantic not to wake her. Fortunately I spotted a neighbor gardening who graciously agreed to sit in my home to watch Veeka while I went and picked up someone at the Metro (only a mile away so I can drive that far) who had come for the day to help me clean the house. And starting tomorrow, I have a succession of friends - most of them part of a Sunday night Catholic prayer group I attend - who are bring us meals. With this arm, it is excruciating to slice veggies or work the can opener. So we've had lots of cheese, crackers and sausage lately.
In the midst of all this mess, I was working full time and ended up - during a four-day work week (cuz of Memorial Day) putting out six articles. Need to slow that pace down. The second photo, also taken by Gail, is of Veeka and one of the Amish girls in a buggy. Veeka has a way of elbowing her way into every photo op.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

And I turn 53

Oh, how age creepeth on. Tuesday was *my* birthday, so my parents and I went to a "Hawaiian fusion" restaurant in Crofton which we all liked. Also there was Gail Dall, an old friend who had flown in to be with me during my 2nd week of convalescence so it was lovely having all sorts of nice people around me. (A babysitter was with Veeka who has little patience for restaurants these days).
And so Oma and Opa flew off in a plane, much to Veeka's bewilderment, and now Gail is helping me get dressed, undressed, clean around the house unload/load the dishwasher, shop for food and tons of other stuff that needs to be done. I am still pretty much operating with one arm although I CAN type with both. Physical therapy on Thursday was excruciating - most painful was an exercise where you just let your arm dangle - this lengthens the hurt muscles I guess - but aaeeah.
Today was fun; in an effort to show Gail some of the local scenery, we headed east of Washington to St. Mary's County where we visited an Amish market (Veeka could not wait to climb up into the Amish carriages), then headed further east to Calvert County where we visited a cypress swamp and a beach (to Veeka's delight). Gail had never swum in the Chesapeake before but the water was so warm, the jellyfish were already out (usually they don't appear until July at the earliest). Veeka adores any and every beach. Then we headed south toward a children's museum on Solomon's Island, but got sidetracked by an airshow at the nearby Air Force base where the Blue Angels were performing. We arrived just when the show started and found a fabulous parking space with a view. Unfortunately Veeka shrieked every time a jet roared over so 45 minutes into the show, we decided to leave because of her wailing. Turns out the show ended right about then so we beat all the traffic out of there. The whole day was like that; through several fortunate coincidences - or favors from God - we ended up at the places we needed to be just when we needed to be there. Like, if we had not stopped at the tourism center, we would not have learned where the Amish market was.
Then we drove 50 miles north to Annapolis where Gail and I walked up and down Main Street and had crab cakes at Middleton Tavern, a really nice restaurant right there at the waterfront. The night was so warm and everyone was out with their beach clothes and their dogs and everyone was in such a good mood because the Naval Academy graduation had been Friday so lots of folks were in town. Sunday and Monday we rest and Tuesday, GAIL LEAVES. And I'll be bereft!
(The photo is from several weeks ago when Veeka and I were in Ambridge and staying overnight with a very nice family who have a 4-year-old, Lydia, the same age as Veeka. The two got along great.)

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Oma hits 81!

Yes, for the second year in a row, Oma and Opa are with us during mid-May. The occasion: Julia's right shoulder surgery that took place May 13 (my parents' 59th wedding anniversary, in fact). It was not the most romantic day for them because I showed up at the hospital just before noon and was released shortly before 6. My dad is the one who held vigil at the Kernan orthopedic hospital, which was in Baltimore. We don't yet have the right name of the muscle tear in my right shoulder that's been bothering me for 2 years but the doctor definitely found it and hopefully repaired it all. I was in quite a bit of pain all day Thursday and groggy to boot with all the painkillers plus an ice pack that was attached to my shoulders. Hardly left my bed. Friday managed to plunk down a birthday card for Oma and then later on in the day, we ordered take-out from the Olive Garden which turned out to be surprisingly good.
So it's been pretty quiet here. Oma accompanied me to my Pilates class today so she could see what one looks like and to help me get up and down. My right arm is all encased in a black gortex sling with a bolster - tomorrow we will try changing the dressing. Opa has been busy doing errands around the house; he just got done repairing a bookcase. We visit the doctor on Monday and I start physical therapy on Thursday. Am not sure when I drive again but I can't right now. Oh, and Oma/Opa also patiently waited at Costco to get me new tires so that I didn't have to sit there for hours. We should have them visit more often, no?
The photo is of Veeka sitting on Oma's lap just after the candles were blown out.