Monday, January 28, 2008

YES WE CAN

I have never been more inspired in my whole adult life!!

Please listen carefully.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/01/26/barack-obamas-south-caro_n_83417.html

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Now that the arm is getting better...

I have been in physical therapy for 2 months. I am doing so much better since they fired my sadistic therapist who bruised my arms and set me back 1 full month of recovery. Apparently quite a few folks complained and when I did I guess it was the last straw for them. I felt bad for a minute and then I snapped out of it. What she was doing to me could have caused me so much more damage. Hopefully she is not tormenting others at a new place!

The first 2 weeks of my recovery I don't remember a lot. I was living in a percocet fog.
I have had 4 back surgeries and this was much more difficult and painful.
I do remember the pain and I really remember laughing a helluva lot with my husband.
Hard to imagine laughing so much when you are in so much pain but my husband will do that to me as well as the drugs.

My right arm was in a stablizing sling for 4 weeks 24/7. Think sling but held at 6 inches away from your body.  Because of this sling I could not pull my pants up or down completely by myself.  Not what a grown woman wants to have to deal with. 

The first day I had to go to the bathroom I got my sweat pants down a bit on the left side but the right was impossible and I was struggling. Rick asked if I needed help and I thought about my dignity but then thought, "hmm....how much dignity will I have if I pee my pants anyway?"  So of course I said sure! 

He came to the bathroom and thinking he is helping me so much he pulled my sweats and  panties down to the floor and I burst out laughing. I asked him what the hell he was doing and he responded with, "well you don't want to pee on them do you?"
HUH? I explained that women do not drop their drawers to the floor but stop somewhere around the knee area. That cracked him up for some reason.
When I was finished I couldn't get my pants up all the way by myself so there I was with said pants and panties on my thighs. I am holding them up by keeping my legs apart and trying to wash my hands at the same time. I continue to try to pull up my pants but it's not working.  I need my right arm my (short) left arm can not reach around damn it.

I had to walk out of the bathroom with pants not even up far enought to cover my butt and ask for help. Dignity completely out the window at this point!  He did pull them up but something wasn't right. I stood in the hall wiggling and adjusting as much as I could with one hand but they just didn't feel right. I went into the kitchen where my wonderful hubby was preparing dinner and he asked me why I was wiggling. Thanks to the percocet fog I couldn't stop laughing but when I did I told him that my panties were literally in a twist. That made us laugh some more. Thankfully he came over to straighten them out. After several weeks of this dance we realized that he is much better at taking off my panties than he is putting them on.  His answer to this problem I was having while in this sling thing was to not wear panties anymore.

By week 4 I was so tired of wearing a baseball cap because of being uable to do my hair.
I only have one arm and that makes holding a blow dryer and brush a bit difficult.
My hair looked horrific. I do not have wash and wear hair. Thankfully I showered daily with my hubby so he was washing my hair. (yea I milked that one) I have a short layered style that needs to be blown dry with product to have any body at all. I had to go to the dr.'s for a follow up and I begged husband to help me blow dry my hair. Being the ever wonderful man he is he says he'll try. 

In a matter of a minute or less he has hit me in the head with the blow dryer a few times. When I asked him to move the heat in the direction of the round brush he blew it into my eye and I swear he burned my retina. Then he got the round brush stuck in my hair.
He let go of the brush and it was still attached to my head and he said, "oh oh"
"You know  Rick it might be safer to just turn off the dryer, get the brush out of my head without tearing out all my hair and leaving me bald.  I'll just wear my baseball cap again to the doctors."
His response? I told you to just wear a cap no one really cares! 
Yes but I do! I was feeling so frumpy I just wanted my hair done and some help with looking presentable in public. It was so frustrating for me.

I really did not want to eat a thing for that first month.
I slept in a chair an hour here an hour there.
But my husband was running around making food like a family of 10 lived here.
There are 2 of us. Only 1 eating anything more than soup. He is nuts like this.  
He reminds me of every old Italian aunt, mother and grandmother I have ever knew or had in my life.  When I said to him that I only wanted some soup. He made a vat of delicious homemade  soup. He is such a great soup maker. Yes I said a VAT.
We could have feed the block. He told me much later after I was not in withering pain and that fun swirling percocet fog that he was feeling helpless and he didn't know what to do for me other than make me food and hover over me. Oh and hover he did. My God if I moved in the chair and made any type of noise at all he would fly across the room and say, "Can I do something for you? Are you okay? Do you need anything? Are you hungry?"

Now I know that sounds lovely and wonderful. And I am so grateful for his care and attention.  I love him for it all really I do. But I have to admit it became a bit annoying as hell too.  I knew his heart was in the right place but I would open my eyes and there he was standing over me. It just became another joke for us to laugh at. I called him my nonna (grandma in Italian) We worked out a plan and if he was hovering I was to say something to him. When I would say something about his hovering he would laugh and say, "my God I am aren't I?"   He would say that with such sincere shock in his voice and on his face so that too made me howl. 

The funniest to me was my bra. I wasn't allowed to wear a bra my first 4 weeks.
That is fine when you're home but I had to go to physical therapy and I didn't want to knock an eye out. I could have hurt people. So the therapist told me how to put it on so that I wasn't moving my arm in a way I shouldn't move it. I needed a helluva lot of help with the bra. He was so bad at this as well. This is a man who can remove a bra with a snap of his two fingers and viola it's off.  Putting it on was as difficult for him as blow drying my hair.
After a couple of weeks when he got the hang of it he made it a fondling session.
When I asked that he just please put the bra on me and not fondle my breasts he told me that he was doing it his way and he'd smile. I was trapped. I couldn't move my arm. He was making me angry yet he made me laugh too.  He's frustratingly charming if that makes sense. He kept telling me that as my caregiver he deserved to cop a feel when he put on my bra. Honestly men are idiots aren't they?

There are still a great deal of limitations on me but for the most part I am back to normal.
I still can't reach the inside the microwave above my stove with my right arm but I'm pretty damn close. And Thank God I can pull up my own pants, blow dry my hair and put on my own bra.....although the last one he stills asks if he can help me with.

I am so glad we have the same sense of humor and laughed through all of this. He has been such a great sport and I know I am going to owe him big time. To be honest I don't think I'd be as good a caregiver as he was to me. I hope I never find out because that would mean I'd have to see him in pain and I know that would be tough to deal with for me.


Here's to Health and Wealth in 2008!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Don't Assume How I am voting because I'm......

I am a feminist. I know that in our society today a feminist is a 4 letter word; however I grew up in a time when it was empowering. I continue to hear from the media that because I am a feminist and a white female I must be voting for Hillary Clinton. I am more than just my gender and my race.

I remember in a high school logic class we had to really learn about the candidates.
Not sound bites, but really read and educate our selves on ALL the candidates.
Teams were chosen for us. (I was on team McGovern.) We had to do our homework on ALL candidates and then debate. To me it was exciting and I was so jealous of the 12th graders who were 18 and who could vote while I was only 17.
I had such pride when I turned 18 to register as an independent. As time went on I became a democrat. Today I am back to being an independent and disillusioned as most of the country is in one form or another.
I am proud to say that I have never missed an election.
Some years I have chosen my leader by the lesser of two evils. It appears I may be doing the same again here real soon.

I have nieces who have had a very difficult life and I have always told them that what has happened to them does not make them who they are, but how they deal with the things that happen to them does make them who they are and will become.
This really can be applied to what is going on today in the election in so many ways.

Which all brings me back full circle to Hillary. When she feels trapped in a corner or someone one "upping" here the way she behaves speaks volumes to me and my God I wish more would pay attention to that.
When Barack was ahead, she cried and pulled out Bill. He was on all the talk shows speaking inaccuracies and despicable things about all their opponents. Not discussing Hillary’s plans or vision except in saying it was experience. Experience in what?
Not one candidate has ever been president before and none of you can say that any of the experience leading up to this is even remotely close to being the President of the free world. (And why isn’t this brought up for Guiliani? He was only a mayor… because Hillary isn’t debating him that is why!)

How is she change? Let’s see we’ve had a White House of Bush, Clinton, Bush, and possibly Clinton? No thank you. I want real change.
We are hated more than ever around the world. This behavior of hers will continue to raise it’s ugly head and do we really need more of the same hatred with her “W” like smirk, her too similar holier than thou “W”attitude? If she behaves in this manner now with her “peers” how will she be when sitting across from a country that doesn’t agree with her?
OMG wake up America!

Don’t listen to the sound bites – read – educate yourself. Do not vote because of gender, race, religion or hair. Vote on their record, their ideas of change, and for God’s sake not because someone’s husband, father, or wife was a good leader. I would not want to be judged by my father or my husband. I am my own person. So they too should stand on their own. It rather reminds me of high school. The “mean girl” is popular and her boyfriend, the high school football star who has graduated comes back to help her put down those that she doesn’t like and continue the “high school game” of bullying in one form or another.

So please don’t tell me because I am a woman I am voting for Hillary. Don’t assume I vote with my anatomy. Please don’t assume I am apathetic because I am fully disgusted with America of late and American’s short attention spans and please don’t assume because I voted for Bill Clinton his wife gets a free pass. What we really have to be afraid of is what my republican co-worker said to me a couple of days ago. You guys can keep voting for Hillary, we’ll then win for sure. Sadly that reality seems to be becoming too true for me.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Feminism is not a dirty word

I have always considered myself a feminist. I do not think that is a bad word like most men and women do today.
In the 70’s there were so many women to admire and look up to who were forging this fight for me. While I looked at most as having radical views I also realized that without those radical views of the time and their hard push for change I wouldn’t have had the career or most of the opportunities that have defined my life. The best way I can describe my take on this is a friend who tells me she is a vegetarian but she eats fish all the time and bacon once in a while. Okay in the real world that is not the definition of a vegetarian. For me it’s been a bit of the same. I did not want to “burn” my bra per se because God knows I needed it even in the 70’s. However the reason for the burning I understood very well and agreed with in theory. I know it’s the same for my vegetarian friend.

When I was growing up I remember absolutely loving the television show THAT GIRL with Marlo Thomas. I wanted to be her. At that time it was such a radical thing to see on television - A young woman forging ahead with her dreams independent from her parents or a husband. She lived alone as a choice instead of choosing marriage. All the while she loved clothes and being feminine. Having nice clothes and pretty highlights didn’t diminish her brain, her strength, her beliefs, her conviction to her career or her fight for equality that would arise on a daily basis.
These women of the 70’s with their hard work and dedication to the cause gave me a career like any man had a choice to have and while today I believe we deserve the same pay and opportunities of a man yet it sadly is still not equal. It still isn’t equal on so many levels and today’s young women don’t do anything to further the cause but seem to be good at having role models that hurt the cause....but I digress.

Now having said all of that you would think I would be above looking at a woman and how she dresses. But I am not. I am a feminist who likes a good pair of shoes and personal appearance does mean something to me. I do not think that she should be treated differently because of her dress but that her dress should not take away from what she is saying and doing.

In certain situations I believe that how you are dressing speaks volumes not only about you but the level of respect you have for yourself as well as those you are working with and who are around you. Like a young man wearing his pants below his arse to school, church or a funeral. I've seen that. It's disrespectful on so many levels and it causes you to not see the young man but the clothing he wears. I am not saying that as a woman you have to wear makeup and heels all the time. But my God make an effort to look the best you can with what you have to work with so you are heard not just seen. And that brings me to Hillary.

Same pant suit, different color, different day. For heaven’s sake Janet Reno dressed better than Hillary. The men in both parties are changing it up but not our Hillary. Guiliani even got a makeover before hitting the campaign trail and removed his comb over. Edwards, MCain, Obama you’ll see in jeans, nice pants and a shirt, a suit, casual shirt and tie without jacket. They change it up. Hillary needs help in this area and I would gladly offer my help and do it for free. My God she has the resources.

I have read about her pant suit issue in the Washington Post, Huffington Post, even magazines in my doctors office. I have been at cocktail parties where the only thing about Hillary that is mentioned is the way she dresses. People are making jokes about her pant suits instead of talking about her position on the war or health care. They didn't write about Prime Minister Thatcher that way.
While I do not intend to vote for Ms. Clinton I still think we need to hear her voice not her clothes. Am I contributing to it? Maybe, but I want to help her be heard not made fun of.

C’mon Hillary I don’t live that far from Georgetown so when you’re in town let’s go shopping. I’ll buy lunch and we’ll have a great day of discussing the issues while buying a nice skirt and a great pair of comfortable campaign boots or shoes. I know you have it in you!!

Friday, January 4, 2008

I hate people....

It’s no wonder that everyone fusses over my husbands company's great customer service...Honestly, EVERYBODY SUCKS!
That will be my new 2008 Mantra – Everybody Sucks.

We have not had heat since yesterday. Last night they were here until 10:30p trying to fix the HVAC. Shawn, our service technician said he did not have the last part necessary. He said he’d call by 10am this morning and gave us his cell phone number to call him in case we didn't hear from him. No surprise - No call. I called the office and the young woman said they were looking for this part. (where the hell are you looking?)and she would call me back in 3 minutes to let me know what was going on.
1½ hours later I call the office again. I am freezing. It is 48 degrees in here and 11 degrees outside. They tell me they may have to order it – oh sure let’s wait another week for a part and they will find this husband and wife frozen together like a popsicle.

I tell him that is unacceptable and that if I do not hear from someone by noon today letting me know if you have a part on another truck as you stated I will assume you have not “found” the part and I will have to call another company. We really can not go another day without heat. (let alone what this does for our pipes etc)

Okay so the guy on the phone tells me that, “hey they found one” hmmm.....just like that while you’re talking to me? Yea, he’ll be there between 1 -4pm.
I said okay I will wait until 4p but if I do not hear from someone by 4pm either by phone or in person I have to go elsewhere because I am not paying for another “emergency call” after hours. That got him all pissy with me and he told me that if I couldn’t trust this company then maybe I should go elsewhere. WTF kind of comment is that to make to a customer?
Well let me tell you the nice hat then came off. I went ballistic on his ass. (we even have a service agreement with this company) We’ll see if someone shows up. I have my doubts.

I am so not in a good mood. Too cold to even sleep last night – let alone the fact that I am in so much damn shoulder/arm pain right now.
I HATE PEOPLE...oh wait that was my mantra from 2007.
EVERYBODY SUCKS!!

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Time sure flies when you're having fun

Okay so I wasn't really having any fun the last 2 months.
This surgery turned into a lot more than just a torn rotator cuff.

I got a lot of emails and phone calls asking why I wasn't updating my blog. Okay folks why not comment on the blog then? Just curious.....sorry I digress.

Once they got in my shoulder they also found a SLAP Labrum tear. This one is the killer.
I wore a stabilizing sling for 24/7 for 4 weeks. Only time it could come off was to shower. I had to even sleep in it - if you call sitting in a chair sleeping.

I have a sadistic physical therapist and I am not exaggerating. I understand her job is to get me well and to have full range of motion and not get frozen shoulder. But she likes to hurt me for no apparent reason. Week 5 of PT I actually woke up with movement and hardly any pain. It was like a light went off and I was thrilled. My home exercises no longer hurt. While I was only at 50% range of motion it was better than 5 weeks prior so I saw light at the end of the tunnel - finally.
There is one particular exercise she does to me when I am flat on my back on the table and it makes tears come to my eyes instantly. It's the labrum here we're working on and she tells me this particular movement will be the last thing I recover. She pushes my arm back and I am to tell her when it hurts and she then is to go a little bit more. But she doesn't go "a little bit more" She goes so much more I am moving all over the table and instantly cry, it's like I can't control the tears they just fall. I ask her to stop and she says no. I have to do everything in my power not to hit this woman or swear at her. You have no idea. But while I believe she is doing this to me on purpose and I don't think it's protocol I go along like a sheep and think she must be right she's the doctor of physical therapy.
(which she brags about all the time - BFD)

Then the Friday before Xmas she was off.....I had another therapist. It was heaven. This woman did the same exercises but I did not leave there in need of a percocet drip for the next 24 hrs. She did that same exercise I mention above and when it hurt she went a tad bit more and held it for 30 seconds and then let it go. NO BIG PAIN - NO CRYING - NO TORTURE. I asked her about it and she tells me you shouldn't go to that type of pain because it will not be beneficial for you. HALLELUJAH!!!!!!

The following week after Xmas I had my sadistic therapist again and I asked if we could talk about this pain she inflicts on me. She rolled her eyes and said to suck it up if I don't want frozen shoulder. She did an evaluation that day for the Dr.'s report and we didn't do any exercises that day. But at the end of the evaluation she did dig her 10 fingers into my arm/shoulder so hard and when I yelped "what are you doing?" She tells me she was checking to see if this was XYZ or ABC. I said where the hell did that come from? She just rolls her eyes again at me and walks away. Session over.

By that afternoon i was in so much pain i could no longer do all the things I had progressed to doing....like typing....holding a cup of coffee....moving. Now normally I would exercise at home on the days of no therapy. I was in so much pain it was like the 1st week. I was eating percocets like Pez and not getting much relief. 5 days of mind numbing pain. When i went back to PT yesterday I asked the PT aides about this. The one whom I have bonded with tried every so delicately without incriminating herself that this therapist has had this issue arise before and if I would like to change I should ask the lead therapist...her boss.

Do you know how difficult that will be? Man, I hate those situations. The place is small it's not like I won't see her again. I am seeing my Dr. on Wednesday so I am going to start with him. Then I will go to her boss if necessary. I am hoping he will change the therapist for me since his practice owns the therapy center as well. All I know is that I am having an enormous set back and now my left arm is in pain. She tells me its tendinitis from over use to make up for my right arm being inactive. I don't know what to believe anymore.

So moral of this story.....do not fall off an empty 5 gallon bucket.....for that matter don't do any physical labor. Hire big strong men to do your work while you drink a glass of wine and watch them!! Less painful and it's nice on the eyes.

I'll fill you in on my great caregiver later.....he was great!
Happy New Year.