Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Good news.

The Doctor is thrilled with my rehabilitation. Yay! I only have to go to physio one more time, and I'm allowed to swim. I can gradually increase the walking distance but must not push myself too hard. I now have a new set of "at home" exercises to do, they take about forty-five minutes and I'm pooped afterward. Plus, I can use the spinner bike and gradually increase the tension. And this isn't even the three week marker.

So today I walked the dog for thirty minutes, came home and jumped in the pool. Then I showered and washed my hair, went to physio, came home an hour and a half later and took a nap. When was the last time you had a nap at 11:30 in the morning? Heh. It felt so bizarre but I'd turned on the computer scrolled down to the chapter I intended to work on and was hit by a huge wave of tiredness. By one o'clock I was typing away and doing great. Sometimes you just have to listen to your body.

The San Francisco National is looming on the horizon and I toyed with driving up, but with gas at $4.67 cents a gallon, and the parking fees at the hotels in the range of $45 to $50 per night it isn't worth it. I love to travel by car. Love the independence and the peace and quiet. It's great thinking time and my WIP will be completed by then so it would have been a good chance to brainstorm with myself over my next project.

I already have a story idea and setting, and two wonderful main characters but the plot needs to be fleshed out. What are the conflicts these two will have, what external adventures and catastrophies will they deal with, what internal emotions and barriers will come tumbling down? Hmmmm? I love this part it's very exciting. I actually got the idea for this story because of the hotel I stayed in at the Dallas National last year. It has been on the back burner ever since. It's another mystery/suspense. A little darker than I've written so far but I'm looking forward to tackling it. But first, I must finish up the last few chapters of Unlock the Truth, let it simmer for a couple of weeks while I put the final polish on Saving Sarah.

This is a great time for writing for me because it's too darn hot to go outside. We had a week of high teens temperatures. One day it reached 119 degrees but for the better part of the week it hovered between 114-116 degreees. The problem is it doesn't cool down at night, so you wake up at 6 AM and it's 90 degrees. At 8 PM it can still be 104 degrees. You have to be creative in finding dog walking time.

When I start the new story, my side project will be to revisit Gone Tropical and give it a major overhaul. I still love that story, it's very dear to me and I had such fun writing it. I didn't shop it around much but one agent I trust and one Editor I respect, did read the entire manuscript and gave me some much needed advice. I think it's worth revisiting.

So, I'm happy, life is pretty darn good at the moment. Hope it is for you, too.

Monday, June 16, 2008


No, I'm not talking twelve step programs. For those who have asked me questions about arthroscopy and the recovery process (it seems there are many out there with creaky knees) this is how it worked for me. Day one I was so high on Vicodan I didn't feel a thing. Day two I was a trouper and tried to cut back on medication and move around. Day three I collapsed and could barely walk. My glute had no strength. I could barely lift the leg, it felt like a giant dead fish. Ice was my best friend. Well, that and my recliner chair.

On the sixth day I had my first physiotherapy appointment (do not delay this, do it as soon as you possibly can) and they gave me exercises to do three times a day at home. I went to the appt. using one crutch ... as well ... a crutch. And I used the elevator to the second floor. While the exercises were boring range-of-motion exercises I soon learned that the leg felt better, less stiff, afterward. Plus, embarrasingly, I fell asleep will they did the ten minute electronic stimulus. That felt so goooood! Then ten minutes of ice and I almost floated out of the place.

Day ten I started to walk the dog short distances. It hurt but not in a bad way. Day twelve was my second physiotherapy. I didn't use a crutch or a cane. I walked up the two flights of stairs. They added gentle no tension bicycle today, and a few different stretches. The main thing though, they taught me how to walk through from heel to toe and not with a stiff leg, with flexion. It made the world of difference. Tonight I walked the dog and the difference in walking properly to walking like an old lady with a bad knee was incredible. Of course I stretched and iced down the knee before and after walking the dog, but tonight is the first night with no pain. So, there you have it. I've turned a major corner here. I'm excited and happy. By the end of the month my knee will be better than it ever was. And hey, did you see that Tiger Woods did enter the Masters after all, and he won. Yay!

It's 114 degrees here in the desert. I'd love to use the pool but have to wait for the steri-strips to fall off by themselves. Can't risk an infection if the incisions aren't sealed off. Two have fallen off, one left to go. But, I can wait. I'm getting good at waiting and giving things their time. I feel so improved, today I re-registered for the National conference. Now I have a goal. I always work better when I'm working toward a goal.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Second day syndrome

What is it with second day syndrome? If you go out dancing you're more tired the second day than the morning after, same thing as working out too hard at the gym, going hiking or skiing, and as I've just discovered getting over surgery. Now I can understand the second day syndrome with the activities that require excess energy, you coast along on the first day depleting your reserves, but surgery? Heck you lie on an operating table, then in a recovery room bed, then you come home and sit in your recliner and get waited on hand and foot.

I had an arthroscopy on the knee on Thursday and got home around noon. I was high on anaesthesia, morphine, and then Vicodan. I was happy, not feeling a thing. The next morning the pain crept in and I tried to give up the Vicodan which makes me feel sick. I figured ice and Aleve would see me through. By five p.m. I was begging for relief. This morning I woke up to a leg that felt like a huge dead fish. I had no muscle strength to lift the leg, the poor old quadriceps would twitch but not lift. I could even tolerate some weight bearing (of course with the crutches for support if need be) but could not lift the darn leg to even get in and out of the chair or to prop it on a pillow. We took off the outer bandage and the lower part of the thigh was so swollen you couldn't even see a knee cap. Whoever it was who claimed they went dancing on the third day after the same surgery (and it was a guy no less and we women all know what babies they are about pain) all I have to say is big fat liar.

My daughter has been fabulous. She has listened to me griping, jumped to attention with every movement I've made, even second guessed most of my needs. Today she cleaned the whole place before leaving, without being asked, and this is a girl who hates housework. My son is on his way down and he gets the job of taking me for my first Doctor's appointment. That should be fun. Other interesting thing, no shower until evening on Monday, can't wash my hair either unless I do it in the kitchen sink. I don't think so. Knowing me I'd spill water everywhere , slip and break my a$$.

On the plus side, we've watched the Stanley Cup finals, the first game of the Lakers/Celtics finals, the movies Moonstruck, Twenty-Seven Dresses, and Mad Money. Last night we pigged out on pizza which I haven't had in six months. All things I rarely bother doing when I'm on my own. Whenever there is spare time I use it to write, and I'm always trying to chase off the last ten pounds of whatever diet I'm kidding myself I'm on. I'm betting Sunday night we watch another Lakers game and eat more pizza. I see an additional five pound weight gain in my near future.

But, it's all good. This, without the annoyance of the flabby dead fish leg, is like a vacation. I love spending time with my kids, they're always entertaining. It's hard for me to accept help, I have no trouble aiding others, but recieving? My daughter said this must feel so strange to you Mom, you're always the doer. It's true but you know, this was kind of nice. I could get used to it. Can't you see me as the elderly lady in the pink feather boa reclining in a silk dressing gown on a fainting couch ringing a bell for attention? I think I would have been a great Southern damsel from an early era. "Forget about Rhett. There are plenty more fish in the sea. Bring me another mint julep, dear, and where are the bon-bons?"