Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Dear Diary ...

Discharged from outpatient speech therapy last week.
Discharged from outpatient physical therapy yesterday.

Borrowed Maggie's bike yesterday and rode back and forth in front of the house for two or three whole minutes, in yet another attempt to put a smidgeon of muscle back into my legs.  I did not topple over.  I did, however, get off the bike and walk it up the steeper inclines. 

The therapists warned me against overdoing; they said I must do a lot of "nothing."  They said that's when my brain does its healing.  I don't know how to do nothing.  I watch tv and read and do Sudoku's.  I drag myself through an easy chore or two.  I'm to the point of needing naps only when I overdo a bit. 

I've been watching Call the Midwife.  So many friends have raved about the series.  I have mixed feelings.  At the beginning, it seemed like the longest one-hour show I'd ever watched.  But after we got to know the characters and the setting, that aspect improved.  Overall, I get to liking the show, and then an episode pops up that infuriates me.  It's one thing to have a story about a brother and sister committing adultery, and then her committing suicide.  It's another thing altogether to have this relationship extolled as the right kind of love and passion and fulfillment.  Similarly, I can understand the reason why this series would set forth a story about a woman with "too many children" and her attempts to abort the next baby.  But that story takes on a completely different aspect when the narrator bookends the story with commentary on the Pill and the need for safe abortion to protect women from the Burdens Of Childbearing.  Then, when I've calmed down, I decide to give the series "one more chance" and the next episode gets me hooked again.

Andrew drove me to therapy the other day.  A soap opera was playing in the waiting room.  He was reading, but he caught glimpses of his first soap.  On the way home, he commented on the vengeance and hatred.  At my last haircut [no, I mean, the last regular haircut, y'know, in the salon, not the post-surgery head-shaving] I was sickened to see what was on soap operas today.  I remember people telling me when I was in college that they were inappropriate for Christians (or even decent people) to watch.  I thought that was overly legalistic.  I don't know if I've changed or if soap operas have worsened that much.  But now I'm inclined to agree: watching soaps today is submitting to the brainwashing of the culture.  (Oh, man, I'm gonna get hate-mail now....)

The strawberries are coming in abundantly.  I think we should replant healthy babies again this year, late in summer.  The difference in berry-size is significant.  And last fall it looked like those spindly, frail starters couldn't possibly produce anything.  I had to freeze some berries because we're bringing in more than we can eat ... and jam-making seems too risky right now with my brain-scrambles and my lack of physical strength.

God is certainly doing my garden-watering for me.  I did not get around to pruning the grapes, the cherries, or the apples.  Right now, the grapes vines look to be producing plenty of fruit and jam and juice.   The apples trees --which produced NOTHING the last three summers-- have baby apples.  I must have been pruning the wrong twigs in previous years.  Now, how do I figure out what I did wrong so that I don't repeat my mistake ... because these trees desperately need pruning as soon as fall's cool weather sets in.

I have not touched a lawn-mower since before my crash.  Gary has borne the brunt of that chore, with some help from Rachel.  We are deeply thankful that the neighbors have helped mow, and one has offered to loan his riding lawnmower to Gary occasionally!

Gary drove Maggie and me to the library last night.  First trip since my crash.  The library had notices about a town meeting that would deeply impact that future of the library.  Turned out the meeting was due to start just a few minutes before we left the library.  We drove straight over to town hall.  Both Gary and I ended up testifying briefly.  I'm glad we went.  Most of the citizens there were of the opposite viewpoint.  I think it was encouraging to the town board to hear us few taxpayers/voters in agreement with them.  It's probably also good that ALL the citizens attending were not of the one opinion, but that some of us agreed with the board's decision.  (I'm kind of scared to see how the local weekly paper quotes me: it's not exactly the most accurate news-reporting I've ever seen.)

We have lots of new members at church.  It is such an encouragement to see them arrive to visit, and revel in the liturgy and the preached gospel, to see their eager attendance at Bible class.  And they come back and bring friends.  Lovely!

You know what?  If you don't dust for long enough, you can't dust.  You have to use a wet, soapy cloth to scrub dirt off the furniture.  Each day I tell myself that I'm going to do a little housecleaning.  Just a little.  And it's harder to clean stuff than I expect.  Partly because I'm weak.  Partly because the dirt is thicker.  Ick.  (Thing is, before my daughters get any bright ideas to come over and help, I have to sort and file and toss and eliminate ... so that cleaners can find the horizontal surfaces in need of cleaning.)

At symposium last week, I found myself boasting to out-of-towners about the people at church.  We have done very little cooking since I arrived home from the hospital.  Our fellow-saints are preparing meals and bringing them to us.  I am absolutely overwhelmed by the generosity.  And the delicious cooking. 

I began weaning off the shingles drug (the one for nerve pain, aka my arachnoiditis).  Going from 3 pills daily to 2 was okay.  Going from 2 to 1 pill has been a bit much.  I thought I'd be weaned off the drug entirely before seeing the neurologist for my follow-up visit.  I doubt it now.  I'm too whiny about the nerve pain again.  I look like a dope, carrying a pillow around with me, so I don't have to sit on a hard pew or chair at church.  Too bad.  Dopey-looking is better than whiny and suffering.

That's enough update. 
I have all these scribbled notes for things I want to put on my blog/diary.
But there's only so much sitting at the computer that my body can take. 
So now I'm stopping and heading off to find a pain-pill.  
Have a happy day!


  1. Curious what soap Andrew saw. :-) No hate mail here, although I have watched The Young and the Restless off and on since I was about 12 years old. I still check in from time to time to see what's happening with the old characters. But every time I do I find myself saying, "Really? REALLY?" The plots are ridiculous and the characters utterly lacking in self-respect. But hey, at least I don't watch _The Talk_.

    I find myself wondering if you are taking the same nerve med as my mom. We are not weaning her off. She's doing great on it. :-)

  2. I don't know what channel the waiting-room television was on, but it was a 1:00 show.

    I don't know what "The Talk" is. It's nice to be clueless.

    The anti-seizure, nerve-pain drug is Neurontin, also known as gabepentin. Between both the anti-seizure meds, I'm walking around somewhat "buzzed" much of the time. I can tell that I'm getting more sober through the afternoon, and that I'm more doped up in the morning, when not too many hours have passed since prescription-ingestion time. :-(

  3. _The Talk_ is an all ladies talk show, kind of like _The View_ if you've ever seen that. I've had the misfortune of stumbling on it a few times because it comes on CBS after Y&R. Yes, you are better off clueless where it is concerned!

    Gabapentin is what my mom is taking. She started it to help with the pain following the first (unsuccessful) hip surgery last year. She has tapered down to a low dose of it (2x day) but we found when she went off that she felt much worse physically and emotionally. The doc is okay with her staying on a small dose. I guess at age 84 the advantages outweigh the disadvantages.

    Continuing to pray for your full recovery, dear Susan, and that day when you will be pain and medicine free.