linaewen: (Boromir Life is Good by fifmeister)
My bilateral knee replacement surgery went well!  I was in the hospital three days, after which I was transferred to a rehab facility.  The first day or two, I was fairly helpless, but soon I started to be able to use my legs a bit without help -- and then I was off to the races.  I improved so quickly in rehab that my insurance decided it was time for me to go home after 8 days because they didn't want to continue paying for rehab!  I can't complain too much about my insurance, though, as they are carrying me quite nicely this year -- but I did think for awhile after getting home that they'd made a mistake discharging me.  However, it was just that, being home, I had overdone it and wore myself out as a result.

I'm back on track now, continuing to improve.  I may be able to eject the walker soon and stay with a cane only.  I have a nurse and therapist who come to the house a few days a week, and later in August I'll probably start going to outpatient rehab.  I'm walking pretty well, with not much pain, but I still can't bend my knees all the way.  I guess it's only been 2 1/2 weeks, so that's probably par for the course!

In spite of doing well, I still plan on taking my full month off that I'm allowed.  I'm looking forward to continued recovery while relaxing at home and getting to work on some fun projects!  Thanks for your prayers and good thoughts!
linaewen: (Star Trek Yay)
I have a pretty fun day planned for tomorrow -- I'm having surgery to replace both of my knees! I'm actually looking forward to it -- not the surgery itself, exactly, but the expected outcome is to be able to walk without pain again, and even go up and down stairs, whoo hoo!  I really can't wait, I've been limited and in pain for long enough!  I'm not sure how long I'll be in the hospital, but once I'm released, I plan to go straight into a rehab facility for a time, so I can learn how to do those things I want to do again -- walking and going up and down stairs!

Prayers for a successful surgery and rehab are most welcome, and good thoughts for my DH who will have to do laundry until I am able to manage the stairs that go down to our laundry room!  (Seriously, though, he's a big help, and is doing great after his own surgery back in April.)
linaewen: (Star Trek Yay)
All is well with the DH, who had a lengthy surgery yesterday.  The repair of his heart valve was successful, and there weren't any complications.  He was resting fairly comfortably in ICU when I left him last night; he should be transferred to a regular room today, and may be able to come home by the weekend.  It was a long day of waiting for me, but the hospital staff was great -- they kept me updated during the surgery, and got me in to see him as soon as they could.

God is good!
linaewen: (Bag End by John Howe)
I had an adventure last fall with my hubby who unexpectedly had a heart attack.  It was an anxious couple of days, but we were there and back again in no time.  He's been very healthy since then, except for one thing that surfaced recently during a check up with his heart doctor.  It seems he has a leaky valve in his heart which is quite pronounced, and actually does give him some shortness of breath at times.  We're not sure if it's connected to his heart attack last fall or if it's something he had before and it was made worse by the attack.  In any case, it's something the doctors want to deal with it now by repairing it so it won't wear his heart out later.

So DH is going in for open heart surgery tomorrow morning -- surgery is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. and could be 4 to 6 hours in length.  "Open heart surgery" sounds pretty scary, but from what I understand, the problem they need to fix is actually fairly straightforward.  So all of your prayers and good thoughts will be greatly appreciated!

Hopefully I'll be there and back again fairly quickly, with a healthy hubby in tow!
linaewen: (Chibi Katakura-kun)
I'm having an adventure this week. My healthy, active hubby went and had a heart attack on Monday. Part of the adventure was me driving him through Chicago traffic and construction zones to the ER, praying the whole way that I had not made a bad decision about where to take him or about not calling an ambulance instead. My prayers while driving were answered, and we made it in the nick of time -- he had his attack in the presence of the ER staff while I was getting the car parked. He is getting awesome care, and surprising the doctors with how quickly he is bouncing back from a 100% blockage on one side. I guess being healthy and active doesn't always prevent the attacks, but it helps with the recovery! He is actually doing so well that there a possibility he will be discharged today.

The rest of the adventure will continue next week, as we are scheduled to close on a condo we are buying the 28th, and then move into it by the 30th -- which I imagine will involve hubby supervising from a chair while other people do all the work! I'm praising God that he is still with me to do that, and for all the help we have been offered for the move, so that hubby can relax in his chair.  I'm also even more pleased now with our new condo, which is only a few blocks away from our current apartment, on the first floor, which will be good place to live for a heart patient and his wife who has arthritis in her knees (that's me)!
linaewen: (Shikamaru Mendokusai)
Time for an update!  Think I'll use bullet form, as it's more concise.
  • I am royally sick of coughing.  As far as I can tell, the only time I've been cough free this year is when I'm taking prednisone.  I might resort to that one more time before I see my doc next month, since I have a refill and since the coughing is getting to be pretty much unbearable.  I thought it was improving there for awhile, but either I was mistaken or the cough changed its mind and came back with friends.
  •  
  • The latest update from Pakistan is that those friends of ours who have lost their homes are going to be moving in to the housing on the compound where we used to live.  So our empty house will be useful again, yay!  Seems like there is more rain coming up north, and that will swell the river again and the whole mess could start all over.  :-(  I'm praying otherwise!
  •  
  • I just got back from a trip to New Jersey for a conference that was a nice break and a good time of visiting people we don't see often -- it would have been more relaxing if I could have coughed less throughout!
  •  
  • I am getting organized to go to Wisconsin for a week, partly to touch base with my dad and my son, but also to attend my 35th class reunion.  I'm really looking forward to that, it will be fun!  I had a great time at the last one, and I don't expect it to be any different this time around.  I'm looking forward to see friends I haven't seen for years, as well as the ones that I see every time I visit my home town.
  •  
  • The deadline for the Finish-a-thon I am taking part in, trying to get some more chapters written on Lords of Gondor, is coming up on Friday.  I am afraid I'm not going to make it, though I will go down trying.  I committed to 8,000 words, and I have only produced 2,000 so far -- though there is at least one chapter brewing that should be ready this week and which will up the count a bit.  Hopefully I'll have some time to work on this goal AND have the concentration it takes to actually stick to it to try to make it happen.  Concentration is rather lacking these days.  ;-)
Well, I have to get organized to go supervise some English students.  Hopefully there will be enough teachers available today that I won't have to teach.  I"m allergic to teaching these days, since it makes me cough.  ;-)
linaewen: (Books by wizzicons)
Since my last post, my coughing has improved significantly!!!  I'm feeling quite well and even energetic, which is a good thing, because I'm majorly busy with all kinds of projects.  Some of those projects aren't getting the attention they deserve, but I am actually feeling not too bad about my List of Doom at the moment, so I'm not going to kick myself just yet.  Progress is being made on many fronts, and those neglected (but not forgotten) things on the List will get their turn shortly.

The big thing on for today is an evening training session -- starring yours truly as the trainer!  I am the official director of English as a Second Language at our Center, and the rest of the staff decided it would be good if they got better training.  So I'm doing it.  I've only had a little bit of training myself, but I've had some smatterings of experience both here and overseas teaching ESL (by the seat of my pants) -- and since the best thing my official training did for me was give me confidence, I guess I can handle the session tonight!  Even if I don't do a fantastic job, it won't matter -- we're all friends there, so it will be less like a seminar and more like a group of people who know each other getting together and talking about stuff.

Even so, I'm still slightly nervous.  ;-)  Also, my voice has been pretty wonky and unreliable after months of coughing, so I'm praying I won't lose my voice or start coughing halfway through!!

Trying to decide what to NOT get into is harder than deciding what to share -- but I'm getting a feel for it.  Good thing, too, as I only have about 6 hours left before I'm up front and talking.

Well, I better get back to it!  I have to have all my ducks in a row by mid-afternoon, so I can go set up, make copies of handouts, make sure my laptop hooks up to the projector properly, etc. etc.  Nice that I only have to walk about 200 feet from my back door to the Center -- we live that close!  I can literally leave at the last minute -- and run home in seconds if I forget anything!
linaewen: (Okita Souji)
My life of late has been taken up with coughing -- if I counted the days and nights I've spent coughing since the beginning of the year, I think I would be quite horrified!  I'm fairly certain the ratio of cough vs. no cough would be quite, quite high!  Between having my immune system tampered with by shingles at the beginning of the year, and having a really bad year for allergies this season, my asthma has been out of control.  I've not had much energy because of losing sleep at night from coughing, so it's been a real pain to keep up with everything.

The diagnosis is asthma, plain and simple -- my old enemy!  I've had it since I was six years old, but for the most part in my adult life, it's not been a big problem -- as long as I keep up with my meds.  I'm having to resort to taking prednisone for a second round this year in order to get on top of it, but really -- as scary as that medication is, it's the real deal when it comes to dealing with asthma!  I'm not cough free just yet, but it's so much better than it was last week, that I'm almost skipping!  Except if I skip in this current rainy weather, I'll get short of breath.  ;-)  Anyway, I'm getting there, and it's a real relief!  Whew!

In "honor" of coughs that won't go away, I am using a newish icon of mine depicting my favorite character from an anime I'm following, which is (partially) based on real life historical people.  This fellow is Okita Souji, and in the series Hakuouki Shinsengumi Kitan, he has been coughing most of the time.  He has TB, and it's very sad!  In real life, he died of it, but I'm hoping for something less upsetting for the anime.  ;-)

Hope everyone else's health is up to par today!  <3
linaewen: (Packer Rodgers)
I was so worn out from the block party last week that I decided to give myself a whole week in Wisconsin instead of just a flying whirlwind of a trip like usual.  I had scheduled my annual physical for Monday, and anticipated having to get some of the required lab work done over the course of the week, anyway, so that was a good excuse!  So here I am, enjoying cool weather, yard work, time with my son, and not too many responsibilities -- except to get my lab work done and do a bit of housework, and of course, catching all the Packer preseason football I can while I'm in range of television stations that broadcast the games!  :-D


I had my physical on Monday, and it went very well.  I really like my doctor.  It was a bit "haphazard" in the way we conducted things, but that's the way he is, and it really is kind of "family-like" -- if you know what I mean!  Even so, we got everything discussed that I wanted to.

I'm having blood work done, no results on that yet.  Didn't get my cholesterol checked, as I had it done a few years ago, and my doctor says it's truly the best good cholesterol number he's ever seen.  According to him, with cholesterol like that, I'll never have a heart attack.  ;-)

My BP is up a bit, enough that he doesn't like it, but doesn't want to do anything about it yet as it may be a fluke.  So I have to monitor it for awhile, and really work at losing weight, which will probably fix anything that needs fixing.  My weight is up, which I already knew -- I'm really trying to be good at sticking to WeightWatchers now.  DH is also unhappy with his weight -- even though he hardly needs to be, but he knows how he feels -- so we are going to work together to have set mealtimes and try to eat less often on Pakistani time (ie, evening meal at 8 or 9 pm!).  Of course, we both need more exercise, which is something that has been very hard for me lately, due to my injuries.

The word on my leg which I did something to in June (doing yard work!) is that the doc says it is healing, though it could take a whole year for it to stop feeling uncomfortable.  I'm actually comfortable with it as it is, because it is a lot better, and I know how to be careful and when to use a brace on my knee so that's not going to slow me down any longer.  The bruised knee from falling at the block party is almost back to normal now so that is good.

The doc took an xray of my foot that has been hurting so much (probably from one of those falls I had this month, sigh!) and there is nothing to be seen that is wrong with it, so that is comforting.  He said it is probably a soft tissue injury, and he gave me a brace to wear on it when I am going to be on my feet.  It's just a simple lightweight thing with elastic straps and velcro that fits on like a shoe, but boy, does it help!  I really can walk around without pain for a long time wearing that brace!  And it doesn't cut off my circulation or make my leg swell, if I don't wear it too tight.  I'm very pleased.

I have to go tomorrow to get a mammogram (fun, eh?) and a bone density scan.  I had one of those ages ago, and the doc thought it was time for another.  I'll be interested in seeing what it turns up, since there's osteoperosis in the family, and I really don't want to have to deal with that -- so knowing what is happening will be good.

I got word from my brother about a health situation with my dad that is somewhat concerning.  He's had a lot of trouble with skin cancer in his later years (probably due to work he did as a young man when he was getting a master's degree in plant pathology and was using radioactive stuff and arsenic in his research, of all things).  Particularly troublesome have been his ears -- he's had parts of them trimmed thoroughly to remove skin cancer growths.  The newest development is that  he has a spot that is squamous cell cancer, I believe they call it -- which requires radiation treatment.  My brother took him in today to get fitted for some kind of a mold/mask and to have a set-up/test run, but they ended up going ahead and giving him the first treatment.  He'll have 16 more, every Monday, Wednesday and Friday for about the next six weeks.

I talked to my brother tonight (with my dad calling out jokes in the background), and he sounded really good with it, so that's very cool!  My brother being calm about something like this is a miracle itself, he's usually pretty stressed out about everything and then some.  Even so, I'm sure it's going to get old fast for him to take off work to drive my dad to Dubuque (IA) three days a week.  Fortunately his job is very flexible that way -- and it's not that far, about 40 minutes drive from where they live -- but it's still a pain.  I plan to help when I can, by visiting and doing some of the driving and caring for Dad -- especially making sure he eats right during his treatment!  Dad is really very healthy right now, for his age (84), so that's a plus!  Though they did say he could do with some fattening up...

Anyway, that's my news!

In parting, I shall leave you with this fascinating observation I have recently made -- the cicadas in Wisconsin are very quiet and sedate, while the cicadas in Chicago are very loud and strident.  I wonder if they are two different varieties?  This calls for some research!  :-D

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