Saturday, December 31, 2011

Going to the Basketball Game

The BBall Game

For Christmas Gavin and I went to a basketball game, the Golden State Warriors vs. the LA Clippers.

This is what I wore.

I wore my "I heart Santa" shirt with my short, pink scarf so I wouldn't trip on it while walking up the bleachers.  I wore my favorite skinny jeans that I got at Wet Seal a year ago.  For my jacket I wore my favorite Hollister sweatshirt jacket.  To keep my hands warm I wore my gray fingerless gloves I got for Christmas. I like to dress casual when I go to sporting events, but do something special with my hair and makeup, or wear a pretty piece of jewelry, but nothing too fancy or chunky.  I love to wear the colors, a t-shirt, or a jersey of the home team but I didn't have any blue and gold in my closet.  Shame on me.  Those  were my high school colors.  The only high school sweatshirt I have is black for some reason.

For my makeup I went with sparkly nude eyeshadow and a thick eyeliner.  I made my eyelashes extra dramatic with my favorite mascara and wore my favorite pink, long lasting, lipstick.
Hehe, Gavin was just making funny faces.  He is so silly.

Here is how I wore my hair.

I pinned it half way back with a little bow.

When we got to the game Gavin and I were both hungry because we didn't have dinner yet.  Gavin ate a hot dog and he got me beer and nachos.  I usually don't eat fake cheese but I was hungry.  It was this or nothing.

Gavin and I sat in the nose bleeds seats way up high because we got awesome deals on tickets.  Here was our view.

I have pretty good eye sight so I could see the game clearly.  Never before have I followed basketball, but the rules are pretty simple and I caught on quickly.  I was cheering louder than anyone in my row.  Maybe because I just drank a beer.  

There was also a lot of entertainment besides basketball at the game.  There was Santa Clause, The Grinch, Cheerleaders, and dancers.  I really enjoyed the cheerleaders.  They are really talented and in great shape. I wish I could dance like that.  LOL, I'm on crutches though.  The cheerleaders had really cute Santa outfits on that were surprisingly not that revealing.

I had so much fun I already have tickets for two more games.
Walking through the crowds on crutches was exhausting but I parked in handicap parking and entered through the VIP entrance, so that made it easier on me.  Once I sat down in my bleacher seat I didn't get up once.  Gavin went to go get me beer twice.  What a sweet guy. 
A lot of people left the game early because the home team was obviously losing but Gavin and I stayed until the end.  By the time we left the big crowd had cleared out and there wasn't even a line for the bathroom.  I was happy about that.

On our way out this elderly lady with a cane overheard me talking about my hip surgery.  She asked me if I was one of the cheerleaders.  I smiled and said "I wish I could dance like that" and motioned to my crutches.  I took it as a compliment that I look like one of the beautiful, in shape, talented cheerleaders.  That really made my night that she said that to me.  It always makes me feel good when I get a compliment because my body just feels so crummy all the time.  I feel like I look crummy too.

Friday, December 30, 2011

What I got for Christmas

What I got for Christmas

I just wanted to share some of the lovely things I got for Christmas.

At the 4 min mark the stripes go diagonal?  I meant to say the go horizontal.  Oops.
I got some scarves, some gloves, lotion, a plant and some candles!

This video is exclusive to my blog.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

4 Weeks Post Surgery Update

After I wrote this blog post last night, something terrible happen.  My hip popped out of place!  My hip has been popping and clicking a lot, but I have been mostly ignoring it because it hasn’t caused much pain.  Last night it clicked out of place and it hurt terribly bad.  It just didn’t feel right.  I got up on my crutches and hobbled around a bit hoping it would pop back into place.  My hip felt so funny and it hurt.  I almost doubted myself that it popped out of place because that just seems like such an odd thing to happen.  After hobbling around with no relief for awhile I laid back down in bed.  Then my hip reluctantly and painfully slid back into place.  It was the strangest and most painful feeling I had felt in awhile.  My hip hurt so badly after that.  I did not get a good nights sleep last night because of how badly my hip hurt.  This morning when I woke up my hip was swollen up again like it was one week post surgery.  This morning I took a hot shower and afterward put my Voltaren gel on my hip to bring down the swelling.  The gel did help a bit with the swelling and with the pain.  Today I have been trying to rest and elevate my leg.   I am about to put an ice pack on my hip.  I hope my hip feels better soon.

4 Weeks Since My Surgery
It has been four weeks since my surgery so I will give you an update on how I am doing.  I have to say that this recovery is going a 100 times better than my last recovery.  First of all, during my last surgery, my iliopsoas muscle was lengthened.  Basically it was cut.  The iliopsoas helps to lift your leg up.  Therefore, I couldn't left my leg to go up stairs, get in the shower, or to get in the car.  I literally had to pick up my leg to get in the car.  
Another thing that sets this surgery apart is my appetite.  I have not lost any weight since my surgery and I have a great appetite.  I actually have to watch what I eat now.  My stomach problems have gone away so I can eat spicy and greasy foods again.  Uh Oh.

I am walking!  Or should I say hobbling?  I can walk short distances around my house, like around my bedroom, or to the bathroom.  However, it is still painful to walk.  I can feel the pressure that my weight puts on my hip.  I can't walk too much or I will get a bad flare up.  At this point during my recovery from surgery last year, I was barely putting any weight on my hip so any walking is an improvement.

My hip is still popping a cracking a lot.  I don't know why but usually it is not painful.

My incisions are all healed and closed shut.  The incisions are still a red, purple color but that will fade.  I no putting on this scar reducing cream that Gavin gave me.  There are knots under my incisions from the scar tissue and it is painful to massage.  I have a hand held massage that I use on my incisions just because it is easier on my hands that have tendinitis.  Massaging the scar tissue will break it up so the skin doesnt pucker.  I will be back in bikini shape in no time.
Here is a picture of my scars.  The top one is the scar from m previous surgery.  The bottom one is my recent scar.  The scars are pretty small, less than half an inch.  Impressive for such a big surgery.  The gray skin is just bad lighting.

I have no idea what the outcome of this surgery will be.  I still feel pain in my hip, and I dont know what it is going to be like when I start walking again.  I know my hip will never be perfect, but my hope is that I will be able to walk around the grocery store, socialize at a cocktail party and go on vacation. That said, I am prepared for the worse.  I am prepared to order my power scooter and get permanent forearm crutches to be able to walk.  I prepared to wait it out until I am old enough to get a hip replacement. 

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

These are my Confessions

I love the clothes by Philosophy di Alberta Ferretti.  Love, Love, Love!  Probably one of my favorite designers.  However the clothes are way out of my price range so I can only dream.  Let's dream about pricey, pastel coats together.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

3 weeks since Surgery Check In

3 Weeks Since My Surgery

Wednesday marked three weeks since my surgery.  My body stopped feeling like it got ran over by a bus and now it just feels like I got ran over by a bike.  I am feeling much better but I not ready to cut a rug on the dance floor yet.
  • I am off of pain meds except for bad nights.
  • 2 of my three incisions are healed and one is still scabbed
  • I have been putting about 20-30% weight on my leg and it is feeling okay.
  • My hip hurts differently than it did pre-surgery.  I take this as a good sign that my impingement is gone.
  • My opposite hip and knee (left) are hurting really bad because they have to carry the extra weight.  I worry about my left hip.
  • My appetite is really good.  I still get an upset stomach if I eat anything too exciting like spicy dishes or sushi.  I have been eating a lot of soup, fruit, yogurt and drinking lots of tea and juice.
  • My upper back is hurting really bad; I think because I sit a lot and hunch over on my crutches.  I can't walk around a stretch out.
  • I got a foot massage and they massaged my back and hips and it was really a relief.  I can't wait to start physical therapy and have them massage my hip out.  It feels really tight.
  • I can touch my toes now but I can't sit cross-legged yet.
  • Of course I am still on crutches and will be off of crutches in 3 more weeks.

Monday, December 19, 2011

My Dad and Brother Come to Visit

My Dad and Brother Visit Me
My Dad and brother are so much fun to hang out with. We are definitely all related.
Things that we do that are similar are:

We make funny faces (ok, Nick's are definitely the funniest)
We love to eat junk food
We consider chocolate a vegtable
We flick boogers at each other 
The first restaurant I took my family to was The Elephant Bar because they have really good, monstrous desserts that I knew my dad and brother would love.  These desserts are like as big as your head.  We ordered two desserts and I think my dad pretty much ate both of those sugary, jumbo sized, sweets.  Here is a picture of the Mocha Mud Pie ice cream with whipped cream and hot fudge.
On Saturday Gavin and I took my family into the city to goof around at Fisherman's Wharf.  It was my brothers first time at the Wharf and he had fun "checking out the babes".  He said the girls are cute around here.  While at the Wharf we ate at The Crab House at Pier 39.  We got two crabs to share and it was really good.  I usually don't like crab but these tasted really fresh and delicious.  We also got to wear these awesome bibs so we didn't spill all over our shirts.
After we walked around the Wharf for a few hours we wanted to go see the Golden Gate Bridge before it got dark.  My brother Nick wasn't too excited about looking at a bridge but I told him that everyone needs their photograph with the Golden Gate Bridge in the Background.  Nick's photo turned out really great except for his hat is on backwards.
 Sunday night, before my family left, we decided to celebrate an early Christmas and open presents.  I made my Dad and Nick some hand painted, dishwasher safe, mustache mugs with their names on it.  I also got them a Kiehl's men gift set so that they smell good and have nice skin.  I think my dad will like the hand lotion because he always has dry hands from working construction.  Nick will probably like the soap because he stinks pretty bad.  :) Just kidding Nick.  My dad and his girlfriend got Gavin and me a Money Tree and a Bird of Paridise plant for our home.  These are our first house plants besides my orchid which has a fungal infection right now.  I hope I can take good care of my new house plants and talk to them everyday.

I am super tired out from having visitors but it was definitely worth it.  I hope I get more visitors again in the future and I hope my Dad and my brother come back soon. 

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Two week since my surgery Check In

Two Weeks Since Surgery 
First I want to tell everyone about this awesome website, click here for Awesome Website.
It is a straight to the point account of one man's recovery from FAI surgery.
Don't worry, it has a happy ending.  Not that kind of happy ending your pervs.  I really enjoyed reading through his experience so this week I am doing a bullet point blog post just like Captain Applesauce did. 
  • I'm still in pain
  • I'm still on pain meds, one twice a day
  • I have great mobility in my leg
  • I'm partial weight bearing, maybe 15-20%
  • 2 of my 3 incisions are healing up
  • The 3rd incisions is still a hole.  eeeek gross
  • I've been putting band aids on everyday with neosporen
  • I am so grateful for my shower chair.  Makes is so much easier to take a shower
  • I didn't even need the toilet raiser, but keep in mind I am 5'3" and close to the toilet already lol
  • My stomach has been giving me lots of trouble;  poopy, yucky, no fun, trouble
  • I have a pretty good appetite but still need to eat bland foods
  • My hip has been popping and clicking like crazy and scaring the beejeezus out of me
  • It's hard to clean the house 
  • It's hard to carry things like plates, or cups of water
  • It's hard to shave my right leg, but I can do it and hard to put on socks, and shoes
  • I cannot clean between my toes on my right foot or clip my toenails. 
  • I think my recovery is on track though 

Monday, December 12, 2011

The Gift of the Magi

The Gift of the Magi

This story is all about presents.  And I love presents! This is one of my favorite stories.  Most of you have probably read this story before and if you haven't read it, it is a must read.  What better time to share this story than during the holiday season.  This story was written over 100 years ago but the message is the same.

I think of this story often, especially when I think about my love, Gavin.  You see, this story is about putting your husband, wife, or loved one first.  Gavin is always thinking about me and he is always putting me first.  My wish is his command.  On the other hand, I also try to always think about Gavin's needs and put him first.  I feel so thankful that we have a relationship like this one because we just have so much joy, happiness and love between us.

I feel especially lucky that I have such a great guy while I am dealing with all these health issues.  Sometimes I feel sorry for myself that I can't go do things like go skiing or go on a vacation.  However, Gavin never feels sorry; he doesn't care that I can't go on vacation, he is just happy to have me.

This holiday season, I hope everyone can remember what giving to loved ones is all about.  I hope everyone can have lots of love in their life whether it is romantic love, best friend love, mom, dad, grandma, grandpa, love.  Remember what gift giving is all about.  It is not about the gift, it is about showing someone that you love them.

Sending you all lots of love, now here is the story.

 The Gift of the Magi
by O Henry

One dollar and eighty-seven cents. That was all. And sixty cents of it was in pennies. Pennies saved one and two at a time by bulldozing the grocer and the vegetable man and the butcher until one's cheeks burned with the silent imputation of parsimony that such close dealing implied. Three times Della counted it. One dollar and eighty- seven cents. And the next day would be Christmas.
There was clearly nothing to do but flop down on the shabby little couch and howl. So Della did it. Which instigates the moral reflection that life is made up of sobs, sniffles, and smiles, with sniffles predominating.
While the mistress of the home is gradually subsiding from the first stage to the second, take a look at the home. A furnished flat at $8 per week. It did not exactly beggar description, but it certainly had that word on the lookout for the mendicancy squad.
In the vestibule below was a letter-box into which no letter would go, and an electric button from which no mortal finger could coax a ring. Also appertaining thereunto was a card bearing the name "Mr. James Dillingham Young."
The "Dillingham" had been flung to the breeze during a former period of prosperity when its possessor was being paid $30 per week. Now, when the income was shrunk to $20, though, they were thinking seriously of contracting to a modest and unassuming D. But whenever Mr. James Dillingham Young came home and reached his flat above he was called "Jim" and greatly hugged by Mrs. James Dillingham Young, already introduced to you as Della. Which is all very good.
Della finished her cry and attended to her cheeks with the powder rag. She stood by the window and looked out dully at a gray cat walking a gray fence in a gray backyard. Tomorrow would be Christmas Day, and she had only $1.87 with which to buy Jim a present. She had been saving every penny she could for months, with this result. Twenty dollars a week doesn't go far. Expenses had been greater than she had calculated. They always are. Only $1.87 to buy a present for Jim. Her Jim. Many a happy hour she had spent planning for something nice for him. Something fine and rare and sterling--something just a little bit near to being worthy of the honor of being owned by Jim.
There was a pier-glass between the windows of the room. Perhaps you have seen a pier-glass in an $8 flat. A very thin and very agile person may, by observing his reflection in a rapid sequence of longitudinal strips, obtain a fairly accurate conception of his looks. Della, being slender, had mastered the art.
Suddenly she whirled from the window and stood before the glass. her eyes were shining brilliantly, but her face had lost its color within twenty seconds. Rapidly she pulled down her hair and let it fall to its full length.
Now, there were two possessions of the James Dillingham Youngs in which they both took a mighty pride. One was Jim's gold watch that had been his father's and his grandfather's. The other was Della's hair. Had the queen of Sheba lived in the flat across the airshaft, Della would have let her hair hang out the window some day to dry just to depreciate Her Majesty's jewels and gifts. Had King Solomon been the janitor, with all his treasures piled up in the basement, Jim would have pulled out his watch every time he passed, just to see him pluck at his beard from envy.
So now Della's beautiful hair fell about her rippling and shining like a cascade of brown waters. It reached below her knee and made itself almost a garment for her. And then she did it up again nervously and quickly. Once she faltered for a minute and stood still while a tear or two splashed on the worn red carpet.
On went her old brown jacket; on went her old brown hat. With a whirl of skirts and with the brilliant sparkle still in her eyes, she fluttered out the door and down the stairs to the street.
Where she stopped the sign read: "Mne. Sofronie. Hair Goods of All Kinds." One flight up Della ran, and collected herself, panting. Madame, large, too white, chilly, hardly looked the "Sofronie."
"Will you buy my hair?" asked Della.
"I buy hair," said Madame. "Take yer hat off and let's have a sight at the looks of it."
Down rippled the brown cascade.
"Twenty dollars," said Madame, lifting the mass with a practised hand.
"Give it to me quick," said Della.
Oh, and the next two hours tripped by on rosy wings. Forget the hashed metaphor. She was ransacking the stores for Jim's present.
She found it at last. It surely had been made for Jim and no one else. There was no other like it in any of the stores, and she had turned all of them inside out. It was a platinum fob chain simple and chaste in design, properly proclaiming its value by substance alone and not by meretricious ornamentation--as all good things should do. It was even worthy of The Watch. As soon as she saw it she knew that it must be Jim's. It was like him. Quietness and value--the description applied to both. Twenty-one dollars they took from her for it, and she hurried home with the 87 cents. With that chain on his watch Jim might be properly anxious about the time in any company. Grand as the watch was, he sometimes looked at it on the sly on account of the old leather strap that he used in place of a chain.
When Della reached home her intoxication gave way a little to prudence and reason. She got out her curling irons and lighted the gas and went to work repairing the ravages made by generosity added to love. Which is always a tremendous task, dear friends--a mammoth task.
Within forty minutes her head was covered with tiny, close-lying curls that made her look wonderfully like a truant schoolboy. She looked at her reflection in the mirror long, carefully, and critically.
"If Jim doesn't kill me," she said to herself, "before he takes a second look at me, he'll say I look like a Coney Island chorus girl. But what could I do--oh! what could I do with a dollar and eighty- seven cents?"
At 7 o'clock the coffee was made and the frying-pan was on the back of the stove hot and ready to cook the chops.
Jim was never late. Della doubled the fob chain in her hand and sat on the corner of the table near the door that he always entered. Then she heard his step on the stair away down on the first flight, and she turned white for just a moment. She had a habit for saying little silent prayer about the simplest everyday things, and now she whispered: "Please God, make him think I am still pretty."
The door opened and Jim stepped in and closed it. He looked thin and very serious. Poor fellow, he was only twenty-two--and to be burdened with a family! He needed a new overcoat and he was without gloves.
Jim stopped inside the door, as immovable as a setter at the scent of quail. His eyes were fixed upon Della, and there was an expression in them that she could not read, and it terrified her. It was not anger, nor surprise, nor disapproval, nor horror, nor any of the sentiments that she had been prepared for. He simply stared at her fixedly with that peculiar expression on his face.
Della wriggled off the table and went for him.
"Jim, darling," she cried, "don't look at me that way. I had my hair cut off and sold because I couldn't have lived through Christmas without giving you a present. It'll grow out again--you won't mind, will you? I just had to do it. My hair grows awfully fast. Say `Merry Christmas!' Jim, and let's be happy. You don't know what a nice-- what a beautiful, nice gift I've got for you."
"You've cut off your hair?" asked Jim, laboriously, as if he had not arrived at that patent fact yet even after the hardest mental labor.
"Cut it off and sold it," said Della. "Don't you like me just as well, anyhow? I'm me without my hair, ain't I?"
Jim looked about the room curiously.
"You say your hair is gone?" he said, with an air almost of idiocy.
"You needn't look for it," said Della. "It's sold, I tell you--sold and gone, too. It's Christmas Eve, boy. Be good to me, for it went for you. Maybe the hairs of my head were numbered," she went on with sudden serious sweetness, "but nobody could ever count my love for you. Shall I put the chops on, Jim?"
Out of his trance Jim seemed quickly to wake. He enfolded his Della. For ten seconds let us regard with discreet scrutiny some inconsequential object in the other direction. Eight dollars a week or a million a year--what is the difference? A mathematician or a wit would give you the wrong answer. The magi brought valuable gifts, but that was not among them. This dark assertion will be illuminated later on.
Jim drew a package from his overcoat pocket and threw it upon the table.
"Don't make any mistake, Dell," he said, "about me. I don't think there's anything in the way of a haircut or a shave or a shampoo that could make me like my girl any less. But if you'll unwrap that package you may see why you had me going a while at first."
White fingers and nimble tore at the string and paper. And then an ecstatic scream of joy; and then, alas! a quick feminine change to hysterical tears and wails, necessitating the immediate employment of all the comforting powers of the lord of the flat.
For there lay The Combs--the set of combs, side and back, that Della had worshipped long in a Broadway window. Beautiful combs, pure tortoise shell, with jewelled rims--just the shade to wear in the beautiful vanished hair. They were expensive combs, she knew, and her heart had simply craved and yearned over them without the least hope of possession. And now, they were hers, but the tresses that should have adorned the coveted adornments were gone.
But she hugged them to her bosom, and at length she was able to look up with dim eyes and a smile and say: "My hair grows so fast, Jim!"
And them Della leaped up like a little singed cat and cried, "Oh, oh!"
Jim had not yet seen his beautiful present. She held it out to him eagerly upon her open palm. The dull precious metal seemed to flash with a reflection of her bright and ardent spirit.
"Isn't it a dandy, Jim? I hunted all over town to find it. You'll have to look at the time a hundred times a day now. Give me your watch. I want to see how it looks on it."
Instead of obeying, Jim tumbled down on the couch and put his hands under the back of his head and smiled.
"Dell," said he, "let's put our Christmas presents away and keep 'em a while. They're too nice to use just at present. I sold the watch to get the money to buy your combs. And now suppose you put the chops on."
The magi, as you know, were wise men--wonderfully wise men--who brought gifts to the Babe in the manger. They invented the art of giving Christmas presents. Being wise, their gifts were no doubt wise ones, possibly bearing the privilege of exchange in case of duplication. And here I have lamely related to you the uneventful chronicle of two foolish children in a flat who most unwisely sacrificed for each other the greatest treasures of their house. But in a last word to the wise of these days let it be said that of all who give gifts these two were the wisest. O all who give and receive gifts, such as they are wisest. Everywhere they are wisest. They are the magi.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Sunday Funday and Christmas Shopping

 Christmas Shopping

It has been 11 days since my surgery and today my hip really flared up.  I felt awful today.  However, I still wanted to get some Christmas shopping done before my dad and my brother come to visit me.  They are arriving on Wednesday.  So I ventured out of the house.   And guess what, I forgot to put my shoes on so I left the house in my house slippers.  I wore my house slippers all day.  I'm so forgetful. 

First Gavin and I went to Subway to get some food in me so I wouldn't feel so blah.  Next we went to the mall.  Gavin checked out a wheelchair and wheeled me all around the mall.  We stopped at Kiehl's and at Godiva not only to get my free chocolate but also to get some fun gifts for my dad and brother.  I wanted Gavin to wheel be to Bath and Body Works to get myself a present but he wouldn't.  What a Gringe huh?  Just kidding, he is a sweetheart.

Our next stop was Micheal's to get paint that can paint on ceramic mugs.  I'm going to give my dad and brother some mugs customized by muah.  Don't worry they don't read my blog so they won't know what they are getting.  Also, I couldn't help but to pick up some more Christmas decorations.  I needed a wreath but being on crutches I didn't have any hands to carry it so I got a little creative.
Oh yeah, and I didn't wear makeup today per Gavin's request.  He always says he loves my naked face, and hates my makeup face.  I married the right guy huh?  He thinks I look better without makeup.  Wait 'til my wrinkles settle in then I will see if he still thinks that.  Haha.  Gavin also thinks I look better with more weight on me.  Thank goodness.

Well, I am having a ton of fun getting ready for Christmas.  I love Christmas.  I hope everyone else is having fun during the holidays too.  Much love, hugs and kisses.  xoxoxoxo

Friday, December 9, 2011

The Spoon Theory

 When I read this story I thought it was a fantastic and clever way to explain to others what I go through everyday.  Since I have been too tired to blog these last few days, and I have a lot to do at home, I will share the spoon theory with you all.  It was written by Christine Miserandino.  You can also check out the website


The Spoon Theory

by Christine Miserandino

My best friend and I were in the diner, talking. As usual, it was very late and we were eating French fries with gravy. Like normal girls our age, we spent a lot of time in the diner while in college, and most of the time we spent talking about boys, music or trivial things, that seemed very important at the time. We never got serious about anything in particular and spent most of our time laughing.

As I went to take some of my medicine with a snack as I usually did, she watched me with an awkward kind of stare, instead of continuing the conversation. She then asked me out of the blue what it felt like to have Lupus and be sick. I was shocked not only because she asked the random question, but also because I assumed she knew all there was to know about Lupus. She came to doctors with me, she saw me walk with a cane, and throw up in the bathroom. She had seen me cry in pain, what else was there to know?
I started to ramble on about pills, and aches and pains, but she kept pursuing, and didn’t seem satisfied with my answers. I was a little surprised as being my roommate in college and friend for years; I thought she already knew the medical definition of Lupus. Then she looked at me with a face every sick person knows well, the face of pure curiosity about something no one healthy can truly understand. She asked what it felt like, not physically, but what it felt like to be me, to be sick.
As I tried to gain my composure, I glanced around the table for help or guidance, or at least stall for time to think. I was trying to find the right words. How do I answer a question I never was able to answer for myself? How do I explain every detail of every day being effected, and give the emotions a sick person goes through with clarity. I could have given up, cracked a joke like I usually do, and changed the subject, but I remember thinking if I don’t try to explain this, how could I ever expect her to understand. If I can’t explain this to my best friend, how could I explain my world to anyone else? I had to at least try.
At that moment, the spoon theory was born. I quickly grabbed every spoon on the table; hell I grabbed spoons off of the other tables. I looked at her in the eyes and said “Here you go, you have Lupus”. She looked at me slightly confused, as anyone would when they are being handed a bouquet of spoons. The cold metal spoons clanked in my hands, as I grouped them together and shoved them into her hands.
I explained that the difference in being sick and being healthy is having to make choices or to consciously think about things when the rest of the world doesn’t have to. The healthy have the luxury of a life without choices, a gift most people take for granted.
Most people start the day with unlimited amount of possibilities, and energy to do whatever they desire, especially young people. For the most part, they do not need to worry about the effects of their actions. So for my explanation, I used spoons to convey this point. I wanted something for her to actually hold, for me to then take away, since most people who get sick feel a “loss” of a life they once knew. If I was in control of taking away the spoons, then she would know what it feels like to have someone or something else, in this case Lupus, being in control.
She grabbed the spoons with excitement. She didn’t understand what I was doing, but she is always up for a good time, so I guess she thought I was cracking a joke of some kind like I usually do when talking about touchy topics. Little did she know how serious I would become?
I asked her to count her spoons. She asked why, and I explained that when you are healthy you expect to have a never-ending supply of “spoons”. But when you have to now plan your day, you need to know exactly how many “spoons” you are starting with. It doesn’t guarantee that you might not lose some along the way, but at least it helps to know where you are starting. She counted out 12 spoons. She laughed and said she wanted more. I said no, and I knew right away that this little game would work, when she looked disappointed, and we hadn’t even started yet. I’ve wanted more “spoons” for years and haven’t found a way yet to get more, why should she? I also told her to always be conscious of how many she had, and not to drop them because she can never forget she has Lupus.
I asked her to list off the tasks of her day, including the most simple. As, she rattled off daily chores, or just fun things to do; I explained how each one would cost her a spoon. When she jumped right into getting ready for work as her first task of the morning, I cut her off and took away a spoon. I practically jumped down her throat. I said ” No! You don’t just get up. You have to crack open your eyes, and then realize you are late. You didn’t sleep well the night before. You have to crawl out of bed, and then you have to make your self something to eat before you can do anything else, because if you don’t, you can’t take your medicine, and if you don’t take your medicine you might as well give up all your spoons for today and tomorrow too.” I quickly took away a spoon and she realized she hasn’t even gotten dressed yet. Showering cost her spoon, just for washing her hair and shaving her legs. Reaching high and low that early in the morning could actually cost more than one spoon, but I figured I would give her a break; I didn’t want to scare her right away. Getting dressed was worth another spoon. I stopped her and broke down every task to show her how every little detail needs to be thought about. You cannot simply just throw clothes on when you are sick. I explained that I have to see what clothes I can physically put on, if my hands hurt that day buttons are out of the question. If I have bruises that day, I need to wear long sleeves, and if I have a fever I need a sweater to stay warm and so on. If my hair is falling out I need to spend more time to look presentable, and then you need to factor in another 5 minutes for feeling badly that it took you 2 hours to do all this.
I think she was starting to understand when she theoretically didn’t even get to work, and she was left with 6 spoons. I then explained to her that she needed to choose the rest of her day wisely, since when your “spoons” are gone, they are gone. Sometimes you can borrow against tomorrow’s “spoons”, but just think how hard tomorrow will be with less “spoons”. I also needed to explain that a person who is sick always lives with the looming thought that tomorrow may be the day that a cold comes, or an infection, or any number of things that could be very dangerous. So you do not want to run low on “spoons”, because you never know when you truly will need them. I didn’t want to depress her, but I needed to be realistic, and unfortunately being prepared for the worst is part of a real day for me.
We went through the rest of the day, and she slowly learned that skipping lunch would cost her a spoon, as well as standing on a train, or even typing at her computer too long. She was forced to make choices and think about things differently. Hypothetically, she had to choose not to run errands, so that she could eat dinner that night.
When we got to the end of her pretend day, she said she was hungry. I summarized that she had to eat dinner but she only had one spoon left. If she cooked, she wouldn’t have enough energy to clean the pots. If she went out for dinner, she might be too tired to drive home safely. Then I also explained, that I didn’t even bother to add into this game, that she was so nauseous, that cooking was probably out of the question anyway. So she decided to make soup, it was easy. I then said it is only 7pm, you have the rest of the night but maybe end up with one spoon, so you can do something fun, or clean your apartment, or do chores, but you can’t do it all.
I rarely see her emotional, so when I saw her upset I knew maybe I was getting through to her. I didn’t want my friend to be upset, but at the same time I was happy to think finally maybe someone understood me a little bit. She had tears in her eyes and asked quietly “Christine, How do you do it? Do you really do this everyday?” I explained that some days were worse then others; some days I have more spoons then most. But I can never make it go away and I can’t forget about it, I always have to think about it. I handed her a spoon I had been holding in reserve. I said simply, “I have learned to live life with an extra spoon in my pocket, in reserve. You need to always be prepared.”
Its hard, the hardest thing I ever had to learn is to slow down, and not do everything. I fight this to this day. I hate feeling left out, having to choose to stay home, or to not get things done that I want to. I wanted her to feel that frustration. I wanted her to understand, that everything everyone else does comes so easy, but for me it is one hundred little jobs in one. I need to think about the weather, my temperature that day, and the whole day’s plans before I can attack any one given thing. When other people can simply do things, I have to attack it and make a plan like I am strategizing a war. It is in that lifestyle, the difference between being sick and healthy. It is the beautiful ability to not think and just do. I miss that freedom. I miss never having to count “spoons”.
After we were emotional and talked about this for a little while longer, I sensed she was sad. Maybe she finally understood. Maybe she realized that she never could truly and honestly say she understands. But at least now she might not complain so much when I can’t go out for dinner some nights, or when I never seem to make it to her house and she always has to drive to mine. I gave her a hug when we walked out of the diner. I had the one spoon in my hand and I said “Don’t worry. I see this as a blessing. I have been forced to think about everything I do. Do you know how many spoons people waste everyday? I don’t have room for wasted time, or wasted “spoons” and I chose to spend this time with you.”
Ever since this night, I have used the spoon theory to explain my life to many people. In fact, my family and friends refer to spoons all the time. It has been a code word for what I can and cannot do. Once people understand the spoon theory they seem to understand me better, but I also think they live their life a little differently too. I think it isn’t just good for understanding Lupus, but anyone dealing with any disability or illness. Hopefully, they don’t take so much for granted or their life in general. I give a piece of myself, in every sense of the word when I do anything. It has become an inside joke. I have become famous for saying to people jokingly that they should feel special when I spend time with them, because they have one of my “spoons”.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

I Got My Stitches Out Today

Which will not be today when you read this it will have been yesterday or later.  That means I can shower today.  HipHipHorray!  I would also recommend getting baby wipes so you can easily sponge bath.  Gavin got me some and it was nice to have someone wash my feet and back for me and be able to freshen up.  Especially since I have been sweating so much from my hydrococodone. 

Baby Wipes

Anyways, my incisions are still a little gnarly so I wont show you, but the nurse said that they looked great. This time I have 3 incisions and two of the three are gnarlier than the other one.  As you can see the top of my thigh is still pretty swollen so I have been icing my thigh.  You can still see the tape stuck to my thigh too.  You can kinda see the scars from my last surgery.  One is in between the two horizontal band aids and the other is directly to the right.

3 Incisions
 I took a picture of my ice pack that the hospital gave me.
Ice Pack
The ice bag is made in America by Americans with disabilities.  I thought that was really neat because I like to support made in America products and I also know how hard it is to find a job, especially if you have a disability.  The ice pack didn't last very long though.  I think it is better for emergencies.  I prefer my clay ice pack or my awesome ice machine.  The only bad thing about the ice machine is that it is a pain in the booty to keep changing the ice.

Ice Machine

I have been feeling really great.  I have energy and have been able to work from home.  I can even put a little weight on my right leg already, not too much though.

Painwise, I am really comfortable as long as I take my pain meds and ice my hip.  If I don't wake up in the middle of the night to take my pain meds I wake up in the morning with a lot of pain, but it is not excruciating.  My hip has hurt worse when I walked around NYC a couple summers ago.  The pain feels like there is a huge fresh bruise inside my hip joint.  The incisions also hurt a little.  Nothing I can't handle.  I'm a tough one.
Me looking tough
PS Im not naked; my hair is covering my tank top.

Also, my dad and brother are coming to visit me next week.  I'm so excited to see my fam. I'm going to try and get them some awesome Christmas presents too.

My Recovery

This recovery, I have to say, is much different from my last recovery.  I have more energy and I can move my leg a lot more.  I also have quit the appetite which is really good when you are recovering from surgery.

So this is how it has gone so far.  After my surgery I felt really good.  I was in a lot of pain, but that is the usual for me.  I felt great.  I was eating crackers, drinking tea, smiling and cracking jokes.

As soon as I got in the car and it started to move a wave of nausea just wiped me out.  I had my trusty thow-up bag so I wasn't too worried.  Gavin and I decided to stop for dinner to avoid rush hour traffic.  Before we left the hospital I was starving because I hadn't eaten all day. I wanted a cheeseburger and a thick chocolate milkshake.  By the time I got to the restaurant it was soup and ginger ale for me. Before I got my food I headed to the bathroom to start what would be my longest marathon of throwing up EVER.

I threw up a few times before going to bed and mostly slept through the night.  The next morning I woke up at my usual time around 9 AM and went downstairs to settle on the couch for the day.  As soon as I ate my breakfast cereal I threw up again, and then I threw up about every 20 minutes for the rest of the day. On top of that I had a throbbing headache.

You know how usually after you puke you get an instant wave of relief for at least a little while?  That relief never came.  I just puked all day.  I didn't take any pain medicine so I was puking and in pain.  Finally I took a dramamine and was able to get some sleep.  The next morning I woke up feeling better.  My stomach was raw and sore but I didnt need to run to the toilet.  All I needed to do was pop another Dramamine and slowly, slowly, slowly nurse myself back to health.  By the end of the morning I could take my pain medicine again.

My pain medicine is working out for me alright.  I didn't get percocet because of the horrible headache it gives me so the nurse wrote me a scriped for Norco, which is the similar to vicodin only stonger.  The Norco does make me a little nauseas and dizzy, but nothing I can't handle.  The worse side effect of this medication is it makes me sweat so much.  Im so hot and I am sweating buckets, which isnt so good when you can't take a shower.

Overall I am feeling pretty good.  Of course I am tired and in pain, but I think this recovery should go more smoothly than the last.

The hardest part about my recovery I think will be my mental health.  After getting diagnosed with AVN as soon as I woke up from surgery, my mind has been in a frenzy with what this diagnosis holds for me.  I don't know if I will be able to walk ever again unaided.  I will just have to wait and see.