Tuesday, July 30, 2013

My Life On Drugs

I am on my third week of oxycodone for pain control and I have some observations:

1. It works

2. Best to avoid provocations of all kinds, to or from my direction

3. I am ready to reclassify two friends for inattention to my present circumstance. I may or may not give them the option of explanation

4. What's wrong with being a little confused?

5. Most people would know I mean biscuit when I say that bread thing.

6. Oh is that why I'm so sensitive?

7. Yes I will wait on that list of grievances until I'm off the meds--but it's still a good list.

8. So now I know not to cut down the dose so abruptly.

9. I may on occasion repeat myself.

10. It works.

Hello there, I've been sick for the past few days to bodily complications (the nurse called it 'the bashful bowel) but today I'm on the mend again and have graduated from using a walker to using a cane. To use similar medical terms, my knee is a bashful bender. 

I promise I won't write post after post about my surgery and rehabilitation. I wish these oxycodones wanted to write poetry but no; so far they prefer reruns of Judge Judy and Words with Friends at 4 am. I have been discouraged for a few days but I'm back on track and practicing walking on uneven ground. Which by the way I should have plenty of experience with already :^)


Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Thursday Thirteen etc.

 JB, who is weary enough taking care of me and handling all the chores around her, is standing at the bedroom door at 3 am. She is holding a half dozen metal hangers and is not happy.
"I can't sleep. I'm going upstairs."
'Okay," I say.
I toss in bed for ten minutes, fretting that she is exhausted with a work day ahead of her.
Then I remember we don't have an upstairs. 

An actual hallucination: the oxycodone has gotten to me.

I've begun to wean off the stuff. It's made me sick and I'm unreliable. There is already an increase in pain but not too bad. I'm rounding week two and still better than expected.


I haven't done Thursday Thirteen in a long while. So why not tonight:

Where I was in the hospital

Where I wish I were

Wishes for a friend's hot heavy move this weekend

Thanks to Liz who stayed for three days and tracked down the drugs

When I think of my father

Instant smiles = zinnias plus salt and pepper shakers

Where I gave it up and asked to move on

 When love just is (JB and my Mother)

When the kitchen got remodeled

When three boys and one girl was just two boys

When I forget

Where I love

And where is Emily?!!


Sunday, July 21, 2013


 I am making my surgery sound easier breezier than it actually is. The truth is I have been taking 10 mg of Oxycodone every three hours to stay ahead of the pain.


I kind of am doing pretty well. JB is fixing me wonderful meals, ice packs feel like the Atlantic Ocean in August, and I am finding my disposition is more affable than I expected.

There are some new additions that make me smile wide:

Hello Baby Reese. Please let your Mother get a good night's sleep. You have the most elegant fingers and toes and I can't wait to see what you do with them.

Hello Chase. So you've loved having us home with you like this. No, we don't mind scratching you all over; in fact, we're glad you're starting to respond to us. Did I hear a contented sigh?

Hello Jess. Happy Birthday favorite daughter. We sent you giant helium balloons because we thought the boys would love them but we are never sure what to get you for a real present. I think I will order polka dot towels and sheets from the Garnett Hill sale catalogue. How could you not like soft plush aqua polka dots?

Today was my first day outside in almost two weeks. With the help of JB I and my new friend the walker went to see my Mother at her nursing home. What a joy. She is so happy there. What a shock. I asked one of the nurses how she was doing and she broke into a wide smile. "We love her," she said.  I believe it.

On Monday my staples come out, all twenty four of them. I will now never enter an Elder Beauty Pagent that has a bathing suit portion.

On Tuesday an editor who has reviewed the first 60 pages of my novel comes here to give me her feedback page by page. She has followed this manuscript through several carnations and she honest to god now says it is GOOD. Actually I think it is too. Actually I am not sure how or when or even if this book will be published. But Actually I am relieved I can write the damn story to a level I feel good about.

I felt more like myself tonight than I have. That won't replace the fact that I'll be icing this knee at 3 am but did I already say the ice feels as refreshing as the Atlantic Ocean in August?

Thank you for so many well wishes. I have never appreciated my blog and even pain-in-the-ass Facebook so much.

Best wishes for a good week,

Friday, July 19, 2013

wishing for (frozen) peas

What a relief.

I woke up in the recovery room dazed and delighted that there I was, all of me, able to nod, smile, feel.

I had a knee replacement with plenty of warnings and preparation: "could take up to a year before you're fully recovered," "the first two weeks are the worse," "take the meds and don't let the pain get ahead," "plan for three months of heavy rehab."


I am now home seriously taking oxycodone every few hours, sleeping, icing, pushing my left leg to bend a fraction of an inch more than yesterday. I am confident I am going to be okay and with help and in time I am going to reclaim my gait and step.

I have strong memories and experiences already.

My hospital experience was incredible. The nurses and nurses' aides and therapists were so competent I felt safe and almost relaxed throughout. They managed my pain incredibly well. They were efficient and reliable. I pushed a button; they came.

When I was discharged, I gave a 60 year old aide named Maria the flowers JB had brought me and I gave a young nurse named Dante a copy of my book. We had connected in the four days I was there.

They had their own confidence in how well and how much they pushed me. They made me walk.

I've come home to home services in place. The visiting nurses have been a bit disorganized and inconsistent but the physical therapist--the person I must rely on most for rehab-- is a already a gem. She is working me to the max and with wheels and a walker I am able to get from one end of the house to another. I feel new muscles appearing in my leg.

The pain has been much less than I expected. I am foggy and spacey by the time dinner rolls around. Thankfully JB is watching that I take these meds as I'm supposed to. I am awakened around two am each night knowing that I need to ice the knee fast. What relief from that! I've learned to sleep on my back, to move my leg carefully, to push one more time.

Our friend Liz left last night after staying with me for three days while JB worked. (Maybe I will write about our collective saga of my running out of meds and the crazy mess of having them refilled.) Each day I have gotten some cards and little presents, and today, these amazing miniature chocolates from Suki.

Each day I am aware that I have two things going for me that makes all the difference:

I connect. And I appreciate. 

The nurse who came today was very overweight and was covered with layers of clothing that must have made the already horrid effects of 99 degree temperature unbearable. She was serious and professional and covered up in more ways than one. I went out of my way to respect her. We both benefited. 

This is my report so far from the frozen peas and frozen corn section of chez rehab. 

How nice to be saying hello


Friday, July 12, 2013

So There, Surgery!

Not easy to type in a hospital bed
Interruptions all night from my feet to my head
Running a race ahead of the pain
And winning because I have to have gain

There goes my summer, no ocean no beach
No gallivant, spinning, no trips within reach.
A new knee has appeared and man is it tight;
I'll be bending for months to make it alright!

Tomorrow I'm home, confined to a space
That's cozy familiar and at my own pace
I 'll be rehabbing and bitching, a step at a time
Until I can walk a happy straight line .

But hey, I'm alive and the surgery's done;
A few months ahead of make-my-own fun.
I was scared for a bit and now I'm over it
At least I can sleep and I'm inching toward sit.

I won't cook clean or garden, instead I'll be viewing
CNN and Judge Judy and I won 't be stewing.
Things could be worse, that's for damn sure
So excuse me for saying I feel pretty sore!

Hello everyone, it's me, kj. It's one am and I've been woken up five times now for pills, prods and pulse. It's not been as bad as I thought it would be. I'm not in horrible pain, just normal pain. I 'll be home in twelve hours and my Olympic try outs begin with a physical therapist and visiting nurse :-)

Getting through the surgery is such a huge relief . So, I'm typing this on my iPhone , excuse my typing errors, and I'm suspending complaining for the next 24 hours. After that, maybe, maybe not :-)

Thanks for rooting me on. It's meant so much.


Saturday, July 06, 2013


I'm getting ready for a flight of my own. Tuesday, a surgery that I'm advised will (I prefer the word 'could') restrict my activity level for three months. Yikes! No driving for one month, maybe two weeks of real drugs for pain, and no fooling around physical therapy to get my knee and body moving again.

Fortunately I've been busy enough that I am not dwelling on anything but getting organized and thinking I'll do okay.  And preparing lists. Mostly lists so JB knows what I know if I'm too drugged to care. But some non-essential lists too: 

6 things I want to hear in the recovery room:

1. Wake up. You're alive!
2. You were one of the most entertaining patients we've had in the operating room in years
3. Hmmm, your pain is so much less than expected.
4. You won't be hungry so you might lose 20 pounds
5. After the first few weeks, swimming in the ocean will be good for you. 
6. You really enjoy complaining, don't you?

6 iloveyous

my best friend willa died of cancer eight years ago. When a couple of months later her kids arranged a memorial for her in a large gym about six people who addressed the crowd said willa was their best friend. 

This still makes me laugh. i had no idea willa had any other best friend besides me! that she was somehow  all of that and more to five or six other people who didn't all even know each other was quite a feat. and not one of us got less from her. 

So 6iloveyous from me? It's a good thing love multiplies!  To 6 special people, give or take, now and always, thanks for being in my life. thanks for putting up with me. thanks for laughing at my jokes. thanks for feeding me. and JB and Jess, double triple quadruple thanks. 

3 very great things:

1. JB and I managed to buy the house in ptown!
2. my Mother likes the nursing home ALOT!
3. Jessica just had a healthy baby girl!

3 pretty good things:

1. i no longer have a work deadline
2. chase is slowly showing signs of bonding with us
3. maybe provincetown in september

3  not-so-good things :

1. rehab for a knee replacement is significant
2. our ptown condo hasn't sold
3. i wish JB could stop working

3 important things to know: 

1. Life gets harder so it's best to learn to flow, float and figure
2. What an incredibly beautiful exquisite planet
3.Sooner or later things almost always get better

If I don't post again until I do, I'll be back with a new ability to set off airport security alarms. I know you wish me well and honestly, thanks so much for that.

love love

Thursday, July 04, 2013

Happy Story

 This is the story of a family of a mother, father, three little boys, and three grandmothers. 

Everyone expected the birth of a fourth little boy. Science was on the side of that assumption. 

Everyone is shocked that a baby girl has arrived instead. 

Her name is Reese Elizabeth. She is going to have three older brothers who wrestle and chase monsters and chances are they will treat her both rough and soft so that when she grows up she will be both tough and tender.

 Reese and her brothers live in a new house and they have a new yard where they will be able to swing, run, dance and play baseball.

 Reese's grandmothers are ready with the nail polish.

Reese's brother Drew also wants his fingers and toes polished. His Mother and Father do not like that idea, probably because the world is not really gender neutral, even with smart parents.  His grandmothers might one day quietly paint Drew's fingers and toes anyway.

And when the time comes, Reese's fingers and toes will be no doubt be painted in the open.

After all, let's get real: what is a passionate life without nail polish?

(welcome baby reese. We already love you madly)