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Archive for June, 2011

Hi Everyone!

First of all, HAPPY FATHER’S DAY to all my friends both male and female who’ve stepped up to the plate and been a father to their children. I chuckle sometimes when I think about when Brian was little. So often there’s a soft moment in parenting when you just want to “let go” of the rules and let the kid get away with something. Well that happened more than a few times with me. My remedy for that was when Brian wanted to do something and I knew darn well I might regret him getting away with what he was doing, (some minor infraction) I would whisper, “just don’t tell mommy!” We’d belly laugh, he’d get away with doing the naughty thing, and we were still good with me being the parent! It was awesome being his mom and dad! As a child myself, I miss my dad so much. I know Brian’s and my life would have been so totally different had he been alive to help us. But, God in his infinite wisdom knew I would be able to get through it all with His help. And we did. Happy Father’s Day dad. A few posts ago I spoke in detail of my dad and how bittersweet it was to let go of him, so I’ll just tell you to refer back to that post if you want to read an excerpt from my book.

Secondly, I got back into the pool, no, not the hot tub therapy pool, the really big pool where all the big kids are… LOL it felt sooo good to be in deep water again! I hope Dr. Crovetti  and Dr. Smith don’t read this line…. I even “jumped” in! Yeah, you heard me, I jumped into that water and came up exhilarated to be in cool water without having back spasms in my muscles. Dr. Crovetti did say I was good to do whatever I wanted after my total hip replacement, so I’m taking him at his word. HOWEVER, there always seems a price to pay. As it turns out, I guess I’m not as strong as I thought I was yet. After all it has only been just a smidge over three months for my ACDF 3- level fusion procedure on my neck and tomorrow it will be only six weeks since my total hip replacement. At my last visit with Dr. Smith two weeks ago, he said that my ACDF was completely fused and he was pleased at how it looked from the x-rays.

My goal was to just get into the big girl pool and wiggle around a bit. Ha! That takes more muscle than I thought! For every two steps forward I take, it’s like two leaps backwards for my healing. I don’t know how to get this right. I mean, I’m trying to do everything I can for my body to heal, I’m eating better than ever before, I’m exercising, doing all the moves I’ve been taught even when no one is looking, and I’m trying to break some really strong ties to bad habits; those unhealthy kind that seem to keep pulling you back into the abyss. BUT, I’m still not strong enough to do what, in my mind, I want to do…. like dive off the edge of the pool into the water and have complete control of my muscles in such a way that it doesn’t hurt my new body. Hell, at this point, I’ll settle for just being able to float without getting a cramp in my neck muscles! Though I didn’t get that this time, I did wake up with a really stiff neck this morning from just floating on my back. I did a few laps of back stroke, and I did some other stuff on my back but WOW, my muscles still aren’t very strong. That’s the kind of stuff I did to get ready for surgery a little over a year ago that was no big whoop to do then. Hmmm, what a difference a year makes.

One of the things I’ve discovered as I’m doing some of my singing warmups has been that the higher I go with the notes, the more muscles in the back of my neck I need to use. Which gives you a gauge as to how successful my warmups have been so far! SO, here’s my plan…. I’m gonna be floating on my back a lot in the coming days… I figure that’s gonna be the best way to strengthen those muscles to get em back in shape. Plus, I don’t think that when I was doing all that stuff before my surgery I was using the RIGHT muscles in the RIGHT way because everything was so screwed up! I have a LOT to learn yet! No wonder everyone says this getting old thing isn’t for sissies!! ACTUALLY, I feel like I’m 28 again, or at least my body does, and what’s cool is that I have the experience of a $%^&* something year old!!! ( you didn’t really think I was gonna tell you I’m really 57 now did you?) ROTFL

Well, I really DO have some good news for ya! I’m becoming a productive member of society again… something I though was beyond my grasp ever again. I know it’s only volunteer work, no money involved, but, very satisfying nonetheless… I started working in my doctors’ office as a patient advocate. I’ll define this for you. After the doctor determines a patient is right for a particular surgery like one I’ve gone through, he asks if they’re wanting to talk further with someone who has experience with the procedure. ME! Since I’m on the premise, it’s just a walk away for them to get any further questions answered or have fears dismissed by real information, not some hearsay from the neighbor’s, brother’s, sister’s, uncle who had back surgery 15 years ago, got butchered, and is still in excruciating pain and swears his surgery was the biggest mistake of his life. BACK PAIN NO LONGER HAS TO BE ENDURED!!!! Ok, I’ll get off my soapbox and just explain…. LOL

 So Dr. Smith is allowing me to use his office to see his patients which has the biggest comfiest office chair I think I’ve ever seen! I haven’t sat in it yet but I’ll let you know how it is in a later post. I’m sure it will feel fabulous! I’ll be surrounded by dark cherry or mahogany wood (I didn’t get close enough to discern which one) bookshelves and the desk I get to use is massive, made out of the same wood. I’m struggling with the idea of making a sign for the door designating me with my name and the words “Patient Advocate” on it. But then, do I put it on the other side of the door, opposite Dr. Smith’s name plate or do I not do it at all? Hmmm, I think I’ll make one, use removable tape and put it up and see what he thinks. He seems to enjoy my creativity, almost to the point of amusement, so I’ll see how he reacts.

 In my down-time between patients, I’m going to be able to do some serious thinking and writing, finally getting the book down in words on paper. I know, I know, I keep saying I’m writing a book but you have no idea how difficult it is to relive all the stuff we went through a second time. I know I need to get it down so others can benefit, but damn, it’s  tuff! A lot of the feelings and emotions I thought would mellow with time are still very raw for me. And those that say writing is cathartic, that it brings you to another place??? I don’t know what they’re smokin, cause this has not been cathartic at all, more like really, really hard. At least for the first book… the second book isn’t so bad. I’m living it in real time and it seems to be easy enough to write about it. But then again, compared to what we endured in my first book compared to what I’ve endured in my second one… the second one is a cake walk! Not really, but comparatively speaking! 

On another note, I guess I’ve known for a long time that a person’s own life is of most importance to themselves. No lawyer, car mechanic, financial planner, or doctor is going to care more about my life than me. So I suppose that the dream I had last night with Andrea Bocelli falls into this category. It’s MY dream, because it’s most important to me. LOL

So I’m on stage at a conference talking about my experiences of the past year. I start talking about my different operations and healing and how I wasn’t able to sing, I share that the number one thing on my bucket list may never be achieved. I am mid-sentence when I hear his voice…. his unmistakably rich, baritone voice. I turn around and there he is in the flesh, Andrea Bocelli, singing his song Because We Believe acapella…. I start to cry and the audience stands up and goes wild with applauds…. Alex, the founder of the company comes over to speak to me standing next to Andrea and I am so taken with what is going on, I can hardly breath. Leaning into me, I think I hear Alex say something over the applause about a recording session with Andrea….I need a box of tissues by this point…. and I woke up…. I wanna go back to sleep so I can finish my dream!!!! I don’t dream in my sleep, haven’t since I was a teen. A few dreams over the years now and then that I can wake up and remember but, otherwise, nada… So it was surprising to me to have such a vivid dream. Even when I was recovering and formulating such an encounter, it was during my waking hours and not planted in my subconscious mind. I wonder what this means?

Well, I’ll tell you what it means. First I probably ate something I shouldn’t have before I went to bed, and secondly, it means that no one will ever hold your dreams as close to them as you do, not your children, not even your spouse. I tried to do that with my husband but that’s a whole ‘nother story. The only time I can ever remember doing something like that for another person is for my son. Brian’s dreams are my dreams for him…a mother’s love is so unconditional that no matter what his dream is, that’s what I want for him.

Look, I’m a realist, I know this is NEVER gonna happen. But I am holding this in my heart, knowing that I can go to my grave with hope. To give up hope is something that leaves a person just a shell of themselves, not whole. I haven’t come this far, gone through this much agony, suffered all the indignations I have, to give up hope. Not that others haven’t either, but, this, is my journey. And, when it’s my time, I want to end my journey with hope in my heart…..

It’s ok that others have their own dreams, that’s what makes them do what they do, so they can fulfill their own dreams. I’m not saying that everyone should drop what they’re doing and help me fulfill my dream. What I mean is, no one will work as hard for your dream as you do. So, even though I know I may never get to sing with Andrea Bocelli, I’ll work as hard as I can to be prepared if by some fluke of fate he and I are on the same stage together, I’ll be ready and know what’s happening. I’m sure I would be so tongue tied that I couldn’t sing with him even if I got the chance anyway… ‘com on…. it’s Andrea Bocelli… who wouldn’t be tongue tied?!! Like my mom said, “Your days are made better by your daydreams.” But, this mom, was a nighttime dream…. you never told me what to do about them! Geesh! Now what do I do? Oh, yeah, I keep trying to sing again!

I liken this experience to Dr. Smith. At some point in his life he had a dream, a vision to make his mark in a positive way in this world; to leave a legacy way beyond his years. In order to achieve that he had to make certain decisions about what was acceptable along his path and what he recognized would not be conducive to his goal. It amazes me that he and people like him can have such clarity and focus. I say this as I am now admitting I discovered a few years ago that I am ADHD.

They didn’t have a test for that when I was in school. My parents were told I was incorrigible, I had too much spunk. I needed more discipline. Through the years, without a diagnosis and drugs, I’ve been able to harness a lot of those thoughts that fire off constantly in my head. Only occasionally now do I sound off the wall, at least not as much as I used to. I was gifted with an artistic eye, and a zeal to be curious about many things. And sometimes that’s gotten me into real trouble. But one thing it has given me is the ability to observe; things that most people let pass by without so much as a glance. I like details. Those are the things that put the finishing touches on something, whether it’s a writing project, a party, or a friendship. It’s in the details that completes a task. Dr. Smith is, I imagine all about details. He’d have to be.

I often, throughout my life, have looked to people to find something positive I can gain from them and blend it into my world. Mike, the pharmacist, who was caring and pleasant no matter what day of the week or time of day I saw him. Niza, my friend, my professor of sociology, who gave me perspective about other cultures, Joe, my physics professor, who gave me a way to view science with a hungry curiosity for things unknown and not fear them. If you look at what Dr. Smith has accomplished, you see how focused he’s had to be. That, has benefited everyone around him. If there’s one thing I can learn from him as a person, it’s his focus and drive; relentless in the pursuit of his dream to help those with his talents to become a better human being. To be better than they ever thought they could be.

It’s that drive and focus I want to apply to my singing to make sure I’ve done everything in my power to once again sing. I once read a quote, “The heart that has lost the will to sing, is like a butterfly with a broken wing.” I was broken, but my wings are growing back. My heart really does want to sing again. And even if it’s only in church, what better place to sing. My daydreams, and for that matter even my night-dreams, may only stay just dreams but they’re MY dreams to hang on to, to give me hope. And isn’t that really what life is all about? HOPE. Hope that one day you can realize your dreams like Dr. Smith has, living his dream, or hope that if you work hard enough your dreams will come true too. I want to someday live my dream, but in the meantime, I’ll keep working hard and staying as focused as any ADHD person can… LOL Who knows, maybe one day I really will see Andrea Bocelli on the same stage as me! A GIRL CAN DREAM!!!

So for now, I’ll keep swimming, keep practicing, keep on doing my exercises and maybe, just MAYBE one day, I’ll be able to scratch a few things off my bucket list!

In the meantime, remember to take care of you and yours,

hugs,

Kathleen

Hi Everyone!

Today I’m gonna take a departure from my usual posts. There’s something weighing heavy on my heart. You see, I lost my dad 22 years ago today. It was a very bittersweet time for me. His only grandson, my son, was only 10 weeks old. I’m posting below an excerpt from my book not necessarily for anyone else, but me. I need to find a way to honor him. And since he didn’t make it to Father’s Day that year and it’s so close now, I thought this might be a way to do that.

           “We were in the living room as Dad fluctuated between smoking a pretend  

           cigarette and casting an imaginary fishing line. What a statement on who

           he was! He’d smoked Lucky Strike cigarettes since he was nine years old –

           he didn’t look so lucky to me – and his passion was fishing. He was happiest

          when he could combine the two. There he’d sit at the back of his 28 foot cutty

          cabin boat, with three or four poles cast over the transom at any given outing.

          Each one of the poles had four leads, so he theoretically, could catch a dozen or

          more fish at a time. With a cigarette in his mouth, he was damn near in heaven.

          Or that’s what he thought then.

          As we stood vigil, I recalled something dad would do at night when he put me

         to bed. “I don’t know if dad did this with you,” I asked my siblings, “but when he

         would put me to bed, I said my prayers with him. He always told me to say an

         extra Hail Mary for a happy death.” I looked in each of their eyes, but they

         didn’t respond to me. I kept going.

         “I didn’t understand it then. I didn’t know what a happy death was, but I guess

         I do now as an adult. it really does make sense.” Mom looked up at me with

         her sad, tiny, dark brown eyes. “Hail Mary, full of grace….. I started the prayer,

        mom saying it with me. The others just stood there while we prayed.

        I called Frank at the shop one last time, and they said he had already left, that he

        was on his way. It was 5:45 pm. Frank got to the house at 6, he was the last to

        arrive. He walked in, knelt down by the couch, and said, “I’m gonna miss you

       Capt’n.”

       I leaned over to dad and whispered in his ear, “Go to the light, Dad, go catch

       some fish. It’ll be okay, we’ll take care of Mom.”

       With Mom’s one hand holding Dad’s and her other on Dad’s chest, she felt his

       last heartbeat. Dad died at 6:10pm. He was only 69 years old. My ally against

       Frank was gone. I was numb. A flash of all the things he taught me came rushing

       back. How am I going to ever teach all those things to Brian? I was mad he left

       and didn’t get to enjoy the one who needed him the most, Brian, or was it me?

      I can hardly remember anything from the moment Dad died until the wake at

      the funeral home. I was overcome with sadness, I couldn’t even think.”

So for me…. Father’s Day since, has always been bittersweet. I miss him a lot…. I pray for his soul and the souls of all the fathers who are not with the ones they love this coming weekend. We will remember him tonight at dinner when our family is together.

For now, just remember to take care of you and yours,

hugs,

Kathleen

  Hi Everyone!

My sixteen year old nephew called the other night to see how his “Auntie Google” was. He lived with us for a while last year and we have a special bond because our birth days are the same! I really like him and enjoy his personality a lot so we covered many topics and were on the phone quite some time, like for over two hours! It was a fun visit, he always makes me laugh! 

When I got off the phone with him I had the most insightful ‘AH HA’ moment. I realized that conversation was just what the doctor ordered, but didn’t know it. You see, there are weeks that go by that if Brian and Ally are real busy, I don’t see much of them except for a hello or a goodbye. My husband is not one to converse much, so it may be that within a week I only have two or three conversations with another human being. I do talk a lot online, but that’s not using my voice. In order for me to tone the muscles “inside,” I need to USE my voice! It was a little sore after our conversation, but my throat muscles felt better. I still have the feeling that someone’s choking me but when I spoke with Dr. Smith he said that may take maybe even nine months to clear up. I trust him. 

So I have a new plan…. Instead of reading everything silently during the day, I’m going to read everything out loud! I know it’s going to drive everyone in the house crazy but I’ve got to think of me and my healing. Last night for the first time I used my Ipod to listen to some music… it was glorious! And of course, like I thought would happen I burst into song…..well I wouldn’t exactly call it BURSTING into song….I’d call it more like seeing what notes I could hit…. as it turns out it was raspy, and I had little control of the muscles, but the notes, the ones I hit, were on pitch! My heart is happy. It’s just a beginning, but it’s a good one. I sang along with about three songs and decided to rest. The voices in my head, Dr. Smith’s, Debbie, my choir director, and Amanda my PT doctor, all had their say last night! I don’t want to overdo it and ruin everything. But I gotta tell you, my throat wasn’t sore, nor did it feel like I was doing something wrong to my voice. I did discover that there’s a muscle that comes down from the upper part of the back of your throat that can block off your airway or breathing. That seemed to give me some trouble. I don’t know how I’m going to exercise that muscle and it may well be that it’ll have to just “get there” on it’s own. I don’t know. Like Dr. Smith said, “Time will tell.” 

I’ll be singing more each day, I’m going to talk with my choir director, Debbie on Sunday and see what she thinks. I need to get back to singing, Christmas Mass rehearsals start in a few (four) short months. Do you know how quickly that’s gonna go by?! Four months isn’t very long to get all my muscle tone back and have vocal control…. I’ve definitely got my work cut out for me! But I’m ready for the challenge! I know in my heart this is one thing I don’t want to let go. My heart fills with such happiness when I sing. I want that feeling back, I crave it. I never really knew how much I missed it until it wasn’t mine anymore. My house was always filled with the sound of music, literally. I want that back so much! I’m willing to go the distance, to really make it happen… MY happiness is found in a place from within, not by someone else or things. SINGING MAKES ME HAPPY! Don’t get me wrong, other things do to, but, outside of Brian, singing makes me the most happy. I know my days of every thinking I could perform publicly are over, people don’t start singing careers as old as I am, but if Doris Day can release an album of new songs at 87 later this year….. DAMNIT, then I can sing for my own happiness! 

I need to start my day, much more to share with you later, like about me going back to Ohio and what I’m doing to prepare!

 In the meantime, remember to take care of you and yours,

Hugs,

Kathleen

  Hi Everyone!

Sorry I didn’t post this yesterday like I promised but I got a little sidetracked so here it is a day late…. I’ll try not to do this again!

Today is a VERY GOOD DAY! This is the day I’ve been waiting for for the last 11 years. I’ve been medically cleared to live again, no restraints, no conditions, no more surgeries! It’s the first official day of the rest of my life! It’s back in the pool for me tomorrow morning for sure!

Yesterday Brian drove me to my hip surgeon, Dr. Michael Crovetti’s office. As I walked into my exam room, I didn’t notice him watching me walk from another exam room. I was still with my walker but scooting at quite a clip. When he came into the room he asked me why I was still using the dang thing! I told him it was because I made him a promise to do everything he told me to do. He took a look at my incision, told me to take the rest of the steri-strips off and I was cleared to do anything I wanted. There’s only two moves I’m restricted from doing at this point, and it has to do with bending my leg backwards, as if I’m going to kick myself in the butt with my heel. I’ll be able to cross my legs, just not in a lady-like fashion either. It’s been so long since I’ve crossed my legs like that anyway, it really doesn’t matter. He said I’ve done so well so soon he didn’t need to see me in three months but rather would see me in a year! WOW!

He did address my concerns about the knee I fell on. His gal took x-rays of it and he said it’s just the healing from the fall, it would take some time but there was no bone spurs or damage otherwise. 

This morning I was full of anticipation. I was going to see Dr. Smith. I was excited to hear what he had to say. With x-rays in hand, I was lead into an exam room. They were really swamped. I figured to save time, I’d put my x-rays up on the viewer for him. He kinda chuckled when he saw what I did. He had a very tall gentleman with him whom he introduced as Joe. He had a nice handshake, and I’ve never met a not nice person named Joe. My dad’s name was Joe. Dr. Smith’s PA’s name is Joe, and they were both nice people! LOL 

As Dr. Smith looked at my x-rays, he was talking about what he did to correct my back. I wanted to blurt out to Joe, pointing and saying, “do you see this?” Running my finger along, “There’s no metal cage, no cumbersome rods, just 30 small titanium pins holding my spine in place allowing it to fuse together. This gives me the ablility to move about almost like a normal person without the condition I had!”

 I’ve been given the mobility to do just about anything I want… which has come with a real hard lesson to correct my “I can’t do that” attitude. I’ve begun trying many things, among them getting dance lessons. I shared that with Dr. Smith and he chuckled as he asked, “What kind of dancing?” I told him I really didn’t know yet. I’ll have to think about it. I have until August to redeem the coupons I got for 4 dance lessons from Groupon. I’m gonna give myself another month to heal and get more steady on my feet, and then talk to the instructor about what they have to offer. I don’t know how much fun it’ll be because I’ll need someone to dance with, but I know I want to learn how to dance. For so many years I stood on the sidelines and watched as others danced. I was in so much pain, it was ok to just watch. NOT ANY MORE! If someone comes up to me at the next Cheetah Ball (if I get asked back) and asks me to dance, I’ll be able to dance with confidence! AND NO PAIN!!! Then, I can scratch that one off my bucket list!

 Dr. Smith and I had a heart to heart about my concerns with the feeling in my neck. You know, the one I’ve been complaining about the lump in my throat, ad nauseum! He said it may be scar tissue and as those muscles start to wake up and relax, they’ll probably give way to not having that feeling so much. He said it could maybe take as long as 9 months or so…. UUUUGH!! I’ve been doing my exercises and stretches Amanda has given me so it calms the feeling that someone is choking me. I’m eager to get back to doing my warmups and vocals, which I can now do. I won’t be able to sing anything good yet but it’s a start. Dr. Smith agreed I need to get back to singing! I’m taking this very carefully so as not to hurt those muscles or vocal cords in any way.

 All I know is I can now get back in the pool, start singing again, and start living! It’s AMAZING to be me right now! LOL I wouldn’t wish what I’ve had to endure on anyone….well, maybe there’s ONE person I would, but I’m at the end result of a full year of ups and downs and a lot of doubt. I’m here to tell you that at NO time did I ever think I did the wrong thing. Even knowing what I know now, I would STILL go through it all again. THE REWARD OF NO PAIN HAS BEEN WORTH THE JOURNEY!

 My mind is clear from all the while noise of pain, there are no more medical appliances for me to use, no stimulators, no walkers, no learning how to walk AGAIN! I’m looking forward to my dance lessons and writing my book, and helping others as they start their journey on the road to wellness. I’m forever changed by this past year. A long one for sure, but, productive to be sure. I’ve grown so much as a person, in my idealism, in my expectations of the world and others. I’m a new, improved model with a few more miles left on this new body. And, I aim to travel those miles. THIS, just very well may be my legacy. I’m not sure yet.

 I’ll be writing more in the next few days. I have much to share. But for now, remember to take care of you and yours,

 hugs,

Kathleen

Hi Everyone!

First off an update about my little feathered friend…. He’s gone, the cups of water are gone and so is the food I left… I’m not sure if he got the chance to fly off, or what, but he’s not there anymore. I have to believe that he got strong enough from the food that he was able to fly… just sayin….

WELL! Last night I attended a meeting of the Henderson Wrtiter’s Group at Saxby’s coffee house! I really enjoyed the time away from my living room and bedroom walls. It was there I got to hear a legend, Mary Wilson, of the former Supremes vocal group popular in the 60’s and 70’s. She’s very engaging and a wonderful speaker. She shared how Flo, Diana Ross, and she came up through the ranks and some of the trials they had along the way.

This was in sync with the thread of the story of my friend, Donald Riggio’s book just released, SEVEN INCH VINYL. His book tells of the hardships and some of the experiences of what it was like to “come up through the ranks” in rock n roll as it was taking a foothold in the American way of life. The novel is a conglomeration of the many stories he heard from some of the DooWop era performers he interviewed. It’s a fun read, entertaining and leaves you wanting for more… A shameful plug here is for you to get a copy by going to Amazon.com or to www.doowopinthedesert.comIf you click through the website doowopinthedesert, you will find a place to receive a signed copy of Donald’s book. He is now working on his second book, BEYOND VINYL. This book he promises, will cover music from the seventies to present… I can hardly wait to read it!

A little bit of background about Donald. He grew up in the heart of the projects in New York. Two streets down was a very famous group just getting started and he himself was part of a group back then. He’s spent his whole life promoting shows or attending them unable to be satiated by his thurst for more quality songs from that time. He testified on Capital Hill for a bill before legislation about the truth in performers being able to claim they are the “Supremes” or the “Drifters” or the “Platters.” The bill clearly states that at least one of the original performing artists of that namesake’s group MUST be a performer or it has to be advertised as a “tribute” group.  Many of the original performers are left penniless because of several “rip-off” groups performing under their names.

I very much enjoyed Mary’s visit, as she explained not only how they got started but what she’s been doing since. And she’s been doing PLENTY! I didn’t know that General Colin Powell appointed her Ambassador for the State Department! She was Ambassador for a few years traveling extensively. Now she travels doing shows of her own all over the world! Not bad for a 14 year old black girl who just wanted to sing because she loved how she felt when she did! I know that feeling!

I go today to get my x-rays for Dr. Smith’s appointment on Thursday. I’m interested to hear what he’s got to say about my healing in general, my neck in particular. I can still feel the lump in my throat and as my muscles are finally “waking up” from being cut through and numb all these months. I talked to Amanda at PT and she told me how to eliminate some of the “odd” feeling I’m getting with some stretches when the feelings come.  I JUST LOVE HER TO PIECES… SHE’S BEEN A GODSEND FOR ME! 

I still have some issues about the stitches at my neck and the muscles in my back between my shoulder blades… but Amanda has been addressing each one of those. I also, over the weekend, tried to give myself a pedicure…. NOT A GOOD MOVE!  It now feels like my incision at my hip is ripping open from the inside! VERY painful indeed! Amanda scolded me for trying to do that and told me what she thought was going on and what I needed to do to correct what I did to myself and what NOT  to do for the next six months!!! If it weren’t for Amanda, I don’t think I’d be as far along as I am…

A lot of people disregard pysical therapy after surgery but what they’re doing is selling themselves short. The healing process takes a lot longer than just the 6 weeks the doctor tells you to get things back in order! My general practitioner, Dr. Roland Sparling anticiaptes my healing for my hip back to normalcy to take upwards to a year and so warned me to expect that…. So I’m thinking by next year this time I will be as close to done with ALL the healing that I can do by then! WOW! I guess I didn’t expect the process to take THIS long but, good things come to those who have the patience to wait!  

In the meantime, I go on Wednesday to Dr. Crovetti, the amazing surgeon who did my total hip replacement…It’s my one month check-up and that’s when I find out if I get my driving privileges back! Then Thursday is Dr. Smith. It’s my one year review for my lower back surgery and my three month for my neck… HARD TO BELIVE I’ve done all that in less than a year and I’m feeling the way I am! WHAT a difference a year makes!

I have much to look forward to these days… getting out and doing some gardening, learning how to dance, making sure I get my books done, focusing on my health and well-being long-term in a way I’ve never done before, taking a little more time for me and doing the things I want to do, and doing a lot more card designing! When I’m in my art room, I loose all track of time! It’s been a wonderful escape! But I still like the places I go in my mind, singing with Andrea Bocelli, or being on an island writing.

In a few short weeks I’ll be able to start warmups and scales for singing again! I can hardly wait! I haven’t listened to music for a long time so as not to make it a temptation for me… but I’m willing to get back in that game already!

I’ll post more in a few days when I get the results from all my doctor visits, but in the meantime, remember to take care of you and yours,

hugs,

Kathleen

Hi Everyone!

Just a quick update about my little birdy friend. After PT I had Brian drop me off at Michael’s again and I walked over to Barnes and Nobles to see my buddy. HE WAS UP WALKING AROUND! The food I gave him in his little “stash” corner was all gone but a few crumbs! He was chased by some toddler and even flapped his wings, which I haven’t seen him do till today. Who knows one day soon if I keep feeding him he’ll be healed enough and be able to fly again! That would be VERY cool!

So, as I started my trek home, I left him another bundle of goodies. I turned and looked back to see him headed in the direction of the water others had placed for him. I’ll check on him tomorrow.

That sure is a long walk for me yet. A full half mile there and back. I’m having some issues with some weak muscles in my legs and my right knee, the one I fell on originally that started this whole domino effect and the same one I’ve reinjured twice after. I can hardly wait to go to Dr. Crovetti. It feels like I’m pushing my legs out to the side when I step, almost like ice skating. It’s really wierd. Maybe this is what I’m supposed to be feeling but I don’t really think so. I am soooo tired of using this stupid walker now. My hands have blisters on the palms from grabbing on too tight.

The lump is still in my throat, like someone is choking me but not enough to stop me from breathing. Amanda increased and changed up some of my exercises today as well.I’ve had a full day!

 I’m tired. It’s now time to rest.

just remember no matter what else you do…take care of you and yours.

Hugs,

Kathleen

Hi Everyone!

Today, to get away, I went on an adventure! That’s what I used to tell Brian so he’d get excited about going to places like the grocery store. I couldn’t afford to take him to real adventure places a lot so we’d maybe go to Border’s for a while then get groceries… it’s amazing the kid doesn’t hate me! LOL  Sorry for the digression!

ANYWAY! I went for a walk to Michael’s craft store. The day was beautiful. Mostly sunny, a nice breeze and 83 degrees was my appeal. Michael’s is probably a quarter mile away from home and my excuse was to get some red feathers for a project I’m working on. Along the way is a Barns and Noble bookstore with a Starbucks attached. They have a good-sized patio in front with tables and chairs… there’s where I spied my new little friend.

Tucked away as close to the corner by the trash can as he could get was my buddy, a pigeon who couldn’t fly. I’d seen him there last week but thought little about him as I walked. When I saw him today, he still looked scared and somehow thinner. Maybe I was just imagining that but he tugged at my heart. I trekked on, past Michael’s. I had a plan…

PetSmart was two doors down from Michael’s and although I saw some crackers crushed on the ground by the little guy, I had it in mind that he should be eating some of his own kind of food. PetSmart had just the ticket. For $2.75 I bought a bar of suet imbibed with peanut butter and some other good stuff for birds. I also was able to get a couple of bars of wild birdseed that was stuck together with some honey.

After a quick purchase of the red feathers I needed, I was off to feed my buddy. I’m not sure if I am allowed to do what I did, so I discretely placed a chunk of each of the food treats in an inconspicuous corner and tossed a few morsels out into the walkway a bit. He carefully came nearer to the food, munching just one, then two, then as many as his little mouth could fit. Some of the pieces were too hard and I think his beak was to weak to crack the shells of the seeds. He left those pieces after many failed attempts. Two “healthy” pigeons swooped in for those treats and my little buddy just looked on chirping at them to stop eating his food. I scared the two thieves up into the rafters and walked with my noisy walker alongside my buddy to guide him to the “hidden” stash I put down for him. I did that a couple of times so he’d get the gist that food was just for him.

When I left, he was going toward the “private” stash and the other two were busy watching out for humans in the rafters! LOL

I hadn’t really planned to make that long of a walk each day, but I guess if I don’t give him the “good”  stuff, no one else will. People have been leaving water in cups for him. I’ll share my water with him too if I see he needs it. Maybe someday soon he’ll be strong enough to fly…I hope so. I’ll check on him tomorrow!

in the meantime, remember to take care of you and yours,

hugs,

Kathleen

Hi Everyone!

OK, this isn’t even funny any more!!! I’ve been writing about all my surgeries but I haven’t been sharing with you all the background “stuff” that’s been going on as well! It’s amazing I’m still sane!

Everyone knows about all my surgeries ad nauseum… HOWEVER, the weekend I got home from my hip replacement, Brian and his girlfriend, Ally were in a rear-end collision. They were at a stop and someone hit them from behind at like 60 mph. They were both diagnosed with whiplash and who knows what else. They’ve been staying real close to home doctoring as needed with ice packs and pills. (Yes, I’ve been overseeing the pills part).

About a week ago, Greg went to the doctor for a sore hand. He was diagnosed with severe carpal tunnel and is to have surgery on it first thing in the morning! The Drs office just called to say they moved his surgery up to 10am instead of 3pm…that means we have to be at the hospital at like 8am…

Brian had plans for a cookout at his buddy’s place which that kinda puts a kibosh on. Their friends who’ve gone away to school are all home now and they all wanted to get together…. that usually last all night, if you know what I mean. His one friend has a pool and his parents are gone for a month… what a combination! Aaaah to be young again! LOL

So, I guess I get to put my mommy face back on, and go into hyper-mode to keep the household running. It won’t be anything the way it’s supposed to because I’m still not up to snuff, but, SOMEBODY’S GOTTA DO IT! I guess that’s me.

I still can’t drive yet, and my ortho doc, Dr. Crovetti, pushed back my appointment date by a week or I would’ve been able to drive I think by Thursday! Oh the twists and turns of life! I go to see Dr. Crovetti next Wednesday and Dr. Smith on Thursday…. you know that “get-away” place I use to transport myself to another dimension to cope with things???? Well I need to take up a 6 months residency there! Without all the tugs on my apron… ugh! I hope they both give me the ok to start back to swim… that’s my one get away to just do what I like. Although the last time I went swimming the pool was closed so I took that time to shop and ended up laying away some summer clothes… you know, girly styles…. ones that FIT!!! So many of my clothes are so big on me I just can’t wear em anymore… they look stupid on me.

Poor Brian’s gonna get stuck taking all the gimpers to all their appointments for about a week! LOL I’m gonna have Brian care for Greg, cause he’s not a very good patient at all. If ever there was a trying time…… this is one of em….. just sayin……tomorrow’s gonna be a really long day!

Oh, and about my finger, I guess I didn’t break the bone but it’s one nasty cut right at the nail-bed and my finger is still swollen so I’m thinking it wasn’t all good what I did! LOL But, I gotta say, it coulda been worse!

I’ve got so much more rehab to get done… I need to get rid of this lump in my throat so I can start singing and get my voice back, I need to loosen the tight shoulder muscles still lingering from my neck surgery and I need to learn how to walk completely without a limp and be able to cross my leg so I can put my shoes on myself! You know, just everyday tasks that right now seem as tall as Kilimanjaro! GEESH!

Well, at least I’ve got plans… they may have been waylayed some, but I’ll get back to em soon. I’LL SEE TO THAT!

So…. I guess I better go make an early supper so he can starve after midnight! LOL I need to set the house up for yet another recovery! The whole world stops when men are sick… don’tcha know!!! LOL

Just remember to take care of you and yours,

hugs,

Kathleen