Monday, October 5, 2015

Oh MY, it's been a LONG time!!!

It's been a long time since I wrote a blog post, and a lot has happened.  Most of it was not blog worthy, though.  Let's see, a quick update (I now realize I will have to make a bunch of blog posts to catch family up on everything, but will just do the update on this one):  December 2014 was my last blog post.  Since then, I've had a  bad fall (I tangled with a puppy gate in the dark and the puppy gate won) and dislocated and chipped a notch out of my shoulder socket.  That kept me sidelined from a lot of stuff for a couple months.  I was unable to do polymer clay work at all and nothing else really interested me.  Then last summer on vacation, I was unable a step at a swimming pool on vacation and caused some major Achilles Tendon problems and couldn't walk well.
Finally, April 2015, I had surgery on my Achilles Tendon.  They disconnected the tendon at the heel, removed a heel spur and Haglund's deformity (a bump on my heel bone) and then stripped all the scar tissue off the tendon and reattached the tendon with anchors drilled into the "new" heel bone.  It was very painful, not something I'd wish on anybody.  I still have a lot of trouble and pain with it.  Anyway, after about 5 months I can walk, slowly and not very far, but without a cart or anything.  Unfortunately, the past year plus the limping and gimping about have really thrown my sciatica and lower back problems into a tizzy.  So for over a year now I have been unable to do much of anything.  I was hurting all the time and felt extremely useless and worthless and became very depressed.  At first, I lost interest in almost anything except for reading.

First item I crocheted, no pattern, just a picture I liked and wanted to make.
Then last summer (before I hurt my ankle/heel), due to health problems of our Daughter of the heart, we took Nick and Marti's girls with us on our summer trip to see Mr. C's Dad and step Mom in Albuquerque.  Both girls had started to learn to crochet (which is one craft I didn't do at all) and wanted to learn more on our trip.  So thanks to my generous sister, who provided the initial information and materials and tools, I learned to crochet.  I've tried in the past and could never seem to "get it", but this time around, I not only "got it" but really got INTO it.  Fortunately, it was also something I could do while I was laid up with my achilles tendon problems and surgery and recovery. I'll probably write a separate blog post about my crocheting adventures.

In the meantime, I slowly healed but couldn't get my polymer clay muse back again.  We did get a new car, a Ford Flex when we finally couldn't manage without air conditioning in the Subaru.   The "new car smell" (whether natural or something added by the dealer, which we suspect, triggered a major allergy/asthma attack and started my "fall allergy" issues early.
 I got  (autumn) extremely sick again during harvest time, with my usual allergy/asthma/copd/lost voice issues and then followed that by Influenza Type A and between the two I felt like I was going to die and didn't really care if I did.  Slowly, VERY slowly I recovered from all that by the end of February. . .

Mr. C was making arrangements for our 2015 vacations.  This year we decided to try getting me out of Illinois during Autumn harvest season and see if I could avoid the allergy/asthma/copd/lost voice extreme coughing etc. problems.  During my "laid up time" I kind of lost interest in the reef aquarium and it was outgrowing its space.  Due to the long trip we were planning we decided to get rid of the reef tank and sold them to a guy from Rantoul and found we didn't miss it at all.  It was a lot of work.
So we used a short 4 day weekend for a trip to Nashville to see Alan Jackson and Jeff Foxworthy.  We stayed at a "resort" on a lake that we'd never stay at again.  The sites were so narrow and extremely hard to back into, as well as having curbs on each side of the drive, making it next to impossible to get backed into.  After about a half hour of trying it ourselves, some very nice neighbors (one was a trucker) came down to help us.  Even the trucker had trouble getting it into the site.  We tore off one of our back mud flaps on one of the curbs as well as part of our rear fender on the truck.  We were not happy and Mr. C said if he ever mentions Nashville again to remind him it is just a place to drive through.

Then in April I had the achilles tendon surgery and was totally laid up (no weight bearing at all for a couple months).  I sat a LOT and crocheted a LOL.  I was unable to do anything else and couldn't even get out of my house for a couple months (there are stairs at both the front and back door and stairs are a real bug a boo for someone with no weight bearing and due to the notch out of my shoulder socket I couldn't use crutches. . . ).  

We used a 4 day weekend for a trip to Wisconsin to see Nick and family.  Nick and family came down to see us a couple weekends during the spring and summer.  We thought Becky and Family would be home in July, and planned to keep the kids for about 10 days, but that fell through.  We spent 5 days in Branson enjoying our favorite show, Keith Allynn as the Diamond Image (a Neil Diamond tribute show) and Keith Allynn's wife Diana Lynn in a tribute show to the Carpenters.  We also saw Raye Collins and Billy Dean.

I was still pretty down although we enjoyed all those things.  I'm so frustrated with not being able to hike, not being able to walk around to see the sights.  I keep telling myself I should be grateful, it could be worse, I could be forever unable to walk.  I know eventually it will get better (at least I hope. . . )  Mr. C, trying to lift my spirits planned our fall trip to include the ocean (well, the Gulf of Mexico).  We would go to Dellanera RV Park in Galveston for 3 weeks and then return to IL for his training week (he can't miss training and can't be gone more than 30 days at a time due to security clearance).  So one week back in IL (during harvest which kind of negates the "test" to see if being out of IL during harvest will solve my respiratory problems).  Then go to Albuquerque to see Dad and Janet, then to Shreveport, Louisiana to see Becky and family, finishing off with 2 weeks at Gulf Shores, AL.  One of Mr. C's co-workers said, since you're going to be southwest and return southwest, why not just leave your trailer parked somewhere and just bring the truck back for your training week.  It would save wear and tear and fuel costs.  We thought about that, but couldn't figure out where to leave it.  Then thought, if we could figure out where to leave it, why not leave me with it to keep me out of IL. BUT, we didn't want me stranded someplace unfamiliar. . . then we thought, we're going to see Becky and family in Shreveport, why not just leave me at the Shreveport KOA.  Becky and family and I would enjoy the time together and I wouldn't be totally stranded.  So that's what we're doing and brings us up to date.

That's enough for now, but I have to post today's quick post, so I'll do it next.  Smiles