Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Christmas 2010

In my little corner of the world it is as if we had the blessed miracle with all the wonder and happiness of the savior being born. I am exaggerating, of course, but did have a very good Christmas.

I've been impressed before that my children can show a maturity that gives me reason to admire their thoughts and ideas, but this day they didn't put themselves first but instead looked to the needs of others.

Justin, Jacob and Chelsea helped cook Christmas dinner. They didn't get distracted by movies or anything else going on, but purely helped. Jacob iced some cookies, Chelsea cooked the mashed potatoes, and asparagus, Justin put things in the oven, got them out and was there for everything I needed.

I love my children through good and bad. I like it when it's good.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

8 weeks after knee replacement surgery

It's time to get up and go to an activity I said that I would attend. It's hard. I still feel sick from the surgery. I would never go anywhere in this condition before, but after 8 weeks of feeling bad you know you have to get on with life.

My main problem (and there are many small ones) is that the leg is heavy, tight, hard to bend or straighten, hard to walk on. This makes it difficult to distract myself from thinking about the leg.

I have been successful keeping myself busy. I get a chair to do housework such as clothes, dishes, cooking... I have been scrapbooking, making Christmas presents, writing letters, reading, doing Sudoku... but my spirits wain. Going to church has helped, and spending small amounts of time at the school has helped. Keeping busy has got to be the best way to get out of any restrictive situation-whether surgery, depression, loss of job, etc...

My family stay positive. I have an excellent support system. I think I need to spend some time not thinking about how difficult life has become.

I've heard Dr. Phil say that "it could be worse." In the position I'm in now, that isn't the least bit helpful. Maybe at some point in my life the words could have been encouraging. Things can always get worse. Right now I just want to start getting better. The only solution seems to be keeping my mind busy with activity.

Eight weeks after knee replacement surgery, staying busy and trying to remain positive.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Banana Pumpkin Muffins

My son Jacob has allergies toward beef and chicken. By 3rd grade he had decided as a personal decision he would become a vegetarian. He's now in 9th grade and is even more passionate about his decisions with food, cleaning products, etc...that involve the (harmful) use of animals. My personal opinion is that he loves and cares strongly for the well being of animals which has driven first his decision to be a vegetarian and now a vegan.

Several weeks ago a friend brought by a recipe for Jacob for vegan choc. pudding. It was very good! My husband Paul made Jacob Vegan Chocolate Chip cookies and then my mom made him blueberry muffins and apple muffins.

When he went Vegan I thought his ability to eat baked goods were gone. There are very few breads he would eat, he doesn't eat cheese, eggs, milk, etc... But not to be outdone by the loving people around me that are helping Jacob with Vegan recipes, I too came up with one after several tries. I really like this one. I used a banana in place of 2 eggs and soy milk instead of regular milk.

Banana Pumpkin Muffins

Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes

2 c. flour
1 T. baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ginger
1/3 c. margarin
1 c. sugar
1 medium banana
1 c. mashed, cooked, or canned pumpkin puree (not pie filling)
3/4 c. soy milk

Scoop 1/4 c. mixture into muffin tins.

I have more coming soon.

Friday, December 3, 2010


I entered the knee replacement surgery knowing it would be difficult and painful but with the heart that wanted to be mobile so that I could keep up with my family. I have had surprises. I've been much more emotional than I thought I would be and have cried more in the last 7 weeks than in the last 7 years.

When I woke up from surgery, I was in much, much less pain than I thought I would be. I didn't realize how long it would take my leg to wake up. I had very little ability to move my leg and to this day still need to pick it up and move it at times.

In the hospital and afterward, Paul, the kids, friends, family, students, parents, etc... have shown me how much I am loved. From Scott and Mom driving to San Antonio, cards made from the CHS elementary student body, well wishes from friends, and food from friends, I have been overwhelmed. I feel God is showing me that I have love in my life that I have never fathomed.

In the 2nd and 3rd week I felt more swelling and more nerve pain. I was needing to take pain medication every 4 hours. As the weeks have continued it has turned into more of an annoyance that my knee doesn't bend or straighten like it did before surgery. I am very restricted in my movement. My knee is still healing in the inside. I still need pain reliever, but not as much as before.

The worst was when I was told first by the physical therapist and then by the doctor that I would never have full mobility. Every time I thought those words for 2 weeks, I cried. I wanted to work harder at physical therapy and I prayed diligently that I would have the mobility that I went to surgery to obtain.

From the day of surgery I have done everything I have been told. If I was told to do an exercise twice a day, I would do it 4 times. Somehow I was wronged by not getting the results I felt I deserved. I want to stop the resentment, continue to work and get as much mobility as possible.

It has only been 7 weeks. At times I have no discomfort. I have made progress. I am so glad that I can now alternate legs going up and down stairs, I am proud that I can lift my leg high enough to go over the side of the bathtub and can take a bath instead of sitting in a chair in the shower, I am so glad I can bend my leg enough to comfortably get in the car.

My hope for the future is to be able to straighten my leg enough so that I don't always put the weight on my arthritic knee. I want to get through the pain and increase the length that I can walk comfortably so that I do not restrict the plans of my family, because of my inability to walk.

I pray I can bend my knee more so that I can cross my legs, put on my socks and shoes, and do the things I need to do to be a young, strong 45 year old woman.