Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Back in the saddle…



… and out of the wheelchair! It’s been a while since I sent an update.  I relinquished the wheelchair and crutches in September, and walked a 5k in Walla Walla in October! YAY! We also walked a 5k this past weekend and we had our best elapsed time ever -- 59 minutes and 14 seconds.  Under an hour! That bested our previous best time by about 5 minutes.  We’re going to do one more 5k in December, and then we’ll see what’s in store for next year. I don’t know that I’ll be able to match 59:14, but walking without pain is its own reward. ;-)

Every once in a while my knee gets unhappy, but for the most part it’s doing really well. I still get a twinge going up stairs now and then, but not at the spot where I had the stress fracture. My physical therapist said that the muscles around my knee were a little tight and atrophied, and that might be causing the problem. He taught me how to not walk like a duck (I’m still working on that one) and I’m walking about 3 times a week for about 40 minutes to keep walking so I don’t re-injure myself when I go to walk 3 miles.  

I hope this finds you all well - have a wonderful holiday season!!
Blessings,
Kristin

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Sidelined!




After walking two 5k walks, I found out via an MRI that I have a stress fracture in my right knee. This means no weight on my right leg for 6 weeks. Minimal weight is more like reality. What am I supposed to do, leap into the shower on one foot????

So I have a wheelchair to get around work (and other places) and crutches to get around home (stairs). It’s been hard, I’ve been cranky, but I’m working on being thankful for the health I do have and that I haven’t been told I need surgery. People at work have been really great at helping out and through that I’m accruing a debt I can’t repay. I’m humbled by the kindness I am shown by friends and strangers and the words “thank you” just don’t seem to be enough.

In the midst of my temporary inconvenience, we took a trip to Minnesota for Bill’s parents’ 65th wedding anniversary party. It was a wonderful time with family and friends, and they enjoyed it so much (as did all of us). We stayed a few extra days and took in a baseball game (my first time at Target Field - check another stadium off the list) and visited with the family. I am so blessed to have married into such a wonderful family.

You’d think with all the “down time” I have I would have been knitting up a storm, but that hasn’t been the case. I’ve been playing on my iPad more than anything. I’ve always been the sedentary sort, but knowing how much work it is to go out to the kitchen and get something on not being able to carry it back to the living room anyway is pretty demoralizing.  Crutches are an amazing amount of work even when I don’t keep my bad leg completely off the ground, and sorry, all, but my “big girl panties” are in the wash. So I sit. A lot. But the good news is that I can’t snack because I have a hard time carrying anything anywhere. I’d need a tote bag to carry the cheese puffs to the table.  More work than it’s worth.

I go to the specialist on September 6th and to the doctor who is treating me on the 23rd. In that space of time we’re going to the Washington State Fair (complete with a concert that night). That will be interesting.  Use the wheelchair during the day and get the crutches out to hit the nosebleed seats in the evening. Sure, the one time I go cheap and don’t get ground level seating….  ;-)

Through all this I’ve found most people very supportive and helpful. I have a lot to be thankful for. Including the fact that I’m lazy by nature. I have friends that would be nuts after three days. At least I still have what there ever was of my sanity. ;-)  

More news in September or so!

Blessings,
Kristin

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Walking and other things



Hi, All!!

A lot has happened since my last update, but it can all be summed up pretty succinctly. But that’s just not my style.  ;-)

I have started walking and training to walk 5ks. Why? I have no idea. Seemed like a good idea at the time. I completed my first official 5k walk on July 20, bettering my time of the practice 5k in my neighborhood by 2 minutes. I have another walk this Saturday, and then a few more I’ve signed up for and a couple others that I plan to sign up for.  This hasn’t been a walk in the park, however. I thought my asthma would be the worst thing I had to deal with, but I’ve been getting inflammation in my left foot. Long story short, I was prescribed antibiotics and a special shoe. Now I still have swelling (but not as much pain, thankfully) and now my right knee hurts, probably because I don’t have any shoes the same height as the medical shoe, so I’ve been compensating. I hope this stuff goes away soon. It’s getting old and interfering with my training plan. Enough whining. ;-) Bill has been a great help and encouragement to me, walking with me and telling me I can get up those stupid hills in our neighborhood even though I don’t think I can. I need about 300 yards for my asthma to recover from a hill, and I don’t always get that in my neighborhood. The second time I went up one of the hills and had to stop, I decided that hill had won and I started going around the other direction. Unfortunately, there’s a hill that’s almost as steep going the other direction. I haven’t had to stop on that one, though, so I guess I made the right decision.

More on my first 5k completion - It was the Refuse to Abuse 5k to benefit the Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence, and it took place at Safeco Field (where the Seattle Mariners play). The route took us around the inside and outside of the stadium, plus a couple laps in the parking garage.  There were ramps in lieu of stairs, and I only had trouble with the first ramp and then the adrenaline kicked in.  There was also a marching band playing at the top of the parking garage, so that had me pumped, too. We didn’t finish last (that was my fear) and as I said, I bested my time from my practice 5k in the neighborhood. There’s a lot to be said for walking on even pavement.  Everyone got a finishers medal, so I have a great souvenir. Plus a few pictures on my phone and a neon green shirt that almost fits. ;-) This weekend Bill and I are walking a 5k for the Boeing Employees’ Community Fund.  It’s our first morning walk, and we have to leave home at 6:30am. Ugh. My legs don’t wake up until 10am. Should be interesting.

In other news, my stepfather David has gone through his six post-surgery bladder cancer treatments. Now we wait and he gets scoped on a regular basis to keep an eye out for cancer coming back. He’s in good health and spirits. Thanks for your thoughts and prayers.

Milla continues to do well. We did a radioactive iodine treatment about a month ago for her hyperthyroidism and her blood work came back last week within the normal range. She’s as fluffy and feisty as ever - you’d never know all she’s been through this year.  

I guess that’s about all the news for now. Thanks for reading, and “talk” to you soon!

Blessings,
Kristin

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Bringing you up to date....



Hi, all!!!

Just a note to bring things up to date. Since my last post, my stepfather (David) had an operation to remove a tumor from his bladder, and has another surgery and treatment scheduled on May 9th. More news as it becomes available.

We also found out this week that Bill’s mother (Arlene) has a lump on her neck that is suspect, and though she doesn’t give us great detail, the words “oncologist” and “chemo” have been used in her emails.

Prayers are appreciated for both David and Arlene and the families.

 In more upbeat news, it’s May, and spring has come to Seattle (at least for a week). It’s too bright out for me, but the other people seem to be enjoying it. ;-)  

I have a scrapbook crop on Saturday where I’ll be working on scrapbooking our wedding photos (5 and a half years later).  In my spare time, I’m knitting a sweater, testing a pattern for a gal on Ravelry. I’m about 20-25% of the way through it and have until the third week of May to get it done. Wish me luck! That also means all of my other projects are on hold… one of these days I’ll have another pair of matching socks. Right now I have three single socks waiting for mates. I actually have four, but I don’t like that sock so I don’t think I’ll be making another one. I also want to make a pair of Mariners’ colors socks for the July 25th Stitch and Pitch game.  Baseball and yarn! YAY!

I guess that’s about the news for now. Thanks in advance for your thoughts and prayers.

Blessings,
Kristin

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Quick Update - Good News!



Hi, all!!
I just wanted to let you all know that we have much to be thankful for. besides God's daily blessings:

We have two new beautiful grandnieces born recently in Minnesota, Morgan and Alyssa. Both are first babies, so prayers as the families get into their rhythm would likely be appreciated. 

Also, I am thrilled to report that after a surgery and a drug reaction and a few days where we thought all was lost, our cat Milla has made a recovery. She's been gaining weight and is being sparky and spunky. We can't treat her hyperthyroidism with drugs, but we'll keep an eye on her weight and hope for the best. it's good to have her back to the little snickerdoodle she used to be. 

That's all I wanted to share for now. Thanks for reading! 
Blessings, 
Kristin 

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

What's up?



Hi, All!

Spring is springing in the Pacific Northwest, even if there was snow on the ground last Friday. We’re getting a few nice days to break up the rain, so I’m hearing less complaining from my coworkers and comrades. That’s always a good thing.

We’ve had quite an adventure with our cat Milla since the beginning of the year. We took her to the vet because she wasn’t eating, and they discovered a bladder stone and hyperthyroidism. She came though the stone surgery like a trooper, but shortly after getting her staples out, her skin became inflamed ALL OVER. Turns out she had a reaction to the hyperthyroid medication. She’s off that medication and on Prednisone and over the past five weeks and a lot of angst, she’s turned the corner. She was so bad that we thought we were going to lose her for a week or so.  Her skin is now scabbing over (though she’s losing fur with her scabs, so her butt especially is getting bald) and as of this week she’s been acting like the “old” Milla again. We are thrilled and relieved… except for the midnight howling. But she’s calmed down on that over the past couple of days. I think that was just her way of telling the neighborhood that she’s back in town. ;-)

When I haven’t been at work or the vet’s office, I’ve been playing on my iPad or knitting. I started a sweater for me (12 rows down, MANY more to go) and have been working on blocks for a charity afghan with some friends from church. I also found a shawlette design I really like that I want to do soon (and would probably be more weather-appropriate near-term than the sweater). The pattern is in Spanish, too, so that’s been fun to figure out between my 4 years of Spanish 25 years ago and Google Translator. Luckily, the pattern had links to videos for the stitches I’ve never seen before, so that was a HUGE help. I did have to construct a question in Spanish to the designer because the math didn’t add up in my head, so we’ll see what she says. Ravelry is such a cool place!

I also decided recently that I’m going to start scrapbooking our wedding pictures (after almost 5-1/2 years). I got them printed and sorted in order and now I have to gather supplies and get ready for the next evening crop in April (that will be my test run) and then an all day National Scrapbook Day crop in May.  I don’t plan on getting super elaborate with the pages, but titles and journaling take time. And did I mention that I haven’t scrapbooked in over 3 years and had creative block back then? Wish me luck!

I had a couple boxes delivered yesterday that had something besides yarn in them. Since the squirrels have annihilated the cushions of my 11-year-old porch swing, I decided to order a replacement from Amazon.com. This one is all wood and no cushions. One upside - no “umbrella” cover to catch the wind and knock the swing over. One downside - no “umbrella” cover to keep the bird poop and pollen off the seat.  It may be a little while before we get the swing assembled, but we have it. I’m not sure what to do with the old one. The frame and cover are still in good shape, but do I have the ambition to list it on Freecycle? We’ll see, I guess.

I guess that’s about all the news for now. Have a great spring (and summer) until I “talk” to you again!!!

Blessings,
Kristin