Post-op predicaments

Post-op recovery is quite the ordeal……who knew I would legitimately be spending several weeks at home recovering? I had no idea how much rest and down time was needed to recharge my body. I get that I’m not able to run a marathon or lift heavy objects, but all I wanted to do was bend over and pick up a sock.

During my first couple of days of recovery, I had to plan out most of my moves. My son and I thought doubling my steps each day would be a workable goal. Day one I was moving so slow that my Fitbit didn’t even register my steps and doubling that on day two was a cinch…..HA! Getting from the bed to the chair took effort, and I didn’t realize how much I normally do on auto-pilot, without a thought.

I think around day three I had an idea pop into my head, and was excited to pluck my eyebrows; a task I usually do on a daily basis. I shuffled to the bathroom to gather my mirror and my salmon-colored, Tweezerman eyebrow tool. On the return trip I get almost to my destination and the tweezers fell out of my grip. OH, NO! Disappointment filled my being……ARGH. Somehow, someway, I was determined to groom my brows. Think, girl……”I’ve got it!” I’ll use kitchen tongs to pick them up. The one thing I had going for me was I dropped the tweezers close to my only chair option, and was able to sit and retrieve them. Victory was mine! Those kitchen tongs came to my rescue on several occasions.

Another day I thought it would be smart to use paper plates when possible, I reached in the cabinet to pull out a plate when five to six, black and white polka dot paper napkins cascaded onto the floor; which is exactly where they stayed until my son came home. Or when I tried to sweep but couldn’t bend to finish the job by using the dustpan. The broom hiding the debris and dustpan stayed put until my sister-in-law unexpectedly came to visit. “Hey Pat, would you be able to sweep up the dirt for me, and while you’re at it put away these pans away I wasn’t able to reach?” Random objects ended up on the floor throughout the first two weeks, sort of like a bread crumb trail of my path.

Then there was the shower incident, which had me laughing out loud. As I was lathering up, the bar of soap slipped right out of my hands. Seriously….now what? After considering my options or lack thereof, I decided I could carefully, scoop the bar of soap on the top of my foot by using the side of the tub, raise it up, and place it on the ledge. Good in theory……but very slippery results….haha. After several attempts, I did manage to maneuver the soap on the ledge to carefully retrieve it.

If you’ve ever had an injury or surgery, I am guessing these post-op predicaments sound familiar to you. I didn’t realize I was taking natural movements for granted. I am grateful for all the daily tasks that come easy…’s been quite the adventure.image



Tough Exterior

I would say that from the outside exterior, my son is definitely a man’s man, but I know on the inside, his heart is tender. He is the one I would want to have on my team for survival or competition. He can MacGyver just about anything if it doesn’t have to do with a computer or electronics. He has little use for those, but if he did, he’d figure it out. He’s a nature loving, risk taking, adventure seeking, hard working, young man that once was a mama’s boy, but has since turned into a self-made man.

As a woman, there are certain things I don’t feel like I need to or should know, and he is the one that would totally disagree. I don’t want to have to know how to change a tire, check tire pressure, or set a mouse trap to name a few, but my son wants me to know exactly how to handle matters, in case I am stranded or alone. It’s not that he won’t do things for me, and I know he is right, but I am slow to agree……and would rather he just do certain tasks.

However, if I need assistance, I can always depend on his help. He won’t sugar coat anything, but will be there to lend a helping hand. Recently, I learned I would need surgery, and asked if he would be my plus one at the hospital. Without question he said yes, even though he used up all his vacation days on the job. I told him I would have my parents pick me up the next day, but he insisted on taking both days off to be with me. That put my mind at ease for the upcoming hospital stay.

The day before surgery he made sure I had taken care of my pre-op instructions as we planned out our next day. Upon hospital arrival he took charge of making sure I got to the proper location…..not in a know it all, I’m in charge kinda way, rather……a need to know, exactly where to go, and what to do kinda way.

Once I was finally settled, they started my IV, took my vitals, administered medication, then we had about a sixty minute wait. I was very anxious since up until this year, never had surgery other than wisdom teeth extraction. He made small talk as we waited and waited. Ninety minutes came and went with no sign from the surgical team. We were informed several people would be stopping by, and at that point only one or two checked in. The more time that passed the more anxious I became. By now it was more than an hour past when the surgery should have started and buzzed the nurse. She informed us, the procedure ahead of mine took longer than expected, and it would probably be another ninety minutes or so.

As soon as the nurse left the room I felt tears sting my eyes, and tried to conceal them from my son. I couldn’t stop them from billowing, as they puddled and streaked my cheeks. In his tough-guy tone he said, “What are you doing? You know, getting more upset is just going to make matters worse.” He was right and I told him I was just frustrated about the long delay, as his tone softened and he said, “I know.” Strangely enough, those few words made me settle down and focus on staying calm.

The surgery ended up starting four hours later than the scheduled appointment, which didn’t include the time we were due to arrive. When I woke from surgery and turned my head, there he was, my son Andrew, waiting for me to return safe and sound. He had been waiting with, and for me about twelve hours that day. Even though he would have most people believe he’s a man’s man, with a tough exterior…..I know his tender heart.


Be brave

My children have taught me so much over the years about being brave. Even though both children show bravery on a regular basis, my post this week will focus on my daughter’s latest adventure, and how her courage amazes me everyday.

She has always loved animals, and the thought of working with and around them in her life, has always been included in her dreams. She worked hard in college to earn a biology degree, and knew she wanted to apply for internships that would get her closer to her goal. She was awarded her number one internship choice of going to Brazil.

She is currently living in Brazil doing independent research on animals, native to the land. She isn’t there with a group of people, or even one other, she is alone. Granted, she is near other people, but she went forward, to a foreign land, not knowing the language; just trusting she would be safe.image

On a daily basis she is near wild animals, trying one thing or another to get the research data she needs. She is meeting new people, having new experiences, making new friends, while being brave with every brand new day. Some days are good, some days are challenging, but both are building her faith and character.

I am so proud of her, and have to admit, I never would have been brave enough at her age to do the same thing. I never thought about doing anything remotely close. My fear outweighed any curiosity, but on the flip side, I feel blessed my daughter is strong and brave enough to let the fear take a backseat to her sense of wonder and adventure.image

To my daughter, be bold, be brave, trust yourself, listen to your internal wisdom and go forth living your dreams. Your courage inspires me to be brave and push the fear aside.



it takes a village

“It takes a village”… often have you heard that phrase before? I had the pleasure of being involved in a community project last week that surprised me in the best way possible. Between two and three hundred people volunteered to build a community park. Being an elected official in my city, I was invited to the ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate the event.

Months before design decisions were made, community members of all ages were able to cast their vote on different playground options; their voices mattered. Many months of planning went into the process, and the prep work started days before the volunteers arrived. As lumber was cut, and stacked, playground pieces unloaded and organized, and preparing the ground to become a beautiful park for children to be children.

imageI wasn’t able to arrive until mid-afternoon, but what I witnessed when I drove up filled me with pride and joy. I couldn’t believe how many hands were working together to create such a beautiful space for children and families. People were scurrying everywhere; painting, building, moving, and shoveling. They were busy building relationships just as much as they were building the space. Everyone was cheerful, while the hard work continued on.

The park is situation on several acres of land; room for several play areas. Hand painted games such as hop scotch and four square were brightly painted around the tennis courts, and handmade picnic tables and benches spread across the area. In one location, an existing crack was used as the winding stem for a flower, which made the design imperfectly perfect.

imageThe community and volunteers created something from their heart that gives meaning and purpose. It will directly enrich the lives of many children and their families for years to come. It truly takes a village to raise a community, and I am proud to be part of such a place.