What I learned in my 5 weeks off:
• Doing 2 knees at the same time is not for the faint of heart. There were some really tough days in the beginning (I don’t do “dependent” very well). Thank goodness for Belinda and my dad – they did yeoman duty taking care of me and the “farm.”
o Because I don’t do dependent well, I’m the perfect candidate for doing 2 at a time.
o At 6 weeks out, I’m functioning at 10-11 week level. My physical terrorist, with an evil grin, said I’m going to be fun… I wonder what that means…
o When you’re in bed, on really good drugs, the funniest things happen. I had lots of chemicals while in the hospital, and I was seeing things, hearing things, talking to shadows standing next to people in the room, and sometimes words would come out of my mouth that my brain wasn’t aware of. I only knew because of the puzzled looks, so I would ask that they please just ignore what I just said. In hindsight, it’s pretty humorous, but not having ever done recreational drugs, it is not an experience that I’d care to repeat. The aural hallucinations took almost a week to go away – it was like having a radio playing in my head all the time – geez!
o Walkers only work if you take little, geisha steps. How can I learn to walk again (and I did have to) if I can’t walk? I tossed the walker after 1 week, and used the crutches. At about 2 ½ weeks, I got up without the crutches, and didn’t realize it until I was in the bathroom. So I started walking around in the house without them, but used them outside. Merlin thought they were potential torture instruments, so wouldn’t come near me. Chris wasn’t perturbed in the least.
o When you’re stuck in bed, there is not much to do. You notice things like the weird patterns in your ceiling.
o Sometimes I was too bored to even knit.
• Dad did a wonderful job as “Farmer Lane.” He admitted that it was an “interesting experience,” but that he wouldn’t want to do it all the time. Did you know that animals don’t care if it’s Sunday, or Labor Day – the still want to eat! He got so comfortable with the big animals that when Merlin discovered Pig Beer (more later), my dad was waving his arms and yelling at him to get him to move – a big step!! He found the pigs very entertaining, and was glad that he was going to be back home when they became little white packages.
o I did manage to finish his sweater before he arrived, but forgot to take a picture. I had my nephew take one .
o My boss came out to help unload feed – I had about 700# in the truck. Since I wasn’t moving that well yet, I supervised, Dad directed to the correct container, and Tom unloaded.
o I finally am using the Turkey Feeder (holds about 500# of feed) for its intended purpose. Dad helped me extract it from the encroaching berries and move it (in the back of the truck) up to the turkeys. This helps with my evening chores enormously. Every two weeks, I top it off, and in the meantime, only have to do water. I had previously used it for a lamb creep feeder, back when I had sheep.
• Pig Beer – it’s what’s for dinner! Basically, it’s 50# of whole wheat, 50# of rolled barley, mixed together with 2 cups of sugar, and covered with water (with some extra headroom). It ferments nicely, the pigs (and everyone else, as it turns out) love it. The last time I bought feed before the piggies left, I over estimated what I’d need, so have about 200# left. Since it’s still in the dry state, the horses are getting most of it, but the chickens are trying to cage their share. Here’s my favorite picture of the piggies before they met their destiny.
• Driving was scary at first, but I discovered that not only could I drive the automatic Volvo, but I could actually drive the truck, so long as I didn’t have to stop and go too much (the clutch tires me out). This is a good thing, because getting someone to drive me to pick up feed falls into that “dependent” thing, and I’m not good at that.
Last week was my first (mostly whole) week back at work. It was amazing how quickly I was absorbed back into the routine. I thought I was doing great. Friday night, four of us from work went out to see “Eat, Pray, Love.” It was really fun, but I forgot about sitting without moving for 2 ½ hours. I was completely stove up when we left the theater. We were talking about the moving and stuff in the parking lot, and they noticed the 600# of feed in the back of the truck. I was accused of being Wonder Woman – what could I do but tap my wrists together! So then they wanted to know what my super power was, and without thinking, I said, “Persistence.” They argued that my new knees were my super power, but I said, “No, I got them because of persistence.” My physical therapist cracked up when I told her this story, and now uses that gesture when talking about me – pretty funny!
Ok, so it’s not all rosy. Saturday, I slept all day, and I mean all day. With the exception of breakfast for me and the critters, lunch, and then dinner and book reading, I was comatose. I guess I really needed it. Sunday was much better, and I went into town to go shopping. I can’t wear jeans yet – the scars are still too tender. So I have to dress as a girl – eww. I got some skirts, a pair of shoes and several tops, since it will probably be awhile before I can handle denim on my raw skin. (this was after the staples were removed - before they were totally "Franken-knees"!!)
And, because she’s never been in my blog, here’s a picture of my 55# lap dog, Lyra.
She’s almost 3, a pit bull, and all she wants to do is lick you and sleep under the covers. Along with my border collie, Harry (8 yrs. Old) and cat, Golgi (10 yrs. Old), that is the total of the indoor pets. Interestingly, when I was first home, Lyra was on the bed, and Belinda came down the hall – all Lyra could see was her shadow. She stood over me and growled, even after Belinda turned on the light and came in the room! I finally got her calmed down. I told Belinda that my dog had put her on probation – she came, took me away for a week, and the brought me back broken. The pack doesn’t like the alpha to be in less than perfect condition… She’s much happier now, and has forgiven Belinda.
The next project is to get the chickens moved, so that I can remove the roof on their current coop. It drains lots of water directly into the horse barn. Then, I have to put up a shelter for the alpaca boys, and separate the horses (so Chris gets all the food he needs), and mud-proof their stalls and give them an area to escape the mud. The rain is coming, the rain is coming!!