Sunday, June 27, 2010
I've been thinking about what I could make a post about this week. Nothing came to mind until this afternoon. Why not write about the simple pleasures that I have experienced recently, things that we take for granted, things that we just do without a second thought!
For example, just getting into your car and driving anywhere you would like to go.
Going to the supermarket, going up and down the aisles and experiencing no pain.
Buying items that are not on a list, just buying on impulse.
Not having to have someone present while you take a shower, just take one when the spirit moves you.
Go to your favorite hairdresser, get a great shampoo, hair cut and kibitz with the people in the shop.
On a hot night taking a walk on the beach and then going into a local "hot dog joint" for a Sinatra dog called "Have It Your Way."
Boston Hot Dog Company photo by Christopher Schmidt CC BY
I had mine with mustard, relish and sauteed onions. And to top it off, a dish of pistachio ice cream.
Spending an afternoon with friends playing Mah-Jongg - a little talk, a lot of playing, losing a little, winning a little and clearing the mind - not thinking of anything but "the game."
Being your own chef and bottle washer is great, you eat what you want, when you want.
I'm enjoying everything I make.
I even enjoyed something as simple as sunny side eggs. I better start watching the numbers on the scale!
What are your simple pleasures?
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
THIS AND THAT
UPDATE ON HEALTH
Medicare has the policy that if a patient receives home health care they have to be "homebound." The only reason they are allowed to leave their residents is to go to the doctor's office, go to an adult-day-care program, attend religious services, or go to a salon to have their hair done! Well, that's what I did this week - I had my hair cut and colored. Someone in that department knew what they were doing when they made that rule. It sure helps your mental health!!
I can understand how Medicare needs a strict definition to determine who needs benefits, but fear of losing benefits will keep some patients homebound, instead of getting them out and off benefits.
We took my mom out shopping yesterday and she's doing great. Soon she will be able to drive herself and not need these benefits anymore. That's a good thing.
I haven't been to the movies in months but from what I've read, I haven't missed much. The only one that sounds good to me is "Solitary Man" staring Michael Douglas as an aging New York rascal convinced against all evidence that he still has what it takes.
How time marches on - I remember him when he was a kid and his father Kirk was a handsome leading man!
The only reading I've done in a while is the daily newspaper and some magazines, just starting to catch up with my blogging friends.
Once I get to the library I have a few books on my list that I'm looking forward to reading.
I recently read a review on a book entitled "The Love Song of A. Jerome Minkoff and Other Stores" by Joseph Epstein. It's a book of short stories that takes place in a neighborhood on the far side of Chicago called West Rogers Park in which a fragile, solitary man wonders what to do with his life. He's been a widower for three years and meets a pretty, vivacious widow in her early 50's from LA who turns out to be filthy rich.
Sounds like some light reading that I would enjoy.
There's not much of anything on TV - The only show I've been watching on a regular basis is "Friday Night Lights."
Image Courtesy NBC
For whatever reason when I do tune in on "Glee" it just doesn't hold my interest.
Image Coutesy AMC via EW
Two shows I'm looking forward to are "Hung" which starts June 27, HBO and "Mad Men" July 25, AMC.
This coming Wednesday I'll be joining my group for a game of Mah Jongg - haven't played in a very long time, even if I lose all my money, it will be great to be back in the game!!
Sunday, June 13, 2010
It's amazing how every day I see some physical improvement, I saw that, especially while I was in rehab. There were days when I could not move my left leg. I would look at it and will it to move but it was like a 100 pound bag of cement. The next day it was more like a 50 pound bag of cement and as the days went by I was able to move it easily.
And that's the way it was with my walking. At first it was an effort to walk using the walker (with an aide by my side.) As the days pasted I was walking in a normal relaxed manner, still with the aide by my side. At one point she said - "slow down, you are walking to fast)
At that point in time, whenever I had to get out of bed for whatever reason and whatever hour I had to call an aide and use the walker. ( I got up a lot during the night.) I keep those aides very busy!!
Eventually I got promoted - I could take a stroll with the walker without the aide accompanying me!!! That was a big deal!!
When I first came home I was using the walker and gradually I found myself "just walking around without it." When I leave my apartment and have to take the elevator to get my mail in the lobby, I do use the walker.
One day when my physical therapist came she observed that my balance was good and suggested we go for a walk without the walker. Well, I was OK with that but was disappointed that I tired easily and didn't go as far as I would have liked, so I realize I'm not quit ready to participate in a marathon.
A few weeks ago when I went for a check-up with the surgeon I asked the question, "when will I able to drive?" His answer to me was, "when you feel ready." A' ha - well, I'm thinking I'm getting ready but my next thought is, "when I get where I'm going, what will I be able to do?" Maybe I'll do one errand at the bank or just do "a little shopping at the market." I don't want to rush things, just thinking - "won't it be great to go to a store, browse around and feel no pain." Sooner than latter!
While at the rehab I had a few opportunities to take a shower using a shower chair and a hand held shower - it's not like a regular shower but a shower is a shower. I purchased that equipment and was instructed how to use the items at home - well, I was not happy taking a sit down shower, felt I was strong enough and since my stall shower has bars I now take a regular shower!!
Now, that's progress!!
Sunday, June 06, 2010
I'M HOME: 8 Tips to Surviving Hospital Food
I was at the hospital for three days, at the rehab for two weeks, and now I've been home over a week. I've got people coming and going, friends helping me, therapists, nurses, and homemakers. It's like Grand Central Station.
The good news is that I'm walking around like a teenager. Well, not really like a teenager, but walking without any pain.
Now that I have a new hip, I can think back to what it was like before the surgery, and it was painful.
Now I have no pain. After the surgey I had no pain. The nurse asked me on a scale of 1 - 10, if I had any pain, I told her "0." Then she said I couldn't get any pain medication. Well I wanted pain medication when I did my therapy. So I told her "three."
Here I am walking:
While at the rehab I found the staff outstanding - whatever I asked for was given immediate attention - the usually response was, "is there anything else I can do for you."
The only thing I found lacking was in the FOOD department. As time went by I learned how to insure that I got a meal I could enjoy.
8 Tips to Surviving Hospital Food
1. I ordered two entrees - I doubled my chances - that way, if one wasn't to my taste the other one might be good - sometimes even that technique didn't work!
Meal One: Hamburger Meal Two: Chicken with Rice
2. Mornings I would order a hot cereal - by the time it came to me it was cold - the staff was very busy in the morning so I didn't want to bother them. When I mentioned it to a therapist, she said, "that's what they are there for." After that if my cereal was cold I called and asked for it to be heated.
3. I love my cup of coffee in the morning. After a few mornings of getting coffee that was bitter I decided to request a cup of tea instead. I wasn't happy with that so I had a brilliant idea - "why don't I ask for a cup of coffee and a cup of hot water." That way I could dilute the coffee and it wouldn't be so strong. That didn't work - so I settled for just a cup of hot water.
4. One morning I ordered a banana as a fruit for breakfast. It was over-ripe. When I mentioned it to Steve he suggested that I specify on the menu that I do not want any brown spots on the banana. Would you believe after that I got a banana just the way I like it!
5. With time I found out that if I did not like the meal I received I could call the kitchen and request something else as long as as it was before 6:30p.m.
6. One day I mentioned to a therapist that I enjoyed the grilled cheese sandwich I had for lunch. She suggested that I could request a slice of ham and tomato as part of the sandwich. All I had to do was write in my request!
7. Some mornings I would wake up about 5:00 a.m - breakfast was delivered about 8:00 a.m. That was too long to wait so I called the aid and she brought me tea and toast to tide me over until my meal was delivered.
8. Every night about nine p.m. I would request some warm milk, graham crackers and peanut butter for a bedtime snack.
Not only did I learn some very helpful exercises at rehab I learned how to order and receive a decent meal.
Now that I'm home I'm having that great cup of coffee that I missed so much. Happy days are here again!!!