Thursday, August 15, 2013


     Surgery on my back June 19.  Spent six days in hospital and that is all I want to know of Hell.  If anyone would like to hear details, phone me.  Surgeon said eight weeks for recovery and it has been every bit of that.  Three weeks ago on a Sunday, I experienced the first pain free day I have had in two years.

     This past weekend, Sunday, August 11, my grandson Josh Tolman  and his wife Kala, brought the boys to visit.  Ammon, 13, Micah and Jonah, 9, and Kanyon, 6.  I am so appreciative that Josh and Kala are thoughtful enough to do this.  Grandpa George and I are just getting too old to go traveling anymore. 

Saturday, April 6, 2013

One YearLater...

    It has been one year sine I last entered my thoughts in this blog.  It has been a year that brought increasing pain every day.  A  year of numerous medical visits, procedures, and medications.  After, the diagnosis from a Neurosurgeon last April, I had almost decided to give up and become an invalid.  George was already shouldering all the household chores, except the bill paying, while I either sat in one of the two chairs I was able to, or laid in bed.  After a frustrating experience with my Orthopedic doctor saying it was my left hip causing the pain, scheduling hip replacement surgery, and then, after further x-rays and MRI's, deciding it wasn't my hip after all, on my own I contacted another Neurosurgeon.  No referral--I just phoned his office and told his receptionist my tale of woe.  She returned my call in a short while, saying the Doctor agreed to see me.  After my first visit with him, he took the time to thoroughly research my x-rays, MRI's, reports from Pain Management Doctors who had done injections into my spine, and consulted with my Orthopedic Doctor.  On my second visit, he explained where he felt my pain was originating and we agreed on another spinal injection into a specific place.  I  had the injection and it was SPOT ON!  Three weeks now, and I am experiencing only minor discomfort in my leg.  I can have another injection in three months if I need one--OR---I can elect for surgery.  The surgery would entail exactly what the first Neurosurgeon described last April, only THIS Neurosurgeon is willing to do it.  No nonsense about my age and the other objections brought up.   I have done alot of praying this  past  year.  Not only for myself, but also on behalf of my beloved daughters.  I think I was supposed to learn patience from all this.  I am often so obtuse in that I frequently have difficulty figuring out what lesson God is teaching  me.  I litterly have to get a good SMACK for my brain to be penetrated.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

???The Future For My Body???

    I have mentioned before in my blogs that I have  joint replacements.  Seven, to be exact.  Osteoarthritis struck hard and early.  I was told I had not chosen my ancestors wisely enough!  With each replacement surgery, I expressed my greatfulness that parts were still available for a model this old.  Besides the new joints, I have twice had to  have repair work on my lumbar vertibrae.  This old back has exhibited painful signs of needing more attention for the past year and its demands have excelerated since January.  After X-rays and an MRI, I was dismayed to be told by the Nuerosurgeon that I was past the point of benificial  repair.  His diagnosis was couched in kind terms, but the message I got was that (a) I am too old  (b) repair work would be too extensive (we are talking about screws, bolts, steel rods, etc.) and (c) it would be better to treat the symtoms than to cure them.  This Doctor, whose opinion I have regard for, is sending his recommendations to my Primary Care Doctor, whom I will see next week.
    My reaction, before knowing what the treatment recommendations are, is:
Regarding (a) above.  I  am  only 80 years old.  I still think young!  Doesn't that count?  One doesn't just junk an aging vintage Cadillac.  It gets refurbished, polished up, and exhibited in parades and car shows!  Considering (b), so what is a little more metal in my body?  It won't make the scanner at the airport buzz any louder than it does now. So what if my back is really straight!  I only need it to bend when I sit. As for (c), I am treating symptoms now.  Taking the maximum daily dose allowed of anti-inflamatory medicine.  I have a little stash of codine based pills left over from previous surgeries that I dip into on the worst days.  Maybe THAT is the answer--just stay high!  When my little  mother was preparing to die, her doctor ordered Tylenol 3 (Tylenol w/codeine) be administered to her on demand.  The nurses at the nursing home were not very happy with that order and we had  to keep a sharp watch to make sure they were complying.  Thing is, I have way too much to accomplish before I say goodby to this life, to be in a state of "la-la land" all the time.  Besides, I can't drive if I take narcotic medication and I can't bear to have my wings clipped!
    I know I am obsessing about this before finding out what has been recommended for me. Maybe it will be weekly massages along with facials, or a week in Hawaii four times a year, or hiring someone to do the ironing.  I already have a house cleaner thanks to my good husband's insistance.
    If you are interested--stay tuned.  I will report back when I really know what is going to happen.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Thoughts on Being a Recovering Fabricholic

Good  heavens!  It has been over a year since I last felt I had something worthwhile to say. The past year has been plagued with more ill health--new ailments keep  popping up and the old ones linger on.  I feel as if all the glue that holds me together is slowly disintegrating.

Comments posted on a sewing and crafting site I visit prompted me to tell about my fabric collection.
 My fabric acquistion dates back to 1953 when my husband bought me my own sewing machine. The desire to buy fabric was fueled by twice living where unique and wonderful fabric was available, in the Orient on the Island of Okinawa, and in the Republic of Panama.  By the time I settled in Montana, I had a LOT of fabric.   After misplacing a piece of fabric and finally finding it, I went through  my entire stash, catalogued each piece on a small card and placed the fabric in numbered storage boxes. 85 boxes later (if anyone wants to know where I store them, just ask), I felt truly organized. 

Yes, I have a true fabric addiction.  My daughters tell me I need to join a support group and my husband does not allow me into a fabric store unless I am on a leash.  I determined a moratorium on purchasing fabric, but Charm pieces (5"x5" squares) assuages my addiction, and besides, they don't really count as yardage.  Browsing through my huge loose-leaf book of catalogued samples usually keeps me from HAVING to go to town for fabric.  I will never get it all sewn, but those girls mentioned above who make fun of me, can have the pleasure of sorting and distributing what remains when I am gone.  At least it is ORGANIZED!!!

Oh yes, by the way, I have a Great Granddaughter who likes to sew.  I have passed on the genes. Tee-hee-hee.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

A New Era?

I broke my Alaska coffee mug this morning.  I have been sipping my ritual morning cafine jump-start from it for several years.  It replaced my Seattle mug--one I purchased when Josh was in Children's Hospital way back in 1991 (I think!).  Both of these mugs were hand crafted and had just the right kind of handles to accommodate my misshapen arthritic fingers.The Seattle mug finally cracked itself to death and just fell apart.  In 1992, I bought the Alaska mug in Denali Park.  It has held the contents of my morning fix for quite a few years, since the demise of  the Seattle mug.  Today, it slipped from my hand.  Empty, thank heavens.  Panic!  Thus began a frantic search for a mug that (1) appealed to me (2) held ample amount of beverage and (3) had a handle these pathetic fingers could fit into comfortably.  I tried out my Chokecherry Festival mug--too big.  Then a mug I acquired from somewhere just because it was pretty.  Finally, I found my Chicago mug.  It is not hand-made pottery as the others were.  In fact I suspect it was made in China.  But the skyline of Chicago outlined with gold lines, that encircles the mug is so elegant.  As the name denotes, I acquired it in Chicago, but how, brings the most pleasant and fun filled memories.  That is a story for another day.  Right now I am wondering if a new coffee mug is a harbinger of new era in my life.  At this advanced age, there is not much I haven't already experienced, except for sky-diving.  I will just wait and see.  Maybe,  just maybe, a new great-grand baby?

Monday, December 13, 2010

Dear Santa: A Time Machine Please

      Yes, I need a Time Machine. I do not want to go into the past, although it would be good to be able to go back and correct my mistakes that haunt me today.  I do not want to go into the is coming fast enough.  That is the problem.  I want a Time Machine to slow time down.  It is almost the  middle of December and I am frantically attempting to complete the hand crafted Christmas cards that I started making last Christmas!  Ah!  "Procrastination"  my critics say.  I am not denying that, but what about my great-grandchildren who are growing up all to quickly?  Can't I slow that down a bit?  There are little boys I  never had the chance to cuddle, who are now too  big for that sissy stuff.  Beautiful girls turning into beautiful young women  that I would like to still be buying dolls for.  Daughters who  now are grandmothers.  It was just the other day I was sewing prom dresses.  I am aware I have an allotted time here on earth, but please, dear Lord, couldn't that time be slowed down a bit?  Yes, my very own Time Machine would work quite well--will it fit in my stocking?

Tuesday, December 7, 2010


     Two years ago at this very same time of year I became afflicted with Polymyalgia Rheumatica (PMR). I won't go into detail about the symptoms of PMR, except to say it is very painful and debilitating.  Anyone really curious can "Google" it.  The remedy was immediate large doses of steroids--Prednisone.  The steroids make one's face puffy.  Since I have a round, fat face anyway, I looked like a Halloween pumpkin.  After the initial large doses of Prednisone, it is given in diminishing quantities until  one is weaned off it. Two years later I am down to just one gram, a single pill, a day.  This morning when I looked in the mirror I could actually see  my cheekbones and jaw line!  I'll never again look like I did at thirty and fifty pounds ago, but at least I no longer will be mistaken for a chipmunk!