Who is Sue and what is Suelandia?

Monday, March 26, 2012

Forward, March.

Hey people.  Since I last checked in I've gotten much better.   Check out the ultra comfy leg warmers my sis knitted for me.  I love the colors!

In the first couple of weeks I felt like things were on the brink of ripping open every time I got up, especially if I had to twist in any way, like getting into a car, and even my legs, which hadn't had anything done to them at all felt kind of wobbly. Now I'm feeling much stronger, more like my old self.  But it's kind of a long process, and there has been a weird feeling I didn't expect that has gone along with it all.

Here is me getting some training on a new machine the city got for helping with trailwork.  This was about a week ago (about halfway through my recovery period).  I felt kind of intimidated, because the other park's crew was there too, so it was all these guys, only a couple from my crew, and me, and they all seemed to automatically know exactly what the trainer was talking about while I was madly concentrating trying to override the "crap! crap! crap!" tape playing inside my head.

This is part of the weird feeling from this whole thing that is hard to explain.  At least I think it is.  I've felt a little more vulnerable I guess, just at a physical disadvantage, but it's messed with me a bit.

Anyway, I was able to let all the mysterious words like "zerks", and "glow plugs" float by me like math, and just try to watch and learn.  It went okay, but I didn't like feeling so stupid.  It made me kind of mad at myself, or disappointed that I didn't feel as confident as I'd have liked.  But it was a new thing out of my comfort zone, so being supremely confident despite that would probably make me... a guy???  Not sure.

What I am sure about is how I feel when I get to be back in my happy place-- the woods!  I finally became stable enough feeling to be able to get a couple good hikes in a day with my walking sticks.  If you've never tried these, I know it sounds weird, but using them, the motion of your arms with them, boosts your hiking cardio level by about 40% (supposedly).  All I know is I get a lot more winded using them, and since I'm not supposed to run yet, this helps.

Man I love it here.  It smells like wet earth right now, like things decaying, but fresh too.  We cleaned the trail off before the snow last fall to help it dry out quicker this spring.  It seemed to really help.

It rained last week but I went out anyway.  It was so peaceful over there, but in spring there is an underlying vigor too.  I picture time lapses of things growing, like those old films from earth science classes.

I tried to artistically capture the water droplets on the branches, but I'm not that great a photographer.  In real life it was a lot more magical though; all throughout my peripheral vision little points of light were falling, forming, and falling.

One of the tree species dropped tiny little red flowers, or something.  Whatever they are they looked pretty.

I'm glad I got these rain boots on clearance last year.  Bad-ass huh?

I think some of my offness is recovery related, but some might just be my *normal* cycle of feeling pretty bulletproof one week, and then like the most incompetent loser the next.  I know this makes no sense, and it is a direct result of what I put out there, but I've been feeling a little pouty at times here and there, like a little kid.

I think I normally act very self-sufficient and have always been super independent; that's what I put out there, but something about having an 8" incision cut through my abs, then shot with compressed air so I inflated like a blow fish, stuff taken out, and sewed back up again has made me feel kind of like I want to be babied a bit.

I want to have my cake and eat it too.  I want to be able to do whatever I want, and not be questioned or reprimanded about it, but then I also want, when it strikes me, to be patted and coddled and told it will all be okay and "poor little sue" and be treated like the delicate flower I am.  ~bink~   Stupid right?  I know.  It's really dumb.  But that is how I felt last week a lot.

I'm hoping this is all just a side-effect from not being able to get out and move as much as I'm used to, and from being uncomfortable for weeks on end, and having my body all whacked-out and nothing functioning right yet organ-wise.  I'm anxious to get back to just being my normal weird self and not the invalid version. 

Look-- moss!  I stopped and pushed my hand into it.  I can't even explain how good that felt.  :)  Carry on.  Whine-fest is concluded. 

Sunday, March 11, 2012

In disrepair

Hey people.  This is what it looked like after the snowstorm we got the first day I was in the hospital.  It was 2 weeks ago tomorrow that I went in.  (There is a deer in the background if you look close.)

I can't believe how much better I feel after less than 2 weeks.  Ray has gone back to occasionally laying somewhere besides on me.

Even the weather has drastically changed.  It's been in the 50's and even 60's the last few days.  Impromptu root beer colored ponds have appeared.

I'm glad to be healing, really, but I did have a bad night last night.  It was like I just slid back to where I was a few days ago without any reason.  I was uncomfortable enough that I couldn't sleep, and when I pressed on my injury area, these disgusting crackling bubbly sounds happened, like my layers are not adhered together yet.  It was super gross.  I began the day extremely unhappy. 

Here is my, "I may just lay down right here and perish, or else kill the next poor sap that wanders by" face.

I decided the only thing that would save me from myself today was some good music, and getting out in some woods and moving, even if at a slow mellow old lady pace.  I went to a local park with paved walking paths.  Not my usual mode.

But it was a sunny gorgeous day, and there were tons of people walking dogs etc, and I began to perk up almost immediately.  

You see, being outside moving around isn't just fun for me, it's my sanity drug.  I start whipping around inside when I can't get out and burn some crud away.  I try to stay upbeat, but begin to vacillate wildly between "Everything is amazing!" and "I suck completely.  I am broken beyond repair and should just stay away from everyone."

I know intellectually what's going on, but it still feels shitty.  Speaking of abnormal, I had a mini heart-attack when I saw this piece of grass that looked like a snake for a fraction of a second.

So I'm outside in the sunshine and feeling slowly restored.  It still sucks that I can't move how I want, but at least I'm outside.  Then I get to an unofficial trail cut in most likely by neighborhood kids.  Score.  I cannot resist exploring it. 

Hmm.  This doesn't look like you are supposed to go through here, but it is a Sunday, and clearly others have.  Yep.  Must be poached.

The park had a few of these little bypasses and back ways.  I found the secret bike jump park, a back lot of someone's property accessed though a rabbit trail offshoot, and the remains of an old fort like a giant teepee of dead trees.  I climbed around on a bunch of dead-fall, and walked all the way to the edge of the river and checked out the flow.

I climbed down this little icy trickle to a frozen stream feeding into the Mississippi.  There was a guy fly fishing down there.  I didn't want to intrude on his nature break so didn't get a pic.

Here's the stream.  Cool big rock huh?  I'd have missed all this if I'd have stayed on the pavement.

And look-- some kid (most likely) rode his bike back here, right into the stream bed, and probably got completely soaked and filthy.  You go kid.  This kind of made my heart soar.  

I was admittedly jealous of all the people riding bikes today, but it still made me happy to see them.

By the end I had on my, "I guess this is okay, for now" face. 

I'm trying.  Trying to be good and follow the doctor's orders.  Trying to maintain and not go flying all over like a tethered kite.  Trying to learn everything in my classes I began last week-- new stuff that is a little intimidating at first.  I have some really nice friends.  That helps a tremendous amount.  I don't deserve them, but am glad they are there.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Convalascing not as fun as I imagined

Hey people.  Here is what I would say about being in the hospital if anyone came to visit me (which I asked people not to do),-- If it wasn't for all the medical stuff, having an unlimited supply of perfect pencil-eraser-sized crunchable ice delivered to me at all hours, and an adjustable bed with as many pillows as I requested, and leg-massaging boots, and cable t.v, was not all that bad.  Also hospital gowns are surprisingly soft and comfortable.  The food?  Well, they try, but no one says, "Oh hey I know,-- let's go eat at the hospital!"

Even after 3 days of no food I couldn't choke down my entire grilled cheese sandwich.  As for getting poked by needles constantly, a major phobia of mine--- I sucked it up.  People do whatever they need to.  I was very aware of how fortunate I was to be in for a routine procedure, and  that my actual health was great.  I wasn't going though all this wondering if I'd live, like many people who have diseases etc do.

I also kind of liked having the nurses to interact with.  I'm very much about moving, being creative, and being outside, and here I was really reduced to an organism for several days, and I wondered how I'd feel;  If I'd feel like I'd lost myself a bit.  But I realized there is a big part of me that is about others too.

Nurses work 12 hour shifts.  For those who've never done this, 12 hours of working on your feet and keeping your energy elevated enough to be plugged in to other people is extremely taxing.  I made a point to find out a little about each of my nurses, and make sure they felt appreciated and seen.  A couple even came to visit me after being assigned to other floors etc.  The thought crossed my mind that this will likely be one of the last things I do in life-- have this kind of interaction.  It wasn't a bad feeling.

Then I got to go home after a few days.  Nurse Ray took over.  The heavy duty pain meds they gave me didn't agree.  I only took half doses anyway, but quit them on about my second day home.  Not very comfortable, but not horrible either.

I stumbled on the coolest story (I've had a bit of time to web surf):
An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life. "A fight is going on inside me," he said to the boy.
"It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil - he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego." He continued, "The other is good - he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you - and inside every other person, too."
The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, "Which wolf will win?"
The old Cherokee simply replied, "The one you feed."

Annie also took a shift.  People brought me Samoas (on the tbl).  I couldn't be rude and refuse them.  What?...

I really like that wolf thing.  Sometimes I feel like I am not the nicest person.  I don't send cards to people, and get wrapped-up in my own stuff.  People came out of the woodwork to be nice to me last week.  They brought me things, sent me things, messaged me support.  I guess one thing I do well is pick good friends.  The wolf thing will help remind me how I want to be-- which wolf to feed.

And my animals continue to pull the love through me.  I really think that is important on a cellular level.

I know this is a lot of pics of my with no makeup on, but I was curious if I'd notice a change as I felt better.  Not really, which is kind of cool in its own way too.  Like, I'm still me all along, no matter what happens physically to me.

Dan has been good at taking care of me.  Yesterday he spent a lot of time cleaning while I laid like a blob on the sofa, and he hasn't made me feel bad about it or anything.  I'm hoping to get out and about more this week.  I'm a little worried I'm entering a larval state.  I can feel everything turning to goo.  I need to get out and move around a little, not anything big, but walking more at least.