Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Surgery Is Over!!

Well, I'm back home and 'recovering' after surgery yesterday. It would appear Dr. Sunshine was indeed putting a sunny spin on everything--he told me 45 minutes, but it actually went an hour and a half.

I'm on complete bedrest for 3 days and then no weight on my ankle until my second surgery in 6-8 weeks, when I have the large screw removed from my leg bones.

Apparently the doctor was extremely pleased with how the surgery went. I cried like a baby when they put the IV in my arm, but other than that, I was extremely brave.

The meds they give you for anasthesia are awesome--they put them in the IV, wheeled me down to the OR, I managed to wiggle my way onto the operating table and next thing I knew, I was surrounded by my family in the recovery room!

I was pretty out of it all night--the nurses finally kicked me out of the recovery room by dressing me and sending me off with my family. I got most of the way upstairs and then finally just told my dad to hoist me into the wheelchair at the top of the stairs, which he did with a certain amount of gusto.

I'm in a LOT of pain this morning, but I know it's the start of a great recovery!! Hope to talk to everyone soon.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Update: LEG!!!!!!

Well, on Thursday, we went to see the orthopedist, Dr. Sunshine (no, I'm not making up his name!). He looked at the X-rays from the hospital and said, "Well, it looks like good news."

When he took the soft cast off my leg, he took one look and said, "Oh shit."

Not exactly inspiring to little ole me, who just a moment before was debating cast colors with my sister.

"What I mean by that," Dr. Sunshine continued, "is that we need more X-rays."

Okie dokie.

I sat up to get in a wheelchair and go to X-ray and caught a look at my foot. The skin is fluorescent green. I too thought, "Oh shit."

I went to X-ray, which was AWFUL. I had no support for my foot and ankle, and was trying to hold my foot still long enough to get good pictures.

By the time I got back to the exam room and was told to "hop right on up!" to the table, I was spent.

Eventually, Dr. Sunshine came back and told us that he had been delayed because he had to consult with a senior doctor about my X-rays to decide what to do about me.

And then he said the dreaded words no doctor should utter to a patient, "There's not really any good news here."

Essentially what it comes down to is that I have completely discombobulated my entire lower leg/ankle.

Tomorrow, Monday, February 20th, I'll be going in for surgery. I'll have a plate and screws implanted to stablize my broken leg bone, and I'll have my whole ankle and foot and leg set back in place to hopefully correct and repair all the nerve, ligament, and tendon damage I've managed to cause.

Afterwards, I will be on bedrest for 2 months.

I have been incredibly blessed by my friends and family who have taken time off work, changed vacation plans, made trips out of the way, etc. to take care of me. We've got lots of meals, I have been given wheel chairs, a shower chair, and a walker, flowers, candy, all kinds of goodies.

So I know I'll make it through, no doubt about it.

It'll be tough to be that calm for 8 weeks, but I want to heal and get moving again!!!

I'll let you all know how I'm doing when I'm awake and alert again.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Black Monday

Monday, February 13th... The anniversary of the day I lost my grandfather.

I woke up feeling all warm and snuggly in bed, and I thought, "I'd LOVE to stay in here, and be this comfortable and blow off work for the day."

Little did I know...

I looked at the clock and it was not quite 8. I knew I had to get the garbage down to the curb. So I got up and threw on some sweat pants and went outside in my garden clogs, since they have a nice thick tread and are waterproof. We had some snow on Sunday, about 6 inches, but our wonderful neighbors had plowed our driveway for us, so I knew I'd have a clear path.

I was walking down the driveway to take the trash down to the curb and slipped on the ice. I fell so hard that my shoes flew off my feet. I knew the minute I landed that something was broken, I could feel it snap.

Nobody was out in the neighborhood, so I rolled over, put my shoes on my hands, and crawled on all 4s up to the back of the house where there were no stairs.

I got to the living room and discovered that the phone was not hung up where it should be. I managed to crawl up the stairs and just as I collapsed on the floor in my bedroom, the phone rang. I pulled it down onto the floor and it was my sister. I screamed into the phone that I needed help, and I was calling my husband, so I hung up on her and called him! I asked him to call our neighbor and get a ride to the hospital.

Jack called me and suggested that maybe I needed to call 911. My sister called back and said she was on her way. She would be there in 30 minutes.

I just couldn't wait any more. So I called 911. The paramedics arrived in 5 minutes, and after finding me upstairs and lying on the floor under a blanket, they took all my vitals and helped me get onto my good leg and down the stairs. (Yes, visions of myself as the "I've fallen and I can't get up!" lady flashed through my head!) I got onto the stretcher and they got me to the hospital pretty quick.

My sister arrived shortly after that--she got lost trying to find the hospital. My husband's boss got him down to the hospital too, and we all sat there. We were in the ER for 5 hours with no pain medication. Finally I got my X-rays done and the PA told me I've definitely fractured my fibula, and possibly fractured 2 other bones in my ankle. I will be seeing an orthopedist on Thursday morning.

The pain is steadily improving. Today is my first day alone, and I managed to get up, to the bathroom and into the office myself. My sister will be back in the afternoon, and running a bunch of errands for us. Hopefully tomorrow I'll get a hard cast. A number of people are working on wheelchairs for us, as well. I hope to have one soon to use to get around the first floor, and to get out of the house with.

So that's our excitement for today. :-) I will be out of commission for 4-6 weeks, and then hopefully running wild again.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Virginia Chow: Inaugural Entry

As part of my job, I am on the road all day every day, kind of like a traveling salesman. It has its perks, I really am glad not to be tied to a desk all day. And, when I have more than 15 minutes to take a lunch break, I get to enjoy lunch at local restaurants.

So I thought I would blog about a few of them when I get the chance, in case you're ever in some of these rural Virginia counties (Orange, Culpeper, Fauquier) or in my one major county (Prince William) or my home counties (Stafford and Spotsylvania) and find yourself wanting something to eat.

Today was a special day, travel-wise, as I got to go all the way to Albemarle County--lovely Charlottesville, VA to be exact.

Now, Virginia has a pretty diverse ethnic population through and through, particularly the Eastern part of the state which has lots of commuters to DC. And one cuisine I have come to L-O-V-E LOVE is Indian. It's not anything I ever tried up north. My father in particular is not an adventurous eater, and I guess I kind of adopted his prejudices and decided I didn't like curry (at least not my mom's curry), and thus I would not like Indian food.

When I started this job, we had 2 Indian women on staff, and for one's retirement party, we wound up at 2 different Indian restaurants--one vegetarian and one not--in Fairfax.

Now, the beauty of this was I was introduced to the cuisine by native Indians. I learned so much about the food--and most importantly the level of spiciness, that I was able to carefully pick foods I thought I would enjoy, delve into others, and experiment here and there. Now when I go into an Indian restaurant on my own, I'm more at ease with what to order, or, ideally if there is a buffet, I have an idea what certain spices will do and what I might like, and what I should avoid.

Today, as I was killing time in Charlottesville before my appointment, I saw a place called the Maharajah Restaurant. Located right on Route 29 in Charlottesville, I decided to take a chance, since it was an easy hop back on the highway to get where I needed to go.


The decor is lovely--not at all over the top. The waiter was top notch. The ambience was authentic and soothing. But the food... The food was fantastic.

I have to say, it was the best Indian buffet I have been to. The naan was fresh and crisp, the fried vegetable fritters divine. They had lovely basmati rice that was a perfect compliment to the numerous main dishes--both vegetable and meat--which were available. They also had a nice salad and chutney bar and dessert station.

If you're in Charlottesville and you want good food and plenty of it, I cannot recommend Maharajah enough. The lunch buffet, including a soft drink came in at under $10.

Maharajah Indian Cuisine
139 Zan Rd # 29n
Charlottesville, VA


Thursday, February 09, 2006

God Bless Brawny Paper Towels


Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Weekend Warriors: Unintended Project Complete!

Well, I never expected to paint anything before I painted the living room, but somehow the color spoke to me and I have completed painting the hallway and front entryway. I had been really uninterested in the way it looked when you walked into the house. The previous owners had just slapped cheap white paint on everything, so all the woodwork was the same color as the walls. In fact, I toyed with the idea of getting rid of the chair rail, because it wasn't doing a thing for me.

But I found a great color, and there was nothing else to do with it but use it in the front hallway. And then the wall facing you when you walked in continued up the stairs, and I couldn't let it go. Had to go all the way.

The white paint is so cheap that it came off when I pulled off the painters tape, after the painting was done, so now I'll have to paint all the baseboards and all that crap.

But the difference in the entryway and the way the woodwork stands out is amazing. I no longer hate the chair rail, I can see its purpose. The color is subtle, but the change is pretty dramatic.

I also managed to put the General's radio desk together this weekend, and we carted the old, falling apart desk to the dump. I also painted squares for the pictures in what will be my office, and hung some pictures up.

In the living room, I patched holes, sanded with my new power sander, and got ready to prime. I hope to work on it all this week and have it complete before Mike and Lesley come for President's Day!

An unintended but hilarious side effect of all this is that I discovered our bunny Tom Tom is a total paint sniffer!! He stuck his nose in the air near the paint tray and took a good whiff, and then laid down and passed out for about 30 minutes!! I wound up having to lock him up, since I'm sure that's not good for him. He's in his cage now due to his proclivity to nibble on the General's radio wires and scratch the football chair... Naughty!

Ya know, at some points over this work weekend, I felt somewhat sorry for myself--doing all this hard labor while Mike gets off scott-free (through no fault of his own). And tonight he did help where he could--holding the paint tray so I didn't have to go up and down the ladder which I had finally managed to figure out how to use on the stairs (gotta love Gorilla Ladder!). But when I finish, and I see what I accomplished on my own, I feel like the butt-kicking-est woman on Earth. I wouldn't hire someone to do this if I could afford it. It's so satisfying to really be making this place my own, through my own faults and my own mistakes and my own lessons learned and my own success!!! It really makes me feel like I can do anything, if I take my time and put my mind to it.

Colors used (Behr paint, go to www.behr.com and use their ColorSmart system--or whatever they're calling it!):

Walls in the hallway and entry: Silk Gown
Upper walls in living room (when complete): Manhattan Mist
All trim and lower walls in living room (when complete): Ultra Bright White

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

State o' the Union

Well, I didn't watch the State of the Union address last night. Not only can't I stand the sight of W's face, I can't stand the sound of that man's voice. Although, I was sorely tempted after meeting Dave Barry, who stated what concerns him about the President is that he always appears shocked at the policies he's announcing when he gives a speech... "We're invading...Iraq!?" "We're studying...social security?!" It was funnier in person with the appropriate face being made.

In any event, judging by the 2 news reviews I've read and Brian's always astute commentary, I don't think I missed a whole lot.

I plan to write to my senators today and let them know that never in my life have I felt more disconnected from the United States Government. I've never felt it's doing less for me, it's listening less to me. The only good thing is that the word impeachment is finally starting to be uttered around Washington. I suspect if the Dems win in the fall, we will see it coming.

What it comes to is, the guy is a fraud. A major fraud. (re-reading that statement, "No shit, Sherlock" popped into my head.) But I don't think a lot of people sit and conciously think about it. I mean, they can't be, right? Otherwise, would we be in this predicament?

Unfortunately, I don't see anything much better coming down the pike for the Dems. I predict they'll win in the fall, but I can't see them winning the next presidential election. I have a feeling they'll be up against McCain, who the Repubs must know is the ONE candidate they can throw up that anyone will vote for who isn't a registered Repub.

Finally, although I know Brian disagrees with me, my girl Cindy Sheehan continues to make me prouder of her every day. She is just the kind of radical voice we need out there when most people sit on their butts and complain from the privacy of their own homes and don't actually DO anything. I wonder if she could have known a year ago that she'd have made the kind of impact and the kind of statement that she has been throwing out there. One person CAN make a difference--and I support her 100%.