I’m Moving!

No, I’m not physically moving. My blog is moving! I’ve decided that if I’m really going to go on this blogging endeavor, I better do it the right way. I’m working up a new WordPress site and I hope to have it up and running soon!

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Voluntarily Handicapped

Today was my first day back at work since surgery. Of course, this led to many questions regarding why I was hobbling around in a walking boot. As last week was Spring Break, a lot of people thought I had broken something while skiing. I’m not sure what this says about their confidence in my coordination and balance (I AM a dance teacher) but that’s beside the point.

As more people inquired, I found myself using the phrase, “voluntarily handicapped.” As in, I didn’t have an accident, I chose to not have full function of one of my feet for 2-3 weeks. Throughout the last ten days, I’ve joked a bit about how I could win a flamingo competition because I’ve gotten so good at standing on one leg and I’ve used the hashtag “crippledlife” when posting pictures or status updates that have to do with my surgery but my reaction to answering people’s questions today really made me think about those that don’t have a choice in their physical handicap.

I’ve never been insensitive to those who are less physically fortunate than I, nor have I ever felt I’ve taken unfair advantage of services that are specifically for the physically handicapped, but it really does give you a different perspective when you need to utilize those commodities for every day life.

For instance, I never thought about how when grocery stores set out their displays and throughout the aisles of the store, that they have to make sure each pathway is wide enough for the motorized shopping carts. Also, now that I have a handicapped placard for my car, I’ve noticed how few handicapped parking spaces there really are in large shopping strips. I used to think there were two or three spaces reserved in front of every storefront, but that is definitely not the case.

I think my most frustrating experience came while at the Houston Rodeo this past Saturday. It was a record-breaking attendance day with over 185,000 attendees and at least 75,000 concert attendees. Our tickets were in section 651, meaning it would be a long haul to use the ramp to get up to our section in the stadium, but they have an escalator, so I thought it would be easy. I was so wrong. Not only was there no organization method for separating people in line for the escalator versus those taking the ramp, but the nrg employees weren’t even trying to be of assistance. It was almost like a stampede, with people confused, frustrated and over-heated. And believe me, over half the people trying to reach the escalator were plenty physically capable of taking the ramp. They were only taking the escalator out of laziness. I ended up having to walk up the ramp to the next level just so I could get on the escalator to ride the rest of the way up.

In all honesty, if that’s the worst story I have to tell, things aren’t really that bad. I am very lucky in that the only thing wrong with me right now is that I can’t fully put weight on my right foot without the assistance of a walking boot. I’m young (enough), in shape, and only take regular medication for thyroid disease. In a few weeks, I won’t need to use the motorized shopping cart, park in a handicapped space or even use an escalator, but many people do not have that choice. It’s very humbling to be on the flip-side, take in a new perspective and remember not to take for granted the abilities God has bestowed.

Showing Gratitude

I’ll admit it – I’m not always the first to say, “thank you.” I’ll take that back. For some reason, I do not utter that phrase as readily to my closest loved ones as I do to friends, acquaintances or strangers. I don’t really know why this is. Maybe it’s because I’m fiercely independent and tenacious and I think that if I thank someone, then it means admitting I needed help or that it shows a sign of weakness. Maybe it’s because I always expect the people closest to me to be the ones to disappear one day so I try and stay emotionally distant. Maybe it’s something so simple that I’m overthinking it or so messed up that I don’t even want to know. Regardless, I know that I need to stop whatever I have going on right now and show gratitude for my wonderful husband.

Because I rarely ever accept help from anyone for any reason, big or small, I know that my having surgery probably didn’t seem to Blake as if anything in our daily routine would really change. It just so happened that he had already taken the entire week of Spring Break off from work, as we had initially planned on going out of town, so he didn’t do anything special to get ready for my time under the knife.

The day that I had surgery was technically the Friday before Spring Break, so my mom took on the responsibility of getting me to and from the surgery center. Once she left that night and Blake got home from work, it was all up to him. Let’s just say, I’m probably not the best patient to deal with (I’m sure Blake is laughing out loud while reading this) but that’s only because I want to try and do everything for myself. If I really do need help, I don’t let anyone know until I’m beyond frustrated and then I have a tendency to lash out at the person helping me as if they should have known I would need help in the first place.

Throughout this entire week, Blake has been nothing but patient. Of course, he’s picked on me in true Blake fashion and made fun of the funny ways I’ve had to do things with only one fully operating leg, but he’s always quick to have a smile and carry out whatever task I’ve asked of him. In fact, even though I am able to walk with my boot without crutches as of today, I have yet to open or close my own car door. He has driven me everywhere I’ve asked to go, brought me any food or drink from the kitchen that I’ve requested, assisted me in putting on the stupid seal sleeve to keep my leg dry as well as getting me in and out of the bath tub and shower. He took me to several doctor’s appointments, including the last minute trip to the GP for my sinus infection diagnosis and even lifted me onto the scale so I could stand there, on one foot like a flamingo, while the nurse notated my weight. As the icing on the cake, I went a little overboard in my excitement over walking yesterday and it resulted in my foot hurting so badly that it woke me up at 3:30 AM this morning. Without hesitating, Blake filled my ice pack and brought me extra pillows in bed so I could reduce the swelling and get back to sleep. To say he’s been a trooper would be an understatement.

We’ve only been married for just a little under 2.5 years but we’ve been together for almost 8 years. The honeymoon phase is long gone, the daily habits have settled in and made their home in our daily routine and we’re no longer concerned with what each thinks of the other. Sometimes it’s difficult to maintain a spark or romance when life gets so busy but it’s times like all the little times that I can add up from this last week that remind me how lucky I am to have him as my life partner. I am forever grateful that God brought him to me and that he continues to love me every day. I might not always be a walk in the park, but I know that on those days when I walk into a tree, fall over and manage to trip a cyclist on my way down (all the while blaming him for it) he’ll be right there to laugh at me. And then offer me a hand and a kiss on the forehead.

New Accessories

Check out these shiny new accessories I now have in my life! One for me, and one for my car. The best part is, these beauties only cost me five dolla!

Seriously, though, I am SO excited to not be hopping around my house like the Energizer Bunny and having to use crutches to fully support my weight when I want to go farther than just across the room. I’m so excited, in fact, that I just vacuumed our large sofa. Did you hear that, I cleaned?!

For those of you that don’t know me very well, I am not the cleaning type. I clean, sparingly. Okay, mainly when I know people are going to be viewing my living space. On top of that, I strongly dislike my vacuum. Except for this one little, special attachment that is specially for removing pet hair from furniture. That part of my vacuum, I love. So I have just used that beloved part of my vacuum to get rid of all the dog hair that was on our main sofa, and let me tell you, I have two extremely shedding beasts over here. Okay, maybe three if you count my husband.

I am just so excited to be balancing on two legs again! Who knows what else I’ll be able to accomplish now!

 

 

Spring Break Fail 2017

I’ve attempted to start a blog several times. By start, I mean that I’ll write 2-3 entries and then never log in to the thing again. I’m not sure why I’ve struggled with this so much as an adult. Back in the day, I could LiveJournal the pants off of any emotional teenager. As I’ve sat at home for the last four days, recovering first from minor foot surgery and then from an added sinus infection, I’ve decided that I’m going to give blogging another go.

I think my problem in the past was that my writing didn’t have any real sense of direction. I tend to be someone who is interested in many things all at the same time. My brain is on constant overload. Not necessarily the stressful, “I can’t remember where I put my glasses that are actually still on my head” overload, but the, “I have so many interests in so many things and there are only so many hours in the day and days in the week to fully experience all of my hobbies” overload.

To counteract this problem, I’ve decided that I’m going to try and categorize my posts with a different assigned category for each day of the week. Structure is essential to life for a Type A person like me, so why I haven’t thought of this in the past, I have no idea. Since this is the first day, I’ll let this post continue without a specified category. Life can’t all be shoved into one, neat and tidy box, so I guess I can allow days of “random posting.”

I feel like this has already been the biggest Spring Break fail ever. I planned my foot surgery, (simple removal of a Ganglion cyst from the outside of my right foot), with great care. Being a dance teacher, primarily a tap teacher, my income is dependent on my feet being in full working order. It’s difficult enough to get three-year-old children to cooperate when your body is fully functioning. It just so happened that I was able to schedule surgery on the very first day of Spring Break, which happens to be immediately followed this year by picture week at the studio. This means that for 17 whole days, it would not be necessary for me to be able to dance. Not only that, but our tax refund came in just in time to cover all out-of-pocket medical expenses. Perfect timing!

Although I’m only 30, I think I’ve already come to realize that in the human scope of perception, there is no such thing as perfect timing. For one, I believe in God’s timing and the problem with that is that most of the time, we humans are in the dark as to exactly what the “perfect timing” is. When something does or doesn’t happen, we can’t see the big picture and it means that we never think things happen or don’t happen when they should. It is also naive to get wrapped up in a moment when things seem to be falling into place, because that’s  when we are at our most vulnerable for the devil to sweep in and wreak havoc. Insert my Spring Break thus far.

I thought I had it all planned out and the only real thing I was worried about leading up to the day of surgery was any complications with anesthesia. First off, I’m one of  those crazy people that wants to be watching whenever something takes place. Like when I get a shot or have to have blood drawn; I want to watch the needle go in. With this surgery being an outpatient procedure, I wasn’t really sure why I needed to be put all the way under. I also know that I weigh very little and I am scared to death of being nauseous, so all the worst case scenarios were playing out in my head – none of which really had nothing to do with the surgery itself. I know, I’m an odd one.

Of course the surgery went fantastic, the anesthesiologist even let me have a lighter “dose” of anesthesia and I had no negative side effects. An hour after being released from the surgery center, I was hobbling on my crutches around Hobby Lobby with my mom trying to keep up, so I could pick up some new yarn for the latest afghan I’m crocheting. This is the kind of psycho that I am. That being said, and with my previously confessed constant mental overload, I tend to be someone that doesn’t slow down very often. When I do, it’s usually for a break from work such as Thanksgiving weekend, Christmas/New Years and of course, Spring Break. When I do finally let myself relax and enjoy time to myself, it’s like my immune system also decides it’s time for a vacation and I invariably get sick. This has been happening to me since I was young, so I don’t know why I didn’t anticipate it this time. So, I felt great for all of about 24 hours, until the sinus/flu symptoms kicked in.

Luckily, I do not have the flu but I am beyond ready to start enjoying some of my Spring Break! I haven’t even felt like taking the puppies to the dog park and the temperature has been so nice outside. After my latest doctor’s visit this morning, I’m now on a new antibiotic as well as over-the-counter allergy medication and a nasal spray. Tomorrow, I have my post-op appointment with the podiatrist, where I will hopefully be given a walking boot. I haven’t put any weight on my right foot in four days, and although I probably have the most awesome left calf and glute muscles by now, I’m tired of hopping all over the house. Not to mention, thanks to the crutches, I have bruised ribs and a spot on my hand has been rubbed raw.

I may feel like this Spring Break has failed me so far, but there are still six whole days left to enjoy some time with my hubby and puppies. I must hobble on!