A Good Attitude and The Right Pair of Shoes

img_8766I have had enough of myself and my room. I have found with a good attitude and the right pair of shoes you can change your surroundings, and I did.

Today I awakened to a foggy morning and a foggy mind. We, my doctor and I, are trying something new in the line of medications. My knee surgery and challenging recovery are complicated. I had a t-shirt made in high school and wore it proudly with rainbow suspenders, declaring “UNIQUE” across my chest. I didn’t know it then, but now I am fully assured, I didn’t need it in writing. Just ask brother.

So, this is a side note:  If you need the t-shirt that says “messy hair, don’t care”  You probably do!

I had surgery on January 6, 2018. The two-part surgery on the meniscus and tendon were unremarkable and a basic walk in the park for my well established doctor. What he found on the Femur, Tibia, Fibula and behind the Patella have him very concerned and frankly, shaking his head.

I injured my knee playing basketball in 1980. Yes, that was a very long time ago. I hyper-extended it in a basketball game. I was posted up under the basket rebounding and a girl came down on my knee and it bent backwards. It was wrapped and I finished out the basketball season and had surgery at the end of my senior year. The meniscus was trimmed, the knee cap shaved and realigned. My doctor for that surgery was tragically killed in an accident and I did not have a follow-up appointment on the knee and furthermore, I was out hiking on crutches and took a fall. All this has been tucked away for over 37 years and while walking along on a side-walk, it just collapsed.

The doctor explained to me what he found. Our bones have a film on them where they come together and are joined with cartridge to form a joint. Mine had formed a protective pocket at each bone as it formed the knee. Those protective pockets were full of ground bone and cartilage and blood. He has no idea how long it had been that way and even greater questions of how I could even walk.  The wear and tear on the bone is critical and the deterioration significant. He cleared it all away and my body has rejected the change. My mind has compensated for so many years suppressing and dissociating with the issue, that it will not give my recovering knee the proper signals.

Now the hard work begins. I have started taking a medication for nerve receptors. I took it for the first time last night and the nervous system currents to my legs were alarming. A few hours later I was completely exhausted and had a hard time waking up at 8:00. I start physical therapy next week to cause reaction. My concern is that I have to convince my mind to pay attention and acknowledge the pain so it will cooperate with sending it healing. Now hear me this…It sounds to me like it has to hurt to heal and I am trying to get my head in this game. I have blocked, put aside, and rightly ignored pain and trauma for over 50 years and I’m not sure I want to teach myself this new trick.

My Grands are on their way tonight. My own young children are a sight to see. They make my world go round and I would like to keep up,  if only to watch them shine. I will be attending a memorial luncheon for a dear one who lived to her 90’s tomorrow.  The examples before me tell me to dig deep and get this done.

I have adjusted my courage, found the right pair of shoes and I have work to do.

I started this blog to honor the unconditional love of my dog. “To live out loud in his honor. Unconditional, Encouraging, Challenging and Exploring Ideas”

I know I am not alone in physical pain or frustrating health issues. I am extending these words to you , not for your sympathy. I think we are more alike than different. cue the music… reach out a hand, ask for help and receive others. When someone asks what they can do, give them a true answer. Living a connected life with giving and taking in balance, brings healing to more than the broken bones of this world. It heals loneliness and hopelessness.

Please share with me your stories of connecting with others. When you were at a hard spot in the road, what did someone do to turn it around. Lets give each other ideas. Sometimes it’s the simplest of gestures. Today a stranger encouraged me by carrying some papers to my car. I could have done it, I started to say, “No, thank you.”  It wasn’t a difficult task and only took a moment of his time. Why would I rob him of that reward? A person standing near noticed and nodded his head. See, connections. We are selfish in our pursuit of independence.

Today I tied on my just right shoes and went out into this small town I call home. I trusted it with my frailty and I was not disappointed.


Once Had a Mom

My mom passed from this world on November 26th. She lived as she died, with out hesitation and in her own time.

I will reflect on her life later but for today I share something from 2009.

My Dog, Shaw
January 20, 2009
Four days after my pup, Shaw, arrived in California we travel to the high mountain valley that we call home. There was almost 5 feet of snow. We settle into the house where dogs are usually not invited. Shaw, being such a baby has not known this as home, there has been made an acception. I show him his spot on a rug and pray he doesn’t pittle on the floor. My dad is terminal with cancer. He has been a fisherman, a cattle man, and a horse and dog trainer. He wants to know my dog. This is a test for me and mine… There is a young shepard that is well trained and knows the boundaries, she is a good teacher. She shows him the ways and he livens things up for this shepard with an old soul. My dad put out his hand to my dog and to my surprise, he snaps and bites my dads finger. Dads reply, “That little sh*t bit me.” He doesn’t hold it against my dog but I quickly return him to his spot an a rug. Later Shaw returns to my dad, I watch closely while he settles at his feet. As I reflect I am reminded of the cancer, I to wish I could bite at this unknown that is ravishing my dad. Shaw has self corrected and I am pleased. He returns several time to lay at my dads cold and swollen feet. My mom really likes dogs and would like a companion of her own. Shaw shows her no attention and she is trying to make up to him. Later I look around and he is not on his rug nor is he at my dads feet. My mom has had her way. She has been sneaking him meat scraps in the kitchen and now he is laying just out of the way watching her. Not begging, but knowing that this is where the heart of the home is and here he has found the love of his belly. My mom does not look up, she knows I would not approve of my dog in the kitchen, but she also knows I will not correct her ways. She says to me in a soft voice, you have brought us a camp dog… (written 2/08)

Shaw is my walking and hiking companion…he has turned out just fine.