again with the food

i’m not a food blogger, and i don’t really have a desire to be one. which might have you asking, “why another post about food?”  i’m attempting a little bit of psychology (or something like that) in order to get my blogging mojo back.  i figure if what i’m cooking is the most interesting thing i have going on in my life right now, then that’s what i’m gonna write about.  (it’s not just interesting, it’s also unusual.  cooking is not my default.)  so i guess i’ll just keep posting about food until i can find the interesting in the rest of my life.  my hope is that i will add a dash of daily life in with the cooking/food stuff and – eventually – it will become more and more daily life and less and less look what’s in my crockpot, but until then…  let’s go ahead and look what’s in my crockpot!

before i could head to the store to check off my grocery list i needed to make a trip to immigration for sam’s 90 day check-in.  it was due aug. 14, but they allow a grace period and i was within that time period.  except i wasn’t.  turns out the slip of paper that had the stamp that read -14 AUG also had a stamp that read -4 AUG. obviously (to all but me), the second one was the correct one.  i tried to explain it to the officer at the desk.  she agreed it had two stamps, but seemed to think i wasn’t too bright for assuming the one that was in the top corner, that showed without me having to unfold the piece of paper that was stapled in sam’s passport, was the correct stamp.  it’s very possible that they told me when they did this.  i tend to be stressed when i’m at immigration.  what with the waiting and the lots of irritated people and the waiting and the crowded room and the waiting…  not to mention the last time i was there for this purpose i was suffering with a wee bit of hip pain.  anyway, it didn’t appear that the officer was going to come around to my way of seeing things and she handed my passport to the officer next to her.  he opened it, saw it was sam’s, asked me if he was my son, and said, “mai pen rai.” (which is basically hakuna matata).  the first immigration officer agreed with him, but did remind me to be more careful in the future.  i was very, very appreciative.  i get to do it again for myself in just a few weeks.

my next stop was the grocery store and, as an added bonus, there was a downpour.  i still managed to get the shopping done.  i also got an umbrella-d escort to my car. once i was home, the first thing i needed to do was get the chickens ready for the best whole chicken in a crockpot. 

chicken

they needed 6 hours to cook, so i got busy making soup.  i might tire of the soup with some protein quick meal eventually, but for now i’m thinking i’m brilliant for coming up with it.  last week it was curried cream of broccoli soup and crockpot sweet potato basil soup.  this week i made a pot of creamy spinach and artichoke soup.

crmofspinach

and cream of mushroom soup.

creamofmush  i’ve got some pork from last week and the chicken from this week to mix in with these.

once the chicken was done, i removed the meat and threw the bones and other bits and pieces back into the crockpot.  i added a few vegetables and some water and tonight while i’m sleeping my crockpot will be making overnight chicken stock in the crockpot.

broth

8 weeks

Tomorrow will mark 8 weeks post-op.  which is amazing.  it feels like it’s been forever, but it also feels like my surgery was just yesterday.

i spent week 6 1/2 to 7 1/2 down with an ear infection.  it required me to take some pain killers.  i generally don’t mind living with some discomfort or even a minimum amount of pain (living with is probably not what i mean, temporarily tolerating is more like it.)  when i was asked pre-surgery what level of pain i could deal with i said 4 out of 10.  if we could keep the pain at a 4 i’d be happy.  i think it’s important that i feel at least discomfort and i don’t think pain is a bad thing, as long as it isn’t interfering with my daily life.  the pain reminds me that i’m recovering.  to not push myself.  when i’ve had enough.  so, i haven’t taken much pain killer since my eyebrow stitches incident and i discovered something amazing.  400mg of advil and i was pain free.  like nothing was wrong.  and in a very short amount of time it seemed i forgot i needed to be careful.  i knew not to go crazy – i didn’t start running or lifting or tackling the daily WOD, but i did push my range of motion a little further than i might should have doing my rehab exercises and i was up on my feet a lot.  once i quit taking the pain killers i was hit with a new fatigue and soreness that i hadn’t experienced since before the surgery.  no worries, it wasn’t anything like the pain i’d had pre-surgery, but i could definitely tell i’d done too much.

in order to recover from this i cancelled a few PT sessions.  I did my exercises, but i was much more careful about what i was doing and how i was doing it.  i did my stretches and i was much more conscientious about doing them.  i tend to be lazy when it comes to stretching and mobility work.  which is a little funny because it’s all i seem to do now.  i’m going to meet with a pilates instructor who attends one of my crossfit classes tomorrow.  she’s going to work with me on my core and my alignment and how to get the most out of the rehab i’m doing.  i’m excited about this because pilates is one of the things that has been recommended once i’m cleared to work out.

so, my 8 week report is (for the most part) good.  i’ve tried not to hassle my doctor in the states too much.  i have had a few question for his PA and he’s been good about responding.  the biggest thing i’m guilty of is forgetting this was major surgery.  sometimes the fact that i don’t have a massive scar causes me to believe i just had a little work done.  that shaving bones and repairing the labrum is no big thang.  i’m not considered healed until the 3 month mark (august 29).  that’s when i can begin the real work, because healed is not the same thing as fully recovered.  it’s just when the recovery can really begin – if i’ve done a good job on the rehab that is.

5 weeks

i’m 5 weeks post op. that’s crazy. but when i look at the recovery time ahead of me it also feels like no time at all. i’m doing my best to only look at the FAI success stories online. that would be so much easier if folks didn’t post their not so successful stories, but that’s the nature of the google, right? so i’ve tightened up my belt because i hear that i’ve got a 6-8 week slump/depression headed my way. i refuse to research this more. and i’m hoping that my stocking up of chocolate and dark chocolate is all i’ll need to weather this storm.

i moved off the crutches this week. spent almost the entire week crutch free. but today i’m back to one. i think this is normal. i returned to work this week, i’ve got 2 hours 3 times a week of PT going on, and another 2 hours a day of exercise/rehab stuff that i do on my own plus just daily life. added up that makes for one fatigued hip. not to mention my angry, angry adductor. and my glutes that aren’t keen to turn on.  i think that all means i’m right on track.  

speaking of PT.  one of my favorite/not favorite things is her tendency to remark how weak i am.  how very, very weak i am.  how surprisingly weak i am.  she says it a lot.  and she laughs.  and then she giggles.  i think it’s meant to be empathetic/encouraging.  but I’m not sure about that.  however, the 1 hour of heat packs and massage i get totally make it worth it.  she is awesome at delivering the hurts so good pain.  

totally off topic, we’ve just started watching The Sopranos.  we’re only 15 years late to this.  

shaving and stitches

surgery was last thursday.  it seems to have gone well.  i was worried about pain. i normally handle pain pretty well, but the pain i’d been experiencing before the surgery was making me think my pain tolerance had diminished.  thankfully, the pain is less than it was before the surgery.  and the lower back pain/tightness that i’d been experiencing for quite a while is gone.  i’m super impressed by that.  what did they do?  shaved some bone and repaired the labrum.  i have lots of pictures, but i’ll spare you from most of them.  (i know not everybody is a fan of surgical pictures.)   this one seems safe, it’s the bone shaving they did.

Screen Shot 2014-06-03 at 1.40.46 AM

i left the clinic with instructions to start physical therapy on monday (today), but i was given a pretty tough workout regimen to keep up with until then.  this is a workout for time and i’m supposed to do it three times a day.  it looks like this.

IMG_1247

5 – 10 minutes three times a day i’m supposed to lay on my stomach with my feet hanging off the bed.  it’s meant to help with adhesions.  and i’ve only missed one of these strenuous workouts.  because i was doing this instead.

IMG_1252i managed to pass out while on my crutches.  i have this cup they sent home from the surgical clinic with me.  it says, “always call.  never fall.”  turns out they mean to call before you are feeling like you’re going to pass out, because once you feel like it’s going to happen it’s too late to do much more than draw someone’s attention so they can see you falling.  i hit my head on the knob of a cabinet on my way down.  it doesn’t appear that i injured my leg – i’m really, really, really hoping i didn’t.  but i did get to go to the e.r.  and i did get to get some stitches.  and it’s possible i’ll get a scar.  they did lab work and gave me some i.v. fluids.  the e.r. doctor suspects i was dehydrated and that the dehydration on top of my body trying to recover from surgery was just too much.  i’ve felt fine since i left the hospital.  i do worry a bit that it will happen again, but i’m drinking plenty of fluids and my parents are being a little more watchful when i’m up.

here’s hoping the rest of the recovery is easier.

2nd opinion done and jet lag

i made it to america.  while not my favorite flight it was much better than i thought it would be, partly because the pain wasn’t as intense and i am able to stand fully upright and partly because i had an awesome seat.  not upgrade awesome, but more you can leave your seat back the entire flight awesome.

i saw the doctor friday morning.  he took some more x-rays and reviewed my MRI.  he could see the labrum tear in the MRI, so I don’t really need an MRA.  he did say it could provide more diagnostic information, but that it wouldn’t change the treatment.  which is arthroscopic surgery.  dr #1 said i had a pincer impingement and suspected a tear.  dr #2 says i have a pincer impingement, a cam impingement and a labrum tear.  i’ve been scheduled for surgery at the end of this month.  he’ll go in and reshape the hip bone, reshape the femur head, and repair the labrum.  i’ll be on crutches 2 or 3 weeks and he’ll clear me to fly home 3 weeks after surgery.  my surgery is scheduled for the end of this month, but i’m on the waiting list for a cancelation and it would be really, really great if i got in earlier.

the pain continues to get better.  it’s still constant, but it’s much more low grade with some peaks to medium strength if i try to pivot or bend or have to stand or sit.  but that is so much better than it was and so much more tolerable.

and the jet lag.  it’s currently 2:30 in the morning and i am wide awake.  this doesn’t bode well for tomorrow.

something or (with any luck at all) nothing new to document

my hip hurts.  it really, really hurts.  and by that i mean it really, really, really hurts.   but the really, really, really hurt has only been going on for the past two weeks.  before that it was only annoying with an occasional flair up of the maybe there’s really a problem variety.  i’d blamed it on turning 40 (you know, a few years ago) and one of the costs of leading a sedentary life for most of my 20s and 30s.  on occasion i had to make some adaptations, but they were temporary. this pain escalation caused me to go have it looked at.

one of the impressive things about medical care here is the lack of red tape.  i went to the orthopedic walk in clinic at the local hospital, the doctor there came highly recommended.  i waited about half an hour.  saw the doctor.  had an X-ray, the doctor consulted the X-ray and i was done in 45 minutes tops.  the X-ray showed a bone spur on my right hip.  this didn’t concern the doctor, but the pain and limited mobility did so he sent me for an MRI.

(funny X-ray story.  the tech had to consult a chart to determine where to set the dials on the X-ray machine.  then he consulted a book to find out what position i should be place in.)

i called the MRI clinic at 7pm.  they had me come in at 9pm.  i had my MRI, it included having my feet masking taped together, and was home by 11pm.  i went back to the doctor the next night, yes, within 24 hours, and he read the MRI report.  turns out the bone spur was an issue.  maybe the issue.  he diagnosed me with something called FAI - Femoroacetabular Impingement.  the MRI report also said suspect torn anterolateral labrum.  but they can’t confirm that here.  and i’ve been advised that it’s best to not have it treated here. so in a few days i’m going to fly to america for a second opinion.

i’m not looking forward to the flight.  the normal discomfort of tight seats and close neighbors and forever up in the air seems even less appealing when filtered through the really, really, really hurt and the inability to stand up straight.

better with age

last year there was a post on the oprah blog that listed 24 things that get better with age.  24 seems an odd number.  25 would be better.  i’ve got an excellent idea as to what number 25 should be, but first the 24 from her list:

  • Ford Mustangs
  • A wheel of gouda
  • Sea Glass
  • A cast-iron skillet
  • Amish friendship bread
  • Cowboy boots
  • Scrapbooks
  • Single-malt scotch
  • Sense and Sensibility
  • Ivy-covered walls
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Blue jeans
  • A rib-eye steak
  • Stereo headphones
  • Your sense of self
  • Love letters
  • Hardwood floors
  • Peonies
  • Sexual satisfaction
  • Chinese century eggs
  • A baseball mitt
  • Diamonds in the rough
  • Your vocabulary
  • George Clooney (this one seems somewhat subjective)

and here’s my suggestion for number 25 -

10yrs

this could also serve as a reminder that 10 years is too long to wait to have pictures taken.