Monday, January 21, 2019

First Monkey Monday, 2019

A prospective patient consulting with Pep Le Monkee, MMD
 
I'm happy to present our first Monkey Monday of 2019. Monkey Monday is a an occasional feature of Buttercupland featuring Pep Le Monkee. Today I'd like to announce that Pep is now Pep, MMD. "MMD" is not a title with which you may be familiar, but it's one we're pretty excited about. Pep is now a Monkey Medical Doctor and as you can tell by his professional attire, he is pursuing surgery as his specialty. 
 
Pep is a recent graduate of Monkey Online University and was first in his class. In an interview this morning he said that my recent surgery sparked his interest in medicine. An admirer of Pep's and long time friend, L., sent Pep his first set of scrubs , which he is wearing in the photograph. 
 
Dear Pep, the entire Buttercupland community joins me in congratulating you on this achievement. 
 
In other semi-medical news, I've now been out for short walks three out of the last four days. My goal is to walk outside whenever it's not snowing or slippery. It still takes a lot of effort to walk the one block from my building uphill to Broadway, but it is doable. Once I'm on Broadway there are at least five places to buy food, a small branch of Bed, Bath and Beyond and a drugstore within two blocks. 
 
I finish with my compression machine on Wednesday morning and then I will be able to be out of my apartment for more than an hour at a time. I want/need to get back to Weight Watchers and that will most likely be my first outing. Two weeks of sitting around and inhaling more carbs than I ate almost all of 2018 have not been pretty. I am getting back to healthier eating and will begin to get more exercise shortly. 
 
I got out for my walk this afternoon, but I have no pictures to share. Despite being bundled up for a night on the tundra it was still cold. I had wool gloves on, but I really needed the ski gloves I've worn when I needed to be outside for longer periods. It was single digit this morning and actually, the temperature climbing to twelve degrees isn't really much warmer. 
 
As ever, thanks for visiting! For everyone in equally cold, or colder, climates -- K! I'm thinking of you -- keep cozy.  

Saturday, January 19, 2019

The Recovery Journals: Part II

My view down Broadway, via Waterlogue
 
It's a calm Saturday night in Manhattan. I've had dinner and cleaned up the kitchen, spent some time sorting through photographs and deleted the day's collection of email. My compression machine is sitting beside me, going up and down in a steady rhythm as I happily rejoin my blog buddies at Pink Saturday.  It feels great to be sitting at the computer. 
 
But not half as great as it felt yesterday afternoon when I took my first solo expedition -- with my trusty cane -- out of my apartment building. I'd been outside three times previously with my physical therapists, but after yesterday's appointment I was cleared to go out by myself. I was cautioned about remembering not to overdo it and to look at the temperature and weather before going out. But yesterday afternoon was reasonably warm and I bundled up to pick up a few groceries to have on hand. I made my way one block to Broadway and then turned right and continued to the end of the block above. 
 
I got really bold on the walk home and crossed Broadway, six lanes of traffic, and stopped at Dunkin Donuts for the afternoon special, an iced latte. On my walk back down the hill from Broadway to my building I was beside myself with glee. I was out and about! This was a walk I've done thousands of times, but I took such complete pleasure in navigating around my neighborhood and doing the most basic of errands. 
 
Crossing this street was my challenge yesterday
 


So many times I've thought that real excitement in life comes from exotic trips, fancy restaurants and the luxuries of life. But yesterday (once again) learned that the real satisfaction in life is a joy in the very smallest details of our lives. I'm pretty sure that there's nowhere I would have wanted to be yesterday other than walking on my block and enjoying the clear, crisp winter day.
 
Again, thanks for all the get well good wishes. I'm again grateful to all who helped me through this surgery and recovery. I know I'm not out of the woods yet, but I can definitely see the clearing through the trees. I will do a post on my reacher and compression machine in the next few days. 
 
As ever, thanks for visiting and keep cozy!
 

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

The Recovery Chronicles, Part I

My new buddy, Chilly. Just the perfect friend to spend time with while I am icing. 
 
It is now Day 9 into my recovery following hip replacement surgery. I'm calculating recovery began one day past the actual surgery last Monday. I am hopeful that the Recovery Chronicles will be short-lived and sometime next week I may start to make forays out of my apartment. I did venture out yesterday and walked two blocks with my physical therapist. I am being prudent and not attempting to do more than my therapist recommends. 
 
Like every experience, this one has been filled with life lessons. I thought I was well prepared for this surgery and, in many ways, I was. In other ways I was totally adrift.
 
Among my lessons:
 
Once again I learned that ice is my best friend. Keeping my ice packs frozen is my new career.
 
My reacher -- which I will feature in a post tomorrow -- is another new friend. I have gotten proficient in picking up the infinite number of things I drop on the floor. Of course when I drop the reacher on the floor...
 
The compression machine -- also to be featured in tomorrow's post -- is a miracle invention. It massages my legs and cuts down the possibility of a blood clot. I need to wear it 23 hours/day for two weeks post surgery. Using it means I don't need to take blood thinners, but it is cumbersome. I also forget I am attached to it and at least once a day, it falls to the floor. Six more days!
 
Titanium -- my new hip material -- weighs more than bone. My next Weight Watchers weigh-in may not be pretty. 
 
Do not google "pulmonary embolism" when I can't sleep. Actually, do not google anything medical when I can't sleep. This is a good rule for any night, not just following surgery. 
 
I've got terrific friends. Cards, phone calls, texts, food, gifts, visits and wonderful thoughtfulness, including my new friend, Chilly, who came from Tennessee.      
 
 
As the saying goes, this is not my first (recovery) rodeo, or even my second. Through the years I've learned good lessons about patience and the necessity of physical therapy and listening to my body. But I've once again learned that there are always more lessons to learn. I'm doing well and each day have a little more energy. Thank you all for your good wishes!
 
As ever, thanks for visiting and take good care.
 
 

Sunday, January 6, 2019

Baby Aspirin Pink Saturday


In an hour or so I'm going to take one of these baby aspirin, now known as low dose aspirin. I'm not going to eat after midnight and at 4:45 a.m. I am scheduled to depart for my rendezvous with titanium at NYU Hospital. My right hip will be replaced and, beginning Monday, I will be known as Titanium Woman, aka Buttercup to my friends and family.

Am I worried? Not so much worried, but rather a kind of general free-floating low-grade anxiety. I have every confidence in the hospital and in my surgeon, with over 30 years of experience. I am grateful for so many who are planning to visit, to bring me iced coffee and any other treats I may request and everyone who has called and texted. But it's surgery and I am not looking forward to the week ahead.

I hope/think I will be home on Wednesday and I'm planning a post to say hello by the end of this week, if not Thursday Thanks in advance for prayers, healing thoughts and good wishes.

I'm joining with my Pink Saturday friends today. New York was blessed with good weather for January this week and I had some great walks. This is one of my favorite pictures, a semi-selfie in front of our local yarn shop, Knitty City.

Wishes for Peace, Love and Fiber!    
 

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

The Perfect Word for 2019: Fun (Socks)

This isn't an advertisement for Keds...
 
And it's so not the post I was planning/writing. I started thinking about this year's perfect word last week. I chose my word and I've been making notes for the last few days. The post had good ideas, was thoughtful and serious and I was all set for 2019. It's a good post and I may share it later this month, but it's not the post for now.
 
The backstory for my word for 2019 begins in October. I was part of a get-together with women I had met via a Facebook low-carb group. We were doing a fun gift exchange and animal-themed socks were part of the exchange. You spin a die and then pass the gifts to the left or right or choose one that you like. I really wanted the animal socks, especially one pair that were sheep-themed, and at the end of the game the sheep socks were mine. I really enjoyed wearing them, so much so that I bought a holiday pair of penguin socks. I liked wearing them, too.

Yesterday I was doing a few errands and on my way to the cashier I saw the sock display that included the coffee cup socks. They weren't expensive and they were so cute and I added them to my purchase. I try not to spend too spontaneously in January, but I'm not doing No-Spend January this year and a pair of socks wasn't too much of a splurge.

As I walked to the subway station for my trip home I was thinking about my new fun socks and, in a flash, despite my thoughts and all the notes I had made, I had my word for 2019, Fun. Last year's word was Health and I've also chosen Climb and Give in the past. But the word for 2016 was Bubbly, so it hasn't always been serious and somber. There will be more fun socks, but this isn't just about socks. The year past had many good times and great memories, but it also contained illness and loss among family and friends. I'm going to look for the fun times, the silly times, times of laughter and conversation in 2019. When I start to forget looking for the fun in life, I will have my sheep socks to remind me.

So far, so good for 2019. No snow or sleet and I've stopped craving every cookie I see. I'm getting my apartment and myself organized for my hip replacement surgery next week. I am keeping my goals for 2019 in mind. I ate vegetables at lunch and dinner, finished this post and sorted through some of my holiday wrappings before packing things up for next year. Is anyone else keeping up with 2019 goals?

As ever, thanks for visiting. I hope the start of 2019 has been good to you and you find the fun in the world around you.  

Monday, December 31, 2018

Hello, 2019

It's bye-bye 2018 and hello to 2019
 
Dear 2018,
You've been a full year. I celebrated my 50th high school reunion and saved the dates for my 50th college reunions. I visited Australia last January and completed my goal of visiting all seven continents. I walked over 1,000 miles, lifted over 300,000 pounds and became a Lifetime member of Weight Watchers. I enjoyed great theater -- My Fair Lady, To Kill a Mockingbird and Ferryman. I celebrated Passover, Rosh Hashanah, Thanksgiving, Chanukah and Christmas with friends of long-standing. I met blog buddies in Australia and England and they are now in-real-life friends.
 
Regrets? I've got a few. I hoped to read more, but am grateful for the books I did read. Heartland and Educated stand out. I hoped to blog more, but I'm happy to have kept blogging through the year. I could have eaten more vegetables, attended more Yoga classes and decluttered more thoroughly.
 
So here are my goals: Read more, write more, eat more vegetables, go to Yoga and declutter.    
 
No Times Square for this New Yorker. In a little while I'm joining friends for a quiet evening of Chinese food and television. Tomorrow I begin to carry out my goals. I'm planning a big salad, reading and a blog post about my "word" for 2019. I hope you will stop by and say hello. 
 
Wishes to all of Buttercupland for a happy, healthy
and peaceful new year.

Sunday, December 30, 2018

Miracle on 34th Street

Christmas in New York always includes Macy's
 
For those of us of a certain age, i.e., most of us in Buttercupland, "Miracle on 34th Street" was the Christmas movie.  My parents and I would spend a very enjoyable evening every December watching Natalie Wood and Maureen O'Hara find joy in Christmas. We didn't live in New York City, but the idea that the perfect store at Christmas was Macy's was imprinted in my mind at a very young age. I don't get to the flagship Macy's store all that often, but it wouldn't be Christmas without a visit to Macy's. 
 
I made my annual December visit yesterday. The decorations were charming and I enjoyed seeing the festive scenes that are displayed on the first floor. Of course, everyone else in New York City was enjoying it as well. My miracle on 34th Street was keeping calm in the midst of the crowds. It was crowded, too crowded for me to do any shopping, but I'm glad I made my annual visit. 
 
This is one of my favorite decorations. It honors the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.
These overhead scenes rotate so you can see all of the details. 
 
 This year's fun friend is Sunny the Snowpal, who helps Santa when there are mechanical problems with the sled. I think Sunny might make a nice addition to the Snowman Family.
 I see a return to Macy's later this week.
 
 Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. 
 
Macy's windows on 34th Street tell the iconic story of  Virginia O'Hanlon's letter to the New York Sun in 1897. The response to Virginia's letter to the Sun was written by a veteran newspaper writer, Francis Pharcellus Church. His words were wise in 1897 and equally wise today, in our own time of skepticism. 
 
Church wrote: "No Santa Claus! Thank G-d! He lives, and he lives forever. A thousand years from now,Virginia, nay, ten times ten thousand years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood."
 
I hope your holiday time has been one of many sweet moments, large and small. I loved sharing some of my favorite moments of Christmas in New York with my Buttercupland family and my Pink Saturday family.
 
As ever, thanks for visiting and take care!