Sunday, August 29, 2010

Well, it's not a bone ripped lose. The piece of bone seems to have been there all along and I've just manged a soft tissue injury to my knee. I can already feel it on the mend and I intend to live the last week of my working life at work. I can sit now without undue pain and walking is pretty OK but I get stiff in whatever position I leave the knee in for any substantial period. Today I worked a little while on the berries and all my leg joints from ankle upward are complaining about the balancing act I have to do to prune and tie them up. I will spend a quiet day with the laundry basket tomorrow making dent in ironing.

Swans news: Despite my doom staying they played an impressive last two matches and are in the finals with a chance. Since the young players are stepping up and playing as the were part of the machine, I'm trying my to get too excited. I'd still love to go but have no companion and should go buy tickets on Monday.

I've been spending my evening sorting through black alpaca, removing the short cuts and VM and putting the mostly clean stuff in a bag to wash. This the end of the black alpaca and I have a few ideas floating around to for turning it into something useful.
In the meantime I've been reading Pushing Ice by Alasair Reynolds, the beginning of which is more accessible to new readers of his work, but it gets plenty weird toward the end. I've also been pushing my family histories back to them all arriving in Massachusetts around 1630. I guess it was inevitable they all married each other.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Well, I don't know if my medical news is good or not. When I saw my surgeon on Thurs. he said those words I have heard several doctors say over my body: "I've never seen anything like it." I haven't torn my ACL because I no longer have one. It appears from the X-ray that I have ripped a piece of bone off my leg. How is a mystery and I had a C/T scan today to get a better look at the offending area. Should this actually be the case, there is no cure but rest and healing, another 4 weeks of it. I also have to be sure I don't lose range of motion in the new knee while the bone heals. I may be lucky to get a week back at work before I retire. This is not how I imagined my career at the Library ending, with a whimper, to be sure.

Next week will be the 19th anniversary of the wedding of me and my Bear. It seems a long time and just yesterday. I still can't believe I've been a widow for 3 years. Life throws strange things at you, some spectacularly good and some woefully awful.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Knews of the knee: It's amazing how your horizon shrinks when you're injured. I was planning and thinking years ahead last week and now my life is aimed at Thursday when I see my surgeon. He has always been speedy in scheduling procedures so I hope this agony has an end. From my Internet research I think I have torn my ACL while putting on shoes and don't know if it's because the knee replacement isn't totally healed. So It's the RICE routine (rest, ice, compression, elevation) and judicious use of painkillers. I have a TV with DVDs (Dexter, Weeds), my Macbook with videos (Grey's Anatomy, Torchwood). I guess voting next Saturday will be an adventure.

It seems that I neglected to post that my battle with Wooly Knob Fiber Mill ended when they delivered the fleeces they had processed to BFLB's place the day before I left. I had brought vacuum bags and we managed to squeeze the fleeces into my luggage. There are 4 Shetland fleeces and a BFL and are beautiful: soft and lovely to spin. I have just finished spinning the merino/bamboo blen, so I might take on one of the Shetlands next. Some shades of fawn, blank and white.

I've enjoyed the benefits of our HD sports channel to watch baseball two mornings in a row. I miss baseball so watching any team is fun. Remembering the cadence, the language, the overwhelming statistics, remembering my childhood being linked to baseball (it was the only sport my father watched). My first husband taught me how to boxscore baseball and took me to my only major league games and frequent college games in the Chapel Hill. There a relaxed atmosphere of baseball that is different from cricket. It took me several years to stop comparing the two sports. The memories flood back but I won't bore you. 50+ years of watching it.

Swans news: somehow they managed to win yesterday and despite themselves remain in the eight. They don't have a hope I think of winning against the top of the ladder teams so they won't last the finals. I hope J and I make it to more matches next year.

Book report: A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini, who wrote The Kite Runner. It is the story of two women in Afghanistan from the time of the Soviet invasion to the rule of the Taliban. We women of the affluent west with our TVs and dishwashers and comfortable, independent lives with law and culture supporting us have no idea what our sisters under the rule of Islamic fundamentalism endure. No doubt there are women in the west who live with brutal violent husbands but the law, in theory, is on the victim's side. In Kabul, women have no rights and women get their freedom only by turning the violence against their oppressors and then paying the ultimate price. The book is an agonizing and often depressing read, but one that reminds us perhaps of why we are fighting in this country against these brutes who believe they have divine right to abuse women. Men who demand artists to paint pants on the legs of flamingos because that much bare leg, even on a bird, is a sin.

Saturday, August 07, 2010

Well, my first week home has been less than fantastic. The hardest part of the flight home (except for Qantas having no record of me paying for my ticket) was the long progression out the door of the plane, down an endless ramp, through Immigration, waiting through the last of the luggage to snag mine, an endless queue through Quarantine, an endless walk to drop off luggage for the flight to Canberra, a long wait to get on a bus, a long bus ride and another endless walk to the very last gate to get on the plane. While the chill in Canberra was a welcome change from the humid blanket of the US. I was glad I had acquired a jacket overseas which I could easily pull out of my suitcase.

I have then suffered through the worst jet lag I have ever had. Whether it was partially my medical conditions aggravated by lack of sleep or whatever, I was nauseous, extremely tired, headachey and in pain. Just as it was starting to lift on Friday I injured my right knee. I don't know how I did it. I think it is just a soft tissue strain of the still healing tissues. I was very pleased with the new knee's performance on the trip but today I am in agony. Rest, ice, and waiting are all I can do. All the muscles that had stopped hurting when the knee was replaced are now reminding me of what they are capable of when annoyed.

The Imp became a limpet for many days, sleeping with me and trying to attach herself to me whenever I sat down, which led to a few disagreements about what is permissible. Of course she wants to camp on my knees now. The wattle is indeed in bloom, I saw snow on the mountains and we've been having lots of frost.

Book reports: I read The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo on the trip and it is a great thriller. I watched the movie on the plane back and was very disappointed. All the nuances of the characters were smoothed out an a happy ending supplied. Read the book but skip the movie. I also just finished another ethics-based sci-fi by L. E. Modesitt Jr, Adiamante. While you can always tell where he is going in his novels, the journey is enjoyable. This trip resulted in zero books purchased and no food either.