Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Still alive and Kicking - but only with the right leg!

I can hardly believe it is 7 months since I  wrote my last blog.  So apologies to those who thought I may have kicked the bucket.  Actually not much kicking possible at the moment as I have had my left knee replaced four weeks ago today.  (I like to get my money's worth out of all the tax I paid over the years to keep the national health service in business!).  My right knee was replaced three years ago.  Very shortly after I learned that the aches and pains in my back and my general feeling of ill-health were not due to the effects of the knee operation, but to rather more sinister causes.  Therefore recovery following the replaced knee was somewhat hampered by a year's worth of chemo.  This time I am hoping for better things.  Already I can bend this new metal knee joint far more after four weeks than I could my right knee.  Whilst in hospital following the operation (would recommend the Horder Centre to anyone needing a joint replacement), we had twice daily sessions with the physiotherapist showing us what exercises to do to improve recovery.  The amount of flexion was measured each day (bend in the knee) to see how you were doing.  I managed a flexion of 108 degrees (the bigger the number the better the flexion).  Not that I am competitive or anything, but when one of the other ladies got her bend to 102 degrees, I was seriously worried and worked at my knee bends all evening ready for the next day's measurement.  The poor lady in question never made the next day's physio session as she was feeling sick, so I did leave hospital with the greatest degree of flexion of my cohort that week.  Maybe I take this competitive spirit a bit too far sometimes! Frustratingly though, I can't walk fast or far or cycle yet and am unlikely to get back to any real exercise for weeks.

At least I kept my £40 toe-nail extensions, beautifully and discretely painted a caramel pinky colour.  Usually for any operation they require you to remove nail varnish on hands and feet so they can see if you are turning blue under your nail beds.  I rarely wear nail varnish on my fingernails, but never ever bare the horrid nails on my toes damaged by runners toenail.  Since the invention, recently, of nail extensions for the toes, I have been known to sit for two hours whilst some young thing called a nail technician does creative things to the periphery of my toes.  This involves building, bonding and drying an acrylic substance to the bit of toenail you might have left.  Unlike stick on toenails, these things do not come off at the slightest knock (see previous blogs about the time I tried doing a mountain marathon with stick on toenails some years ago!)  I was therefore horrified when the nurse asked me to remove the said objects beautifully displayed at the end of my feet.  I appealed to her better nature - thank goodness it was a female, not male nurse as she completely understood my dilemma.  Had she suggested an enema or full body wax, I would have agreed, but remove my toenails, no.  So I was allowed to keep them. Not sure if anyone would really have noticed though as the scar left by a knee replacement is something to behold.  As the skin is held together with large metal staples and the gash is about 8" (20cm) long running over the middle of the knee, it looks something like a body part of the monster created by Frankenstein until the staples are removed.  Well, at least both knees have the same scar now.  Just need to get out in the sun for it to fade.

So it is back to the sewing machine and computer for sedentary jobs most of the time.  I still manage a bit of gardening and am getting very good at directing David on where to wield the spade and how deep to dig holes for things that now need replanting.  In fact I could quite get used to this method of gardening.  He is hoping normal service will resume soon.

Greatest news for this blog is ........................I will be a grandmother (again) in March and a mother-in-law (again) on New year's Eve.  Sarah is expecting a sibling for Ralph and the due date is March 9th.  If she is a week early I could have a lovely 60th birthday present.  (I will be 60 on March 1st 2014).  Becky and Tom are getting married on New Year's Eve so there is lots to look forward to.  What better excuse to splash out on some new clothes, shoes, bags, bling etc.  They are getting married in the Cotswolds (Tom's parents live up there and although Becky wanted a Kentish wedding in a large barn, we couldn't find one that was large enough and available on NYE. Fortunately Tom's parents live very near a large property with a barn that fits the bill, so it will be New Year in the Cotswolds.  At least it solves the problem of what to do on New Year's Eve.  A lovely thing about your children getting married is that a set of friends of your own age usually comes as part of the package in the form of parents of the future child-in-law.  Tom's parents, like Tom, are lovely people as are Sarah's husbands family and when we all get together at times I realise how lucky we are that both girls have chosen such lovely partners.  I have heard of a few horror stories from friends and am so glad that I don't have to 'try and get on with him for the sake of my daughter'.

Health, cancer wise, is still stable.  Last scan about a month ago, showed no progression. Remission has lasted over two years now and although the 5 year average life span after diagnosis, still hangs over me, I try not to think about it.  I try not to be average about anything.

I am pinning up a few photos to decorate this blog - none of my knee I promise, but a few of the growing Ralph and a few of our time earlier in the year at the Portuguese Orienteering event (POM) I mentioned in my last blog..

Until the next blog .........
 Ralph playing in the lavender fields (photo taken by his dad).  Mine never come out this good.
 Ralph and gramanita at the Hampton Court flower show - floral dresses are a must for the day.
 A few orienteers on our rest day on top of a hill near Pena Garcia (I think)
 A good caption is required!
 In O kit after the race.  Note the blue sky!

Think Dave took this one - hope to jettison the stick now I have had my knee replaced.

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