Christmas Conundrum

I like Christmas. I find it’s a pleasant time of year. Even though people are often pushy and rude, I still enjoy shopping and I love buying gifts for others. I like Christmas music and snow, when we are lucky enough to have it. I love to bake holiday goodies. I like the Spirit of Christmas and sharing the joy with others. But this year we have a conundrum.

My niece is coming to visit and spend Christmas with us. I am really excited about this. I am disappointed that her mother, my sister, is not having Christmas for her daughter, but this means I get to see her. She is a sweet and strong young lady. At age 23, she’s just finished her two-year degree and she’s going to go to a four-year college next year. She’s much like me in that she wants to study science. In fact we’re so similar, we could be mother and daughter. She’s bipolar too.

This is where the conundrum comes in. My mother in law has just accepted an offer on her house. This means that this year will be the last Christmas they have in the house that my husband grew up it. She invited us to spend Christmas with her. I told her that my niece is coming and we really couldn’t go. However, my husband has been thinking maybe he should go. He feels torn because he wants to stay here and spend Christmas with us, but he feels as though it’s a family obligation to go and spend Christmas with his mom, who is 70 years old. If he goes, this will be the first Christmas we have spent apart since we met.

I feel torn too. I want him to be happy. And I want my mother in law to be happy. But I also want him here with me. And I know my niece would love to have him here. This is his only opportunity to go because even if I didn’t have my niece here, I am in no condition to travel. However, she can drive and we can shop and we can bake and we will be okay, but we will really miss him. So I don’t want him to leave but I also understand that it’s important to his mom, and to him too in some ways. But this breaks my heart.

He keeps asking me what I think. Do I encourage him to go? Or do I encourage him to stay? Or do I encourage him to make up his own mind? I don’t know what to say to him. I don’t want to keep him here against his will. Nor do I want to force him to go. But it’s going to be really hard without him.

The really sad part is that yesterday we were both happy and excited about Christmas. Now we both are upset and frustrated about it. Amazing how quickly things can change.

Things I’m Thankful For

This is my no means a comprehensive list, but I thought of a few things over the holiday. So here’s starter list of things I’m thankful for:

1. My husband. My soulmate.
2. My Dad is alive and well.
3. My “bro”
4. My childhood friend, J. She is always there for me when things go wrong back East.
My “fur children”:
5. Princess
6. Goldie
7. Indy
8. Lucky
9. LunaKitty, my fur angel who had to leave me two years ago. She was a wonderful part of my life and I still miss her. I’m thankful she shared most of her short life with me.
10. Saxon for easing the pain of losing Luna.
11. My niece
12. Good doctors: PCP, psych, GYN, surgeons
13. The hairdresser who washed my hair for me when I could not
14. The friends who sat with me after my surgery
15. All my friends, near and far
16. My friend, L, who invited us forThanksgiving dinner
17. My massage therapist
18. My vacations. Not everyone gets to go to Scotland, France, or the Netherlands.
19. Meeting nice people
20. My left wrist seems to be getting better
21. I can make a fist with my right hand
22. I can walk. I wasn’t expected to after the accident but today I do and without a cane.
23. My house
24. A savings account with a positive balance
25. I’m still collecting a paycheck while on sick leave

All of you for reading my blog and giving support in a way that no one else can. 🙂

2.5

It’s been 2.5 weeks (or so) since my surgery and I haven’t written in over a week.  Nothing’s happened.  That’s not true – lots of things have happened:  I got my splint off, I started PT,  I’ve even been out of the house a couple times. I haven’t written about any of this because it doesn’t seem like something worthy of writing. But that’s not fair to you.  It’s not my place to determine whether my blog is a waste of your time or not.  It’s your time to do with as you please. If you wish to read it, then the least I can do is write it.

I think the true cause of this attitude is because the depression is returning.  It’s not a train barreling down the tracks at me like before.  It’s slowly creeping up behind me, carrying a cloak of darkness.  It’s a silent stalker, waiting for me to pause in my step, so it can work its dark magic.  Tendrils of familiar sadness flowing over me, binding my arms, slowly dragging me to the ground.  I’m fighting to keep moving but it’s not easy.

The physical is taking a toll on me as well. I can’t use my right hand for much of anything.  My arm doesn’t straighten all the way.  I can’t lift it to my mouth because it won’t go past my chest.  If I try to make a fist, I can get the tips of my (long) nails to just touch my palm.  Last night I was in a lot of pain.  I took a Percocet but it didn’t do any good.  It didn’t even make me tired.

My electronic communication is limited to left-handed typing and dictation because I can’t type or write with my right hand.  It’s taken me an hour to get this far in my post.  I have to ask for help with almost everything.  No wonder I’m depressed.  Maybe it’s situational, but it still feels the same.  Wisps of darkness enveloping me, beginning to drag me into its murky depths.  I feel like I am living in a cocoon, cut off from the rest of the world.

We increased my antidepressant but I have a hunch Celexa just isn’t going to work for me.  Sure wish I could go back to Paxil, but it will render the Percocet useless so it’s no good until after this surgery recovery is over.  I hate being so limited and dependent.  I am trying to stay upbeat but it is hard.  I am trying to be thankful for the small things but that gets hard too.  I am thankful that I have a good surgeon.  I am thankful for good doctors. I am thankful that my Dad is doing OK.  I am really thankful to have a good husband.  It’s the little things that help.  Like knowing someone will read this – so I don’t feel quite so alone.

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WordPress Apps

For those of you who read my blog via e-mail, I encourage you to go to the actual WordPress site. As of late, I am having trouble with the app, and therefore I am frequently publishing before the post is actually completed. This is in part because the iPhone and iPad apps are different for WordPress. But mostly it’s my own inability to properly use these apps. Sorry for the inconvenience. Thank you.

Veteran’s Day

My father join the military in 1946 at the age of 17. He traveled the globe as part of the US effort to clean up after WW II. In China, he met a young woman that he fell in love with. He couldn’t speak the language and she couldn’t speak English, but it was love. Sadly, at that time, enlisted men could not marry women that they met on tour. Only officers had that privilege. Had that not been the case, I may have been half-Chinese.

He spent two years helping with the clean up efforts in Okinawa. Amongst his travels, he stopped over in Honolulu and fell in love with Hawaii. He has told me on several occasions that he can never go back because if he did, he would never leave. I went to Hawaii last year and it’s a beautiful place. Pearl Harbor is particularly haunting. I can only imagine what it looked like at that time with the devastation so fresh.

In 1947, the US Air Force was split off from the Army and my father ended his career as part of the Air Force. He spent the last of his Air Force career as a clerk typing out forms. Each form needed 13 copies and because you can only make one duplicate at a time, that meant he had to type each form seven times in addition to one original. At least he learned how to type.

I spoke to my dad last night. I said, “Dad, it’s Veterans Day.”

He replied, “So what?”

I said, “I want to thank you for your service to our country.”

He seemed stunned by my statement of thanks. I don’t think anyone has ever thanked him for serving. I think we need to remember to thank our veterans more than just once a year. Whether in war or in peace, they are willing to lay down their lives to protect us and defend our rights.

Thank you to all the vets and military personnel out there. We appreciate you.

One Week After Surgery

It’s been one week since my surgery it’s been an eventful and yet very very slow week. okay it’s just been a slow week. Healing is an extremely boring process. First there’s the sleeping. Sleeping is good. But when you aren’t sleeping, then what? There are limited number of things you can do with only one hand. And you would be surprised how many things that you both can and cannot do with just one hand.

For example, I am quite impressed with anyone who breaks their arm and then is able to wear jeans or some other zippered pair of pants. At all. Trust me, even wearing pants that are a size too big is a challenge. Working a zipper with one hand is harder than you think.

Second, when your “working” hand is most disagreeable, you’re limited even further. This means I end up watching a lot of TV. And lots and lots of TV is very boring. I can stream stuff, but again, that’s TV. I’m only talking to you now through Dragon dictation and my iPad. My iPhone lets me read your blog, but the WordPress app for the iPad doesn’t allow for reading. (Unless this function is hidden where I cannot find it.) Otherwise you would not be hearing from for a long time.

Okay, now you know the sad state of my recovery, that is my boredom, let’s talk about the surgery. The surgery – well I don’t really know yet because I don’t see the doctor till Monday when have my first follow up appointment from surgery. The doctor told DH that there was a lot of scar tissue that had to be cleaned up, and they reattached the tendon. The doctor told him the surgery went as planned so there were no complications unforeseen circumstances which is good.

I am very fortunate that I have friends who were willing to come sit with me last Friday night and Saturday. (My cover may be blown, but that’s another post.) My hairdresser washed & styled my hair today for nothing. She said that she wouldn’t charge me for doing something that I cannot do for myself.

My husband has been very supportive helping me to take care of myself: food, medications, personal grooming, and other stuff. Today was a real day on the town. After I had my bath and got my hair done then we went to lunch and did some other errands and stopped at Starbucks and talked. So I bought him lunch and coffee for all the wonderful things he’s done for me this week. It’s not about paying him back, it’s about love & helping someone who has been an integral part of your life for 15 years.

It’s almost Thanksgiving and I am thankful for all of the wonderful people in my life. I can’t pay any of them back, but I will do what I can to Pay It Forward.
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On the Other Hand

Thank you all for the support and well wishes! I made it through the process pretty well with the least amount of PTSD yet. Either this facility is just better or it really helped that I told them in advance that I suffer from past medical trauma. The panic level was much lower and I was able to keep it under control. Had some problems but no worse than my last MRI. Close your eyes and think of some thing else. (Common advice for brides until the 1960s. 😉 – ok that be some of my husband’s sense of humor rubbing off – he gave me the title for this post. )

This nerve block on my arm is doing wonders for the pain but I can’t move my fingers. I can move my thumb just a bit but only in one direction. (Don’t worry, it’s not stuck there. It falls back to neutral.) But I expect the pain to start coming through the block soon – actually it’s already started.

I’m signing off now. I expect I’ll be lurking more than posting , but who knows? I’ve never had Percocet before. It’s supposed to be stronger than Lortab. 😉