mermaids

It is another sleepless night.  Pain.  I pushed it and I knew it the whole time.  J is home for the first time since he left for college in the middle of August.  Maybe it is pride, maybe it is maternal martyrdom, but I did not want his first trip home be filled with worry about me.  Having my boy around is a great distraction during the day, but at night, when the house gets quiet it is harder to ignore the pain. 

When the house gets quiet is also when I attack the scar tissue.  PT Guy would be proud.  I am now attacking it so hard that I leave bruises on myself.  Bruises are good.  Bruises mean I am ripping chunks of scar tissue from the muscles.  It's not good that the adhesions keep coming back.  Adhesions are normal after an injury or trauma, like surgery.  They protect the injured area while it heals.  Sometimes, the healing process goes awry and the body won't stop producing scar tissue.  It appears that is the case with me. 

The only treatment is to continuously break it down manually.  I feel around the muscle for painful lumps, then press on them as hard as I can until I feel a pop.  I also roll a piece of PVC pipe along the muscle.  When I find a big adhesion, I press down as I roll the pipe down my leg in an effort to literally rip it off the muscle.  It is as barbaric as it sounds.  If I don't do it, the adhesions will just grow and spread, eventually overtaking the muscle tissue and rendering it useless. 

Inflicting bruises on yourself requires going to very bizarre part of the brain.  It takes a great deal of force and a great deal of self control to continue to apply that force when it hurts like hell.  In a twisted way, it is a release.  Adhesions hurt… a lot.  Getting rid of them feels good, even though I know they will be back.  Breaking them down is intense, but it also releases a lot of endorphins.  Endorphins are good. 

My doctor said diligence is the key.  If left unchecked, these chronic adhesions will grow back bigger and badder in less than 24 hours.  So twice a day, I work myself over with my PVC pipe.  When I get busy and skip a session, the adhesions get aggressive.  That's when I go to PT Guy, tell him I've been a naughty girl and ask him to hurt me. 

In ten days, I will meet with the hip surgeon.  We are all a little terrified of this appointment.  Surgery would fix the torn tendon and bone impingement.  But more trauma means more scar tissue.  Being laid up would mean the adhesions would have free run of my leg for weeks.  Not doing surgery means no relief from the hip pain.  Unless this guy has a magic wand, I am kind of screwed either way. 

For now, I will enjoy having J home for a few days.  He is a great distraction.  I am already counting down the days until he comes home for winter break. 

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The webcomic Homestuck has a nearly cult like following at the high school.  I don't read it for fear that I will get sucked into the cult too.  A: I belong to enough cults (ie. Project Runway, ANTM) and don't have time for anymore.  B: I already listen to the same music, watch the same TV shows, and sometimes dress like the teenagers I am surrounded by all day.  I need some boundaries.  Anyway, I don't really know that much about it except my son gets very excited when a new episode is published and is sometimes exasperated when the story line goes in a weird direction.  I don't know.  It's weird.  To borrow a phrase from the Bloggess, I've learned to "lean into the weird."  

C found a tutorial on line for making scalemates, which are cute little characters from Homestuck.  The boy dug through my scrap bin for fleece, set up his laptop on the cutting table and went to town.  I have made small critters with fleece.  Not an easy task.  The boy totally rocked it.  No, it does not have arms.  I don't know why but the character in the webcomic is without arms. Perhaps it is integral to the story line or perhaps the guy who draws the comic doesn't like to draw arms.  Given the level of precision with which C sewed that spiky little head, the boy could absolutely do arms if this weird little thing had arms.  So, C made one and posted a photo on Facebook.  The crowds went wild.  People are asking C to make scalemate plushies, offering quite a bit of cash in return.  Being the impeccably honest person that he is, C doesn't feel right profiting from the work of others, both the character and the tutorial.  Instead, he is asking only for enough money to cover fabric and supplies.  The boy will never be rich, but he will sleep well at night knowing he always does the right thing.  

J's first college concert was two days before his birthday.  It seemed like a good excuse to visit him for the weekend.  I lavished him with a bag full of gifts.  What was he most excited about?  His very own scalemate made by his little brother in his favorite color.  He actually smiled.  Apparently, it has been quite a hit with the college crowd too… at least the geeky part of the college crowd… which is pretty much everyone at J's college.  (more about his college experience soon…)

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I am now 16 hours into chaperoning a 24 gaming marathon at the high school.  It is kind of like a dance marathon for nerds.  Instead of dancing for 24 hours, the students are playing Dungeons and Dragons, Magic the Gathering, and lots of other nerdy games. They are raising money for a local children's hospital.  Right now, I am hiding out in a stair well because they are playing Zombies vs Humans, complete with full zombie make up and a huge arsenal of Nerf guns.  With my orthopaedic issues, I don't need to be running around the auditorium in dark while dodging Nerf missiles.  The students are having a blast.  No one looks even a tiny bit tired. 

I love that our high school is nerdy enough to pull this off.  There is a rather large club that meets on a regular basis to play these games.  Instead of sleeping late on teacher workdays, they get up early, go to school, and play Dungeons and Dragons.  That is dedication.  There are even girls in this club.  There are teachers who give up their free time to play games with these students.  Tonight, a teacher had his wife drop him off at school on their way back from an out of state wedding.  Dedication. 

When they came up with this idea for a 24 hour marathon, the school district said two adults would need to be present the whole time.  The teacher in charge sent a letter to the participants' parents requesting volunteers.  No one responded.  No one was willing to come in for even an hour.  I couldn't let lack of a chaperone stop these students.  So, for 24 hours, I am locked in the auditorium with this great group of nerdy students. 

I planned to write a post thanking everyone for the very sweet comments, then I had a very not ordinary day.

With as many times as I have been stuck, injections should be no big deal.  I was dreading Monday's hip injection because it would be deep into the joint, guided by xray.  I am surprised I don't glow at night considering how many xrays and scans I've had.  The doctor gives a great injection.  I barely felt the lidocaine.  The contrast dye only felt like deep pressure.  I did not even feel the Kenalog injection.  Done.  Whew.  As I was getting dressed, the injection site was a bit itchy.  I dropped my pants as everyone huddled around to look for redness and swelling.  Nothing much, so we decided a little Benadryl when I got home should do the trick.  Pull up my pants again and set out for the parking lot.  By the time I reached my car, my neck and face became itchy.  Hmmm…. not a good sign.  I scurried back to the procedure area and found the nurse.  By this time, I could not catch my breath, the room was spinning and my heart was racing. They immediately started an IV of Benadryl and gave me a shot of Epi.  Within minutes I was in an ambulance on the way to the hospital.  My breathing was compromised, heart rate was a roller coaster, and I was barely conscious.  I don't remember the ambulance ride in great detail, but I do remember hearing "push another amp of Epi" and "charge the paddles."  Those are not words you want to hear unless you are watching television.  

Clearly, it all ended well because I am here to type this today.  Apparently it got dicey along the way.  Once in the ER, it took a little while for my heart rate and breathing to stabilize.  I sat there for many hours as they pumped me full of more steroids.  There was talk of keeping me overnight, but I convinced to let me go with the promise to keep emergency meds on me at all times. 

Tuesday morning I woke up with an elephant on my chest.  Back to the doctor for more steroids.  A round of albuterol via nebulizer did the trick well enough for me to drive to the drug store for an shiny new inhaler and a bunch of prednisone.  The doctor handed me yet another epi pen to insure that I have one at all times.

The afternoon was a wild ride with five different steroids bouncing in my body.  Of course, I had to go into work.  Thank goodness the classes were reasonably well behaved because I was on a roller coaster.  Today was still like Mr Toad's Wild Ride.  A student was wearing Axe Body Spray which should be classified as a chemical weapon.  My elephant returned and I sucked on that inhaler like a scuba diver.  Of course, Axe boy needed lots of help with the assignment.  Then I had to sprint across campus to cover another class.  More sucking on the inhaler.  Finally, it was lunch time… when I accidentally doubled the dosage of prednisone. 
The inhaler plus prednisone is like drinking 53 gallons of espresso. 

I don't have to look at a clock to see when it is time to take the meds.  My elephant returns to remind me.  The doctor said it could several days for the reaction to fully resolve.  Exposure to anything that might be mildly irritating could throw me into another big reaction.  Axe Body Spray sort verified that point.  Then I have to taper off the meds slowly.  Living with me should be loads of fun. 

The irony of all this?  As I was signing the release forms, the doctor mentioned the possibility of allergic reaction, "but that is extremely rare."  Jokingly, I said, "well if it is going to happen to anyone, it will be me.  When it comes to medial anomalies, I am always that girl."  I guess this is one area when I am anything but ordinary. 

I have spent too many days feeling inadequate.  My house is a wreck because even simple household chores cause my joints to shriek.  I go to physical therapy and my body refuses to cooperate.  When I get home, I climb into bed and attempt to escape the pain by losing myself in the internet. 

Blogs and websites are filled with perfectly decorated homes, gourmet meals, gorgeous crafts.  There are women who can not only do all this stuff, but they also photograph it beautifully and then write fabulous blog posts about it.  Sometimes they take a break from their frequent blogging to go on amazing vacations with their perfect little families who can't get enough of each other.  Of course, it is all captured on film so they can blog about it.  Yeah, I pretty much hate them all. 

On the flip side are the dysfunctional bloggers.  Constant chaos is the theme of their blogs.  I like those blogs because I can say to myself, "at least I'm not as screwed up as she is."  But they still make me feel inadequate.  I am not screwed up enough to be entertaining. 

I am overwhelmingly average.  Not good enough to be amazing.  Not dysfunctional enough to be interesting.  Just an ordinary girl.  In my head, I know I should stop comparing myself to others.  But let's be real; we all do it. 

I will never have a house that looks a spread in a magazine.  I will never cook gourmet meals from locally grown organic produce.  My blog will never have gorgeous photographs.  I am just an ordinary girl living an ordinary life. 

The internet keeps trying to tell me there is no room for ordinary, but I have decided to stop listening. I am here to provide balance, a reality check for all the other ordinary girls out there.  I am just a girl, trying to get through the day.  I am not going to let the internet and those fancy blogs intimidate me anymore.  I am not going to apologize for being ordinary.  Statistically, a whole bunch of us have to be in the middle of the bell curve. 

So I am going to stop beating myself up for not living a picture perfect life… and photographing it beautifully.  On the days I feel good, I will enjoy the process of making things and not worry about a picture perfect end product.  I will take crappy photos with phone because uploading them from the real camera is just too much effort some days.  My fear of being "less than" will no longer stand in my way. 

I admit that I've been holding back.  I have not posted in ages because I didn't know when I would be able to post again.  I have not posted for fear the post would be too short or not good enough or wouldn't have gorgeous photos. 

My blog will never be fancy.  It will never have thousands of followers.  I won't get a book deal.  I am not a big league blogger.  I am just an ordinary girl… and there's nothing wrong with that.  Right?

I have long admired the lovely bags made by Lori of Girls in the Garden.  Her bags are sewn beautifully with gorgeous fabric combinations.  I wanted to try my hand at sewing a bag, but never got around to it.  Being selected as tester for Lori’s Rose Messenger Bag was just the kick in the pants I needed. 

DSC02243The directions are fabulous.  Even a beginner could end up with a very successful bag using this pattern. 

Since this was a test run, I grabbed fabrics I had on hand.  The blue striped fabric is actually a shirt that my husband ripped on a computer rack.  Having only made two or three bags previously, I expected to struggle a bit and end up with a less than perfect product.  Nope.  The bag went together beautifully and easily.  I want to make another one using better fabrics. 

This pattern lends itself to lots of customization.  You can add more pockets to the inside to suit your personal needs.  That band on the front would be a great place for a bit of machine embroidery, ribbons, fabric flowers…. or a souvenir pin from an arts festival. 

DSC02242I finished this bag right before I went to Washington DC for the Capital Fringe Festival.  I knew I would be doing lots of walking and subway riding.  The cross body strap was perfect… comfortable and secure.  The outside zipper pocket was a great place to keep my subway card, tickets, and phone handy, yet secure.  I had random people on the subway and street comment on the my bag. 

I hope Lori has more patterns in the queue.  She has a great sense of design and writes great directions.  The pattern is available through her Etsy shop

If I paid big bucks to get an elusive ticket to an Olympic sporting event and someone told me I couldn’t go in because I am wearing the wrong shirt, we would have a problem.  According to this article, spectators may be turned away if they were a shirt with a Pepsi logo because Coca Cola has paid lots of money to sponsor an event.  Seriously?  This is more of that “protecting the brand” garbage.  Is it not enough that corporate sponsors have their name in giant letters on every available space?  Now they want to control what I wear when I attend the event.  Wow.  That’s some serious chutzpah. 

A local bagel shop set up a window display with bagels in the shape of the Olympic rings.  They were ordered to take it down.  Protecting the brand, which translates into “we want all the money for ourselves.” 

It is all about the money.  I am done with the Olympics.  Done. 

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Hope I don’t get in trouble for using the Olympic colors.  😉

 

#Olympics

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