Monday, April 27, 2015

Physical Therapy!

I think this cartoon is funny and fortunately, it's not the experience I have at my therapy sessions!

I just came home from my PT session and am feeling really great!  But tired as well--she really works me hard when I'm there!  Last Friday when I was there, she put me on the stationary bike to see if my knee would bend enough to go all the way around. When Don had his knee replacement 14 years ago, I remember him saying how painful it was to go all the way around on the bike so I was prepared for a struggle.  Pfuuut! I had no problem!  Went around the first time on the bike and I can't tell you how happy that made me!  At the end of the session, she bent my leg back and measured how many degrees of flexion I could get--the goal is 120 degrees--and I was right there at 120!  And that made me even more happy!  Don had a terrific rehab when he had his knee done but I never expected I would be recovering even better than he did.  I know that everyone is different and progresses at their own rate, but I'm absolutely amazed at how well I'm coming along!  I seldom use the crutches I have here and on Friday I was able to drive again!  Freedom!!!

So if anyone reads this who's thinking about having a knee replacement, my advice to you is to be prepared to work really hard on the rehab, make sure your pain medications are adequate, and push yourself as much as your therapist allows.  I knew going into this that if I pampered myself, I would not have a good recovery, so I've been very strict and have forced myself to do the home exercises even on the worst days.  Now it's paying off, big time!

We had visitors over the weekend and I ate meals sitting at the table with my leg down.  That's not a good thing yet!  I know that I'm a few weeks yet away from getting back to my sewing machines so I'll continue with the embroidery project that I'm working on.  I've finished 2 of the 4 pieces and I'm really pleased with how they're turning out.  Take a look for yourself. (Just ignore all the wrinkles.:) )

This is the first piece I did--bleeding heart, hydrangea and lily of the valley with a bumble bee.

The second one is Queen' Anne's lace.

I started the third one yesterday and it's wild roses and raspberries with a jar of jam. 

This series is called Farm House Windows and it's designed by Crab-apple Hill stitchery.  I love how the fabric is softly colored with ordinary crayons and then outline stitched.  Just adds more dimension to the entire piece.  

When the fourth piece is complete, I'll stitch all four of them into a throw sized quilt using a neutral background and probably with aqua and green pinwheel blocks and a multicolored border. Or maybe I'll make a pieced border using all the colors of the flowers.  We'll see what my heart tells me when the time comes.

Have a great day, everyone. I'm going to take a bit of a nap.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

More progress

I'm still working on rehabbing my knee--I had a total knee replacement 2 weeks ago, as you may recall. Things are looking pretty good, if I say so myself.  I'm completely off those horrible (but lovely) pain medications!  I understand how some can get addicted to them--I now realize that I'd been flying pretty high around here while I took them!  Now it's just Tylenol and sometimes I forget to take even that, I have so little pain now.  I use a crutch when I go out of the house but inside I'm walking around independently.  I have flexion of the knee to 109 degrees and the goal is to get to 120-125 degrees. My goal is to get there within the next two weeks.  More hard work and more pain when I do the exercises, I guess, but it has to be done.

I'm spending a lot of time in the recliner with my leg elevated.  Have nearly completed the embroidery on the first of the 4 blocks on my embroidered quilt project.  Here's how it looks this morning:

On this project, I'm using a back stitch since that's what was shown in the pattern. I usually do this kind of outline embroidery in a stem stitch and I wasn't sure how the back stitch would work out, but I'm really liking it!  I can make much better curves than with the stem stitch and I like the looks of the whole thing much better. I have a little bit of embroidery to do on the glass jar and then this block will be finished.  I think I'll take a little break before I begin the second block to give my fingers a rest. 

Other than stitchery, I've occupied my time with a little reading. Just finished "Gone Girl" and O! M! G!  What a story!  I didn't see the movie and after reading the book, I don't think I want to see it.  I loved all the twists and turns of the story line but I think I was hoping for a more positive ending. But life doesn't always give you a positive ending, now does it?  Sometimes we have to settle for just what seems to be the best.  If you haven't read this book, I recommend it.  

I've also been watching Netflix quite a bit.  Finished the Midsomer Murders series (that I started over a year ago!), all 80+ episodes!  The other day, I watched the first of the Hinterland series, mystery-- detective series set in Wales.  What a dark and gloomy impression this show gives of Wales which I know is a very beautiful place.  But the 2 episodes I've seen so far have been excellent stories.  I don't know if I can handle 80+ episodes of this series, though.  

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Making Progress

Yes, I'm doing well both in my quilting projects as well as in my knee healing.  First--to get it out of the way--my knee is healing very well and the PT that everyone warned me would be very painful is coming along well too. And for once," everyone" was right--it HURTS to do those exercises!  Damn! But it has to be done--no pain, no gain, right?

In the quilting arena, I have finished the binding and have washed the yellow Chunky Churn Dash quilt here:   

It looked very nice when it was spread out on my bed but now it's folded and ready for May's guild meeting, Guest Night, where the guests will judge the best of show of these Churn Dash quilts.  No prize--just bragging rights!

And I finished the binding on the set of 4 red placemats I made for Jo and they are now on her table, ready to be used. I guess Don and I will have to drive over there soon so she can give us dinner and a chance to use the new placemats.  

Tomorrow I get to visit with the doc and have the stitches removed so hopefully I'll be a bit more mobile than I have been.  I have been outside to watch Don do all the yard work--with no complaints either!  And, he's doing all the cooking and housework too, again with no complaints!  I'm very lucky to have found him and kept him these past 43 years.  I knew he's come in handy one day (she said with a smile on her face!).

Next up is to begin work on the embroidery project.  I think I'll try to get the threads organized today and take the first stitches. This project looks so great in the pattern photo, I'm a little intimidated by it, thinking I may mess it up.  Well, keep reminding myself, it's only thread, I can take it out if there are too many mistakes, right?

Hope you all have a great day ahead.  Tell me about it if you have a chance.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Post-operative note

I have a new knee!  And it feels pretty good, although the surgical incisions and so forth feel pretty bad!  Thank goodness for pain medications!  Before surgery, I'd read Barbara's post about her cat, Graci,e who had surgery on her side and came home with a zipper. I laughed so hard because I knew that I'd be coming home with a zipper on my knee too.  If you want to read Barbara's post, you can find it here.  At least, I didn't have to wear a cone of shame like poor Gracie did.

Surgery went very well. Came home yesterday on crutches and I'm working really hard on the rehab so I can get back to dancing again before too long. Actually, I'm doing just fine--here in the house--with only one crutch, but outside, I'll be on both. This afternoon it should be warm enough for me to go for a little walk to the neighbors and back with Don at my side to catch me if I fall over.

Today, I hope to be alert enough to begin doing some of the hand sewing projects that I have prepared for myself.  We'll see. There's no hurry.

I have to get my home exercises done now and then take a nap, so that's all I'm going to say now.