My Arm Keeps Getting Lost!

As you may know from previous posts, I had surgery on my elbow last evening. (FYI – I did not have a horse accident!) Everything went medically very well (see previous post). I did have, shall I say, an interesting evening, though.

Approximately an hour before the procedure, the anestho doc did the axillary block – a precedure which completely deadens the brachial nerves. No sense of feeling, no ability to move it for 10 – 15 hours. If you are lucky, it may last a tad longer (the no feeling part includes pain).

As I waited for the surgery to start, that arm, which was laying under the blanket across my stomach, started to itch. I thought. When I went to scratch it, I found that not only was it not across my stomach, it was so numb I couldn’t feel myself touching it and it certainly couldn’t be itching.

Thirty minutes later they wheeled me into the surgery room and put a little table under my arm, and as the nurse grabbed my wrist and extended my entire arm over my head, the last thing I thought before I went to sleep was that someone must have cut it off…

Still fully numb by the time we arrived home, I thought my husband was reaching around my waist from behind everytime I leaned over and my arm-in-sling swung out and around me. Of course, when it banged back against me I should have known otherwise, but it was numb and I was drugged, so I blamed my husband twice.

Getting into bed was quite the trick. So I’d have room to prop my arm on pillows, I decided to sleep in the guest room. Of course, just two weeks ago I decided I needed a room for writing and traded out my comfy double spare bed for an inflatable mattress. Bad timing. Have you ever tried to climb in and out of one of those things when your arm isn’t dangling and you aren’t still drugged from surgery?

Several times during the night I awoke to find my arm missing, my now swollen fingers dangling over the head of my bed where the weight of my cast thing had carried them. I remember at one point thinking that I ought to put a collar and leash on my wrist so I could keep track of it. I did finally get some sleep around 4 a.m., but of course my teenaged daughter got up a 5:30 to take a shower in the bathroom directly above me.

Through it all, my faithful doggie, Laddie, slept on the floor right by me. He must have wondered why his leash was on the bed.

Finally, a day without snow. It has been extremely wearing to deal with so much, but after last night’s ragged post I thought I should admit that I know this, too, will pass. Hopefully sooner than later….

Besides, before spring comes, I have a lot of things to get done. There are always indoor projects to finish around the house. We have no wood trim anywhere on the first floor — not around windows, not around the base of the walls, not around the doors. Heck, we don’t even have several doors. That’s what we’re waiting on. Before you can put down the baseboard trim, you have to hang the trim around the doors. Before you can hang the trim around the doors, you have to, well, you have to have doors. As for the trim around the windows…we’ll get to it….

Meanwhile, I still have classes to teach and labs to lead, a novel to finish revising and fiction competitions to enter, and tack to oil. Plenty to keep me busy indoors until things start greening up. Oh, yeah. I will have surgery on my elbow tomorrow – a torn or damaged tendon is causing LOTS of pain, especially when I do stupid things like try to lift my morning tea or answer the phone on my desk. You know, really outrageous stuff. Seriously, it hurts and a very good hand/arm doc in Indy is going to fix it for me. Dr. Alex Meyers of Reconstructive Hand Surgeons of Indiana is doing the deed. My awesome lil’ sis is his nurse.

Therefore, I may not be typing for a couple of days, but I expect to be back to normal soon, as it is minor surgery. Had the other arm fixed in Deceember and it is doing very well. Thanks Dr. Meyers!

Go out and complain…

Well, what do you know. It’s snowing again. It snowed most of the day. It’s snowed for most of the past week. My kids have had 5 days off and 8 delayed starts since late December. Frankly, I’ve had it up to my stocking hat with snow!

Maybe you are one of those folks who likes snow. Goody for you. I was ready to be done with it when that first fluffy flake floated by and thumbed its frosty nose at me. I’m even more done with it now that I’ve seen a few hundred gazillion of his buddies.

I guess I liked snow when I was a kid. Must have–I spent hours playing in it. Not all in one stretch, mind you. I went in and out several times an hour, exchanging cold wet pants, gloves, socks and scarves for warm and dry ones. That’s probably one reason why I hate winter now–the pile of wet pants, gloves, socks and scarves are now stacked up at my back door.

It’s not just cold and messy, though. Snow is inconvenient. Yesterday morning I dashed to the barn to feed the horses their morning hay and backed right into an eighteen inch deep drift. Everything was a monchrome and I couldn’t tell deep from not deep. Even with four wheel drive, I was stuck up to my axles and, as my husband was already at his office, I had to dig myself out. Jolly.

And that’s not the worst of it. I haven’t been able to ride my horse outside in two months! Sure, we have an awesome indoor arena and I sound like a whiner for even bringing it up, but I want to ride outside. I want to get out on the trails, smell the soil, hear the birds and breathe air that doesn’t smell like old socks. Right now, I’d almost settle for not slipping on the ice between the barn and the pasture. Did I mention that I’ve fallen flat on my butt three times in three days? My horse is still laughing.

And so here I am. I’ve written complaints for the past ten minutes and it hasn’t changed the circumstances, hasn’t changed how much snow continues to fall outside (and it wasn’t even predicted!). So there it is. The point of this blog. If complaining doesn’t fix things, why do we do it?

I think I know the answer. It makes us feel good. Seriously! We want someone to feel sorry for us. You’ve heard the saying, “misery loves company.” I think it’s true. I think we complain because when we feel bad, we want to know that there’s someone out there who understands and sympathizes with our plight. And if someone sympathesizes with us, we share companionship, we share community. When we share community, we feel part of something bigger than ourselves. And when we feel a part of something bigger than ourselves, we feel good about ourselves.

So there you have it. Complaining makes us feel good. So go out and complain today. And if it’s about snow, you have my sympathy.

Pawn shops and immediate gratification

I know, I’m supposed to be working on my novel, but I watched something on TV last night that still has me thinking. There is a program on History Channel about a big pawn shop in Las Vegas. These guys buy almost anything. What struck me were the customers who came in with a family heirloom. Not only were they trying to sell something that had been in the family for generations, they were willing to do it at cut rate prices for the sake of immediate gratification.

Case in point: one young man, maybe mid twenties, came in with a cuckoo clock. This was no ordinary cuckoo clock, either. It was from someplace old, like Bavaria, and was intricately carved top to bottom. And the cuckoo still came out and cuckoo-ed. The shop owner had a clock expert come appraise it – probably upwards of $10,000, if it was restored, which he said he would do for $1500.

Now if I was the young man, and wanted to sell a priceless family keepsake, I would have paid for the resoration and sold it at auction for the highest possible price. But no, he let it go to the pawn shop for a small fraction of it’s value because he wanted the money now.

I wonder what his ancestors would think. Or what his kids and grandkids will say in 30 years when they find out what he did with such a valuable piece of their history.

What happens after writing class?

I just returned home from my fiction writing class, taught by the VERY capable Dennis “Doc” Hensley. It’s wonderful to sit under the tutelage of a real pro. But you know what happens after you sit in a class like that? You go home and realize that you have more work to do on that “finished” novel–a LOT more work. Not a total rewrite, but tons of little tweaks. Guess I better quit bloggin’ and get busy!

I knew it…

Well, I knew it was going to happen. Before I ever sat down to type in the words I knew it would happen. My afternoon was frittered away like dollar bills in a nine-year old’s pocket, and it was all the fault of this blog. Yep.

You see, in order to create the blog I had to have a google account. Having always been a died-in-the-wool yahoo girl, I forgot about that google account I created for my ipod calendar several months back. So I got another google account. Of course, when I realized that I now had two google accounts and one yahoo account, I decided I needed to neaten up my electronic life. I figured I’d just get rid of the yahoo account, attached to it though I was, because yahoo didn’t have blogging sites. I had a geocities account for a while, but they did away with that a while back.

So anyway, I decided I would just make the switch and consolidate my multiple google accounts into one. Only problem is, google can’t consolidate any accounts. If you don’t create things like your google calendar while signed into to your umbrella account, it is always in a different account. In my case, it was a google calendar account with a now defunct e-mail. Not good.

To make a long story short (too late), I e-mailed everyone I have ever corresponded with to let them know I have a new e-mail address, deleted my google calendar, recreated my google calendar with my new google account information, synced that with my office outlook calendar and my ipod calendar, created this blog, created the first two pages of a google site (a webpage, of sorts), and am now writing this blog entry. Of course, along the way there were the dozen or so messages to google because my passwords wouldn’t work, my old calendar wouldn’t go away, or something wouldn’t sync with something else.

Of course, now my cell phone can’t get my e-mail messages because AT&T is in cahoots with Yahoo and it doesn’t support Gmail. Maybe they have a help site for that…

Jumping in with both feet…maybe

Okay. Every writer’s workshop I have attended has stressed the importance of blogging. All of the writer’s in the group I just joined do it. Why? I guess I had to do it to find out. So, here it is. I don’t know What on Earth I’ll blog about, or when I’ll find the time, but here I go!