Monday, July 6, 2015

Realizing My Limits....They Won't be Limits for Long!

This morning I ventured out all on my own! I went to Costco and to Superstore....Guess what?  That was too much for me.  I could tell near the end of Costco that I was pushing my limits but I kept going because I wanted to do shit on my own. Turns out pushing grocery carts is hard on my hip, increases my pain, and makes me want to nap. It gets so dam frustrating not being able to do the things I used to, or want to do on my own.  For instance, gardening. I needed the boys to get my garden in shape to plant and to roto till... Even last summer I was able to do all that by myself. This summer I need extra pain killers and a nap after grocery shopping. I'm glad my garden got planted. I am very lucky and thankful to have the boys here to help. 
I feel bad about needing so much assistance and feel guilty asking them to do the extras.  I know feeling bad and the guilt does nothing to help me, or to help my boys. It gets nothing done. I just like to do things on my own. I take comfort knowing that I won't need this much help for a very long time. Surgery is the best option for me as it will correct the pain and mobility issues I am having and getting me moving for years to come.

The Boys are awesome. They even help put socks on my feet! (I know there are contraptions out there that I can use, but like I said, this is temporary) There are days getting dressed feels like a chore.  If I haven't slept well or I tossed and turned because I couldn't get comfortable enough, I ache lots in the morning. Wearing summer dresses actually helps because I just slip it over my head. Flip flops aren't the most sturdy shoe, but I can put those on all by myself. These days it is about making things easier and less frustrating, for the entire family. 

That's one Monday said and done.  Let's see if I can pace myself better the rest of the week...

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Just Keep Moving

One of the problems with being in pain and having limited mobility is that exercising sucks. It completely sucks. Being in pain all the time is not only tiring, it is exhausting. Exercising can add to the pain and exhaustion. On days where you think you are having a relatively pain free day, you get cocky and blow it by doing too much. (The doctors tell me that of an activity increases my pain for more than 2 hours, it is too much!) Finding that happy medium is difficult. Now that I am on holidays, I am hoping it will be easier to find that happy medium.

The last few weeks at work were absolutely draining. I was sleeping on the staff room couch on my breaks and having no trouble falling asleep. Makes me very glad that I will be starting my sick leave promptly after summer break. I have enough sick time saved up to start sick leave on the first day of school in September and take until the beginning of March. Wow! Happy day! Hallelujah! I truly believe this will help me focus on preparing for surgery, focusing on me, and getting healthy (and moving).

Today I went swimming for the first time in ages! Sometimes all you need is the feeling that you have the time to do these sorts of things. When I'm working, I would have to swim in the evening, when the pools are super busy with swim lessons and full of people. I want a quiet pool.  I need a pool with stairs which means I would be swimming in the shallow end.  The shallow end is usually full of children splashing around. This afternoon, the pool was quiet. I was the only one in the shallow end. It was glorious. I walked out of the change room with my cane, laid my things by the stairs and made my way carefully into the water. Then I made my way carefully back out of the water to put my glasses on my towel.... Oops...  

I swam for about 20 minutes, not continuously mind you.  Some flutter kick only, some front crawl, some back crawl.  I must admit I was frustrated. My left leg is so much weaker than my right I am suprised I wasn't swimming in circles.  Every now and then my former lifeguard skills would kick in and I would attempt a whip kick.. Holy shit, was that ever a bad idea.  OUCH!!!!!!

I do think it was a good start. When I am in the water, my pain is very minimal. I plan to start slowly. I pushed my luck today because I also saw my athletic therapist. Seeing the AT means more exercises, stretches, and some deep tissue massage. 

Lucky for me, dinner was waiting for me when I got home, as was the hot tub.  I have a sneaky suspicion I will sleep well tonight. 

Monday, June 29, 2015

Baby Steps

Sometimes I am in awe at how fast things change, especially when it comes to my mobility.  In the past month I have started using a cane. (It is very pretty and covered in butterflies!)  I was so apprehensive about this. I was worried what people would say, or having to repeatedly explain to people why.  Or worse, people would just assume I was using it to get attention.  Using an assistive device made a world of difference in my quality of life. Much as eye glasses help you see, a cane helps me walk.  This baby step of using the cane eases my limp, eases the strain on my hip joint, and helps with pain.  I still don't walk too far without needing to stop and rest, but it's definitely helping. 

Since my hip is basically out of its socket, the muscles surrounding it had all tightened up in an effort to keep it proper. Unfortunately. This does not help me walk, or do much of anything. I see an athletic therapist (AT) once a week.  He gives me stretches and exercises to do and does this painful deep tissue massage to help loosen the muscles. If the muscles are too tight when the hip replacement is done, I run the risk of the new hip dislocating. I. Do. Not. Want. That. To. Happen. The funny thing is, after that massage and the stretching, I feel sooooo much better, even on the days he makes me cry. 

Even though it seems like every thing is happening so fast, each step is a baby step.  A baby step to feeling better. A baby step to keep me working.  A baby step to keep me moving. My latest baby step was mailing in my application for a handicap parking pass.  Feels weird. I'm 40.  I use a cane. I will get to park a little closer for the next little while. All these baby steps will be so worth it! 

Monday, June 22, 2015

Hip Hip Hooray!

Hello everyone! I have been hiding for quite some time. A few of you have checked in on me and I truly do appreciate that. (Looking your way, Happy Whisk!). So much has been going on. Work gets busy, life gets busy, medical issues take over.... That's just how it goes these days. I don't spend as much time in the kitchen these days, at least not without help from Hubby or the Boy.  I am due for a total hip replacement surgery this October. Unfortunately, that means I have limited mobility, lots of pain, and I get pretty darn tired quickly.  

The story of my hip goes back to when I was a wee lass. Back in the day, screening for hip displaysia at birth just simply was not done. When I started walking, my parents noticed a pretty severe limp and took me to the doctor. From there we were sent to an orthopaedic surgeon who promptly jammed it 'back into place' and put me in a cast from the waist down to help it 'set'.  (Crazy!!!!). I was in that cast for 8 months!!! I managed to get around quite well, believe it or not.  I got into lots of trouble.  From finding my way to the kiddie pool and letting the water flow into my cast, causing a trip to the doctor for a new cast, to getting my head far enough over the side of my crib to cause my heavily casted legs to flip over the top... I landed quite hard on the floor but unharmed.  I even sweated through a cast, forcing my parents to install central air! (You're welcome family)!

By far the easiest way for me to get around was for my parents to literally tie me to a wheelie board and let me zoom around. 

I have no memory of these things, but have been told them many times over the years.  

After living a normal and active life (including a year playing provincial field hockey), I basically stopped doing things a few years ago when the pain started to show up on a regular basis. I did have pain over the years, but the past 4 have been the worst.  My entire life I have been told that by my 30s I would have severe arthritis and need a hip replacement and for years I was told I was too young, the damage wasn't bad enough..... Blah, blah, blah.  I have made it to 40 and am now using a cane to help me walk. Just before my 41 birthday, I will get a brand new ceramic hip! Hip hip hooray!  For the next little while, I plan to blog about my journey to a new hip, the trials and tribulations of pre-surgery, post-surgery, and my physical therapy leading up to this.  This is huge for me. It is a new lease on life. A whole new life filled with mobility, travel, and adventure! 

This blog is taking a new turn but  I'm sure I will get back to talking food even.  Hubby and I have been busy in the kitchen with all sorts of new things! 

Sorry I have been away, I hope you will stick around and take this journey with me.

Did you know, if you make friends with the X-ray tech, they will give you a copy of your X-rays?
How awesome is this?

Until next time, stay warm and eat well!

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Hand Me a Pie

I love getting fresh garden treats from our CSA at Almost Urban farms. Even though I do silly things like plant my own zucchini, beans, and potatoes and at times get overwhelmed with too much of a good thing, I still love it.  Some times I feel inundated with the dark leafy greens....there I said it. I love garden fresh veggies, but get tired of kale, Swiss chard, lovage, beet greens, and even plain old lettuce.  I'm not a huge salad lover.  The Boy loves sautéed greens and creamed greens but Hubby isn't a fan of cooked greens.  I like them mixed in with salads, but I can only eat so much salad.

What is a girl to do? Well, first off, I'm always on the hunt for new ideas, second, I seem to have a back log of magazines with recipes in them....soooooo it is that I happened upon a recipe for Kale and Spinach hand pies in the January 2013 edition of Chatelaine magazine.  It is a spanokopita inspired hand pie with feta using a pastry dough instead of phyllo. Of course I didn't follow the I ever? 

Greens and spinach hand pies 

1/2 cup cottage cheese
1 egg yolk
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup butter, cold and cubed

Break out the food processor for this one.  Give the cottage cheese and egg yolk a whir with the blade.

Add the flour, salt, and butter.

Pulse until a ball forms.

Divide into 2 even portions, roll into rectangles, wrap in plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for about 1 1/2 hours.  This is a soft and squishy type of dough. You should still see tasty bits of butter through out it.

While the dough is getting its chill on, heat up a large skillet and wash up some dark leafy greens and get your ingredients ready. This time I used:

A handful of kale
A bunch of Swiss chard
Beet greens from 5 or 6 medium sized beets
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 tbsp oil
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
A healthy grating of nutmeg
2 tsp chopped fresh dill
1/2 cup feta, crumbled

Wash your greens how ever you normally wash your greens, remove any large and tough ribs from the greens. Chop them all up into bite size pieces. (I hate biting into something and having a long string of greens pull the rest of the filling out.)

Sauté the onion until soft (some garlic would be a great idea here too!)

Add in the hot pepper flakes, greens, and grate in the nutmeg.

Continue to sauté until the green are wilted.  Set aside to cool.

Once cool, drain any excess liquid and stir in the feta.

Now you are ready to rock n roll and assemble.

Pre heat the oven to 375F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

The amount of dough should get you 10 rectangles approximately 6" x 5", give or take.  Mine never turn out the same size.

Lightly flour the counter and roll out the dough and cut into 10 somewhat even rectangles.

Divide your greens into 10 somewhat even portions.

Scoop 1 portion of greens onto the middle of each rectangle and fold the pastry in half (short end to short end) to enclose the deliciousness inside pressing to seal the edges. Crimping with a fork makes a nice pretty edge....

Brush the tops with an egg wash and use just the tip of a sharp knife to puncture the tops of the pies to vent the steam.

Pop into the oven and bake. For about 25 minutes or until golden brown.

These were wonderful!  The pastry was flakey and easy to work with.  The Boy enjoyed leftovers direct from the fridge when he came home from work, or before work, or before bedtime....

Until next time, stay warm and eat well.