21 weeks

Tomorrow it will be 21 weeks since my accident. That is over 5 months. I have good days and bad. I get discouraged because sometimes it seems like I’m slipping back. Maybe it’s time to count my blessings:

1. I can walk, although if I stand for long periods of time or walk great distances I hurt, but I can walk.

2. I didn’t need surgery. I think this significantly helped in the healing process

3. My bone is completely healed

4. Had my first fall on the ice and the world didn’t shatter. Mind you I fell on my right leg and it’s sore.

5. I have a husband who is trying to support me in my exercises. He comes downstairs with me so I’m not lonely. We only have one bosu ball so he can’t do it with me, but he will wait for me to finish before going to bed.

I am sure there are more.

Currently I am doing squats (3 sets of 10) both on the floor and on the bosu ball.

Then I do 1 legged squats (3 sets of 10) both legs on also on the floor and bosu.

The important thing about the squats is not to push your knees past your toes and to stick your but out. If I have knee pain I am to stop. PAIN FREE RANGE OF MOTION is my new mantra. I tend to power through so this is harder than you think.I think they are trying to prevent patellofemoral pain or syndrome.  After those I do what I call a kick back to stimulate my Gluteus Maximus. Its a small movement straight legged from the hip down (3 sets of 10) both legs. Don’t want one cheek larger than the other. I kind of feel like a dance when I am doing it. Then with a band around both legs I get in a squatting position, butt out, upper body low, and sideways walk while stay low in the squat. I so 30 of these as well. Truthfully I could do more and probably should. Then I do bridges/ pelvic lifts/whatever. I go up for 5 second, then down slowly. I do that 30 times as well. All of these exercises are to stimulate my butt and strengthen my muscles around my knee. It feels much slower than I thought it would be. I should be running but I can’t. :( Anyway enough whining. One good thing out of this is my butt is going to look fantastic!

14 weeks

That doesn’t seem that long, but it sure feels like it. If my break were a fetus, I’d be through the first trimester. I seriously don’t know why I keep comparing this to pregnancy, it really isn’t anything like it (other than the fact that I can’t walk totally normal, and the I’m measuring time in weeks). Oh yeah and my hips hurt.

It’s also been 7 weeks since I have been mobile and weight bearing. Friday will be my last “free” physio appointment. I can almost bend my leg back to the point of grabbing it. I suspect some of my extra weight and atrophied flesh might have something to do with the inability to get it all the way back. Really it’s not as bad as it sounds, but every little bit has an affect.

Last week I had a follow up at the cast clinic. The bone Dr. said everything looks healed the plateau is nice and smooth. He is sure I won’ t have arthritis. He says he doesn’t need to see me again. So yay. I guess everything is going according to schedule bone wise. 3 months to heal is what the inter web says and thats where I am at.

Strength will be another story. I have been walking a lot, mostly because I don’t want to pay for gas, but my leg is back to hurting all the time. I have also progressed to exercises that need special equipment so I am caught between the do I go buy the equipment so I can do this at home, or do I get a gym membership/ pass to use their equipment. Neither route is cheap and with starting to pay for physio, we could be eating peanut butter and jam sandwiches for the next month or so. It is my knee, and although they are replaceable, I am kind of attached to this one so I need to suck it up and spend the money. I hate spending money, well large amounts of money that I had no clue I was going to have to spend 3 months ago.

Enough about money. Now the symptoms (lack of a better word) and progression

Sleeping is getting better, sometimes. I still use a pillow to align my body properly. Right now I am laid up with a magic bag as I think I may have over exerted myself with my workout and extensive walking. I will probably have to roll out my quad tonight. I am also experiencing pain occasionally that comes on unexpected while walking. It tends to be located over or just below the break site. It’s a twinge and then an ache that gets worse until I get off my leg. If I don’t get pain there then I get pain along the front of my tibia below the centre of my knee.

I can kind of squat. It’s a weird lopsided squat. What usually ends up happening if I have to get low. It usually starts out as a try to squat, but then end up sitting down because it’s still uncomfortable and sometimes painful.

Running isn’t an option yet. When I try to move quickly my muscles don’t remember what to do, and the strength isn’t there to absorb the impact yet. It’s quite awkward.

I can get on all 4s but I cannot kneel due to my limited range of motion. I think now that my bone is healed I should look into yoga. I might try asking the PT next time. Also need to ask out deep water or shallow water exercise.

If I am in pain, elevating my leg and heating or icing tends to help. At night when it does hurt I take a tylenol. If it going to hurt too much to sleep I take Advil nighttime. That stuff is amazing, but I don’t like the way I feel in the morning, because I am pretty groggy at 6:30am. It takes a while for the fog to lift. I suspect that if I could wake at 8:30 or 9:00am I’d be fine. Also you don’t want to take it for more than 5 days in a row. It tends to have depressive side affects if taken over a long period of time. Because of how slow the progression  and mentally taxing this break is one should probably avoid depressive side affects.

I will post my exercises later as I seem to have misplaced my papers in a quick clean up for some unexpected company. It’s probably downstairs in the office.

I only share my progress as a way of getting information out there as well as to document progress. Sometimes it’s hard to see how far you have come. When I look up my fracture there isn’t much in the way of timelines or therapies, especially in the kind of TPF that I have. I was lucky in that it was non-diplaced and my ligaments seem to be fine. Don’t hate me. However, it is still a difficult long hall and many times I have moments of frustration and doubt. when I read that 2 years out some are not back to normal it gets hard. I thought if I documented my journey someone else may gain hope or peace of mind. They may also share what worked for them. If you came here because you too have a TPF you have my sympathy. God speed your recovery and may you get the best outcome possible.

 

 

Pumpkin Spice Granola

The world of Wonderland is slowly getting back to normal (whatever that is). My leg is now doing some weight bearing and Range of Motion (ROM) is getting better. I still have pain at night when I sleep, so now I sleep with a pillow to elevate my knee when I sleep on my right side. When I sleep on my back I use it to relax both my legs. It props up my knee into it’s most comfortable position. When I sleep on my left it is used to keep my right leg from interacting with my left leg. For some reason they cannot touch when I sleep on my left.

Truth be told I haven’t slept with this many pillows or this much effort since I was pregnant and we know how fun that was. For those of you who do know. It was awful. I am terrible at being pregnant. Anyway… every morning I wake up sore and stiff and wonder will this get any better?

I have seen some progress. In one week I went from being able to bend my leg 90 degrees to 120 degrees. That is huge, or at least my therapist made me think it was. I can also straighten my leg another 9 degrees. That was last week. This week doesn’t feel like much progress. I felt stronger earlier this week but now I feel like I need my crutches. Perhaps I was trying to push things too quickly. I went from using my one crutch to using no crutches in one day. Now my hips are sore. I think I am over compensating in another area of my body. Just so you know, that getting rid of the crutch was singularly my idea as is bringing it back, in the evenings. I just feel so ridiculous using it. It doesn’t even feel like i am using it.

In my quest to over do things, I decided this would be a perfect time to bake, and cook, and shop etc. Not to mention work getting a little bit in the way of rest and relaxation and also the exercises that I am supposed to be doing.  I try to fit my ROM exercises in everyday as that is more important than strength, but the other stuff has been kind of hit and miss. Perhaps that is why I feel like I am plateauing. Also when I go to do the wall ball squat and stairs, I have a some abnormal pain so I don’t really want to do them.

While I was procrastinating everything I am supposed to do, I decided I would try to make some granola. I have been meaning to make it since before the wipeout. Being alone and bored for hours on end, you end up eventually, deciding to go through your to do list. Granola was on my to do list.

I was “walking” through the grocery store and saw HIGH PROTEIN granola and wondered what was in it that made it high in protein. When I turned over the package and read the ingredients list, I was still wondering. Not one ingredient in there would I have associated with “high in protein” and there was a few that I would associate with “bad for you”. I guess that is the chance we take when we don’t make our own. I totally get it though, my pantry right now is full of processed stuff just because it’s cheap, they’ll eat it, it’s easy, and I have been laid up.

Hmmm. I wonder for how much longer I can use my leg as an excuse.

Ahem.

So like I was saying, the stars combined, the planets aligned and as luck would have it I had some groceries that would go into a granola. I sort of followed a bunch of recipes and I kind of measured. Really Granola is like the kitchen sink of recipes. you can though anything remotely granola-ish into it and it’s going to turn out pretty good. When you need to clean out your pantry, make granola. I decided I would make Pumpkin Spice Granola. Some recipes I found had one making the granola in one’s crockpot, so I thought I would try that. After all , God invented crockpots to make life easier right?

Well for this particular situation, I would not use a crockpot. I am an impatient person and 4 hours, stirring granola every so often so it doesn’t burn, is a little annoying. Others have said they prefer the crockpot as it is more forgiving in the burning department. I however, like to cross things off my list and spending 4hours mindfully making something that could take 30-45 minutes, tops, is frustrating.  So I guess if you are easily distracted and tend to burn things, or you just live and die by your crockpot, then maybe that kind of granola will “toasting” will work for you. Needless to say, I started out in the crockpot, gave up and turned it off, so I could pick up my son from school, then put it on a parchmented baking sheet and finished it off.

So what went it? That’s  good question. It was like a week ago when I started this post and now I am starting to forget. Remember how I said I didn’t really measure or follow a recipe? Well here it goes.

Pumpkin Spice Granola:

In a large bowl (or crockpot as the case may be) combine:

5 cups large flake oats

1 cup wheat bran

1/2 cup ground flax seed

1 cup uncooked quinoa (weird I know, but a couple of recipes had it so I tried it)

1/2 Cup unsweetened coconut

1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds

1 cup sliced almonds

1 tsp each of Cinnamon and Ginger

1/2 tsp cloves

1/4 tsp nutmeg

Because I was originally making in a crockpot I also added 1&1/2 cups cranberries. If doing in the oven, leave them out and add them at the end.

I think thats about right. :)

Mean while in a small sauce pan, on low heat, melt 1/2  a cup coconut oil ( you can use vegetable oil instead) Then turn off the heat and set aside.

In another bowl (smaller) whisk 2 egg whites for about a minute Then whisk in the following:

1 cup pumpkin puree

1/2 cup maple syrup (the real stuff)

The melted coconut oil

1/4 cup coconut palm sugar  (or brown sugar)

and 2 tsp vanilla

Pour over the dry granola mixture and mix till evenly-ish coated. If using a crockpot, cook it on high for 4 hours stirring every 30 mins. If doing in the oven, preset you oven to 325 degrees F  and put it in for 10 min, stir, then for another 10 min, stir, and then another 10 min. It should be done. But if its not quite go another 10 minutes. The amount you actually have on your baking sheet can affect cooking time. Let it sit and cool on the pan.

There Done Like Dinner  Breakfast.

Put it in a sealable jar, and take pretty pictures of it. Then post it on Instagram or pin it on Pinterest. It’s what all the great granola chefs are doing these days. ;)

This post was to go up over 2 weeks ago. I was waiting to take pictures of my beautiful granola to add to the post, but life got busy and the granola got eaten. It was good, very good actually, but I think I could tweak it to be better. Maybe a Chocolate pumpkin granola. That might be a bit overboard. Next time I’ll take pictures. Promise

 

 

 

 

 

We Shall Be Like him

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I don’t know how many times I have read Maroni 7, but I do know it’s been over a handful. It is one of my favourites. A discourse on Faith, Hope and Charity. This morning, although the roaring virtual fireplace was going, and I was awake. My mind couldn’t focus. It wan’t until we were almost 3/4 of the way into the chapter, that I realized we were reading THAT chapter. I kind of felt shame and tried harder to focus.

Faith, Hope and Charity are beautiful things. Colourful happy virtues in a world of Angry grey. I often think of these virtues in colours and I don’t low why or where that came from.

Faith I see a warm yellow or a pure white. When you have faith there is more clarity, there is more peace. Faith in the right things is enlightening.

I often relate the colour blue to Hope. I find the colour blue a strong one, yet relaxing. A blue mornIng sky shows promise. I don’t know much about hope. It is so interwoven with faith that it is hard to separate. Maybe they aren’t supposed to be separate.

Charity is red because Charity is Love. But it is more than love. I think sometimes we lose the meaning of charity when we replace it with the word love.

But this is not what I got from this particular chapter in the Book of Mormon today.

I can’t help but think the would would be so much better if we would practice these, especially Charity.  Not just the charity of giving to the poor but the Charity of no gossip, of giving the other person the benefit of the doubt. The Charity of listening and choosing the best interpretation of what one was saying especially when it opposite to what your opinion is. The Charity of letting go or arguments and realizing they are pointless. Have you notice, after an argument, nothing is resolved. You have said your piece, but you have no peace. You haven’t changed anyones mind, and you haven’t heard the other person because you are too busy being right.

But that also isn’t what I got out of this chapter today either.

Since I only tuned in at the end, I only got the end and for some strange beautiful reason it was enough. Shame is gone.

         “48 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, that ye may be filled with this love, which he hath bestowed upon all who are true followers of his Son, Jesus Christ; that ye may become the sons of God; that when he shall appear we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is; that we may have this hope; that we may be purified even as he is pure. Amen.”

Time to pray. That too is important.

In Body and In Spirit

Today was the first time in a long time that I was excited to get up to read scriptures. I used to be a “morning person”, but somewhere along the way, I think between the ages of 16 and 24, I became a night owl. Then I had my babies and I became a narcoleptic. Not really, but my best sleeping times seem to be between the hours of 5:30am to 10:00am. Just when everyone else is getting ready for the day, all I want to do is drift off to dreamland.

So back to scriptures, a few years ago our family just decided to just do it. The time that worked best for us was 6:30am. I promised the Mad Hatter that I would support him, so I try very hard not to complain, and I think for the most part I do fantastic at that, but you can see why I am not excited on the inside to get up for scriptures.

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Last night, as a result of the “MONSTEROUS SNOWPOLCOLIPS” that hit Calgary, I thought it would be nice to read scriptures by a fire. I thought that it would feel cozy and would keep all of us awake or at least a little more alert while reading said scripture. The only problem is we don’t have a fireplace. Believe me it was on the list for purchasing a home, as was garage and dinning room, but sometimes one needs to compromise. So when you can’t have an actual fireplace, the next best think is a virtual one…right?

Enter in Netflix “fireplace for your home” episode. Can you believe they have that? Seems kind of silly, but I guess I am not the only one who needed to compromise.

I guess you can get virtual fireplaces on youtube too

And it worked. I am not saying a crackling fireplace is the “magic pill” for improving my families attitude, but it was a reminder that sometimes changing things up and preparing ourselves physically for insight spiritually is necessary. Didn’t Jesus feed the 5000 because he could see that their physical discomfort was interfering with their ability to understand the word? That and compassion.

I give this another week and I think I will have to change things up again. I will have to sock away the fireplace for another time. Slowly as we improve the physical, hopefully, the spiritual will come along with it. Almost anything is better than the scattered bodies hiding under blankets sleeping through the Mad Hatters readings, because that is what it has been since we moved. It also helps that we now have couches.

White

I grew up with white walls. I was so excited to be introduced to colour back in the early 90’s. Now I want white, but I’m scared. Even more scared than I was picking colour. Gah. Why?

1. I have 3 boys and everything gets dirty when you have 3 boys.

2. I want to pick the right white. Even though I know my eye will read the various shades of white as plain white, in the store, I don’t want to pick a yellow, or a green or a pink or a baby blue. I want it warm but I also want it cool. My indecision is driving me nuts. What is also driving me equally nutty is the Chocolate Wendy’s frosty colour on my walls. It’s great for selling a home, but it’s boring and oh so dark in my house that doesn’t get direct sunlight ever in it’s windows.

3. The money. I want to spend the money, but I hate spending the money, unless I’m sure.

 

Thats pretty much all the things that are holding me back.

It was my tibial plateau

Yesterday I got to go to the follow up with the bone doctor. Much more informative this time. I came in and immediately found out it was my plateau and that it was non-displaced because it was written in on my chart sheet. Question #1 answered.

After they took the progress x-ray, I got to sit in a tiny curtained room next to a lady who was trying to sell it big that she was ready to drive and can walk full weigh bearing. I think she even said her leg felt bionic and she got up and walked around to prove her point. As she was leaving she apologized to me for being so excited. It turns out it had been 6 months for her. She was at her six week post operative checkup and pins and plates were involved. Clearly there was a long process for her to even get to surgery.

Thank you Universe for making me realize YES it could always be WORSE

She alarmed me a bit, and yet I was also encouraged. She was walking around. If I get the ok, I could be walking around and soon. Student bone doctor came in and took a bit of history and the poor boy got a little of an emotional display. He said tell me about your break and I said I really don’t know much about it other than what led to it. He took me through the x-rays and anatomy. Apparently the resistance I was feeling when trying to bend my leg was REALLY TIGHT Ligaments. Also I was given a prescription for physical therapy. Questions #2 and #3 answered.

I was told I was in the drivers seat for how long this will take and those who did their homework tend to progress faster. Good to know that I am in control. Question #4 vaguely answered. I was also told that physical therapy will hurt and I should be sore in the evening. We danced around the topic of pain medication and I avoided it. I am starting to think I should have asked for some more. Last night was the most painful sleep in my memory. I slept with ice on my knee and a pillow at my knees. Took 2 extra strength tylonol and still had to get up a couple of hours later and take something. This is without physio.

All in all good news:

1. I can drive
2. I can start trying to walk
3. The doctor thinks with physical therapy I can get my knee bending all the way back.
4. Things are returning to normal-ish
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Plateau

I haven’t been on here for a while. I’d like to say it’s because I have been off galavanting around doing the most fun things and then falling into bed exhausted too tired to write. But I haven’t. I can’t. The summer began quickly. On July 1st the family borded a plane to NY to visit my sister and take in all the sites we could cram in the next week or so. We splashed in the atlantic, saw a lighthouse, walked central park, took the subway, went to the Met (museum), top of the rocked, bottom of the rocked, coney islanded, port jeffersoned, battery parked, 4th of julyed, 5th of julyed. It was fast, it was busy and when we got of the plane in Calgary it felt like we hadn’t even gone. That is where the Galavanting ended.

Shortly after our return home, I was feeling sluggish and piggish and decided to go for a quick run before taking the kids to swimming lessons. 3/4 of the way in, I took a tumble. Leg broken (I think it’s my tibial plateau) and mobility compromised. I was told six weeks-ish and that is tomorrow. I don’t see the doctor for another week though and from what I have read, 7 weeks isn’t really long enough. Ugh. I really wonder why they call us patients because honestly I don’t have any. I make a terrible shut in and have moments of intense self pity. Those mostly come when I am by myself and thinking about how my body will never be the same. Will I run again? Can I ride a bike?

The worst part is, when anyone asks me what happened, I realize more and more how in the dark I am about my condition. As I said earlier I think it’s the tibial plateau, but I don’t know for sure. I haven’t even seen the x-rays. I feel stupid. Now I am also scared and nervous. In one week what are they going to say? Questions come well after the initial appointment and there is no one to ask. What if they were wrong? what if it’s slightly displaced and I have to start all over? What kind of time table am I looking at for healing? Will there be physio? Do I schedule that with my family doc? How far should I be able to bend my knee? I don’t really think in my state of mind right now I can take bad news.

The worst news would be starting all over. Bad news would be keep doing what I’m doing (no driving, no getting out, basically sit in my house all day). One, no matter how strong they are, can’t get very far on crutches with no weight baring. I need to be able to drive. My job needs it, my mental state needs it and my family needs it.

I have a list of things I want to do when I can get around more. I want to get my eyebrows waxed and my hair done. It’s been a while and I feel kind of shaggy. I also want to be able to put on pants. Summer is almost over and it gets cold quick here.

I try to think positively, and the more I am around people, the more that is possible. Unless they are my kids who are so bored and all they do is fight, then I am pitiful. I try to remind myself that it could be worse. I am grateful it’s not winter. I am grateful my new house doesn’t have as many stairs. Yes I have a new house, but the shine of it has been shadowed by my leg. As far as I know, my ligaments are fine. I also have a husband that is very patient and my boys are having to learn how to do things. Thinking positively is hard. I am beyond the why me stage, but the monotony of this knocks me a little lower each day. Maybe I need a new book to read.

Getting Rad-i-fied

Last Saturday, the twiddles and I decided to get our run on. We signed up, whole family, back in February to do Colour Me Rad. It’s a fun run/walk where you colour bomb everyone. You get a shirt, sunglasses and some awesome temporary tattoos to complete the package. For Calgary, the course weaves up C.O.P to the top of the bob lead run and then down and around to the finish all the while clouds of coloured cornstarch is thrown around. There are certain colour stations that the people running the show toss their own supply at you. I think the only think that would make it better is if Cindy Lauper were there with here 80’s awesomeness.

Now this race is not about the time, it’s about the line. There is no pressure to run the fastest or be the best, unless you are a Kneelanderthal. It’s just to get people moving and have the most fun while doing it.

Sadly, the Mad Hatter wasn’t able to join us. He had Bishopy things to do. His priorities were in the right place even though we missed him. My friend Bonnie joined us and she was such a trooper having never done this before. She might even to it again.

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my phone in the protective ziplock being carried where I can only carry it when my hands are full. I am still a sherpa even during a race

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I swear my kids got all my swagger and I have nothing left. NOTHING.

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We met up near the end of the race with Lisa, Matt, Brendan, Nadia and Q. Lisa managed to snap some pictures which are in this post. Thanks so much because apparently every picture I took had my plastic protective ziplock in it and since I couldn’t see because the sun was too bright. Just so you know adjusting the brightness requires being able to see the phone to make it brighter so I was snapping willy nilly and a ziplock.

 

 

Human Lab: DIY Dry Shampoo Results

wig-powder

So back in April, I decided to try out a dry shampoo recipe that is floating around the internet. I’m in my 4th month and we haven’t really hit the sweatiest time of year, but things seem to be going great. I have to admit this is a hard one for me to wrap my head around. Who puts food in their hair? Really?! IT reminds me of that brief time in middle school where I studied a bit of European history. One thing that really stands out was the powdered wigs and how everyone had lice. YUCK! I know it wasn’t the powder that caused the lice. Clearly this is a classic case of guilty by association, but I can’t help it. Anyway, I managed to push through and give it a try.

I am happy to report my head is still bug free and the shampoo seems to get me an extra day between washings. Yes I still use regular shampoo. The Redken colour safe one to be exact. This just helps me to treat my hair a little gentler with less processing. Remember if you are going to give this a try don’t go crazy with the application. You wouldn’t want to have frozen hot chocolate running down your head in the rain. Apply just enough powder mixture to absorb the excess oil. I’m looking forward to the summer and seeing how it works.