Thursday, January 30, 2014

Take that, sarcopenia!

I am all-too familiar with osteoarthritis which destroyed the hip my husband recently had replaced. But, it took an email from the folks at BeStrongBeFree to school me on sarcopenia, the gradual deterioration of muscle mass in pretty much everyone over 60. For the record, I'm 58, but reading this description of sarcopenia convinced me I've had a mild case for a couple years. I'm definitely stiffer than I used to be after sitting a while. I do that Tim Conway grandpa shuffle on the way to the bathroom in the morning. And, my muscles seem to be more sore after a workout than ever before. What's a boomer to do? This guy knows.
His name is Neil Short and he designed a strength-training program to combat sarcopenia which, of course, he wants to sell. What's different about this program is that you can go to the website and try the exercises, simply demonstrated on video, before you buy. I've seen most of the moves before. In fact, I do several of them in the pool. But, I was particularly interested in - and amused by - a new one called the Get Up. 

Now, what could be so difficult about getting up from the floor and going back down again? Nothing, I thought. But, try it ten times in a row and it's a darn good little warm-up. I did the Get Up this morning before hopping on the treadmill. My dog thought I was crazy, but it's good to keep the canines guessing.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Now, where were we?

For the dead of January, I have a surprising amount of catching up to do after nine days away. First, the hubby is taking to his new hip like Madonna to Botox. (I'll get to that later.)  He's been cleared to drive and to take his daily sauna. And, no more TED hose, aka the bane of my existence. The main problem now is boredom, which is climbing to record levels. There just aren't enough books and basketball games in the world. It's an issue. That's all I'll say. So, let's move on to Madonna at the Grammy's...
The cowboy hat, the dangling garters, the's just a little sad, that's all.
I feel for her, having to perform with a cane and all. (I have deep sympathy for the lame.) But, holy toxins, people! This Botox madness has got to stop. She looks like a wax museum statue of herself. And now, she's teaming up with Miley Cyrus?! Why can't these divas just age gracefully? (I guess I've had some pent-up snarkiness in the last nine days. Sorry.)
  As I might have mentioned fifty times before, our son moved to the Big Apple recently, leaving behind many worldly possessions, including his effing huge (excuse my French) flat screen TV. Before flying off, he planted the suggestion that maybe we would want to trade our smaller, more sensible flat screen for his because wherever he landed in NYC would certainly not have room for the effing size of it. "NO!" I said. "I have put a lot of thought into the scale and proportion of my living room, and an effing TV like that would ruin the whole scheme of things!" Then, this happened....
It's about the aforementioned boredom, you see. The hip patient desperately needed something to do. "Let's just TRY mounting the effing thing to the wall and see if we like it," he said. (How could I deny the man a project, especially one that involved his tools?) "Holy God!" I said, when we were done. "The effing thing is bigger than the fireplace!" (Did I mention we're studying French?")  Here's a panoramic view, to drive my point home....
I don't know what will happen in ten days when the boy from New York flies home to get his truck and the rest of his belongings. I'd like to think good taste and a sensible sense of scale will prevail. In the meantime, we've already had one helluva basketball watch party...and I'm kinda looking forward to the Super Bowl now.

Aaaaand...I'm back!

It's a woman's prerogative to change her mind and that's what I did with regards to moving to another platform. Turns out, it wasn't necessary right now. What I did do is spend the last several days investigating new platforms for my "vanity site" which had been neglected for six years, at least. The profile photo I was using was way older than that. Who was I trying to kid?
The old home page, circa 2006 (two years after I stopped coloring my hair)
 For those of you who are interested, I used to design a simple site that easily accommodates my content, including multimedia. Here is my site, as it looks right now. I highly recommend Wix for web design newbies like me. I'm still working on propagating my domain. (Is that like saying "sowing my wild oats?') But, I trust that will magically happen in the next 48 hours. Anyway, thanks for your patience while I figured all of this stuff out. I've missed blogging, and I've missed you. 

Friday, January 17, 2014

T.G.I. Milestone Day!

                Our P.T. plays ball in the house with the hip patient, dog and Xmas boxes. 

     Today was the last day of home physical therapy AND the taking down of the Christmas decorations, two weeks late. Next week, we'll enter the brave new world of outpatient therapy and - maybe, just maybe - have a ceremonial burning of his TED compression stockings.  Those things are a bitch to get on, and I'm not getting any better at it with time.
     If that isn't reason enough to smile, there is this from my newly created "things to look at when I'm blue" file:

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Field trip

I won't lie to you, folks. This constant togetherness and chauffeuring is hard work.  It's not like we're on vacation. Hell, it's Kansas in January! Look "Kansas in January" up in your Merriam-Webster. It's the direct antonym for "vacation." Frankly, I'm looking at the next four weeks with increasing dread. How desperate have I gotten? The photo below tells the story. That's right. I agreed to drive the patient to Home Depot...AND go in. For the record, if you have to go to the Depot, 1:30 p.m. is the best time to go. I hope never to test that particular theory again.
At least, someone's a happy camper.

Monday, January 13, 2014

The parking pass: One upside to the misery

After the physical therapist left this morning, the patient and I looked at each other as if to say, "Now, what the hell are we going to do?" "Let's have ourselves an outing," I said in my best Julie Andrews as Mary Poppins voice. "Capital idea," he replied, just like Dick Van Dyke. (Not really. That would have been way too satisfying. He just said, "Yeah, okay.") First, we went to the courthouse to procure our temporary disabled parking placards (one for the car, one for my purse), then off to lunch where we parked directly in front of the restaurant and didn't even have to feed the meter. It was thrilling, I tell you! (Not really. But, I'm trying very hard to be "glass half-full" here. We've got another full month to get through together.)

Words to live by

It's Monday. The house needs a good cleaning. My energy level is low. I did find this column in the paper motivating, however. That's all I've got, Monday.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Caregiver's Day Out

It was the perfect day. Sunshine, 72 degrees. A great opportunity to head to Kansas City, grab a girlfriend, go to lunch at Port Fonda, and make a Costco run. After being cooped up for ten days, I can't tell you how good that felt. And tasted.
Port Fonda's Bloody Mary bar
Delicious chilaquiles
I didn't even worry about my patient until I was driving home, groceries in tow. Was he okay? Did he miss me? What if he fell down in the backyard and is writhing around on the ground right now?!? Pulling into the garage, I saw this:
Out for a walk, ten days post-op
He might have enjoyed Caregiver's Day Out better than the caregiver.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Goin' bananas, gluten-free!

It's Saturday. The basketball game's on. Hubs' hip is still on the mend. I had four almost rotten bananas. So, I made this bodacious banana bread that's gluten free and with half the sugar. Here's the recipe. I used all brown rice flour and a stevia-sugar combo. Oh, and I threw in a tablespoon of cinnamon. Only the teeniest stevia aftertaste prevents me from giving this recipe a perfect 10.  I just presented the patient a warm slice, buttered to perfection. He paid me a compliment so sexy, I'd be embarrassed to repeat it here. Things are looking up! Of course, it doesn't hurt that the home team is hammering our in-state rivals.

Now, that's a nice rack!

New dish rack from World Market. Note black towel underneath to catch drips. Almost invisible!

Our 2-year-old KitchenAid dishwasher is already on the fritz, spraying little bits of food onto all of our dishes. (I tested this by doing a cycle of pre-cleaned dishes, just to make sure I wasn't insane or the worst dish scrubber alive.) Instead of calling the repairman right away, I procured a wooden dish rack and started washing what few dishes we use by hand. Omigod, people! I'm saving energy and sparing my back muscles from that awkward lower rack lean-over. By-hand washing is just as fast, maybe faster, and the glasses are dry in ten minutes, ready to put away. For the moment, at least, or until we have another's to old school!

Friday, January 10, 2014

1 week post-op and counting...and counting....

Me: I'm leaving you.
Him: Where will you go? What will you do?
Me: I don't know. Costco? Sephora, maybe? I just need to get out of here.
Him: Has it been that bad, our time together?
Me: No, the first week hasn't been bad at all. I just need some retail therapy. Caregiver's respite. It's not you, it's me.
Him: But, you'll come back...right?
Me: Absolutely.
Him: Would you pick up some beer while you're out?
Me: Of course. Small price to pay.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Hair apparent

Enough about the hub's new hip and son's new big city life. It's all about me today. I've decided to grow out my hair this year. The short 'do was great when I was working and didn't have time to fuss. Now, I want longer tresses to play around with, for variety's sake. (I'm a Sagittarius. I get bored easily.) But, which 'look' should I try? I turned to Taaz Virtual Makeover where I uploaded a head shot and tried on celebrity hair for grins...and a few guffaws.
Jane Fonda - post Ted Turner
You can also change the color of your hair, so I switched to Platinum since it was the closest to my silver/gray/blond color...
Jenna Elfman - Too shaggy
Kristin Dunst - Too long
Cameron Diaz - Just right
 The Taaz site also features other makeover tools, too, including teeth whitening and make-up. It's the perfect little diversion for a stay-inside day.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

"Sister Act IV" now playing at LaGuardia

The first born's flights were all on time last night. He texted me from the airport saying he had arrived, his girlfriend surprised him at the gate, and they'd made some new friends while waiting for his luggage. Today, this photo appeared on Instagram:
Look at all that happiness happening right there.
New York City can be a scary place sometimes. Don't think that hasn't crossed my mind. I'm taking this as a sign from God that everything's going to be okay.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

And away he goes....

I told him to find someone else to drive him to the airport, if possible. I hate goodbyes. Especially ones involving my kids. But, it was difficult finding someone who wasn't working at 2 in the afternoon. It came back to Mom. So, I skipped the mascara and put on my enormous sunglasses so he wouldn't see me cry. Now he's off to a brand new life in the big city - New York City, namely - with the woman of his dreams and an ocean of opportunity before him. How is it possible to be so sad and so happy at the same time?

Monday, January 6, 2014

Who's the boss?

I realize these are two males, but imagine that's me on the right.
(My dear friend, Short Jewish Gal, used to write for the TV sitcom,"Who's the Boss?" As you can tell if you read her excellent blog, she is going through some challenges of her own these days. The headline of this post is my nod to her. SJG, I'm still thinking about you.)
    Back at BoomerGirl Ranch, where BoomerBoy is home for - hold on to your hats, cowpokes! - 5-1/2 weeks... it's a new reality. Husband and wife together, 24/7. Day in - day out. IN THE WINTER! Until his follow-up appointment on Valentine's Day, ironically enough, when life will return to normal. Hopefully. It hasn't been one full day and already there are power struggles. "Let me get that for you." "I can get it." "Don't be a hero. Take another pain pill." "I'll take one if I need one." As SJG would say, "Oy!" My one advantage: Since he's not allowed to drive, he can't go anywhere without me. Some might call this a pain in the gluteus maximus, and it certainly will be. But, I think I can use it to beat him into submission: "If you don't sit down and rest, I won't take you to Home Depot. Yeah, that's right. I'm the boss. Don't you forget it, hippie!"

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Holy hipster, he-man!

I would like to think my humble little blog provides a public service once in a while. So, let my message today be one that you tuck away in your memory bank until you or someone you love needs it: If you ever have a hip replacement, do yourself a favor and consider the anterior (front) approach. There aren't a lot of surgeons who do it, and it requires a special operating table and instruments, but the recovery time is significantly less than the lateral or posterior approaches and, if all goes well, there are no restrictions on activities after surgery. To me, this is nothing less than a miracle. That said, we've been warned that tomorrow might be a rough day, soreness-wise, but the hubs is going to walk out of here on his own power, three days after major surgery. Hip, hip, hooray!
24 hours post-op

(Mom's) Home Sweet Home

The nurses call Room 338 "the presidential suite" but, in the end, I decided to sleep in my old childhood bed last night.

The patient was doing well, having walked to the bathroom on his new hip without incident, so I opted not to sleep on "the world's least comfortable sofa bed," according to the nurse.

"Besides, he's going to need you to be fresh tomorrow," she said. Big therapy day ahead. And, did I mention snow and sub-zero temps coming? I hope there's a class in ice walking.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Friday, January 3, 2014

The waiting game

Hospital Day One: Breakfast in Styrofoam
It felt a bit like vacation - getting up before dawn, packing the car and hitting the highway. That is, until we got to our destination. We arrived promptly at 5:45 and registered at Admissions.  This took all of five minutes. "The nurse will come to get you at 6:30," they said. So, we waited for 40 minutes in the hospital lobby.  By 7:15, we were chatting with the surgeon, an affable fellow with clean fingernails and perfectly coiffed hair. Good signs, we thought. At 7:20, we were informed that the very special instruments for the procedure (not kept in-house) had not been sterilized and delivered. Our 7:30 surgery would be delayed. One hour, tops. Keep in mind, the patient has a deteriorated hip. Sitting anywhere is painful, especially on a gurney. "Omigod, we were so close," we said. Uncomfortably, we waited until 8:45 when, finally, the nurse came to inject sedative into the patient's I.V.  We kissed - twice - and they wheeled him away to the O.R. Now, I wait again, trying not to think of what they're doing to him in there, my anxiety eased only by knowing he's not in the moment.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Wiping the slate clean

I found this definition on the Web today.... 
Clean slate: An opportunity to start over without prejudice.
I love that, and the do-over that comes around every 365 days.
Today, it's the Rose Bowl parade, football and party leftovers 
(because everyone knows the diet doesn't actually start until Jan. 2nd.)
Maybe a few resolutions, here and there.
Happy new year, everybody. 

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