11/12/2019

I felt I should update you on Rich and his hip replacement surgery recovery.  He continues to do amazingly well, but because of that, is now getting to the point where he thinks he should be allowed to do a lot more than the doctor’s advised.  I was warned by his doctors that this would happen, but hoped Rich would realize that the doctor’s advice might be worthwhile.  They said the more he does in the first three weeks, the longer it delays his healing.  That held a lot of water for the first week, but now, halfway through week two, he’s over it.  We had a big snowstorm today and of course, I couldn’t shovel the driveway…we have nowhere urgent to go, and if we did, there’s not enough snow to stop me from driving through it.  Unfortunately, there also isn’t enough snow to stop Rich from getting the mail (at the bottom of our driveway.)  He assured me he wouldn’t have any issues doing so, after I pleaded with him to stop…

The thing is……he’s never been in a position to rely on others to do things for him, and he doesn’t like it.  He’s also never recovered from surgery like this, so he’s also stubborn enough to try things he shouldn’t, without regard for the consequences.  Luckily nothing happened, but what if it had?  I can’t get him to see that part of the scenario…the one where he’s hurt and I can’t help him.  I realize that he’s being careful when he’s taking these chances, but accidents happen, and then where will we be?  Honestly, I didn’t expect this surgery to be so physically taxing on both of us, and I know he sees that, and wants to help.

We have so many wonderful friends, who have been dropping by with food, which is so kind, and it’s made me appreciate all of them that much more.  Rich’s doctor’s appointment is November 20th, and I’ll be so glad when that’s behind us, as he’ll be allowed to drive, walk, go outside, and enjoy life again….This staying in bed or on the couch is becoming a real problem for him…

11/7/2019

It’s hard to believe that it’s only been a week since Rich’s hip replacement.  He’s walking without his crutches and already causing problems for me.  I need to tie him down or he might end up in big trouble.  Today, after lunch, my girlfriend and I were going to run errands for an hour or so.  I reminded Rich he needed to get back in bed or I wouldn’t leave and he promised he would.  When I got home, he told me he had decided he needed to run the sweeper since it’s impossible for me to do effectively.  I know I should have been grateful, but instead, I was so angry and frustrated at the risk he had taken.  After all, this morning we took off his bandage for the first time and he got lightheaded, so it’s not like I was over reacting.  He wanted to ease my anxiety over dog-hairy carpets, and instead, made me freak out because I’d left him unattended and he took such a foolish risk.  I don’t think he’ll do that again, but I’m sure in the next two weeks, when he’s supposed to be resting, that he’ll find something else to do that will make me lose my mind.  The doctor warned me that Rich would do this….In fact, he said I should basically tie Rich in place, so he doesn’t overdo it….  I honestly thought he would listen to the doctor, but I guess he thinks he knows best.  Yikes….It’s going to be a long couple of weeks.  Don’t worry, I’ll keep you all in the loop when he tries his next stunt.

I know many of you are thinking I should have appreciated the fact that he wanted to help me….but if he falls and has to have this hip re-replaced, then how do I handle it?

Since we’ve been married, I’ve been the patient and not the nurse, and this roll reversal is taxing, to say the least.  Some parts of it are almost physically impossible for me (like putting on compression socks without his help.)  He’s supposed to have his ice bag on his hip as much of the day as possible, so I’ve been changing ice packs like a mad woman, and trying to stay on top of all of the rest of the household jobs, and making sure he has his meds four times a day and eight different prescriptions.  The dogs have been losing their minds with all of the upheaval, so they’ve been causing problems, jumping on Rich, asking to go outside more often than usual, and terrorizing visitors.

I hope with each passing day that things go more smoothly, and that I can catch my breath….The best I can say at this point, is I haven’t lost my mind…much…

11/4/2019

I thought I’d give you a short update on Rich’s surgical recovery.  He took his first shower today and is doing amazingly well.  I slept in yesterday (by accident), and he made his own breakfast and put his pills together to take.  That doesn’t sound like much, but they gave him eight prescriptions, so they are hard to keep track of…I made a big chart and if I didn’t have that, I’d be lost.

Rich hasn’t had a pain level over two since he’s been home, which blows me away, but then again, we’ve kept the ice pack on it and am changing it every two hours, plus giving him pain medication every four hours.  I want to make sure he gets through this first week with minimal pain, as, for me, that’s always been the toughest part.

I’m spoiling him with Mountain Dew and bacon, and friends have been stopping by and dropping off meals, treats, and desserts, so he’s doing well.  I can’t tell you how blessed we are to have such wonderful friends, and if you are one of them, words can’t express how much we appreciate you.

11/1/2019

I picked Rich up at the hospital this morning and we had three of his college friends waiting at our house to help him make it up three steps into the house.  That might sound like overkill, but it snowed last night and things were slippery, and I knew if Rich had any kind of wobble, that there was no way I could stop him from falling.  Yesterday, in the restroom, he looked down, then looked up, and lost his balance (mainly from the pain medicines and the after-effects of anesthesia.  He had a nurse with him then, so I didn’t think it was too big of a stretch for him to lose his balance on outside snowy steps…We are lucky to have so many wonderful friends. They didn’t hesitate when I asked for help, and originally, we’d only asked two men, and then the third said he wanted to help as well, so we had lots of helpers.  They also brought one of their wives (the couple we go to movies with)…and she brought enough food to last us a very long time…There’s a really yummy chicken and mushroom casserole with rice, and a huge pan of pasta, cookies, salad and french bread.  I might have missed something they brought…they are so thoughtful, and we truly appreciated it.  I’d only gotten around to making up the couch so Rich could lay there when his friends were here, and baked a batch of cookies…The cookies were Nestles Toll House that you find in the biscuit area of the refrigerator section of your supermarket.  I bought them last weekend, thinking they’d be a great treat for Rich…..I made them last night so we’d have them for Rich and his friends to snack on today.  So we did and everyone seemed to enjoy them (I always roll the chocolate chip ones in crushed walnuts before I bake them and they seem more homemade, to me.)   As soon as our friends left, the telephone rang, and it was our supermarket and Nestles Foods, telling us that the cookies we’d bought had been recalled and we should take them and the receipt back to the store I bought them….That might be a little tricky to do since we ate half of them…Apparently, there’s some kind of plastic (non-food) in the cookies.  They didn’t have to tell me that plastic was a non-food group, but apparently not everyone is aware of that fact.

They gave the codes of the recalled batches, but I couldn’t read the batch on my wrapper, so called the toll-free number Nestles provided, and was on hold for over 20 minutes, when they disconnected me.  There’s nothing more frustrating than being on hold, hearing that message, every two minutes, telling you to hold for the next available operator, only to hear dead air after twenty minutes, and then nothing.  Of course now I’ve given up on contacting them, because I’m not wasting another 20 minutes on cookies….I’m so mad though, because we ate them before we got  the message, and as I said before, we’d bought the cookies last weekend, so they had plenty of time to contact us before we ate them.  It’s a day in the life of Sandy…..nothing seems to go as planned.

Today, as they were releasing Rich, they decided to tell him that he’s feeling great now, but in a day or two, the pain killer they put inside his hip will have dissipated, and it will hurt like anything.  Good to know, and isn’t it nice that he felt wonderful while he had real nurses around him, and once he feels bad, I’ll be his nurse…Let’s just say I’m not very patient, and after a partial day of nursing, I know why I never pursued the field…I’d rather be his chief cook and bottle washer, and leave the nursing to the professionals…

Fast, Last Minute Halloween Card

Although I said you can you can use this card for any occasion, I meant the technique can be used for any occasion…Sorry…
I’m also sorry that I put this video up so late, but with Rich’s surgery being this morning, I’ve been spending a lot of my crafting time preparing to make sure everything around the house was ready for him to be out of commission for three weeks.
Below you’ll find the complete instructions and products used in the making of this video.
I started with a Hero Arts stamp and cut set called Witch Feet, and stamped the inside of a 8 1/2″ wide by 5 1/2″ tall card out of orange cardstock, scored on the 8 1/2″ length at 4 1/4″. I stamped the witches feet and sentiment inside the card with Brutus Monroe Detail Black ink link:https://tinyurl.com/y2kkt2vd and used clear embossing powder then heat set it. On the outside of the card, I used Brutus Monroe’s stamp set called Bite Me link: https://tinyurl.com/yyqpuzgy also stamped with the same detail black ink and used with clear embossing powder then heat set.. I colored it with Dick Blick’s Wink of Stella markers link: https://www.dickblick.com/items/19905-1012/ and cut the candy corn out.
I used an old Fiskars cobweb border punch that’s discontinued…I did find Martha Stewart has a similar punch available on ebay and here’s the link to it. https://tinyurl.com/y6j7urbh
I used the border punch on a piece of black cardstock that is 5 1/2″ tall and about 3 1/4″ wide.

I took a piece of orange and black patterned paper and ripped the right edge of it so it is about 2 1/2″ wide and 5 1/2″ tall after being torn. I wrapped three thin pieces of satin black ribbon around the patterned paper near the top and adhered it on the back with tear tape.I glued the bite me candy corn vampire to the ribbon with foam tape. I glued fun foam behind the cobweb layer so it added dimension and then adhered these layers to the middle of the orange card base. I took cobweb stamps I found in the Witch Feet Hero Arts stamp set and stamped them on the back of the envelope and one on the bottom right corner of the front of the envelope.

10/31/2019

Rich had his hip replaced this morning, and as you know, I’ve been fretting about this for months…..I couldn’t believe it when I saw him when they were wheeling him back to his room.  He was talking like he’d just been for a walk..No pain lines on his face, no pale skin..he looked like a million dollars.  I can’t tell you how relieved I was.  Once in the room, he said he had a lot of pain when he woke up in recovery, but we were cautioned before surgery that if he felt pain in recovery, tell someone immediately, so they could give him something to stay ahead of the pain.  They said once you’ve waited too long to get pain medicines, it’s hard to get the pain level down.  So he asked for pain meds and spent the rest of the day looking and feeling really great (for the first day of surgery.)

I had been asked to text or call several friends and relatives, and if you know anything about me, it’s that I’m terrible at texting, and usually end up sending something that makes no sense.  As soon as Rich was in the room, he wanted to see the texts he’d gotten and took over from there…I didn’t have to answer one more text or take any telephone calls.  People were amazed when Rich answered his phone and when they realized the texts they were getting were from him.

I can’t tell you how much your cards, thoughts and prayers have meant to Rich and me.  We have been anxious about this surgery since it’s the first major surgery with Rich being the patient and me being the caregiver, and neither one of us really knew what to expect.  The bottom line is, it was a wonderful day..We both love the surgeon, and Rich told him if he continues to feel this good, on his three week post-surgery visit, he’s going to hug the surgeon….Let’s just say the surgeon isn’t looking forward to a big hug from Rich, but appreciates how happy he is…