Tuesday, July 29, 2008

magic touch

My parents' porch, a few weeks ago.

I really was dreading going back to work today, worrying about my crutches, my foot swelling, pondering how I would carry things and buy lunch in the cafeteria, preparing myself to explain my surgery over and over to people who would exclaim "Oh! What happened?!"

My parents came down yesterday to help me get organized, so things were chaotic with five excited little dogs, my dentist appointment, food shopping, feeding everyone, and sleeping arrangements. I went to bed at 10:00 to read and calm down, but ended up not falling asleep until 1:45 a.m. Then I was awake at 4:00 a.m., looking at the clock, worrying that I'd miss the alarm. I swear, it felt like the first day of high school, worrying that I wouldn't be able to find my way to biology or get my locker open! It's just WORK, people; I've been there for eight years. What is the problem?

Finally, the alarm went off at 6:00 a.m. and I hobbled to the bathroom to take my shower. I got all ready for work. Packed my backpack with my purse, coffee thermos, extra gauze, pain pills, extra socks, etc. Rechecked everything. Walked out to my car with my parents waving in the doorway, like I was six years old and riding the bus for the first time. I felt like I should be swinging my metal Mork & Mindy lunchbox and skipping.

I got to work, parked in a handicapped spot, and limped my way to my desk, crutches flailing, pausing to talk with well wishers who DID actually say "Oh! What happened?!" It took forever. Our building is a converted warehouse and the hallways go on for miles. MILES, I'm telling you. And my office is in the furthest corner. Tumbleweeds were blowing through the sandy hallways and I passed skeletons of people who never made it to their desks. I finally got to my office, panting, sweating, and cursing the size of the building. I chatted with my boss, drank some coffee, and opened some files on my computer.

Before I could do any work, I got this message across the screen of my Mac. In four languages, no less:

So I restarted. I got the same message, and then a gray screen with DOS-like words and codes across it, ending with the hopeless phrase: "panic: we are hanging here . . ."

I actually found a photo of it on someone else's screen here.

Panic? What?? Who is "we"? And where are you hanging and why? Could you, like, just maybe give me a little more information?

Turns out, as I was told by our IT people as they nodded sadly, this is called a "kernel panic", which to me sounds like something horrible that happens in a cornfield. To them, it was something more serious, so serious that they came with a dolly and carted my computer away, leaving me with an empty, dusty desk and nothing to do. My boss immediately ordered me a new Mac, which will be in tomorrow or Thursday, and that was that. I hung around to make sure the IT people can save the contents of my old hard drive (they can), and then I left around 10:30 a.m.

What a waste of a good outfit.

I came home, ate, and took a MONGO nap. When will I stop being so tired? I'm like one of those dolls whose eyes go shut when you lay them down. I have no power over myself anymore.

It's hot and humid here, but I'm going to saunter out to my usual spot on the patio and do some reading while the dogs frolick. And that wraps up my odd day.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

lazy days


When I told people about my two weeks of medical leave, most said, "oh, you'll be bored. You'll be ready to go back to work." Well, I'm not. I never am. I love being home, I enjoy my own company, and I don't get bored. And I really don't want to go back to work on Tuesday!

Now that my foot is feeling better, I've been spending tons of time in my yard. I have two little brick patios that I made myself, one under my gigantic black walnut tree, and the other behind my garage (above) where I have bonfires. I alternate between both - they're shady at different times of the day. Sophie and Sadie are having a blast, too. They run around, sniff out interesting things, have adventures hiding in the garden (which is like a jungle to their little selves), bark happily at the neighbor dogs, and take naps by my feet.

sophie in the garden

sadie in the garden

Before I go out, I pack a bag with my Blackberry, my phone, my Kindle, paper and pens, and a bottle of water. And I'm pretty well set for the afternoon. I just wish I could pack a bathroom - I hate having to limp all the way into the house!


We've been having just wonderful weather - low 80's, sunny, breezy, and bright. Everything in my garden is in full bloom right now: echinacea, black-eyed susans, zinnias, hydrangeas, lilies, nigella, butterfly bush, goldenrod, veronica, daisies . . . with ferns, hostas, chocolate joe pye weed, and lady's mantle filling in the spaces between. It's truly relaxing. I feel I'm in a very good space right now, mentally, and I'm so happy I have the surgery behind me.

sunshine in the garden

I went outside yesterday and sat in a chair, and dozed on and off. I was sure I hadn't fallen completely asleep, but when I checked my phone, I saw that two hours had passed. Good grief! I'm sleepy all the time now. I think it's nature's way of forcing you to stop moving around - while you're sleeping, your body can focus all its energy on healing.

My foot is even less swollen and painful now. I'm continuing to hobble around the house without my crutches, but use them outside. My doctor has me hold my toe and bend it back, holding it for 30 seconds after I can feel the muscle pull a bit. Then I push it back in the other direction and hold it for 30 seconds again. This will keep it from stiffening up. He also has me put vitamin E on my incision once a day. I just break open a capsule, squeeze the oil on the incision, and then wrap it in gauze. This helps the skin heal faster with less scarring. My toes are still puffy, and I still have bruising all over my foot, but every day it's a little better.

blue toes

Tomorrow my parents are coming down to help me get situated for going back to work. We'll be doing laundry, food shopping, minor repairs around the house, etc. I'll have their two pomeranians and chihuahua here, too. A very full house!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008



Mosaic idea from Boho Girl.

Type your answer to each of the questions below into Flickr search, using only the first page, choose your favorite image, copy and paste each of the URL’s into the mosaic maker (3 columns, 4 rows).

The questions:
1. What is your first name? (Lisa)
2. What is your favorite food? (Mexican)
3. What high school did you attend? (Western)
4. What is your favorite color? (Burgundy)
5. Who is your celebrity crush? (Colin Firth)
6. Favorite drink? (Beer)
7. Dream vacation? (Easter Island)
8. Favorite dessert? (Cheesecake)
9. What do you want to be when you grow up? (Photographer)
10.What do you love most in life? (Adventure)
11. One word to describe you. (Funny)
12. Your Flickr name. (Lymie)

Here are the links to the photos above:

1. the light, 2. mexican hot chocolate cookies, 3. Pinnacles desert, Western Australia, 4. burgundy rose, 5. Colin Firth having coffee dumped on him, 6. pentacon six tl wannabe edward hopper edward olive, 7. Chile - Easter Island, 8. cheesecake for Lianna!, 9. The Photographer, 10. 105/366: Adventures in Balloonland, 11. ...Ladybird Traffic Jam..., 12. Lymie backstreet

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


Get Well Cards
Get well cards.

Not much new to report here. My foot is better - the horrible, deep bone ache is gone, and I'm not taking pain pills at all during the day. I take one before bed because for some reason, the pain is worse at night.


I'm just amazed at how long it takes to do anything! I'm used to leaping around, dashing up and down stairs, bathing in 15 minutes, doing housework, mowing the lawn . . . and now I have to plan. Making coffee and figuring out how to get it into the living room is a huge undertaking. My trick is to make a pot, then dump it in my thermos, which I can then dangle from a finger while holding onto the crutches. That's the hardest part - not being able to carry things. I shove things in my bra or pockets, clamp them in my teeth, or put them in a backpack, and then hobble away. Today I was able to use the "one-crutch method" and have one hand free to carry my lunch to the couch. And then I had to go upstairs to get some more clean t-shirts, and scooted up and down the stairs on my hands and knees like a mountain climber. It was quite a sight.

Sophie Sleeping

When I'm not crawling or hopping through my house, I'm reading. I've whipped through the first three books of the Twilight Saga by

Mason Jar Candle
Berry cobbler-scented soy candle in a mason jar, a get-well gift from my mom.

I'm also able to take photos, as you can see above. My camera is easy to hang around my neck, so it's ready for every action-packed moment in the Lymie household. I think Sophie and Sadie are getting tired of me hovering over them with my camera. They see me coming, and you can almost see them sigh and think, "aw, crap!" Then they suck it up and pose for me.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

hobbling along

My foot today. Note the bruising and swelling on all my toes, and the purple writing
that (upside down) says "yes", written by my doctor before the surgery,
so they would operate on the correct foot!

Well, it's been five days since my surgery. I wasn't nervous at all beforehand - just ready to roll. I got up at 4:45 a.m., took my shower, and got dressed in comfy clothes. We were at the hospital by 6:00 and I was whisked away immediately for an EKG (so they could monitor my heart rate during surgery and know what my "normal" was). Then I was off to the pre-op room, where I got into my gown, and then the nurse came in to do my IV.

Now, this is what I had been dreading more than the surgery itself. It's not that I'm afraid of needles - I'm freaked out by veins. Shots are fine but anything vein related makes me woozy and sweaty. So I took a deep breath and told myself it would be over soon. Only it wasn't. I was so dehydrated from not being able to eat or drink since 11 p.m. the night before that the nurse couldn't find a vein in my hand. Poke, prod, thump, poke . . . uggghhhh. It was horrible and went on forever. Then she tried my other hand. More of the same. FINALLY, FINALLY she was successful.

My mom came in to wish me luck, and then they gave me a relaxing cocktail through my IV. I giddily watched the lights go by as they pushed me to the operating room. The last thing I remember was the nurses putting my arms up on little shelf things on either side of the table . . . and then I heard someone say "she's waking up."

It was the most blissful, warm, comforting, happy sleep, and I didn't want to wake up at all. My doctor was wrapping my foot in miles of bandages, and I didn't care. I just wanted to go back to sleep. Then I was in the recovery room, and suddenly my mom was there helping me to get dressed. My foot hurt already, so they gave me painkillers through the IV. And then the physical therapist guy was there to show me how to use crutches. Yes, that's what klutzy, half-asleep me wanted to do - get out of bed and swing crutches around. Not fun. Then I was being pushed out in a wheelchair, and my mom picked me up at the curb. And BOOM, I was home by 10:30 a.m. It all felt like a dream.

My mom set me up on the couch with pillows and blankets and an ice pack for my foot. I had the essentials like the remote control, a pile of books and magazines, water, pain pills, my phone, my blackberry, and my dogs flitting around nervously, overwhelmed by the crutches and my grogginess. My foot felt pretty great for the first few hours, and then all the potent hospital meds wore off. I took Vicodin, which helped but didn't entirely take the pain away.

The first night was not fun. I slept downstairs in the guest room on a twin bed, with my foot up and both dogs in bed with me. I'm used to my king sized bed upstairs, and I'm a stomach sleeper, so right off the bat I was uncomfortable. And then the pain . . . like someone was ramming an icy-hot poker into my toe joint and down my foot. It was horrible. The Vicodin made me sweat and have flushing (both are side effects), so I was all sticky and hot, too. AND I had to get up four times during the night to use the bathroom. Me, on crutches, lurching around at 4 a.m., drugged up, with a throbbing foot, having to pee. Good times.

The next night was better - I decided to sleep on the couch instead, with the dogs in their own beds on the floor next to me. Much more comfortable. It took me awhile to master the crutches, though. When my mom first saw me on them, she said "oh, my!" I looked like a drunk, flailing octopus.

Overall, I've been in pain all week, and I have to say: OW!!!! My foot hurts MUCH more than I expected. I thought I'd be uncomfortable, but able to walk out into the yard and sit outside. Nope. I couldn't put any weight on my foot, and it was too hard to navigate through the tall grass and uneven ground of my yard. Every time I put my foot down, the blood would rush to it and it would throb, burn, and ache. All I wanted was my couch, to recline back with my foot elevated.

Today has been the best day so far. I'm able to put about 1/2 my weight on my broken foot as I use the crutches. I had my first doctor's appointment this morning, and he said I'm doing great. The x-rays looked awesome - no more big bony bump on my toe joint, all the wierd debris is cleaned out, and the screw is holding my broken foot bone to my toe. He unwrapped my foot for the first time since the surgery, and we all leaned in excitedly, like viewing a 1920's mummy unwrapping. I couldn't wait to see what it looked like.

My foot is bruised yellow/green/brown and swollen from my big toe down the side of my foot and to the ankle. I have a long incision that is closed with stitches. It's puffy and odd-looking, but not as scary as I thought it would be. He re-wrapped it in less bandages, and said I can unwrap it starting tomorrow and take a regular shower (I've been using one of those shower chair things and hanging my foot out so it doesn't get wet), then wrap it back up myself to support it.

I must say: this whole procedure was not fun, but compared to Lyme, it was sooooo quick and easy. In fact, I could have had both feet done, plus both hands, plus, let's say, my head, maybe, all at the same time, and it would still be better than having Lyme. So it totally puts things in perspective for me. In many ways, Lyme has prepared me for the rest of my life. There's nothing I can't tackle, and nothing I can't face my fear of. So there, Lyme. Take that.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

lounging around

Foot Surgery

The surgery went well. I'm in pain, but compared to Lyme disease, it's fine! More later.

Friday, July 11, 2008

almost perfect

hydrangea, barely blooming
Hydrangea in my garden, just beginning to bloom.

Today was outstanding. First of all, it's Friday, which is good no matter what. Then, my boss left at noon today, giving me the afternoon to clean my cubicle and organize my computer files so he can find things while I'm off on medical leave. Lunch was relaxing. The afternoon flew by, and I came home to the happiness of an Amazon box propped against my door. Yay! A Friday with presents. Book presents!

I spent the evening in the yard with Sophie and Sadie, weeding the flower beds and then taking photos. I swear, I can entertain myself for hours in my little yard with my camera.

Sadie, who always looks like she's smiling.

Sophie, who always looks a bit worried.

Then I sat under the walnut tree and started reading my new book from Amazon, Twilight by Stephenie Meyer, a young adult book that people of all ages seem to be reading right now. I kept hearing the buzz about the series and seeing it in stores, so I'm plunging in. It's really good so far. Plus, it's being made into a movie, coming out in December.

Now I'm about to soak in a nice long jacuzzi bath and use my new bar of lemongrass Zum soap, then put on my jammies and read more in bed. Tomorrow I can sleep in before cleaning my house. I am in one of those rare, relaxed, happy states of mind and I plan to enjoy it for as long as I can!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

road trip

Miss Katie
My niece, Katie, taken this past weekend.

I'm off to South Bend for a few days on business. It's about a four-hour trip, but since my boss does the driving, I can kick back with my arm out the window and enjoy the countryside (halfway there, we leave the expressway and take the back roads).

My foot surgery is one week from today. Eeek! and Yay! I've been feverishly cleaning and getting organized so I can lay around with my foot up during those first few swollen days.

Time for bed. I have to be up at 4:30 a.m. tomorrow to start the trip. And I am SO not a morning person!

Monday, July 7, 2008



I met her! She's amazing!


Hope tummy.


Hope with her dad.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

cupcakes & quilts

july 4th cupcakes

Tonight it stormed. Again. Not that I'm complaining - storms are right up there on the things I love, slightly behind beer. Plus it's free water and my lawn has never looked so good.

While the rain beat against the windows, I made 4th of July cupcakes to take to work. I'm hoping they'll hold up overnight - I accidentally put 1/2 cup of milk into the frosting instead of 1/4 cup. Crap! Which then meant I had to add more powdered sugar to thicken it up. I should have put in more butter, but I used the last of it pre-catastrophe. So the frosting has an odd fluffy texture, instead of being creamy and firm, and is threatening to completely collapse. I'm hoping I don't have to offer my coworkers a pile of mush tomorrow. Let's all cross our fingers, shall we?

I'd love nothing more than to take them all to bed and eat them beneath my wonderful new bedding:

new bedding

Isn't it just so warm and cozy? Ruffly and girly? It's completely different from any bedding I've owned before. The cats are already sprawled across it in glee. And now it's time for me to climb in, open my new Cooking Fresh magazine, and read until I fall asleep.