Tuesday, December 31, 2013

The Times Are A-Changin'

My mother hates January.  To her it's a gloomy month after the festiveness of December.  There's often the threat of snow, which makes her mood even darker.  She's normally a very staid and stable person emotionally, but a weatherman's prediction of freezing precipitation is the one thing certain to change that.  (Well, that and the appearance of a mouse.  Housewives in 1950s Tom & Jerry cartoons have nothing on my mother in terms of hysterical reactions to rodents.)  I, on the other hand, love January.  I always have this huge list of resolutions and I always go into the new year confident that this is the year I get it together.  The house will be constantly clean and organized, I will slip into those size 8 pants I haven't worn since my daughter was born, I will deal with my children with Carol Brady's calm and cheerfulness.  I'm always so damn optimistic on New Year's Eve and it carries into January.  Yes, by the end of the month my resolutions are pretty much shot, but on December 31 and most of the following month I'm certain this will be my year.

On this December 31 I do indeed have a list of goals for the year, but unlike past ones it's much smaller, much more reasonable, and (dare I say) doable.  Many of them focus on process, rather than result.  Let's get control of the overly unenthusiastic eating and if those pants fit by the end of the year, bonus time!  Let's work methodically on decluttering this house, a small chunk at a time, and if it all gets done by the end of the year, bonus time!  You get the idea.  This also applies to my goals for writing and organizing and exercising.

I'm not sure why I made the shift this year.  I think it's partly due to that damn shoulder injury from February.  It will be 11 months tomorrow since I took the fall heard round the world.  Thanks to the cursed frozen shoulder that developed, I'm still trying to get full range of motion back.  The ring and pinky fingers on my left hand still tingle or hurt or are numb (they rotate through the symptoms in the course of a week or so and start from the beginning).  The pinky also doesn't work too well, so forgive any typos I miss involving keys like a, q, or z.  Or if I SUDDENLY BREAK INTO ALL CAPS, you can blame the fact that I hit the caps lock instead of shift...again.  Don't get me wrong, I'm seriously grateful to have this much function back.  When that arm was just dangling and completely useless and I couldn't even wiggle my fingers, I would have been thrilled to be in the position I am now.  If it doesn't get any better than this I'll be fine.  (And I really do wonder if I did permanent nerve damage that will leave my fingers feeling funky for the rest of my life.)  It's just that the injury, coming so early in the year and screwing up so much of my functionality as a human being, totally consumed my year.  Way too many hours were spent in physical therapy and doing home exercises and stretching with that dreaded pulley and taking magnesium baths.  All my goals went bye-bye and by December I was just happy the arm worked well enough for me to put up the Christmas decorations.

The other blow this year was dealt to my beloved dog, Frank.  Just after school started in August he was diagnosed with lymphoma.  Now, Frank is an old dog.  He showed up in the neighborhood 10-1/2 years ago and at that time the vet thought he was around two years old.  For his size and breed(s), he's past his life expectancy.  He's had a very happy, healthy life.  And I'm so, so, SO not ready to lose him.  He could be 20 and I'd still be lamenting the fact that he's sick.  After a couple thousand dollars worth of tests, they decided the best course of action was an oral chemo med and Prednisone.  He's been taking that for about three months now and he's doing very well.  He has no side effects, other than increased thirst and appetite.  The former results in a few too many doggy accidents in the house, but he's an old man and you can't be mad at him for a little incontinence.  The latter makes him, for the first time in his life, a tad food aggressive.  Our other dog, Jimmi, is typical hound dog, i.e. always prowling for edibles.  She's used to bossing him around and stealing munchies out from under his nose and pushing him out of the way to be the first in line for treats.  Frank is no longer accepting of that.  I had to whack them both in the head with a bag of garbage when they got into it right at my feet over a few stray pieces of kibble near his bowl.  All I heard was growling and all I saw were flashing teeth and since I already had that Glad bag in my hand...

Frank also can't see worth a darn and his hearing is almost entirely gone.  On a daily basis I approach him as he's staring out the window, talking loudly the whole time, only to have him jump out of his skin when he feels my touch, so startled is he that there was anyone behind him.  On an afternoon walk a couple weeks ago he got in his greeting stance when he spotted a couple dogs in the yard we were passing.  He looked genuinely perplexed at their lack of friendliness.  Hard to make him understand they were Christmas lawn decorations.  He frequently stares out the window barking at nothing.  Last week he was barking nonstop and I found him sitting on the steps barking into the air.  I mentioned it to my husband who said, "Oh, yeah.  I've seen him do that when he gets tired.  He sits on the step and can look out the window by the door and bark."

Frank in his youth.
It's inevitable I'll lose Frank this year.  If you find me writing a post about him 365 days from  now, no one will be more shocked than his mommy.  He's old, he's got a terminal disease.  We might have lost him in 2014 with or without cancer.  That doesn't make it less painful.  That dog adores me in a way no other dog ever has.  I've always felt that he knew I was the one who saved him and he's always been slobberingly grateful.  He's loyal and sweet and good with the kids and kind to the cats.  And when he goes it'll break my heart.  And I know it's coming.

So, I have my list of things I hope to accomplish in 2014.  A year from now I'd like to see them all checked off as done.  On the other hand, if the house is still a little messy, my pants are a couple sizes bigger than I'd like, and the only writing I've done is the occasional blog post, but many hours were spent on dog walks, van rides, McDonald's hamburgers, and cuddle time, I'll call it a successful year.

Hoping 2014 brings you all your heart's desires.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

It's Not Kitty Carryall, But...

I have been coveting my daughter's American Girl doll.  Not the doll itself but the fact that there exists a 70s doll with such groovy accessories that I drool each time a catalog arrives.  My daughter has the 1930s Kit doll and Kanani, the doll of the year from Hawaii she picked out on our trip to the American Girl Store in Chicago.  They both sit on her dresser shelf.  I mean, they just sit there, gathering dust.  I thought that was a shame when I could easily change Kanani's name to Marcia Brady.  My daughter suddenly decided she liked her dolls when I showed a keen interest in one of them.  I had my mother sew a fab dress for "Marcia" from the material of one of Foghorn's toddler dresses (a gaudy flowered pattern Carol Brady would be proud of) and left the newly attired doll on the shelf.  It was less than an hour before Foghorn appeared downstairs, eyes full of fire and demanding to know what this was doing on Kanani.  I said, "Her name's not Kanani.  It's Marcia, Marcia, Marcia!  And she's mine."  That dress was whipped off so fast it was just a psychedelic blur and my hopes of taking over her doll were dashed.

I don't really want the 70s American Girl Doll.  I can think of lots of better things to do with $100.  I do, however, desperately want those accessories.  How I long to have that little record player and tape recorder and bed with the beads hanging around it and the tiny plastic terrarium.  If I can't live in the real Brady Bunch house, I want it in miniature.  Well, my yearning apparently was heard by Santa because on Christmas Eve my sister presented me with this little beauty:

She's an American Girl-sized knockoff from JoAnn's.  She has the long 70s hair and it's reddish, which I much prefer to the genuine blonde Julie doll.  The outfit was crocheted by my sister from a vintage pattern meant for a Barbie-sized doll.  This means my sister did math to adjust the pattern to fit my new toy.  You have to understand, my sister is a complete loss with numbers.  On several occasions she's attempted to open the wrong hotel room door because she got confused about the number to her own.  It's a kind of numerical dyslexia.  She also can't add or subtract easily, as evidenced by the befuddled look on her face when trying to calculate the tip on a restaurant bill.  Very similar to the expression I saw on a chimpanzee with a Rubic's Cube on Nova.  Anyway, she successfully redid the outfit and I'm only minorly miffed about the yarn.  No, I'm not bothered by the colors.  They are just, just...groovy.  My umbrage comes from where she acquired it.

Who wouldn't love these?
Every fall we celebrate Aunt Nancy Day (or now known as Uncle Chester Day).  In 2012 my mother and I took her to lunch and an excursion to the James Thurber House in Columbus, Ohio.  As an extra little gift, I knit her a collection of dishcloths in the 70s avocado and tangerine colors that she loves loathes so much.  Yes, the gift was designed to make her scream and writhe in pain.  I thought about writing a blog post on "101 Ways to Torture Your 70s-Hating Sister" and this would have been in the top ten.  They were handmade, so her conscience wouldn't let her just throw them away.  They were, to her, too ugly to use.  So, they sat...for over a year...untouched and unloved.  Until she got the last minute, bright idea of the faux American Girl doll and quickly unraveled all my hard work to make my doll's dress.  I must say, though, the outfit is just...just...groovy.  Then again, so were the dishcloths.

The most obvious choice for a name for my doll would have been Marcia, of course, but some reason that didn't seem to fit.  I bounced around various other Brady Bunch or Partridge Family character names, but nothing was quite right.  She needed a hippy-sounding name.  The Mark Lindsay song "Arizona" kept going through my mind.  My sister asked about the name of the runaway in the Patridge Family episode where they sing "Point Me in the Direction of Albuquerque," but it was something ordinary like Maggie.  Then I thought of David Cassidy singing "Echo Valley 26809" (with a brief flashback to the concert where he almost took my cellphone for the spoken portion of the song, but some other bimbo shoved her phone right under his nose while he was reaching for mine and ruined the whole thing...not that I'm bitter).   Foghorn is furious, but I think the name Echo totally suits this doll.  My daughter, may I mention, also hauled my doll around all Christmas Eve at her grandmother's, insisting it was hers.  Fat chance.  And I want my flower power dress back from Kanani.

Echo got her first accessory the day after Christmas when I sat down with Foghorn and her awesome Shrinky Dinks jewelry set full of yellow smiley faces and peace symbols and flowers.  I made my new best friend a necklace which says it all.

Saturday, May 25, 2013


Graphic by Lemon.ly
"A towel, it says, is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have." -- The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

I've often described my teenage years in a way that might make one think I was filled with more adolescent angst than all the characters in all the John Hughes' movies combined.  This would, in fact, be mostly accurate.  On the other hand, those same years are also memorable for being the time period during which I was introduced to a number of people, places, and things that have remained my obsessions interests all these years later -- Chicago Cubs baseball, Agatha Christie, Doctor Who, the Beach Boys to name a few.  At the top of the list is my favorite author, the late Douglas Adams.

Marvin the Paranoid Android
My older brother is responsible for bringing both Doctor Who and Douglas Adams into my consciousness, perhaps not surprisingly.  Adams is the author of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (and all the subsequent books in that series), as well as Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency, The Long Dark Tea Time of the Soul, the under-appreciated Last Chance to See, a great book about endangered species, and more..  In 1994 I loaned my then-boyfriend my copy of Mostly Harmless, the fifth book in the Hitchhiker Trilogy.  (Yes, it's really called the fifth book in the trilogy.)  Boyfriend never seemed to get around to reading the book or returning it to me and I finally had to marry him to get it back.  Nineteen years later he still hasn't read the damn thing...

Douglas Adams left us much too soon, dying suddenly of a heart attack on May 11, 2001 at the age of 49.  I still mourn not only the writer but all the wonderfully quirky, witty, bizarre, and hilarious books that could have been.  I know I'm not alone because two weeks after his death fans celebrated the first Towel Day, a way to pay tribute to the man and his works, specifically by walking around with a towel.  Non-fans or non-readers of his books scratch their heads at folks who look like the cast of The Big Bang Theory parading into restaurants with Egyptian cotton bath towels draped around their necks like fur stoles.  Fans, on the other hand, immediately recognize kindred spirits.  (For the section of Hitchhiker related to towels, check out The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Towel here.)

Towel Day is usually a solitary event for me, with time spent reading my favorite passages.  This year I decided to pull the family into my celebration.  I originally intended to knit each person a "Don't Panic" hand towel from the pattern by Katie's Knits.  (Free pattern can be found here.)   My dexterity still isn't what it used to be and I quickly found the towel very time consuming considering I had to make four of them.  I finished up a small towel for myself and looked for another option.  (For the non-fans, "Don't Panic" are the words printed on the cover of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy in large friendly letters).

Washcloths seemed more doable and I quickly found a great pattern at irishlace.net.  In the center is the number 42, which is of course the answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe, and everything.  I managed to quickly knit them up for my mother, sister (the Inmates' Uncle Chester), and the Inmates themselves.  (The free pattern can be found here.)

Professional cake decorator I'm not.
For refreshments I opted for a heart-shaped chocolate chip cookie with golden yellow frosting to honor the starship Heart of Gold.

Hitchhiker inspired wrapping paper,
courtesy of Google images.
And we'll finish off the celebration tonight with a viewing of the 2005 movie.  I'm actually not a fan of the film, but while my son has seen the original television series and read the first book with me, he hasn't seen this screen version.  I can almost guarantee he won't like it either.

I had the privilege of meeting Douglas Adams at a book signing in 1993.  I sat in a crowd of people, most with towels, and listened to him read from Hitchhiker.  I then nervously took my paperback copy of Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency up to the table for his signature.  He scribbled his name and as I took the book I wanted to say something witty and profound.  Instead I stammered, "Thank you for everything you've written."  He looked at me and smiled broadly and said, "Thank you very much."

Twenty years later I still can't think of anything better to say.  Mr. Adams, thank you for everything you've written.

Monday, May 6, 2013


My son's birthday weekend always coincides with the Kentucky Derby.  Between that event and memories of his second birthday when we took him to the Kentucky Horse Park and he "rode" through the place on a stick horse named Mushroom, he is forever linked in a section of my brain with all things equine.  While Orb was crossing the finishing line this past Saturday, The Professor was upstairs playing World of Warcraft, one of his presents.

His party was a simple one this year.  We held it on a Friday night so he'd have the whole weekend to indulge in his new video games.  He didn't care about having dinner as part of the party and merely requested a hamburger shaped cake made by Cincinnati's Servatti bakery.  As I had predicted to my mother, he ripped open his two presents and his two cards filled with cash and quickly disappeared to his room, not even having a slice of his own cake.  No fancy decorations with matching plates, cups, and hats.  For the first time he didn't request a theme to his party.  I recycled a generic Happy Birthday centerpiece, hung some gold streamers, and made a couple dangling decorations with pictures I procured from the Internet involving his current favorite movie, Killer Klowns from Outer Space.  Much to Foghorn's dismay, there were no gift bags.

I guess this just another thing I have to get used to with my now 14 year old son (along with looking up at him when standing by his side and adjusting to his voice sounding more like Barry White's each day).  I have to wonder if I'm a few short years from when he'll want only cash, plus the keys to the car for the evening. 

I hate to break it to him.  We're having cake whether he's home or not.


Meet the Inmates -- The Professor

The Cryptozoologist

Friday, May 3, 2013

{this moment}

{this moment} - Inspired by SouleMama

My sister, Nancy, celebrated her birthday last weekend.  She is better known in this blog as The Inmates' beloved Uncle Chester.  She's into these 18th century porcelain boxes and this little baby from England was a must-have for her birthday.

Have a great weekend, everybody!


* The Sad Tale of Little Red Riding Chester

* Meet the Inmates - Foghorn

Thursday, May 2, 2013


Shortly before I took my tumble on February 1, my mother's beloved 14 year old hound, Rusty, died.  At the time she said she didn't think she'd ever get another dog.  After about two weeks, my mother and sister, who lives with her, could stand it no more.  They had to have a dog in the house.

Recycled Doggies was taking part in the My Furry Valentine event, a huge gathering of rescues from the greater Cincinnati area.  I checked out their website of available dogs ahead of time and e-mailed my mother about a little hound/dachshund mix named Lilly.  Turns out my mother already had her eye on her.  After a few e-mails with Recycled Doggies regarding the dog's temperament and disposition towards cats and other dogs (in case some day the new pooch would have to come live with me), we decided she sounded like a winner and planned to get to the event right when they opened, before anybody else could scoop her up.  My mother went from  not wanting a dog at all to desperately wanting this dog in the span of about 24 hours.

At My Furry Valentine,
waiting to go home.
My Furry Valentine is so huge that it was held at the distribution center for leash makers flexi USA.  Parking was across the street and a shuttle bus brought visitors to the door.  My husband had come along, he claimed, because he wanted to see the new dog.  I think it was really just to ensure that I didn't bring a new one home myself.  I tried to tell him I had my arm in a sling and was hardly in a position to stealthily sneak a dog into the house.  He turned out to be useful since Lilly was terrified of the whole thing -- noise, people, dogs -- and refused to go with us on the leash.  He carried her through the warehouse, across the parking lot, and onto the shuttle bus.  Then off the shuttle bus, across another parking lot, and into the van.  I think he was sorry he came.

On the way to the event we discussed names.  Emily was almost chosen, although Foghorn kept insisting on Viola for reasons known to no one but her.  Then my sister mentioned the name Addie.  She was thinking of the little girl in A House Without a Christmas Tree, one of my mother's favorite Christmas shows.  I immediately got an image of Tatum O'Neal in Paper Moon.  Either way the name seemed to fit this small, slightly fluffy pooch.

I've always said my mother has a knack for ending up with neurotic dogs.  She manages to attract the Woody Allens of the canine world and Addie is no exception.  In all fairness, we think the poor little thing had quite a life before ending up with Recycled Doggies.  She was dumped at a rural Kentucky shelter by her family who was moving and decided not to take her with them.  Their loss is our gain.  Actually, their loss is also Addie's gain, as I don't think she was treated well.  She's very nervous and extremely quiet, to the point where the first week we thought her barker was broken.  She's terrified of men, even my husband.  He takes this a little personally since he hauled her furry butt all over the place on adoption day.  She no longer runs and hides in another room when he's around.  She mostly cowers behind one of her owners and barks at him.  She will eventually accept some treats, but it takes all her courage and she immediately ducks behind a caregiver after swallowing.

Despite her emotional issues, she's just about the sweetest little thing in the world.  She can't get enough love and attention and petting (at least from those of us without a Y chromosome).  She loves to lounge on the couch on a big pillow and my sister covers her up with an afghan at night.  Well...in that case I could hardly wait to get my knitting fingers back so I could make Addie her own afghan.

Addie's Afghan
It didn't have to be big, so I chose the Sunny Baby Blanket by Lucie Sinkler.  (My Ravelry notes are here.)  While the pattern is intended to be made in one color, I decided to use up the leftover yarn from the Hoover Blanket I made for my mother last year.  I love the Depression green with the rose pink together.  Plus it was a way to use up a couple partial skeins of yarn I had left over.  Plus I figure if it was using left over yarn my mother wouldn't decide the afghan is "too nice" for the dog to use.  (She has yet to use any of the dishcloths or place mats I made her because they're "too nice" to get dirty.) 

Addie's fitting in nicely in our family.  She has a nickname from me ("Addie Banaddie") and every time I see her I have to break into "Let's Have Another Cup of Coffee."   (I'll never get Tatum O'Neal out of my head now.)  At first she gave me the bug-eyed, freaked out look common to those listening to my singing.  Now she's gotten used to it and accepts that I'm not a maniac.  Well, she accepts that I'm a harmless manic...who can knit nice soft blankets.


* A Furry Kind of Love

Keep Calm and Hug a Dog


Tuesday, April 30, 2013


When I was in the E.R., right after they snapped my dislocated shoulder back into place and strapped me  in a thick sling that felt more like a strait jacket, they informed me I might have to wear it for two to three weeks.  Two to three weeks?!?  Oh, the agony.  Had I known that twelve weeks later I'd still be struggling to get back to normal I might have asked about robotic prosthetics.

Amazing how tough this can be.
At the beginning of March I had an EMG which showed that I didn't just ding up the radial nerve (which was already obvious from the severe wrist drop and inability to do more than slightly wiggle my fingers) but managed to do some fairly hefty damage to all the main nerves coming down from the shoulder.  Luckily the test showed that all the nerves had some life in them, so I should get all function back eventually, just not quickly.  (She managed to have me on edge by saying she did have some concerns about how little nerve activity there was in the fingers and a portion of the upper arm.)  At the time of the test I couldn't lift my fingers off the table with my palm flat on the surface, I couldn't lift my thumb into a "Fonzi" and I couldn't do a bicep curl.  It goes without saying I also couldn't raise my arm above my head or any advanced gymnastics like that.

Therapy aid or medieval torture device?
After nine weeks of physical therapy I still can't raise my hand above my head, but I can get it a little above shoulder level, making me feel less like Barney the dinosaur.  The nerve damage and a fracture in one of my upper arm bones in addition to the dislocation are making everything very interesting for my therapist.  We've been focusing mostly on getting everything stretched, since it will be impossible to straighten my arm in an Arnold Horshack pose, even if the nerves and strength are there, if the limb can't stretch that much in the first place.  So, I spend literally hours every day stretching my arm with slides on the table, with pulleys hooked to my basement door, with a broomstick over my head while lying on the bed.  I use my House cane occasionally, both as a therapy tool and as a weapon for ridding myself of a husband who likes to stand in the middle of the room and sing "Eye of the Tiger" at me.  

Last week the therapist asked how I'd rate my ability to do every day activities.  I told him if the activity involves my arm going no higher than shoulder level, I'm at about 90%.  Anything higher than that and I've got issues.  (I've perfected the art of one-handed hair washing.)  While it would be nice to be able to use both arms to get cereal off the pantry shelf, my mental health is salvaged by the fact that my fingers mostly work now.  I still have numbness and tingling in the pinky and part of the ring finger.  (Strangely, the ulnar nerve controls the little finger and the half of the ring finger next to the pinky.)  I've been able to type with the ring finger for the last couple weeks, but it wasn't until a week ago that I could start using the pinky.  Prior to that I couldn't feel the keys under the finger enough to type with it.  Plus I think it didn't quite have the strength to firmly press the button.  Can I sound any wimpier?

The most important part of getting most of my finger function back isn't that I can now cook meals or floss my teeth with both hands or drive.  It's that I can knit.  I almost went stark raving, batsh*t crazy without yarn in my hands.  I've mostly been doing dishcloths, easy patterns that will use up little odds and ends of cotton yarn I have around.  I also managed an incredibly simple bunny rabbit toy for my beloved Tristan's Easter gift.  I never thought garter stitch could make me so happy.

Thanks to all those in cyberspace who wished me well and have asked about my progress.  I'm looking forward to the day I'm back to being a two-armed blogger (even if I am one with only half a brain).


Confessions of a One-Armed Blogger


Tuesday, February 19, 2013


The last week of January it snowed.  People and cars were slipping and sliding that week.  So, when the paramedics were dispatched to my house on Friday, February 1 for a possible dislocated shoulder from a fall, they expected to find me in the driveway.  Instead I was crumpled on my own hardwood floor, having slipped as I was rushing for the door to greet my daughter's school bus.  Slipped isn't quite the right word.  I had stumbled and pitched forward and put my hand up to break my fall since I was heading for the door jamb.  I managed to smack into the wood with such force that I felt this very obvious sensation of a bone shifting in a way it wasn't supposed to.  I hit the floor howling like a wounded beagle.  My husband found me face down in the foyer, but I was in too much agony to even tell him what happened.  At that moment Foghorn walked in the front door, looked down at me with contempt, and said something along the lines of, "What did she do now?"

The Professor was left to babysit while I was wheeled on the stretcher to the ambulance.  If I hadn't been cursing my shoulder I'd have cursed my husband who hadn't trimmed the bushes well in the autumn and I got pummeled with ten feet of snowy branches as I was pushed along the walkway.   Long story short slightly less long, I did indeed have a dislocated shoulder and a couple hours later they finally dosed me with Propofol ("Milk of Amnesia") and snapped it back in place.  I awoke in a sling with this extra piece that essentially strapped my arm against my body so I couldn't pop the shoulder again.  I was sent home with a Vicodin prescription and warnings to be very careful until I could see an orthopedic specialist the following week. 

All weekend my arm was completely numb, from the fingers to the upper arm, the same tingly numbness you get when your foot falls asleep.  I was told in the E.R. that was normal because of swelling in the upper arm.  When I visited Dr. Ortho the following Monday, he and his physician's assistant and the nurse all acted  like this numbness was anything but normal.  They took more x-rays and tested my mobility (or lack thereof) and said I had Radial Palsy, which I had never heard of.  It was explained that the nerve that basically controlled the whole arm had been damaged and thus I had some paralysis.  Dr. Ortho then said, "It's one of those things that either comes back or it doesn't."  Huh?!?  'Scuse me?  This might be PERMANENT!?!  He sent me for a wrist brace and told me to come back in three weeks to see if there was any improvement.  His parting words were, "Don't panic yet.  I've seen this come back in a number of cases...and worrying doesn't help anyway."

My sister drove me home and I cried hysterically to my husband and we all jumped on the Internet.  From what we read, Radial Palsy is not uncommon for people with shoulder injuries, broken arms, or folks who have surgery.  It IS serious, but 85% of people get function back in four to five months.  Presumably out of the remaining 15%, some lucky folks get function back sooner than four months, some it takes longer, and some (ack!) don't get it back at all.  Still, I figure the odds are in my favor.  That doesn't mean I'm not worrying.  I am, but I also am keeping what was left of my sanity by reminding myself that statistically my chances are good.

Normally in times of stress I comfort myself with watching lousy television while knitting.  Um...yeah...unfortunately knitting's a two-handed hobby.  It's depressing how many things are two-handed activities.  And the dogs can't figure out why I'm not on the floor cuddling and can only pet one head at a time and why their breakfast is always late because they have to wait for that guy with the furry chin to come down to feed them. 

I'm hopeful things are looking up.  About a week after the fall the numbness started to ease a little and I started to get slightly more movement in the fingers.  It's slow going, but each day it gets just a tiny bit better.  Unfortunately as the numbness is wearing off, pain is setting in.  The lady at the hand specialist said the nerve repairs from the upper arm down, meaning the fingers will be the last to heal completely.  The pain is certainly following that pattern.  It started in the arm  just below the shoulder and has moved into the elbow area.  I wake up every two hours in the night with this shooting pain like I cracked my funny bone on a brick wall, only it doesn't subside.  The ortho's office said it helps to keep the blood circulating as much as possible, so I wander the house and get on the computer and eat cookies and finally go back to bed...for a couple hours.  Rinse and repeat.

I still can't hold the arm up at all and the ring and pinky fingers are pretty much useless.  But I can keep the wrist from completely drooping and I'm that close to being able to give my husband the finger.  I can't wait to reach that milestone.  Like President Obama said of Rahm Emanuel with his injured middle finger, I've been rendered practically mute.