2020 30-Day Minimalism Challenge

Tuesday, June 14, 2022

Still here...

I can't believe it's been over a month since my last post.  May was a good month.  Very good, in fact.  I enjoyed taking some pictures of spring flowers, and finally after a very rainy and chilly spring (which I loved),  we finally put in half of our garden the third week of May.

We also had out-of-town and out-of-state visitors in May, and that was pretty special.  The asparagus patch went totally "to fern" by the end of the month, just as the strawberries started ripening.  We started picking strawberries and I got some in the freezer before the end of the month.   So glad I did because reading below you'll understand that my strawberry picking got cut short and we turned the task over to any friends interested in a "you pick" experience.  Most of the rest of our little strawberry patch harvest is taking up space in several friends' freezers for them to enjoy later.

And now a cherry tree is producing fruit.  A tree we didn't even realize was a cherry tree until last weekend. The fruit is some sort of sour cherry - a bit tart for eating fresh, and on the small side, but I've read that they should be very good in baked treats and in smoothies, and they perhaps make the best cherry pie.  I'm not particularly a fan of cherry (or any fruit) pie, but I might be game for making one using cherries from our own tree. Or maybe a cherry cobbler.  

My thumbs have become very sore again, so I saw a hand surgeon in mid-May.  X-rays show that the cartilage is completely gone at the basal joint on my left hand, and nearly gone on my right hand.   Surgery should provide a fix, and up until recently I was looking forward to having that done, but for the present I'm seeing how far a cortisone shot will get me.  It appears it's not going to get me very far. The joint pain and ache throughout my wrists still get to be too much when I'm active, so mostly I'm just not testing the limits of my hands very often.  The pain is very real, and I'm ever so thankful there is hope for getting back more full use of my hands.

Yes, May was filled with good and interesting, and some promising things.

And then, to finish off the month, there was a most memorable Memorial Day when all the good things took a back seat momentarily as I made a trip to the ER.  I'd been in serious discomfort since the Friday evening before, and when nothing brought relief or sleep or the ability to eat solid food for three days, I finally gave in to exhaustion and pain fatigue and asked Hub to drive me to the ER.  The whole experience was a little more involved than I'll go into here because I can't seem to write about the interesting stuff without including the mundane stuff and before I know it I've written a tome.  So the fun stuff I'll keep to myself and this I'll keep brief.  

Two weeks ago tonight I was in a recovery room contentedly sedated, eating scrambled eggs - my first solid food in four days after a miserable weekend (plus some) that finally resolved in my having a very inflamed gallbladder removed.  I suppose the reason my gallbladder was inflamed was because I had three large-ish stones fighting for space inside it.  The whole package was so big that the surgeon had to enlarge the original incision to remove the organ and its contents.  And thirty-six hours after I arrived at the ER I finally got to come home.  Sore, but happy to have surgery behind me.

That said (and really, I share this in case it's helpful for someone else), from the time all the stuff they gave me at the hospital was out of my system 'till a week out of surgery I was in a world of hurt, but after a phone consultation with the surgeon's office, I traded a fairly useless-to-me narcotic for Gabapentin (for burning pain where the gallbladder once was), and replaced an ice pack with a heating pad on spasming muscles where the incision was.  Once I did those things, I was pretty much golden.  Doing those two things produced a nearly overnight turnaround in the pain - just a week ago.  

I can still feel my innards - a bit bruised and battered, and still healing.  When I even slightly over do it I feel remnants of a burning pain (like when we put in the second half of our garden on Sunday, and when I picked cherries this morning - I hurt tonight), but believe me... I haven't been vigorous doing any of this.  I'm taking it extremely easy in my estimation, but I have a post-op appointment tomorrow, so I'll see what the doctor has to say.  I'm really hopeful that soon I'll be feeling more or less back to normal, but I'm trying to accept that it may just take me longer than I'd like.

And now since I'm trying to keep this short, I'll just finish up with some of the pictures I've taken over the last four weeks:



















I hope you're having Happy June!  

I'm trying to make the most 
of the rest of mine!



41 comments:

  1. So sorry about your surgical adventure. Been there, done that, no fun at all. I hope you'll be doing better every day.

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    1. Thank you, Liz. The improvement is so incremental at this point it's hard to notice feeling better daily. But checking in a week at a time, I can tell the progress is huge.

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  2. Sour cherries make the best jam ever, too! Glad your illness and surgery are behind you and praying for speedy recovery.

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    1. Thank you, GrammaGrits. I'm looking for a low or no-sugar cherry jam recipe. I'd really like to try to make some.

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  3. Prayers for your health
    Taking it easy is very important.
    Beautiful photos

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    1. Oh thank you, May. You're right... rest is important for healing. It's easy to forget that.

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  4. Good Golly, Becki. You had quite an eventful May. Wonderful garden bounty and crazy health issues. May June treat you well and bring you joy and laughter. Your photos are fabulous as always. I had really missed you too.

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    1. Thank you, Marsha. I was hoping my fellow blogging buddies hadn't given up on me. :) Good to be back! And catching up with others.

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  5. Oh my goodness! I am so sorry! Please continue to take it slowly, even when you feel good. Your photos are beautiful! Hugs. Glad to see you back!

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    1. Thank you, Billie Jo. I find it interesting that when I don't take it slowly enough my body has a way of forcing me to later.

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  6. I was wondering where you were! I hope your healing time goes well. Take it easy! Your gardens are healthy!

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    1. Oh, I'm glad I was missed, Debra. One wonders about that sort of thing. :) So far the garden is going gang-busters. We haven't gardened in so many years I'm hoping I'm not forgetting something important.

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  7. Oh my, Becki! So sorry to learn of your troubles over the past month. It sounds wretched! I pray that you are well on the road to recovery now. I have known people who recovered from gallbladder surgery almost immediately, but my daughter Kati (who had her gallbladder removed at age 20!) had a long-ish recovery. It was several weeks before she felt well. I am glad that you found some medication that worked for you. Don't rush your recovery. Take the time you need.

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    1. Thank you, Cheryl. Your note is a good reminder that we are all different when it comes to recovering from surgeries and illnesses. It was less than a week from surgery, when friends were kindly asking me if I was feeling better - and I was actually feeling worse. I knew it was temporary, but it was pretty discouraging. I've had to remind myself I'm on nobody's timetable but my own.

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  8. oh wow! God bless you! that sounds quite painful! I pray for a full recovery!

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  9. Becki, you have been been through a lot. Glad with you that the gallbladder surgery is behind you and I hope that you will soon have the wrist surgery in the rearview as well. Sounds as if the rest of June is for recuperating.

    Your gardens look beautiful and those strawberries look delicious. What a blessing you've been to your friends. 🍓

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    1. It was nice that several people took us up on the offer to come pick strawberries. It kept the plants producing and it minimized the amount of rotting fruit that we would have had to contend with, so it felt like a favor to us, really. I'm hoping to have the hand surgery in the autumn or early winter, but I just can't bring myself to think about it right now.

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  10. Oh good heavens Becki! That is quite a thing. Hopefully this will be some real relief (my father had his removed many years ago. After the fact, the surgeon asked him if he felt better, because based on the condition of the gall bladder, he sure should!.

    Sounds like you have had a wonderful harvest so far. Sadly, our climate does not permit them so we have to live vicariously as they are trucked in for the season.

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    1. I look forward to seeing if this ends up resolving some seriously bad bouts of heartburn I've had for years. The doctor suggested that once I fully heal from the surgery I may find myself feeling better than I have for some time. Since I didn't know I felt all that bad (until this miserable experience), that should be something! :)

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  11. (Sigh - previous comment from Toirdhealbheach Beucail. Apologies, I did not engage "the fix"...)

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    1. So glad you let me know, TB! I don't know what "the fix" is.

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  12. So you hospital trip sounded just like a replay of what happened with me about 15 or 20 years ago. Exact same events. BUT I was so much better after the surgery! Glad you are on the mend. Elaine at MyNext20YearsofLiving.blogspot.com. PS - hope this method works - leaving an Anonymous comment since trying to leave a Google comment never works. Cheers!!

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    1. Glad to hear this, Elaine. And thank you for identifying yourself. I know that takes a bit of extra effort.

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  13. Oh dear me. I am so glad you made it to the ER and they got that gallbladder figured out. I pray you are on the mend for good and that you will be up and moving again very soon. The pictures are truly lovely. The little robin's egg and all those strawberries. I think the new home is a good fit. Hope the hand heals up or that surgery if necessary is easy and minor.

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    1. It was interesting... I thought my problem might have been something else, but after the CAT Scan came back the PA said she thought it was my gallbladder based on how I described the discomfort. I was glad they could figure it out so quickly - after I'd spent days suffering.

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  14. Well Girlfriend, you really have been through it!!! I'm glad you're seeing improvement although it's slow in coming. It's hard to take it easy when you like to be active, getting things done, but the payback of pain does convince us to just STOP until our body is ready to handle more.

    Your pictures are great. Those cherries are so pretty! I love a good cherry pie (my favorite at any time of the year).

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    1. Hi Barbara. Looking forward to showing what I made first with our sour cherries. It was delish. :)

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  15. Well I must say that you haven't been idle whilst you've been gone! Hopefully you're feeling better soon and that you're a good girl and don't rush yourself. As for the hand issue I suspect I'm going to be joining you in that adventure before too long because my thumbs are hurting more and more.
    I would love those tart cherries in a pie - never have been a fan of super sweet canned cherries.

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  16. Hi Becki! A cherry tree! That's fabulous! I'm so sorry about your hands! I'm glad the shot is helping, I've had that before in my feet and it was quite a relief. I hope you don't have to have surgery, but if you do, it will definitely help. And you had surgery for gall bladder! You poor thing! Wow. The photos are lovely Becki! Be well! ♥♥

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    1. Thank you, Rain! The shot really isn't doing much good. Anytime I use my hands (even just pitting the cherries), they get so sore - the left being the worst. I just need to heal up from this surgery before I have the nerve for another one. Hopefully come fall I'll be able to have it done.

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  17. Joining in with everyone else in saying glad you are on the mend and sending best wishes for a continued recovery. Dealing with this kind of stuff is no fun, but I thank our Heavenly Father for modern medicine, physicians, hospitals, etc. that are able to help us and get us back in circulation -- all part of His "common grace." Sure wish I could have had some of your strawberrries!

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    1. Bob, I often wonder how hard physical ailments must have been - a few hundred, even just a hundred years ago. And I wonder if a hundred years from now some aspects of our modern medicine will be considered barbaric. It's kind of funny to contemplate. But yes... I, too, am thankful to be living in modern times, with modern medicine - and I marvel at how wonderfully our Creator made us that we can recover and heal from so many things.

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  18. Sorry about your health struggles, but it's good that the surgery went well. I also have some issues with my hands and thumbs, so I sympathize with that.

    Your irises are beautiful, and the strawberries too! Red sour cherries make the best cherry jam! Pies are good, but the jam is the best, in my opinion. :-D

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  19. I'd almost given up on you ever posting again. So sorry you had gall bladder problems...ouch! I had diverticulitis.....painful also but no surgery and with anitbiotics and watching my diet I'm as good as new. Your strawberries and cherries are awesome and lucky you with asparagus. I had one on the farm for years and the new owners tore it all out....are they nuts? They probably didn't even know what it was. I had berries of all sorts too and rhubarb.....gone. Oh well, it was their house although they sold it a year later...so sad. Take care!

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    1. Sorry to disappear and make you think I might not come back. Thanks for not giving up on me. :) I'm chuckling over the new owners ripping out the asparagus patch. If you didn't tell them what it was, I can imagine why they did. The patch we inherited was a mangy, ferny mess when we moved in. Had the owners not mentioned to us what it was we'd have not had a clue. As is we had to ask the owners about the funny onions in the garden. Those will make a blog post again soon. :)

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  20. Last week I was in the ER too... nothing nearly as serious as your gallbladder surgery and recovery has been! I have Bell's palsy and Lyme. Very nice of you to make your strawberries "you pick!" Your cherries are pretty!

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    1. Oh no, Martha! Catching up with your two most recent posts, I wouldn't say your issues are "nothing nearly as serious". I'm so glad you went to the ER and were tested for Lyme. How scary this all must have been. I hope you're better soon!

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  21. Oh wow! That is a month full of joy and pain. I hope you are improving with each day. And that you are able to also get better relief for your hands and thumbs so that you can enjoy the crafts and activities that bring you beauty and joy!

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    1. It was a full month, Christi! Week by week I can tell a big difference in healing after surgery. Basically, at this point I do pretty much whatever I want (being sensitive if something feels uncomfortable), and if I overdo it, I usually know it by evening. I'm not completely back to normal, but I feel encouraged at the progress I'm making at this point.

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