Sunday, July 30, 2017

July 30, 2017: PINK!

Last night I gave my Sweetsie a bath and dyed her pink.  The last time I did that was the day before that damned bus hit me.  It makes me happy just to look at her little pink self!

I finally felt good enough to do it.  But, it totally wore me out.  It's aggravating to be so weak.  But, I'm coming along little by little.

The old people here must have never seen a pink poodle.  They are giving her more attention than ever.  She's just so cute that she's irresistible.

There are lots of dogs living here.  Sweetsie is one of the better behaved.  There are several little dogs who go insane when another dog is around.  I can control Sweetsie if I see those dogs coming.

I had dinner delivered to me today.  That was to protect Sweetsie.  She loves going to the dining room because I give her treats to keep her quiet while I eat.  She's already had so many cookies today.  So I ate in my apartment.

I write about Sweetsie so much.  She's my closest friend here.  I would be so lonely without her and my kitty, Stella.

This isolation is the result of the accident.  I should be living near the kids, going places and making friends.

It's supposed to get into the 100's here this week.  Yuck.  I could have stayed in Houston for this kind of weather.  At least it's cool in the mornings and nights.  I usually have to wear a sweat jacket at these times of day.  That's a lot different than Houston.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

July 27, 2017

I had an appointment with my trauma surgeon yesterday.  He answered my questions and didn't rush me out the door.  I couldn't take a photo of my xrays this time because they have a new machine that shows the xray right on the doctor's computer.  It doesn't look much different than last time.
The doctor said that my bone was continuing to grow back - slowly.  I asked about what the doctor calls a "nail" in the xray.  It goes through a hole in the long rod going down to almost my knee to help hold all the broken pieces of femur together so that the bone will grow between them.  The top of my femur was badly broken by the bus.

He said that as I continue to heal the pain will lessen.  He said that I will be feeling better the next time he sees me - in TWO months!  It's been 2 months since the accident.  I know I shouldn't complain too much.  I did live through being crashed into by a bus.  It sucks that I have to suffer because the bus driver decided to run a stop sign.

Maybe I will feel relatively normal after a year goes by.  I probably will have to do rehab for almost that long.

After rehab I hurt so much.  It hurts if I sit, stand, walk, lay down.  I'm not looking forward to the many more months I'll have to do it.  I know it's the only way to get back to "normal," my new "normal" anyway.

The doctor did say that I can drive again.  I have to get over to Kevin's side of town and pick up my car that's parked in front of his house.  Going places will be difficult because I need to take the walker.  I will be so happy when I can graduate to a cane.  I can walk a few steps with a cane in therapy.  It's tough because I have to learn a new way to use a cane.  I walked with a cane for 7 years while I waited to get old enough to have a knee replacement.  I held the cane with my right hand because it was my left leg that needed help.

Now I have to switch the cane to my left hand for my weaker right side.

I want to moan about being bored now.  The retirement home was having a talent show today.  By the time I went to the theater where it was being held there wasn't even standing room only left.  Why did they build such a small theater here?  There are 2 large buildings full of people but only a small theater.

I'm used to lots of activity and socializing.  If it wasn't for Sweetsie, I'd be so alone.  I can't wait to get well enough to leave the retirement home.  I feel cut off from the rest of the world here.  The 80 and 90 year old residents have made this their world.  I've tried to join in some of the activities.  It's difficult when there is such an homogenous group of people.  My "young" age makes me different.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

July 25, 2017

Today I tried leaving Sweetsie alone for a few minutes.  She has to learn to stay alone in the apartment.  I came back and she was scratching on the door.  I'll have to put something on the door to protect it.  Tomorrow I'll try leaving her for a little longer.

I had dinner downstairs today.  I like to eat with somebody.  There was an old dude sitting alone so I sat with him.  He was 87 and had only been here a month like me.  He is in the assisted living section because he said he has pre-senile dementia.  I told him that was good because that meant he didn't have dementia.

He told me all about his wonderful wife of 60 years who died recently.  I guess he must have thought I was coming on to him.  In his senile dreams!  I had a similar experience with another old man.  I'll stay away from the old guys from now on.

The woman in the apartment next to me appears to be about my age.  She usually gets her meals delivered.  I'm too cheap to pay the delivery charge.  Maybe I'll just order my meals and then go down and pick them up.  I'd prefer to make friends here.  But I won't be living here after I get better anyway.

I looked at a cute little house last week.  It's a mile from Kevin's house.  Kevin was too busy to drive by it to check out the neighborhood.  The realtor picked me up and took me over to see it.  I think it's smaller than the apartment I'm in now.  This apartment has 3 good sized closets for storage.  The little house didn't haven't much storage space.

It turned out that the house is right across the street from an elementary school.  I researched the school and found their instructions to parents on how and where to drop and pick up their kids.  It was on the street where the house is.  They even turn the street one-way during these times.

That would drive me crazy.  I'd have to schedule my comings and goings around an elementary school schedule.

I liked the house because it had something rare for Portland - an attached garage.  Many of the older homes have no garages and many have no driveways.  The people just park on the street. Plus they are building so many apartments here with no parking facilities.  The renters are now parking in the neighborhoods along with the other residents.  It's crazy.  The idea must be to force people to take public transportation.  That also assumes that everyone is young and/or healthy enough to walk to metro stops.  I'm scared to cross the street here since buses seem to be exempt from traffic laws.  No way would I walk to a bus stop and risk getting hit by another bus.

I will keep up searching for the right small house or condo.  It has to have at least a driveway but preferably a garage and an outdoor space for the pets.  It has to be one level and on flat ground so that there aren't stairs to climb to get in the front door.  These are difficult requirements in Portland but not impossible. I should be able to drive and can scope out the properties on my own soon.

Monday, July 24, 2017

July 24, 2017

I've been sleeping better the last couple of nights.  Not tonight.  I was feeling good this morning.  So I overdid- too much walking and using the recumbant elliptical machine.   Now my hip hurts in whatever position I try.  I just took some advil and I'm waiting for it to kick in so I can sleep.

Overall I'm feeling better.  I get tired easily but not exhausted like a couple of weeks ago.  The better I feel the more I resent not being able to explore Portland.  I'm a prisoner in a retirement home.  Once I can drive again I think I'll be much less bored.

I played tile rummy again today.  Sweetsie is such a good girl.  She napped in my walker basket most of the time.  I wished these ladies played more often.  It's only once a week on Sunday at 2 PM. We play about 90 minutes or so.  I remember playing almost 8 hours with Jimmy and Lupita on a holiday a few years ago.

Bridge is played more often.  I'm going to have to get better at it.  If they play by changing partners throughout the games, then I don't need to remember all those bidding conventions.  I just to need to pay attention to what cards have been played, how many trump are left, etc.  People get so serious when they play bridge.  I like to win but playing is fun win or lose.

Time to see if I can lay down and fall asleep.

Friday, July 21, 2017

July 21, 2017: 4:30 AM

My legs are aching and I can't sleep.  I had physical therapy today plus I did the recumbent elliptical machine.
Last night I slept well.  But the night before I had the same aches, though not as bad.  I had PT on this day, too.

I think the problem stems from the pain from physical therapy.  I've taken advil, tylenol and even an oxycodone.  But the pain continues and makes my legs jittery.  Laying down makes my legs throb more.

I don't need to get up tomorrow morning until almost noon.  My dog walker, Tracy picks up Sweetsie at noon.

I felt so good today after a full 8 hours of sleep.  I wish I knew what to do to get to sleep tonight.  I've aways been more of a morning person.  I hate sleeping in past 9 AM.  Then it seems like I've missed the entire day.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

July 20, 2017

Not many of my decorations and wall art made it over to my current apartment.  I'm limited on crafting supplies, too.

But I had lots of colored paper in my filing cabinet.  I looked through Pinterest for some ideas of what I could make with paper to decorate my apartment.  I cut butterfly shapes from paper of varying shades of pink and orange.

I  bought double-sided tape, glue and black foam core board from Fred Meyers to complete the project.

I drew a large J on the black foam core board and followed the shape with my butterflies.  It's came out very colorful and cheerful.  It makes me happy to look at it.

I might just have to go out and buy some fabric.  I want to make a new basket for my walker.  The one I have now is a little small for Sweetsie.  She's wiggly in the basket and has broken one side.  I don't have the fabric or thread to make one.  Guess I have to go shopping.....

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

July 18, 2017

I went to Fred Meyers on the Russelville bus yesterday.  The bus driver put my walker outside the east building.  When the bus arrived at the store he brought over a grocery cart.  I put Sweetsie in the cart on top of a towel that I brought along.

There was an employee at the door who told me that Sweetsie couldn't ride in the cart.  Someone had complained about dogs in the carts being unsanitary.  Does one person's complaint make the rules?

I tried to have Sweetsie walk beside the cart.  Her leash kept getting tangled up in the wheels. I tried holding her.  I couldn't handle that.  So, I held Sweetsie with my arms resting on the handle of the cart.  I was getting exhausted but I wanted to find the things on my list.

Finally I had to put Sweetsie in the cart.  No other store employee said anything to me.  We were probably in the store for over an hour.

Sweetsie and I got back on the bus.

The driver stowed our groceries.  The other riders told me that we are supposed to bring large bags with handles so it would be easier for the driver.  It would have been nice if such information was posted in the newsletter or information packet.  

That little trip to the store exhausted me.  I went to bed at 9 PM and actually fell asleep.  I slept till 9 the next morning.  

I have to catch one of the bus drivers to ask about their routes on the doctor appointments days - Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.  Next week I have an appointment with my surgeon.  His office is not on the list of destinations.  But it is nearby.  If I can't take the bus, there is always uber. 
Hopefully, the doctor will say it is okay for me to drive.  Then I can go where I want, especially visit the kids.  I just have to be careful.  I get tired so easily.  It is taking forever to get my strength back.

This is a picture of my apartment door.  The little Mexican doll is one of the odd bits that escaped the storage unit.

I bought a plat of hydroponically grown grass for Sweetsie.  It lasts a couple of weeks.  But Sweetsie has no interest in using it.  I was hoping that she would use it in the mornings.  It would be so nice to have a cup of coffee before having to get dressed and take Sweetsie outside.  

Stella enjoys eating the grass.

If I get a condo, it has to have a patio.  I'll put a couple plats of grass on it.  Maybe Sweetsie will use the grass since it would be outside.  Or maybe I can find a small house with a yard to buy.

I keep looking at property online.  But, I can't go look at it.  After I can drive again I go look at places in person.  The photos online do not provide enough information about the property.  One place looked great online but it was on a steep hill.  I need to live where there is no sharp incline.  It's difficult in Portland since it's hilly here.

I will need to remain in Russelville, the retirement home while I continue to recuperate.  There's no way I could do all the tasks necessary for total independent living.  It's hard enough living here and taking care of myself.  I need to remain patient and heal.

July 16, 2017

It's 1:30 AM.  I was sleepy at 11 PM, took Sweetsie out and went to bed.  It didn't last.  I couldn't turn off my brain.  So, I'm back in the living room.

I took 2 tylenol PM and a pain pill at 11:30.  My thoughts were all over the place- Houston, Mama, married life, playing cards, etc.  I don't know what to do to make myself fall asleep.  My legs weren't even jittery tonight.

I want to get up early tomorrow so I can take the Russellville bus to Walmart at 10:30 AM.  If I can't get up in time I can always take the bus to Fred Meyers at noon.  I need a bunch of little things.  If I go on Amazon to buy them I know I'll get distracted by the "suggested purchases" and spend too much.

I'm going to start making stuff.  Crafting makes me feel like I'm being productive.  I'm working on a large decorative "J" to decorate the apartment.  I have tons of decorations packed up in my storage unit.  I have a few odd bits here now.  A birdhouse, Kliban cat piggy bank, the store mannikin that I decoupaged and a crewel project from the '70's are some of the weird items that didn't go into storage unit.  I'll post photos of this place soon.

99% of my fabric stash and oodles of craft supplies are all in storage.  I have to get some glue and poster board .  It kills me to buy things that I already own but are inaccessible.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

July 12, 2017

Today I managed to escape from the retirement home for a couple of hours.  I had a senior helper come over today.  I was going to have her help me put my stuff away.  But, Tomoko did that for me last week.  (Thank you, Tomoko!)

So, instead we went shopping.  My helper, Judy, drove me to the bank and the grocery store.  The grocery store, Fred Meyer's, is huge.  It sells everything from clothes to yogurt.

Sweetsie came with us.  She wanted to be carried so much.  Instead of being my comfort animal, I've become hers.  She has become so nervous from the bus accident and then 6 or so weeks living with Kevin's family.  Now she wants to be with me constantly.

I'm nervous about leaving her in the apartment by herself.  I don't want her barking and crying.   Hopefully, she'll calm down with time.  She is adjusting well to being here.  I get up in the morning, put clothes on and take her on a short walk.  Then we go upstairs and I feed her and Stella.  About 4 hours later her dog walker shows up.  She doesn't even want to leave me to go on a nice walk with her.

It's 11 PM now and I have to take her out for her last potty break.

We're back now.  Sweetsie was great.  I took her out to the courtyard, let her loose and she did her business and was ready to go back inside.

Unfortunately, I don't sleep well here.  It's probably the pain.  I have to really get into a deep sleep so I don't wake up if I move my leg.  It's 1:30 AM.  I was in bed for about an hour, woke up and couldn't get comfortable.  So, I'm back in the living room.

Someday I have hopes of being pain free.  At this point it seems like just a dream.  My world has been turned upside down.  I'm in the 4th place I've slept in since I moved to Portland.  First, it was 3 nights in the apartment in Marvel 29, then the hospital, next the nursing home and now the retirement home.  I can't even dream of being back at home in Houston.  It seems like my former life happened ages ago.  Like I've said before this accident has made me feel years older.

I started physical therapy yesterday - at last.  I was supposed to get therapy from the company that owns the nursing home. I called and left messages but no one ever returned my calls.  I was able to change to the therapist who has an office in this same retirement home.  I was really hurting after the first session.  My second one is tomorrow.

Tomorrow I'm also going to an internal medicine doctor's office.  My first appointment is with the nurse practitioner.  Maybe the patients have to be pre-screened before you get to see a doctor.  I don't need any prescriptions filled.  I think it's a good thing to find a doctor in case I get sick.  I only know trauma doctors in Portland now.

I guess I'll try to go to sleep again.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

July 8, 2017

I'm still working on putting my things away in my new apartment.  Everything I try to do exhausts me.  This injury is really kicking my ass.

My body is (hopefully) busily growing back the bone and muscle that the accident took away from me.  Plus, I still have lots of pain.  Standing hurts, sitting hurts, laying down hurts, etc. etc.  My mother used to tell me that pain saps your strength.  She was definitely right.

I've been thinking about my Mom a lot lately.  There are so many residents here that remind me of her.  Plus, I think back to how my Mom took care of me back in the '80's when I had major surgery.  She would be telling me right now "stop trying to do so much and sit down and rest."  Plus she'd tell me to eat properly.

Eating properly is pretty easy here.  Some meals are included in the rent.

Sweetsie is here with me for a trial reunion.  She fits into the basket in my walker.  I put her there when I have to go through a no dogs allowed area.

She is such good company.  I got up and dressed this morning already and took her for a short walk.  She barely made it out the front door and had to pee right on the sidewalk.

I take her on the leash to the elevator.  But when we return upstairs if no one is around I let her loose. She runs down the hall and back to me and runs some more.

I think I will complain to the management about the lack of dog bags here.  I pay pet rent and there are no pet amenities.  There is no place set aside for dogs here and no disposal bags.  Marvel 29 said that my pet rent there went for the disposal bags and emptying the special can.  The disposal bags here are down in front of the apartment complex next door.  It is not associated with Russellville Park.

Yesterday I had the "concierge" drive me to PetSmart.  The "concierge" is a young woman who drives residents around and does errands for them.  Unfortunately her service is not included in the rent.  She waited in the car while I dropped off Sweetsie for her hair cut.

I took Uber on the way back.  I asked the driver to wait and he did.  I tipped him $10 and he said it was rare that he got a tip.  I said I appreciated that he waited for me.  The bill for the trip was over $25.  Maybe I will be able to drive myself the next time Sweetsie needs a hair cut.   It certainly would be the cheaper way to go.  I'll have to take a photo of Sweetsie with her haircut.

I was worried that the trip back to PetSmart would exhaust me so I took a pain pill.  I can easily see how addictive they can be.  When I returned home I had enough energy to clean the apartment some more.  I am only allowing myself an occasional pain pill.  I'm saving them for physical therapy.  I sure wish there was an alternative non-addiction option.  Extra strength Advil takes the sharper edges off the pain but it doesn't give me the ability to do more.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

July 4, 2017

My furniture finally arrived yesterday.  What a mess I have on my hands now.  So much to put away.
And then after I get better I will most likely be repacking everything and moving to a permanent home.

Getting hit by a bus is costing me a fortune!  I need the extra assistance that I get at the retirement home.  But, it certainly does not come cheap.

I paid almost $7,000 to move to Portland from Houston.  Yesterday the move across town cost me another $1,000.  I have always tried to live frugally and save for my old age.

I feel like my old age is already here.  After Jim's accident I felt like I aged at least 10 years.  Now with my hip and leg injury I feel like I've added another 10 years.  That would work out okay financially, if I had aged actual years.  But, I could have another 30 years to go.  I can't live this way that long.  Needing care is extremely expensive.

Tomorrow I have a "senior helper," Judy coming in for 4 hours.  She worked out well last Wednesday.  I just can't get all the unpacking and arranging done alone.  My whole right leg starts throbbing and I have to rest it.  I certainly don't want to injure myself so I'm taking it slow.

I've opened every box looking for the parts to put my shelves back together.  No luck!  Maybe Marvel 29 held on to them for me.  Otherwise there goes more money.  I like to keep my stuff organized and that means I need shelves to store clothes, shoes, etc. etc.

Stella is having a wonderful time being the only pet.  She'll be mad because Sweetsie is coming on Thursday and Friday.  If I can handle her okay, she can stay with me.  I have to hire a dog walker since I can't walk very far.  I ordered  a plot of real grass for her.  It is hydroponically grown and comes in a cardboard box.  I'm not sure where I can put it in the apartment.  After 2 weeks you toss it it away and get a new one.  It has good reviews.  I think Sweetsie will use it.  Nothing better than dirtying clean grass.

If I had a patio I could use a fake grass one and clean it outside.  It would be too difficult and dangerous for me to try to clean it in the shower.

I have to go clear off my bed so I can go to sleep.  Oh my bed- what heaven to have it again!  First the nursing home had mattresses that were covered in plastic that bunched up and poked me in the back.  Then the cot I had to borrow here was like sleeping on bare springs.

My mattress is nice and cozy.

July 3, 2017

My things from apartment # 1 are coming today!  It's noon and the movers are still at my old apartment packing stuff.  I didn't think it would take them more than 2 hours.  They've been there since 9 AM.  I thought all I had left was furniture and clothes.   Hopefully the management at both apartments won't give them a hassle about using the freight elevator.

I'm looking forward to sleeping in my own bed tonight.  Since I've been in the new place I haven't been able to sleep.  At 2 AM Stella kitty and I are still up looking out the window at the metro train station.  There wasn't much activity last night, a Sunday.

I hired a caregiver to come at 11 AM this morning to help with the movers.  By the time they get here she'll be leaving.  I don't have anything else for her to do so I sent her to the liquor store to buy me some vodka.   I'll try that tonight and see if I can fall asleep.  I'm just so exhausted from not sleeping well.  I did a lot of walking yesterday and I thought that would help me to get to sleep.  It didn't work.

Yesterday I got to play Rummikub with a group here.  I haven't played that in ages.  We used to play for hours every weekend and holidays with Lupita and Jimmy. These ladies play for about 90 minutes.  They only play on Sunday afternoons.  I will keep playing with them and maybe someone will want to play more frequently.

I finally had to call the moving company's main office to find out what was up with movers.  They said they had truck problems.  And then they were going to lunch.  They estimated that they would be at Russellville at 3:30 PM.

They finally arrived at 4:30 and left around 8 PM.  I have so many things to put away!

Saturday, July 1, 2017

June 30, 2017: WHAT???

People at my new over 55 retirement home do not seem to realize that the majority of them are 20-30 years my senior.  As I walk around the property I see people who are just a few years younger or even the same age as my parents would be now if they were still living.

I do not mind older people.  Hell, I consider myself old.  But what bugs me is the pervasive loss of hearing among the residents.  I thought hearing aids had improved.  I know that it used to be hard for the users to turn down the ambient noise.  Hasn't that problem been solved?  So, then why won't deaf seniors use hearing aids?

Yes, I'm cranky.  It's late.  My right leg hurts from the hip to foot.  I can't sleep in the rickety cot that this retirement home has lent to me.  So, I'm complaining.  I am tired of yelling at people to have them hear me.  I'm tired of listening to other people yelling to be heard.  It is a mad house in the dining room with all the raised voices.  There's no loud background music like there is in some restaurants forcing the diners to holler.  It's the deafness of the residents.

Tonight I went to a movie in the group theater.  It started at 6:30 PM.  It was almost over when one woman stood up and went to the window.   She pulled back the blinds to check who was phoning her.  Then she started speaking loudly into it.  She described how she would call them back later because she didn't want to bother the other viewers.

She was talking in a very LOUD voice.  Was she the hard of hearing one?  Or was it the person on the other end of the line?  Does it matter?  Be quiet!

I may have to delete this post if I share my blog address with any of the people here.  I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings.  I need to vent to keep my sanity.

I have met 3 women who live on my floor who hear well and are about my age.  One woman says that she usually eats in her apartment.  I'm very social.  I want to eat in the dining room.  But, I am starting to understand her motivation.