Wednesday, January 31, 2007

As things return to normal...

I realize I'm not really sure what normal is...because this week normal feels like staying home all day and my Mom living with us...even though I know that my "normal" actually usually means going to work and my Mom living in k-town with my Dad. By turning my world upside down and knocking the normalcy and routine out of my life and Alex's life, I've somehow also managed to alter the normal routine of both my parents' lives, some of my coworkers' lives and a number of the lives of the people I work with in Guiding...crazy....

But things are getting back to normal slowly.
  • I have given up the wheelchair and walker in favour of a cane
  • The computer-doctor-genius came to my house and fixed the computer...this time it's working...and still working...fingers crossed...don't jinx it!
  • I can do dishes
  • My concentration and memory have returned enough that I can actually watch a television program and not wonder what the heck is going on after five minutes

Also back to normal:

The squirrels long ago decided that my planters were an ideal place to hide their supply of winter nuts. Often I'd see a squirrel hide a nut or whatever it was hiding and five minutes later a crow would come along and steal whatever had just been buried. The other day I caught this little guy eating an almond right outside the kitchen window...and boy had he made a mess of the planter.

pesky squirrelSo we've graduated from raccoons and other nasty rodents to the squirrel variety of rodents...seems us Mulvis are doomed to be harassed by squirrels. I have not yet resorted to trapping them and driving them to the real wilderness and releasing them like some people I am related to.

Not yet back to normal:
  • someone still has to put things in and take things out of the oven for me
  • my desk at work is still empty and likely collecting copious quantities of dust
  • I have not used public transit in two months
  • the selection of pants which I can wear still consists of only sweat pants, yoga pants and anything else without a "real" waist band
  • there's still an assortment of medical equipment littering our house

If I'd made a list of the not normal things happening in our lives eight weeks ago, four weeks ago, or even two weeks ago it would be many times the length of that that's cause for celebration!!!

I'd do a happy dance, but my body doesn't move that way quite yet... this was a post about my computer finally working again...HA...that's why it's so long...not because I ramble.

That's all!

Monday, January 22, 2007

WOOOOOOOOOHOOOOOOO....the computer-doctor-genius fixed the computer!

Not the computer that was forever threatening to die, but the one that we could not get to work from the get go. I played with it, Chandra fought with it and then Alex stuck it in the corner where we were prepared to let it get old and die like the 286 that's in my parents' basement office.

Yesterday afternoon Chandra stopped by with her adorable not-quite-two-year-old nephew who entertained us with sounds and words, like his super cute fish word (they had just come from the aquarium). Well, Chandra said since she had to drop her nephew off at his house and his daddy is a computer-doctor-genius, she'd take the left-in-the-corner-to-die computer to him and see what he thought. She just called me and for what seems very inexpensive to me, he's fixed the problems and put more RAM in it...sometimes it just takes a doctor to get it right I we'll postpone the new-computer-purchasing plans for a while longer....yay!! Thanks Chandra (and her computer doctor-genius-brother) because now we'll be connected to the world again without fear of spontaneous computer meltdown!!!

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Seven weeks...ugh...

Tomorrow marks seven weeks since I thought I should demonstrate to the world how acrobatically inept I really am.

Seven weeks is a long time, but in seven weeks I have learned a whole lot and come to really appreciate a lot of things...

Number one on that list, in case I get distracted and forget to mention number family and Alex. They have been über supportive, extremely helpful, patient and wonderful. And a close second at number two are my friends...also supportive, helpful, patient and wonderful!

Lots of people helpfully (or not) indicated to both me and to Alex that this would be a huge test and when it was all over, we'd have a better idea if we really wanted to spend our lives together. Keeping in mind that I fell only three days after Alex proposed, I think we both really thought that we knew that we wanted to be together and at first those comments were most unwelcome. As time progressed and as we both realized how much help I really did need, we both understood what those helpful (or not) people meant.

The day I came home from the hospital my aunt and uncle helped us out tremendously. I slept for hours that afternoon. The next day the real coping and healing and strain began. It took two hours to get me out of bed, to the bathroom and into something other than pjs. TWO HOURS.

And I couldn't do it alone.

I couldn't do anything alone. I needed help sitting and standing. I could barely move my arms. Once I was painfully helped into a standing position and securely gripping the walker, I could slowly, very slowly, shuffle places on my own, but once I got where I was going, I still needed help doing everything. I really mean everything...just about anything you can think of I needed help doing.

Injuries are very humbling and modesty is quickly thrown out the window...

But through it all, through the tears of pain and frustration, through the need for constant assistance, through spending literally 24 hours a day together for the first five days, I had Alex with me and he was incredibly patient. And we didn't even come close to killing each other...good signs...all good signs...

They say that patience is a virtue and in the last seven weeks we (Alex, my parents, my sisters and I) have all been trying to perfect the art of being patient...especially when we don't want to be patient anymore. I don't need help with everything anymore, in fact, the walker staged a revolt this week and tried to buck me and throw me face first on the ground, so I have graduated from it and am using only the cane, the arm of the nearest person or my own steam to get around. The physio did say that it was time to wean myself off the walker...I'm not one to be weaned without the help and protest of the inanimate object from which I'm being weaned. When it was time to give up my nightly bottle, I managed to pull the nipple through the ring and spill water all over myself and my bed. At the age of not quite two, I asked my Mom if the bottle was broken and of course she answered yes. When I wanted my bottle the next night, she reminded me it was broken and I said okay, fine, put me to bed (well, maybe not in those exact words), so this marks the second time in my life an inanimate object has helped eased my dependency on said object...

But back to patience...while I am now much, much more mobile, I'm still not quite there. I can get my feet into my shoes, but I can't tie them. I can take a shower by myself with my special shower seat, but I still need to be supervised. I can get in and out of the car, but I need someone to open the door if I'm outside. And even though it would be nice if I could do it myself, Alex and my Mom are still happy to help me...well, maybe not happy, but they do help me willingly. I still have to be patient because when I want my shoes on, my "helper" of the moment might be otherwise occupied, but my shoes will get tied up eventually...

I had a conversation today with a woman I know from Guiding, and R. said something to me that I think all those (un)helpful people were trying to tell me back when I first fell. We were waiting for Alex to come pick me up (because in recent weeks he has become my chauffeur as well) and she asked me if this was one of those things that happened for a reason or one of those unfortunate things that just reason at all. I said to her I think it happened for a reason, or if it was for no reason, we've been able to take a lot from it.

I've learned to stop and be thankful (and say thanks) for the important things in life and also for the little things, that we often overlook, but are something even more important than the important things. I appreciate my mobility and independence. I appreciate help...I can ask for help, even when it's hard...because asking for help for most things will never ever be as hard as some of the things I had to ask Alex and my Mom to do those first few days. It's wonderful to see the community that surrounds you and it's too bad most people don't notice it until something "bad" has happened. I've decided to slow work less (meaning only 35 hours/week), spend more time with my friends and not try to cram my life full of STUFF...

Then R. and I were talking about those (un)helpful people telling me that Alex and I would figure out if we really did want to get married and she said she thought maybe "For better or for worse" might make more sense to us than to other young couples because we've experienced one of those worses already...that made some sense to me...and you know, we've survived it, whatever it was and we're still planning on getting married, so I guess it's meant to be!

Anyway...this was a long rambling ramble...I'm just glad that seven weeks have passed, so that must mean that I'm one week closer to being better!! YAHOOOOOOOOoooo...when I can move again, we're having a party, possibly the second to last one ever, at the blue house...

Friday, January 19, 2007

If you have the right diversions, it's all okay...

And by it, I mean staying home for weeks on end...

Today is the end of week number we're getting up there in weeks.

Granted, the first three weeks my brain was so pulverized by the painkillers that I didn't really know what was going on around me nor did I have an attention span longer than maybe five minutes and if I so much as inhaled slightly differently than normal my body was wracked by spasms, so it didn't matter much. I certainly couldn't say I was bored...I was too busy trying not to hurt myself.

But now that the pain is intermittent, not constant, that my body has likely expelled all residual bits of evil painkiller and allowed my brain to open up slightly, that the spasms only happen when I do something I shouldn't, well, now I'm starting to wonder how to spend an entire day at home.

But I have the right diversions...
  • My Mom and sister hanging out with me, helping out with the necessities like cooking, vacuuming and laundry (oh and trying out recipes we've always meant to try)
  • Alex wheeling me around the neighbourhood on weekends
  • My Mom being able to take me outside for a walk now that the slippery, slushy, nastiness has gone away
  • A number of friends who have popped by to say hello, come over for tea, "babysat" on days when my Mom, sister or Alex couldn't be here to help me out and called from far away places
  • Books, Sudoku, more books, Oprah, Kakuro, the news, old photos that needed to find album homes, 24, more Sudoku, the newspaper, CSI, Hockey Night in Canada, more books, naps
  • Checking out the details and features on a bunch of new cameras, cause I've decided it's time to get a new one!
  • Sorting through all the junk in the house and being able to get rid of STUFF (cause I am the proud owner of lots of stuff)
  • Baby toques...and knitting in general, but I've made a lot of baby toques...

Even so, I hope I will be able to rejoin the real world some day very soon. A coworker picked me up and took me to a *restaurant* for lunch today and it was SOOOOOOOO nice to be in the real world. My Mom took me for a walk this morning and I went about half a city block. When I can walk around the block (which really equals about 4 city blocks) without assistance and when I can sit longer than I can sit now, I will get to go back to work...until then, I just have to remember...BABY STEPS...lots of baby steps make one giant step!

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Temporary resurrection

I've resurrected the computer...much to my shock and surprise. Who knows how long it will keeps asking to be rebooted and I'm scared that if I reboot it, I'll lose it I thought I'd send a few emails first and then reboot it and see what happens.

A walker is still keeping me company - progress was hindered by the snow and ice...YOU ARE NOT TO GO OUTSIDE UNTIL IT HAS MELTED...unless of course you're in the evil wheelchair...UGH...I hate the wheelchair...

Kelsey came and hung out last week and I've had friends drop by to visit and to "babysit" a few times...Kelsey had to work on Friday and she left on Sunday and my Mom comes tomorrow, so I had two evenings (tonight's the third) when I needed help while Alex was at work.

I am feeling better - it's slow going, but it's going!

That's all...time to reboot!

Thursday, January 11, 2007


Well...the computer is officially dead and the temporary solution expires tomorrow, so I'll bid you all adieu until the computer is resurrected or I give in and get a new one...I bet I give in...

Alex can still access his email if you need to reach us or you can always use those old fashioned methods - telephone, visiting, mail...

Enjoy the winter weather!

My Project 365 will continue, even if the pictures don't get updated for a while...there will still be a picture a day!


Wednesday, January 10, 2007

And the prizes are...

A long time ago, I promised some prizes for people who guessed what certain bad drawings were. Then I annouced some winners. Then I announced I had some prizes for the winners and said I'd post the pictures when all three winners had their prizes. Ooh, and then I had to reannounce the winners because some of them missed the first announcement.

Well, tonight I delivered the last of the prizes...

So here are the three lucky ladies and their super cool prizes.

rebecca and her prizeRebecca and her prize

heather and her prizeHeather and her prize

fiona and her prizeFiona and her prize

Maybe it was the ghosts?

The power went out in half the house last night...we had power in our room, but not in Kelsey's room, in the living room and in the bathroom. GHOSTS???

When we got up this morning, there was no power and the furnace had been off for something like over 16 was a little chilly...

The outage meant the computer that had held on to its internet connection so well despite every other part of it failing (both the floppy and CD drives have been added to the list of dead parts) is now effectively dead. Well, that's not quite true, it operates in Safe Mode, but that's not so useful. I mentioned elsewhere, I'm relying on a temporary solution. Okay, Shannon, just buy a new computer already!

We're glad to have the power back and to have the heat back on. It seems our neighbours had partial power too and the people across the alley had none...we think they had to shut the grid down to fix the problem...oh storm 14. Hopefully it's the last of the storms!

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Keeping myself occupied

This is proving to be a bit of a challenge. One can only knit for soooo long before one's wrists and forearms hurt and when one reaches that point, one tries to mentally knit everything one sees.

My goodness, I hate it when people refer to themselves as "one."

Anyway...yesterday my favourite home care physio came to visit. She checked me out, gave me a whole bunch of new exercises and told me I'm off work at least until February 5. goal so that I can return to work is not to be pain free, but to be able to walk around the block, unassisted. So I'm working really hard with the exercises, because right now I'm not even able to leave the house on my own.

Kelsey is looking after me this week and my Mom is coming back on Tuesday, but that means I have a five hour chunk of time on my own on Friday (and that's the test) and on Monday and Tuesday I'll be alone when Alex goes to I might be looking for company...

If you have suggestions of things I could do to keep myself occupied, let me know! I have limited computer capabilities at the moment, I can't bend or reach very well and I am still using a stuff...and you're all welcome to come visit. I like visitors!

Monday, January 08, 2007

Everything is breaking...

what's going to go next?!?!?!

we got up this morning and the furnace died sometime last was about 10 degrees in the house...brrrr....chilly....

Then while still madly attempting to transfer data from the dying computer, the USB ports failed. No more printing or file saving, but at least I think I got most of it...the last few things I am trying to email from the computer to a large but empty email account I's going slowly, but it's working...or rather was working...

The stem of the computer chair snapped this afternoon, so it's a bit more difficult to see the screen when I'm up above it, but when Alex gets home I'll get him to put a new chair in the office.

Hopefully things will stop breaking...I don't know what might be next, but it could be scary!

Sunday, January 07, 2007


My computer is stupid.

I've been saying that for months. But it's official now.

Last night it froze and then started beeping at us.

Then it wouldn't shut down.

Then it would only start in Safe Mode.

Then I looked at it exactly right and it restarted.

So we're removing all important information from it and never turning it
off again...hopefully it will last until we either get the other
computer sorted out and functioning or until I cave (which I might do
very soon) and buy a brand new computer...that would be a first for


Gotta go transfer some more photos...there are SOOOOOOOOO many of them!

Friday, January 05, 2007


bc place collapses
Whoa...I was taking a nap and woke up to the news and thought I must still be dreaming because they were reporting BC Place Stadium collapsed. Unfortunately, it looks like I wasn't dreaming....

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Movie Mania

What does one do when one has a broken back? Well...I've watched three movies in the past three days...which might be partly to do with the broken back and partly to do with being in a house where there is a TV and a DVD player...

Movie one was a Canadian choice...Bon Cop, Bad Cop. We all loved it and I haven't laughed so hard in a movie for a long long time! I loved that at the beginning you could have the English version with subtitles for the French parts, the French version with subtitles for the English parts or the bilingual version with no subtitles. I was all for trying out my rusty French and watching the bilingual version, but I got vetoed...

bon cop bad cop
Movie two was Little Miss Sunshine. I had heard so many different people rave about it...once again we laughed really many people don't know some version (although maybe not that particular version) of a functionally dysfunctional family! Cause hey, in the end, family won!!! Plus I loved the horn that wouldn't stop honking.

little miss sunshine
Movie three is my all time favourite pick-me-up movie, Love Actually. For some reason, no matter what kind of mood I'm in to begin with, I always feel good after watching it. Even today and I was so tired from my short visit to the outside world that I think I slept through most of it...

love actually
Oh movies....wonder what I'll watch tomorrow!

Monday, January 01, 2007

My Secret: A Post Secret Book

my secret
I found My Secret: A Post Secret Book under the Christmas tree from my parents this year. It was everything I've come to expect from Post Secret, although I will say I was a little disappointed that it was so short. The Secret Lives of Men and Women comes out soon in Canada, so I might have to pick that up...
the secret lives of men and women

I haven't been reading much because the painkillers have turned my brain to mush and paying attention for longer than about five minutes is hard, so this book was perfect. But even so, I still whipped through it.

It made me laugh; it made me cringe; it made me cry; it made me grateful.

Shannon's 2007 Reading Material

Well, the time has come. Rather than have that hideously long list on the sidebar, the books (and movies and knitting) are moving to their own "page," which in blogger speak means a post.

books in progress

books just finished

Someone...that would be me...totally dropped the ball at the end of the year with this list. Sigh...Shannon...

Shannon's 2007 knitting

There's too much for the side bar, so just like the books and movies, knitting now has its own "page."

knitting in progress
knitting projects completed

Eventually I hope to get the knitting blog up and's not really all that functional right now.

Shannon's 2007 movie viewing

What I've seen in 2007 (yeah, there's some stuff missing)