Thursday, March 31, 2011

An Unexpected No-Spend Month

Have you seen those bloggers who talk about having a no-spend month? If not, let me explain. These bloggers, for whatever reasons, choose a month where they decide, voluntarily, not to spend any money. At least none other than is absolutely necessary for survival, you know, say food to eat, and gas to get to and from work ....

I would read these posts and be amazed. Amazed at their resolve, at their dedication, at their strength ... But also a little bemused wondering why they would even think of having a no-spend month. I don't consider myself a shopaholic, I don't have the funds for that kind of recreational therapy for one thing. I do like to buy things and if I had more money I probably would buy a bit more stuff. I'm also not a minimilist. I don't see myself on either extreme of the equation.

But something happened on the way home from surgery. The last time I filled up our gas tank was a week before I went to the hospital and since that time neither my husbnad or I have been out shopping. We have a local grocery store that my husband walks to after work every day to pick up the few things we need to keep us fed and that has served us well. Since I'm not driving yet, I haven't been to Walmart, Target or craft store in the last 5 weeks. And I havent' really missed it.

While we have picked up a local pizza once a week or brought home subs from the place in town, what I have really missed is going to a sit-down restaurant. My mouth drools over some good mexican enchiladas, or some yummy italian pasta or a plate of phad thai from the thai restaurant. And dont' get me started on missing a nice glass of white wine at dinner. Pain meds and wine don't mix, as we all know.

So I've been suprised at how well this mandatory no-spend month has gone for our family. The husbster really likes how much money we're saving and the padding the checking acct has received. So maybe sometime in the future when I'm not recovering from rib reconstruction surgery, we'll do it again ..... or not!

So how 'bout you? Have you ever done a no-spend month or even been tempted to do one? How did it go for you and your family?

Til next time ....

Friday, March 11, 2011

Nap Time!

One of the side effects of surgery is needing rest to get well. The first week when my sister was with us I was able to nap at will. Not being able to lay down or get up on my own, my sister was able to help me. Once she left tho, I no longer was able to nap while Michael was gone to work. I snuck in a few naps before and after dinner, but those were a poor comparison of the real thing. Finally I was able to get up and lay down on my own and naptime was once again available to me! O happy day!!! The first day of napping on my own I took a nap during the morning and one in the afternoon and slept a full night sleep to boot!

At any other time in my life, I could never sleep at night and nap during the day. But somehow during the healing process extra sleep is needed, is vital, and is oh so welcome. I am not a napper by choice. Now my mother loves a good, 20 minute nap. Me, not so much. But these last few weeks, I have been loving my naptimes. I look forward to them, I enjoy laying in bed and drifting off and I even enjoy waking up and being refreshed from my daytime slumbers.

I'm not sure how long I'll be needing my naps, but I'm confident when the time comes to give them up I'll know. So how bout you? Are you a napper?

Til next time ....
Happy Slumbering ....

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Out Of Commission

Twelve days ago I walked into Providence Hospital in Portland Oregon for surgery. Five days later I was wheeled out of the hospital and a friend brought me home. Since then I have been recovering at home.

I have known for several years that I needed to have this particular surgery, but being one of the millions of uninsured americans, we couldn't afford it. I'm glad it was never life threatening. But waiting did have its ramifications. The mass that the doctor removed had grown and was pushing into my lung. We are thankful that Mike got a job right after graduating last May and that his health insurance covered this surgery for me, after the typical waiting period.

Yesterday I met with one of the surgeons nurses for a followup. She was pleased to see how well I am healing. Yay! And gave me a few tips for some of the challenges I am having. My main challenge is the sharp pains I get when I lay down or move in certain ways. She told me they most likely are nerve pains--ouch! Who knew that nerves could be so grouchy!!!

Since leaving the hospital and for the next few weeks, I cannot drive nor lift anything over 10 pounds. My energy level is still compromised and I like my mid day naps. I have been spending my days watching old movies and tv shows on netflix streaming, bad local tv programming, doing a bit of reading and surfing the net. Boredom is setting in ....

My sister was with me for the 5 days after returning home, which not only was wonderful for the company, but necessary in terms of needing her help. At that point, I still couldn't do much for myself. Daily I find myself getting stronger and able to do more. But now that she is gone, I miss having someone around to talk to. Funny cuz I'm used to being alone, being a stay at home mom. but I guess being a stay at home mom is a misnomer cuz I was always on the go. To the library, the post office, the grocery store or busy with projects around the house. Now I sit on the sofa, the dining room chair or at the desk.

But this boredom too will pass. Soon I will be able to drive again and be able to resume my daily activities. Tho I thought it was interesting in the info from the surgeon and hospital both said that it can take up to 6 months to recover your energy after surgery. My mom had always told me that---thanks mom! you were right!!!

Well, this is just a rambly post to document what's been happening in my world. I'm getting better every day. Mike is rising to the challenge of cooking dinners, doing laundry, and keeping Joe clean and happy. Its been wonderful to realize how perfect this spot is where we live right now has been for Michael and us while I'm recuperating. Without his driver, Michael can still walk to the grocery store, pharmecy, post office for what we might need. Joe and Mike can walk over to the pizza eaterie, the coffee joint, the park and the library. All our needs are met here within walking distance in this tiny little town.

And my friends from church have been wonderful in helping me get back and forth to appts and the hospital. Thank you girls!

Til next time ....