Friday, January 11, 2008

In Which I Have More Tests

This morning Rob and I were off to Emory again for still more tests. This time I had two tests done. One in which a noise was sort of thumped into my ear. Imagine what a MRI sounds like . . . then put it in only one ear. I had to turn my head away from the sound. The second test consisted of my sitting in a perfectly dark (and slightly cool) room. A red line of light was shone onto the wall and I, using a roller ball mouse, had to make the line vertical. It would be tilted when it first flashed on the wall and I had to keep rolling it back to vertical, without tilting my head. I didn't like the first test. It made me a little dizzy, that noise directly in my ear. I also saw the graphic display of the results and there was a clear difference between what the left and right ear showed on the computer. The second test was less challenging, I suppose. My eyes dried out a little. But it didn't make me feel any more dizzy than I did before. And yes, I had electrodes connected to my forehead, where my neck and collar bone meet, and on both sides of my neck near the jugular. Now I have to wait until . . . well, I was supposed to only have to wait until the 21st to get the results but that's Martin Luther King Day and the school will be closed. We should be getting an email with a new appointment sometime later today or perhaps Monday. The stress of taking these tests, the anxiety implied in not knowing the results, etc., is wearing. I am so exhausted. I want to take a nap but first I must tire out the dogs. Especially if I want (let alone hope) to have any energy for my therapeutic exercises later today.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

In Which Snowball Settles In and We Get Little Sleep

So poor Snowball is experiencing what many puppies in a new home environment do--the runs. This kept Rob and I running at 1am and 5am. I swear the bedroom carpet hasn't been cleaned this many times since . . . well, since Romanov had the runs last year. Anyway, this morning I pulled out the turkey broth I'd made using the Thanksgiving turkey and soon had some brown rice cooking for her. It's cooling in the fridge as I type this and as soon as it is cool enough I'll put it down for her. We've pulled all of the Siberian Husky books from the shelves and I'll be reviewing some of the puppy information today. I have not yet done my yoga and I'm not sure how I will do it today. Romanov has gotten used to my setting myself up on my mat and just lying nearby without disturbing me. Well, for the most part he does that. Every now and again he insists on doing his own adho mukha shvanasana (downward facing dog) and he loves ducking his head under me when I am in awkard poses. (He nearly knocked me down yesterday when I was in a modified utkatasana--chair pose.) In any event, after a day or two of rice and broth, the nervousness her tummy is feeling will pass. She and Romanov are already learning how to play together and cooperatively. The pack heirarchy is still being established by both. It's all a part of their socialization. But they were lying down together. And Romanov doesn't react when she takes his pig ear or rawhide (which may also be why she has the runs). The most amazing thing--they were both utterly exhausted by the time we went to bed. Anyone who owns a husky knows how remarkable it is to say that their dog was dead tired. Well, both of mine were! Yay!
Aries Horoscope for week of January 10, 2008 "My calling hasn't called yet," wrote Rennie, an Aries reader from Austin. "Please, Rob, say a prayer to all the applicable gods and angels, asking them to do whatever it takes to make sure that I am at home when it finally does." I've got good news for Rennie. Many Aries who have never before had a hint about their calling will be able to gather many clues in 2008. Meanwhile, those of your tribe who have already found their higher purpose will be evolving it to a much deeper level. To help ensure that all the magic unfolds, I have unleashed a fist-pumping prayer to the goddess of mission plans, urging her to invite you Rams to claim the empowering joy that comes from being united with your source code.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

In Which My Physical Therapy Evolves

Yesterday I posted about my physical therapy knowing that there would probably be some changes. After all, an entire week had passed. Sure enough, there are changes. 1) Practice walking without touching things. 2) Practice walking more rapidly, swinging your arms. 3) Practice tadasana with feet only 2 inches apart. 4) Practice virabhadrasana II--do not let knee extend beyond ankle. 5) Practice vrksasana but keep foot low. 6) Stair steps using handrail for 30 seconds. 7) Slow dance. 8) Circle sway. And here is a little more information about my progress/experience: 1) Walking without touching things is still a matter of breaking a very bad habit and one I have not yet mastered, clearly. I have to consciously, when out in a strange place, remind myself not to touch anything. 2) Rob and walked yesterday while we went shopping. I was not allowed to use a shopping cart. I have not yet walked today but today is not yet over. 3) I had been doing this with my feet about shoulder width apart so I am slowly working on bringing my feet closer together. Also, I am to continue doing the first movements of surya namaskar. 4) This is an addition to what I was doing, one of my favorite asanas. 5) I confess that I keep my foot so very low that if I shift to the side of the "raised" foot my toe almost immediately touches the floor. My physical therapist says that this is fine. 6) I made the mistake of thinking that there is a handrail on the stairs to our deck. WRONG! So I can't actually do this because I don't have access to any steps with a handrail. 7) I need Rob for this one and he hasn't been very cooperative. 8) I have graduated from having to shift my weight back and forth and side to side. Now I only need to do slow circles, with my eyes open and then closed for one circle.

Monday, January 07, 2008

In Which I Share About My Physical Therapy

For the record, I am beginning to seriously think that all physical therapists are sadists. Truly. I began working with my new therapist last week on New Year's Eve which is a wonderful way to start the new year--with some hope of healing. So here are the exercises I am to do every day: 1) Practice walking without touching things all the time. 2) In the hallway, practice walking faster. If I can do this without touching the wall then practice walking faster with my arms swinging. 3) Standing feet slightly apart (tadasana) concentrate on the pressure on my feet, make it even or lean slightly forward. Raise arms in surya namaskar and lower them again. 4) Stand in a corner but away from the wall. Shift weight from front to back 10 times, feeling the changes in pressure on my feet. Repeat this time shifting weight from side to side. Repeat 5x shifting in clockwise circles and then again in counterclockwise circles. Attempt to do this with eyes closed. Okay. Now that we have the details of what I have been doing, here is how well I have accomplished the above: 1) I do this all day long and catch myself touching countertops, leaning on edges, etc. I am trying to break a bad habit and it is not easily broken. 2) I am doing well enough with this that I have moved to walking outside (!) but slowly. It feels incredibly awkward but I try to remember to swing my arms. This morning I began bobbling before I reached the corner so I stopped at the corner and turned back around. The above exercises are to be done once a day. The following three are to be done thrice a day. 3) This one I enjoy doing. Part of the yoga dvd I use includes something like this and it would be nice to work to where I could do a complete surya namaskar. Someday soon perhaps. However, I do not do this three times a day. Usually only twice a day. Occasionally, I confess, only once. 4) This is the one that I find the most tedious and the one I tend to not do the third time. By the end of the day I am so tired that all I can do is stay in bed. I need to talk to my sadist . . . erm, my physical therapist and ask her if I should try to do the exercises closer together or if there is more benefit to my doing it when tired at the end of the day. And while I am proud of myself for already walking to the corner and such, last night it was hard to fall asleep because the bed was moving and there are times when I am sitting in my chair and I feel like I am falling, like the chair has shifted beneath me, like I am not safe in my own body. Will those feelings ever go away?