Sunday, February 22, 2015

Let it Go!

Ev and I had a rare week together at home. I spent it relaxing, reading by the pool, and watching TV. Ev spent most of it working (What does he do all day? I'm not sure but he's attached to that computer for at least 7 hours a day. Emailing?). But we did manage to take some time outs and just be with each other, which was exactly what we needed given the events and the stress of the past few weeks. I'm so thankful that Ev and I get along and actually really like each other. When I think about all the talks we've had, all the things we've discussed this week from the sadness of losing his dad, to fears about my crappy knees, to the age old question: why do the tourists insist on wearing Hawaiian print shirts when we're not in Hawaii? We've covered a lot of ground and it's nice to have someone with whom you trust and love to share every little thought with. I always tell single friends: Never settle. Someday you will need your spouse to bathe you in a very non-sexual way for medical reasons. You don't want just any person doing this. Choose wisely.

Ev's new sport: Kiteboarding! Go Evs!
Wednesday was a public holiday here on the island: Ash Wednesday. We took a little road trip to our favourite beach bar in Cayman Kai called "Kaibo." Obviously, no one there was giving up alcohol for Lent, as the drinks were flowing freely all day long. We then strolled over to Starfish Pointe and laid on the beach, watching all the drunk party boats depart for the day. Candle Lake peops: It's like Cayman's version of the islands. Boats pull up with music, booze, dancing, and party all day long. Good times. When I say "stroll," I mean "crutched." Unfortunately, I'm still pretty reliant on the crutches. I can put weight on the newly injured knee, but it hurts like a mo-fo about 10 minutes later. Aside: This one time, my amazing Ortho asked me how bad the pain was and I responded, "It hurts like a mo-fo." He didn't know what I meant and I had to actually explain "mother f*&%$," which isn't a word I would ever use, yet I stand by the fact that that mo-fo is an excellent descriptor of pain; however, oddly enough, "It hurts like a mo-fo" is not listed on the pain scale. Anyways, the crutches are a pain in the ass, but if they help to reduce the pain I'm experiencing, then I will use them. I'm pretty damn experienced on the crutches. My resume reads something like this: 2 years off and on crutching experience, 17 months of which were strict non-weight bearing. Crutch Master, obviously. Given that my 2 years experience was crutching for the right knee, it was a bit of learning curve to switch it up and crutch for the left knee. You know, like a mirror image. I'm terrible at spatial concepts and I required a quick lesson to re-learn the left knee technique. Got it. Although being a "crutch Master" isn't necessarily something one should be proud of, I do find myself frequently judging other crutchers. Case in point, Ev and I noticed a teenage girl out with her friends. She had crutches. Although she sported a knee brace, she could not decide which knee was injured and "crutched" hopping wildly on both feet. Oh C'mon! Faker. Are crutches like cool now? I hear fanny packs are back too. Awesome. Be aware, you crutch in front of me: I will judge you.
Starfish Point

Beauty Day!

 Bartender! I'll have another! Make it snappy - I've got 1 week!
Ev and I have a new favourite past time: we enjoy playing "tourist." Yesterday, we settled in at the Marriott Hotel ($400/night), ordered cocktails from the beach bar, listened to some lovely live music, and pretended that we were on holidays. If it's one thing I've noticed about tourists, it's that they don't care. They don't care about anything. NOT A CARE IN THE WORLD. "I'm drunk and swimming at sunset! Whoo too!" "Let's post this awesome selfie on FB and write Not -38 degrees here! WHOOO HOOO!" "I just wrote our names in the sand with a heart around it so everyone knows we're forever! WHOO HOOO!" Sweet! These people have 1 week to fulfill all their dreams. 1 week! They're having fun. I like it. We had a great time at the Marriott and felt our worries and sadness disappear for a few hours. What a wonderful perk of living in a tropical destination.

I head back to work tomorrow. I'm disappointed that my knee is still quite painful and I'm a little concerned that it will continue to feel this way until I opt for the cartilage transplant - a surgery that I've already endured, a surgery that involves a long, gruelling recovery.  I joke and laugh about it, but I'm pretty f'n pissed off. Osteochondrial Dessecans is a very rare condition. It only affects 1 in 300,000 women and German Shepherds (for real), which makes me...what? extremely unlucky? Rare? Is this a sign that I should be playing the lottery? I knew that there was a 30% chance that the condition would also affect my left knee, but I reasoned that I'd get a bye for facing the right knee with poise, persistence, and bravery. Not so much. At least I'm symmetrical? I worry that it'll affect other joints in my body and frequently lay awake at night wondering about my hips, my ankles, my elbows. It sucks. I'm afraid. I'm angry. In the meantime, as I head  back at work to speech pathologize my little buddies, I will not be chasing runners. If my kiddos decides to bolt, I will NOT be pursuing runaway children through the jungle. I will lean on my crutches, wave goodbye, and sing Frozen's, "Let it Go!"

Who's a good boy? Who's a good boy? Will someone just tell me the answer already?

Friday, February 13, 2015

Rough Seas

There's a reason I haven't blogged in forever. Evan and I have been met with some serious challenges and: a) I didn't feel like discussing these challenges in public and b) I didn't feel like lying and pretending that everyone was A-OK. So I remained quiet for a while. Me? Quiet? Hard to believe! :)

After a 3 year battle with cancer (and let me tell you, this man battled), Evan lost his dad on February 2nd. Evan's dad, Jerry, was a strong-willed, stoic, gentle man. Although Jerry may have appeared very serious to others, I loved seeing the fun side of Jerry - there was always a twinkle in his eye when he'd tease me - that twinkle made me feel special.  I met Jerry when I was 17 years old and he always made me feel like I was a part of the Lindsay family, and that I was the ideal match for his son - which is huge complement, given his obvious adoration for Evan. I feel grateful for the camping trips, the Mesa adventures, and the last few Christmases together. Life just won't be the same and my heart goes out to Evan, his brother, and, especially, Evan's mom. It's such a loss.

Evan flew home in time to share a special goodbye with his dad. The family was able to be together and although there is never a "good ending," I'm sure Jerry felt overwhelmed with love - and there is no better feeling in this world to know you are loved.

I was scheduled to fly into Calgary a few days later, but was having a lot of difficulties with my left knee - the one that didn't have the cartilage transplant. It was catching, locking up, and keeping me awake at night with pain. En route, unable to walk, I re-routed to Saskatchewan and met up with my amazing Orthopedic Surgeon, Dr. M, and had an emergency scope on my knee. The verdict: the condition that I suffer from in my right knee, Osteochondrial Dessicans, is now in my left knee. The hard cartilage, or articular cartilage, is pulling away from the bone and falling off in chunks, floating around my knee, aimlessly (what the hell are you looking for cartilage chunks?) and creating more damage in the knee. Awake during my surgery, numbed with a spinal, I watched the screen above my head which provided a live view of my scope. It was like watching a horror movie. As soon as I saw the shredded cartilage, I knew exactly what was going on. As Dr. M measured the lesion, I turned my head and had a little cry. Why me? Why now? I can't do this all over again. I thought I was done being brave.

Thankfully, my mom flew in from Palm Springs to look after me and I was surrounded by all my fabulous PA peops who, despite my absence over the last 6 months, obviously still care about me. A lot! The texts, the emails, the visits, the rides, the warm wishes - it felt great. Although I felt very guilty about not being with Evan when he so needed support, I knew that I needed to be strong, to get strong both mentally and physically, so that I could return to the island and support him. Thank you, friends and family for helping me through! There is no better feeling in this world to know you are loved.

I flew back to our little tropical paradise yesterday. Kudos to WestJet for providing excellent service and assistance with my mobility - let me tell you, crutch travelling is the way to go - no lines! I'm back where I belong, with my best buddy, Evan, and we're dealing with things together. I'm not sure what the future holds - perhaps another big surgery in my future. It scares me, but I've done it before and I'm stronger this time. Evan is going to need some time...I know he misses his dad so much, it's difficult to see him hurting,  and it must just be so tough to keep on keepin' on. But we are strong, we are in love, and we are surrounded by awesomeness. Thanks again for all your love and support!