Road to recovery…

Credit: Sierra Club

Hello….

What’s going on? Anything interesting happening in your lives?

Just an update on my recovery of my back surgery. It’s been exactly 33 days since surgery. At my follow up my nurse said I was recovering extremely well & my suture looks really good. I’m so glad to be home! Two weeks & two days at home, but it feels longer. The first week I had to really watch how much my body could take because I was feeling so tired. I would maybe put the dishes away & load another and be tired for the rest of the day. Now, I can do a 4 or 5 things before I get tired. I see things that have to be done, but they can wait. I’m walking better and my Physical Therapist and I are working on my balance to strengthen my legs & core.

Throughout this whole ordeal I’ve discovered something about myself. I’m extremely challenging to myself to the point where people have to remind me to slow down. If the PT says 10 exercises for my feet, I’ll do 30. There is one exercise where I have to see how long I can stand with my eyes closed. Right now my ears and mind are the only things helping me to stand, but not my feet. She says this normal because when you have back surgery it messes with your balance. So I stood beside my bed one night. I was naughty and did this by myself because I’m supposed to do it with her around. The first time I could stand with eyes closed for 18 seconds. Then I was able to stand for 33 seconds. I kept falling back on my bed each time. I was so determined to get past 1 minute. I got so close one time to 57 seconds before falling back into bed. I kept falling, but kept getting back up. Persistent much? Finally, I just told myself to focus & relax and I stood with my eyes closed for 1 minute and 28 seconds. I was so happy! It was midnight, but I wanted to prove to myself I could do it. I’m not used to struggling with things I never had to struggle with before.

I have good & bad days like everyone else. Having emotions I never had to deal with before. I wasn’t sure if I acting normal or not with my feelings. I started watching YouTube videos of other people who went through similar back surgery & I discovered I’m not alone in my feelings. All my fears, trepidation, frustrations, concerns, loneliness & sometimes sadness is normal they all said. I watched so many inspirational videos who just never gave up & worked their butts off to recover. This is the new life I have to adapt for now. It’s a 360 of what I’m used to, but I’m making the best of it. I’m learning to reach out to my closest friends when I need to. I actually posted about my surgery on FB for the first time in a long time. I got lots of encouragement from my dearest friends who are personal friends of mine. I’m so used to being independent & not bothering people with anything I’m going through. I feel like maybe people won’t care. I’m glad I was smothered by kindness from my dear friends, it really made me feel better.

I posted a picture of a mountain and a highway. This picture represents something to me metaphorically. The mountain represents a particular goal of working towards something monumental. I figured out I live 63,390 feet away from our mountain Pikes Peak. I chose the little cute mountain town called Manitou Springs as my ending point. Manitou Springs is basically at the bottom of a mountain. My goal is to walk as much as I can every day to walk that many feet. It takes someone 4 hours to walk from my home to Manitou Springs. Having a goal of walking 63,390 feet motivates me every day to achieve that goal.

I was looking at this particular picture and wondered what if someone came up to me & asked, “Are you ready to walk to reach that mountain? You’ll have days where your legs will hurt or the weather won’t agree with you, but that’s your end goal. It won’t be easy. Stay focused. Keep putting your feet moving forward, don’t look back. Pace yourself, don’t run. How much do you want that mountain?”

A lot.

I’m ready. Gosh, it’s such a long road! Sigh. The road looks so long. Two years to be exact. Remember I still have knee surgery next year which will include physical therapy once again. That will be 63,390 feet back home from the mountain.

Often I ask myself what is life trying to teach me. Everything happens for a reason. One of the things I’m learning is how much I need to give credit to myself. I don’t give myself enough credit for a lot of things, people often have to tell me how brave & strong I have been. I don’t see that. I need to remind myself that I am indeed strong & brave.

But I’ve had some laughs & good days more than bad days. I don’t blame anyone or anything. I’m learning to really listen to my body and rest when I need to. My PT today said I needed one more month until I could go exercise in the pool. I miss working out! I’m just glad I’m not taking any narcotics for my pain. I just take ibroprofin. My pain isn’t that bad where I need to take the hard core pain meds. Those side effects are no joke!

My birthday is next Tuesday & I’m excited! I’m still deciding what I want to eat. We’ll stay home as usual and celebrate. My son loves baking so he’ll bake me a cake. I might have my favorite Brazilian restaurant/store near Denver overnight a Brazilian meal. I’m still trying to get a store from Jersey to ship frozen panzarottis! I’m going crazy here because I haven’t had one in years! ๐Ÿคญ I’m obsessed about panzarottis. Panzarottis are a local Jersey delicacy.

Thanks for reading about my update!

xoxo ๐Ÿ’‹

Emergency Spinal Surgery!

Hey everyone!

It’s been a minute, how’s everybody? So let’s watch a clip of one of my favorite super heroes. Dr. Strange, coolest dude on the block. I’m all about time travel and all things quantum physics.

Credit: Movie Buff

So exactly last week I met my Neurosurgeon for the first time, after waiting 4 weeks just to see him. After speaking to me & doing some tests on my feet, he was very concerned about why my brain signals weren’t going to my feet. All my past MRIs had been of my lower back to my knees. I think he might’ve thought I had a brain or neck tumor. He ordered an MRI STAT of my upper back and neck. I was only able to get an appointment the next day, an MRI with dye that took an hour in that space capsule. Within 15 minutes his neurosurgeon assistant called me to tell me my spinal cord was being crushed and that I had spinal stenosis of the thoracic. I also needed an immediate surgery (thoracic laminectomy) that Friday! Wednesday within hours of the MRI I had a presurgery nurse call me to tell me what medications to stop and what not to eat etc. Everything was moving so fast I wasn’t given much time to take it all in. Of course, I was nervous and scared. I was more scared of going under anesthesia.

So this Dr. Strange clip reminded me of how immediate my neurosurgeon wanted to do an urgent surgery on me. He saw something on the MRI results that were serious and did something, thus saving my life in a way.

Friday came and I kept calm. My son came to help me walk and then took an Uber all the way back to school, about 50 minutes South. I went to a hospital a few minutes South of Denver, Parker, to be exact.

I told the nurses that I just wanted to go to sleep and wake up after surgery. They must’ve snuck in a pill to knock me out because the last I remember was the nurses telling each other I needed a surgery cap. Next thing I know I’m being awakened by the neurosurgeon assistant asking how I was feeling. I apparently slept longer than expected. The surgery took longer than expected because during the surgery part of my spinal cord that was attached to the bone got a hole or tore while one of the bones was being removed. The neurosurgeon had to then stitch up the spinal cord as a result. Before I was discharged from the hospital I got another MRI and it showed the spinal cord healing, but looked bruised which is expected.

After a few days, I was referred to a rehabilitation near my home. Most rehabilitations were filled up and I would’ve had to go to a rehab in Littleton which is even farther up North from my home, if none were available near me. So the ambulance ride to this rehab I’m at now was entertaining. Lol. A paramedic was teaching a student paramedic things. They joked with me the entire ride. It was my first time riding in an ambulance! They even charged my phone during the ride, so sweet.

I get 1.5 hours of Occupational Therapy once a day. Same with Physical Therapy. I’ve improved greatly, but it’s a struggle. I’ve had to deal with throbbing headaches most days. On good days I just have a bad headache. My back hurts and aches a lot. My walking has improved as well. The first time meeting a Physical Therapist I cried. It all was too much. I was in pain and my legs were so weak, I almost fell. I had to scoot on a board from the bed to the wheelchair. She was incredibly compassionate and encouraged me a lot. She said I was there to improve and that to give it time. I felt better afterwards.

I now can get out of bed using a walker to get in my wheelchair and now can use a walker to walk to the bathroom. I can stand using my own strength to stand up on my own just to brush my teeth. I’m learning how to step up to use stairs. Everyone here are so incredibly encouraging and sweet. One of the nurses said I was one of everyone’s favorite patients here at rehab. They say I’m always happy and friendly. I’m only able to be that way due to my incredible friends who have been there for me every step of the way, even on days I was suffering through so much pain. Luckily there’s this thing called Percocet that has helped me a lot.

So that’s my life. My son’s prom was last Saturday and he came in to say hello all dressed up in his suit. His bestfriend took these pictures of him after he visited me. The silver & purple ring he’s wearing is his grandmother’s. My son wears it a lot to feel that his grandmother is there with him in spirit. He says he’ll wear it on graduation day. I’ll be wearing one of her rings too on that day so I feel she’s there in spirit too.

The next day was Mother’s Day and he came to spend some time with me. Usually he makes me breakfast in bed, but sadly not this year. He made brownies & brought some for me because I’m crazy about them. Everytime we make food for each other, we tell each other we made it with love. I miss making homemade meals for my son, but discharge is next Tuesday-the day before his graduation. I’ll have to rent or buy a wheelchair to see him graduate. Seeing my son graduate has been a huge motivation for all the pain & suffering I’m going through now during rehabilitation. I want to be strong enough to see my son walk up and receive his diploma. I was sad I’ve missed other important things he’s had that I couldn’t attend the past 4 months. Today is his last day of school. I would’ve done something after school to celebrate, but we’ll celebrate later during summer. It will be a waterproof mascara day, that’s for sure for graduation day.

This morning I texted my son saying good morning & that he did it! He completed 12 years of school, that I was so proud of him & that I love him so so much. He can’t wait til I come home, he’s been missing me a lot.

I’ll be home soon baby.

xoxo

Day 31. March Blog Challenge

Credit: Pinterest

What word would you sum up for the past month?

Dreams.

If you don’t have dreams, there’s no hope or motivation. What’s your dream job? Where’s your dream location to live? Dream house? Dream man/woman? Dream vacation?

It doesn’t necessarily have to have the word dream in what you want in life, but maybe a little desire & there’s nothing wrong in wanting to pursue it. To live life with “2nd best” isn’t motivating at all. You deserve better than that. To go after something your heart truly desires & that you know will make you happy (most everyone wants to find happiness), by all means, go for it. This doesn’t exclude those of us who are already rich in love, live in a nice hime, have a happy family & community. Even the happiest people on earth have dreams & it might surprise you what it is! Quietly wonders what Tibetan monks dream about…

Anyways, this past month has had me think of little things I want to do in the near future. This has motivated me a lot on days that I have felt discouraged. I was telling my Twitter followers how I often feel like a wild horse. Wild horses run free. I have felt pent up lately. When I can’t really go anywhere, I feel down. I’m not used to it & the pain hurts to walk. So I enjoy researching things & prices. It brings up my spirit & I get excited. I try to fulfill a dream of mine once a year. Guess what my dream is for this year? I’m hoping I can do it when my Aunt Debbie comes here in May, but if not, sometime this year.

I want to go on a train ride. I’ve romanticized it enough after watching “Before Sunrise” a billion times. Thought I’d add this little clip from the movie. Celine, the character, is my spirit animal. Yes, I know. She’s not an animal, but you get what I’m trying to say. Lol. In life, you sometimes just have to take risks & see where it takes you!

Credit: FilmStruck

I think it would be fun to eat, walk around & take pictures of the ride. Who knows, maybe in the future we might take a train ride in Canada or up in Alaska. My son was obsessed with Thomas The Tank Engine as a kid, so he enjoys trains. Colorado is gorgeous, so I’m sure the views will be spectacular!

Credit: ColoradoAttractions

Well, it’s been fun. My laptop died 2 months ago, so blogging with my index finger on my phone all month was a little challenging because I’m usually a very fast typist on the keyboard. Catch you at my next blog post!

xoxo ๐Ÿš‚๐Ÿšƒ๐Ÿšƒ๐Ÿšƒ ๐Ÿ’•

Day 30. March Blog Challenge

What’s something new you want to try?

Hi everybody,

How’s your Saturday going so far? There are several things I want to try. However, there is something my friend & her boyfriend tried 2 years ago in Denver that I am so jealous that they did. I will never, ever skydive so indoor skydiving is all I can handle. Besides, I am terrified of heights. She said they had a lot of fun & once I get the go ahead from my doctor after months of physical therapy, you best believe I’m heading up to Denver to check out this place!

Credit: iFly

xoxo ๐Ÿฆ‹

Day 28. March Blog Challenge

What is your favorite quality in a person?

Hello my loves!

The month is coming to a close in a few days. I can’t believe April is already around the corner! March has been kind to me for the most part. Some days when I feel disappointed in how slow everything is progressing towards surgery, I remind myself to stay positive. Today I went to my doctor to get a referral to see a Neurosurgeon. Looks like I might need a little nerve decompression surgery to fix a pinched nerve in my lower back. This has to be taken care of before my knee surgery. So that means 1-3 weeks of recovery from that before the knee replacement. So, now I wait to hear from the Neurosurgeon in a few days to go meet him. But even before that, I need another MRI. This will be my 3rd time since last August. I actually like getting an MRI. It’s relaxing despite the loud clicking sounds. Thank God for headphones & listening to 80’s music.

One of the qualities I love about a person, but takes time to discover is consistency. Why is consistency such a hard quality to find in anyone? I’m not just talking in relationships, but in coworkers, family, potential friends etc. Consistancy is like the holy grail.

I’m the type of person who needs consistency. Consistency means a feeling of knowing I can depend on someone to be there for me, trust in their judgment & advice as well as companionship. I don’t care if you travel the world every week, but as long as I know you’re there for me via phone, skype that’s all that matters. In a chaotic world, it is nice to know someone will be there for you. I’ve had people say to me that they will be there for me, but they only end up ghosting me for whatever reason. That just shows me their true character. But I’ve also had friends who have remained consistent throughout my life & that truly is something to celebrate about. I do regularly tell those friends thank you. I never take their friendship for granted.

xoxo ๐Ÿ•

Day 25. March Blog Challenge ๐Ÿค–

What were your favorite childhood toys and shows growing up?

Hi there buttercups!

I’ve been super busy doing things. One of them is organizing about 3,000 photos online in categories so it’s easier to make videos and things like that. Plus, I have 7 USBs I had to go through. This has taken me hours as I’m also uploading them on Onedrive. Ok, so I was going to post pictures of my favorite toys growing up, but I thought it would be easier to show commercials of them instead. Walking down memory lane my loves! Right this way!

Cabbage Patch Kids!

I was a little late to the game in regards to owning one, but I did finally get one as a present.

Credit: AnainCA

Slip’n Slide

This was a lot of fun! Good times!

Credit:RetroStatic

Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood

Don’t the first few notes of the intro make you feel like a little kid again? You’re suddenly transported to a time in your life where you felt special, even though the man talking to you in that soft spoken voice was in the tv? I really enjoyed his shows. I especially loved the adorable red trolley and King Friday and his court. There was always drama with them! Isn’t it amazing how shows influence your interest as you get older? I still love trains & trolleys to this day & I follow the royal family in England too.

Credit: Christian Michael Corenza

Little People

Who doesn’t remember that elevator?! And that crazy short & steep road from the top of the building? I used to play for hours with my little people. Kids those days didn’t seem to mind that their toys didn’t have arms. There wasn’t any PC and kids weren’t subjected to that train of thought. We just played and let our imagination run like kids should be doing.

Credit: TheRetroTimeMachine

Reading Rainbow

Such a great show! Those days reminded me of the book catalog where you could buy books from. I used to love the magazine for kids called Highlights because they had poetry and drawings of kids from all over the country. I believe this was where my love of poetry stems from.

Credit: Hilbenhousen Industries

My Little Pony

Well, my pony was raised in the tropics! I would braid my pony’s tail and make makeshift boats for my pony to ride in. It rained heavily everyday in Brazil so there were always little streams my pony would sail on or if I was feeling especially adventurous, we’d play in mud. I would make sand castles on the beach for my pony and we’d go swimming together in the ocean & pool.

Credit: 80sCommercialsForever

Snoopy Snowcone Machine

Snoopy is the original gansta, the G. What kid doesn’t love snow cones? I never stopped & when my son was old enough to work the machine on his own, I got one! It’s in storage in New Jersey I believe. We would have a lot of fun making our own snowcones. I’m such a hipster mom!

Credit: Steve Betancourt

Scooby Doo

I was mesmerized by this show! The show was funny, but there were still some parts that scared me! It wasn’t too horrifically scary, but just enough to watch it with a blanket near my chin ready to hide under for the scary parts. Maybe the show was preparing me for when I’d actually end up living in several haunted homes! Surprisingly, my son & I watch horror movies and laugh throughout the movie! We’ve had so many ghostly experiences we shake our heads & think that’s not what happens! My son grew up watching Scooby Doo & wanted shirts with Scooby Doo on them.

Credit: TITRO99

80’s tv toy, cereal commercials

I will leave these commercials as a walk down memory lane. Maybe you’ll see something on this video which will make you say, “Oh yeah! I remember playing with that!”

Credit: 80sCommercialVault

xoxo ๐Ÿค–

Day 23. March Blog Challenge ๐Ÿ—ฃ๐Ÿ‘ฅ

Why do people kiss & tell?!

Hi guys!

I’m trying real hard to understand the reasons people feel so free to kiss and tell to complete strangers about their relationships. Not only that, but to complain about their significant others publicly. There’s an exemption, of course, in telling people of maltreatment, abuse and lessons learned from it & how not to get in that situation.

I’m talking about sitting around in a restaurant with all your girlfriends & talking smack about your boyfriend for no reason. He’s not there to defend himself & only puts your girlfriends to hate him even more. It’s ok with a close friend somewhere private where you can seek advice if there’s bumps in the road. It’s just unfair for the boyfriend to be made fun of like he’s some pinata so everyone can have a go at verbally punching him. Then to come home & kiss your boyfriend and tell him you had so much fun out with your girlfriends!

If you’re constantly complaining about your man all the time to your friends and things haven’t improved over several months or years, he is probably not right for you.

Same goes for men. They shouldn’t kiss and tell what they do in private. It’s mortifying for a woman.

Why am I ranting about this? I’m watching this Australian dating show on Netflix about four couples who broke up and they spend 3 weeks together to figure out if they want to give it a go one more time. The episode I just watched has all four couples meeting each other at a bar/restaurant. All the men are together and the women meet up somewhere else. They are all brought together to meet each other, but for the men it turns quickly to how far physically they’ve each gone with with their woman. Remember, these are complete strangers. They’re not bros. A few answered, but they kept it classy. The oldest guy there, much to my surprise, was more vivid in his answers it was cringe for me. Not surprisingly, when his woman found out she was mad!

As for the women, half of them were verbally expressing their adoration for their men. They only said positive and loving things about their man.

Call me crazy, but when I do have a boyfriend I tend to gush about how sweet and wonderful they are. Even in group settings, I like to say positive things about him because that’s how I truly feel in my heart when he’s away from me. I like to think of all the amazing things he has done for me. No one is perfect, obviously, and everybody has bad days where they are grumpy & in a bad mood. I just think if you truly care about someone why the eff are you constantly complaining about him? Especially in public? Even in social media! Doesn’t make sense and shows immaturity.

In other news, I watched the first season of Lookalikes on Netflix and never laughed so hard! I literally had amazing belly laughs and it was wonderful! British humor is just hilarious!

xoxo ๐Ÿ’•๐Ÿ’•

Day 21. March Blog Challenge ๐ŸŽ‰๐ŸŽŠ

What is one goal you can achieve before the month is over to better yourself?

Hello all you buttercups!

Today is a special day. Today is the day a precious little baby was born to me 18 years ago. 18 years old?!? Oh my. Time does fly. To celebrate I’m making steak, with mash potatoes and broccoli. I’m still going to make him a cake too. This year will increase his independence more & hopefully he can practice everything I’ve taught him to be a good citizen of the community. I can only imagine how stressed my mom was when I started driving on my own. It was the taste of freedom like no other, attached with friends riding along to go down to the shore for the day, hanging out in Philly etc. Right now we are looking at cars. It will be so nice when my son can drive so we won’t need Uber to take us to doctor appointments.

Credit: Shutterstock

One thing I remind myself, especially this month, is to take my time. What I mean by this is to not feel like I need to complete everything on my to do list. If my knee swells up or starts hurting, it’s ok to just stop and rest my knee for the remainder of the day. Some days I don’t do anything on my list & I shouldn’t feel guilty if I do. It’s ok to go in my own pace. The last thing I need is to worsen my condition. My son already does a lot around the house & is extremely helpful. So, to better myself, I’m just reminding myself to take my time. I’m not used to that as I am the type of person who gets things done in a certain time frame. That’s why my supervisor liked me. I always got things done & had my work completed, but I’m at a point where I need to surrender to what my body says and that’s ok.

We’re all trying to better ourselves in some shape or form.

No one should strive for perfection. Just strive to be excellent!

xoxo ๐Ÿ’•๐Ÿ’•

Day 20. March Blog Challenge

Make a list of 5 simple delights that brighten your day.

Hey you…

Feeling much better today. I did sleep in much more, however. Woke up close to noon. Yesterday was a great day in other ways. Watched an amazing movie that reminded me of Avatar.

Simple delights for me are as follows.

1. Discovering new songs like this one. I like her voice & how she sounds so haunting. I was on Instagram & someone used this song as a background. I had to go online to see who sang this song. Apparently she’s a new artist. This song would sound just as amazing without any music as well, that’s how you know the singer is truly talented. The singer, Billie, was inspired by the movie “Roma”. I watched “Roma” back in early January & thought it was really good. I knew it would get an Oscar and it did. Roma is an independent movie and many of you know that I’m an independent movie buff. Simply love this song.

Credit: Billie Eilish

2. Kissing my son on the cheek goodbye before he goes off to school. He gets a ride with a friend & he’ll text me when he arrives at school safely. I text him to have a great day and that I love him. He writes the same. We do this every day. You can never take life for granted. He’s my only child.

3. Watching a movie. I’m going to be watching a lot of movies in the future with my down time, especially when I’m limited physically. If you know any great independent movies, let me know. Getting lost in a story for a few hours is mesmerizing.

4. Interacting with my niece. I have a wonderful niece on Facebook who is native indian like myself. Her mom was my youngest sister who passed away. My older sister has been raising her like her own daughter. My niece is a delight in my life, I love her so much! She’s a year older than my son. We’ll communicate via messenger and we’ll just catch up on my biological mom, who is obviously my son’s & her grandmother. My son has always known he has a biological grandmother. It will be very special for my son to meet his native indian grandmother as he is half native himself. The only one of his kind with American & Brazilian native kayapo blood. Hopefully in the future, we can meet her & I can meet my niece for the first time. I won’t stop hugging her, she truly is special as is everyone else who is my biological relative in Brazil.

5. Eating a sundae. I think the last time I had a sundae was 2 years ago. I’m thinking it’s time to have another one. I have to make my own sundaes from now on because I’m lactose intolerant. Most places don’t serve non dairy icecream. Same with milkshakes. I have to make my own. I’m a simple girl when it comes to icecream. I don’t need the fuss of a thousand nuts, gummy bears, cookies, sprinkles or whatever else that completely hides the actual icecream! Just give me Breyer’s dairy free vanilla icecream with Smucker’s fudge and some whipped cream & I’m the happiest girl on the block.

xoxo ๐Ÿ’•๐Ÿ’•

Separated from the one you love!

Hello friends,

Not doing a challenge today. My stomach hasn’t been feeling well all day. Been icing my knee & drinking ginger tea. That feeling where your mind says a nice delicious dinner would be great, but your body says “no way”!

This is a great story of love between two animals. Who says dogs don’t show emotions with their eyes? This dog is so sweet & expressive when he misses his cow mom.

Anyways, talk tomorrow!

xoxo โค

Credit: karthik