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Cordelia's officially done with physical therapy for now. She admitted to us yesterday that she hasn't been doing her exercises because she's been utterly exhausted, so I'm a bit worried about things going forward.

She made it to the GSA bowling party only about forty five minutes after it started. She said it was a lot of fun but that only four out of the six members of her school's group made it. It was a multi-school event, so there were still a lot of people there.

The eighth graders are at Greenfield Village today. That's an outdoor historical recreation(ish) space an hour or so away from here. There's a large museum there, too, but people tend to go to one or the other. My sixth grade class, back in the late 1970s, spent a day at Greenfield Village. We were all supposed to dress up in nineteenth century clothing (or as close as we could get) for a short stint in a one room schoolhouse. I had a granny dress, so I was set. Mrs Pattinson, who was a very tall, thin woman in her fifties (or possibly sixties), looked very impressive as I recall. I have no recollection of what anyone else wore. I'm pretty sure that we used slates and facsimile primers.

I have no idea what activities Cordelia and her classmates will be undertaking. I look forward to her telling me about it.

I'm going to be spending a lot of time on laundry for the next few days. I'm not at all enthusiastic about it, especially when it comes to tomorrow, but I haven't got a choice. Cordelia can help on Saturday and Sunday. Scott's ability to help depends on whether or not he has to work the weekend. It'll be five loads today (one done, one in the dryer, one in the wash, two waiting). I'm hoping that subsequent days will only require three loads as that's a lot less exhausting.

My hands are hurting a lot, so I'm wearing my heaviest splints. Those will make putting the fitted sheet on the bed a challenge, but I don't think I can do it at all without some sort of splint. Things haven't been this bad since I stopped the Tamoxifen at the beginning of April.

I'm trying to figure out which of my library books I can finish quickly. I'm done with the one book due this week that can't be renewed, and there aren't any due next week that can't be renewed. I would like to get through some of these books or, at least, to read enough of some of them to know I don't want to go further.

I have three phone calls I should make today. Sadly, the easy one is also the least urgent.
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My SIL finally got back to me. She consulted with her colleagues about knee surgery and is of the opinion that it's not a great idea and should be a last resort. Her colleagues say that the success rate isn't all that good. They didn't give specific numbers, but I get the impression that they think there's about an equal chance of benefit versus no benefit at all. It doesn't seem to make things worse in most cases, at least.

I'm actually surprised by this because I had the impression that the tendon repair part at least was fairly standard and well established as effective.

My SIL's colleagues do recommend wearing a brace pretty constantly on top of PT and lots and lots of exercise. If those don't address the problem, then we should consider surgery as at least no worse than the status quo.

I think Cordelia will be both relieved and disappointed. All three of us are going to be pretty constantly on edge that the dislocation will happen again. I would like a better approach than an ER trip each time.
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Aetna says they can’t give me any sort of idea about coverage for potential knee surgery without specific procedure codes. Scott and Cordelia weren’t out long enough for me to try to track down procedure codes because it would mean at least two more phone calls. As it was, they came in the door while I was still talking to Aetna.

I didn’t do any writing yesterday. I’m hoping today will be better, but I don’t know if it will be. I’ve got a headache and have since I woke around 8:30. How bad it is varies from moment to moment, so maybe I will be able to write later. I really want to because I hardly wrote anything at all on Monday, maybe 100 words if that.

Cordelia’s PT went okay. Scott and I are both now clear on what exercises she should be doing and how often, so she won’t be able to tell us that she doesn’t have any exercises that she’s supposed to do. I’m not sure why she’s so set against doing exercises. None of them take more than five minutes at a time, and most of them are only once a day.

I’m worried that my laptop isn’t going to last the two plus years until we can even start thinking about replacing it. A lot of things simply aren’t working right, and it’s heating up more and faster than it used to. I’m having problems with programs that are integral to the OS— Mail, Messages, Calendar— and things are freezing (temporarily) more often. I can’t, for example, load a webpage while Time Capsule is running a backup. I also have problems if I start trying to load a web page at the moment when iTunes is switching from one song to the next.

I’ve already hit the edge of the OS updates that my hardware will support. This laptop was made in late 2008 and so is almost ten years old (we bought it refurbished somewhere between two and five years ago).

We’re still paying off this laptop and the nearly identical one that Scott bought for Cordelia at the same time. Given that Scott is taking financial comfort right now in the idea that he could raid his 401K if things get worse… Well, yeah. We’re not buying new-to-us Mac laptops any time soon.

But maybe I could get something else if I ask everyone to give me money for my birthday and Christmas this year?

It’s been years since I used a computer that wasn’t from Apple. Would it be hard to move to using a cheaper, non-Apple laptop? Mostly, what I need is a calendar, word processing, email, chat/IRC, and a couple of web browsers. Being able to transfer my music would be nice but not a deal breaker if I couldn’t. (My old laptop still works, after all, and it would probably be fine just for playing music.) It would be a deal breaker if I couldn’t open my old files, though, or if I lost my email archives. Oh, and I’d want to be able to network with our printer, but I assume most (all?) laptops should be able to do that.

I don’t generally play games or stream video or muck around with photographs, so I’m not worried about anything required for those that isn’t also required for the things I listed above. I’m not wedded to any particular word processor; mostly, what I want is plain text. Page/word counts are nice, but I can do without both.

Scott and Cordelia use Mac laptops and both have iPhones and iPads. I don’t have either an iPad or an iPhone and don’t expect to, so cross compatibility isn’t really an issue.

I don’t have any idea how to do the basic research I’d need to do to look into this. I’m not sure if Scott will be willing to help me because I’m pretty sure he sees it as a failure on his part rather than as a result of me spending more than half my time on my laptop.
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Cordelia stopped using crutches entirely over the weekend. Today, she’s trying school in a light knee brace. She carried all of her things to school and didn’t want me along.

That last was just as well because my back spasmed last night and is still giving me huge problems when I move. I can sit as long as I sit still. I can lie down as long as I don’t change position much. It’s going to make the various household chores I want to get done today problematic. Right now, I’m applying heat to see if that will loosen things enough for me to do anything. It’s the muscles in my lower back, the ones just at and above my pelvis. When I stand up from sitting or lying down, when I sit down, when I turn over in bed, when I bend at all, that area hurts at about a 7 on the pain scale.

Last night, while I was showering, my right hand got so painful that I couldn’t move it at all. I’d call it an 8 or a 9 on the pain scale. It was better if I didn’t so much as wiggle my fingers. That made the process of drying off… interesting. I thought I was going to have to yell for Scott to come help me. My left hand hurt more than usual then, too. I couldn’t even put lotion on my leg without agony. I thought I should be able to because I could just use my fingers and not my thumb and because I had my heavy braces on.

The combination of the hands and the back has me wondering if I did something full body stupid. I can’t think what apart from, you know, taking Tamoxifen.

Feedly, one of the apps I use most on my phone, updated last night and now no longer works at all. Well, I can see that there are articles waiting for me to read them and what the titles and sites involved are. I just can’t open them at all no matter what avenues I try, including forcing the app to quit and restarting it.

We got bubble tea yesterday after our library trip. That was a nice treat. I miss having it weekly, but it is expensive. I’m pretty sure the price has gone up since we were last in there.

I wrote almost 1300 words last night. Sadly, none of them were for the thing with a deadline (though I just now added a sentence to that). I’m having trouble finding the character voice for that because I’m trying to write a character I don’t sympathize with at all. There’s just not much beyond cardboard cutout for the character in canon. I suppose that adding depth to the character that isn’t in canon isn’t a terrible thing. I just worry that it may not be what my recipient wants.
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The sleep disorders clinic just called to reschedule the appointment Scott had the day after tomorrow. He had scheduled a vacation day for it, and I’m not sure he can cancel that so that he can actually go to an appointment on a different day, not this late in the game anyway. They want him to come in in July instead which is a terrible time of year for him to try to get time off of work. I know he’s stretched kind of thin in terms of vacation time (sick time isn’t an option. He get two days every six months).

The PT appointment left Cordelia kind of freaked out because the guy we saw was very concerned— He thinks her kneecap is in the wrong place and told us that the x-rays show a fundamental problem with how the bones in her leg fit together. There isn’t a proper slot for her patella, so it’s likely to keep dislocating. I didn’t ask him if that is something that surgery could address because I didn’t want to scare Cordelia any more than she already was.

He wants her to use the big brace as little as possible and to try to do without the crutches when she’s at home. He gave her two exercises which are aimed at working on being able to bend that leg again, but he mentioned that, given where the patella currently is, full motion may not be possible. He did say that a big part of the problem is muscle tension pulling things out of place and holding them there, that it’s her body trying to protect things and making them worse.

Scott ordered carry out from Gourmet Garden as a treat for Cordelia. Sadly, the entrees that we got were either terrible or things I can’t eat (due to egg mixed in). Scott and Cordelia tried moo shu chicken and got chicken fried rice as a fallback for if Cordelia hated the moo shu. We also got ginger chicken with string beans and eggplant with garlic sauce. I tasted neither ginger nor garlic in any bit of either. I’ll eat the leftovers, but I’m never ordering either dish there again.

They’ve cut their menu to the bone and don’t provide any sort of description of the dishes/ingredients in the carry out menu or online menu (I don’t know about the in restaurant menu). They don’t even mark the spicy dishes. I need to avoid peanuts, walnuts, eggs, and peppers of all sorts. I know that they put scrambled egg in all of their noodle dishes and, of course, their fried rice. They’ve never been good about leaving things out when we ask.

We got terrible food from them the last time we ordered there, so I didn’t want to get food there last night. The problem is that we don’t actually have any other places we’re comfortable with for Chinese carry out (Scott does not want to experiment on these occasions). I would prefer Lucky Kitchen, but Cordelia has decided that they’re beyond terrible.

At any rate, I guess next time we get food for dinner there, I’m going entirely with appetizers. Those tasted okay. None of them were even remotely healthy, but they were moderately decent tasting representatives of their types. I’d have liked them better if they hadn’t all been sort of sweet. A sweet spring roll or pork dumpling is just… not quite right.

We watched The Flash last night to see the musical crossover. It was okay but really not, IMO, more than that. A couple of the songs were fun (I started laughing when the fathers started singing that song from Guys and Dolls).
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I got Cordelia’s PT set up. It’s going to be Tuesday afternoons, starting next week. The time of day isn’t ideal, but none of the times they had available were really good options. We’ll have two sessions before we see the sports medicine surgeon. Cordelia is doing some walking without crutches, a few steps here and there, but she’s clinging to the brace as if her life depended on it.

While there’s snow on the ground, I’m going to be carrying all of her stuff. Me taking her backpack made getting home last night much, much easier all around. She ended up yards ahead of me and went in the back door (which has a keypad) rather than wait for me with the key for the front door.

I also got a gynecology appointment set up. It’s not until April 10th, but that’s sixteen days sooner than the appointment I had set up. I should probably cancel that appointment, so that someone else can have it. I’ll get to it eventually.

I have four phone calls I should make today. Two of them will be relatively low stress because I’ll be calling Scott’s mother and my mother. The third call is to pre-order a book for Cordelia that comes out in early May, so it’s not a big rush to get it done. The fourth call is to UHS billing, however, and will be difficult to manage. I need to point out that they’re trying to bill me for things without having actually billed all of my insurance. They billed Aetna but not Medicare or Premier Care. The appointments were with a physician for consultations about contraception while I’m on Tamoxifen and for removal of my old IUD. I’d be really surprised if Medicare didn’t cover at least some of that.

I need to dig out my scarf if I’m going to keep walking Cordelia to school when it’s this cold. My chin and ears freeze while the rest of me is sweating under my coat. It’s cold enough and a long enough walk that I don’t want to go with my coat unzipped, especially not if it’s windy. Of course, it’s supposed to be warmer tomorrow and warmer still on Thursday.

I forgot to mention— Scott replaced the doorknobs on our bedroom door, Cordelia’s bedroom door, and the bathroom over the weekend. Our door was hardest because he ran into an unexpected metal plate that he thinks was part of the old security system.

If I’d had my act together last night, I’d have made sure Scott took the library bag to work this morning so that he could return my overdue book on his way home. The weather was nasty enough last night that he wasn’t willing to go back out. I expected that. I’m just not sure I can talk him into it today, either. I suppose I could try to get myself to the bus to go downtown, but I’m so very, very tired that I don’t think I can face it, not for this.

I’m trying to decide whether or not I have the resources to haul the basement trash up the stairs. Scott dumped some moderately heavy things in there. I don’t think it adds up to more than I can carry at once, but it will be tiring and isn’t urgent. I wish Scott wouldn’t do that and would bring those things upstairs instead. I also wish I’d think of having him bring the bag upstairs himself while he’s at home rather than while he’s at work.

Once I have the trash out, I’m going to try to get through some of the graphic novels I’ve got from the library. I’ve got ten, and some of them can’t be renewed. Most of them are fairly short and shouldn’t take long. I just have to sit down and actually read them.
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Drat. It’s official. Zenni Optical can’t provide me with glasses because my sizing is weird. I talked to their online help last night, and they confirmed that they have no frames whatsoever in my size. I’m boggled because I think of myself as having a normal sized head. My past experience has been going to a store, trying things on and having everything more or less fit (but most things look terrible).

So I guess I have to try to get out to Briarwood at some point to shop for glasses. Bleh.

Cordelia’s appointment this morning went well. I have not made her go back to school for the hour and a half that remains of the day. I’m sure I should have, but… She’s very, very tired.

The doctor we saw was the same we saw last year. He says that she needs to be looked at by the sports medicine surgery people to see if they think she needs surgery. He didn’t actually use the word 'surgery.' He said, 'Go in and fix things.' I’m not sure if Cordelia registered that that meant surgery. He also referred her for physical therapy. I think I need to make the call to set up PT but that the sports medicine people will call us. Cordelia is barred from gym until the sports medicine people see her, and even then, only goes back if they say it’s okay to.

We talked to the clinic social worker about maybe finding lower cost transportation. I’m going to talk to friends and family first, but it would be nice to have a less expensive but still reliable option to fall back on.

We ordered delivery for lunch, Chinese food from a place we hadn’t tried before (It was 11:00; my choices were limited). The food was okay, but I sliced three of my fingers on the lid of one of the plastic containers as I tried to pry the lid off. Two of the fingers bled, and all three still hurt nine hours later.

I’m using the new bedside lamp that Scott bought me, but I’m not entirely happy with it. It turns on and off by touch and is easy to bump into. Even on the brightest setting, there’s not enough light to read except if I hold the book just so. Scott thinks that, if we can get the lamp a little higher up, the light will be better. I’m dubious. He had it on top of my alarm clock for a while, but that just meant I kept knocking it off. Scott has managed to retrieve my power strip and move it up on top of my table, so I can actually use it now, but I haven’t yet managed to plug in or unplug something without bumping the lamp.
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We got out of the ER a bit before 3:00 this morning. Cordelia was hungry, so we went to IHOP and got carry out. I couldn’t eat it then because of needing to take my thyroid medication and because of needing to be able to lie down and sleep.

Cordelia slept on the side of our bed where I normally do. Scott slept on the couch. I slept where Scott normally does. Having Cordelia sleep on Scott’s side of the bed isn’t an option because the space between the bed and the dresser is far too narrow for crutches (I can only get in and out sideways). I don’t think this will work well once the work/school week starts, but it was okay for last night.

Cordelia seems to be able to put weight on the bad leg without problems. She’s using crutches so that it’s not her full weight.

We don’t have an orthopedics appointment for her yet. I’m hoping we can get one quickly because pretty much everything is on hold until then. I will have to walk her too and from school for as long as she’s on crutches because she can’t manage her viola on her own. Leaving the instrument at school might be an option once in a while, but she needs to practice.

The only up side that Cordelia can currently see is that she’s scheduled to start gym a week from Monday. This makes it very unlikely that she’ll have to participate this year, either.

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