Monthly Archives: January 2018

4 Months

Yesterday marked the 4-month anniversary of my right hip replacement. My Physical Therapist had told me that I would probably see a big difference at 4 months, and I’m happy to say she was right!

In the last couple of weeks, I have experienced a big shift. I am stronger and my muscles have less pain after I use them for walking or standing, unless I over do it. I’m hardly using ibuprofen anymore. The scar is looking really good, so I’ve decided to change my daily massages with vitamin E oil to weekly. It feels like the internal scar tissue is also softening and healing, so my range of motion is better and there is less grinding around in there. My massage therapist says it feels much better to her too, and that is validating.

I was able to take a few 3/4-mile walks this week with no ill effects. It’s been 8 months since I’ve been able to do that. I can do side leg lifts, including the clam now, which I was unable to do at 3 months. Stairs are getting better all the time, but remain my biggest challenge. Tai Chi and Yoga are easier and less painful. I can do balance poses like Tree more easily and hold them for longer. Dancer is slowly coming back, but I can’t lean forward very far just yet. I’m stronger in my lunges and bent-knee poses, and the pain is less. I’m still loving my time in the pool the most and I suspect that will continue.

To celebrate my new level of healing, I went out and bought really good hiking poles at REI. I am hopeful that I’ll be able to do some hiking in the warmer months this year.

Leftie is still trying to decide what she thinks about all this. She is sore after too much walking or standing, but she is stable, maybe even a little better than last month. I am hoping she will hang on for me at least through the summer. I am so not ready to do this again.

I realize how much it’s taken out of me. My energy levels are still lower than my normal and I can only do so much in one day. I am getting better at accepting and surrendering to this reality and pacing myself accordingly. I believe this is the biggest part of my healing-honoring where I am and not pushing it. It’s good for me to learn this, though sometimes it is a hard teacher.

I sit and relax more than I ever have. I am better at asking for, and graciously receiving, help from others. And I am very grateful for all the kindness and support that surrounds me.

Today I moved out of my studio where I used to teach Yoga and Tai Chi. I haven’t done that since last spring and I still don’t feel ready to teach again. I also realized that the desire to have a studio and teach on any kind of schedule has left me. It feels like I am entering a new, more spontaneous stage. I can see doing these practices in the park behind our home when I am so inspired and inviting others to join in. But that feels like it may be a ways off yet. Teaching helped me both to deepen my own practice and to help others with theirs. I’m grateful for the time I was able to teach over the last 8 years. I’m enjoying my yoga room in our back bedroom and I do Tai Chi to wake my body up every morning.

Now we will see how my life unfolds from here. I’m enjoying more reading and writing time, and time to just be with Scott, family, friends, and myself. Perhaps, that is really what this whole Hip Adventure is all about…

Yoga Cat Purrs

On my yoga mat, I undulate on all fours

from cat to cow, cow to cat.

In comes cat, black and sleek,

slithering under my belly,

disappearing into my hair.

I smile.

He purrs.

A throaty, bubbling contentment,

like champagne,

tickles my ears, while

my hair

tickles his nose.

He is an effervescent miracle of Divine Love,

our beloved yoga cat.

Magic Meetings Part Two

Yesterday I wrote about the magic meetings between Scott and I, and Peggy and Bruce. After our coffee with Peggy and Bruce, we headed to the hot springs to soak with Marta and Larry. I promised I’d tell the story of the magic meeting that led to our friendship with them.

~~~

I met Marta in the mid-1980’s in a COBOL programming class. We were both Business majors at the University of Nevada Reno. Marta and I were partners in this demanding class which required us to write computer programs in the COBOL language, a language used for business applications. We spent many hours searching for elusive missing periods and errors in syntax that caused the program to crash repeatedly. Finally, often in the wee hours of the morning, we got the program to run perfectly right before the deadline.

Sharing this experience created a friendship and Marta came to my bridal shower and wedding when I was married in 1988. She was also married around this time. It seems like we lost touch some time after that as our lives moved in different directions.

In 2012,  I moved back to Reno after 20 years away. Shortly after returning, I was demonstrating yoga at a health fair. My partner at the time and I were teaching yoga at a training studio and they had a booth to promote their studio at the health fair. I was demonstrating poses and talking to people about yoga, when I felt a tap on my shoulder. I turned around and there was a familiar face surrounded by a cascade of brunette hair. “Rhonda?” “Marta?” That same laugh again, the one that is filled with both wonder and delight. We disappeared into a big hug and everything else faded into the background while we quickly caught up.

Now, what are the chances that we would end up at a random health fair with booths right next to each other after we had not seen each other in over 20 years?

We exchanged cards and parted with an agreement to get together soon. “Soon” happened about two years later when I needed Marta’s help with my mother. Marta works with the Center for Healthy Aging and runs the Philips Lifeline program. My mom needed a Lifeline to help keep her safe in her home. Marta came out to install it. This time we set a date for lunch. Since that date four years ago, we have grown closer and closer. Scott knew Marta from high school, so our friendship also reconnected them. And both Scott and I now know and love Marta’s partner, Larry.

We often go to the hot springs together where we share a membership. When we got in the pool yesterday, another member looked up and remarked, “Are you guys a package deal or what?”

We laughed, “Yes, we are!”

~~~

When I look back at these magic meetings, I am still filled with wonder, and gratitude. How did these old friends end up back in my life after a 20-year absence under such mysterious circumstances? We are even closer now than we were before. It whispers to me of the threads of heart that weave us together in the tapestry of Life. We always find one another again, when the moment is right. This I have come to trust.

Magic Meetings

Yesterday Scott and I took my cousins out to lunch. This is an annual event to celebrate their Birthdays. They were born on the same day. Later in the afternoon, we planned to meet our friends Marta and Larry for a soak in the hot springs about one hour south of Reno.

We had some time in between and found ourselves exploring the little towns of Gardnerville and Minden, which are essentially the same town. This is where my parents met when they were teenagers. We checked out the new Community and Senior Center in a beautiful building on the south end of town. We went to the cemetery where my family is buried and one of Scott’s Nona’s, Theresa. Then we decided a coffee sounded good and settled on a Starbucks on the north end of town. We pulled in and as we headed towards the door, who should pull in but our next door neighbors, Peggy and Bruce!

What magic in the Universe would have brought us all to the same Starbucks in a small town an hour from our neighborhood in Reno, at the same moment? If we had agreed to meet there, we could not have timed our arrival more perfectly. We all laughed and marveled at this amazing synchronicity. They had been gone for three days, celebrating New Years with friends in the South Tahoe area. We had been watching their cats and their home. They had also been wandering around exploring, slowly making their way back towards Reno. They decided, like us, to stop and have a coffee.

It reminded all of us of another magic meeting, the one that resulted in their becoming our next door neighbors. That’s a story worth telling. When you hear it, you’ll understand why we all shrugged as we sat down with our coffees, and agreed, “This is how it is with us.”

The story begins 27 years ago when Peggy, Scott and I all worked as computer consultants for the University of Nevada System Computing Services. This is how we met. Our working time together was brief, maybe only a few months. Peggy moved on to teach math. I went to graduate school in Florida. Only Scott remained, working there until he retired in 2013.

I eventually ended up in Colorado, moving back to Reno to be with my aging parents in 2012–20 years after I’d left. Scott and I had reconnected over email in 2008. When I moved, we started spending time together in late 2012 and fell in love. In the spring of 2013, he asked me to move in with him. He lives in a charming neighborhood near our city’s largest park and the University of Nevada where we both received our undergraduate degrees. I loved the neighborhood and was looking forward to living there.

I put my home, on the opposite side of town, on the market in March. It sold in one day! Talk about a green light from the Universe! I was drinking a glass of wine to celebrate when there was a knock on the door. I opened it to find a realtor who had two clients with her, a couple. I told them I’d already sold it and they were visibly disappointed. I asked them if they’d like to see the place, just to give them some ideas. I always figure every house you see is good information when you are looking for a home.

As we wandered through the house, I learned they had recently married and this would be their first home together. We were standing in the dining room area when the woman asked me where I was moving to and I described the neighborhood. She knew it well, including the street. “Who are you moving in with?”

When I told her Scott’s name, she cocked her head to the side and asked, “Rhonda?” In that moment it struck me why she seemed so familiar to me, but I couldn’t place her. After all, it had been 21 years since we had last seen each other. Suddenly, I knew! “Peggy?” We laughed–that same laugh. How could this have happened? The realtor didn’t have an appointment, didn’t know the home had sold, but decided to chance stopping by. In all reality, this magic meeting should never have occurred. But it did.

Turns out Peggy used to stay with Jana. Jana lives two doors down from us. Here’s another amazing coincidence: Jana and I were officemates for the 4 years I worked at the Computing Center! Now we are neighbors.

Anyhow, Peggy looked at me and said, “That’s where I really want to live.” She was still teaching math at the University and our house is within walking distance of UNR.

I said, “Well, this might be your lucky day. The next door neighbor just put a For Sale By Owner sign up in the front yard this week. I’d love to have you for a neighbor!”

The next minute the realtor was asking the address so she could look it up. The next day they were taking a tour of the home. The next month they moved in. And the rest is history. Peggy and I often connect with each other at just the right magic moments when we need to share something.

Even though we know this is how it is with us, we still marvel when it happens like it did yesterday and reminds us with such clarity, that there are mysterious, magic threads connecting us through space and time.

~~~

Tomorrow I’ll tell about the magic meeting that led to our friendship with Marta and Larry. That’s a good one too.