Friday, January 22, 2010

Happy Anniversary to me!

Two years ago today, a few months before I turned 45 years old, I had my hip fixed (January 22, 2008)! I had my right hip "resurfaced". It basically is a hip replacement but not quite as radical. I had been suffering terrible pain for a few years prior to my surgery. I had been experiencing different levels of pain probably a good 8-10 years prior to that. When I finally went to see the doctor for the pain, I was told I have osteoarthritis and that "I was too young to get a hip replacement". Too young? I remember tearing up in the doctor's office after he left, thinking, I'm going to have to wait until I'm "old" to stop being in this kind of pain? My whole life had come to a screaching halt from the pain. I couldn't walk without extreme pain. I couldn't get enough sleep at night because of the pain. All the things I had loved to do were no longer an option. My husband and I love to take trips on our motorcycle. We love to go to craft fairs, car & motorcycle shows, flea markets. I love to garden. I sell at craft shows. All of this requires walking and stooping and lifting, etc. My grandson was born in December 2007. I was looking forward to being a Grandma for the first time, to play with him, to babysit him, to pick him up and sit on the floor with him. My hip would have none of that! Just the everyday stuff of getting in and out of the car, going up and down stairs, grocery shopping, etc. became way too painful. Over-the-counter and prescription pain meds were really not helping anymore. I had even started taking prescription sleeping pills to try to get better sleep at night. Finally, I started doing some of my own research on-line about hip arthritis and found some information about "hip resurfacing". It's been around for awhile, but the old way had been discontinued due to problems with the devices. They continued to do the procedure over-seas. About a year prior to my surgery, the U.S. finally approved a new device and doctors started performing the surgery here again. I found a wonderful website and forum specifically for hip resurfacing, which I will reference at the end of my story. It is full of information. The website administrator also had the surgery, which prompted her to start up the site.

Hip resurfacing is basically going in with a metal device and "capping" the top of the thigh bone and then putting a cup into the hip socket. In a traditional hip replacement, a part of the thigh bone is removed and a different type of device is installed. With hip resurfacing, there is more range of motion and the chance of dislocation is less. Hip resurfacing is recommended for younger, more active people. I was back to work after one month, though it was more like 2-3 months before I started walking normal again. I remember thinking what the heck did I do to myself the first few days after my surgery. But once I got past the worst of the surgery pain, I could tell my hip pain was gone.

2 years ago today, I had my surgery. The surgery gave me my life back.

For more information on this surgery, check out this website!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

My Favorite Finds #12

Tried out a new recipe was good! We had a going away luncheon for a co-worker today and I found this recipe in a new cookbook I received for Christmas. It was awesome and it was a big hit at the luncheon. If you're counting calories, don't bother with this one!

1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
1 cup milk
1 (3 1/2 oz) package vanilla instant pudding mix
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup sour cream
1 (12 oz) box vanilla wafers
3 or 4 bananas, sliced
3 tablespoons chocolate syrup

In a large mixing bowl, combine the first 3 ingredients and beat 2 minutes, or until well blended. Refrigerate for 10 minutes.

In another bowl, whip the heavy cream.

Add the whipped cream and sour cream to the chilled pudding mixture. Place half the vanilla wafers in bottom of a 13x9x2 inch pan. Top with half the sliced bananas, half the pudding mixture and drizzle with chocolate syrup. Repeat each layer and decorate top with remaining chocolate syrup.

TIP: Toss the bananas with 1-2 teaspoons of lemon juice so they don't turn brown as fast.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

My Favorite Finds #11

After the Holidays - Reuse Your Christmas Tree for the Birds!

When my daughter and I were searching for birdfood recipes, we came across this idea to reuse your Christmas tree (real) after the holidays. I love the idea and what a great family project this would be!
"Before taking your Christmas tree to the recycling center this year, consider creating a backyard habitat for birds. To attract birds to your backyard, you must provide their three basic needs- food, water, and cover or shelter. Your old Christmas tree will provide excellent shelter for birds, providing protection from wind and predators. It can also serve as a feeding station, where you provide a buffet of food that our native birds love. Before taking the tree outside, remove all decorations and lights, including tinsel. To provide the most shelter possible for the birds, place the tree on the south or east side of the house, sheltered from winter's harsh north and west winds. Anchor the tree securely by setting the stump into the ground or a large bucket of damp sand, and securing the top of the tree with twine to nearby buildings or trees.
Decorate your tree with strings of popcorn, cranberries or raisins. Apples, oranges, leftover breads and pine cones covered with peanut butter then dipped in birdseed can also be added. For best results, push the edible ornaments well into the tree. Popcorn will be attractive to cardinals, finches and grosbeaks. Cranberries and raisins should attract cedar waxwings, finches and any robins wintering in the area.
Press suet into the branches or hang it in mesh bags such as those that contain onions and fruit in the supermarket. It is best to keep suet balls in the shade so they don't melt. Also, keep them high enough in the tree that dogs can't reach them. Pre-made suet mixtures, which include suet, bird seed and a variety of dried fruits, are available at most nurseries, garden centers, pet stores, or bird supply stores. To make your own suet seed balls, purchase suet from the meat department of your local grocery store. Mix birdseed and a small amount of peanut butter with suet while the suet is warm enough to be molded. One seed combination that is attractive to a wide range of desirable songbirds is: 50% sunflower seeds, 35% white proso millet and 15% finely cracked corn. Mold the mixture around a wire hook that can be used to attach the suet seed ball to the tree, or fill empty orange rind halves with the suet mixture and attach them to the tree.
Suet is especially attractive to insect-eaters such as woodpeckers, chickadees, and nuthatches and is a good winter energy source. Suet seed balls will attract juncos, chickadees, finches and native sparrows.
If you decide to start feeding the birds, be consistent with your feeding. Feeding birds in the winter results in their reliance on you for part of their diet, lack of this food during a severe cold period or storm could result in the birds starving to death before they can find another food source.
Even in winter birds need water to drink and to keep their feathers clean. A birdbath with clean water will attract many birds if the water is not frozen. Commercial immersion heaters will keep the water in birdbaths from freezing. They are available from many nurseries or bird supply stores. Providing for the winter needs of birds can result in many hours of entertainment, spent watching these beautiful creatures."


Happy New Year!