I’m back. I didn’t intend to write here again after going so long with no inspiration, but I recently read a blog entry regarding labral tears and hip arthroscopy and started rereading my entries to kind of remember what I went through. I guess it reminded me that as much work as this blog was (even though I put minimal effort into it) it was fun and it’s really kind of nice to be able to go back and see what I was thinking back then. Yes, I can journal long-hand, but let’s face it — it’s much easier to save photographic evidence here and it doesn’t make my hand cramp up.

SO many things have changed since my last post:

1. I got a promotion and am now the director of my library. I’ve been in the position for almost a year now.

2. I’m back to running, although not back to my previous mileage, low as it was even pre-op.

3. I have done exactly two races since my surgery, and one was a MAJOR bummer. Stupid six miles.

4. Both The Boy and I got new cars this year — his due to an accident he had (he’s okay. Clearly, his car was not) and mine due to an accident my mother had which resulted in her taking my car and me buying a new one. Weirdly, or not, we both got newer versions of the same cars we had before. He got an updated Honda Civic and I got an updated Volkswagen Golf.

5. The Boy and I got iPhones last year. I was Android before and quite happy with my Samsung Galaxy S3, but I had never had an opportunity to have an iPhone (THANKS, U.S. Cellular) and due to a forced carrier switch, I got my chance. I have been with my iPhone 5s for a little over a year now, and…I like it okay. It’s definitely not love. I’m actually thinking of going back to Android when I’m allowed a new phone. The Boy had an old clam shell phone before and was totally fine with it, but decided to make the switch. He went with a 4s and is totally fine with it, but really only uses his phone for texting, pictures, phone calls, and some music and podcasts. He doesn’t check his email on his phone and hasn’t really downloaded too many apps.

6. Nemo was diagnosed with Addison’s Disease this year. I will blog about that at some point.

7. Nemo and Lulu are doing much better together and after some rough times (especially post-op) they get along most of the time. I think Lulu legit loves Nemo, even though she dominates him. Nemo would probably be extremely happy if Lulu did not exist.

Some things that have not changed:

1. I am still struggling with my weight.

2. I am still struggling with my body image.

3. I am still struggling with workouts and fitness in general.

I realize I never posted the rest of the summary regarding my hip arthroscopy and I feel that I really should. It’s important to put out there, even if it only helps one person. Even if it doesn’t, it’s good for ME. I realized when I went back and read the few posts regarding my hip that I feel so very much better now and am so happy I had that surgery. I’m not completely pain free, but I haven’t had nearly the kind of debilitating pain I was having pre-op. So that follow up post will be my first order of business here. I just have to find all those pictures. Sigh.

So, I’ll see how this goes. I may love it, I may hate it, and I’m giving myself permission to go with the flow. There will probably be a ton of dog pictures still, maybe some Garmin shots, maybe some knitting shots. Here goes nothing.


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Keeping Busy

I’ve clearly had a lot of what you might call down time the last couple of weeks. Yes, I have exercises from physical therapy I have to do every day, I have to use the CPM machine for 4 hours every day, and for the first week I had to use the CryoCuff for 3 1/2 hours every day, and I’ve had physical therapy and doctor’s appointments. However, there’s still a lot of lying around having machines do things like ice my hip and move my leg up and down.

So what have I been doing to keep myself from going completely bonkers?

I’ve been reading….

PicMonkey Collage

(Sticking to traditional books during daylight hours and switching to books on the iPad at night. *Love*)

I’ve been knitting….

PicMonkey Collage2

(in fact, I’ve been on a knitting rampage, so much so that my hands started to cramp up and I had to take a couple days off)

I’ve been journaling….


(No peeking!)

and I’ve been watching gobs and gobs of this show….

house of cards

[image source]

I’ve also been doing some work from home – answering emails, working on schedules, things like that.

Really, the first few days were a wash. I could not keep my eyes open for more than 30-45 minutes at a time. That was a bit frustrating, I think, for me and The Boy, but as the days have gone by that’s gotten much better.

The Boy has also done his best to keep me entertained (HOC came from him) by bringing home movies and such as well.

All in all, I haven’t been bored once. Kicking recovery ass, FTW.

Watch This

House Of Cards is a Netflix original series – only it’s a remake of a British mini-series of the same name that The Boy and I watched last year. So I guess not so original?? Anyway, both are worth watching. Check ‘em out!

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Hip Arthroscopic Surgery–Part I

I’ve been meaning to post about my hip surgery for awhile, but with all the preparation for the surgery, then the actual surgery, then the procrastination, well – it didn’t happen. My intention was to keep a daily log of my recovery. What’s that saying about good intentions? At any rate, I have a ton of stuff to relate about the pre-op weeks, the operation itself, and the post-op recovery, so this will probably end up being a multi-part post.

On February 14, 2013 I had hip arthroscopy in my right hip. An MRI had shown that I had bony protrusions on the socket of the joint and extra bone matter on the ball, as well as a labral tear in the joint itself. I also had (and still have) a cyst on the ball of the joint. The goal of the surgery was to reshape the bone on the socket, but possibly not the ball, as the cyst could cause fracturing. If the ball was too misshapen, however, the doctor would try to reshape it to the best of his ability. He would also repair the labral tear and remove any bone fragments that were floating around. He was also going to maybe tighten up the cartilage which would help reinforce the suction in the joint.

The weeks leading up to the surgery were intense. I was wrapping up things at work and preparing my staff for my absence, although I think that was more for my piece of mind than anything they really needed me to do. They are all professionals and extremely competent. And two weeks post-op, it’s clear that they barely need me, which is actually great. Yay for good hiring skills!

On the home front, I focused on cleaning and cooking a few meals to freeze, anticipating that I wouldn’t be able to cook for sometime. So far, this has worked out really well and we’ve also had the good fortune of having friends and family bring us food. I’ll talk more about that later.

We also made the decision to take Lulu to my mother’s house to stay for at least a week post-op. We thought it best since The Boy would have to do pretty much everything for me at least for the first few days, and it would probably be too much for him to deal with that, keeping up with housework, and taking care of two dogs. Since Nemo is very well trained and has severe separation anxiety, we felt it would be best to keep him with us. Again, I feel we made the right decision.

The day before the surgery a medical supply company delivered a continuous passive motion machine (CPM)


a CryoCuff

game ready hip 

(That is not me, obvi. I’ll try to get a picture of me in the actual contraption before I have to send it back.)

and the craziest looking crutches I’ve ever seen. 



The fact that the equipment was delivered right to my door was great, but beyond explaining the settings and how the equipment worked, the representative didn’t actually adjust the equipment to fit my body, aside from the crutches. I really should have asked, but my mind was so completely on cooking and cleaning that I didn’t even think about it until the day after the surgery when I was supposed to start using it. Turns out this particular rep has had several complaints from some of my doctor’s other clients. So next time I have some crazy surgery that requires crazy equipment, I will make sure to ask.

I also received a call from the surgery center the day before the surgery. I had been told that the surgery was scheduled for 7 a.m. but that it might change and the center would call me the day before. Sure enough, they pushed my time back to 12:30 p.m., asking if I could be there at 11 a.m. I was less than thrilled, since I couldn’t eat or drink anything past midnight (I ended up cheating just a *tiny* bit). The day of the surgery, however, they called at 8:30 asking if I could be there by 10. We ended up making it in by 10:15, since I still needed to shower and The Boy wasn’t even up yet.

Upon arriving, they signed me in, took my payment (holy spendy!) and after a short wait took me back to prep me. Sidenote: The Boy made me laugh SO HARD. I was so scared of “buying it” on the operating table, that I started to do the, “if I don’t wake up, know that I love you” thing, and he responded by saying, “knowing you, you’ll just explode all over everything and they’ll make me clean it up.” I said, “you’ll be so pissed at me you’ll forget to be upset.” It was actually perfect.

When they called me back, they had me take everything off and put on a hospital gown, a hair covering, and socks with grippies. I had to do the usual pee in a cup and have my vitals checked, and every time someone different came to talk to me they asked me to verify my name, birthdate, and procedure. They also let The Boy sit with me during this time. After a few minutes the doctor came in to tell me exactly what he planned to do and asked me again to verify what procedure I was having done. Then he initialed my right leg to show that he, too, had verified it. I then met with the anesthesiologist, who explained that I would be receiving a nerve block in addition to the general anesthetic and what I could expect from that. She told me it was time to start the anesthetic procedure and this was a good opportunity to say goodbye to The Boy. He kissed me and said, “don’t explode.” Classic.

They had already started the IV, and the anesthesiologist told me they were going to sedate me and then perform the nerve block. All I remember is someone asking me, “what do you do for a living?” and me laughing and saying, “I’m a librarian!” I must have been pretty goofy at that point, because the person laughed and said to someone else, “Ask her what she does for a living,” which the person did, and I was giggling helplessly by that point and repeated, “I’m a librarian.”

And that’s the last thing I remember before waking up.


Answer This

If you had surgery, would you be okay with having the procedure at a surgery center rather than at a hospital?

I was surprisingly fine with it, although my mother was NOT.

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This is a long story.

It all started with Twin Peaks.


This show was crazy popular when I was in high school. I never watched it. I wanted to, though, and felt bad that I had missed it. See, they didn’t have affordable things called DVDs where you could watch things if you missed them the first time around. There were VIDEOTAPES that cost hundreds of dollars and no one  bought them.

Also, I had a huge crush on Kyle MacLachlan (BLUE VELVET!!!).

The Boy and I started watching TWIN PEAKS a couple weeks before NYE. New Year’s Eve Eve I was looking up stuff about KMacL and found that he had a Jack Russell Terrier and I was looking up more stuff about the dog when I found her.

Mamie 2 (I’m pretty sure they recycle names at the shelter) was at the Chicago Canine Rescue, a place really close to where we live. She looked sad and pathetic and adorable. I showed her picture to The Boy. He said how sad and pathetic and adorable she looked and we went on with our evening. The next day he said he couldn’t get her out of his mind.

This was momentous. I’ve shown The Boy a hundred pictures of adorable dogs and he’s always, like, yeah, cute dog. So, you wanna watch more COMMUNITY?

(to which question the answer, of course, should always be YES)

The point is, a second dog has been on my mind for awhile. I even have a Pinterest board titled, “Are you Nemo’s future sister?”

When The Boy said he couldn’t get Mamie out of his mind, I gingerly asked if he would like to see her and he said yes. We called the shelter and the woman said that we had to fill out an adoption application and then we could come visit Mamie. She warned me that Mamie was really scared of strangers and might not even let us pet her the firsts time we met. In fact, it took 3 visits before she would let us touch her without being afraid, and then she LOVED us.

We introduced Nemo to her at the shelter the following week. Things went about as well as could be expected, considering Nemo’s freak out at riding in the car and being in a strange place and seeing strange people and OHMYGODTHESMELLS.

Then it was time to make arrangements for the home visit, which would basically mean they would deliver her to our house. For good.

The Boy and I expressed our misgivings and hopes and decided to move forward. We were already attached enough to have to at least try. Most people weren’t giving this poor dog a chance. We were the ones who would commit to her. And we would call her Lulu.

Things were okay at first. Then we realized just how not housetrained she was. Then she barked all night and we didn’t sleep and cleaned up pee and poop several times during the night. Then she wouldn’t poop or pee AT ALL for most of the next day.

Then she started going after Nemo. And he hid. From us.

Talk about ripping my heart out of my chest and making me watch while someone eats it slowly.

Things ebbed and flowed. There were moments when I thought, this could totally work!

lulu mirror

Then she would be naughty or try to bite Nemo or he wouldn’t come to the door to greet me and I would think, what the HELL did I do to my family? Then they’d both suddenly be interested in something and be adorable and I would be all, what am I freaking out about?

Nemo wants to eat Lulu

Then something else would happen and I would freak out all over again, and then she would do this:

lulu dancing

and my heart would melt.

Finally, Wednesday morning, shit got real. By which I mean, they both wanted to be with me in the bathroom at the same time, and that just wasn’t working. The Boy lost it, I lost it. Neither of us had slept. I was having a super stressful week at work. My hip hurt. I was so wound up from everything going on that I had started to vomit (not on purpose) and was starting to develop a heck of a migraine. We needed a break. We needed time to think and regroup. I decided to take her to my mother’s for awhile.

She’s having a stay at grandma’s now and we’re trying to figure out how to work her into our lives without having Nemo not be Nemo. One of the greatest pleasures of my life is coming home at lunch to Nemo and how he greets me. All the stress of the day melts away as I snuggle his puppy head. I can’t stand to have that go away.

It may be that Lulu needs to be in a home where she is the “one and only.” I just hope that we are able to come to a decision with love and patience and do what is best for everyone.

One thing’s for sure. I’m going to do my best to guarantee that Lulu never has to spend a night without knowing that she is loved and cared for again, even if that means she’s being loved and cared for by someone else. But I do still hope that she and Nemo will come to be friends, and eventually, she really will be Nemo’s sister.

Watch This

The premier of the second season of GIRLS! Gotta love how comfortable Lena Dunham is with her body.

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Where was I?

Wow. I actually had to go back and read my old posts to remember what’s been going on since then. Answer?


In a nutshell:

1. Pain in my right side turns out to be labral tear in my hip joint and I need to have surgery.

2. What do I do after I learn that I have a malformed hip joint? I run my first trail race.

Schiller Chiller

BOOYAH! Take THAT, injured body! You think you can keep me down?! WELL YOU CAN’T oh wait you can….

(BTW, I already signed up for next years Schiller Chiller. Yeah – it was THAT awesome. Even though they ran out of food. And water.)

3. Johnmas came and went.

holiday card final 2

Red heart  picmonkey.

I remember a time when I would have never sent out a holiday card with my mug on it. I don’t know what compelled me to do it this year, except maybe the size of the picture on the card made it okay? Also, I was having them printed at Walgreens which meant it would be on picture paper and I thought it would be weird to have it printed on picture paper without having a picture on it.

(That’s from NYE 2011)

The Boy’s birthday was fun. We had a small group of people go out to dinner and then enjoyed a few drinks more with an even smaller group.

4. IT’S 2013!

We did it J+S+N style. The Boy and I went out for New Year’s Eve Eve dinner, and spent NYE at home with The Puppy.

For NYEE dinner we went to Café Touché. I love this place. The food is good, the atmosphere is lovely, and it’s located in a great neighborhood not that far from ours. My boss gave us a gift certificate, so our entire meal was free and I was able to try some new dishes. The GC covered the whole tab plus a hefty tip.

The next night I made dinner and we hung out.

NYE 2012rev1

Kickin’ it cas, wearin’ my Hot Chocolate hoodie, snuggin’ with my dudes.

(and if you’re wondering, yes, the event suuuuuucked but I still had a great time. Also, the first definition from UD does apply in this case.)

We toasted the new year with some TJ’s Almond Creek. The Boy and I love this stuff. Admittedly, it’s no Veuve Clicquot (my fav), but it’s a great compromise for couples with one person who has a more, shall we say, developed palate for champers (guess who that is) and one who is not so picky.

2013 will be The Year Of Organization. This fall I organized my car and my handbag and it’s amazing what a difference it makes to actually know where your crap is. I want to make sure I know where ALL my crap is, in my house and in my office at work.

My only other goal is to bear what defines me in mind as much as possible, which is that I am a human being and I want to be that one thing to the best of my ability and I want to BE to the best of my ability.

5. We brought this little monster into our lives.

Lulu sleeping

This is Lulu. Holy crap. I have been wanting a second dog since we got the first one. I just have one question: What the f&@% was I thinking??

We found her randomly (I’ll tell the story when I do a longer post on her) at a Chicago shelter. She was rescued from a dog hoarding house where she lived with about 100 dogs. Sad. So sad.

But she is a handful. She’s currently doing a stint at the Crisis Nursery for Dogs, otherwise known as my mother’s house.

Long story short, she and Nemo don’t really see eye to eye, and her presence made Nemo hide from us and drove The Boy and me to freak the F out. We’re currently regrouping and trying to figure out how to handle the situation.

6. My right eye has suddenly started to see weird things. It’s like seeing a 3D image without the glasses. I’ve been to the ER and an ophthalmologist and the best guess is that it’s a migraine halo. Never had one of those before. Why, hello there, 40! I suspect it has something to do with numbers 1 & 5.

7. Oh, yeah. I also turn 40 this month.

Try This

Ice skating! If you haven’t tried it, you should. Losers.

Read This

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

Y’all can find/follow me on Goodreads at goodreads.com/spideygal


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Back To Work

Even though I’m not feeling a ton better (still a lot of pain in my right side), I have a lot to get done at work and it’s my late night, so back I go.

I’m really not sure what’s up with my side. Yesterday the doctor gave me a VERY thorough examination and said it could be:

1. Kidney/Urinary Tract infection

2. Ovarian cyst

3. Appendix

4. Muscle pain

So basically, she has no idea. I had a blood draw and they tested for a bladder or urinary tract infection and both look good. Now I have to go have a CT Scan. Ugh. I really, really hate this stuff.

Despite my discomfort, I still managed to read a good chunk of a book on web design that I have to read for work and take The Puppy for a 2.5 mile walk. Since it was good and chilly, I made him wear his sweater.


Yes, I’m that kind of dog mommy.

We walked to our local dog park, which was empty, so Nemo got to hog all the balls to himself.


All the cool dogs wear their ears inside out.

Then we walked back home and he crashed.


The last couple of weeks have been AWFUL for exercise, apart from walking Nemo. The pain in my side has left me with a complete lack of motivation. Every morning I set my alarm with every intention of getting myself up and to the gym, and every morning I just can’t wanna. This is the kind of situation that in the past would have left me really down on myself and I would have done everything possible to convince myself that I don’t belong at the gym if I can’t make myself go EVERY SINGLE DAY. Today, I’m making a commitment to myself to cut myself a break and just look forward to the day I feel well enough to get up and go.

And then I’m going to crush it. Or at least crack it. Or something.

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Cold–But Warming In Puppy Love

So this happened today.


Ugh. I knew it was coming and I guess I should just be happy that it came after a really warm weekend that saw me traipsing around the city.

Today, at least, I’m home sick (pain in right side suuuuucks) and my plans include reading a lot and taking The Puppy for a walk. Not too strenuous.

Rewind to yesterday! We took The Puppy on a three mile walk, watched CRIMSON TIDE, and went to see SUNDAY IN THE PARK WITH GEORGE at the Chicago Shakespeare Theater. As it turned out, we woefully underestimated the time it would take us to get to Navy Pier (where the theater is located) and we ended up being ten minutes late for the performance. Fortunately, we were seated not too long after we arrived and actually ended up with BETTER seats than we had originally been assigned. Score!

The performance was absolutely lovely. I’m so glad we ended up going. It was the last performance for this play and you could see the emotion in the actors’ faces as the play came to a close. There really isn’t anything quite like live theater. We’re going to try to get tickets to BOOK OF MORMON next. I’ve been wanting to see this since it debuted in New York and was hoping it would come to Chicago. It’s pricey, though, so we’ll see if the budget allows.

It’s funny how we get kind of locked into a routine and forget that the outside world exists. I don’t want to call it a rut, exactly, because I think that implies discontent. It’s fun being at home, all comfy and being with The Puppy, but I think it’s also good to experience the outside world occasionally. Before we moved to the far northwest side of the city (pre-marriage), I lived in a neighborhood on the north side called Roscoe Village. It was perfect because we could walk almost anywhere we wanted to go and if it was too far to walk, the train was really convenient. Now, we have half a mile walk to the train (not a huge deal, but it’s not a particularly pleasant walk) and our train line doesn’t drop us anywhere near our old stomping grounds. Guess we just have to find new ones!

Recently, The Boy and I purchased a new mattress. I’ve been meaning to write about our experience and how we made our decision for awhile now, so here you go.

We approached the process like any people who research stuff for a living. We did our homework. We looked at data on the different types of mattresses available and the pros and cons with each. As any librarian will tell you, reviews on mattresses are notoriously difficult to find. This website was a huge help. We narrowed our options down to two: memory foam (like Tempur-Pedic) and innerspring. We thought we were leaning towards memory foam, as all of the information we found indicated that it was the best type of mattress for allergy sufferers (I’m WAY allergic to dust mites) and it was supposed to last the longest. We went into the search with an open mind, however, and wanted to test out both memory foam and innerspring to see which felt the best.

Then we took a bike ride around our neighborhood, hitting three major mattress stores. We looked at Back To Bed, American Mattress, and Bedding Experts. We tested several innerspring and memory foam mattresses and finally decided that the one we liked the best, for price and comfort, was the Serta iComfort (don’t you love how everything is iSomething?), but we had a few other brands that we liked as well. We vetoed the Tempur-Pedic ones pretty much right away, because they were the most expensive of the foam mattresses, they never go on sale, they are the same price everywhere (anyone remember Saturn cars?), and nothing we read indicated that they were any better than any of the memory foam mattresses from other brands. We went home to do more research. After looking at reviews of the specific models we liked, we decided on the iComfort Insight.

We figured that as comfortable as we are with online shopping, we should investigate our options with going that route, as we didn’t feel we needed our mattress immediately and could therefore afford to wait a bit for shipping (this seems to be the biggest issue with buying a mattress online) if it meant paying a bit less overall. After looking at what seemed like hundreds of online mattress stores, we settled on US Mattress. There were a few factors that pushed us in this direction. Price was definitely one, although it wasn’t a significant savings. It seems that mattress joints will offer free stuff rather than do a deep discount on mattresses. We ended up paying around $1,000 for the mattress and box spring, which seemed about standard – a bit less than some, a bit more than others. However, we also got free shipping, a free bed frame, and $200 to use on other merchandise from the site, which has everything from sheets to pillows. We both chose a new pillow. I got a Natura Latex Foam pillow that acts like down because the latex is in pellet form. The cover is infused with aloe which they claim is supposed to make your skin soft, but I think it probably just smells good. I’m pretty sure The Boy got a Natura Latex one as well, but his is all one latex piece. Spoiler alert – I LOVE my new pillow. Hard.

To be honest, one of the things that pushed me over the edge with US Mattress is their “About Us” page, which talks about their commitment to social responsibility and specifically their donations to the Michigan Humane Society. What can I say? I get sucked in when companies at least attempt to give back to their communities, especially when it involves animals.

Overall, we were very pleased with the service we received from US Mattress. One negative was how long it actually took to get our mattress delivered. We were banking on two weeks, but it took more like three and a half. You know how sometimes you’re in a restaurant waiting for your food and all of a sudden everyone at the table feels like it’s been too long and your food should have come? That’s how this felt. However, after a couple of emails and phone calls, our delivery day was set and the delivery went pretty smoothly (they were a half hour early, but that’s better than being late, I guess).

As far as the mattress goes, it’s taken The Boy some time getting used to it. It’s definitely a different sleeping experience. There isn’t the “give” that you have with an innerspring and that seemed to give him some trouble in the first couple of weeks, but I can honestly say that I can’t remember having slept this well. With our old mattress, I would routinely wake up with one or both of my arms having gone numb from pressing against a bad coil or from the piping on the edge of the mattress pressing into my arm, and that problem is non-existent now. Also, there is a bit of a “breaking in” period and while the mattress is nowhere near what I would call soft, it definitely doesn’t have the immediate feeling of, “I’m lying down on a soft rock” feel that it initially had. Even when it was at its firmest, though, once my body eased into the memory foam, it felt glorious.

One of my friends said that she had heard of some couples having trouble with, um, “intimacy” on memory foam mattresses and the Sleep Like The Dead website actually has data about this topic. I can happily report that we have had no issue whatsoever in that department. Whew. I will say, however, that if your activities typically involve the need for a lot of bounce, don’t get a memory foam mattress, or resolve to express yourselves in some other part of your home. This is definitely NOT the mattress for you.

And on that somewhat awkward note, my mattress review is concluded. And now on to this….


….and snuggling with my little guy.

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