Archive for June, 2019

Big week

Sunday, June 30th, 2019

Flavia is happy I’m home in bed with her all day!

I started physical therapy this week, and will do it two times per week for the foreseeable future. Since I can’t put weight on the leg, it’s mostly about bending my knee, strength training, and reducing scar tissue. I love my therapist, and she’s only two blocks away.

I had several visitors! Angela, one of my fabulous managers, stopped by after work on Tuesday, and my long-time friend Pam came over Thursday evening. How nice to visit and laugh and get caught up on office shenanigans. Another woman came over for a consultation before going to La Paz, so I actually had a work meeting from my sofa.

I teleworked full-time this week – boy, does that make the days fly by. Even though I can’t travel, I have plenty to work on.  And John went back to work. Since I can get myself up/down now, I stayed home alone. He left water by the bed, brought my laptop/files, and left a sandwich made in the fridge, so I was all set. If I get out of bed, I make sure to have my cell phone in case of emergency. It worked just fine.

Teleworking has reduced my reading time considerably, but I did finish another book about Liberia that my friend Jim recommended, “Chasing the Devil” – a fascinating look at rural Liberia post-civil war. I also started Season 2 of “Big Little Lies” – Laura Dern is simply amazing.

Caretaker Mary

Sunday, June 23rd, 2019

Book and cat – my view in bed

Our good friend Mary flew out from Arkansas to take care of me this week while John was in a mandatory class at FSI – she was amazing! It was also so good to have a friend to visit and laugh with. She rolled me to my doctor’s office on Wednesday in my wheel chair (we did a trial run with John Monday night) – luckily the doctor’s office is only two blocks away, but it’s a long two blocks! (I tried pushing myself some – boy, it’s hard!)

I love my new doctor here, Dr. Debritz. They took out my stitches and said I’m healing nicely (he also said it looked like my surgery had been done “by the book, as expected from Harborview”). He reiterated that it is going to be a long recovery (sadly).

On the way home from the doctor’s office, Mary and I actually stopped at a little restaurant along the way and had a quick breakfast. And Thursday night, she and John rolled me a block over to Ris where we had a wonderful dinner. It felt amazing to be out in public again. I get tired easily, so we skipped dessert, but it’s nice to know I can get out a little bit.

I started teleworking half-days this week! It’s so nice to feel like I am contributing again. I also continued reading – I finished the excellent “House on Sugar Beach,” and also the fun page-turner, “The Wife Between Us.”

Mary left Friday afternoon to go back to Arkansas – we were sad to see her go! Even Flavia enjoyed having her here – Flavie actually let Mary pet her – this is amazing, since Flavie normally runs and hides if someone else is in the apartment – I told Mary she is the cat whisperer!

Today is the fourth anniversary of Mom’s death. I miss you.



Passing the time

Sunday, June 16th, 2019

Cute sea otter

The last photos I took in Alaska were of this cute sea otter – isn’t he adorable?!!!

I’ve spent the week reading and being nursed by John – he’s doing a great job taking care of me. He was able to telework this week so he could be home all day – what a godsend.

Flavie loves me being in bed all day!

I finished “Another America,” a book about the history of Liberia; “Savage Beauty,” an extensive biography of Edna St.Vincent Millay; “Baking Cakes in Kigali,” a charming book set in Rwanda; and “The Embassy,” a book about the role of the American embassy during the Liberian civil war. Now I’m on to “The House on Sugar Beach,” another non-fiction based in Liberia.

I got these gorgeous flowers from David and Alison this week – thank you!

Pretty flowers from David & Allie

An unexpected turn

Sunday, June 9th, 2019


Gorgeous eagle posing for me

We boarded the Liseron Sunday afternoon, May 19th – an old minesweeper with 20 passengers. The passengers and crew were fantastic, and everything had an outdoorsy, warm, luxurious feel to it. We were free to wander about the boat, hang out with the captain as he navigated, partake of drink/snacks throughout the day in the cozy salon. We had gourmet meals served around a big table on the back of the boat. Lovely! All as the Boat Company had advertised, and then some.

The Liseron is to the left of the huge cruise ship

The first full day we went to the Endicott passage to see the Dawes glacier – beautiful!

At the glacier


The second day, John went on a skiff to go halibut fishing while I went kayaking with another group.

Along the way we saw whales, sea otters, sea lions, seals, and eagles! Click to see all of my photos.

Fat loud sea lions

The third day I joined a group to go hiking – skiffs dropped us off on a little island, and no sooner had we started than I had a misstep and broke my tibia. They had to bring over a backboard from the Liseron to carry me out…they splinted my leg with life jackets and tied me to the side of the skiff (the one thing I really wish I had a picture of!) – I have some memory of the crew being waist-deep in the cold water to get me on the skiff, bless them.  An old man with a golden retriever let us use his dock – I laid there an hour or so until a tiny seaplane came to get me, John, and our luggage – I have no idea how I got into it since it wasn’t fitted for a medi-vac and I had to be sitting in the seat. They extricated me from the plane at the Sitka airport (where I got a blessed shot of morphine!), and we made our way to the emergency room there, where they realized the seriousness of the break. So onward to Seattle via medi-vac (alone – John had to follow on Alaska Air the next morning).

Long story short (somewhat), I was in the hospital with eternal rods and pins in my leg for a week while we waited for the swelling to go down. Then another surgery to remove that and put in plates. I was lucky to be at a great trauma center for the Pacific Northwest with a wonderful team of surgeons and hospital staff.

I was finally released from the hospital on June 3rd, and John and I stayed at the Westin for the week before flying home yesterday. That was a bit of an ordeal since I can’t bend my leg…I had three seats to myself so I could extend it. We finally made it back to the apartment – yay! It’s good to be home, and especially to see Flavia.

Thanks to family and friends for the calls, notes, flowers, and good wishes! I’m also especially appreciative to my great bosses and RCO colleagues who have picked up my work and allowed me to focus on healing.