I'm still here! Yesterday was my birthday and I spent it in a low-key way. We were visiting Ian's parents for Easter and Ian's mom made me an angel food cake with an Italian frosting (sugar at the soft ball stage poured into egg whites beaten to soft peaks) so that I could have a cake without any saturated fat. I was touched and pleased that she went to all that trouble to make the super-delicious cake for me. Ian's mom even modified her usual hot cross bun recipe to reduce the saturated fat for us so that we could enjoy more of them.
I spent most of my birthday sitting around and being a bit lazy. I'm ok with being lazy :) I'm finding my days a bit busier what with all of the lymphedema physiotherapy appointments and exercises. The appointments take about an hour and a half out of my day twice a week and the exercises themselves take about a half hour to do, after which I'm supposed to lie down and relax for a few minutes to a half-hour - the longer the better to allow the lymph fluid to move around and settle after its been stimulated by the exercises. The relaxing time after the relaxing, slow exercises usually results in a relaxing nap that lasts until Ian calls to tell me he's coming home.
I'm still trying to get other things done but I'm also trying to not overwhelm myself. I'm getting up early (for me) most days with the appointments and metalsmithing once a week and other appointments. I feel like I'm on the edge of too busy but I haven't gone over that edge.
At least the physiotherapy and exercises seem to be helping the lymphedema. We've started wrapping my fingers as well and they're definitely slimming down; Ian even commented recently that my arm looked smaller. I don't love the bandages but I found a cream that makes my arm itch so much less under them that they're much more bearable than they were. The nurse at the clinic where I get my port flushed gave me samples of Sween 24 and it worked like magic! It absorbed really quickly into the skin and it really helped reduce the irritation and itch. I highly recommend this product.
If it sounds like my life is all lymphedema all the time... it is, kind of. I'm aware of it all the time whether I'm wearing the bandages or not.
Gozer is very happy. The snow recently melted in our backyard and exposed the chipmunk trails from their burrows under the snow. She decided to roll around in them yesterday and got herself completely filthy so ended up with an unexpected bath yesterday. She's getting groomed tomorrow and we'd hoped to not have to clean her before that. She doesn't mind getting the eye drops nearly as much as she did at the beginning: we don't have to hold her still anymore. Yay!
I've also finally given in on the "Gozer on the bed" issue. I wanted Gozer to be able to come on the bed and nap with me when I get to a point where I sleep a lot. Ian pointed out to me that I'm nowhere near that point and it won't be at all difficult to get her to come on the bed at that point. So I'm going to work on being firmer with her and keeping her off the bed.
Part of the reason for keeping her off the bed is to show her that I'm ahead of her in our pack heirarchy. She's not all that well behaved these days, what with barking at other dogs, showing no leash respect, not always coming to us when we call her, and jumping up on all furniture, and we want to train her to be better behaved. We'd like to take her to a dog park because she likes other dogs and clearly wants to play sometimes but can't on a leash. However, because she won't come to us when we call her, we don't think we have enough control over her to take her to the park. We figure that setting me up as a pack leader over her will help to train her out of her bad behaviours and to get control over her so that she can meet other dogs at the park.
On another topic, Ian's asked me to work on putting away my fabric and he's willing to help me do it on weekends. So starting next weekend, we're going to start working on the fabric. This way, I can start looking at doing some sewing in my sewing room. I really want to be sewing (especially once I get the lymphedema compression garments and don't have to be bandaged) but to do it, I need to get some of my fabric put away. I at least need to go through the fabric I might use for a particular project before I start working on that project!
Finally, almost all of our pepper seedlings are growing! Our first batch didn't grow, probably because I didn't water them enough, but after we set up a second batch both batches sprouted. About three-quarters of the seeds from both batches have sprouted and are growing their true leaves, which is a pretty good success rate for peppers, I think. Ian transplanted the seedlings into root trainers today and we'll see how many survive that process. We really only need ten pepper plants (two of each of the five types) and we currently have, let's see, 90 divided by five is 18 of each type.
Anyways, that's about it for me. Written all out it seems like a lot, doesn't it? It's only because it's been much too long.