Just Wow!

I’ve been trying to write a blog post to catch you all up on what has been going on with me since my last blog post in December. But 2020 clearly has some ideas of it’s own about how this party is going to go.

Even before all the excitement with this nasty virus took off, my life was a bit fuller than usual and my energy has been pulled in a number of directions. It’s a story involving cancer, chemo, concussion and a trip to Hawaii. Read on for the rest of the story.

Cy during first days of chemo treatment at VA.
Photo courtesy of Sean Branagan

I spent most of January and the first 8 days of February in Kansas City. I was helping out my younger brother Cy who started chemotherapy treatment the first week of January.

I’ve talked about Cy here on the blog before. He is a super talented and fun guy. He made me these beautiful crochet hooks one year for my birthday. He does all sorts of amazing wood working including chain saw carving. You can check out his videos of his work on his YouTube channel: DIY with Uncle Cy. His latest video is a Woodturning a Mushroom Box

Tiny House Staircase

I was staying in his tiny house while he was staying in his old room with his housemates. The stairs in the tiny house are quite steep with an interesting space saving half step construction. Cy hadn’t put in a handrail yet and that turned out to be an issue for his clumsy sister.

On February 4th I was coming down the stairs and fell. It was basically 8 feet straight down and at the end I hit my head on the edge of this plastic 5 gallon bucket. I was pretty shook up and banged up, but fortunately I did not break any bones.

30 minutes after my fall

At first I just needed to ice all my bruises and get the pain a little under control. A few hours later one of his housemates took me to the E.R. to get my head checked. I had quite a goose egg on the left side of my forehead and the swelling was down into my left eye. Despite the ice, my left eye was swollen closed a few hours after my fall.

After talking with some astounded doctors and nurses, then having a C.T. scan the conclusion was that I had a mild to moderate concussion with no broken bones. The doctors gave me instructions on pain management and recovery from a concussion and sent me home. The doctor who read the scan told me that I was the toughest 50+ woman he had ever met.

My big concerns were how I was going to drive home to Colorado 4 days later and if I would be able to take my flight to Hawaii as planned the following Tuesday. The doctor said I should be fine to fly, especially after a week, but he didn’t recommend that I drive all the way from KC to Denver by myself.

Fortunately my sweet husband saved the day. He took a flight to Kansas City that following Saturday and we drove back to Colorado together. Truthfully he did most of the driving and I slept. The bright sunlight was pretty painful for my concussed head, so I hid under my coat most of the way.

I was feeling quite a bit better by the time I had to go to the airport for my flight on the 11th. I looked scary as heck with my colorful bruised face, but the swelling had gone down significantly. I felt a little self conscious of all the attention it drew, but I kept reminding myself how happy I was to not be hurt worse and to be alive. When people asked me about the bruise I told them I had an argument with a staircase and the staircase won.

Hawaii was a great place to recuperate. Mel’s condo is just across the street from a wonderful little rocky beach area full of tidepools. I really enjoyed exploring the tide pools and watching the waves break on the rocks.

The sound of the surf lulled me to sleep at night and for my many naps. I had some seriously dark sunglasses that I wore over my regular glasses, so the bright sun wasn’t an issue when I was outside.

It was so lovely to be somewhere warm after the freezing cold I had dealt with in KC and Colorado. I loved all the beautiful flowers like the hibiscus above and the sweet scent of the plumeria blossoms below.

I had a wonderful time watching the busy little geckos that hung out on the lanai and in the garden. Their bright colors delighted me and they were quick and curious about everything.

As Mel says, “They are cute and they eat bugs, what’s not to like?” Mel teased me that I was becoming a crazy lizard lady instead of the crazy cat lady she always thought I was.

Though there were also cats to enjoy at her condo complex. They belong to the couple that manage the complex. The cats are a non-toxic way to keep rodent and bug populations down. They also hunt the geckos, but the little lizards learn to be very quick.

My truffles from Puna Chocolate Evening

There were loads of fun things to do on the Big Island even if some of my original plans had to be scrapped due to my mishap. One of my happy discoveries was that cacao is grown in the Hawaiian islands and in particular on the Big Island. Mel and I spent my last Friday evening at the Puna Chocolate Company learning to make truffles and tasting the many chocolates they make.

I brought home a few chocolate bars to share with my family and to remind me of the wonderful time on the island.

2 whales; calf’s back and mom’s tail.

My one adventure I didn’t want to scrap was going on a Humpback Whale watching cruise. Fortunately we were able to schedule an early morning cruise a week after I got to Hawaii and it was great fun. Captain Dan McSweeney’s Whale watching cruise was both educational and inspiring. We saw lots of whales during the 3 hours we were on the water.

All too soon my visit on the island was over and it was time to return to Colorado. I was almost completely recovered from the fall. My bruises were much less painful and almost all the discoloration on my face was gone.

It’s been a slow process as far as recovering from the concussion. I am still having headaches if I spend too much time looking at computer or TV screens. But the headaches are very slight compared to what they had been like during the first 3 weeks after the fall.

I am happy to be back working on crochet and other crafting designs. My original plan for late March of 2020 was to be gearing up for teaching more classes at various venues. Of course, like most all of my readers those plans have gone thru some big adjustments due to the Covid 19 pandemic. I’ll be posting on here and on my other social media when things are a bit more clear about when those classes will be available.

Currently I’m staying put on my mountain with my family. I’ll be working on getting some new crochet designs finished and some fun coloring pages drawn. Hopefully this long period of staying at home will also allow me to get some new videos completed for my YouTube channel. I love to teach and those are a great way to continue to do that, even if I can’t be with my students in person.

Take care of yourselves and each other. Together we can keep everyone safe.

4 thoughts on “Just Wow!

  1. Oh my gosh – I’m so glad your fall wasn’t worse! It looks awful and must have hurt so much. Prayers that Cy’s chemo is successful.

  2. My prayers for your brother.
    I have never been to Hawaii. I always wanted to go, but now at 81 I probably won’t get there.
    Beautiful pictures!

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