All this waiting for a Baclofen pump was a waste of time. I saw the neuro- physiatrist this week. I'm not an optimum candidate for the pump. So the pump is a big NO GO. He did suggest having my contracted Achilles tendon lengthened instead. Less invasive and a better outcome is predicted. He said surgery followed by therapy would strengthen and straighten the leg. It would eventually get me out of my AFO since I had the ability to dorsey flex and evert the foot prior to the cessation of Botox.
They'll set up the appointment for me, but it means more waiting. In the beginning, I'll have to do Botox again for the spasticity, but I should recover the use of my leg and foot with time and intensive therapy. I need to build the atrophied muscles up again before that can happen. So nothing new on that front except I'm facing a surgery I did not expect. I'm just over it all.
If the recovery takes as long to heal as when I ruptured my Achilles tendon on my functioning side, it'll be a year. I was in an air boot for 53 weeks prior to and after the last time. I've tried walking with the air boot instead of my AFO and it doesn't work, but I'll leave that for them to figure out.
But can you really blame me? I was so excited and now, I want this done so I can move forward. I want to be out of pain. I want to be able to move again. So in the meantime, I'm making plans for the coming year. Actually, I'm making adjustments to my five-year plan for the homestead. I've adjusted this original plan so many times, I should just write up a new one.
According to the original plan, we should be 75% self sufficient going into our third year since I moved here. Hahaha! Yeah, right. In reality by my calculations, we're closer to 25%. Does anything go according to plans? It's more like the diagram. It's never a straight line. If it was my living post stroke would be hugely different than what I've been experiencing now. One month post stroke, I had recovered myspeech, at least to make myself understood. I rarely spoke gibberish unless I was over tired. I was regaining full range of motion of my shoulder and arm. I could even move my thumb and index finger however slightly. My leg was strengthening to the point I was investigating a Walk-Aid to get out of my AFO.
If determination was the deciding factor, I was headed for a full recovery. Sure, I'd have some limitations from my stroke, but I'd have one of the lucky few that recovered after my ischemic stroke escalated into a hemorrhagic stroke who recovered almost all within the golden six months. But that's not my story. I wish it were. I'm on the squiggly line path to recovery.
Now, I'm more patient than I was six years ago. So my strokes did accomplish something other than be a bane of my existence. Living post stroke is more fun than a barrel of monkeys...not! I used to love that game. I think I managed to link was 10 or 11, but kept trying for 12. Living post stroke is similarly a nonstop challenge as neurons in the brain play leap frog around damaged areas to restore some sort of function. You may recover 11 (or less) out of 12 or rarely get a 12 out of 12. Nobody can predict the outcome.
My grandmother for instance, survived stroke after stroke. Seven in total over a 20-year period of time. After her first one at 76 years young, the only impairment noticeable was the AFO and cane she used. She was even well on her way to getting rid of her cane and AFO when she had the second one. Her arm was a little bit weaker, but she still gave fabulous hugs. Each progressive stroke took away more and more ( not without a fight) until she was bedridden, blind, and speechless at the time of her death at 95.
|Cara @ 8 weeks old|
Onward to homesteading plans...
The homestead plan for 2019 includes the angora rabbitry growth. With the addition of Lil Albert (buck) and Cara (doe), we now again have a diversified gene pool to start our pedigreed, English angoras program. I'm still looking for a fawn colored doe to be purchased in 2019 also. That will give us a firm gene pool to breed with for the optimum outcome (babies) that are well mannered (grooming), excellent woolers, and the right temperament. They will also be show quality which will command a premium price point for litters. At one point, I considered keeping 15 angoras in house. I'm settling on 10.
These are high maintenance animals. With seven now, it's almost the limit of our time. Each rabbit needs socialization at least twice a day for a minimum of fifteen minutes each. They need their free play time in the rabbitry which needs to be supervised daily. Does and bucks separately for obvious reasons. Who wants to be stuck in a cage their whole life? Especially when they have a 12x28 rabbitry to binky and scamper in, and fresh greens planted for their munching pleasure. They are groomed twice a week. It could be a simple blow out to remove humidity from their coat and a slicker brush through for tangles (15-30 minutes each)or the works (shearing, toenails, ears, eyes, etc- 3 hrs with breaks). During our one on one time, we are checking for runny noses and eyes, their droppings and urine, ear mites, fleas, and injuries.
Any troubling signs, the bunny is whisked into quarantine (smaller cage in the back porch) for closer monitoring. Mel and/or I will be with them except for a few hours each day until they are dead or recovered. So you can see why fewer rabbits is a necessity rather than the vision of 15 in house rabbits.
Growing our own poultry has become an imperative with all the avian viruses, hormones, antibiotics, and salmonella found in commercially raised chickens in the market today. This wasn't so important to us before Zaycon filed for bankruptcy and closed their doors. Sad to say, it's a sign of the times we live in now where family owned businesses are closing after decades of doing business. In the grocery stores, organic meats are readily available, but they are cost prohibited. Growing our own is the cheapest alternative.
But in 2019, we will be clearing and terracing another 1/4 of an acre. Three quarters will be designated for grain/hay/straw growth(lower tiers). The remaining cleared area will be set aside for future tiny house placements (upper tier). We figure to to start with and another one or two for the future. At least one of them, mine, will be set on a foundation rather than wheels to make access easier. It's 8x12. The only change I would make is switch the full sized bed
for a twin. It would give me more floor space. Drawer under the bed would give me ample storage and I'd be able to put my lift chair between my bed and the kitchen counter and a small desk/dining table off the bathroom side. At 102 sq ft of living space, it's all I could want or need. If I bought it on a trailer, it could be pulled by my van. This particular model has solar panels on the roof making off the grid capable. There's no room to fall. LOL Only mine will be my total expense plus things like the water, electrical and septic tie ins if needed.
We do a lot of cooking and stuff three seasons a year outdoors. It will take a bunch of bags of concrete to achieve this but it will be worth it. We can do as little as one bag at a time or ten there's no hurry making the patio. Nor is replacing the landing deck and stairs, we've got the decks and ramps on the other side that was built this year for outside access to the porch. Dismantling the old deck is a priority. This will be the do until the snow flies project at the end of this year. I don't think the wood can be reused, but we'll see.
We'll be building another pallet staging area for firewood storage (for 1/2 a cord of wood at one end of the patio. This will be handy for the grill, smoker, fire pit, and the wood stove. This is a get to it when we can project for 2019-20.
I also want to set up the goat pen area beside the barn/workshop. Or, at least map it out and laying in supplies. But it's definitely a 2020 project. As you can see, plans are being made for 2019. Whether they are completed or not remains to be seen.
Nothing is impossible.