“BREAKING MY LEFT WING: Day 4 –Training My Fingers by Tickling the Ivories”


Wednesday, February 8

TMI Sports Medicine

Piano. A simple, five-letter word. For at least four years, now, mine has waited by the staircase, like a wallflower at a high-school dance, for me to set down my laptop and pay it some attention

“Stupid computer,” I could almost hear it whine. “You pay more attention to it and even take it places. You never take me anywhere.”

“I’ll get back to you. But, first, I have lessons to plan. Papers to grade. Classes to teach. Books to write,” I said, as I glanced up from my Mac or iPad. “Sit tight.”

On Monday, February 6, one month after my surgery, things started look brighter for “Mademoiselle Piano”. As I was squeezing the hand-gripper in therapy to strengthen one finger at a time, I remembered that neglected piece of furniture standing by our staircase. So I went home, cleared off miscellaneous stuff from it, slid back the cover, and reacquainted myself with it to my heart’s content. As a kid reuniting with a favorite, old toy, I played every song on it that I could remember playing before, even though I knew I would be rusty. Having played by ear since my sixth birthday when Daddy surprised me with an upright piano, I had already developed an extensive repertoire; it was simply a matter of brushing up and letting muscle memory take over from there.

This morning, when I went to my Wednesday session at TMI, I was surprised at how much stronger my ring finger was when I pressed the gripper. Even my little finger pressed down a teensy bit more.

Of course, there were other exercises, as well. I stretched my neck to the right. Flexed my elbow, wrist, and fingers.Pushed hard against a door jamb with my balled-up fist. Tucked my chin. Tightened my shoulder blades. Stood with my back to the door jamb and pressed back hard against it with my elbow. Leaned over the table and, with my left arm hanging, and, in a hula-hoop motion with my hips, swiveled them first in one direction and then the other.

As the next to last activity for the day, before she applied ice to my shoulder for ten minutes, Shelby massaged my  biceps and encouraged me to do the same at  home.

“They’re really tight. You will need to massage them often,” she cautioned.

Although I’ve noticed a lot of improvement, starting with one of the most important ones: wrapping my left arm, as well as my right one, around Jeff, I know I still have a lot of work ahead of me before I’m fully functional, as in able to wash my own hair and take showers unassisted.

Something else has started happening as I’m preparing to sling my sling. When Daniel told me I could take off my sling around home, I immediately flung it off and going without it, nearly all day. Over the past four weeks, the same sling that made my shoulder and arm feel secure before and after my surgery, has really started bugging me. Early mornings are the worst when it gets all twisted up and pulls heavily at my neck.

I’m chomping at the bit to fling my sling, but Daniel and Shelby say I’ll have to wait another two weeks. According to them, my orthopedist has to run another set of x-rays to determine my progress and the magic day  I can face the world  sans sling. Then,  I will begin Phase Two of my therapy.

Coming up after a brief break, the next step in my journey accessible on your favorite form of digital communication.

So, to those who have ever suffered a fracture, what part of your  body was involved, and  what was involved in its rehabilitation? I’d love to hear from  you!

If you have enjoyed this post, please scroll down and hit “like” at the bottom. I love to see comments. Until then, have a great weekend and be careful.

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“Breaking My Left Wing: Reporting for Rehab-Days 2 and 3”


Friday, 2/3/17  Day 2

TMI Sports Medicine

Well, after having lived through Day 1 and practiced all seven exercises from the handout Shelby, the  PT student gave me, I showed up at the gym medicated to the gills but nonetheless sparkly-eyed and ready to go.

“How have you felt, today?”

“Can’t complain,” I said. “In fact, I turned another corner today.”

“Oh? What did you do?”
“I managed to put in my left earring with my left hand,” I  gloated.

She sucked in her breath. “Hey, great!”

After leading me to a table, she asked me to show her the exercises I’d been assigned to do, as we chatted about this and that.

Soon, she was placing a much-deserved ice pack — my reward for work well-done — on my shoulder and helping me lean back.

“Is Daniel here?” I asked.

“Sure, he’s right over there. Let me go get him for you.”

Within minutes, he came around and, after more friendly chit-chat, stretched my arm as gently as he could. Although it was a minor “owee”, I took some deep breaths and made it through. It was a small price to pay to regain full use of my left arm. My spirits were soaring because after Jeff and I finished our therapy sessions — my PT at TMI and his EECP at Legacy Heart Center — we would head out for a day at the Fort Worth Stock Show.

At last, after the machine he was attached to stopped and the assistants freed him from the straps that held him down, we struck out for the stock show where we strolled the cattle and pig barns, shared a jumbo corny dog slathered with mustard and a large iced tea, before checking out the general exhibits. Best of all, we benefitted from some badly-needed exercise.

As we walked, Jeff was impressed that I was finally able to take his hand as we walked, something I had not been able to do up until then.

Between Days 2 and 3, I reached yet another milestone: applying mascara to my left eye with my left hand without winding up looking like a Picasso painting. I could hardly wait to report my progress to Shelby  on Monday, February 6.

Monday, February 6 

Day

This time, after putting me through my “paces”, Shelby raised the bar a couple more notches.  This time, she handed me a pair of hand-grippers that athletes use for strengthening their hands and fingers and asked me to use each finger at a time as I squeeze it. When we noticed that that my ring finger and little finger were barely cutting it by themselves, she asked me to use both of them.

“Don’t worry. We’ll be helping you to further strengthen your fingers.”

An “aha!” moment flashed in my brain.

“Would playing my piano help my fingers?”

“You know, it just might.”

“Good,” I said, grinning. “I haven’t played my piano in years, but I’ve been dying to pick out a song I’ve been hearing on Pandora.”

For my  last exercise, Shelby led me to a door where she directed me to ball my fist on a wash rag against a door jamb, push as hard as I could, and count to twenty. Once I finished, she had me turn around and so that I was facing the other way with my elbow touching the cloth. This time I was to push as hard as I could against the door with the back of my shoulder.

Soon, Daniel came around and stretched my arm while I was chilling with ice on. my shoulder. Bracing for another “owee”, I was pleasantly surprised when it didn’t hurt like it did on Friday.

“Okay, that’s it. We’ll see you next Wednesday,” Shelby said, leading us to the checkout desk.

I caught their attention one last time. “I will definitely play my piano when I get home.”

Each of them gave me a thumbs-up and waved good-bye.

When we returned from Jeff’s therapy, play the piano, I did. Thank God for muscle memory. Although years without practice had caused me to be rusty,  I sat  down and picked out the tune and accompanying chords to Leonard Cohen’s  “Alleluia” on a piano badly out-of-tune. Regardless, I was ecstatic.

“Wow, babe,” said Jeff, as he came out of the kitchen. “That sounded  really good!”

“And would you believe this is the first time I’ve played this song?”

Once again, I turned one more corner by removing my sling and leaving it off for the rest of the evening, as my PTs said I could start doing.

Every step I’ve taken, so far, has been a step forward. When I return, next Wednesday,  I can’t wait to tell them what all I’ve accomplished since I was there, today.

Stay tuned for Days 4 and 5 in my continued journey to recovery coming on February 15 and 17.

If you enjoyed reading this post, please scroll to the end and click the  “like” button.

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“Breaking My Left Wing”, Part 4: “Reporting for Rehab–Day 1”


January 30, 2017

TMI Sports Medicine

10:00 am

“Drop and give me fifty, grunt” snarled my physical therapist, spittle dripping from his chin. “On the double!”

I quivered. I cowered. I rolled into a ball.

“P-p-please. D-d-d-on’t h-h-h-urt m-m-e,” I whimpered.

“You helpless puddle of poo. You disgust me,” he said, upper lips curled, as he kicked me in the side with his steel-toed combat boot.

I was afraid I would surely die until, lo and behold, a miracle  happened:  I woke up.

Yes, the big day had arrived, at last. As I brushed my teeth, my every nerve pinged with excitement.From here on out, I would eventually get to sling my sling after  completing  the prescribed number of  sessions . Meanwhile, Facebook friends who had undergone physical therapy for on various body parts regaled me with “war” stories. Despite  tales from the trenches  from other PT “vets”, I resolved, then and there, that my experience would be different. 16266230_10210422592714845_5765612115168230575_n

Jeff and I arrived fifteen minutes before my ten o’clock appointment. Again, my nerves began tuning  like an orchestra before a concert. My eyes trained on the entrance to the therapy room; any  minute, someone would call my name.

Unlike the part of the office reserved for people waited fifteen minutes — and then thirty, forty, and so on –for someone to call them back, I waited, maybe,  twenty minutes at the most. As specified by my paperwork, Daniel would be my therapist. So when I heard a feminine voice say “Kim?”, I was surprised to see a young woman who appeared to be in her twenties.

“You don’t look like Daniel,” I told her as Jeff and I entered the therapy room, set up like a fitness gym. She laughed.

“No, I’m *Sara, one of the students. I’m just going to lead you through some exercises to see what you are able to do, right now.”

Now, it’s  important for you to know that I was so excited about the  procedure that I really didn’t catch her name, thus the asterisk beside the name “Sara”. It is also crucial to remember that I really don’t remember her exact words, only their essence.

My husband and I followed her into the gym where she directed me to sit up on one of the padded tables, asked me some questions about my pain tolerance and when I took my last pain pill. Then she led me through seven range-of-motion exercises:

  1. Wrist Active Range of Motion
  2. Elbow Passive Pronation/Supination
  3. Active Hand/Finger Gripping
  4. Passive/Active Assisted Elbow Flexion
  5. Upper Trapezius Stretch (Stretching the neck muscles)
  6. Cervical Retractions (Chin Tucks)
  7. Scapular “Clock” Active Motion (on the shoulders)

She also measured the distance I was able to move my left arm away from my body.

Well, as she directed me through the various routines and told me that these exercises, performed in ten reps each, twice a day, would also be my homework, I felt elated that I could easily do them, particularly the hand and finger movements and tried not to sound boastful when I reported that I already used all ten fingers to type three out of four blog posts since the date of my surgery. I was feeling pretty darned good — for awhile, that is, until the warm room started spinning, and I broke out in a cold sweat. Raising the head of the table, Sara eased me back against it and ran to get an ice pack which she applied to my shoulder.

“Does this happen to other people?” I asked. “I’m not the only weenie, am I?”

“Oh, no,” she assured me. “Since you’ve just taken your pain meds and are obviously excited about your first session, it is perfectly normal. I’ll tell you what — we’ll let this be it for today,” she said, handing me two sheets of paper with photos and instructions for completing my homework and walked Jeff and me up to the front to set my next appointment time.

All in all, even though today was only the beginning of Physical Therapy “boot camp”, I came out of there feeling not only thankful to have completed my first session but, also,  pretty proud of myself. Within the three weeks since surgery and even the hellish second week of 2017 when I hollered a lot from the pain, I knew I had come a long way within a relatively short time period.

Last Wednesday, not only did I get the staples removed from my shoulder incision, I also got to ditch the stabilizer  that weighed down my sling for two weeks. Jeff and I had even been able to take little outings where we walked around. What’s more, I have already been able to  slack off on my meds since last Wednesday after the PA said I no longer needed to take them around the clock, but could take them on a PRN — Latin for pro re nata or “as needed” — basis. While I still need my Tylenol with codeine “fix”, I have just about cut out the need for Tramadol which I had taken regularly, four hours apart, since I got out of the ER on New Year’s Day.

My next session is this Friday, February 3. I expect Daniel will be back to put me through the paces and to see how well I have done on my homework. I, for one, intend to be one of his biggest success stories. Tune in for “Breaking My Left Wing: Reporting for Rehab — Day 2” coming to a computer, tablet, or Smart Phone near you.

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“Breaking My Left Wing”, Part 3: Ramping Up for Rehab”


January 25, 2017

TMI Sports Medicine

I’ve known, for two weeks, that I would have this to go through. On Wednesday, January 11, the  day after my surgery, Dr. Seroyer told me he needed to see me in two weeks to do a dressing change. He said something about therapy. What I did not hear him mention was snipping out nineteen staples he had used to sew up my shoulder.

This morning, after another set of x-rays and a long wait afterwards that sent my Lifetime Movie Network imagination down a rabbit hole, the doctor strolled in and pulled up the x-rays.

“Your  x-rays looked excellent. Ready to get your stitches out?”

“Am I ever!” I said. “The sooner, the better.”

Up to two weeks ago, I’d had only one other surgery in my life and a set of stitches on the top of my head. Although I had dreaded their removal, they only tickled a little when an aide removed them with bandage scissors. But those were merely stitches sewn with surgical thread. These rascals, on the other hand, were industrial-strength staples. Like inHome Depot staple gun.

“Okay, I want to see you back in a month. And you’ll be starting therapy here on Monday,” said the doctor, flapping an appointment card into my hand.

When Lisa, the PA, started removing them, I sucked in my breath. Cringed. Winced, even. In fact, I was such a weenie that I reminded myself of the little “piggie” who went “wee-wee-wee all the way home”. Only, in my case, it was more like “owee-owee-owee!” as I endured the nineteen hard pinches and as many sharp nips.

Deep breaths, Kim, I told self, until I heard the last staple go ker-plunk into a cup.

After swabbing my incision with iodine and applying steri-strips on it, Lisa removed the wearisome stabilizer that had held Dr. Seroyer’s handiwork intact and slipped back on the sturdy sling.

“What do you want me to do with the stabilizer?”

Burn it,” I spat.

“It’s yours, you know. You can do whatever you want with it.”

On the way out, we stopped at the Physical Therapy window to set the first appointment for ten o’clock on Monday morning. As I walked out to the car with my husband, I felt as if I had been handed a whole new start. For the first time since eleven o’clock p.m on New Year’s Eve, I would once again be able to take showers, again, instead of settling for sponge baths. Shampoo my hair. Apply eye make-up. Wear “human” clothing. And sleep in our bed, again, instead of the recliner.

Most important  of all, I’ll finally be able to wrap both arms around Jeff who has been selfless in his caregiving.

To come in Part 4, the final and most rigorous step in my journey: therapy. The “given” is that I’ll go twice a week for one hour per session. The number of weeks I will have to go is up for discussion between my physical therapist and me. The number of weeks I go remains to be seen.

Bottom line: pain sucks. Although I have managed to adapt to the situation, and  learn shortcuts and “workarounds” during my recovery, I am all packed and ready to return to the land of the “functional “.

 

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Breaking My Left Wing, Part 2: “Under The Knife”


January 23, 2017

As I continue the saga of “Breaking My Left Wing”,  I’m typing with only the fingers of my right hand. Not the usual rhythm nor energy I prefer, but I have stories to tell. This is only Part 2, “Under The Knife”.

Rewind to almost three weeks ago: Monday, January 9, 2016.

There we sat in an examining room at TMI Sports Medicine, waiting to see the orthopedist, as per the discharge instructions from the ER attending. The rub was that the doctor named in the orders was not in the hospital’s network. So the phone rep lined us up with another one: Dr. Shane Seroyer.

Up to that point, I’d managed to do more and more, even using all ten fingers on the computer keyboard, only for my bum shoulder to growl, “Give me codeine. NOW!”

Other than a lightweight sling with little to no support and pain  in my shoulder and upper arm that still made me holler at the slightest touch, I guess I expected to hear that my arm was healing and that nothing further would be required.

Wrong-0 de-dong-0.

First, the PA bustled in and pulled up the x-rays, pointing at the area in question.

“Yep, here you go. Multiple breaks in both the upper arm and the shoulder. You’re gonna need surgery.”

BONG. I gasped as my stomach did somersaults before plummeting to my toes.

“S-s-surgery? W-w-when?”

“Tomorrow.  Probably around nine or ten. Keep in mind that several days have already gone by.  The longer you wait, the worse off you’re gonna get.”

After Justin ducked out, the doctor slipped in, introduced himself, and outlined the plan of action: I was to have nothing to eat or drink after midnight, but I could take my Synthroid, as usual, in the morning. A team would prep me for the outpatient procedure, give me “happy drops” to make me drowsy, and then wheel me into the operating room, fit a mask over my face, and he would implant a metal plate and some screws after making a single incision in my shoulder before closing up, delivering me to Recovery where I would sleep off the surgery for about four hours before being returned to my room and my husband.

“Do you have any questions for me?”

“Will you actually be the one doing the surgery?” I asked, calmed down by his competent but caring manner.

“Yes, ma’am,” he said. “See you tomorrow, Mrs. Schwarz.”

That afternoon, I texted family and friends to ask for prayers, as I dealt with the shock that I — a woman who turned into a weenie at the thought of going  “under” and being sliced open –would go into surgery in less than twenty-four hours.

That night, I petitioned God to watch over me during the procedure and admitted to being slightly scared. He stroked my forehead.

“Got you covered. Now go to sleep.”

“But the doc’s gonna put me under!”

“Have you forgotten that major surgery I brought you through twenty-one years ago? You know, the one where your family hung out in the waiting room for four hours?”

“Oh, yeah,” I said. “That brain-tumor surgery that had everyone wondering whether I’d come out with my head on straight.”

He nodded. “That would be the one. This procedure you’re so worried about is outpatient surgery that requires only one incision and only about an hour and a half — on your time zone, not mine, that is. Soon after, you can go home with that husband I gave you, three years ago.”

“But, Lord, what if –?”

“What if what, my child?”

“Jeff and I watch Code Black and Chicago Med. Stuff happens. People die!”

“Trust me. Go to sleep.”

Soon after, I yawned and closed eyelids grown heavy.

Tuesday, January 10, 2016

Next thing I knew, my alarm was going off to the time I had set: 6:30 a.m. I had managed to sleep quite soundly. After dressing in something comfortable, Jeff helped me ease into the front seat of the car and fastened my seat belt before he slid behind the wheel and headed down the street to Medical City Arlington — the same hospital where he bid adieu to a diseased gallbladder — and Lisa, in Admissions where we filled out all that really fun paperwork before she issued me a bracelet.

Minutes later, a nurse  escorted me to the Surgical Suite. This time, as she opened the door and took me to the room where I would await my turn in the surgical queue, I felt uplifted. Energized. I was ready to quit hurting — the sooner, the better.

Under her direction, I donned what I called my “Jiffy Pop Ensemble” — a blue gown and cap appearing to be decorated with aluminum foil. Garbed in the strange, new get-up,  I crawled onto the bed and let Nurse Lisa put some non-skid slipper socks on my feet before injecting a numbing medicine in my arm and asking me a battery of questions.

“You’ll find yourself answering the same questions by about four people, before it’s all over,” she added.

True to her word, each member of the surgical team– the OR nurse, anesthesiologist, and the surgeon — did indeed ask me the same questions and inspired my confidence in them until the big moment came. The anesthesiologist inserted a needle into my inner arm like liquid silk.  After Jeff bent down to kiss me, I slipped “under”.

It seemed  like only a few minutes when I awoke to someone shutting cabinets and looked around. I was numb  from shoulders to waist. A mound underneath my  gown resembled a the pregnant belly of someone carrying sextuplets and, although I knew it was still there, I couldn’t feel my left hand. Must be that nerve block the nurse told me about.

“Oh, hey, there. You’re awake!” said a young man wearing a cap and scrubs.

“Um…yeah. Where am I?”

“You’re in recovery. We’re gonna take you back to your room in a bit.”

As someone wheeled me back to the room where Jeff greeted me with another kiss, I marveled that I had no memories of the dreaded operating room. No cold, hard, table. No  mask over my nose and mouth.

No memory a’tall, I thought, with a grin. How cool is  that?

After Lisa got me settled, I received a snack of Sprite and crackers which I  managed to hold down. I peed. I belched.  An hour later, I got to go home wearing some big-honkin’ sling/stabilizer contraption intended to protect the surgeon’s handiwork, enough painkillers to fell a Clydesdale, and a metal plate and nine screws (which removed all  doubt that I am officially screwed-up).

Back at home, that evening,  I napped on and off on the couch with my feet in Jeff’s lap and our trusty dog perched somewhere in between.When it came time for bed, Jeff situated me in the recliner, as the nurse recommended. He stretched out on the couch so he’d hear me when I needed anything.

“Thank you, Lord. Y’know, for guiding my team and me through the surgery.”

I imagined loving eyes twinkling.

“Didn’t I tell you I had this covered?”

“You did, indeed. But I’m still glad it’s over.”

“Think nothing of it. It’s my job. Besides, I  love you, kiddo.”

In a few weeks, I’ll be writing Part 3 of “Breaking My Left Wing: Lessons Learned”,  about the next step: rehabilitation, but first, I have to ditch this sling. Meanwhile, here I sit, trying to be patient as I type with only one hand.

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Breaking My “Left Wing”


01-03-17

Four nights ago, my husband and I were watching “New Year’s Rockin’ Eve” on television and waiting for the 2017 ball to drop when he said, “Hey, go over there and point to the screen. I’ll take your picture as if you are really there.”

So, over to the t.v. I hustled and pointed to the screen as if I were actually among the New Years’ throng.

A click and a flash later, Jeff hollered, “Got it.”

I was coming back to the couch before I — well — didn’t. Finding myself splayed out on the floor, I wailed. I writhed. I clutched my left arm. Our dog, Russet, who had been curled up on the rug,  gave me a sympathetic lick. In spite of the pain, we were about ninety-percent sure I had just pulled a muscle and that I’d feel better in the morning.

Remembering how friendly Aleve had been, a few years ago, when I fell on the dance floor, we dosed me with the magic blue caplets for the rest of the night, promising each other that if I felt worse, the next morning, we’d head down the street to our friendly neighborhood hospital. Since I had just changed insurance carriers, I knew that my old fall-back, Care Now,  would not accept Care ‘n Care.

Surprisingly, I slept well, that night, dosed to the gills with Aleve. Getting out of bed and, generally, moving at all was another matter. So off to Medical Center of Arlington, we went.

The MCA team did not disappoint. After a triage nurse asked me to rank my pain level from 2 to 10 and I rated it at least an 8, she placed me in a room where a witty nurse and a compassionate x-ray technician who x-rayed me there on the bed, snapped into action. Within minutes, a doctor came in to tell me that I had a fracture of the humerus — a broken upper-arm bone — just below the shoulder. He estimated it would take a good six to eight weeks to heal, referred me to an orthopedist, handed us a prescription for Tramadol, a pain reliever, and sent us home to our black-eyed peas.

Now, here I sit, thankful. Thankful that I already feel like typing this blog. Thankful that I don’t have to hurry and get syllabi and lesson plans slammed out before the Spring 2017 semester. Thankful for my loving and solicitous husband.

It could have been worse. A whole lot worse. Where I landed, I could have hit the corner of the piano bench. Or banged my head on the coffee table. But, as badly as my arm was hurt, and as ragged as I still feel, I’m thankful, most of all, that God spared me, again, from the worst.

Holidays can sometimes be the worst for accidents. Do you have any to share?o

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Adios,”Thirteenth Grade”!


12-18-16

Thursday, December 15, 2016 was my last day of school. Shortly after nine a.m., when the last student in the room turned in her exam packet and Scantron sheet, I wished her a merry Christmas and told her I had enjoyed having her in class. Once she left, I erased the whiteboard, gathered my belongings, locked the room, and returned to the Adjunct Office to run the Scantrons through the machine.

Oh, happy, happy, I thought. It’s all over but the shouting.

On Monday, December 12, I had closed out my first two classes and had already done everything I intended to do for this last class. I had only to record their exam grades into the electronic grade book and then post the grades on Web Advisor. After one last once-over to make sure the correct grades were posted for the correct students, I printed two hard copies of the grades and attendance for myself and my Department Chair and then — ZIP, BAM, BOOM — hit “Submit”.

Point, click , done.

After closing out the grades, I reached into my messenger bag and pulled out one final order of business of my own: a folder from the Teacher Retirement System. Not only had I planned to turn in my grades and unload my textbooks in the English Department office, at the end of this semester, I would also take the first step in the retirement process. At the time, both my husband and I thought  the form for “Notification of Final Deposit” form was what I needed to start the ball rolling. To my surprise, a Human Resources representative from the downtown campus told me that I needed only to inform my Chair that I was retiring and ask him  to input an “EX TRM.” Once he did that, she explained, the actual retirement process would begin, even though I would still have some paperwork to fill out. I had already broken the ice with him, earlier that day, by telling  him that I would be retiring, as of the end of the Fall 2016 semester and explaining that, after twenty-seven years with the district, I wanted to retire while my husband and I were able to travel while we were young enough and healthy enough.

Less than one hour later, once I returned home, my Chair called to let me know that one of his assistants had completed the “input”. For all practical purposes, I could call myself “retired”.

To celebrate the occasion, that night, Jeff and I dined at one of our favorite Mexican restaurants, Campo Verde, a festive place with Christmas tree lights strung inside.

Although I’ve been planning to retire for the past year or two, I had put it off, promising to teach “one more semester”.

That “one more semester”, my last day of the Fall 2016, is here. Right now, we’re still in a daze. And, with more paperwork for TRS and the Social Security Administration looming ahead, we know that today was just the “kickoff” and that the process will take some adjustment as well as self-control. But it won’t really seem real until January 17, when I would normally return for Adjunct Orientation.

“So, what’s your next adventure” asked a Facebook friend, that night.

“Writing, writing, and more writing,” I wrote back. “From either our ‘tiny house‘ in Rockport, Texas or our Airstream or other comfortable, used recreational vehicle as we tool around the country and see all those sites — Grand Ole Opry New England, and other sights on our combined bucket list.

So that’s it, for now. As my husband told me, it’s all about deciding it’s going to happen and making a plan. I finally did it. For those of you who are thinking of retirement or have have already retired, what does your new adventure in life include?

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