(Note: This is the first of four installments.)
I spent most of September lying down in bed. It was the place where I could get the most relief from the pain. (For those who have not read it, this post explains my four-month absence from this blog.)
I could sub-title September “A Month As a ‘Bed Potato.’” I’m sure I was suffering from depression, albeit at a low level, since reading books was too much work. I read articles M printed out for me from the internet, still did the NYT puzzles and, when the weather was warm, forced myself to take the short walk on the path around the swim club with M. But most of the time, I lay in bed watching the boob tube.
The t.v. in our bedroom is the one we bought for my mother when we moved her up here from Florida in 1999. It’s very 20th century. No flat screen, no cable box, no dvr. I’m still using a vcr. With a cable box, I could not record and watch a different station at the same time, so we gave it back. No cable box = very limited stations.
M suggested that we buy a new flat screen (we have one downstairs in the family room), but since I don’t normally watch much t.v., it didn’t make any sense — as in dollars and cents — to me. M calls that the frugal side of my LES upbringing.
I’ve been watching The Young and the Restless since it began in the early 70’s. I always record a week of programs, then watch the five episodes on Saturday mornings, fast forwarding through the commercials and any boring story lines.
I had watched Giada and the Barefoot Contessa occasionally. Now, I tuned in daily. I’d sometimes tuned into American’s Test Kitchen on weekends. Now, I discovered it’s on midweek during the day.
I became acquainted with programs I’d never seen before. Dr. Oz is a renowned heart surgeon at a major NYC medical center in NYC. Interesting that he hosts a daily program that often resembles a quiz show. But sometimes, there is some valuable health-related info and, at least, he’s not like that insufferable Dr. Phil. I discovered Rachel’s Home Cooking, which is taped in Ireland. Rachel Allen has a charming accent and a pleasant personality, and the things she cooks look delicious. I’m pretty sure I managed to see every episode of NCIS (on the USA Network), some even twice, and they even run all-day marathons. And I became addicted to re-runs of Everybody Loves Raymond. Three back-to-back episodes daily. An hour-and-a-half of hilarity every afternoon was a good antidote for my blue feelings.
Three mornings a week, I went for physical therapy.
Monmouth Rehab Professionals was not exactly new to me. In 2007, I developed a frozen shoulder and spent several months at MRP. The pain associated with that was minor. The main problem was not having full arm motion. However, in that case, other than showing up for p.t. three times a week, my life went on as usual. And in a year’s time, I regained full motion.
Now, I was back again. Same arm – the left – but a way more painful situation. MRP has an open concept design I like because you don’t feel isolated, and you can commiserate with the other patients who come in at the same time as you do.
I call Brian Paul, the owner of MRP, “The Torturer’s Apprentice.”
He’s an excellent physical therapist whose relaxed and engaging personality makes going there as pleasant an experience as one can have under the circumstances. We’ve developed great rapport and especially enjoy sparring about things political since we come at it from opposite sides of the spectrum. He also likes hearing about all the restaurants M and I go to and looking at my food photos. A+ to him for that!
Unfortunately, my situation impacted going to restaurants in September. On the 1st and 2nd, we were in Maine at The White Barn Inn. (More about our stay there in a future post.)
Dinner our first day back in NJ was at a local Mediterranean spot, Kuzu Mediterranean Grill. A 5-minute drive from our house, it’s one of the very few decent restaurants in our area. Its biggest asset? It’s not Italian!! The food is nicely prepared and tasty.
On the Sunday of Labor Day weekend, we were in NYC. M went up to Yankee Stadium while I had a lovely lunch with my dear friend Family of One in the gorgeous back garden at the vegan restaurant Pure Food & Wine.
In the evening, M and I had Greek food at Kellari Parea. They do a fabulous job with whole grilled fish.
For the rest of September, eating out was out! At home, I was able to manage putting together some easy things and to cook a little. Otherwise, since I hate take-out (not that there’s much of anything worthwhile to take out near our house) and M doesn’t cook at all, we’d have starved.