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My Days as a Princess

It has been a week since I walked in my garden. The following are a few of the photos I took then, nothing new but nice that the garden is doing well through the summer:

Cryptomeria japonica, shown above in the last photo on the lower right, was once upon a time a Christmas tree. It has grown well since I put it out in the yard.

I had hip replacement surgery the day after I took these photos. I was in the hospital for a few days, then finally came home, where I am bound to hobble around the house on a walker.

Definitely not my style.

You may think this came about because of shoveling, hauling, digging with a pick ax, and other gardening chores. I have always been a hands on, down in the dirt gardener. Bored by gyms, I think outdoor activities are the best form of exercise.

Or maybe my situation was the result of my day job. I am a nurse, and I routinely spend 12 hour shifts on my feet, constantly moving around with few breaks.

Maybe it was a little of both, but probably it was genetics. Everyone in my family has arthritis. My brother had hip replacement surgery last year, and he has a sedentary job. (Although he is a gardener...) It recently became clear that it was time to do something about my condition.

I confess I have been down in the dumps. Yesterday I sat with my feet propped up on the couch. Lou had put layers of blankets under the cushion so that once down, I could get up again. Sitting atop the pile, I was reminded of the old children's tale, The Princess and the Pea. Behind me, sunlight streamed past the window panes. A spider web was strung between the glass and the window screen.This is the view from the couch. The edge of the patio can be seen on the far right.

This morning I felt a bit better, and Lou suggested I sit on the patio. The temperature was pleasant, and I perked up as I listened to birds and watched a lizard scurry across the concrete. I looked at my walker and decided it was good for most terrains. I stood up, and my walker and I ambled toward the front garden. I made a discovery: Walking is easier on soft mulch than hard floors. I intended to just go a short distance, but soon I was all the way down in the middle of the front garden, inspecting plants and even pulling a few weeds. 

Thanks to modern medicine and technology, I should be back to normal within a couple of months. Meanwhile, I perch upon my throne of blankets and cushions. I point to this and I point to that, and Lou does it. My days as a princess will not last long. A physical therapist will be seeing me several times a week, but I think my garden will be the most important factor in getting me off my tush and moving toward recovery.

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Reader Comments (28)

Wishes for as quick & easy recovery as can be!

August 6, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterChristi {Jealous Hands}

Here's to a healing but short reign, O Princess.

August 6, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLee May

Wishing you a speedy and progressive recovery Debs! It won't be long and you should be up and about again, fully independent, able to tend to your beautiful garden :)

And one of us is a Nurse too! Always on our feet isn't it? Take care!

August 6, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMark and Gaz

Hope you have a speedy recovery! For now, just enjoy the fruits of your labors and enjoy the views and short walks!

August 6, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCatherine

Wishing you a speedy recovery Deb. I am sure the beautiful view from the couch will help.

August 6, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDenise

My first thought was... "Oh I am so sorry." But then the thought came to my mind of how blessed you are that hips can be replaced. A month or two of being a princess seems like a a lovely price to pay for such a miracle. Enjoy this time and the beautiful scenes you have created. Let them remind you that God is in His heaven and is watching over you and your gardens. And that gardening friends are wishing you a sweet recovery. :)

August 6, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCarolyn

I am at the age where many of my friends are getting new hips. I have been surprised at how well they have done after the first week of recovery. You will too, and your plan to walk the mulch paths will speed you along. You have such a beautiful setting to recover in -- your garden is looking serene and cool in those summery shots! Here's wishing you a quick recovery, Princess!

August 6, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLaurrie

Princess Debbie, have a speedy recovery, with Lou and your garden to aid you I suspect that you will be walking around those soft paths to inspect what is happening; you should probably resist the urge to pull weeds but gentle cajoling must be allowed. Your garden looks so green and cool and inviting, sit back and enjoy. Christina

August 6, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterChristina

Hi Deb
As the recipient of replacements in both knees, I sympathize with your surgery, your present state of "the blues" and gradual recovery. All I can say is: thank goodness for modern medicine and technology! I had bone-on-bone arthritis but the replacements have made my world almost normal again. I can only stress that doing what the physiotherapists say is SO important or your recovery will be slower. (Easy for me to say now: at the time I was inclined to call them "physio-terrorists"!!)
Best of luck with your healing and listen - ring that little bell! Get everybody to cater to you, Princess! It ain't gonna last long so milk it while you can :)

August 6, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAstrid

I enjoy looking at your garden, you take such gook care of God's earth, I hope you are able to get back to working in it soon, I also love to work in my garden, when I can't go outside I look at my
photos and other people's photos on the internet, Thanks for sharing.

August 6, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJoyce

Being in the garden is great therapy! Take care! Jeannine

August 6, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJeannine

I hope you are soon resorted to full health Deb,everyone I know who has had a replacement is so glad that they have had it done. Don't try to garden too soon, I know it will be frustrating but you don't want to undo the good work of the surgeon! Enjoy being a princess and enjoy just looking at your lovely garden.

August 6, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterpauline

one of our choir ladies had a hip replacement. A week or two of struggling up a long flight of stairs to practice in the gallery, and then she was away. Walking without a stick, or pain, a smile on her face. I was impressed. May you bounce back just as quickly and easily!

August 6, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDiana Studer

My wife had hip replacement at an early age, as did her mother. The recovery was not as difficult as we had feared. Hope it is the same for you!

August 6, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterjason

It is amazing what modern medicine can do. I think you are right about arthritis being mostly genetic. Kind of a bummer if you have bad genes for it - and, by the way, I do too. I'm bracing myself for when it hits. You seem as if you are coming along very nicely, though. Good luck!

Oh my! I'm glad you're healing well. It seems like it would be a good time (if there is one) for surgery. When you don't have to worry about slipping or sliding with cold rain or ice. Your garden looks lovely, and next year you'll be able to bend and trim with less pain. Take care!

August 6, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPlantPostings

I am glad that you have a garden to beckon you toward a speedy recovery. Perhaps as you are seated a bit more than is usual, this will be a great time for reflection and planning. Dig out your favourite garden books and start dreaming! I am sure it will help banish the blues. Take care Deb!

August 7, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJennifer

Ouch! I hope you're feeling better soon. I'm so glad you have someone there to help you.

August 7, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCasa Mariposa

Deb, While I'm sure you totally deserve to be a princess, I hope your princess days will soon be over and that you'll be back grubbing in the dirt. In the meantime, getting out and enjoying the garden every day seems like great medicine (and your physical therapist will probably approve). Good luck with the healing. -Jean

August 8, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJean

I had a princess summer last year due to knee troubles, and it was NOT fun. Honestly, it never really recovered completely, and hubby often treats me like a princess. Some day both my knees will be replaced, but for now I am considered "too young". I worked retail for a long time, plus I'm a gardener, so it's no big surprise, now is it? Feel better Deb!

August 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRobinL

Best wishes for a rapid recovery! Those physical therapists can be tough but I'm sure they'll have you moving around soon - the days of allowing patients time to loll about during the healing process seem to be long gone, as you probably know from working as a nurse. I'm facing a knee replacement myself someday in the not too distant future but thoughts of leaving my garden to its own devices have me dragging out the decision; however, when I do it, I'm sure it will be the motivation to get me back to the garden that'll get me to persevere with the PT.

August 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKris P

Lou is a star and even your garden is cushioning you ... Best wishes for your recovery Deb.

August 10, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterb-a-g

Oh dear, I am so late with my wishes for a speedy, easy recovery. Hopefully by now you are feeling better and making great strides with your physical therapy. You have created a beautiful place to meditate and now you have the time to do that. Enjoy this gift and see what this time off brings. May it be peaceful yet exciting growth for the next stage after your full recovery.

August 10, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBarbara H.

I am so pleased you got outside; a little fresh air works wonders. Good for Lou - what a gem! Wishing you the speediest of recoveries - please take care on those mulch paths, your highness.

August 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterThe Gardening Shoe

So glad to hear everything went well and that the garden has already started to speed your recovery...take advantage of that princess part for a while.

August 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDonna@Gardens Eye View

dear deb, I feel for you! It's great being a voluntary princess, not so great if it's involuntary. Lucky to have Lou as a loyal subject. I especially love the view from the couch - the worst thing I could imagine is a couch without a view ... all the best for a speedy recovery, cheers, cm

August 12, 2013 | Unregistered Commentercatmint

Clearly no holding you back Debs. Seems you have to be in your dotage to get this surgery done in the UK. I also wish you a speedy recovery and don't overdo things.

August 12, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAlistair

Wishing you a speady recovery from your surgery.

August 14, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKaren
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