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December, 2015:

What Is It With Men And Giant Christmas Trees?

Seriously – why do men always have to have the biggest Christmas tree on the planet?

A few years ago, we purchased an artificial tree after we discovered Dude was totally allergic to the real ones we were cutting down and stuffing in the house every December. It’s a beautiful artificial tree – full and covered in lights and 6 feet tall.

What’s not to love (except that it’s fake)???

Last year, Hubby and Dude were let loose shopping alone AFTER Christmas . . . and we all know what that means – SALE!

They bought a new artificial tree. They told me they bought it and I said they were ridiculous why would you spend money on that when we have a beautiful tree already! Sheesh!

They said “It’s taller. We needed a taller tree for the new house.”

Whatever. They put it in the barn without me even seeing it.

Totally forgot about it.

Then this year when I went out to get the totes of decorations, I saw two tree boxes and remembered.

Grrrrrrrr. Two friggin’ trees. Seriously?!

I looked at the box – 12 friggin’ feet tall? WTH are we going to do with a 12 foot tall Christmas tree? We are NOT tall people? Even with a ladder we won’t be able to decorate the top!

Then we put it up. And I was happy because it was a skinny tree. Very tall and skinny.

And I have to admit, it fit perfectly in the spot where we put our Christmas tree.

And I love it! As always, Hubby did good :-)

Tree02

And if you’ve been to my house, you know how high up those windows are, and you realize that yes, that is indeed a 12 foot tall Christmas tree! We did indeed get the topper up there and manage to put ornaments near the top. Hubby may even have taunted Princess and put a bunch of the candy canes up where she can’t reach them. Dude got in on the fun, too. He told Princess to reach as high as she could, then he put a candy cane just out of her reach :-) Hee hee! Brothers!

PS – Clearly we have plenty of ornaments for this tree and will continue to add our annual “family” ornament. Our new quest? A Christmas Story tree! We’re going to use the 2nd tree in the family room downstairs and decorate it in A Christmas Story theme. If you see anything on sale, lemme know so I can start shopping for the new old tree ornaments!

Medical Magic

In early October, Dude tore the distal end of his bicep tendon throwing a ball to home from centerfield. Partial tear, which was good! Regular doc said give it a couple weeks.

We did. It did not get better at all. He referred us to an orthopedic surgeon.

Orthopedic surgeon said yep – partial tear of distal bicep tendon.

Um – thanks. Knew that already.

Ortho Doc said that since there hadn’t been any improvement, he was going to shut the elbow down completely. So he put a brace on Dude’s arm and locked it at 90 degrees for 8 weeks. Said he was giving up mobility for healing. Come back in 8 weeks and we’ll do an MRI and see how it’s doing and if he needs surgery.

I asked why we can’t just do the MRI now and see if it’s a total tear requiring surgery.

Because Insurance won’t allow an MRI until you’ve tried 8 weeks of physical therapy. Apparently physical therapy is totally shutting it down.

?????!!!!!?????

We went with it for awhile. There was a tear that needed to heal.

Dude wore the brace religiously for 5 full weeks. His arm still ached, but now because it wasn’t moving rather than not healing.

It felt better with the brace OFF!

We were getting done with it – why wait 8 weeks? Why can’t he see him at like 4 or 5 and assess how he’s progressing?

We were tired of waiting for what seemed like a ridiculous amount of time, so we decided to do something rather than nothing.

A friend had reached out to me with an alternative, so I started looking into it. Did lots of reading and researching and talking to other people about it.

After chatting with Hubby and Dude, we decided to give it a shot . . . the therapy is also used as a pre-surgery therapy to get you ready so recovery doesn’t take as long – figured we had nothing to lose.

All I have to say is ARPWave . . . is . . . MAGIC! It’s PAINFUL, but magic.

In his first session, Dude was able to completely straighten his arm PAIN FREE for the first time in 8 weeks.

I haven’t seen him this happy in a long time!

He only has to wear the brace to bed in whatever position his arm is in when he goes to bed (10 degrees, 20 degrees, whatever he’s at pain free) so he doesn’t accidentally jack it up during the night before it’s strong again. But his arm is free during the day.

Had session number two yesterday. Weirdest thing ever to watch . . . and Dude says “the most awful but awesome thing all at the same time” to go through. I told him we can quit if he wants. He said no way.

After this Thursday (his 5th session) they start him on a strengthening program along with the ARPWave.

10 sessions total and he’ll be finished and ready to work on increased strength and proper throwing motion.

We’re just blown away by the immediate positive effects . . . and I have to admit, if I hadn’t seen Princess go through “traditional physical therapy” last winter for her foot, I may have been more inclined to just wait and do what doc said. But after all the reading and research, this made sense. If it didn’t work, we’d still be done and prepped for the regular doc appt. that may require surgery.

But it’s working. And it’s amazing. And he loves it (and hates it). You’d have to ask him to explain to you what it is and how it feels and how weird it is to feel totally wiped out like you just did the hardest workout of your life when all you did was stand there for 30 minutes and curl a 1-pound dumbbell :-)

Here’s to a happy healthy Dude for 2016!