Welcome to Kelly Martin's Blog! Here I share my stories from my blessed life as a wife to a super-talented man, Jason, mom to my precious kids, Lucy, Jack, and Connor, and friend to my amazing girlfriends who inspire me every day!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Mickey Mouse Clubhouse

Well, things just keep on movin' on.  Knee is good for now.  This most recent flare up is under control, and considering I taught five classes within two days, it's certainly working fine.  Loose bone is currently staying out of the way.  It's about the size of a dime doc says.  I'm glad for it, but it just strikes me as crazy that even something that large could stay out of the way of all those moving muscles and joints!  We're going to plan to have the surgery in early Nov.  Not that there's an ideal time for anything that will force me to be on crutches, no weight-bearing at all, for six weeks, but at least there will be the holiday season, and some built in family time when I can have some extra hands around for at least a few days.  Plus, December is typically a slow month at work for Jason.  So, maybe, he can take some time off to be home.  Six weeks will span early Nov. through mid-Dec. and then, I'll have two weeks at the end of the month to begin building up some strength.  Hopefully, I will be able to return to teaching at the start of the year; just in time to teach class when the new wave of "new year's resolutions" fitness participants will be joining classes.  That, or, I will have turned to such jelly in the six weeks recovery, that you'll be able to plop me on top of toasted bread and eat me for breakfast.  :)

But, anyhow, totally changing the topic.  Few people know this little fact (and now just a few more will know :), but for the past 18 months, I could not watch, or even listen to Mickey Mouse Clubhouse without my stomach positively turning over on itself.  But this morning, for the first time, I noticed that the show was on, and I did not feel the need to throw up.  God has some kind of sense of humor, as it is by far Connor's favorite tv show (You'll understand the irony soon...)

Back when I was pregnant with Connor, about two years ago now (gosh, it's been that long?!?), my awful battle with devilish anxiety and debilitating depression hit full force.  And while I wish I could erase every moment from a period of about four months, I have this super clear memory from a specific event that happened most mornings.  If I made it out of bed during morning hours, my family would be moseying around the kitchen and the kids would be enthralled with Mickey Mouse Clubhouse on the den tv.

I can remember one morning, specifically.  Jack and Lucy were in their boosters, eating their cereal, and Jason was as the table as well.  (I don't remember what he was eating :)  He invited me to sit down and join them.  And I actually did - zombie-like I'm sure, because no matter what night it had just been, I wouldn't have achieved more than two or three hours sleep.  Mickey Mouse was, of course, playing in the background.  As we sat there silent (well, I doubt Jack and Lucy were silent :)  Jason lovingly and gently tried to point out to me that "this" /  these day-to-day experiences with kids/ just eating breakfast and watching Disney Channel really wasn't all that scary.

I remember that specific morning so vividly.  Just sitting at that table filled me with such dread, it felt like my feet were bricks as I shuffled back to my room, eager to escape, what in reality was such an ideal scenario.  Why was that so scary?  I don't know that I could even form the words to explain why my family scared me, why being a mom felt impossible, and why facing doing it all again with baby #3 was my current worst fear being realized.  But, I can tell you that I've never been more afraid of anything.  And I can tell you that it was completely irrational. But that didn't matter.  Not.  One.  Bit. 

And only because of God's grace and the selfless support of my family and friends did I - we - make it through.  For a long, long time after - well, literally until today, I would feel sick every time Mickey Mouse Clubhouse was on.  But, now, here I am, at the other end, finally able to listen to Mickey Mouse's squeaky voice and, instead of getting sick, simply smile, squeeze Connor in a tight hug, and fully appreciate just how good I have it! 

Friday, August 24, 2012

Second Opinoin

Received a second opinion on my knee today.  It was the same as the first opinion.  Can't say I was surprised.  Looks like if I want to have any kind of active life, avoid total knee replacement at age 40, and keep arthritis from advancing, I have to have surgery.

But, I can appreciate what Dr. Garrard said to me this morning as I was grumbling about how in the world being on crutches and not bearing any weight for 6 weeks works with three children 5 and under, he remarked, "Well, you'll tough it out.  Remember, it's not your heart, your head, or your lungs."

Yes, things could certainly be worse...I have my health, mostly :)

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Update on knee

I met with the doctor Monday to go over MRI results, and would you believe I made it through the appointment without crying!?!  Tears stayed at bay probably because there was some good news mixed in among the not-so-great news.  Here's what the doc didn't say:  "Your knee is beyond all hope and you'll never use it again!"  So, a little "yay!" right?  :)

So you know already that the Xrays from Friday showed that there is a piece of bone that had broken off from somewhere, likely many many years ago, in my knee. (A good guess would be 2004 when I began having significant knee pain and the regular "flare ups" began.)  

Well, the MRI shows that this piece of bone came from the top of the calf bone.  And it's been lodged in the space between where the top of the calf bone meets the bottom of the knee socket.  And that piece of bone has nearly worn away all of the cartilage in that space.  And because there's little or no cartilage in much of that knee joint, the top of the calf bone is jagged and rough.  And that surface area rubbing up against the smooth bottom of my knee cap has caused the arthritis he referenced.  

So, what to do from here...  Piece of bone must come out.  And the best shot at fixing the rough joint area where knee bone is rubbing up against calf bone without cartilage to cushion it (a few spaces in there have a narrow lining of cartilage, but most of the joint area is without any cartilage) is a surgery called "micro fracture."  In terms that I understand, here's the jist of the surgery.  Holes would be drilled into the rough area at the top of the calf bone.  (Holes drilled in bone, how pleasant...) The bone would bleed, and the blood would fill those holes.  That blod would clot and harden, and serve as the new "cartilage-like" material that would provide some cushioning between the bones.  It's orthroscopic surgery and I would be put under during.  :(

Recovery from the surgery would entail 6 weeks of being on crutches with absolutely NO weight bearing on the knee.  I could drive, however, which is huge, right?  Physical therapy would be super important because, although I would not be able to bear weight, range of motion would help shape the joint as it repairs itself.  Think about how when you extend your knee in and out, that motion would help smooth and form the new cartilage as it forms.  If my knee were braced in a cast, never extending or moving, then the clot would actually form something like a "hill" doc said.  And then, you can imagine moving the joint after that wouldn't work so well :)

Of course I asked the doctor what he'd expect to happen if I didn't choose to have the microfracture surgery to repair the joint?  He said that he'd anticipate in another six months, I'd reach a new level of pain, and that being 32 right now, it's such a young age to have arthritis and that it would only worsen from here on out.  That rough part of bone at the top of the calf will only roughen the smooth area of the knee joint.  "Rough will always make smooth, rough.  Smooth never makes rough, smooth," he said.  Makes sense...

I asked about the arthritis and would surgery stop that.  He said it would and that the arthritis would theoritically cease.  That's good.

Another piece of good news was that after I did the physical therapy for 6 weeks/remained on crutches, I could expect to slowly begin to build up my strength again.  And because, after having surgery, I wouldn't be exercising and teaching all these classes with a piece of bone in my knee, I should enjoy being active a helluva lot more.  

The doctor did say that the solution to my knee issue would be a lot more of a "sure thing" if this rough joint was the bottom of the thigh bone and top of the knee instead of the top of the calf bone and bottom of knee.  If that were the case a bone or cartilage graft could be done, which is generally very successful.  Doc said that cartilage grafting at the top of the calf bone just isn't that reliable, it's a tougher area to do surgery at, and that I'm just not a good candidate for that.  So, that was a bit of bad news.  Too bad this isn't happening just a few inches higher in my leg.  :(

I'm going to another doctor on Friday morning to find out how a second opinion compares to what I've learned so far.  

Several of you have reached out in concern to see how I'm doing.  Thanks so much for your support and concern!  I have some amazingly fantastic friends and family!  Will keep you posted...

Thursday, August 16, 2012


So, you know that old Alainis Morisette song, "Isn't It Ironic"?  What I find humorous about that song is that several of the examples aren't really all the ironic.  For example, 500 spoons when all you need is  a knife...(are you singing it to yourself?)  Irony is, by definition, something contrary to what was expected.  And if you have 500 spoons, you just have too many damn spoons.

Well, today I have a perfect example of irony as it pertains personally to me.  And it's a rather unfortunate irony to boot :(  Five or so months ago, I received my certification to teach fitness classes, and I've been enjoying the heck out of it.  I workout - which I try to do most days of the week anyhow - yet I get paid for it, I drop off the kids in the gym playroom where childcare is provided, and after class I get to take a shower and get dressed all alone and in peace.  It's a fantastic side job for me right now.  Win, win, all around.

Two days ago, I took a yoga class to try to help relieve some tightness and pain I had been dealing with in my right knee (which has always been a "bum knee" and caused problems.  I had a monstrous brace on my leg under my wedding dress, in fact, and hobbled on crutches as we went on our honeymoon.  Usually when things flare up and my knee gets swollen, I have to lay off exercise for a few days, but it's nothing an ice pack can't remedy.)  During yoga class, I couldn't perform several basic postures that involved sitting on one's knees.  And despite icing my knee for days on end, I couldn't relieve the tightness I kept feeling.  The best way I can describe it is that for over a week, my knee joint has felt like a rubber band extended to it's fullest stretch, just waiting to snap.

So, this morning I went to visit Dr. Layton at Sports Med Orthopedics.  The nurse took xrays before I went to see the doctor, and when he walked into the room, he shook my hand and announced that I wasn't going to like what he had to say very much.  And he was right.  I headed into the office this morning expecting a report along the lines of, "You've overworked your knee, lay off it for a few days and here's a steroid shot..." or something like that.  Instead, he told me - and showed on the Xray - where there is a random PIECE OF BONE lodged in my knee.  And an MRI needed to be done to determine where exactly that "loose body," as it's called, came from.  And it's super plain to see in the xray too.  It's quite alarming to see your good knee next to a fuzzy-jointed, misaligned knee socket, with a big fat piece of bone just all up in it!  The technical term for what I have is "osteonecrosis of the femur."  And the task at hand is to figure out how to treat the "donor site" that oh so kindly donated a piece of bone which is currently stuck in my knee.

Doc said the good news is that the surgery to go in and remove the loose body is simple as pie (oh sure, as any impending surgery could be good news :(, but that he's quite concerned about where that broken piece of bone originated from.  Because if it broke off of a pivotal bone structure, or joint, etc.  that's bad news because there's of course, MISSING bone wherever it came from.  Oh yeah, and because of all this mess, I'm in the "baby phase of arthritis, which is a shame for someone as young as you."

At one point, a fat tear plopped onto the xray pages were were discussing and landed near the big circle of "mystery bone" making similar shape; he gave me a sympathy smile and suggested I circle it so as not to confuse it with the problem area.

Doc was super nice and understanding, and actually turns out I taught his daughter back in 5th grade.  He chuckled when we made the connection and remarked, "Well, this will make you feel old...Lauren started driving this year."  I nodded my head, wiped away a fresh tear, and thought to myself that actually being told I have arthritis is what really makes me feel old!  :(

So, to tie it all in, the irony sucks:  just a few months into a new, very fun, side endeavor of being a fitness instructor, I need knee surgery, which will no doubt affect my ability to instruct in a fitness setting.  Outcome definitely contrary to what I expected.

That was this morning, and this afternoon I went to get my MRI  (which was actually a small bit of heaven.  I got to go somewhere by myself, lie down for 30 minutes, and was instructed not to move.  Yes ma'am, can do!)  Those results were sent back to the doc, and my appointment to go over the MRI results and see what the plan forward from here is on Monday morning.  In the meantime, he said just keep doing how I was doing; this loose body has been there a long time, maybe even from teenage years he thought...Unfortunately, the pain seems even worse now, although I'm sure that's largely a mind issue.  Knowing I have LOOSE BONE in my knee probably makes it feel worse than it really might be.  But, it sure hurts a lot; way more than the usual flare up pain that I feel regularly.

So, we'll see what happens from here.  It's been a rotten day.  Actually, it's been a rotten week.  It's literally the last week of summer; kids are ready and need a change in routine, and Lord knows I do.  Lucy has been a whimpering, whiny kid most of her waking hours.  Literally, she just walks around whimpering like an injured chihwawa.  Connor has been mastering his talent of chucking small cars across the room, or at people.  And Jack, well Jack just takes his sweet time following any kind of direction or command I give him.  We've been late absolutely everywhere we've gone.  My family seems to refuse to put any effort in cleaning up after themselves, and it's left me with zero patience.  In a nutshell, my body and spirit just feel absolutely obliterated.  I've said to Jason several times that I'm just waving the white flag, I have nothing left.  One night earlier this week, I was asleep by 8 o'clock.  Sometimes, that's just how it goes.  Next week is bound to be better :)

Almost a Kindergartner!

So, yesterday, Lucy met her new teacher, Mrs. Yokley.  And before we went to meet and greet, I told Lucy her first assignment as a Kindergartner was to label her supplies (which we had oh-so-much fun picking out).  I just love how she made big ol' hearts and put little circles at the points of the letters of her name.  All on her own of course, although I'm sure she picked up the circles on letters from when I write people's names on their birthday cards.  She so girlie - I love it!

Her friend Sarah, who's in a different class.

Taking out her things at her desk:

And great timing, because as I was cleaning out her old tote bag from her Pre K class with Ms. S, I found this book she had made last year with a particularly sweet page:

Wow, Lucy is in Kindergarten!  :)  I'm sure this will be super bittersweet when it's Connor's turn, but in this case I am definitely 95% excited/thrilled and only 5% a little sad.  :)

Monday, August 13, 2012

Hometown Olympics!

Well, this past weekend's party may have been the most fun I've had in a long time!  Earlier this summer, I knew I wanted to throw a big party.  Originally, I was brainstorming ideas for adults only, but the problem with that is that so many families are tied to having such young kids.  So, I knew it needed to be a party that was a family event.  Then, it hit me, with the Olympics during July, it would be the perfect party theme.  Families participating in Olympic events.  Perfect!  We could all watch the Olympics with our kids, get them involved in learning about the different sports, different countries, patriotism, good sportsmanship, on and on.  

So, on Saturday, we held the first annual (I say first annual because I would love to do this again; well, in four years I guess :) Hometown Olympics at our house.  And it was a total blast!  We had about 50 people come and the games were memorable to say the least!  Here are some of my fav pics.

So, this shot of the buckets set up is the only "set up" photo I have (and not particularly interesting either :).  I realized after all the food had been gobbled up and table spread overtaken by little toddler hands, I hadn't taken any shots of the tables or decor.  But, then I quickly realized it really didn't matter, because the party was about fun and families doing things together.  I am in love with all of our friends' faces while playing these games, the kids' smiles, and the random shots of people just being themselves.  Way more fun and representative of us than any Olympic-themed table spread!

So, this is the "Polo Match."  The dads (and Leah!) were such troopers.  Pool noodles and a beach ball, and game on!

Truitt had two kids on his back - well, until they fell.  His 4th kid is on the way!  :)


Then, a little tug 'o war.  Did you know it was an Olympic event, way back in the beginning of the Olympic Games.  And, I mean, how could we not play tug 'o war!

Moms vs. moms

We weren't playing around, game on!

Then, Moms vs. Kids
The kids LOVED this one!

Check out Garrison and Connor's self-made seats.  Love it!

We really were pulling...

and then Kristen busted the dads that jumped in on the kids' side :)

Dads vs. Dads

And the big finale:  the Triathlon.  The route was bike from our house around the block, to the pool, swim a lap, and then run back to our house.  The final leg was the giant sized slip 'n slide that you had to cross.  This turned out even better than I expected...I'm so glad so many people participated!

Heat 1, Stan was the first to finish  3:57, super fast!

Truitt making it across:

Here comes Jim:

And Mike:


Here comes Gavin!!
Heat 2, Ford

graceful Jason :)

Here's Matt!

I can not tell you how entertaining that part was.  The men were absolutely wrecked after the race.  The comments still make me laugh out loud:  "My lungs are burning!"  "My hip!  Jason was out of commission and sore all the next day, and I've been told one dad had to go throw up by his car after the race was over.  (But I think the beer was a contributing factor there :)  Jason told me after he got out of the pool and went to put his shoes back on, he didn't think he'd be able to even stand up out of the chair.  LOL!

Some great candids:

The Moore's are about to welcome baby #2 in a few weeks!  A little boy...

Little Lanie, who's not so little anymore

And who can forget the Triplets' first party!  Adelaide, Grace, and Caitlyn came to join in the fun.  Big props to mom and dad, Rebecca and Josh, for making it out!  So good to see you guys; hope it was worth all the effort it must have taken to make it happen!  :)

newest baby addition to the group, Colton.  He chilled... :)

 Garrison enjoying the jeep before he fell and totally ate the pavement.  poor baby :(

Connor and the fabulous Miss Rebecca, our babysitter.

What a blast, can't wait to do it again!  Who's hosting next time!?!  :)

If you want to see all the pics, just click here