The best intentions and adjusting when reality sets in…

Last week I had one of my best ideas yet for a new free pattern/project. It has all of the characteristics I love for free projects:

  • The project is quick and easy — perfect for beginners
  • It doesn’t require any unusual materials
  • It’s useful — virtually EVERYBODY can use the finished product

Because it’s such an easy project I *thought* there wouldn’t be any problem having step-by-step pictures prepared and instructions ready by yesterday. So, of course, I announced that in the eNews last weekend because I was so excited to have a new project to share with subscribers.

I was so excited.

Then reality set in. What was I thinking?!!!  The required 6 – 8 hours a day I have to spend attached to a CPM machine (no, that’s not me in the video) for my knee rehabilitation in addition to the extra physical therapy has seriously diminished my available time.

As much as I hate to admit it, my body is still recovering from the trauma of surgery and the painful rehabilitation.  Just completing the normal, required personal, family and business tasks each day put me past my limit.  It’s frustrating and disappointing.  But it is what it is.

I’m not seeking sympathy nor am I making excuses. I’m human and this situation is what it is. An honest reality check that I can only do what I can do. I don’t want to get bogged down in self-pity or become depressed.  I must keep moving forward, adjusting as I go.

First, I apologize for not being able to meet my own publicly announced deadline.  Second, I am forgiving myself so I can accept the lesson and adjust. Third, I am moving forward.  The project is still in the works and I am making progress on it, even if it seems SO slow.   I am getting stronger every day and as I become stronger I will begin to have more time to spend.  I truly *hope* that it will be finished by next Saturday/Sunday but I can’t promise that (yet). I don’t want to rush and risk errors or poor quality.

I can only say for certain that I will announce it and provide the link in the FREE eNews just as soon as the project is ready.  Thank you for your patience and understanding.

In the end, circumstances are temporary and we can choose how we deal with them. We can give up or we can adjust as necessary and keep on going.  I have decided that I will not let what I can’t do today get in the way of what I can do today.

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41 Responses to “The best intentions and adjusting when reality sets in…”

  1. […] Sew Thankful Blog » Blog Archive » Happy Spring & National Quilting Day — and a BIG Thank YOU! « The best intentions and adjusting when reality sets in… […]

  2. Edie says:

    Oh Tracy,
    You have given so much “life encouragement” all the time, may you now be blessed greatly as it flows back to you from your many, many “friends.” We do not have to live in the same neighborhood/city/state to become close and important to one another. We all cherish you and I pray for speedy healing.
    Winter in MN is disappearing quickly now – YAAAAAAAAY!

  3. Louisa says:

    Dear Tracy,
    Hang in there, things get better…in this life we only need to trust in the Lord and He will send us the grace we need to get through. You will get better, your positive attitude is what gets you out of bed each day and puts a smile on your face. God Bless you. We are a patient group, who would rather create a quilt, sew, knit or craft rather than go out and shop for instant gratification can wait and pray for your recovery. Healing takes patience and time, be patient with yourself.

  4. Katherine Melcic says:


    I wish you a speedy recovery and look forward to hearing that you are back 100%. Keep up your spirits and bask in the love you receive from your family, and your readers. We enjoy hearing from you and about your family interactions and trips. Take care and give yourself time to heal.


  5. Charlie says:

    Dear Tracy, I wanted to echo many of the preceeding thoughts and to let you know that one of your tissue holders was given to me when I was going through diagnosis and treatment for breast cancer. You are a true blessing to the quilting community! Yes, I agree, we can wait while you catch up.

  6. Candy says:

    Whatabummer. Best wishes for a complete recovery – of course, it won’t be fast enough! I know what it’s like to be laid up for long periods of time and your weekly encouragement helps keep me going. Keep on keepin on–we need you.

  7. Christina says:

    Sending you healing energy toward a speedy and progressively less painful recovery. The CPM machine will do it’s magic.
    Blessings to you and yours,

  8. Ludi Toedter says:

    Hi Tracy….I love your website…always so positive and uplifting. When I read your “reality check” section and heard you’d had knee surgery, I had to add a comment. I’m so familiar with CPM machines and knee surgeries because I’ve had 4 knee surgeries myself. The first was arthroscopic repair of the meniscus which was fairly shredded on the lateral side. I was told I’d be having knee replacement surgery within 5 years. Twelve years later, I finally made time for it! lol I was on the CPM immediately after surgery and made a phenominal recovery (I was 59 and very physically active with a pet care business) and I went back to work after only 4 1/2 wks! Although I was very careful, I still developed a little tendinitis. My doctor gave me 2 cortisone injections in the surgical knee only 9 wks post-op..way too soon..and that’s when the trouble began. There were 2 more injections 2 wks later and within 6 days I was in the hospital fighting for my life. I got a Staph infection in that knee from the injections. After 3 hours of surgery to clean up the infection, 6 days in the hospital and 6 wks of total bed rest with a PICC line and knee immobilizer, I finally began to recover. It was a close call. For the next year, I had more problems which my doctor convinced me he could treat effectively with cortisone injections. The big problem was that my new knee was bowing out laterally causing me enormous pain. All the physical therapy in world couldn’t fix it. Plus the extreme side effects from the cortisone were causing even more misery..lost half of my hair, horrible bruising, scratching an itch would cause bleeding, eye problem, kidney problems and finally blood clots. And all the while, my knee got worse! This doctor had convinced me that what he was doing was fine..I trusted him. It nearly cost me my life…twice! The blood clots landed me in the ICU for 3 days..that was in January 2009 and I’m still being treated for them today. Fortunately, with no more cortisone injections, I’ve had no recurrance of the blood clots. I found a new doctor in May 2009, had TKR revision #2 in August 2009. The findings were startling…both bones cut inaccurately and the plastic meniscus prosthesis that had been replaced during TKR revision #1 for the staph infection was way too small. Thus my knee bowed outward severely and became unbelievably unstable. My new doctor said it was so unstable, that it could have bent backwards with just an untimely nudge from the front! It took almost 3 hours to repair all the damage…there was tendon damage from all the cortisone injections, too. Initial recovery was much more painful than the other 2 surgeries, but now 6 months later, it’s doing very well. I was told to expect 12-24 months recovery time so I’m actually ahead of schedule! But my whole point is what I’ve learned in the process. Like you, I push myself to get going even when I shouldn’t and I’ve paid the price for that many times! But knee surgery is a different situation, and after 3 of them, I think I’m qualified to comment on the subject. Do take things slowly during this recovery time. If you don’t, you’ll no doubt cause injury and that will be even harder to get over. After my first surgery, I did something stupid one day .. spent way too much time on my feet. My physical therapist scolded me like you wouldn’t believe! She told me if I did anything that newly injured this knee, I’d be looking at 18-24 months recovery time. And she was right. So please do take your time and don’t push yourself in the same way you ordinarily would. You owe it to yourself to take a break and let your knee heal properly. Do spend your time on the CPM and PT, but as far as work goes, do less. We’ll all be waiting here for you to return. If you have a laptop computer, hook it up so you can use it while you’re on your bed with the CPM. I found that sitting in a chair caused severe swelling and pain which isn’t good either…cuts off circulation and circulation is what helped some of the swelling. You get the swelling down and the pain is reduced. So take it easy for as long as you need to and don’t worry about any of us…we’re not going anywhere! Take good care of yourself for us! 🙂

  9. Maeve says:

    Tracy, you are always sending out to everyone the most positive, uplifting messages. So now it’s time for you to get some back: You deserve a break from anything and everything that is stressing you right now, so that you can take care of YOU and heal, no matter how much time that takes. Only God is in control. Your thoughts, ideas and projects are always wonderful and appreciated. But all of us can wait for you to regain your “power” so that you are 100%. So here’s a big does of cheer, loaded with smiles and hugs and good wishes from all your fans! Take care of yourself!!!!

  10. Cathy W says:

    It is interesting how our body let’s us know what it needs when we listen to it. Tracy you’re a remarkable lady with alot of foritude. Your positive aproach to life encourages others all the time. Enjoy your down time. It really will be shorter than you think.

  11. Bonnie Nyquist says:

    Tracy, I wish I lived closer to give you some big encouraging hugs in person! So, have Jeff do that for me please! We all know your healing is way more important that a pattern deadline,and your patterns are awesome, don’t gve it another thought, just heal and stay positive as always. That CPM machine is an awesome thing,my Mom had to use one, it helped tremendously. Try to focus on the many positive messages you get here and know we are all pulling for you to heal completely. Please keep us updated, you and your family are on my prayer list.

  12. Autumn Bea says:

    Your quilting friends have said it all and very well. But I do agree, you are so positive that things can’t help but to go well for you even if it may not seem that way right now. I always enjoy your cheery message and strive to be as positive as you! Hang in there! and get well soon.

  13. Sheila Perl says:

    Take good care of yourself Tracy, and give yourself time to heal.
    My brother-in-law used that machine for weeks and weeks when he had surgery on his knee and it helped it to heal wonderfully.
    We will all still be here when you are feeling better and ready to dazzle us with another brilliant idea!!

  14. shirley says:

    I will keep you in my prayers. Take good care of yourself.

  15. Margaret Glowacki says:

    As I’m recoverying from major neck surgery I know how easy it is to over extend yourself. Take things slowly and heal.

  16. Pat McCleary says:

    Just take good care of you!!!! We’ll be here to enjoy your ideas whenever they appear. Be gentle with yourself. The healing will come on God’s schedule not yours.

  17. Sharon says:

    All things work for the good of those called according to His purpose…Well this is just one of those things and it will all turn out to the glory of His name. Stay positive and keep doing that rehab so you can be back to “normal” soon!

  18. Nora J says:

    Love your positive attitude! It certainly will help in your recovery. Thanks for the uplifting words in each newsletter. I look forward to them and they do make the day better, no matter what kind of a day I am having.

  19. Violette Pokorny says:

    You bring us so much joy and positive thinking in all of your mailings – please you are only human and remind us that we all have problems. I am 78 and cannot do 80% of what I want, took a great while to accept this, but it happens, my mind is creating but the body won’t follow. You will be great shortly with your attitude, we miss you but that all the time you need.

  20. wendiq says:

    You”ve got the winning attutude! My friend used that CPM machine and what a miracle worker!!!! Most people here, haven’t even heard of it and I live in a Metroplitan area!!!! Keep Healing…..and Take you time….do it right….we’ll all be here when you feel like returning…:)

  21. pugmom says:

    If you get anything accomplished in a day…it is a good day. We loves ya as ya is…

  22. Sandy says:

    I always say……”Life happens.” Enjoy life and don’t fret over things that are not a matter of life and death. You will get to the project when you are able and your faithful readers, sewers, will still be there because “life happens” to us as well. Take care you YOU and get well soon.

  23. Patty says:

    After a few serious trials myself, I feel that if it can’t kill me, its not at the top of the priority list. I am much calmer since I figured this out. I just do the best I can and don’t stress over the rest. Hang in there! It will get better.

  24. Terese says:

    Personally I think a higher being sets these little reality checks n moton just at te perfect time. We may not think s but timing is everything. 🙂 From someone who knows! Terese with a healing well broken leg 😉

  25. Janet King says:

    I just wish I lived close to you so I could help. I’m not a nurse, but still a very good care giver. Stay strong in mind and your body will respond. All in HIS time!!! Who knows what all HE has planned for your life during this time.

  26. Susie says:

    My husband is recovering from foot surgery this winter on both feet (bunions and hammertoes). I keep telling him that by the time the weather is great, he’ll be feeling great, too. The same goes for you too.
    (Even though I don’t know you, you come into my sewing room regularly so consider you a friend!)Hang in there…Patience with ourselves is one of the hardest things to learn.

  27. Corinne says:

    You have such a great attitude. That CPM is quite a thing! Best wishes to you.

  28. Reba Swinford says:

    So sorry you are not at your best. Sounds like knee replacement to me. Been there, done that to both knees. But I had very little trouble bouncing back. That CPM is better than any drug for pain. Hope you are up and around soon. I am new to your group, but I’m looking forward to follow all your offerings. God Bless. Reba

  29. Pat Kelley says:

    Hi Tracy…. you’re did the right thing by doing your usual “do it right not hurry and not have mistakes in it.” As far as your recovery goes ~~ you’ve never gone through something like this AND everyone’s different with their recovery. So don’t be too hard on yourself and your healing will go faster too. Keep up the good work towards recovering and we thank God for how things have advanced so far. Take care it’s good too that you have the support of your family and just remember our bodies take time to heal right! Here’s to God’s love and your healing………… as we know they go hand in hand…..

  30. Janet says:

    You are a great example for us all! No matter what life throws at you, keep moving and looking forward instead of having a “pity party!”
    I wish you a quick, total recovery!!

  31. Sandy says:

    Keep up the positive thinking and take care of yourself.
    Keeping you in my prayers.

  32. This brings back a lot of old feelings, as a went thru a similar experience with my ankle ten years ago. Getting thru it was easier when I took into account on a daily basis, what I had to be grateful for (I still had my leg, they wanted to remove my foot three inches below my knee). Graditude takes us a long way. Time heals everything. Good luck.

  33. Judy says:

    Take care of yourself, and don’t worry about the next free project. When you get it done, you get it done.

    And learn to take things a bit slower during your recuperation period.

    Best wishes with your rehab.

  34. Kay Stevens says:

    We can wait for the free project….your recovery is so much more important. I love your free patterns and have made many of them. I have made about 200 of the tissue holders as gifts for fellow quilters.

    Take care of yourself…recover slowly and completely. That is important.
    Look forward to news of your health.

  35. Penny says:

    Dear Tracy,
    I just wanted you to know how much I enjoy and appreciate your cheerful and positive approach to life and the unexpected challenges it brings. I cannot imagine anyone being unhappy with you because a proposed due date for a project was delayed. Thanks for the bright light that you shine on our somewhat dim (at times) world and keep getting better each and every day. We hold you in our thoughts and prayers.

  36. Christal Mard says:

    Wishing you a speedy recovery and Don’t worry, take care of yourself

  37. Glenna says:

    Tracy we are all human and I think we all try to do more than we can at times. Don’t worry about it, just use this time to get better and to get strong. I for one know what surgery can do on the body and it takes time and lots of it to get well and part of getting well is learning to be good to yourself… Now go fix yourself a cool drink or a cup of hot tea and get a good book and sit down and read. Get well and strong soon. Glenna

  38. Mary says:

    All good wishes on your rehab and continued health!

    Your response to the circumstances–1, 2, 3 is GREAT.

  39. Judi Freihoff says:

    Love you attitude towards adversity! I’m sure you will rebound with time. We’re all just human.

  40. Marge says:

    Such a wise little woman! Take care of yourself and get well soon.

  41. Cheryl says:

    Feel better soon! We cant control circumstances ..only our response to them!

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