NMC097 Body Repairs

Daphine Mbithuka


Nursing Nathan after he undergoes knee surgery!

“Doctors make the worst patients.” And having been married to a doctor, Nathan, for so many years, Rosa Linda Román attests to this. After going through knee surgery, having to nurse Nathan has not been an easy journey. However, with the help of Ahava, Rosa Linda’s daughter, the experience has been manageable.

And in this episode of New Mexi-Castaways, Rosa Linda shares how the whole experience has been, while Ahava was also nursing her post-surgery knee. Plus, the initiatives the family has taken to get checkups to ensure they are all doing well health-wise. If you love traveling, you are aware that one thing that can hinder one’s plans on matters of travel is the health factor, but in this episode, Rosa Linda shares how they’ve handled it all in such situations. We hope you enjoy it.

P.S. If you liked this episode check out our most recent episode:

NMC096 Ahava Interview

Recorded: March 16, 2019

Location: Austin, Texas

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Episode Transcript:

[00:00:00] Rosa Linda Román: Hello and welcome to New Mexi-Castaways. I'm Rosa Linda Román, and I just dropped my daughter Ahava off with her teammates as they head to the Texas Gymnastics State Meet or whatever the official term is. And I'm just very pensive this morning. Lots of thoughts, even though I'm very tired. It's a Saturday morning and I haven't been getting enough sleep because my husband just had knee surgery on Tuesday and a few weeks before that my daughter had knee surgery, and today this morning begins the first day of spring break for my son, Samuel, and I've just been generally staying up way too late, in general. I actually don't have a lot of excuse as far as the knee surgery goes this time around for not getting sleep because Ahava my daughter, she's been kind of running point. [00:01:22] Rosa Linda Román: She's been the point person in letting me sleep in her room while she stays in my room and takes care of my husband, if he has anything that he needs. But he hasn't been terribly needy. I don't want to jinx it, but he's in pain. He's definitely expressing how uncomfortable he is, but as Ahava so correctly pointed out, he was way worse as a patient when he was under the weather with like, he had like flu-like symptoms a few weeks ago and was down for the count for maybe four days straight. Just slept and was miserable. [00:01:55] Rosa Linda Román: He is definitely worse in that situation than when he just had knee surgery and is in real pain because he hates being sick. He hates being, you know, he's a doctor and dsa Lind as they say. So, we were supposed to be going to The Bahamas and go to this wonderful stocking island in the Exumas to go stay at a place called Cavalli House. [00:02:18] Rosa Linda Román: But once we found out that Nathan needed knee surgery, the timing was such that he really wanted to get it done right before our spring break, and so everything got canceled. It's a little weird time, but it definitely was needed. [00:02:31] Rosa Linda Román: As long as I've known Nathan, he's had the worst knees of anyone I've ever met, but he also has a very high pain tolerance. And so, he always said he wasn't going to get the knee surgery until it was absolutely necessary, or if at all. He always resisted every time I suggested that, you know, I knew a lot of people who had told me stories about how the surgery, the replacement surgery that they had put off for so long, once they finally did it, they were super glad they did, but Nathan was not having it. He was not interested in that in any way. [00:03:04] Rosa Linda Román: But what happened is once Ahava injured herself in gymnastics and she ruptured her ACL, and I've talked about how that's basically changed our whole family, and our outlook, and our thoughts about what we're going to be doing moving forward. But she had surgery and then Ahava's was successful. [00:03:23] Rosa Linda Román: She had her physical therapy and then Nathan went to one of her PT appointments and his knees were completely like swollen up like a water balloon, like just awful. And one of the physical therapists, you know, in the time that he had been talking with her about Ahava, she said, "Oh, my favorite thing to do is to drain knees." Which is a weird thing to say because people, I'm obviously not medically inclined, and so anything medical like that, it's like, “What? You're weird.” [00:03:52] Rosa Linda Román: But anyway, so she mentioned that to him and he said, "Oh, well maybe you could drain my knees." And they convinced him that they needed to set up an appointment and get an x-ray. And once they did that, the doctor said, "Well, on a scale of one to 10, with 10 being the worst knees I've ever seen, yours is a 12." That's how bad his knees, both of his knees are that bad. So, they convinced him that he really would be way better off having the surgery. He didn't want to, and he really was not sure he was going to, but once the doctor explained, like I guess his patella is completely gone, like it's basically totally bone on bone. And at some point if he didn't get the surgery, he would have nothing that they could even attach things to. So, they convinced him that it needed to be done now. [00:04:36] Rosa Linda Román: So, all of this to say, Nathan arranged to get surgery on Tuesday and he's going to do the other knee in three weeks. So, in theory, in a couple of months, we should have both these patients, Nathan and Ahava both back on their feet. Ahava just got to get rid of her brace about three days, I think like two days ago, she was able to drop the brace and lose the crutches. And now she's walking around normally. I mean, not normally, but she's able to walk around. She's still got to do a lot of physical therapy, and exercises, and use the tens unit, which was like the shocking unit to keep things moving the way they're supposed to be. [00:05:13] Rosa Linda Román: But anyway, so that's what's going on with the surgeries and so, that has kept us really immobile. Nathan can't do much and Ahava couldn't do much. And it's been, you know, restricting what we are able to do and that has been interesting. I feel like that has put us in a different mindset as we're looking ahead to the future and trying to figure out what we want next. [00:05:37] Rosa Linda Román: Now, I still very much have my desire to move, and wander, and travel, and explore. But I also recognize that we are in a situation where we really have to take care of the things that need to be handled, well, they're needed to be handled, right? It's current and it's important that we do that. [00:05:55] Rosa Linda Román: And so, with that in mind, I've been looking at it as we're present, and we're here, and what can we do while we're here to maximize our enjoyment as a family and as Nathan is currently in contract negotiations with his company and Ahava not training gymnastically. It really changes the dynamic and we really have to think about, okay, well what do we want? [00:06:19] Rosa Linda Román: We went to New Mexico where our home is, and our tenant who has been living there since we moved onto the boat, almost three years ago, is about to move out in about a month, I think, and so we're going to overhaul that house. It needs a lot of work, structurally. There's a lot that has to be done to it. And so, we already have made the commitment that we're going to do a lot of work on our house in New Mexico, and that house is on 75 acres in the forest outside of Albuquerque and is a really nice spot to get away from it all and to have kind of a respite from the busy city life of most other places. But it also is remote. And as far as like being a place I want to live, I always have had mixed feelings about it. It's beautiful and it is nice to have the space, but there's a very different thing here where, you know, we have a lot of people, and access to things, and services, and you know, like world class knee surgeons and physical therapists. [00:07:17] Rosa Linda Román: All of that is available here and it's relatively easy to get in and out. Like, my family can come and visit from Chicago easily, and a lot of people come through here. Like, some of our friends from The Bahamas who live in North Carolina now, and their daughters swim for college level, both three daughters swim at the college level. They are going to be coming here this weekend for NCAA Swimming Championships. And so, I get to see friends as they come through here. [00:07:46] Rosa Linda Román: So, you know, there's things like that that are positive. And the reason I'm telling you all this Is while we're dealing with what I'm saying, body repair time in our lives, we're making sure like all of our health issues are addressed, anything that we need to handle, getting, you know, dental work done or getting the knee surgery, any, oh, we got like eye checkups, and dental checkups, and making sure that things are just handled while we're here. [00:08:12] Rosa Linda Román: I've talked about, I think before, and I learned about from a podcast called Zen Parenting Radio, and that is the liminal space, the time after one thing ends, but before the next thing begins, right? They call it the liminal space. And I think that has to do with like the space between lives and between worlds. [00:08:29] Rosa Linda Román: But being in the liminal space is a great time to kind of just process and bring all the factors into focus before making the next move. And we've had so much happen with Ahava injuring herself, and Nathan with his surgery, and moving off the boat, and just, you know, all the things that have gone on in the last year because basically, this time last year we were having this same conversation but about whether or not to move off the Dawn Treader. So, now, we're looking at it and we had an interesting thing happen this week that made me really rethink everything. I think we were leaning toward as a family to move back to New Mexico. [00:09:07] Rosa Linda Román: I think that's what we all were... not all, Ahava definitely wants to move here. She has her teammates, she has her team, she likes it here, so her vote is to stay here. The rest of us have been pretty uncertain except for Ziva, who very much wants to live in New Mexico, but we were leaning toward moving back to New Mexico. [00:09:26] Rosa Linda Román: But we really, really, really like our little neighborhood that we live in right now. It's on a cul-de-sac. I think I've talked about it before, where we just have friends, and our neighbors are delightful, and we really enjoy them. And so, I have friends, Samuel has his little school that he gets to go to and he really enjoys, and Nathan's work is close, so he's home a lot more then Ahava has her gym. [00:09:48] Rosa Linda Román: So, there's a lot that we like about it, and yet there was no, we're renting a house in this little cul-de-sac neighborhood. So, it hasn't been a long-term option anyway because it's a rental house and we're not sure... we probably wouldn't want to stay in that house, even if it was available to rent. And we're not convinced that the landlord will want to rent to us again. She and Nathan don't work well together, let's put it that way. [00:10:11] Rosa Linda Román: And anyway, renting and being kind of here feels like we're not really doing the next thing we really want to do. Part of that is like Ziva hasn't really made friends here because she wants to go back to New Mexico. So, the thing that happened this week is a house two blocks away came on the market that has a lot of potential. [00:10:33] Rosa Linda Román: Now, it's not on our cul-de-sac, the downside, but it has a pool, which most houses don't because the little community has a little community pool. But it's not the same thing as having a pool in your backyard. And the thought of having a pool in our backyard, and the backyard is wonderful. It has lots of little places that like writing spots that I could get some writing done. And the house is a huge house for us and there's a lot of good things that could happen there. [00:10:59] Rosa Linda Román: It's in the same school district for Samuel and it's really good school district for the girls that would want to start regular school next year, because they've been homeschooling this year. [00:11:09] Rosa Linda Román: And so, we went to go see the house yesterday. I'm not sure though, like we have mixed feelings because like it's surrounded by five houses or maybe more that are right against the property line. So, there's no space between the house and like there's no green belt, there's no other space. It's the big backyard and the big house up against the property line of several other big backyards, big houses, and they're all two story, so they can see right into the backyard unlike the neighborhood we're we are in, which they're all one-story houses, so the backyard is pretty private. Nobody can see over the back fence, which is good and bad. Obviously, I don't care as much as Nathan does. He definitely doesn't like to have neighbors being able to look in. [00:11:52] Rosa Linda Román: But the plus side is, to be able to be kind of the gathering house, having a pool, you know, the kids are all going to be hanging out at our house, in our backyard and having the space to do that. So, this is what we're thinking about, and talking about, and trying to decide. [00:12:07] Rosa Linda Román: At the same time, we had an opportunity to discuss the possibility of buying that beautiful island that I talked to you about, buying at least part of Cavali House. And that is more of a long-term dream because buying an island, well, that certainly would spark joy for me. And I love the thought of the kids growing up on the beach and having, you know, slowing things down considerably. [00:12:32] Rosa Linda Román: I also know that it wouldn't want to take away from the possibilities and the things they have access to right now if they want to. And the fact that Ahava has expressed that she wants to go to a regular high school, which would be this upcoming year, that's hard to do if you are living on a tropical island. [00:12:50] Rosa Linda Román: And if we're not going to have a boat where we're going to sail, and explore, and do all of that, then we might as well be in a place where our home base is joyful and it's easy to fly to places from there. The New Mexico problem is, is not easy to fly to places from there, and it's up in the mountains and remote. And so, Nathan doesn't do any work in that town, so he wouldn't be able to be home working from there. He would be traveling for work a lot more. So, that's one big factor. [00:13:22] Rosa Linda Román: You know, I just realized, I was asking myself, why am I talking about all this on this podcast? And it's because you guys are my sounding board and you guys help me process this in a way that I can't really do that with my family, and they're welcome to listen to these podcasts. That's not the issue. It's nothing to be hidden or there's nothing that I wouldn't want my family to hear. It's just when we're talking it through as a family, it's a very different dynamic because everybody's got a vested interest in it. [00:13:47] Rosa Linda Román: As I'm talking it through with you here on the podcast, it's just me talking. As I've said many times in the past, this is Rosa Linda's Ramblings. That's what I see this podcast as and it helps me to fine tune some of my thoughts. [00:14:01] Rosa Linda Román: And the thing that just really hit me about why is it that I would want to stay here versus going to New Mexico? And the number one reason is that I would get to be with Nathan more. And you know, he is my beloved, my life partner and my best friend. And so, that's a huge one. And the kids would get to be with him more. And I got to tell you, this surgery thing, it's been a little bit hard because we have a dear, dear friend, she lost her husband after he had knee surgery. Supposedly, everything went well and then she woke up a few days later and found that he had passed away overnight and from, I believe it was like blood clot or something. [00:14:35] Rosa Linda Román: And you know, knowing that when Nathan went into surgery, it really had me doing a lot of thinking about, you know, what if, and I had to have the conversation with him. Like, "Okay, so this is the morning of..." As he is prepped for going into surgery. I needed to make sure I had access to all of our accounts. "What are your passwords? If God forbid, something should happen and how do I approach that? You know, what would I need to do to make sure our family is okay?" [00:15:00] Rosa Linda Román: Obviously, the emotional thing is a different thing, but I'm talking about just from a responsible grownup standpoint, making sure I understood how to manage our finances and things like that. [00:15:09] Rosa Linda Román: So, we were having that conversation as he was, you know, half an hour out from going into surgery, and these are the things that have kept me awake for days and days and days leading up to and after the surgery, is the fear that something would happen to him and realizing that I want us to really fully maximize our joy while we're together, and I know it's really important for the kids to be able to enjoy Nathan, and he's 11 years older than I am, so at the time of this recording I'm 47, that means he's 58 and he's very fit, and healthy for his age. He's young at heart. And hopefully, with these new knees, he's going to really get a new lease on life. [00:15:50] Rosa Linda Román: So, I want to make sure that whatever we decide to do on the home front supports us moving into what I like to call my BAL, which is our big awesome life, and to really do the things that we haven't necessarily done because I fully believe, as much as we've done wild, crazy, amazing things, living on a boat and living up mountains in New Mexico and we have a condo in Mexico, there's a lot of great things that we've done. I feel like we're just getting started and I think part of that push that I've had to go travel and explore and I want to go, go, go is because I know that we are just getting started, but I'm starting as I mature, and as I kind of settle into the fact it's a marathon, not a sprint, realizing that I don't have to travel full-time in order to have the ability to explore and do things the way that we want. [00:16:42] Rosa Linda Román: The next big question will come up, what kind of school do we want them in? I mean, if we did move to New Mexico, do we want them in the regular public school or we going to continue trying to do the homeschool thing? Or are we talking about alternative schools like Acton Academy, or Esteem Academy, or a homeschool co-op where we're not the primary teachers or like Ahava's teammate does dual enrollment. That's what it is with Texas, I believe. [00:17:07] Rosa Linda Román: But anyway, my point is as I'm getting older, as you, you know, kind of look at your own mortality and that of the people you love the most, you start to go, well, let's look at how we can reduce the stress, cut some of the stuff out that isn't necessary, and add more of the stuff that brings us all joy. And as I walked into that house yesterday, I have to say it, first of all, the house was like in abominable shape. Whoever lives there has let their animals, they must have a dozen animals based on the litter boxes. And I know when we knocked on the door the first time, there was a dog there, but they have gone to the bathroom all over the carpet, the walls, everything smells. [00:17:47] Rosa Linda Román: I mean, this is not a house that is going to be like a turnkey walk in you move in. It's going to be a project. So, that's one thing, that's a totally different thing than not being tied down, and traveling freely, and living out of just our suitcases, or living on a catamaran and sailing right? [00:18:04] Rosa Linda Román: But thing that I felt when I walked in there was, "Oh, this could be a gathering place once we fix the house itself." But the backyard and the fact that it's only a couple blocks from the people that we've really come to appreciate, and love, and it's kind of easy access to all the things, but not so crowded like this little rental house, it made me think, "Well, you know, maybe we've been looking at this wrong. Maybe having that home base in an easy environment like this will free us up to explore other things and other possibilities." So, I guess I'm really leaning toward that, moving here, fully embracing Round Rock, Texas, and all that comes with it, at the same time, fixing up our house in New Mexico, probably as a VRBO, HomeAway, and continuing to explore and go on adventures, but doing it in a way that we don't necessarily have to pick up and take all of our stuff with us every time. [00:19:02] Rosa Linda Román: So, that's what's on my mind body repairs and liminal space. What do you do? Are you in liminal space right now? I'm curious about where you find yourself at the time of this recording. Are you settled in a neighborhood where you live and you use that as your home base? Are you settled in a neighborhood and you don't want to roam and you just listen to these podcasts to see a different way that people do things? [00:19:24] Rosa Linda Román : Are you itching to get rid of your home and, you know, throw caution to the wind and put up the sales and explore, or are you in the liminal space like I am right now where you're really weighing lots of different possibilities and trying to figure it all out? Please consider putting a comment. This is a subject that I know I've kind of talked about ad nauseum lately, but it's because we're really making a shift, I think, and I'd like to hear what you guys think. [00:19:51] Rosa Linda Román: Can you still be a gypsy soul and be anchored somewhere? I don't know. I want to hear what you guys have to say. All right, I got stuff to do, and places to go, and my people to enjoy on this beautiful morning of the first morning of Spring Break. All right, thanks for listening and I'll keep in touch and I hope you'll do the same. [00:20:10] Rosa Linda Román: I'm Rosa Linda Román, and this is New Mexi-Castaways. Bye.

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