Sunday, January 25, 2009

Anniversary Getaway & Theo update.

Theo and I needed a night alone really, really bad. Our anniversary marked the perfect excuse to take one. I initially wanted to go to Door County, but its so hard predict weather in winter and I was worried that we would make reservations and then wind up unable to reach our destination. I told Theo I didn't mind something local, and to remember how much I dislike anything "chainy." He did his own research and found a bed and breakfast south of Madison. We started our day at his orthopedic docs office...

Now would be a good time to bring you up to date on Theo's health and deployment status:

Theo has been having shoulder pain for a few months now, and in December he finally went to our family practioner to investigate. The doc sent him for MRI's, one normal, and one with injections at the site to highlight the area. The findings were complicated, but enough for Theo to need to see some specialists. The first doc we went to said he'd rather Theo see someone who specializes in shoulders. We're both learning about this as we go... the MRI's show evidence of a torn labrum. I guess the labrum is sandwiched between some bones and such, and the area where his tear is located is not visible until the surgeon is inside his body. The MRI's shows signs of stress in the area, like cysts, etc, and more than likely there is a tear in there somewhere.

Once we were with the shoulder specialist, whom Theo saw just days before he left for Texas to process for his deployment, we were told he may have had the tear in his labrum for a very long time, perhaps his whole life. Theo played baseball for most of his life, intensely, and it's possible this injury dates back to his days in the sport, also. Anyhoo, this tear would require a minimum of 1-2 months physical therapy before the docs would consider operating on him. Once, operated on, the minimum recovery time would be 4 months.

So, deploying to Afghanistan was starting to look less and less likely for Theo. But we still had to wait until he saw the military doctors before we knew for sure.

Fast forward until this last week. Theo's been in Texas helping his unit get ready to go overseas this whole month. He's finally been through the part when they determine his medical readiness. He had to have his head scanned so they could clear the possibly of any more seizures from his initial his seizures from 23 months ago. They had to really look closely at his deformed foot, also. The shoulder injury makes it impossible for Theo to deploy.

He cannot operate a weapon on a narcotic pain medication. He also cannot be asked to where a 40lb + protective vest over a shoulder injury of this nature.

The doctor on the base looked closely at Theo's MRI's and his opinion is that the tear isn't causing the majority of the pain. Instead he see's bone spurs on the shoulder, near the back, that he believes are causing the pain. These bone spurs may need an operation also, but first will require physical therapy.

So, as of this last few days, Theo's paperwork to come home, instead of go to Afghanistan, is complete. He's staying in Texas to help his unit get ready, and should be back with his some time in the next few weeks, at which time he'll be begin his physical therapy.

He's formally listed as non-deployable for 90 days, at which time he'll be re-evaluated. It's uncertain whether or not they replace his position in his unit for the deration of the deployment. Whether or not Theo joins in his unit in 90 days will be determined by the healing of his shoulder, but would not even be considered if his role is filled by another soldier. I'll keep you posted.

For now, once he is home he returns to his M-F Army job in Madison as usual. He'll have plenty to do there keeping his unit functioning while they are all gone.

...So we left the first orthopedic docs appointment and headed off on our anniversary getaway. We first found the bed and breakfast location, although check-in was not until that afternoon. When we first moved to Wisconsin we had explored this are quite bit, so it was familiar to us. We decided to head into Mt. Horeb, a local small town with a troll theme.

Once there, we parked the car and walked up and down the main road, looking for adventure. We found this:

We like mustard well-enough, and it looked fun, so we went in. We found out there's more to mustard than we had ever imagined. Just look at all the different mustards!

My favorite one:

Mustard jars:

Old school glass mustards...

Mustard from tins:

Vending machine mustard:

Ring around the mustard and you take one home! three rings were a $1, and it went to charity. the brought home a spicy one. FYI: behind him is the tasting table, where you can try any of the mustard's they carry! Loved this.

We bought a Finnish mustard called Anija's, moved on to the next adventure.

There are several antique shops in town, and I dipped into a few. Theo bought me a glass ball decoration for my garden at one place, and some wax melting tarts that smelled like Christmas at another.

We went to check in after our adventure in Mt. Horeb. This is the road to the bed and breakfast. You can see the point in the distance over the rows of pines, and that's the roof of the place.

Here it is:

Surrounded and secluded by forrest planted only a decade ago. I wanted to live here on this land so badly!

And you know how excited I was to see the Innkeeper's a gardener? I can't wait to go back and see all of this in the spring!!

While Theo checked in I took some pictures, and watched the birds, who were abundant! Finches, cardinals, chickadees, and more. I'd live in his house if I were them:

The big gazebo in the middle here is covered in pink William Baffin roses and purple clematis in the spring.

The innkeeper made a dinner recommendation for us. She sent us to Quivey's Grove in Fitchburg, south of Madison. It's in an old barn, filled with beautiful old wood. So beautiful!


It doesn't take but one glass of wine to get me happy these days, and we enjoyed a nice sandwich for dinner, too.
Before we left the innkeepr had asked if we'd like anything to drink later. She left out some warm apple cider on the table in the main room for us. We sat down by the Christmas tree and enjoyed our cider while browsing through photo albums of the inn and the garden around it.
Then we headed up to our room.
Between the restaurant and our inn there was a a chocolatier, Candida's. We ran in and grabbed a box of chocolates to take back to our room. I shared, and we ate the whole box. Duh.
Our room was awesome. You know, the Victorian style isn't my style, but it's nice for a night. It's cozy and warm. Despite the new construction on the home, it still felt like a step back in time, and I found it so relaxing.

If I had one of these jacuzi tubs I'd use it all the time. I really, really would. This was like a slice of heaven!
The bed was sooooooooooooo comfortable. Amazing, like a cloud, really.
Here we are off to journey the next day. :) But, not before we enjoyed a 4 course breakfast made by the innkeeper. I'd never had a 4 course breakfast! I'd also never imagined you could incorporate so much fruit into a midwinter meal. She made a warm fruit compote with bananas, berries, and cinnamon with a blended juice (I want to say it was blackberry and something?) that was incredible for the 1st course. Second, warm cranberry and orange muffins, third a homemade eggs benedict served with an enlgish muffin and local made fruit preserves. Her eggs benedict was amazing! Finally, a fruit sorbet. Simply amazing. Really. Amazing!
I also really enjoyed our breakfast conversation with the other guests, and the innkeeper. We talked about the garden, and local things to do. She was wonderful!
Right outside the B & B there was a tiny little town called Paoli. You blink you miss it kind of town. We stopped at this little cheese shop to grab some baby swiss, my fav. And I think Theo got some sausage.

Behind the cheese shop was this charming creek. I think we'll be back here in the summer.
Also in Paoli, we found this schoolhouse. The innkeeper reccomended this place. I found a few Christmas ornaments on clearance as souveniors. Many of our ornaments have some significance; we bought one of my favorites on our honeymoon in Solvang, CA, and other on anniversaries, or before we were married. Now, these santa's will always remind me of our 6th wedding anniversary.

We headed to New Glarus to roam. We decided to eat roesti, a swiss potato and cheese dish, at the New Glarus Hotel. I don't know how we had any room for it after that breakfast, but we did!

We ended our day getting cookies at the New Glarus Bakery to bring home for the kiddos, and driving to our local farm and fleet to get a finch feeder (I was so jealous how of how many finches she had at her place, and she told me how she lured them, based off the advise of a previous guest who was a bird expert). Such a wonderful way to rejuvinate ourselves and our marriage. Thank you, baby, for such a great time! I love you!

1 comment:

leena! said...

Theo! Glad to have you here, even if it is only for a few months. Hope your shoulder is alright.

Jamie--This trip looks like so much fun. Just about everything you did-including the mustard museum--was something I would love to do. Just the sort of thing Adam and I would do in Australia, and yet you were in Wisconsin. All that food--and a four course breakfast?!

I'm in. Would you mind sending me the address? Happy anniversary, guys!