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Saturday, November 21, 2015

Another week in a sling


Well, it’s interesting, this eight week (from my lips to God’s ear) side trip, life in a sling. When I played silly games with my brothers we would pretend to be blind, or roll an arm up in our tee shirts to immobilize it, and pretend how well we could function, handicapped. Ha! Double Ha for my brothers, one of whom broke a leg and the other an arm (twice!). I don’t recall having sympathy for them.

The worst is the clothing. Even without appearing in public, it is mental humiliation to look like a bag lady. From bottom to top, I cannot tie my shoes, though I can put on socks. I can pull up both my underwear and my “petite ladies’ jogging pants”. The pants are not S or M, they are XL, with a drawstring. With only a moderate struggle, they come up.

No bra since the one I removed to go to bed in the infamous cozy flannel gown that snatched the legs from under me three weeks ago. As vain as I am about size ten trousers, front zip, I am more vain about arranging my over sized chest. Oh, the humiliation of appearing to be contained in a camisole, or, worse yet, a men’s undershirt.

Every morning my sister, or a granddaughter removes the sling, then the nightshirt, gets me into a soft and warm oversized denim shirt I’ve had for years. We reverse the process at night. So much for the TMI intro, unless it convinces you to shorten your cozy flannel gown to knee length.

To drive my car (yes, in public), I have the seat enough forward to use my knee as my left hand on the steering wheel. Joe was disbelieving the first time, and I could feel him mentally steering. Two weeks later he simply is distraught over the continuing post season winning streak. Last night’s team was the only team considered able to beat them, and it failed. Poor Joe.

The first two weeks I limited myself to driving around town. There is plenty of that, between work and schlepping children four times a week. Yesterday I elected to drive myself to the doctor. I went over the route mentally, planning on being a sedate old granny driver who would endanger no one with one handed driving.

It is far easier to cruise the freeway with one hand than city streets. I had my nerve back at the first merge and soon could mutter, “Get your damn BMW up to speed, old man; don’t make me pass you! Oh, well, you were warned. Hasta la vista.”




I stopped at the bird seed store. If I bought two seed cylinders, the feeder was free. The cylinder has meal worms in it. I bought two, so Laura could say "Ewwee" when she put them up.


Our old cylinder feeder. Laura won't give them a new cylinder until the old one is cleared away.


The new suet feeder with a tail paddle board to make woodpeckers feel like they have a tree under them. The feeder has been discovered, though I've seen neither a bird or a squirrel on it.


It is such a cold and dreary day. But, many inches of snow are falling on my friend Ann, in Wisconsin. No complaining, Joanne. Only five weeks to go.


37 comments:

  1. Oh Lord, can't imagine driving with my knees, i have a stick shift, I'd be lost. 8 weeks sounds like forever.ll

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  2. That driving with the knees sounds scary.

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  3. That driving with the knees sounds scary.

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  4. Guess a girl does what a girl's gotta do... and you sure know how to make do! Hey... that's quite an array of bird feeders you have out... NICE!

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  5. Since I retired and stopped dressing for success, my wardrobe has gone increasingly downhill. Your current attire sounds fine to me! (except for the drawstring waistband...stretch elastic sounds like an easier fix) Get well soon!

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    1. I didn't find a soft enough elastic! All too stiff to stretch with one hand. Helluva learning curve, here.

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  6. Oh what fun. You never know how much you need things till you lose the ability. It must just drive you crazy. And for such a long time. Oh, well, you don't have to cook Thanksgiving dinner this year.

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  7. It's amazing how you can adapt. I used to chop veg by pressing the knife into the vegetable ,lifting the knife as high as I could,then smashing the knife onto the chopping board. Not pretty,but strangely satisfying!
    Jane x

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  8. On the days when my arthritis is making everything ache, just putting on the brake hurts! I sympathize with your injury! and your driving methods! ha ha

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  9. Except for the dressing and clothes part, it sounds like you are doing better than I am with a broken foot. I am still "rolling" everywhere and depending on my hub to drive me where I need to go. Not too safe driving with a broken right foot! Take care and keep your birdies happy and safe.Linda@Wetcreek Blog

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  10. At one stage my poor mother had three of her four children on crutches, simultaneously.
    I feel for you, and hope that the pain and inconvenience disappear quickly.
    Love the bird feeders.

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  11. One day at a time......you are very brave to tackle driving one handed.

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  12. I like you "can do" attitude. You've done very well having only one arm to drive and type this post and all the other things you do. Keep going. Kudos. xx

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  13. How scary, Joanne! Please take care of yourself. Sending you a warm hug. I love the bird feeders!

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  14. Obviously takes more than a bad fall to keep you down!

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  15. I'm amazed and delighted at all you are doing with a broken arm.
    You really are a tough old lady, there's no keeping you down.

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  16. I am stifling a laugh at the mental picture of you bearing down on - and passing - the "old man" in the BMW!

    Take care of yourself, though, and don't do anything rash - or perhaps it will make more of an impression if I put it this way: don't do anything you wouldn't want your granddaughters to do if they had a broken arm :)

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  17. Hem that gown!! I remember how hard it is to go without the use of an arm. Quite inconvenient! One of my favorite campers has only partial use of her right arm, born that way. A couple of years ago, she broke the good arm. Thank goodness she lives with her daughter. She could not dress or even feed herself. But, the real problem lay in the use of toilet tissue! Just saying it could be worse!!

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  18. By the time you get that sling off you'll be able to do EVERYTHING :-)

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  19. If I did my math right, you should enter the new year without a sling. I bet you are looking forward to that! I admire your tenacity to drive with it, seems like you are somewhat doing okay in that regard. I guess the good thing is it is winter and people tend to bundle up a bit and wear sometimes mismatched things. Could be worse if it was a hot summer time.

    betty

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  20. Please be careful driving. It's hard enough with two hands. You should be out of that thing soon.

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  21. Oh Joanne, I missed you telling about the accident: I'm so sorry for you and wish you a quick healing!
    The reason - slipping over a nightgown - reminds me of that wide 70th pants, I don't know the right term for those - they were dangerous too! And the houses in England - and my hometown Bremen, wich is very British - have steep staircases - I hate to think that quite a lot people -e.g. Laura Ashley - fell to death there. Having shown the worst I can say in a Pollyanna-way: See - it had something good in it - you are able to drive with one hand and a knee! But I wish you will soon be able to use both hands again.

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  22. I do admire the way you are coping with this Joanne. It sounds as though you will be out of harness just in time for Christmas.

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  23. I think you are coping like a real trooper x

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  24. I got a big kick out of your stern driving words to the old man driving too slow on the highway.

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  25. I would not complain about a size 10 pants size.

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    1. But with a broken arm I can neither pull them up nor zip them.

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  26. I hate being hindered by an injury. at least you can make it to the bathroom by yourself. the first few days after my snakebite I needed help for that little personal function. my torn hamstring has turned out to be a breeze as long as I don't unthinkingly do something to remind me of it. glad you aren't letting it change your routines, well, except for the whole getting dressed thing. giving in is a slippery slope.

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    1. I have 8 weeks marked on my calendar. This coming Thursday is the end of week 4. It gets only 8 weeks of my life, and it's done.

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  27. I'm going to be very careful and never falling over or breaking anything, you make it sound so very difficult but you can at least go the bathroom alone hope it all improves soon.
    Merle........

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  28. You are too feisty to stay put; being stuck in the house would drive you up a wall. Or any other place. I hope the BMW watches out for you. You brook no slow drivers when your arm is hung up! Heal.

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  29. Good to have you post. I know what you are going through. Mine was a broken leg and ankle. Three months completely non-weight bearing. Thought I would go crazy. You don't sound like you are letting it hold you back. Be careful!!

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  30. Having to struggle with the aftermath of a dislocated hip in April, I know how a disability messes up your self-confidence and routine. I hope you recover quickly!

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  31. Dear Joanne, so sorrry to learn that you've broken your arm. Does this mean also that you can't weave? That must be hard since it gives you so much pure pleasure. I wear loose-fitting, baggy clothes all the time. It's how I feel comfortable. But for you right now it's not so much comfort, but just being able to get things on. I remember the problem when I had rotator cuff surgery done back in September 2010. So I sympathize. Peace.

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  32. Your determination and willpower is amazing.

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  33. I think it's really important that you explain the nuances of all this; you are teaching all of us empathy and how to get our heads inside the suckiness of another's experience.

    I also feel, in a weird way, that this time of taxation for you is actually a pretty wonderful life lesson for your grand-daughter. Learning to be a caretaker is huge.

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