Thursday, August 30, 2018

Who has new knees?

I’ve been home a week, I think. It seems harder to keep track of individual days than to count the number of Fridays since I broke a string of bones. We’ve bought groceries one time, which counts as zero, as there was no food in the house when Laura and I came home. Actually, she went grocery shopping; I simply was installed.

There has been sorting in the last seven days. Transfer bench to tub: I should have done this when we moved here and I gave up my walk in shower. Toilet riser seat: very nice, but it needs a cushy seat added, though the therapist assured me it really was not a necessary expense. Wheelchair: comfy, but used for little more than chatting with Laura while she makes supper.

Walker: indispensable! Two broken shoulders notwithstanding, I would be beached without it. Not grounded, but stranded. Like I told the young fella, you can fix both shoulders someday, if necessary, but I won’t get over this broken leg if I can’t substitute some other body part. Shoulders it is. Painful, but doable.

It’s my knees that hurt, and not just a little. In therapy at Regina, the therapists strapped each knee into braces that stopped them from snapping and hyperextending. Here at home I have similar braces, but all Velcro; no buckles and locking straps. If I put them on in the morning, I can get through the day to about late afternoon. Not pain free, but tolerable.

At my next doctor visit, in September, I think my first question will be How soon can I get new knees?

Who out here has new knees? Tell me everything about them, please!

In the meantime, in a week home, I have entertained a home nurse and an occupational therapist. Passed those with flying colors. Tomorrow, a physical therapist will size me up and give me an exercise regimen. That will be good. Better yet, I’ve been to lunch with a friend. My neighbor took me out to buy the walker. I watched Laura do garden work for half of last Saturday. It rained all day Sunday. 

Pretty boring to recuperate, yes? I have begun weaving, between naps. So far it amounts to two bobbins, so I’ve just gone around the breast take up roller. And today, I played cards with the Methodists. They picked me up, opened doors, let me in through the sanctuary, and we played pinochle for two hours.

I ate my usual entire bowl of corn chips and Nancy and I lost the day. Bad cards. Wonderful, wonderful company.

So, please tell me about your knees.

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Praying mantis, peach crumble and perfect tie on

On Saturday Laura tackled (ahem) four weeks of weeding. I kept her company. The plants keep filling in. We have a praying mantis in the sedum, and a cone flower as tall as Laura's wire flower.

My sister stopped to offer fresh peaches! Just the smell is divine. Laura made her google version of a cobbler last summer, but this year I held out for a crumble. It was a tough sell, but now she is a convert, and announced she could settle just for a pan of the crunchy stuff, with ice cream!

My bowl full, with three scoops of good vanilla ice cream!

I spent the entire weekend tying the new warp to the old. All 440 ends! In the old days, it was 800 to 1,000 ends for a new run of fabric. I should be grateful for towels, not shirts.

Tiring business, and it put me to sleep a few times. I understand how cats can just zonk. It has to do with blurry eyes, tired fingers and aching shoulders.

But now it's all tied, new to old, and tomorrow I'll get it pulled through and tied to the breast beam. Laura admired it for a second, and asked "You pull it all through at once?" Yes, I do.

Friday, August 24, 2018

All the news

Wednesday evening my sister brought me home. Here's what one month of unfinished business looks like. It would be worse, except Laura brought me all the mail she got, and we put our junk in Regina's trash and I paid bills on my cell phone.

Took me one day to get down to the desk pad. That was Thursday. I finished much off today, after an appointment with the young kid doctor who put the titanium rod in my leg.

He gave me a copy of the x-ray. I tried to scan it, but once again my HP Office Jet Pro is convinced it is not associated with my Dell Windows 10. So just let me report, a 9 nine inch long titanium spike, with 8 screws through it. Dr. Wilkie showed me the line that is mending, four weeks later. I can only see a separation where the break started, at the knee.

He asked how my recovery was coming, and I said save for the effing knees, not bad. Based on year old x-rays of my knees, for which he recommended replacements and I turned him down, he injected my uninjured knee with cortisone. I prompted a shot for the right knee, too. He grinned. "I don't think so. You'd take advantage."

My very oldest granddaughter stopped by tonight. Bekka is twenty five, and welds for an aerospace company. The hair cut is brand spanking new. Her mother doesn't even know, let alone seen it.

And speaking of haircuts, the final picture of me with an extra month's growth. Melanie says she'll "see what I can do with it," and I said "Cut it off!" "We'll see," said a very pleased Mel.

So, that's all the whining for a while. Work to do. We have lot's of post cards to address to registered voters who skipped the last election. Get out and vote. Go to the polls in November. If you don't vote, you don't count!

Saturday, August 18, 2018

A quest

I know many of the aids by name by now, and not just because they wear name tags. Marianne and I rub along quite well .

She is past efficient when speed is essential, and way laid back when not. I've been late for nothing with her in charge, including those horrid days I was Hoyered out of bed,  screaming in pain because the straps were ill positioned on the nine inches of titanium rod in my thigh. We remain speaking work mates, a lot because I've learned new ways to get out of bed.

I'm champion at side board, and standing and pivoting now. Interestingly, my bare feet can barely tolerate these floors. Shoes are essential to dressing, for me. Flat feet.

Back to Marianne. We have running conversations about her evenings and weekends.

"I have a soccer mom van and no kids, I take care of so many."

After a day off, "Blondie and I took the kids to the zoo today." Blondie is another aid, with inch long, spikes of bleached white hair. Marianne scrolled through zoo pictures of herself pushing a double stroller with one hand and occasionally leading a third child. Blondie was there, with two daughters.

"Well, how was it? Something you'd do again, or maybe not for ten or fifteen years?" 

" It was such a good idea, " said my my little ball of energy. "No repeat!"

When she talks food, I only listen, of course. But this weekend became interesting. She and her boyfriend both have the weekend off. But, it's raining. 

There are two ball games. In the rain? There is the Italian Festival. In the rain? 

I asked if she knew The Holden Arboretum? "Yes, but in the rain?"

" Hard rain? Cold rain? You wrangle kids and old duffers. Your boyfriend is a police officer. You haven't melted. You both have waterproof clothing! "

Marianne was warming. The attraction of the arboretum is the fairly new skywalk, high above the trees, overlooking the valley.

"My former husband has a dedicated bench there. I've never seen it. I understand it's by his favorite pond, though I couldn't find my way back. The one our oldest daughter ran straight into, in her 'walk on water' days. "

"A quest!" said Marianne. "We'll find it, and I'll bring you its picture."

Thursday, August 16, 2018

First day of school

Well, I missed it, but Laura didn't. We're both working on "school" right now. She has physics, art, English, government, ASL, and more she can't recall because the tablet is "configured like a phone, and that's stupid" . Oh well.

She wore her favorite thrift store outfit, and picked up new glasses tonight.

Back at my place of knowledge,  I have been drilled in the proper bath equipment, transfer apparatus, lounging apparatus. 

I keep on smilin, agreeing, demonstrating my ability to transfer from anywhere to anything. My goal to leave is Wednesday. I'm good for an 8 inch step, and just need four in a row, up, to get in my front door.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Walking papers

The appointment was one p.m. First therapy, and the unhappy words on both sides because I cannot pull to a standing position, left arm alone.
Visualize the one that broke me last week. A walker. Someone lifts me from the chair and stands me in the walker, still holding me up. Bad left arm must hold the center front of walker, verboten right arm in sling. Now, on tiptoe of broken foot and leg take shuffling step with right. Tried it again today,  failed again. Came up for lunch, then left for doctor appointment.
I really have not mentioned my lovely granddaughter in this ordeal. Once I was wheeled into the hall after therapy, and there was Laura.

Another time, popping off an elevator. Waiting in my room. I suggested advance warning would be good, but she stuck with surprising me. "I can always wait." 
Today she popped from the elevator we were taking down to the van. She popped back in and rode down.

And off. The whippersnapper was right on schedule. More xrays showed no additional healing (WTH, it's only been two weeks), but no shifting. He asked what prompted my early return. I discarded the sling, showed the mobility of my right arm vs. left, and without pain. 
I explained he had to get on my team; he'd already cost me seven days. For good measure I tossed in my granddaughter, circulating among good friends and family, all because he chose not to listen to me last time. We agreed my broken right shoulder would be a long time deteriorating to the condition of my trashed left shoulder, and perhaps it didn't matter. In black sharpie he wrote a no restrictions note. We shook right hands.
I turned in the release to the desk. The news beat me down the hall. In the next hour therapists and I ran through all the failed stuff, using the bars in the bathroom. Ludicrous, but effective. Tomorrow I get a new wheelchair and a new routine. WooHoo.

Monday, August 13, 2018

Took names; Kicking ass

I mentally sorted my gripes, high to low. Absolute highest: no use of right arm re broken shoulder. Think about this. My left arm is trashed and scheduled for repair surgery when I broke the right. Every thing I do with the left hurts and hurts it more.
Last week I called the young whippersnappers nurse and told her (voice mail, of course), my therapy is severely limited by not using my right arm. What solution does the doctor have? He must get on this team! No answer, of course.
Over the weekend I had lots of time to consider. I am permitted to further wreck my left arm, but don't use the right arm you broke! Without that arm, I cannot stand, except with help. Once up I can stand for the derigeur ten minutes required for clearance for the next activity, like walking, again.
But I cannot hold the parallel bars to walk, except left handed. I skew left, twisting and aggravating my right knee, not to mention my feet are not stable to walk because two hands are not on the bars. Don't tell me there are plenty of one armed people. That's a skill set I don't have and don't have time to develop.
I returned from PT at lunchtime, angry. I called the whippersnapper and made an appointment for tomorrow. I need him to clear me to use that arm to get up and walk! Then he can fix them, one at a time.

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Boggling boredom

Normal boredom has expanded exponentially today. Usually morning is therapy, afternoon is recovery, evening is free time.

It's Saturday. All bets off! My aid said " What are you wearing today, then just evaporated. Breakfast came, no information. Some visitors to my roommate, who brushed by me. Just as well; I don't need breathing treatments. But I haven't washed my face or brushed my teeth yet today.

I did have a shower yesterday; first since the infamous morning of July 20. 

My world. Sigh. I did snag a lost seeming aide with hands in pockets. I sent her off to see if I have therapy. She passed my door three times before she came in and reported No. At least I could dismiss the clothing issue.

I sent her to find Mary Ann, and pulled out the fake tablet to try a blog post. I heard someone approaching. Mary Ann parked the vitals trolley center door and oozed away. 

Eventually she reappeared, zipped around the curtain and sat on the bed. "Seen Titanic? I'm the violin. One called off, one went home. I came in three hours early. Then one of us fell.

It's eleven in the morning. Maybe after lunch I'll get into the chair. I can side board transfer now.

I think this will be more small print. If I change to big, but set the post aside, it gratuitously goes back to small print. WTH. It's not like I'm using paper and pencil.

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Cat rights

So much housekeeping to deal with in an emergency. Laura went with aunt Janice. Money comes and goes in the bank. "Just board the cat," I advised. "Toby likes it there."
 "But how much!?" asked my sister.
 "Eight or ten a day."
 "We'll work it out at home!"
And so Toby took up temporary accomodation in
Jake 's home, in the basement. Door closed.
Jake is a year old Cairn terrier, full of himself. There have been innumerable encounters over the last year! Toby has learned confidence. Jake has learned to jump higher and higher, and bark--well, you know Cairns.
Tom put cushions on high basement places, made a playground, takes care of Toby's food and box; even goes down to play. Jake knew the cat was afoot, and not invisible. He kenneled up the first night,  but did not sleep. The next morning he hoovered up all the evidence Toby spent the night upstairs. Jake was awake two solid days.
Toby, meanwhile, expanded his "upstairs privileges. He called at the basement door earlier and earlier. He slept in every piece of furniture; with every person. Jake knew real trouble loomed. Soon his bed time would be noon.
Actually, Jan took pity. Toby grew up with dogs, and worked into the heart of cat, dog, person alike. Although he wasn't about to set Jake straight, he could wait for Jake to get it. So, for several evenings,
Jake sits by Jan on short leash and high alert, watching a cat make itself at home. He's quit the incessant barking. Jan's almost ready  to invite Toby up for a  formal introduction.
Stay tuned.

Monday, August 6, 2018

No sacrificial jeans

I lay on the foyer floor of the wellness center, broken shoulder cradling broken thigh. The EMT deftly slipped a pair of scissors into his hand and reached for my jean's cuff.
 "Don't cut," I hissed .
 "Your knee. Your thigh."
 "Don't cut!"

It was not noon, and I spent the next several hours having my broken bones xrayed at that auxiliary emergency room, under the direction of "downtown" . "It's easier this way," and recalling my experiences of being trundled from A to B "downtown," yes it was.

I kept my jeans intact.

About eight in the evening I made the trip to Cleveland Clinic main emergency room. 

Barely in the examination room, the kid whipped out the scissors. 

 "Don't cut!"

No answer. The fabric taughtened.


 " She said not to cut!, " and a lovely woman EMT elbowed Mr. Scissor Hands aside. "We know the value of good jeans!"

Over the butt, good leg, bad leg; jeans folded and sent home with Jan. Probably less noise from me than cutting.

Saturday, August 4, 2018

Grossness first, then onward and upward

On the way into therapy a couple  of weeks ago, I ran straight into that damn toe lift problem, and fell straight down on my shoulder. The other one. My foot that couldn't be bothered to lift up broke first; metatarsials three and four, I think. My shoulder broke, of course. I heard the clavicle snap.

In between, I heard my femur break. I now have 8 inches of steel rod in my thigh! The good news is, perhaps both legs are the same length again. The bad news: I'm still in bed.

That's it for now. I'm not tablet savvy yet.