Monday, November 29, 2021

Some prooogress to report

Last week physical therapy read  me the riot act. I have progressed dramatically in physical skills rquired to care for myself in my incapacitated state. There is little left to teach me, that I need to know when I get a new weight bearing status in that leg in three weeks?

Except Joanne, the instigator, already had a new appointment for Tuesday, to get a new number from the young ortho fellow. I was on the way to the nurses' station to be sure I'd picked the correct date for the appointment, and I intecepted the physio person and the scheduler.

The scheduler was on the phone with the doctor's office, cancelling my appointmrnt tomorrow. "It is far too soon to be exposing that leg to another x-ray." Where were they when I was fighting off that chest x-raying fool of a doctor at the hospital?

Long story short, the physical therapy lady and I went back to my room and made a new plan.I can transfer from place to place using the Hoyer lift and the slide board. I also figured out how to get from seat to seat without an intermediary device. But, I have not been trained, or the aides certified. With shorter sessions, we can cover three weeks.

In the meantime, it snowed last night. Also in the meantime I cannot see how to get to the "dashboard" and read your blogs. I'll see what I can do about that tonight!

Sunday, November 21, 2021

Wanna see the damage?

Another weekend, boredrome and doldrums. No excitement except self induced! I seem to have a bye week of therapy, though my roommate has been severely tasked!

So, here is the lucky break! My 23 year old hip replacement seems not even to have shifted! But the femur with the big pin took quite the hit!

That's the inside. Here is the outside, when I was brought to Regina after surgery. The 80 staples were a bit of an exaggeration. More like 60'ish.

Plus a helluva bruise. The head wound care nuse and his cohorts have taken dandy fun in caring for it. They said "No drainage, no dressing!" But they were in there daily, changing the dressing. Tim, the wound specialist, was extremly careful to expose the minimum skin to adhesive; I'm allergic!

There was a small (?) intercinine squabble when he gave the patient care supevisor permission for two nursing students to partially remove his bandage and learn what she could teach them from the wound. 

Ignoring my pleas to go easy, off came the tape, woosh! PCS asked what to do next. "Clean and dress!" the excited reply. I asked if they had an order to do so. PCS swooped down and dished non stop instructions, including a very painful antiseptic. I asked several times if this were in the order; no response.

When the wound care fellow appeared next day, his reaction was not happy. A bit of skin was removed with the bandage. He said he was sorry I'd allowd this to happen. He got my version, plus the krap they foisted onto my feet to prevent pressure sores, to which I had an adverse reaction and two aids spent an hour scrubbing away, not successfully.

He excused himself mid redressing. He came back half an hour later and told me the PCS nor her students were permitted in my room again! So far, so good.

So here we are in steri-strips, to fall off as they may. No drainage, no dressing!

L came to visit today. She brought me a new book, "The Boys", to swap for "State of Terror" by Hilary Rodham Clinton and Louise Penny. Though no fan of mysteries by any except Agatha  Christie, I must give the book a "Not Bad." I really have little for comparison!

Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Slight progres report

Yesterday I made an uncomfortable ride to the doctor's office for staple removal. More than fifty. I quit counting. The left leg remains non weight bearing for the next four weeks, when I'll be reevaluated. The femur is one long bone to repair!

Between then and now, my job is to become strong and easy on my non-dominate right leg! I wish I were Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

In the meantime, let's be food critics!

This was called beef stroganoff with summer squash. The noodles were dry and sticky, the squash boiled to mush with the hide of a rhino. The dessertwas good for two bites before the sugar overwhelmed.

This is called mac and cheese with stewed tomatoes. Good old Kraft mac and cheese that has been foisted on the world's children. The "salad" is iceburg lettuce, shredded one sixteenth inch wide. It's like chewing green hacksaw blades. I've given it two chances, and the cherry tomatoes three. One more for laughs?

"Welsh rarebit" with steamed broccoli and decent bacon. Let's hear it for that mainstay of American cuisine, American cheese.

For all that gripeing, I am making progress. I'll tell you next time. 

Saturday, November 13, 2021

This facility will go from a five review to a one

There has been a sea change in this country over the last two years. You see it in all the "Taking applications" signs lining the perimiters of every business, manufacturing plant, service industry, restaurant around you.

My friend Ann has run a kennel in Wisconsin for twenty years. At this year's end it goes on the market, and probably will sell only for land value. She cannot hire anyone who wants to work.

That is exactly the problem here at Regina. The "staff" see no reason to do a decent job. If reprimanded for a bad job, they leave. Another job literally is around the corner, down the street. Good wages, premiums are offered and taken.

From this bed I can see how understaffed it is here. I think. Perhaps enough people are not doing an honest day's work. I do not know how the "help"affects mobile patients. I know this immobile patient has learned some hard, hard facts.

I can lie as much as four hours in urine. I can go hours without a pain pill, especially if physical therapy is not on my schedule. I can amuse myself for hours finding another was of getting an aid into the room for help.

A friend called last night, in the midst of a four hour pee episode. She called the nurse's station and texted me "Susie is on her way down. Let me know." Forty five minutes later, Susie arrived. We all know I am not beyond climbing the ladder of authority for answers and help.   

I feel like Janis Joplin, dialing for dollars. "O lord won't you find me a helpful aid!"

Thursday, November 11, 2021

The state of nursing homes

I was impressed at the apparent number of rooms and the ease of moving me through the system. Outside a mask outside every room I used there seemed no special protocols. I have since learned last week was the most "normal" since Covid began eighteen months ago.

K came to see me here at Regina and brought "comforts", my very own pillow, for instance. Tom came in the next night with some overlooked items. Then I got a roommate, and no one was allowed in the room. I needed to be able to get into a wheelchair and meet a guest somewhere, wearing mask. 

The next time Tom came, he was not allowed past the front door. His package was taken and delivered.

Then my roommate's daughter called, looking for Mary, who was off being showered. Chris said we were under quarantine.

I quizzed a nurse at first opportunity and learned those twice weekly Covid swabs have a purpose. A hands on worker on our floor has Covid. We are quarantined for a week. No one on or off the floor.

Physical therapy lugs all the equipment to this floor to drill us. It's probably hardest on them. 

Rehab happens; it's harder on the people dispensing it.

Wednesday, November 10, 2021

The road to a broken leg

It takes dedecated concentration to break a leg. Mine began at age 18, when my BFF asked if I wanted to learn to smoke, since we were going away to college. Cigarettes were a quarter a pack from the vending machines.

 And so it began. I smoked a pack a day in the beginning, but that increased as life got bigger. In my 30s and 40s (wish I knew the apostrophy on this keyboard!), as a corporate controller, I was up to three packs a day! I recall smokes were $3.33 a carton. 

I took up weaving at the end of the eighties; Jan and I started our business. She ran the studio; I went on the road. Weaving is not a light weight profession! A pint's (found it!) a pound the world around, and we wove many and sold hundreds of pounds a week. The stock, the booth, the display, and I handled thousands of pounds off and on the van weekly.

I never had the bone density test my doctor wanted. Yes, I'm small boned. My thumb and forefinger fit around my wrist, but I figured I worked smart; lift with the legs and all that.

Then I needed a new hip so badly my weaving career ended abruptly for it to happen, in 2003.  Fortunately I found a job with my township, and life stayed on an even keel. I actually began spinning and selling wool yarn, and Jan took up quilting. Cigarettes cost a lot more. Easy for politicians to hang taxes on! They were going on fifty dollars a carton.

2008 was in the  mix somewhere, and I saw the writing on the wall. Obama was clear in his intent to pay some child health care with cigarette taxes, and a carton in Ohio would cost over $50. I smoked as long as I could, beat the cash register, then quit. 

I also finally had a bone density test. Chantilly lace bones! Mine is genetic, inherited and passed on, at least to my older daughter. I was working out at the gym for bone strength when I twisted my foot, fell and broke my right tibia about five years. This time I'd gone back to PT that very day, and tripped going into the basement on the way home. I fell on clay tile over concrete, and broke my left fibia, the one anchoring that old hip transplant.

Enough for today! Rehab stuff next time.

Tuesday, November 9, 2021

Back in touch

Woo-hoo. A facility administrator just came in and got me going. For some time I have tried to give this little tablet away. It was costing me ten dollars a month, and no obviouse use. It was free with my phone plus ten dollars a month for internet. Last month I could end internet without penalty, and did.  

Last Friday I broke my leg. It was set at AGMC on Saturday, transferred here to Regina on Monday. Much to tell, but at least I am back in touch. I lamented to Beth about ending the contract, and she was amused at my gulleability.

Ma, it,s a device to take into a coffee shop, get their password and write your novel all day.

I asked Blair to shut down my web site, which sports two towels on the shelf.  Time for a nap.