I've been here a year. Hard to believe, in a way. It's time for a retrospective, a review, an attempt to improve the future.
What have I done? I've ploughed through some daunting obstacles. I've faithfully attended improvement classes that have been instrumental in overcoming the obstacles. I've made a decision about weaving. I sold my car. I saw Shelly get her degree; master of science in nursing, making her a nurse practitioner. I've become a friend to my grandson, Blake. And, I rescued a cat.
Obstacles: several falls and a pacemaker. I hate falling. I don't trip on rugs, which I don't have. I don't stumble. I just don't know. The last fall was a month ago. I had my laundry in the wheelie cart, in the laundry room. I was repositioning the cart, it caught my foot, and back I went. Another time on my back. I pushed my button and waited. Nothing.
Eventually I got on my butt, scooted to the door, used a chair and the door handle to get upright. I took inventory, and except a very sore noggin, nothing. So, I did my laundry. The next day I reported the incident to a supervisor. She had me push my button and showed me, real time, that I did not register. Dead battery.
Why am I the test canary? The guinea pig who pushes the right buttons, or not? The good news is, they surveyed the building and discovered more than a few dead batteries. Battery replacement has been backed up one month.
The pacemaker was a total surprise. I went to a regular doctor appointment. I was happy to keep the appointment; my legs kept swelling from excess water, and the condition had extended to my left arm. The doctor sent me to the emergency room for an evaluation. They sent me to the hospital, in potential cardiac arrest, in an ambulance.
I arrived pretty late in the evening. The next day was evaluation, and a recommended pacemaker scheduled for the next day. When I woke from the surgery, the placing doctor was there, apologizing for poking a hole in the membrane around my lungs. I was just too skinny, he explained. Anyway, that was another surgery and four more days on my back.
When I was recovered from the hole in my chest, the hospital offered me a couple more days in the hospital to recover more. I knew I would be stuck several more times to reset their damn IV line, and I decided to go home. So, Jan and Tom drove me home and deposited me in my room. When they left, I was in too much pain to move. No one could come help me.
Eventually I hit on Blake and over he came. Got me into a nightgown and into bed. Came in the morning to take care of the cat. I decided I needed to switch to Assisted Living, so I got that done. A big mistake, but that's another story.
In AL, I immediately caught the lurgy going around. So sick. I was in bed and immobile for several days. I missed my birthday. I recovered slowly, first in a chair, then up and shuffle to meals. I stayed another week in AL, then back to my room, my cat, my routine in Independent Living.
This gets me from September to mid April, and the end of the big trauma. As you may know, Laura is going to Greece for a semester, then Australia for a semester, with a couple months in between to bum around Europe. She came to say good-bye for awhile; she leaves Wednesday. She's looking over my shoulder as I type, and has OK'd a new picture to go with. I'll go on and on later.