Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Eight Weeks and I'm Almost There

Great News! My ankle is almost totally healed. Still a tiny bit of filing in to do, but the biggest area is almost totally healed so that means WALKING.

Well, not exactly right this minute. I have to put on 20% of my body weight, and if that's OK increase to 30% until I reach full weight. Pain and Swelling will tell me when to stop. I have to walk with the walker or crutches (I'll be starting with the walker, and weaning to the crutches) until I can walk unassisted, AND in two weeks, when I go for my next visit, I may be able to move from the walking boot to a SHOE.

I've been working this whole time, but it is a chore. Too hard to haul things in the walker. How do you bring a plate of food to the living room, when your hands are already full walking? I mostly use the wheelchair, just because it's very fast and easier to carry things. But I need the walker to get my bots of fabric, because they are on the shelves and I have to stand. It's been such a PITA.

Laundry was hard, but not impossible. Everything is a chore and so exhausting. So now there is a huge list of things I want to do as soon as I'm walking.

I want to:
walk to my mail box. It's about 4 feet away up a very steep hill. plant the daffodils my cousin gave me and start getting the garden ready for summer
repaint the whole interior of the cottage house. It's small, so manageable.
wash my bedding now that I can stand reach everything (today)
wash down everything in the house
build my outdoor table and set it up by the shed
walk outside and take pictures of the blooming flowers and trees
walk to town, the library, the grocery, the falls, Dave's Subs (Doc says no 3 mile hikes yet)

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Seven Weeks - Still Healing

Seven weeks. I can't begin to tell you how sick I am of this. I was hoping to post that I can walk, but a death in the family of my ride to the doctor has delayed my appointments. Maybe that's good, because I've figured out how to handle the swelling I'm still having in my foot.

Things are getting much better. If you've never had a cast on for 5 weeks, you just can't possibly imagine the amount of dead skin you accumulate. It took me 4 days of exfoliating to get it off and now I'm peeling. Not sure what that's about, but I think it has something to do with the area being hot from healing and swelling. Even though I'm not allowed to walk or stand on the offending leg, at least I can bring it in the shower and wash it with the rest of my body. That is just like being in heaven.

So live is improving. I made a cute little afghan for my granddaughter to be this week and got my orders done and packed with little effort. I even managed to take my walker outside and sit in the sun for a bit. I never dreamed how difficult just getting out of the door was for people with disabilities. I had to lock the screen door open, because it's just too hard to hang on to the walker, go up and down the little steps AND hold the door open. Crutches wouldn't have been any easier, but I don't use those because I'm still a little off balance from my new and improved blood pressure.

I can't imagine what it's like for people on scooters to get around, although I would like one now to get up the hill to my mailbox. The drive is so steep, I'm afraid I'll tip over backwards trying to climb it. it really is a steep short hill. Maybe next week I'll have both legs back.

I also learned a new trick to get the swelling down. I'm still having soft tissue problems and it's very annoying. I'm hoping it will eventually clear, but the swelling continues. I'm getting it down by strapping an ice pack IN my boot and it's working very well. Now my foot is less swollen by the time I go to bed that it is in the morning when I wake. I'm hoping this will help with the healing process.

Well, overall I'm happy with progress of any kind. I go to the doc, next Tuesday and I hope to get a license to walk. Enjoy your two legs if you have them.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Six Weeks - In Recovery

I was reading an old post about my old neighbors who were getting hauled away by ambulances on a regular basis. I realized that things are different in my new house, now I'm the one being hauled away, well, just once since I've been here. Actually I heard that the police came and took away one of them right before I got hauled off to the hospital. Mine was for a broken ankle, the old neighbor usually went by way of ambulance for a suspected kidney infection. Once I asked her what her symptoms were. She said she had blood in her urine. I asked her if she had recently eaten beets, she said, yes, why? I knew she liked beets.

Not that it's uneventful here, just a different kind of event. Not quite as loud, and the loud exploding noises aren't guns or meth lab explosions, they are usually fireworks at the local sporting events. I am right around a dangerous curve with lots of flashing cautions lights that people often choose to ignore and speed by. They usually either get pulled over by the police or crash into the guardrail in front of my neighbor's house. there are always flashing red lights in the street near the end of my drive.

Back to the original point. it's been 6 weeks since the ambulance was here to take me away. Six weeks since I broke my ankle. Last Thursday I got my cast taken off, and instead of a new one, I got a walking boot. Not allowed to walk in it yet, but at least I can sleep without it and I get to exercise. Bad sprain immobilized for 5 weeks is going to take some time to get back to working condition. My foot pretty much looks like a limp swollen piece of meat, but my ankle is healing nicely. AND I can wash that leg in the shower too. It is very happy about that.

This is my fancy boot. I like it. I call it Roboboot cause it looks like a kick ass robot leg. I need to sew up a matching faux cover for my other leg and sneaker. But it's not as impressive rolling around in the wheelchair I've taken too.

Oh I can walk in the walker now, but it takes so darn long to get around. I find it much faster to use the chair. I have too much to do and everything takes so darn long, I can't waste more time. I'm up on my other leg plenty enough to keep it strong and in good shape. I just fly from room to room in the wheel chair.

I go back to the Dr next week. I really hope I finally get to walk again. I have a feeling it will not be as fun as I hope. I think I will be very tired, and still use the chair a lot to get around, but at least I can take a trip to the mailbox every day, to get my own mail. That is as long as there's no snow or ice on the driveway.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Four Weeks

Four weeks since I broke my ankle. Hard to believe. I still have about 4 more weeks in a cast and then a removable boot support for who knows how long? but at least I should be able to walk by then (I hope).

It's been quite an adventure. This old dog has learned some serious new tricks. First, I had to rearrange my house and my life to accomodate. I was also put on blood pressure medication at the same time, which made it impossible for me to use crutches, so I had to be creative, or lay in bed all day.

I bought a used wheel chair, and if it wasn't for all the bumps between rooms, it would have been great. It would have been great to get me to the car to see the doctor, if it wasn't for all the snow and ice, but there it is. I've adapted an office chair as my major indoor mode of transportation. It rolls and it spins and I can change the height of it for different purposes. It's actually much handier than the wheel chair as long as you have one good leg to push it around with. You just have to be careful, because they can tip over.

I roll from, say my bedroom, to the first elevation, between the living and dining room. A 1 1/2 inch rise that the chair will not roll over. I grab on to the door frame, lift myself on to my good leg and set on a small stool, move the office chair over the bump and drop back down on the office chair. From there I have to take my stool with me, because that's not the last of the floor level changes.

There's a strip between the bathroom and the dining room, that I can roll over, but it's like hitting speed bumps, not good for the chair, so I transfer twice every time I have to go into the bathroom. The kitchen is bad too. It's a 5 inch drop into that room and a 6 inch rise to go into the laundry room off of the kitchen. It gets pretty exhausting.

So, because I'm spending most of the time in a rolling chair, I've had to move all the furniture out of
the way. I've also had to use the wall switch for the fan light in the living room, after I keep reminding the grandsons to use the pull chain. I can't reach it in the middle of the room. I will stand if there is a counter or wall next to me, but the chair is too rolly.

My cousin picked me up a nice swivel bar stool for the kitchen.
I can sit in it to wash dishes and cook food, AND I just found this great bath bench that just clips on the tub. No more sponge baths and leaning over the tub to wash my hair. Three weeks of that was enough. Wish I found this sooner. It was only $23 at if you know anyone who could use it.

Sewing is tricky. I'm really supposed to keep my leg elevated as much as possible. That will keep it from swelling and turning that nice purple color you may seen. And yes, it does hurt less elevated, so I have learned to sew sideways with my leg on a footstool and twisted trunk to reach the machine.

I also cut fabric on a cutting board on my bed now. It's a good height for me.

I have a bag that I use like a backpack to haul things from room to room. I have a water bottle by my bed, a thermos for coffee, and a sealed container to transport food if I want to eat in another room. There are tables and benches by the thresholds, to transfer things in my hands when I transfer with chairs, and I now use a laundry bag, instead of my arms.

I have to sleep with my leg on a pile of pillows and on my back, which is my least favorite position, I have to tilt the blinds instead of opening them, because I cut the cords short for the grandbaby, I have to have someone get my mail and garbage, and I keep my phone on me at all times, in case I have another accident.

Also, I have to think ahead of time, when I need something. For instance I have food in a pantry in the laundry room, so when I go to do laundry, I have to look at the food and decide if there's anything I will need. I have to be much more deliberate in my every day actions, not just random.

Sometimes I get a little frustrated and weepy, but then I think of all the people who are out there, that live with some kind of disability every day. I will probably not be exactly the same as I was before the accident, but I know I will walk again someday, and I will be able to stand in the shower and easily get to the pantry. I'll probably still be able to take a long walk to town again eventually, and work in the garden. Everything new that happens is a new adventure, It's only a few months, I can handle that.

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