Monday, July 22, 2013

blahdeeblahblahblah

6/3/13

It's been a while since I last wrote.

A lot has happened.

I'm walking, well limping mostly. My career as a nurse has been affected, since I can't sustain long periods or distances on Mr. Righty. Currently, I'm working PRN in Quality Improvement/Risk Management, which is a RN position. I've applied for a few other positions, some in nursing, some not. I interviewed last week for a position that'll take me out of nursing, but will still have me working with patients. More on that later.

7/12/13

I didn't get the position I interviewed for.  I am still working PRN in QIRM, so I get a few hours in here and there. Just today I got nearly 6 in. It's better than nothing. 

So much else has gone on. 

As I was walking thru Walmart today I noticed it felt like I was walking with a normal gait. I wasn't limping. There are times limping just happens, but then there are other times it's like nothing ever happened. 

My biggest frustration is the weight I've put on. I think it's time to kick things up a notch and push myself to be more consistent with the treadmill and walking the loop our street makes. It's exactly 1 mile. Getting up the driveway afterward can be daunting, but I am able to conquer it. My first goal is to walk the loop 2-3 times a week and walk the treadmill as much. To supplement I should be walking while AW is in his GED prep class. 

The building where it's held is on the campus of the high school and middle school and it can be walked around much like a track or a loop. I'm not sure on the distance, but it has to be better than just sitting on my ass reading the whole time. 

AW, after struggling his whole middle and high school years away decided to go the GED route. This decision also comes along with his becoming a father.

Friday, June 14, 2013

memories in embers

As Black Forest in Colorado Springs, CO burns I can't help but think of my memories from there. 

I'd spend time out on my Aunt Ginny's ranch riding horseback, playing with the other animals and just talking with her. ...hours spent hiking the ranch...family gatherings... I remember the night of her passing like it was yesterday. 

One of the most terrifyingly brilliant lightening displays I'd ever witnessed happened on one of our drives out to Black Forest. 

Of course, homecoming night, Senior year, much of it was spent in Black Forest. The Peppermint Schnapps, the substation and the look on my mom's face are all indelibly ingrained in my gray matter. 

These are just a few things i remember. It saddens me to think such a beautiful place, beholding so many memories, suffers from the devastating fire that continues to burn. 

Not to fear, the memories burn just as strong. 

Sunday, March 31, 2013

easter on the keaster

Ugh.

This day couldn't be any longer! So I started "walking" this past week. I started using two crutches then worked my way to one and now I rival a good horror flick. I went from a Frankenstein-like gait of only a few steps to a zombie-like shuffle to wherever I need to go.

We have a firepit in our backyard, down the hill from our house. We made our way down last night and after some s'mores, drinks and a few laughs with friends we made our way back up. I thought for sure going back up the hill was going to be a huge challenge, but it wasn't so bad.

That is until today, it wasn't so bad! Aside from a bath, going up and down stairs and cooking dinner I've spent the whole day on the couch.

Really I'm in way better spirits than I had been. I think this newfound mobility has improved my outlook and taken away some of the bitter I felt. People tell me not to overdo it, but no one should waste their breath! My right foot continually lets me know if I've overdone it or not.

Mind you, it's to be expected that there will be some periods of pain. I mean I'd be pissed too if I was carrying around weight that I thought I wasn't going to carry around any longer! Jokes on ole Righty! There's even more weight than before! I don't think there's a lot more as all my clothes still fit...just fit.

As time goes on I'll be able to do more and more, eventually allowing for ass-reduction activity. I'd tried the treadmill right after becoming weight-bearing on Righty again and lasted two whole minutes. Then my physical therapist told me it's probably a good idea to hold off until I'm actually bearing more weight on the foot. That was almost two weeks ago and progress has been made.

Maybe I'll give the treadmill aka Beast another try this week. I do get to take a mommy vacation Wednesday of this week until Monday of next and could always use the treadmill at the hotel. I'll probably be clocking some decent walking time in though, so no need to push it.

I'll be sure to have my supply of ibuprofen stocked up along with finding out where the ice machine is located.

It's all an adventure! Now to put an end to this long day with a good book!

Friday, March 22, 2013

feet n waffles

This is what happens when your foot has had some sort of surgery and it hasn't been elevated for a while. I hear it can happen up to a year post-operatively.

I had a support sock and an ankle brace on. You can see waffling from the sick and pitting from the brace.

It's elevated as I type...

I should probably work on some hydration, too.

Monday, March 18, 2013

angry bones, happy day

Twelve weeks ago my life changed in an instant. It was a day much like today, snow was littering the ground, and when I went across that bridge the ice took me for a wild ride.

I've conquered a fractured ankle, what with "excellent range of motion" at this point.

It hasn't always been easy. My ribs can attest to that, since they still give me some twinges now and again, along with my tailbone.

Nonetheless, I've gone from sleeping with half a dozen pillows just to get comfortable to just sleeping with two for knee and rib support. It is definitely more comfortable that way. A body pillow would be great. I no longer sleep in either of my sons' rooms, but in my own bed; no narcotics for weeks, and I've basically been more comfortable lately.

Struggles have become less frequent. It's hard to not use one of your God-given limbs. Non-weight bearing means no bearing weight on that extremity. Just imagine, when you sit down on the toilet, you use both your legs, both your feet. Try doing it without only one leg. You have to brace yourself with whatever is nearby. Initially you're probably using a walker and then you progress to using a knee-walker. If a sink and a tub are nearby life is so much easier. Using a handicap-equipped stall in a public restroom becomes a luxury.

When you're normally extremely independent and pretty darn self-sufficient having all that taken away can be a tremendous adjustment. If you have friends and family to assist you in the adjustment, it may just be that much easier.

They can wipe your behind when you can't twist to do it on your own, massage your aching and strained muscles, drive you to appointments and just take you on outings to get away from what suddenly seems to be solitary confinement, carry your plate for you, or simply just give you some much needed company and moral support. They get you through each and every day.

Suddenly you no longer want to be a procrastinator.

You know, all that stuff you have lined up to do, but usually you put it off until later. The pub-style table and stools you bought second-hand to refinish, boxes that still need unpacking, the garage that has a plethora of junk to organize, Christmas ornaments you want to go through, the loft/library you want to finish organizing..... The list goes on. It all slaps you in the face when all you have to do is sit, or lie, at home getting the ole R & R.

You don't have time to do anything in the beginning, because pain is >5/10 and you're doped up on narcotics, you're sleeping like a baby - no really, your friends with babies probably wish the babies would sleep as much as you do, all movement is just aggravating. Then as time goes on you manage to regain some independence, but you're still pretty limited. Remember! You can not put that foot down! That ankle must heal! You don't want that talus bone to lose the blood supply! You want it to heal like new!

There's your friends and family, if you're lucky. I have been lucky. They've been there and continue to be here for me.

Just today a dear friend, JG, drove through the icky, sh snowy/drippy weather to drive up my steep driveway and then the hour to and from the doctor's office.

But today was a big day.

I last saw my surgeon six weeks ago and he informed me he would have me bear weight at the next follow-up and that day was today! The radiology tech came and escorted me, crutching it to the imaging room, took three views and then escorted me back to the exam room where Big B was patiently awaiting my return. Then the surgeon came in, reviewed the x-ray, informed us healing was excellent and all systems were a "go".

Now, after all this time you're excited, of course, but you know it's not going to be easy. You've accidentally stepped on that foot...balance is a tricky thing. It was like stepping on hot nails poking upright off a board. That was just a few seconds, kind of like when you touch the hot rack in the oven. Along with excitement you might be feeling a wee bit apprehensive, especially when you really haven't had much pain to speak of in the ankle that was broken in half and fixed twelve weeks ago.

It's recommended - at least by my surgeon, to me, today ("you're young and your healing has been great" - to wear the good ole CAM boot at first. You can bear weight as you tolerate it and progress at your own pace, going from boot with crutches, to one crutch or a cane, to regular shoes, and then no crutches or cane.

Well okey dokey then!

We arranged for the next follow-up, we said goodbye to Big B as he departed to return to work, and JG and I "walked" out. Well, she walked and I crutched it in my CAM boot, slowly, but surely. This was stupendous considering I'd crutched it all the way in, with my lower, right leg lifted behind me all the way.

My right tibia is letting me know it's angry. It thought its job was done, for that matter, so did my right ankle, heel and well, the whole lower portion of my right extremity. It's not-so-bad to where I need to take anything. Elevation helps.

It's funny. Earlier on I'd Googled "talus fracture", and its recovery, and a consistent theme was "life altering". Indeed it has altered my life, as well as the lives of my family and friends, as of late, but it's not been too much of a problem. It's been a challenge. I have and will continue to persevere.

....Wait, that was just twelve weeks ago!? Time flies when you're having fun.

And what in the hell is snow doing on the ground in mid-March.....the last day of winter???

Sunday, March 10, 2013

springing forward

As I sit here in the living room typing I can look outside and see the bare trees, blue sky, birds flying and the brilliant, shining globe in the sky. The light filters into the room allowing the cats to lie in warm, almost glowing spots on the furniture, curled up and content. The dogs are a little more frisky. You can walk outside and breathe in fresh air, electric with Spring.

This is one of my favorite times of the year. I love Spring and I love Summer.

For the past few months I've been stuck in a cold, bitter, almost distant place. I've tried to be kind, especially to those near and dear to me, for they have been my saving grace. Several times a day I have to stop myself from standing up on both my feet. I guess after 40+ years walking without inhibition, it's hard to be restricted. Yet, I have done extremely well. I've been compliant.

I use my scooter to get around here at home. When I go out in public I use crutches, or if the distance is too great, I'll use the wheelchair. My ribs still hurt now and again. My tailbone is still tender, but way less than before. The past few days I've just felt overall better, even into nighttime. Up until a few days ago nighttime was the worst. By 8-9 p.m. my tailbone was painful, my shoulders and arms hurt from lifting myself up. Rolling over in bed was difficult. It's still somewhat chalenging not having both feet to give me leverage.

Mostly, I feel healed.

One week from tomorrow I go back to the surgeon and he'll have me stand bearing weight on my right foot. It'll be a total of three months since I've done so. This is both exciting and nerve-wracking.

There was one morning I'd scooted into the bathroom, went to pivot to sit, went off-balance, and my right foot stepped down. It was like stepping on a bed of nails. (My physical therapist gave me the go-ahead to not wear the CAM boot while at home, and my surgeon had already told me I could go without it to bed at night.)

With physical therapy my right foot has regained a good bit of its range of motion. I have two weeks off, with this week and last, but will start right back up the day after I go to the surgeon. Up until now they've had me on the recumbent stepper for ten minutes as a warm-up, then passive range of motion (the therapist moves the foot in various different ways), followed by strengthening on an archaic contraption using weights, then the BAPS board (a disc that is mounted on a half-sphere, you roll the disc using your foot touching the ground with the perimeter of the disc), and then some other leg exercises. We kind of cane to a stand-still with what could be done, so I was given a break.

I asked what I would be doing once weight-bearing and was informed it would be a whole lotta strengthening of the right foot and leg. I'll be doing the flamingo...a lot.

As for now, I'll just keep swimming...or rather, scooting along.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

just when you think...

...nothing else could possibly go wrong, wham!!

I thought for sure we were at our family quota for MVAs for well, at least six months.

I was wrong.

Last night, just as we had rolled over and started our night's slumber my husband's cell phone rang. I saw the picture of the caller and knew it was our eldest calling from Montana. Then I heard the words no parent ever wants to hear, "I've been in an accident...."

Then I promptly bursted into tears. Now mind you, my current situation leaves me exhausted and very frustrated by bedtime. But yeah, hearing your kid speak those words, especially when they're thousands of miles away, can bring a mom to tears.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

out with the HH

As of today I'm no longer receiving home health services. I was last seen by my HH physical therapist and the nurse came today to discharge me.

Whoa, it's time for the big guns now!

Tomorrow I start outpatient physical therapy. Fortunately, my insurance (finally) approved the referral for me to go to PT at the hospital I work for. It's closer, which is important when depending on others to drive me.

Yesterday my Monday started off rough. No one was here to carry my scooter downstairs after it would be time for me to get up and ready for the day, so Big B took it down when he left for work. This left me with the crutches.

That's not so bad except 1.) it's exhausting when one has to crutch around at any point and for any length of time, 2.) it's even more so exhausting when one has to shower and made basically no preparations the night before, 3.) it's really bad when one falls.

I'd awakened earlier to make sure AW left for school on time (by way of phone calls) and just before returning to my slumber I'd heard something fall, but didn't pay it much mind. Well, after arising for the day I quickly learned it had been a caddy at my bedside that had been holding multiple objects, to include a small flashlight. Not realizing it was there, I neglected to scoot the flashlight out of my way. So I start crutching it and I swear it probably looked like a scene from a cartoon.

Aside from a bruise to my lower right shin, my left buttock and my ego, I'm ok.

I picked myself up, dusted myself off and went on with my day.


Saturday, February 9, 2013

the penthouse

This past week has been a whirlwind of activity. My mom came for a visit, we went for my second follow-up with my surgeon and I finally moved upstairs to my own bedroom.

Yesterday, when my PT came for her last visit she walked into my bedroom and declared it "the penthouse". It is the top floor of my house and I love it. Being back in my own room has provided a feeling of normalcy that's been missing for some time now.

Sure, I've made progress over the past 6-7 weeks, but nothing quite beats your normal living patterns. I never thought I'd ever spend that much time in either of my sons' rooms. The time spent there was bittersweet. It enabled me to get to be a little closer to them, especially AW since he currently lives at home and has made his room his own space.

Going up and down the stairs has been bothersome to my tailbone, which had almost healed. I've also grown a bit accustomed to crutches, but not so much that I use them to go up and down the stairs. My left ankle and foot have enough problems without hopping from stair to stair on them. It's progress.

Progress means change, even if that change means returning to a previous existence.

Change is good.

Friday, February 1, 2013

it's progress!

Today I showered completely by myself and by that I mean not another soul was within my 3 acres, besides my animals. My first several showers after the accident were at the hands of Big B. I could barely move. We made due and he scrubbed me clean every other day. As the weeks have gone on I've been able to do more and more for myself. Once we moved me up to the main level I've pretty much been on my own showering, as long as someone else was in the house, just in case.

The foot looks better than it has all along. The swelling is all but gone. I've removed the steri-strips. They weren't going anywhere on their own since they didn't get much air time. The incision looks great. The scarring is going to be nothing but a faint line eventually.

Most of the bruising I had has vanished. There's a faint remnant of one on my left inner, lower thigh. Besides the ankle incision scar, I'll have three other battle wounds. The one on the back of my left hand, one on my left lower shin and one on my right knee.

As the weeks go by the scars will fade and eventually so will the bad memories. I'll always have the good memories, of love, kindness and tenderness.