Thursday, January 31, 2013

this guy

Everything happens for a reason.

As if we didn't have enough fur, fluff and tummies to feed in our household we welcomed a new one in back in October.

We'd talked about getting a puppy. It would be good for the girls, Sandi and Minnie. Sandi is getting on in the years, at 11 and Minnie will need a companion when the time comes that Sandi is no longer with us. And well, heck we live in a bigger house now and have tons of room in our hearts.

I'd always said, after our first "baby" being a wonderful Golden Retriever, Jack, that we'd end up with at least one more Golden sharing our lives with us.

That being said I was swayed temporarily by some canines of smaller proportions, mainly Shichons. They're a cross between Shih-tzus and Bichon Frise and might I say absolutely adorable! Big B wasn't thrilled with the idea and well, I've always had an affinity for Goldens.

One day back in September I happened to be perusing an online yard sale page on Facebook and there they were, these cute little bundles of golden fluff, piss and vinegar! I was hooked. Originally, I picked one. I knew I wanted a male and preferred darker Goldens. We'd looked at some that were the color of sugar cookies years ago, but Jack was dark. He was almost as dark as Irish Setters. In fact, many times people would mistake him for them.

I contacted the breeder and set up to go that evening to her house to meet the pups. There were a total of 5, 2 females and 3 males, 1 male having been already spoked for. This left the one I originally picked from a cute picture the breeder had posted of the pups in plastic jack o' lantern buckets and with other props.

Big B was willing to go see them, since I'd originally reported they were located not too far south of the town just south of us. Oops. This is now something I'll never live down, since the breeder actually lives about 1.5 hours southwest of us!

Anyway, we went and saw the puppies. There he was with his siblings. He was the bigger of the two remaining males, but lighter. It didn't matter. I fell in love at first sight. After playing with him and loving on him for a bit, we made our down payment and left.

Time wouldn't go fast enough, but finally it was time to go pick him up in mid-October. We picked AW up early from school and made our way to our bundle of fuzz. We let AW pick out his name. Charlie was ours.
We brought him home and immediately introduced him to Sandi and Minnie. Minnie, being the timid dog she is wouldn't go near him. She'd skirt the permieter of any area he was in just to get around him. Sandi fell in love probably just as fast as I did.
He has been such a joy to have around since the moment we brought him home. He's brought some spunk back into Sandi's elderly existence. Minnie and he have since bonded and play for what seems like hours on end. They're like the three best friends anyone could have.
Back when I was in nursing school we had done group projects on alternative medicine modalities. My group chose pet therapy as one of ours. I can say from firsthand experience having my animals around, especially Charlie, has helped me tremendously in my recovery. Not a day goes by where I don't give thanks and just know he was meant to be a part of our family. He rounds out the count to 3 dogs, 3 cats, an aquarium of fish and 1 bearded dragon!

Friday, January 25, 2013


Anyone that knows me knows I hate snow. I have for as long as I can remember. I'm not a winter person and abhor temperatures below 70 degrees F. I can handle the 60s, but not for long periods of time. Give me a warm, sunshiny day any and every day.

That all being said I have to say I'm beyond grateful that I'm mildly disabled during the winter than I would be if it were warm, Springtime in bloom and everyone was outside enjoying the golden rays of the sun. I can only imagine wheeling through the grass on my scooter or via my wheelchair how difficult it would be.

That's one thing for sure, I've gained a deeper perspective of what people with disabilities go through daily. I've worked with people with special needs, but as with many things in life you can't really grasp a concept until you truly grasp it.

This week we've been privy to our first real snow of the season. We got about an inch between Wednesday evening and yesterday and a light dusting today. Living in a cabin, in the trees, it's a whole new experience as you can look out any window and be mystified by the beauty if winter. I still don't like it. If it melted tomorrow I'd be beyond pleased.

AW was home on snow days yesterday and today, so it was nice to have him around. He's been pretty helpful, for the most part. Yesterday he shoveled the driveway. Way to go! We can be doubly thankful since it allowed the propane to be delivered further allowing the heater to kick back in.

I've texted LB nearly every day and he seems to be enjoying his first assignment. He is still in training. When not in training he spends his time hanging out with friends going and doing fun things, goes to the gym and he's been reading some Tom Clancy type books.

This week had been a flurry of activity. Being on the main level has proven to be more enjoyable. Sitting at the dining room table eating with the guys means even more than before. I haven't used the bedside commode since moving up, as the bathroom is pretty centrally located to wherever I might be.

I still get frustrated. Wearing the CAM boot can be bothersome. It's heavy and slips around on my foot. My right knee is still tender and, of course, it's the knee I use on the scooter. I get worn out pretty quickly even using the scooter, but I've slept better all week than I had been. I can't stand on my left foot for long periods because the PF flares up.

Above all, there's much I've taken for granted in my first 41 years. This experience is definitely going to be good for letting me stop to smell the roses.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013


Well, wait no more. We were supposed to hold off on replacing Magilla, but Big B found her replacement and got a pretty good deal. We didn't go for the Kia Sorento as previously suggested, but will be driving our third Chevy Equinox.

I'm not very eager to get back behind the wheel right now, but going ahead and purchasing a car will give me the incentive to do so, I suppose. It also affords my friend(s) the opportunity to not use their own vehicles when taking me to appointments and such.

My current ride is doing quite the good job of getting me around the second floor of our house..... Did she say "second floor"? Yep, you read it right.

I butt-scooted my way up to the main level of our house! Big B came home from work early on Monday, MLK Day, and gave me the "push" I needed and then proceeded to move all my belongings up from AW's room to LB's room. I never thought I'd spend this much time in either of my sons' rooms. It has greatly improved my outlook since I was going pretty stir-crazy down in the basement. The main level has all the huge windows allowing natural light in and the ability to look out and see the world. That and the fact that the kitchen being on the main level means I can do more for myself. I helped cook dinner last night and even made Rolo Stuffed Sugar Cookies thanks to Pinterest.

This morning I butt-scooted down to the basement to head out for today's appointment with the orthodontist and his chipper crew. I had to retell my story (twice) and endure one of the hygienists persistent squawking about popping wheelies in my wheelchair. After replacing my wires and plugging them in with all purple rubberbands we left and headed out, without popping any wheelies, to Petco and Panera for some lunch. I should be set when the discomfort sets in from getting new wires, thanks to already being on pain meds. I am taking them less frequently and this time I know it's ok, since it's not due to the post-surgical or accident injury pain. I can manage some aches and such with Tylenol. As long as I keep prgressively healing and feeling better, it's all good!

Monday, January 21, 2013

up late

I haven't been able to go to sleep before midnight for about a week now, even when I'm exhausted. The doc switched me from Percocet to Vicodin and the Vicodin does nothing to make me drowsy. Even the Flexeril doesn't help, as far as sleep is concerned, anymore.

In regards to pain control, I'm taking the meds more for the tailbone, plantar fasciitis in my left foot and pulled muscle pain in my right shoulder. The ankle has twinges, stabs, and spasms every once in a while. Sometimes the CAM boot gets uncomfortable and rubs my leg or squeezes my foot the wrong way.

I found some stories online via sports medicine page of others who've had talus fracture and repair. It seems most frequently it's due to horseback riding, snowboarding and jumping. The recoveries were varied as far as personal experience goes. A common trend lies with boredom or cabin fever. I'll attest to the cabin fever causing the doldrums.

It's hard to get comfortable with the tailbone pain. Even sitting in the recliners can be miserable. I'm hoping once I'm getting out more to physical therapy that it'll alleviate the pain in my ass.

Today I've been hungrier than I have been. I keep craving different things, like cinnamon rolls, cookies and yeah, mainly sweet stuff. Heck, the celery with peanut butter just pictured on TV during a commercial looked amazingly yummy. The last thing I want to do is gain weight.

One piece of advice I have is to get in shape. I know it's tougher being that I'm overweight and way out of shape. Recovery from injuries HAS to be easier when your in shape.

On that note, rest is necessary as well so I'm going to attempt sleep.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

my new wheels

I've pretty much decided on the Kia Sorento
as my replacement for Magilla, for when I get back behind the wheel on the open road.

As for now, I'm speeding along via my newest ride, the Drive Steerable Knee Walker aka my "scooter". It's awesome because I can get around without getting as exhausted as I do with the regular walker. I haven't taken it out in public yet, since it still requires a lot of energy. As days go on, I'm stronger, and the ribs are more healed than not, I imagine I'll have way more energy and can endure using my scooter out and about.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

baby steps

I attempted going up the stairs today and made it to the 5th one but my tailbone was in too much pain to go further. I haven't been upstairs in over three weeks, haven't slept in my own bed, next to my husband, nor have I showered in my own shower. As frustrated as I get, as many tears I may shed, I'm lucky to be able to look forward to it all and to feel everything from now til then and after.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

flying high

Being a social person, I love to meet new people and develop new friendships. It's a lot of fun to get to know friends of friends. I'm always willing to try new things.

Recently, a friend suggested going to try out aerial yoga at Vertical Girl Fitness. um, excuse me, but what!? In aerial yoga you hang suspended in a hammock made of a sheet of stretchy fabric and you assume various yoga poses, to include inversions. Pssshhh, no biggie!. Ha! It's a lot harder than one might think!

Anyway, four of us went to try it out. It was a fun night and I got to know Deena, of You can check out our experience via her post, "Flying through the air with the greatest of ease a daring young woman on the flying trapeze… ok so I’m not really young or on a trapeze…"

They've all been back once or twice. I have yet to return, but I'd like to. This can be one of my post-recovery goals.

Other non-traditional modes of exercise are available at VGF as well. I think I'd like to try the pole dancing class. I'll try just about anything, at least once!

Monday, January 14, 2013

broken what?

fractured talus

The leg bone's connected to the....

To be more accurate, the tibia and fibula are connected to the foot by way of the talus bone.

Important much?

Read about this critical bone here.

I personally can't get much further than a few lines before I get queasy...queasy imagining my own healing talus.

Did I mention how lucky I am to have had only one surgery? The surgeon had forewarned us if he went in and the tissue didn't look good he'd have to do the surgery in two parts. The tissue looked good. Shew!!

this boot is not made for walkin'

Today was the day.

X-ray taken night of accident
Well, three weeks ago it all started, almost exactly to the minute. It seems like an eternity, but it's only been three weeks since my accident. Unbelievable.

Anyway, I went for my two week surgical follow-up today. The surgeon only sees patients on Mondays, hence it being more like a three week follow-up.

One of my dear friends, along with her 3-year old, came and picked me up this morning. After gassing up we headed to Eggspectation for breakfast. Then we went to Michael's where I bought a few things to keep me busy while I'm convalescing, to include a coloring project. (You're never too old to color. It's actually a velvet poster you color in with the markers provided.) Also on the agenda is crochet. Yep, I'm going to give crocheting a try. I bought a book, a skein of yarn in "cherry", and a pack of hooks. I now have in my possession a walker, bedside commode, crochet supplies and Rx for stool softeners and cholesterol medicine. I am 41 going on 91.

No, I know many people crochet, young/old, male/female.

I also have my sense of humor still intact.

After Michael's we made the trek up to NOVA (Northern Virginia) and easily found the surgical center. Upon checking in, I was given enough paperwork to make one think they'd end up with a house after filling it all in and signing it. I was called back not too much later. The tech removed soft cast #2 (soft cast #1 had been replaced the other night--1/9/13--during a trip to the ED after having calf pain and being cleared of DVT.) My foot was a little more swollen than that night, but the incision was still just as pristine. Off to radiology I went and my foot was X-rayed.

A resident then came in and she got an earful about my tailbone pain. Then the surgeon came in, advised me they wouldn't be able to do anything for me in regard to my tailbone since there isn't much that can be done even if it was broken. "Continue to use the butt donut and pain meds." The sutures were removed from my foot and steri-strips are now in place. They showed me my X-rays from before and after. I'm to use my CAM boot for the duration of the next nine weeks. Nine weeks of non-weight bearing on the foot.

X-ray taken 1/14/13

Alrighty then.

I'm finally home after a full, exhausting day romping around in a wheelchair. Big B just got home too.

He had to stop and get a few groceries and brought me home a sweet surprise.



suture removal

CAM boot--actually made for walking, except when on non-weight bearing instructions

healed left hand wound

Thursday, January 10, 2013

apple of my eye

Interestingly enough, my trusty iPhone 4S survived the crash seemingly unscathed.

As the days have gone on little things keep popping up, or off, or well, it just has some sort of weird occurrence. Like just now, I was mid-use and suddenly the screen went black. The Apple appeared and just as soon as it happened it powered up as if I'd powered it down.

I didn't realize until yesterday, or the day before, my trusty Society 6 case had sustained its own injury. Right up at the top, left side it's cracked just to the left of the headphone jack to just above the silencer switch. This is frustrating since I'd just replaced the case in late November. I'll have to figure out something to do with the case, once I replace it, since it is so pretty.

As for the phone itself, it may be time to look into switching to the 5. I haven't been too interested in doing so, since it is different in size, it has different charging accessories and I've been happy with the 4S. Maybe I'll just switch to another 4S. We shall see!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

daily routine

Wake up, say a couple curse words as I rise, visit BSC, return to bed, ask for breakfast with coffee, peruse 'net, watch TV, shower every other day, do some leg exercises, peruse 'net, watch TV, reposition 500 times, visit with whomever else may be around, read, play games, nap, ask for lunch, peruse 'net, watch TV, do some leg exercises, peruse 'net, watch TV, read, play games, head out to couch if up to it, reposition 500 times, eat dinner, peruse 'net, watch TV, do some leg exercises, visit with whomever else may be around, peruse 'net, watch TV, read, play games, night time routine, go to bed, wake up...repeat.

I think my hand may be at 95%!!!!! That means I can use it without pain and with full range or motion at 95%!! Along with that, all movement, especially going from lying down to sitting up, has improved and I'm feeling less pain daily! My ribs are still tender and my ankle has been basically pain free with only a few bursts or jolts here and there. Now if my tailbone would just ease up on me...

Saturday, January 5, 2013

on the road again

I did it.

Well, not by myself. Big B helped. Speaking of him helping - I have to give the guy tremendous credit. He has been my angel through this whole ordeal. He's gone way above and beyond the vows.

I told him earlier today I'd like to take a drive....get out of the house. He wanted to return some items friends had left after our latest party. Perfect, what better opportunity to get out of the house for a quick trip.

He gathered a sock & shoe for my left foot, my jacket and poised the car for easy entry. I trucked on over to the garage using the walker, slid into the front seat and away we went. At first my tailbone was sent into its recent sharp tantrums, but after a few minutes the heated seats eased it into submission. We delivered the above-mentioned items, picked up dinner and returned home. I was ready to get back to a more cushioned seat by the time we returned an hour and a half later, but it was so good to get out of the house!

We did go the route of the accident scene and I didn't have any problem with it. I won't be driving myself for a while so it'll be interesting to see how I do the first couple of times out. I'll be honest, the thought makes me nervous.

You know how they say many accidents happen close to home? Try 3-5 minutes from home.

Speaking of angels and dinner, we've been ultimately blessed with some great friends. Meals have been provided and we still have people willing to cook for us. It's especially helpful since I can't go upstairs where the kitchen is yet (not to mention I can't stand on one foot for long periods) and it helps relieve Big B from coming home after work to have to cook dinner and tend to me, along with everything else. I think I'm going to hit AW up to make dinner one of these nights. He's got a couple of dishes under his belt and I can also see if he'd want to follow a recipe.

This is the hand I injured in the accident, a couple days after

healing right a long

scabs are coming off, usually by snagging and then clipping

Friday, January 4, 2013

collateral damage

At the scene of the accident

At the tow lot

Gotta love how the Chevy bow held up

I've been in a few fender benders. As is said, the day after is horrible for feeling the physcial aftereffects. I've never been in such a major accident and I must say feeling the aftereffects NEARLY TWO WEEKS LATER IS TIRESOME!

Granted--I do have broken ribs and they take around 6-8 weeks to heal. I should really give myself a break, but going from 60 to zero in one evening's drive really wears thin. All I can do is sit around, or well, lie around. Sure I can read, watch tv, learn to knit, complete oodles of word searches, and nap....but after a while....

It doesn't help that all that sitting around in nursing school aggravated my tailbone and so now you can add that as a collateral effect of my accident. To sit upright I have to sit with a pillow halfway under each butt cheek, leaned against yet more pillows.

Then there's the plantar fasciitis -- diagnosed earlier in 2012. Of course, I have it in both heels, but karma works in mysterious ways and my left heel is my worst heel for PF, not the right one. I'd told the physical therapist when she was here for a visit the other day that despite all my injuries, I somehow came away with less pain from the PF in my left heel than I'd been experiencing. Duh. Pain meds help with all sources of pain...NOT JUST THE SURGICALLY REPAIRED ANKLE PAIN (non-existent now) and the broken rib pain!!

I am thankful I can feel the pain. I'm not paralyzed and I am alive. Over time the ribs will heal, the heels can be managed, the bruises are healing and the bruised areas are no longer as tender.

With all this time I've spent many an hour reflecting on well, everything. Prior to the accident I'd prayed a lot about being given some time to be able to sit back and make some decisions on where I want to be career-wise.

Be careful what ya wish for...

I haven't come up with much. I do still have a job; that job being the one I last spoke of when I last spoke of my work. I started (not that I ever really stopped) the job search in Spring, to no avail. I've been on a few interviews and it just seems that the perfect job is still lingering, but is ton not be held until later.

So, this time off will give me a chance to gain some perspective. I'd also spoken of returning to school, which is still a goal.

Right now, my priority, aside from my guys and my pets, is to heal.

I'm a work in progress.

I'm being cared for by home health. This has been a great opportunity for scoping out home health in action. I've toyed with the idea of going that route. Physical therapy will be visiting me twice a week. Nursing will see me 1-2 times a week, depending on my lungs. Occupational therapy stopped by yesterday and wrote me off, basically at my request. I don't need much as far as OT is concerned, since I am lucky to have all my faculties in place and don't need to learn how to do my ADLs again. The OT in the hospital gave me enough tips to keep in my arsenal and I always have their number if something else comes up.

This evening has been rough. Right now I'm being held together with ibuprofen and Flexeril. Frustratingly enough, I think I'm coming down with the flu.

Like I said, "a work in progress" and many a construction zone goes through some speed bumps on the path to the finished product.