coming out of my shell

coming out of my shell

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Thirty percent and counting

I went to the surgeon yesterday for another post-op checkup, and all is going well. He adjusted my brace so I can practice bending my leg by 30%. I can sleep with out the brace, and I can take it off when I’m on the couch, but I still have to wear it when I walk. He wants me to start walking without the walker!!!  Yahoo.

He’s given me new exercises to do, and wants me back in 2 weeks so he can adjust the brace to 60% mobility (or possibly 90% depending on how I do in the meantime.) He expects a full recovery within 6 to 8 months.

I’m so freakin' happy.

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Encased but still energized.

It might be a mistake to binge watch The Great British Baking Show during this period of enforced torpidity. It is the only thing I want to watch, and I'm very near the end. It makes me want to eat cake. I'm also dreaming of meat, potato, onions and root veg encased in a hot water, hand raised pastry crust. What an inspired carbohydrate jackpot.

The good news is my husband took me for a walk at a nearby nature preserve yesterday. It's a lovely forest walk on an elevated boardwalk. The preserve borders a large lake, so the walkway keeps one safe from alligators and snakes while still allowing one to experience a bit of the real Florida. The sky was overcast, a rare treat in the Sunshine State. Being there made me insanely happy to be out in the world.

My right foot

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Bedpan Politics

Lest you mistake me for a good person, let me confess a sin.

I did something that might be a wrong, or at least not politically right-on. It has to do with hospital bed pan politics. I found the bedpan experience humiliating while I was in the hospital. The nurse who helped me the first time was wonderful, and she joked me through it.

The second time I had to "go" she was off duty and a young male nurse came to help me. I kindly told him I wanted a female nurse to help me with the bedpan. He seemed fine with that, but the female nurse who came in gently scolded me, saying that the male nurse was fully trained and could do these things. I imagine she didn't appreciate the extra work, and I can understand that. However, I tend to think anything that involves another person's involvement with my body is about me, first and foremost.  

Of course he could do that task. He was extremely competent, and very kind. But his technical ability was not the issue, was it? I'm an older woman who has been pricked, prodded, and poked by strange medical men my entire life. I draw the line at going to the bathroom.

Later I apologized to him, and attempted to let him know it wasn't a judgment about his abilities, it was about my still having a choice in a very intimate and private experience. I don't think he was buying it. He was thinking about himself.  I was thinking about myself. Oh well, as long as I am able to speak up for myself, I win.

I'm quite sure I would do the same thing again. I wish I was more open and accepting of these things, but I am not. And for crying out loud, this was about me exerting some semblance of control over my broken body.

If you think I was wrong in doing this, I hope you will feel comfortable telling me in the comments. I don't mind being wrong, and I can take a punch. More than anything, I want to know right from wrong.

Sunday, October 6, 2019

How am I doing?

How am I doing?  ("How am I doing?" I quietly mutter and muse to myself.) I am damaged goods, but wasn't I always? The difference is now people can see my brokenness at a glance.

In addition to the patella break, I damaged muscles. They restrung bits in that area to accomplish the repairs. It's complicated; however, not impossible.

I fell September 7th. For repairs to heal properly I won't start physical therapy until early November. I wear a brace and have been admonished not to bend my knee because the 
healing muscles are the ones that allow me to walk. 

PT will last 6 weeks. The first two they'll try to bend my knee 30%. The second two weeks will hopefully bring it to 60%. The last two shoot for 90%. Then I go back to my surgeon's 
office where they will do x-rays and "see" if all is well.

I also tore upper arm muscles when my right arm took one for the team to heroically break the fall. I ache on occasion.

Emotionally, I'm adapting and enduring. It's only been 4 weeks. It appears I still have 10 weeks of cruel convalescence to contend with. We'll see if the good Colette can keep the bad Colette in check for that long. I'm giving it the old college "try." No promises.

In summary, I have three modes during this recuperation. 

  • I lay on the couch with my right leg extended.  (lay, lie? Come on Robbie, help me out here).  
  • I hobble hither and thither with my walker.
  • I sit up in my rented wheelchair with the leg extender

My grandson and husband decorated my walker for me.

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Knee jerk reactions, part 3: Get out

I was admitted to hospital mid-afternoon on Saturday, Sept 7.  My surgery was 7:30 am Sunday morning. I was released from the hospital, still vomiting from the morphine, at 5:30 pm. It seemed a bit soon.

One of the surgical doctors stopped by the night before surgery to ask if I wanted to be revived if I died on the table. That was interesting. I told him if, for some reason, I was brain dead or if my brain was functional but my body would never move again then please, kill me dead. However, I stressed if the worst was I might never walk again, I wanted to live. I would have loved to talk to him more about life and death, but he wanted to skedaddle, so I waved goodbye as he made his escape.

I understand why some have clergy stop by to talk with them when they are critically ill. Who else would want to listen to one's fears of death? When my time comes, I want to put in an order for a Jesuit. I might be wrong, but I imagine they might be reasonably smart, spooky deep, and would thoughtfully answer my wacked-out questions? But could I trust their answers? There's the rub.

My nurses were outstanding. I was there through the change of a few teams, and each managed me beautifully. Because of them I didn't suffer. They brought me humor and hope, they kept me clean, and they encouraged me to eat full fat foods like biscuits with gravy and macaroni and cheese. Angels they were, and angels they remain.
This sort of reminds me of a leg