Monthly Archives: March 2014

Scooting Around

ME with schooterMy progress is better everyday. The kneeler scooter helps.  I still have things to learn.  It is tough going outside on the gravel of our driveway.  I’ve been mostly staying home.

The scooter can fly too. I have to be careful on the hardwood floors.  I remember the walker the boys had when they were babies.  They’d be in the living room on the carpet, then come into the kitchen and fly across the floor using the momentum from their vigorous pushes on the carpet.  That’s what can happen to me when I go from the bedroom to the hallway. The difference is that they had shorter level of gravity.

Being on the scooter has shown me how weak I am all over.  Most of us have our habits of how we do things and maintain adequate strength to do those things.  I’m realizing how weak my arm strength  is; could be why I had so much trouble with the crutches and keeping balance. Getting out of low chairs is hard too.

Today I searched my book shelf for Strong Women, Stay Young  by Miriam E. Nelson, Ph.D because I remember the exercises from quite a few years.  I also realize it doesn’t do  any good to just remember exercises, I have to DO them. So I have started working biceps, triceps, deltoid and trapezius muscles using light weights.  I also need to stretch.  I’ve been sitting in lots of awkward positions. I must get stronger to get through this and to prevent further problems as I get older. Notice I didn’t say age.

I’ve also advanced enough to get a shower.  We have these big plastic sleeves that covers up to my thigh. I sit on a bench with my leg outside.  Is there anything better than hot water?

Life is good!

Oh I almost forgot…I was forced postpone my ten-year colonoscopy. Darn!

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My First Cast

Ten days ago I fell at work and broke the fibula bone in my right ankle. One week ago a cast was placed for the first time in my life. So here’s how it goes.

As soon as I fell I knew this was more than a twisted ankle. I hobbled my way to the house and made arrangements to get it examined. When I called Al, I told him to bring the crutches from home because there was no way I could put weight on my ankle. We had a wait of about an hour at the walk-in clinic. The x-ray clearly showed the break. I was wrapped in a splint. An appointment with an orthopedic clinic was made for four days to be casted. Pain meds. Use crutches, no weight bearing. And we were on our way.

As long as I kept my leg elevated and didn’t put weight on my foot, I had no pain. I wasn’t doing well with the crutches though. Whenever I used crutches after my hip surgeries I put a little bit of weight on the ground, called toe-touch weight bearing. Now I couldn’t do that. I felt unbalanced. Al kept reminding me I wasn’t keeping the weight off. I knew it. I couldn’t help it.

Tuesday finally came for the casting appointment. I was up bright and early, looking forward to the restriction the cast would give me, holding that fibula in place.

About twenty years ago I bought a pair of culottes from Land’s End. I’m not sure what this article of clothing is called now. We called them culottes when I was in high school, gaucho pants later. A nice navy blue knit, pockets, pull-on, loose. I haven’t worn them in years. Rather out of style now. So many times the skirt/pants made it past the rule “If you haven’t worn it in a year, get rid of it.” Now I had the perfect thing to wear with a cast. My uniform when I go out for the next six weeks, functional, casual. And I’ll wear a bright colored sock on my left foot just for fun!

Fortunately we found a parking place in the garage right outside the door. It was pouring down rain. I slowly hobbled in, nervous about the puddles, slippery floors, just not feeling secure.

As we sat in the waiting room, another patient came with a scooter on which she kneeled. I felt like the kid outside the toy store at Christmas thinking “I want one of those.” We chatted for a few minutes about how much it has improved her life during her recovery.

Another hobble into the exam room where the splint was removed. I noticed how swollen the ankle was just from being the car for a couple of hours. The PA examined my leg again, went over the x-rays and told me the plan. The cast would be applied from just below my knee to my toes. I would come back in 2 weeks for the cast to be removed and an x-ray taken. According to my progress either another cast applied or a boot. I asked for and received a prescription for a scooter.

I asked about the Marniers Home Opener on April 8th. Five weeks to the day of my casting. Pushing things. The PA thought it could be tough, with crutches or even the scooter. I was confident I could do it. I told her about 1995 when I had had hip surgery, was on crutches and marched up to the second or third row from the top of the Kingdome to watch the Mariners in the play-offs. The big thing questioned about April 8th, was the cold. Opening day is always cold, even with the sun out. I thought of those five toes of mine open to the air. At least it is my decision.

My last hobble on the crutches to the cast room. I chose a bright Mariner blue for my cast color. As the tech applied the layers of the cast we talked a little sports. He kept looking at Al in the conversation, as if the fact that he was a guy he would know more than me. I just smiled knowing that the sports information in Al’s head was fed by me.

Getting up from the table, the three of us decided to take me to the car by wheelchair. Even with the cast I wasn’t supposed to put weight on the ankle. As I was being rolled through the waiting room I looked at my bright red painted toes showing outside my cast. I was happy for that pedicure last month.

Our first stop was the medical supply store where Al rented the scooter. I had my wheels.cast

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