tantrum_dan via flickr

Image: tantrum_dan via flickr

Went to the doctor yesterday & was told to ditch the crutches. I still have on the straight leg brace, but I’m supposed to work on getting rid of that too over the next 2 weeks & move onto a smaller compression brace/bandage. Think of the braces people wear for sports. I’m also supposed to be working on bending my knee. It’s stiff as a board. The muscles are so tight. Right now, I really can’t bend it at all. There’s a little give, but still it’s basically straight. But every day, I’m supposed to try & do a little more. So, I’m hoping by my next appointment in 2 weeks, I’ll have made significant progress.

Just losing the crutches is major progress. I can walk on it with no problem. I’m a little slow because I’m walking with a straight leg & the muscles do get a little tight after awhile, but still, I’m moving. Having use of my hands again is a wonderful thing & a relief given that my brother & his girlfriend leave tomorrow to go back to the East Coast. I’ll now be able to take care of me & the dogs with no problem. While I’d managed to cook for us over the weekend with the crutches, it was exhausting. Standing on 2 legs is a beautiful thing!

Tomorrow morning, before everyone leaves, I’m going to try driving. I drive an automatic, so it wasn’t so much that I couldn’t drive, as that I couldn’t get my leg in the car without bending it. My right leg, which I need to drive, is fine. The problem was getting my left leg in the car. Now that I can use the smaller brace, I think I can maneuver my leg into the car, even if the leg won’t bend too much. Better odds than with the larger brace. Fingers crossed.

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Image: Leo Reynolds via flickr

Yeah, still counting.

Managing the crutches much better. Discovered yesterday that my kitchen is ideally laid out for them. I can pretty much reach all surfaces when standing in the middle, which is ideal for moving pots from the stove to the counter to the sink. I made oatmeal yesterday morning with no problems, & will venture to cook for myself tonight as I’m on my own.

I’ve taken to carrying around a backpack when I move from room to room. That way I can carry my own stuff around & not have to constantly ask someone to get me or bring me something. I look like I’m running away from home. It amuses me. (more…)

Everything happens for a reason. Everything is a lesson. Nothing is a disaster. Nothing is the end of the world. That’s what my mother taught me.

In the last 3 months my mother died unexpectedly, our family dog was diagnosed with terminal cancer, & I dislocated my knee cap on Christmas Eve resulting in crutches & a straight leg brace. While each of these events have tested my will, my faith, my optimism, none of them has knocked me out (even though any one probably should have). I don’t believe I’m any stronger than anyone else. I’m devastated. I have minutes, hours, days where I just want to scream. I want to rail against the unfairness of it all. I want to be bitter that I’ve been dealt all this at once. I cry. I breakdown. I wind up on the kitchen floor in the fetal position, now & again. But then, I have to get up. I can’t keep it up. I can’t sustain the tears, the sobbing, the depression. I just get tired. For me, it’s more exhausting to give in than to get up & try again. (more…)

…and still counting.

At least Christmas is over. Got through it by ignoring it. I slept through Christmas Eve as I slept off the morphine. Christmas Day managed to be a non-event as I didn’t feel like going anywhere. My brother & I just stayed home watched movies & avoided the day. Worked out well. We agreed that next year we’ll make an effort, but this year it just wasn’t going to happen. The knee just made it easier to do that & get away with it.

Went to my writing group this morning. Nice to get out & to catch up. Not so much writing. I know, I know. I need to write. I need to get on it, but apparently I’m a master of avoidance. A theme these days I suppose.

On my own this evening. My brother & his girlfriend are off to see friends they haven’t seen since coming into town. I’ve been left with my supplies in reach: TV remote, laptop, books, magazines, assorted pain killers (although really haven’t needed them), water, & snacks. They took the dogs for a long walk & fed them before they left. They’re sleeping now. Hopefully that will remain the case until they get back. Otherwise if they’re looking for attention or to go out, I’m screwed; or rather they are. (more…)

So, one way to avoid Christmas…dislocate your knee cap…not intentionally, of course.

Yep. Ever well-coordinated me managed to loose my balance while putting my jeans on this morning and fall, dislocating my left knee cap in the process. Smooth, I know. This meant a trip to the hospital in an ambulance & about 2 hours in the ER.

I have experience with this injury. I dislocated my other (right) knee cap when I was a freshman in high school (eeks, like 18 years ago! Wow, that long ago?!?!). I did it on the last day of gym class right before summer vacation started. Luckily my gym teacher was the physical trainer for the football team & she was able to pop it back in right then & there. Still, had to go to the ER & everything, but when your knee cap is sitting on the side of your leg, all you really want is for the damn thing to be put back ASAP!

Unfortunately, this time, I had 5 paramedics/EMTs & they refused to do it. They said I had to wait for the doctor to do it, despite my pleas. When I did get to the hospital, the doctor was able to do it fairly quickly after arriving. Thank God!! Seriously, the pain of having it popped back in is absolutely nothing compared to it being out. Admittedly I was doped up on a good amount of morphine, but it really didn’t do anything for me. Made me a little woozy, but didn’t distract me from the pain like they said it would. Really don’t get why people drug-seek for the stuff. Not impressed.

So, now I’m home in a straight leg brace, on crutches, & vicodin as needed. More or less my knee feels fine–despite the fact that I can’t bend it, bear too much weight on it, etc. There’s just a slight throbbing/pressure pain that the vicodin I just took should help alleviate. Honestly, since I’ve done this before, it’s not too big of a deal. Although the fact that I’m on crutches & in a leg brace for at least a few weeks could prove to be a bigger deal. (I wonder if I can drive?…hmmm.) But for right now, I’m fine & choosing to laugh at the absurdity of this happening now.

My best/oldest friend was on her way to my house when this all happened (I was getting dressed so she could take me to pick up my car at the mechanic-luckily that turned out to be a minor repair). She rode with me in the ambulance & hung out at the hospital with me while my brother stayed home to take care of the dogs & wait for my father to drive up. She pointed out that this was “my 3rd thing.” You know, that whole “things happen in 3’s.” So, we have:

1. my mother

2. Leo’s cancer

3. my dislocated knee cap

So, I’m done according to her. Things can only get better. I choose to think she’s right & to laugh at the silliness of today–like razzing the paramedic who took 3 sticks to get the damn IV in me or telling them they were useless if they weren’t going to pop it  back in & to go get me a gym teacher. What else can I do? Cry. I will. I have. But I can’t do it forever & really I’m tired of focusing on the negative.