Friday, August 29, 2008

Even at a Limp, Life is Good. . .

The therapists at MJ called my walk a two step. Isn’t that nice? It sounds like a dance but in reality it isn’t even close. What should I expect though, I never did know how to dance even when I had two good legs.

When you need to walk with a walker, you find creative ways to get things done. For example, I can get a cup of coffee from the kitchen counter to the family room so I can sip it while watching the Today Show. It takes me awhile but I can be fairly independent. I can totally shower, dress myself, and make oatmeal for two for breakfast or sandwiches for lunch. It will be a long time however--at least six weeks--until I am able to make dinner. :-) I can get in and out of our high bed with no problem. I can get in and out of the car and negotiate a few steps. I walked on an uphill slant today and a downhill slant with no problem. The surgeon told me that I could probably drive the car, if I could figure out how to get the walker in and out of the car. I am sure, that I can do that! However, I did promise Bob that I would not try it this week. I am hoping to shed my walker next Friday. The x-ray on the 5th will show if my bones are beginning to knit together. If so, I will get to start walking with just a cane. It is hard to predict and may be several more weeks before that happens but sometimes it happens in as little as four weeks.

I am not doing physical therapy at home because that would mean that I had to stay at home and could not go out. I will start PT next week at a facility about a mile from our home. I have been doing my MJ exercises faithfully and my range of motion improves every day. I have been “out” several times—to get my hair cut, to eat out, to a friend’s birthday party and for blood tests. The weather has been gorgeous and I am so glad that I do not have to stay indoors!

What amazes me is that bones do repair themselves! I am used to skin healing but bones seem so different. I am so glad that when you break a bone, you don’t have to just live with it. Today, I am rejoicing in these happy verses from Psalm 139: 13-16 in The Message.

Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out;
you formed me in my mother's womb.
I thank you, High God—you're breathtaking!
Body and soul, I am marvelously made!
I worship in adoration—what a creation!
You know me inside and out,
you know every bone in my body;
You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit,
how I was sculpted from nothing into something.
Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth;
all the stages of my life
were spread out before you,
The days of my life all prepared

before I'd even lived one day.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Now that the Olympics are over. . .

My son reminded me that I am a shut-in today. Hmm. . . He is right but I just hadn't really thought of it that way. It is however, the best excuse that I have had to sit in a chair and read all day! I am excited to delve into some books given to me within the past two weeks.

Picture Perfect by Jodi Picoult from my walking partner/friend, Lois. This is her new best favorite author. I just finished reading this book. It was an uncomfortable tough read.

31 Days of Praise by Ruth Myers and Warren Myers from neighbors Cindy and Mary. What a great gift! I have been enjoying this book one day at a time since receiving it.

Playing for Pizza by John Grisham from Glenn. I can't wait to read this book because Glenn stressed over and over how much I would enjoy this book!

Better homes and Gardens--September issue from Judy B. This is for the times that I can't concentrate enough on a book.

Candle in the Darkness by Lynn Austin from friend Judy H ("A Froo-froo book" for me that she enjoyed--a quick read with a fun romance intertwined.)
Updated on September 1--Oh my goodness! I must have misunderstood Judy! This is historical fiction around the time of the Civil War and I am only at chapter 6 but I have been weeping since the beginning! Sad but relevant as we struggle to understand racial issues. It is a read in a day book that makes me think.

A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini also from Judy H because it will be eyeopening.

Large Print Super Crosswords #6 by Playmore/Waldman from stepdaughter Kathi. I do like to attempt the crosswords in the paper.

The Cat who Moved A Mountain by Lillian Jackson Braun from my sister-in-law, Maribeth. Maribeth has two cats of her own and I love her cat stories so she thought this would be fun read.

Another issue of Better Homes and Gardens and Real Simple--from my neighbors, I think! The first few days in the hospital, I did not write down the gifts brought to me! So sorry! I hope I am getting them right. If not, let me know!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Random Thoughts

Yay! I am at home on my computer and it is a beautiful day!

This was my first ever rickshaw ride. It is a wonderful thing to have strong relatives around in a crisis.

Thankfully, Sharice is now able to walk without crutches.

I fainted when I tried to stand on my broken leg for the first time at CDH. I am hoping that I looked as graceful as Marie Osmund. It did earn me a lot of extra attention and heart monitors and an EKG so now I know for sure that my heart is fine but I am a wuss for pain.

I nearly hyperventilated on my way to my first physical therapy session at MJ because of fear—not pain.

The PTs at MJ are not fiends that delight in causing pain as I had pictured in my head. Neither is the therapy gymnasium a torture chamber. Whew!

Yay! The PTs at MJ are kind, compassionate and encouraging.

I liked MJ lots—breakfast in bed, my call button, my wheelchair pushers, my therapy, seeing progress and falling asleep to the Olympics every night!

For real . . . various people at CDH and MJ called me young!

Even though I am a bit inept in recognizing fashion, I am pretty sure sturdy shoes that I need to wear for the next six weeks are not trendy.

And although Bob cheers for the White Sox, my compulsory white sox are less than desirable.

I really like my picker upper tool that I received from MJ PT. I dropped my contact lens and using my new tool, I picked it up and put it in some saline solution and put it in my eye and it worked great!

I thought it was pretty cool how my PT could tell if I was putting too much weight on my bad leg. I wore a Velcro boot with a teeny scale in it and with each step she called out the poundage.

At home, the first time I went to the bathroom, I was reminded of that poem by Robert Louis Stevenson, “I have a little shadow that goes in and out with me. . .” But the truth is, I am very thankful for Bob’s cheerful, willing help! He’s the best!

It is almost a 5K from our family room to the bathroom.

No, I do not have much pain. My hands and upper arms are sore! They are not used to lifting weights.

Today I was reminded of this encouraging verse from Isaiah 40:31.

Those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

CDH: Central DuPage Hospital
MJ: Marianjoy Rehabilitation Facility
PT: Physical therapy or Physical therapist

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Good Medicine

A cheerful heart is good medicine!
Proverbs 17:22

Things that make for a happy heart!

Using a walker by myself to get to the bathroom.

Showering and washing my hair.

Pain medicine and muscle relaxants!

Good doctors
Kind caregivers
A beautiful, private room!

Today''s visitors: Sister Lou and her hubby Rog; Bob's sister, Maribeth

Watching the Olympics!
A computer with internet capability

Shared photos from Donna, Nicole, Kevin and Bethany!
Aint Life Grand!









And of course! Blobbing

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


This summer, I pretended that I was still in my fifties. I went on roller coasters that flip and turn upside down. I rode horses enough to feel it the next day. I got up on two skis at Bankston Lake. I stood up and jumped off of a very high tower to ride a very high zipline. At DisneyWorld I screamed my way down the Tower of Terror and took turns on the Segway as often as possible. It was such fun!

Now, who would have thought that the blob would get me? But it surely did! I tried, honestly I did--to get it right--land on my bottom with my feet out straight but instead I collided with Sharice--the dear wife of nephew, Brian. What an initiation into old age! Certainly I have found the edge that I should not jump off of!

Here are a few photos compliments of my sister, Donna, because words can't explain the concept of a blob.

This really is tons of fun--according to every other blobber.

The person that you cannot see is me. I wondered if these men might be my pallbearers but then I opened my eyes and confirmed that I had not died. There is no pain in heaven. Whew!

And here we are surrounded by a great crowd of witnesses and angels.

Yes, my femur was broken but now it is all pinned and bolted back together. I felt just as pleased today when I shuffled to the door and back in my hospital room as I did after completing the 5K--a pretty low target for someone that was fighting being 60!

Sharice? She still has not had xrays taken. She stayed off of pain medicine all day yesterday although she cannot put any pressure on her leg. She is going to a girlfriend gathering tomorrow in North Carolina! Whew! Now that is some woman!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Sometimes you need to toss the script

It is good that we had one ride instead of two today!

I looked diligently for a place to “ride” horses with Kent. On the internet, we saw some half day trips and whole day trips that sounded like lots of fun but they were far, far away. We were glad to find a ranch that would allow two trail rides in the same day. We scheduled a walking trail for the morning and wanted to try the more advanced ride in the afternoon. We were feeling most optimistic when we left our suburban home at 7:15 am. The sky was dark and ominous at home but setting our sights southerly we saw blue sky and sunshine.

Upon arrival, we were told that it was simply too hot to trot. We could take the walking trail ride in the morning with very little trotting but all afternoon trotting rides were cancelled. We were shocked! You see, last night, in preparation for our horse ride, we watched the movie, Hidalgo. It is based on a true story of Frank T. Hopkins who rode his Indian mustang horse in a grueling race across 3,000 miles of the Arabian Desert’s punishing terrain. It was inspirational! So we never even considered that we might not get to ride because of heat.

This ranch boasts 27 riding horses and boards another 23 horses. We both hoped to ride a beautiful chestnut brown horse with star white markings or boots. Personally, neither Kent nor I considered the painted horses to be as pretty, but that is what was assigned to us. Kent got Tex and I got Scout. I did not want an explanation of why each horse was chosen for us. I was afraid that the answer might have something to do with weight and I did not want to go there. We mounted our horse by standing on a mounting block and just throwing our leg over the horse. Sam, our guide, told us that they have everyone that rides on a trail get on the horse in that way because it is easier on the horses back. I began to see that this ride was not going to resemble anything that we had ever seen in a horse movie.

We were taught how to hold the reins and how to steer the horse. This was all pretty much of a formality though because it was easy to see that we were not actually going to guide the horse into the sunset or anywhere at all. Basically, our horses would go the same way whether we were dead or alive on their backs. And all of this they could do with half an eye. We were told to pull sharply up on the reins to keep them from eating grass. Right! When Scout and Tex wanted grass, they were quite aware that we had no authority to stop them or for that matter. . .make them go again.

Sam told us how to post—something you do when the horse trots to smooth out the bouncing and jarring. Posting is to rise out of the saddle seat for every other stride of the horse's forelegs. However, you have to get the right beat or you get twice the jolts instead of half of the jolts. It’s probably enough just to say that I have difficulty clapping to praise songs in church.

Kent was a delight through the whole experience! We had plenty of time left to our day so we went to the movie theater and watched Iron Man. I normally tend to choose movies that say Romantic/ Comedy or “Based on True Story”. Movies that are described as Science Fiction/Fantasy don’t generally get a second glance. What fun though to watch Iron Man with Kent! It was fun to talk about the story at dinner. It made us laugh! Temporarily we forgot that our sitters were tender. An afternoon ride might have proved painful.