Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Captivity: Day 7

Today is 1 week since the surgery to fuse my ankle.
So, on the plus side:
No post surgical pain, seriously, none.  I'm not sure why, but I"m happy.
Things like shower and kitchen duties are getting a little easier.
Friends and family have been helpful and concerned.
But, on the down side:
Sleeping is a challenge.  My leg gets hot inside the boot, and at night, everything is worse.
The boot is awkward sometimes.
6 weeks is a long time.
When I was in the recovery room, my ankle surgeon came by to me that my surgery had gone very well.  He said it was 'textbook' and took less time than what was planned.
I was home in my recliner relaxing by mid afternoon.
The boot

I quickly learned that the plastic boot is hot and when safe, I need to get some air to my leg.

So, lifting the top off the boot helps cool down my leg and foot.
The dressing is almost like a fiberglass cast, very firm and holds the ankle in place.
But the boot is mostly plastic & rubber, and that is not so good on skin.

Like I said, sleeping is tricky.
The boot is bulky and must be kept on at night & it is best to have it elevated as well.
My night nurse, Hops, was very concerned and out of character, spent the night on the bed with me.

My mailbox has been busy with many get well cards from friends and family.
The bridge group sent over a card and a gift that they knew I would appreciate!

I also received my parking sticker, this will be very handy once I decide I need to drive somewhere.

My friend, Carol, has been a trooper.  She drove me to Eau Claire on surgery day and has made several stops to check on me, and to bring in my mail and do some other chores for me.

I've been able to do everything in the house, but getting down the front steps with the scooter has been something I wasn't sure about.  I thought I COULD do it with my stool to sit on, but the scooter is heavy and awkward, so I had not tried it.

Tuesday morning, I had my first scooter accident.  I tipped it when I was getting out of bed.  I don't think I injured the healing leg, but it did touch down a little.  Mostly, it taught me a lesson about how I have to get on and off the scooter.
No one really gives you any instruction on this scooter and there really isn't any instruction guide.  I picked it up from the Medical Supply rental and they had me kneel on it and sent me on my way.
I can see now, that you MUST put one hand on the knee cushion and one hand on the handle bars.  Two hands on the handle bars just tips the bike over.
I'm going to write something on the survey I get from the Clinic about this.  Both scooter and crutches were given to me and I was to figure the rest out on my own.

Anyway, Tuesday was a nice day, and I had it in my head that it might be easier to take the scooter down the 3 steps off the back deck onto the grass, then cross the yard on the scooter and take it down the 3 stone steps down to the sidewalk & driveway.
So, I gave it a try.
I made it safely, but it was not very easy, and I knew it was too risky to have that as my main access to the driveway and garage.

While I was out there on the driveway, I did discover that I could easily pull my trash cans back up the driveway while on the scooter.  The cans roll easily when empty.  So, I felt pretty proud that I was able to put them away on my own.
I got my mail out of the mailbox too.

I also picked some tomatoes and zucchini off my plants.
But then had to make the trip back the way I came and that convinced me that I needed a new plan.

Carol stopped by for a visit and I was telling her that I needed a pulley system on the front porch to help move my scooter up and down the steps.
I had a basic idea and then I called brother Glenn.
As luck would have it, he was at his lake cottage, not too far away and was willing to come to my house and rig up something to help me.
We discussed what I needed and while we were on the phone, he was finding the necessary hardware and rope in his tool box.

When I had Ronnie build me new entry way, I wanted extra wide steps and now I am so glad.
I cut down a stool to the right height that I can either kneel or sit on it to go up and down the steps.

Here is the how the 'Scooter Mover' works.

I'll show you going up the steps, but it works just the same coming down.
Glenn took some photos on my first try and my second attempt was even smoother.

First, I have to move the stool to the first step.

I get my butt on the stool and then I can move the scooter into potistion.
First, I hook the tow rope to the handle bars of the scooter and then move the scooter wheels up on the first step.

Holding the rope so that the scooter does not move, I move myself up 2 steps.

Once, I'm up then I pull the scooter up and once again use the tow rope to keep it from  moving.

I get myself up to the top step and then pull the scooter up.
I tie off the tow rope so it is there when I need it to go back down.
Then I just have to move the stool into the house.
So, it's a process, but it is safe and pretty easy too.
At first I was trying to pull the scooter with the rope, but that was too crazy.
Moving the scooter and then using the rope to keep it stable was the real key to using the steps safely.

So, Glenn really helped me be mobile, it's not really captivity anymore.
It's a funny thing that knowing I couldn't leave the house made me a little crazy, but now knowing that I can leave the house, I'm not really all that worried about going out.

Eventually I'll want to drive to the grocery and doctor, and now I'm all set.

While we were outside, the neighborhood cat, Sapphire, strolled by.
She successfully hunts in my yard often.
I've seen her catch and eat several little rodents.
A pretty cat, and I always shoo her and send her home.
But, she kind of liked Glenn and even let him pick her up.
Sapphire flirting with Glenn

So, now I'm looking at the start of Week 2.
Hopefully, it will go fast.  
I'll have a doctor's appointment at the start of Week 3 to get an update on my progress.
Thanks for stopping by.

1 comment:

Hamilton Family said...

I'm so impressed by your stool and pulley contraption. I'm glad that you're doing ok and you don't have any pain. I hope that the next 5 weeks go just as well.


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