Friday, April 30, 2010

Thou Shall Not

Though we didn't spend much time in the pristine white building with the steeple that was up the gravel road about a mile from our house, we were taught the 10 commandments by our mother. There was no classroom style teaching but lessons applied per incidence. Stories were told at Easter and Christmas. Religious teachings she had learned in her childhood, she communicated to us on these holidays. It's a good thing Mom had these stories because most of the time Christmas morning yielded fruit nuts, and candy and a big festival dinner. If it was a very good year she might have managed to spend a 1.00 on something beneath the tree besides the fruits and nuts and candy. Not one of us was ever disappointed. I can't remember anyone ever making a request for what they wanted nor expecting anything. I now know there must have been some children that are much like the ones today. Christmas approaches and they have a list of "wants" but I didn't know any of these children. Maybe, by the time the holidays were over and school commenced, these children didn't discuss what they had found beneath their trees.
Easter approached and everyone gathered to boil eggs and color them. Mom hid those eggs and her seven children hunted for them and the lesson of what Easter was about was taught with more stories from Mom. Occasionally we would walk that gravel road to the church on Sunday but it wasn't something that was done on schedule and it was our choice on whether we went or not. Religion was loose and casual around our house although Mom's rosary was kept at her bedside and a big cross was hung above her bed.
I knew where I was going with this post when started so I'll have to steer it back to those commandments.
Lying. We dare not lie. We would get in less trouble from the parents if we just told the truth. How many times did I hear "don't lie to me" and I didn't. A capital offense in our house that was punished by the switch. A switch would be that portion of the tree that was removed and used to whale on the behinds and legs of the child. Child abuse? Not to worry. You could get switched for lying and the parents wouldn't go to jail for it back in the day. You learned lessons by the switch if you were so bold as to do what you were told not to do.
I ran into a case of lying last night. I asked, was told and then I cautioned about the consequences of lying. Capital punishment would not be a switching but a denial of a much wanted item. He affirmed the lie and though I knew he was lying I had no proof. I'm not speaking of the husband here least you get the idea I caught him steamed up with some petite little blond. It was the grandson and his report card.
Not a minute passed until I had the truth. Sitting beside me in the car as we rode to his house, I phoned his mother and the truth was gained in almost the same breath of time as the lie was delivered.
I could continue with his and my reactions to this but it would only get ugly. I hate being lied to. It makes me furious and I was.
When I mentioned this to his mother, her response was "Oh mom, everybody lies".
I was appalled. Is this the lesson we teach now? Is this the truth about lies? My friends' children are famous for this and with a straight face, dead on eye contact and nary a fidget, they spout lies. Lies woven into stories about what is going on in their lives. Lies in conversation that later you wondered why you were even having these conversations. I'm not one to bear this without confrontation. I will call you on that lie if you are a child or grandchild. It's a life lesson but how far does this lesson extend. I don't' even think it embarrasses them but only makes them angry that they were called on it. Ms. Dee has raised three fine teenagers that were never a trial to her. All went through primary grades and off to college where they stress out over their exams, keep part time jobs and are very respectful to parents, family and friends. I shall ask her today if lying is part of and expected from her children.
I plan on doing a little survey. Will the parents be truthful about their child's truthfulness? Do they feel the same way. "Everybody lies" and is that acceptable to them?
Isn't this a part of morals instilled in children as they are raised or is this just not important? Do they get by with it for a while which builds their confidence in lying? It doesn't work forever and that's what I told the grandson. It was not a good night and for this I'm saddened but not enough to have not called him on it.

Thursday, April 29, 2010


A few noteworthy items in my life. This might not mean a lot to anyone else but I did some analytical thinking today. It almost was painful.
The doctor told me to "wear the boot for 3 weeks, to remove the boot to do stretching exercising on the foot by using an exercise band or a towel behind my toes and pulling tightly on it to stretch the foot".
Why am I wearing a 5o0.00 boot? What is the purpose of this boot? If I'm to stretch this foot, then it isn't because they want the foot immobile as happens while wearing the boot. The boot doesn't bend but is totally stiff in the sole.
The boot hurts and it hurts everywhere. The incision site at the back of my heel that extends down into the sole of my heel rubs against the boot. The bottom of my foot hurts and the ankle stiffens up from disuse while in the boot. Again I ask, why am I wearing this boot? I didn't frac that ankle. I could understand if I had fractured the ankle and it was to be kept immobile. Is this a way to charge the insurance companies or the client an extra 500.00? Am I being a bit paranoid on this?
Today I took that boot off and rummaged in the closet for a pair of comfortable wide Reeboks. These Reeboks have a good sole on them and good support on the sides. I donned a pair of socks and then laced up these shoes and did some trial run walking around the house. I'm using one crutch on the unaffected side to do partial weight bearing until my foot gets acclimated to weight.
Upon further investigation, most people put in these boots are doing partial weight bearing for the first week or until the foot becomes accustomed to full weight. I wasn't instructed on this by anyone. I'm doing it but it was trial and error that I discovered when standing full weight, it hurts!
I'm happy with the surgical procedure but the splint and boot I find were highly overpriced and not necessary.
Feeling almost normal in my Reeboks, something I haven't worn for a year now because of the bone spur in the heel, I moved slowly and carefully and took rest breaks. Tomorrow I'll continue the walking exercises and I won't be using that torture boot!
I'm healing.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

I Seem to Have Graduated

At 0940 I was parked in front of the doctors office complex and trying to unload that wheelchair out of the car. Eventually, with help from a pleasant older gentlemen, I was seated in that chair and rolling toward the door.

The wait was very short and I was escorted to the examining room, then summoned to the X-Ray room to have pretty pictures taken of my foot.

Soon the doctor appeared, examined the X-Rays, then my foot and pronounced, I'm putting you in a walking boot. You will wear this boot for three weeks, then tennis shoes for two weeks, at which time I'll be seeing you again."

Can I tell you how excited I was? Out of the wheel chair and off the crutches, progress has been achieved. Can I tell you how painful it is to be in that walking boot? Who woulda thought? It feels as though there is a large metal ball beneath my heel. I'm assuming this is caused by the tendons on the bottom of my foot having to stretch after 6 weeks of non use.

I returned the wheel chair but kept the crutches to assist my walking until the pain diminishes. I was told by other wearers of these boots that they felt discomfort also. I'm hoping it doesn't last the entire 3 weeks of my wearing it. It's's's more mobility and I'm good with that!

I'm off to do a short walk to the laundry room. I said "walk" not "roll". See the improvement?

Goodbye Gus

Gus, you missed the needle 14 yrs ago. Today was a different story. The vet helped you upon the table and with your family standing close by, he felt for a vein to start the IV. You were to be sedated and asleep before the medication that would stop your heart and your breathing was to be given. Tearful, Ted, Elise and April stayed with you until you were sedated, then Ted and Elise left the room. The vet spoke to April and told her people usually didn't stay until the heart stopped. She wouldn't leave but wanted to stay with him until the end and she did.
14 yrs ago Gus was only two years old and living with a family of four. The two children in the household started school and this caused Gus to be faced with adoption or being euthanized. He started digging holes in the yard, he missed his playmates and he was angry. The man of the house was angry. He told his wife he was going offshore and to find a new home for Gus or he would have the vet put him down when he got back home.
The daughter received a phone call from some friends she had in common with Gus's owners. They told her about Gus and she had him delivered to her house. Ted, the baby was 3 yrs old and Elise was 7 yrs old when Gus entered their lives. He was a tall, muscular fawn boxer with a white blaze face and black muzzle. The muscles rippled down his sides when he danced and Gus did dance. Boxers aren't known for being sedate and calm. He loved to chase the occasional cat that ventured into his territory and when he had the chance he would make late night excusions into the neighbor hood. Once he made away with his chain still attached to his collar and when he didn't show up the next day, the daughter went looking for him. She found him tangled up in the brush down by the coolie and unable to free himself. Saved again you were, Gus. Close calls weren't frequent as your family kept a close watch on you and I suppose that is why you survived those 14 yrs.
Ted could crawl over you, tug your ears and pull himself up by the ruff of your neck and never a complaint was uttered by you but let someone knock on the door and you sprang to your feet, the ruff on your neck bristled and a low growl issued forth while your eyes stayed on that door. No one was gaining entrance without your master's approval. Once cleared for entrance, you would back off but watch intently the stranger among your family.
I remember the day I crept up to Elise's window and tapped on it to wake her up. The blinds were closed but through those blinds you hurled toward the glass and your face appeared at that window to survey the scene. I talked to you until you recognized me and relaxed your vigil. I never worried about someone gaining entrance late at night unless they were given permission by your master. You were a wonderful family protector and your family loved you totally. You were more then an animal; you were family.
Today red swollen eyes greeted me when I returned home and your family sat around telling stories of your time with them. They have known for a while that you would be leaving them and as difficult as this was for them, they put it off for as long as possible.
The tumors on your body were fist sized but you could still dance and wiggle sideways when your family arrived home. Today when you made those many trips outside to urinate and couldn't, when you couldn't get your head down to your food dish and your master had to hold your bowl up to your mouth, when you couldn't drink your water and when you staggered, they knew it was time.
Carrie will be told when she questions your absence. Your mom has been preparing her for this for the past year. You will be missed greatly by her. Though she only had 4 yrs with you, she counted you as one of her loves.
Goodbye Gus. I shall miss you too and I'm thankful you were the protector of your loved ones which provided much comfort for me knowing you were there.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Remember the HMO?

I remember about 5 yrs after I graduated college and was working "the floors" at the hospital and a new concept in insurance pay came into being. The HMO or "managed health care". The insurance companies decided to "manage the cost" of treatment by offering the hospitals and doctors it's clients for a set fee (managed health care). This meant that a hospitalization for an illness, say, a case of heart surgery would be allowed a set number of days in the hospital and a set fee for those days and to the doctors, a set fee for their services. Blue Cross and Blue Shield is a big company and it's clients are many. In order for the hospitals and the doctors to get these patients, they would have to agree to be paid this "discounted fee".
To the doctors and to the hospitals, this meant a drastic drop in pay. To offset this, the hospitals try to cross train the nurse aides to do food service workers jobs and the food service workers had to cross train to be nurses aides. This was a disaster. The food service workers were not interested in patient care. That's why they were food service workers instead of nurses or nurses aides. The nurses were give a higher patient load with no consideration to patient acuity. Patient acuity is a rating given to a patient based on the amount of care and the seriousness of their condition. Respiratory therapy would be offered by the nurses. Phlebotomy would be another responsibility of the nurses. The nurses were overburdened and over stressed. Many times the aides were removed from the floor leaving the nurse to do total patient care with a greater number of patients. The hospitals were not going to take a loss on their expected income. Charges for supplies used on a patient were increased X300. I'm saying the cost of scalpels in surgery, cotton balls on the floor, syringes and any and everything that could be charged the insurance company was charged at a rate of 300 percent over what the actual cost of the item. The doctors opened their own rehabilitation clinics and surgery centers. As in the foot splint that was provided by my podiatrist/surgeon, the actual cost was 56.00 and his charge to me was 300.00. The doctors weren't going to take a loss in revenue dictated by the insurance companies "managed health care". It's a win/ win situation for the doctors and hospital and the insurance company who charges a higher premium rate to compensate. The loser? The insured and those who have no insurance at all. The health care worker loses too. Over stressed and overworked, nurses are always in short supply. There are plenty of trained nurses. They aren't working in the field but have found other employment. The new nurses coming out of school are soon overwhelmed and looking to leave. Many go back to school to get a teaching certificate and head for the classroom to teach.
Though I did like the patient interaction at the start of my career in the field, soon the job didn't allow any time for individualized care. It was a matter of getting into the room, attending to dressing changes, iv site care, pain pump management, med administration, hang antibiotics on time, restarting iv sites, responding to requests for relief of discomfort, reporting to the doctors any change in patient condition, getting new orders, requesting pharmacy meds and administering and prepping the patient for surgery. This was on a patient load of seven. Seven patients that were sick enough to be hospitalized. Little time was left for patient education on their course of care; checking to make sure they understood what was expected of them in management of their medications on discharge and on and on and on. Did I mention the paperwork? That was usually done after the shift had ended. You stayed clocked in and spent the next hour or so doing all the charting and checking to make sure all orders were attended to. Usually before you ended your shift, there was a supervisor on the floor requesting you to "stay over", do a double shift because someone had called in "sick".
What you may ask has inspired this post? I was watching an interview with a patient by the news media on "The Cost of Healthcare". The bill from the hospital was scrutinized and the charges were outrageous. The hospitals response? It was weak. They said "we have to charge these rates on supplies to make up for the shortage of pay in other areas" and those "other areas"? Yep, the insurance companies "manage health care" payments!
If you think your doctor really cares about you, then I have a bridge in London Arizona for sale.........

Horizontally Inclined

By this Friday, it will have been 6 weeks since surgery. I have not had Carrie spend the night prior to last night. Now I know why.
Carrie and Poppy hadn't seen each other for over a month what with him being gone so much lately. She walked in through the patio door yesterday and made a dive for him. She climbed up on his lap and layered kisses on each of his cheeks, his forehead and eyes all the while proclaiming her love for him. Needless to say, but I will right here, Poppy was one happy Poppy. They talked, they played and they were happy. Together they played their favorite game of "I got a surprise for you" where Carrie covers her eyes and Poppy whips out the toy he bought for her. Yesterdays' toy was a water slide. They spent a few minutes arranging it on the lawn and hooking the water hose up to it and the fun began. Carrie's old bathing suit was found and she squeezed into it. *Note to self: time for a new bathing suit for her.
Carrie spent the afternoon. It was getting time for Carrie to go home. I told her Mom would be to pick her up soon. Earlier I had tried to talk her into taking a bath and she wasn't having any of it. Now, suddenly, a bath was just what she wanted to do so I called her mother to tell her I would call her later to retrieve Carrie and we were heading for a bath. This should have been my first clue that Carrie didn't want to leave.
Bath done and almost into pajamas, Ms. Dee, the neighbor showed up to take Carrie for a walk with Bentley, the poodle. I nixed on the pjs and dressed her in red skort and a white t-shirt and off she went. It's getting later and later cause that's how time works here and when Carrie returns, she tells me she wants to spend the night. I'm leery of this. That means I will have to move the clothes rack in the spare bedroom, remove all the pillows off the bed, move shoes from my "dressing area" in there and spend the night with her as sleeping alone for Carrie is not an option. I managed to roll around that tall bed and get all this done. Bedtime comes, we snuggle down and she plays the Nintendo DS for a while. I drift. She doesn't and soon I hear Poppy calling to me. She has decided that since I'm drifting, she will go visit her Poppy.
I drag myself out of bed and into the wheelchair, thinking all this time, this is exactly why Carrie has not been staying here since this surgery. We all decide we will just spend the night in the king size bed together.
Carrie falls asleep an hour later. I think I can see the covers flutter from the snoring from that little girl. Loud? Well, yes, it is and a few minutes later, Poppy has decided that the noise level is out of his limits of tolerance and announces his exit to the sofa for the night.
I'm left with the snoring giant. I drift off and wake up to a foot hanging close to my face. I'm awake and trying to reposition Carrie. This continues throughout the night and as I sit here typing, I can count the hours of sleep I got on 1/2 of the fingers on one hand.
This morning early, Carrie will be collected by her grandmother. That would be the grandmother from Lydia, La. and when that happens, I will climb back into that king size bed and try to recover my lost night's sleep.
The next time Carrie spends the night will be when I'm done with wheelchair and crutches. Keeping up with Carrie is a job that requires one be mobile and rested and I'm neither one of those right now!

Monday, April 26, 2010

I sure hope I don't look like I feel. My head is still congested and when my nose isn't leaking and forcing me to bury by face in a paper towel or I'm not struggling to breath through a nose that has entirely closed down, the sinus headaches are waltzing in and out and I'm now regretting spring and pollen. I used to enjoy this time of year. When did this change. I don't remember ever having problems with allergies. On the bright side, my lungs seemed to have cleared up. Always something eh? The good side of this is that staying in one place and elevating my foot isn't as depressing as it was early on in this adventure.

I'm excited about seeing the doctor on Wednesday and the husband might be able to make this visit with me. He doesn't actually go in with me but drops me at the door and waits on me while reading U.S.A. Today paper. That's fine with me. Sitting in a waiting room isn't an entertaining proposition but usually the wait is minimal. I'm still keeping my fingers crossed about the walking boot.

The temperatures are edging up to 88 degrees today. I would like to spend the morning outside but this might not be a wise choice for me. Pollen here there and everywhere.

The spud meeting got cancelled so the husband will be home for a day or two more. He might even be around a week as the rig won't be to core point for a while. His truck has to be inspected and other errands completed so he will be busy. I'm off to get showered and so some errand stuff myself. I'm slowly losing the lbs gained when I quit smoking. Hopefully my old wardrobe will be new to me again soon!
Two more days..two more days and I'm keeping my fingers crossed for that doctor's appointment!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Festival Internationale with Video Clips

I Can't Believe It's Sunday

The steaks were awesome. The husband made a quick trip to his favorite meat market to pick up a couple of thick juicy ribeyes. He lit the charcoals and while waiting for them to get to that ashy gray color, he mowed the back lawn which was in need of being mowed. The wind continued to whip the trees and bushes around but not a drop of moisture hit the pavement.
Steaks cooked to a medium perfection, a baked potato and grilled mushrooms with onions decorated my plate. I was ready to dig in and it was as awesome as I had imagined it would be. One of my very favorite meals is a good medium cooked steak.
The husband has been keeping the washing machine running and the dryer whirling as he gets everything ready for his next job. Between the trip to the market, the trip to Fed Ex to bill the client and his laundry, he hasn't slowed down. He is waiting on a call to go to another spud meeting in Dallas and if he wasn't expected to head immediately to location after that meeting, I would tag along. My doctor's appointment isn't until Wednesday.
I'm still hoping that the doctor will put me in a walking boot when I make that visit. At least he might have me on PWB (partial weight bearing), meaning I would use crutches while putting partial weight on that foot. I know I'm probably setting myself up to be disappointed so I try to anticipate two more weeks of this after that visit.
Festival Internationale continues through today and I haven't made it down town to catch any of the festivities. The Jazz Fest in New Orleans happens at the same time we are having the Festival here and both of them are worth attending. Not for me this year I fear. Banana Fosters' aren't on my "healthy way of eating" anyway. Maybe next season?
I've been watching the rig drama that has unfolded in the Gulf. I can imagine the scene at the dock when the workers drove their vehicles out of the yard and there was left those vehicles belonging to the 11 missing workers. I'm waiting on the reports on what went wrong on that rig. Safety is a major issure with the oil companies with daily safety meetings, safety measures adhered to strickly so it wasn't for a lack of trying. Did the BOP fail?
I'm rolling back to the kitchen for another cuppa coffee. Happy Sunday!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Tricky Tricks

Although my head feels like a lead filled basketball, I dressed and crutched to the car for a quick trip to the market. Sailing around the store in my little electric cart, I collected everything I had on my list and hurried home. I missed the rain. As a matter of fact, it didn't rain but the threat still hangs in the air. Windy and humid, I was grateful to be back home and out of this nasty weather.

I backed my car onto the carport beside the door and gathered my crutches in hand along with my purse and the carton of smokes for the husband. He is on his way home as we speak, or I should say "type". I popped the trunk lid and studied the best way to get groceries from that trunk and into this house. Usually, while on crutches, I grasp the plastic bag loops and swing them toward the door and when I get inside I can move them from the floor to the kitchen counter. Today I decided to try a different way and instead of balancing on those crutches, I opened the door and moved the wheelchair outside to the back of the car. From the seat of the wheelchair I could move the groceries gently to the floor just inside the door. I didn't have to balance on those crutches and it was much easier to do.

I had a light bulb moment. Ted can pop a wheelie in that chair and get the front wheels across the door casement. Why couldn't I? I lined the chair up with the door, shifted my weight to the back of the chair and pulled back quickly on the wheels of the chair and I was airborne under the front wheels. Quickly I moved my hands on the wheels and rolled forward a few inches to get the front wheels across the sill and I was almost at victory. Here's where it gets a bit scary. I would now have to repeat the same thing while trying to get the back wheels of the chair up and over the 6 inch lip from the carport floor to the living room floor. I had visions of the chair tipping all the way backward and someone finding me hours later lying halfway in and halfway out of the house with my head cracked on the concrete floor dripping out what little brains I may have left.

I didn't pop another wheelie but reached to each side of the door and pulled myself the remainder of the way in which wasn't a bad way to finish that task. I may have to consider this as my new way of entering with my chair. I now have to see if exiting can be accomplished by backing my chair out and down off the sill those 6 inches. I have 3 weeks to practice.

I now need a nap.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Thomas and Pat

I haven't been out of this house for the past three days. Between the Benadyrl fun and this cold, I've been content to stay home. Today I watched all day for the tornadoes that were forecast and only a brisk breeze came through. As the afternoon wore on, I couldn't stay in this house any longer. Just a quick little drive to the Seven Eleven for some postage stamps and then back is what I planned. I stopped at Pat's to chat.
I've discovered an interesting couple. I already knew Pat, but recently I have been engaged in conversation with her husband during his lunch hour. He goes home for lunch and occasionally I have been there when he arrives.

Thomas and Pat have been a couple forever. They have two children between them and one from a previous marriage. Their children are grown of course and Thomas continues to work full time at the age of 75? I may be a little too young on that age but I know it's close. Thomas has a full head of beautiful silver hair, his own teeth, doesn't wear glasses and except for a sciatic nerve problem, he is a spry fellow. Tonight we were discussing numerous topics and his military service was one of those topics. Thomas was trained to maintain the bombers, fighters, and any thing that flew for the military. His training took him to military bases from El Paso, San Antonio and points east and north including time spent in Alaska where he flew daily to Japan and back refueling in mid air to make the 16 hr non stop round trip flight.

He tells stories of hunting trips to Argentina that was sponsored by the company that he manages; trips he arranged that included sheriff's, mayors, prosecuting attorneys and other local dignitaries. Much money was spent on these trips and interesting sights he did see and these stories he shares. His gun collection contains a Mauser with bayonet and cartridge carriers, all in excellent condition and used in WWI. My imagination ran wild while holding this weapon. The bolt action was smooth. The stock showed signs of wear and holds much history from those scars. The bayonet slipped into it's slot at the end of the barrel, the sights could be raised easily. I hefted it and held in both hands while rolling it around to see the butt of the gun that had a steel plate, the fine grained wood forming the stock and encasing the lower part of the barrel and getting the feel of the weight of this weapon. History! Ya just gotta love it. You don't have to like what happened in these wars but studying them is a fascinating hobby and one that I've engaged in for years. No matter how much I watch and see on TV about WWII, there is always something else to learn about the different theatre's that were involved. A massive gathering of forces that were attacking, defending or destroying cities, countries and people and all done an ocean away. Occasionally I'm privileged to encounter a veteran of that war and I make time to listen to stories.
As I spend time with this couple, I marvel at all the experiences that they share with stories from their youth and I'm captivated for hours. I've always found the most interesting people that have entered my life are not the young, but the experienced, seasoned adults that don't mind sharing their history. My stop at Pat's house was just what I needed!

So, Where's the Weather?

Tornadoes are whirling around in Texas and are supposed to be heading this way. I'm waiting. I've wheeled myself to the front door where I sit and gaze at the sky and note the branches on the big maple tree that are whipping around in the gusts of wind that are coming through.
I contemplated trying to load my chair in the car again then hesitated because of this weather. Is it really worth it to try and load that chair and go some where if the weather is going to turn nasty? The skies darken for a while then those clouds move on to be replaced by lighter gray ones and again the darkness returns. The only thing I haven't seen is sunshine. I should keep the weather channel tuned in. I hate surprise weather stuff and although we aren't usually tornado prone here, I'm guessing it could happen.
On another cheerful note (not), my head feels as though it might explode. Pressure is felt above my ears and behind my eyes. My sinuses are screaming at me and I feel like screaming back. I might just settle into the sofa and pull the blanket up and go back to sleep. The weather is unfavorable and I'm allergy miserable and on that note, I'm gone!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Benadyrl and Nods

I yawn, stretch, reposition and go back to sleep. That pretty much describes yesterday and most of today.
I decided to get some Benadyrl and see if I could dry up some of this cold and the allergy related symptoms. I pop two Benadyrl and within an hour I'm creeping back on the sofa, covering up and going to sleep. Today I planned on hooking up my GPS in my car and going for a ride through the countryside. I took a couple of Benadyrls, took a shower, dressed and by this time I was yawning and ready to take a nap. I've spent another day blissfully unaware of anything happening around me. I really need to get off the Benadyrl or just keep taking it for the next 3 weeks and be so compliant with doctors' orders which is "stay on the sofa with foot above your heart". Maybe he meant to tell me to get some Benadyrl so I could adhere to his orders?
No more Benadryl for the remainder of the day. I think I'm going to try a different approach to loading my wheelchair in my car. Maybe I can fold it up and heft it into the back seat easier then trying to get it into the trunk?
I'm going to give it a try and I'll let ya know how that goes!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Festival Acadian

A Tuesday. Another one and I'm grateful for each day I can face the sunshine.

Check this out. This is a blog from someone here in Cajun Country!

It details the upcoming Festival. I may have to find someone to roll me around this weekend!

I got an early start this morning and the best of the handicap parking in front of the door at Walmart. Walmart you say? Well, yes! It's really the best place for me to shop because of the little electric carts just inside the door. I used crutches to get to them and then zoomed around picking up what I needed. The key is to "go early".

I'm ready to continue my nap that was rudely interrupted by a phone call!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Flight Back to Home

I just thought I wanted to escape and to know I had an avenue to do that. This morning after breakfast and my warm shower, I dressed and rolled my chair to the door to the carport. I was ready for my experiment. If you will recall I had a plan on how to load my wheelchair by myself into my car. If I could accomplish this, it would provide me with the freedom to come and go any time I wish.
Pointing my key controls toward the back of the car, I popped open the trunk while sitting in my chair, pulled out the step stool and opened it. I had already placed my crutches within reach as I knew I would need them when I got the chair loaded into the trunk. With one knee on the stool and the other leg planted on the floor, I bent down and pulled the wheelchair cushion off and dropped it to the ground so that I could grasp the seat of the wheelchair and pull up on it to get it to collapse. All went well until I had to pick it up and put it into the trunk. I did get this done but it wasn't easy. I had to maneuver it around to get it in a place that the trunk lid would close. I threw the seat cushion in, folded up the stool and added that to the trunk and grabbed my crutches and made it to the drivers' seat.
I'm tired already. The first stop I made, I didn't even think about getting the chair out to use. I crutched it into the surgery center where I wrote a check for services performed and then back to the car. I headed for the mall. Once there, I reversed the same procedure as loading the wheelchair and found that getting the chair OUT of the trunk was much easier then putting it in.
I rolled around the mall for a while but before much time had passed, I knew I needed to go home and elevate that foot so back to the parking lot I went. This time as I'm attempting to lift that chair into the trunk a nice young man offered to help and I gratefully accepted his offer. I'm exhausted. I hurried home and unloaded that chair again and then collapsed onto the sofa and this is where I have been the remainder of this afternoon. I've had my little experiment. It's doable but it's not much fun doing it. I would do it again but only out of necessity.
I have enough books to read for the next four weeks and I think I will make it my mission to get them read. Running around all over the place is highly overrated.
An extra treat tonight was delivered by my neighbor's daughter. Shrimp fettuccine and broccoli was delivered for my dinner. Thank you Delores!

Low Fliers

There is a stretch of paved road that lays itself down in the middle of a big field of wild flowers and green grass and sprinkled aside this road are some country homes with all their collections of boats, cars, four wheelers and similar play toys for the owners. Soon the pavement ends and the gravel road begins with it's 25mph speed limit and the dust roars from passing cars on a hot dry day. This gravel road continues through the swamp and most of the time you will find your self driving in the left lane to get pass the photographers and viewers of the alligators, birds and neutra rats that are floating and feasting in that swamp.
Yesterday I was on this ribbon of black top when directly ahead in my field of vision appeared a single engine airplane. I watched for a moment as it drew closer thinking it might be a hand controlled plane. I could see the lone pilot. It dropped lower and lower until it was almost eye level to me then shot back into the air and started banking to the right and started a large circle while I watched. It came back. Is it in distress? Trying to find a place to land and if so is that place on this piece of pavement where I'm sitting? I'm not reacting quickly. My mouth is dry and I'm just watching. Finally I'm looking for an escape route. He is just ahead of me and to the left when he drops lower and his wheels bounce off the field of grass to the left of my car. I've slowed my car to a crawl while I watch as he does many small bounces until eventually he has both wheels rolling smoothly on the grassy field.
A huge metal building sits at the end of this field of grass and flowers. A building with doors that roll up to accommodate a plane. The owner must have been out for a little Sunday plane exercise. I'm sure the local traffic must be used to seeing this small plane so close to earth but I was not. I'll be watching for him should I drive that lane again on a weekend.
It's time for my morning absolution. A warm shower and a pair of capris, sweater and barefoot, I'll be ready to get on with my day. I may try the wheel chair caper today (see prior post).
Breakfast first, a small bowl of oatmeal and a slice of wheat toast is what I will be having. I'm hungry.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Swingin Through The Swamp

A bed and breakfast in the swamps.

Another bed and breakfast in the swamp.

A modular home among the oaks.

A tractor with a witch in the driver's seat.

Redneck country: note the rebel flag in the background.

A metal shed building structure for a house...the above photo.

Today I drove the Lake Martin Road which I usually call "crossing the swamp" and went to visit with Peg. I wrapped an ice pack around my ankle and secured it with a elastic wrap which holds it in place quite nicely. I wasn't in a hurry and the drive was pleasant. On the way home and again crossing the swamp I made a left turn down a road that I hadn't driven before and took the above photos. The road which really was more like a narrow paved lane that dead ended into a dirt track was thickly populated. I didn't realize that there were so many houses in that swamp. Most of the buildings I had seen sitting back off the graveled road were camps mainly used on the weekends and holidays.
Tents, kayaks, canoes and air boats were filtered across the lake. Cook pots could be seen simmering on the propane cookers and lining the lake were the fishermen. It was a typical weekend here.
I'm excited. I have a plan. I think I will be able to load my wheelchair by myself into the trunk of my car. I'm excited because this means more freedom for me.
I have a two step stool that is lightweight metal and folds flat. I am going to keep this in the trunk of my car. I can wheel myself to the trunk of the car with my crutches in hand. I'll place the crutches close by the trunk, open the trunk, take out the two step stool and open it and place it at the end of the car. I'll move from the chair to the top step of this step stool, and then I'll be able to remove the pad from the wheelchair and grab the seat on each side, jerk up quickly thereby collapsing the chair. I won't have to do this while balancing on crutches. I'll be sitting on the step stool. I can then heft the chair into the trunk of my car, stand up and reach for the crutches to balance myself while I fold up the step stool and pitch it into the trunk with the wheelchair. I think I can do this and if I can, I will be able to drive myself to the mall and wheel around and cut the time I have been spending on my sofa! The possibilities are endless. I have the handicap tag to hang in the car window which will provide me with parking close to where I want to go and the wheel chair for mobility. I'll let you know how this works out. I know you'll be keeping your fingers crossed for me. 4 more weeks and I have a plan!

and ....he's Off

I just wished the husband a pleasant trip, he should be in Vernon, Tx. by 1600 hrs and will be working from 7P to 7A. Another guy will be doing the 12 hr day tower.

Now, what to do? I'm dressed but still have to make a trip to the makeup/hair center and then I may just pack my cameras and head to the swamps. The gators should be seeking some warmth right now and their babies should be swimming beside them. I don't get real close to them anymore although I do remember younger dumber days when I would creep to the edge of the swamp to get a better shot. I slipped in the mud and slide into the swamp, holding my camera above my head, I was shooting like a mad woman while everyone on the bank was heading for the safety of the truck. The husband was screaming for me to move as that mama gator was picking up speed in my direction. I'm a bit more cautious now and especially with this temporary handicap, I doubt I could out run a big ole angry mama gator.

I should have my foot iced down right now if I plan on not being on the sofa with it elevated. I now take off the night splint during the day to get movement from it. It's going to be strange taking those first steps on the incision site.

Yesterday I received the bill from the outpatient surgery center. Over $12000.00 for a 45 minute procedure and that's not including any of the doctors in the surgery suite. The anesthesiologist, the surgeon and the extra surgeon demanded by law to be there in case the first surgeon should croak during the operation, and the nurse anesthesis (that could be misspelled). I'm still waiting on that bill to arrive. Insurance helps but we will still have about 3000.00 to pay plus the 1000.00 deductible which was paid on admit. I'm hoping 2011 doesn't bring another surgery.
I'm outta of here for a while to find my face and arrange my hair.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Gone Again

He drove for 7 hours and arrived at 2200 hrs. Laundry started and finished the following day, the truck washed, oil changed and everything repacked and he was ready to be gone again.

As busy as he was with all the things he had to do, he still grilled some marinated shrimp, chicken breasts and skirt steaks. Everything was cut into strips and served with warm tortillas and with the pot of brown beans he had simmered all day. After dinner, everything was stored in the fridge. He wanted to make sure I had some meats grilled for the time when he was gone again.

I tried to reassure him that I was able to get into the kitchen although grilling was another matter and too much to deal with. I'm grateful for his concerns and though he will be gone again, I can't complain about it. He says the time to make money is now for we never know what will happen tomorrow.

He promises me that as soon as I'm all healed up, he will take a month off and we can go anywhere I want except WV, Az, or N.C. That would be family territory and though he doesn't have anything against family, I think he wants to have a vacation that doesn't include visiting family. During this conversation he nixed a vacation that includes flying across any ocean. I protested. There is not many places in the USA I haven't lived in, worked in or traveled through. I'm not excited about vacationing in the States. I may call my sister in law and see about tagging along with her this fall when she goes abroad. I told him this and he said "send me a postcard". Stay tuned for further discussions on this subject. I'm not giving up that easily.

Tomorrow morning he will be gone again.

I'm off to get another shower and into pajamas. All this activity I'm allowed is most tiring. I've also decided that I can spend my next half of this confinement lamenting about being confined OR I can find something positive about each day. I've already noted some of the positives. One day the neighbor cooked a meal for me, Joy visits, Pat visits and I don't have to worry about a job that I can't attend to. For the next four weeks I'll find a positive each day and I'm sure there are many. It's just a matter of looking upward instead of downward!

Up and At Em and Saturday Early morn

Last night I slept. The night before that I left the sofa at 0100 hrs and climbed into bed where I wrestled with pillows and blanket for 3 hours. Finally I dragged myself into my chair beside the bed and backed it out into the room, twirled it around and headed back to the sofa.
I did go back to sleep but only in sporadic short lengths of time and I knew that day was going to be a day of sluggishness. I don't know if it's because I have to wear this night splint on my foot or it's because of this cold that is hanging on but sleeping has been an unattainable goal for me. Thankfully, I can sleep anytime during the day but that day I spent gallivanting around and didn't get to nap so last night I slept the night away. Tired is a good thing sometimes.
The husband made it home last night around 2200 hrs after a 7 hr. drive through lots of rain. He is on alert for another job in Oklahoma and may have to leave today so as soon as he got home, he made a dash for the laundry room where he started laundering his clothes. He must be ready in case the call comes to leave again.
I've been watching in awe the Iceland volcanic eruption of ash and the effect it is having on some of the European countries. I would rather sleep in airports and wait then chance climbing aboard a plane in these conditions. Some people interviewed are complaining; I would not be one.
Then there is the funeral for the leaders of Poland that were lost in that plane crash. That country must be devastated.
Another cup of coffee and a little CNN and I'll be ready to face the day.
Who would have thought that a shower would be anticipated with such excitement? I dreaded this part of daily care after this surgery but it has been one of the easiest parts of this confinement. The shower chair that was borrowed has meant that I look forward to a leisurely time spent in there and something I actually look to with a touch of excitement. I don't rush my shower any longer. I take my time using the body brush and body wash that leaves behind a sweet aroma. I used to rush through that shower so I could get dressed and on with my day. Times have definitely changed. I'm in no hurry. Skin lotions were neglected pre surgery but that has changed to. Pre and post surgery, a spritz of perfume was as common as brushing my teeth every morning and that hasn't changed. I never feel dressed without a perfume to wear. With some people it's jewelry but with me it's fragrance.
I leave the foot splint off now when I'm on the sofa. I flex and extend the foot to keep it movable, exercising it as ordered. The incision site is healing nicely. Another battle scar of life and living will be added to the collection that adorns parts of my body. I don't let the scars bother me. I'm more into function then appearance and I will gladly welcome another scar if it allows this foot to return to normal painless movement.
I'm happy the husband is back home and if he doesn't get called out for a week or so, I won't mourn.
It's time for my bowl of Cheerios.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Non Compliant Friday

I've been on the go all day today. I took a nice long shower, lotioned the dry skin away and dressed in a pair of white capris and a cheerful yellow pullover. I rolled to the office where I applied makeup and used the blow dryer to tame my hair. I was ready to be out of the house. My first stop was to the daughter's house to see the kitchen cupboards she was staining. While there Carrie and I sat at the picnic table and selected a few books from the ones she had stacked on the table and she listened quietly as I read them to her. Soon it was nap time for mother and daughter so I headed to Pat's house to check her computer. We hooked up a new modem and I cleaned it up a little and she was back online.

Pat and I decided to drive to Joy's house and that's just what we did. We spent a couple of hours with Joy and it was back to Pat's to drop her off and back home to be there for Ted to arrive from school. I was a busy person and none of it was what I was supposed to be doing.

Ted got home and played on the computer until I cooked some rice for the gumbo I had simmered all day. As soon as he finished his dinner, he wheeled me to the front of the house where he turned on the water hose and left me with it to water the flowers. As soon as that was done, we both headed for the back yard where he cleared the yard so he could mow for me. Ted is a great help with the little things around the house. He takes out the garbage, mows the lawn and clears off the patio and does any other of the small jobs I can't do right now and I appreciate all his help.

Soon Joy and Mike arrived for some gumbo and iced tea. The only thing missing was the potato salad.

I elevated my foot when possible. Sitting at Joy's house, I kept my foot on an ottoman; at Pat's I propped it on a chair opposite me and during the times I was home, I tried to keep it under an ice pack and elevated. It doesn't take long for the swelling to commence when it isn't elevated so although I didn't stay parked on the sofa all day, I did try to elevate when possible.

4 more weeks of this. I intend to stay on the sofa tomorrow but for today it was a pleasant escape.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Thrills on Top of Thrills

I've been up since 0500 and it's now almost 1000 and I'm hungry. I've gone over a mental list of what would be a tasty breakfast but of course a stack of pancakes with strawberries and whipped creme is out of the question. First of all, who would cook it? Where would the strawberries be found? The most important question of all is "who would clean up the mess"?
That settles it. A bowl of cheerios will be breakfast. The less I do here the more I want to do even less. I'll be a totally committed, ready for the streets bum, by the time I'm healed and up and about. It helps having the head cold from hell. It makes you just want to lay around and since that is all I'm supposed to be doing, maybe I should be thankful for the dang head cold.
The neighbor is mowing his lawn and I can hear his tractor as he swoops back and forth across the grass. I had my little Toyota parked on the grassy strip beside my house adjoining his lawn and his wife came over and asked if he could move it so he could mow. The problem is, the little car has it's own little quirks in it's old age and sometimes you have to jiggle the key just right to get it to turn. I'm always afraid someone will try to force it so I hesitate on handing the keys over to anybody.
I crutched it to the car, sat down and flung my crutches aside while I tried to swing my feet in. I tested the gas pedal with my foot to see if a little pressure applied would cause pain in my foot. Success! I shoved the clutch in with my left foot, turned the key and gave it a little gas and soon I was on my way off that strip of grass to park it on the carport beside the Mercury. I'll leave it there until the husband returns at which time he will demand he park his precious Dodge out of the sun and rain. He shouldn't be home until Saturday and only then if another job doesn't pop up.
Actually I'm doing quite well by myself. I can twirl in my chair in circles in the kitchen and move quickly from the stove to the sink to the fridge. Friends stop by now and again to let me know the world still exists outside my confines. Lesie, the GrandD stopped by last night to visit and ask if she could do anything for me. She gave me some tips on using the new phone and took out the trash for me. Every little bit helps.
I may sneak off in my car today and drive around a bit but first of all, I'm going to get that bowl of cereal for breakfast!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

It's Snowing?

What is that? Those flakes. There. Can't you see them. Powdery white flakes over the sofa cushions, the burgundy pattern rug on the floor and on my clothes. I need to investigate this.
Since my clothes were the closest, it didn't take long to discover the culprit. It's skin. Oh yuck. Dried flaky skin leaving a fine trail wherever I wandered. I headed for the shower and scrubbed, and shaved my legs and dried off with a fluffy yellow towel, then I sat down and slathered lotion on that leg. Oh hell, might as well lotion both of them. What could it hurt?

I do notice the atrophy in that leg. It is considerably thinner then the other leg. The other leg has to bring me from a sitting position to a standing position so it is getting exercise. 8 weeks of non use will tell a tale and a tail. Now if only I could figure a way to transfer this atrophy to my waistline. I do continue to eat healthier and I'm maintaining the smaller portions and eating nothing with sugar in it. Equal Sweetener, you are my friend. If nothing else, there won't be a weight gain while sitting on my derriere these weeks.

Spring like wonderful weather continues and today we are having a cleansing shower of rain. I like the smell of the earth after a rain. I'm going to curl up on the sofa for the remainder of the day. I've been in my chair most of today and I need to get that foot above my heart so I'm done gallivanting all around the house.
I'm done.

Oh Dear Higher Power

I'm beginning to get a little concerned here. As everyone knows, my days of flitting about have been put on temporary hold because of my heel that is healing. Post op 3 weeks and 4 days now, but I still am not even halfway on this doctor imposed sabbitical.
I was mentioning concern though wasn't I? I've been forced to watch more TV then I would ordinarily as skiing, surfing and hang gliding are out of the question during this healing time. I skip from one news channel to another until I've heard each reporter, commentator or talking head spew forth with all the mayhem and gossip until I'm full and have to switch the channel and search for something else to view. Just down the list from the news programs are all the CSI shows; from coast to coast with Las Vegas tossed in, I watch the investigators track down and lock up the slicers, dicers and gun toting bad guys. Late at night I spin the deadbolt lock on the french doors that face the back of the house and the dark unlit lawn. I climb into bed and lay there wondering how easy it would be for someone to cut a square of glass out and reach through, flip that deadbolt open and enter quietly then creep down the darkened hallway into my bedroom. Eyes wide open and ears straining to hear any sounds, I plot my escape. What escape?
Could I climb into that wheelchair and threaten him with being run down? Since the tall headboard of my bed sits squarely in front of the only window in the bedroom, I would have to rule that out as an escape route. Eventually the Ambien kicks in and I slide into slumber.
When the slice'm/dice'm shows and the talk shows have been examined, will I turn to reality shows? This is where I start to worry about my sanity. I've tuned into one or two of them but I promise, I don't stay long. KENDRA and THE KARDASHIAN'S I've watched long enough t0 get the general idea of what is happening. It's much like when I was younger and going to the bars and drinking. I would step back from partying to do an internal audit on my alcohol consumption. I didn't want to step over that invisible line that denotes you are now an alcoholic.
I note how many times and the length of time I face reality shows. I'm being cautious.
I have another chore to do this morning. Someone on Facebook posted a link and it came all neatly wrapped with a Trojan so now I have to download a fix for it. Don't ya hate it when that happens?

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

If I Did

post it might be filled with frustration and complaints. Another day and another day of the same. I'm actually looking forward to the trip to the shower where I can sit on the little shower bench and let the warm water pour down upon me. I can look forward to leaving that shower feeling better then when I entered it. How many ways are there to describe boredom? Maybe it's the "trapped" feeling that has me spinning.

I do the occasional trip to Walmart. Today I had to make that trip again to pick up yet another cell phone. It's a "smartphone" and if that doesn't mean a thing to you then don't feel bad because it doesn't mean a thing to me either. The grandson was impressed and spent hours messing with all the functions on it. He wanted to trade his phone to me for my new phone. I think it has all the bells and whistles that the kids crave. It has a qwerty keyboard and if I was inclined to text, I would find it much easier to use then the standard phone pads. It has a touch pad that displays icons intended to make maneuvering through it easier and it also came with a book. Not a pamphlet, but a book and that tells me this might take days to conquer the use of this phone.

I need to find a hobby that I can do while sprawled on the sofa. Another 4 weeks of this and my brain will be mush. I can't imagine what the muscles covering my body will resemble. It ain't gonna be pretty.

I'm going to take my cold and my cell phone book to bed for some late night reading. I started a sentence or two of this blog earlier in the evening but didn't get to finish till bedtime. I'm a bit scattered?

.....and I'm done.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Sunday March11

I'm confined to the sofa this morning and I'm television tuned in to the news. Watching the news with one eye and surfing the web on my laptop with the other, I'm getting my daily updates. Mall shootings, Polish plane downed, massacre of photographers by U.S. Troops and Tiger Woods at the Masters makes me wonder why we need movies and sitcoms.

Another unseasonably cool morning keeps my a/c unit from clicking on. At this rate I might have to switch it to heat instead of cool. Strange weather conditions for this part of the country.

I'll have another day of inactivity. I haven't even made it to the half way mark in this journey. I keep telling myself that 8 weeks is not the rest of my life but right now it seems as though it's a huge portion of it.

I may make a trip to the store just to get out of the house for a while. I want to get rid of the red cell phone that is, after using it for a while, determined to be less then what I wanted in a phone which is one that works! This one does some strange things all on it's own. It locks up and won't turn on or off and refuses to recognize the sim card most of the time. This one will be returned.

I'm outta here to find a tissue for my reddened sore much wiped nose. I may start an aggressive campaign against this cold. It might be time to take some medicine.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

A Gumbo Saturday

It might be a good time to make a gumbo. The temperatures here have dipped down into the 40's and 50's and it's downright chilly at night.

I'll be in the kitchen hauling out my largest pot and sauteing some onions and bell peppers then adding some roux and a couple quarts of hot water to simmer for a few hours. The roux has to cook long enough to rid itself of the singed flour taste. Sausage and chicken I'll add at that time to cook till tender. I'm hungry for gumbo.

My head cold is kickin my butt. I've gone from an upper respiratory infection with a hacking cough to a post nasal sinus drip. I'm sneezing and snorting and now being sofa bound sounds desirable. I'll return later.
I've watered the flowers and made it back into the house. It's time to elevate my foot for the next hours.
The Gumbo is done and is delicious. It has taken me years to get to the point where I can make a gumbo that tastes like what the natives make. I've enjoyed a bowl of it and now the remainder will be sent to the daughter's house. Gumbo is not the most calorie free food to eat often.
I see by the clock on the wall it's nap time here and I am on a tight schedule so I must hurry away less I miss it.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Friday and a Post of Irrelevant Information

Hold on a moment, I need to refill my coffee cup..........................

..................................Ah, a fresh cuppa, my foot elevated and the news showing on the big screen and I'm settled for a while. It's more then just chilly outside. I opened the front door and wheeled to the threshold to hang my feet outside. I watched my breath escape in puffs of steam and quickly my toes became too cold for comfort. We are having a cold front moving through and I think it's awesome. I'm not a big fan of heat and the summers here leave me exhausted. I like a nip in the air and that's what we are blessed with this morning. A cup of hot coffee and a brisk morning and I think I have arrived in paradise.

I ran around all day yesterday and today I have committed myself to keeping my foot elevated as ordered by the doctor. I think it was swollen yesterday and that's where the discomfort was with the foot. I'm going to be compliant today and stay home and baby that foot. I'll ice pack it and elevate and compensate for yesterday.

I posted this picture yesterday? or a few days ago of Carrie. Wound around her head making a fashion statement is one of the laundered stretch bandages that was used on my foot. She spent her time with me winding that around my head, my arm in a sling like tie, my other foot and anywhere she thought she could wrap me up. Carrie can use her imagination to the point of making her Nana need a nap.

It's time for my breakfast; I'll save this post for later updates.


I still haven't had breakfast so lunch might be a possibility. I did get into the shower where I soaked ye ole foot for a while. Dressed now with ice pack jammed against the swollen ankle area, I'm trying to not wish I were somewhere else and doing something else. Why can't I live close to a beach where I could lay in a reclining chair under an umbrella with a book and read while listening to waves slap against the shore, watch people strolling in the sand and see porpoises leaping through the waves? What's that? The waves reaching my recliner and me being stranded and unable to save myself? Maybe the patio on the recliner would be a wiser choice.

I'm outta here to think about what I can have for lunch.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

An Adventure and Two

Sad as it may seem, a trip to Walmart is now noted as an "adventure". I know that I'm supposed to get someone to drive me to and from but I didn't ask anyone. I grabbed my crutches and made my way to my car, hung my shiny new handicap card over the rear view mirror mount and drove away from my house.

I stopped by Pat's house, crutched my way inside and spent some time visiting with her. We talked about the new splint and the price and the likelihood that I would be required to purchase the 500.00 walking boot. She made her way to her hall closet and came back carrying the walking boot this same doctor had required her to wear. It now rests in the back of my car and when I make my next visit to that doctor, I'll be able to tell him that I won't be buying one from him. It matters not whether the insurance company pays for it or not, I don't want to charge this to my insurance company as much as I don't want to pay for it either. I'll use the one Pat had and save either myself or the insurance company 500.00.

I can now park close enough to the entrance of Walmart and crutch my way into the store. I parked, got the crutches and started for the door when an employee shows up with an electric cart and said he was bringing it to me so I wouldn't have to use the crutches. That's cool! I zipped around the store gathering up what I needed and while doing this was amazed at the number of people that would offer to reach things for me on the higher shelves or in the coolers. Nice people live here and I'm always appreciative of their offers for help.

I made it out of the store and stowed the groceries in the trunk of my car. All went well so far. I backed the car onto the carport with the trunk open and close to the door. I didn't know if I would be able to move the plastic bags of stuff from the car into the house while on crutches. I could grab a bag of stuff and swing it toward the door and let it thump onto the living room floor. I was so thankful I didn't need eggs or milk on this trip. I did get all the bags to the living room floor and then climbed into my chair and hauled bag after bag to the kitchen counter. One adventure down and one to go.
The daughter had some summons papers to deliver to Baton Rouge and asked if I would like to ride along. I'm usually the driver and when you are used to being the driver, riding along can be a nerve racking experience. I-10 was crowded with semi trucks moving along quickly and closely to each other and from where I sat it looked as though they were inches from the side of the Jeep. Hidden in the trees beside the road were highway patrolmen with radar guns spotting the traffic and collecting revenue for the state.
Delivering the papers was a matter of finding the office and dropping the papers with the receptionist then we were off to find a place to have lunch. Seigen Lane is peppered with eateries and we ended up at The Olive Garden. Iced teas, soups and unlimited salad was ordered. Still able to maintain my healthy food diet, we had a long leisurely lunch. Carrie even tried the soup.
I'm home and ready to prop my foot above my heart. I'm due. Ice packed and elevated, the remote control in hand and the house is quiet. I can watch the tube until I fall asleep. I'm done.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Had I Known

I would have done things a little differently. I had a new splint placed today (see prior post) and the charge for that splint was 300.00. The physician assistant said that my insurance would most likely pay for it since it was a part of the surgical repairs on this foot. I had to sign an agreement for liability in case the insurance company rejected it but I was told that the doctor would write a letter justifying the need for this.
What makes me livid is the doctor has these in stock which tells me he bought them at a wholesale price and retails them to his customers or patients. I went online and found the same product for 18.00. How sad is that? As bad as I dislike insurance companies and lawyers, I hate even more the attitude of "stick it to the insurance company" attitude. A lose-lose situation exists between the doctors and the insurance companies. The insurance companies have capped what they will pay a doctor to do a surgery so the doctors now schedule more patients in one day and gouge the insurance companies for these orthotics. Maybe I shouldn't complain as I'm very happy with this physician but I can't help but notice all the greed involved with health care.
I understand that an education for a doctor is long and expensive. I understand that there are good competent doctors as well as incompetent ones and I'm fortunate to be able to see this physician. I'm saddened by the obvious and blatant over charging and for anybody that can't afford insurance for quality health care. There is a reason for the high costs in the health field aren't there?

3 Wks.Post Op/Doc Visit

OMG, my heel looks like a big ole slab of something. A new splint was placed today and this one I can remove to exercise my foot and when in the shower. I'll get to soak that foot in the bath tub and lotion the leg after a bath. I won't see the doctor for 3 wks and at that time, I'll have only two more weeks non weight bearing.
This new splint costs 300.00. I'm just astounded at the prices here for this stuff. I still have to have a walking boot which will be another 500.00. All I can say is I'm thankful the husband has a good job and there goes the sports car.
I picked up a handicapped sticker after this visit. The doctor filled out a form which had to be hand carried to the Dept. Of Motor Vehicles. We took a number and had a wait of about 45 minutes. Sticker obtained, we had to move to another window to have a pictured ID made for the verification of the sticker. This is how they track people using the stickers illegally. I may be called upon to show this ID card should someone question my use of a handicapped parking spot. I had no idea parking in a handicapped area was so desirable. Trust me, if I could walk, I would and without complaint.
The daughter and children returned here to watch a movie. "Men Who See Goats" or at least I think that's what it was called and I stayed confused through the entire movie. The daughter didn't rate it very highly so maybe it wasn't just me.
Everyone has gone home now and my house is back to peace and quiet. Ted isn't zooming around in my wheelchair and Carrie isn't wrapping me in bandages and playing caretaker to my invalid status. Dinner and a nap and I'm all good for today.
I've been awake since 0400, a time much too early when I have long days of inactivity. Today I visit the podiatrist/surgeon for him to check the wound site. He may replace this splint I'm wearing with something different. Would it be too much to hope that it would be one that I could remove while bathing so that I could submerge this foot in some warm soapy water? I'm sure the dried skin is beginning to look like fish scales on that leg.
In two more days, it will be 3 weeks post op with another 5 weeks of non weight bearing. Not half way there yet which is disappointing. I dislike wishing my life away and that's what it feels as though I'm doing. I think I may set a goal for myself. To read some literature that I've missed; some classics. I've already started one and with this goal in mind, I'll be more engrossed in my goal and not the time wasted on being confined to this sofa.
Yesterday I made it to the hair dressers where I had my hair shortened and layered making it easier to shampoo and style. When Ted was here the other night, he was in the office at the computer where I have a mirror, blow dryer, hairspray and brushes arranged on the keyboard shelf. He moved all the appliances to the floor so he could use the keyboard and spend some time online. Later when I went in there to do my hair, the round hairbrush was not to be found and I feared it had been knocked off and was behind the CPU which is tucked into a tight place in this cabinet. If the CPU has to be pulled from it's snug fit, a cable comes unplugged causing one to have to crawl to it and replace the cable. This morning I tried to retrieve that hairbrush and sure enough, the cable became disconnected from pulling the CPU out of it's cubby and since I couldn't get down on my hands and knees to reach way back into the niche for that cable, I had to go get the spaghetti noodle stirrer and use the prongs on it to reach back and snag that cable and pull it forward, plug it in and then slide the CPU back into place. I would have been unable to get online with this cable disconnected. I was none too happy about all this. It's not a matter of walking to the kitchen and back to the office. It's being in the wheelchair; it's the extra effort needed to do anything. Normally when the kids visit, I can get things back in place easily but now everything is a chore, takes 3 times as long to do as usual and it's easier to have no one around that I will have to fix, find or correct anything that happens while they are here. I did get that hairbrush.
I'm hoping the daughter remembers her promise to be here this morning for the drive to the doctor's appointment. I'll be prepared just in case she forgets. I'll load my chair into the back of my car an hour before the appointment which will allow me time to get there on time should I have to drive myself.
It might be time to get that shower and get dressed although it's only 0730 here. Allotting more time then needed decreases the need to rush and rushing around on crutches is not safe so I don't.
A scrambled egg breakfast maybe first on my morning list. I'm hungry. I'm done.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Land of Lost

The end of the work day and I was looking forward to escaping the workplace and heading home. My car pool friends were waiting for me; I slid into my seat and settled down for the trip ahead.
The car was guided by the owner down streets that were glistening with rain, the wipers clacking a beat to the sprinkling that hit the windshield. I leaned my head against the window glass, eyes visiting the raindrops against the glass that fractured visions of the scenery as we sped along. Soon the brakes noted the fact that we had arrived at a drop off for one of the riders. This was repeated a few minutes later and soon the only person left was the driver and myself. The rain had abated and I sat taller in my seat to catch glimpses of the old buildings, statues and fountains as we passed. Sight seeing is a favorite past time and here on the European continent, it's what I do with all my free time. I walk cobblestone streets, wandering from church to church and marveling at the age of what I'm seeing.
Soon the driver makes a comment about stopping at a small shop to pick something up and I pay scant attention to what she is saying other then that we are stopping. I debate on whether to get out and follow her. Curiosity gets the better of me and I want to see what this shop sells and most of the times these little places are quaint and interesting. I followed her into the store and wandered around for a bit then stepped back out to the street and walked to the next shop and inside for a quick peek. Again back to the street and further down to the next place, I was doing a speedy stop and go sort of tourist view of these shops.
I realized that I had been gone for a while so I hurried back to the shop where the driver had been. She was gone. I stumbled in fear to the parking space and the van was gone. The only thing I know about where I'm staying is the name of the town and hotel. As the pedestrians streamed by me I could feel the panic building. I remember approaching the traffic officer and I remember telling him of my predicament. I don't remember much after that.
Discomfort in one hip induces me to change position; I drifted up and out of the dream I was having and a perfect time to escape it. If I believed in dreams having a vision of my future, I would have to say I was in need of a vacation. I seldom remember my dreams but this one was so vivid.
Today? My plans are to get dressed and to the hair dresser for a clip. I'm past due and since she didn't appear this weekend to do it, I'll take myself down to the shop on the corner.
My heart hurts for all the miners who lost their lives in the mine collapse in WV. Peace be with you.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Lawns and Wheels

Ted spent the night and when he got out of bed I took him to Burger King for breakfast as promised. This used to be his favorite treat and I believe he still regards it as such. Anyway, when he had finished his breakfast I had a list of things I wanted done and doggone it, he didn't even argue. Ya just gotta love a man/child that agrees to any list prepared for them. He mowed the yard, which was on the list, then offered to do the edging which wasn't on the list. He took the big blue garbage bin to the road which was on the list and then washed a vehicle which wasn't on the list. If I had known he would be so agreeable, the dang list would have been a mile long.
While he was doing all this, Carrie was revving up her pink Barbie car. She handed me a rope that was tied to the back of it and I hung on while she towed me and the wheelchair down the sidewalk for a block and then back. I enjoyed all the cars passing by with their drivers blowing their horns and waving at us. I thought maybe they were laughing because of the pink color of her car and the bright red of my chair. It's just not the correct color combo.
At one point the uneven sidewalk caused my chair to stall which pitched me forward and I slapped my good foot on the paved sidewalk to halt the chair before I pitched nose first out of it all the while Carrie was squealing with abandonment. That girl enjoys a good time.
When all the chores were finished, I loaded everyone up and we made the return trip home. Sometimes it's just a relief to be here alone where I know where everything is and handy for the way I am living right now. Nothing pisses me off more then to find my crutches across the room and the kids doing wheelies in my wheelchair while I'm marooned on the sofa. I have to remind them "if you take my chair, you have to leave the crutches close by".
It's time for a nap. Goodnight.

2 Weeks and 4 days makes 3 weeks

I love this time of morning. Anyone here in this house besides me are still asleep. No chatter to deal with and I sit in my wheelchair pulled up flush with the open front door and prop my foot on the chair that sits on the front porch. My laptop is balanced across my knees, I can feel the early morning coolness and hear the birds trying to out perform each other with their songs.
I can sip on my first cup of coffee of the day and reach to the left where I place it on an end table until I want another sip. It's quiet. Occasionally a couple of runners will lope through my field of vision and if they are very young they will be holding a conversation as they run along. Must be those good lungs that allow them to talk and walk. I'm afraid I might be able to do a brisk walk sans speech someday. I'm looking forward to the day the foot heals enough for me to walk the neighborhood in the early morning hours or the after dark ones.
Time and patience. I'm at two weeks and 3 days post op. I can't even say 3 weeks when I visit my doctor this Wednesday as the surgery was performed on a Friday.
By this coming Friday, it will be 3 weeks leaving me with just 5 more weeks of this "foot in the air" sentence. I'm not even half way there yet! Maybe I need to look at this in a different way because this way is certainly depressing as hell.
Maybe I need to count my blessing again. That usually helps.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Easter Sunday, Done

"Ted, who are you texting too?", I asked as we sat at the table for our Easter meal. He looked up away from his texting to say "my friends". "Ah, well, shut it down. It's rude to text while having dinner with family", I said to him. I try not to be critical but I feel that teaching manners are essential. His mother instructed him that he was here for a holiday and that staying in the office online was not an option. We may need a new list of do's and don't on manners for this generation. Cell phone and computer manners will be an addendum to the established ones. Four people can be in this house and never see one another; very little interaction as everyone is on a desktop computer or a laptop communicating with people they may never meet in person while the ones around them are absent of any communication. Ah, technology.

The daughter did all the cooking and most of the cleanup. Dirty rice, roast pork, deviled eggs, green beans with new potatoes, baked mac and cheese, corn with cream cheese and huge hot rolls that had sat on my warm stove all morning and were towering behemoths before being slipped into the oven to bake and brown.

Before the meal, the egg hunt was on. Not one boiled, decorated egg in the bunch but plastic pastel colored eggs with a chocolate morsel or a dollar bill in each which is the reason the older children want to participate in the event. Carrie gathered her eggs in her basket and sat down to pop them open and check her treasures. She wore a floral dress with a full skirt that edged just above her ankles and her doll was dressed to match her. She scamped around the yard making leaps and crouches to catch a fressbee or swing a tennis club at the balls her sister and brother were lobbing at her. Stopping for dinner didn't interest her. She did come inside but apparently she wasn't hungry or was too excited to waste time on food.

While the cigarette breaks were being enjoyed on the patio, I started the cleanup and had managed to get most of it done before the smokers returned; at that time I turned the remainder over to them and went to dry the sweat from my hair.

Ted and Carrie both wanted to spend the night. Ted got to stay but sadly I had to send Carrie home. Being this immobile and catering to the demands of a 4yr old wears me out quickly. Carrie had to go.

Ted vacuumed the floors and I mopped and it was something that needed done. The more people moving through here the more mess on the floors. All in all it was a nice day. The people were pleasant, the food was good and the weather cooperated with lots of sun and no rain.