Spring sprang yesterday, and I am ready to go. Really ready to go. It is time for confessions, for making a clean breast of things so as to begin to be a better friend . I have been under the weather since before Thanksgiving due to a rather severely broken ankle and the healing/ recovery from that injury. So, I will start at the beginning.
Two weeks before Thanksgiving, the evening of Wednesday, November 14th, I was skittering around the house going up and down the stairs to my studio getting some project to work on, a notebook whatever--and slipped and fell on the slippery yellow floor we have in the kitchen. Dinner was in the oven and Rob had just come home. I tried to get up and it just wasn't going to work as my foot was pointing the wrong way. I wasn't in pain, but knew that I had to wait until Rob came and found me. The EMS team was called, and blessed be, I knew the EMS team (my favorites). I was whisked down to Cayuga Medical Center's Emergency Room. Dr. Murray was there (a father of one of Alex's classmates, and acquaintance from Cross Country events) who was very kind, very clear in all that had to happen and where we were. I had fallen on a very advantageous night as the amazing Dr. Michael Wilson was on call. Why was this advantageous? Well, Dr. Wilson has recently moved here to the beautiful Finger Lakes from teaching at Harvard Medical School and practicing medicine with an expertise in yes, (as Rachel Maddow says), wait for it....ankles. Can you imagine? It was as if it was planned! So, Dr. Wilson did the surgery on my ankle setting pins and uprights in place-- and I found myself on the fourth floor of the hospital with a leg in a soft splint, and lovely people who were kind, thoughtful and caring. (note insert--for detail on the hardware Dr. Wilson installed). Time had shifted and I had to shift with it.
So, I came home after five days in the hospital--with the charge to be non-weightbearing, to keep my foot up whenever possible and to take it easy. I did continue to work, but for the first two weeks I was so wiped out it was minimal. We had walkers planted throughout the house, and I borrowed a wheelchair from FLiC (Finger Lakes Independence Center). Rob set up a bedroom on the first floor with a bathroom down the hall but no access to bathing (though that was out the picture with the splint etc.).
Visiting nurses came twice weekly to check vitals and check the splint. A Physical Therapist came to the house and taught me how to go up and down our steps so as to be able to get to the car to go to my weekly visit with Dr. Wilson. I learned how to pop the wheels over big bumps-- and how to make this chair be the accessory for single floor mobility that I needed. I learned to be deliberate and become confident in my studied, steady progress. No reason to move fast, so I didn't.
However, outside of seeing Dr. Wilson weekly, I was housebound from 11/14 until early February. I live in my imagination, my books, and other forms of amusement so this wasnt as hard for me as I am sure it is for others. Plus, I was tired, worn out and hurt a bit...so I allowed myself naps--and could get work done and yet treat myself gently enough that I could heal. I was and did listen to my body (a rarity) and responded to what I needed versus what I though I should be doing. I decided I would listen to myself and allow myself to be central in the healing unlike my stupidity in former situations. It was the right thing to do. I went from a soft splint to a nasty hard boot with twice daily wet to dry dressings that I was doing.
Things were not healing properly on the inside part of my leg (top image, left image, left side). So, in early January I had to have day surgery at Cayuga Medical Center to debraid(?) the wound on the inside)--and was set up with a 24 hr. negative pressure dressing (KCI). This thing (a little pump mechanism worn like a pocketbook) pulls whatever your body is producing to heal the wound and extracts it into a compartment in the pump. The dressing is a simply cut piece of foam with is sealed in place (essentially with a medical grade adhesive sheet like contact paper) with a fitting with a tube coming out of it. Once the foam is taped in place and the tube connected to the pump, pressure pulls the air out of the loop, and the foam fits into the wound). Pretty cool...fairly uneventful process. Only downside was it was 24 hrs a day with a nurse coming to change the dressing every other day (in a fairly unscheduled, cannot really plan your time kind of way). This happened all of January though half of February--so I had valentines for my nurse...and unfortunately all of this gear for the launch of the stamp...not exactly perfect for photo and video opportunities. Quel drag and tiring to boot. But onward.
I have been off the pump and on my feet for a month now. I have a warm red cane and have been back to the old favorite wet to dry dressings twice daily. I am seeing a PT around the corner. I continue to be deliberate and steady. And things are looking up. Sure, daylight savings time can help, but so can going to lunch or even getting to the grocery store is such a lovely thing. A change of scenery! I am worn out--but things are getting better and better. My concentration is coming back and I am able to do more than one thing at a time (work wise). My energy is on the way up. My spirits are on the way up. So much so, that I am ready to bring you up to speed. My reluctance to talk about it at the time was to just be quiet in all senses of the word...but continue to bring you advent images (as it is consistent with what I have done in the past) but not to go on and on about the trials and tribulations surrounding my new relationship with Brother Ass. I wanted and needed quiet and tranquility and received it. For this I am thankful for all of your understanding.
So as the winter is waning. We have had our wet snow, willow breaking storm--I cannot see the crocus nor the hellebore, I feel it. The air smells like Spring. Change is in the air and I am ready for it. A little more hardware and a new accessory (cane) and shoes squarely on the ground than last summer. But I am ready to embrace it all. Good Life Farm Spring CSA starts today (and the pick up is here!) so bring on the spring greens and spouts! Even with snow on the ground, the asparagus is just around the corner...Really! I promise.
Rob has been a rock and a saint. Candidly, I could not have had the positive experience with this injury if it hadn't been for him. He has been selfless, thoughtful, caring, kind, and the truest friend, love and companion I could have ever been blessed with. He has been the chief cook and bottlewasher, organizer, happy spirit, and comfort which I have relied on so heavily. He has been and continues to be central and driving my better health. Rob was at the hospital whenever he could be with a cute story or even just to simply offer me comfort by holding my hand. Rob has been there to help me move toward healing and hasnt shied away from some pretty horrendous stuff. I am beyond lucky to have Rob in my life. He is such a gift in so many ways.
Onward to spring with more spring in my step. Back to you...and our conversations as I have things to say. Look for green buds!