Scooters, crutches, and automatic doors

I have been off crutches for three weeks since having surgery. Since I tend to go from 0-80, I had to use one crutch for a few days at first because it forced me to slow down. My mom says I’m hyper, and my sister calls me Type AA. I just don’t know how to move slowly.

Fortunately, I only needed to use crutches for three weeks after surgery. In that short time, however, I had difficulty getting around in some public places.

I won’t lie. I was excited to drive a scooter at Kroger. After a few halting starts, I quickly got the hang of zipping around the store. I kept my crutches in the cart but had to be careful while turning. I almost took down a Monster drink display when going around a corner too sharply. I also became conscious of people behind me, and I tried to stay out of the way as much as possible. I gave the right of way to parents with the huge kiddie grocery carts too. My only problem at Kroger was not being able to fit the scooter in the aisle that carries the cane, crutch, and walker accessories. I had to park the cart, get out, and hop over to look for crutch accessories because the aisle was too crowded with store displays.

Automatic doors became my best friend. I liked using a crutch to tap the button, and I could boogie right in with my crutches. I noticed that most places do not have automatic doors, including the Tax Assessor’s office on Rodney Parham. Some, like the Thompson library, have automatic outer doors but the inner doors are manual. I was at the mercy of a kind person to help me, or I had to cheat and put some weight on my left leg to get inside.

Some retired gentlemen that regularly meet at the McDonald’s where I get my tea during the summer were especially helpful. They would carry my tea to a table (I like to drink tea and read the paper in the mornings away from the cat) and check on me if they left first. I call them the Charlies because I’m pretty sure at least three of them are named Charlie. I have another name for the self-absorbed business people on phones or laptops at a west Little Rock Starbucks. The Charlies could teach them a thing or two.

I’m lucky. I only needed crutches for three weeks. I can’t imagine a permanent disability. I’m planning to call the City of Little Rock about the Tax Assessor’s doors. I think Little Rock can do better by it’s temporary and permanently disabled citizens.

Things to do when recovering from surgery

I am less than a week into my arthroscopic hip surgery, and so far, everything is going well. I only needed Percocet for two days, and we still have food in our refrigerator from wonderful friends. I have very little pain, but I’m having trouble adjusting to not driving and having to spend six hours a day on a continuous passive motion (CPM) machine.

Josie and Charlie have perfected the art of resting. Perhaps I need to channel my inner pampered pet.

Fortunately, John is 14 1/2 and has his driver’s permit. He has driven me to PT, driven himself to get a haircut (with me riding shotgun), and taken me to McDonald’s for tea. He mentioned needing a cap and jacket since he has become my chauffeur. I suppose he has forgotten about the nine years of me driving him to and from school and the four years of driving to and from swim practice and meets. I hope I get the okay to drive from my doctor on Wednesday. In the meantime, I guess I should order him a chauffeur’s cap (snort laugh).

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Charlie looks so peaceful when he sleeps. If only he were this still at 5:30 a.m.

 

 

The CPM is another story. I have to sit for six hours a day with my leg on a machine that moves up and down from 0-90 degrees. This device is supposed to prevent scar tissue from forming. Fortunately, I can split up the time. I usually do two hour intervals three times a day. So far during the 36 hours I’ve spent on the machine, I have done the following:

1. Binge watched Sherlock (I’m on Season 2, episode 1) and Scrubs (Where was I when this show first aired?)

2. Took a multitude of BuzzFeed quizzes in which I have learned that George Washington is my Founding Father soulmate; my actual age is 68 (BuzzFeed is 20 years off; it must have been my gin and tonic drink preference); I am not qualified to be a bartender; Saint Cecilia should be my patron saint; I should get a PhD in Comparative Literature; my cute animal soulmate is Piglet (he’s cute and slightly neurotic); I haven’t seen very many famous tourist attractions; my inner Broadway diva is Jennifer Holliday; and my name should be Frank.

3.  Ate too many snacks (thanks for the care package Cal, Laura, mom, and dad)

4. Read books, books, and more books

 

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I wish I could feel this rested. Josie knows how to chill.

I hate sitting still, but at least I’m having fun. Now if I can only finish my grad school application and turn it in by Monday. Guess what I’ll be doing tomorrow!!

 

 

 

 

 

At least the surgery is “hip”

I have discovered that getting ready for surgery is a lot like getting ready to go on vacation. I’m having arthroscopic hip surgery  tomorrow morning (see Foot Flushing post from earlier this year), and I’ve had so much to do to get ready. I’ve caught up on laundry, cleaned the house, and stocked up with plenty of reading material. The Actuary and the Evil Genius cleaned the downstairs floors (I don’t care what the upstairs floors look like; I won’t be climbing stairs for awhile) and went to the grocery store, and I made sure the cat has plenty of food and kitty litter.

I do the same thing when I go on vacation – clean the house, stock up on books, do laundry, etc. The similarities end there, however. I’ll be coming home to crutches, a strange device to wear on my leg that stimulates movement (to prevent scar tissue), and pain pills. If I came home from a vacation with those kinds of souvenirs, I’d probably never leave the house again.

Our refrigerator is already filling up with meals from friends. A women’s Sunday School class is probably the one of the best means to ensure a family has plenty of food when someone is sick or injured. Although we’re covered for dinner for several days, the Evil Genius picked up some salmon to grill for his lunches. When I was his age, I think the extent of my cooking was grilled cheese sandwiches. He also arranged his own transportation to and from swim practice for the mornings.

I haven’t finished all my projects, but I’ll have to channel my inner Type B personality and work on them when I can. I’ll probably stay off social media while I’m under the influence of Percocet.

This surgery is extremely inconvenient, but at least I have a “hip” surgeon for “hip” surgery. I’ll post an update when I’m off the pain meds.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pinterest – Where Self-Esteem Goes to Die

I discovered the joys of Pinterest a few months ago and went a bit crazy creating boards and pinning things to them. I’ve used recipe pins the most, but that doesn’t keep me from pinning craft ideas to a board I named “I Can Make This!” I’ve had some success with the recipes but haven’t had time to make any of the crafts I’ve pinned.

One of my friends recently pinned a great craft idea.  So, like a true Pinterest phanatic, I repinned it along with a similar craft because it included a tutorial. Making crafts does not come naturally to me, so the more instructions I have, the better, especially if the instructions have photos.

I opened the tutorial pin, and the very first sentence started out something like this:

While my baby was napping, I thought I would create a tutorial for those of you who have been asking how I make my craft masterpieces.

I may have slightly exaggerated the end of the sentence, but she clearly stated that she was using her baby’s nap time to work on crafts or to prepare tutorials for those of us who suffer from craft-impairment.

Maybe I’m jealous, but I spent my babies’ nap times either taking my own nap, taking a shower, figuring out what to cook for dinner, doing laundry, or crashing in front of Oprah to decompress from puke, poop, or crying jags (mine or the babies’). Not only did she post instructions, but she included photos of each step. WHILE HER BABY WAS NAPPING!!

I initially thought I was somehow letting womankind down because of my inability to make cute crafts or do other noteworthy tasks while my babies napped. Even though my children are now mostly self-sufficient, I still can’t manage to get all my duck (butts) in a row and have the time or inclination to create wall art or the t-shirt quilt I’ve repinned.

Chatty instructional blogs drive me crazy. The technical editor in me would keep the directions and photos and leave out the fluff. I feel the same way about food blogs. As the great philosopher Joe Friday from Dragnet used to say, “Just the facts, ma’am.”

In the meantime, I’ll stick to making Pinterest recipes and repinning cute dogs, cats, and owls. By the way, I named my owl board “Call Me Owl.” Cute, huh?

How to Train Your Human

IMG_1694 Our cat, Charlie, knocked his food dish down from his kitty condo this morning. He usually does that when he can see the bottom of the dish. This morning, however, Charlie took the dish tipping to a new level. Not five minutes after I topped off his dish with kitty crunchies, he knocked it over again. I put spilled food back in the dish and returned the dish to his condo. A few minutes later, Charlie knocked it over a third time. I put the bowl back on the condo and figured he probably wanted to play. I threw his mouse to him a few times and went back to reading the paper.

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Bam, crash!! I finally gave up reading the paper, put Charlie’s food dish up a fourth time, and played another round of “mouse” with him. All of a sudden I realized that I was being played by a cat. He got me to play with him by knocking over his food bowl.

Charlie already gets me out of bed in the morning by playing the piano (when I forget to lower the cover), knocking items off the dresser or nightstand, or by cat slapping me. I also know to fill his bowl when he knocks it off the condo. Today he taught me a new trick – play mouse when he knocks down a full bowl of cat food.

Charlie’s training of his human is complete, and he has me wrapped around his cute, pink, soft fluffy paw.

Foot Flushing – Healthy or Hazardous

I started having hip problems (at least my problems are “hip”) last October when I realized that, on top of hip pain, I could no longer sit on the floor with my legs crossed or lift my leg past a certain point. I’ve never been flexible; I could never do splits, and I’ve never been able to bend down and touch my toes. This recent anomaly with my hip has gone far beyond my normal inflexibility though.

My primary care doctor referred me to an orthopedist since my hip didn’t improve after two visits and a steroid shot. I went to the specialist a couple weeks ago expecting a couple months of physical therapy to get back to my normal point of inflexibility.

Instead, the doctor said, “You have serious issues with your hip” and mentioned the “S” word (surgery), to which I immediately thought of another “S” word. He said arthroscopic hip surgery could save my hip and keep me from needing hip replacement surgery in the not too distant future. I go back to see him today to get results on my MRI, see if I need a CT scan, and find out whether or not he thinks I need surgery.

Over the past two weeks, I’ve been trying to figure out what in the world I did to my hip. I’m only 48, and I’m active to the point of being hyper. I sprained my ankle in September when I was walking a rambunctious Rottweiler puppy, and I probably contorted my hip when I tried to get my foot out of the hole I fell into.

The other day, however, I had what I refer to as my “hipephany.” I was in the restroom at Wal-Mart, and when I tried to foot-flush, I couldn’t raise my leg high enough to reach the flusher. Then it hit me – I have been foot flushing in public restrooms for 20 years with my left foot. Could my quest to avoid germs have led to my present condition? I called my mom, and we laughed so hard, we cried. A sense of humor is good at times such as this.

If you are a fellow foot flusher, be warned. Foot flushing could be hazardous to your health.

New Year’s “Revolution”

I love the commercial in which small children are seated around a table with an adult talking about various aspects of life. In the latest commercial, one of the children makes a New Year’s “revolution” to “eat more jellybeans.”

I like the way that kid thinks, but alas, my almost 48-year old self needs to eat fewer jellybeans. I’m keeping my New Year’s “revolution” list short and sweet. Here goes:

1. Make my bed every day (preferably in the morning).
2. Floss my teeth every day. I hate to floss, but the correlation between gum health and heart disease has compelled me to take up this habit (especially with stroke and heart disease on both sides of my family).
3. Walk 500 miles in a year. One of my Facebook friends mentioned this as her goal, so I thought I’d run with it (pun intended). I walked half a mile today – 499.5 miles to go.

Finally, there are 12 more shopping days until my birthday. That has nothing to do with my New Year’s “revolutions,” but it’s worth a mention.

I’m keeping my list short so I won’t feel overwhelmed and do absolutely nothing. I have other goals, but I think starting the year off with clean teeth, a neat bed, and plans to walk regularly will serve me well.