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The View From the Porch


Right now, the only view I have of my property is from the porch of my house.  I need help getting out the door onto the porch and can't get down the steps to the ground without several people here to help.  Lack of mobility is horrible.  I have always been sympathetic for those who struggle to walk but there is nothing like really being in that category to make you realize just how much that changes everything you do.

On Wednesday morning, May 9th, my dogs barreled into me and knocked me to the ground.  Ron and I had been out in the yard checking on our new trees and he was headed back into the house while I was headed out to the barn to feed the animals.  I think I was talking at the time and in mid-stride when the dogs hit me.  I went down screaming and knew immediately that there was something significantly wrong.  Ron came running but I told him to call 911.  He says the ambulance arrived pretty quickly although it felt like forever to me.  They bundled me onto a gurney and we were off to the hospital.

The ride to the hospital is a bit fuzzy - I know there was morphine involved.  And the time at the Emergency Room is also fuzzy.  Everyone was wonderful.  They took lots of x-rays and decided I had three breaks in my lower leg bones and a severely dislocated ankle.  Well, ouch.  There were more drugs involved and I woke up with my leg in a splint.  They had moved my ankle back into alignment but I would have to wait for surgery to stabilize the breaks.

I visited with the surgeon the next morning and was scheduled for surgery the following Monday.   A plate and a handful of screws would come but for now I was not to put any weight on my left leg.  They sent me home with crutches and pain medication.

Crutches are dangerous particularly for an fat old woman who isn't in great shape.  Thankfully my daughter and her husband had a wheelchair they could loan me.  That's what I've been using since and therein lies the issue with getting out to the porch and down off the porch.  Wheelchairs roll pretty nicely on smooth ground but they aren't much help with high thresholds or stairs.

It's now been three weeks since my fall and two weeks past surgery.  Everything has gotten brighter and more normal.  I'm still using the wheelchair but am also pretty capable with the walker.  The bandages and stitches are gone and I'm in a boot.  I should get my knee scooter later today.  Hopefully the scooter won't be nearly as treacherous as the crutches.  I won't be sure about that till I try it out.  I still have at least a month before I can walk on my left leg and towards the end of that time is the Houston Fiber Festival and we will be teaching a class in weaving at our knitting group, KNOW.  I'm really not sure how all that will play out.  Peggy will kill me if I'm not able to help but she tells me she is concerned about me doing wheelies on my scooter at the show.  Hmmmm...  That's a pretty cool idea.

I'm amazingly grateful to my family and friends.  My kids were here to stay with my while Ron went to a conference and received a much deserved award.  My sister was here for a week generally helping out.  We had a great time talking and laughing but she also did yeoman service cleaning up dog vomit and other various unpleasant tasks without complaint.  It is horrible to sit at the side and watch while all the jobs you normally handle easily have to be done by others.  But thank you to all those others!  My animals are getting fed, the dogs are getting walked, the grass is getting mowed, the clothes and dishes are getting washed.  Ron is, of course, the one I depend on the most.  He is cheerful and helpful and willing but I'm sure he is just as anxious to have me up and walking as I am.

Here are the culprits.  The dogs hit me with 100 pounds of weight moving at speed.  Sadie provided the body weight and Gus provided the enthusiasm.  As soon as Sadie realized I was hurt she lay down around my head to protect me.  Ron had to get a leash on her and drag her away before the ambulance arrived.  She has been with me ever since.  She hardly goes outside at all if I'm staying in the house and I'm always staying in the house so we have spent a lot of time together recently.

Yesterday and today have been my first really successful and useful days so far.  With a little help I made up a batch of laundry detergent, met the washing machine repairman, did three loads of laundry and warped three small looms.  It's the most I've managed in the last three weeks.  It feels good.  I've been answering emails for the first time and I'm about ready to try knitting again.  I've tried it a couple of times and the patterns keep drifting away from me.  It's amazing how long it takes to really get back to normal.