Thursday, April 1, 2010

Recovering at Home

I am recovering at home after spending about 2 weeks in hotels so that our downstairs bathroom could be remodeled into a full bath that is handicapped accessible. Mario, my son-in-law, rounded up a crew of his friends from the construction industry, and produced a little jewel. It must be the world's most elegant small, handicapped bathroom. In my wheel chair, which I have named Comet II, in honor of my favorite childhood horse, I can roll right in and use the facilities without assistance, which is great, since I am dependent on others for just about everything else.

After my surgery, I was told to stay off my ankle for six weeks. Since I am too old and heavy to use crutches, I can choose between using a walker with which I can hop on my good leg about 15 feet before resting, or Comet II, in which I can, glide nimbly around the lower level of my house including the new bathroom. You can see why I am fond of Comet II.

For the first few days at home I slept on the couch in the family room, which was very comfortable, but a little lonely at night, with Joe snoring loudly in the comfort of our king size bed upstairs. Then the Contour Bed arrived. Purchased for small fortune, it is a king size marvel with two extra long twin mattresses on the bottom. Each mattress has a separate control which can lift electrically the head or foot, and give a very ineffective vibrating massage. So now Joe is downstairs with me. I have my feet elevated above my heart (to reduce swelling), and my head raised slightly to reduce acid reflux. The sixties are obviously a decade of multiple health problems for me.

Being in a wheel chair with a broken ankle is a very interesting experience. I am able to cope with the pain with deep breathing, relaxation, and, truth be told, the occasional percocet. But what really bugs me is the loss of privacy. Between Mario's crew, visiting well-wishers, the kids and grand kids, and Allyson and Joe, I am surrounded by people during my waking hours. This is very difficult because I usually spend part of each day alone, thinking and daydreaming.

The other upsetting issue is coping with loosing the fitness I have fought so hard to gain. For the first few weeks after the accident, I had trouble eating, but now my appetite, especially for sweets, has returned with full force and I am fighting to control it. My upper body is getting pretty strong from lifting my weight around, but my core and butt muscles are deteriorating. Tomorrow, if the weather is nice, I am hoping to take Comet II to the track and do some cardio work. In the meantime, I must go lie on the couch with my leg above my heart and watch HDTV.

1 comment: