December 24, 2010 Mina types Freds thoughts..
The day before Christmas. 5 weeks and a day since the accident.
While much progress has occurred these past 5 weeks, I still spend most of my time in the hospital bed that Mina arranged to be in the exact same spot as our regular bed. This small detail made it easier for me to adjust being home, in that as I lay here I see everything at the same angle as I did lying in bed before the accident.
I am grateful for little things. The weight loss has turned around, if you trust the scale 7 of the 30 lbs I lost is back. I have a slight sensation of an appetite, although smaller frequent meals seem most effective. One night I went without any pain medication. And week 5 marked the turn around in my progress. I can get around pretty good with my walker (bumbling a bit) as I am not supposed to put any weight on my right leg. IN week 5 I had my first real shower, on my nifty transfer bench from the hospital. My tailbone is cushioned by a towel folded over, I come into the shower w my walker and Mina turns on the preheated water. From the bench I am just able to reach the control valve and adjust it to a hot flow. I just close my eyes and let it beat down onto my head and back. It felt so good. Mina had taken my fresh clothes out from the dryer so the that once I was dried off I had the warm clothes to put on. I then walked out to the living room and sat in the recliner. Mina draped a long warm towel from the drier across me. I couldn’t help but smile. (It was the longest sustained smile I have seen since the accident!)
On last Wed we did a doctor visit. Fortunately the rain let up for each time we had to get in or out of the car. I was able to handle the motion without any problem and asked Mina to drive Whittier Bl. as opposed to the slow residential streets I had requested for the return from the hospital. And at home felt strong enough to walk from the car to the bedroom.
Yesterday morning since I wake up so early while Mina sleeps, I surprised her by getting up on my own(walker assisted) to “hop” into bed next to her. Laying next to my wife in bed is something I had not done in 5 weeks. As I laid there it was interesting to see our bedroom from a different view.
For now in home Physical therapy visits have stopped as I am able to do on my own what they want of me. Some exercise from the beginning were easy, some were difficult. But now I am finding they are all easy to do and I am pushing the limits on the number of repetitions. I still have occasional rough nights and some difficult times during the day. As much as I would like to be off the pain pills, my body isn’t there yet. Boredom is still a major challenge. And feeling a little depressed about how long this is taking can also be a challenge. Mina made a big calendar for me on the wall which starts the week of the accident and goes through the 2nd week of January, has been a big help. We X off each day and write out the days milestone and activities. It encourages me to see so may x-offed days. Tomorrow will be a big day. I have practicing lounging in the recliner in the living room. I think that with a little extra help from the pain meds I will be able to spend most of the day out with the family in celebration of Christmas. In preparation today I am taking my 3rd shower. I am looking forward to it.
Other things I am grateful for: the ability to use the commode room in our house on my own (sometimes), taking a hot shower, sitting up without getting very dizzy, my hospital table that allows me to do some things on my laptop, electronic shock collars for training our dog to stop barking in the middle of the night, for the most part seeing only one of my wife when I look at her (2 of me is a scary thought-double vision is subsiding), all the cards and letters and emails and visits that people have showered me with- (an amazing source of comfort and entertainment for Fred), strength to move my legs and get out of bed on my own, and strength to get back into bed on my own. This accident has alerted me to how many joints and muscles are used to get in AND out of the bed. My dear wife who has set aside many of her activities to care for me over this extended time. That even though my body was broken- my soul was well, kept by Christ. It made m ethink of the people whose bodies are well and yet they live with a broken soul and have not been willing to come to Christ for healing.
Next Tuesday, the big event is the visit to the orthopedic doctor’s office. This will be 2 days short of the 6 week mark; the minimum time given that the right side fractures would heal. Realistically I was told expect 8-10 weeks. I am hoping the healing process is such that I am given the ok to begin putting weight on the right side. When this occurs a whole new chapter will begin.
MerrY Christmas to us all -Looking forward to walking among you again.