A Conscious Effort

It all starts upstairs.

I noticed today, that even if I am tired, my spirits are up. I know it has a lot to do what I fill my ears, eyes and mind with. When I was blue, I decided to turn off the tube and listen to upbeat jazz, audio books on YouTube that were positive, even letting it play softly in the background while resting, and last night, watching “feel good” movies.

Programmers say, “garbage in, garbage out”. That’s the truth!

Training the brain. It’s a conscious effort.

Equally important, shutting everything down to allow rest because this is when the body knits itself back to health.

Hanging in there ….


Friday Update

Had my first post op Doctor appointment today. I was Hoping to find out that some of the pain in my ankle and leg was because of the splint and that they would going fix it so it doesn’t hurt so much. I couldn’t tell if the pain was from the broken bone, the splint or both or what. On the night nurse end, she put in a request that the pain meds be administered on a regular schedule instead of “as needed”. Scheduled is much better because “as needed” had times when the nurse doesn’t get to my nurse call for almost an hour. I have been in tears, at times, from the aching and throbbing, as well as added frustration of the feeling of being ignored though hopefully, it’s not that.

The splint was painfully removed, X-rays taken, and a new “boot” fitted, and a couple things added: ultrasonic device that will be applied to my ankle to promote bone growth, and now I can shower (sans boot). Obviously still non-weight-bearing, continue antibiotic, and PT/OT.



Little Steps

With a broken left shoulder and my left ankle and foot in a cast nearly up to my knee, doctors orders for non weight bearing activity means confinement to the bed or wheelchair. No, it’s not an easy thing in body, mind or spirit. In terms of activity, everything is dependent on the assistance of at least one additional person, especially if the starting point is in bed.

Everything takes time, timing and planning. Just getting out of bed to try to use the bathroom is a good example. Do you go at it with or without panties and yoga pants? What happens after one get’s out of bed determines that. It is a work out either way, dressing in bed, transferring to the pot, getting unsuited, finishing your business, suiting up again, and then getting back to the chair. Thankfully, there are tools to help, in addition to the muscle needed from your own body or the aides. For example, transferring from bed to wheelchair is made easier by using a very smooth and sturdy board that bridges the space between bed and chair. Gravity helps if you raise the bed higher. For some reason though, getting back to the bed is more challenging. Go figure!

The next destination after getting out of bed to “hit the head”, is going to the PT/OT room, aka “the gym”. The exercises I am doing are specified to help me gain strength and ultimately more independence, here and specifically when I go back home.

Every effort to use and strengthen what I can is important, whether attempting to push myself down the hall with my good leg and foot or lifting 2 lb. Weights for 3 sets of 20.

“The Gym” itself is a pleasant, contemporary room, filled with state of the art exercise rehab equipment, basic resistance bands, ankle weights and hand-held weights, and other helping aides. As you enter the facility, your eyes are automatically drawn to the wall of tall, wide windows that then draw your eyes to the sky. The lower part of the windows are etched with undulating horizontal waves that span one end of the room to the other. It’s very soothing to look at. There are a couple of inspiring collages on 2 different walls as well, depicting active older adults. I find myself imagining that lifestyle and it compels me to push on to complete a 12 minute stint on a bicycle that has been adapted to one-legged-ability.

TNWL has daily community events here too. I haven’t been to any yet, but I am making a point to get out of the room for at least 2 meals, I had my husband take me outdoors for fresh air last night, and if I hadn’t needed a pain pill, I might have gone to a community church after dinner, just to be among people.

Each day is a step closer to getting better. Each moment is too actually, when an insight pops in to make progress possible.

And sometimes, it just means allowing sleep to come and to give that step its own momentum.




Fake It, Till You Make

I'm tired. Just need to get 6 hours of uninterrupted sleep. No pain, no crying out for meds, no one coming to take blood before 8 a.m.

It's also a bit exhausting trying to be "upbeat" when i am not. My spouse and his family are going through so much with their dad's failing health, dealing with the business of death and dying, depressions… Tough stuff all around.

As the day moves on, so will I. But Disney can still kiss my bottom in the name of Moana!

Pish, tosh. I'm going to sleep.

Just Moi

New Facility – Sunday Morning

Funny thing. The new rehab facility I'm at has "neighborhoods" or more like named subdivisions. My area is named exactly after the facility I just left! Ironic, weird, whatever… I have no complaints after my first 20 hours.

I'm exhausted though. Maybe its the Percocet, maybe not. I need to stay positive whatever the case.

Weirdness: When I nod off, I have found myself slipping sideways. It's like I wake up and then I'm standing and off to go do something. Then I wake up and find myself startled that I can't leave my bed. Putting a positive spin on that, maybe it's a view into the future and I'm going to be stronger and better than ever. 🙂

Well, a good, Sunday morning. Keep your chin up, and your cap down.

Going to go for a "good day"!


Post Script: I see Carlos Santana is jamming at a few locations in Michigan this week. Is it too much to ask the shaman to stop by and leave me a feather off his cap? 🙂

A Quiet Day, 24 Hours Post-op (Ankle)

Last night was incredibly rough, pain wise. In addition to Percocet, I was given injections of Dilaudin about every 2 hours on the average, until the night nurse suggested Percocet with the NSAID Toradol, which she got approved for one dose to see how I responded. It was a great combination and around 3-4 a.m., I was finally able to sleep longer than 2 hours without waking and crying in pain.

PT visited and helped me into a chair. I didn't know they were going to leave me there until I called the aide or nurse for help. However, it was nice to get up out of the bed for a bit, though a walk in the sunshine might have been nice.

The orthopedic surgeon said I could have been discharged today, but I needed to know that I wasn't going to be in excruciating pain like last night. I remain here one more night and tomorrow go to the new facility that was named The Sanctuary. Not sure why the name was changed to something more corporate, even though they are "non profit". The holistically-minded approach to care certainly suits the prior name of The Sanctuary. I'm looking forward to going there, anyway. So that is scheduled for Saturday, though I do not know what time yet.

And finally, it is noted that healing came quickly as I recovered from Chiari Decompression surgery. My son and I were talking about. And now, I think it is quite possible that I will recover from this ankle issue in record time, though I will surely follow PT / OT instructions to strengthen and tone up everything and not get out there and jump rope anytime soon! 😀

Last IV dose of the Toradol about 45 minutes ago. Percocet in just over an hour, awake or asleep; pain management.

The husband popped in for all of 5 minutes today. He's fairly scarce these days; lot's going on in his family and his own mental health. I think he needs to do what he needs to do. It sucks sometimes because he's not coming around much. However, I know that I am not alone and that has made all the difference in the world. (Muah!)

For Family who are never far:

Starting to nod again, meaning time to sign off.


Something In the Air …

Seemed like there was no shortage of cranky elders as well as staff. It got on my nerve enough to want to hole up in these four walls. Not completely though, as I had my room window opened to let some of the fresh summer air in.

Light PT with Saeed on the right leg tonight. I also took the initiative earlier (aka I got tired of waiting), and wheeled myself back to my room from lunch, using only my right leg and occasionally steering with my good arm. I stopped a few times to rest but I did it. 🙂

Finally got to use the pot instead of the bedpan. I was highly motivated because its hard enough to do #1 on a bedpan and clean up after that! Ugh! Progress, indeed .. not once but twice! The assistants need to be taught those techniques to help people from the wheelchair to the pot. I repeat that the people who do this sort of care/work should be paid well. They compare employee turnaround to revolving doors as many people leave after collecting their paycheck. I don't wonder why. It can be dangerous as well as back straining work. Even Belle from PT said her back was strained after a patient failed to follow through on "3" (1, 2, 3 go!), and another aide had to see a dr after being attacked by a combative patient.

So a lot of "stuff" in the air overall, it seems.

Maybe it's the gooey crap dripping off the current political climate; maybe it's the moon, the upcoming mercury retrograde, the eclipse or even the meteor shower! Whatever it is, this day is nearly over, and we've survived and even thrived amidst the hell storms.

Probably a good thing surgery isn't until tomorrow. I landed wrong transferring from the wheelchair to the bed and hurt my neck and shoulders. No need to push anything!

Surgery seems like an easy in and out, or at least outpatient. I'll be returning to W.L. after all, going to a "better suite". Guess I just adapted to the slow flow and timing and I wasn't getting an answer from TNWL. It just seemed less problematic to remain.
It would crack me up though if I woke up post op on my way to TNWL after all! 😂

Oh …. And I know I'm not alone, even when I was sulking earlier. I thank Spirit for the vivid signs from across the Bridge. It was startling and wonderful. #alwaysandforever


Tuesday Wrap-up

Finally made it out into the geriatric population at lunch time. Been a while since I was the youngster in the room. I sat with two gentlemen that were very quiet despite my attempts at small-talk. It's ok. I'll join the rest of "the kids" and text at the dinner table or read an e-book.

It was great to get out the confinement of my room. Outside of my four walls the decor is actually nice, though it's a bit old school. I think it probably appeals to the general population of WL. I'll call it "mainstream hotel", all the way to the particle board footboard that is hanging lopsided on my bed.

Before lunch I had physical therapy for my good arm. The PT Belle is vibrant and very strong for a woman her size. She might weigh 100 pounds, rain-soaked. She got me through a rough start to my morning and actually is behind the get out the room endeavor. Very likable and obviously good at what she does.

After PT and a quick tour of the (relatively) younger rehabilitation wing where I was shown my new larger and brighter room, should I change my mind and remain with WL, I went back to my room. Belle went to grab bags for me to pack my things, seemingly assured that I was going to stay here. I thanked her and let her know I was undecided, which by this time of the day, I actually was at the point of reconsidering.

On the way to see my orthopedic surgeon I called TNWL to ask them specifics about physical therapy and how active they are with the complementary therapies. That really has become the deciding factor for me because here at W.Lake or TNWL, the key is going to be overall care including marks for personnel, and particularly favorable the methods to achieve the PT goals. I find value in the PT I have received so far, and I'm sore enough to know my muscles are waking up! But alas, I'm going forward with the transfer and feel good about that decision.

After setting up the ankle surgery for Thursday (shoulder surgery is now postponed until mid-October), the transfer to TNWL will take place after I am discharged from the hospital.

As I close out my Tuesday, I smile to myself as I recall the early afternoon sun on my skin and the refreshing summer breeze blowing through my hair.

Oh how I love Summer; and I think there's a pretty good chance that Summer 2018 is going to be not only better, but more than likely, pretty dang awesome.


Monday Morning at the Rehab Facility

I certainly know my medical history well enough. Asked the same questions by everyone, I feel like I should just document it and pass hand-outs around.

I asked to have a basin brought in so I could at least sponge bath. I had the hub bring in waterless shampoo but honestly, is it really cleaning anything without rinsing? I'm just grossed out. I am scheduled to have a "real" shower some time today. Wow that is going to be a treat! It's an adjustment being in a facility like this. I don't have anything to compare to, but I still feel they could do better about many things.

It gets me thinking about the quality of care for rehab patients, seniors and other vulnerable populations. The rescuer in me wonders if there is advocacy, case management, and accountability for all personnel in this field, and if it is present how effective is it? That train of thought can lead to all sorts of places and stops along the way. I think too, that because healthcare is a business, that many places try to keep costs down in as many areas as possible. That is common sense, but quality patient care should not suffer.

The facility I am transferring to (hopefully it's covered or that's a bust) looks good on paper and my husband also went to tour the facility as well. Based on his tour, and what I read on their website and brochure, I still feel that it's going to be a good move for me and that things are just going to go better overall. My gut feeling and certainly my hope is that quality, patient-centered care is the focus and that they meet or exceed what they market about their facility. The ball is rolling and in the hands of the current facility's social worker.

PS. I'm told I am a pretty decent "cook" … it's not unreasonable that the foods are going to lean towards bland in comparison. I'm really grateful for salt & pepper is all I can say about that. 🙂