Saturday, April 24, 2010

Going Home from the Hospital

I'm thrilled to be heading home today, on day 17 of my hospital saga.

The cast has been removed from my arm and replaced with a removable brace so that I can shower without the plastic bag encasement. My leg looks so much less Frankensteinish now that the sutures are gone and fifteen steri-strips reinforce the seams for a final week. The swelling has reduced dramatically, so that I no longer fear my leg would pop if stuck with a pin. My face has healed very quickly, and while I no longer look like a car wreck victim, I still have a knot over my left eye where the bone is knitting back together.

There's still a long road ahead, as I am forbidden to put any weight on the right leg for 10-12 weeks total. That's the standard for tibial plateau fractures. Evidently the top of the tibia was crushed and collapsed. The surgeon glued lots of pieces back together with bone graft material and it needs time to do its job. Any weight in the first three months just serves to recompress and collapse the plateau again, so I will avoid that assiduously.

Casting is not done on these breaks however, because knee mobility has to be regained right at the very beginning or lost forever. Hence the past ten days of painful therapy to get that leg to both straighten and bend, while still supremely painful from trauma and surgery. I also had the extra fun of a damaged motor nerve from the surgery that is luckily responding to electrostimulation. It's there, but needs to relearn how to bend my foot properly.

I'm told I have a good attitude in that I look at each day's small progress as a victory and try not to think about how many months remain before I can walk again. See, those perfectionistic tendancies can be good -- I can see the little stuff!

Meanwhile, I search for meaning and some insight into what I should do differently. Mostly, I think it's just a sign that life is not controllable. We do the best we can; and we adapt when things fall apart. Ultimately, we can't really control what happens to us, just how we respond.

Yes, unquestionably I was overscheduled. The electroforming class scheduled for today just could not be managed, but maybe I can practice my wheelchair instructor technique next month.

The trip to visit my father to start sorting through my mother's things will be postponed for some time. I got car transfer training with a physical therapist at the rehab hospital, but they don't seem to offer small plane transfer training. ;-) I'm having trouble visualizing climbing the wing of the plane with a walker.

The weekend bed and breakfast escape for our wedding anniversary on the 19th was substituted with gorgeous flowers and a box of chocolates. NOT the same, but the B&B was understanding, and we have a year to reprise the holiday.

The workshop next weekend with German lampworker, Anastasia, is not to be. Banned wrist movement on my dominant arm will not yield pretty beads, so I hope someone on the waiting list has a fun time.

The trip to Italy with DH and DS has been canceled. I simply can't imagine tolerating those long flights, not to mention hobbling through Florence streets and Italian train stations on one leg. Later... Unfortunately, Keenan still has to go for work. That means I'll have enough challenge just to be at home without him the first week in May. The 16yo is a huge help, and I have tons of offers of help that I WILL be accepting, but emotionally it's hard to face it without my other half. Please behave nicely, volcano! I need him back ASAP.

As of now, I'm still planning to attend Bead & Button. With the help of my incredible friends and family, I trust I can still teach my two classes. That's one dream I'm not yet willing to give up.

Maybe that's part of the lesson here: pare down the focus to the things that really matter and make those happen.

At any rate, I'm looking forward to being at home, surrounded by spring in my new garden, my tools and art supplies, real food, and people that I love. Time to get going back in my normal direction, albeit with one foot off the ground and one hand hanging free.


  1. I bet there are stroke patients out there with the use of one arm only who are wishing for some creative outlet. Maybe you could plan a lesson for them .. . . . . . ? *trying to be helpful*

  2. Still sending good thoughts! You have an incredible way of looking at things so you will make it through. Hang in there!

  3. I am so speachless, you have such a great attitude, so unbelievable everything, so much to think about .... yes, life is unpredictable, we should think often about.

    Dear Vickie, I am sending you a big, big hug hoping that your recovery will be sooner as hoped, you are so wonderful, wish I would be near you and help a little bit.

    ♥ Manuela

  4. Wow, you've been through a lot. I work in a hospital so I know some of what you're talking about but I haven't been there. I'm really glad you're going home and if you need some help or company, call me!

  5. Vickie, I am so proud of you and your amazing attitude. You are improving and adapting (I LOVE that word) at such a rapid rate, I know you will be comfortable and happy at home. I'm thinking about you hard tonight and wishing you sweet dreams back in your home with your devoted boys.

  6. Dear Vickie,
    You are a warrior my friend! I wish I live closer to you so I can give you a hand or two ;-).
    Take care and I know you will be great very soon.

  7. Hi Vickie,
    WOW! you did bash yourself up! I am so glad you are home and healing! That was really nice of your husband to move everything out of the living room to make your new bedroom...and once you are better, you can do all those lovely things you were planning and probably appreciate them even more! If you need a substitute teacher for bead and button, I can help....I had to have a friend of mine substitute for me one time and feel the need to pay it forward...since I can't help you in your home...this is the only way I can think of to help you.... I hope you get better quickly, I would rather be the student! Take it easy, Kelly Russell

  8. If you'll pardon the expression, Holy crap, Batman. Your attitude is amazing. Best wishes for a most speedy rehab.

  9. Anonymous9:41 AM

    So Sorry this happened to you! You are one of my favorite jewelry artist and blogs to read. Hope you find a way to do all you want! Your spirit is amazing. I will pray for you! Today I was thinking how these things are opportunities for GROWTH in our lives and to embrace them.-Carmen

  10. Wow I got such a shock when I opened your blog, I am amazed at your attitude. I wish you a speedy recovery.

  11. Vickie,
    I was unaware of your accident until tonight while just browsing blogs. What a truly freaky accident! I wish you steady progress and minimal pain. I send you all the positive energy I can deliver. However, it sounds as though your own positive energy is already carrying you through.

  12. I just wonder where my post dissapeared, I have sent you a big big hug some days ago, I am still so speachless, you are so brave dear Vickie.

    Hope you will recover soon and all your wishes and dreams come through.

    ♥♥♥♥♥ Manuela

  13. Oh gosh, I didn't realized the severity of your fall. I hope you heal as quickly as you hope and make it to Bead and Button. I'm sure your students are looking forward to it as much as you. But be gentle. Sending positive thoughts and prayers for a speedy recovery. xox