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.