Saturday, January 5, 2013

How I Spent My “Fall” Vacation – Episode 66

Episode 66  – January 4 – The physio, Leanne, was a bit concerned yesterday afternoon that I may wake up a  bit stiff and sore after all the work I did but I was able to work out all the kinks during my morning bed stretching and exercising. I ran into Leanne on my first little walk this morning and she was quite surprised that I had no problems. The only problem I’m actually having is that my feet normally pronate and the braces force me to supinate so my lower calves twitch a bit. In simple terms, I’m knock-kneed and the braces force me to walk bow-legged.
The words supinate and pronate bring to mind another irksome thing; that being those squiggly lines lies that Microsoft Word keeps slipping under a lot of my scribbling. It doesn’t even recognize either word; and it was even snarkier until I switched to the UK version of English. They don’t even have a Canadian version which is different than both American and English, eh? We use “z” not “s” but we use “our” not “or”.  And regardless, Word still does not always know the difference between it’s and its. I do realize I use a lot of incomplete and run-on sentences and I do quite often end sentences with prepositions which by the way Word never catches. I write like I talk not talk like I write. Oh yes, in both instances I tend to babble on.
There really is some sort of staffing shortage around here because once again we have a retired nurse that is on the part-time casual list, Shirley and both days our nurses were replaced in the afternoon with senior nurses from another unit. Yesterday, it was Brenda from Cardio and today it was a familiar face, Sonya from 6 West. (Gotta love those East End girls!)
This morning’s breakfast was a change of pace. They sent me a couple of pancakes. They were bit better than the last time still a bit dry and chewy but at least they didn’t have the hard edges that required sawing with a knife to get through it. This may seem familiar to at least one of you. ;-)
While eating breakfast, Mona was sweet and offered me part of her breakfast. Any guess what it was? Hint: I politely declined. Damn! I’m making it too easy for you. Don’t bother memorizing this part, it won’t be on the final.
Mona found out after breakfast they were moving her across the hall to a three bed room. They gave her the same kind of mumbling excuse they gave me when they moved me last month. They said something about wanting to keep men with men and women with women. Then they said the guy coming in needed extra space because there was also  a lot of equipment coming down from the neurological unit. I then rolled my eyes thinking “oh, oh!” I fully understood why Mona was distraught. They moved her while I was out at physio so I wasn’t even sure that she wasn’t going to check herself out. After dinner tonight, I walked over to see how she was doing. She was definitely pleased with my gesture and she seemed to being doing okay. They had also moved a woman in, she knew from her mosque.
I made out okay with my new roommate as well. Dale is in maybe around sixty and quite alert but he’s confined to his bed and wheelchair after having a abscess on his upper spine operated on. My bonus on this is that the bathroom is all mine. Before Mona had a commode over the toilet and I needed a raised seat when I sat down so they had to be switched. I was capable of doing it but she kept trying getting staff or her visitors to do it. I had no problem with her son doing it and it didn’t bother me to ask him to put the commode back. I drew the line when she got her elderly aunty visiting from Lebanon to move it. I was not going to ask her to put it back. Oh and no one cares if I leave the seat up. Actually the seat has to be up to put on either device.
The one thing about the washroom is its windows. They are clear glass. It dawned on me as I was sitting on the throne and admiring the view of the mountains while looking in the mirror. Hey wait a minute! I now make a point of waving to the people in the tower across Lonsdale before getting down to business.
One the things, I have to learn to do here is plan my outings and prepare everything so it is in reach before I snap on the braces. Otherwise I end up climbing over the bed to retrieve things like toothpaste. This came to mind when I thought about dumping the non-slip socks for my fancy flowered Pumas. In order for me to do this I had to put on the socks , strap on the braces, retrieve the shoes from the closet on the other side of the room, return to the bed, take the braces off, put on the shoes and then put on the braces again. It was worth it. My ankles and feet are very happy. The shoes are now kept next to the bed.
Today for physio, Leanne took me downstairs to the main department and worked me out on the parallel bars and one of the knee exercise machines. After she wheeled me over to the machine, she and another physio set up the device and then asked me to climb on. I stood up from chair and walked about four steps before they both realized I was walking without any rails or my walker. They both basically said “Oops, let’s pretend we didn’t see that.” And I smiled smugly. My afternoon session was all done in my room where she gave me a bunch of “homework” to do over the weekend. Some of the things she wanted me to work on she normally wouldn’t trust most patients on this floor. But as she said “You’re young, alert and healthy”. Everything is relative; a near sighted man is king in a community of blind men. ;-)
Before lunch, Jennifer, the dietician came in to talk to me. Apparently I had requested my dinner entrees be doubled. I was puzzled because I wanted no part of most of the entrees in the first place for example yesterday’s chicken and tonight’s fish. It turns out it came from one of the nurses on the floor and it was based on the fact that last night there was Caesar salad with dinner but each cup was a third full. The nurse came to me with two more servings of salad from extra trays sent up. Jennifer and then discussed my weight and blood sugar intelligently realizing it wasn’t a major problem at the time and could be dealt with at a later date.
By the way, it seems there is an overabundance of Jennifers in this place even though my regular readers know I have a special affection for the name. ;-)
Jennifer also may have let something slip out of today. Apparently, on my chart I’m expected to be out early next week. Dr. Haaf said basically the same yesterday but he added the caveat that it is up to Dr. McConkey and the physio department. Leanne and I talked about it today and her main concern is the stairs in my house. She implied that I could have likely been out today if I lived in a one level environment but I’d still have to come back for therapy. None of my possible options made sense so I told her to keep throwing more challenges so we can find out what I can’t do so we can work to that goal.
Pam and Dennis came by and were pleasantly surprised by my progress even though they were regular readers. Their last visit was Christmas Eve a few hours before the braces came off so I was still lying in bed in my blue gown and stretched out on my back. And they once again brought more oranges and more goodies which I took advantage of before bed.
Too be continued...

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