Monday, January 7, 2013

How I Spent My “Fall” Vacation – Episode 68

Episode 68 – January 6 – Today is Epiphany, the twelfth day of Christmas and the last my tree would be up and my lights burning outside. Oh well at least my Hydro bill should be way down.
My sleep last night was quite weird. Obviously the Zopiclone and Benadryl combination were working in full force. I’d be sleeping on my right side and wake up to turn over to my left; I’d get as far as lying on my back and automatically flop back to my right. I repeated this process several times with the same result, I think, or I may have just dreamed up the whole thing. Either way I had a great sleep and even had a hard time waking up.
When I was able to clear my head enough I began my exercise regime including the homework Leanne. This included working my legs using Theraband. For those of you not familiar with Theraband it is lengths of latex sheeting available in various thicknesses and used for resistance exercising. Some others of you may be familiar with it for its original use, dental damming. Yes, that nasty sheeting they shoved in your mouth and then clamped around the tooth about to be filled. (Lee, I believe your dad may have shoved a few pieces in my mouth in the past). The real neat thing about new Theraband is the smell from the powder used to keep it from sticking together. It smells like cookies and mint. I reached to get it out of my drawer and I thought to myself “Wow, I can smell Pam’s goodies through the Tupperware”. Pam’s goodies do smell great but it was the Theraband. Another boring fact about Theraband is that I along with a couple of other salespeople at Ammunden Medical we responsible for introducing it to physiotherapists in BC. (Sorry, Lisa, but as much as I hate giving that man credit for anything; I have to give you dad most of the credit for this.)
Maria is our nurse today. She worked on the sixth quite often when I was there but she seemed to be missing during the time Graciela was in our ward. Maria would have been quite useful being from Columbia.
For the past two days, they have brought whole apples on my breakfast tray. Although I don’t mind them; I don’t normally eat whole apples for a couple of reasons. The first is just me being wierd; I get turned off by bruising on any fruit and in particular apples. The second is more of an orthodontic reason. I have a very distinct overbite and huge gaps between my front teeth and my bottom teeth are jammed together. Rather than bite I sort of scoop and break off with my bottom teeth and my uppers play no part. This is the same reason, I rarely eat corn on the cob and when I do I usually peel the kernels off with a knife.
Today was my shower day. Because of my mobility restrictions, I still require assistance even though I could do it myself. At least this time I walked into the shower room on my own. I am still required to use the braces and the walker so Pacita, the care aide had to assist me and I had to sit while showering. I could have easily done it on my own but the risk was greater than the reward.
After the shower, I was finally going to get to wear fresh clothes with a fresh clean body. I put on a purple striped golf shirt and a pair of black basketball shorts with red stripes down the legs. Colour coordination be damned! The fashionistas can kiss this! Besides it’s the shoes that make the outfit but we’ll discuss them in a few paragraphs later. While putting on the shorts it didn’t dawn on me initially but I was standing on my feet without braces and there was no real problem.
While I was strapping on my braces, Dr. LeNoble, the doctor in charge of the rehab unit came into visit and did a full check on my flexibility and my senses such as sight , sound and feel. He asked me if there was anything they can do that they haven’t been doing. I told him the same as I’ve told everyone. Keep pushing me to do more so we can find out what I can’t do rather than concentrating on repeating what I can do. He at least made a note of this. He also remarked that my toenails need to re-done. No kidding!
One more thing about the doctor; he was checking my lungs with the stethoscope on my back and told me to take deep breaths which I complied. Then he wanted check from the front and said “Okay you can stop breathing” and once again I complied. In a slightly panicked voice “I didn’t mean for you to stop breathing completely!” Dude, I’m just following orders.
I actually discovered another little flexibility victory by accident. When I completed strapping on my braces I realized I hadn’t put my shoes on. I was able to get them on and tie them up while still strapped in. I had a hard enough time doing this before my injury. My fancy Puma Clydes with the roses are almost as admired as my toenails. Unfortunately I can’t show off both at once. (see photo below)
Because there is nothing going on here on the weekends, I thought today would be a good day to pop up and visit Six West. Bad idea!! I stepped off the elevator and turned right towards the orthopaedic unit and I was greeted by a big whiteboard saying “Gastro-intestinal Outbreak” with further instructions underneath. I stuck my head inside the door to see if I recognized anyone but I only saw Ruby who was too busy with a patient and the little Iranian cleaning lady, Parvin, who was delighted to see me up, dressed and walking. I made a hasty retreat to elevators. I ran into Maeve, the OT and she was shocked at my progress. She also told me that I had made it out just in time. The outbreak started just after I left. The thought of still being there bedridden was frightening. I would have still been on bedpan orders at that point as well. All I know is that if it kicks in down here I will not be worrying about strapping on the braces as I make a mad dash to the bathroom. I may even leave the walker behind.
 Just before getting on the elevator, Liz, one of the charge nurses, walked by and did a double-take. She was shocked to see my progress and she also did not realize how tall I was. I keep getting that about my height but I’m only 6’3”.
I spent most of the afternoon in my room writing and listening to the Seahawks game because the TV in the lounge had already been taken over  by a couple of people watching one of those home renovation shows. I have a plan for commandeering the TV for tomorrow’s Notre Dame championship game. I was somehow only able to find today’s game on a station from Juneau Alaska. The funniest thing about that was one commercial for Stihl logging equipment which finished with the tagline “A majority of Stihl products are built in the US with domestic and foreign parts.” Could we get any vaguer? Have we covered our asses on the American Made thing.
Now there is something about the Sunday edition of the Province that always puts in a mood to rant. Today it was a two page spread  in the entertainment section with the bold headline “Do Album Reviews Still Matter?” Did they ever matter? Has there ever been a need for music, movie or art critics? Critics are a self created profession not unlike lawyers who created a need for themselves. Most critics are either frustrated musicians, actors etc. or mediocre writers who can’t get off the lifestyles desk.
My roommate, Dale’s dad, Jack, is a hoot. After visiting with Dale for a bit he left his wife and daughter and came around the curtain to chat with me and then he headed out into the hallway to chat with everyone else. This is his daily routine. He’s just a social butterfly.
Best advice today came from Via my night nurse for the last three nights after a discussion about what I might need at home, “Oh and try not to do it again!” Sounds like an excellent plan.
I’m still having a few billing problems with Fatport my wireless. It showed that my account expired again after two months but I paid for three. Last month they gave me a code for an extra month so I had to put that into play.
After finishing up my notes, I took my happy pills, orange and goodies and drifted off.
To be continued...

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