Monday, December 28, 2009

Like a Yeti

Finally, a break from the constant, severe, unrelenting pain. The visiting physical therapist told me that the pain usually lets up three weeks after surgery and he was right. I'm getting along fine on a few Tylenol a day and have actually enjoyed several pain-free moments.

Just as we were about to leave for our daughter's house on Christmas Day, my hearing aid "stopped listening," as my son-in-law said. The on/off switch had been acting funny for a few weeks, and finally it just quit. So I was pretty out of it during the festivities, except when my live-in hearing aid (Phil) was in the room.

This morning I got an appointment for Wednesday morning with my audiologist. He'll give me a "loaner" until my new aid arrives. I am so happy to be able to even get an appointment between Christmas and New Year's, but here's the thing:

I was already 2 weeks overdue for a haircut when I crashed to the floor on December 1st. Regular haircuts are a must with hair as short and fine as mine. I look like a yeti! I will scare old men, young women, small children and little dogs in oversize handbags as I clank along with my walker on my way from the street into the audiologist's building.  But, as the Japanese would say, "Shikata ga nai." ("It can't be helped.)

My haircutter is closed Mondays and Tuesdays, so I can't even call for an appointment until Wednesday.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Fun with Closed Captioning

This morning I watched as the Senate passed the health care reform bill 60 to 39.  After the bill passed, there was a lot of milling around on the Senate floor, some handshaking and back-slapping. The commentator said that after weeks of acrimonious debate, shouting and name-calling, this display of good will and friendliness perhaps showed a willingness to "restore what is called the 'comity of the Senate.'"

Good ol' Closed Captioning! Sometimes it doesn't get it quite right. Closed Captioning made this "restore what is called the comedy of the Senate."

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Snowy Day

Today deep snow is blanketing the Baltimore-Washington suburbs. There's even a possibility of canceling church tomorrow--not that I'd be going--but tomorrow is "Greening Sunday," the Sunday before Christmas when the congregation always decorates the church with fresh evergreens.

It's 16 days after the surgery to repair my fractured right femur. Some days the pain is nearly overwhelming. Unfortunately, I'm near the end of the road with Oxycodone; I seem to have developed a tolerance for it. The good news is that the staples came out two days ago. I get around pretty well with a walker. They tell me I won't need the walker after New Year's. I find that hard to believe.

The visiting nurse will come once more next week to discharge me from home nursing care.  I'll have about two more visits per week from the physical therapist and will then continue therapy on an outpatient  basis. I can't imagine when I'll be able to drive again, since the fractured leg is the gas pedal/brake  leg. We'll see.

Last night, Criminal Cat (the one who knocked down last year's Christmas tree) jumped on my lap and tried to settle herself on my poor leg. When I screeched, she dug her claws into my thigh before jumping off. I bled a lot because of the blood thinner I'm taking to prevent post-surgery blood clots.  Phil washed the wounds, slathered on antiseptic ointment, and applied a dressing. I'll probably live.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Naughty Georgina

Georgie tipped over our tree last Christmas.

She didn't seem sorry at all.

In fact, here she is, returning to the scene of the crime to gloat.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Home Sweet Home

Today is two weeks post surgery. The visiting nurse will remove the staples this afternoon. I am told it's simple and painless, but I've had my doubts after seeing what a staple remover does to a piece of paper.

I had surgery to insert a hip-to-knee titanium-alloy rod to stabilize my fractured right femur on December 3rd. I was due to be transferred to the hospital's rehabilitation department on Sunday, December 6th, but no bed was available. On Monday, the physical therapist asked me if I would be willing to continue therapy at home. YES!

We didn't get home until around 8 PM. I was ready to fall into bed. Brushing my teeth for the first time in a week with my beloved electric toothbrush, I was surprised that the toothpaste tasted so awful. "Oh, well, " I thought, "maybe the Oxycodone I'm on is making it taste funny." The next morning I saw that I had brushed my teeth with hydrocortisone cream. YUK!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009


During my week at the hospital, I spent a lot of time contemplating my wrist band. Name, admission date, admitting doctor's name, birth date. Over in the corner: "WAH."  What was this? An indication of my emotional state at the time of admission? On Day Six, the light dawned. WAH = Washington Adventist Hospital.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Freaky Femur Fractures

As you might have read in "Bone of my Bones," my November 19th post, my sister tripped over a wheelchair (she had just recovered from foot surgery) and fractured her left femur. After surgery, an x-ray showed a hairline fracture in her right femur. She is scheduled for more surgery tomorrow.

Not to be outdone, I fractured my right femur a week ago today. Tuesday is the day I spend with our 20-month-old grandson so that his mother (our daughter) can work at home. I'm glad I had already carried Nathaniel upstairs for his nap. Back downstairs, I heard the College Park leaf-vaccuuming machine approaching the great stack of curbside leaves out front.  Looking out the window for a glimpse of this leaf-munching monster, I stumbled over Sophie, a huge sweet mutt who had parked herself in the traffic lane.  Down I went!

The next week was a blur. Ambulance ride to the emergency room at Washington Adventist Hospital (WAH), x-rays, admission to the hospital, surgery Thursday night, physical and occupational therapy. Happily, I got to come home last night. A visiting  nurse and physical therapist will come see me today. Phil has been wonderful, changing the bed, doing laundry, picking up prescriptions, injecting my blood thinner, helping me shower. He was on duty since 4 PM yesterday until 11 AM this morning, when he went to work.

I'm still in pain, but it's manageable. I feel pretty good 20 minutes after taking my Oxycontin. Although the calls and e-mails from friends and the care I received from the WAH staff probably had something to do it, I wonder if my happy mood during the past week was due to the combined effects of my  antidepressant plus Oxycodone. I think I will call Rush Limbaugh during his show today and ask for advice on doctor shopping. JUST kidding.