Happy Half-Anniversary

October 29, 2008 at 1:51 pm (der Fuß)

It was six months ago yesterday that I went under the knife to fix this broken foot. 

I celebrated by unwittingly doing most of my exercises in physical therapy yesterday with my pants undone.  Whoo hoo.


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Knee Bandwagon

September 12, 2008 at 3:00 pm (der Fuß)

I was looking over the reports of the cat scans that were done immediately after my car accident.  The medical fellows had this to say about my right knee:

Four views of the right knee with crosstable lateral and sunrise projections demonstrate advanced patellofemoral and lateral compartment degenerative changes with extensive marginal osteopathic hypertrophic changes of the lateral and patellofemoral joint lines.

In non-doctor-speak, I have a fucked up knee.  This is NOT the result of the accident.  This is probably the result of, as Crusty’s doctor diagnosed her once, being “fat and old,” and in my own case, clumsy.   For a good five years I bashed that kneecap every time I fell down.

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September 5, 2008 at 12:01 am (der Fuß)

I know (and love) a woman who walked to her bathroom and back last night without the aid of her crutches.  It was ungainly and awkward, but beautiful nonetheless.

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August 24, 2008 at 1:40 am (der Fuß)

Someone was in the kitchen (without Dinah) and needed to get something in the other room.  So, she stood up and walked across the kitchen.  But her right foot was acting weird.   She had to steady herself on the fridge.  “What the hell?” she thought.  And looked back at the crutches leaning against the counter.

I forgot I was disabled there, for a moment, and tried to walk normally.  But, at least I know I haven’t been faking it all these weeks.  My foot is not quite there yet.

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Awesomer Still

August 14, 2008 at 3:11 pm (anthropology, der Fuß)

Guess which semi-lame Bronx-born anthropologist will be chairing her panel at the Big Important National Meeting?  Yes, yes y’all.

Other awesomeness: someone I know and love drove herself to the doctor and then to work this morning.  She even wore two sneakers and matching socks.

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August 11, 2008 at 8:01 pm (Dating, der Fuß)

[Trumpet fanfare] Tonight, I walked up the stairs!

And then Ichi told me he just wants to be friends.

Good thing I’m learning to stand on my own two feet again.

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Bun of Steel

August 7, 2008 at 12:58 pm (der Fuß, Dieting and Fitness)

Forget the exercise videos.  Forget the strangely sexual and embarrassing contraptions.  Forget the D-list, aging celebrities grinning through the pain as they huff and sweat in the infomercials.  If you want to achieve a rock hard glute, I have the answer: Hop around on one foot for 17 weeks.  My left cheek is like adamantium, my friend.  Now I just have to hop on the other foot for the rest of the year to achieve some symmetry.

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Tiny Achievement

July 28, 2008 at 1:31 pm (der Fuß)

Who stood on her right foot for the first time in 4 and a half months?  Yes, it’s ME!  My bare right foot actually touched the floor, and then I put weight on it.  My left leg and both arms were helping too, thanks to the bench in the PT place.  This weekend, I also stood in the kitchen for 2 minutes (gripping onto the sink) and stood in the bathroom with help from the towel bar.

It was odd, strange, and a little unsettling.  The weight felt heavier on the right side.  I mean, that I could even feel the weight was strange.  Because my left leg just feels like it feels when I stand on it.  Sometimes it feels tired.  Sometimes the knee aches.  But I never felt gravity pull straight down through my heel.

And the tendons and ligaments, they are tight.  They are unused to working in tandem.  And my right leg feels a little shorter than the left (when in fact the opposite was true before the accident).  Stretching is key.  The entire leg will get stronger before it gets flexible.  So, once I am strong enough to walk, I will probably clomp along like Frankenstein’s monster.

In other news, the car insurance company has scheduled an appointment for me with their medical examiner in August.  Way to get on that claim as soon as possible.

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Steps-2, Quiconque-0

July 9, 2008 at 4:34 pm (der Fuß)

The renovations of my elevator are imminent and everyone but I seems to be horrified at the idea of me crawling on my hands and knees or scooting down the stairs on my backside.  My mom tried to show me some tough love last night by parking the car far from the handicapped ramp outside my physical therapy.  The object was to force me to hop over a high curb onto the sidewalk.

Not using my right leg for three months has had profound effects on mobility.  No duh.  What I mean here is that I’ve lost the automaticity of walking.  I have to think, and think hard, about my next step, and what my other limbs will have to do to make that step possible.   And, as counter-intuitive as it may seem, if the terrain is sketchy, or I’m feeling tired, or the path seems particularly complicated, I actually find it easier to take the weak leg out of the equation all together and hop with the crutches and the good leg.

So, encouraged by my mother, I walked to the edge of the curb.  And stopped.  And looked at the curb.  And gripped my crutches.  I tried to wrap my brain around getting up onto the sidewalk.  Nothing came to me.  I put the crutches on the curb, but couldn’t get enough purchase to lift myself up.  I stood there for about 2 minutes, just looking at the ground, trying to figure out what I had to do.  And I couldn’t. 

My mother suggested holding onto the hood of the car for support.  Which SEEMED like a good idea but it was, in fact, really dumb.  But that’s what I did.  And I hurled myself onto the sidewalk and flailed my arms and lost my balance and landed on the injured foot and bashed the hell out of my wrist on the side of the crutch while my mother hovered next to me but did nothing really to save me.  I was livid.  And I yelled out, “god-fucking-dammit!”  My mother didn’t even admonish me; she knew she was wrong.

My pain and the obvious flaws in her plan did not stop her from nagging me: “You have to learn how to walk up stairs.  What’s going to happen when the elevator goes out?”

At the close of my physical therapy session, my therapist took me to the office staircase to demonstrate the sideways method of ascending the stairs.  It seemed simple when he did it, of course, because he has two working, fit feet attached to working, fit legs.  When it was my turn, things didn’t progress as well.  When I put my weight on my bad foot, it was like there was no leg in between the foot and my hip.  I was able to drag myself up one step, but it took all the strength of my arms and most of the strength of his to keep me from tumbling backwards.

So, no upright stair navigation for me, which, again, other people seem to have a problem with. TragicCrusade often says that dignity is a luxury he cannot afford.  And while he and I don’t always see eye to eye on what “dignity” means (I believe there are ways to be craven that have nothing whatsoever to do with one’s physical circumstances), I am beginning to understand a little of what he is trying to say. 

My mother (and to some extent my therapist) doesn’t like the IDEA of me crawling or scooting around on the floor, even though, to me, falling and hurting myself are far more serious concerns.  My mother worries about my clothes getting dirty.  (“Make sure you tell the super to keep the staircase clean!”–as if such a thing is possible when the entire building will be trudging up the same flights throughout the day.  How many times is the man supposed to mop?)  I told her that I just won’t wear white while the elevator’s broken.

I bought knee pads and rubber gloves.  I have moist towelettes in my bag.  I have many pairs of grey and brown pants.  I’ll be all right.

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This Boot Was Made for Walking

July 3, 2008 at 10:50 am (der Fuß)

Just got back from the doctor with promising news.  The foot, despite being swollen to the point that it resembles a scarred calzone, is healing well.  So far there are no problems with the little bones that the screws couldn’t catch.  The incision is closing up.  Range of motion has increased.

In three weeks I will be fitted with a new apparatus, one that will allow me to DRIVE.  Until then, I have been instructed to put as much weight on the foot as I can tolerate.  Still no stairs, but that will be reassessed in three weeks.

Social life, here I come!

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