Interesting life, learning how to get around on one leg. My left busted foot can’t touch the floor, so I’m doing a lot of interesting maneuvering.
I came home from the hospital with a light aluminum walker—two wheels at the front and regular legs at the back. Easy to glide along hardwood floors and hop behind. Also came home with a pair of crutches. I’m getting better on them, but any way you slice it, I can’t be up on ’em for long. All my weight resting on one leg—even if it’s a strong runner leg—makes for a hip burn pretty fast.
So. Ingenuity time.
First, exercising. I’m used to running five miles a day. Can’t take sudden total inactivity. So my first full day at home I started “running” in my chair. Knees bent, lifting the legs straight up and down, like working an invisible pump organ. I’ve always heard 2000 paces is a mile, so I count off that much for now. This uses all upper leg muscles—rather different from running. Can work up a sweat. But I can only do 100-150 in a row without stopping for a minute. I'll work up to doing a mile at a time, eventually hoping to get up to three miles. Keep in mind, by the way, my left leg is heavy with the splint and padding and bandaging. (Wednesday I get stitches taken out and a cast put on for six weeks.)
Then it’s on the floor on each side for leg lifts. Then some stomach crunches.
Second necessary ingenuity--buying accoutrements. Mark brought home a rolling workshop stool from Home Depot. Great for perching on at the sink and generally rolling around the bathroom. Here in Idaho we have a two-person tiled, walk-in shower in the master bath, but in California we have only tub showers. No can step into bathtub with one leg. I found a handy-dandy shower seat with an extension that reaches over the edge of the tub. You just plop down, swing your legs over—and you’re in. I also ordered a plastic thingy for covering the cast and keeping water out during showering. (Right now I'm taping a garbage bag around my leg.)
One more purchase—a physician’s-type rolling chair, with a footrest ring and a back. This will be great for scootin' around the hardwood floors in our California kitchen, where I'm having it shipped. I can make coffee and divine meals sitting on that thing. Be a regular holy roller.
Third, challenges. Saturday I got up and thought, “I know, I’ll bring Mark coffee in bed.” He deserves it, don’t you think—after all the wonderful care he’s been taking of me. Now I had no idea how I was going to accomplish carrying coffee up 24 stairs (yes, 24!), and using crutches. But hey, I’d figure it out.
(See what I mean? The stairs--16 on the first part, then around the corner to the right and up another 8 to the master suite. Cornering left leads to the other side of the greatroom and more bedrooms.)
So I crutched to the staircase. Went down the steps on my rear, leaving my crutches at the top of the stairs. At the bottom I picked up my walker and walker-hopped into the kitchen. The coffee was already made—it goes off automatically, being set the night before. I poured some into Mark’s Starbuck’s silver keep-it-hot-mug—the kind with a rubber top with one area left open for drinking. Then I hopped over to a drawer for some masking tape. Taped up the mug’s drinking hole. Put the mug in a plastic grocery bag. Wrapped the grocery bag tight around the mug and taped it. Took the handles of the plastic bag and tied 'em over the front brace of the walker.
So far so good. I walker-hopped back to the stairs. Now how in the heck to get the coffee up stairs, when I needed both hands to lift my rear end to the next step, all the while holding up one leg?
I butt-reversed up the 24 stairs. Pushed up on one leg at the top, grabbed my crutches and crutched into the bedroom. Sat down on the bed and untied the plastic bag. “Your morning coffee, sir.”
I tried to be nonchalant about the whole thing but couldn’t keep a wacky grin off my face. Mark just shook his head and smiled. One more antic from his dear wifey.
Speaking of Mark, he misses you all. Keeps asking if I’m telling you that he’s taking great care of me. Which he is. He’s been Mr. Step ‘n’ Fetch, Mr. Chef, Mr. Launderer and Mr. Errand-Runner.
I could get used to this.
Before we get back to our regularly scheduled programming, tomorrow I will show you some pictures. Yes, dear hubby was snapping 'em even as I languished in the snow after the accident. Oh, my. I hadn't figured out how I managed to do such a terrible number on my ankle. Then I saw the photos.
I don't wonder anymore.
Read Part 6