Friday, February 23, 2007
Thursday, February 22, 2007
The Prosthetist didn't have the a plate with the right angle so he got as close as he could and made some minor adjustments to the leg to assist. It's a little bit more difficult to walk but it keeps me on my feet until the correct plate is received. Renee took pictures at Therapy this week but I don't have them yet. Once I get them I'll post them so you can see the plate. I stood for a minute and a half this week. Once again I was unable to stand that long a second time but I'll continue to practice.
The only other exciting news is that I have approval to buy a car so I'll have more to report on that situation soon. Once I've purchased a car it will probably still be a little while before I can actually drive it as the modifications will still need to be completed and inspected. Still, I can't believe we're finally getting close to having the car situation resolved!
Don't forget that Sunday is the deadline for recipe donations. I posted the e-mail account for recipes last week so just scroll down if you don't have it. Thank you so much for all the support you've shown. I'm truly honored and your support helps me feel much more comfortable as I move toward the next set of prostheses. This Tuesday I'll be meeting with Dr. Carbone, Renee, and the Prosthetist and we'll be talking about the C-legs. Insurance has finally paid off the first set so we can start seriously discussing this next step. Keep your fingers crossed!
Monday, February 19, 2007
Sunday, February 18, 2007
Before I get into that I should update everyone on the car situation. The new wheelchair works well. It's made out of aircraft aluminum so the frame is very light. Dad and I spent yesterday checking out different cars. The sales people at the different dealerships brought the cars I wanted into the service bays so that I could test getting the the wheelchair in and out. The selection is now down to the Ford Focus and the Honda Civic.
The modification needs have been sent to Indiana Voc Rehab so they can start the bidding process for the mechanical work. The modifications consist of hand controls for the brake and accelerator, a spinner knob for the steering wheel, and a guard to go infront of the brake and accelerator pedals. The guard is removable so people with legs can still drive the car.
Once I've purchased a vehicle it'll be sent to the company that wins the bidding process to do the work. I've spoken with the two companies that are bidding on the job and they both said that the modifications should only take a day. After that several characters who have been involved in the story have to meet with a federal inspector who will ensure that all safety standards are met. Once that's done I'll have my car! I want the process completed by mid April at the latest. The councilor from Voc Rehab says it will take much longer than that but all the other characters see no reason why mid April won't work.
So, I have some bad news, I broke my left leg today.
Now that you've recovered from the shock, I should tell you that what bone I have left is fine. It's the metal part of the leg that I managed to break. The Titanium and industrial strength Aluminum leg is the part that I broke. My housekeeping supervisor says that if I could manage to break that then she's not giving me anything anymore.
I was walking at church and my left knee bent as I was stepping forward with my right leg. I collapsed on top of the leg instead of falling forward or backward. Someone commented on the fact that, with all the snow outside, I decided to fall inside on carpet! When I got the legs out from underneath me I could tell something was wrong. I was sitting on the floor with my legs straight out in front of me and my left knee wouldn't go down to the floor. Once I go back to standing my left foot was up on the toe and I couldn't get the heel on the floor so, no walking.
Several people asked if I was ok. I replied that I was fine but my leg was broken. Some folks asked how much this would set me back. The fact is that it shouldn't set me back much at all. I won't have to deal with a doctor or a cast. I just need to go to the body shop!
Thursday, February 15, 2007
Thursday, February 08, 2007
Exhausting, this week has been...
I realize this isn't really early and that most of you are probably up at 6 or earlier every day. But I've been sleeping till 9am regularly for over a year. Up until this week I still had Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday to sleep in. Before the accident I got up pretty early and stayed at work pretty late but I still had two days a week to sleep in. I'm not even working full time and I only get one morning to be lazy!
I've fallen asleep on the couch several nights this week. When that happens, my 15 minute ritual of bedtime becomes a 45 minute task. The increased activity is helping though. I stood without holding on to anything for 30 seconds at therapy and walked at least 500ft. without stopping for a break. That felt great!
I realized, as I was checking for comments each day, that I had not answered one of the previous questions in last weeks blog. The one that I did last Thursday. The one with the pictures. I kept checking that one, thinking that there might be more comments than usual. There were actually less than usual but that's beside the point. The question I hadn't answered was about how to contact me off of the blog.
Since the blog is a public venue, and I don't necessarily know who's out there, I'm not going to post personal contact info. If you are comfortable putting your e-mail address in a comment, I will try to contact you. However, many of you know that I'm very bad at responding to e-mails so, I'm not making any promises. If you're not comfortable putting your info in a comment the only thing I can recommend is to find out if the person that told you about the accident knows my e-mail or how to get it.
This is actually kinda important because some of the women at my Dad's office, the Puzzle Palace, have been scheming to find a way to assist me without giving me sweets. (veiled hint here) Instead of giving me sweets they've come up with a way to give me the instructions to make/bake the sweets and other things. They're compiling a recipe book which will be sold as a fund raiser and will also be entered into a contest. (The funds being raised will probably go towards the C-Legs (Argh! I'm goin' on a boat!) if you don't know what I'm talking about then you obviously didn't read last weeks update!) If you are interested in either contributing a recipe or puchasing one of the books, once it's done, then you should contact us.
An interesting dilemma we find ourselves in. I'm asking you to contact us but I'm not telling you how to contact us. A little detective work, on your part, will be required.
At least until the masterminds of this scheme tell me how people should contact us. Once I know that I'll post the info. The thing is I don't usually know what I'm going to say until I type it and 11:38pm is too late for me to call anyone from that generation. (or most of the people from mine too.)
Oh yeah! I got the new wheelchair today! I'd include a picture if I thought people would look at it...
Did you know there were pictures on the last update?
(That was for my Niece.)
Sunday, February 04, 2007
Thursday, February 01, 2007
Here are pictures of the Quilt! The quilt squares are filled with messages from friends and family that were written while I was in the hospital. I've tried many times to put these on the blog but it hasn't been working. I'll try to get more in the future. Including the new cat, who now sits on my lap when I wheel into the bedroom each night. He also has a habit of wanting attention when I'm on the floor to exercise.
The exercises of death, also known as Pilates, focuses on abs constantly while working other muscles as well. The ones that focus solely on abs consist of laying on your back, legs in a table top position, arms stretched out, and then curling into a crunch using your abs to curl. Once curled, the arms are either stretched out past your knees or your hands are behind your head with elbows pointing out. You then pulse forward with your abs 15 times, then hold, then pulse your knees toward you with your lower abs 15 times, then hold, then pulse both 15 times, then hold. You then do the same thing all over again except doing crisscrosses or focusing on one side at a time. The next day you feel so sore you would actually welcome death. I get a similar feeling whenever I have to deal with the insurance company.
I had to call them today. The actual process of walking with the prostheses is starting to feel natural enough that I don't think about each step anymore. This is a good thing but, when I'm not thinking about it, I have a habit of missing the motion that makes the knees bend. When that happens I always feel like I'm going to fall. I've caught myself everytime but it's getting dangerous. This is a big sign for me that it's time to get the permanent set of legs. Insurance needs to finish paying for the training wheels first.
Of course, they are some pretty snazzy training wheels. They've paid for all but one knee joint. At least it gives me a chance to vent my frustrations over the phone. The insurance staff ultimately breaks down and tries to help. Hopefully I'll see some results soon. Once that is paid off we can start the process of getting C-legs.
The c-legs will be my permanent legs. They have a microprocessor in them that controls the hydraulics in the knee. It reads how I'm moving my upper legs and swings the knee to match. They also have sensors that recognize uneven ground and my balance. The microprocessor makes changes to the hydraulics at a speed of 50 times per second. They'll give me added stability and, eventually, I should be able to lose one of the crutches permanently.
That will help out tremendously at work. I've been trying to leave the wheelchair in the office as much as possible but frequently have to stay in the wheelchair because I'm carrying something in my lap. If I had a hand free I'd be more mobile. Two days a week has been good for me. Next week I'll be adding a third day. I've noticed a little bit of a drain in my energy level so it'll be interesting to see how this affects me.
I know this has been long but I do want to comment on two TV shows I watch. Last week on Smallville, Clark was going crazy and Lex was a double amputee. He was yelling at Clark about how he had to spend his life in a wheelchair. He's Lex Luthor! He could have the most advanced pair of legs designed and built in a week!
The other show was an episode of Stargate SG-1, (season 9 on DVD) in which one of the heroes was remembering seeing his dad for the first time after his fathers legs had been amputated. He was a young kid and his father made him feel like everything was going to be okay. After that it showed a memory of them together years later walking in a park. The father was using two crutches similar to mine and was leaning over just a little more dramatically than I do, but he seemed to be comfortable with the effort. Hopefully by the end of this year I'll be able to walk as comfortably with only one crutch. Hats off to SG-1 for being positive about amputees walking and giving me a visual of a goal.