Sunday, May 14, 2017

Things That Make You Say Owie!

I've had a very interesting two weeks. Not in a good way. This should have my Tumbles and Stumbling heading to it because that was the start. A stumble followed by a hard fall. I was walking towards the rabbitry trying to unkink the garden hose.

The south side of the property is bordered by a 10-foot high ridge line covered in small trees and ivy. There is a sort of leveled patch (about 16 feet wide between the ridge and the house). This is where I was walking. There is a thick undergrowth of ivy now
covering the area until we get the new driveway built. I'm focusing on the two hundred feet of hose and trying to straighten it.My AFO clad foot caught on the vines. I pitched forward without anything handy to grab for regaining my balance. I went down hard on my left knee, finally stopping my forward momentum with my forehead colliding with the ground.  Seeing stars was an understatement. My whole world was cockeyed for a few minutes. I tried to get up. I failed. I failed again and again. There I was sitting on the ground. It was a "help! I've fallen and can't get up: moment. I hollered for Mel to help me up. This was one of the reasons for me not living alone anymore. We had been planting the front vegetable and herb gardens. The last thing we had to do was water them in...thus the need for me straightening the hose.

Well, my body was already hurting because of my post stroke spasticity and the Botox wearing thin. With my advancing age, I knew I'd feel worse tomorrow from this fall. I always do. As expected, I had the bruising and scrapped knees and elbows that usually accompanies such falls outside. I found each and every one of them when I showered later. I truly did not know how banged up I really was until my Botox started kicking in. Similar to my bad fall just after my stroke when I tore my AC ligament in my shoulder. This time it was my left (functioning) knee.

About two weeks later, I could barely able to bear my own weight. Climbing stairs to get out of the house or back into the house brought tears to my eyes. Of course, the Botox was kicking in again so I noticed the pain more. I couldn't brush it off as my left knee compensating or being strained by the affected side.

I went to my PC. Sure enough, a badly sprained left knee and deep tissue bruising down to the bone. Nothing broken or torn, thank God. But then comes my dilemma. His orders...stay off of it. Now for normal folks this is fairly simple to do with crutches or a cane. But, for a stroke survivor who only has one fully functioning side? It's impossible. Sure my roommate can cook , clean, garden, tend to the animal, etc. But what about things she can't do for me like going to the bathroom. Sitting down and rising up from the commode has been killer. Even with a wheelchair there are transfers in and out of bed, and such. While I can walk with my AFO, I still depend on my functioning side to do most of the grunt work.

The "stay off it" lasted about three days. I went stir crazy. I wanted to be out with our new chicks, our rabbits, and the garden. Those three days felt like weeks by comparison. There's only so much time you can spend on the computing, knitting, and watching television. My mind was turning to mush and for an active person like me, that was as long as I could stand inactivity. Yes, it hurts to move my knee and honestly, it was close to a week before I tried the stairs. Going down I always lead with my impaired leg, but climbing up I lead with my functioning leg. I knew that if I was going to climb four steps down, I'd have to be able to make it back up again. I satisfied myself, grudgingly, with a porch view of our homestead.

Today, I'm back to taking the stairs again. I still grimace at climbing back up the four steps, but I'm doing it ever so s l o w l y. But cane in hand, I walked around the garden beds today. I couldn't help myself picking a few weeds that have popped up with the rains. Should I be? When has that ever stopped me? But then again, if you don't use it; you lose it right? Yes, I should probably have given it more down time to heal, but if it ain't broke then I should be fine. It's stiff from all my inactivity, but I am using my cane. I had gotten to the point that I rarely used it close to the house but until the pain is gone, my shadow (cane) will be with me constantly again. I'm taking things slow for the time being.

But it makes me wonder. What if I had broken or torn something. How could I function? I mean they make a hemi walker for us one functioning sided folks, but what if you had no functioning side? What could I do then for weeks or months it would take for me to heal? Would I be bed bound the whole time? What a scary thought. I'll just resign myself to being more careful so I won't have to find out. Yeah, you believe that, don't you?!

Nothing is impossible.

4 comments:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Definitely take care of yourself so you don't have to find out. Glad the fall wasn't serious. I can just see you stubbornly wandering your garden. But I would go stir crazy as well.

Barb Polan said...

What would you do? You'd be using your affected side as your dependable one (leg, not hand). It's a crash course in recovery, I found after having my unaffected knee operated on. It's my hand I worry about - My affected leg is much more capable, as legs go, than my arm/hand.

Sounds like you should be using your cane outside, at least when you're in the ivy.

Hugs.

Rebecca Dutton said...

I can relate to the fear and pain. I fell on my patio last year when I was struggling with a stiff garden hose. I replaced it with a flexible hose and look down at my feet when I am handling the hose.

Zan Marie said...

{{{{hugs}}}} It's always something, isn't it? Courage, my friend!