STARTED OUTPATIENT PHYSICAL THERAPY
Had two visits thus far, go back tomorrow. The first visit was just okay. I was having some nerve pain in my left leg so it was difficult to do a whole lot during the evaluation. This pain has been a new visitor the last week or so. It comes and goes and mainly strikes when I have weight on a certain area and seems to be exaggerated by certain angles (such as when I’m sitting with my leg extended which happens to be the angle to put the leg on and off; it usually feels much better when I’m standing). When the pain strikes, it’s like a sudden bolt that often feels like someone dropped a heavy weight on the front of my ankle. I guess I could characterize this as phantom pain which I luckily haven’t had to experience yet – just strange phantom sensations. The good news is the pain seems to be improving this week. I pray that it will just go away.
The second PT visit was much better as the pain wasn’t as pronounced that day. I was able to do the exercise bike, leg press machine, various other strength exercises and even took a run at the elliptical! The elliptical was Aaron’s crazy idea as we have one at home. He is like my PT/drill sergeant around here for my PT homework! I’m hopeful tomorrow’s PT visit will be full of more progress.
WENT TO TARGET
First store I’ve been to since the accident. My Mom took me. I was like a squirrel stocking up nuts for the winter, buying everything we might possibly need for the next several weeks! :) I share this as a simple reminder to not take for granted the little things of normal everyday life. It is still humorous to me a simple errand like this can be a big deal to me right now.
KEPT RIDING THAT ROLLER COASTER
I’ve mentioned this analogy before, but it is so spot-on I must continue to use it. I feel like I’m fine one moment and then the next I feel like I plunge somewhere not-so-fine – just like a roller coaster. The good news is the “I’m fine” moments dominate, sometimes lasting for days without interruption. But when a not-so-fine moment hits, it’s not fun. There are the common monsters…I have the “why me?” times, the “I want my old life back now please!” times, the “why do I have to go through this?” times, etc. I know all of this is normal and generally I don’t stay in the valley for long. Like I’ve said before, I have an arsenal of tools I go to when I need to pull out of the moment. Of course sometimes you just have to ride the moment out, too.
This is all just part of the process. I do take solace in the fact that I keep getting told I should be able to do everything I used to be able to do before, maybe just a bit differently. This always gets me through and makes me feel extremely grateful. Prayers for my continued recovery are gladly and humbly accepted!!
AKA our annual family gathering. This consists of three Roy brothers, seven Roy first cousins, spouses for all and twenty-one from the next generation (Morgan is #21 :). They traveled from near and far, burning up the highways north from Texas and south from the twin cities and Wisconsin, as well as various Kansas locations. Those of you who know me know how much I enjoy Roy weekends so this was a perfectly timed event. We had a great time as usual, which was good for my soul. The weekend included a lot of laughter and of course some good music with a makeshift kitchen dance floor. I had my leg on and was able to participate a little bit. The walker serves as an interesting dancing prop! It was the closest I had felt to “normal” in a long time.
During the weekend, we also had an awards ceremony for the three Roy survivors of 2013. For our relatively small group, we had multiple near-death experiences this year. My cousin’s husband was in a bad hit and run car accident that included those moments of thinking this might be the end. It resulted in a broken back but thankfully he has fully recovered. My accident was event number two. The third struck my cousin’s thirteen year-old son. He was bitten in the Achilles by a copperhead snake. He was rushed to the hospital and had to have a couple of doses of the anti-venom meds. Thankfully he is fine now sans a sore wound that is still healing. He does now have a great story for a teenage boy! So as they say, things happen in threes. We are all very lucky. As we said this weekend, we believe God loves Roys. :)
EXPERIENCED LEG JEALOUSY
A lot of people out there have legs. I know this is profound. :) Getting out of the house a bit more has been great. However, being in public made me notice how many people have two functional legs. Most everybody seems to be walking around regardless of age, health or circumstance. I found myself actually feeling angry at this observation. I know others can relate if you’ve gone through anything difficult before. You notice what you don’t have and seem to see it everywhere. I have noticed this strange jealously fading already which is good because last I checked most people do have legs!! I will offer up a challenge to use those legs – be glad you have them. (I hope and pray and plan to use my altered legs as soon as possible!).
DECIDED TO EMBRACE MY BIONIC-NESS
I’m sure I will seek multiple solutions over time, but in the short term, I’ve decided to embrace the fact that I have a prosthetic leg vs. try to hide it. My first socket is the plain version but I am going to get mine “tattooed” for round two here in a couple of months. I’ve seen a cheerleader at the University of Arkansas rock an awesome zebra leg, a beautiful young woman here in KC has a custom floral design and a 19-year old athlete I just met has a Nike and Chiefs combo leg. I’m in the process now of deciding what my “tattoo” will be. I never thought I’d get an actual tattoo, so this is a new line of thinking for me. I will be getting another few sockets (the part you design) over the next year or so as my body normalizes, so at least I don’t have the pressure of an actual tattoo just yet – I can change mine!
GOT MY AFO TODAY
That’s Ankle Foot Orthodic I’ve learned. Just AFO will do if you’re down with the lingo. :) This brace is for my right leg as you know and assists in support and walking. I’ve been using a bulky black orthodic boot until now which protected the sizeable wound I have on my calf. My doctor said my wound was looking healed enough to move to this next stage which is a good thing. The AFO won’t necessarily allow me to do more than I’ve been doing with the boot, it’s just the longer-term version of what I’ll use on my right leg. On a related note, my right leg has been able to function decently well in a variety of situations which has been good to see. My Prosthetist and Physical Therapist agreed my case of foot drop is better than other cases they’ve seen. I’ll keep you posted on how I do getting used to this new brace. Only thing I don’t like about it thus far is it has a Velcro strap…I was hoping to permanently escape the sound of Velcro as I’ve grown weary of that noise. Otherwise, it seems to be just fine.
MADE A NEW GOAL: GET IN GUINNESS BOOK OF WORLD RECORDS :)
As I was on my daily pursuit to actively think positive, I was considering (as I often do) what could be unique opportunities for me because of this journey. Many ideas have come to me. The funniest and most random was the notion of getting in the Guinness Book of World Records. My thinking on this subject is my competition has been reduced dramatically now that I have a prosthetic limb. I haven’t spent one second actually researching this goal, but I imagine it would be something like: “First woman with a prosthetic leg to do x”. I’m thinking x = something simple and silly. More to come on this subject as well - I’m open to suggestions. :)
Enjoy the sunshine today. Don’t let anything weigh you down that won’t matter in five years. Enjoy your friends and family. Have a great week.