Monday, June 12, 2006

Cleanliness is Next to Godliness...

...but that is so much easier said than done when you're dealing with a broken ankle! First, I'm not allowed to get my cast wet, so it has to be wrapped in a plastic garbage bag and then sealed shut with special plastic water-proof tape. To take a shower, I have to back myself into the shower with my crutches, hop over the lip of the shower stall, and then back myself into a folding chair that I have set up inside the shower. I then lean forward and set my crutches up outside the shower door. Once I'm done, I drag a towel inside the stall with me, towel off as best I can sitting down, then reach outside of the stall and put the towel over the top of the toilet seat. I have to use the crutches to help me hop back over the lip of the shower stall and then back myself on to the towel on the toilet seat to finish drying off. To get dressed, I pull my undies and pants up as far as I can sitting down, putting them on over my big bulky cast first, and then I have to push off the toilet to a stand so that I can pull them up the rest of the way - standing on the good leg. To brush my teeth or blow dry my hair, I rest my right knee on the corner of the sink for balance while standing on my "good leg." By the time I have maneuvered myself through this little ritual, I am usually drenched in sweat and exhausted. The simple things we take for granted.

Tonight I desperately wanted to soak in a warm bath and read a book. To do that, I had to lay my crutch across the top of the bathtub so that I had a support for my leg. Once again, I wrapped the right leg in a garbage bag, sealed with the special plastic water-proof tape. I sat on the edge of the tub and lowered my good leg down into the tub, then lifted my bad leg from the side and set it on the crutch. It's actually moderately comfortable - better than you might think. But after a while, you start to cramp up. Getting out of the tub is a little trickier because I can't reach to pull the plug on the drain with my leg elevated, so I am trying to maneuver myself around with the tub still full of water and slippery. Sometimes - like tonight - I can pull myself up and sit on the edge of the tub to dry off. Other times - like last week - I have to call for my husband to help me. I feel like a toddler. A helpless toddler. Again - the simple little things we take for granted.

The slightest little effort takes so much energy. I scanned the Internet for statistics on how many calories my healing must be requiring. I didn't find anything. I would be surprised if I haven't lost some weight in the past 4 weeks since I have very little appetite, it's difficult for me to get up and fix myself a snack if I'm hungry, and every bit of movement requires so much effort. I do feel a whole lot weaker than I did before the accident. I also find that I don't sleep as well at night - probably because I do so much lying around during the day. Sometimes it's hard to get comfortable in bed at night. Sometimes my foot throbs and I get that antsy feeling because I can't get comfortable. If I go for a few days without good sleep, I will break down and take a Valium (which they gave me right after surgery). That often helps, but I certainly don't want to become dependent on them to sleep.

I guess antsy is a good way to describe how I feel about everything right now. My mind is clear enough now that I am off my medications that I WANT to be doing more - but my body still won't allow it. I'm looking forward to the next milestone - cast removal on July 6th. That's the light at the end of the tunnel right now.

In the meantime, at least I'm clean!


Anonymous said...

Hi there,my name is David,26 from N.y and broke my ankle and know exactly what your going through,really sucks!!!Anyway if you want to complain to someone that understands e-mail me,

Kim Buchanan said...

Hi David!! Best of luck on your recovery!