Saturday, June 7, 2014

Fear of falling part 2

Yes I still have that fear of falling because my balance isn't what it used to be, nor is it what it should be.  I will never have balance like I had when I was a teenager, or a young mom balancing two babies as well as myself.  But my mind tells me I can do all that stuff still.  Then I fall.

Fortunately, my chiropractor is working on my balance as well as my sciatic nerve issues.  I sometimes feel that both my balance and sciatica are getting better, but then there are days like today when the only relief I can get is -- well there isn't any relief really.

I go on with my life, though.  Today, I did clean up the kitchen and started my silent dishwasher.  I mean it is really silent, but then I'm slowly or rapidly going deaf, depends on one's point of view.  Alan can't hear the dishwasher either and he can hear a TV with little or no sound emitting from its speakers.

It used to be just the opposite.  I could hear a very low-tuned TV, and then about two years ago I noticed that Alan's level of hearing the TV was better than mine at which point I asked my doctor to check my ears.  She looked and said it wasn't wax buildup and suggested I see an ENT doctor. 

However, two knee surgeries and a three-break fall put the ENT on back burner.  I'm still trying to get my schedule so that Alan and I are only at doctor's offices one day per week and at physical therapy two other days per week.  That just about wears me out. 

I want you all to remember this is the ramblings of an elderly 71 year old woman in body, but her mind is still in the early 60s. 

Another shocker this week.  Two weeks ago I went to my primary physician (they used to be called family practice doctors) and was weighed.  I didn't like what I saw.  Then I went back to the chiropractor this week and he weighed me and I was twenty pounds lighter than my other doctor.  Now, that's the second time that has happened, so I figure one of the scales is wrong.  Guess which one I'm hoping is correct.  When you battle weight, you'll take as few pounds as you can get, and it isn't at my primary physician's office.

And, since I was in high school I have lost 3 inches.  So you see, I'm vertically challenged as well as horizontally gifted.


Friday, December 27, 2013

Fear of falling

I'm afraid to let go.  I have a walker and I have such a fear of falling that I won't let go and try using a cane again.  Yet, sometimes I forget my walker and walk unaided, then I remember I have nothing to hold onto and I panic.  I panic and stand still right then and there -- and hope I don't fall while I'm waiting to get myself straightened out mentally and look for my walker.  I walk around holding onto each piece of furniture along the way.

On the other hand...I have made, what I consider to be a lot of progress since I left Forest Hills Care Center.

I loved Alissa, the occupational therapist assigned to me.  She was terrific and she taught me quite a bit about how to exercise slowly and carefully, and if it hurt to decide whether I wanted to hurt myself, since I had two badly broken bones in my wrist, or stop, wait, and think.  Was what I was doing a helpful hurt or a harmful hurt? 

There are at least two kinds of hurts I discovered in therapy.

The hurt I got in physical therapy was, in my opinion, hurtful hurt.  I say this because when I came home I only used the wheelchair we have for 20 minutes then I got up, used my walker and used it improperly, I'm sure, but I didn't used the wheelchair again.  And everyday for the five days after I got home until the state of KY sent a physical therapist to take care of me, I got better and better, and so by the time he got here, I knew what to do, he knew I knew what to do, and he didn't have to stay with me for very long. 

He didn't bother with the hand/arm at all.  Just let me hang it down or lift it up, or rest it across my chest (if it hurt), and I went from there.  In fact, there are days when it hurts pretty bad still, and it feels like the screws are trying to get out from under my skin.  I know that is in my imagination, but there it is.

I wish I could remember his name, because he was such a good therapist, not that the PTs at Forest Hills weren't, they were, but they pushed me in the wrong direction, when I was telling them what I needed to be able to do when I got home, they were going by the book.  Sorry, but you can't always go by the book.  Sometimes there are instances when the patient knows better what he/she needs that the therapist does.  And, of course, I rebelled, which didn't help any.  I really feel sorry for the physical therapists who were assigned to me this time.  I wasn't a good patient at all even though I really, really wanted to be. 

Pain does things to a person that people who have never had pain don't understand.  I had to push through terrible fibromyalgia pain because the therapists had a time schedule and there were no sick days for the sick people at Forest Hills Care Center.  :)

Anyway within one week after my release I was sitting and standing unaided, with the walker right in front of me.  I could get myself up without using my hands.

Now for the real reason for this memo, or whatever you want to call it:

I cooked a wonderful Christmas dinner without any help, except from Stovetop, Kroger Cherry Pie Filling, and Birds Eye frozen corn.  I made a chirkey (that's what I call  a roasting chicken that tastes like a turkey.  I have learned how to spice up some butter to put between the skin of the bird and the bird itself which changes the taste of the chicken to taste somewhat like a turkey.  Anyway, it was delicious, and I had enough left over to make my annual pot of soup!

I made a cherry pie just before I started the dinner.  A bit late, I know, but it was still warm by the time we had dessert and the ice cream melted over it, just like in a restaurant. 

Alan and I ate alone on Christmas night, and the dinner was really, really good.  And...I made it myself.  It was my first large effort at cooking a lot of dishes all at once and then putting them on two plates, artfully arranged, instead of just slopped on the plate, and God sure did bless us and our food on Christmas night. 

And, oh yeah, I did it without my walker.  But I do have a galley kitchen so I didn't let go of the counter on one side without have a touch of the counter on the other side.

I think that's about all from this end for now.


Friday, November 29, 2013

Broken bones

This happened in October.  And a lot of people have asked me how I could possibly break my arm and both of my legs.  Well, I really don't know how it happened.

On October 11 after dinner I was cleaning up something from the library floor (in our home).  As I got up and almost reached the top of my rising from a squatted position, I got a jolt from my sciatic nerve and fell backwards and hit my wrist on one of the book shelves and hit my head on the floor.  I knew I had broken my wrist because it was bent in a really awkward position. 

Alan got me to the ER along with help from the EMTs of Campbell County, KY.   I was admitted.  I had grabbed my arm and pushed it back into position right after I fell and this enabled the doctors to hang my harm by two of my fingers for an hour to get the bones positioned so the doctor could continue the process -- OUCH. He told me it was similar to a dislocated shoulder being put into place -- OUCH. 

They then set the arm with plaster and elastic bandage -- hard to explain this type of cast.  It was not all the way around my arm just on the bottom of the arm and up behind the elbow with the elbow bent so that my arm would be comfortable in a sling.  Well, that didn't work because the case came off in my sleep. 

In the meantime, Dr. Lee a surgeon with the Wellington Group told me he was going to put a rod and pin in my arm on Saturday, October 16.  So they put another useless cast on my arm and sent me home. 

On Friday, the 15th I had a meeting with Dr. Lee to discuss the surgery and his PA put on another cast.  This time it stayed on.

On Saturday morning (the 16th and day of surgery) Alan was concerned because I wasn't getting ready to go to the hospital fast enough.  In an effort to help me move faster he tried to help me get off the bed in my office where I was getting things together to take to the hospital with me.  I basically slid to the floor when he tried to help me up.  I couldn't get up.  So, once again, we called 911 and the EMTs came to get me up.  They couldn't get me up to my feet either.  They got me up with effort and put me into the ambulance gurney.

Apparently when the EMTs left me off they told the ER people to check out my legs.  He thought there might be a break somewhere.  Well, good for him.  There were two breaks, both in the same bone of each leg.  Both in the same place in the bones of each leg.  Hmmm.

I don't know when or how I broke my legs.  I haven't a clue.  I don't remember anything painful in my legs the day after my arm break until Saturday morning.  I walked all over the place during the week after the arm break and Saturday morning.  On Saturday morning the pain I felt was in my ankles which I badly sprained.  Those sprains must have happened when the EMT tried to get me to stand up.

I don't remember much of Saturday's visit to the ER or what occurred.  I know I was admitted and instead of the surgery being on Saturday it was rescheduled for Sunday.  Dr. Lee was on call that weekend and so he did the surgery.  He decided not to do any surgery on the legs telling me that they would heal naturally with therapy.  I didn't believe him.

Back I went to the Med-Surg floor and everyday I was updated on the progress with my legs which were not cast or balloon wrapped.  They were just left alone.

On October 20th I went to the rehab center where they worked with both my arm (OT) and my legs (PT). 

I'm home now, my arm feels great and I'm typing as I normally would have before I broke the arm.  My legs hurt a bit, but not so bad that I can't walk with a walker.  I might mention here that it was my right arm which I broke and I am right handed.  Doing things with my left hand was extremely difficult.  And getting to a standing position with only one good hand was the most difficult, especially since my legs weren't working.

I was told in PT that I would have to use the walker the rest of my life.  I plan to walk back into the PT unit of the therapy center and show them they were wrong.

I have a new PT instructor now who is tough but recognizes when he has pushed enough.  OT hasn't showed up yet.  The nurse comes 3 times a week for now.

That's where I am at this point, so...


Saturday, August 24, 2013


I cannot believe that summer is almost over.  How do I know this?  I feel like a blanket is being thrown over me.  In the morning and in the evening the light from the sun is diminished.  I don't like the dark of the coming days.  I do love the weather, though.

We've had a coolish summer, except for a few days in early July, and now in late August.  It is always hot when we close the pool and have those last couple of days of pool weather.

I cannot believe that the leaves on the trees are already changing and some are even red! 

Well, Alan is getting better every day.

I have been walking a bit.  And in therapy I am now using a tread mill.  It's the first I've used it in this series of back therapy exercises.  I'm walking further with each trip and I am still feeling quit well, pain wise.  Oh, I still have days, but mostly I am pretty good.  Now, it's time to work on balance so I don't fall so often.

I fell a couple of weeks ago.  Twice in two days.  The first fall was in front of my beautician's shop.  I knew I was going to fall.  I had to cross (on foot) one of those speed bumps, and I just knew that I wasn't going to make it.  I even stopped to figure out the best way to cross the bump.  Well, I figured wrong and fell on my right side. 

The second fall was flat on my knees, rather than on my side.  My left knee hurt pretty bad and it clunked when I walked so I went to the surgeon who had replaced my knees and all is well.  No fractures or anything.  The knees are still the way they are supposed to be and the knee-cap is still where it's supposed to be.  I'm told that's the most important thing -- having the kneecap in place.

So now I'm getting ready to walk the puppy who is almost a dog. The past six months have gone so fast.  An almost nine-month-old pup is almost a dog, right?  She's still pretty small -- about the size of a large cat.  She still cute.  And she is still chewing everything in sight.  She can tear apart a rubber toy in 15 minutes and a cloth toy can be unstuffed in five minutes.  She is, however, passing a new obedience test every day and she is FINALLY potty-trained.

I finally got her a real bone to chew on.  Today she doesn't want to chew on anything else.  Yeah!

Well, I'm going to walk her now.  Good-by until next time.


Saturday, May 4, 2013

It's Alan's turn

I've been blogging about the ailments that oldsters have to put up with.  And I've been writing from my point of view. 

I was thinking, though, that my dear husband has been suffering quietly for almost 14 years, ever since he was diagnosed with multiple myeloma (which is still in remission).  My dear husband grew tumors in his spine (the bony part) which pushed out on the bones and fractured them.  The tumors went away when he started chemotherapy, but the bones have calcified and he has continuous back pain.  The only relief he can get is in his recliner.

Now, let me address recliners:

Alan's recliner which has a handle on the side (it's a LazyBoy) and he is having more and more difficulty raising and lowering the foot thingy.  I, on the other hand, have one of those ejecto-style recliners and it's in bad shape.  It's deteriorating at an alarming rate.  The lever on my recliner is a button that is pushed to raise or lower it.  I, too, am having difficulty with my ups and downs because the push-button thing is wearing out, just like me.

I have to say, I prefer my recliner to Alan's, and so does he.  Medicare helped pay for my recliner back before I got my knees fixed, but after my first bout with sciatica.  I can get very comfortable in my recliner even when I'm suffering from sciatica.  Alan can't get comfortable in either. 

However, we solved a problem with his back, in order to help him get some relief.  We got a therapeutic mattress.  All he has to do is lay on it.  It conforms to his back and he is fine.  All the pressure is taken off his spine.  Unfortunately, there's not much he can do in bed except read and sleep. 

I realized today that I'm tired of reading, sleeping, moving around, cleaning, and cooking.  I think I was a pretty good housekeeper until all the leg/back problems started unenabling me.  Now, I don't even care. 

Just an example of how much I don't care:  earlier this week the shelf/hanger rod on my side of the closet came out of the wall.  You wouldn't believe the size screw that was used to put the shelf up and no molly.  Just two screws into the wall  and one of them not even into a stud.  The screws were not even as long as the screws used to hold chair seats on a dining-room chair.  It's a miracle it held up for 12 years.

Well, all my clothing is piled up on the chairs and sofa in the living room.  If I need to get dressed, I have to sort through the piles. 

Now, if this was five years ago, I would have sorted through the clothing, thrown out the no-longer-in-style clothing, the too big clothing, the too small clothing, etc., and put the clothes in piles of dresses, blouses, slacks, and skirts.  Now I have no idea where anything is. 

Oh, well.  Maybe tomorrow, I'll get to it and sort through the piles of clothing.  Or not.


Tuesday, April 9, 2013

It's a sign.

I realized yesterday as I was trying to decide what to do with my hair and getting input from my hair stylist, that having my hair done up like I had it when I was 18 including that color, wasn't going to do any good as far as making me look like I was 18.  We were progressing toward a more "subtle" color, talking about a "golden color" and because I have 70-year-old ears and haven't gotten an "ear horn", I thought we were talking about "olden color."

I also realized that I would look 70 even though I put my "age 69" make-up on to make me look 69.  No longer do I look 69.  I noticed that the wrinkles are deeper and more are showing themselves every day.  No matter how many tightening creams I purchase and use, the wrinkles are still there increased at warp-10 speed -- whatever warp-10 speed is.  I just made that up and it means really, really fast.

Next topic:

I had 12 days of no pain at all.  I could walk and I could walk at a pretty fast gait.  At least I was faster than my husband, which I haven't been for quite some time.  I could bend over.  I could empty and fill the dishwasher without grunting or making loud noises because I hurt.

Then I twisted my body the wrong way without realizing I had done so, and now my hip bone no longer feels like it's connected to the thigh bone or any other bone for that matter.  I feels like it's trying to get through my skin.  Unpleasant, to say the least.

Next topic:

 I am enjoying the weather -- warm but not humid.  The aviary is active again.  Lots and lots of birds flitting from branch to branch and tree to tree.  This year we have a bird's nest in our front door light fixture.  No wonder the dog has been barking at odd times! 

I also noticed that the grass is green again.  We have no daffodils or tulips yet, and I haven't seen any blooming forsythia nor tree buds.  And, I'm wondering if this hot/cold/hot/cold weather had done something to stop the buds from presenting themselves.

Well, Spring is coming and I am looking forward to the flowers of spring.  Spring flowers -- golden.

I love this time of year!


Friday, March 15, 2013


I titled this "Update" because I couldn't think of anything else to call it.

I am a member of our community's Board, and I had my first Board meeting on Tuesday.  All went well, but I signed up for two projects that are probably going to required a bit of my time.  Oh, well.  I need something else to do. NOT.  At least they are mostly sit-down chores which I can do without pain.

Doxi takes up a lot of my time. Trying to potty train her is a hassle, and keeping her from biting is a big pain as well.  Between yesterday and today, she has bit through TWO, wires -- one is the plug to my Amazon Fire, and the other was a plug to the phone charger.  I can order a new wire for the Fire, and fortunately we had an extra plug for our phone. 

We have bought some spray to keep her in only certain parts of our house.  It seems to be working, but Alan hasn't been willing to tighten up the area she's permitted to roam.

Another update on Doxi -- she is getting big, even though she is the size of a cat, she has probably doubled in size since we got her.  She's supposed to be a small dog, but she's getting bigger all the time.  How long does it take for a puppy to get to its full size?  Six months?  One Year? 

I've had a bad sciatic nerve week, but my knees are still doing so very well, and I love that they are.  Once I get past the sciatic pain upon rising from sleeping or sitting, I can do pretty well, Then when I have to bend forward, I hurt really bad again.  Those of you with sciatic pain know what I'm talking about.

Alan and I have had so many "appointments" this week.  I find all this running around very tiring.  Is it my age or is it the activity?  How I wish we could eliminate some of the doctor's appointments, but we can't.  Alan's visit to the oncologist was this week.  We almost missed it.  Everything is still fine..
We're coming up on remission of 14 years for multiple myeloma (bone marrow cancer).  Praise the Lord!  I guess all the running around is worth it after all.