**I HATE THIS BLOG EDITOR and WEBSITE SECURITY! I spent three hours each last night (7/11) and today updating it day-by-day, with progress notes, comments and milestones, through the end of 7/1. I hit "Publish" and am taken instead to the stupid log-in page. I log in, go back to my blog.......and find I've lost EVERYTHING I've written for 6/27 through 7/1!!!! It saved NOTHING. So every time I write anything I'd better save it as a draft lest the auto-login protocol eat it up again. (Wondered what that "save as draft" button was for. Now I know)***
Wed. 6/27--We have a lovely late-night 41st anniversary celebration: lime seltzer, crackers, and whitefish caviar. I am using a regular-size walker and getting out of bed by myself. Did I mention the food sucks but the people are nice? And yesterday I got my hair washed, dried and flatironed (residents aren't allowed to use their own hairdryers, coffeemakers or any appliances other than laptops). Carrie brings me more clothes.
Thurs. 6/28--I transition to crutches after getting loosened up by 15 minutes on the recumbent elliptical cross-trainer. Gotta buy one used. Achieve 90 deg. flexion and full extension. Can easily lift my leg on to the bed without help from tools or my left foot. Weather is awful--stormy and HOT. I have no idea how much hotter it'll be next week! Carrie brings my guitar from home. I try one step up & down on the parallel bars in prep for trying stairs tomorrow. Results confirm I'm not diabetic and my cholesterol's excellent, so I am given actual strawberry ice cream as a snack. (I know it's real--I read the label).
Fri. 6/29-- I co-lead the "choir" (i.e., those residents who feel like singing) tonight--trading harmonies and lead vocals, adding inversions and fills on guitar. We run through the pre-printed song sheets and the octogenarians actually request Beatles tunes! Activities director drops by, gives me thumbs-up. I get in touch with Chris Farrell (from the old Barbarossa days) who will be singing at the 4th of July party and offer to help entertain, and he enthusiastically accepts. Today I transition to one crutch and try the stairs--8 steps up to the landing and down again. Piece of cake. (mmmmm.....real cake....not diet....). I make it to 98 degrees extension. Laura leaves me with an exercise guide and Lori with a 3-lb. hand weight and a fitness band.
Sat. 6/30--Yaaay! Took a lot of listening and tech support calls to Lawline.com, but I finish my CLE. (Lots of videos involved suing health care facilities and insurance companies, but I assure the staff it's nothing personal--those and the entertainment law videos are the ones during which I best stay awake). Have till 7/21 to report compliance: no fees, no fines, just click and I'm home free till 2014. This morning Ian arrives to take me to the main gym for combined OT/PT, using Cybex machines and a heavier hand weight. We also try a quad cane, and I find it's less stable than I suspect a regular cane will be. Hot out--but Gordy arrives (with my regular cane) after a storm passes and we can actually sit outside on the patio after dinner before he must leave for his show. It's so hard for him to visit me--takes a 1/2 mi. walk from the L station. One night he got here 5 min. late and was turned away. Bobby can visit late only because he's a doctor.
If you're wondering what the difference is between OT & PT: PT rehabs the actual body part injured or operated on. OT, for those who didn't have a stroke or upper-limb-or-body surgery requiring relearning basic activities like writing, dressing, cooking, etc., is upper-body strength training. Short answer: drop something on the floor. PT gets you strong and flexible enough to pick it up by yourself. OT teaches you the tools and Rube Goldberg work-arounds you need to use to pick it up if you can't reach it yourself. Until now I've had to use more tools to put on my shoes & socks than Dr. W. used to replace my knee.
I get a frantic call from Gordy: Matthew (our 16-yr-old cat) is sick and they're at the vet right now (neighborhood vet, to whom he could cab it. Matthew's original vet is closed today, as is Uptown Animal Hospital). Vet thinks he's diabetic, and can hear the heart murmur that had disappeared in 2005. Also pretty sure that his kidneys are failing, but not end-stage. Another followup call: Matthew was dehydrated, is very underweight, but perked up after some sub-cu hydration. Gordy is sent home with prescription Sci. Diet k/d wet food and a little kibble, with instructions to stop free-feeding kibble and start mixing the k/d into Friskies. Matt is to eat a can a day (he'd been noshing everyone else's wet food--they'd been getting 1/3 can plus all the kibble they wanted) and the others at least 2/3 can despite their obesity. No more whipped cream, soft treats, or bacon--no matter how plaintively and soulfully he begs. He can have catnip, and special dental treats and a nugget or two of k/d kibble. He is to come back Tues.
Sun. 7/1--On my own for PT/OT, so I use the exercise guide, hand weight and resistance band as best I can. A lazy day otherwise--spent catching up on e-mail, forums, Facebook, etc. Using the cane to get around, but not relinquishing the crutch till Laura gives me the okay tomorrow. 100 degrees out today--too hot to go out though patio is open. Bobby comes late and expresses alarm at swelling and color of my leg--says he'll insist to my assigned internist that I get a Doppler stat, to rule out DVT. For the first time since my numb foot in the hospital, I'm really nervous.