Posts Tagged ‘broken hip’

Working Smarter

April 22, 2014

In February 2011, I had client ask for several quotes on short notice.  I worked my tail off for four days straight and finished before the deadline.  However, in the process I really wrecked up my right shoulder and was in such pain – I kept thinking it would soon relax and right itself, but it didn’t.  Not only was it the ice pick in the back of my shoulder, it was the stiff neck and very sore and inflamed shoulder joint.  To be honest, I was a mess.

That began the most intense three years of my life.  I started seeing Debye for massage for the shoulder pain and found it hard to do anything for quite a while.  I hurt so much and had trouble sleeping at night – not one of my of my better periods.   I started doing better after I began massages with Debye in May or June – way too long to get help – and then things began to really show up with Mom and dementia.   Around  July and August was the time when I couldn’t leave her by herself any more.  It was a very difficult time because I was recovering from the shoulder and it meant I couldn’t go out any more.  By December I was way past overwhelm and far into over my head.

I waited to long to find help – I kept thinking “It’s not that bad” but it was.  I was brought up with “Don’t ask for help, don’t bother or burden people”.  It finally hit me – I had been doing that all my life, especially with RA!  I remember talking to my sister Ellen on the phone around that time; I mentioned the Don’t ask for help thing and she had three words for me  – Ditch it, Girl!  She knew exactly what I was talking about, all three of us had been doing it for decades.  So I asked for help from the Alzheimer’s Association and finally had the help I needed.

February of 2012 I broke my hip tripping over my Mom – that sent me to the hospital and rehab for 8 weeks with another 4 in outpatient therapy.  By that time, my doctor, my family, my friends were really worried about me.  The therapists at rehab told me if I went back to what I was doing, I would be back in rehab permanently.   I realized I couldn’t keep taking care of mom without some major help.  I had arranged caregivers during the day so I could get out for a few hours a week for a break, but it was also time to think seriously of long-term decisions.

I went through paperwork to enroll Mom in the Providence Elderplace program – they would take care of all her needs and provide caregivers when she wasn’t at the Center.  It was good for her to go to the Center and be with other people – all the staff there is wonderful with all the people.    Also, her new doctor, PT, OT and anything else she needed was there.  They helped me find a really good adult family home for Mom because she was needing more and more care.  In October 2012 we moved her there and it was just the right time.  She was still able to socialize, any longer and it would have been harder.

More paperwork, then even more to apply for Medicaid – by that time I had gotten her checking account down to $2000 and sold everything to pay her monthly bill for Providence.  At the same time, we were applying for a loan and vast amounts of paperwork for that.  February 2013 Mom was approved for Medicaid but it wasn’t until the beginning of June when the mortgage went through.  Then 4 or 5 weeks of kitchen remodel for a wonderful kitchen.  So many other things still to do for the house.  I have been trying to sell the furniture so we can have our own things around us, but not much luck.  I don’t know if I just don’t know how to do it or if something is holding me back.    Plus, so much cleaning out!

February of this year I past the 2 year mark of breaking my hip.  My rheumatologist said 70% people who break a bone will break another one within 2 years.   I was determined to be in the 30% and I made it – no falls or broken bones since the hip. So here we are in 2014 and it feels like a brand new start.  I have decided to move our furniture upstairs and my parents down to the basement.  We need to paint the living room and I want Brad to create a new mantle with crown molding.  it has been raining so consistently I haven’t had enough clear days to move furniture and not get it wet.

So what does all of this have to do with working smarter?  I had a call from the client I worked with 3 years ago when I spent four days straight on her quotes.  I had a week to update them and this time, I paced myself over the week.  Yes, it meant I worked a lot on Easter but I wanted to be able to finish on Monday and feel human.  By George, I did it!  I took my time, took breaks, went out to do things and didn’t allow myself to get antsy in the that “Got to get it down” mindset.  She has a board meeting today where she will present i – no idea if the board will go for it this time or not.  They vetoed it three years ago.

So here I am, 3 years older and a whole lot smarter and wiser.   I have been doing a lot of quotes and very happy to report a lot of them have turned into orders.  I am surprised to look up and find my life has changed a lot from Feb 2014 – I’m not sure how it happened, I know I have changed a lot as well.  I am better at asking for help, knowing that when something comes up, I can handle it, especially knowing I have friends and colleagues I can turn to for help.  If it hadn’t been for Dave Gagley and all his help with Mom’s stuff, I would have been in a rubber room.  So many people are willing and happy to help, now I have ways to help other people when they are dealing with some of what I have been doing.

The hardest part is going to see Mom twice a week at the adult family home.  She can’t really carry on a conversation in worlds I understand, though it is in a very conversational tone – she understands it but the circuits between her brain and her mouth have too many shorts now.  I read to her, take my iPad to play music she likes and of course, she loves the chocolate and cookies I bring every time.  I don’t ever want her to think I have abandoned her, so I visit and enjoy what I can with her.  She is usually glad to see me, whether she recognizes me as her daughter or just a familiar presence.

Advertisements

I Am A 30 Percenter !!!!!!!

February 24, 2014

Two years ago today – Feb 24th – I fell and broke my hip.  I had surgery to have a screw and plate put on – it was lower enough I didn’t need a hip replacement.  After about 4 days, I was sent to rehab for at least 6 – 8 weeks to heal and learn how to walk again.  I went into rehab feet first and came out on my own 2 feet with the help of a wheely walker.  After another 4 weeks of outpatient therapy, I left there with a cane.  After a  few weeks I was walking all by myself, though I took the cane to places I hadn’t been to before or if there were a lot of people around.

This is what they did for my hip, kind of explains why I spent 8 weeks in rehab.

 

Right Hip Fracture and Emergency Surgical Repair

The next time I saw my rheumatologist, she told me something interesting – 70& of people who break a bone will break another one within 2 years.  I thought to myself, I am going to be in the 30% group and now By George, I am!  Recently a friend asked why anyone, especially a doctor, would say such a thing to a patient.  Maybe it wasn’t the wisest choice of words, but I have concentrated o being in the 30% since then.  How true the whole thing is can be anyone’s guess.

I am also happy to report I haven’t fallen during those 2 years, though I did stumble against the shower door in the middle of the night.  I hit my upper arm on the glass door rail for the bathmat.  Not a very comfortable thing to do, but I didn’t fall.  The next morning I saw this huge purple bruise forming, that sucker hurt!  As I looked in the mirror not too long after, I thought “This must be what it is like to have a large tattoo” – only mine would fade and soon be gone.  Don’t think I will have a tattoo;  that’s voluntary pain and then what happens when I don’t like it any more.  More voluntary pain to remove it.

For the last two years I haven’t really thought about the 70% or the 30%, every once in a while it comes up and I choose the 30% every time.  I decided dwelling on it and being afraid of falling would be a self-fulfilling prophecy; I would rather think in terms of being the 30%.

I was also wondering if I would mark the 2nd year as the day I broke my hip; but that seemed un productive.  I didn’t “celebrate” having RA for 43 years in November, it was just a measure of time.  I see this in the same way, though no one gave me percentages with RA.  Let’s just say I have reached my goal of 2 years without a “break”.  Whether the whole things is true or not, it is now something in the past.

One interesting thing, I was sure I would set off the security scan when we left for Toronto, so I told them I would probably set it off.  So they took me to a full scan and I was done.  What surprised me was that coming through security in Toronto on our way home, nothing happened.  However, Eddie was chosen for a random scan, so he had a little more to deal with than I did.  Do you suppose they used a plastic screw and plate in my hip instead of metal?  It has me wondering.

Time to work on my next goal – not sure what it is yet, but I will be concentrating on that rather than what has happened in the past.

Yikes! The End Of The Week Already!!!!

June 7, 2013

At the beginning of the week I thought I had things well in hand – not so much at the end of it.  I was beat when I finished up the last of the moving out of kitchen stuff, I figured I could relax.  But it wasn’t to be.  I went to see my chiropractor Monday morning for my regular appointment, glad to be there because I was stiff and sore.  She really helped me with that and my shoulder, so I figured I would be able to sleep better.  So I came home and wrote about Day 1 and decided to create a new blog just for the  remodel.   I was really tired after that, so I just relaxed.

Dinner was an adventure – we still have the stove so we cooked the artichokes.  I filled the pot from the shower, then later washed all the plates, etc. there as well.  That was something because I was bending over to do it and my back wasn’t happy.  I decided the bathroom sink would work better.  A little awkward but it does the job.  We are planning on very simple meals while this is going on – sometimes we have to go to different rooms to collect what we need.

Unfortunately I didn’t sleep all that well Monday night, not sure if I was still too tired to sleep.  I started working on the new blog, then had to leave because I had to do a medical day on Tuesday.  I first went to Radiology for my Dexa Scan, I only had to take off my shoes and unhook my bra and unzip my slacks because they were also doing my spine as well.  I didn’t know that, they did it the last time, I thought it was only my right hip.  They could do my right because of the broken bone, they can’t get a match to the 2005 one – yep, it’s been that long!   I got up on the table and she positioned me, then had to reposition – telling me not to move, she would move me.  It didn’t work as well, so back she slid me to the first position.

It was a little hard for her to put me in place because of the RA, but she was very friendly, just all business.  She printed pages out for me to take to Dr. Sheets, my rheumatologist.  I found out my numbers are higher than what is normal – 28 instead of 20 or below, 4.2 instead of 3.6, no idea what they all mean but according to her I am at great risk.  Hmmmm, is it as bad as that or is that medical overanalyzing?  Of course the doc wants to put me on Fosemax-type med – been there, done that, no desire to repeat.  I will see my primary care doc on the 18th and will discuss it with him.  Otherwise, she is pleased with results of Orencia.  My blood work was done when I had the infusion, so she probably has them by now.

Up to the Infusion Center where I was able to relax, read and enjoy the view from the other corner suite – not quite the view but very nice and quiet in the corner.  The Mt. Ranier was out and I could look south to see it and the freeway – we have been having warm sunny days this week.  Everything went smoothly so I was finished by about 2:30 and home by 3.  I didn’t plan to visit Mom because it would be late when I got there.  So I said I would come Wednesday morning.

Didn’t sleep very well, something was off but I didn’t know what it was.  I went to Breakfast Club and forgot it wasn’t at the usual place – the place was dark, which gave me a clue.  We were meeting at Dr. Rob’s vet clinic, he finished the remodel and it is really wonderful,  he put an addition on that increased the size to twice the space.  I also took Vickie aside and apologized for not getting her order on the day she wanted it.  I haven’t been as diligent as I needed and I had trouble getting answers from Kristen.  That is the first one that didn’t make it to the starting gate – really bothers me.

I went to have coffee and read for a bit before seeing Mom, it was 8:30 and I usually don’t go until around 10 or 10:30.  She was sitting at the dining room table, alert and with it.  We talked a bit and then ran out of things to say.  It is hard because I don’t know about telling her about the house, she would want to come and see it.  The things foremost on my mind I am not sure about telling her – would it just confuse her or make her agitated?  I don’t want to stir the pot.  Yes, just call me chicken!  She has an appointment with the oncologist on June 21st at 2p.m. – we’ll see what this doc has to say.  Then it will be talking to Dr. Myre to decided the best course of action for Mom.

Eddie had a dentist appointment in the afternoon so I stayed for when the 1 800 Junk guys came to finish up clearing the end of the basement.  I went down to see how it looked  after they came Saturday and stayed down to check out where my pictures were – don’t know where all of them are but I did find the one with my flower-pot lady.  I made it when I was in Fort Wayne but left her because I didn’t think she would make it through moving.

Flowerpot Lady

 Well, I will have to see where they are when we move the furniture upstairs.  They even took the old In Britain magazines my Dad kept – Center for Wooden Boats took the  Wooden Boat mags and ones about live steam.

Eddie came back from the dentist – good report – just as they were preparing the bill.  Now the area is clean and ready for the plumber and electrician.  I was feeling tired again – it’s like watching the movers packing or loading, I watch them work and I am exhausted.  What I really appreciated was how  well I slept that night.

The electrician is here and will be shutting of power shortly – not possible to do things on my desk top Mac with no power.  I will have to finish this later.

A Year Of Challenges

April 2, 2013

I have been thinking about a year ago at this time – I was still in rehab with a broken hip and waiting for the doc to tell me I could have full weight-bearing on my right leg.  When Feb. 24th came around, I wasn’t sure I wanted to think about it as an anniversary, but what would I call it?  Marking of a milestone or event?  Still haven’t figured it out yet – fortunately the world won’t come to an end if I don’t have a name for it.  The other weekend Eddie and I were on  Pacific Highway South, we passed Stafford and his comment was “I don’t ever want to think about that place again!”.

I had a different feeling about it – I think of it fondly because of the people I met and who were so good to me as I began to recover.  I think about my room on the first floor – all my own, not having to share with anyone.  It had a view west and I saw Puget Sound and Vashon Island across the way; plus I saw the planes landing from the south and taking off to the south.  There were lights on at night, plus I looked down on Pac Highway South and saw the traffic and the lights.

I was the first time in a long time the focus was on me, healing, therapy and just doing normal personal things.  I was alone in my room – I had books and writing material but somehow I was too tired to touch any of them.  I was tired all the time but still was able to laugh with the aides, the therapists, the staff in the dining room as well as the doc and nurses.  I still had to deal with stuff for Mom and for Eddie as well – plus listen to him complain about dealing with Mom as if I had no idea what it was like.  I did spend a lot of time in my room with the door closed, it was great.

One thing I learned was that when I ask for something, make sure it is very specific because I don’t know what will show up otherwise.  I kept thinking and saying, I need a break – I see now I needed to say 2 weeks in a spa because I ended up with a broken hip.  In some ways it was a bit of a spa but not in the usual way.  I remember when I went up to therapy there was the smell of newly baked cookies – they had a jar on the front desk for anyone who wanted them.  It was easy to recognize the peanut butter cookies, but not always other kinds.

What I remember most are the aides who were always there for me.  Eleanor usually came in to help me get dressed – a tall, well endowed black woman not only chewed gum but also snapped it quite often.  I thought that would drive me crazy faster than anything.  Strangely it didn’t.  Eleanor was like a mama bear, she took care of her charges and defends them , even going up to therapy to make sure they weren’t terrorizing her charges.  She had a great sense of humor and we laughed a lot.  I think she was from the South somewhere – for some reason Alabama comes to mind.  One day she was helping me put on my bra and  I said something about “the girls” were in all the way.  apparently she had never heard that expression before and found it funny.

She didn’t suffer fools gladly but if I needed her, she was there for me.  About three weeks after I arrived, I woke up with a terrible flare-up, I hurt all over and she came in and found me crying on the john.  She was a very comforting mama bear and was so good to me.  When I went upstairs to therapy, I was still having a miserable time, so Carol, my OT, put on hot packs for shoulders and dipped my hands in paraffin.  It helped and as usual, by afternoon I was more comfortable.  It wasn’t the only time I had trouble, it wasn’t until I was able to take the Methotrexate again for three weeks before I began to feel much better.  They had stopped it so my incision would heal well.  I don’t remember the doc telling me that, though I was pretty doped up in the hospital for a bit – not sure I remember very much of that part.

I remember one time when I was working with Sabrina, a PT, and I was having problems that day.  I finally told her “I don’t mean to be uncooperative, it just hurts more than usual”.  Her reply surprised me – “Uncooperative!  You have never refused to do anything we have asked!”.  They could tell  when I was really having trouble and not just dogging it.  There were times when I was there and someone would refuse to do things, kept saying it hurts.  Or refuse to work with a particular therapist, though no one was sure why.

I am forever grateful to every one at Stafford, they made it possible for me to leave on my ow two feet and a wheely walker.

An Enforced Sabbatical

June 3, 2012

Most people who take a sabbatical have a plan and focus as well as a goal for the time they take away from their business or career.  The past year or so, I feel as though I have had an involuntary sabbatical and there has been no plan or goal – I didn’t realize it was happening until it was several months into it.  Last year I spent a lot of the first half dealing with a terrible sore neck and shoulder – difficult to do much in the way of work on the computer and not too swift in everyday tasks.  I did begin deep tissue massage which has helped me so much in mind, body and spirit.

As I was having a lot more relief from the pain, my Mom was getting more and more dependent until I couldn’t really leave her on her own.  I found my world narrowing so much that my business really suffered until there wasn’t a whole lot left.  By October I was overwhelmed but didn’t realize it until I went past it into in over my head.  I had thought it was time to regroup, refocus and decide where I want my business to go.  It seemed a good opportunity to think and meditate on what exactly I really want.  A great idea but I didn’t have time or energy to really sit down alone in a quiet place and listen.  I had to find caregivers for Mom and even 4 hours to myself wasn’t very much to accomplish the things I needed to do, much less contemplation about my future.  As I established some care givers – Bam, there I was on the hall floor with a broken hip.  I spent 4 or 5 days in the hospital after surgery, then 8 weeks of rehab.  Wow I thought, time alone to read, write meditate and ground myself.  I was so tired and depressed I had no interest in reading, much less writing.  That was frustrating because reading is one of my greatest pleasures.  Oddly enough, I had 2 orders for my promotional marketing business while in rehab – boy, was that unexpected!

To be honest, I still haven’t processed a lot of what has happened, especially from my hip.  I know I can no longer do all the things for my Mom that I did, so many people telling me I will end up back in rehab permanently if I do.  It has been hard to  not do things, though when I tell my Mom I can’t do something because I broke my hip, it seems to register with her.  I feel as if I am shirking responsibility but since my husband, my doctor and my therapists are all worried about me, I am getting better at being at peace with it.

Now that I am finally mobile again and can go places myself, I thought I would have time to find a quiet place by the water to write and just go within.  Now it seems there are so many things I need to do I couldn’t before but I keep running out of energy a lot sooner than I want.  As I write this, I am wondering if these are all just excuses because I am reluctant to actually sit down and just write whatever is ready to come out on paper.  I wonder if I would feel more ready of there was a step by step plan to follow, but then change it any way I want.  When it comes to writing, the hardest part is putting tush in chair – the rest happens even it is stupid, lousy or brilliant.  It is as if I am afraid to truly go within because I am worried there won’t be anything there.  Maybe I just prefer have the answers spelled out for me so I don’t have to do the work.

One thing I know, this is not the time to make any major decisions because I am bone weary physically and drag my ass tired emotionally, mentally and spiritually.  Plus I am in the middle of dealing with Mom and the next project is to find a place for her to live where she is well taken care of and safe.  I have started by talking to a good friend who has done this for years, so I don’t feel I have to navigate through all of it by myself.  She has a possible place for Mom that sounds really good because she would have her medical care covered as well as a doctor, dentist, social worker, OT, PT, etc.  Plus, when she is not able to take care of herself  they would move her to a more nursing type place.  She is checking on it to see what it takes to qualify and I need to speak with my elder law attorney about some other things.  At least I have put things in motion, but it will take a while.  We need to have her on a waiting list now rather than wait until it is a crisis – it felt like a crisis back in November when I called the Alzheimer’s Association and I don’t want to do that again.

I keep wondering if this is my job, task or business for the moment, that once I take care of Mom I can start to concentrate on me and what I really want to do.  It feels as though I have been in transition the past few months – almost as if I am at a crossroads in my life.  I feel as though any time I wonder about what I want to do, what my purpose in life is or any other type question – there is a big fat question mark and all I hear myself say is “I don’t know”.  I have been so drag my ass tired for so long, I have forgotten how having energy feels.  Thank goodness I am not alone working on this and I am so looking forward to my deep tissue massage on Thursday – it has been 3 months since the last and I have missed it tremendously.

There’s A Reason For My Silence

April 29, 2012

I apologize for not writing for over 2 months – it was not my choice.  On February 24th I fell and broke my right hip which sent me to the hospital and then 8 weeks of rehab.  It was not on my agenda, though I did need a break – I was thinking more in terms of 2 weeks at a spa.  Rehab was no spa, but I had time away from home and all the things making me crazy at the time, so it wasn’t a complete disaster.  However, it was no rest and relaxation either, I learned to stand, walk with toe touch on my right leg and then finally when I had full weight bearing clearance from the surgeon, the therapists really worked me over and I was able to leave rehab on my own two feet and a wheely walker.  I still have 4 weeks of outpatient rehab left – when will they let me drive again?  I am dependent on others to go anywhere, very hard when I am so used to going whenever I want.

To add insult to injury, I caught the flu while I was there.  So my last week was uncomfortable and now I am trying to get rid of this stupid cough.  I need to go see my acupuncturist for that, she does such wonders.  Right now I am packing up for a week to 10 day stay in a hotel while we put a stall shower in the bathroom – I don’t dare get into that tub!  Also a taller toilet and grab bars to make things easier – long overdue improvements.  My Mom is in a tizzy because she really doesn’t want to leave home even though she wants the new shower stall.  We found an adult family home for her to stay while the work is being done, no idea how she will settle in there.

I didn’t miss the computer at all, I had no interest or energy to read or write – 2 things I thoroughly enjoy. I was dragging myself around most of the time,trying to get rested but it never seemed to improve- I suppose I have to remember my body had taken a huge blow and takes time to recover.  I didn’t sleep all that well at night – they had these bubble mattress covers that undulate as I was lying on it.  Trouble came when it wasn’t working, just flat as pancake and my back hurt all the time. I started sleeping on all the pillows, a bit better but not much. Finally got it fixed and then I was kicked upstairs to another room.  That one would only inflate on one side, so they got me a new one and I finally found the right combination of feet up and head up so I was comfortable.  I was only able to sleep on my back – I couldn’t turn myself over on my side at all.  The food is a story in itself – maybe for another time.

So now I am home trying to navigate around and everything seems much narrower than I remember.  My mom has forgotten I live here and really doesn’t know who I am.  I have come to terms with that, it was a lot of emotion in the beginning and as far as I know, the emotion is gone.  It is time to look for a place for her to live permanently – my doctor is very worried about me and also in rehab they don’t want to see me back again.  So when the bathroom is done, it will be time to see what is available and is affordable.

A short version this week, just  to touch touch base and let you know I am still here.  It has been a strange time and I am slowly picking up the threads of my life.  I am curious to see what changes have happened inside me as a result of the whole experience – it maybe quite awhile  before I really know.


Angelswhisper2011

Me and my Granny

TWOspoiledcats

Angel Sammy and Teddy Too

Northwest Outdoors

This WordPress.com site is the cat’s pajamas

countingducks

reflections on a passing life

Universal Cosmic Consciousness

All experiences are the journey.

Sequins and Cherry Blossom

Where to see cherry blossom and other things in London

Welcome to Tofino Photography

Professional Wildlife, Landscape and Seascape Photography

Rocking This Illness: My Story of Life with Behcet's Disease

Navigating Life with an Illness that Doesn't Define Me

I used to be indecisive...

...but now I'm not so sure

livelovebegreen

making my world greener, one day at a time

LEANNE COLE - The Photographer's Mentor

Fine Art Photographer ~ Daring to be Different

Wiley's Wisdom

Joy: From the Ground Up

Mom At Work

Work is the easy part.

StickertyClick.com

" Creativity is a drug that i can't live without' - Cecil B. Demille StickertyClick, Destination for all of your edgy creative needs.

brent's iPhone & japan

what am i up to...

twocatsviews

Life as Seen by Hemingway and Steinbeck

Top 10 of Anything and Everything!!!

Animals, Gift Ideas, Travel, Books, Recycling Ideas and Many, Many More

%d bloggers like this: