Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Mistakes Were Made

Looking at a time line of my recent injury , (a fall in a restaurant resulting in a severed Achilles tendon). the first mistake was when some decorator decided that it would be cool to raise the floor level and have a couple of banquettes one step above the main floor in a restaurant.

Then…being a doddering old person, I forgot that I had gone up said step barely an hour earlier and walked off into thin air as I exited. I can do a lot of things, but walking on air is definitely not one of them.

Then, the barely post pubescent manager of the chain told me as I lay on the floor, “Oh, it happens all the time. We have 51 stores in this chain and the new ones aren’t designed with the step up.” Um…I’m no lawyer, but isn’t there some responsibility of correcting a hazard you are aware of in ALL your stores?

Then there was the surgery, which I am happy to say was uneventful. My final words to all anesthetists and anesthesioligists are always , “Now, don’t let me die, okay?” I did not die.

But then came the visit to get my “real cast” a week later. My surgeon, whom I love and trust implicitly, had told Walker to bring me in to have staples remove from the incision (ouch!). Somehow the purpose of that visit got lost in the shuffle and my doc turned me over to a tech for casting who commented, “Oh, he forgot to take the staples out. I guess he’ll do it next time.” She then proceeded to put the cast on as she deemed fit, aiming for a 90 degree angle for my foot. I chose a nice denim blue for my cast, and gingerly got down off the table. It hurt…a lot. “Oh sometimes a little hurt is nothing to worry about,” said the cute little thing.

I rode home in my wheelchair, which I had hoped to escape, and spent the afternoon in the most discomfort since the injury. By dinner time, and after a couple of strong pain killers, it was still unbearable. Son in Law John chased down the surgeon who called and insisted that I come in. “It should not be causing you that much pain.” Thirty minutes later he had me all patched up, with my foot at a much more tolerable angle and able to bear weight. He thought the assistant had removed the staples, but , “It wouldn’t have mattered if they had stayed in longer.”

All went well as I got home and got my first tub bath in two weeks. This is a major quality of life issue for me, and we had invested in a fairly expensive “boot” to keep water out of my cast and allow me to soak comfortably. All went well for two more baths, and then the next catastrophe struck. The boot leaked…probably my fault. I’d tried to get control of it after it blew up like a pool toy by letting some of the air out of it and in the process got water in.

Agonized over my wet foot all night envisioning a raging case of epizoodiac if I didn’t go get the cast changed, which I was really embarrassed to do after the amount of chaos involved already. I woke up the next morning with a plan to get it dry. My hair dryer blew too hot, so I posed stuffing paper towels into the space around my foot and getting it as dry as possible, then using our shop vac as a blower to finish the drying. By late afternoon I was dry as a bone, and not even considering taking another tub bath.

By last night, I thought, “Okay, I’ve done it twice with no incident. Surely I can do it again.” I booted up and took a brief bath, but before I got out good, realized that my foot was wet again. It was way past bedtime by the time I went through a roll of paper towels, and neither Walker nor I was in the mood to get the shop vac into the house or me into the garage. So that’s how I spent my forty- seventh anniversary…up every hour or so changing the damp towels. Back to the shop vac this morning, and hoping to avoid further mistakes at all costs…even if it means no tub baths for a couple of weeks.

If I couldn’t laugh, I’d definitely cry.

Blessings. Janie

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Lookin’ out for Mama

To those of you who expressed some concern about my son in law “pickin’” on me….rest easy. I can defend myself perfectly well, even from my current location of a wheel chair. I adore John for many reasons, the most significant one being that he makes me laugh at myself…a real gift in a world where many of us take ourselves way too seriously. He’s amazingly bright, remembers obscure details, and presents valid arguments…most of the time. So far, however, he hasn’t been able to budge me from my convictions once I have cast them in the concrete of the blogosphere.

I was just going through some old articles and comments and re-read a couple of pieces I had written a while back. This one explains my abiding affection for John.

Walker III has struggled a bit with my being laid up. He’s been through several significant surgeries with me in the past, but somehow the added equipment of a wheelchair seemed to make this annoying, but not fatal, injury more real to him. (By way of explanation, I took a tumble off a step in a restaurant a couple of weeks ago and tore my Achilles tendon completely.) Aside from the embarrassment, it hasn’t been as bad as I thought it might be, and I’ll eventually be 100%. Right now, though, there are some limitations, particularly in the kitchen. I can’t put weight on the affected foot, and can only balance on one foot for very short periods of time, meaning I escape KP for few more days until I get a walking cast.

The night after my surgery, Walker raced to my chair where I had plopped after we got home. He hugged me as if I had been raised from the dead. “I thought about you all day,” he commented as he nuzzled my neck. His anxiety passed on to me, and I teared up a bit. “I’m going to be just fine,” I stated with conviction.

“Um…how long do you think it will be before you’re better?”

At that point, I knew his concerns were not entirely for my health, but for his happiness. I’m the go to guy for getting pictures sent to Walgreens on the computer, and his ritual of presenting his camera to me for an upload or download or whatever they call it a couple of times a week was possibly going to be disturbed.

“I can do your pictures tomorrow if you like.”

“Whew…that’s just great!” And off he trotted to watch yet another animated cartoon and photograph the screen as he watched.

I don’t understand his need to do this anymore than he understands my messed up foot, but I know what makes him feel like all is right with the world.

In return, Walker is observant of my struggling to get around with my tea glass gripped between my thighs and quick to help me get situated in my chair with the things I need surrounding me. His hugs after work are less angst filled, and life is near enough back to normal for all concerned.


Thursday, April 4, 2013

Here we go Again

Son in Law John has been jabbing gently, and sometimes not so gently, at this old lady lately, and I'm going to use today to catch up on some of his complaints.

1)  John showed up at the dinnertable last week with a print out in hand and posed a contest to guess how many posts there were to Only Casual Observations in various years.  In doing this he got to annoy both me and my daughter Molly who LOVEs to win a good contest.  Molly and I tied on most questions.  The questions were "What year did OCO begin?"  Then morphed to how many posts in each subsequent year...down to the current year, 2013 with ...0.

2) John asserts that I pretend to just be casually observing whereas I am actually a fully vetted liberal mama.  To which I reply, I'm not pretending to be anything other than a rational thinker and given a set of facts I arrive at what seems to me to be a logical conclusion.  Right now the liberals are giving me much better material to work with than my conservative friends and relatives who hold positions that even they can not back up with any kind of rationality.

3)  John also asserts that I'm just posting things, mainly on Facebook, to annoy people.  To which I reply, my mission in what's left of a rapidly waning life is to bring enlightenment and harmony based on logic to those I care about.  They can take it, or leave it, any way they choose.  Some are choosing to pray for my soul, others just think I'm a nut case, but whatever I am...I'm me.

So with all that being said, and with at least 51% of of Americans now in my camp on same sex marriage, I'm going to repost something I wrote back in 2010, along with a link to one of the most poignant essays on the subject I've ever read.  Hope I don't offend too many, and if I do...keep prayin' for me.