On Saturday morning, Rich took me home. He had to scramble to get everything ready, including buying a queen-sized, pillow-top bed to place in the family room, complete with soft jersey sheets, navy blue velour blanket, and super soft and fluffy comforter and matching shams. He also bought three cushy pillows and a cute ornamental pillow with a giant Easter egg on it.
Along with gingerly placing me in the car, he had to load a wheelchair, walker and combo commode/shower chair. These items had been delivered to HealthSouth the day before for me to take home. The wheelchair is rental. The others are my mine to keep. Oh goody, I always wanted an elevated commode.
While it should have been a joyous occasion, I had my reservations. Life had become easy and known at HeathSouth. In addition, my being in rehab all day, enabled Rich to concentrate on work and class while someone else gave me my medicines, cooked my food, oversaw my exercise and therapy sessions, and attended my various needs.
Now, he was to become the sole caretaker of me.
A few days after my accident, my Honda FIT, which we ordered in August, arrived. I had temporarily been driving Rich’s Kia until the FIT arrived. We now have the FIT and Rich’s Dodge Dakota. The latter would be impossible to get me into so it’s good that the FIT arrived… even if I can’t drive it for months.
The FIT is adorable. It’s like a giant red Chicklet and so easy to get in-and-out of, even in a wheelchair. All the seat fold down so we could easily “fit” in the wheelchair, walker, commode, flowers and plants given me, clothing, and other personal items. While I envisioned my virgin ride in the FIT being very different (i.e. my dancing around the car before I plopped behind the wheel and zoomed out of the dealership), it was gratifying looking out the large windows and waving goodbye to Brackenridge and HealthSouth.
Once we got home, the fun began.
First, Rich wanted to see if I could get into the new bed. The pillow-top bed with the coverings was 4-5 inches above my butt. There was no way I could get into it without Rich lifting me onto the bed. Not good. He had remove the frame and put the box spring and mattress onto the floor.
Next, we realized that the wheelchair, even with the door removed, didn’t easily fit into the bathroom. I’d had to “park” in the hallway and use the walker to make some tricky turns into the bathroom and onto the “pot,” which I quickly discovered was much lower than those at HealthSouth.
That night, I wanted to take a shower and wash my hair, something I hadn’t done in five days. The task proved very difficult for Rich and painful and exhausting for me. We originally tried the walker, but after getting me balanced on the ledge in front of the shower, we quickly realized that we were at checkmate. I couldn’t step into the shower with my bad leg and I could safely hop off the ledge into the shower using my good leg and the walker.
The solution was to place the wheelchair over the ledge so I could step into the shower with my good leg. The problem was negotiating the wheelchair around the large glass shower door. It took multiple tries to get me in-and-out of the shower and to optimally position the shower chair. Half an hour later, I was washed and in bed − shaking with cold and pain. Poor Rich was shattered.
On Sunday, we continued to work out the kinks of my coming home. Rich built me a carpet-covered bench on which I can do my leg exercises. He also bought me a set of hand weights to strengthen my upper body. The glass shower door was removed to make it easier to get me in the shower. I conceded and allowed Rich to place the raised commode − with sturdy handles on the sides − over the toilet. Rich went shopping and got easy-to-prepare foods along with skim milk, non-fat yogurt and cottage cheese, fresh fruits and vegetables, and juices. We also set up my computer downstairs so I could check emails and write this blog.
On Monday evening, I started to have a very painful burning in my left “butt check.” After spending a large part of Tuesday and Wednesday in bed because of the discomfort, we contacted my orthopedic surgeon. Several x-rays on Thursday confirmed what the doctor and my mother-in-law believed − my nerves were coming alive and rebelling. While unpleasant, it’s a part of the healing process.
The best part, my pelvis is starting to knit together and is considered “stable.” It was interesting to see the fractures. I was convinced that the fracture along the back of my pelvis was a clean “line” that could slip-and-slide if I put any weight on the leg. Instead, it’s jagged like a zipper so the bone is somewhat locked together. Evidentially, the massive impact to the left-side of my body pushed in my pelvis, snapping it before it returned to its original position, leaving a fracture, but no separation. I was very lucky.
I now have up to 8-weeks to wait until the bones thoroughly knits together and I can start to walk. By three months, I’m supposed to be fairly mobile and pain-free. In six months, the doctor said I’ll feel great and a year from now, the accident will be a memory.
The upside. I get to eat lots of non-fat dairy food and hard-boiled eggs. Screw the cholesterol in the eggs. I need the calcium, protein and minerals. Plus, a hard-boiled egg for breakfast with a little Mrs. Dash, a piece of fruit and glass milk is heavenly. Yogurt has become a staple at lunch. And Rich has been cooking some nice dinners of fresh salads, lean meat, and a little starch. My appetite is light because I take 12-14 pain pills a day!!!
Twice a day, I take an anti-inflammatory to relieve pain and swelling. Every four hours, I can take up to two hydrocodone/acetaminophen pills, which are part narcotic and reduce pain by binding to the opioid receptors in the brain and spinal cord. These pills can dull the pain within 20-minutes.
Every morning, Rich wakes me up around 5 a.m. to give me two hydrocodone/acetaminophens so I can tolerate getting out of bed several hours later. Within ten minutes, my body is flushed with “heat” as the pills flow through my veins. It’s a strange sensation. Unfortunately, they make me tired so I need to take a nap everyday afternoon and I’m often “fuzzy-brained.”
At least, I’m home and getting stronger. My pain is under control and I’m with my amazingly patient and caring husband!