saving elmo

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Late night 9/16/16: I didn’t see the stairs. Medically, that caused a “comminuted open fracture of the left distal femur.” In 6 months, we added “nonunion.”

IOW, I absolutely powdered my thighbone right above Elmo, my replacement knee, so there’s not much left for Elmo to live in, and it’s having trouble growing back.

The goal: Regrow bone so that Elmo has a home. In the meantime, I’m learning about life in a wheelchair, and fretting, because so far that dad-blasted bone is about as fertile as a rock.

The threat: If the bone doesn’t grow, Kaiser wants to remove Elmo and replace him with a new, less successful implant that wears out pretty quickly. When it does, my only recourse is mid-thigh amputation. The Kaiser traumatologist says if I’m lucky, I’ll be so old it won’t matter.

I’m not sure you can get THAT old, so let’s not go there. I’ve found leading tramatologists who say Kaiser is taking the wrong approach; my leg can be saved. This series is about exactly that.

7 05, 2018

End goals and impossible things


We saved Elmo. Now to do some impossible things. (such as say "thank you") Alice laughed. “There’s no use trying,” she said: “one can’t believe impossible things.” “I daresay you haven’t had much practice,” said the Queen. “When I was your age, I always did it for half-an-hour a day. Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things [...]

End goals and impossible things2018-05-08T13:29:52-07:00
30 04, 2018

Getting rid of granny(walker)


"Excuse me," says the little girl, shyly, fingering the rails of my grannywalker, "Are you really old? My great-grandma has a cage like that too, and she's REALLY old." Don't kids--the ones who survive the next five minutes, anyway--say the darnedest things?  It's take-your-kid-to-work day, and my new mini-coworkers are endlessly fascinated with my mobility assist tools. Wherever I go [...]

Getting rid of granny(walker)2018-04-30T22:15:39-07:00
26 04, 2018

Jury booty


A month ago, traversing this sandy path down to the river would have been unthinkable. Yet here I am. "SHE," said the guard, pointing to me, "is what we call S.T.U.B.B.O.R.N." "Absolutely," I grinned, and continued to climb the courthouse steps with my grannywalker. "Ma'am, we HAVE a wheelchair lift," the guard repeated, patiently, "Wouldn't you feel...safer...not climbing [...]

Jury booty2020-03-02T07:45:25-08:00
23 04, 2018

Beachwalking and the denizens of the deep


My very first in-person tidepool since falling. It was glorious. Here's what they don't tell you about recovery from a catastrophic injury: It's only gradual from the 10,000-foot view. Up close, it's fits, starts, and frustration, punctuated by euphoria. Two and a half-steps forward, one step back. One step forward, three steps back. My body retreats to near-immobility [...]

Beachwalking and the denizens of the deep2018-05-08T20:33:58-07:00
18 04, 2018

Walking and the well-grounded non-gardener


"Do you have a cane?" Brenda-the-PT asked, and I nodded, "Good. Bring it next time. I want you to graduate from your walker to a cane." Heady stuff. Me, not lugging around walkers and wheelchairs? Wow. "No long walks on a cane yet, only short trips," she warned, "And no carrying heavier stuff when you're on the cane, at least [...]

Walking and the well-grounded non-gardener2018-05-08T20:43:12-07:00
27 03, 2018

Learning to fly


Made coffee this morning and got another lesson in gravity: The rich cream slid down into cup's depths, while all the sweetness sank to the bottom, leaving a thin, bitter layer of dark on the surface. What does it mean when your morning cuppa joe becomes a metaphor? Probably that gravity is ruling my life lately, and it needs to [...]

Learning to fly2018-05-08T20:46:37-07:00
11 02, 2018

Desdemona dreams of oceans


Halloa from the sea. Life is good, waves crash home to the beat of the setting sun, lots to tell. This weekend the Resident Carpenter and I loaded the car with enough to last a family of four in Antarctica (we overpack), and headed west to the coast. We'd planned to shoot sunrise ocean video with the new drone, but [...]

Desdemona dreams of oceans2018-03-27T07:21:14-07:00
22 01, 2018

Recovery Road


Elmo, The Leg, and I are now officially on Recovery Road, located between Bugout Boulevard and Anxious Avenue, a block or two away from Stircrazy Street. I'm still waiting to feel relieved, celebratory, about the fact that bone is finally growing in The Leg and amputation becomes less and less likely with every good report. Yet what I'm mostly feeling [...]

Recovery Road2018-05-08T20:51:20-07:00
12 01, 2018

V-day, legs, eyes, and…the rest of my life


Something I've not seen before: What a busted femur looks like when the bone starts growing back. Everything tumbles into my head like a firehose; the problem isn't finding something to write about. It's figuring out which stuff to write about first. So...let's start with V-day: The Leg is finally Finally FINALLY FINALLY FINALLY!!!! healing. All the pain, [...]

V-day, legs, eyes, and…the rest of my life2018-01-12T20:18:09-08:00
30 11, 2017

Joy to the World


Remember how I said my life had a soundtrack? I re-entered The Court this morning to the Christmassy strains of "Joyeux Noel." It matched my mood: I'm going home. Sally-the-driver picked me up this morning (The Court has a bus with a wheelchair lift and driving you to appointments is included in the price) and dropped me off at Kaiser [...]

Joy to the World2017-11-30T11:53:29-08:00
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