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Saturday, May 2, 2009

Howdy, my friends!  It has been a while!  

I was very busy this week working on our big Art Fair at school.  On Friday, over 400 of my students and many of their parents came to see the artwork and to participate in art-making activities.  Needless to say, I spent most of the day in bed today napping and giving thanks that all went well.

I had a nice visit with Dr. Carbonell on Tuesday.  My wound continues to plug away at closing up so we are just going to be patient and hope that surgery will not be necessary.  When talking about bone death, he told me that he does expect some of the bone to die.  That was news to me.  However, his hope is that the bulk of the bone will live to the ripe old age of at least 97.

I started physical therapy on Wednesday.  What a trip.  My therapist, Margarita, is like the bone whisperer.  She practically laid hands on my ankle and allowed it to tell the whole story from the last 4 months.  I can see that everything so far has focused on major issues of healing.  Her job is to start fine-tuning the healing.  She is thrilled that I am not in a lot of pain and that my ankle has nice range of motion.  What has been shocking to me is how the rest of my leg has deteriorated.  For example, my toes and the ball of my foot act like they are frozen in cement.  When we took my boot off and tried to bend my foot in a "walking" motion, it was totally stuck in one position.  So, we worked two days last week to begin freeing up that area and to build up strength.  She wants me to start wearing a shoe and to try to force myself to walk (with the walker, of course) in a natural motion.  Amazing.  

I now have two more interesting gadgets in my life.  The first is my new 4-wheeled walker.  It rides like a dream.  I love it.  It has an awesome basket that holds tons of stuff, has brakes for going downhill (like my driveway--scary!), a little seat to sit on if I need to rest and . . . it is absolutely silent.  Even with tennis balls on the legs, my old walker sounded like I was rummaging through my kitchen drawers every time I used it.  AND I couldn't hold anything while I was moving.  My new basket allows me to walk and carry things at the same time (what a concept!).

My other gadget sounds much more exotic than it is . . . it is a bone-growth stimulator.  When they called me to arrange a time for a "fitting," I imagined a warm, vibrating apparatus that would cause me to feel like I had been holding on to a lawn-mower all day.  Nope.  It is this thing that I rest my foot on that creates an extremely powerful magnetic field around my ankle. 
 This causes the cells in my bone to begin healing.  I have to do this every day at the same time for 30 minutes.  You feel NOTHING.  According to the guy who came to our house, the unit costs $2500 and is only covered by insurance if 90 days have passed since the original injury.  I guess they figure if your bone hasn't healed after three months, you probably need a little extra help.  After nine months, the unit will automatically self-destruct and you have to throw it away (just to keep you from passing it around to all of your friends with broken bones).

I feel like I have entered a new chapter of my healing.  Although the physical therapy will be time-consuming, painful, and a little scary at times, it feels really good to begin working towards walking and "normal" functioning.  My scooter makes me feel very healthy and independent, but it keeps my foot completely immobile.  It is time for me to slow down again, use my walker (even though I look and feel 83 when I use it), and SLOWLY walk step after slow step until it feels familiar again.   

For now, I am OK with slow.

Love to you all!


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