Saturday, March 10, 2018

Rolling home

I've been meaning to write-- but I couldn't find the time, nor tone, nor words. I've been taking tumbles and spills of late, only one of major significance... until last month, when, almost a year to the day from my first blackout/fall, I fell again, and came away with the usually bruises and scrapes... and unfortunately, I broke myself, as well.

It's a small bone, that patella, but one that plays an important role. When it breaks, it needs to heal, but can't be casted, can't bear weight, and can't bend. And since my other knee, bruised enough that when people saw it, they blanched, was somewhat unreliable in holding up 120 pounds of bookczuk, plus a couple pounds for the leg brace/extender/cage the wounded leg is in, crutches for a primary means of locomotion was apparently out. So wheelchair, it is.

Keep in mind, I'm very comfortable around wheelchairs, both because my mother used one and from my years working with children in the Spina Bifida clinic. The one we have, while not exactly suited for a leg injury, is easily manageable. I appear to have inherited the wheelchair gene, and can maneuver in it quite well. I've MacGyvered a leg extension for the wounded limb, and jury-rigged the seat so that I'm sitting relatively evenly. Because I do use the crutches for short hops (ha!) and a cane holder attachment would cost $70, plus shipping and installation, I've figured out a solution for a way to carry the canes, and Mr Grabby, my reach extender stick for picking up stuff, with me. It's not particularly elegant, but it works.

Javaczuk has been a hero, taking over my share of household chores (and doing a better job) and cooking, too. Not exactly how he'd planned on spending the early days of retirement, but hey, I'm glad and grateful he's here.

The initial problems of pain and discomfort are lessening, as is my regular frustrations with my inability to do the things I want to do. I miss being able to sidle into my workspace and do my pysanky and other art, but most of all, I miss walking. Ambulating around Charleston is one of my greatest joys, particularly in the spring
Doing "lap art" because I can't get into my workspace #determinedartist
. The loss is almost visceral, eased a tad by the outings I take with Javaczuk, his walking, me rolling. I'm slowly working up strength in my arms as my leg withers from disuse. (The leg muscles will come back as soon as I'm allowed to exercise as I like.) But for now, for another month I'm into alternative ambulation, be it crutches for indoors and short distances, or the chair, which one of my JordanCon friends has christened "Wheels of Time."  I'm hoping to be fully ambulatory in time for the JordanCon art show, but if not, we'll do what we need to do to keep me moving.

Oddly enough, I've noted when I wheel in the chair that I get auditory memories of my mother. I'd forgotten how her hands wheeling the chair made a whispery sort of sound, or the clank of her ring as she wheeled. Even the sound putting up the footplate is evocative. It's a sound that I lived with for 40 years as she wheeled through life, making magic and memories wherever she went. And apparently, she's doing that still.
My mother, with her eldest grandson, circa 1991


  1. Pop a wheelie and keep on trucking. You're tough!

  2. This too shall pass. (((Hugs)))

    1. I know-- but I kinda hope I keep getting memories of my mama the rest of my life. I miss her fiercely.