February 15th, 2016


Clean and Shiny

It was shower day today.

Not a trivial thing in a hospital. My last shower would have been in October 2013, when I was here last. Since then it's been sponge baths -- with the heel wound and balance issues, I was never cleared to shower at home. We tested using the shower, but ended up using the overhanging part of the tub chair and bathed outside of the tub.

But the healing from the revision surgery looks good and we wrapped the stump and kiwi in plastic anyway.

My last hair wash was in mid-November in my kitchen sink.


It's cold outside, lows near zero, but a warm up is coming. Frankly the snow storm here on Fuller was three days of dud. The sidewalks are clear and grass is visible. Heavy lake effect brands elsewhere, I guess over a foot of snow. But made it.

Rest day on Sunday. Disney showed Frozen. FX is showing Thor movies. TMC had Sabrina and Casablanca.

Yesterday I took a few steps of some sort with one crutch and a handrail -- I guess we made it to the end of the short hall. Played with a more ordinary folding walker -- might be useful indoors. But I have to be careful not to tip it over...


Dr. Phil

Good Progress

Had both RT and PT today -- perhaps the last day of both on the same day.

I suggested this morning, after doing some warm-ups of swinging steps in the parallel bars, that we take the folding walker I tried the other day and put it in the parallel bars. This way, if I did tip it over, I couldn't go far. Widened the parallel bars so my hands would be clear.

First stands used the parallel bars to get up. But on several stands I switched to getting from wheelchair to walker. Huh. I might get the hang of this. With the right balance, I could minimize any hint of tipping to the left with my overheavy left hand.

Then on to trying the swinging step. Not nearly as clean or as far as with the rigid parallel bars, but I did travel most of the length of the parallel bars in one go -- and repeated it.

For me, this is excellent news.

There are four things preventing me from going home today.

1 -- ability to transfer to a toilet, use it and get back up, safely.

2 -- maneuver around the house safely by some means that aren't a wheelchair.

3 -- get in and out of the house safely. There are four six-inch stairs.

4 -- get in and out of the Bravada on the passenger side, if not the driver side.

I've been looking at crutches to manage #2, but it is slow going. And a bit scary. We are looking at getting a garage wheelchair lift to address #3. We aren't getting younger, and having a lift will have uses other than a wheelchair. Starting cost looks like perhaps two thousand and installation.

An inside lighter weight walker would also serve #2. As might a knee walker -- or both.

It certainly doesn't hurt that the heavy duty folding walker brought down from LTAC on the 6th floor is black. Somehow the plain aluminum ones always look cheap and flimsy. My big walker is black, as are my canes. Silly, but you can gain security and confidence from the damdest sources.

In OT/RT, we're getting good at transferring to a toilet with a handrail and one cane. Alas, it's at a 19" height, nearly two inches more than at home. And I've had them order a new cane. My cane specifically is rated at 225 or 250 pounds, at with a modest assist on the gait belt, I am really overdoing it with a hard left hand. The height issue we'll address by using my bed, which can be lowered much lower than any of the mat tables in the gym. I'd like to be able to sit to stand at the 15" level, if I can. That will all help with #1.

Note, this just gets me home. Still therapy and still waiting for the promise of a second leg. It doesn't mean we'll be going out to movies or dining. I've not even tortured myself to see if Episode VII is still playing in the area. (grin)

But I've been through a variation of this before.


Dr. Phil