Helping and independence

morning comic books in bed
Originally uploaded by Liz Henry.

I’m managing fairly well on crutches as long as I don’t have to go very far, drive a lot, or sit up for a long time. I think sitting up pinches the nerve, or the disc, or something. It hurts quite a lot to drive. Even when I can walk fairly well, I can’t bend over, which makes it difficult to put on socks. If I drop something, well, unless it can get picked up with the toes of my left foot, forget it. That reminds me, I need to order one of these reacher grabber things and hang it up by my bed! So, anyway, Rook is out of town on a lightning business trip and I have to manage by myself, a big challenge but not impossible.

After I got Milo cereal and juice, and coffee for myself, he came to bed with me for another half an hour. I listened to him read the story of Scrooge on a Mississipi riverboat. He does the dialects very well, in different voices. Then I sat on the edge of the bed to fold laundry. I directed Milo how to put everything away. He picked up all the things on the floor, put dirty clothes in the hamper, all while being "the laundrybot" and making machine noises. The laundrybot accomplished a lot very quickly and was proud to help the Mombot and to earn a dollar.

The past couple of weeks on crutches has been, in a way, good for Moomin’s independent skills. He knows now where the trash bags are kept (a thing he never noticed in 3 years of living here!) and how to do laundry: put the clothes in, turn the dial, push some buttons, Mom puts in the soap; then take out wet clothes, stand on a stool to throw them into the dryer (stacked on top) and push some more buttons. Then, be proud! You helped your mom and dad!

He found his own shoes (under my bed!). It becomes way more important when you’re disabled to have things in their proper places and findable. I refrained from lecturing, but you, Internet, get to hear it. Next time, put your shoes in your cubby, and then you can find them again when you need them. (Advice I almost never follow myself, but I cruelly expect him to follow it.)

Then I drove him to "camp" and waited in the car. He bravely went up the hill in the rain and came out again with his teacher to have me sign the log book, so I didn’t have to go up the hill in the rain on crutches. I was very proud of him this morning.

It hurts to drive, and I have to go to physical therapy at 4 anyway, so I’m going to call around and ask for someone to pick him up later in the day!

I’ve set myself some goals for the day, like writing up a blog entry for work, and sending in taxes, before I get too tired, though in reality I’m already too tired. So, a rest, then work, then I’ll do physical therapy and nap and read.

I ordered a good and lightweight folding sport chair off ebay. That way I can get out of the house, can go teach my class, go to work, go speak at my conference next Tuesday, and not feel so trapped here. Pain will still be limiting, but I’ll be able to get around. The other issue here is that dragging my right leg, or as I now think of it, my zombie leg, around after me, is weighing in hard on my left knee. So I might as well get in the chair now before my knee blows out. Earlier I was resisting the idea of a chair. But now I’m desperate! An MRI happens next week, by the way.

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8 Responses to Helping and independence

  1. Robin says:

    You can get a grabber thing at Longs. Do you have tongs in the kitchen? They might do in a pinch (ha.).

  2. JM says:

    Can the kidbot get little packages out of the fridge and into the microwave for the mombot (and himself)? If so, I totally _am_ going to make a bunch of foodstuffs. Email me what you all like/dislike from this list: beans (which colors), rice (which colors), cheese (which kinds), pasta, chicken, veggies. Also, how many days/meals worth. Three days, two meals each day? will get you through the weekend. I have an oven, a bunch of tupperware, and mad cooking skillz.

  3. Liz says:

    Delurking to wish you well – I know how badly pinched nerves, suck! – and hope you're feeling better, soon.

  4. Mom101 says:

    As much as these weeks suck it seems like they're going to be filled with the memories you look back fondly on for decades. It's amazing that you're so quick to see the silver lining in it all. Me, I'd just be whining.

  5. Lisa says:

    I am *always* available to pick up and drop off any kind of food, flowers and hugs, yo. Let me konw.

  6. Angelina says:

    It's been a week since your last post so I hope you're laying low and getting well! Pinched nerves are rough…. and it reminds me that our human bodies are still a work-in-progress. why did we stand up and leave the trees again?

  7. Liz says:

    Thanks everybody! The update is that the disc is okay; there's a bunch of swelling and fluid in the joint even after it's been over a month. So in a few days they're going to inject the joint with cortisone to bring down the swelling. The orthopedist promises that within 48 hours or so I'll be able to walk and sit up without pain. I can't wait!

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