It is hard to believe all that has gone on and how fast April seemed to come and go. One month ago on April Fool’s Day Mom slipped (on a grape), landed on her knee, crawled for three (3) hours to get to the phone and the final verdict was she broke her femur only inches above her already fake knee. To repair it in an emergency surgery, they had to straighten the break and insert a 1/4″ screw through both bones. They put in a plate covering the entire length of the bone with eight smaller screws on the outside of her thigh. Her doctor is amazed; she is up and around using a wheelchair and with a plastic bag over the immobilizing brace which keeps her leg from bending she can shower.
Mom has been counting down the days to this meeting and added the appointment to her “Another Step” list, which she uses measure her progress. The list includes others items like, of course, all tubes removed, off narcotics, able to get out of bed alone, able to go to the restroom alone, putting light weight on the leg and the one month follow-up with the surgeon. I think this is a great idea for anyone in a long-term situation like this, simply use a notepad and pen or a notepad app on your smart phone. Then keep track of every milestone and when you’re feeling down, go back and read how far you’ve actually come. It could be a mood enhancer.
We meet at the doctor’s office because she has to be transported. She is in the care of the rehab facility and she is their responsibility and there’s no way she getting into a car or my SUV. The doctor is also amazed at the healing. He said normally there is still significant scabbing, staples are still in, etc. and mom has none of those. As usual one of mom’s first questions is, “When can I drive?” This I’m going to step away from for now and give you all her other updates:
- Leg is looking great, better than expected.
- Can remove the brace if sitting or laying in bed at night or when showering. It must be on at all other times.
- Can place very minimal weight on the leg during therapy, when transferring from bed to wheelchair and back, etc.
- Can start working on range of motion, which now is at about 5%.
- No driving until you can safely work the pedals. “Period.”
Her total recovery is now looks like this:
- 4 weeks, no weight at all
- 4-6 weeks, minimal weight (transfers and minor therapy only)
- 4-6 weeks, learning to walk again
- TOTAL RECOVERY TIME: 4-5 months
Of course this is not what anyone wants to hear. On the other hand, she’s saving by not putting gas going in her car. She’s not buying food or spending money on her buddy, Taffy.
She’s racking up some saving in the bank. There are really major benefits with this happening, it’s helping bring her out of her depression, fast. She’s eating a set diet and it’s helping her trim the pounds. I am proud of her because she rolled into the dietitian’s office and ask to be put on the “No Salt Diet” and not the “Low Salt Diet.” That’s pretty major. With everyone around–therapists, the doctor every morning, nurses, aides, myself and the rest of the family–she doesn’t have time to be depressed. For her upcoming birthday, we plan to get some decent take-out and have dinner with Mom at the rehab facility and bring a cake made with mini muffins to help keep the calorie count down.
Here’s to Mom: Wishing she gets proper care, great food, quality rest, fabulous family, friends and furry animals. And to getting back on your feet asap. Work hard or you’re hardly working.
- Me, Myself and Mom (caregiving.com)
- She Just Couldn’t Stay Away (caregiving.com)
- Getting a Break: Ideas to Get a Few Hours of Respite (caregiving.com)
- Being Thankful (caregiving.com)