Thursday, May 29, 2014

My Accident - Part VII

What other items become needed? I drink a lot of water so a couple of water bottles were important to me. One was for my bedroom and one for wherever I was sitting during the day. If you are a tea or coffee drinker that needs to be set up. A friend brought me an electric hot water kettle and I love it. I have it where it is easily accessible and where I sit during the day. I had another friend bring me a mug with a good handle and top which I was able to hold in my hand while I walk (it was a very short distance to a table). It’s the little things that we don’t think are important when we are use to just walking over and getting something so easily but that becomes major when you are hobbling around on one leg.

What else became so essential? A bag that I could hook onto my walker. Oh my goodness, how important that came to be as I would hobble along from one room to another. When you have no free hand to carry anything the bag becomes your best friend. I set out at first to make my own. I started crocheting one and for some reason lost interest in it after a friend gave me hers to borrow. It has two strips of Velcro which made it easy to put on, remove and adjust on the walker.

So what items did I carry in my bag? A notebook and pen is number one. Having one place to put notes in is essential. You don’t want to be writing things on separate pieces of paper like important phone numbers, doctor appointments, grocery lists etc… Don’t forget items like a container of wipes and lotion. I have these items in a bag by my bed and where I sit most of the day. You are not going to be able to get up all the time to wash your hands so the wipes come in handy and also my skin gets dry so I want lotion by me.

I had a friend that gathered a big bag of grocery bags. And at first I said that’s a lot of bags. But you know I have gone through a lot of them. I have a garbage bag where I sit all day, one by my bed and I use one in the bathroom so that it is easy to grab when gathering the garbage to be taken out. I want to throw this away and I can’t get back up, If you have an injury like mine you don’t want to get back up because it takes energy. Making your space more convenient is huge. You want to make the situation as pleasant as possible.

Something else that was a challenge is that I had a cat. I kept telling myself to establish with a pet sitter just in case and I never did. You might be in the same boat. I am fortunate in one way because I have a cat and not a dog. Cats don’t need a lot of anything just food, water and a clean place to poop. With that said though, you need supplies for a longer period of time so that you won’t have to worry about it.

One of my friends is a pet sitter so I didn’t have to explain about what to get just the brand. That was easy for me. I have enough food for two months and cat litter also. My friend found me a couple of toys that are battery operated so that my Shadow (my babies name) could still get exercise and play time since I couldn’t play with him as I usually do. The challenge for me was getting him water since I was non-weight bearing and I am using a walker. So his bowls are nearest to the bathroom so I would bend and push it towards the bathroom and change the water and when I was putting it back in place I would use the end of the mop to push it along. What we have to come up with to do the things that need to be done. We become creative.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

My Accident - Part VI

When you are faced with a situation like this and you live by yourself you don’t know who or if anyone will be there for you. I was pleasantly surprised. To start things working two of my dear friends came over that Saturday and rearranged my stuff so that my walker could be used more comfortably and safely. One of my friends calls it command central. But you know it makes a lot of sense. I really appreciated their help and needed it desperately.

The refrigerator was rearranged so that the most recent foods are put behind the foods that needed to be used first. My food shelf was rearranged so that I could get things that I use daily up front and brought down closer to my reach. What a beautiful thing. In the dish drain I keep a set of silverware for easy reach, one small plate and plastic containers with lids in different sizes. I was fortunate because my friend borrowed a walker with the wheels and seat. That has been the best thing I could have since I’m non-weight bearing (meaning no weight on the bad leg). It is small enough to get around my apartment but I mostly use it in the kitchen and it makes it so easy to do tasks like the dishes (I don’t have a dish washer) to get to the refrigerator and roll back to the counter.

I don’t have counter space so I put some things in plastic grocery bags and hung them up where I could reach them easily. Because I don’t have counter space I use my ironing board for space to put my dishes and plastic ware on because it is easily accessible and that is what is needed. You don’t want to take a chance and try to reach for anything on a shelf and rise up on your toes just to lose your balance and come down on that bad leg would not be good. So think of things that you need every day and make sure they are put at a place that you can easily get them. You must get out of the way what you don’t use so that there is room for things you will be using on a daily bases.

My kitchen table was used for specifics. I had brought a lazy suzy (it is round and it swivels around) for just organizing a few things for easy reach in the food closet before I fell but now it works out great for my vitamins and a couple of boxes of herbal teas. I am able to be in the chair I use and swivel it around and get what I need. I have a bag of paper napkins and a roll of paper towels. These are things that you can easily forget when you settle down with your food. I also have plastic utensils just in case you forget something to eat with, plastic bag of toothpicks and plastic bag with salt and pepper packs.

For safety reasons make sure you take up any area rugs that are not secured down. You don’t want to slip on them. I don’t have any rugs except in my bedroom which is a wall to wall rug. But I used the socks from the hospital since they had the gripping bottoms and they worked well for me. But they wear out so before you leave the hospital ask for another pair so you can change up. One of my friends brought a couple of extra pairs at the dollar store.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

My Accident Part V

You might be someone that is just starting to read my blog and wonder why I am writing about my injury. It's because it was a shock to me when it happened and I didn't know what to expect or what to do. I hope me writing about it can help others that are also shocked by what happens to them and maybe help them to breath and plan towards healing. Or you could know someone that needs a little guidance through the ordeal.

The first few days can be most trying because you are adjusting and you are probably hurting on different degree levels. Just remember that you are going to have off days meaning some days you will be up and others you will be down. You might be uncomfortable with pain or throbbing. You might have too much time to think about your situation. You can’t predict how you are going to feel physically or emotionally from day to day. I've learned that the best thing to do is take one day at a time.

When I first came home from the hospital I was in an unusual good mood. I think the drugs were still working. I felt fine about the whole thing. And then as time went on I started feeling the ups and downs that my situation brings. I was on pain medicine at first. I'm the type of person that only takes them as needed and the pain was not bad. We are not all the same in the pain department.

Before I saw the X-rays I didn’t know where the pins and plates really were even though the doctor said they were on both sides of my ankle. At my first doctor visit I saw the x-rays and where the pins and plate were. I felt better after that. Now I knew why I have pain in certain places. The pain would come sharply and then subside. I never knew when the pain was going to come. It was essential for me to see the x-rays and for my doctor to explain just what is where and what to expect. Not everyone wants to know all the details.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

My Accident Part IV

I tell you that you really don't know how these injuries can wipe your energy level especially me because I am still working and after work I want to go to bed. Hopping on one leg during the day makes you really tired. I had all in tentions of keeping this blog up but I am just tired alot. But I still want to share so I am still going to write the posts.

Continuing with my accident, when the hospital thinks that you are going to be taken care of services that you are entitled to can be put on hold. I wasn't thinking about that. I didn’t even know about the services that I could get. I had gotten my walker which was number one that I needed and a raised toilet set. I didn’t know that even though I left the hospital and didn't make any arrangements that I still was entitled to a nurse, home health aide, physical therapist and occupational therapist. You get those tid bits of information when others you are around have been through hospital stays.

One thing to remember is that if you have insurance there are certain things that you are entitled to and you need to talk with the social worker or Patient Relations, whatever the person is called that handles those things and have that discussion to see what could be set up. I know where I was the social worker did the leg work for me which was really nice. She got in touch with the insurance company and found out what I was entitled to. The number of visits can vary and change depending upon how you do once you are home but find out what you can get.

You want to make sure that when you leave the hospital you are set with what you need. Take with you your basin, water container, bed pan. You paid for them and you might need them at home. Make sure that the doctor or nurse instructs you on blood clot prevention like baby aspirin or Bayer but make sure you ask about that and how often to take it and a prescription for pain medicine. Ask if compression stockings would help for blood clot prevention. Make sure you see the social worker to get set up with things your insurance will cover from crutches to a grabber. Also discuss what you might be graduating to from the walker. Is it a four foot cane or regular cane and you can maybe get that so that you would be set for later. It will just make your healing process so much better having as much as you can in place.

My cousin picked me up from the hospital and I came home. What an ordeal I had when I arrived home with the ice situation at my complex which I am not even going to get into.