Monday, June 22, 2009

A Two-Legged Wonder

Well, the big news this week is that I'm now off crutches. To say it's a good thing would be a gross understatement. Still have to be careful going up and down stairs, but at least I can navigate them two-legged. Can carry food, and laundry, vacuum, hang up clothes, and, to the joy of husband Ken, again help with kitty litter clean up.

Freedom didn't come soon enough for the Rotary Boat Float, but did come just in time for one of my other favorite client events: ACS' Audrey Robbins Humanitarian Awards. I was able to move a bit to take the needed photos -- though all were MOST solicitous of my hobbling. Still can't drive -- which does put a crimp in things. .

We were also able to go to WV this weekend b/c I can at least climb the two story stairs. All the rain meant the Cacapon was too high and muddy to tube, to Ken's disappointment. We drove to the top of ourhill and I was able to walk in on the path about 200 feet to see the prickly pear in bloom -- one of my personal favorite WV things.

Rain suggested a trip to Cumberland and we revisted one of the area's great little gems: The Brooke Whiting House of Art ( They have an amazing collection, and currently have portrait miniatures and waxes on exhibit, which is what drew me in. Director Cassandra Pritts is lovely and interesting to talk with, and has done a great job there. If you're ever passing near or through Cumberland I recommend a stop.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Life in the Slower Lane

When we last left our heroine, she had just broken her ankle after what was an otherwise idyllic weekend. We're now two weeks out for what will probably be a 6-8 week healing (plus other rehab), if all goes well. Keep your fingers crossed.

First, comments below reflective of fact that in the scheme of life injuries I understand this is relatively minor. Nonetheless -- being able to project forward as it were. Some reflections:

Stairs are not my friend. Our 2 story house means I'm getting up and down via my butt. Friends Jim F. and Joan may have mastered stairs (but withno choice w/hip replacements!). I have not. My appreciation of the virtue of 1 story living as we get older is increasing by leaps and bounds.

Constant vigilance whenever moving around with crutches is key. Houses, shops, restaurants, rest-stop centers (a nightmare) suddenly all pose possible dangers. That lady who tried to open a door almost knocked me over (and was mortified); the person who took forever in the handicap bathroom I wanted to use b/c of grab bars...hmmmm (I'm hoping she actually had a disability, otherwise the 5+ minutes...).

Places w/good Handicap access are deeply appreciated. But I must tell you, those ramps go long distances when you're on crutches, and the rocky condition of many I've encounted make me wonder if anybody notices that a person in a wheelchair or crutches could easily tumble because their repair has been neglected.

Everything just takes longer. A five minute shower is 20 +; dressing, a slow decision and closet selections involving schelping stuff by crutch. Cooking etc -- requires a slow, methodical movement of items from refrigerator, to counter, to cooking area -- and the microvave conveniently (?) positioned over the stove demands careful consideration of balance and potholders. Our kitchen is compact, and with a very sturdy stool positioned in the middle so I can sit, I can prepare, and also fill and empty the diswasher.

Poor husband Ken has had to assume 99% of cat duty -- which is becoming increasingly burdensome. Agnes is not doing too well. Ken's also been a constantly cheerful (OK, internally maybe not EVERY second) and helpful guy -- which is pretty great, considering his life, too has been turned a bit upside down by all this.

I've spend many years in PR working with people with various disabilities -- and this experience, minor though it is -- gives me a truer appreciation of what people who don't quite fit in the "mobile norm" experience every day. It's challenging -- and fatiguing.

Our back door is my new friend -- thank goodness Charlie replaced the Dutch door and after 15 years installed a step. Now we realize we actually need to do something to the driveway.

Friends are good. Have had to ask many people for rides since I can't drive. Thank you all.