Recovery Milestones

As Promised

Per my last recovery update, I will try to make future posts 💻 shorter and to the point, and focus on a few topics only.

As I’ve passed a few important recovery milestones this week, and am confident that I can start to see the light at the end of this tunnel created by trauma, I thought I’d share them with you.

Visit to Orthopedia (WBAT!)

Since I passed the waiting mark of 12 weeks from surgery on Tuesday, (which also happened to be my 54th birthday 🎉 , making me 53 years old – do the math) I had a follow-up appointment with the surgeon who repaired my ankle.

He poked at it a bit, and said it looked good, asked me if it was painful and gave me a written order to “Weight Bear As Tolerated” (WBAT) which is a green light to “therapy the hell out of it” as much as I can stand. (Pun unintended). 👣

To get to the appointment in Olympia, I had my first encounter with Paratransit ♿️ services. A bus showed up at the appointed time, and wheeled me into the back in my wheelchair, and securely strapped me in with ratchet straps attached to the wheelchair and seat-belts on me. me and my appointment minder Pharrel were off and running and made it early to Olympia for my appointment.

Paratransit Selfie – in Wheelchair

The ride was not terribly comfortable, being so high up I was pitched back and forth a bit with the sway of the road. On the return however, a small Dodge mini-van pulled up (20 minutes late) and I was wheeled in a specially constructed trough through the back hatch. The smaller, more intimate conditions of the mini-van was well received. There was even a seperate environmental control for the rider. 👍🏻

It seem to me that it might be a lucrative business to be in, as America’s population is only getting older (and less healthy) and it would be easy to get dispatched business from the regional ParaTransit services.

Are you on the bus?

Paratransit bus interior

Since I have received permission to stand on my leg, and to start walking (shuffling, shambling, ambling?) I walked for the first time in three months. It was a glorious affair, as can be deduced from the smile on my face in the picture below.

Put one foot in front of the other...Soon I’ll be walking out that door. <click for video>

I really didn’t have to put much weight on the walker, which was mainly for standing leverage and balance, as I am not being assisted in standing or walking. 🚶🏿

I ended up doing a few small circles inside the therapy gym, about 10 meters max. I will be walking as long as I can stand it today during my scheduled ⏱ therapy session. (post-therapy edit: I did 102.2 meters of walking today)

Weight Lost

My second big milestone this week, was my weekly weigh-in. ⚖️ I had been overdue for a weigh-in due to general busyness around here, and because I can stand, I don’t need to be hoisted up via hoyer. I can just stand up on the scale, and have my wheelchair backed out of the way.

Official weight as of February 14 is 334.6 pounds, which means I have lost 85+ pounds since I injured my ankle in late November. Whoo Hoo! 🎉

Weight Loss Graph - 3 Months

Weight Loss Progress Graph – 3 Months

I attribute the weight loss to simple mathematics. Diligently counting every calorie, no matter how seemingly innocuous has made it possible to know when the portions are big enough, and not to continue eating “just because.”

I highly recommend taking advantage of the health features of your smartphone, smart watch with connected apps to track calories and activity.

Another Move?

I said I’d try to make this update more brief, and I hope I’ve succeeded in that regard. I’ll keep posting updates. I’ll leave a slight teaser for my next post, and say that a third recovery milestone is on the horizon. As I had previously checked into the possibility of being admitted to CHI Franciscan Rehab Hospital, on the old site of the former Afifi Shrine Temple in Tacoma. Now that I have weight bearing status, I have started the ball rolling to get moved up there, where I will get additional therapy, with a specifically tailored regimen based on my needs, with the goal of getting me home after a two-week stay. Please wish me good fortune. 🔮

Gratitude

Thanks to all those who have sent gifts 🎁 , cards, snacks, etc. based on my plea for stuff and things. All of your support is valuably appreciated. Special shout out to Dwight, Jim, Rich, Chris, DaveO (UW), Adam, Scott, and the Pizza Hut driver who delivered a pizza 🍕 on my birthday since I was stuck here, and too much snow on the ground for visitors.

*See last post for contact, mailing info, and updated Amazon Wish List requests.

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What to do with Capitol Lake?

In yesterday’s Olympian Newspaper, Allen Miller wrote an editorial suggesting that the Capitol Lake vs estuary question is the primary issue in this year’s local election.  Do you Agree?  What do you think should happen to the lake, and how should the local government and state proceed?   Take the poll below, and let your voice be heard.

Capitol with Lake and Fog

Testing

Nothing to see here, (okay actually, I’ll post the photo I took of the Barefoot Bandit getting his perp walk on Bank Lane at her Majesty’s Court in Nassau last month.) I’m just firing up the old blogging mechanisms and testing this incarnation of the iPhone WordPress client.

Peace

Throwing Baird Out

I needed to post this, to explain why I’m going to Napavine tomorrow morning, to vote for Cheryl Crist, who is challenging sitting incumbent Brian Baird for the party nomination to run for the 3rd Congressional District seat in the U.S. Congress. It is not an easy explanation for me to make.

I dissolved any ties I had (albeit loose ones) with the Washington State Republicans back in the late 1980s.  An Evangelical Christian faction had basically taken over the party, and I could not stomach seeing the likes of the people who were rising to become leadership in the Legislature.  I was revolted and turned off by them, in comparison to the Libertarian ideals which had drawn me, along with the cushy patronage jobs I kept secured by illegally campaigning for the state Republican Party.  The illegal campaigning was all been done with orders from my boss in the House Republican Caucus Communications office, Leslie MacMillan, and the blessings of the House R Caucus Executive, and “sin industry” lobbyist Vito Chiechi, under the direction of none other than Jennifer Dunn, who later became one of our U.S. Senators.  “Both sides do it, it’s okay, we’ll protect your jobs, just fill out these sick-day forms, and we’ll turn them in if the other side asks us why you’re missing” is what we were all told.  From this experience, I feel I learned a lot about how people cut corners to get ahead, and why they should never do that when it comes to politics and their responsibilities in the public arena.

Alas, I’m older now, (and much more principled, I think) and feel I have to do something now to change the direction in which our country is headed.  I was against the War in 2003, and I’m even more against it now.  In fact, I’m against using war, weapons, and violence as a means to solve any economic, social or political disagreement, and I vow never to participate in such foolishness, but instead to help those who may be hurt in our community by such actions. (To some, this is a subversive statement, go figure.)

So tomorrow I travel to Napavine, to cast my vote as Precinct Committee Officer for my district as the Democrats try to re-assert control over who runs on their party ticket following repeated findings by courts that the primary process in Washington is unconstitutional.  I will vote for Cheryl Crist.  I don’t do it with glee, as I like Brian Baird well enough, I’ve communicated with him, and given advice on Telecommunications issues that affect consumers, and overall he’s done a decent job.  However, he abdicated his responsibility as a Congressman under the constitution to declare war, and instead gave president Bush a blank check, and more war powers to the Presidency.  He still feels we need to stay in Iraq, and that is too troubling to me to not do something to remove him from office.

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Republican Madness

How can the people be so easily hoodwinked? How can so many people watch Fox(un)News and think it’s anything other than revolting?

Stop watching Springer, put down the remote and read a goddamn book, you foolish foolish sheeple!

God help us if we elect that crazyman John McCain (“I’m Brian Fellows, you’re CrAZy”*) And I thought Bush was whack!

* Brian Fellows joke courtesy of Dingo, and of course, Tracy Morgan and SNL. 😉