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.
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.
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.
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)
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! 🎉
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.
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. 🔮
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.