June 2021 Update

Another month has flown by and I haven’t given an update. Between doctors appointments and therapies, I’ve been pretty busy. I’m hoping to do updates more often, but will still be doing therapies for awhile.

Physical and Occupational Therapy

Within the past week, I got the all clear to stop using the cane, so I’ve been walking without it pretty well. I still have to be careful not to lose my balance, especially with holes or uneven surfaces as a fall could be pretty serious for me, but my walking gets better all the time.

I am moving to an independent physical therapy program. My main focus for right now is getting stronger. My left side is still weak, especially compared to the right, and I struggle with being able to lift my left leg very far. Climbing over things, such as logs, or stepping over a bench is still very tricky for me right now. Even stepping over our dog Wesley can be tricky, although with him it doesn’t help that he moves right as I step! We joke that he’s really trying to make sure I’m getting a good therapy session, and make it even more challenging.

My left wrist seems to have reached a limit for now at least. I can get it to turn about 40-45 degrees. I can see my palm, but can’t turn the wrist over all the way to put things in my hand, such as medicine and coins. This is still a long way from where my wrist was in the beginning, where I couldn’t turn it at all, but it is not as far as we would like. It may be stuck in this place for now at least though. I will be wrapping up occupational therapy sessions soon, and moving to independent at home sessions. Hopefully with time, it will be able to turn a little more. If not, we will be talking with my surgeon about it and looking at other options. It could be that with the damage done, this is as far as the wrist will be permanently, but it is also possible that the muscles just need more time to be stretched out. There was just a lot of damage. One of the therapists mentioned that years ago, they would have just amputated my type of brake. They were able to save my arm, but it may take a long time for the wrist to heal, if it ever turns fully again. I can use my elbow to compensate and turn my arm more, and I’ve already started to do this naturally.

Internal Damage

During the accident, my liver, colon, small intestine and stomach were all damaged. Recent testing has shown that I also have an esophageal tear. We meet with a surgeon soon to see about checking on the liver and to see what the plan is with the esophageal tear.

Daily Life

I’m slowly getting into a new “normal”, whatever that is. I still have weakness on my left side, and may have that for a long time. I’m learning to compensate and also working hard to build it back. I hope to return to teaching this fall. A lot will depend on any upcoming surgeries and when they might take place. I’m moving around more and more at home. I can mostly dress myself like normal now, other than my left side, especially my foot. For that, I have a special device called a sock aid that I use daily for socks, and a shoe horn to help put my tennis shoe on that foot.

I also use grab bars when climbing stairs or getting in and out of the shower. I have started getting into a car a little more normally, but sometimes I still need to sit down sideways and swing my legs in. I drove for the first time last week! It wasn’t easy, and my left wrist was sore afterwards for a couple of days, but it will get better in time. I just need to keep practicing. My right side is really learning to make up for the weaknesses on the left!

I’ve been able to do some laundry, although I can only move small amounts at one time so lifting a basket like I used to isn’t as doable yet. I’ve also been able to do some gardening, with the help of one of our nieces and two of our nephews.

A work in progress. We are waiting for the wood chips to settle before adding more to our little garden. The table in the background has been my “workspace” for gardening things because I can’t bend down very far yet. This is getting better each week, but is still a work in progress too.

We put in more native plants, added stepping stones to one garden and got a new bird bath and a couple of owl garden statues. We also did container gardening this year, and planted a few pumpkins. I’m really hoping to have at least some green beans, tomatoes, and pumpkins, but we’ll see.

We visited the Concrete Statuary near Kalkaska to get the bird bath and owls. It is such a neat place! They have great quality work, and so many awesome statues!

We also added a little solar fountain to the bird bath as an extra to attract more birds, and butterfly rain gauges so we gauge how much rain we are getting. It has been a dry summer so far! The last couple of days, we’ve finally gotten some much needed rain.

Our new bird bath and little solar fountain. The fountain needs lots of sunlight to work!

I will try to update more often. As my hands get stronger and I can type more at one time, I don’t need to depend on the voice to text as much, and can type a lot faster than I can speak. I’m also getting into a routine so that I can work physical and occupational therapy activities into my daily hobbies, and since writing is something I enjoy, I’m hoping to do more on this blog.