Sunday, April 19, 2015

Last Day?

Last day on this earth?


Me yesterday in front of my neighbor Barbara's weeping cherry tree - correction - me and my leg brace

Last day of the sale?

Armageddon just around the corner?

Oh what could Ron be referring to?  

Well folks, I think today, is the last day I'll be wearing this damn brace on my leg.  

I've been wearing this brace since I fell way back on that dark zero degree night of February 18th while leaving work.  And I'm here to tell I am TIRED of wearing this brace.
The novelty has definitely worn off.  And I have extracted every bit of pity possible from friends, co-workers, neighbors and strangers as I've been hobbling around these parts with this hideous brace for the last two months.  

The leg brace was put on to keep my leg straight while the tissues of my quadricep muscles that I ruptured when I fell in the ice.





Quadricep Femoris Muscle
For those of you who don't know what a quadricep muscle does here is a description:

All four quadriceps are powerful extensors of the knee joint. They are crucial in walking, running, jumping and squatting. Because rectus femurs attaches to the ilium, it is also a flexor of the hip. This action is also crucial to walking or running as it swings the leg forward into the ensuing step. The quadriceps, specifically the vastus medialis, play the import role in stabilizing the patella and the knee joint during gait.



What I ruptured was the part of the leg at very top of this illustration, quadriceps femoris. After I fell, I couldn't swing my leg forward.  My left leg was useless, dangling like a piece of dead meat. 

Now I can swing my leg forward. I can now bend my leg about 20%.  If I bend it back any further it locks and I don't want to force anything. I believe the muscle tissue is still healing.  But every morning I get up and use my leg, I feel I can bend it even a bit more. I hope that's not just my imagination or wishful thinking.

This has been some ordeal folks. I think this is the worst health situation I've ever had because it has made me realize how vulnerable I am to being totally helpless with one fall.  Thank God I had Bill here or else I would still be in a rehab center.  

I still can't drive or even sit in the passenger seat.  I need to have the ability to bend my leg more in order to do that.  But at least I can walk unaided with a cane and I can swing my leg forward, which is crucial to walking.  I'm still a little unsteady on my feed without the cane but I'm way better than a month ago when I was totally dependent on a walker in getting around.

Guess what I did yesterday?  I planted plants.  Of course I couldn't get on my knees and plant those alyssum plants but I managed.  And I could only plant one flat, because I was exhausted.  I don't want to push my luck.  But I do want to get back to my regular routine.

This morning, for the first time since my accident I vacuumed cleaned.  Hooray!  Now to clean my wood floors, although this time I will do it with a dust mop instead of on my hands and knees like I usually do.

Yesterday, when I laid down to take my nap the realization came to me that I have a little more than a month to go until I'm back to normal.  And I'm here to tell you folks, I actually got a little excited.  This ordeal has been a long row to hoe folks.  I would love to have a few months or even years of just good health so I can enjoy like before the Grim Reaper comes to collect his due.  

So get out there folks and enjoy this wonderful spring day.  That's what I'm going to do now because I have that other flat of alyssum plants to plant.


Smiling more these days folks!

22 comments:

  1. Enjoy each day, it is good to see you getting stronger.
    Even if you are not ready to drive, being rid of the brace you will find getting in and out of the car so much easier. Take care,

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    1. David,
      Getting in and out of the car now is such an ordeal. I can't wait until I can just get in a car like a regular person. And driving! Then I know I am back to normal.
      Ron

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  2. Have to admit that my heart missed a beat when I read the first words, Ron - but all is clear now and I do hope that you really are about to enter a rejuvenated life.
    In a much more modest and less dramatic way than yours, when I took my very public tumble on the street last August, for months afterwards I was wondering if I'd ever recover completely. Mercifully I now almost have and have even started to do modest little jogs in the park some mornings.
    The body's capacity to self-heal is quite remarkable, even for those of our relatively advanced age. So it's very satisfying to read that you're getting there so efficiently, and particularly in not having missed the best part of the year.
    Looking forward to see pics of yourself and Bill trampolining!

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    Replies
    1. Ray.
      I am amazed at our body's ability to heal. I was really concerned that I would be lame the rest of my life after this injury. But my doctor assured me that my injury was fairly common and would heal in time. All I had to do was be patient, exercise, eat the right food (lots of protein) and think positive. The patience part has been the hardest because I do so want to get back to my regular active life as does Bill.
      By the way, this is off subject but did you review the movie "Belle"? I saw it last night and couldn't finish it. It was so boring. One would think with that subject matter and storyline it would be interesting but the director had a way or making it boring. It was a shame because I like those period English pieces.
      Ron

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    2. Yes, I saw 'Belle', Ron, and rated it 5/10. I seem to remember it as being strangely forgettable despite the promise of its true-based narrative - in other words virtually identical with your own opinion.

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    3. Ray,
      I don't know what it was; pacing, directing, cinematography . . . . . I just found the movie boring. I expected it to be very predictable (which it was) but at least be innovative with the filming and acting. It wasn't.
      Ron

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  3. Its good to see the smiling Face. Glad you are getting back in the swing of things

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    Replies
    1. I'm smiling a lot more these days Tommy. I can actually see a light at the end of this dark tunnel.
      Ron

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  4. Anonymous11:17 AM

    Long time reader and nurse ( and live in Cape May ! ). I really hope you speak with your physician about getting some physical therapy. Actually very surprised that you have not had this two weeks post op. You have had muscle atrophy and need to learn what you should do to prevent any other injury. Just don't remove the brace and start your "normal" activities. Please get some guidance.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you for this very helpful advice. I will ask my doctor tomorrow.
      Ron

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  5. I am amazed at how positive you have stayed through this entire ordeal! You are a man among men. My broken arm didn't cause all the inconvenience that your leg has, but I do remember the long, miserable recovery period when things I'd never done left-handed were now becoming de rigeur. I, too, am surprised that you haven't started any PT, I was less than a week post-op when mine started. But "anon" is right, make sure to find out what you can and can't do. The removal of the brace is not carte blanche to start running those marathons you love so well! HAHAHAHAHA

    Peace <3
    Jay

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    Replies
    1. Thank you very much Jay. To me there is no other option than making the best of it. I was warned the biggest challenge I would have was patience and they were right. As far as my PT goes, when I dislocated my knee (my other leg) back in 1962, I didn't begin PT until the cast was off my leg after being on for six weeks. Maybe that's the same scenario here, once the brace is off then I begin PT. By the way, I don't run marathons or any kind of running but I do like to take a brisk one or two mile walk a day. Oh how I miss that activity.
      Ron

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  6. My initial thought was to say "Don't overdo it, Ron" - - but, in retrospect, I'm delighted that you're doing things again. Your positive state of mind is what's accelerating the healing process. I sure hope you and that leg brace will part company SOON.

    By the way, I love that gorgeous weeping cherry tree.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jon,
      I am very careful to strike a balance between activity/exercise and rest. I want to give that muscle (quadriceps) time to heal but I don't want my whole leg to atrophy like it did when I dislocated my knee (my other leg) back in 1962. That said, I will be glad to part company with this leg brace, especially now that the warm weather is upon us. My leg itches if it doesn't get some air.
      Ron

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  7. Ron - I certainly second what Anonymous said. There might be specific exercises to ensure proper connectivity and alignment among other things. At least I would be thinking that. But a great photo of you in the garden. And I also agree with Raybeard's comment on how well the body has the ability to heal.

    Good days are ahead.

    Pat

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    Replies
    1. Pat,
      When I dislocated my knee (on my other leg back in 1962), I had a plaster cast for six weeks. Once that cast came off then I began PT. Maybe that's the same case here. I'll make sure to ask my doctor tomorrow. I hope he's not assuming I'm already going to PT. I am amazed at how the body heals. Nothing short of a miracle isn't it?
      Ron

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  8. Ron,

    Hope it is the last day! It is time for you to get your life back! Hoping it happens. Just be careful!

    Cindy from Sonoma

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    1. Cindy,
      I hope this is the last day for this brace too and I can start on the last month of my recuperation from that fall that now seems like so long ago.
      Ron

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  9. I know the real reason you are grinning like the Cheshire cat - you weaseled out of a peg leg.

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    Replies
    1. You're damn right I did! (smile)

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  10. So the rectus femoris attaches to the ilium...who knew???

    Glad you're ditching the brace, Ron. But be sure to rehab the injured body part properly, as other have noted.

    :-)

    -Andy

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    Replies
    1. Andy,
      Just back from the doctor's. I still have to wear the brace (which I feel I should) but I do begin physical therapy. Progress!!!!!
      Ron

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