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June 4, 2006

Blogging on...
Carolyn's great adventure with ankle fusion.

It’s Sunday and my ankle fusion will happen on Wednesday.

I am soooo excited. It’s like preparing for a new baby. No one in their right mind would welcome labour OR fusion surgery .....but just as I anticipated my new babies ...I anticipate a new ankle and the change it will bring to my everyday life.

I’m not looking to ski off cliffs ...or even ski at all. Scared the shit out of me, skiing did. Thank goodness I’ll never get talked into that again.

I’ll never run again, and frankly, I’ve always hated it. Too many bad memories of the hairy-legged phys-ed teacher ordering me out on the track for another mile. “Let’s gooooooo, moooooooove it.” I gratefully accept a permanent excuse to never ever again be guilted into thinking, I too should be training for the marathon.

But I AM dreaming of hopping out of bed and walking to the bathroom without clutching the furniture. I’m dreaming of grocery shopping without hanging myself over the cart for support. I’m dreaming of walking around an art gallery or heading down a path in the woods or walking across a room with my sweet niece in my arms.

Big dreams for someone who’s been nursing a disintegrating ankle for years.

So, just like I did in the final days of my pregnancies, I am preparing for the next weeks and months.

I‘ve laid in a supply of toothpaste and toiletries. In fact, rummaging in the back of the bathroom cupboard last night I discovered enough toothpaste to supply the Canadian army.

I’ve cooked, portioned, and frozen about 30 dinners. No 1 husband is so thrilled. He hates leftovers. So I’ve also stored away easy-to-prepare meal fixings for my willing-but-not-too-talented resident chef – a humongous jar of peanut butter and twenty loaves of bread. Just kidding. Well, not actually, but I’ve also bought a case of Kraft Dinner. He mastered that pre-marriage. We won’t starve but just in case, I’ve trained him to drive to Costco all by himself.

I’ve purchased a laz-y-girl recliner and reading lamp and positioned them in the tv room. The guitar I haven’t played in ten years has been recovered from the basement and is propped hopefully beside the chair.

I’ve been to the Red Cross and come home with a truck load of gear ...wheelchair, walker, crutches, toilet frames, commode. No 1 husband has built ramps ...not just from the garage to the back door ...but from each room that has a door onto the sundeck.

If there is any sun this summer ...I’ll be set. I have a hammock out there: my prize possession from a trip to Costa Rica. Getting in and out of it in a surgical boot could be a comedy routine with disastrous consequences for my healing so I’ll keep it hanging out there ...a goal for the final weeks of recovery when I’ll be more nimble.

This week I was informed that my first two weeks will be spent flat on my back ...ankle a minimum of six inches higher than my heart. For a few minutes this took me aback, but I’ve met the challenge and prepared my nest.

The bedside table has been cleared of sex aids ...am not anticipating being in the mood for those too quickly (take note longsuffering No.1) It’s now stocked with pain killers, liniment creams for aching shoulders, throat lozenges, sleeping mask, reading glasses, water bottle, tissues, phone, Discman, and a list of exercises that will help prevent total muscle atrophy. If I actually DO these I should come out of this surgery with more muscles mass than I am starting with.

A bedside commode has been installed for the first weeks ....I’ve tossed a towel over it and an old carpet under it. You figure out why. The commode does seem a tad over the top but the education nurse was insistent ...no taking one step further than was absolutely necessary for the first two weeks, so there you go.

To amuse myself I’ve:

Positioned a wireless router so it beams a strong signal into the bedroom. With a laptop perched on my chest, and my phone at arms reach, my command of the universe will not falter.

Organized a selection of projects to work on from flat-on-my-back. I have some high expectations, but will be satisfied if I finally finish organizing the jpegs from our last big holiday. Considering the holiday was six months long and the photos number in excess of 10,000, this would be no small accomplishment.

Collected up every book I’ve bought, borrowed and not read ...there are dozens. We’ll see how fast I read. Some people are sure going to be surprised when they get their books back.

Found the harmonica I was given for my 40th birthday and tucked into the bedside drawer. My attempts to FINALLY master this should keep door-to-door solicitors moving on down the street.

If I’m still bored I figure I’ll start writing a novel in which I wreck revenge on everyone who has ever done me wrong ...and I’ll have lots of time to remember who you are :)

I think I’m ready for my rebirth.

Stay tuned.

Carolyn Usher