I have been meaning to update this blog for the past week. But I have realized everything takes me 10 times as long and costs 10 times the energy as it used to. By the time 5:00 rolls around, I’m so exhausted I feel like I must have done a lot: Fed dog? Check. Fed cats? Check. Shower? Check. Phew, big day.
Ok, I’ve done a little more than that. But not much.
However, I’ve learned a lot and come up with creative ways to function. My tips so far, should you ever find yourself in this situation:
You can turn a lot of things into a backpack. Laundry bag? Backpack. Garbage bag? Backpack. What you can’t carry on your back, you can drag.
There is a solution out there if you look hard enough. I thought I was so smart when I went to the grocery store with my big Patagonia backpack to carry my groceries home. But I quickly realized I hadn’t thought the whole shopping thing through: a) I couldn’t push a cart and b) a backpack really wasn’t useful for the actual shopping part of the trip. So after standing there, helpless, in front of the eggs, I flipped my backpack around and wore it on my front. It wasn’t really comfortable – not being designed as a front pack – but it worked. And fortunately I don’t mind looking like a dork.
After that first trip, I spent some valuable time on Google and came up with a front carry dog pack. It works great for shopping and for carrying things around the house. And I’m set if I ever have a small yappy dog. Ha ha ha. NOT going to happen. Although after THE KNEE INCIDENT with Puck…
Give yourself a LOT of extra time. I have learned not to have expectations of what I can accomplish in a day. I’m lucky if I get one thing done besides the necessities. I have learned I can’t get anywhere fast and not to try. I’m becoming adept at prioritizing what has to be done and ignoring the rest.
Think 5 steps ahead. I can’t easily run back down the stairs to grab the thing I left sitting by the door, so I try to maximize each trip and think through what I might need in the near future. The back pack and front pack help.
Don’t think about what you can’t do; think about what you can. I can’t ride a bike, run, or do anything that requires two legs. But I CAN ride a hand cycle. And, thanks to the Adaptive Sports Center here, I am borrowing one until my very own hand cycle arrives. I figure it is worth the investment – I won’t be biking or running outside for 4-6 months – it gives me a way to get outside and to take Puck out. And I will donate it to the Adaptive Sports Center once I’m through with it. I AM going to put a caveat on that donation that if I ever need it again… I get to borrow it back.
I actually used a hand cycle when I had ankle surgery and it was wonderful to have. It got me outside and kept me sane. If you have never tried it, let me assure you that hand cycling is hard as hell. Yesterday I realized the shifting on my borrowed bike would not allow me into granny gear. I barely made it up one hill, my arms working as hard as they could, shaking with the effort. I cut that ride short and took the bike in to be fixed today. So now I have granny back.
Give yourself a break. Not literally, already did that. But I had to realize this week that the most important thing is healing. I have to rest, elevate, ice, sleep. Repeat. I have started to do some exercise and PT, but I have modified my expectations. I hope to be able to maintain some strength but a full leg brace definitely makes everything a bit more challenging. At least I can put weight on the leg. The silver lining. So I’ll do what I can and TRY not to worry about it too much.
My new theme song will be “Let it Go”! Just call me Elsa.
Say yes to kindness. Say yes every time someone offers to help. Resist the urge to say, “No, really, you don’t need to do that” and instead say, “Yes, please!” I’m becoming good at this. And I’m learning how to ask for help too. I would never make it through this without everyone who has come to my aid. Puck has pretty much forgotten his Mom exists. He doesn’t even look back at me when Carrie or Sarah or Jason comes to pick him up. And he loves the doggie daycare lady. I feel like a third wheel. But I am so thankful. A tired Puck is an easy Puck.
Oh yea, one more thing: Don’t drop your computer on a slate tile floor. Computers appear to not like that.
That’s all for now. I’m exhausted.