Sunday, February 26, 2017

Confessions of a broken back

[this post contains no affiliate links, just pictures to help get my point across]
I'm three weeks out from the small miracle of breaking my back in such a way as to be laid up but not paralyzed, have no concern about surgery and like as not to have no further complications. All that is required of me is to recouperate in the next three to four weeks and okay, possibly some physical therapy from doing no bending and twisting. 

If I wasn't living at home with my parents, I'd be sunk. I'm not allowed to bend or twist. I'm not allowed to lift anything heavier than a gallon of milk. 

Getting dressed. That was the first new adventure. Everything I have been wearing has an elasic waist band so it comes on and off easily. I can't get my own socks on- no bending allowed. 

The tasks of independence I didn't expect to fall to the wayside weren't revealed until much later. It wasn't so much the knocked over pens and pencils that I couldn't reach for myself next to the recliner I had encamped in during the day, but larger tasks. Having my laundry put away, so that there was an empty basket for dirty clothes to go into. Having my bed stripped of it's linens on the two week rotation I keep, rotating the blankets and switching the duvet. Being able to wash my own clothing, or at least the specific pieces that have been the most comforting, that were now piling up in front of the closed closet door, creating a safety hazard to someone who already had difficulty walking (read:me). 

When people asked "What can I do?", I had no idea what I was in for. Is asking for a load of laundry too much? Stripping the bed? My foregone conclusion was yes, especially given what a wreck my own bedroom looked like before I got hurt (trying having a cat who thinks he's a trapeze artist bounce around every night and get back to me). Breaking my back in the midst of purging childhood ephemera was not what I had in mind. But there you have it. 

If I lived alone, there would be no question. I would have had to either return to my parents to recouperate to stay at a care facility. Or find someone to stay with me. 

As I read back on this, it sounds as though my parents aren't taking care of my needs - not true. They are however, adults with their own lives, and they have rearranged their schedules to accommodate this hiccough. 

The further out from this I am, I really wish someone would have told me [sooner] that I'd really want to be taking a stool softener AND a laxative. I could barely sit, let alone think about passing gas.

That I could make my own sock-putter-on-er with a pop bottle and a bit of rope - because no one sent me home with adaptive equipment the way they do when you have a knee replaced.

That I would really, really want a shower chair. We have a hand held shower sprayer, but having one with an adjustable bar would have answered the "Now where do I put this so it doesn't soak the bathroom?" question

That there are better places to buy a back brace than Volde-mart... its just a matter of how long do you want to wait for it to come in the mail since, again, one was not provided.

That it could take six months - a full six months - to feel like myself again, even though the bones had healed.