18 June 2003
It was the sweetest sound I heard all day: "no surgery." In fact the
physician's assistant told me "I wish all our patients were in as good shape as you
at this stage."
Finally I could breathe again. This after sitting in the x-ray area for an hour waiting
first to be taken and then for films. It was pandemonium, with people running here and
there...gurneys being wheeled in with people looking about the way I looked a week ago, a
guy who looked like Cheech back for second and third x-rays, a guy covered with tatoos
with a shoe in his lap, and a tall matron pacing the hall looking like Sister Mary
Perpetua, overseeing the place. I thought "Hey--this would make a good TV
series," but (a) it's been done, and (b) that's Steve's line anyway.
Taking x-rays involved getting out of the immobilizer for the first time,
extending my elbow (ouch!) on the x-ray table so he could photograph from the top of the
But the end results were beautiful. I shoulda ordered 8x10 glossies.
So I've been cleared to do minor exercises 2-3 times a day out of the immobilizer, but
to keep it on until my next appointment on July 22. According to my disability paperwork,
I can do "light duty" as of July 29 and full duty with no restrictions by August
22, but since I'm not going back to work since even "light duty" isn't enough at
the office, the only thing that news is good for is confirming that, barring other
accidents, I will be OK to go to Australia.
I am even able to type, in short spurts, 2-handed. It's not comfortable, but oh so much
more satisfying than hunting and pecking with only one hand.
The day started with my walking the 1/4-1/2 miles up to the WeightWatchers meeting.
We're taking a "pass" on the weigh-in this week. I was wearing shoes, needed to
pee, and am retaining water in all the "healing places," so my leader pointed
out that the weight wouldn't be accurate.
But it was a great support group...and the discussion today was about the problems of
sticking to the program when you're home alone--my situation! Just what the doctor
After the meeting, I came home and vacuumed....just to say I did it. It's not a
thorough job, but it's an improvement. I also managed to take a sponge bath before I made
the x-ray tech faint while he lifted my arm. Amazing how much time such
"automatic" activities take.
One thing: I will not be able to iron for some time.
You can be sure this breaks my heart.
So it's another day, another positive bit of news. I'm not quite ready to climb on that
exercise bike yet, but I'll bet ya that by this time next week I'll be doing that too.
I'll also be back to showering regularly. I know this will please the neighborhood.
Tomorrow I'm even working half a day. My favorite patient is coming in for ultrasound
on her twins and I really want to be there. I'm also going to sit in on interviews with
the top contenders for my replacement (interviews go on from 2 p.m. until 5:30, so it will
be a long day). Dr. G is also hoping I can spend the day updating his web site...now that
I can kinda-sorta type 2-handed it should be possible--not easy, but possible. At least I
can feel productive for a change.
The motto this week is "one day at a time." And one day at a time, it seems
to be improving. Not getting too impatient is going to be the key. I've never been one who
liked the slow pace...(One reason I took up biking vs. walking in the first place!). But
it's time to become more introspective, patient, and compliant.
Life is very good tonight.