Monday, March 29, 2010

Hotel opinions

Al and I just returned from a short trip to Calif. for taxes (our long time accountant) and way too brief family visits. I decided to try the road trip at the last minute since I was not sure how difficult it would be to travel with my foot in a cast navigating hotels, restaurants, etc. Should you ever have to do this for yourself, family or friends, I thought I’d share my hotel opinions with you:

Red Lion in Redding, CA (great for disabled traveler)

Marriott in Walnut Creek, CA (difficult for disabled traveler)

Cupertino Inn, Cupertino, CA (next to impossible for disabled traveler), does not deserve a rating although it is considered a high end hotel.

Shilo Inn, Klamath Falls, OR (great for disabled traveler)

We had requested and received rooms with handicap access from each of these hotels.

Friday, March 26, 2010

And speaking of pain pills...

Al and I use mail order for nearly all of our perscriptions, our insurer requires it. However, when you break a bone, as some of you know, you need a heavy duty pain pill - no waiting. In the past I've usually used Walmart, Costco or Fred Meyer as local pharmacies when necessary, and put up with anywhere from a half hour to multiple hours wait when I've left off a new perscription. On the day of my accident Al and I were in the Shopko area following my "splinting" so that is where we took my new pain pill Rx. Ten minutes in and out, no waiting. After my surgery the following week, another new pain Rx, back to Shopko we went. Ten minutes in and out, no waiting. I'm almost afraid to try again; I just can't believe we were this lucky or that this pharmacy is so much faster than the others. Just thought I'd pass it along.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Splints, it's a skill thing

When my doctor told me I would be I would be getting a splint right away, I had no idea what the splint of today is. It looks like a massive bandage or soft cast around your foot and up to your knee. I had four splint changes to accomodate ankle swelling/size changes. Three of the splints were applied and wrapped correctly so the discomfort was tolerable with pain pills; the fourth splint was applied by a tech who was obviously very inexperienced. If you ever have to get a splint in the ankle area make sure the tech presses hard enough to seat it onto your heel, and does not otherwise interfere with the splint seating onto your heel. If your heel is unable to reach the bottom of your splint ,once it hardens, it pivots and rubs on your ankles.

Knealers, the good and bad

Knealers are a good alternative to crutches, most of the time. They don't do steps so you will still need crutches occasionally. Here are some need to knows about knealers:
  • They rent for about $140 per month and most insurers don't cover them.
  • They are NOT as stable as you may have been led to believe, they can and do tip. This might have been prevented had I been given more than the most basic instruction or at the very least, a manual. Despite the warning sticker on the knealer, to "Read Users Manual Befor Operating", they did not have one for me. Also when I asked the therapist for more hands-on instruction, he just blew me off with "that's advanced" and left the room. I'm not thrilled with Summit Therapeutics at the Center.
  • After about a month, I'm doing pretty well with the knealer I have, but it is quite heavy for getting in and out of the car.
  • When you reach the stage of having a hard resin cast on your lower leg, kneeling on it is very painful unless you slip some foam down the front of your cast.

Bone Density True/False

For years I have had GREAT Dexascan results; very healthy dense bones at the density equivalent of someone 30 years younger. My internal med doctor and I attributed this to a generally healthy life style for bone density-how smug of me. Coming out of anesthesia from my fibula surgery my surgeon told me than my bone was somewhat soft for someone who is as active as I am. Shock. How could this be? Well, it is; once I can walk again, I'll go back to my internal med doctor and likely start osteoporesis meds, since they generally require walking for a short period after taking them. I still can't figure this one out, since the Dexascan reviews on the Internet look solid. I'll keep you posted once I learn more.

Shower Appreciation

Today was REAL shower and shampoo day, that is, not done standing at the sink balancing on my knealer. For the rest of my life I vow to appreciate every part of a real shower, including being able to take one whenever I want without having someone else help me. Although I would not recommend breaking a leg/foot bone then having to go through the recovery to anyone, it sure leads to a lot of appreciations for things you barely noticed before. When my Dad died four years ago this week, he was, physically, a complete invalid. I just can't imagine how he managed to stay so cheerful and appreciative of even the smallest blessings in his days. Take care out there and notice things!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

My First Post

Just about a month ago my ski slammed into deep snow; I however, kept going forward. A crunch in my ankle and a dull ache was confirmed in the next couple of hours as a broken fibula. My first ever broken bone. It seemed oddly glamorous for the first few days, those feelings are now waaay over.

After waiting a week to see if the bone would move back into a good position for healing on its own-it did not- I had surgery with screws and a plate to hold it together. I continue with NO weight on it, scooting around on my knealer and really looking forward to April 7th when I get a different cast that supposedly will allow for a little weight. I'm hoping to find some of you who may have been through this kind of thing and can give some of your thoughts on related issues that I can't find answers to. Such as:

What are some safe movements for the rest of me that I can do now?