Thursday, January 29, 2009

4 months!

Gwen is 4 months on the 1st! A whole quarter of a year old. She had her well baby visit this past week and she is growing like a sprout:
weight: 15lbs 7oz (90th percentile)
height: 2 feet 2 inches (98th percentile)
She is doing really well and her pediatrician said we must be proud to have such a perfect little baby. We decided we are going to continue breastfeeding exclusively until 6 months, which means April Fools Day she will have her first solid food :-)

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Heavy Metal

Today I had my first follow up with my orthopedic surgeon. I had an x-ray of my knee and clavicle to see how they are healing and they are doing well. I will get the rod out of the clavicle in 2 months- it is a simple outpatient surgery (like dental surgery), with another small scar on my chest. I am really glad the rod will come out because it probably causes me the most discomfort right now and it is so disturbing how it pokes out a little at the center of my chest, which is the extra little bit that the surgeon needs to pull it out (yuck!). In the x-ray the thing that looks like two paperclips is part of my bra strap :-).
The metal in my leg is there for good (unless there is some sort of problem in the future). The x-rays are really intense- even the x-ray tech remarked that I have quite a bit of metal in there. I imagined the metal to be a bit different, like a square plate screwed to the bone with 4 little screws, not s 6-8 inch piece of metal that looks like it came from The Home Depot.

It looks a bit haphazard, but my surgeon assures me that there is a method to this madness. I will have to keep the brace on my left leg (no weight bearing, i.e. no walking) for another 2 months! You can see a slight fracture in the knee cap, and my right knee cap has the same fracture. In a month that should be healed and I can take the brace off my right leg (though I don't know that this will help my mobility much). I meet with the surgeon again in 1 month. We have to drive to Oakland for these appointments, and it is quite a trek (left Gwen with my Dad who is staying with us this week). After the appointment Spencer and I went out for Chinese food just the two of us which was a treat on a few different fronts. It was nice to be out and spend time with Spencer, just the two of us.

P.S. Happy Inauguration Day! I didn't get to watch the inauguration but Gwen and I listened to most of it on the radio. What an amazing time this is for our country.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Farmer's Market

Spencer and Gwen broke in my wheelchair before I got home. Gwen is getting soooo big. In this photo she is wearing the dress she wore at Thanksgiving, but with pants because it fits her more like a shirt!

Saturday we all went to the Farmer's Market like we always do. It was a bit of a bumpy ride (my wheelchair needs shocks!), but a very enjoyable outing. We even had breakfast at The Palace Cafe (mmm...blueberry pancakes). Gwen had fun playing with her Auntie Angelique who was pretending that her knee was a horse, and her hands the reins while she sang theme song to Bonanza. Someone asked Angel and I if we were twins...and I can see why from these photos!

Friday, January 9, 2009

Home Sweet Home

I got home Thursday 1/8 and boy is it sweet to be home! I didn't realize how small and drab my world had become over the past 2.5 weeks. Outside the hospital life is going on- people are doing things, and there is color. My house seems so vibrant, with its red couch and shiny hardwood floors, green plants, and holiday decorations. The ramp into the house works great, and the living room and kitchen are totally accessible with the wheelchair. The bedrooms are a bit difficult, but with my walker I can hop all around the house. The bathroom is a bit tight, but works. It is so nice to be with Gwen and Spencer (and my sister Angelique who is staying with us for 2 weeks). Being home is great, but comes with its own frustrations. It is heartbreaking to hear Gwen cry, and not be able to go to her; though I am so happy to be able to nurse her, and my supply seems to be keeping up with her demand. I feel bad not being able to help out around the house. I suppose I should enjoy this time and the opportunity to be leisurely as I lie on the couch, but I would really rather be helping out. It is really hard to accept that you don't have control of things in your own home. I am trying to relax and let go, and focus on healing, loving my family, and enjoying all our great friends.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Getting ready to roll

They are letting me out for good behavior on Thursday! I can transfer myself from the bed to my walker and then to my wheel chair, which means I don't need to be here anymore! They would send me home sooner, but they give patients 2 days to get ready for coming home. Spencer and his Dad built a ramp so I can get in and out of the house safely, and him and some friends are rearranging our furniture this evening so I have the space to hop around with my walker and wheel about the living room and kitchen. The biggest news of all, I took a shower today! It was such a relief to sit there with running water. The shower was out of hot water, but the lukewarm water running over me as I sat on my shower chair was so refreshing it brought tears to my eyes. Tomorrow I am going to work on getting in and out of the car so I will be ready for the ride hoe Thursday morning.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

You know it's been too long when...

While I like to tell myself I am staying in a rehab center, it Kaiser Permanente Post Acute Care Center and honestly looks like a nursing home. Patients can't stay here longer than 100 days and have to participate in therapy while they are here, but most of them are ancient recovering from a fall, stroke, or other geriatric ailment. I have nothing against the elderly, but there is something tragic about seeing people resigning to the last few years of their life.
Yesterday after lunch and pumping I was trying to decide what to do with my afternoon knowing it would be a few hours until Spencer came with Gwen. I realized I was having a sad dilemma. I said to my nurse 'X' (short for Expedito who is a twenty something guy who has a 3 month old baby boy and and who helped me wash my back when I gave myself a sponge bath at the bathroom sink that morning): "I know I have been here too long when I am trying to decide to go to BINGO or take a nap."

Friday, January 2, 2009

Light at the end of the tunnel

Rumor is I may be going home next Thursday. Spencer and I still have a lot of unanswered questions about what this will look like, what supplies we will need, where we will get them, how they will get to the house, who will pay for them, etc. We are trying not to drown in the details but want to make sure we have everything we need for this transition.

It has been really nice to have visitors, and I want to extend an invitation to anyone who's schedule permits a drive to San Leandro to come for one. This isn't the most exciting place ever, but I have noticed that too much down time for me is a bad thing, and socializing keeps my spirits up. I have various things to keep me busy, in addition to my therapy, but Sundays there is no therapy which makes for a long day. Just give me a call ahead of time so I can make sure I am presentable :-)

Happy Friday!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

It's Me!

It's me! Literally and metaphorically I am starting too be me a little more each day (new and improved with my bionic knee and clavicle). I seem to be making progress at quite a steady pace and with minimal assistance can get out of bed and use my walker to walk on over to the toilet- the first time I got to use the toilet I cried, and then I got to wash my hands with running water, and cried again....the little things we take for granted. For long distance travel (i.e. down the hall to the 'gym' or activities room where the computer is) I use a wheel chair, and while my right shoulder is a little tight, this is basically pain free (though I won't be winning any races). I am able to hold Gwen and nurse her more comfortably as my ribs heal. I should be coming home some time next week. The criteria is for me to be able to get out of bed myself and transfer to a wheel chair. I am very close to being able to do this, it is very difficult though. Imagine trying to stand up without bending your legs...very tricky. Spencer is coming early tomorrow so he can sit in on my Occupational Therapy and Physical Therapy and we hope to start getting a better idea of what I might need when I do go home; what supplies and what kind of help and for how long. They are special ordering me a wheel chair because my legs are so long the foot rest is too short so my feet dangle off the edge. Instead of crutches I will likely be using the wheel chair or walker until my left leg is weight bearing (another 4-6 weeks or so).

Thank you everyone for all your love and support. Special thanks to Sandee (Spencer's Mom) for taking care of Gwen. This allowed Spencer to be with me (he stayed with me in the hospital every night and the whole time I was in Oakland, even though he was still recovering himself from the soreness of the accident). We were able to be together and focus on me being better and not have to worry about Gwen since we knew she was in good hands. I missed her, but I never worried about her. Thanks Grandma Sandee!

I am looking forward to 2009 and wish everyone a Happy New Year!