Thursday, November 15, 2018

Activities Of Daily Living

At Encompass Health (called Health South when I arrived there September 14th) there was a room tucked away off the Occupational Therapy gym and the room was called ADL. Check the title of this essay...

So I have been organizing my routines, not least because the more I do the less my harried wife has to handle. She is doing a lot too making appointments and organizing paperwork, shopping and picking up.  I am about as useless as you can imagine so I am doing my best to not let it get to me. 

I see Key West mostly through the passenger seat of the car which is a drag but exploration will come soon enough after getting the daily activity sorted out. And I am doing better.  My leg is hurting of course but my stamina is improving.  Yay! Anyway my first day out we stopped at Higgs Beach and of course started playing with my big camera. The first time I had my hands on it in months. 

The African Cemetery looked great under the sun on the sand. It’s a fitting memorial, a bit slow in coming it’s true, to mark the landing and subsequent deaths of hundreds of slaves taken from a Spanish slaver. Ultimately the survivors, who were not wanted in Key West were sent to West Africa and dumped.  So this glorious spot marks an inglorious chapter in a tough era. 

Had I had this disaster of my accident occur in 1860 I’d be dead. Mind you so many of us would be too. Something as nasty as a tooth abscess could easily kill you in the bad old days. Nowadays a man with a broken pelvis can get impatient at his fate but a visit to the clinic this morning was a reminder of my good fortune in this modern era. 

I met a 31-year old in an electric powered wheelchair who got shot (circumstances not explained, thank you) a few years ago and he has no prospect of walking.  Ever. We compared notes as has become commonplace for me in my temporary chair. He is numb from the chest down so daily living for him has to be a minor miracle or a major struggle. And there are thousands like him. 

The doctor looked at my paperwork with raised eyebrows. You’ve been through a lot he said looking at me. It’s always disturbing when your injuries get the doctor’s attention but I’m used to it by now. An open book pelvic fracture is a textbook injury apparently. Enjoy it while you see it! He was great, checking my sensations, listening carefully, thinking and explaining. I was glad to be in his care.  He was the first to do the toothpick test on my legs. Pricking to see where sensation ends and my outside right thigh is numb. Nothing to worry about he said.

I’m doing okay all things considered.  Friends have been by, my wife is patient with me and my dog isn’t too mad at the lack of private walks with me. Now I’m trying not to stress about a wedding I have to attend this weekend. I’ll be the guy in the wheelchair.