Friday, 2 March 2012
Today, for the first time in two and a half months, I stood on my own two feet.
It’s hard to describe the feeling of finally lurching to my feet, hands white-knuckled on parallel support bars, forcing my atrophied muscles to work for the first time in months. It was composed of equal parts strain, fear of falling, and pride. I am finally starting to walk again.
Almost three months ago, during a business trip; I had a bad fall at work, a slip exiting an elevator onto a linoleum floor. Both of my knees hit the floor way too fast, completely rupturing the quadriceps on my left knee and partially tearing the quadriceps on my right knee. With both legs out, I was unable to use crutches and have been confined to a wheelchair since the accident.
Since the injury was not life threatening, my doctor advised returning to my home and scheduling the surgery. It took almost a month to get back to my home and get the surgery scheduled with the doctor selected by my insurance company. Since the surgery in mid-January I had been working on passive range of motion exercises, combined with in-bed bends, while the repaired tendons healed. I have not been able to work at my day job since the injury.
You might think that all of this free time would have meant that I could have gotten more done, more articles written, more blog posts published. Instead, I have found that recovering from the surgery was a tough process. For three weeks after the surgery, I was not able to stay upright in my wheelchair for more than an hour per day before dizziness and fatigue forced me back into bed to rest. The amount of time I can work has gradually been increasing as I recover. The use of a CPM (Continuous Passive Motion) machine to stretch my repaired tendons required four to six hours per day (two or three hours per leg) of laying flat while the machine worked on my legs. While the process was not painful, it is impossible to work or rest while the machine was in operation.
So, as I preach in my writings, it was time to prioritize. First, take care of my health by following doctor’s orders. Next, take care of the mountain of documents required by my insurance company. Lastly, spend time on my blogs and websites. The lowest priorities were the first items dropped.
That’s why this blog has been neglected lately. I have spent all of my energy on recovery and recuperation.
I’m not writing this for sympathy. I have been blessed with a great support system. My wife has been wonderful. As a nurse, she has been my caregiver and advocate. She is quick to let doctors and hospitals know when she feels the care they are giving is inadequate. My family has also been a great help. I am also lucky to work for a great company and have the support of my manager.
After my surgery, I was interviewed by the hospital’s counselor, who asked if I was depressed. Apparently, it is common for bedridden patients to get depressed. While not happy with the turn of events, depression is not a problem. I am anxious to get back on my feet and back to work. Who has time to be depressed?