“FALL RISK”

yellow wrist band with Fall Risk in bold, black capital letters.

I have decided three things since I got home from the hospital after surgery to repair my separated pelvis:

  1. I will leave my yellow FALL RISK bracelet on until I am “healed.” When I look at it, I am reminded to take it slowly and easily.
  2. As soon as I can, I will run as far as I can with the abandon of a small child. I miss my legs. Already. It has been only four days and I am fighting frustration I wasn’t expecting so soon.
  3. I will change my last name. When my husband and I married I decided to keep the last name of my father’s father. There were lots of reasons I thought it was the best thing to do. And at the time I think it was. But something about going through all of this with a different last name than my husband and son has made me feel isolated from them. That is something I can change. So I will.

The first seven months and two days of this journey were painful, exhausting and filled with hope for what was ahead — thanks to my beautiful little boy who changed every day and still does. The last four days have been painful and exhausting in an entirely different way and I am waiting for that feeling of hope to really kick in.

Right now, I feel overwhelmed rather than hopeful. I’m watching my husband wear himself out every night as he lugs boxes and furniture from one apartment to another. Because I have to stay here, either in the bed or my chair, my understanding is like eavesdropping on half of a phone call. He’s tired. He’s also having a big week at work with the kickoff of fall sports. It is an exciting time but means his free time is running out like sand between his fingers. He never complains. He had planned to spend some time working on the Omaha house so we can get it ready to sell. But he needs to rest. It may take more time. We have to do what is best for all of us long term.

Although I spent most of the day in bed, reading or sleeping, I would not consider today a success. I have a hard time getting myself to the toilet from the chair with the transfer board. Twice today I have pinched my under thigh between the chair seat and the plastic board. The pinch is unexpected and excruciating. And the most recent time it happened, as I was nudging up my pants, I caught a fingernail on the seat of the chair and it tore. I cracked. Too much life all at once. It didn’t help that I was due to take my pain medicine.

It’s not to say today was awful. It wasn’t at all. My Momma is here and she is taking care of me the way only Mom can. She helped me give myself a sponge bath and coached me through giving myself my blood-thinner shot. She changed the dressing on my 13 staples and wound-vac hole. She tucked me in “sung as a bug in a rug” like my Dad did when I was little because the blood thinner makes my legs and feet feel cold. She brought me breakfast and lunch, refilled my water cup three times and helped me each time I needed to get to the toilet and back. I am lucky to have her here. And lucky she is a former nurse who feels in her element with these tasks. She even made my follow-up appointments today so I could keep resting.

My little boy missed me today and let me know by fussing until I held him. We snuggled for a while before he decided he wanted to eat. Then, he fell asleep in my arms. I moved him so I could eat the excellent dinner my husband concocted in the crockpot: Black-eyed peas, tomatoes, brown rice, collard greens, onion and seasoning. We’ll share some AlmondDream Praline Crunch ice cream when he gets home after two loads of moving.

I am trying to stay focused on how different this pain is. My pelvis is strong. It is complete again. I am experiencing no pain at my pubic symphysis. NONE! And none at my right side SI Joint. I am in awe of that every second.

My pain clearly is related to surgery. My pubis is very swollen, but my staples and wound-vac hole are itchy (That’s a good thing!) and not at all discolored. They are healing as they should be. The muscle pain that takes my breath away is because of what had to be done to the muscles to repair my bone structure. The muscles of my groin and lower abs were stretched and moved to make way for the surgical clamps. Now, when I have to use those muscles I have to prepare myself. When I get into bed, for example, I can’t get my legs up there and flat myself. My mom or my husband and I count to three. On three, they lift my legs at the ankles and position them on the mattress. When this road began, my husband had to do the same thing to help me get my legs into the car.

It is just a reminder that healing takes time.

The other positive is the joy my son brings to our lives everyday. He just finished some dinner and is exploring the room with his eyes. He has an excellent temper. Already he is curious and happy. It’s hard not to smile when there’s a baby smiling at you. And it buoys my spirits to know he and I will learn to walk together.

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2 thoughts on ““FALL RISK”

  1. ouch – it’s all I can think to say when reading some of this. You’re in my thoughts daily, tell [your husband] to take care of himself as well as he takes care of you.

    • You’re right about him. If he took care of himself as well as he takes care of me he would be feeling 100 percent every day. Hopefully when we’re down to one apartment he will take it easy for a while.

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