Sunday, July 31, 2011

The New Normal

I just got home from my first traveling vacation since my fateful fall.  I flew to San Francisco, California with my friend Brian, and we met up with a friend from L.A. acting days (hadn't seen her in 15 years),  then we attended a reunion with old theatre friends on the Russian River.  After Brian flew back to Nashville, I stayed five extra days and went on a road trip with my two sisters to the Monterey area, where we hooked up with two of our cousins for an extended girl's va-cay!

I love traveling, and it feels normal to me.  I've been blessed with many traveling adventures in my life so far.  Checking in and going through security are as natural as drinking a cup of coffee.  This time, however, I had to tell the security officials that I have a metal plate and screws in my leg.  At the Nashville airport, they simply told me to go through the big 
x-ray machine and I didn't set off any bells or whistles--what a disappointment--no fanfare of any kind!  Since I usually travel on Southwest Airlines, I knew about their open seating policy, and I was prepared to ask for a "pre-board" pass, so I could be seated before everyone else and get an aisle seat where I could stretch out my right leg.  All I had to do was show the ticket agent my 12-inch gnarly scar over my knee, and I got to pre-board!

Months ago, my surgeon told me that at six months I would be completely back to normal.  I'm still counting the weeks and it's been 21 weeks today since my accident.  Almost everything is "back to normal" except it's a new normal.  I walk with a different gait, (a slight limp) and I walk very carefully, especially up and down stairs.  

I feel so fortunate to be traveling again, and many times over the past two weeks I forgot I ever broke my femur!  

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Independence is Bliss!

This past week, I spent hours and hours at Fido, my favorite coffee shop, working on the computer.  Fido was my office on the road.  Why is this so exciting?  Because I drove there myself.

At 18 weeks (and still counting) into my broken femur recovery, I'm no longer at the mercy of being driven around by my friend Brian, or my spousal equivalent, Steve.  I can go where I want, when I want,  in my own car and I'm in the driver's seat.  That's not to say it wasn't fun being chaffeured around and having Brian at my beck and call to take me places.  We went to so many fun places, but just being able to get in the car and take off feels so liberating.

Over these past couple of weeks, Brian has torn down the wheelchair ramp at our front doorway, and thrown it in a pile for the dump.  My shower chair was delegated to the basement.  The wheelchair, walker, and crutches, are waiting to be returned to their lenders or donated to Goodwill.  And I am driving!

Life is getting back to normal.  But it's a new normal.  One where I have to stretch before I can even get out of bed in the morning if I want to walk.  And one where I have to exercise every single day in order to keep my knee joint lubricated and my leg functional.  Water has become my best friend.  The wonders of water aerobics and the healing powers of the pool are amazing, and more than ever before in my life, exercise MUST take priority over everything else.  So, over an extended 4th of July weekend, while Steve was out of town, I drove myself to Senior Water Aerobics, and another water exercise class almost everyday, and Brian and I went to Percy Priest Lake, where I exercised my leg as well.  I drove myself to Radnor lake, where I took two hikes (2.5 miles each), and I actually danced on two occasions.

But I digress... 

I drove myself and a friend to the Nashville Sounds baseball game for the 4th of July fireworks, drove myself to the Bluebird to see songwriting friends perform, and I drove Brian back from Arrington Winery, (because I had less to drink).

On the road to recovery, driving equals independence, and independence is bliss!