In one of my first columns, I wrote how many steps I had to take to make a bed by myself. Now Iím going to update that to how many hops I have to make to make my bed while using a walker. A couple of things have changed. Iíve switched to a single bed for a couple of reasons so itís not so far around, but that advantage is wiped out by the use of a walker. Iíve always been sort of canine like in turning around in that I seem to make 360 degree turns when I could easily do a quarter turn one way or another. Before the walker, it was just sort of a clumsy humorous action, now itís clump, clump, clump, clump. Itís a good thing I live alone.
The walker slows me down. Iím not afraid of losing my rank of being ďthe slowest kid in Stark County,Ē given to me by one of my elementary teachers. Of course, I carried that over to adult life by finishing 161st out of 161 entrants in the Joe Vogel vs. Cancer one mile walk/run. Hey, someone has to be last.
Iíve been keeping up on my cooking; my disability isnít movement related in the kitchen. Iíve even done some grocery shopping. I tried to clear everything out of the refrigerator before I left for the operating room and was pretty successful with the exception of a slice of tomato with pepper in a small glass dish, which looked and smelled like something from another planet when I found it rotting away behind something else. All in all, my sympathy for those who need some kind of device like a walker for their mobility has quadrupled.
During my hospitial/nursing home stay I was often asked to rate my pain level on a scale of one to ten. This was hard for me because I never quite understood what I should compare my pain with. Over the past 80 some years, I have done some mighty painful things to my body including closing a car door on my head in a moment of confused panic. Nothing they could do in that operating room could compare with that; so if thatís a 10, what I feel now isnít even on the scale. But if I compare it to sitting in my recliner watching polar bears chase otters, itís a five. The medical people didnít understand my pain rating system either, so we were even.
I tried making one of my special egg based meals for breakfast last week. It didnít turn out too well. Because of my slowness, things didnít come together as planned. The toast was cold and the eggs were overdone, which is hard to do in my preparation. So on Sunday, I opted for Raisin Bran.
As you can imagine through all of this, I really miss my wife. She was very good at taking care of me and no matter what I do, I canít match her. I hope she feels sorry for me now. Sometimes when I injured myself doing dumb stuff, she didnít show a lot of sympathy at first, but she always came through when I needed her. By the way, she wasnít around when I closed the car door on my head.
Widows and widowers make sure your furnace is operating safely; weíve got some cold weather in the near future.
Thanks to all those who said nice things about me when I was gone.
Al can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org