Saturday, May 15, 2010

Somebody- Paint My Toenails!

My 12 year old daughter, Alexis, has been painting nails for a few years now. She has become extremely good at it. She can make watermelons out of her nails and paints fancy designs with the stroke of her brush. Over the past few years she has collected quite an array of colors in her nail drawer. She also has many gems and glittery pretty stickers to add to her collection. Her friends come over and they go into her room and within minutes I smell that familiar nail polish smell. She loves to share her collection and talent with her friends pretty much any chance she gets. So I didn't think asking her to paint my toenails would be out of the question. She has done it in the past for me AND I cannot reach my right foot since my right knee is broke and I can only bend it now still only 65 %. But this time her response was a flat out NO! She didn't even take time to think about what consequences there would be by saying no, she just refused to paint my toenails. I was taken aback by her hasty response. She immediately went to her room and shut the door not to emerge until hours later with pretty designs freshly painted on her fingernails. I then asked her again, explaining that I cannot reach my right foot and that I would appreciate the help. Again the response was NO but this time with an ewww after it.

I dropped the subject matter for the day and waited until the next day to discuss this with her when I wasn't so hurt by her response. The next day as she was due home from school I got the color I wanted my nails painted and asked her when she walked in the door if she would paint my toes for me before I went to physical therapy and had to take off my sock. My right toenail paint had mostly all chipped off and were looking quite ragged. Her response was, " Mom, I don't want to do that. Can't you do it?" I calmly told her I would do it if I could reach them but I couldn't and besides she always does everyone's nails all the time and I didn't see how this was any different. But still she refused. I was and still am so very hurt. There was a time in our lives when she would do anything I ask of her without question and she was glad to be helpful. We have reached quite a turning point where she became this person I didn't even know. She has become the pre teen who thinks her Mother is ewwwww. Needless to say my nail polish is still chipped on that foot and I refuse to ask her to help since she thinks its gross. But I can't help but feel bad inside. Mom, if you need your toenails painted just ask me and I will do it no questions asked.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

First Time In Three Months

May 1st was finally here.

The day I was going to put my foot on the floor. The day that my life was going to begin again. I could hardly sleep the night before thinking about how I waited for the last three months to start actually doing something to change my situation. An hour before physical therapy time I already had my tennis shoes on and I was counting down the minutes. Time crept slowly until it was time to go. I arrived 10 minutes early and hopped with the aide of my walker back to the therapy table. I jumped up on the table, took off my leg brace and prepared myself to do some healing. The assistant applied the moist heat and ultrasound to my knee. "Big day today, finally get to put some weight on your leg-40% right?" My heart leaped-I get to put weight on my foot. Even though its only less than half my weight its still going to be on the floor.

The therapist waved at me while he was working with another patient. I just kept thinking,
"hurry up hurry up"- I was dying to get moving. The heat machine was on a timer and I watched as it was counting down... 3 minutes to freedom, 2 minutes, 1 minute. The beeper went off and the therapist motioned for me to get off the table. "Grab your walker and come on over here." He met me half way across the room and showed me exactly how I was to put my surgical leg on the ground an walk through my steps. I stepped down on my foot and immediately noticed tingling and something else- Whoa - there was actual feeling there. The blood supply was getting down there. But what I didn't notice was pain. I didn't have any pain! I spent some time the night before anticipating the excruciating pain I would feel when my bones in my knee hit the plate and screws that were put in there during my surgery, but it never came. I walked with my foot on the ground across the room using my walker and following the directions exactly. There was a few times when I wanted to hop like I had been doing all this time but I reminded myself that I'm allowed now.
When I reached the other side of the room the therapist asked me if I wanted to try the treadmill since I was doing so well. Okay!So I got up on the treadmill. It was set for gimp mode which means really slow. He asked me to hold on to the bars and to treat them the same as my walker to see how I do. I did all of 30 seconds before pain shot through my kneecap like I never had before. He stopped the treadmill- "30 seconds is better than none" he said so matter of factly but with a smile. I felt a huge let down. I didn't let on to any of the staff there but I was so disappointed in myself. I tucked those feelings inside and continued the rest of the excercises. It wasn't until later at home when I finally let myself feel the let down. I wanted to walk so much, I wanted to toss aside the walker and put my foot on the ground and walk but it didn't happen that way. It was at that moment that I realized how long the road ahead of me is going to be.

That night as I put my leg brace on over my pajamas just like I have been doing every night for the last 3 months I noticed how swollen my knee and foot were. I worked so hard keeping my leg propped as much as I could and in one day all the swelling was back. And to top it all off my good leg and knee were starting to hurt. I'm guessing that favoring that leg is starting to take a toll on it. I took a pain pill and laid back in the bed. I looked up to the ceiling fan. I have been watching the ceiling fan go round and round for months and its still there, twirling and blowing cool air on my face. I looked to my left and my bedside stand is still there holding my books and alarm clock. To my right is my closet with all my clothes put away by Bob, nice and orderly just like always.

Nothing had changed.

Nothing had changed except that I put my foot on the floor today and walked first time in three months.