Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Happy New Year!

Crashing to the ground two days before New Year's Eve left Roger and me in no shape to party. We got ourselves dressed and out to our bridge club on Saturday night (because we hated to miss dinner with our friends) but we were ready by the nine o'clock ball drop in Times Square (12:00 am EST) to call it a night.  (It really is a wonderful thing to live three hours behind New York City, which has allowed us for many years to celebrate the new year and still get to bed at a decent hour.  I wonder if they have any idea what a great thing they do for all of us across the country!) Although we were both taking some pretty serious pain meds, we allowed ourselves a glass of wine with dinner, which was excellent. Speaking of those meds, it was obvious that they had an impact on our play. I'm never much good at keeping track of what has been played, but that night it was impossible. Even Roger was missing tricks and having trouble following the play.

Friends in town were at our home on New Year's Day, bringing black-eyed peas, ham, and sweet potatoes. We had a fine feast, Southern-style, and I, for one, was happy not to be troubled with cooking. I continued to use the crutches to get around for a couple more days, and then began to feel like I could take the weight okay on my own, so I put them away.  Roger fixed us a steak dinner one night about a week into the new year, and we opened a bottle of wine, and things began to feel a bit more normal.

Sleeping was tough, though.  I am still uncomfortable - even four weeks after the accident - and it was particularly bad in that first week or so.  Since both of us had lots of abrasions on our hips, legs and arms, we mostly had to sleep on our backs.  I have gotten used to that, but Roger had a very difficult time.  Turning over was torture for him, with the bruised ribs, fractured shoulder and other wounds.  I would hear him start to roll over and then catch his breath and groan.  (Sneezing was a special kind of hell for him, and is still painful.) For my part, it was two weeks before I could sleep on my side, and then only on my right side. I counted it as a major advance when I was first able to slowly skootch my hips over to one side, roll my knees over and stay on my side for a bit. We were thankful to have some pharmaceutical assistance during this time.  After a couple of days, I wasn't using any of the pain meds during the day, but I still took a tablet before bed.  I tried going to bed without it, but it was no use - I just could not get comfortable enough to sleep. And it's no good lying there without sleeping. Your body needs the sleep in order to heal.

By this point (tomorrow will be four weeks since the crash), Roger seems to be feeling pretty good physically. He is riding his bike again, although he has said several times that he "wasn't enjoying it" after he got home. He reports being nervous riding in the group.  I can totally appreciate that! I won't be riding for a while yet. And I am more than a little concerned about how it will be to sit on a saddle once my pelvis is healed. In the past week or so, as the bone has begun to knit, I am actually having more discomfort than I did before that time. It's like I am sitting on a pebble, or something. I have a bit of a catch in my groin with each step. I figure this is temporary, but who knows? So I am nervous. What if this remains? Am I going to be able to ride without squirming all the time?

Our bruises are finally clearing up, and most of the abrasions are healing pretty well, although some of them are still in the "scab over, fall off, blister, scab over" cycle. We got some Tegaderm patches for some of them, and they really do work great. But others, like on our knees, just are very difficult to keep covered with that film.  So they are taking the longest to heal. And of course, I had just about made it to the end of the cycle with the last tiny little bits of scabs from our first crash - just a wee spot about a quarter of an inch by one half inch in size on my ankle and my knee - when we crashed the second time and ripped them all open again. Geesh! I remember being a kid and having scraped up knees all the time - but they healed in a flash. We are too old for this sort of thing!

Psychologically, as well, we are healing - I guess - but it's harder to gauge that kind of thing. I miss being able to get out and do things like kneel down and pull a few weeds on the way to the mailbox. If I want to shower, wash my hair and dress to go out, it takes twice the time it usually would. Getting into and out of the car requires thought and some specific action. Hell, even getting into and out of bed is a bit of a process now. It's humbling. I have thought quite a bit lately about one of our friends who has MS. She gets around quite a bit, but as she has said, "I have good days and bad days. Some times I'm not too steady." Her balance and coordination affect every action she takes. Going through this period where I have to think about my motions constantly, which I assume will be temporary, I wonder what it would be like to have to deal with something like she does all the time. I appreciate the grace with which she handles it, and wonder if I could do the same.

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