Posts Tagged ‘shower chair’

Ups & Downs

June 16, 2014

Mostly, ups today.

Although I did have some down.

I, uh, decided to take a shower and improvised a shower chair.

Yeah, I know, I am not the smartest tool in the box and apparently I am trying to kill myself in the shower.

Who needs to be Janet Leigh in Psycho?

I am my own worst enemy.

I asked the housemate about the patio chairs and she said, nope, could scratch the tiles.

Duh.

Really good point.

She added she had a rubber stopped stool in the closet, but I could not locate it.

By this point, I was on a mission, my legs were so itchy scratchy from the forest of dark hair I could not take it and last night I vowed I would take a shower today.

But!

I would not balance on one leg, no I would get a stool or something.

Or something.

Like an empty plastic bin from Burning Man.

Because, you know, all things Burning Man.

Socks, bins, flowers in the hair, bling-bling.

A friend painted, spray painted my crutches today in gold and even put some glitter on the wing nuts.

That was the up of my day.

I laughed so hard in glee when she presented the re-assembled crutches to me.

It was the hardest I have laughed since this damn thing happened nine days ago.

The crutches are happening and I feel happy using them.

Not for too long though, it’s still a work out and by the time I was finished with my hour of sitting in an uncomfortable chair at Our Lady of SafeWay, I was ready to call it a day.

I got back to the house and ate some dinner and decided that the one thing I could do was change the sheets on my bed.

I don’t like to go more than one week and I was at eight days.

So I gingerly walked around my bed in my walking boot and yes, I did indeed do it.

I was even going to wash them.

But when I got them into the laundry basket and put the basket on the bed and grabbed the detergent, the reality hit and I was done.

I mean.

That was it.

Hey girl.

Stop.

Stop now.

So, I shelved the idea and just left the dirty clothes and sheets in the basket.

Tomorrow, it’s like another day, another day to try to get it, the laundry, into the garage.  I think with a little more practice, it actually won’t be that difficult, walking in the boot is getting easier, although the distance has to be short, like you know, from my bed to the kitchen.

Not too far when you consider I live in a studio.

OH MY GOD.

The shower gods have heard me.

My housemate’s old partner had a broken leg and she just brought me in the step stool that they used when she broke her leg.

YAY!

I can shower without killing myself.

Or sitting on a Burning Man bin.

Which, in case you were curious, did not work too well.

I just ended up sitting on the floor of the shower and letting the water roll off me.

It might have been the longest shower I have ever taken as an adult.

The small things that I take for granted, being able to take a shower, the ease of fixing a cup of tea and moving it to my nightstand, which I never once thought about before this accident happened.

Now, I think about how do I position the kitchen chairs around the studio so that I have a chain of platforms to move the cup from.

I use three.

First, heat the water.

Then, pour the boiling water over the tea.

Next, move it to the table, use one of the chairs to settle a knee on to give stability.

Now, open fridge and take vanilla almond milk of the door and splash a little over the top.  But not too much, because you dont’ want the tea to slop over the sides of the mug while you are moving it to the next chair seat.

Which you do, then hop, skip, small jump with crutches and ankle swinging behind you, limp to the second chair.

Move cup and position self in between second and third chair.

This is where it gets easier and somewhat trickier at same time.

Place self in between third chair and chaise lounge.  Bend a knee on chaise, place crutches to the side out of your way, but within easy reach, stretch out to third chair, pick up mug of tea.

Transfer weight to left side and tea to left hand.

Carefully placing tea on coaster by the bed and turning it gently, the mug, so that the handle faces inward for easy accessibility.

Sigh with relief that you did not spill tea.

Hobble back to kitchen, retrieve peas that have been re-freezing from the last time you placed them on swollen ankle, toss peas to bed by heap of pillows.

Then make the executive decision to pee because once you are down, with frozen peas on ankle and hot tea in mug, you aren’t going to want to move any further.

While in bathroom look at self and do not get angry at self or situation.

“I love you and I forgive you”.

Try not to barf in sink.

Wash hands, dry, turn off lights.

Move self to bed and collapse, carefully in nest of pillows, lifting leg up and settling foot atop three fluffed up pillows.  Then drape gently with bag of frozen peas.

Watch Game of Thrones and call it a night.

Have You Done Any Writing About it?

June 15, 2014

Yes.

Damn it.

Every fucking day.

More writing.

Writing and more writing, morning and night, the writing.

“Well, you still sound really angry,” she said to me, rocking forward on the chair outside on my back patio.

I had a special visitor this afternoon and we checked in and did some work and I got to tell her how I was really feeling and also get to be told what she was seeing, ie, anger.

Which I know is a masquerade for fear, which if I continue to turn it inward will manifest into depression.

Anger turned inward equals depression.

I know this.

I haven’t been on antidepressants now in years and I don’t want to go back, not that they didn’t help, they did, for three years, but I like myself unmedicated.

Besides anything that potentially messes with my sex drive is not something that I want in my system.

Ahem.

Side bar.

Yay sex.

Back to blog.

I did wake up in self-pity yesterday, which is not depression but it’s a flagstone on the garden path leading there.

I woke up and the voice said, “oh, why bother?”

Why bother getting out of bed, that is.

I did lay there for a minute longer, the hardest part of the day is getting out of bed in the morning, not because I normally have my sad face self-pity party hat on askew, just that it’s a challenge to get up and out of bed.

My body is wonky, my head is muzzy, and I don’t spring forward like I did when my leg was just my leg and not this weird apparatus that I have to pick up and lift about and haul around on crutches.

The effort of going to the bathroom to pee.

I mean, I got to be awake and a bit cognizant or I will wrench myself on something or set my foot down or further injure myself.

Oh.

And my visitor, all about the shower chair.

“Oh,” she said in regards to the news that my employers are going to help me out, “so you get the news you’re being taken care of and you decide to self-sabotage by taking a shower and balancing on one foot in said shower.  Are you trying to break your other ankle?”

Not that this one is broken.

But she has a valid point.

Tomorrow finding shower chair/stool/high chair/lawn chair/golf stool/giant Lego blocks, whatever, to put in the shower so that I can wash myself without being a hazard to myself.

“What was going through your head when this happened?” She asked, pointedly.

Ugh.

I know what was in my head, I can still hear it, fucking little weasley voice trying to cram more things in so that I could be efficient, be faster, get to where I needed to go quicker.

I parked my bike.

I threw my bag inside.

I got the keys to the scooter.

I put on my helmet.

I tried to start it.

The voice said, “slow down.”

I kicked it.

It didn’t start.

I prayed to give myself a time to pause.

Then I tried again.

Then again.

Then, well then the rest is swollen ankle history and trip to ER and six months before it’s really healed.

“Oh, you are so lucky,” she said to me tonight, the new girlfriend of a good friend of mine, hiking up her jeans over her ankle,” broke this bad boy, had to have surgery and the recuperation time was one year.”

Oh my fucking god.

Yes.

I am lucky.

Lucky I got put on a full stop without having to break my ankle.

I cannot imagine.

I am so overwhelmed with relief, when I am not angry at myself, my vain, egotistical self,  my overweening ego that says, you got to go back to the mother land–Wisconsin–with money in your pockets, looking good.

The self that is too scared and lives in fear.

You got to ask for a raise for Burning Man so you can pay rent.

Or.

Yes, this is a better idea, work extra hours and pick up more shifts to make more money so you can pre-pay your rent and not have to ask for a raise.

Because that makes so much sense too.

My disease is a sneaky ass motherfucker.

And I can be mad at myself.

Or I can cut right to the chase and go smoke some crack.

Ok.

Maybe it’s not that cut and dry, but I keep that anger up and I keep resenting myself for something that I need to forgive myself for, because I did not plan this, it’s just life, I am not that all god awful powerful, it’s just life.

Life happens.

I am not impervious to life.

I can plan it all out.

I can try to run around and keep myself busy and think that I am somehow managing the chaos in the world, instead of contributing to it, and be safe.

Life is not meant to be safe.

Life is meant to be lived.

And so, here, now, I forgive myself, in my little public forum, on my little stump, standing behind my podium of self-loathing and doubt and I am not good enough, let me throw down the gauntlet, or perhaps a crutch, and say.

I surrender.

Again.

Jesus.

Always this.

I forgive myself.

I did not do this on purpose and there’s no one to blame.

And I am not a victim.

And I am being taken care of.

He handed me his card, “call me, I can help, I am a party planner, I do this all the time, we used to do this all the time in New York, send me two numbers and I will set it up.”

I cried.

Are you kidding me?

“Listen, you do a lot of service in the community, you are loved and needed, let your community love you.”

Now I am going to cry again.

He wants to throw me a rent party.

I don’t even know you!

And, I am not worthy, I am going to be fine, it’s gonna be tight, but, I will make it.

(where’s the God in this sentence?)

“Let people help you,” she said to me when she left today, “let people be of service.”

Ok, ok, ok.

“Text me your number and two other numbers,” he finished, “before tomorrow night, let me help you.”

Ok.

I cry uncle.

Before I get too in my head about it I will.

And I did.

I took out the card, teared up, and sent him a text with my number and two others.

I can’t think my way into right acting.

But sometimes.

I can act my way there.

And that’s enough writing about it for today.

Ha.

Another action.

I take them all the time, I just don’t let myself see them.

Humility is also seeing that.

Humbled again.

Hum-bowled over.

Love and service.

Wash, rinse, repeat.

Just make sure you’re on a shower chair while doing so.

 

The Lady Be Tired

June 12, 2014

I mean, all tuckered the fuck out.

Dude.

It was just a shower.

But as a friend retorted when I tried, I tried to turn down the offer of a shower chair, because yo, I ain’t 64, I don’t need no shower chair, I was able to do it, take the shower that is, “ Oh, right! A shower balancing on one foot every seven days seems reasonable”.

It seemed reasonable until she put it that way.

Damn Gina.

I was joking that I needed a nap after the gymnastics.

Gymnastics that did not include shaving my legs.

I mean it was a challenge getting in and out, I cannot imagine how I was going to shave those bad girls.  Not that I didn’t want to, oh, I want to, so much so, but I got soapy and washed my hair and shaved my armpits, and that felt.

OH GOD.

That felt good.

Ah.

I sat on the sink to dry my hair.

Fortunately it’s a shelf unit, not a pedestal sink, and I am tall, I didn’t have to hop up on it, just sort of settle one hip into it and swing the broke back, not really broken, ankle over the edge.

It looks super gross.

I took a closer look at it since crying like a broken doll in the doctor’s office.

“Shh, shh, it’s going to be ok,” the nurse patted my knee, “let’s get you an apple juice, that always makes my patients feel better.”

What am I five?

But the nurse was right, the juice did make me feel better.

I was wishing for another box of juice when I took further inspection of the ankle this morning.

My goodness.

The nurse said, the bruising is yellow and green, that’s good, last stages of the bruise.

Yeah, on that part of the foot she was indicating to, the top part of my foot, it’s not even my ankle and it’s bruised up, yellowish-green, the ankle itself, though, is black and darkly purple, swollen not just on the part that sustained the worst part of the sprain, but also on the other side, it is gross, I am not posting photos anywhere.  I just can’t bring myself to do it.

I mean I document a lot of my life on this blog, but I am loath to go there.

REALLY.

I guess I am a little queasy about it.

I was happy though to get in the shower and glad I had gotten up an hour before the alarm was going off, I had set it early in anticipation of taking the shower.

I was to be whisked away from the homestead for a matinée this afternoon.

When was the last time I went to a matinée?

I was dating J.B. and it was oh gosh, seven years ago?

I don’t recall why I wasn’t working that day, it was a week day too, but I was not, and we went and watched the Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe at the AMC Van Ness theater.

Wow.

I had forgotten about that.

I was trying to think in the theater when the last time I had been to the movies was, it’s been awhile just for that and I am still drawing a blank, but I must have gone to one sometime in this past year.

Anyway.

I gave myself extra time and I used it all up.

Just doing the basic stuff is not so basic.

It takes five, six times longer, I get so tired so fast.

I have to sit down and once I am down I want to stay down.

But I got out and my friend was so lovely and sweet, she got me to the bank to deposit a work check from my one day a week gig on Thursdays that, since the accident happened on last Thursday, I had not had the opportunity to cash.

She got me groceries and toiletries and took me to the movies.

I cried in front of her twice and three times when she was in the stores and went to get us coffees.

It is so hard to accept gifts, help, humility, to not be fully self-sufficient, is such a challenge.

But I surrendered.

Frankly, I was just too tired not to.

“I will play this forward, I will,” I said out loud in the car, shifting my booted foot to offset the pressure and the pain of the ankle.

And I will.

And I just have to continue surrendering.

To the financial insecurity.

To the fear.

To the solutions that people put in front of me.

I took a few small actions toward that end today.

I contacted my student loan service and asked for a few months of forbearance on my loan until I am back on my feet.

I checked out the San Francisco Disability web site, but to be honest, I got overwhelmed and shut it down.

Then I said yes to a job, a tiny, teeny, ain’t gonna be much, $10/hr, oh sweet Jesus, yes, let me have seconds on the humility, pass the peas too (the frozen ones draped over my ankle will do just fine) to do some data entry.

But hey, it’s something and I am helping the person out and I know it and it’s what the place can pay me.

I wasn’t looking for the work, but when I was asked, it was mostly because they need a service person and well, he could see I am going to be laid up for a bit, I can do the service.

It’s a pittance and that’s ok.

The service is crucial to the place that is asking and I am willing to help out while I am on the down and out and I am sure there are more lessons to be learned from all of this.

I am being taken care of.

And tomorrow, who knows, maybe I’ll even get a shower chair.

I am no longer above accepting the help.

I would be an idiot not to.

I am many things, but I am not an idiot.

Tired.

Frustrated.

Scared.

But not an idiot.

And underneath all of it, really, I do have faith.

There is a reason for this and there are great gifts to be had, if I will allow myself to accept them, that is.

I accept, gratefully.

I do.

Thank you, everyone, for helping me.

I couldn’t do it without out you.

Believe me, I have tried.

But there’s only so long I can balance on one foot.

 


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