Being thankful

My last post was somewhat depressing, I realize this. So, I’m looking for things to be thankful for this time around.

I’ve been to the Keauhou Farmer’s Market three of the last four Saturdays, and I have a couple of favorite booths. Having the neon green cast and riding around on a scooter has made me highly visible, and it’s actually been fun to have various people stop and chat me up, asking what happened and making funny comments. The vendors know me and ask how I’m healing, and they are honestly interested. Not only do I get social interaction, I get really yummy food! This week I also had the bonus of Julie and Caylin joining me, part of my Hawaii ohana. It was wonderful to spend time with them.

Speaking of the neon green cast, I’ve been downgraded from a 3/4 leg cast, to one that hits slightly below my knee. When the original cast was removed, my leg felt SO weird. Very lightweight, weak and fragile. I discovered why the doctor moved my appointment to the lunch hour when she started manipulating my ankle before wrapping the cast. My ankle had been immobile for four weeks, and needed to be moved to a neutral position for the new cast. To say I screamed would be overstating the matter, but I will admit to a lot of yelping along the lines of “Ow! Ow! That hurts! Calf muscle! Ow! Ankle! Ow!”. I was okay by the time the cast was on (I got the bright green again), and my knee moved surprisingly well. I started physical therapy the very next day, and while I realize I lost some muscle mass, I didn’t expect the simple exercises to be so difficult. The new cast is much smaller and lighter, but I don’t have as much leg to bear the weight and the healing break is now in the center of the cast. The goal of the exercises right now is to get my knee and hip moving cleanly, so I’m ahead of the game by the time the cast comes off (hopefully 12/8/14) and I progress to a walking boot. It feels very good to have a lighter weight, though the change in my center of gravity is disconcerting. This is progress though, and I’ll take it!

My birthday was last Tuesday, and I had a Skype with one of my BFFs, PT, then pau hana with a couple of girlfriends. Of course I wore my tiara all day, and that was one of the things that helped inspire a lovely man to buy us a round of drinks. He also came over and signed my cast. That was a really good day. 🙂

I spent a bunch of money online doing my holiday shopping on Friday, Why would I be thankful for that? It means that I have family and friends whom I want to spoil with the fruits of Hawaii. Specifically, products from I have one or two gifts left to buy, and hope to nail those down tomorrow on Cyber Monday.

This week started off on a positive note, with one of the new members of my ohana stopping by just to check on me and talk story. He’s been in my position, having a cast for 6 weeks, and it was nice to have a conversation with someone who understands. Tomorrow is the birthday of another BFF. I won’t be with her in person, but I know she’ll feel the love I’m sending her. PT is three days this week, which means three opportunities to get stronger. At the end of the week, I’ll help out with a local holiday fair which ought to be lots of fun.

I have a lot to be thankful for, and ’tis the season for it. I’m looking forward to the holidays in Kona!


Life on crutches

In short: it sucks. Yes, I’ve tried to be upbeat and look for the positive aspects of the situation such as the aloha spirit I’ve encountered and being forced to slow down, However, having a broken leg and moving around on crutches is always a bad thing. It’s slow, uncomfortable, and uncertain.

I’ve had lovely experiences with the people I’ve encountered, and I’m apparently quasi-famous at the school where it happened Today I took my scooter (woo-hoo mobility!) to the farmer’s market up the street, and the first three people (two vendors, one cute EMT guy) I spoke with all knew exactly who I was once I said I fell at the school. In fact, the first vendor’s daughter had been encouraging him to help the EMTs carry me that night, but as he had a bad leg, he was unable to do so. Another vendor is friends with my friends, and she very generously gave me a jar of her concentrated mamaki tea to use for healing. At my last doctor’s appointment, I was able to ask a new friend for a ride and she was extremely generous with her time to take me to the doctor and then the grocery store. When I took myself to the grocery store on Thursday, some random guy in the aisles asked me if I had a Sharpie and could he sign my cast. He explained as he did so that he included his band name, and this is what the EMT on Saturday recognized. Turns out there’s a death metal band in Kona, called Repellent. Who knew?

So, that’s the good aspect. The bad is the rest: the discomfort of the cast itself due to its weight and being rigid and hot. The pain of the leg, despite pain meds, which I’m weaning myself off. It’s hard to move around, like trying to take a bath without getting the cast wet or fall into the tub when I’m balancing on the edge. When I’m standing, I balance on my right leg, and while I’m strong in body, it gets wearying after a while. My muscles are aching and trying to figure out how to reconfigure themselves to work with the new way my body needs to move. You have no idea how tiring it is to lay on the couch or sit in a chair for so many hours every day. Having your independence taken away when you are used to relying on yourself is a very difficult thing, and it’s hard for me to rely on other people.

I have four (at least) more weeks of this. I broke my leg two weeks ago tonight, and it is the one month anniversary of my move. I hope to be out of the cast by Christmas, but I’ll for sure be in it for my birthday and Thanksgiving. I’m frustrated and trying not to be depressed. I know, I know, I’m in Paradise. I just wish I could be out there and enjoying it.

Things I’ve learned: When you think you need to go to the bathroom, start making your way there. It’s going to take a while to arrive. If someone offers you help, take it. It’s good for both of you. It’s okay to slow down, just don’t stop as it’s hard to get your momentum again.