Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Two Steps Forward

Two steps forward, one step back is a line in this video by Paula Abdul and is appropriate for where I'm at.

Kaiser sent a very nice young man to Jen's house to check on me today -- it was called a PT appt but really was a check to see how I am doing and what issues could cause problems with mobility around the house. He was very helpful and laughingly told me that he was NOT going to be telling me to do more. He said I could only use the walker as far as the hall bath and that I should be using the wheelchair more. He said as my pain levels and swelling reduce, I should spend more and more time sitting in the the wheelchair and not laying in the hospital bed.

He also told me that standing is exercise (!) and that I should stand when I felt up to it -- with the caveat of holding onto the walker and no weight bearing on my right leg, etc. Said I'll have a call next week setting up another visit - guess I get them weekly. He checked my blood pressure (great) and my toes and asked about my pain levels, etc.

Got a care package of yummy homemade cookies and banana bread from my friend Mary Mac today -- made me all teary knowing that I have friends like Mary Mac who care enough to send me goodies. Her timing was great - I was feeling a little low after today's appointment knowing that I have a very long and slow recovery ahead of me. I promise to share the goodies with Jen, Stephanie, and Mike. Poor Julianna doesn't know what she's missing :)

Still haven't heard from Joanie -- hope she calls soon.

Sunday, February 19, 2012


I found a voicemail from an old friend that I had lost touch with the day after I got out of the hospital -- my cellphone was dead so it didn't record her number as an incoming call.

I had thought she was dead - her email bounced and her cell # was disconnected and I could not find her street address anywhere -- and I burst into tears when I heard her voice.

I've been checking my ATT account daily but so far, the number she called from has not been registered in my activity *and* she didn't leave the number in her voicemail.

So, Joanie Balonie -- I'm hoping you read this, realize that the ONLY reason I've not called you back is that I don't have your new number and call me! I want to talk to you so badly......

Getting Better

Yesterday was a good day -- last night was a bad night but overall, I'm feeling stronger each day. I am finally able to lift the cast off the ground using my hip muscles (whew) and my appetite is returning.

Of course, all that would not be possible without Stephanie's nursing and Jen letting me stay here and fronting the cost of the medical equipment (*spitting* Kaiser *spitting*). I am so blessed to be with both my girls at the same time and getting to see Julianna every day and the more I am around Mike, I can see why Jen fell in love with him -- he is such a good man.

The Beatles -- Getting Better

Friday, February 17, 2012

Home At Jen's

Was discharged from the hospital and am now at Jen's. We had to rent a hospital bed and a wheelchair and had to purchase a bedside commode and walker. Kaiser would not provide me with them because I am an out of state member -- what they call a visiting guest. Great treatment the whole time I was in but I was put in a Catch 22 situation by their not one of us crap.

Could not be discharged until the items had been delivered and set up but Kaiser Admin refused to provide anything. $200 bucks was the cost of one month's rental and the purchase of the walker and potty. When I'm not so medicated, I'm going to do some research because they way they handled this part totally sucked. Jen had to put everything on her credit card -- thank goodness for her because I did not have mine with me at the hospital.

Am glad to be home. Hospital bed is comfy. Am not allowed to get up for any reason without assistance. There is a very heavy plaster cast on my right leg that runs from the base of my toes all the way up to my upper thigh... sucker feels like it weighs 50 lbs. Tis the temporary one - I see the doc on the 1st and hopefully get a lighter one - old fashioned heavy plaster makes sure that I am not putting any weight on it and encourages me to stay in bed.

Was great having diner with the entire family tonight :) :) :)

Wednesday, February 15, 2012


This is Stephanie, Suzanne's youngest. Sorry it has taken me so long to update you all on my mom's condition, I have been out of the house all day!

Mom's surgeon called me this afternoon saying that her surgery went well and that they used some bone cement to "adhere" to the tibial plateau to make it flat again, as opposed to taking a bone graph from her hip. I talked to her not to long ago and she is REALLY groggy from all the drugs, and the pain :(

She is at:
Kaiser Sunnyside Medical Center in Clackamas, OR in room 218A for anyone who wants to know.

Thank you for all of your prayers and well wishes!


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Tomorrow's Nightmare

No, this is not a post about the song from Annie meeting those kids from Elm Street - I wish it was :)

I have to be at Kaiser Sunnyside Medical Center at 0630 tomorrow morning. My surgery is scheduled for 0830. The estimate is two to three hours so I doubt there will be any word until sometime after noon. I will be in recovery for a while before I am moved to my room.

Kaiser does not permit cell phones and all electronics have to be battery operated so I will be tube-less during my stay. I won't know until tomorrow when I chat with the doc pre-op how long I will be hospitalized. I am hoping for it to be just overnight for monitoring and that I am discharged Thursday morning. Fingers and toes crossed!

Stephanie knows how to sign in so that she can write a post here updating folks how I'm doing tomorrow. Again, I don't expect her to have any information to share until late afternoon at the earliest.

I want to thank everyone for sending me warm positive thoughts and prayers during this difficult time -- I owe you all such a debt of gratitude - words fail to express how much it has meant to me to have your support.

The positive to all this is that as of tomorrow, I will finally be on the road to recovery -- no longer on hold waiting - and will be able to start thinking about getting my life back to what it was 'before'. That and spending all this time with both my girls and watching my granddaughter grow by leaps and bounds daily. I am so thankful that I did not drop her when I fell.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Living The Nightmare

I've not been posting and this is to explain the why.

Jan 23rd, Jen fell and broke her left fibula and ankle. She had surgery on the 27th to put in a plate and several pins. Her dad happened to be arriving the day after her fall so he was here for a week taking care of her and Jujube.

I arrived here on the 1st. The plan was that I was to take care of Jen and Jules until Steph flew in on the 4th -- and I did so.

However, while Mike was at the airport picking up Steph, I lost my balance and fell while carrying the baby. I did not drop her and she's fine but I ended up busting my right fibula an inch above the ankle and forking up my knee.

Yesterday, I had the followup appt to get a cast on my ankle but the treatment plan changed on Monday when I got a call from Kaiser telling me I had fractured my knee and might need surgery.

This is what I wrote a friend last night -- I'm on a very strong narcotic and it is easier to just cut and paste this (sorry about the lack of capitalization and bad punctuation):

spent most of the afternoon at kaiser -- ct scan, physical exam of leg and a whole lotta back and forth calls between the orthopedist and the orthopedic surgeon going over the results of same. am scheduled for surgery to fix my badly mangled knee on wed morning. they may keep me overnight.

the femur came 'crashing' through the knee joint and ‘pounded’ (the words the fracture clinic doc used) the tibia head at the tibial/patella plateau. it pushed one side of the plateau way way down. there is also a nasty crack on the tibia head just where it starts to curve out to form the head and it doesn’t go all the way through but …. the plan is to lift up the depressed bone, using bone grafts to help keep it up while healing and then put a plate on the outside (fx side) with screws holding it all together.

i was told that this injury is the type of injury that tends to end up with a total knee replacement later on. however on the plus side, altho the injury site is hard for the surgeon to get to, it is the best site for healing since its towards the back instead of the front of the tibia.

doc warned me that i might be overnight ed at the hospital post op. current guestimate is 12 weeks of no weight bearing but that could change post op depending on all the yada yada's the docs say. everything today was just an estimate - won’t really know how long i’ll be laid up until after the surgeon puts me back together again.

the surgery clinic will call me tuesday late afternoon. they will let me know the time of the surgery but its likely to be 0600.

the good news in all this bad news is that i was lucky enough to get one of the highest recommended surgeons. his specialty is trauma orthopedics and i've heard rave reviews about him from several people - guess he's pretty well known up here.
So I'm living on Jen's downstairs sofa and poor Steph has two patients and a baby and house to take care of instead of one patient, etc. I feel guilty about taking resources away from Jen (even though I know logically that I'm not but the mom in me won't stop) and just keep telling myself that the good news is that I did not drop the baby.

Two broken fibula's in the same house 10 days apart. Amazing stroke of bad luck.

I have an appt with the pre-op evaluation center Monday and should know more after that.

Thanks for stopping by. I promise to update on Monday and will have Steph post a post here letting folks know what happens Wed.