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Gaining the Tools to Venture Out

Jan Chait

November 30, 2010

Milestone alert! I went to a public bathroom all by myself last Friday.

“What is it with this chick and bathrooms?” you may be asking yourself. Well, if you can’t manage to go while you’re out, then you can’t go very far or stay out for very long. After a certain age — maybe five — going around with a wet (or worse) spot on your skirt or pants is frowned upon.

Mom, my granddaughter, and I were going to hit the fabric and craft store on Friday. Mom wanted fabric and patterns. Cali wanted cake-decorating supplies. I wanted yarn. I hurried people along as best I could, but it still took the troupe 45 minutes to leave the house. Then people took their own sweet time in the store.

Finally, everybody had made their selections and it was time to go…to the restaurant across the parking lot for lunch.

Man, I really had to go at that point. And I made it! It wasn’t easy, but I now know I can take care of “business” while I’m out. Watch out, world! I’m leaving the house!

This, by the way, is no thanks to the home rehab place, which still hasn’t gotten permission from my insurance company for therapy. Mind you, my surgery was on November 16. It’s now been two weeks and the place hasn’t managed to get certification from my insurance company yet. I don’t believe they’re fighting for me. In fact, one person there said I may not be approved because “after all, you’re 62 years old.”

Huh? If I take after my grandmothers, I still another 30 or more good years in me.

Aside from some rudimentary things I learned in the hospital, I’ve not been taught how to do one darned thing. Basically, I can transfer from the bed to the scooter and back, and from the bed to the potty chair and back. I still can’t get into the van, but I figured out how to get in and out of the car. I like my car best, anyway.

I’m afraid to transfer to my shower seat so I take “bird baths.” I’m afraid to transfer to my kitchen stool so I can cook. I can’t seem to get into and out of a “real” chair (one of those comfy ones) without landing on my tush. I haven’t tried the desk chair yet. So I have the bed, the scooter and a dining room chair. None of which are comfortable.

So I made the decision to go for inpatient rehab. I called the head of the rehab department last night, and I’ve already had a home visit to gather some information to present to my insurance company. If approved, I’ll be in for two weeks. Yuck! But I do need it. Desperately!

As for attitude, I did have a brief pity party on Thursday. Picked a fight with my grandson, lamented the fact that I only have one whole leg, etc. It may have lasted about half an hour. I’m not really sure if it was about the surgery or about not being able to cook. I like to feed people. I also don’t like other people in “my” kitchen.



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