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URL:   http://www.diabetesselfmanagement.com/blog/jan-chait/normal-more-than-a-city-in-illinois/print/

“Normal”: More Than a City in Illinois

Jan Chait

July 9, 2013

There are still some kinks to be worked out, but things are slowly getting back to whatever passes for “normal” here.

Unfortunately, some are too slow. Lounging around in a hospital for a week tends to wreak havoc with strength — as in the upper-body strength I need to get on my scooter. It isn’t all the way back yet.

Normally, I get onto my scooter by putting one hand on the seat, the other on the tiller, and lifting myself onto the seat. Normally. I’ve gotten to the point where I can get onto my scooter from some places — such as my desk chair — but not others.

The bathroom, for example, is a problem. I give it a couple of tries, making sure the scooter is close enough to the toilet that I can get back on it when I fail to settle into the seat. After two tries, I switch to an alternate way: I put Kenny (my stump, or residual limb) on the seat and, using the grab bars on either side of the toilet and pushing up with my other leg, lift myself onto the scooter. (Kenny is the name of the podiatry resident who gave my now-missing foot its last pedicure. I don’t like the word “stump,” and Kenny’s last name is actually very close to “stump,” so I named my residual limb after him.)

Getting back onto the scooter after a shower is tending to make me not want to shower. It takes a while, but I get there. I can’t use the “putting Kenny onto the seat” method there because the scooter seat is higher than my shower bench.

Getting into bed? Aw geez! That takes forever! That’s a scooter-to-bed situation and the bed is much higher than the scooter. I have to get up enough momentum to hop up onto the bed without immediately sliding back off. (Oh, yes, I have!)

I really need to go to the dentist, but am somewhat leery of trying to get from the dentist’s chair back onto the scooter.

It’s very annoying and my Pollyanna gene is waning. Only two weeks or so ago, I could be on the ground and hop right up onto my scooter. I just need to keep working on my upper-body strength. Plus I decided it might be time to get hylan G-F 20 (brand name Synvisc) injections to help with my osteoarthritis. It might allow me to straighten up my leg a bit better.

So I made an appointment with my rehab doc to get that done.

And I have an appointment with my family practice doc. I just saw him about three weeks ago and was good for six months (barring illness or whatever) — until I landed in the hospital. So now I get to see him for a follow-up to that.

I need to reschedule the endocrinologist and ophthalmologist because I missed those appointments due to being in the hospital.

My colonoscopy has been scheduled. Finally. I’ve only been trying since May. Great GI doc, lousy scheduling department. First of all, you can’t get through. So you leave a message and nobody calls you back. Thanks to Dad, I get to have colonoscopies more frequently than most. It seems I inherited his propensity to grow lots and lots of polyps. So far they’ve all checked out negative for cancer — and I want it to stay that way.

My family practice doc probably will send me to a pulmonologist, thanks to the respiratory problems that kept me in the hospital with carbon dioxide levels that weren’t great.

Have you ever felt as though you have a different doc for each part of your body? I mean, when you have one for your colon and one for your breath, it’s getting to be a bit ridiculous! Oh, the things we do to remain healthy. But do them we must.

On another subject, G. Gordon Kitty turns one year old today. We’re going to bake a ground chicken “cake” for him and the girls (we have two female cats, in addition to G) and see if they’ll tolerate wearing birthday hats.



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