Sunday, November 28, 2010

November 28, 2010

Getting ready for trip to Cape Town. Leave Wednesday. Need to start packing. Spent Thanksgiving in Cold Springs NY with neice Michelle, grandnephews, Arizona and Hanan (almost 16 years old, getting taller every day) and Michelle's extended family. Home of Mich's Aunt Laurie and partner Manuel. Lots of Manuel's family, all Spanish speaking. Very warm and gracious. I wish I wasn't so linguistically challenged and knew more of the language.
For me, one of the highlights of the few days was the walk we took by the Hudson River and into the town of Cold Springs. I think I must have walked a mile. And that has been my goal for this year. Got it!!! So, next year I go for another mile. It's probably reasonable to try for two miles by summer.
And now, to get a nice dinner made for son and his family before I leave town for the month of December. And I think I'll treat the dogs to a bit of roast beef or turkey (brought home some turkey) too.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

November 20, 2010

I haven't blogged in more than a month and friends have asked me what is going on. What is going on, of course, is that I have made myself "busy" again. That means that I have figured out how to manage this prosthetic leg in a way that lets me live my life pretty darn fully. Some things I still can't do, but I have figured out things that were worrying me just a month or so ago.
Like, how to go to the bathroom in a strange place in the middle of the night. (At home I keep a port-a-pot by the bed so I can do a quick up and down). I have found it is not a great inconvenience to turn on the light, pull on the gel liner, slip into the leg, go to the bathroom, then return and reverse the process. Not as quick as the port-a-pot, but much safer than a bed pan on a chair which I did try - not very successfully. Bed pans slip off chairs in friends houses if not carefully managed when full.

Another how-to is how to bathe in various and sundry bathrooms where the conveniences in my bathroom don't exist. If there are not lots of bars in the bathing area, I simply so the best job I can sitting or standing at the sink. Safety is more important than absolute cleanliness. Shower chairs are pretty wonderful things - work in bathtubs - but again the bars matter.

Airports and the new security procedures are something else. I hit the total body rub-down in the Madison airport on my way home from a quilting trip on November 1. It was their third day of this procedure. I didn't know it was gonna happen. I figured it was just the regular wanding and back of the hand pat down that I always get. They don't have the full body xray machines in Madison (yet). So another 1/4 inch and they would have been inside me. Whole thing doesn't make sense. If I was carrying anything, it would have been inside me or, better yet, in my prosthesis. They did not ask me to remove the prosthesis. I asked them what it was about - pointed out they were missing the real places while doing this ridiculous massage. They said they were not asking people to remove prosthesis because it would be too intrusive. The inconsistency was not something the supervisor was prepared to talk about. He gave me a comment card to send to TSA. Pittsburgh Airport has the x-ray machine, so I will probably miss another total body pat down when I leave the country in ten days. They can look at my body fat same as for everyone else. I do get tested for explosives, but that is much less personal than the full body x-ray or the rub-down.

About me and my leg - I can walk the three blocks to our little retail area and back with no problem. Could probably do the round trip twice in one fell swoop if I had to. That would likely be it without a rest. I was able to do that with the small dog to deliver him to the groomer a couple of weeks ago. First time I had walked a dog since surgery. Had been afraid of being pulled. Little dog (35 pounds) was very well behaved so that is one more activity mastered. Won't take the big one walking (60 pounds - and more hyper).

And today, I have TeVa type sandals on my feet. I am checking to see if I can get around in them. I think I will tuck them in suitcase for South Africa trip. It's gonna be warm (70-85 degrees according to darlin' daughter) and we will be near the beach. And maybe I'll go buy a new pair of sneakers on Monday - my favorite shoes with this unreal foot. I am able to wear my good clogs and do put them on when I want to look a little more dressed up but I feel best walking in sneakers that lace up.

I bought a new big suitcase to go - my old big one is already in Cape Town as I lent it to my traveling family. I leave on December 1, return on December 29. Will do an occasional blog from the beach house in Muizenberg.