When the Governor’s order to stay at home was issued on March 23, I’d already figured out how to hunker down. I‘d been in training since January 30.
That’s when I arrived home from the hospital after total knee replacement surgery. I was told to plan on doing nothing but concentrate on healing for three months. So I took three months medical leave from Backstreet Gallery and the Siuslaw Pioneer Museum. (Who knew they would both be closed from mid-March on.)
The first five weeks of hunkering down, I had a lot of help. My sister, Edna, came from California and spent the first two weeks with me. She did the cooking, cleaning, and took care of my cat, Sir Groucho. And she changed the ice pack two or three times a day. And she encouraged me to move from walker to cane and then to use the walls and furniture to get around. Then she left . . .
That’s when I hunkered down for real. I was alone, and It would be another three weeks before I could drive. No wheels is no fun! My sister doesn’t drive outside of her town, so she didn’t drive my car while she was here. Neighbors and friends got me to and from the hospital for surgery, to physical therapy and doctor appointments after surgery, and did grocery shopping for me.
Carole who lives in my apartment downstairs, got me to the hospital on time—6 a.m.––and two days later with my sister in tow brought me home. Just a few days later, Karen Nichols, a fellow Backstreeter, drove me to my first PT session and Edna to Safeway. And two weeks later, she got me to PT again. Phyllis Laird also from Backstreet volunteered to take me to PT and then got sick that very day. So she sent her husband. John Laird graciously took me, a stranger, to PT and then to the doctor’s office to check the dressing over my incision and then foolishly asked if there was anywhere else he could take me. So we went to Old Town to drop off my ‘dead mouse’ at FTS Computer Repair. Jolene could not revive it, so I had to order a new one. And another Backstreeter, Pattie Brooks Anderson, took me to my last PT before I started driving.
My neighbor Ruth took me to PT twice and gave me a beautiful plant. Another neighbor Hope took me to PT once and then got groceries for me––not once or twice but three times. Hope also took me to a doctor’s appointment and got my sister to the bus to take her over to Eugene to catch the train home.
The gals at physical therapy, Marijo and Jesse, were wonderful to work with. I was amazed and pleased at how quickly what I was being asked to do got easier and easier. They called me a rock star because I could do everything they asked—well almost. I still need to get the bend a little more so on my knee. Because of that my PT was extended a couple of weeks. It ended April 1. Between the hospital, Dr. Watanabe and the orthopedic staff, my sister, friends, neighbors, and the gals at PT, it truly took a village. But I have a new knee that works and no longer hurts. For that, I am forever grateful. I love my new knee.
I have daily exercises that I still do. And I ride the exercise bike I have in the garage and walk around the neighborhood four or five times a week. I was just getting into that routine when I had the bleeding ankle incident April 3.
While Carole got the bleeding stopped and it has not restarted, I am still leery of taking a shower without bagging my foot with a heavy-duty plastic bag and taping it to my leg to keep water off ‘the spot.’
And I’m leery of wearing any shoes except the slip-ons that I wear around the house. All others either come right up to ‘the spot’ or have a strap that crosses right over it. Since a shoe rubbing right there is what probably caused the bleeding, I wore different shoes on the two times that I’ve been out in the car, since the incident. Because I felt them rubbing, I won’t wear either of them again. I walked with my neighbor Ruth the other day and wore yet a different pair of shoes. I think they will work. The left shoe didn’t seem to rub on ‘the spot.’
While hunkering down since my sister left in mid-February, I have tried to keep myself busy. I prepared my taxes for my tax man and finished putting the phone numbers in my iPhone. (When I switched from a flip phone to a smart phone a couple of years ago, what came through were the names on my old phone with their emails, but no phone numbers.) I also recopied all addresses from my old address book to a new one. It had been more than 20 years since I had done that, and several folks in it were no longer alive.
I did my annual report for my book business. (It takes all of two pages.) Only after that was done, could I get stuff ready for my tax man.
I had many problems with my computers this past year from a dead mouse to passwords that didn’t work, to needing to upgrade operating systems and software, to eliminating some malware and Trojan horses. It took a lot of time and money, but finally my laptop and desktop are back in operating order. Then I spent nearly a week deleting many photos and emails (thousands) from my computer and organized the desktop, which had become super cluttered.
Once my computer was back in good operating order, I got back to writing. I started with a letter to the editor and then restarted my weekly blog, which I had not done much with this past year. I’m even posting more on my Facebook page and did a couple of Haiku poems.
Writing is my therapy. When something is festering in my mind, I need to get it out. I call it my creative vomit. When it’s all out, I clean it up. And that’s the part I enjoy most. I work with it until it shines, until I’m satisfied. Then I feel good, really good—better than any drug.
I also have plans to reorganize my closet in my office, clean out old stuff in the garage, and sort through every single drawer in the entire house. We’ll see how that goes.
And as I feel up to it, I want to do some work in the yard. For the first time in 18 years, I’m home in April and will be able to see my rhodies bloom. Every other year, I’ve been in California visiting family and friends and usually catch only the end of the bloom. So I’m loving every blossom as it bursts open.
It’s been 11 weeks since my surgery. My three months of healing is almost up. Of course, I’ve got to get a better bend in my knee and get ‘the spot’ healed, but I’m not nearly as tired as I was during the first two months after surgery. And while the bleeding ankle incident slowed me down due to loss of blood and not wanting to aggravate it, I’m feeling good now.
It seems, I’ve adapted to hunkering down, which is a good thing in this topsy turvy, bizarre world of Coronavirus.