Tuesday, July 12, 2016

A busy weekend

On the Canada Day weekend, I started feeling more mobile.

I did my own laundry. You have no idea how exciting that was, for both me and Wanda. 

I worked on a messenger bag.


And finally, I started a coffee table. I had a coffee table, but despite living with it for 16 years, I decided it was too big. Time for a change.
I got it mostly built, but not entirely - I had to attach the top, sand, stain, and varnish. I worked on it in the evenings last week and finally finished it last night.


I moved it into the house today. Tomorrow the old coffee table gets donated.


Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Some thoughts on accessibility

I'm waking again. In fact, I no longer need the boot, which is awesome. But being on wheels for five weeks gave me some new insight into what life is like for people who aren't that mobile. 

I work for an employer who accommodates many people with disabilities, but yet one of the ramps into the building has a manhole in the middle of it. If I'd hit it at full speed, I could have been seriously injured.

The ramp inside the building - the one I need to take from my desk to the bathroom - is scary steep, especially going up (because, I slipped, id be rolling backwards.)

Speaking of the bathroom, the one closest to my desk doesn't have automatic doors or a stall big enough for a scooter, so I had to go down to the other end of the building.

And, during the five weeks I used the scooter, we had two days where the closest elevators were out of service, two days where the elevators i. The transit station were out of service, and one power outage long enough hat they sent us home. (A coworker carried my scooter down the stairs. Luckily I could put some weight on my foot by then.)

Most of the bus drivers were great, and passengers usually cleared a space for me to sit without being asked. But....
- sometimes they'd clear the entire seat and put it up before I got on the bus. That did t help, because I can't sit on the scooter, so I'd have to out it back down
- some people tried to help by grabbing my scooter when I got off the bus. Since I depended on it for balance, that was a problem.
- finally, I had to explain more than once that, while I understand that someone is getting in the bus with a stroller, I won't be standing so that you can put the seat up. 

The scooter was way easier than crutches, but it took a lot of energy, and I was glad to see the last of it.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

More about the foot

I had an appointment with my surgeon this week. To my surprise, the foot is healed. I still can't walk - I have about 6 weeks of physio ahead of me - but this is good news. 

However.

The surgeon referred me to the physiotherapy place at the hospital. I called while I was still at the hospital, but they didn't answer. I could have scooted over to find them, but I didn't know exactly where they were, and I don't tend to do any more travel than I need to.

They called back when I was on the bus, and said they needed the req before they'd book an appointment. I could either drop it off during business hours or fax it in.

I have a job, so dropping it off during business hours is out. And I do not have a fax machine.

I eventually figured out that faxzero.com, but I am not impressed with the customer-hostile approach they've taken. There is no earthly reason why I can't bring the req with me to the first appointment, other than that their process is broken. There is no reason why they can't put a mail slot in their door so that people can't drop off reqs outside of business hours. And there is no reason they can't accept reqs via email, rather than relying on technology from the last century. 

I plan to start physiotherapy this week, but it may not be with these yahoos.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Helpless

Well, I survived the two weeks sitting around with my feet up, which is not as fun as it sounds. I also rented a knee scooter, which made a huge difference to my mobility.


That's Wanda on my knee scooter.

Last week I went back to work. One of my neighbours gave me a ride, which I greatly appreciated. 

This week I started taking the bus again. I wanted to be back on my own schedule, and it worked out ok. I did get a ride home yesterday, though, since I was getting pretty sore.

I've been in pretty good spirits so far, but today I've hit my limits. I want to stop being sore, and I want to be able to do stuff again.

I can't heal fast enough for me.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Oh right, it's one foot in front of the other

'On Saturday, I forgot how to walk down stairs.

You see, a friend invited me to go to Wonderland with her and her daughters. We were staying with her sister-in-law, and we got in around 11:30 on Friday night. Everyone was asleep, so we went to bed ourselves. In the morning, I got up, took a shower, meet the sister-in-law for the first time, and then fell down the stairs.

I knew immediately that I was hurt pretty bad, and it became obvious very quickly that my ankle was broken. My friend applied ice and a splint, and then we figured out that we needed to call an ambulance. The paramedics arrived, splinted it properly, and then carried me out to the ambulance.

Incidentally, it's weird to be in a moving vehicle while lying down. 

I got to the hospital and they transferred me to a bed there. I had X-rays, and they discovered that my ankle was dislocated and broken in three places. 

They put me under to realign it, then put a temporary cast on it. It felt much, much better after it was no longer dislocated, although it was obviously not great. 

In the meantime, my friend's daughters and their cousins were at Wonderland. Around 6, it became obvious that surgery was not going to happen, and the surgeon gave me three choices: transfer to another hospital for the night, then have surgery in the morning; go home for the night and come back to the Ajax hospital for surgery, or go back to Ottawa. We decided to go back to Ottawa, so we called the girls and asked them to come back. (My friend's brother had taken my car, so we needed the car, too.)

We left around 9 and had to stop to get a prescription fcr pain. It turns out Percocet doesn't help me with pain, but it does make me drowsy. I wasn't in too much pain, though, so it was OK.

We got back to Ottawa around 2 a.m. and went straight to emergency. They took more X-rays and told me to come back at 8. Getting into the house at 4 am was interesting. At one point, I offered to sleep in the front hall, but my friend and Wanda managed to get me onto my foot. 

We went back to the hospital at 8. I talked to the surgeon, and he sent me home until they were ready to operate. It was so much nicer to be at home. They called later on Sunday and said that they weren't going to operate that day, and that I could eat and drink until midnight. After two days of fasting most of the day, this was good news. 

Yesterday morning, they called and told me to be at the hospital at 10:30. They operated around 12:30, and Wanda picked me up around 5. A friend's parents also came to the hospital in case Wanda needed help, but I was pretty functional.

You know, I know some pretty awesome people. People have brought food, and a reclining chair, and a shower stool, and a walker and wheelchair. It's been really nice.

I have to sit with my foot up above my heart, so I am off work for two weeks. I expect I'll be bored at some point, but right now I'm spending a lot of time sleeping. I can't really concentrate on much, either, so little iPad games are all I can do for entertainment. Hopefully that will improve soon.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

All About Me quilts 4 & 5

Yesterday I finished two more all about me quilts. These ones will be the last ones for a while - Ottawa went from snow on Monday to summer today, and I am looking forward to doing more outdoor projects (including woodworking, which I do outside since there's no good space inside).

Here are some pictures:

I dropped the quilts off last night, and the kids were really happy with them. It's actually funny how much kids love these. I think the appealing part is how customized they are - the colours are their favourite colours, and many of the squares are inspired by things they like. It's always fun to deliver one.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

The small matter of a kitchen fire

On Sunday, I pulled the big cast iron frying pan out of the drawer. The outside of it felt greasy, so I ran some hot water and washed it. When I thought it was clean, I put it on the stove and started to cook.

I was busy getting things ready, but at some point I thought it was a good idea to pick up the pan. (Why did I do that? It's a mystery.) As soon as I picked it up, there were flames on the entire bottom and sides of the pan.

That's right, heat + fuel + oxygen makes fire. I set the pan down and the fire went out immediately.

Apparently the pan wasn't as clean as I thought.