Tuesday, November 15, 2011

It's been awhile

Yes, indeed, it has been quite sometime since I’ve  posted to my blog!  And, if there were an award for  ‘worst blogger EVER’ I’d definitely be top runner for receiving it this year!!   I’m hard pressed to offer a reasonable explanation for my sluggish posting. . . . . it’s not like I have made no attempts to write up a post of where I’ve been and what I’ve been doing/seeing!!   I actually have several half-written posts (and even one or two that are about three-quarter complete).    I start off vigorously and then, get distracted or run out of time/steam and then seem to let that ‘chore’ slip to the bottom of the list/pile!   One day, awhile back, I was reading a Travels with the Bayfield Bunch blog in which Al talked about blogging lethargy (my term) and I could readily identify with what he was ‘saying’ in that post.  I was a bit relieved to then read the ‘comments’ to that particular post which were left by some of the followers of their blog indicating that erratic posting is an anomaly shared by many of us!  I've also read posts/comments in other blogs that 'speak to' the sometimes difficult nature of keeping the blog momentum going!   In any case, here I am once again - hoping that this time my effort will produce a rejuvenation of my blog.

Truth-be-told, there’s a good reason behind my renewed interest in getting back to my blog.  Before continuing with this though I want to say that I realize that the final paragraph of my last blog back in the spring said something about my heading up to the Napa Valley area to spend time with my youngest daughter and my favorite ‘gran-dog’, Havana.  I also mentioned in that post that I would be taking a bit of ‘down-time’ to think about some ‘stuff’ and try to make some much-needed decisions.  For this post, I’ll be skipping over the several months that have flown by since that blog post so that I can relate my recent mishap and current situation which is the reason I'm in a position to make a renewed effort with my blog.     
I’ve recently been ‘grounded’ as a result of a nasty fall a little over a month ago.  The damage?  A fractured proximal humerus (right arm/shoulder).  I consider myself very fortunate that the diagnosis wasn't much worse because it so easily could have been.   It's one of those scenarios where, in looking back you think. . . .  how dumb was that?!  I had just stepped down from my bedroom/bath area to the entry/kitchen area when I noticed that my outside door had closed over and I wanted to push it back open to let the sunshine in. I slid the screen door handle-slide thingy over and reached through to push the outside door open.  Well. . . . . . not only did my ‘pushing hand/arm’ go out, but my whole body went lunging out – yikes!! The general opinion of myself and the two people who immediately responded was that a number of factors must have been in place for this to have happened.  My foot must have been placed kind of half off that top landing when I reached to push and I know I wasn't  holding onto the neat little bar that is so conveniently placed to the right of that door jam for exiting from the top landing to the well step and then onto the top outside stair. The biggest factor in my opinion though is that I was rushing around and not paying attention to details. It’s true that it was an accident but, it was totally avoidable and I’m one immensely ‘ticked-off’ lady these day (at myself of course!!)  I spend at least a portion of my many long walks around Watertown, MA (where I’m currently staying) giving myself a tongue-lashing. Whenever I get to feeling sorry for myself that I can’t do this or can’t do that, I paint a ‘mental picture’ of giving myself the task of writing something like ‘You will remember to be more cautious’ a hundred times on the blackboard!!  Will I though??  I sure hope so! 

This little incident happened to me a mere three weeks into my Workamping  at the Campbellsville, KY facility for Amazon.   Since joining Workamper back in the fall of 2008, I've had a keen interest in heading to one of their facilities to give it a try.  When they contacted me last Spring, I decided that this would be the Fall to 'just do it'!   I got all the paperwork completed, increased my walking (as recommended by Amazon), arranged my summer schedule to be situated back on the east coast and even re-arranged my summer activity to start working earlier than my original start date of  late October.  I was  actually looking forward to trying this new (to me) type of work!!   

I arrived at the Green River Marina RV Park on Sept. 14th and started work at Amazon the week of Sept. 18th – the first week being a modified work week of 5 hour shifts. I was assigned to be a 'stower' and I was the only person in that small group of stowers being trained that particular week who was a total Amazon 'newbie'.  Most in the group had been in stowing in the past and knew the routine - a couple of folks had worked in other areas but were, at least, familiar with general Amazon routine.  So I had a pretty good situation, in that I could just look to one of them to point me in the right direction or give me a hand with my scanner, etc.   The rv park I was staying in had a really terrific bunch of fellow rv'ers/Workampers and we were looking forward to spending some good weeks together, getting through our work assignment but also having some fun social gatherings too.    By the time I had finished up my second week of full time shift (Sunday through Wednesday 6:00 am to 4:30 pm), I was feeling much less soreness and tiredness than when I had finished up after the first week.  After taking a day to actually rest and recoup, I was up early on Friday and raring to go do some sightseeing, walking or hiking and had found a state park (My Old Kentucky Home State Park) not too far away from where I was staying. After doing a few errands in the late morning, I came back to the rv to grab some lunch, water and talk with a friend there (Carol) to see if she wanted to go along to check out this park – hoping we’d find a good place to take our bikes to ride or, at least, to find another interesting place to walk around in.  As the old saying goes '. . . . the best laid plans. . !' 

Fortunately for me (not so much for her, though), Carol witnessed the whole falling mishap!!  She was sitting outside reading when she looked up and saw me lunging out the door straight to the grassy ground - narrowly missing the corner of the livingroom/dining slide!  She came running up toward me calling out not to move!  The couple in the rig on the site next to mine were just sitting down to have their lunch when they opened the slats on their window blind and the husband (Dennis?) looked over to see me lying on the ground so he came out and the three of us assessed my situation.  When I had the first dreaded realization that I was falling forward out the door, I tried to grab the railing but it was too late.  I then tried to break the fall with my outstretched arms  but it was my right forearm that took the hardest 'hit'.   I was abit stunned for a few seconds and then rolled myself over and that's when I felt the pain.   I had waited for Carol and Dennis to help me sit up and after a little bit, I said it was my shoulder.  When I tried to move my right arm it hurt and it felt like wobbly and disconnected.  Dennis said maybe I had dislocated my shoulder and that sounded pretty likely to me also.   I didn't want to call 911 because, though it hurt, I wasn't in excrutiating pain.  They got me to the ER and Carol stayed with me, helping out in so many ways!   I'm so very greatful to them and also to Carol's hubby, Ken for their help and support that day and in the days to come.  

At the ER, an x-ray was taken, a shot for pain was administered (the pain was starting to increase as time wore on), a diagnosis was determined and the Nurse Practicioner gave me a script for pain meds and a recommendation to see the Orthopedic doctor on Monday.   Carol and her husband, Ken drove me to my doctor appointment first thing Monday.  He gave me the unnerving news that, in his opinion, for me to regain full motion use of this arm, I would need surgery and it wasn’t a surgery that was done very frequently so there weren’t a lot of doctors who would be able to do it!   Huh?!!  Really??!!   I had actually formed the opinion over the weekend that the fracture wasn’t that bad because I really wasn’t in a whole lot of pain (as long as I kept the arm in the sling and was careful to not go bumping into door jams, walls, etc. and didn’t try to walk very far). I was in shock at this diagnosis and didn’t want to believe it.  When I finished up with the doctor, Carol and Ken took me to pick up a few groceries and got me back to my rv where I then made the requisite calls to each of my daughters to tell them about the mishap and diagnosis. 

I was leaning heavily toward going down to the St. Petersburg, FL area to be near my sister  (Cindy) to have the surgery.   She's retired and there's a wonderful group of fellow retirees there that I've gotten to know and become friends with.  My daughters each have full time jobs, a husband or significant other and busy lives.  Getting me to doctors, caring for me after surgery, driving me for followup visits and then physical therapy was not something I wanted to lay at their feet.  My sister and I felt that being down with her would be the better choice.   I was 'over-ruled' however, and conceded that, yes, New England was a good choice - Mass General, good doctors (including my primary care doctor who is located in neighboring NH) and a daughter available for any possible care decisions on my behalf.  My CA daughter (Nancy) flew into Louisville and drove down to Campbellsville to help me finish getting my rv ready for its trip to FL (thanks to my sister, Cindy and an angel of a friend, Donna).  I had taken some preliminary steps toward getting the rig ready and, once again, my fellow Workamper/rv'ers were so very thoughtful and helpful with things that I just couldn't or shouldn't do and in offering to be of whatever help they could when my sister and Donna arrived at the rv park to hook up the 5th wheel for the trek to Florida!  I sure was grateful, too, having my daughter accompany me on my flight(s) from KY to  Boston on Friday.  As can be so typical these days, there were flight problems and I'm sure I never could have handled changing the flight arrangements as seamlessly as Nancy did -- I probably would have been spending most of the day and night stuck in one airport or another!

My MA daughter (Dianne) made some room rearrangements at her home,  converting her office back into a bedroom, retrieving her  queen-size bed from storage, ordering one of those neat chair type pillows for use in bed and a multi-purpose adjustable tables on a rolling platform (like the hospital bed tables).   She and I saw an Orthopedic surgeon at Massachusetts General on Monday morning.  More x-rays were taken and an evaluation of my arm/shoulder done.  This doctor's recommendation was a wonderful surprise (and a great relief) to me – no surgery!! 

The smile that lasted for days!
 He felt I’d made out better in the long run letting the fracture heal and then do a few months of physical therapy.   I was so relieved and happy to hear his approach that I smiled for several days after that visit!!   He gave me a simple exercise to do 3 to 4 times each day and scheduled me for another visit/x-ray in 3 weeks.  I saw the doctor again last week and he was pleased with my progress, answered some questions that I had (the most pressing one for me was. . . . can I now drive?  His answer: a resounding NO, not yet).  He also said I could start PT and found no problem with my waiting another two to three weeks to begin that. 

The reason for holding off the start of PT is that I want to do that once I return to Florida.  I’ve been itching to head OUT of New England since the October n’oreaster visited us here!!  It’s gotten colder and my daughter is now back at home full time and she works from home!!!  With the doctor ruling out my driving capability, I'm feeling even more 'antsy' to return to Florida.  My sister lives in Gulfport and I’ve been spending at least a part of each winter season down there with her – there’s always something to do, some sights to see or friends to get together with!   Since I cannot drive, I’m ‘captive’ to my daughter’s house and walks in/around East Watertown.  All of my friends in NH are still full time workers so, unless I have wheels to drive up to visit with them, I won’t be having much social contact while staying here.  That’s not a complaint by any means, it’s just a statement of facts as they are.  I did decide though, that since Thanksgiving is just around the corner and, my daughter, Nancy, and her husband are flying in to New England for that long weekend, I’ll wait until after Turkey Day to head outta’ here!! 

In the meantime, I’ve been keeping up with my walking routine – I'm just not able to do the mileage I had been doing prior to heading to Amazon but I did complete a 5 ½ mile walk last week!!  

Enjoying my 'bed chair'

I’ve also made good use of the 'bed chair'         
that Dianne purchased and read a few good   
books since arriving a month ago. 

It's been this nagging little voice in recesses of my mind that's really been bugging me the most though.  The one that's been 'poking me' . . . . with that little 'bubble' hanging over my head that says ‘what about your blog -- why aren't you using some of this time to get caught up on it?!"   So. . . . here I am again, ever hopeful that I'll actually become a regular (or at least more regular).   

Thanks to any and all of you out there in blogland that find this post and still have a smidgin of interest! 

1 comment:

Marie Weber said...

Wow.....when you post...it is long.....great job.....welcome back