The nurses here at Strong Memorial Hospital have a schedule that is just as difficult to follow as mine used to be as a Control Room Operator. They spend a few days with us and before you know it, have several more off because of their long shift hours. We’ve gotten to know and appreciate our genuinely nice and supportive nurses and techs that have done so much for us. Tuesday morning we said goodbye to Cindy and my cousin Peter who were about to take some much deserved time off after watching over us for the past few nights. Thank you both so much for all of your care!
When Physical Therapy rolled around, this time I was ready to go. I tried to take the session on without a shot of Dilaudin, but quickly realized that it would again be required in order to make any progress. Today I was working toward my own goal, which gave me much more motivation…I wanted to stand up for the first time. Fortunately my goal was aligned with the therapists which put us both on the same page. After a few deep breaths, overcoming a little pain, and a lot of strange new feelings, I was standing on one leg as an amputee!!! As I stood there, I had a very strange sensation with my phantom leg as if it was still there with me but tied in a knot like a pretzel. Overwhelmed, I had to lay back down and that would be it for today. As I thought about the pretzel sensation, it started to make some sense; after all, the skin from the back of my leg was folded around and stitched to the front of my pelvis. I mentioned this to Dr. O’Keefe who confirmed that it takes the brain time to readjust and that if I touch the skin folded up over my stump, it may still feel like touching the back of my leg.
Right after my break through in physical therapy, the occupational therapist came by with some britches in hand. My first task: put on my own britches which I accomplished with little difficulty considering it’s now only half the work. I just need to inure out what to do with the empty pant leg? For now I just tuck it into my the waistline as I’ve seen others do. Next, she challenged me to sit on the edge of the bed for a whopping 5 minutes. I insisted that if I was going to sit there for that long, someone was going to have to tell a story. When she asked if I had any stories, I argued that “I give and I give,” and now it was her turn to share. Laughing, she took a pass, so Shannon quickly initiated a discussion of the meaning of my tattoos to curb the awkward moment.
With therapy behind me, it was time to get cleaned up for what I had really been looking forward to — empanadas. Carolina and family offered to visit again and bring some of their famous empanadas from the Empanada Stop at the Rochester Public Market. Mom, Dad, Ryan, Evan, and Owen all joined us to meet Carolina’s family and enjoy some empanadas. Unfortunately, Carolina’s family was tied up and weren’t able to make it, but we did get to spend more time with Carolina while eating some incredible empanadas. My favorite was their traditional beef and onion, but I enjoyed trying the entire variety pack as well as the great pork and beans and an awesome homemade birthday cake. Such a great meal, thank you Carolina and to your family for the incredible support!