Well, it’s been interesting watching my foot change colors as the days go by. I am still wondering how I managed to injure it so severely when I fell into such a shallow depression. I think I must just be talented. Or not talented, depending on how you look at it. LOL.
My foot doesn’t feel good by any stretch of the imagination, but every day it’s feeling a little less bad. Less bad is pretty good.
When I first fell, I could not able to put any weight on my foot whatsoever. I could get around only by getting onto our wheeled office chair and rolling myself to the place I had to go–such as the bathroom. After a few days, I graduated to a cane. I’m still using the cane, but I have to depend on it less heavily. So that’s progress.
If it were a mysteriously creepy night, I could appear almost scary in a horror movie sort of way with my zombie-looking foot and my thump, step, thump, step sound as I lurch out of the fog. I think “night” sounds scarier than “day,” “scary” sounds more powerful than “pathetic,” and “lurch” sounds better than “hobble” or “limp.”
I’m assuming–and resigned to the fact–that it’s going to take a while for me to get back to normal. I’m trying very hard to stay off my feet as much as possible to give my injured foot time to heal, but I also want to do as much as I am able to do. I sort things into different categories: there are some things I have to let EJ do for me, there are some things I want to do, there are some things I have to do, and other things I am impatiient to do.
For example, if EJ isn’t available (i.e., he’s in bed or at work) I have to be able to feed Hannah Joy and take her outside when she needs to go. I have to be able to feed the outside cats and let them out of the garage in the mornings and get them back inside the garage in the evenings. I was concerned that I wouldn’t be able to get them in the garage because the cats–especially Theo–like to roam our property and sometimes they are slow to return to the house. I haven’t had a problem, though, because when I see them near the house near evening, I call them to me and put them in the garage, even if it’s a bit early. I have to be able to get the chickens shut up safely in their coop in the evenings, although EJ cares for them when he gets up in the morning and he steals their eggs in the afternoons before he heads to work.
Although he’s willing to help me, I hate to ask EJ too often to fetch and carry for me when he is busy doing his chores, and mine, AND going to work every day. I’m obviously not going to be mowing the lawn any time soon but I can easily do dishes now because I only need to stand in front of the sink with the weight off my foot. EJ is doing the cooking and putting dishes away because they take too many steps for me.
I decide whether I can do a task by determining how many steps it will take or how long I will have to be on my feet. The more steps, the more pain so I try to eliminate steps by bundling tasks–i.e., doing everything I can in the part of the house that I am currently at or going through. For example, the pantry, the door to the garage, and front door are all at the end of the hallway. So when I go to the pantry to get Hannah Joy’s food in the morning, I also scoop out food for the outside cats and put it near the front door as I take the few steps to the kitchen to put Hannah Joy’s dish on the floor. This keeps her out of my way as I take the few steps back down the hallway. I reach through the door to the garage and push the button to open the large door a little so the cats can get outside. Then I pick up the cats’ food dish, go out the front door, and put their dish on the porch. The seed for the wild birds is in a container on the porch so as I head back into the house, I scoop some into a container. By this time, Hannah Joy is finished eating and needs to go out so we go to the door in the living room that leads out to the deck. I get her out on her tie-out and then I pour the seed into the bird feeders which are next to the deck. By this time Hannah Joy is ready to go inside so we go in together. I hobble back through the house to put the scoops back in the birdseed container on the front porch, and when I come back through the kitchen, I pour myself a cup of coffee and take it with me to the couch where I settle down and rest my foot. By calculating and eliminating as many steps as I can, I maximize the number of tasks I can do while minimizing effort and time on my feet.
Monday evening was the first time I had to go out to the coop to shut the chickens in. When it was almost time to go out, I realized that there was no way that my foot would fit in my shoe. I couldn’t go barefoot because I needed the support of my brace to go so many steps, and I didn’t want to dirty it in the mucky chicken area. I pondered the problem and then I thought, “Oh! I can wear my winter boots!” which usually fit a bit loose. I tried to insert my foot in the boot, but it didn’t fit. So then I thought, “Oh! I could wear EJ’s winter boots!” which are bigger than mine. But I couldn’t get my foot in his boot either. I thought further and decided to just try putting on a pair of slippers. I chose a pair of Christmas ones that I’m not particularly fond of so I wouldn’t care if they got mucky. They have little bells around the cuff, which dig into my legs if I cross them. (Tuesday I let EJ remove the bells to use in a project.) The slippers were successful! Whew! I felt a bit like the people in the story of Cinderella trying on the glass slippers. Or maybe Goldilocks trying various items until she found the ones that were just right.
The most frustrating thing has been looking out the window and seeing my herb garden. I don’t want my herbs to go to seed before I get out there to harvest them. I want to dry enough of them to last the winter. Every day I have thought, “Today I am going to harvest some herbs,” but every day I say, “Nope. Not today!” But yesterday I decided that I was absolutely going to get out to the herb garden, which is just next to the deck so it’s not as if I have to take a lot of steps to get to them. The real effort is that harvesting them requires more time on my feet. The best time to harvest herbs is in the morning, but we have had heavy dew that would have totally soaked my slippers so I had to wait until the afternoon after EJ went to work. I harvested four different types of herbs. I brought them into the house and rested my foot while I sat on the couch and removed the leaves from their stems. Then I put the herbs on the trays and into the dehydrator in the hallway.
I feel better now that I could get out to my herb garden.