When I fell, our kitchen was down to its studs with a table, two chairs, a refrigerator, and a hot plate and microwave on rolling carts. Our new appliances were covered in blankets on the back porch. The old kitchen sink had been temporarily relocated to a makeshift counter outside, where Wayne did the dishes. Being in a wheelchair actually worked in this format, since everything was easier to reach and there was plenty of open space. So the house and I rehabbed together, piece by piece.
From its humble beginnings as a 1950s hovel on four acres that could have been featured in “Better Shacks and Lean-To’s,” we, with the help of a number of talented people, are pleased to be part of the modern, “small house” movement. We’ve brought our home into the 21st century for the price of a mid-sized Korean sedan. We’re still working on some finishing touches, but look at this!
In the middle of all this, my mother passed away shortly before Christmas.
Tons of physical therapy ensued after the hospital stay, until the calendar changed and my co-pay became ridiculous. I opted for the YMCA after that, and began a regimen that started with floating in the pool. It’s a saline-pool, reminding me of many summer days (and phosphorescent nights) on Long Island Sound. I’m a naturally buoyant person anyway, so I found I could gently tread water for up to two hours at a time. After a few weeks I graduated to the cardio bikes upstairs, adding more machines as I felt comfortable, and began lap-swimming. At 5½ months, and with my orthopedic surgeon’s blessing, I took a few runs on the bunny slope at our beloved Mt. Ashland.
All of this culminated in a new, improved version of me! Parts of my body are now titanium enriched, my personal boundaries have been amply fortified, and my marriage is thriving. I’m a lot more mindful about how I move around. I’m still working on the part of me that attempts to be all things to everybody.
Wayne has just presented me with the needle cap to the syringe in which morphine was administered to me by the EMT at the time of the accident. He found it a couple of weeks ago in the dirt by the edge of the porch and saved it for today.
As for the scars, they are tiny, pink reminders of my ordeal, for a 21st century scar is miniscule compared to the 1950s and 1970s scars I still sport on other parts of my body. So a year later, there’s been lots of work, both physical and emotional. I’m up to ½-mile in the pool. I’m still a little limpy and uneven on bad days, so I’ve enlisted some chiropractic help, plus I’m starting back up with Bikram (hot) yoga this coming week.
Tonight though, we’ll be celebrating at our favorite Mexican restaurant, Habañeros, in Medford. We will not be posting any pictures of our food.