Injury Timeline


Thursday, August 27, 2015

All The Pains!

Well, my first session of physical therapy is in the books!  I went to see the Lisfranc specialist and she is going to help me get range of motion back in preparation for walking again.  

I scheduled my 2nd foot surgery to remove some of my hardware for October 13th.  Once those are out, I can start bearing weight on my foot.  My doctor is conveniently out of town when I would have hit my 12 weeks, so I will be delayed by a week, but I'm still really excited!

I'm no stranger to physical therapy visits.  Nate had a piriformis issue in 2013, I had a pulled trap muscle in 2015, so I've become very familiar with it.    The specialist practices at a clinic in Holladay, a bit of a drive from my house but not too bad.  I talked to her before she started to examine me and even though Lisfranc injuries are rare, she sees a lot of them because that is her field.  I felt really comfortable with her and the treatment she's going to give me.  She used to work at the TOSH hospital and is very familiar with my doctor and his PA, who I've become great friends with.

She was very impressed with my scooter and how pimped out it was.  She even called some people over to see it because she thought my headlight was hilarious.  It is so important to stay positive and give off a positive vibe with other people.  It makes things feel so much better!

First, I had to fill out a bunch of standard doctor forms.  Health history, medication, etc.  There was a chart in the very back that had a diagram of the body and I was supposed to draw on it where I had pain.  There was also a chart to code the type of pain I was having (ex. ooo - pins and needles, xxx- sharp pain, /// - stabbing pain, etc.)  I started to draw on my foot on the paper and realized I had all of those things, so I wasn't going to waste my time drawing it all out.




Then the therapist examined me and took measurements of the ranges of motion on both my left and right feet.  I didn't know what all the numbers meant, but she had a protractor type ruler that measured angles when I pointed and flexed my foot.  She also measured my foot for swelling.  My left foot was at 46 and righty was at 47.5.  Whatever that means. 

She then wanted to know what type of activities I wanted to get back to post-therapy, and went over some things I already knew, like running.  I learned that while I physically will be able to run, it will just make arthritis set in that much faster and eventually I will need a fusion when that occurs.  I'd rather prolong that as long as I can so I should keep running to a minimum.  It is still not recommended for me to move my foot side to side at this point because of the navicular stress.

After my measurements were all entered and we had a nice discussion about the injury, we started to work on exercises.  I got a list of them to take home to complete as homework, and made another appointment again in 3 weeks.  I won't need to see her that often until I actually start weight bearing.  For now I get to practice these well modeled exercises.  I actually have been doing some similar stuff at the gym, but now I at least know what exercises to target.



  

Here's also a cute foot video of how the little piggies are looking and *gasp* wiggles!!!


video

So, I probably should tackle this whole "learning to walk" thing first, but I've already set a fitness goal for 2016.  I want to complete the Wasatch Back Ragnar.  What?  Thought you said you can't run, missy?  You're right, but my goal is to walk it.  Speed walk it!  It's a little under a year away, and I think I could train pretty hard to be a really fast walker.  I was a slow runner so I may be able to even match my pace if I work really hard at it.  I'm not going to be a 9 minute mile like my superstar husband, but I can do a 12 minute mile perhaps!  One of my regrets was not running Ragnar with Nate this year.  It was a week before Spartan and I didn't want to push it that much before the race. But, Superman over here did it.    I should have just done it!!  Grrr.



Milestone for next week:  getting my hair done.  At the salon.  Haven't done that since the injury.  But I need it.  So.  Bad.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

The Happiest 5k

The Color Run is known as the Happiest 5k.  No times.  No judgement.  Just go out there and have fun.

Nate got home from New York on Friday morning.  Hooray!  I was so happy to have him home.  He hadn't seen my boot or foot yet since he was out of town for my appointment.  So, we went home and immediately "played doctor" ;)  I took my boot off and was showing him my range of motion exercises.  He pulled up my video from Tuesday and compared the two and gave me a passing grade.  I also showed him my muscle atrophy, the source of all my crying and tears for the past week.  He immediately burst out laughing and exclaimed how cute my little chicken leg was.  All this crying I did, and he was laughing?  Then I realized, had he been home for the initial big reveal of the foot, he would have done the same thing, and my reaction would have been more of a comical one rather than an upsetting one.  He just has this uncanny ability to turn negative things into a positive for me, and remind me how things are going to get better and I don't need to worry about it.  So I stopped my mopiness about my atrophy and moved on to other more important things, like getting ready for the Color Run!

We picked up my wheelchair Friday night and headed up to the Color Run in downtown Salt Lake City on Saturday morning.  I was really sad I wasn't able to run it, let alone walk it, but I was really excited to be doing something "active" and in my element for the first time since that fateful day in June.  I thought I'd be embarrassed by the wheelchair but it was actually kind of awesome.  I for sure got a lot of attention.  Although, the first part of the morning was a little rough going.  We had parked in the parking garage of the SLC Library, which was right around the corner of the starting area for the race.  As my luck would have it, the elevator was not working!!  So, I hopped out of my wheelchair and with Nate's help I hobbled/hopped up 3 flights of stairs and we made our way to the festival.  That was quite the workout!  There was a Zumba instructor on the stage and all of these people were over there doing Zumba.  Ah, it pained my heart.  I haven't been to a Zumba class in about 2 months.  I used to go every week and shake my ass with my ladies.




I met up with my Mom, and her husband Dave, and friend Cheryl, as well as my sister-in-law Jessica, and her husband Todd, and my niece Clara for Team Sparkle Motion!!  Nate pushed me in my wheelchair anywhere I wanted to go, and I first I was rather disturbed by the fact that I couldn't control my destination.  But that was over quickly and I succumbed to his direction.  We hopped in the starting line and off we went!  Everyone walked and kept pace with the wheelchair girl as Nate pushed me. It was really hard for me to judge pace though.  Was it a good pace or a leisurely pace?  I have no idea. Clara thought it was the most amazing thing and wanted to ride in my lap versus her stroller.  I loved having a passenger in my chair (although strangers kept thinking she was my daughter) and she was so excited when we rolled through the color stations.  I actually got a good quad workout keeping her balanced in my lap so there was that!  The weather was beautiful, and the race was really fun.  I was really thankful for all of my family and friends that supported me and made it possible for me to still participate in the race.  I could not have made it this far without all of them.  It did a lot for my spirits.  And we got crazy decked out in color!!


(before color!)














(during color - wheelchair selfies!)



 (after color!)











My foot was pretty angry and swollen after the race, since it was kind of at a downward angle in the chair, and it took us about an hour to finish.  So I went home, elevated and stretched it (and thank goodness the elevator was working on the way back to the car in the parking garage), and it was good to go afterwards!  I also coughed up color for quite a while after the race so next time I'll be sure to wear a bandana or some type of cover over my nose and mouth! 

I also got some "boot bling" this week, a leopard print sock that I can fit on the inside lining of my boot and a few red flowers that I can attach to my boot straps.  I can now have some fanciness to the gimp life!  Yeah!




My big milestone next week is seeing the physical therapist on Wednesday.  I feel like I'm making good progress on my range of motion, but I don't have any idea where I should be.  I take my boot off 4-5 times a day to work on the stretches and I feel it getting less stiff and less painful every day.  Yay!  Although, when I move my toes (well attempt to move my toes) and I move my foot around, I can feel the metal grinding around in there.  It doesn't hurt, but it is a really uncomfortable feeling.  The tops of my toes are still pretty numb.  Hopefully I will get feeling back one day.  My incisions are starting to heal pretty well.  I've been using an exfoliating bar I got from Lush that has porridge and oats in it to gently exfoliate the foot in the shower and I think that is really helping with my skin.  It's starting to look less scary and Frankenfooty.


Wednesday, August 19, 2015

A Case of the Sads

This week has actually been kind of rough!  On Monday, I got my cast off, and I was so excited!

FREEDOM!

Now, I'm in my boot.  The doctor says I should wear my boot 23 out of 24 hours, so I get 1 hour total during the day to shower, do my stretching exercises and give my foot a break.  One thing I did not expect was how upsetting it would be to look at my leg/foot.  I've lost so much muscle, it looks like a little chicken leg.  I've tried taking pictures of it but it just doesn't do it justice.  It brings me to tears to look at it!  The fugliness doesn't bother me - my foot can be ugly forever; I don't care about that.  I try to do my stretching exercises and it takes a lot of effort to get my foot flexed into the neutral position.  Its such a simple move that is so hard to do.  Not to mention it hurts trying to get it there!  It just makes me think how painful physical therapy is going to be, and learning to walk again.  My navicular got totally f*cked in the accident, so I'm supposed to be mainly focusing on pointing and flexing my foot, and not so much side to side motion because it'll put too much stress on my navicular bone.  It is in a delicate condition.  The doctor also told me that before surgery, they were concerned about my navicular bone dying.  Blood flow can apparently get cut off to that bone when it is injured, and it can die if the injury is severe enough.  But, mine has pulled through..... phew.


(took a short video of my range of motion, or lack thereof)

video


Speaking of, I did make an appointment with the Lisfranc specialist next week, so I'll see what she has to say about recovery and how far I should be pushing it.

I did not get cleared to swim, either, and that's what I really was hoping for this time!  The doctor is concerned about any weight at all on the foot, even in the water.  And I can't immerse my foot in water with the incisions still scabbed over, so no hot tubs or baths for me still!  I'm so sad because about a week before my injury I bought about 10 different bath bombs from Lush that I have not been able to use.  Bathing is one of my most favorite things to do.   Bathing with a cocktail or a glass of my home-brewed beer is even better!

My husband is also in New York, and I miss him!  Normally he'd be here to cheer me up or talk some sense into me so that I snap out of the funk.  But we have both been so busy with work, our schedules are not lining up so we haven't had a chance to talk much, and no Skyping.    He is sad that I shaved my leg though, because he wanted to "pet it"...which made me laugh.  He gets back on Friday morning though so I don't have too long to wait!


(picture from his hotel, looking at the WTC)



Mom has been taking great care of me while he has been gone.  She has helped me cook, clean, take care of the animals, and tend to the garden. She has also been my source of entertainment. It has been really nice having her around!  

I'm also doing the Color Run this weekend, as long as I can secure my wheelchair situation.  I have some friends and family doing the race and I am not about to miss out just because I've got a broken foot!


(boot shot!)



Monday, August 17, 2015

Das Boot

Today I graduated from cast to boot!

My mom has graciously taken on the task of being my caretaker while Nate is on his business trip to New York.  So that means she got to take me to my appointment!  We dropped him off early in the morning at the airport, and then made our way to my appointment at the TOSH Hospital for my 6 week post-op check-up.

The nurse brought me back to the doctor's office, and immediately got to removing my cast.  She wheeled in what looked like a Shop-Vac R2D2 type looking contraption with a saw attachment (eeeeep....Wanna play a game?) and set to work.  She told me that the saw would cut through the cast but it would not cut through the padding.  She said when the saw hit the padding, it would feel kind of weird.  And it did, it kind of tickled, but kind of didn't...it was an odd sensation.  




It took her all of about 2 minutes to get it off (she was a pro), and Frankenfoot 2.0 was revealed!






My toes and surrounding foot area are still pretty swollen.  Granted, the swelling has come down quite a bit, but they are still very visibly puffy.  I thought the swelling would have gone down more than it did, but the doctor said it was normal to have swelling for up to a year after the surgery.  Once the cast was off, it was time to get a set of x-rays.  I rode Trumpy down the hall into the x-ray room, confirmed I wasn't pregnant, and had 3 sets of piggy pictures taken.


(scooter shot!)




It felt so weird to have the cast off.  There was no resistance when I was lifting my leg up and down so it didn't take quite as much effort to do it.  But I also felt like my foot was vulnerable and exposed.  I was surprised that I could actually set my foot down on the x-ray table and not really have any pain.  I thought it was feeling and looking pretty good!


I got back into the exam room and the nurse then took out my stitches.  I was sitting up straight ready to watch her do her magic.  She told me that if I was squeamish at all that I might want to lay down.  Since I usually get close to passing out when I have blood drawn, or cut myself, I decided that she was right, laid back, and went to my mind palace.  It hurt way more than I thought it would getting the stitches removed.  I'd read online about how it feels (always a perfect source of reliable information) and most people had said they either couldn't feel it at all or it felt like a rubberband popping on your skin.  Well, maybe I don't have that great of pain tolerance because it frickin' hurt!




Once the stitches were all gone, I then got to see the doctor.  I got to see a new angle of the pins in my foot and it probably explains why it hurt so bad the other week when I lost my balance and came down on my heel.  There is a pin going vertical in my foot, and the doctor said putting any weight on it at all would be really painful.  The bad news is, I will have to have two surgeries.  I have a set of pins, and a couple of sets of screws.  The pins will need to come out first, and that surgery will happen in about 6 weeks (12 weeks post op).  I scheduled that appointment for October 12th.  The screws won't be ready to come out though, so I'm looking at another surgery mid-November.  I was really hoping to just have 1 more surgery, but 'tis not to be.


(that little guy - oh don't worry about that little guy)



The skin underneath my cast was pretty gross.  It was all dry and peeling, and still had mud from Spartan and that yucky yellow iodine disinfectant stuff that they slather on right before surgery.   My right leg also looked like a wet noodle.  A furry wet noodle.  


(furry wet noodle on the left)





The doctor said that the holes from where my stitches were needed to heal, so no showering or shaving for 24 hours.  WHAT?!?!  This was clearly the worst news of the day.  Of the century.  I was so looking forward to having a date with my shower tonight.  A nice, long, hot shower, washing, and shaving my leg.  Then lotioning it up with some lovely smelling body butter I purchased for this very affair.  But, 'tis not be!  Also, the doctor said not to use lotion for a little while where there was lots of dead skin.  Or it would just turn in to a dead skin slurry.  That's a lovely visual.




I got fitted for the boot.  There were no color options.  I clarified that and also complained.  But the doctor just told me to bedazzle it.  Bedazzle it I shall!  I am going to bedazzle the sh*t out of it.

The doctor also wanted me to work on range of motion exercises.  Well, 2 exercises.  Just pointing and flexing my toes (trying to get my foot into neutral position), and rotating my foot side to side.  We tried it.  It hurt.  Well, it hurt so good.  I could almost get to neutral.  I'll work on that.  He gave me a script for 2 sessions with a Lisfranc specialist physical therapist if I felt I needed help with the exercises.  I'm going to take full advantage of it, because I want the best possible outcome.

 All done!  We then headed off to breakfast place that I wanted to try (Penny Ann's Cafe) and I had a bacon waffle.  It was totally amazing and great cast removal food.  I'm not a food reviewer but my friend over at SLC Food Radar is!  He did a great review on Penny Ann's. Anyway!  Bacon waffle!!  Mmmm...Bacon.

Bacon makes everything better.



Friday, August 14, 2015

Husbandless

No, not forever!  Just next week.  Nate needs to travel to New York for work next week (his 3rd time this year!) so he will be gone.  This will be the first time since my injury that I am without my husband, for an entire week!  I hate it when he is gone, even when I am 100% healthy.  I'm glad that he is traveling now, and not 4 weeks ago.  I am much more stable now than I was then.

I will miss him; it sucks having to live without your best friend in the entire world.  I know I will still be able to Skype with him, but there's nothing like his presence.  He cheers me up when I am down, he makes me laugh, and I still get warm fuzzies and tinglys when I look at him.  Last time he traveled, we Skyped while watching Game of Thrones together.  Because we are nerds like that.



 I'm a bit bummed since last time he traveled to New York, I got to spend the weekend with him there.  I ended up only needing to pay for my flight out there, since work was covering his travel expenses.  We saw Book of Mormon, went running in Central Park, went up to the Empire State Building, had pizza in Little Italy.. all of your typical New York stuff.  That is not even an option now even if I wanted to go.  No way I could navigate the airport, or the subway or getting in and out of a taxi, carrying my luggage, and all the fun times that come with going on a trip.  It was our anniversary yesterday (12 years!), and we are celebrating this weekend before he leaves.  It would have been fun to spend the weekend in New York, but New York will always be there.  Well, unless there's a zombie apocalypse.  New York is probably pretty screwed then.  8 million people, isolated on an island.. not the best scenario for survival.

I do have a doctor's appointment on Monday, and my mom will be taking me.  She is also going to spend a couple of days with me at my house to keep me company and help keep me sane, since I'll be housebound all week.   I'm just super bummed Nate won't be there with me at my appointment. Hopefully, I'll get this gross cast off and graduate into a moon boot.  I did finally get some signatures from friends on my cast!


I'm anxious to see my x-rays and see how my foot is healing.  I can pretty freely wiggle my toes and move my foot a little inside my cast - not nearly as flexible as my left of course but it is progress!  I'm also starting to get the "my foot is asleep" sensation again, which I haven't had since my fracture happened!  My toes look like little old lady toes; they are super wrinkly.  I assume that is from all swelling that happened and from dry skin.   I still have my stitches so I'll be getting those out.    I'm also looking forward to some physical therapy and talking about exercising (maybe being cleared to swim?!) I'm hopeful.

I've been keeping up my exercise routine and I feel myself getting stronger.  I am hitting the weights about 4 times a week, and going up in weights even!  People keep telling me I am crazy.  My upper body is much stronger than it ever was pre-injury.  I can press almost 20lbs more than I was comfortable doing before, and I keep progressing.  I've never focused so much on my upper body before, it is a total change for me.  I think my body likes it!  However... I'm pretty scared to see how much squat/deadlift and lower body power I've lost.  Nate says my right leg looks and feels like a jello mold.  Sexy.


i've totally been hogging all the weights from errrbody



I've also been going in to work every other day.  That seems to be the right balance for now.  I still have a hard time getting comfortable at my desk, so a day on and a day off is giving my body the rest that it needs.  I'm also not used to wearing a left shoe, since I was home for 6 weeks straight, I never put on shoes!  So, having a shoe on my left foot bugs me.  I always take it off after a few hours of being in the office and I hide it under my desk.  I also have been wearing my vast collection of Victoria's Secret yoga pants to work (the most comfortable pants ever) and just hoping no one notices.  The position I have to get myself in to elevate my foot is not a very forgiving one in business casual pants.  You guessed it, Zero F*cks Given!

I'm both excited and not excited for Monday.  I get to see the doctor but have to send the hubs away until the weekend.  I'm just hoping for good news from Dr. Van Boerum!

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Acceptance

I'm 5 weeks post-op today.  

As I reflect today, breaking my foot has in a lot of ways triggered the 5 stages of grief.  I'm not being disrespectful to anyone who has lost a loved one, but I feel like I've gone through the emotional journey since losing a part of myself.  A part of who I was.  And finally, I've come to the stage where I am accepting my injury and what it is going to mean for me.

I was in denial at first - surely this can't be as bad as the doctor is making it seem, as the internet is making it seem?  I'll heal up quick and be back to my old self in a few weeks!

Then that progressed to anger as reality set in.  Why did this happen to me?  What did I do to deserve this?  Why was I in the wrong place at the wrong time?  I felt envious of people that can just walk around, and how much they take that fore granted.  I got so angry at people when I was out in public and someone would dart in front of me because they didn't want to be stuck behind slow scooter girl. And, as we all know, anger leads to the dark side.




Then came the bargaining.  I was essentially lost in my own maze of What If and If Only.  What if I hadn't been so soaked in mud before my injury, would I have slipped?  What if I'd taken my gloves off before trying to climb the wall?  If only I had pushed myself harder during the race, maybe I would have hit the obstacle earlier in the day, and wouldn't have slipped.  What if I chose to climb on a different side that wasn't so muddy?  If only I would have caught myself!

That of course did no good, so depression set in.  I started focusing on all the things that I couldn't do.  Besides the obvious... walking and being independent... I couldn't continue with my normal routines of life.  Not only was I limited in what I could do in my workouts, but I was limited to what I could do in life.  No hikes, or walks along the trails by my house with my dog.  It's a huge event to try and do anything outside of the house, and I have to research whether or not the places I'm going are handicapped accessible. Festivals like Swiss Days, Greekfest, ComicCon and Oktoberfest are out of the question since I can't navigate the terrain or the crowds on my scooter.  It was hard enough doing that walking!  The first half of the Utah Utes Football games are out, since my seats are 45 rows up, and that was my fall passion...going to games.




And now finally, I've come to acceptance.  It hit me last night.  It is what it is.  This is how my life if for now.  I'm done thinking about what could have been or what I'd be doing now if I hadn't broken my foot.  I'm embracing this new and challenging stage in my life with open arms.  Trumpy (scooter) feels like a part of me, he feels like my right leg.  It's no longer awkward for me to get up and scoot around; it feels just like walking.  I don't care about the stares I get when I'm out in public, when I know people are thinking, "What happened to her?  Poor girl."  or "That scooter looks so stupid."  Zero F*cks Given!  If people feel the need to cut in front of me, go ahead.

I'm not religious, or even spiritual, but I feel like this is a test of my internal feats of strength.  Festivus for the soul!  A test that I either will pass, or fail.  But failing is not an option; I don't know how to fail.  I think maybe that this was something that I needed to experience.  A test of self.




It will get better.  Every day, it will get better.  I think of how much worse it could have been.  I may not have been able to walk away from this injury.  I'm lucky that it is only temporary, as for some people, this type of life is not.  Hell, before modern medicine, the solution for this type of injury was amputation.  I absolutely have a new found respect and appreciation for someone who is disabled, in any sort of way.  Not that I didn't before (I never cut in front of a disabled person at the grocery thank you very much!) but, it is even more so now.  I will not give up.  I can only get stronger.



.... but I am not yet a Jedi.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Pink Cast Blues

Let me start off by saying that I've never broken a bone before, so I've never had a cast. 

But, I'm really sick of my cast!

It taxes my gig.

1) Casts are gross!  I never really thought about what having your leg encased in something for a month will do.  Nate swears that he isn't able to smell anything, but I think it smells totally funky.  Sometimes, it is the only thing that I can smell, especially when I just get done taking a shower.  So I find myself dousing my entire cast with Bath & Body Works sprays, usually Tahiti Dream  or Bourbon Vanilla Strawberry.  I'm constantly worried about it.  But then again, I am sensitive to smells in general.  One day, if you want a real treat, ask me about the worst smell on the planet:  outside smell.  You can only smell outside smell inside.  Cold outside smell is worse than warm outside smell.  If outside smell gets on anything, it either must be washed or replaced.  Or, I will gag, uncontrollably.  Outside smell is a real, horrible thing.  My logic is undeniable.

2) Shaving! I have to shave every day.  If I don't, I am unable to sleep and I just think about the unshaven hair.  The fact that I cannot shave my right leg from the knee down drives me bonkers.  Leg hair... yuck!!  Each day, my cast gets looser and looser.  So, each time I shower, I see how far down I can get the razor.   Probably not the best idea I've had.  But, if I can see the hair, it must be shaved.

3) Skin issues!  Apparently your epidermis is constantly shedding skin.  Normally, this dead skin gets removed through your regular hygiene regimen or through natural friction (from clothes, bed sheets etc.)  Well, when you have a cast, there is no place for the dead skin to go so it just sits there and collects.  And I can see it.  And if I can see it, it MUST.  BE.  CLEANSED!  I've found that I'm pretty obsessive about it.  Like OCD obsessive.

4)  It's hard!  Yes, I know that is the whole point of a hard cast.  But this sucker is solid.  So solid, that I have had a pretty good bruise line for almost a solid month now of where my cast rests against my leg when I use Trumpy.  Nothing compares to the bruises I got after Spartan though. I did take pictures of them - I'm morbid like that.  This is my "good" leg:





As much as I hate my cast, it is doing it's job.  *grumble*  On the way in to work Wednesday, I got a little more daring with my need for independence and decided to try and hop to the car with my work backpack on instead of having Nate carry it for me.  It had my laptop, chargers, tennis shoe and gym clothes (for working out) so it was a bit meaty in weight.  When I got to the car door, I tipped backwards a bit lost my balance, and 31+ years of instinct kicked in and I slammed my right foot down on the garage floor to steady myself.  Mistake!  I was in so much pain, I started sweating, and seeing spots, thought I was going to pass out!  Nate came over and got the backpack and got me settled in to the car.  I thought I was going to puke.  But, after about 10 minutes, the intense pain subsided and turned into just a dull ache.  My foot was like, "Something bad happened to me!  I'm going to sulk ALL day! :("  I immediately thought I'd done some damage to my surgery site, but then I realized that is what the CAST is for. It's sole purpose is to PROTECT me, not make me miserable.  I was fine the next morning, and actually noticed I am having more feelings in my foot than normal.  I was loading dishes last night, and my toe started itching!  I hadn't experienced a toe itch since my initial injury.  I was so excited about it, I called Nate over to show him.  But I couldn't really show him.  Even though it is a crappy feeling, it is a feeling!

So even though I hate you, thank you, cast.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Scooter Girl

While I certainly love riding around on Trumpy (remember, the name for my scooter), it certainly is a conversation starter with strangers.  For those of you that don't know me, and maybe it comes as a surprise for those of you that do, I am a very introverted person.  I am incredibly shy and often cringe at the thought of new social interactions.  Once I befriend you, however, you'd never know!

So, when I'm riding around on Trumpy out on one of my adventures (remember, these are things like grocery trips), I am constantly getting stopped by people.  Some people just want to ask about the scooter itself.  An elderly couple approached me in the parking lot of the grocery store, and the man was nervous about using crutches because he had to have toe surgery and would be non-weight bearing.  I talked to him about where I got my scooter and how I liked it a lot better than crutches, and think he'd be able to handle it.  I gave him the place of the medical supply store in Utah where I'd originally rented mine.  He said he was glad he'd came over to talk to me and got my opinion on the scooter.  I felt like I'd done a good deed for the day!

Sometimes, this causes me to make new friends.  A cashier at the grocery store that I frequent almost weekly, gave me props on all of my scooter pimping.  She said that she had to have bunion surgery and was also non-weight bearing for three months.  We shared scooter stories (hers wasn't nearly as cool) and she showed me her foot scars from a year post op.  We talked about the dangers of crutches and various other hazards only having 1 leg and limited mobility can cause.  We also talked about the surgeries themselves and how painful (mine) and painless (hers) they were.  All while in the checkout line!  I'm sure she'll remember me next time she sees me, as will the other grocery store patrons....I'm scooter girl.

I also get lots of stupid comments.  Like, "WOW you must be having so much fun on that thing!"  Yes.  Yes, I'm having the time of my life.  I can't walk.  I have to rely on friends and family for mostly everything.  Stairs?  Forget about em.  Going to the bathroom and taking a shower?  Pain in the ass.  Yes, this is the most fun I've EVER had.  Glad you've reminded me of this fun-ness.

However, this also warrants plenty of unsolicited advice, and this annoys me.  While celebrating my mom's birthday dinner at Texas Roadhouse, we were seated in an out of the way section so that I could have a place for Trumpy.  There was this older man and his wife sitting across from us in another booth.  As we were leaving, he came over to talk to me, and proceeded to give me a lecture about drinking alcohol with a broken bone.  Look, I was having a small, overpriced cocktail with my steak dinner, and which by Utah standards, has less alcohol content than a sip of Grandma's cough medicine.  Not boozing it up like a silly college girl.  He told me a story of some friend who had to be in a cast for twice as long because he drank and how it stunted the healing process.  While I do appreciate the concern, if you don't know someone or their particular situation, you may find that they don't want your advice, no matter how helpful you are trying to be.  I take really good care of myself.  I'm still (carefully) working out with a broken foot to keep my heart healthy.  I'm taking hordes of vitamins and supplements to stimulate bone growth and healing.  I eat tons of fruits, vegetables, and protein to fuel my body while in recovery.  Who are you to judge?

Then again, maybe he did think I was boozing it up like a silly college girl because of the company I was keeping.  Since it was my mom's birthday, they gave her free ice cream and had her get on some sort of birthday saddle (remember, introvert....cringing) and hooped and hollered to the whole restaurant about it.




As much as it triggers my anxiety when a stranger approaches me, I try to see the good in it.  Whether that is giving someone advice (who's actually seeking it), making a new friend, or taking the opportunity to practice patience with others.