Progress Report 9

Brian J. Sullivan

It has been a real learning experience being seriously injured and having to cope with life's daily tasks while negotiating on one leg (unable to put weight on the other leg in a cast). I defied the doctor's orders to remain lying horizontal and to keep the injured leg elevated above the heart. I found that I needed to eat, which facilitated having to hobble along on one leg grabbing wildly from kitchen table to stove to sink to support myself, at the same time trying to get my morning breakfast of a simple bowl of cereal and milk. Yes I've spilled it more than a few times, making the floor even more slippery and treacherous as I carefully had to set down each crutch base between cornflakes, raisins, and milk. Then I had to go down on my knees to try to clean up the mess. Another memory I'd like to forget: sitting in the milky mess as I tried (with my cast leg sticking straight out) to clean up the mess while dragging my ass across the floor, crab-like. When I finally was able to garner enough strength to pull myself back to my feet via the chair/shelf technique, my pants would be more soaked than the sponge, necessitating another Herculean effort to hoist myself upon my bed to remove both pants and underwear while lying down and without soaking the bed to much. But hopefully all that is behind me now (cheap pun).

I have begun a new phase of my recovery, and the once tightly molded fiberglass cast has given way to a semi rigid removable one with Velcro straps. Somewhat of a relief, but much hotter (think of wearing a thermal blanket in 90 degree heat).

It was bad enough that I occasionally heard songs playing in my head; now I must also play for them! That's right. As part of my physical therapy, I am to tape/fasten one conductor's baton to the bottom of each foot, then while lying flat on my back with my legs raised high in the air, I am to conduct Beethoven's fifth symphony in E minor. Supposedly this will strengthen my leg muscles and loosen my frozen joints. I am to do this for several hours each day or until the neighbors call the little men in white coats to take me away. I've even written my own song called "My Little Doo Doo." And I must be getting good because each morning the window sill and the telephone wire is loaded with birds chirping in uncontrollable chatter as they try to follow my baton lead. It is actually quite entertaining as I erratically swing my baton-feet and watch the response from the choir of birds trying to follow my direction. However, the owners of the cars below have not been as amused as each day their vehicles are covered with bird doo doo. I guess you can't make an omelet without breaking a few eggs. And like it or not, they better move their cars because I have eight more weeks of this.