The Ins and Outs of an Ordinary Life

Friday, March 23, 2007

Being Helpless

I spoke to my brother last night. My SIL was cleaning a light fixture, fell off the ladder and broke both bones in both wrists. Both of her arms are casted for 6 weeks. She is totally helpless. She can barely change the channel. I can't even begin to imagine all the activities of daily living that she cannot do without help. Luckily, my nieces are all grown up and she doesn't have small children at home. My brother didn't go to work these last few days, but he does need to get back on Monday. My mom is scheduled to fly up from Florida next Friday, but she may change her flight and come earlier (if she can find a flight) and stay for as long as my SIL needs her (they get along pretty well, so that would not be an issue). Now, my SIL is one of the most organized, efficient, productive, get-things-done people I know. Right now I know she's working through the pain and the humiliation of being so dependent, but in a week or two it will be coping with the loss of control over her environment. I hope she can get through the next 6 weeks without going totally nuts!

So, with a new appreciation for my limbs, I have been using them all, both at the gym and in the kitchen (although I do not usually use my legs in the kitchen other than to walk from kitchen to counter to oven, etc.). I actually feel much better. On Tuesday the PT freed me to start doing some lower body weight lifting, although I am forbidden to do leg extensions ever again. The exercise dude put me on the leg press, and wow, was my butt sore the next day!! But that actually got me psyched because I realized that this strength training is so good for you! So on Thursday I did the whole shabang, stretching, cardio, upper body, lower body, more stretching and all my prescribed knee exercises. I still need to take it easy and ramp it up slowly, and that was hard. I wanted to really go for it, but I refrained. But at least I worked out hard enough to sweat! Today should be a repeat performance. I've also had a couple of pretty clean food days, and that makes all the difference in the world. The defunkification has begun.

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