Monday, June 14, 2010


Jane with physical therapist, Don Carlos.
Both well protected from UV rays.
June 13, 2010
My friend took care of me so well that by the time she left, I’d graduated from a walker to the flashy cane that she bought me. The first few steps on the cane were a miracle in concentration. I fell into the therapist’s arms the way a baby does the first time she puts one foot in front of the other. There was even applause from my proud mother.

Later, I stayed with a friend in warmer climes and did physical therapy in her pool. It was the most fun I’d had for a long while. It felt so good to be weightless; gravity can really get you down.

Now I’m walking without a cane although I do use it at airports where people are much nicer to you when they see it. The same doesn’t apply at security. I was fully expecting to be hauled to one side as a suspect because my surgeon had warned me that I have enough metal in my leg to set off every alarm in the airport. I know it’s true because I made the mistake of looking at the x-ray, which I don’t advise. Somehow it makes it very real. What I saw was not only the 16” of titanium down my femur but also a diagonal rod that was holding the bone together. A new technique, my surgeon told me. “If you’d had the same injury five years ago, you would have been in traction for three months, by which time all your muscles would have atrophied. People used to die from this injury.” I feel much better now.

He gave me one of those cards to show when you go through security explaining why all the whistles and bells have been triggered. I was pulled out of the line (so embarrassing) and thoroughly frisked by a human in a uniform with gloves on; she even examined the bottom of my feet. (I’m convinced that it won’t be long before we have to go through security naked.) Anyway, I got to thinking that the next time I should try it without wearing my twelve inch belt buckle to see if it made a difference. So, on the return trip, I did, and sure enough, I got through without raising the constabulary. When I related this to my surgeon, he posited this question: “If you can get through with that much metal, doesn’t it make you wonder what other metal people can get away with?” I don’t want to think about that one.

  • Black ice doesn’t discriminate.
  • Appreciate the hospital staff. It isn’t their fault.
  • Never underestimate the power of a flower.
  • Keep hospital visits to thirty minutes. You’ll get more visits that way.
  • What you resist persists.
  • It wasn’t meant to be. It was an accident.
  • Eliminate “if only.” It was an accident.
  • Positive thoughts from those around you really do help.
  • Your own positive thoughts really do help.
  • Any improvement is better than no improvement. Then pat yourself on the back.
  • This is an opportunity to find out more about yourself.
  • Breaking your leg is a great excuse for afternoon naps.
This would be a good time to thank all of you who have read this series of posts and sent me encouraging words as well as sharing some of your experiences with me. All you Facebook fans, you’ve been wonderful. It was this incredible support that I received from people I know and people I don’t know that turned this experience into something that I could almost consider worthwhile.

There was one other thing which I’ll tell you about later. Her name is Cookie and she’s our new puppy. Born on Christmas day, she was one month old when I was taken to hospital. She, of course, was still with her mother, brother and sister and blissfully unaware of us. But she soon became an important part of my determination to get strong fast. She’s almost six months now and at last I’m fit enough to be able to take her and my beloved Labrador on walkies. It doesn’t get any better than that.

Thanks for listening!


Heidi said...

I am sooo happy for you! Congrats on going cane-free! I recall how liberating that was for me. I too, have metal inside of me, but it's in my brain. 16 platinum coils inserted into my ruptured aneurysm. I hate hospitals, but have such respect for the nurses who work there. They don't get the thanks they deserve. And I whole-heartedly agree with your comment about flowers. They're a smile & a hug in a vase.

Enjoy your summer and taking your new doggy for walks!

Jahra said...

Hi Jane,

Thank you so much for the update,
every day will be better and
better for you.

We are in Massachusetts too,
and I forgot to let you know
in my previous comment that
there is an ice melter called
Inferno (honest!).

It is a blessing as we live
on a hill and our drive way
becomes an "extreme games challenge"
to walk to the car when ice storms
occur. This ice melt works beautifully.

I hope someone supplies it in your
area, or just google it and I
am sure the company may have
some suggestions for a source.

Have a wonderful summer!!!!!!!!!


Barbara said...

Hi Jane, came upon your blog while looking for cruelty free cosmetics ESPECIALLY mascara...the bane of nearly every woman. I'm 65, so therefore somewhat "lash challenged", but God blessed me with good ones at the start and they're kinda hangin' in there.

I didn't read your entire blog, just the last two entries. I just want to tell you that I agree - It's so much better to focus on ANY positives. I recently came out of months of severe depression. I did what I could to make it, but most of all I managed to reach out for help and LET the help be given. I'm a strong, proud (maybe too much so) woman and always thought I could take care of matter what. Well, I couldn't in a particular situation and the ensuing devastion was almost the end of me. I thank God, my family and friends and even strangers who helped me get to the wonderful days I'm enjoying now. Happy walking with your doggies. We have one as well and my little Calico, Tinkerbelle, makes me smile or laugh often. Your new admirer. Barbara Rodriguez

"Guppy" Honaker said...

Hi Jane - wonderful blog on a wonderful person. A thought about airport security. I use a walker to get around. They won't let me take my walker on the actual airplane, but instead I have to get to my seat leaning against everything I can find 'til I do. Same with deboarding. And not once has any airline staff helped. But you're right, in the airport itself people tend to be more friendly. I'm glad you no longer walk with a cane and wish you all the best!

- David

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honest4ever said...

small improvement is better than no improvement at all u did great keep goin

Rosina at Middle Ageless said...

Wow. You are quite the inspiration. Sending our best wishes for a very speedy back-to-normal for you, high heels and all!

Maria said...

Wow, hope you are feeling better. My dad slipped on black ice MANY years ago. He was hospitalized and had some rehabilitation. I am SO careful on ice. Someone told me Minnetonka moccasins have gum soles which are good on ice so I just ordered a pair for winter.