Thursday, April 21, 2011

Recovery IV: Three Calamities

Tomorrow will be three weeks since the surgery and three weeks until I can start putting weight on my foot.  Mentally, I am treating tomorrow as the end of the climb and the start of the descent toward recovery, as opposed to mending, which is what my ankle is doing while I can't put weight on it.  I suppose this series of post should have been called "mending," but that's OK.

Nomenclature aside, I wanted to talk about three things that befell me this week.  I went to work for the first time on April 15.  I sat at my desk with my left leg on my desk, my trunk rotated to the right, where my keyboard rested.  I wasn't comfortable, but this position was tolerable.  I went home, where I lounged on the couch for a while, then found that I had trouble getting up because my right lower back was killing me.  Once I was straighter than the specific spot in my back the pain went away.  It has persisted since then, waning very gradually.  I don't twist myself by 90 degrees in order to type anymore, however.  Today's typing technique: leg on the desk, keyboard under knee, each hand typing on its side of the leg.

The second bad thing was removing my boot on Monday.  I took it off to wash my foot and as the boot came off I gasped.  There is no calf.  There's bones and skin with stretch marks.  In three weeks non-use, I went from a strong lower leg with good muscle definition to zero.  The sight was shocking and depressing, more so because I have another three weeks (yes, I know, downhill, but three more weeks!) of atrophy staring at my leg.  This was the first time I had any feelings of depression.  Until then, I was very matter-of-fact "it happened, let's move forward and deal with it."  This was, "holy crap, I have no calf....."

And the third calamity took the cake for a brief moment.  I left work around 3:45 p.m. yesterday, and hobbled toward my car.  I turned the corner and found no cars -- ZERO -- on the block where I'd parked.  My car was included in that very low number.  Towed away.  I threw up my hands in dispair and nearly cried.  It would be very difficult to retrieve the car on crutches.  Retrieval may have to wait until tomorrow, be extremely inconvenient to a number of people, and cost an arm and my second leg.  I looked up at the sign and saw that I'd parked on a block that becomes a tow-away zone at 3:00 p.m.  I stood there on crutches and one foot, deciding what to do.  First, I called the number on the sign.  A recorded message advised where the car had been towed and the means for retrieval.  I would need to know the cars license plate number.  I did not.  I was driving the car I borrowed from my father.  I tried to call my parents, but they weren't home, they were on the way to our house for Seder, night 3.  OK, I'd have to go home, see if they had the number and, if the didn't, get it from them when they got home.

But first I'd have to get home.  It would have to be by BART.  To get a ride home from Rockridge station, I texted and called Jessica at several numbers with no response.  OK, let's schlep to Embarcadero station.  That went pretty well, with me convincing myself that I am getting exercise on what became a five-block (a PR), circumnavigational crutching effort from my office to the station.  I took the elevator down to the station.  My train arrived as soon as I got out of the elevator, a nice passenger ceded her seat and I was on my way.  The train was so crowded by the time I arrived at Rockridge that I needed to play the part of Moses at the Sea of Reeds (crutches being the staff) to get out.  The sea of passengers parted wide enough for me to hop out of the train car holding the crutches in one hand (I am too wide on crutches to get through that opening) and I was free.  An elevator ride down to the ground, a short crutch walk to the taxi stand and I was on my way home.

I got out of the cab, just as my parents arrived and immediately questioned my mode of transportation and, incidentally, why wan't I in their car?  They took the news as well as I could have expected.  Inside, we set about getting retrieval information.  Turns out my parents do not know the license plate number and they keep all their car documents in the car, so they weren't sure they had the number at home.  OK.  I know, let's call your car insurance company, explain what happened and get it from them.  Geico doesn't keep that information -- they only keep VINs.  OK.  Well, let's see if AutoReturn, who had the car, could get it back to us without the license number.  They could.  Hooray!  Just one car was towed from Davis street at the time mine/dad's was towed, so it had to be mine.  Just in case, I asked them for license plate number.  Oh, and the cost of retrieval is $381, and $52 higher than that after 8:12 p.m.

Seder, night 3 proceeded without a hitch and without a reading from the Haggadah with my parents and Anderson-Schulaks in attendance.  Interestingly, of the nine people at the Seder, six were the only children, with only Jessica and my parents boasting siblings.  My parents and I agreed to leave at 7:30 to get to Auto Return by 8:12.  We left as planned, arrived promptly and uneventfully at Auto Return, across the street from SF Hall of Justice, and retrieved the car.  There's a $381 hole in my pocket.  The ticket for parking in the tow-away zone will be another $85.  The good news is that I feared this adventure would cost $700-800, so that's a good thing, I suppose.

Those are my three bads of the last week.  Looking forward to a turn in my fortunes.


1 comment:

Gunnar Berg said...

So, how'd the day go other than that? Hang in there.