I’ve been trying to come up with something to write for the November page but I’m having trouble focusing, let alone coming up with something interesting. So since I can’t, I’m going to take Rob K’s suggestion and just give a short update.
I got a ride with Lisa and Glen on Tuesday, Nov. 29 from SLC down to Moab. I left the Nash on July 31. So much for planning to be away for a few hours or a night at the most. It felt good to be back with Meadow and Mesa. They recognized me but seemed somewhat surprised that I was here. It didn’t take us long to get back to our old ways. Much easier for me to cope when my pets are around.
M&Ms last couple months of being cooped up in the Nash was apparently getting to them. One or the other would make a run to freedom when Glen opened the door to check on them. They can be so fast. He emailed this text to me while I was in the hospital.
“Normally I just pull open the door a crack and make sure no one is there but Mesa was right there and just bolted out the door. He ran away about 20 feet and turned around and came back and started rubbing against my leg. So I reached down and picked him up, opened the door so I could toss him in, and Meadow was on the counter and leapt out. It was obviously a tag team effort. So I said okay, okay have it your way and I just left the door open and let them both run off.“
They didn’t venture out of the yard and came back in after they did some running and climbing trees. Now I let them out when I get back from wound care.
I’m finally back out on my own, but I’m feeling kind of dazed. It’s as if I can’t get back to some sense of normalcy. Granted, I’m very weak but the gimpy arm is quite a hindrance. I knew it was going to be but the reality of it is really hitting home with so many everyday things. The first time I opened the driver’s door of the pickup I had to stop and think how I was going to get up. Another time I went to clothespin a shirt onto the short clothesline I have in the shower stall. It is not as easy when only one arm can reach up and do the work. I almost made quite a mess the first time I had to lift and pour from a box of litter into the litter box. The numerous, simple, frustrating tasks got to be a bit much a couple times.
I had to bring two tools from the truck into the Nash. I still cannot open most bottles and jars. I wonder if they still make strap wrenches.
It’s now the middle of December (I pre-dated the upload) and I’ve been working on building back some strength and extending range-of-motion in my right arm and shoulder. The therapist gave me seven exercises to do. Each round takes 15 minutes and I’m supposed to do three rounds a day. There has been progress. I also try to go for an hour walk most days.
This past summer, I left the White Mtns. because the road getting out would have been real bad once the monsoons hit. I would not want to attempt to pull a trailer along it. So I went to the Kaibab plateau, and came across a bacteria I could have done without. In hindsight, I would rather have gotten stuck in the mud.
The last time I was up on the Kaibab, I had that episode of benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) and passed out. I wonder if that was a sign to not come back to the Kaibab.
After weeks with just letting my four wounds heal naturally at the nursing facility, I was put back on a wound vac. If I had been on a wound vac all along, the wounds would have healed by now. I’m more than a little bummed by this but it was not my call.
I wanted to continue with the wound vac when I got down to Moab but wound care didn’t think it was necessary. Hmm. So I still have four wounds that need more care than I can take care of. The one in my chest still goes down to the bone. Not good.
The one on my elbow is also a problem. Then there are the two on the inside of my upper arm. This is really dragging. I had the skin graft on September 20 and these four places that didn’t take, are still a concern. I drive to Moab Regional three times a week, sit in a chair, and have a wound care nurse remove the dressings, clean out the slough, and apply new dressings. Takes about 40 minutes. The tissue is granulating, so maybe healing will pick up a bit.
I originally planned to head down to southern New Mexico shortly after I got to Moab. What a dumbass idea. First off, I was not physically capable of doing so. But it is the wounds that are keeping me here, especially the one in my chest. I don’t think I’ve ever had a wound so open to infection. It’s scary. I feel this is the safest place for me to be, and thank the gods, Glen and Lisa are letting me stay here longer than I had planned.
I’ve been dealing with medical problems since July 31. I so want to get past this phase of my life but I don’t want to do anything to jeopardize healing. I so miss being out off-grid. The lifestyle nurtures me. This present lifestylenot so much.
and you will never pay attention to their limitations again.
Edmund Brown, Jr.
RVwest article ‘Following a Free Spirit’
RVwest article ‘The Spaces Between the Places’