Monthly Archives: January 2014
From last Wed. until Monday Erin pretty much slept round the clock. She is feeling very low. But, yesterday when we said that we were going to Costco, she went with us. While she was getting ready, when getting out of the shower, the safe-t-pole came loose, and she fell. She remained quite calm, and when I got her back on the bath seat, she leaned a little to her right, and toppled over again, fortunately not hurting herself.
The pole has 4 pieces, and Clark put them out of the way as we got out of the house. So, in the evening, when she went to use the bathroom, the pole was not in place, and she fell again. Clark had to hunt in several places before he found where he had put one of the pieces, but the pole is now safely back up.
Erin watched the State of the Union speech with us for a while.
This afternoon Erin had physical therapy. But, the therapist said that Erin was too weak and tired to do much walking.
Larry, the othotic specialist, made a mold for the permanent brace today. First, he put a strip of vinyl down the length of Erin’s shin bone. Then he put on a cast similar to the ones she has been wearing. The cast set up right away and he then took an exacto knife and cut down the length of the cast over the shin bone. He opened up the cast and removed it. It will be used as the mold for the plastic brace he will make, which will be ready in 2 weeks.
This is quite different from the leather brace that I wore 50 + years ago after breaking my tibia and fibula. Erin asked Larry how long he had been doing this. He said that it will soon be 40 years. He started out doing nothing but sewing leather. But, he said the biggest innovation has been the use of velcro. They used to have to use leather straps and buckles.
Somehow the subject of leap year came up and it turns out that Larry and Paco share a Feb. 29th birthday.
Erin saw Dr. Adams, her oncologist, today. He thought that Erin’s speech was better than 2 months ago. And he was also impressed with her walking with the cast on the right leg. He said that the brain has plasticity, and new parts of the brain are taking over for the parts that were removed or damaged.
He uttered again that he no longer thinks of her as a cancer patient. She is more like a stroke patient having to live with handicaps. He said that she is very intelligent and needs to live this new life.
When I mentioned that about all she can do is watch TV and use the computer to shop on line, he said that he didn’t think that she should be buying things on line by herself. Erin didn’t like this one bit, and told him so!
When Clark and I returned from Monterey last Sunday, there was a huge box labeled Schwinn sitting in the front hallway. Erin had ordered herself an adult tricycle. It came in about 28 pieces besides nuts and screws. Clark, fortunately, had worked in a bicycle shop as a teenager in Marin Co., so he tackled putting it together. (See photo below.) He spent 6 hours or so one day and another couple of hours the next day.
Today Steve and the boys came to see Erin. So, Steve helped Clark with some of the final tightening of screws. Brandon and Beck came over, too. And Erin selected Brandon to test ride the tricycle around the cul de sac across the street. Then Erin tried it. She couldn’t get her right leg with the cast on the pedal. The tires were low and there was a very chilly wind, so she gave up. Brandon came back tonight and pumped up the tires.
Erin says that after getting the cast off, she is determined to learn to ride it. Her dream is to be able to ride to Safeway about 0.6 mi away.
Paco and Tommy enjoyed eating crepes and berries. Tommy arrived sporting 7 stitches above his left eye. Last week he fell in the bedroom as Louisa turned away to get something. As usual he entertained himself here with old Fisher-Price toys and with his iPad. Paco enjoyed some baseball cards which Clark bought for him, and then played with his iPad. At one point, there were 3 Mac laptops of varying size, Paco’s iPad, Erin’s mini-iPad, and 3 iPhones on the dining room table each of us absorbed in our machines. I was learning how to do Skype with Steve helping while he also was helping Erin with her mini-iPad.
This afternoon I took Erin for what we thought was going to be a measuring appointment for the permanent brace. But, Larry, the orthotic specialist, felt that one more serial cast would be profitable, and that as long as they had gone this far, they may as well do one more. The foot was not quite perpendicular to the leg.
He and his assisitant both applied pressure to get the foot up as they cast it. (See photo below.) Erin told them it wasn’t in quite the right position! Larry said they had it right where they wanted it, and he kidded Erin and asked her if her name was the name of his wife.
After the casting, we went to the Citrus Heights Costco. Erin had 4 or 5 items in the basket before I had even one. She does love to shop. She got into a conversation with one of the demonstrators handing out samples. (See photo below.)