October 22nd, 2010

Paul Neyron rose 2

busy Wednesday

The physical therapists are adding new exercises to stretch the side of my ankle that is still very stiff.  It's the left side of my right ankle.  The surgery was all on the right side, but I think the left might be the side that dislocated when I broke it.  Anyway, those tendons and ligaments are very tight.  The stretches are pretty painful, but the therapists tell me not to do so much that I'm in extreme pain.  They've had me bicycling, then got me on the treadmill on Wednesday.

I was using the treadmill rather like I'd push a shopping cart, the physical therapist told me, and showed me how I should be walking with longer strides.  My normal walking pace is faster than the .5 he gradually worked me up to, but I kind of got the hang of it.  He said he wanted me to try to walk without limping.  I don't think I managed that too well when my pace was slower than usual.

Afterwards, Mom and I did some driving practice.  We found a relatively empty parking lot in a corporate park, and I practiced driving slowly, then putting on the brake.  I'm accustomed to braking gently, because I don't want to activate the anti-lock brakes.  It takes longer to stop with the anti-lock brakes engaged.  It all came back to me, and I went around the few cars that were in the parking lot, then went out onto the little roads that led through the corporate park.  After a couple of circles, my leg was starting to tremble, so I let Mom take over for the drive out on the main roads to home.

We made it to the church supper in plenty of time.  There wasn't any curried chicken, but there was shepherd's pie, and chicken with spinach and penne pasta.  There were several desserts, including coconut cake, a pie with ice cream inside, and a birthday cake for J.D. made from Ghiradelli chocolate.  Mostly I told the story of my ankle to the ladies.  The ones who had seen me in a wheelchair or walker on my rare church appearances were glad to see that I was on a cane now.

There was a speaker on women's fiction.  She's an English professor at [local university], with a specialization in Victorian literature.  She said how the fiction ran the gamut from "women's fiction so strong that it's practically literature" to chick lit to "women's fiction that crosses over into romance."  The professor mentioned a number of British authors of women's fiction, and some American ones.  She also talked about how variations on Pride and Prejudice were practically a cottage industry of their own.

I'd read books by a number of the romance authors, including Mary Balogh, Eloisa James, Lisa Kleypas, and Robyn Carr.  We get a lot of books by Jennifer Cruisie, Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Susan Wiggs, Kristan Higgins and Victoria Dahl at the secondhand bookstore, as well.  I may have read one by Susan Wiggs, but I'll have to try the others sometime.

I asked about acquiring the British books, whether Amazon.uk would have them.  The speaker told me that they really get you on shipping charges that way.  She recommended trying secondhand bookstores at the shore, like Hooked on Books in Wildwood, NJ, and one she thought was called Barrier Island Books in Stone Harbor.  We might make a day trip sometime, or crash with those relatives who live more on the eastern side of New Jersey.  My grandmother on Mom's side lived at the shore.  I miss her, and I miss going to the beach.

I'm not so much for big sweeping sagas in which there are several generations, and at least one or two generations die off in the course of the book or books.  I get invested in the characters I first read about, and would rather follow their story for a few years through their twenties, thirties or forties than from when they're infants and into old age.  Sometime I should read the Cazalet Chronicle, though.  The professor highly recommended that.

It turned into a pretty busy day.  It was nice to see the ladies at church, although most who are in the women's group are around Mom's age, and the younger ones seem to be relatively conservative.  I talked a little about my editing.  The speaker said that some of the variations on Pride and Prejudice were "spicy," so I chose that word to describe the books I edit.  I didn't really go into how they were explicit erotic romance, gay, straight and menage.  I think more liberal members of Generation X and younger could deal with that, but not so much the church ladies. 

Paul Neyron rose 2

Thursday real life

I hadn't gotten to sleep until Wednesday morning, so I slept much of Thursday.  I had an appointment with my primary care doctor at 5 p.m.  She seemed pleased enough with how I was doing.  I got a pneumonia shot and a tetanus shot.  Since I use the cane with my left hand, the shots were in my right arm.  The places they were done are still quite painful (as of Friday).  I'm right-handed, too.

Not too much else except a lot of proofing and editing to get done, so I worked deep into the night doing that.

I noticed a couple of days ago that a couple of fall-blooming crocuses were flowering.  I'd planted C. speciosus, white ones (C. orchroleum?), and saffron crocus.  These are purple.  They're either speciosus or saffron, but I think speciosus.  I'll have to plant more saffron crocus around.  Not that I've tried drying the stamens (or is it the pistils?), but they're pretty.

Paul Neyron rose 2

Friday real life

Physical therapy today.  Mom called several times to make sure I was awake.  I got up at 12:30 p.m., took a quick shower, ate a little breakfast, and was ready to go by 1:30.  The paratransit bus came right at 2:00.  It was the woman driver who'd refused to come up the driveway before, so I'd ended up going down the driveway in a wheelchair, and over the bumps of the gutter.  This time she backed up the driveway, and put down the lift for me.  I got to my 2:30 appointment in good time.

It was a new physical therapist from the ones I'd had, or one filling in for the therapists who'd taken Friday off.  Of course there were four patients there, with just him and the assistant.  Once he got to a person, he spent a good amount of time with them.  I knew most of my exercises anyway, from doing them at home.  I remembered some of the stretches for my right leg, too.  We practiced going up a step today, putting my bad foot up on the step first, then bringing up my good leg.  He was surprised how easily I did it.  I said that I'd been doing a couple of steps nearly the whole time I'd been injured, although for several weeks I was hopping up the step backward onto my good leg, and holding my weight on my arms on the walker.  That was very scary at first -- actually for quite a while.

I'm bicycling for five minutes at a time, and now apparently going to be doing the treadmill regularly.  We established that my normal walking pace is closer to .7 than .5.  I think it's actually rather faster than that, but I don't normally walk for five minutes at a time.  After the bicycling, I wanted a massage before I went on the treadmill.  The therapist was giving someone ultrasound, then putting him in traction, so I waited a while.  The massage of my scar, ankle, and foot loosens up everything so it moves much better.  I'll have to tell them I'd like that before I do those stretches, if possible.

I was just finishing up on the treadmill when the paratransit driver came in.  I'd made the pick-up time 3:45, so of course he came at 3:30.  Usually when it's 4:00, they come at 4:15 or 4:30.  He said he was early.  I was very glad he'd come in to find me, rather than just assuming I was a no-show.  The therapists' assistant, S., said that I just needed to get ice, then I was done.  I would have skipped the ice, but I really needed it after all that.  He waited, and I got home at 4:00.  I made a couple of comments on the new DeRo forum on AfterElton, then watched AWZ.

Mom came home, very tired.  We eventually had soup for dinner.  Mom went up to her bedroom to read her book shortly after dinner.  I expect she dozed off pretty quickly.  She came down at 11:00 to take some of her pills, but I have a feeling she'll go back to sleep very soon.