Thursday, January 27, 2011

YAY!!! Something new!

My friend, Ricë Freeman-Zachary, has been working her fingers and brain to the bone these last many months, helping to organize and edit a new website for us creative types, and today was the BIG LAUNCH!

TA DA...... Create Mixed Media

In a word... it's stupendous, and I know it's only going to get better as time passes, and kinks are ironed out and people really get into it. It's full of videos, podcasts, book reviews, artist interviews, techniques, a shop loaded with books, magazines, supplies and materials, and, most of all, inspiration! Expand your horizons, climb out of your box, jump in and try something new! Check it out, and get busy making art!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Things are looking up...

My visit to the orthopedic specialist mentioned in my last post propelled me into an entirely new phase of this hip injury saga. As predicted, when the ortho doctor looked at my x-rays taken on December 21 at the Vallejo ER, he declared several of them looked "suspect", and sent me off to his own radiology department for more pictures. A short time later he came into my exam room with the fateful words, "Well, no wonder it hurts..." My heart hit my shoes, and, knowing full well what the answer would be, I still asked, "Why?" "It's broken." Thud. He explained that, while the fracture itself wasn't too severe, the condition itself was quite serious. As I'd been stumbling around for three weeks with the fracture, the neck and the head of the femur were misaligned, and the possibility that the blood supply to the head of the femur had been diminished loomed large. He told me he'd called the ER at his hospital, about a mile away, and they were waiting for me, and I needed to have surgery as soon as possible to re-align everything and insert some screws to hold everything together. He was thinking surgery early the following morning, but when I got to the ER and they found out I hadn't eaten or drunk anything all day, they shot me up to the operating room so fast it made my head spin. I was quickly prepped, spoke briefly with the anesthesiologist, then was whisked away, and the next thing I remember was waking up in the recovery room, trying to crawl out of my skin from the pain. Fortunately, they immediately began pumping me up with morphine and calm, reassuring words, and, ultimately I woke up in a room on the ortho ward, doped beyond pain, but feeling hungrier than I can ever remember. Of course, ice chips were the only thing on my menu, but, at that point, even they tasted good.

I remained in the hospital for five days, and, thankfully, things got better every day - I got fed real, but simple, food, I got my hair washed (first time in almost four weeks), I worked with physical therapists twice a day and learned how to walk again... slowly and painfully, but the pain now is different. I know it's a healing pain instead of the dull, burning, aching pain of an injury, and I can deal with it much more patiently. Upon my release, I was offered the opportunity to go to a rehab center, but chose to come home instead, and Medicare has supplied me with physical and occupational therapists who are helping me cope with daily tasks that need to be handled in brand new ways! The sutures will be removed in ten days, and my recovery is expected to be nearly complete in a couple of months. The physical therapists at the hospital were pleased with my progress, and say it's doubtful I'll walk with a limp or experience any extended pain.

Life will go on as before, with only a few changes... I've always been pretty good in the "slow and easy" category, but now things will be slower and easier and I will call the shots. I now consider myself to be a genuine "Little Old Lady", having fallen and broken a hip. I'm one of the lucky ones, though, in that my recovery will be easy and nearly complete. "Back in the day", when I worked at Rancho Los Amigos Hospital in Los Angeles, a broken hip was often a death sentence for someone my age, and a substantial number of the patients for whom I cared never left their beds again after sustaining such an injury. In another visit or two, my physical therapist will help me to walk next door to my studio, and, once I can get there under my own power, I expect to get back to work, albeit at a slower pace, and life will be wonderful once again!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The Bah, Humbug continues...

Regrettably, life has pretty much ground to a halt around here as I attempt to recover from the unpleasant hip injury I sustained on December 21. When I was released from the emergency room that day, I was told I would most likely be back on my feet within three weeks. Well, today marks the beginning of week four, and not only am I not "back on my feet", my condition appears to be worsening. The dull, constant, nagging, never-ending pain never seems to go away, and I simply can't put any weight at all on my injured leg without going through the ceiling. On Thursday I have an appointment with an orthopedic specialist who has treated me for two previous knee injuries, and I'm hoping he can shed some light on my damningly slow recovery. He is expected to take another round of x-rays to determine if something was missed on the initial x-rays the night of the ER visit, or to see if something new has transpired in the meantime.

In 1991, during a nasty bout of bronchitis, I cracked a rib during a particularly violent coughing spell. I KNEW I had cracked a rib because it FELT like I'd cracked a rib, but x-rays taken at the time showed nothing amiss, and I was sent home with a pat on the head and some pain pills, and spent the next few weeks in an absolute hell of pain because the bronchitis took that long to run its course, and every cough was like a fresh bullet in my side. A year later, during the course of a regular physical exam, which included a chest x-ray, previously unrecorded scar tissue was found on a rib in the area where I'd suffered the pain a year earlier. So, obviously, fresh cracks or breaks don't always show up on an initial x-ray, and I'm fearing the worst at this time in suspecting I may have cracked my femur or pelvic bone in the this recent escapade.

We'll see...