All the tricky things…

Doing normal, everyday things as a new amputee, is like learning any new, difficult, sometimes technical skill. From the simple, like filling up my water bottle, to the more complex, of getting in and out of the bath. Everything presents a challenge, and because I live in a 1st floor appartment, also a logistical nightmare. All of a sudden I was house bound. Dont get me wrong, It wasnt like I was out alot before the surgery, CRPS kind of prevented that but, I could go short distances on my crutches. But now, I cant go anywhere unless someone bumps my wheelchair down the stairs, and its not light! So yes, housebound!

The 1st week was absolutely fine. Dispite suffering alot of phantom pain, my mirror therapy was going really well. It was strange going from the hospital environment, to home. I went from having lots of support and people about, incase anything happened, to nothing. Just me and Cat. But we made the most of that week. We hadnt been on holdiay for 3 years because of my foot, so it was nice to have a week off pretending we were. We went out for a while every day. I tried to push myself places, which was laughable! I made it for about 3 minutes at a time. You never notice all the tiny gradients on a pavement until you use a wheelchair. The one I was given was so heavy too. Its like trying to wheel a mini with your arms (well, maybe slightly lighter than that), but you get the idea. But I did my best. Pushing a bit, then Cat would take over. We went to the Zoo. I hadnt been to a zoo since I was tiny. It was awesome. I met friends at a food festival. Come to think of it, I did more 2 weeks post op with my amputation, than I did for any of my foot surgeries. I was progressing. My pain was slowly easing too.

THE BATH!

The 1st thing I wanted to do when I came home from hospital was to have a bath. I couldnt use the one in hospital as the bathroom it was in, was reserved for a patient with an infectious condition. The bath proved to be my Everest! Cat ran the water for me. I tried to hop, and discovered that this was really dangerous. Its alot easier to hop when you have another leg to balance you. So cat had to help me to the bath. Our bathroom isnt very big, so you cant fit me and the chair in it. Then it came to getting into the bath. Cat had to help we with this too. There was no way for flinging myself around our skinny edged bath without her. I tried, and she had to catch me when i wobbled (its a good job we have a strong relationship, with no secrets!). She helped me lower in the water. The 1st thing I noticed is that stumpey floats! Really strange, but it does. I lay down in the water, and when I went to sit up, ended up flailing about like a fish out of water! I could wash most of my main bits, but when it came to my nether yeya, another challenge arrived. You see, im not sure how all of you wash this bit, but for me I was used to standing up (probably too much info!). Standing on one leg, in the bath, is definately a safety no, no. So Cat had to help me here too (I wont go into detail!). Then getting out, was more tricky than getting in. Basically the same procedure as getting in, except that I was wet! So then, Cat was too (diddnt plan for that one). On the floor it was for me, to dry, which was so cold. All in all, my bath would usually be about 10 minutes, well all this took about 45! I think now, 8 weeks on, ive gotten it down to 40! So not a huge improvement. But I always need my wife there for help and safety. So just the bathing process added alot of time to our ‘everyday processes’. For that matter, everything seems to take forever!

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