Thursday, October 28, 2010

Wedding

Well, it's been almost a week since the wedding... I think I've been using this time to recover! Not that I was injured standing around all day, but what an exciting weekend filled with family, friends, pictures, and parties!


Actually, I was really happy with how well I handled the wedding. My cousin had a Catholic service, and so all of the wedding party - including the bride and groom - sat during the service! So even though I had to walk down the aisle (which I accomplished with a smile) and stand for a few minutes every time the priest spoke, for the majority of the wedding I was sitting up straight in an upholstered chair. After the wedding, though, taking wedding pictures was what was hardest for me! Especially when we went on grassy, uneven terrain. Luckily I have cute flat shoes on so I was able to navigate the ground pretty easily. For long walks over uneven ground (like when we went to the park where they got engaged to take more photos) my cousin carried me over the grass and gravel. It was really sweet, and a good thing too because I would not have made it on my own!

At the reception, they had amazing salads and pastas, and I ate a bit of salmon too. Everything was fall-themed and it was really beautiful - especially the flowers! I had a really good day, and with the help of a few strategically placed motrin my leg kept up the whole night. Once the dancing started, I got my knee brace from the hotel room to help support me a bit, for my goal was to try and get my groove on as much as possible. I danced the wedding party song (a rather awkwardly quick slow song) and then a few other songs later in the night, but for the most part the dancing was really hard on me and my leg. At one point I took the brace off because it was putting pressure on me, but most of the reception I spent sitting around with my dad(who was keeping me company) and watching the rest of my entire family dance. I ended up going back to my hotel room pretty early and crying. I took a long, warm bath to soothe my leg and my emotional state and went to bed.
Overall, it was a really beautiful day. I just wish I was healed enough to dance at the reception! Oh well, I know I will get there soon. I hope so.

Here's a picture of me and the ring-bearer, my cousin. He was really happy to see me up and on my feet again <3

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Fall Break!

I had an amazing Fall Study Break. Being that the nature of the break is to "study", it is safe to say that unfortunately I did not get any studying done over break... However, it was really relaxing and refreshing, both internally and for my body.

On Sunday my parents came to visit me at school. They drove down in the afternoon and we spent the day together. I took them to the museum where I work, and when we got there I parked my scooter and ***walked around*** the museum with them for several hours!! Museum walking is pretty low-key; you're not moving around quickly, mostly just lingering in front of the exhibits. But we were there for a little over two hours and I was able to keep up with them! Of course, I took a couple breaks to sit down and rest, but that's the longest amount of time and space I've been standing and wandering in. I was really proud of myself, and my parents were impressed with both me and the museum!

I'm still continuing with therapy - it's getting harder as it goes on! Today I did several more exercises and with more pressure on my knee and ankle. I am still hoping that I can fully recover my sexy walk I used to be able to do before... Alas, I am still limping for the time being. Hopefully my knee won't cause me pain in the future even after I've healed.

On the plus side, every time I come home from therapy I stop at McDonalds and 1) get a coffee (mmmm!) and 2) get to play McDonald's monopoly. Perhaps not the healthiest of habits, but after an intensive early-morning therapy session it's good to get a little treat. My body is happy.

This weekend is my cousin's wedding. I am one of her bridesmaids (should be Maid of Honor, but that's another story...) and I'm really excited to be able to walk down the aisle. Unfortunately she's having a Catholic wedding so I might have to stand forever once I make it to the end, but if I take some motrin beforehand I should be okay. I'm really hoping that I'll be able to dance a little bit at the reception. I LOVE dancing and it's hard for me to think about how this injury will affect my moving and grooving! I'll make sure to post some pictures after the wedding. =]

On the very plus side, the day before the wedding the bridal party is going to get their nails done! I can't get a pedicure since my bad ankle is still so sensitive, but to make up for it I'm getting a nice manicure. I love getting my nails done. Something so stupid and silly but makes me feel so pretty!

Alright, I guess since Fall Break is over I should actually start studying!
-Amanda

Monday, October 11, 2010

Scar Massage

At therapy this morning, my therapist taught me how to do a "scar massage" to break up the scar tissue underneath. I have a lot of scars, and they each are at various forms of sensitivity. The scars on my inner ankle are the worst - I cringe in discomfort when something as slight as a bedsheet rubs against them. As for my arm, that scar is the coolest.

It isn't that sensitive and so it doesn't hurt, but the actual scar part is 3d... like a worm. It's really gross to touch, so my boyfriend will probably be the one performing the majority of the scar massages.

According to UofM, these are the instructions for a scar massage:
- Rub in a circular motion on and around the scar with firm, even pressure for 5 minutes four times per day
- You can start scar massage once incision is completely healed and strong enough to handle the motion (usually 10 - 14 days post operatively).
- You use lotion to do the scar massage to allow ease with motion over the scar and prevent friction at the area.
- found here

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Update

Well, I've been in school for a month. Since then I've developed a tender relationship with my amigo, the scooter I use to get around campus. While I was apprehensive at first, this scooter is small, trendy, and red. And honestly, there's no way I could manage to get around to my classes without it.

I've also started walking. Not like I'm about to participate in a 5K, but I can walk around my apartment and around short distances. I can even walk to the car and into a restaurant when I go out to eat, so it's been nice not having to lug my wheelchair around for shorter trips.

With all the excitement of new things, both campus and body-central, how has my body reacted? Well, my ankle is pretty swollen. And at the end of the day it's very achy after I've put pressure on it. My knee, surprisingly, never really aches... Though it does feel weird.

How can I explain this? In the car accident, the outside of my femur jammed into the outside of my tibia (image here). This impact dug out a centimeter to centimeter and a half of the lower bone, allegorically my knee was like "a marching band walked over a bag of potato chips" (as one surgeon so delicately put). While my knee was reconstructed in surgery, the fact of the matter is that the lower half of the joint is still uneven and won't grow back to the smooth, concave shell that it was. My knee still works, but there's more space in the joint on the outside than on the inside... and according to my doctor that might cause me problems for the rest of my life.


*MIGHT* - so there's a chance that it won't. However there's also a chance that I will always need to wear a leg brace everytime I walk. I know that is a small price to pay for surviving a cataclysmic car accident, but I still don't want to wear it. I want to be able to walk normal. I want to be able to dance! Not so much run, I don't care about running. But I want to heal and have everything get back to where it was.

So I have my ankle, which will heal back to normal but in the meantime is annoyingly painful, and my knee, which doesn't hurt but has an empty space in it that I can feel when I move. If it's just this hole in my knee feeling, perhaps I can get used to it and it won't be an issue for the rest of my life. My leg also has a lot of metal in it, and that feels weird too, but it doesn't prohibit me from doing anything (granted, I can only really feel the metal when I try to cross my legs... and since it's uncomfortable I haven't been crossing my legs).

***

I don't want these posts just to be me complaining about my body. I know that I am very lucky, and I'm very proud of everything I've accomplished thus far. In addition to walking, I can step into the shower on my own now (instead of sitting down and scooting in)! I can go up or down a flight of stairs (very carefully, and only using one foot per step)! And just last night I was able to sleep without a pillow between my knees for support. I am making a lot of progress. And these little things are building up my confidence too. It's been beautiful outside all this past week - if the weather is nice next week maybe I will try and walk to class. I think I can handle walking to one class, though a whole day of classes might be a little much.

Anyway, I will keep you posted on my accomplishments. In the meantime, I still have therapy three days a week. It's hard as hell, but I can tell it's making a difference.

Friday, October 1, 2010

One Step at a Time...

After spending more than three long months off of my broken leg, I am proud to share with you the biggest STEP in my recovery:

video