I've fallen. And I've gotten up.
Fresh off warnings Friday from our surgeon, Dr. Robert Lee, that I needed to be careful due to a broken titanium rod in my back, I took a tumble Sunday. I was on my way to the bathroom, with my father, Robert, close behind. Two steps before the door, my right knee buckled and I said to my dad, "that's interesting."
Two more steps, and both knees gave. Both knees buckling at the same time hadn't happened since October. I feel backwards, hit my head on my dad's knees, and ended up in a heap in a floor. Simultaneously, I heard Dr. Lee's speech about my broken rod and my wife Carol-Ann's monologue about how dangerous I made things by getting back into bed on my own after falling October.
I was freaked. I laid there, as my dad went for help. I didn't recognize the first couple of staff members who arrived on the scene, but then Jose, a nurse's aid, burst into the room.
Jose is a little bit older than me, maybe in his mid-40s, and we kibitz back and forth all the time. He gets after me about not staying up long enough and spending too much time lying down, and threatens to put "nails in my bed." That, of course, leads me to burst into song: "Nails in my bed...Jose thinks I dread...Doesn't realize I'm so over-fed...They won't make me go red."
As soon as he showed up on the scene, it helped calm me down. I feel safe with him. Fortunately for me, they have a lot of staff here at VGH I feel that kind of comfort and security with me. The staff that we've come across on the Spine Unit here has been exemplary.
They got me back to bed and after a few quick tests the doctors decided that I hadn't added to my injuries.
Emotionally, I was a busted, though. I had been having trouble with my walking for a few days. I wondered if the broken rod was part of it. I wondered if I was ever going to get a good break again. I cried and cried. I even told Carol-Ann, "I'm going to die here."
She was having none of it. She scolded me, and demanded that I take that back and made me repeat that we would be going home to New Westminster soon. By the end of the day, she had me believing again.
Monday came, and Dr. Lee shrugged it off as bad luck when we told him about it. Our physio therapist, Ann, did the same. That made me feel better. And, sure enough, I walked for 20 minutes, which was the longest I had gone in over a week.
It's a small victory, but, like I've said before, we'll take what we can get right now.
GF Strong, the Vancouver rehab centre, was supposed to take me Monday, but Dr. Lee wants me to stay another week. That's fine. I'm just subtracting the extra VGH time off the GF time.