Life has returned to our new “normal” thankfully. Drew’s pain is being managed well and continues to decrease with each passing day. Now, the only sounds of suffering are made during the daily adjustments to the struts on his fixator. Drew is sleeping well (finally!) and we have found a routine that is working for us.
Drew is down to therapy three days a week because his knee and ankle are fixed so there isn’t a lot to do other than ensure that we stretch his muscles so they don’t get tight. Drew has a very nice therapist, Don, who starts with a soft tissue massage on Drew’s foot. This will prevent Drew’s foot from becoming contracted and tight during the turning process of the fixator. Drew also wears a specially made “shoe” to prevent his toes from curling under during the same process. Don also massages the soft tissue under Drew’s upper leg. Then, there is a combination of sit ups, leg lifts and “butt lifts” to encourage flexibility and muscle activity. Don brings out a lot of toys to sprinkle in some fun for Drew.
Then, Drew’s least favorite stretch, but it’s a very important one. Because our upper leg muscle is contracted when we are in a sitting position, and well, Drew is pretty much in a sitting position the entire day, if this muscle isn’t stretched properly it will be extremely tight and would be too tight for Drew to stand straight up. With Drew’s leg hanging over the edge of the table, Don lightly pushes his leg downwards which causes Drew significant pain. It’s hard to watch, but it’s important. We do these exercises at home too and we’ve already seen significant improvement in his extensions.
We have to do adjustments on his struts everyday. We have a chart with a number for everyday and we turn a knob to a specific number on a scale imprinted on the struts. It’s a fairly simple process, but is a little painful for Drew as you can imagine. What if you had a half-dozen metal rods drilled into your bones slowly being pulled in different directions?
I’m starting to get used to living in West Palm Beach. It’s extremely easy to navigate. All of the roads seem to connect to each other, no funny traffic circles, and pretty much everything that we need is within a very short drive: Wal-Mart, gas station, interstate, movie theater, etc. It’s definitely a lot more crowded here and the people aren’t quite as nice, though not threatening. It’s just that “excuse me” (when in another person’s way) or politely smiling to passers-by isn’t in their culture here.
West Palm Beach really is beautiful. Lots of palm trees, landscaping, and when it’s not stormy outside the sky is gorgeous. We went into downtown WPB this afternoon to take Drew on a sight-seeing tour and the downtown has got to be one of the most adorable areas I’ve ever seen in the US. Walking down the streets, you see BCBG, Pottery Barn, Armani, Williams-Sonoma, and other wildly popular boutiques with soft and complimentary colors and architectural styles. Fountains, sculptures, fauna, and cute restaurant patios can be seen as far as the eye can go. Women walk around with the prettiest sun dresses and hats like we were on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills. It was fascinating.
We did a touristy thing of taking a sight-seeing tour on the Divaduck Tour, which is a ride around the city on a funny looking bus that actually becomes a boat as it drives off of a ramp into the ocean for a ride around an island admiring all of the million dollar yachts and ocean-front homes. We saw homes owned by Celine Dion, James Patterson, Rod Stewart, heirs to the Ford company, Merck Pharmaceuticals, Home Shopping Network, the inventor the Slim Fast franchise, a home that had won awards for its architectural design and was once called, “The most Avant Garde home in America.” It was very interesting to wonder how expensive these homes were. One home has an authentic Japanese pagoda in the backyard whose contents are made from marble, ivory, and 18-carat gold. While the house was gorgeous, I would have been happy living in the 1 room pagoda!
Anyway, Drew did pretty good on the ride for the most part though he got bored looking at the homes (apparently he doesn’t find admiring multi-million dollar homes as fascinating as we do…or perhaps he was more outwardly displaying the same emotions that we were internalizing: jealousy and depression!) Halfway through the ride, it got pretty bumpy on land and it was not a comfortable ride for his leg so I felt really bad!
With all of that said, I’m starting to miss home now that things are slowing down and I can actually think about my own feelings for the moment. I miss our dog, Sarge, and I miss the country life. I miss friends and family and recognizable faces. But, Drew is receiving a lot of cards from everybody at home and they make our day when we get them. It’s our little connection to home and we display them proudly! Not that I’m asking anybody to send us anything, but I’ve had a couple of people text me wanting our address, so in case you were wondering:
415 Olive Tree Circle, Greenacres Fl 33413
(Don’t you find it hilarious that we moved from Morganfield Kentucky to a place called, Greenacres? I sure do!)