Dave’s ACL Diary: Doing it Solo [Part 3]

3 AM Saturday 2/5/2000

What idiot put the last ice pack in with the insulated side down? Oh…uh…

I have nobody but myself to blame for my quality of care here. I can’t recommend strongly enough that the solo patient time his/her bathroom trips to be in the “meaty part” of their pain med cycle. In other words, I’m finding it a lot easier to deal with getting up and back into bed about 1 to 2 hours after I pop a Lortab. The pill’s had enough time to take effect, so I don’t hurt so much. It sucks royally to have to get up as my meds are wearing off.

Am astonished at how thoroughly bad the program on “E!” is right now. I didn’t know TV could be so bad. (I didn’t tune into this – I’m using the TV as a light source I can control from the bedside). I can’t remember cussing the TV so many times in 5 minutes. Take a squirrel’s brain, cut it in eighths, implant it into the body of a large-breasted bimbo and you have the host of this extravaganza of crap. Looks a lot like the fondly-remembered SNL skit “Network Battle of the T’s and A’s“. Makes the Psychic Friends infomercial running on Comedy Central’s cable slot right now look like an art film. Bad, BAD TV.

Baby-ass-wipes are a godsend for those who can’t take a bath or shower. I’m imagining that as the days go on, I’ll be able to wrap the leg in plastic bags and take a seated shower, but I’m just not up to it now. My face stinks, and I’m able to wipe it with a…what am I using here…”Kleenex Cottonelle flushable moist wipe” and get some relief without getting up.

Back pain has returned. Not sure how I can feel it through the Lortab, but I can.

Will greatly miss my weekend morning trip for a bagel later today… Would’ve been a good idea to stock up on supplies for the bread machine – no-fuss very fresh bread would be nice right now.

I didn’t think much about temperature control in the house before hand. I DID leave the heat on low so the house wasn’t stone cold when I got back, but the exertion of getting up and going to the thermostat makes me hotter than I was a minute ago, and I invariably fail to turn the heat up enough. A lightweight fleece blanket has made a positive difference in my comfort level. Keeps me warm, doesn’t hurt to toss it over the leg.

I recommend that if the solo patient has friends coming over to help, (s)he give a key to said friends in advance (I didn’t…) so patient doesn’t have to haul his/her sorry ass out of bed to get the door. Likewise, ask your kind family, friends, coworkers NOT to have anything delivered, at least for the first few days – someone’s kind wishes are gonna make you haul yourself outta bed to get the door, then make you drag whatever it is back to the bedroom to enjoy it. Ask for moral support via phone and email, at least initially.

A small backpack is invaluable in getting your stuff around the house on crutches. I found a Rubbermaid wide-mouth screw-top plastic container to be very handy, too – it allows me to get a bowl of ice cream back to the bedroom in the backpack. Make sure you carry your phone in your pack, so you’re not torn between running on crutches (BAD idea…) for the distant phone and missing the call.

Speaking of calls, your initial recovery period is your golden opportunity to have some fun at the expense of the telemarketers who endlessly call your empty house while you’re normally at work. Ask the snailsperson on the line whether he/she’s found the Lord. If not, ask where (s)he’s been looking. If so, make up some bogus and outrageous dogma and try to initiate conversation about it. See if you can get the telemarketer’s credit card number and home phone. Ask them how much copier paper they want to order. If they seem confused, point out that they called you, and HEY, DON’T WASTE MY TIME – HOW MUCH DO YOU WANT TO ORDER??? Ask if they want fries with it…