Spring Time!

It’s been 7 weeks since my operation and once I was no longer breaking out in hives or rashes, I was doing ok. I’ve just been pulling out my stitches on my own for the last week or so…you know, in my spare time. Last week, I pulled out 2 really long stitches (each about the length of a Q-Tip). Actually, I think it was 1 really long stitch, but I wasn’t able to get it fully out in one shot. I pulled half of it and then had to cut it and then later on during the day I was able to pull out the other half. Apparently, dissolvable stitches don’t always dissolve and when my body doesn’t want something in there, it’ll constantly let me know until I finally take it out. Good times.
I’ve been back up in my prosthesis and walking, slowly and not full time just yet, but steadily working on it. Only problem is, I’m still in my old socket. Post surgery, my prosthetist made me a revised socket, because the size and shape of my leg changed, but I’ve still been using my old socket b/c insurance has yet to approve it. Come on, insurance!!! Give me a break! Yet again, battling with insurance.
Some good news…I saw my orthopedist last week and I don’t have to go back into the hospital for another procedure. He was happy with the progress I’ve made so far on bending my knee so he told me that I don’t have to back into the OR so that he can “manually manipulate” my knee. Woohoo! Good thing b/c I was told that it’s very painful. Manual manipulation is basically me being sedated and then the doctor just going to town forcing my knee to bend as much as it can…it’s like forcing someone that’s not flexible to do something flexible. Ouch.
Our new car is now down in Tampa, Florida. It’s down there at the factory of the company that’s installing my digital hand controls. It was transported down there last week. They told me installation should take about 2-3 weeks and then it will be transported back to me. That means….I’ll be driving on my own by next month! Eek! Exciting and scary!! Of course, I’ll have to learn how to use the hand-controls and become comfortable driving with them, but this will be a huge step towards more independence. I’m getting digital hand-controls, as opposed to manual hand-controls. See below for the visual difference of manual, old-school hand controls and digital hand-controls.
manual hand-controls
digital hand controls
If you look at the 1st photo, there are rods that go from the pedals up to the steering wheel and the entire contraption looks very cumbersome and looks like a… contraption. If you look at the 2nd photo, you can barely tell that there are hand-controls installed in the car. The small ring inside the steering wheel, that’s the gas pedal, and the little knob to the right of the steering wheel that looks like a mini gear shift, that’s the brake pedal. The brake is still manual but it’s hidden unlike in the set-up of the first photo and the steering wheel is tied into the car’s computer. Neither system is cheap, but the digital controls are definitely much pricier…about 3 times more than the manual controls!…but it looks like it belongs and is part of the car and from everything I’ve heard, much easier and more natural to use, as well. It’s expensive…but in the long run I think it’ll be worth it. If it makes me feel more comfortable and is more natural, in both appearance and use, it’s worth the cost. I can only assume it’s more expensive b/c it’s not the “standard” in hand-controls, but with everything else in the world being digital, it’s a wonder why this isn’t one of them. Make sure to be on the look out for when I start blogging about the driving experience…yikes! Maybe, I’ll have to enlist my brother to rig the entire car with cameras and film my learning process along with the first time passengers. Volunteers, anyone?!? Hah!
I might be working on a little, mini crusade for an issue/cause that is now relevant to me since I am “handicapped” but I’m going to be a little hush hush about it until I have a “plan”. Stay tuned.
I’m started to research for a therapist/psychologist. I’ve waited this long b/c I wanted to wait until I’d be able to drive myself to appointments. I didn’t want to tack on, yet another thing, that I’d have to rely on someone else to drive me to. Clearly, it’s b/c I have a problem talking about my “issues”…obviously. I’m just in the beginning stages of the process, researching for people that have experience dealing with people who have been through trauma, preferably someone that accepts my insurance, located in a good location, etc. Clearly, I’m not going to want someone that will baby me…that’s for sure. I have a vision of what this therapist will look like and even the type of person he/she will be…male, 50s or so, tough guy who’s actually a sweetheart…haha. I’ve made a list of a few from my criteria (the experience with trauma and takes my insurance criteria, not the nonsense criteria!) and have emailed a few requesting for phone consultations. I’ve had 2 get back to me, one male and one female. I had a quick consultation with the guy and I have my consultation with the woman tomorrow, but she and I did speak briefly. In my email, I mention that I was in a traumatic accident about a year and a half ago. Both psychologists made the assumption that I was in a car accident. When I told them no, not a car accident but a subway accident, the results were kind of funny to me. The first person said, oh..I assume you were on the subway. My response, in typical Teena fashion (sorry for the 3rd person reference…), “Actually, I was under the subway.” What?!?..Yes..I was hit by the subway. And then she had a kind of an excited reaction. It’s like doctors when they get an “interesting” case. Do you guys know what I mean? She tried to check herself, but I could tell she had this moment of, oooh, I’ve never had a patient/case like this before! She confirmed this for me when upon setting a time for our phone consultation tomorrow and right before we got off the phone, she said, I’d love to work with you (in that excited tone again). Maybe it was just my imagination..we’ll see. The other guy..same thing, assumed I was in a car accident. His reaction wasn’t of excitement, but it was a little funny/odd too. After he said to me, traumatic accident..car? I said, no..I was hit by the subway. His response..the subway?!…you’re kidding?!?
Uhm…that’s what you come up with?? I appreciate that it was a genuine reaction and that he was surprised, but it was a little awkward. I mean..maybe if I had said I was struck by lightning…
Let’s see how the rest of them react…I have a feeling they will all have a similar reaction.

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