This Leg is Made for Walking. But When?

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There has been entirely too much winter here this winter. How about by you? As I write this, we’re supposed to be getting more ice, followed by more snow. I had an appointment today, but the scheduler called early Monday afternoon to say they weren’t even going to open the office.

Just let me get to the airport next Friday and let it be open. I have to get out of this winter wonderland, lift my face to the sun, and dig my foot into some nice, warm sand. It’ll be just my luck that the Bahamas will be having a cold wave. But I hope not. I have to take my new leg for a walk.

Which, speaking of taking my new leg for a walk, I haven’t done yet. I tucked my leg under my arm and went off to rehab last Wednesday…but what’s left of my real leg was too swollen to fit all the way inside my prosthetic leg. My bad: I got cocky and decided I could slack off a bit after what’s left of my leg was used to make a mold for the prosthetic.

I shoulda known you can’t slack off (very much) with a prosthetic any more than you can with diabetes. Too much slacking and it’ll set you back a bit. Now I have to wait until at least tomorrow to begin walking. I’ve tried it on a couple of times and it seems to fit.

What’s funny is that I was putting a new shoe on my prosthesis and was whisked back to my childhood, dressing my dolls. I saw myself as a little girl, twisting and turning my dolls and their limbs this way and that to get their clothes on. I remember wondering at the time how mommies managed to dress their babies without hurting them.

So I’m turning my fake leg this way and that, trying to fit a shoe onto it. I mean a real shoe with straps and Velcro and closed heels and stuff. I seem to recall wearing them once before. About four years ago. In Alaska. Usually, I just wear Birkenstock sandals. I have a lot of West Virginia and a little bit of hippie in me.

By the way, somebody finally got up the nerve to tell an amputation joke to me. “Now,” he said when I told him I’d had a leg amputated, “you can get a job at IHOP.”

Mom is feeling a lot better after spending a night in the hospital. She was quite embarrassed at flubbing on her medicine dosage, but I told her even health-care professionals made mistakes. Probably the most heinous occurred not that many years ago when the pharmacy at a respected Indianapolis hospital sent adult dosages of Heparin to the neonatal intensive care unit and several infants died after being given the blood thinner.

“So what chance does an elderly retired Spanish teacher have?” I asked her. She was so happy to be reminded that even professionals err that she forgot to yell at me for referring to her as being elderly.

It’s now Tuesday morning. We had a power outage overnight. I swear I could hear electric transformers exploding. Those ice storms are worse than snow. All kinds of places are closed, including the university where my husband teaches. It might just be a good day to put on a pot of soup and catch up on some knitting. And continue trying to jiggle my basal rates until my numbers are just right.

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