Thursday, September 15, 2011

Albany Today

This fall has been full of reminiscing about last fall.

Today we went to Albany.  It was the anniversary of the last surgery.  Chico is doing well.  He has plenty of pain but the surgeon was pleased to see that Chico can walk without a cane-at least for short distances.  Hopefully the next foot corrections will be taken care of with orthodics and more PT.

The tree too has healed.  It too has scars.  We move forward remembering.

Monday, August 22, 2011

First Year Anniversary

August 20th was the first anniversary of Chico's accident.  He is doing well; he is not fully recovered but he can walk short distances with a cane and he is finding ways to keep the pain under control.  We are still optimistic about ongoing recovery.

Appropriately, we celebrated with Pam and Reinhold.


We talked a lot.

We laughed.
  

We could not have made it to this happy meal without your love and support.  Thank you, blog readers!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Vacation

We had two weeks away.  Not much of an agenda, we saw great family and friends (but neglected to take pictures of them-that was a miss).  We enjoyed many happy days where we felt much gratitude for life, health, good fortune, great friends and family.  Longest vacation ever.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Chico's Birthday Self Gift

We're just back from the goal surpassing event.  Chico walked four laps around the track (one mile) unassisted (wouldn't even hold my hand) and then jogged one lap.  We biked to and fro.  Sorry I forgot to bring the camera but here are a few shots of him when we returned home.  One of our great neighbors, Annie, came by to chat.  I'll have to get her photo later.

Happy Birthday, Chico!  You made it.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Under the Wire

I want to post before July 1st, otherwise a whole month will have passed without an entry. 

As we come into the summer season, the season during which Chico's injuries and recovery began, I feel wonder: holy smokes we're almost back at August 20th.  He's come a long way; he has a way still to go.  The world feels different still to both of us.  We notice this.

We went through a period of  recognizing little progress.  It's not that there isn't any but it is more subtle than it once was:  Chico mows the lawn, he helped me build a raised bed for some plants Mark gave us, he crosses his legs and taps his toes, he walks with a cane only, he is hoping to walk not just one (a previously set goal you may remember) but four laps around the track on Friday, July 1st.  He goes to the gym. Sometimes we ride the bikes but that is pretty uncomfortable for him.  His legs often seem equally engaged although he has a strong limp now.  His body is somewhat twisted. At best this cracks him up.   He lives with pain and fear of pain.

Chico remains incredibly resilient, willing to work at this and eager for more improvement.

Chester is out of touch.  Yup.  He moved out of Washington, spent some time here in Vermont and is now on Day Eighteen of  a 72 day NOLS expedition in the Yukon.  Sometimes we get pictures from the food drop pilot.  I think it is a courageous move he's made to live in the wilderness.  He talked about it for a long time. 

Hope we see some of you at our house for the parade on July Fourth.  

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Chores

Yesterday I was out all day and came home to find the second half of the lawn mowed.  Chico did it.   I asked,
"So did you use your crutches until you got to the lawn mower and then you put them down?" 
"Yup."  He also took out the garbage and recycling last week.

Meanwhile I mourn my old, scar-tissue-free lip.  I don't know how Chico maintains his good cheer in the face of all his reconstruction and pervasive scar tissue.  I do know that it is not effortless. Therefore I'll cover my small scar with sunblock, wear a hat and pick up the slack in the chores.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Intrepid

Chico remains in great spirits. He walks inside with one crutch, outside with two.  He  often has pain; he rarely complains. 

On Saturday, inspired by my book Group, I biked to Monkton to do a little work in the office.  Upon my return home, I found Chico on the porch raring to go for a bike ride.  He's only been out on the bike once this spring and he had a fall.  He's been reluctant to bike again.  Though rubber leg-ged, how could I refuse the impish and ambitious prospect of another lap or two?  Chico has biked in the gym but it usually makes for a very sore evening.  We went out.  I had difficulty taking photos and keeping up!  (Simultaneously.)
video

You'll see what I mean especially in the second video. This is just about 100 yards up the street - or maybe 50 yards - from our house.  Chico knows that to keep the bike upright, one must keep moving!  I know to protect my phone and camera, inspite of the risks of riding and shooting footage! Video number two is entitled, A Burst of Speed.  Fear not, it is short. 


video

Then we went out Plank Road, up Lower Hardscrabble and home.  Chico lost his chain once-not cool. Luckily he was going very slowly at the time and has no toeclips.  It was also fortunate that my bike was out of adjustment most of last summer and I was coached on how to get the chain back on the bike when it slipped off.

Sorry I couldn't get better photos.  It was really fun riding together and Chico seems fine.  Hopefully we'll go again soon.  Even though we do look kind of dorky.





Thursday, May 5, 2011

Evening Walk

We now walk around the block in the evening.  Tonight it was clearing at sunset.



Chico says the lip looks much better. 



Doesn't look too good to me but I really would be foolish to argue, right?  Pretty. 
Plus, Bacitracin gives me acne.  Ouch.



Wednesday, May 4, 2011

And the price is....

One thousand, nine hundred ninety-one dollars and sixty one cents!

Blind spending.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Benefits

A sunny trip to the river with Gimpy, our concerns washed away by sound in the sparkling sunshine so rare.

A new menu at the Bobcat featuring fine soft foods: pea soup with ginger and smoked salmon, garlic mashed potatoes.  When only working through one liquid meal a day, it is important that it be a tastey one!

Yesterday, it was a cup of fresh guacamole-I never even really liked guacamole before.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Susan's Recovery

Incredibly swift. 
Lipskin sheds in sheets.
Shrinking lipsize.

Speech returns.
Sheep gut remains, holding steady
For scar growing.

Foods become welcome
in small dose.
Stand by soy and whey-
I need you only sometimes.

Stitches
masquerade as
insects and
tickle
lips.

Sunshine, though rare, stinging, threatens scarring.
Lucky me.
Too.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Curiouser and Curiouser

There were times yesterday in the Emergency Room at Fletcher Allen when Catrina, Chico and I joked about the blog post I would write.  Somehow that blog post escapes me now.  Maybe the story, incredible as it sounded yesterday, has become stale to me over the ensuing 36 hours.  I mean, it gets a lot of telling. It is hard to look someone in the eye when you have a split lip (it's only a split lip) without giving an explanation.  Oh yeah, now I remember.  The plastic surgeon and my posse were joking about how I should tell a different story every time someone asked me what happened.  I shy away from the idea of getting caught up in lies.

So here's the scoop.  Around 5:30 AM I woke up with a leg cramp, hopped out of bed to ease it and then trundled through the house to the bathroom.  Pausing at my desk-I think was planning to drink some water- when  my knees gave out and I smacked my face on the back of the chair.  It made a lot of noise.  Chico arrived (seemed like hours later) to find me crouched on the floor near my desk.

He laid me out on the floor and then, shocked by what he saw he escorted me into the bathroom where I fainted again.  I don't remember this part.  I do remember being on the floor in the bathroom feeling really sweaty, looking up into Chico's worried face, hearing thunderr and seeing flashes of lightning outside.  He was rushing all around-up and down the stairs-ice, wash cloths, ice packs, the phone- the works.   And moving around, particularly from the standing position to the floor, is not that easy for him.


The upshot is neither of us could drive, the doctor on call told us after Chico's description of the lip (torn to the margin and through the muscle) that we should go to the hospital where there would be access to a plastic surgeon and it sounded like I needed one.  We called our friend Catrina.  She and Rob came right over. 

Catrina and Chico liked trying to make me laugh.   I was concerned about scarring. 
Laughing remains a little tricky. 


We were home by noon.  Very nice and competent people there at Fletcher Allen.  As you can imagine, I was really thinking of Chico in Albany.  Unlike him I wanted to resist every poke, prod or needle. 

I know, it's kind of gross.  On the one hand, I feel so lucky that it isn't worse-black eye, broken nose...I could have fallen down the stairs outside the bathroom-the possibilties are endless I now know. On the other hand I was walking to the bathroom in my own house and I end up looking like this?!  Crazy. 

Now I'm on soft foods for a week.  So far even a straw is challenging.  I wonder what will happen next. 

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Toddler No More

Remember when I used to liken Chico to a toddler for his unexpected sprees out of my immediate vacinity?  And remember last night's post?  Didn't I say 'bed rest'?

Today Chico had planned to take the bus to Middlebury again.  Ok, so before I left for work I tried to pursuade him to take two crutches to walk down to the town green.  Nope, one would do it. 

Work ran kind of late and I barely got a call in to Chico around 5:00.  Everything sounded ok.  Ordinary.

I get home to find him in a chair beckoning me to sit down too.  (Just like December-January.)

"Why don't you try out that chair?"  I sit down. "So I took two crutches down town today."
"You did?  Really?  That's great!  Thank you!"
"But I missed the bus at the park so I hitch hiked." 

I thought he was joking.  He wasn't.

Clearly we've moved into adolescence.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Set Back

Chico is back on a sort of bed rest. Bruised, sore leg.  Over use?  I think so. He now gets up only for the necessaries.  Well, probably not so when I am not home which is a lot again.   He uses one crutch when he walks.  Around the house, up and down stairs.

The bike awaits patiently in the garage.  It'll be there.  He'll get to it.  We encourage ourselves. 

My knees and legs strangely complain in solidarity.  A joke. For truly, I still bike, walk and strut...only limping on the rare occassion!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Warmth

Slim is home. 
Crocuses are up.
Mulch pile is thawing. 
The driveway is in the yard.
Flies in the bathroom [kitchen].
[I can hear them buzzing.]

The pace of progress slows.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Spinning

I took my first spin class since August this morning.  I have a lot to relearn: posture, pacing and placement, for starters.  There is stamina to build.

I think of the work Chico has done.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Cop Spotting

Sunday was a beautiful day here in Vermont.  I had the great fortune of waking up on Lake Champlain after a retreat with my beloved book Group.  A bike ride in the chilly morning light was the beginning of a gorgeous day. 

Late that afternoon Chico and I went walking.  For one thing we needed to go to our neighbors Joan and John's house to drop off some food.  They live on the opposite corner of the block from us. 

As we got to their walkway a cop car was rounding the corner.  I couldn't see the driver and reasoned it was one of the town police men that Chico knows as the car reached us.  I went in and chatted for a minute and came back out to join Chico as the car was pulling away.  I waved and asked if it was the chief.  As I said this, I was leaning down to wave so the driver and I could see each other.  I saw it wasn't the chief as Chico said, "No, it's Ken."  "Is it the guy from the night?"  Ken had restopped his cruiser.  He waited for me to get to the car.  We recognized each other.  This was the man who came to our house the night of the accident.  What a difficult task.  He did it well, I remember asking him if it was the first time he'd ever had to deliver such bad news.  He'd said it was.  He was gentle and kind-both that night and when we saw him on Sunday. 

Friday, March 18, 2011

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Two Firsts

Driving into Bristol today I saw the mountain has become brown.  Rock ledges are pushing through.  This mammoth snow winter begins to pass convincingly.

A long bike ride took me through oscilating temperatures and scents of the valley.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Doings

I went to a conference today about coteaching with a special educator from my new school.  It was exciting to think about this together, recognizing what is already in place and thinking about how to increase our inclusion practices.  Incrementally our work together takes shape.

Last night I dropped Chico off at a Planning Commission meeting.  We parked in the handicapped spot and he walked in without any crutches.  We went in the side entrance, Chico shooing me off with each step.  I've become a helicoptor partner.  I escorted him through the doors but remained out of sight. I heard the whoops and congratulations but he received them on his own.

From there I went to Shaws.  I ran into Todd.  That was a treat.  I'd not seen him to talk to since New Year's Eve.  As I got back in the car, thinking about not having mentioned to Todd Chico's big step forward, I remembered New Year's Eve.  It was Chico's second social outing since August 20th.  It was scary to go out then, each move poignant.  Getting in and out of the back seat painstaking, slow and painful.  These reflections are stirring. 

More action for Chico today.  He is jubilant.  Actually he's fried.  When I got home he was gleefully taking a bath.  He had had PT this afternoon.  He walked all the way down town and back with no crutches.  As he reported this to me he was giddy and then he was asleep.  He's up now, somewhat recovered and sore. 

He has plans to begin biking as soon as he gets a suitable bike.  I am nervous.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

March

We awake to the warmed Earth scents of water, mud and melting snow.  Moist air buffers the face.  High winds shake the trees.  Our windows thump like a sneaker laden dryer.  Water is running everywhere.  Lots of Earth sounds.  The shape, size and texture, even the color of snow is steadily changing. 

At the end of that day there was a rainbow more vivid than we'd ever seen.  Double.  It started on Basin Street and ended below The Ledges near our house.  We were in a parking lot down town.  Intrepid, One Crutch Chico made his way through the minimalist path from the back of one grocery store to another.

There are flurries in the air again this morning. 

Nature's drama.  Scintilating.

Our hearts go out to those in Japan who are suffering tremendously due to the devastating, mind spinning force of their latest Tsunami.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Moving Forward

If you aren't in this weather, you must've heard about it.  It's dramatic and amazing. 
I flew back from a visit to Chester early on Sunday so that I would not get stuck in DC.  Apparently ours was the last flight allowed to land in Burlington.  Flying standby, got to fly home with my friends, Bonnie, her husband and sons.  (Remember Bonnie?  She picked us up in Albany and brought us home that first time.)  That was an coincidental treat of high appeal. It was a bumpy flight though. 

It turns out our nieces are cupcake conniseurs so we had a little tasting party.


Meanwhile back home a storm was brewing.  It seems Chico relished the time home alone to, well, be alone and independent.  Friends stopped by (thanks for the shoveling and granola, Kit) (Thanks for shoveling 48) and he reports having read and slept a lot. 

On Monday we had our first of two snow days this week. We got about two feet of snow on the ramp.  The drain work of last summer on our street may be great but it got plugged.   By  4:00 the snow had stopped but the street was flooded.  The outflow?  Our driveway.  I was napping.

Chico woke me up to marvel at the street river from upstairs windows.  Then we went out to shovel. 

Chico shoveled!  At first I insisted just the porch but he insisted the walkway too. These days his insistance usually overrides mine.

The man on the four wheeler plow just stopped by to help out.  I think he is my new best friend. 

Tuesday night he made dinner.  Tonight too.  Suddenly he feels more capable. Yesterday he called me at work from the store.  This is all new territory again. Also kind of back to normal.  Odd and contradictory like much of human existence.

New baby today.  Welcome Asher Akintoye Ajayi, who is Vanessa and Funto's son, Margaret and Mike's grandson.  Eva's nephew!  All are well and excited.  We're excited too.  The repeating initials are just a bonus.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

February News

We are at the pool.

A couple of days ago I told Chico I'd pretty much stopped blogging-as if he didn't know.  Maybe it's time I said.  I was surprised by his response.
"Really?  Just like that?  You are stopping?  Don't you think you should kind of ease out of it or let people know or something?" I didn't want to say that there really isn't any news anymore because as soon as the thought formed, I realized how much news there is every day with him.  So what is it? 
"Well, I don't know.  Maybe I just have been negligent.  It feels indulgent....Anyway, people don't read it anymore."
"Yes they do!  I just got a text yesterday congratulating me on walking...It's important...Maybe you should just phase it into something else, some other topic merged in."
"Who? Who is texting you about blog news?"  and so on.  So, here we go.

This year we have lots of Snow Angels.  Corny as it sounds, I couldn't help thinking that as I shoveled very little of the ten or so inches of fresh, wet, heavy snow that we got over the last 30 hours.  Actually, the wet stuff had been moved by the SAs but then the weather got cold and it snowed some more so I got to move about 4-6 inches.  Our Snow Angels are Kit, Bobby, John, Gary, Reinhold and Edgar and probably others...Maybe even strangers.  Thank you. 

I like shoveling ok.  For one thing, it is a defined, discrete task.  Even when it just keeps snowing, as it has this winter, I feel like I've gotten something taken care of when I shovel out the driveway.  I like the feeling of completion. It's concrete rather than conceptual, this task.  Well sometimes I make it conceptual but it doesn't have to be.  It just has to be done.  At any rate, it has been luxurious to have assistance with the chore of it from time to time.

We returned the wheel chair to The Medicine Chest today.  Chico hasn't used it in a couple of weeks.  He doesn't use the walker anymore either.  He is sometimes resistant to using crutches too.  He uses one, or both outside the house but often only one or none in the house.  The walking is painful and slow but the progress is steady.  The people at the medical supply store seemed happy to finally meet him. I guess they'd gotten used to my comings and goings.  I'd thought I was anonymous.  Chico needed a new (smaller) brace and a few other things.  It was a uniquely attentive staff on this shopping excursion.  Twice I heard the young attendant say, "I remember I brought the stuff to your house.  That one on the corner.  I remember your face." 
"Yeah, October 8th." 
"Long time ago.  He looks good.  Hurts to walk, huh?  Reminds me of when I got my ACL fixed.  Then I whacked out my hip, and my back got crooked.  You have to to walk.  You compensate to protect.  You let the strong leg do more.  You twist around.  Then you do all this work to realign after.  He's doing...has to do that.  It's good."  Seems so.

Chester was home last weekend.  He was astonished by Chico's independence.  Sometimes Chico and I fall into framing our experience by his limitations or pain.  It was great to be reminded of the enormous progress he's made.  It was great to spend time with Chet. 

Loves to show his tricks.

Laughs at himself before
needing  a nap to recover!
 On Monday we were in Albany for a check up.  We visited the hotel desk people that had been so kind to me, the Starbucks Bartenders and then we went to Albany Med.  We first checked in on each of the floors Chico had lived on.  We saw many of the staff members we care about and missed a good many too; we visited each of his physical therapists.  People were all amazed and inquisitive.  Each time we met a person who was extensively involved with Chico's recovery he would hand his crutches to me and take a few steps.  I guess many of the nurses figured people get better (or they don't) but they said they don't actually get to see patients post recovery.  It was good to show them the outcome of their skilled compassion and care; their strength and resolve even.  [Chico just took off swimming.]  It was great to hear Chico tell each person what particular thing s/he had done for him.  "You prepared me so well for being home, I knew just what to do."  One of the physical therapists, the one key player on the first and second day transfers that were so scary and painful, moved right in to therapy mode, "Are you still seeing progress? Do you go to the pool?  Ok, well when you are in the pool...Jumping Jacks...Bicycle kicks..."  He gave us lots of great ideas.  I see Chico in the pool trying some of them out right now as I write this.


At the surgeon's office, Chico had a long interview with a new resident.  We discussed chronic pain the possibility of further surgeries (this is not something Chico is interested in-everything seems to be moving toward wellness as it is.) When Dr. Hospodar came in, he confirmed the crookedness of hips, the possible shortness of the left leg.  They explained the changed surface of the fibial plateau and how that will impact the length of the leg, the hinge of the knee.  I looked at x-rays for the first time.  YIKES! even now.  It was all very subdued, discerning and careful in that exam room.  Finally Chico walked so that the doctor could see his gait and the degree of stability of the knee.  Again, a quiet, pensive, "Well, it looks pretty stable."  At this point I said, "Aren't you psyched?  You never promised us this much!  He's already walking, he's healing."  Dr. Hospodar, "Yes! I am! I am psyched."  This might not be a direct quote, but it is pretty close.  He really never led us to expect anything in a positive sense.  He stressed the extensive and complicated nature of the injuries.  He cautioned us about complications: infections, bone grafts and so on.  And really we seem to be past those possibilities, at least for now.  He must be thrilled with his work.  We are; and grateful to him.

Tuesday we went to Chico's GP, in Burlington.  This doctor and his nurse have had countless conversations with Chico and with me since August 20th-usually when we are in a panic of one form or other.  Now it was time for a full check up and an exploration of some side effects we are seeing-sores, bulbous masses, bruises.  These guys-I don't know if they'd spent the morning steeling themselves for the worst but they were so obviously pleased with the state of Chico's recovery.  They could not believe his mobility, his strength, good spirits, and general health.  We left elated.  They really care about him, and know where he's been and what it has taken (must've taken, from their viewpoint) to come this far. 

Chico has reinvented himself to no small degree.  [He's jogging in the pool right now.  Looks excruciating.  But he's doing it.]  The hard workouts aren't new.  The ability to endure and enjoy the focus people place on him which includes the appreciation of his experience and the participation in his recovery (blog readers, friends, neighbors, new acquaintences)...the appreciation of his joy, and his challenges.  The way he lets people in is lovely to witness. 

Now we know kindness.  Now we know generosity. Now we know gratitude, again.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Update

The winter has been completely beautiful.  Chico's steady, incremental progress marks the days and weeks.  This has kept us from feeling pent up and overwhelmend by winter's duration. Yes, the need to shovel is sometimes inconvenient but the beauty of the snow is always magnificent. 

Last weekend was characterized by rushing, repeated shoveling, fatigue and discrepant views about what is safe for Chico to do independently.  I did get to hike up the mountain and Chico used the pool and went to church.  Oh yes, and we got some time with Pam and Reinhold-that was a highlight.

This weekend is peaceful.  Chico's progress is so undeniable that his spirit shines brilliantly again-no lull there.  He was dancing on Friday night.  That wasn't so surprising to me, I've seen it before.  But the friends and neighbors at Dan's Place hadn't.  Saturday morning I saw him doing chair sits for the quads-YOUCH under the healthiest of circumstances.  After lunch we walked down to the post office.  As soon as we were out the door and down the steps (notice: he didn't use the ramp) he asked me if I could hold one of his crutches!  He walked the whole length of Spring Street on one crutch.  Actually I think it was all the way to the fire station or Almost Home. Later, on Main Street, he asked me to hold them both.  He walked independently.  What hurts the most in these cases is his foot.   More of these variations on the way home.  I'm sorry I forgot my camera; I would have liked you all to see this.

As we walk around our town, acquaintances and friends cheer him on, inquire about his progress, smile and generally make our life better.  One guy saw him walking with one crutch and a huge smile.  He said, "Wow, you look so much better than the last time!  I mean you still had that smile but you were in a wheel chair!"  We remember.  It was touching that he does too.  Thank you all.

We got home safely.  Chico urged me to go for a hike as he went up the stairs alternating legs. He napped.  I grabbed my phone and headed out in a sudden snow squall.  Lots of folk on the trail today.  Clearer at the top.  Four white tailed deer on the way down.  Renewing.

Back in town I got to walk around the block with Kit and Yoko. Icing on the cake. 

Today's a work day.  Pool too.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Music

I'm not much of a football fan but I really can't complain on this day.  I woke up with Bob Marley (Redemption Song) playing in my head and ended with (my beloved) Black Eyed Peas singing all of my favorites.  Too bad about the altered lyrics. 

On the Chico front: he is crutching all over the place.  Brought himself back alone from church today.  I was still shoveling!

We are enjoying the beauty of snow and snow and snow.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Monday, January 24, 2011

January

I see we live in an odd looking house.

January so cold, sun so bright, how can that be?  I've never felt warm in winter before. 

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Balance

Chico becomes increasingly mobile by the day.  I find it hard to keep up.  I used to find him reading when I got home.  One night last week though, he was sitting in the interior doorway of our mudroom in his wheelchair dressed in his coat, hat and gloves wearing a big grin.  He was waiting for me to go visiting neighbors.  I had other things in mind.  Frankly, flexibility isn't my strongest suit.  His insistence on what is only reasonable: a chance to get outside even if it is dark, cold and late, prevailed.  He righted his crutches and himself and out we went.  With the ice and snow adding an edge of risk, the crutches adding a component of challenge, we moved down the uneven sidewalk and smoother road.  Chico labored joyfully down the street.  Only one neighbor was home.  That one was encouraging.

According to Chico's Physical Therapist (who is a lifeline, by the way) he should be walking and wearing shoes on both feet now.  Shoes of the same pair.  Walking with his crutches is said to be as good for him-if he works on his form-as swimming.   It only lacks the resistance of the water.  He works his upper body, does a bunch of PT with bands and things each day and then he is eager to crutch around.  He says the best exercise for walking is walking.  Alrightie then.

Today Chico told me that on Monday he'll be going upstairs and downstairs alone.  Huh.  He also took a shower while I went into Bristol to find some shoes for him.  He needs those with good treads that he can actually put on his feet. When I got back he said it wasn't so fun to shower with me out of the house.  I found later going to Middlebury-which has become part of the Saturday routine-without him wasn't much fun either.  We wonder what we lose as we become more independent of each other.

In the late afternoon Chico walked to the market and back with me.  He wore sneakers on both feet.  I noticed the left one, the one below the brace, had a hole in the toe. 

"Hey, do you have another pair of running shoes?"
"Yeah.  I have my good ones...I think...Upstairs...I'm saving them because I want to be able to use them for running again."  [I flash on the plastic bag with running gear in the back seat of the wreck. I remember fishing them out.  Are they upstairs? Didn't he wear the right one the first time he transferred to the barka lounger?]
"Oh...What are your running goals?  Like short runs, long runs?" 
"I'm thinking I'll run in July. Run and walk.  See how it goes."

Gratitude, patience, fearlessness.  

Monday, January 17, 2011

26 Steps

Twenty-six steps without assistance today.  I saw six of them.  Painful and impressive...The muscles are relearning.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Sunday Night Round up

Here are some random photos in a new slide show  for your entertainment.  Some are sideways.  It isn't the most polished assortment but I feel I should offer something this weekend.  I especially like the shot of my three brothers with my four cousins at our cousin Callie Angel's memorial service.  Chico, Chester and I were in Albany at the time.

Actually, I just watched the show again.  Other favorites include Michael on guitar, my old teammates and I, Carter on his 60th birthday...Clarisse and Pamela on New Year's Eve...Many wonderful moments. Through it all Chico manages his radiant smile. 

Saturday, January 15, 2011

A Sure Thing

Ok, so if you want an absolutely sure fire way to lift your spirits when you feel at a loss, frightened, depressed or simply plain old plain old, I recommend you listen to this album:

Breath of the Heart by Krishna Das. 

Actually, this album picks us up even when we don't need a it, like today.  I think it transcends any particular religious tradition.  Startling.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Two Feet on the Floor

Mark, Michael and Chico made a trip together to Albany on Thursday for a check up.  They were ecstatic upon their return. Dr. Hospodar had many great things to say and Chico was approved for increased weight bearing up to 75% and then full weight by February.  He hopes to be able to walk around the house with just a cane by the end of February. 

Actually, it seems like he hopes to be fully recovered today. 

Though he seldom goes upstairs, he manages the challenge with increasing ease.  One crutch is much easier than two. 

We're off to the pool for therapy. 

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Shifting Sand

Charlie Mingus Band: Better Get it in Your Soul

Susan serves oatmeal to Chico. 
Chico, "Funny how it looks different every day."
Susan, "Do you like it to be firmer, less soupy or...is it?"
".....er"
"Wholer?"
"No, cooooooler."
"Oh, then take a shower first, Goldilocks."

Maybe we are out of the woods now. 

Chico, "It was STEAMING."