It’s Halloween!

Halloween is one of my favorite days of the year and autumn is my favorite season typically. I never really had time this year to look for a Halloween costume for work. Kind of wish I had. There was some great costumes. I would have taken pictures but as it is a secure area I couldn’t. It seems though that everyone was having a great time dressing up. I was only there 4 hours so I missed a lot of the Halloween festivities they had going on. I still enjoyed all the costumes. One person even asked me if my crutches were a part of my Halloween costume. I just kind of laughed and said no unfortunately not. No costume for me

One thing I noticed on my way home around 6:15 PM was that there was barely any little children out. A few years ago they would go out mostly around 6 PM with the bigger kids going out around 8 PM. But today I had only seen one child all the way home. When I was a kid when 6 PM hit the streets were teeming with kids and parents. I remember that even when my brother was young and I was in my teens. At what point did kids stop going out as much? I know all my nieces, my nephew, god son and some of my little cousins all went out. Where were the rest of the kids?

Oh well… food for thought. Anyways I am working on a new theme. Retro is all I am going to say. Not sure how good it will turn out but I was inspired by something

The do’s & don’ts of using crutches

So I have been on crutches now for about four months. In those 4 months I have have had a few mishaps and a few victories. I am going to share some do’s and don’ts of using crutches that I have oh so eloquently learned over the last few months. Now I am not the most graceful of people to begin with so stick me on crutches and there is bound to be issues. Also, I am referring to auxiliary crutches as in the image above not elbow (forearm) crutches so keep that in mind.

  1. 1) Don’t go by the height on the crutches, have them properly fitted to you by a trained physiotherapist or at the very least watch some videos on how to properly fit crutches. My first set of crutches I had in the beginning were youth crutches. As I am only 5 foot and half an inch (yes that 1/2 inch matters) I assumed that youth crutches that go to 5 foot 2 inches would be the right size and that adult crutches that start at 5 foot 2 inches would be too big. I was wrong. If I go by the 2 finger rule (the top of the crutches should be about 2 finger widths below the armpit) then I am actually setting it to 5 foot 3 inches.
  2. 2) Do learn how to properly go up and down stairs. Good foot up, bad foot down. If your hands are big enough (mine aren’t) place both crutches under one arm and use the railing with the other arm or hand one crutch to someone else. It’s best to have someone with you until you get the hang of it. When going up stairs leave your crutches on the current step and bring your good foot up to the step above, push up with your good foot bringing your bad foot and the crutches with you to the next step (that your good foot is already on). When going down leaning forward but looking straight not down (so you don’t loose balance and fall which I did more then once) bring your crutches and bad foot down to the step below and “hop” down to the step holding onto the railing or using your crutch. This is harder then it sounds. I could not do it and had to put some weight (as much as I could bear through my bad foot to be able to get down). I will be honest because my hands are so small I had to have each crutch separate under each arm and hold onto the railing with one. It took a bit of juggling and a few close calls to get the hang of it. YouTube has some great instructional videos.
  3. 3) Don’t walk any more then is necessary and use other means of getting around if you can such as a wheelchair or chair on wheels if you are going to be on them for a long time. It might be tempting at first and sort of a novelty using the crutches. I remember as a kid thinking it was cool but especially if you have a little extra weight or are not in the greatest shape like me you need to conserve your energy, you are going to need it for times when you need to go somewhere and need to use the crutches. Lots of stores have wheelchairs or scooters you can borrow to get around.
  4. 4) Do consider asking your doctor or local department of motor vehicles if a temporary handicap parking permit can be obtained. This will help if you need to go somewhere like a doctors appointment or pharmacy or store and the parking lot is full so that you don’t have to walk as far on crutches. Some people might disagree with this but for me there is no way that I would be able to go anywhere without it, including back to work. It’s okay to need a little help now and then.
  5. 5) Do consider padding the handles and possibly arm rests (is that what they are called?). However don’t just duct tape tea towels/face clothes around them. Extra padding is great if it was made for the crutches. I used these crutch covers from Drive Medical that were made for my crutches which I bought at Wal-mart. Taping tea towels/face clothes can actually be dangerous. It can put more pressure on your armpits or your hands could slip off the hand grips causing injury.
  6. 6) Don’t skimp on quality. It might be tempting to purchase the cheapest pair you can find however make sure to consider how heavy they are, how sturdy they are (can they hold your weight). You can still buy wooden ones but out of the crutches I have used over the years I find light weigh aluminum to be the best. If you have the option of forearm crutches ask your doctor or physiotherapist if they may be better for you. I have never used them but have heard that they require even more arm strength then the auxiliary kind.
  7. 7) Do feel free to decorate them. If you are going to be on them for a bit have fun with them! If you have a cast decorate it too if you want! Check out Pinterest and YouTube for some great ideas and tutorials. I never did this and kind of regret it but kind of don’t.

Well that’s all I have. I am sure I missed a few things. Crutches don’t have to be cumbersome and depressing. Have a little fun, but be safe.

Halloween, Moving & A Ghost

I can’t believe it is almost Halloween!!! Only a few more days left! I am back at work on a gradual return and after two 4 hours days (with a day in between) I am feeling a lot of pain but just glad to be back. We haven’t decorated or anything but I am okay with that. We will for Christmas. We took the wheelchair back and I am still using crutches for work and outside the house, inside I am using a walker, to give my arms a bit of a rest.

Anyways I am sure you are more interested in hearing about the “Moving & A Ghost” part of this post aren’t you? So your probably wondering if Eddie and I are moving and the answer to that is no. We aren’t. It’s actually my parents who are. Strangely enough though they bought a house the 1st of October they are actually moving somewhere else. They are moving into a house my cousin and her husband bought around the same time. Both are in Digby and my parents are renting out the one they bought which they will eventually retire in but they will be living in my cousins house and guess what?!?!? It’s haunted! Yep, that’s right, haunted. It’s about 150 -180 years old. I can’t remember exactly what she said.

So the story goes that a woman who’s husband was a Sea Captain took sick while waiting for him to come home from sea. She passed away before he came home so her family decided it would be a shame to bury her before he came home and had his chance to say his goodbye’s. Being winter they wrapped her in blankets and put her in the shed which believe it or not was normal at that time. They waited for him to come home as he was due home in a week.

They waited and waited and after a few weeks they decided they needed the shed she was in and so they moved her closer to the bay to a pig shed. Still they waited and waited and the husband never came home. He was presumed dead, lost at sea. Finally spring came and they were able to bury the woman on her property close to the house. It’s said that she walks the property looking for her lost husband still to this day, waiting for him to come home from sea.

Apparently she has been heard in the house and on the property. Things move around without anyone touching them. She also likes to tuck people in including kids and she will kiss them on the cheek. She is said to be kind and gentle and not at all scary. Can you imagine? And my parents are going to be living there. I can’t wait to be honest! I love a good ghost story. It would not be my first encounter with the paranormal and likely wouldn’t be my last. I can’t wait to stay the night there.

We are going down Friday but will be staying in the cottage as there are not enough beds in the house yet.

I’m going back to work!

I received the results of my bone scan today. Thankfully there are no fractures. I do have osteoarthritis in the hip and an impingement which the previous CT and x-ray showed but for now he just wants to keep an eye on that and re-scan in about 6 months. He believes the pain I am experiencing now is not actually stemming from my hip at all but my lower spine and sacral joint where he believes I may have caused some nerve damage which is affecting my left hip, thigh and groin as I have some numbness on the outside and inside of my upper leg and hip area as well as pain.

He wants to start me on Lyrica at a low dose for a few months to see if that helps with the pain. As I have Fibromyalgia and have been on medications before I am familiar with Lyrica and have been on it at higher doses before. My only concern is the side effects. I was never a fan of them before. Hopefully I can keep it a rather low dose. Between my doctor and pharmacy team I am going to stress I want the dose as low as possible. I can deal with some breakthrough pain as long as it is under control. I just don’t want super heavy side effects.

If this doesn’t help I am going to push for them to look into this more. I don’t know if there is a way to confirm nerve damage and where exactly it is. Sometimes it’s hard cause I am always in pain somewhere and it can be hard to isolate an injury from something else. I thought I had gotten pretty good at living with the pain but sometimes things happen that aggravate or cause other issues that are unrelated but cause more pain. He mentioned I may need more testing and see other specialists. I am not sure what other specialist I can see, I guess a neurologist maybe?

The good news in all of this is that I can go back to work ASAP. I am expecting a call tomorrow from the short term benefits company and we already talked about me starting back this week coming or next on a graduated return. Which would be: 1st week – 3 days x 4 hours, 2nd week – 5 days x 4 hours, 3rd week 5 days x 6 hours and 4th week back to normal. As I am still on crutches for the time being and still in a considerable amount of pain when sitting I am okay with that. I will be weaning myself off crutches as I start on medication at my own pace, he told me to push it a little but not overdue it and take some time to get off them completely. I have a temporary handicap parking tag as well for 6 months to allow me some time to heal. Hopefully it won’t take that long.

He also suggested no physio at the moment as he is concerned that they might aggravate it more if I get a physiotherapist that is not as versed in nerve pain. I think the physiotherapist over the summer I was seeing would be able to handle it and would actually help a lot but I will wait and see how the medication works, besides my $750 a year for physio is pretty much gone so why start something I can’t afford to finish.

I am also going to be possibly switching insulin as well from Basaglar to Toujeo as the Basaglar stings and burns like crap. Last night after injecting it in my thigh it hurt for an hour! I mentioned that while I was there and he said he thought Toujeo would be a better option and is still only once a day. Mom’s on it and I asked her and she said she has not had any issues with it stinging other then occasionally for a second or two as it is going in, not a burning so bad you are rubbing your leg to get it to stop which you should not be doing kind of burn.

October & Forza Horizon 4

I can’t believe it is half way through October already. Fall has just flown by! It’s the 14th already but it seems like September. Our weather has been so nice I don’t even have winter tires on the car yet. Speaking of cars, Eddie downloaded Forza Horizon 2 for me while ago when it was free with Xbox Gold. I never played it but was looking for something to do the other day so I decided to play and loved it. I noticed Forza Horizon 4 was released October 2nd for Xbox One and was part of Xbox Game pass. I decided to get a 14 day free trial as we had it once before but the games weren’t that great. I downloaded Forza Horizon 4 and started playing and I am in love!!!

I honestly can not get enough of this game! Seriously. I’ve only been playing 4 days and I am at level 50 already. For me that’s pretty impressive because I get bored of things easily but there is so much to do! There are races, an open world to drive around in and things to find including rare cars (barn finds) that you can fix up. It’s like a giant treasure map. I can’t believe we had Forza Horizon 2 all along and I never played it.

The shots are of my actual cars, it has a great photo tool and the scenery and graphics in the game are amazing. I have played racing games before and enjoy them but never really played anything that I couldn’t put down. That’s what all started this. We were over at Eddie’s sisters place and the kids wanted to play on the Xbox and of course the adults got involved and started racing each other and the kids. It was Forza Motorsport 5. She mentioned they downloaded it for free a while ago so when we got home I went looking. I saw we had Forza Horizon 2 but didn’t really think I would be interested because I was looking for a track racing game.

Eddie mentioned to me that it was open world sort of like GTA but without the violence. So I decided to try it and now I am hooked. Seriously he may never see his Xbox again