Wednesday, June 04, 2014

The Leg Issue

In April I went on a long trip to New Orleans.  I have arthritis in my knee.  It slows me down to cautious and increases fatigue.  I had been working on increasing me walking stamina since the trip was planned in January.  I was ready for this. I asked for one concession from my mom, "A taxi from the station to the hotel, please."  She was in agreement. Phew.

The train, The City of New Orleans, was an adventure all by itself.  We had a wonderful sleeper room on the ground level and took our meals in the dining car. That car was 13 or so steps up a two turn steep stairway and a full car away. We made every meal and managed to NOT spill.  It did help that breakfast was during a stop in Memphis.  There was a beautiful sunrise. 

I was rested but had not slept much during the night.  Our car, perhaps the second back from the engine seemed to get knocked upon by a great variety of loud item as we cleared the track in the night.  I'm sure one was a skunk.  I remained in a state of wakefulness because I wanted to see as we crossed the Ohio River.  Leaving the curtain open,the bright lights from crossings; as well as every toot, toot, toooot for a crossing increased my chances.  It all worked.  I was able to watch the train cross.  The moonlight provided a shadow on the river.  It was incredible.

We arrived on Wednesday in time to explore a bit and have dinner.  Thursday was a rainy day so we headed out to nearby locations with our umbrellas.  It was easy to duck inside if the rain was too much.  Cafe and National Park locations were the highlights of the day.  At the Old Mint I took a fall at the entrance stairs, having slipped on the wet tile courtyard.

I laid in the puddle laughing about how wet and muddy I was.  A Segway tour was passing on the street.  I remained down having decided to NOT add my ass in the air to their tour.  Sore and wet I inched to a seat and remained seated for a log while.  My mom and nephew had plenty to observe.  Muddy and damp, I made it to the elevator and into the Jazz demo.  That night I began taking Aleve to help get me through the discomfort. My leg had developed a heaviness and felt to be asleep. We still had a lot of walking to do.  Friday was planned as ride the Streetcar so I could rest my sore knee better.

Friday was a wonderful day.  We rode to the end of the St. Charles line a couple of times. Lunched and enjoyed the part at Toulane. Two New Orleans blocks from the hotel my mom and nephew pulled way ahead of me.  I soldiered on and soon had to lean on the wall for support.  My leg was beginning to take on more sensation of being asleep. At the end of a wall, facing a long opening for a parking lot, I paused to make a plan.  I couldn't do it alone.  Then my leg began to dance.  Knee and thigh twitching, foot lifting. I held on to the corner of the building to save my life. I tried to hail a cab.  I was too far from the street.  I looked too much like a freak. All were full.  Nothing in New Orleans is out of place.

I was tired. Spent.  My leg was still dancing.  No one and nothing could help.  My mom and nephew were lost to me.  I was lost. My phone and 911 could help me.  Big things were wrong with a dancing leg.  I could not hold on much longer and if I fell it would really hurt.  Corner of the building parking lot and uneven tile sidewalk.  Nothing soft or safe about this place.  The operator answered and seemed to be trying to talk me out of the call.  Lady, I'm alone, unable to control my leg.  I need help.  I'm in this street. It is a one way street, coming from Conti.  I think they will see me I'm the one standing at the building with a growing look of panic.  But yes I will flag them down.

Seems like hours later I'm part of the wall that can't hold me and I can't lift my leg. I see my mom.  I see the ambulance.   I try calling and waving.  I want you both here.  My mom suddenly understands I need help.  She comes toward me and calls to the Ambulance.  My leg is no longer dancing but I can't lift it. I can cry. I've never seen my mom more worried than she is at the moment I tell her, "I can't lift my leg."

The decision is made to take me to the hospital.  All my vitals are good and there is a strong pulse in my foot.  Puzzled faces on everyone.  Four hours, blood clot ultrasound, and $125 co-pay later I am free to leave.  The only thing determined is that I don't have a blood clot.  I should follow up with my Doctor when I get home or come back if things get worse.  I can walk with a stiff leg using my hip to swing my leg.  Good to go!

Monday, June 02, 2014



my head is filled with noise
voices from now
memories from the past

reminders and recriminations
images and imagination filled visions

to sort the truth from fancy
the lies from fact

the solace that comes from finding a sound
the sound that matches my beat
the ebb and flow of this moment

my here and now

my hear and know

the simple change of a sound
a sight
a moment in time

creating new noise


or painful
or both at the same time

my head is filled with noise

my mind struggles to make sense of the cacophony
the mess of who I am
what I've been and all I've experienced

real or imagined
I continue to become who I will be.

- BH 3/29/14
March 29, 2014 at 1:12pm from my facebook page.

Diagnosis and Prognosis

Diagnosis and Prognosis

These crappy words
Diagnosis and Prognosis 
fill my head with thoughts
I never want to think
but I do

"Don't freak out"  he said.
Easy to say
this new mantra
much, much, much
harder to believe

even now
weeks of healing later
"Don't freak out"  he said.
holding hands helps
sleeping helps

waiting is torture
I am poised
it is who I am

now the doing
is JUST TO wait
how hard is that?
dream of vacation
or retirement

ha ha pun intended
along this dead end
will i see that
Diagnosis and Prognosis 
"Don't freak out"  he said.

So I don't freak out
I keep it at bay
but it leaks out
every so often

BHH 6/2/14