Of course, I need to be very careful about using that phrase. It comes from Star Wars, when Red Leader is trying to blow up the Death Star. Of course, his torpedo misses the vent and impacts on the surface, and not too long after that he gets blown up while trying to draw the TIE Fighters off of Luke's tail. So it's actually an ill-starred phrase. Hopefully I haven't jinxed us.
I am referring, of course, to my wife's appointment with the podiatrist and the friendly cast-remover-people at the clinic, whom she will be seeing tomorrow. Tomorrow is exactly four weeks from the day when her cast went on. The cast will be removed, then they'll X-ray her foot again; the podiatrist will then take a look at the images, and decide what further treatment Tonya needs. So far as we know, the options range from Ideal (everything looks perfect, she can start using normal shoes and start walking on it again) to Probable (they put her in a weight-bearing cast for a few more weeks) to Bad (they have to put her in another cast and keep her on crutches for another month). We'll know the answer tomorrow.
(But, I'm at least optimistic! The Bad option above isn't the worst that I can imagine. That would involve amputation or something.)
So in the meantime, how have we been getting along these last few weeks?
I'm glad you asked that! (Humor me here.) We've been surviving, with a fair amount of help from family and friends. After she broke her foot, I took nearly two weeks off from work, until I had depleted most of my vacation time. Then Tonya's parents came by and took care of her and the kids for the next week when I went back to work. But they had to leave about a week and a half ago.
So since then we've had to make a lot of adjustments. First, Tonya has gotten very good at using her crutches--and not just for locomotion, either. They're good for doing things like opening the drapes, pulling doorknobs toward her, turning off distant lightswitches, disciplining our children (Just kidding!), and so forth. Second, she's gotten pretty good at maneuvering herself around on an office chair. Now this is actually a little more tricky than it sounds, as most of our house is carpeted. One can't go to fast on an office chair on carpet without running the risk of capsizing. This is especially true at the entryway to the kitchen, where the carpet gives way to linoleum, and there is a solid bump where the metal strip holds the carpet in place--going from the kitchen to the dining room is a little exciting. One is tempted to get a running start, but that's not so good of an idea--especially not while carrying the kinds of things one usually goes into the kitchen to get in the first place.
We've had several wonderful souls from church come over to help out. Several of these have brought food for us. The menu this last week has had everything from rotisserie chicken to Tex-Mex lasagne to sushi and teriyaki. I daresay we're gaining weight--except for the kids, who say typical kid-like sayings such as "What's that?" and "I no want it." (This means of course that Mommy and Daddy eat it all--thus the weight gain.) But several others have simply come over in the mornings to provide company and a little more order with the kids. Of course, the kids have this system figured out: Pillowfight Fairy picks out numerous books and starts reading them to the guest, thus wowing them with her literary prowess, while the two others head in opposite directions. Strategy! I shall have to start teaching them chess soon. Mommy says she's onto them, but I daresay it's going to get a lot tougher, because...
The Happy Boy is now an efficient and enthusiastic crawler. In fact, although we still refer to him as "Happy Boy", this is now frequently a misnomer. He's developed quite a bee in his bonnet, so to speak. Now that he's mobile, he's become a lot more assertive about what he wants, and when he wants it. If he sees something fascinating, he'll head straight for it, and will brook no restraint. The idea I mentioned in our earlier post about setting up a portable crib in the front rooms, turned out to be a bit of a bust. For one thing we had to remove the bassinet attachment almost immediately, because he learned how to climb over steps; had we left it in, he would have climbed over the edge of the crib. But even then, he doesn't associate the family room with sleep; whenever he was put down in the crib, he would see all these pretty things around him that looked good to touch, and to play with, and to eat--and he wouldn't go to sleep, but would be achingly aware that he was in a jail, something there to restrain him. So Mommy has been spoiling him by letting him fall asleep on her. We may have to undo some of that in the near future....
I've been doing a lot of the chores, as I mentioned in the previous post. These include the laundry--which has become a big deal lately, as everyone started developing critical clean-clothes shortages about the same time. So I had to throw a load in the washer in the morning, then throw it in the dryer and put a new one in the washer the moment I came home from work in the evenings, then do it again before bed--for a couple of days in a row, just to get all the laundry done. And now that we got it all done, my wife and I are running out again. And the beds need changing.... And after we get the kids to bed, it's taken me an average of an hour each night just to get all the kitchen/dining room/cat room chores done.
And Tonya? She's developed very good aim with her underwear. Now, my wife isn't the kind of person who normally tosses underwear. I know there are plenty of women like that, who demonstrate their underwear-tossing talents every time they attend the concerts of their favorite musical artists, but my wife--in addition to her natural modesty--has been just way too left-brained to see the point of this little exercise. However, when your mobility is way down, and you have to maintain your personal hygiene over where the sink is, and the hamper is on the other side of the room, well then... tossing one's underwear becomes a highly practical thing to do. I try to be encouraging about this, too, as I see this as a positive development.
Ahem. Let's segue to another topic, shall we?
So what's up for the near future? We're not entirely sure yet, as we don't know exactly how much mobility Tonya will have after seeing the doctor tomorrow. As mentioned, we think the most likely outcome is that she'll be in one of those weight-bearing casts so she can start getting her balance and leg-strength back. I don't know if she'll still be on crutches--or if she'll be on only one crutch instead of two. Her ability to carry weighty objects--like a squirming nearly-twenty-pound baby--will probably remain diminished for a few more weeks. On the other hand, she'll probably be able to stand for longer periods, perhaps long enough to do some food-preparation or other chores that she would normally be doing.
So keep us in your thoughts and prayers. We'll have more updates for you soon.