just a little more like everyone else

I’m sitting in my wheelchair, breathing room air and wearing a new-this-afternoon “red cap” on my trach, hunting and pecking on my laptop after a surprisingly decent hospital-provided meal. (Eggplant and tomatoes and parmesan cheese over pasta, cantaloupe, foil-topped pudding.) Room air breathed through my mouth and nose feels great, and my oxygen saturation backs that up. I’m bummed to have to go back to trach collar overnight.

Hard workout day: arm exercises with more weight, some much-supported quasi-“steps” down the hallway, first tutorial on how to drive the wheelchair without jamming my fingers in the spokes. Rolling myself over on to my stomach, which like so many of my daily tasks requires thought and new techniques. Many mundane tasks now require MacGyver-level problem solving. Or maybe just near-Macgyver.

How do I get the wrapper off a straw when I can’t grip it firmly enough to tear it? Use saliva to weaken paper in the middle of the straw, tear around there, then remove each half independently. Bike gloves hard to remove? Pry thumb out, use two fingers from other hand to free fingers one at a time. Open foil-topped pudding with my teeth! Use ear to provide feedback when using numb fingers to insert earbuds! And so on.

Got a new roommate with GBS who came from Presbyterian, too. He’s still vented; I’ll be curious to see if he makes the same amount of advance as I have in two weeks.