Feet-ee Phone Home

It’s all relative to the zero movement of a week ago, but I’m delighted to share news of further progress on my right hand side.

My knee has recovered a lot of movement over the last few days. It allows me to get myself from my bed to my hot wheels unaided, although I still need someone to bring me said wheels and whizz me about the place (although see below the breaking news from the Ministry of Silly Walks). I can even stand briefly at the sink to wash my hands in a rather daring display of autonomy to rival Leo’s current pursuit of freedom.

Equally as exciting is that I’ve recovered a few millimetres’ movement in my foot overnight. Last night at about 10pm, I felt a spark in my foot and it twitched in a non-seizured way. I was hopeful that it indicated that the lines of communication between my foot and my brain were re-opening. By the time of my usual 2am feast, there was definitely “something” moving foot-wise but I couldn’t quite identify what or how it was happening.

I thought that the mobility might well be coming from the tiniest of tiny ankle movements. Whatever it was, it allowed minuscule but definite movement in the top part of my foot. By 7am this morning, this had improved to:

  1. the confirmed sighting of a few millimetres’ ankle movement (downwards-only); and
  2. a barely-perceptible but verified (by my nurse) one millimetre’s movement in my toes as a whole (also downwards-only).

I have no lateral movement or toe-by-toe movement, but every day is bringing increased mobility.

“Mein Führer, I can walk!”

Yesterday, there was heady talk of abandoning the hot wheels today and attempting an assisted walk to the bathroom. My physio stopped by this morning and was really pleased with my progress.

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That message she wrote in blood (red) means that, while I’m not quite a sprint-runner, I’m an authorised splint-walker. With the help of a plastic splint holding my right foot and leg in place (see below), and one nurse to hold on to, I am allowed to walk to the bathroom when I feel up to it. I’ve walked twice so far and I feel an affinity with James Brown.

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Cocktails & Dreams

Here’s a little family photo of my trusty morning companions.

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Speaking of friends, Mr H and his merry band of nurses and doctors came to see me this morning. From the lab’s work to date, it’s still looking like a lower-grade tumour but that could still cover a multitude of Squatter sins. As I’ve relayed before, we need a precise tumour type to allow Mr H to develop a detailed prognosis and (hopefully) a Brexit plan. The lab is going to run further stains (is “run” the correct term?) to attempt to nail the identification. This is notably the first time that the lab has given an indicative view (supporting Mr H’s long-standing opinion) that we are probably looking at a lower-grade Illegal, so cautious optimism remains on the table.

Mr H thinks it is entirely possible that I could be released from here for good behaviour before the lab is ready to call the biopsy results. I’ve therefore reset my expectations and would be surprised if the biopsy results are back before the end of this week.

Given that a watched kettle never identifies tumours, I’m just enjoying the moments: the visits; the laughs; the podcasts; the joy of showering; the blog-writing; the important grammatical and historical research; the increasing independence; the reading; and, the feasting. On the other hand, I’m enjoying less and less the American Election, particularly the build-up to tonight’s debate. I don’t have the words to describe my horror and despondency about the very real possibility of a President Trump. I feel physically sick and that’s definitely not the tumour.

Birthday Boy

To finish on a high note, our birthday boy (10-months old today) is halfway through his first full day at nursery today, having completed four taster sessions last week. There’s no doubt in my mind that our little Simba storm-maker is more than ready for nursery. The question is whether the nursery is ready for him!

He’ll be attending nursery on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays, just like his big sister. He was due to start at the end of October ahead of my scheduled return from Maternity Leave on 7 November. However, we decided to bring forward his start date, partly to provide a “new normal” routine for him in the midst of all this uncertainty, and partly to provide some respite for the amazing and extensive, but slightly stressed and overworked, childcare team.

At the beginning of the nursery day, the kids are all in the same room before the age groups are separated. Leo is then taken into the “Twinkle” (baby) room while Jennifer remains in the “Starlight” (pre-school) room. At least, I think it’s called “Starlight”, how quickly one forgets!

Between 9am and 12 noon, Jennifer attends the adjoining “school nursery”. She has a place there every day but, while I’ve been on baby leave, she’s never attended on a Thursday as we’ve kept it as a protected family adventure day. We’ve had amazing times at the seaside, Gibside, Cragside and other places on the side. As before, Jennifer will also attend school nursery most Friday mornings, as that’s forest school day (I think).

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