Forever together

On Saturday we picked up a recliner that was sitting on the sidewalk with a sign that said ‘free.’ We made a U-turn and loaded the chair in the car. At soon as we got home I started to remove the dog-haired upholstery – a major job that gave me blisters and a sore shoulder from pulling thousands of staples pounded into crappy wood. I dismantled the recliner mechanism to get at the tucked away corners. I took a course at least 2 decades ago and re-upholstered a couch and an armchair under the watchful eye of an upholstery master at a local vocational school. I had forgotten that the biggest part of re-upholstery is removing the old stuff. I have no idea whether I will be able to actually do the upholstery and put the chair back to together – it would need to be ready in 6 weeks.

Why? Because I have finally taken the step to schedule surgery (6 weeks from now) and have chosen for fusion over total ankle replacement. What got me off the fence were phone calls with three people who had considered both options and decided for fusion. All three said they wished they’d decided this earlier. They could walk again without pain. That clinched the deal for me. November 20 is the day that my talus and tibia bones will be fused together, forever. I feel as if a weight has lifted off my shoulder. When every step up or down the stairs or even down the driveway is painful I now know it is not forever. Light at the end of the tunnel – assuming the surgery goes well.

Faro and his parents came over for the weekend. When Faro is at our house our living room turns into a playpen – all the furniture is moved to barricade something he is not allowed to get into or touch. Plastic containers are strewn across the kitchen. We have started to teach him that he can only open two drawers in the kitchen and not the one with the measuring cups, the wooden spoons and definitely not the knives (he can just stretch that far up). He walks up to the drawer and lightly touches the forbidden ones while looking at us, waiting for the ‘nee.’ That is one word in Dutch he knows well and copies. He shakes his head and says, nay, nay, nay. Other Dutch words he knows are ‘vliegtuig’ (plane), ‘appel’ and ‘auto.’

At Faro’s toddler school they have a ramp. He has discovered ramps and cars zooming down them. Axel’s wedge, which is supposed to help him sleep without getting acid reflux, turns out to be a great ramp, as does Axel’s Achilles tendon stretcher, a smaller version but still a ramp. It is amazing that toy manufacturers manage to sell us all these kids toys when our houses are already full of things that can be repurposed without much effort into the most amazing playthings.

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