Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Reacquiring an Old Skill

For as long as I can remember I have been able to tie my shoes. That is, until I broke my hip.

As a child I was fascinated with knots and bows. I can remember entertaining my mother’s bridge club by showing them how I could tie a ribbon around one wrist with the other hand. Tying my shoes was simply something I took for granted.

I was in such a quandary as to what to do when I realized I couldn’t reach my foot after my fall and surgery. All my favorite shoes had ties.

Socks were never a problem. I came home from the hospital with this device for putting on one’s sock. A clever invention that works every time.

And putting on my shoes was not a problem after I ordered a 25” shoe horn.

But tying the laces on the right shoe was definitely a problem. For a few days I asked my husband to do it every time I put it on. Now that was demeaning.

Then I came up with a novel approach that allowed me to slip on a tie shoe and not have the laces loosen. It worked just fine for the past 6 weeks. You can see this in the first photo.

Just yesterday at PT, I asked Christina when she thought I might be able to tie my shoe. Her response, “Let’s try it.” She showed my how to reach from the inside of my right leg so as not to let my knee drop in. I slowly extended to the limits of my range of motion. And miraculously both hands could now reach the laces.

The bow is off center. But it doesn’t matter. I have once again mastered the basic art of shoe tying. I will never again take it for granted!


Blogger bulletholes said...

I do like that first shoe!
I have to hold my breath to tie my shoes.

2:46 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Bulletholes -- Please explain why you have to hold your breath to tie your shoes!

Yes, I rather liked that first shoe too. But it's now history. The bow is not even lopsided any longer! I'm becoming good at this.

3:02 PM  
Blogger bulletholes said...

Because of my big pot belly. when I get to almost 90' my diaphragm falls out.
That don't sound quite right...
my diaphragm has no place to go....
hmm...thats not much better....
When I bend over I can't breathe.
there...thats it...mayhaps you have a solution for me?
An Aqualung?
Those oxygen pills they give the Mermaids at that place in Florida?
Lose 50 pounds of belly fat?

Hi Barb, i got nothin' to do today.
Good to hear you feelin' good and making progress.
hmmm..maybe i'll post up a song I had for you back when you first broke yer hip...yeah, its in draft cuz it was kinda stoopid, but hey! todays the day it looks like!

3:48 PM  
Blogger Fire Byrd said...

There's no stopping you now..... sounds like a good song title!!

5:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Having worked in the PT field in the past, I actually enjoy window-shopping in medical supply stores. I'm sure I'd have fun watching you deftly handling your devices! So glad you're geting more and more agile -- hooray!


11:46 PM  
Blogger Kellyann Brown said...

Way to go, Barbara!!!

It's interesting to teach children to tie their shoes. Most people use the backward chaining technique where you do everything except the last step, then the two last steps, then the three last steps...

some children need to wear velco.

12:00 AM  
Blogger Pauline said...

it is amazing what we take for granted, isn't it? and how creative we can be when need insists? yea you for your persistence!

6:53 AM  
Blogger Squirrel said...

It is frustrating --I remember getting people to tie my shoes for me when I was very very pregnant, but I was so filled with happy hormones then, I just thought it was funny. I liked to walk a lot, and strangers would often re-tie my laces (probably glad to hear I wasn't due for a few more weeks)

8:46 AM  
Blogger Steve said...

Joy really is in the small things, isn't it? :)

9:23 AM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Bulletholes -- If you hold your breath, doesn't that make your belly bigger? Just askin'.

Fire Byrd -- Yes, great song title! :)

Anon -- You would be laughing your head off at some of my attempts to use the "devices". I think I'll frame the sock assister when I'm finally done with its services.

Kelly -- As a teacher, I'm sure you know about teaching tying. So interesting to think about it in a series of educational steps.

Pauline -- Necessity really is the mother of invention.

Squirrel -- Yes, I too remember the problem of pregnancy and shoes with laces. I had forgotten about that.

Steve -- You are absolutely right about joy in the small things. Another small thing: I sat on my meditation bench for the first time last night. Did that ever feel good!

9:48 AM  
Blogger Kristin said...

Very nice! You're healing by leaps and bounds, laces and bows. It's inspiring, you know.

4:45 PM  
Blogger Gary said...

As a first grade teacher I can attest to the wonderful abiltiy of being able to (and knowing how) to tie one's own shoe. I have tied many a shoe in my day to be sure. Congratulations on your persistence. I think I would have just gone with slip-ons until I was back to my old self. Probably not a great way to go but it would be easier. Keep pushing. You are doing fine.

7:52 PM  

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