Progress on broken ankle
As the session nears an end, there is limited debate, as the easy decisions have already been made. There is only heavy lifting left to do.
The three major pieces of legislation left are education reform, mental health reform, and property tax reform. It will be interesting to see if the Senate Democrats and the House Republicans will be able to resolve their differences. The way I see it, the mental health reform bill will need to clear both chambers before the property tax bill can be resolved.
A “side-bar” issue is TIF reform. Some legislators feel the necessary “tweaks” can be a part of the property tax piece, while other legislators want far-reaching changes. My gut instinct is that whatever changes we see will be attached to the property tax reform bill.
I have had lots of e-mails and inquiries about the progress with my broken ankle. I am completing week 10, and am anxious to get through the next two weeks, when, hopefully, I will be able to navigate freely without the brace on my ankle. I spent four weeks in a cast, four weeks in a boot and have completed nearly two weeks with the brace.
It’s been quite an experience. People have been so KIND to step up and give assistance when I was unable to meet my own needs. When my clerk, Jared Adam, took this job, little did he realize the job description included pushing his boss around in a wheelchair. But Jared is a trooper, and quickly learned to anticipate what my next need was going to be. He pushed me around the Capitol to meetings in the early stages, until I learned to control the knee scooter which I used as an alternative to crutches.
As I initially mentioned at that time of the accident, navigating the Capitol on wheels is a challenge in itself. When I decided that it was, indeed, possible to go up and down the riser steps inside the Senate chamber on wheels it must have driven everyone nuts to watch it happen. Over the past six weeks, I have become proficient with the steps.
With my right foot in a cast, and later a boot, it was impossible to drive myself. Through the generosity of my colleagues I got to where I needed to go. I generally rode to Des Moines on Sunday afternoon with Representative Dave Heaton, and returned to my home on Thursday afternoons with Representative Jarad Klein. While home on weekends family members provided transportation to attend Town Meetings.
After the accident, I switched my Des Moines residence from a West Des Moines apartment (without an elevator) to the Holiday Inn across from Wells Fargo Arena. The handicap units in this hotel enabled me to live independently and I was able to use the hotel’s shuttle service, intended for trips back and forth to the airport, to get me to and from the Capitol.
As with most accidents, there is generally some humor involved, depending on who is telling the story.
Early on, I learned to take advantage of the motorized shopping carts provided at Walmart and the grocery stores. I also learned to make wide turns. The week of the accident, I was navigating the aisles in Walmart in search of some stretchy socks to pull over the toe of my cast to keep my toes warm. (For those who are unaware, the ladies’ socks at Walmart are in the underwear department) Although I thought I was being careful, I cut a corner a bit too closely, and knocked down a rack of women’s bras. It was very difficult for me to stifle my giggles as my husband was gathering them up off the floor and attempting to put them back. It shouldn’t be too difficult for you to determine which one of us failed to see the humor in that situation.