Monday, June 28, 2010

Me and My Calfsters... It Doesn't Sound Right ..and It Sure Don't Feel Right!

AHHHHHHHHHHH!  Here's a riddle...When Recovering from hip surgery what do you expect NOT to happen.......  Give up??? How about not being able to walk on your "good" leg as well as your "bad" leg! Unfortunately this isn't a is reality...temporary reality, but reality just the same!

I have been doing PT for four months now..Hospital PT, Visiting PT, and now outpatient PT. This past week I have been pushed up to 3 days a week of PT. Day 1 Aquatic Therapy (mon)  Day 2. Land Therapy (Wed) A mixture of exercise for all parts of my leg and hip.  As my PT guy said to me.."You don't have just a hip problem you got a whole leg problem"  (meaning that muscles, nerves, tendons have all been affected by my 3 surgeries, immobility, crutches, bed rest, compensation, yada yada yada ) ,so he wants to take things slow and be careful..hence why he doesn't want me parting ways w/ my crutches quite yet.).  Day 3 Land therapy (Friday) My PT guy was out today and I got another PT guy..don't get me wrong this guy was a nice guy and he seems to be good at his job I just think things went awry, because he didn't know my case or me. His  concern was that my calf muscle on my right side seem to be greatly atrophied, so we spent the hour doing stretches and strengthening my calf muscles..The stretches hurt (a lot), but the other exercise for my calves just seem to hurt like regular PT pain..working muscles that are recovering kind of pain. 

I left PT, went w/ D to Market Basket in my wheelchair (no way could I do my first real market trip on crutches...I almost got knocked over a few times in that place and I was in a wheelchair!!??) Then I went out to hear D perform some songs at a local Bar for a Beatles Tribute night (he did a great job by the by...awesome rendition of Blackbird by the Beatles) and watch a great Beatles Tribute was a fun night..I spent it sitting down..had some pain in my hip but D's brother got me some disposable Ice packs (Thanks Mark) and I made it through the night and had a fun time to top off a very busy but successful day (pic on top is from that night).

6AM Sat morning..woke up in excruciating pain...tried to get up to go the bathroom and realized I couldn't stand on either one of my legs. D is not only a "Rock Star" but a nurse as well..there was some inflammation..he felt it was due to overuse from my PT session the day before. I was in severe pain all day..icing my calves till they were numb..eventually I couldn't take the pain by 6pm and put a call into DR. M. He actually called me back in 10 minutes..My surgeon returning calls on a sat night..Shocked..I know I was! Dr M as always was helpful..he agreed that my calf muscles were definitely/ strained and most likely his recommendation was ice packs, propping my legs up on pillows, taking more of my pain med and adding prescription motrin for inflammation. The next 48 hours was pretty rough between the pain and aching in my lower legs..not being able to walk..and feeling sick from my meds..I pretty much wanted to be someone else. It is now Monday night and I can put some weight on my good side now and move around a little bit..eased off some of the meds, but still resting.

When you have been through what I have been through (fellow hipsters ya know what I mean) when something goes "wrong" it can be a little don't want anything else wrong w/ you, you don't want your recovery to back track, etc. I tried to fight through that fear as much as I could which isn't always easy especially when you are on pain meds. It also makes you nervous in trusting PT. I am all for PT, and it has helped me a lot, but I also know my own body and I should have probably spoken up when the stretching was hurting and when we seemed to be doing all calf exercises since that is not what I have been doing. I trust my PT people, because they are experts, but I got to remember to that I am also an expert....of my body! Fingers crossed legs will be back on track by my next PT session on wed!

Monday, June 21, 2010

No Pain..No Gain...not quite yet!


Pretty much PT is my life currently..I have graduated from visiting PT to out patient PT in the past few weeks.

My First session

PT Guy :"Wow you have so much scar tissue going on I can feel it through your shorts"
ME: "Hmmm ok..yes I can feel it too
PT Guy: "The first few weeks we are going to have to do massage therapy for this, because you need to break up the scar tissue...seriously you should be even massaging yourself every should probably even book an apt for a massage"
ME: OK..If you say so..massage it is!

Later that week: First Official PT day

PT Guy: get on bike for 10 minutes

and hour passes w/ intense PT exercises

PT guy: ok we are now going to massage that scar tissue
5 minutes later..
Ok see you next week

Now I know PT is what this all about, but seriously all I got was a 5 min massage and I am on week about not following through w/ the program ;)

I have been doing the stationary bike as well (up to 38 min a day now) and this week out patient PT is now to 3 times a week. It has been a pretty intense work out..I seriously have passed out every day after my session for a good 2 hour nap..and I don't usually do this...and ice packs are back in full force!

Drum roll please:

Today was the big day though..June 21st 2010...Aquatic Therapy!  This was a first for me ..and I was soooooooooooo excited! I love to swim so this seemed right up my alley.  First off...Water is magic!!! Second Off my bathing suit still fit me from last summer..yay! (That is always a fear after you have been sitting around for 3.5 months ;) )

Location: I was in a large 4ft deep swimming pool..I am 5ft 7inches.. 

I handed my crutches over to my PT guy and grabbed onto the bars on the ramp to lower myself gradually into the the time I was at the end of the ramp..I was WALKING on my own w/out crutches...I felt like Superwoman and water is the source of my magical powers! I walked the length of the pool 4 times..two of those times he had me walking backwards.  We also did calf and glute stretches in the water which was easier and I practiced standing on my "bad" leg while doing kicks to the side and then vice versa. Then it was all over and as I slowly walked up the ramp I felt my magical powers being drained from me...especially when my crutches were handed back to me.  My PT guy said you are not the first person to look like that getting out of the pool ..I am sure I wasn't;)  He said I am a interesting patient due to my 3 surgeries and the extensive nature of this particular surgery, as well as my extreme psoas tendinitis issue, so he is currently not following the "No Pain No Gain" mentality..he is saving that for later on...excellent ;) He did say before I walked off to the changing room....we got to do some more massage therapy this week... ;)

So at this point in my recovery:
**I am approaching my 4 month anniversary..YAY (Dr M. said the first 4 months are the worst and it will take about 6 months to get back on my feet)
**I am using a cane full time at home in my apt and crutches for outdoor adventures ( this is what my PT and Dr orders are currently) until my muscles are stronger.
**Still going to the pain clinic every few weeks to regulate my pain meds (hopefully I will be done w/ that soon...pain meds sure take a toll on your body but everyone is insisting that I need them to get through my PT currently..ugh)
**Doing Stationary bike at home every day..working my way up time wise..38 minutes currently!

Also I have started a new that focuses on more than just my hipster..I am still definitely will be updating this blog I just added another one..for fun ;) You can check it out or become a follower of it:

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

"Hip"fully Enlightened

Tonight as I was writing to one of my lovely "hip sisters" I wrote down the words

"I think in the past week I have truly come to peace w/ my hip...I think in the end it has given me more than it has taken....."

I would like to back track for a second ...Last week I got one of those lovely before summer colds that takes you out of commission for a good 5 plus days and in my case this sentence is almost ironic...but nonetheless I have been up to this point a busy "resting hipster" (PT ALL THE my new motto). Pretty much I had a break from my break in life (see I told you I am ironic) but since I couldn't do any PT, and I couldn't talk (because my voice was very hoarse) I had time to read (Dead in the Family :Sookie Stackhouse Series book 10, The Host, The Help, and Eating Animals...discuss amongst yourself my wide variety of book choices..I am a diverse individual ;) )

as well as I also had a lot of time to think and reflect, not like I didn't have lots of time to do this before, but being three months out and 3 surgeries in you always start looking at things w/ a new perspective.  I mean everyone reflects especially when you have "major" events happen in your life...why is this happening.....why did this happen to me...what did I do to deserve George Costanza so eloquently said,.."yada yada yada".  .I know you catch my drift, but nonetheless I feel a strong desire to write this particular post...and as they say it's my blog so I can do what I want...actually does anyone say that ;)

Maybe it's the pain meds, maybe it's been the 3 months of being mostly in the house, maybe it is the cold, or maybe just maybe I have been a little enlightened...... stranger things have happened ;)

So here it goes..No way around it..what happened to me and my hip (yes we are now 2 entities) sucks...bottom line...Pain Sucks, Surgery Sucks, Recovery Sucks, Missing out on things Suck, Being Stuck in the Hospital Sucks, Missing Work Sucks (I know some of you may disagree w/ that but...) Being Dependent Sucks...OK I think you all getting the Sucking Point, but I think as we all know sometimes life can just Suck. We will all have our moments of unhappiness, pain or what not, but what you get out of the suckiness is another matter all together, so w/out any more chit chat this is what doesn't suck....

-I have learned to be a stronger person...mentally and physically
-I have found out how much I like to write
-I know I can deal w/ pain and I know how to get through it
-I am a braver person
-I know I have people I can count on no matter what and I will go as far as saying that some relationships have even gotten stronger through this period of my life, because of the working together part.  Hard times can bring people closer, as well as show you who are truly your real friends. (Thank You to my Friends and Family for all your love and words can ever express how much you all mean to me and what you have done for me.)
-It has open me up to reevaluate my life in many ways and appreciate what I do have in ways I may have not before
-I have met my fellow Hip Sisters who have experienced the same journey and together we have been able to educate others and lend support to other Hipsters (Thank You Girls for all your help xox)
-I have learned how to be Pro-active/ to understand that I have to make things happen for me..get the right help, get the right information, not take no for an answer, to be my own/best advocate
-Understanding my body and how fragile it is, but also how strong it is, and what it has the ability to do
-How to do things even though they may not be my "normal" way of doing it..I can still get the job done..(Example one: My wheelchair way of sweeping and washing floors) So being independent during a time when I am more dependent
-Asking people for help and feeling OK w/ it as well
-Learning how to fight and strive and work hard to create my own happiness even during dark times...this is never given...ever.
-Learning how to be more patient (as a patient..and as a non-patient too ;))

So even though there has been some very dark times I am now understanding that the lesson learned may be more valuable to the rest of my life than having a "perfect" hip...because as we all know; nothing is perfect ;)

ps. I just noticed that this is my 50th post on this blog..LOL..I wrote 50 posts about one body part....LOL.... wonder what I could do w/ a more diverse subject matter ;) Happy 50!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Hipster In Boston!

Well I am now getting out and about a little more and this past weekend I made the official first " Lets get dressed up and go out on an adventure to the big city"...;)  A birthday celebration for my BFF Nicole (Happy Birthday again N!)

A group of us went out to a nice dinner at Pomodoro in the North End of Boston (highly recommend the restaurant by the by). Now if you are not familiar w/ the North End ..most of the restaurants are very tiny inside..which makes for a nice, quaint , and romantic time, but proves to be a little tricky if you are on crutches..especially big shiny red ones like the ones I roll w/..;) The restaurant was quite accommodating though..they actually put my crutches by the front door so I didn't have to worry about leaning them on anything or anyone (by accident) ;) and they retrieved them for me for "bathroom breaks" or to stretch.
Sitting for long periods of time is still hard on the hipster, and it's not as easy to stretch when you are out to dinner, but I would recommended it if you are sitting for awhile or you will probably regret it once you do finally stand up. Also being on pain meds out and about is a little different than in the comfort of your own home. At this point the pain meds are helping me w/ my ability to function better day to day w/ my increase PT and moving around, but they do make you feel a little off.  That "offness" you feel though seems to magnify though when you amongst lots of people and lots of commotion...can't quite put it in to words ...but I did feel a little woozy while I was out and about...

It was really nice to get out and feel a part of this world again,and be part of the people you care about celebrations (missing out on things is really one of the worst parts of recovery)

Parking was very hard..even w/ my handicap Placard there was no where to park...honestly handicap parking is very very very limited...which is quite ridiculous...and the one handicap parking space was being used by a very non-handicap man...PEOPLE handicap parking is for people who are handicap getting out of the car..if you drop off a handicap person and then use the parking that is not what it is for and not allowed..ok I feel better that I said that! But luckily my friend was driving and dropped us all off out front of the restaurant and he went and parked the car (Thank You Bowen)

Overall it was a FABULOUS night and I look forward to getting out more!
Ps. It did take the whole next day to recover physically so it's good to space out adventures in the beginning (but I also moved as well during the week..but I will save that for another blog post ;) )