Monday, April 26, 2010
I found this quote on the internet and I had to "borrow" it for this post.
I am currently/officially 2 months post surgery and it still hasn't been that easy for me....yet! Pain is still a main issue, I am still on crutches, I have major swelling in my hip, still need to use a wheelchair, still on pain meds, still can't go out of the house on my own (have actually only left the house twice for fun), and still can't drive. To be quite frank it is a pretty depressing time, but I am not writing to bring you all down w/ me (well I think I am not ;) ) What I want to write about is the puppy factor....
Posted by SJ at 5:26 PM
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
So now I am sure you all are waiting to ask me what I did w/ my new found freedom....guess!! If you guessed I totally took advantage of it and may have went a little overboard and did to much, because I was so excited to have a little more control over my life and body again and wanted to feel like a 35 year old woman instead of an injured patient...than you guess right..and if I had to do it all over again I probably would have down the same thing...sometimes you need to say "screw it" and not just to putting screws in your hips to fix it (c'mon you had to see that one coming)
So my first weekend of Freedom:
Friday: did some PT and OT then got ready for my first night out to hear D perform at a local restaurant...Great singing..great food..and a great time...I know I was told to start off w/ an hour out, but I will admit it... I stayed out for 4...but I wore appropriate shoes (see I learn my lessons) I did laps around the restaurant w/ my crutches to keep stretching, and my OT guy and his wife also showed up to the show so technically I was being observed for how I function in the "real world" which in that case was almost like an OT session..so that's that...
Saturday: Recovered from Fri nights adventure..ouch ouch ouch (enough said) and took a shower (which I got into by myself for the first time independently) now that I have no more precautions I could bend my legs more on my shower bench to swing them in easier =independence! After the shower I also did my hair (first time since surgery that I managed to use the blow dryer to blow out my hair...see pic above of me, my blow out, and my blue shirt..haha..I was so proud of myself.. that I actually took that pic..LOL..it was nice to feel girly again :)
Sunday: Sat up for most of the day w/ lots of different company visiting (ouch..sitting for long periods of time hard on the hipster) Then had a dinner party for one of my good friend's birthday (well when I say I had a dinner party I didn't mean I actually did any of the cooking or cleaning..lets not get crazy here...I just helped w/ the celebrating ;)) It was a really fun day seeing lots of great people. I think the lesson I learned here is that if I have plans at night rest during the day and vice versa. I am still not physically up to a full days and night activity, even at home...yet. But it was such a wonderful day it was worth a few extra aches and pains. It's all about learning what your limits are, and I am starting to have a clearer view of mine after this past weekend :)
So w/ my new found freedom comes consequences..duh...so now I just need to achieve BALANCE..and then everything will be fine. Next step to get off crutches...:) Later Hipsters ;)
Posted by SJ at 12:37 AM
Thursday, April 15, 2010
Overall w/ an adjustment to a better splint and having my restrictions lifted at my 6 week check up (will get to that in a minute) I have been able to manage..just took a few days to get there. Thank you Nicole, Jodi, and Nancy for spending the day w/ me in the hospital and for "babysitting" me at night xox
6 week check up wrap up:
-Hip Bone Healing Very Well
-No more impingement ;)
-Swelling in hip normal
-Right Foot has poor circulation due to inactivity and swelling (it turns purple every time I sit) doing foot exercises to help and keeping eye out for calf swelling to make sure I have no blood clots
-Will still have some pain due to arthritis/ cartilage damage prior to surgery that is unfixable
-Next 6 week Main goal..Strengthen my leg (muscles) so I can get off crutches..go to cane..then be a free woman
-Precautions all lifted..can bend and move w/ out watching my 90 degree angles and 20 degree angles...so freeing..yay!
-Can sleep on my side again (YAY) **warning that does hurt a lot at first..only can sleep on my non- operated side w/ a pillow between my legs..but it feels good I don't have to always be lying on my back and I can stretch out more now..which is good for the rest of body :)
-can try to go out and do some social things (in moderation) Bed arrest is OVER!!!!!
-Dr M is setting me up w/ a pain clinic to manage my pain meds and said they may add more pain meds to help me through what he says may be the most painful part of my healing , because w/ intense PT on a atrophied leg like mine w/ soft tissue issues there will be lots of pain, but he said I need to push through it so I can get to the other side....so at least it will be managed by Dr's who know how to deal w/ pain meds and pain..good!
Next visit we can talk about driving and work...so Intense Physical Therapy here I come...my dad even got me a stationary bike to use at home..so I will be cruising through recovery ;) Thank you Dad!!! xoxo
Also I got to have day of beauty by my friends Christina and Marla at my home..I got my hair cut,colored, and blown out..it was so nice to feel girly again...it makes a big difference...I feel more like myself and that is AWESOME and sooooooo appreciated..Thank You so Much Christina and Marla xoxox
Posted by SJ at 9:54 PM
Thursday, April 8, 2010
Well one good thing is that Mother Nature has given New England a huge April surprise...very warm weather....(90 degrees today) just the gift I needed, because since I have a back porch that is accessible by crutches and where I can also put my wheelchair (w/ help) I have been able to join the outside world by sitting outside...which has been FABULOUS...but the one thing I have realized that there may be some repercussions from all my "sun bathing". Sitting for extended periods of time in my wheelchair has caused my right foot to swell up and now it is even tender to touch it and hurts to walk on it...not good because I am partial weight bearing on crutches ..I also have swelling in the the posterior side of my hip/incision area . I just got off the phone w/ my visiting nurse and she told me to elevate my "bad" foot and ice both swollen areas. She also told me to take my temperature (which I did..97.6.. so all is good) So now I am going to keep an eye on it just to make sure there are no blood clots (that would be the concern at this point). I also just took one of my prescription Ibuprofen (w/ milk she said that would help my belly deal w/ that med).. So now I am propped up and iced up and hopefully will have a less swollen foot and hip tomorrow. :)
Lesson Learned..Mother Nature is a temptress ...just kidding....everything in moderation..the better plan for me would have been to sit for a short time/ walk w/ my crutches/ then rest on the bed w/ my leg propped up and then go back out again..like I was advised...but then again when do we get days like this in April ;)
Posted by SJ at 1:51 AM
Monday, April 5, 2010
Well this is a different kind of blog entry...part present/ part past..just like the show Lost....wow maybe the show seeps in to my subconscious more than I know...I am referencing it left and right lately;) Well here is the deal..I have been out of the hospital for 2 weeks now..but I had to backtrack on my blog to get to this point right now....which is me on the porch in my wheelchair soaking up the sunshine on an almost 80 degree day in April...wow miracles can happen. Due to the kindness of mother nature I am sitting outside recovering instead of being trapped indoors..thank goodness for porches attached to apts and sunshine :)
So First off...I can't explain how beyond happy I am to be out of the hospital....3 WEEKS...was way to long..Originally I thought I would be in the hospital for a week max so it was a hard pill to swallow when it turned into 3 weeks..I did mean to use that pun..so deal w/ it ..haha;)
To be real..being at home hasn't been a piece of cake by any means, but being in an environment that is familiar, that is warm, where you can do what you want and not getting waken up every 10 minutes for someone to take your temperature is a huge upgrade to say the least. Bummer part is that I am still confined, still dependent on others (but becoming a little more independent each day thanks to handy gadgets and my slick skills due to being a surgery patient expert..lol). Kitchen tasks, and showering can be difficult, but w/ some help from OT I am doing a little better. Also now that I have a detachable shower nozzle I am almost self suffecient in taking showers..only help I need is the shower bench to be put into the bathroom and to help my long leg that is attached to my hipster into the shower ...but the rest is all me..yay for my independence! The kitchen can be hard but between my wheelchair , crutches, reachable items that don't require any bending, and the bridging system (moving items along from one location to another like a bridge..very helpful when you are on crutches since you don't have extra hands) have made me somewhat independent until I drop or spill something then..uh o!
I have been getting a visiting nurse, visiting PT, and Visiting OT during the week to tend to all my health care needs. I have my crutches and wheelchair to get me around the apt. I got my shower seat and raised toilet seat to help me in the bathroom...and all my other hip tools to help w/ socks, and clothes...a lot of acessories for this hip chick, but then again I am a sucker for acessories. ;)
People keep saying awwwww.."I wish I could be on bed rest"..""I need a vacation" (trust me.. I need a vacation too)...I am going to put this myth to rest for good...bed rest is not restful. Pain is pretty hard core currently so resting in itself just isn't comfortable...I am a side sleeper, but for now I can only lie on my back..which makes sleep..um sleepless. Also when you are in a lot of pain focusing on tv, movies, books, and company truly isn't that easy because you are just in to much pain. Now That I am 5 1/2 weeks post surgery and I am still on pain meds I am resting a little more comfortably than I was 2 weeks ago..so some of those things now help me take my mind off the pain a little more.. which is nice...but if I had a choice I would rather be using this time to be doing things that are more productive...so moral of the story..don't be jealous of bed rest...it just ain't fun :) and for my fellow hipsters..it's a time where you pretty much have to grin and bear it and no that eventually things start to get better. I do notice improvements week to week and even though my hip still hurts like hell..my body itself is starting to feel stronger..which is a good sign!
So that's pretty much it..hey I am on bed rest..so really there isn't a whole lot of excitement to share..lol..until next time...later hipsters xox
ps. Thank You D for giving me home sweet home xox
pps. Thank You to all my vistors for keeping me company, helping me out, and distracting me from my pain sooooooo appreciated xoxo
ppps. Showtime ran a free weekend last weekened and I got to do a marathon of Dexter Season 4..amazing acting/ awesome show/kept me on the edge of my seat (definitely a mind distractor) ..you should check it out :)
Posted by SJ at 4:17 PM
Thursday, April 1, 2010
I started the first few days w/ a roommate..a very sweet older woman who had ankle surgery (shout out to Barbara), but I think our age difference didn't make us ideal candidates as roommates, so after a few wild days together we each got our own room. My room that had a list of precautions a mile long, no walking on my own, no leaving my room, no going to the bathroom on my own..it was like my own mini jail cell. Oh yeah I was suppose to start out w/ the positives..lol
Below Picture of me and my room:
On right leg is my CPM machine to keep my hip joint open (was in that machine 8 hours a day for 2 weeks) On my left foot is a blue boot because spending all the time in bed gave me a bed sore on the heel of my "good" foot.. The 3 papers on the wall were my list of all the things I could NOT do. You can see how comfortable I was while I was "chillaxin".
1. Janet and Alan: The Dynamic Duo...My nursing team of Janet and Alan made 3:30-11:30 feel safe and bearable because they actually made me feel cared for (isn't that what everyone in this setting is suppose to do) Thank You J and A for doing a great job w/ your job and for making me laugh during an unhappy time xo
2. Amanda my OT lady..was the only consistent person treating me while I was there which is always helpful. She was also the giver of Mrs Potato Head to match my Mr Potato Head gift (thanks Pete) which spawned the epic story of the Adventures of Mr and Mrs Potato Head...the story is on my personal FB page but hey you never know it may be a children's classic someday...keep and eye out for it..lol ;)
4.I have amazing people in my life who came to the rehab hospital to keep me company, help me keep my mind off of pain, surprise me w/ non hospital food (which is a very special treat), brought me real coffee, held my hand when I needed it most, listen to me cry...Thank you Thank You Thank You
5. The chef after a few days realizing I couldn't eat the food they were giving me help me (after my dad spoke w/ them) by providing me w/ a daily gluten free (I have Celiac)/vegetarian menu..she even came and got my order personally every day.....ok that sounds a little high maintenance..but hey I wasn't going to turn it down ;) Thank You dad for helping me advocate my needs! XO
Ok now the parts that weren't as fabulous....
1. I was the youngest by 30 plus years there on my floor and because of that I was treated like I was a child...the nurse manager actually yelled at me on my 2nd to last day there at 3:30 in the afternoon for laughing to loud...seriously..my friend came by to congratulate me on breaking free and leaving the hospital after 3 WEEKS and I laughed, because my friend was trying to cheer me up w/ some St.Patrick's day gear and the Nurse manager was standing by my door and yelled at me to quite down while we were taking a picture...am I in grade school or am I in a hospital (a Hospital that keeps me up ALL NIGHT w/ all sorts of loud noises)..you would think that she would have came in and said it is so nice to see you smiling after all you been through......
2. Ageism again... I was told by one of the nurses aids the reason it took over 25 minutes for someone to come and help me after I pushed my call button was that there are a lot of old people there and they have to tend to them first...what ..what....I didn't know there was a senority rule in the hospital...seriously....isn't the point of the call button is to be used if there is an emergency..especially someone like me who can not walk, is not allowed access to my crutches, and is on major pain meds that are causing major side effects. Also the reason I pressed the call button was A. No one brought in my morning meds B.No one brought me breakfast C. I had to use the bathroom D. I needed ice packs because the pain was very bad and I was way overdue for my forgotten pain meds.
3. I was told I would see a pain team when I arrived at the rehab hospital to get me off the morphine, because the morphine was making me very sick and it was causing me to be extremely dizzy and give me very blurry vision to the point I could read, or watch tv (the only forms of entertainment for me at the hospital were taken away from me because of the meds..so I did a lot of staring at a blurry ceiling) Plus blurry eyes and diziness do not equal safely walking w/ crutches. I kept calling Children's Hospital for advice on my meds since I didn't seem to get any at the rehab place..I actually became my own Dr and decreased my morphine levels by request from the help of the people at CH....even on the lowest dose of morphine my side effects did not cease and I requested to see the pain team to every person who came into my room..including the nurse manager who PROMISED they would be in the day I spoke w/ her..which was a friday..they never showed so then I had to wait till Monday. On Monday my "doctor" at rehab..seriously I use that term loosely, because I only saw him 5 times during my 2 week stay (each time was roughly around 1 minute) ..the rest was either a covering Dr, a no-show, and even once a call- in by phone. So my Dr said I was to young for the pain team and I did not need them so he made the decision to not send them in...WHAT..to young for a pain team...first A. That does not make sense because #1. I am in pain I don't care how old or young I am #2.I am on medicine that is making me sick and I have tons of allergies to meds so I can't just try anything and #3 I was promised that they were coming in every day that I was there...why were people promising something that I was to "young" for and was not allowed. B. This is a hospital ..correct..why does my age factor into what kind of care I am getting...is my insurance company paying less money to you because I am younger so I am not allowed the same benefits..I don't think so. C. At children's hospital and I had a pain team see me every day..and that was CHILDREN'S Hospital and trust me everyone is "young" there and I saw a pain team every day to deal w/ my medication. UGH!!!!! To make an even longer story longer..just kidding..wrapping it up..in the end through advocating for myself I got to meet on my 2nd to last day there a member of the pain team. Please remember that: no matter what.. you are the patient and you are paying for this treatment, and it is your right to get the proper care..and sometimes you need to fight for it!!
4. I was suppose to be there for PT/rehab and on 4 different days I did not receive any PT..it's like they just forgot about me. I was in a rehab hospital ..right?????? I am not including my blood transfusion day either.
The celebration of my last day that got me "yelled" at...due to this actual picture...shame on me for being happy!
Well I could go on and on about my 2 week stint at the Rehab Hospital but I think I have vented enough for one post. Pretty much the one thing I want anyone who reads this to take from my experience is that you need to be your own ADVOCATE.. mistakes can happen in hospital settings, so the more informed you are the more help you can be to yourself and don't be afraid to speak up! On that note...closure! xo
Posted by SJ at 4:55 PM