Almost a year on

June 6, 2010

In the blogging world I’ve been AWOL for some time, not intentionally it’s just that when you get back on your feet (literally) things go back to the same frantic pace they always have been and fitting in blogging amongst daily life becomes increasingly difficult.

I can’t remember what’s happened in the few months since I last posted, so I’ll just go with how things are now.

I’ve been discharged from physio as everything is in fairly good order and my muscles just need more strength, the screws are still in my hip – I’m on the waiting list to have them removed, oh and my leg length discrepancy seems to have sorted itself out.  As the muscles in my right leg have recovered their strength it would seem they’ve pulled the leg up a little so there’s only a small difference in leg lengths now – this means I get to wear pretty shoes again YIPPEE!

On the flip side the more ‘back to normal’ I get the more soreness I seem to be getting in the joint,  just like pre PAO.  The muscle soreness has abated, but the bone pain seems to be returning.  It’s usually after I’ve had to bend down and even if it’s only for a short time the joint stiffens up.  Makes me think getting lefty done sooner rather than later seems like a good plan; it doesn’t cause me any pain now, so surely if they sort out the socket before the bones and cartilage deteriorate too much I’ll have the joy of a fully functioning hip with no pain – HURRAH!   Well I’ll have to leave that decision to the Dr’s who really know the score.  Until then it’ll be back to hobbling occasionally!

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Too much too soon

November 1, 2009

Ahh it was all going well.. getting rid of the crutches for short distances, even some longer hobbles, (or wobbles as I currently walk with a certain weebleness about me!).  Anywho I went and overdid it again – My man and I had spent a lovely week on holiday in Wales on the Pembrokeshire coast; the sea was just too tempting, so armed with a surfboards off we went (or toddled in my case), fairly soon I realised this was a mistake and the next day swapped the surfboard for a body board. It was so good to be able to play in the waves again (I am neither graceful or skilled at body/surf boarding but love being in the water). I enjoyed myself way too much though and have been paying for it ever since. Fortunately not in bone pain, but in muscle pain. I say fortunately in that my bones seem to have stood up to the waves bashing them, but my hip flexor in particular did not take kindly to the strain.  I never knew muscle pains could be so bad!  Spasms and cramps almost reducing me to tears on the odd occasion and the sudden twanging of muscles as I tried to stretch them out were all a surprise.  My PT has been hit and  miss, having one fella leave, another start for one session, then leave and now I have another newbie to see on Thurs.   Ho hum… anyone have any ideas of how to fix over exerted and grumpy muscles?  I’ve tried massaging, stretching, heat, ice and painkillers, oh and some rest which seems to be the best medicine, but doesn’t work as quickly as I want it to!

I also had another check up at the hospital a coupla weeks ago – X-rays are looking good and everyone is pleased with my bones healing. My leg length discrepancy is a different story though – so far it’s been measured at anything from a minor 1cm to a rather alarming 1.8cms.  Panic set in after a conversation with a lovely ‘patient appliances’ Dr who told me that I’d need to go and get some granny style shoes that could be built up as I needed at least an extra 18mm on my left shoe. He wasn’t quite so blunt and was very professional, but once I’d left his office it did reduce me to tears of frustration. I’d also been told in response to the age old question “What/where should my recovery be by now? Should I have crutches any more?” that if people could tell from my walk that I’d had an op that I’d still need crutches, and that was that.   Hmm not so helpful.    I did hobble back to see the lovely Orthapedic nurse Michelle who is brilliant and made me feel human again by taking time out to chat and took another look at my X-rays. What I really need is some gait work, but due to massive muscle pains, and lack of PT I haven’t really started this yet. Fingers crossed the new physio will hang around for a bit so I can get a better idea of what I should/shouldn’t be doing – I’ve a sneaky suspicion playing in the sea isn’t high up the list of things to do!

I’ve just re-read this posting and it sounds awfully negative, but that’s not how I’m feeling about the whole thing really. I’m just impatient and expect too much from my poor healing hip, Since the op I’ve only had 4 days where the pain has been horrid, I get about without crutches most of the time and the soreness I had in the joint pre op isn’t there any more so things are on the up.  Ohh speaking of which a fantastic friend of mine bought me a great book called; Healing Hip, Joint and Knee Pain: A Mind-body Guide to Recovering from Surgery and and Injuries by Kate O’Shea. It’s worth a read pre or post surgery, it’s  about getting in tune with your body as it goes through changes, it’s got a hippy vibe about it and is easy to read, so get out some candles and have some alone time with those poorly joints.


Home again!!

July 20, 2009

Hurrah, how nice it is to be home and in one piece if a slightly swollen one!

So I’ll start at the beginning and work my way up to this point, it’ll be a long one but hang on in there!

Monday Morn;

Woke up at 1.30am, thought it was as good a time as any to chomp my last food intake – an Eat Natural bar. Went back to sleep til the alarm went off at 5.50am for me to have my last drink then get outta bed and into hospital. My man and I trundled off from our Travelodge and walked the 10 mins to Guys. Once in there I was seen pretty quick to wee in a pot and have a blood test then change into the very lovely hospital gowns. Luckily there was a nurse in the cubicle next door because I’d only been given one gown – therefore either flashing my bum or my boobs to all and sundry! Once another gown had been retrieved and the disposable knickers had been donned I was ready for action. Only prob was although I was first on the op list, they’d moved me to the afternoon. I did warn the surgeon that no food makes me a grumpy girl, but this didn’t seem to phase him!  Time seemed to go really quickly and before I knew it they were calling my name to go to the anesthetist. So a quick snog with my man and off a toddled (not only wearing disposable knickers and a hospital gown, but also a rather fetching stocking and some hospital slippers) what a sight to behold!

Once in the anesthetist room I had an needle put in the back of my hand and one in my wrist – well it was attempted to put one in my wrist, unfortunately it would seem that my artery, which is what the fella was looking for, is quite well hidden. So eventually he gave up and said he’d sort it when I was under. The next stage (whilst being hooked up to blood pressure, heart rate and oxygen saturation machines) was the epidural.  My hypnotherapist clearly did a fabulous job; the first attempt didn’t go too well as I kept feeling pressure in my lower back then a sharp pain in my hip, so after trying about 3 times it was decided to take it out and start again. Second time round was just dandy, a change in vertebrae was all that was needed and bob was my aunties lodger. Throughout this whole episode I felt relatively chilled about the whole thing, considering my previous panic at the mere mention of epidural this can only be testiment to the hypnotherapy and NLP techniques I had been taught.  Next came the general anesthetic, now I’ve heard many people talk about having to count down from 10, all the bloke said to me was “how are you feeling?”, I replied with “yuck that tastes gross!” and promptly fell asleep!

On waking up the first thing I felt was the needle in my neck, I’ve no idea how big it was or what it was for but it was rather uncomfortable,  they took that out pretty soon after I came to. Other than that I had an IV in the crook of my elbow feeding me fluids, a catheter, and the epidural in my back giving me painkillers.  I was lucid enough to ask if my boyfriend had been phoned, and he was waiting for me in the ward when I arrived – ahhhh lovely :0)    I generally felt pretty ok straight after the op, the odd thing was not being able to feel my legs as I was having 15ml of epidural pumped into me each hour.

Monday night;

 My boyfriend had left whilst I’d been in good spirits and drinking lots of water as encouraged by the nurses, then I was getting ready for a good night’s sleep, but to no avail. I am, it turns out, one of the many people with whom general anesthetic does not agree. I spent most of the night sipping water, then within about an hour or so throwing it back up again! This is not a good turn of events when your temperature is rising and your blood pressure is falling.  Anyway the nurses looking after me were fantastic, the events of the evening included; a leaking epidural which meant a change of bedsheets, a leaking wound which meant a change of bedsheets, not being able to keep water down, blood pressure too low, and temperature too high, and the fact that I had a leaking epidural but still couldn’t feel my legs clearly worried a few people as they decided to turn it off for a couple of hours to check everything was connected as it should be. 

Tuesday

I was keeping down water (thanks to some magic anti-sickness drug), my temperature wasn’t getting any higher, my blood pressure was creeping up and most importantly I could feel my toes!  The epidural was turned down to 8ml per hour and all was well. I was pretty much left to sleep.   My boyfriend came to  see me as did my Auntie which was fab – she caught me for just about the only hour I managed to stay awake, my poor man spent lots of time reading his book whilst listening to me snore!

Wednesday

They moved me into a room with a window that opened – funnily enough my temperature seemed to drop to a normal level then!     I was introduced to my new friend the walker;

Walker

I hobbled all the way to the door you can see in the pic, and back on wed morn whilst still being attached to the epidural, it felt brilliant, and knackering!   Later that day they removed the epidural and started me on morphine based painkillers – cue vomiting again!   I then tried the walker again in the afternoon and it was not nearly so successful, feeling a little despondent I shuffled back to be for yet another nap. My Pa and man came to visit and I was not the most entertaining patient ever it has to be said, too sleepy for words, though I did manage a game of Gin Rummy.

Thursday

Feeling more like myself again I began to read – yes really! I am an avid reader and had bought a massive two books in one volume novel, however my concentration was that poor over the first few days that I couldn’t even attempt to read it!   I had another bash on the walker and although this was fairly successful it wasn’t the triumphant voyage I’d hoped for. Most of the problem was being able to get my operated leg on and off the bed, it was at this point the OT angel delivered two of the best post op presents ever!  One is a leg lifter, it looks like a short dog lead with a loop at each end, you put your foot in one loop and use the other to lift your leg with your hand, BRILLIANT!  all the huffing and puffing and pain getting off the bed was sorted. The other tool is a grabber – absolutely indispensable when you can’t bend to pick stuff up. Just make sure you park it properly – it’s not much use when it’s fallen on the floor!  Mum and Dad came to visit and I was a little more entertaining.

Friday

Catheter out and freedom begins whoo hooo!  Feeling far more normal than ever before I was introduced to crutches and weeing all by myself!  I also managed to have a shower with the help of a nurse who put a chair in for me, and do my big unruly hair.  I had an X-ray in the morning and I have to say this is the most painful thing that happened during the week; having been propped up on pillows all week I had to lie flat. This was something my hip was not happy about, I could feel not only the incision pulling, but things in the joint and there was an almighty ‘clunk’ as something resettled itself.  Once I got up off the x-ray table all felt fine and I had a peek at my x-ray, I’ve seen lots of pics of post PAO, but it doesn’t prepare you for seeing your own hip kitted out with mammoth screws and massive gaps in your pelvis!  Hopefully on my next visit to hospital I’ll get a copy of the x-ray. In the afternoon mum and dad came to visit, we played cards, I gave and received lip, all was well with the world. I even went for a midnight hobble up the corridor I was so full of beans!

Saturday

There was some confusion as to whether I was spose to be going home or not, but after a lesson from the physio on going up and down stairs I was given the all clear. HURRAH!  Up until my departure the staff had been fab, really looking after me, but as soon as it was time to go I got shoved off with bags of drugs and that was that.  I was taken home by ‘patient transport’ aka a slightly battered ambulance with seats and what felt like naff all suspension!  The 2 and half hour journey took it’s toll on my leg and I looked a little more swollen;

elephant leg 2   It’s amazing the things that swell up! Obviously the operated leg is going to bear the brunt of the enlarging, but I also look like I’m about 4 months pregnant – not the kinda look I’m going for right now, hopefully I’ll deflate soon though!

 

Ok following is a pic of the scar – it’s pretty neat and has apparently been glued together rather than stitched or stapled.

Scar

Right enough waffle for now I’ll carry on banging on about various things now I’m home and able to access the net. Hope you’re still awake!


Here we go…..

July 12, 2009

Well the day is almost upon me, tomorrow morning is Op time.  So far no coughs or colds to impeed my surgery and overall I’m feeling a lot more prepared than last time.  Positive thinking is the way forward – and if that fails prescription drugs will do!

Rather than scary needles and painful hobbling I’m going to attempt to focus on the fact that this is the first step to me being able to do a triathlon, this time next year I’ll be bionic and fit and healthy, so there!!

Next post might not be so chirpy – but in my defence that’ll be the drugs talking!


Something to aim for.

April 19, 2009

Today saw one of the first sprint triathlons of the season being held, in our village of all places. So the boy and I headed up to the competitors area to take a sneaky peek at what we hope to be doing next year.  In a former life I did a bit of swimming so the 400m in the pool doesn’t phase me too much, though the speed of this years competitors does!  The boy, on the other hand, who is sporty and lithe, sinks like a stone and is somewhat peturbed about pool, but fairly confident with the biking and running.  My main concern (apart from collapsing from exhaustion half way through the bike ride, only to have my behind whooped by the other competitors as they streak like lightening past me) is my hips.  Now I’m thinking on the positive side of things and with the first hip sorted in July, recovered well enough to get the second sorted 6 months later in January, that gives me a little over 3 months from the second op to be well enough to compete … hmm a little optomistic maybe?!

On the hip front, rightie is playing up as usual with a few extra bonus twinges, and leftie does not appreciate the hopping action with crutches, it even had the audacity to start giving grief whilst walking last week. Ur..NO! I say. That is not in the grand plan, and is not allowed, fortunately leftie has quit the grumbling for now – at least until I try and climb the stairs  on crutches again!


Lean on me

April 14, 2009

I’ve decided to make the most of the extra time I now have before my op, so I’ve hired me some crutches!  I’ve 8 weeks to practice all thanks to the British Red Cross (0845 0547171) – they will hire out crutches and wheelchairs for a donation.  I hasten to add that I made sure I wasn’t borrowing crutches that someone really needed.. I had images of some poor soul trying to hop everywhere unaided!

Anyway I’ve now mastered the stairs up and down at least once, though it was slow and slightly wobbly going, but I’ve 8 weeks to refine my technique. I’ll have shoulders of steal before I know it!


It’s a glamorous life style

March 25, 2009

A crack team of action OT’s commando rolled their way in to the house this afternoon, and in a flash of  light set up all the sexy toys I’m gonna need for the forthcoming weeks of hobbling.  To be fair lumpy and grey would just about cover it.  No, not the OT’s, the stuff they left behind.   The sofa is now 4 inches higher, propped up on some grey plastic lumps, as is the bed, the loo seats are big, and yes you guessed it…. lumpy. The boy really has gotta get his aim spot on as the hole left for ablutions after all the lumpy ‘make the seat higher’ business is smaller than normal. Could be interesting after a night out on the beer!   Oh yeah and then there’s the two perching stools, they are grey and not so pretty, but I guess everything is for a practical purpose and lets face it after the op and eating too many biscuits while full of drugs I’ll be a bit lumpy and grey too!

There you have it, all set up for post hospital hobbles, no terrors to report for the last few days, though there is a lot of tiredness and grumpiness.