Sunday, February 18, 2018

A little suffering didn't hurt anybody

Yesterday was Saturday. I was so sick of staring at my own four walls and travelling back and forth to the hospital for one appointment or another. That has been my whole world for some weeks. I woke up feeling pretty good so I suggested to Mike that we try to get me through the mall.
I was really REALLY excited to fit into my smallest jeans with a struggle. I knew I had lost weight so that was a reaffirming moment.
Our first stop was at Michael's, the big craft giant. I have about three inches done on a baby blanket for the new GreatGrandSon so I figure I need about four more balls of this particular pale gray ragg yarn. Now the yarn is at the farthest back corner of our Michaels store. Hey, I made it in, made it back there - and discovered this yarn is now discontinued. I was NOT a happy camper.
Stop two was the grocery store. We took the walker in there. Several times I sent Mike down a row while I sat at one end. It worked out just fine.
 On the way home we stopped at the corner store for a birthday card and a lottery ticket. I was chatting away with a gal I know who works in the corner shop. She was asking questions about the knee, then remarked, Holy Smokes, is it ever swollen! Oh boy, I was sure in a rush to get home and get those jeans off before they needed a pair of scissors! I switched out the jeans for a pair of jammies then got the leg up and the ice pack on.

Getting out and about is good for the psyche but it's going to be physically challenging for awhile. I'm still suffering a bit today, having to keep the leg up and take some pain meds. Tomorrow is a new day and I'm sure it will be better.  (I'm hobbling about the house WITHOUT a cane today!!)

Tomorrow is Family Day in Canada and Presidents Day in the US. Hope y'all have a good time with your friends and family.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Doctor Visit Now the fun part begins

Today was my two week postOp visit. The metal staples were removed to start with. The lady doing the pulling said staples work extremely well for high stress incisions like joints. She said it is so rare that they split, she has NEVER seen it. 
She swabbed my incision over and over again with some sort of extremely cold solution to clean, sterilize and desensitize the area. Then she picked them out with some tool which I didn't see because I'm a big chicken little and can't look! It felt like she was picking out slivers. A little pricky but nothing bad.
So, after she swabbed the area down again, Dr. Mattews came in for a gander. He said it all looks good and no damage was done when I went whoopsee. He said there isn't even any fresh bruising - JUST DON'T DO IT AGAIN!
Of course, his only concern is my inability to flatten out my knee. He and that woman pressed my knee hard flat out. IT HURT LIKE HELL - sorry - it did. But he said it went flat relatively easy even though I am feeling a lot of discomfort. (It actually feels Better after the torture!!) No harm done. He gave me instructions for Mike and I to do an exercise together that will make me scream for mercy for awhile, but it will get better. Mike says he isn't sure he can do anything to inflict pain........come on dear..........if I can endure it, you can do it! My furniture is all rather soft so the doc suggested we put a blanket on the floor and I sit with my back against the couch, feet together, while Mike PUSHES hard but slowly above and below my knee. I'll be hollering all right, but just tune me out okay?

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Oh. My. Gawd

I FELL today. Scared me to death it did, but no harm done, thankfully.

I walked into the bathroom, where my left foot just stepped ever so gently on the corner of the bath mat. It was enough to upset my balance and down I went. I almost pulled the toilet seat off the toilet as I grabbed it. It was enough to throw me off balance even more so my hip took the brunt of the blow.
Now I'm terrified of breaking a hip sometime down the road.
Must remember to roll up those bathroom mats and put them out of the way when they are not in use.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Physio Therapy

Well today was an interesting day, as physiotherapy started.
It was good new/bad news.
I have a really good bend range. The knee will come up to 103 degrees which apparently is quite excellent at this stage of the healing. Yes, there is still some swelling, which will go away as I move around more. My therapist suggested elevating my feet at night. Well my goodness, that lasts until I fall asleep then the pillows are all on the floor and the dog is laying on them, ahahaha. She said I might want to consider raising the foot of my bed then - well, we'll see. Once that swelling goes I'll be able to bend it even further.
My big problem is STILL getting that leg straight. Oh my goodness folks, I was in TEARS after she pushed and pushed and pushed me to flatten that leg out. I swear I can feel those little muscle fibers tearing at the back of my knee. I also suffer with fibromyalgia so that's a double ended whammy.

The dressing came off once we were back home. They told me to get into a really warm shower and just let the water course over my leg as I pulled off the dressing. It doesn't look nearly as gross as I had expected in the end - or maybe I've just looked at so many photos of other folks incisions?
My therapist told me to put the walker in the car and use it for shopping trips. I'm on the cane now.
It is certainly a LOT easier to go up and down stairs with just the cane!

I've switched the Celebrex to late evening and I think that is the key to getting good sleep. Celebrex is a powerful anti-inflamatory post surgery. I fell asleep easily, had a good unbroken sleep and woke up refresh and ready to meet the day!

Now to get that darn knee to flatten.......

Friday, February 9, 2018

TGIF

One of the nurses in the PostOp would write that on our white boards at the foot of our beds!
I'm home a week already!

Last night I had the best sleep in I don't know how long. I know for sure I didn't hear the eleven o'clock news, (with my TV on a timer to go off at midnight). When I woke up I checked the time at 4:39!! FOUR AND A HALF HOURS of uninterrupted blissful sleep! I turned my iPod on to a boring podcast I'd downloaded and drifted off AGAIN until I heard Michael feeding the cat at 8:30!!! (That cat is some alarm clock, I'm telling you!)  Never, ever, take sleep for granted folks. It is the most important restorative thing about your life.

Needless to say, I'm feeling quite good this morning. The pharmacy was here bright and early with my new pain medication. I think I should talk about that a bit more because it is important when we are recovering from surgical procedures. I've mentioned in several posts that I cannot tolerate morphine.  As a result, I was having to take near toxic doses of regular Tylenol, at 4000 mg per DAY. You can't keep that up for very long without damaging the liver. The dr has switched me to a different thing we Canadians call Tylenol 3 or T3. It is a much much lower dose of acetaminophen boosted with some codeine.  They did try me with that in hospital, but it wasn't quite strong enough at that point in my recovery. 
Everyone is different when it comes to pain control. Hospitals tend to have a standard protocol they follow, but as I've illustrated, it isn't right for everyone. If you are having a procedure and don't feel the pain control is doing what you think it should, or is too much, speak up - or have your advocate speak for you.

I actually got around and made my own breakfast this morning. Every baby step to independence is a big deal to me right now! I can throw the laundry into the washer, add what needs to be tossed in and turn it on. Michael has to deal with the dryer or laundry rack. When all is done he brings me the basket and I fold everything up  and where possible, put it away.  I've got a little plastic basket on the seat of Rollie so I can move stuff around.  I can't move a drink (other than a bottle of water) from point a to point b without making a grand mess though, hahaha.

I might even try to wash a few dishes this morning. I think propping myself against the sink with the hands in nice hot soapy water with the opportunity to watch the birds out the window would be good for my soul today.

My friends Pete and Paul are coming by to visit while Michael goes on service calls this afternoon.  I'm usually pretty happy to have visitors!

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Two Steps FORWARD

Today was a better day.
I managed to get in touch with the surgeons office to get my pain meds changed (downgraded for sure) starting tomorrow. Too bad I was too late to get them sent out today, but oh well. I've been taking near toxic doses of regular Tylenol in an attempt to kick the pain down.

My dear friend Marlene came out this afternoon for a lovely visit. She picked up a broom and swept my floors, bless her. With two cats and a dog, hair sweeping should be done daily which wasn't happening. I am truly appreciative of her help.

I watched some physio videos today and managed to figure out one of the exercises that was baffling me. I could NOT lift my operated leg at all. This video showed clearly how to do this exercise, which essential REMINDS the leg how to lift itself. Using a big tin can wrapped in a towel, and a belt, I pulled my leg up for two sets of ten repeats. I rested for two minutes then tried to get the leg to lift itself - and it worked! I can't lift much, maybe a couple of inches, but it's a lift in the right direction!!

The yoga is still being very helpful at night. It relaxes me and limbers up my stiff legs somewhat.
Hopefully sleep will soon be on the agenda!

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

A discouraging word

One week ago at this time I was in the OR.

I'm having another rough day. I feel cranky, depressed, grumpy and sad.
I'm off the narcotic pain meds as they were really not sitting well. A good friend told me to hang on to them and bite the bullet and TAKE ONE before my physio appointments. Now that scares the heck out of me. Are they going to work me that hard???

After I have my nice hot shower I feel very relaxed and sleepy. I'm going to do that in a bit, roll up in my big puffy duvet, and get a couple of hours while I can.

I received word this morning that a fellow I've known and worked with (in childrens theatre) since he was kid, died very suddenly - probably with a heart attack. Another reason to feel depressed.