Saturday, July 18, 2009

Daily Routine

I picked a great time to have surgery. It had been really hot here in Portland with beautiful sunny days. Our house is in a forest and very well insulated, so it stays cool. I love sitting in the living room watching the hummingbirds and squirrels. I can wear shorts and tank tops around the house and don't have to worry about trying to stay warm. Best of all, I don't have to put socks on (something which I don't think I can do on my right side by myself yet).

I have been waking up at 5:30 AM to have breakfast with Perry and sit in a chair for a couple of hours. Our new recliner is being delivered today and I can't wait for that as the chair I'm sitting in is a bit uncomfortable. I usually check e-mail and read the news in the morning. I am a bit obsessed with checking other hip chicks' blogs to see what they are up to, especially those that are a few weeks ahead of me in the recovery process. We all heal differently, but it's good to know what to look forward to.

I've been leaving comments on other hip chicks' blogs with more regularity because I can empathize about both pre- and post-surgical issues. I am trying not to make a career of reading and commenting on blogs, but it's hard not to be obsessive about it since it's what I am living every day.

I have noticed that most peoples' blog entries tend to taper off or stop just about the time they are allowed to ditch the crutches and start walking. This makes sense because at that point people pretty much go back to their normal lives. I would like to hear more about the physical therapy experiences people have at that point, but I'm sure I'll have the experience myself soon enough.

The only "complication" I've had is that my hands are sore. I'm using padded bike gloves, but they aren't helping much. The crutches are a bit more cushy than the walker so I'm using those more, but it's easier to carry things with the walker. I put a bike basket on the front -- the same kind of bike basket that used to go on my pink Schwinn when I was 10 years old -- only this one doesn't have plastic flowers on it. My Mom's friend had it hanging in her garage and donated it to the cause, and it has been invaluable.

I am allowed to walk as far as I'm comfortable with the crutches as long as I don't put any weight on my right leg, which means most of my weight will be on my hands. The doctor made it clear that it's a good thing to walk and exercise but I haven't ventured out very far yet. I think my hip could go miles without a problem but my hands might not make it that far. Since we live on a steep hill, I think I'll try going to a flat neighborhood to see if I can crutch a block. Someone can follow me in the car in case I poop out.

(Speaking of, yes I did, on Wednesday. My sister Linda won the betting pool.)

Most days, after sitting in a chair for a couple of hours I go take my meds and inject myself with Fragmin, the worst part of my day. Then I usually get tired and take a nap. When I wake up I work for a few hours each day on my laptop. I don't want work to think they can survive without me for too long! Usually I read a book in the CPM machine in the afternoon. When Perry gets home he helps me take a shower. A shower chair is invaluable and Perry installed a hand-held shower head as well. I strongly advise everyone to have those things to make your life easier.

I got a bedside commode because my surgeon told me to, but I've never used it. I don't have a raised toilet seat either. I know those things can be helpful but I haven't found the need. I would advise people to buy the raised toilet seat and have it available. Try the toilet without it. If you find you don't need it, return it.

The only other assistive devices I have are a grabber (invaluable - things fall on the floor all the time and I can also use it to help get my pants on my "bad" leg). I have a sock putter onner but haven't tried it yet as it has been too hot for socks. Usually people buy a "hip kit" which has a long shoe horn, a sponge on a stick for washing, a grabber, and a dressing assistant device. I didn't think I needed all of that and the grabber was on sale, so it was cheaper to buy just what I needed. However, usually it's cheaper to buy everything as a kit and some people may want the other items. I can reach my lower legs to wash them and can put my shoes on without a shoe horn so I didn't need all of the items.

I try to do my isometric exercises about 5 times a day, 20 reps each time. Those consist of the following exercises done lying on my back:
~Glute squeezes
~Pointing and flexing my feet
~Hamstring exercises in which I pull my heels down and toward my butt
~Quad exercises in which I tighten my quads and push them down into the bed

I try to get up 5 or 6 times per day just to stroll around. I'd do this more often if my hands hurt less.

I spend 20 or more hours per day in the CPM machine and I'm up to 75 degrees. I need to get to 90 degrees before I can stop using it.

My IV site is still sore and tender. Obviously anything having to do with putting a needle in one of my veins is a problem. Not intolerable, but something I've learned about myself.

1 comment:

Shelley said...

The only pt I did was water therapy, which I started as soon as the incision healed. I can't say enough how good it felt to be in deep water with a floatation belt on and just moving around. If there is a pool near you, I highly recommend it. With it being summer, outdoor pools are great because you get the scenery as well as the rehab. Most pools have times that are just for lap swimmers so you don't have to worry about being jumped on by a kid. You are doing great and will be back on the ice in no time.