Tuesday, August 4, 2009
Clearly I haven't spent the past 4 weeks working on my tan
I am halfway to my post-op appointment where, please God, I will find out that I can ditch at least one of the crutches. I am 2/3 of the way to being able to drive and go in the pool. I have stopped the insane sweating. I am done with the hospital bed. I am so done with the iron supplements.
I am starting to feel pretty normal, other than being unable to get the song "Tennessee Waltz," complete with Lawrence Welk-type orchestration, out of my head. It's been two weeks since I took any pain meds so I don't think this is opiate-related, but I have no other explanation.
I also have this overwhelming urge to go shopping. I don't have the stamina to shop or try a bunch of things on, and I don't even know what size I will end up being when all is said and done; I'm not about to actually go to the mall. So what is driving this shopping desire? I think I've been watching too many episodes of "What Not to Wear," which is shown in reruns two or three times each weekday. I think Stacy and Clinton would agree that a brand new hip deserves a brand new wardrobe, so if anyone wants to nominate me to be on the show you have my blessing. Shut up!
Sleeping is still not a sure thing, and before this I was a really good sleeper, so I'm perplexed and not quite sure how to fix it. I've ruled out heavy drinking and sleeping pills, for now. I am still unable to find consistently comfortable sleeping positions throughout the night, and often wake up long before dawn. But that's OK! I can take naps any time I want to.
Not that I'm just sitting around doing nothing all day in my jammies, although occasionally that happens. I confess that I have read my share of People magazines, although I draw the line at The Enquirer and I've avoided the most ridiculous daytime TV shows. (Note: "What Not to Wear" should NOT be categorized as crappy daytime TV.) Most days I try to be as normal as possible by getting up, showering, making an attempt to tame my hair even though blow drying is out of the question, and putting on "real" clothes from the loungewear family (i.e., sweats).
I attempt to sit upright each day for as long as possible. I try to get up and walk around throughout the day and/or get out of the house if someone is willing to come get me. I'm not yet ready to walk in my own neighborhood since our streets are not well paved and the terrain is hilly. I am able to shower standing up on one foot. I can do light housework, such as cleaning up cat barf, doing laundry, and washing dishes. Monday I even vacuumed half of the main floor (it is possible, just takes a while) and cleaned the upstairs bathrooms. I actually sat on the floor and scrubbed from there - it's easier than mopping upright.
Which leads me to ... I can sit on the floor and get up from the floor using my good leg. It's a neat party trick.
I have not yet tripped, fallen, or accidentally put my full weight on my right leg as so many PAO patients do. In some ways I wish this would happen so I could test out my hip, but I know it's not ready. Don't worry mom, I'm not planning to actually do this.
My upper thigh is still numb, lumpy and a bit swollen. The scar looks really good and doesn't hurt when I touch it. I occasionally feel odd twinges of pain in my outer hip which I imagine are screw heads poking me, but since I'm not sure what screw heads feel like this could all be in my mind. I feel odd pulling sensations in my muscles. Sometimes my knees hurt, especially at night. I know how important strong quads are to keep the knee joint stable; my quads are not just weak, they are pathetic after four weeks of atrophy. My hope is the knees will be just fine once I build the muscles up again -- I've never had knee problems and don't want to start now.
I actually feel like I could walk just fine without my crutches, but I'm not going to be a fool and try it. There will be plenty of time for walking. I'm sure I'll look back fondly on these lazy, boring days when I'm in the midst of physical therapy hell in September.