Wednesday, December 25, 2013

6 weeks post-op

6 weeks post-op today on Christmas! It has been difficult staying in bed 6 weeks straight. I feel restless. I havn't left the apt yet due to the 35 stairs down to the outside, which I'm not willing to risk yet. My op leg still turns red and blotchy when I stand up and walk. I see my surgeon Jan 9th and after that I will be up and about more, hopefully doing PT soon.

The big breakthrough for me was ordering a shower chair and for the first time in over a year I actually sat. I sat on the chair under the shower for maybe 10 minutes and I can tell the pre-op pain I felt before is gone, or maybe just dormant. So im pretty happy. My joint has been very sore lately and my psoas tendon gets tight and irritable. I think it's period related. I was 15 days late on my period and now that Im on it, my pain level is much higher.

Im just really looking forward to PT and moving forward. My thigh muscles are very atrophied and weak. I still have not been able to turn my op leg in frog leg position, I think the PAO procedure takes place in that frog leg position joint space. But my ultimate goal with this is to sit pain free, cross my legs, swim, yoga, of course walking normally.

I know many other PAO people are much more active than me, but my surgeon was very firm about 90% of these 6 weeks being in bed. I can tell my hip bones are not as clunky as they were. I have more sensation and muscle strength. I can sleep on my op side. I am not taking any pain meds, just mobic. My scar is healed. It's red and smooth and looks pretty good.

My next goal is to get to the gym and float in the pool. Actually once I can get outside my apt. building, life will seem exciting! I feel a little trapped here. Other than my hip, I'm having a wonderful time with David. Xmas was great. I was gifted some yoga stuff like a matt and foam blocks, a DVD on yoga for hips. Oh, to do yoga again, it seems so far away...

Time is slow, but I am taking this time to really focus on time consuming things like:

1. re-learning algebra! I got this algebra book called "forgotten algebra" and am doing all the math problems every night to stimulate my brain. I'm also doing one of those connect the dot books for adults. Some pages have over 500 dots!

2. Learning beginning Spanish. David is hooking up rosetta stone and we will do a chapter a night. He already is pretty fluent, so can teach me as well.

3. Working on embroidery when I can. Learning new stitches is exciting for me.

4. Finishing the book, "the golden compass."

I'm all up to date on insurance stuff for next year. I have state insurance, but will be getting more coverage like PT, acupuncture, dental, vision, which is very exciting. Who knows what kind of appts I will be able to get, Im sure there will be waiting lists for everything!

Friday, December 13, 2013

4 weeks post op

4 weeks! My pain has become more tolerable. When I think about the pre-op pain, it makes me sad and angry. I suffered. I suffered and did not get the help that I needed for a whole year. Im still not too active and my surgeon's PA told me to not do any PT stuff until my 6 week post op appt. I can lift my foot better when "walking." I use thewalker in my apt, but take the crutches out in the hallway so I have more freedom of movement.

My scar is healing nicely. I still do not shower with a shower chair. I wash myself with a washcloth in bed and my bf helps me. I can sit maybe 5 minutes, but I can feel the surgical pain and don't want to push myself.

I do not take any more pain medication. I think I can stop the aspirin. I will continue the mobic, but eventually I will take turmeric, an anti-inflammatory that I find much more effective.

I have to see Dr. Downer Jan 9th so we have to rent a car and drive 3 hrs to Seattle, stay in a motel a couple days. This is expensive. Im trying to get SSI, got my first denial letter which was assessed before I even had surgery. Im sure everyone gets denied. I will keep fighting. The letter said that despite my condition I could still potentially work, ha! I have to be disabled 12 months, which I have been, surgery accounts for 3-4 months for that, so I will have to prove pre-surgery disability, which not one of my primary doctors have written about of course, only that I need a PAO.

Im lucky my family is helping me with rent/bills. Seriously, there are probably people who have this condition, can't get medical attention, can't afford surgery and become permanently disabled, homeless? I recognize that I am privileged in so many ways and I still struggled to get this surgery, it took over a year and all my mental/emotional energy!

My 5th week I hope to accomplish sitting on a shower chair, use crutches more, that's probably enough for now. I know many people who tell me that by 5-6 weeks they are up and about, doing PT and being more active than I am. But I find they are in much more pain. My surgeon says rest is the best way to heal bone. This is hard because my muscles are atrophying and shrinking, but i guess future PT will restore my strength.

I am getting back into embroidery and made this snowman as an xmas present.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

3 weeks post-op

A week really does make a difference. I can tell my body is healing. I'm more comfortable and am sleeping well. I stopped taking pain meds (Norco) and just take aspirin and mobic. I stay in bed most of the time. I talked to Dr. Downer's PA and asked questions about what I should be doing. They said don't do anything until I see them in January. So, I'm not doing any PT in bed, just getting up once an hour and hobbling to the bathroom with my walker. My op leg still turns red and blotchy, this is normal. It feels a little numb and itchy. I don't even attempt to lift my leg because I know the muscle is detached and weak. I feel mentally better too. I was getting headaches from the meds and now I feel more alert and can focus better.

Really I think having good company makes all the difference. David takes good care of me without complaint, he even makes it fun. He is feeding me well, sponge bathes me, washes my hair, makes me laugh, rents me movies. We are watching some really good art house movies. "Wings of desire" was amazing! Lots of German movies.

I wonder how I will feel in 3 months, if PT will help me become stronger and become pain free. Before surgery, I could not sit at al due to pain and my brain screaming at me that something is wrong. I know sitting after a PAO can be tricky for about 5 weeks, maybe longer. I want to sit comfortably and cross my legs when I want and bend my knees for extended periods of time. This is what I dream of.

Let's see, what's new with my body...
I can get out of bed by myself by hooking my op leg with my elbow and sitting up.
I can push my foot away from me, but not towards.
I can sleep on my op side as long as I have a pillow between my knees.
I can move my op leg in front of me when I "walk."
The intense thigh tingles have gone away and there is less numbness.

My goals for next week:

Get a shower chair and attempt sitting. I still cannot sit without pain, even in a recliner.
Get a shower hose thing so I can wash my hair better.
I want to put a basket on my walker so I can carry things with me.
Attempt using crutches down our hallway.

Creative goals:

Make catnip felt toys for kitty, ceecee.
Take a nice xmas photo by our tree with me on crutches.
Start reading a novel

David usually always goes to NJ for xmas, but this year he is staying here and we are celebrating our own little xmas together. Today was the first day I did anything crafty since before surgery and it felt great! I can sit up a little more than last week. Reading has been hard, it makes my eyes heavy, I can read for about 10 minutes at a time,  I think I am very exhausted...




embroidered pao felt ornament. Processing trauma through crafting.