Thursday, January 30, 2014

10 weeks post-op

10 weeks! This week has been great. Im doing home PT and even though it's challenging and uncomfortable I can feel the strength returning to me. Also, the pain involved with working the joint fades quickly after im done, which is very different than pre-surgery PT. Before surgery if I did any joint PT my pain increased and lasted all day and all night, maybe all week. So im happy to say my pain level has been low.

I am just starting to use one crutch around the house. It is awkward, but do-able! I didn't think I would be able to do it at all. And after a week, my op leg is noticeably stronger, more flexible, it almost feels like I could walk unaided, but I cannot. I tried to take an unaided step and my leg just collapses.

I will have my first pool session next week I can't wait. I was able to get 4 sessions donated to me. My PT of choice is still working on getting my insurance to accept me. I have to wait as long as 2 weeks to find out. I really need PT now people.

I will see Dr. Downer at the end of February so he can look at an xray and see me walk. Im not that excited about it because it cost me about 500 to see him in Seattle, renting a car, staying in a motel, paying for an xray, gas, Id much rather use that money to pay for PT that I prob wont get.

I baked my first cake a few days ago. I used one crutch so I had a free arm and made a vegan coffee cake from scratch. It was exhausting, but I really wanted to do something nice for my wonderful boyfriend who has done such a great job taking care of me. Im so lucky!

I have taken the bus a few times. Sometimes the bus is so crowded, but as soon as I get on with my crutches, people always give me a front seat. Im trying to take advantage of this! I went to a movie again and was fairly comfortable sitting. As long as a seat is low to the ground I can handle it.

Im working on a really cool embroidered bicycle...

Saturday, January 18, 2014

9 weeks post-op

My 9th week post-PAO has been amazing. I love that I can put a little weight on my op leg. It makes all the difference. I feel more balanced, less afraid of falling.

I had a PT evaluation that is being sent to my insurance. My PT says I still have good flexibility, it will be all about strength training and I hope to to pool therapy. Ive been doing home PT for 3 days now and actually Im not too sore/achy. My energy levels are increasing.

I can do lots more stuff now. I can dress myself, all except my rt. sock! My bf still has "one sock duty" I just can't reach my foot. My walker basket changed my life. I can cook simple things for myself and put my clothes away and feel like im helping around the house.

The big miracle news is I think I CAN SIT! Like in a chair! 90 degree angle. It feels soo good. Its been exactly one year since I last was able to sit, and even then my pain was insane. I actually took the bus and went to see a movie! I did pretty well, leaned the crutches against a wall. The theater seat was a little high and uncomfortable, but afterwards I was still pain free. This is a huge deal for me. Even my surgeon couldn't tell me if I'd sit normally again. I feel elated. Im getting rid of this electric bed soon and I'm in the market for a new recliner.  The next amazing trick would be if I could sit cross legged or sit on the floor cross legged, I dream about that day..

Im doing an art project where I will embroider things I once loved to do, but that my hip took away from me. I was a drummer for 9 years. I really miss it. This year I am determined to get back into it, sitting, kicking the pedal and all. My next embroidery image will be a bicycle...

Monday, January 13, 2014

8 weeks

8 weeks Post PAO. This has been the magic week for me. I was worried about my appt with Dr. Downer in Seattle because it's a 3 hr car ride. It cost me about $500 for this trip, renting the car (my bf drove) 2 nights in motel 6, gas, plus I had to pay them $50 for an xray. But I chose not to get depressed about it.

I saw the surgeon and my x-ray is looking like the bones are healing well. He told me I could start walking with my foot flat on the ground to mimic walking with about 30 lbs pressure. I brought my walker with me. He told me to increase my weight on op leg every 2 weeks. This week its 25%, then 50%, then 75%. In 6 weeks I should be full weight bearing. When I get to 50% I can try to use just one crutch. I have to see him again in 6 weeks. Sheesh it is costly. But my bf is getting a car soon so that will save money.

He wants me to start aquatic therapy which I am trying to do through insurance, but I know it will be a battle. I can start using my home stationary bike. It's funny because as soon as he told me I could move around and stretch and put pressure on my leg, I feel great. My pain has been low, the car ride felt fine. And I have been sitting!!! I havn't sat in over a year, I can't believe it. So, something has been fixed. Today I went to get a haircut and sat 15 minutes, pain free. My biggest struggle since surgery was the purple/red blotchy itchy leg thing. Downer says it usually happens with thin people, something to do with the artery. It was really keeping me from moving around and standing up. But these last few days it hasn't bothered me.

I feel like I am getting my energy back. I am using my crutches and can go down my 35 stairs to the outside. My arms are getting stronger. My op leg feels better, I have more muscle control and strength. I feel like a spell has been broken.

I decided to pay for a PT evaluation this week. I figured the more crippled I am, the more the PT will recommend therapy and more sessions. I really want to get into the pool. I found another aquatic therapy place that will give you 4 free pool sessions if your insurance doesnt cover it.

Biggest issue with my insurance: My dysplasia diagnosis is not covered, probably because it is vague. And the PAO surgery code is unlisted. I really thought there would be no question I need therapy, so I can maybe learn how to walk again. I hope it works out.

I ordered a basket for my walker and a grabber bar. It really opens up the possibilities! My poor bf was having to do every little thing for me and I couldn't even get a glass of water or feed the cat. Now I am a little more independent. Tonight he left to go to a classical music show and im fine here all by myself.

My scar is looking good. I bought some bio-oil and use it twice a day. It has helped to flatten the scar.

Yesterday was my first public outing. We went to Costco to get a huge bag of organic edamame, worth it. I used an electric cart for the first time and put my crutches in it. People were nice to me and stayed out of my way. It felt good just to see people. We went to the fabric store afterwards and I used my crutches. It was hard work, but I felt strong and capable. Im always worried about fainting as I faint easily, but I was fine. Im so proud of myself.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

New Years Day

Happy New Year 2014! I am 7 weeks post-op and today was the first time I went outside! I have 35 stairs that have really been a barrier for me. I feel like I am steady enough to brave those steps and David can steady the crutches so I won't fall. It felt so amazing to get fresh air and sun!

I have this awesome lawn chair that I can lay in. Sitting is still an issue for me, but it is getting better. I can tell my muscle is healing, the one they surgically cut and my bones aren't so clunky anymore. My op leg still gets blotchy, red and itchy, but it is tolerable and I am moving around more for better circulation.
Next week will be my 2nd post-op appt with Dr. Downer in Seattle. I will be able to start weight bearing, 25% and I hope to do pool therapy soon, I am very restless!

My pain has been low. Really, the only issue that bothers me is the blotchy itchy leg thing when I stand up. If that went away then I would be up and about much more. Even though I can use my stairs, im not going to do them too much. My surgeon doesn't want me to risk falling.

I am experimenting with leg positions. I can bend my knee, but it's very weak and pulls on the healing cut muscle. I can lift my leg about a foot off the ground. I can sleep on my op side, but after an hour it gets very sore. I can sit on my shower chair about 15 minutes. I can sit in a recliner about 15 minutes (it has a firm, hard surface so the pressure on my joint can be uncomfortable.) I still use my electric bed. I use the walker inside my apt and my crutches in our apt building hallways.

My boyfriend does a lot for me and never complains, but I can tell he is getting caregiver burnout. I try not to keep asking for things and pointing out the things he should do, this is hard! Plus, I am a super crafty person, so he has to bring me crafty stuff and put stuff away constantly. I am very grateful he loves to cook. We have been eating so well. Lots of veggies, grains, fruits, tempeh. I can tell my body is burning calories from the healing process.

My main concern is loss of muscle... My op leg is jello. My calf muscles and rt. thigh have lost all tone. It has been a little emotional for me. I do not like the feeling of wasting away. PT is going to be central in my life. I feel a little embarrassed about the state of my body. I feel so old...

I am so happy and relieved 2013 is over. I needed a fresh start. Im happy surgery is behind me. This is the last year of my twenties and I feel such desire and empowerment in healing my body and taking a new direction in life. I think sitting still, healing, planning, daydreaming have been very humbling for me. Its ok that my friends don't understand what I am going through. It's ok that others are able to run marathons and do yoga and play sports. I am ok with slowing down and really appreciating things.