Monthly Archives: October 2013

Going further every day.

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I’m making myself go out for a walk every day. It would be too easy to stay home on the computer and pretend I was working and too busy to do it. But getting out gives me exercise, fresh air and stretches out those muscles. It also shows me I am getting better all the time. running

A few days ago I was only making it to the end of the road and back. 3 days ago I made it down the main road to the next junction, around the cul – de – sac on the right and back home again. 1,300 of my paces. Hot, sweaty, heart rate up – definitely better than staying in my chair.

2 days ago it was risky explore time. There is a path off our street I have never yet been down. Not only that, but I didn’t know how far it was and I planned a circular route, with the opt out that if I got to 500 paces and didn’t think I was halfway round then I would just turn back and retrace my steps. I saw houses and street I hadn’t been down before and it was further than I expected, but it felt ok to go on. 1,500 ish paces later I was home again – 25 minutes in all.

Yesterday I did spend most of the day on the computer for various reasons. I was so stiff by the end of one 2 1/2 hour Skype session, and it was getting dark, I only made it down the road and back. Possibly just as well because my husband was also late home from work, so by the time I’d got the shopping delivery in with my son (note to self – order same time each week as the order in the evening is delivered by a rather nice Italian gentleman ;-)) and made some supper for us all, I could barely move. The tramadol came back out of the cupboard.

Today seemed very daring. Up to the Co Op, back if necessary or maybe I could do a circular route again. I went for the circular route – even though I knew it was up hill and down dale a bit and had never walked it before. My longest walk – 1,650 ish paces but done in 20 minutes, including the up and down hill bit. I’ve started wearing my pedometer again to see each days progress. Today is already considerably better than yesterday!

I couldn’t do it without 2 crutches though. I start well enough but am rather reliant on them by the time I get half way.

Kitty cat is making sure I don’t get too long sitting down and getting stiff  wanting to be in and out of the house 5 seconds for 2 cat biscuits. If I put her on a string I could call her a yoyo. 

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Where to go tomorrow? Is there no stopping me now? Well there is actually, it is noticeable that I could probably go much further already, if it wasn’t for the ever present knee issue. Next!

Sunshine on a rainy – and windy – day

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I was feeling quite dejected and unsettled yesterday. The weather and the clocks going back may have had something to do with it. I was also feeling a bit bleak after reading the forum posts about Craig Revel Horwood from Strictly, who had a hip replacement last week but still did the show. I really couldn’t be bothered to get into the argument, but was left thinking how brave I thought he was. When you work for yourself, no matter how much you get paid for it, it is not just your current job that relies on you turning up and getting on with it, but your entire reputation for future work – and you don’t get paid if you don’t work. So well done Craig I say. We also don’t know how much pain he was in, how many breaks they had to take for him, how many times the camera panned away to let him take the fixed actor’s grin from his face …….

 

I was also a bit unhappy about a forum comment on the same subject from a member who said Craig had ‘probably just had a rebore’. Now I’m not one to get into arguments and there is no point in losing friends on a site that is supportive, but I did wonder what was meant by that and if the person was perhaps having a go at any of us who may, or may not, be considered to have had the full whammy with the hip replacement. Mine are resurfacings, and I consider myself extremely lucky to have had that option. It would have been full replacements. Both my hips were bone on bone, but the surgeon I was lucky enough to be allocated to had trained with Derek McMinn , who devised resurfacing, and had many years and 1000s of hips of practice, so that’s what I chose if he was able to do it – and he did. Now that’s not an easier option. Because it does not remove the top part of the femur it means revision later is easier, but in the meantime the procedure requires a bigger scar and a long time to shape the femur to fit the caps, and to take care to preserve tissue and vessels rather than just getting rid of them. So the suggested  “just a ‘rebore'” was nothing rankled a bit.

My husband insisted we went out for a walk between showers of rain. We went down to the canal and river and I walked a little over 1/4 mile with 2 crutches. It did blow the cobwebs away. There is a storm coming though. It was very windy and the red warnings were up on the river to stop boats going out onto it.

Anyway, week 5 tomorrow. I feel as though I’ve turned a corner today. I’ve been trying for a week to ease over onto each side at night to give my back a break but it’s too sore to stay there, but last night I fell asleep on my first-operated side, with pillows between my legs of course, for an hour. This morning I’ve found my legs are strong enough to gently squat far enough to pick clothes up from the floor and the heel to bum exercise has finally paid off as this is how I got my own socks on. I am walking carefully around the house with no crutches staying as even as I can and walking with care up and down stairs using alternate legs. I’m also down to 1 Tramadol a day in the mornings, just to get me going.

My walk however showed me that my left knee is again worse than my hips, so I guess I’m going to have to face that one pretty soon or it will have been a waste of time and effort having my hips done.

Busy day at work today – but all done from the comfort of my armchair. I love working from home! 

A journey of learning and discovery

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I’ve just been for my daily walk. It sounds as though it’s becoming a regular habit, even though it’s only the 3rd day I’ve been out 🙂 The last couple of days has been the same trip – to the post box and back – about 600 paces in all I guess – I tend to count in double paces, so I’m guessing a bit and trying desperately to drag my memory back to how many I counted.

Today I turned left (no not into 1st class, although judging by the houses I passed I might as well have done) along the road, down and back up a rather exclusive little cul-de-sac I’ve only ever been down once before, along to the main road and back home – just over 1000 paces – 519 doubles. Still with 2 crutches, though not leaning heavily on them. Just for stability more than anything.

It feels good! – although I’m pleased I didn’t go any further. A measure of how unfit I am, I’m sweating and have faster breathing for my walk, even though it is a chilly autumn day and I went out just in a long sleeved t-shirt! I think it might be some time before I’m doing marathons or climbing Snowdon as my dear cousin would like us to do together! climbing-128

 

 

 

I don’t think I walked off the cheese muffin and crisps I had for my lunch. I may have used enough energy to compensate for the tomatoes! I’m supposed to be trying to lose weight to take strain off these new joints, but come lunch time I’m always hungry. I’m healing of course – ahem!!

Shall I do some more work this afternoon? Or shall I sit down and watch a Miss Marple with my knitting? I feel old enough to 😀

Miss Marple and knitting it is then. I got myself into a real muddle with my embossed ladder pattern – 56 stitches x 4 row pattern – and I have to keep taking it back because I somehow end on 57. With the vertical ladder I have to get it right too. I carefully pulled back 2 rows a stitch at a time yesterday and still had 57 stitches! I think I’ve got it right now though, although I’ve dropped so many extra stitches when I’ve found them and pulled so much back there is a clear demarkation line of where I went wrong. Ah well – as I said yesterday, it’s all a journey of learning and discovery – and seeing just how much I can do and achieve each day. … and each day is a little bit more. 

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Regaining my Purr!

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30 days post op. What a difference a day – and a couple of doses of a stronger pain killer makes.

The GP gave me Tramadol on Monday. She also checked blood for infection and anaemia, but 2 doses of Tramadol and I was a different person. 3 days of it now and I’ve regained my purr 🙂 Black_Cat 1

 

I felt exhausted and incredibly ill. I spent most of the weekend in tears and was crying with pain every time I had to get up, sit down or generally move. I can still feel an ache in my hip, but it is duller and bearable and I have had 3 good nights of sleep. Pain is underestimated in its ability to disable.

Yesterday it was brighter than it has been recently and I got my boots on and walked down to the post box on my own. Admittedly it is only the end of the street and back, but I couldn’t do it 2 weeks ago with my husband. Actually, I think I did it better than I had been able to before I’d had my first hip done.

So I’m off there again now. It’s another sunny day, though cold, and life seems so much brighter when the sun shines, you get some vitamin D in your bones, ultra violet light on your retinas and fresh air in your lungs 😉

Onwards and Upwards – again!

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I have had a tricky couple of weeks that came to a head over the weekend. I was in so much pain and so upset. Friday was very bad but Saturday a bit better and we went out to Cheltenham. There were some things we needed and I was going stir crazy in the house as I hadn’t been able to leave it since the previous Saturday. The weather looked promising. However, it started raining hard as soon as we got there. We returned cold and wet and also very sore from the drive and being bumped around in a wheelchair in the rain. Pavements and slopes on and off were designed for wheelchairs by someone who has never been in one.

By Saturday night and Sunday I was screaming with pain every time I moved and crying. My husband decided Monday he was taking time off to take me to the GP. I had no idea what they could do for me, but as he had taken the time off I did fee I had to go. She gave me Tramadol. I’ve never taken it before and was rather alarmed by the list of side effects but what a difference after just 2 doses! The pain was still there, but considerably lessened and no longer in my back and down my leg – centred quite definitely in my left hip joint instead. I looked forward to the Tramadol psychedelic dreams reported by others in  the forum too, but the only side effect I got was sleep! Wonderful!!

The GP also took blood from me because I was SO tired and had a slightly raised temperature, but I’m pleased to find there is no infection and I assume no anaemia. Certainly since the pain as lifted I feel far better – not so tired or generally unwell as I had been, although I was knitting yesterday and simply couldn’t keep my eyes open. The Tramadol does seem to make me much more relaxed and sleepy rather than just dog tired – or that could be a result of having less pain.

I had gone back to 2 crutches to take some of the strain. I clearly had been trying to do too much as, in doing so, my husband had fallen into thinking all was ok with me, but today I have gone back to 1 crutch so I can carry things and practicing a little walking slowly and carefully with nothing to build those muscles and try to make sure I walk straight.

So – onwards and upwards! Things are much much better again and I’m looking forward to the continuous improvement.

Just a side note – the hippy blanket is coming on. I have a mixture of squares done – 50 (ish – depending on the pattern) stitches x 60 rows makes them all roughly the same size to (hopefully) be sewn together into a blanket. I have stockinette, garter, 3 x 3 rib, ridged bands, moss stitch, double moss stitch, basket weave, wave and zigzag in a colour mix, jade, red and purple. I have 4 hearts made from another pattern which now take me about an hour each, and the idea with these is to appliqué them to plain squares of a different colour, just for a different interesting bit. Still a long way to go, and many of the squares and hearts have mistakes. However, I am being reminded constantly that you learn such a lot from correcting mistakes, that sometimes things are ‘good enough’ and that the mistakes are also part of the journey and letting go of aiming for perfection is realistic and ok. A parallel to my ‘hippy’ journey 🙂 

24 days

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I’m getting a bit fed up of being dismal, but at least writing it down for myself gets it out there and perhaps clears my mind for other things. Well, that’s the theory anyway.

I’ve been doing too much, but there’s not much of a choice. Wednesday was fun. The shopping was delivered and my son and I were putting it away when the freezer drawer decided to topple over and out spilling the contents everywhere. Of course the instant reaction was to try to stop it – and then the option was to fix it, put everything back, struggle to get the bloody thing back into the freezer at the awkward angles these things are designed to go in at (though oddly not out – hence the falling) – or to let everything in the freezer defrost. Then of course the floor needed re cleaning and in the meantime my son, who has Autism, was having a panic attack because things had gone wrong and broken.

Wednesday afternoon was reasonably fine. It was night time when the pain set in – and yesterday when I could barely move – and today when I’ve given up and gone back to 2 crutches having, I thought, advanced to my stick.

My husband has been back at work full time this week, although it was supposed to be later starts and earlier finishes this week to get things done. Unfortunately with 2 days working away he has had early starts and late finishes instead – which is all very well, except that leaves me with tidying up after breakfast, stacking the dishwasher, washing the other glasses and dishes, doing the washing (basket upstairs) and transferring it to the tumble dryer and trying to sort supper at the other end of the day. Wednesday supper was dragged from the freezer and last night ended up being toast when I’d actually given up and was just going to go to bed instead. The TED stockings went the long road on Monday when I found yet again they had been missed from the laundry and weren’t clean, and then my husband made it into bed before me and they didn’t go on at night either because he was asleep before I realised what was missing. … and then he tells me I’m trying to do too much too soon! Because he is now used to it after the last couple of days, he went to work at his usual time this morning leaving me to finish my breakfast, clear up and find a way to put my own socks on. He has to work I know, but when there he forgets I’m struggling alone at home – and that I am only 24 days post op after my second hip replacement.

I’m not great at asking for help. He said the other day that he was letting me do as much as I thought I was able to to see how I got on. Trouble is I’ll just keep going rather than ask anyone for help, even if I know I shouldn’t be doing it. I’ve been bending, twisting, stretching – all the things I should still not be doing with the hip replacement ‘rules’ just to get things done – for that matter, just to get pillows comfortable in bed, get a quilt over me and get to the loo!

Oh well. On the up side my wound seems to have finally stopped weeping and I’ve left the dressing off. I seem to have finally stopped bleeding, though I’m not counting my chickens. … and it’s Friday.

Not that that matters much. I have student tutorials over the weekend and plenty of email queries I have to deal with. I’m late in doing my other student work this week because I’ve had too many other things coming at me, I have a client email waiting to go off that I can’t quite pluck up the courage and self-belief to send, and today I am lacking the motivation. Possibly something to do with sitting at the dining table crying for an hour this morning and feeling much more as though I could do with someone looking after me just for a little while.

I might just join the cat in bed instead.

 

Feeling low

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I’ve been feeling a bit low for the past week. I seem to remember a bit of post op blues last time, but I think this is going on longer. There could be a number of reasons.

I’m more sore. I’m getting about better – I’m no longer using a crutch in the house except for stairs and walking slowly to try to keep my gait smooth and avoid a limp, but still able to do some things for myself – but my wound after 3 weeks is still very sore and a bit weepy, my muscles, while stronger are sore and achy too.

I know my knee needs replacing too and it hurts still to walk on that, but I can’t see me putting myself through this again for a while at the moment.

The weather is dark and gloomy and wet. In summer at least I could take myself out to the garden in the sunshine and everything felt much brighter, but now I’m stuck in the house and fed up. I can’t even go out into the garden or take a bit of exercise walking along the road with my crutches.

My husband is back at work full time and so I’m on my own, and of course being out and busy he does not need to know I am struggling here.

Period time is always a bad time and I’ve lost quite a lot of blood over the past few days thanks to the blood thinning tablets.

I look at the hip replacement forum everyday, but I’ve lost my motivation to try to support others, which feels awful, yet I don’t want to tell anyone how grim I’m feeling either. Not having anyone to talk to feels bad, but I’m not a person who can talk to others about myself anyway, so a bit of a catch 22 there. I need to find the energy to be ‘normal’ for a student tutorial later and that’s probably about as much as I can muster.

If I could get comfortable in bed, I’d go and curl up there under the duvet and try to sleep away the next few weeks 😦

This last 3 weeks has dragged like 3 months. sad