Thursday, July 31, 2008

It's the small stuff

It's the small stuff that I can do each day that I stuff in my little pocket of accomplishments.
Today I went to Wal-Mart..........first store in one month. Rode the scooter around (realized that people don't really consider a young person with no obvious disability on a scooter a necessity to move out of the way)
I put my socks on with assistance from my grabber for the first time today too. Can put my shoes on if they are tied already.
Can shower alone.
Can shave my legs while sitting on my shower bench.
I only take one pain pill at night to help with slight pain and sleep.
I'm proud of myself for the small stuff. I never thought I would be so proud of leaning to shave my legs. People don't realize how fortunate they are to walk. Walking is a great blessing that we should all thank God for. I know I'm stared at when I'm on my walker and I stare just as hard back because I'm jealous they can walk with ease.
My fellow co-workers are chomping at the bit to get me back, but I can't until at least 2 weeks of PT after I can bear more weight. If I'd quit being lazy and reading and watching tv I need to call my physical therapist at Duke to try and get me on some crutches. I would love to have a little more freedom during the day and then go back to the walker at night when I wear down. Can't wait to see what small things I can accomplish in the next few weeks.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

4 weeks post op

Well I'm exactly four weeks post op today. What a long 4 weeks it has been. I swear it feels like forever ago and forever to go. I don't have another post op appointment until August 21st. I'm still using my walker but feel pretty strong so I want to move to crutches, but my local physical therapy office states they need a specific prescription for teaching me to use crutches and come off the walker. I don't want to come off the walker completely but use the crutches during the day and walker at night when I start to wear down.
1. Shower on my own.
2. Shave my legs
3. Put my pants on
4. Fix myself something to eat
5. Sleep on my non-operative side

1. Put socks on
2. Lift my leg straight up
3. Stand alone in the shower
4. Bear more than 30lbs on operative leg

I want everyone about to go through this to understand that to do everything takes forever! I still am very frustrated, sad, and so sore by 7-8pm every night. I can't wait to bear more weight and start to do things I use to! I am ready to start learning to drive again and would die to get in a pool and do some exercises without pressure/weight. This has been a trying experience in patientence and faith in others. I couldn't have made it this far without my mom, dad, and husband. They do everything I can't. I hate doing that too. I'm the nurse and I'm the one who is suppose to care for everyone else. I sit around and read, exercise my leg, play on my computer and wish my next 8 weeks away. I know you're not suppose to wish your life away, but it's hard to be so dependent and not able to move like you want. I'm doing okay though. I didn't have any complications thank God so far. Lots of prayers and thanks to the prayers of others. Well I just wanted everyone to know how my first 4 weeks have been.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Emotional/Physical Rollercoaster

I didn't know the recovery was the hardest part of this PAO experience. Everyday is an emotional & physical roller coaster. I feel okay in the mornings and get brave to start doing things. By evening, my left hip (normal side) hurts, my operative leg (Right leg) hurts and I have to debate whether to take pain meds or a sleeping pill. I want to sleep in my bed, but how can I when I can't even lay all the way back in the recliner (and it's not a 0 degree angle). I feel optimistic in the mornings and by the night, I'm usually crying because I realize I still can't turn on my left side and can't lift my right leg up like normal. I get frustrated with the walker, but I'm still on 30lbs wt. bearing and crutches aren't sturdy enough. I've read books, played on my computer, watched several Food Network marathons and am miserable by 7pm. I just want this whole thing to be over. I know that the Lord doesn't give us stuff we can't handle, but this is truly a test. I wonder if everyone else feels this way or is just me. I'm so ready to be back to semi-normal. I'm taking Coumadin now to keep the DVTs at bay and I'm averaging getting my blood drawn every 3rd or 4th day and that's tiring. It's just hard right now. I'm currently 23 days post op and feel like everything is moving in slow motion.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

2 1/2 week Post Op Appointment

I went on Friday to Duke to my 2 1/2 week post op appointment...........and saw my OS's NP. She's AWESOME!!!!

1. Got my bandage and steri strips off..........don't have staples or skin is glued back together. My incision is about 7 inches long and looks real good. As soon as I get a pic I'll try and post it.
2. I can shower
3. I got a prescription for Ambien due to the fact I'm not sleeping but about 3 hours in 24 hours.
4. Still can't bear more than 30lbs. (just putting my foot flat on the floor) for 4 more weeks
5. Prescription for PT..............don't want to cash that ticket in until after I can bear more weight

Overall I had a good check up. She was impressed with the incision and how well I'm moving about. I'm not that impressed, but I guess it's because I'm ready to be back to normal though. I'm ready to be walking.............keep having dreams about walking..............but I guess it's good to dream!
I'm trying to think what has happened since my last entry. . . . . . . .

Going Out of the House.........Well, I had another outing to a cookout at my grandparents house/pool. I stayed about 1 1/2 hours. Can't tolerate being uncomfortable but for so long. It was so nice to get out. That was exactly a week ago. Since then I went back to Duke for my post-op appointment and went to the Olive Garden to eat and sat in a normal chair for about 1 hour. I also can now sit in my front porch swing and have sat out there about 2 hours total over the last 2 days.

Showering...........I have managed to start showering. They initially told me it was going to be 14 days, but I called begging and got in the shower about 5 days sooner. It was nice. First shower I had to have a lot of help. Second shower just a little help, and then yesterday I did it all on my own (except shave from my op leg) . Things seem to be moving a little faster.

Constipation..................DO NOT take Oxycontin without Colace on board. I was going regularly until I started taking my Oxycontin for about a week and then I was MISERABLE. There is no words to express how bad that feeling is. It's way worse than the surgery itself. I even went so far as to send my husband to the pharmacy for enema supplies. Didn't have to, but they are in my post-hip emergency kit. Now that I'm on Colace everyday and I feel much better, not to mention that I stopped the Oxycontin. The pain wasn't bad enough to warrant taking it and having the other issue.

Pain.............Pain isn't so bad now. I take about one Oxycodone (5mg) in 24 hours and nothing else for pain and I do okay. That's down from 2-3 Oxycodone every 4 hours and 1 Oxycontin every 12 hours the first week I was home and I'm 3 weeks post op. The only complaint I have is muscle like spasms/stretching. It feels like the nerves might be reaching certain areas of the muscles that haven't been stretched yet and stretching them is like they are stuck and it hurts, but I deal with it.

Sleep............until my post op appointment this past Friday, sleep was something I didn't ever think I'd do again. I've still been sleeping in the recliner. The bed is still just to flat for me. I can get in the bed ok, but the lying flat for so many hours is the issue. I was sleeping maybe, if I was lucky, 3-4 hours in 24 hours. It was miserable. I went to the post op appointment and was given Ambien 5 mg. I have taken it 2 nights now and slept about 8-10 hours a night without the ankle numbing, back hurting that was keeping me awake. It's been wonderful for my mindset. I actually want to get up and do something in the mornings.

Mindset............feel better and keep dreaming that I just have a limp and can walk normal. Well...........not quite. I'm still on 30lbs wt. bearing which isn't anything more than putting my foot down on the floor completely. I walk faster and am still on my walker. Not a fan of crutches. I do however feel more comfortable standing without the walker. I can stand and blow dry my hair and get real hugs from my husband now. I'm getting more confident. I am just so completely bored!!!! TV is okay for a few hours.........reading gets me sleepy and I can only play on my computer for so long a day. I have started getting up to do little things, like switching the laundry and loading and starting the dishwasher. Stuff like that keeps me going more than reading all the books in the world. I manage to pass the time and get through each day hoping that I can do more and more each day. It'll get here...........I'm just ready for it.....NOW!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Paying for my first outing

I wrote yesterday about my first outing. Boy am I paying for it today. I'm so sore!!!! So sore. My wrist are sore and I'm not even strong enough to bring the recliner up to straight back position. I don't regret it one bit though. I loved getting out yesterday. I'll just bump up the tylenol and maybe an extra Oxycodone, but I loved getting out yesterday.

First Outing

Hello everyone.I thought I would let everyone know how my first outing (1 1/2 weeks post-op) went. I got up and got dressed and actually put a little make up on. I went and got my hair washed at the beauty shop. It felt so good!!!! they blow dried it and curled it for me. I then went to my parents house where I ate lunch and napped in their recliner. Then I went to my cousin's birthday party which was just outside. I sat on the front porch for about 1 hour in a rocking chair and then went back to the recliner. It felt so good to go out. I used their toilets without my elevated seat. Now, if I could just sleep in my own bed. I would love to sleep in my own bed with my husband. Overall it was a good day. I know I'll probably be sore tomorrow, but it was worth it.I can't wait to be back to normal in a couple of months.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Not so fun yesterday!!!! far being home has been nice in a way. Yesterday however was not so hot. I slept so much yesterday and didn't really move around that much that last night I slept horrible and cried from about 7 to 9. I was just frustrated, hurting, not being able to get my mind to grasp the concept that I have to take it easy. I didn't sleep at all last night and still frustrated when waking. I was never prescribed a long acting pain killer. The oxycodone works fine, but wears off at exactly 4 hours. So this morning my grandmother came over and fixed french toast and bacon. I ate the most I've eaten since I've been home. I took a 3 hour nap. I got up and decided to change my mindset. I completed several exercises with the help of my father which was now on duty. I did the knee bends, leg lifts, etc., etc. I stood up and moved my leg out to the side and behind. God, it felt good to stretch. Then I folded two blankets, put a phone book back in place, fed the cat, and then made some phone calls to handle my short term disability and actually called my OS's NP and she is prescribing me an extended release pain pill for about 2 weeks. I've done okay today so far. I haven't taken a nap yet. I've decided to keep my mind active and then my daily sponge bath is in about 3 hours. I would kill to wash my hair the real way to blow dry it. I hate this no rinse thing every two or three days! I'm planning on Friday to attend my cousins birthday at my grandmother's house just to get out of the house. I think that is half the mind battle. I hate being in the house and staring outside and not being able to run outside. thanks for all the thoughts and prayers. If anyone has any questions please don't hesitate to contact to ask. P.S. Thank God I've had no problem with constipation!!!!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Home yesterday from RPAO

Hello everyone! I'm home and got home yesterday 07-04-08 from my RPAO. Everything went well. Well here is how everything went. Went in Tuesday morning at 5:30a. They called me back and I cried when my husband left. I was changed and put into pre-op curtain area. Out of all the people in the pre-op I was the only one of child bearing age who needed the required blood work which takes an hour. Well my nurse decided I would be the last one to get worked up. My OS and anestheiologist was pissed! I did a stat urine, but was about 1 hour late into surgery. I had an epidural which hurt none what so ever! Everyone was so sweet and caring. I remember going into the or and the mask being put over my face and him telling me to go to my happy place. The next thing I remember I told post-op that my stomach felt funny so they kept giving me Zofran and a patch behind my ear. Well after we finally got a room at 1pm I still was feeling sick and actually started throwing up. They kept me in post-op a few more hours. They gave me a one time dose of phenegran and it subsided! I actually made out like a bandit room wise. I had a minifridge, fold out bed, recliner that folded into a bed and a full size bathroom. I slept so good the first night. Ate a little broth and jello the first night and only pressed my epidural botton about 4 times during the night (I could have pressed every 30 min.) I had the epidural the next morning. No real complaints except itching. My incision is a classic cut that's about 12 inches long. I had my JP drain that drained well during the first night. Next morning my JP drain came out with my dressing changed. I felt okay. Doctor stated that my blood work came back beautiful. Left my epidural in for one more day. I had a few visitors and actually stayed constant with my ankle pumps and moved as much as my body allowed me. I had my first PT session with my epidural in. I made it half way across the room and blacked out due to the epidural and dropped my pressure. That was it for the day. Thursday.........epidural came out and my catheter!!!! I used the bedside commode successfully. I did PT out into the hall, but didn't black out but my pressures did drop again. This time I wanted to sit up in the recliner. I stayed in the recliner about 6 hours and got stiff and it was sooo painful when I finally had to go to the bathroom. After another not so glamourous dinner I got to the bedside commode and bathed and my mom washed my hair. Even got brave and smiled for a camera with my gown on of course with tons of soap in my hair! Kept up with my leg exercises and ankle pumps. Started my Lovenox therapy. My parents were shocked I just shot myself like it was so no big deal. Slept even better Thursday up and the docs said I would go home all dependent on PT. Well I got real nauseated about 7:15am. I asked for some Zofran and then told my mom to help me to the bedside commode and I would try to use the bathroom. Well things just released and I felt so much better. I went to PT and walked with my walker to PT and did stairs (I hate stairs!!) and practiced in and out of a car! did okay enought to pass and was packed up and sent home yesterday. I can walked with my walker okay. I slept in the lazy boy last night due to the fact that it was the quickest route to the bathroom and the sennokot has worked it's job well. I've had no problem with constipation at all!!!! I only didn't go for 2 days. I can bend my knee, go to the bathroom with no help what so ever. I can't take a bath or shower for 14 days. HAve to bird bathe until my postop appoint on the 18th. I have internal stiches that will dissolve so I have to keep my current dressing dry and intact. I have three screws. I am not really swollen at all. Some numbness right around the incision site, but that's it. My bottom is raw from constantly having to sit and adjust myself. I'm keeping it clean and dry and gold bond powder on it. Am doing okay. Keeping my 4-6 hour med regimen of Oxycodone and Tylenol. Just sore and stiff. No real PAIN yet! Thanks for all the prayers and thoughts. Got any questions please ask!!!!Brenna RPAO 07-01-08