Tuesday, November 11, 2014

1 Week Post-Surgery. The State of Rachel

So it's my 1 weekiversary for my surgery.  How am I doing? 

Pain.  It's quite manageable.  I do without pain meds most of the time.  Some movements still hurt.  I try not to do those movements.  I don't know if my pain level is better or worse than it should be since I don't know the average levels are.

I am capable of hobbling around the neighborhood pretty well.  I can go a block or two to Dunkin Donuts or to the gym.  The hardest tasks are the simpler ones like getting dressed or getting in and out of bed.

I fear overdoing it.  I fear I'm not being careful enough.  I have been known to hobble partially or fully unassisted around the house when I'm in a hurry.  I move my leg too far to the side.  I bend over too far forward now and then.  I keep scolding myself not to, but I tell myself, "Just this once."  I worry about reaching the breaking point.  What is going to be that one move that damages my fragile, healing, labrum?


I was becoming very frustrated because when I walked any distance, the leg strap on my brace kept falling down.  It took me until today to see I needed to secure it by putting the strap through a plastic slot before fastening the Velcro.  #Howtobedumb

I had a huge scare yesterday.  I didn't feel quite right after doing my required therapeutic bike ride at the gym yesterday morning.  I felt a pain in my leg, radiating from the back of my thigh and all the way down to my calf.  All kinds of scary situations ran through my mind.  My doctor reassured me that it was likely that my back was being thrown out of whack a bit and that was causing the pain.  After trying to do as little walking as possible (no more leaving the apartment) yesterday the pain went away and hasn't returned.

I get very stressed out sometimes trying to find the time to do all of my therapeutic activity.  I have 6 hours a day I'm supposed to do in the hip flexion machine.  Kevin is supposed to rotate my leg for me daily.  I have a series of isometric exercises to do.  I am also supposed to spend 2 hours a day lying on my stomach.  I'm lucky if I can fit in 30 minutes.  The instructions say to ride the stationary bike twice a day for 20 minutes.  Once a day is all that I can manage (the time it takes to hobble to the gym means it's far more than 20 minutes of my time each day).  I am supposed to be doing actual work while I'm sitting at home as well.  I have to carefully plan my day for when I will fit all of this in.

Speaking of that hip flexion machine - I.HATE.IT.  My bed is too small for me to have it in bed.  I have it on the couch and the couch isn't long enough for me to position my upper body comfortably while I'm in it. It's physically a pain (no wonder my back was out of whack and causing leg pain).  It's also just plain boring to be stuck in that thing for 2 hours at a time.  What would I do without Facebook and my iPad?

I'm bored and lonely.  I'm alone in the house for hours at a time.  Yes, I do have Facebook.  I Skype Kevin all day when he's not busy.  At least one of my parents calls me daily  I just really miss having a human presence around.  I want warm bodies and face-to-face conversation.  I am really looking forward to returning to the office because I just want some live human company.

It stare down the coming months and really fear for what all of this is going to mean for my body.  I worked hard and struggled for years to be fit and strong.  According to everything my doctor and the literature tell me, it will be 6 months before I can return to my old levels of activity.  I don't want to lose my strength or my aerobic capacity. In the hospital everyone who had to take my heart rate and blood pressure complimented me on my level of fitness because my RHR was so good and my blood pressure was so low.  They all said they knew I was active and healthy. How is that going to look 6 months from now?  Last year I had to buy new clothes because I had become so much smaller.  Now will I have to buy new clothes again because I'm going to regain all of the weight?  What about the fact that I will simply miss my hobbies?  I want to ride and dance because they are activities I enjoy.  How will my body feel the day after I first get back on a horse and trot?  (I do think occasionally getting on a horse and just walking would be somewhat therapeutic.)

On the bright side, my appetite has changed.  My body seems to know I can't eat nearly as much as I did when I was still exercising daily.  I just can't seem to eat much.  That could be quite a blessing with the holidays coming up.

Pain meds are all well and good, but sometimes I would rather just medicate the old fashioned way.  A glass of wine with dinner tastes much better than a pain pill.  One of the main reasons I wanted to wean off of pain meds this past weekend was that I knew I was going out to dinner and wanted to be able to have that glass of wine with the meal.  Of course thinking these things makes me feel like an alcoholic.  

I'm grateful for the enormous outpouring of support I received from everyone both online and in real life.  My circle is vast and far-reaching and it makes me feel so lucky and loved.  

I am grateful for the health I do have.  My situation is uncomfortable, but it's temporary.  In 6 months I do have that option to start living an active life again.  As I struggle to do every day tasks without pain, I realize that there are people who deal with this every day of their lives.  There are people who don't have my current level of health and never will due to diseases that are out of their complete control.  I have it good.  I have it very good.

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