Monday, August 27, 2007

4 weeks Post OP

It is 4 weeks since my bilateral surgery and the going is very very slow and I have mentally hit a wall. I am so tired of this. I have been dealing with loads of paperwork, frustration, bureaucracy, and do not see a light at the end of the tunnel.

I am a patient practing patience, and that patience is walking a thin line.

I am still on crutches. Still in pain, and not sure where the end is. I certainly am looking forward to it.

Monday, August 20, 2007

The Night Table

When I am tired and lying in bed, and sometimes all that is in reach is my medicine table, I just have to tidy it up.

It is my way of controlling the world. Funny as it sounds it is a very powerful and calming activity. This is especially the case when you are not quite the perky self you hold.

It is also a way of assessing what is going on in your life. Look at how many medicines. The injections, the

Monday, August 13, 2007

A bump in the Road

"You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, "I lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along." You must do the thing you think you cannot do."
Eleanor Roosevelt

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Les Surgeries Accouterments

When anyone has surgery there are several tools/accouterments that one needs; or is required to use/take, these include medicines, etc.... Below is a summary of the objects I have used and found useful for lower limb surgery.

I never expected that during my life I would be come an aficionado, fetishists, or expert about these things, but, alas it is an area of rare expertise. :-)

This is the leg machine. Affectionately known as CPM. Thankfully, this time, I only have to be in the CPM, running approx 6 to 8 hours a day, for 1week, as opposed to the usual 8 weeks. Yikes. We are also demonstrating the lovely, all season foot pumps. To be used whenever at rest (2 weeks post op surgery).

Additionally, most people who have ortho surgery need crutches. I highly recommend forearm crutches because they take pressure off the wrists.

After many years of trying many crutches I think these from are the best. They are light weight, ultra comfortable, have foam handles, great colors, and are very strong. And, they are under $100.00.

Another, very useful item for anyone who has lower limb surgery is the handy shower seat. It helps with control and comfort in the shower. Before I sit on in the shower, I run hot water over the seat so that I sit on something warm rather than chilly plastic. . These can be purchased at any Ace Hardware, in a pinch. Also, if money is an issue or you have time you can borrow one from a local medical non-profit, such as the local red-

Also I highly recommend these flexible ice packs.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

A surgery surprise !!

As of last week I was focusing on rehab for my hip. On Wednesday evening I visited with my hip doctor, Dr Phillipon, to discuss some very specific and pointed questions about my rehabilitation. Following that discussion, he decided with my knee doctor, Dr Steadman, to perform bilateral surgery -- right knee, left hip -- on Friday morning, a day neither were scheduled to do surgery. They are dedicated fellows. I had two of the most renowned surgereons in the world trouble shooting my condition, following a period of frustration of them not working together. Now, I am recovering with all the post recovery accouterments -- CPM machine (Continuous Perpetual Motion Machine), foot pumps, and copious medications to control blood coagulation, pain, inflammation, infection, sleep, etc......

Things related to my rehabilitation are akin to a glacier. Things move very slowly, and then, in a flash large sweeping events happen. It is mind blowing.

My family arrived from California the night I received the news to have surgery. I felt badly for them. We had such plans to go out and do things in the surrounding mountains, but alas that got postponed. And, I got frustrated. Being laid up and not in control are not my best suits. I have discovered that I really am limited in my ability to let go, not have things in the ways I am comfortable, and asking for help directly. A couple days post surgery I tried to maintain some normalcy and do/arrange things such as outings and group events, but that resulted in exhaustion and anger. Ultimately, it was counterproductive to the whole recovery process. So, after a 36 hour period, starting on this Monday afternoon of lashing out at the world, bemoaning my state of being (this is my 9th surgery in 10years), and being mean spirited with my friends and family I have pulled out of my funk. That was principally because my boyfriend said he might as well go home if I was not going to accept his help and push him away.

Ahhh, being human is quite an interesting experience.

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