Friday, February 26, 2016

A tiny setback

It was a dark and stormy Wednesday this week, with lots of wind. Sometimes lots of wind means loss of electricity, and Wednesday was one of those days.

I had something to return in Princeton (about a 45-minute drive), and rather than sit in a cold-and-getting-colder house all afternoon waiting for the return of lights, heat, and water, the husband and I headed for Lowe's with the wrong-sized drip pans for our electric cooktop.

Note to self: Make sure you write down the brand of cooktop the next time you buy drip pans.

Lowe's is a big place, and we didn't know when our electric problem at home would be resolved, so we crawled through the aisles a couple of times in order to get some walking in. Walking is still my preferred activity, but I'm trying to remember to do the knee raises, adductions, and backward extensions. True confession: I've not started using dumbbells. Yet.

There's just so much plumbing and lighting one can look at, and we got bored pretty quickly. We called a neighbor, learned electricity at home had been restored, and headed out on the return trip.

We had to fix the garage door when we got home so it would go up and down at the push of a button again. I had to climb a ladder to adjust the mechanism. I DIDN'T FALL. That wasn't the setback.

When I got back to the car to move it into the garage, I completely forgot about how I was supposed to get into the seat. (You have to move the seat all the way back, approach the seat butt-first, sit down carefully, and then swing your legs carefully into the car.)

I acted like a normal person. Think about how you get behind the wheel. You probably don't ever think about it. I put my right (operated) leg in and onto the floor and then sat down on the seat. 

IN EXCRUCIATING PAIN.

I apparently strained the thigh muscle(s) of my right leg. My hip is fine. I didn't pop the joint out of the socket. No pain at all other than in the thigh, above the knee. But wow, did it ever hurt.

I briefly considered using the cane again. But eventually decided just to rest and use a heating pad. It helped some. I followed that same course yesterday and by last night I was almost walking without a limp.

I will do some walking today (indoors; it's freezing and horrible outside), but probably not much more than yesterday (which was considerably less than I've been doing). 

And I will be very, very careful getting in and out of the car from now on.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Five weeks out

So one week walking without a cane and I've totally overdone it.

I'm a bit, um, competitive. I'm only competing with myself, but I really didn't need to more than double my steps/miles from the fourth week to the fifth. It. Was. Too. Much.

I didn't hurt myself. But I exhausted myself, and I'd just gotten back into a fairly good sleep routine. Now I'm all messed up again.

Here's what I don't know: I don't know if feeling so tired all the time is a normal part of post-surgical recovery at the five-week point. I think my energy should be bouncing back. I was tired of being tired before the surgery, so I totally expected that once the source of the constant pain was gone, I'd feel fine.

And I don't.

At least I haven't the past few days.

This week I'm going to take it a little easier with the walking, and concentrate more on the physical therapy-type exercises that will build muscle. I also intend to use some light dumbbells to work on overall strength, and limit my walking to no more than two miles a day.

I have no idea if this will help or not. But going from about 8 miles two weeks ago to 17 miles last week didn't help at all. 

I also need to ease back into eating more healthfully. I like carbs way too much, and I've been pretty self-indulgent with them. I'm not ready to jump back into a full-on paleo plan, but I think starting a food journal would be a good thing to help make myself aware of what, when, and why I'm eating.

Time to woman up, I suppose. (Can you tell I'm not quite ready?) Heh.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

That went well

I feel the need.

The need … for some speed.

HAHAHAHAHA!

Not really. But wow, can I ever navigate my house better without a cane!

As both of you know, my post-surgery exercise regimen has consisted of some simple moves with the operated leg plus as much walking as I can comfortably manage.

Walking with the cane was certainly manageable, but very slow, and I ended up putting a lot of pressure on my left arm and hand (the one holding the cane, obviously). I couldn't walk for more than about 20 minutes without having to give it a rest.

Without the cane, I'm not walking for longer periods of time, because BORING, but I'm certainly walking more easily and efficiently.
I have no idea when my last 5,000-step day was. Probably September, 2015.
No pain. No discomfort. The transitions – getting out of bed or going from sitting to standing – are still the biggest challenges, but compared to four weeks ago? WOW.

I'm doing better with everyday around-the-house kinds of things, too. Like cooking. We still have a couple weeks' worth of frozen meals (what a great idea that was), but I've cooked from scratch three of the last four evenings and I made oatmeal cookies yesterday.

Yes, of course one could make oatmeal cookies if one needed to walk with a cane. I'm sure it happens all the time. But I'm such a messy cook. And I never remembered to put a hand towel on the counter where I was making a mess. It was just so much easier not to cook. Heh.

I'll be walking indoors for a couple more days, because the weather is bad here. Snow, rain, ice, you-name-it – it's winter. But we're getting a tease of spring toward the end of the week. I'm going to deliver some oatmeal cookies to my very kind neighbors.

On foot.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

It's been fun, Cane

Not really.

It's been slow. And awkward. And, for the last several days, probably unnecessary, but I've been really good about following doctors' orders since my hip surgery January 18.

So today is the last day to use it.

I've been thinking that the last day to use the cane marks the first day I can use the treadmill, but I looked over my notes and I have to wait until my next appointment, which isn't until March 8. According to Dr. Google, I can use the treadmill after six weeks, which would be February 29. But Dr. Google didn't do my surgery, so I'll wait for an official release.

I have a lot of trouble being patient about this, especially when I feel as good as I do. But there are real hazards in doing too much too soon, the worst of which would be popping the ball out of the socket. I imagine that would be pretty painful.

Not using the cane has one, and only one, down side. I do get a lot of respect and consideration when I'm out in public. Think about how you are when you see someone walking with an assistive device – you open doors, reach for things on high shelves, clear a path to make their walk a little safer.

But the up side – more mobility and being able to get things done more efficiently – outweigh the sympathy factor.

The weather has been pretty horrible here in southern West Virginia. Very cold and we have a wintry mix/snow storm coming in over the next couple of days. I haven't been out of the house for any reason since last Monday. Looks like it will be a few more days being housebound. Thankfully, Facebook and Twitter are very entertaining.

I think, over the next three weeks, I'm going to ease back in to a mostly paleo eating template. I've been taking a blood thinner, and one of the cautions was to not try to lose weight on purpose. I took that to heart – heh – but it's time. We booked a beach house for a week in August. I intend to be back to my goal weight and walking four or five miles a day by then.

Don't be surprised if you hear a little more from me in the near future. Having a goal seems to motivate me to write.

Imagine that.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Six

Monday, February 15, is Emancipation Day for me. Six days from today I can give up the support of the cane. Maybe my husband will even let me drive.

To be fair, since my right hip is the operated one, I probably should be a little cautious about driving. But I also hate being so dependent on someone, when I've previously never had to be.

I set a modest four-mile walking goal for last week, and ended up logging about 5-3/4 miles. The weather this week is going to be brutal. We have a little snow on the ground now, and the temperatures are forecast to be below freezing all week. A high of 13 for this coming Saturday.

It is winter, after all, but still … snow and cold will keep me indoors, and while I both can and will walk inside, it won't quite be the same.

My ortho didn't prescribe physical therapy. I may end up requesting it. In the meantime, I'm going to do a little Googling to see what I should  be accomplishing at this point, and try to come up with my own set of exercises that are a little more challenging than what I came home from the hospital with.

That is all …

Saturday, February 6, 2016

How am I doing? Glad you asked.

Pretty well. In fact, much better than I ever thought I would be at not quite the weeks post-surgery.

The doctor says I have to keep using assistance for four weeks total, after which I can walk on my own, use the treadmill, bend more than 90 degrees ... in other words, all restrictions lifted.

I'm allowed to drive, but my husband is still a little nervous about letting me, so he's still the chauffeur.

We've walked outside three times this week, still on flat ground. I'll wait until mid-month to try hills. I've done stairs several times with no problems at all.

We've made quite a dent in the meals I prepared and froze before the operation. Two nights ago, though, I decided to cook dinner - spaghetti with mushroom sauce - and I did fine. And it was delicious.

Everything I do takes longer than normal, a combination of cane+careful. Good thing I have plenty of time on my hands. Heh.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Walking with a cane is still walking, right?

I switched from a walker to a cane last Thursday, and I also switched from Percocet to Tylenol that day. There's no stopping me now, baby. Heh.

My hip surgery was two weeks ago today. I've seen steady, daily improvement, and really dramatic increases in mobility and range of motion the last couple of days.

And yesterday … I took a walk. Outside. OUTSIDE!

I went about six-tenths of a mile. My husband didn't want me to try going uphill, so we turned back while we were still on the flat part of our road. I really wanted to do an outdoor mile, but my total steps for the day, according to FitBit, ended up putting me at 1.12 miles by the end of the day.

I hope I remember how happy I was yesterday when August rolls around, and it's hot and I'm not quite so motivated. I was a little tearful when I got home from my little jaunt. Yes, I was that happy.

Surgeon's appointment tomorrow. It's probably too soon to hope for driving privileges. But a girl can dream, right?