Thursday, December 24, 2015

Merry Hipmas and a Hippy New Year!

I do believe the snow is here to stay! In the last week Mother Nature has more than made up for the lack of snow. I am forever grateful for the extended nice weather so I could walk outside as long as I did. The last few days have got me using the treadmill at the gym. I do find the treadmill extremely boring but I can walk pretty darn fast (for me) on that thing. 

While our sidewalk clearing has been pretty darn fast, there's now a layer of icey snow and mushy snow. Your foot never seems to find traction. Oh well, I will keep on moving whether it is inside or outside. 

Today's walk was cold but my fastest kilometre outdoors in ages! 

We had a low key, quiet Christms here in the Little Kitchen. Christmas Eve was board games and movies. It was quite fun.  Holiday Fluxx was awesome! Christmas Day, the 3 of us ventured out to the movie theatre to see my long lost love, Star Wars.  We awakened the force! I am a Star Wars geek and have been forever. This was awesome. I am a traditionalist with my Star Wars and do not speak of the 3 movies that shall not be named. Ever. Except there.  That was it. It was an awesome movie that has returned to the proper roots of The Star Wars story telling genre.  Loved it. 

Only true Star Wars fans have this measuring cup set waiting under the tree for them!

In the mean time, stay warm and keep moving!

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Up Next

This morning I'm with my dad at a hospital. No need to panic, he's having his pre admission clinic because he is having his hip replacement next week!  We like to stick together with our joint replacements!  Lucky for us (him) in done with all sorts of things like the walker, the crutches, the grab bars, the seat raisers...he can have it all!!! 

I haven't been up this early in ages!!  I just might fall asleep at the athletic therapist this afternoon.... Who am I kidding, he would NEVER let that happen! 

Stay warm and keep moving! 

Wednesday, December 2, 2015


Me thinks I overdid it yesterday.  I was in bed before 10pm and am finally getting up at 11:15.  They warned me there would be days I just slept and rested. Wow! 
I'm going to take my time getting ready for my walk too. The middles school by my house just let the kids out for lunch.... I shall have some breakfast first. 

Good thing I have nothing else planned for today!

Stay warm and keep moving (or sleeping). 

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Just Keep Moving.

Woot woot! Feeling good today! 2 km walk, all in one go, with only a quick stop to get a tea at Tim's! Also, the first km was a post surgery speed record! 

Also, I've been able to get the yoga mat out and get some stretching done on the floor! Man the hammies like to protest on that left side!! I even managed some downward facing dog to stretch he backs of legs and shoulders!! Felt good. I found lefty stays in the correct position and I can get a good stretch his way.  

Rewarded myself with a nice long soak too! It is a gorgeous day out! (I can even get more stretches done in the hot tub! )

I hope everyone is enjoying the weather! Stay warm and keep moving!
One more thing, this week's walk report! 

Friday, November 27, 2015


Yesterday felt like a banner day at my athletic therapy appointment for many reasons. I left feeling on top of the world.

1). I was able to walk up the stairs to the second floor using opposite legs,  I did not single leg up the stairs. It felt good. Soooooo good.  

2). the bike ride was smooth and it took less time to work out the kinks. I got a good sweat going and I forgot to check the tension so it was a pretty good leg workout.

3) While the deep tissue massage portion was ouchie, and I do swear at and may even have threatened to pinch him back, he gets the knots out and gets that leg mobilized. Let me clarify the pinching part, apparently it is part of the work on the scar tissue.... He is breaking up the scar tissue from the giant incision made to replace my parts. Small price to pay to get someone to touch your butt....I mean glutes.

4) The stretching (with lots of help and pushing by my therapist) went well. We did a stretch we haven't done in ages and he even added a new one. To be honest, I accused him of making it up because I was pretty sure a body shouldn't be stretched or moved like that. He pushes me and I need it because I punk out. I actually said 'ease up' on one stretch and he said 'meh, it's titanium now. You're good.'  He was right. There's no pain in the hip, we are just stretching muscles that aren't used to being stretched. 

5). This is a new thing for lefty!

6). Deepest wall ball squats ever.  Athletic therapist came to check on me in the gym and told me to go further to the floor. I verbally protested in the most polite way possible (😜) but did it. Holy shit did I ever surprise myself.  I swear I thought I would end up on the floor and get stuck.... I was gently reminded that I could just roll over and get up if that happened. See? He gives me the push I need. 

7). I used the treadmill for the first time since before surgery and it felt awesome. I figured that since I generally walk for a good half hour each day, and it was chilly, I may as well use the treadmill too.  I can work on a longer stride and just focus on walking. 

8). It was a hot tub day! I rewarded myself with a good old Canadian style hot tub soak! Canadian style?
A swim suit and a toque on a snow covered day!

Stay warm and keep moving! 

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

New X Ray Day!

This morning was my follow up appointment with the surgeon.  I am happy to report things are coming along just fine! The prosthetic is fusing properly with the bone and is working just the way it was meant to!

Woot woot!

Of course I have my x rays to show you! What kind of hip replacement blogger would I be if I didn't have x rays to show off?

TA da! 

Dr Surgeon did remind me that I will continue to have some frustrating times during rehab. He remembered how bad my hip was before he got at it and knew I had severe mobility issues. He even pulled up my old x Ray and said 'that was bad!'.

This one..... Is no more!

I am walking better than I have I years, still with a cane, but that is temporary. The surgeon was right, I do have lots of work ahead of me. There are days muscles on that left leg yell at me. They complain about the 'new work' and 'new movements' now available to them. Lefty is finally moving as she was meant to, she just protests every now and then. It will take time for my muscles to change and get used things. 

This is how my left leg was before surgery.... Off to the side!

Here's my leg 6 weeks post surgery.

What. A. Difference. 

Knees pointing forward!  To me these are huge changes! I am feeling muscles stretch that haven't stretched in years!  Yay me!

Walking, as I mentioned, is going well. I make it to the Tim Horton's and back with my tea in the mornings. This works because the sidewalk on Main Street has been cleared of snow so I can easily walk. I wish my neighbours would shovel the city sidewalk in front of their houses so I could venture out after it snows. (Most Canadian said I've said lately!)

Woot woot! Keep warm and keep on moving!

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Pat On The Back!

Pardon me while I brag for a minute. 

It dawned on me that I should be using the Map my Walk app again to keep track of what I'm doing. All my psychology training tells me that seeing your progress on a chart or some other visual form is rewarding enough to keep going. Since I started using the app this week, this is what I've done:

Not too shabby at all. 5 weeks post total hip replacement, with crutches.  Mind you, my pace is slow but the point is, I'm able to actually do this. No pain in my hip.  Not even in the rain! I will slow down a bit more when I fully transition to the cane, but again, I will still be moving and I will keep going! 

I even braved a couple of craft sales with an awesome friend and had a great lunch outing with her today! 

Woot woot! 

Bragging is done, thanks for bearing with me!

Monday, November 2, 2015

Two Steps Forward, One Step Back

Being sick sucks at the best of times but it sucks even more when you are recovering from major surgery. Your body is already working hard to repair itself but wait, let's throw in a cold virus too! Don't get me wrong, I love to nap, but I also want to get out and get my walks in and keep this hip moving! 
Here's the biggest problem when sickness strikes post hip replacement.... If it morphs into an infection of any kind, it can also infect your prosthetic hip. Infections can travel via the blood stream and since my hip is healing, extra blood is circulating there, the infection can actually collect around the prosthetic and infect the bone that is supporting it.... Holy. Shit.  

Two Fridays ago. I woke up with a cold. I was so paranoid, I called the doctor, and went to have it checked out. He was so good about not making feel stupid for calling him over a cold. He checked me out and sent me on my way with the knowledge that he was on call that weekend should things get worse. 

Last Friday I woke up and could not hear out of my right ear. There was also intense pressure and pain in the right ear. Soooooo, I definitely called the doctor again and this time, he said my ear was gross and full of puss.... Yuck! 

I have been on antibiotics ever since. The most ginormous pills. Ever.  That's my one step back.  

I have also been napping more and whining about my ear....the boys love that.... My only issue now is my paranoia about the hip and infection. Every time I feel a twinge of pain (just regular post surgical stuff) I panic....

Now for my 2 steps forward: On the awesome side of things, I have been walking 1 km, 2 times day! Still using the crutches on those long walks, a choice supported by the Athletic therapist! Especially since it has been raining making everything wet and slick. Around the house I use the cane or I just hobble! 

Today's session at athletic therapy felt good. Really good. I squirm lots, and complain about the massage, but have you ever has scar tissue worked on? Scar tissue needs to be broken down and it hurts. I also worry about moving my new hip too much but seriously, some of these muscles haven't moved that way in years! A proper hamstring stretch where my leg actually goes the way it is supposed to is huge! I still get suprised when I see my left leg doing what it was meant to.... I think my athletic therapist gets a kick out of that. I know I do!

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Moving Right Along

The ability of the human body to heal itself never ceases to amaze me. 

Here I am, 4 weeks post total hip replacement and I am walking around the block (with crutches). Hubby tells me I am walking faster at this point than I was 4 weeks pre surgery! Athletic therapist says he is transitioning me to a cane next week! Woot woot! 

There are still a whole whack of things I am working on and I am doing my best to keep the little frustrations at bay. Hubby is so good at calming me down, so is the AT, I know that each person is different and their recovery will be unique. I need reminders that my situation pre surgery does indeed affect my recovery. I wasn't even able to lift my leg up pre surgery from a lying down position before, so why would I suddenly be able to do that now? The surgeon cut through all of muscles on that side of my hip, so of course I'm going to have trouble with moving for a while.... Baby steps!

I will be able to switch to my cane shortly, but I don't want to fall and cause any issues at all. I am doing my exercises, going for walks, and attending my athletic therapy.  Last week I rode a recumbent stationary bike for the first time in years! This week, I was able to pedal twice as fast as last week, and for 20 minutes!

Here I am getting out the other day to scrunch some leaves!

So much excitement is happening. 

The Boys are cooking fabulous meals to keep me nourished! Turns out, they are awesome cooks!

The staples came out and my scar looked soooooo ugly. It was gross. I even asked the nurse if he would take a picture of the staples for me..... 

This week, it looks skin is healing. The muscles are healing.  I am moving and the only pain I feel is surgical healing type of pain.

So. Much. Good. 

Friday, October 16, 2015

This Shit Is Fixed!

Fixed and recovery is in progress!  Sorry I haven't update you lovelies sooner. I have been sleeping. Lots. Like, so much. Everyday I say "I really need to do a blog post" but then my peeps get here to look after me, make sure that I eat, take my pills, rest up, and don't do anything stupid, which is difficult considering I am on some pretty good narcotics! I even have a sample of my texting prowess while under the influence...

Yup! Hubby saved this one and posted it on Facebook! Soooo funny. 

Surgery went well. Really well.  Both feet now face forward! Woot woot!  I seriously thought people were lying to me when they said I would wake up from surgery and there would be no hip pain.  Well, they were right. The only pain that gets in the way of anything is surgical pain and even that's been kept to a minimum with proper medications and rest. Doctors are well aware that excessive pain will hinder recovery so they try to avoid as much pain as possible. I like these guys!

I really want to write a longer post that bores you with the whole story of surgery day and my hospital stay, but I really wanted to give you a quick up date. Let's see where Where this takes us.

I am currently hobbling about with crutches. Sometimes I move live a fish out of water, but I'm moving. My left foot faces forward because my left femur is actually sitting in an acetabulum of its own. No more of this free floating femoral head shit.  That shit is fixed! 

All in all, my hospital stay was fantastic (except for the food, but that's another post and rant altogether). The doctors, nurses, and health care aides were all fantastic. Every. Single. One. Of. Them. The care they provided me exceed all expectations. I even tried to convince one of the aides to come home with me. I even had my own room. Talk about luck! I slept so well. Once the door to my room was closed for the night, I was down for the count. I couldn't have asked for a better set up. They even said to me on the Monday, 'you could go home today, if you wanted, but we don't need the room tonight so you can stay until tomorrow if you'd like.'  I have never heard of that before. I actually chose to stay! My. Own. Room!  I went home the next morning around 9am when Hubby picked my up.

Hubby and the Boy have been out if this world looking after me! Reminding me to watch my precautions, drugging me, tucking me in, monitoring swellings, driving me around town....

My sisters have been awesome too! So have my nephews and dad. Little nephew will snuggle in bed with me and watch his nursery rhymes. He also loves to bring me my water bottle. 

My fabulous friends also pitch in. They come to 'Lori sit' when both my boys are at work, bring me lunch, and come to visit.  

There is so much awesome going on, I could explode. But I won't. 

Monday my staples come out. Thank goodness because the incision is starting to itch. 

I think there's 33 staples....we will count on Monday!

I know I still have a long road ahead of me, but so far, I have been truly blessed.  

Now that I have bored you with happiness and sleep, I need a nap....or some more binge watching the Mindy Projecf on Netflix....

Also. I will work on my boring hospital story! 

Thanks for being there everyone! Love you all.

Quick flashback to the days of the dreaded cast!

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Let's Get This Shit Fixed

Tomorrow is the big day.  This is happening!  New hip day is here!

There comes a point when the 'what ifs' just don't matter anymore.  In reality, the what ifs should really be debunked and left behind, but if you are like me those sort of things haunt your thoughts way too often. 

Especially on the eve of a life changing event. 

I do call this hip replacement a life changing event because it is a life changing event. 

This is a problem I have had since birth. I have literally gone from being a brat in a body cast, to being a brat with a cane.... Sure, after the initial body cast and recovery, I have had a fairly active, normal life. That being said, I have spent the last ten years slowly retreating from the activities I love due to pain, discomfort, and fatigue. It is quite the thing to rethink a fun outing becase there will be too many stairs, too much walking, the chairs won't be right, or the toilets might be too low.... Seriously. That's what happens. Two years ago, Hubby suprised me with a fabulous spring break cruise and I still feel bad about how much napping I did and how little I was able to explore the cities we visited. 

I have inadvertently alienated myself from many people and fun things.  Not intentionally.  But it happened nonetheless. This sort of thing just adds to the stress. 

No matter what life has dealt me over the years, I have persevered. Whether it be a physical impairment or emotional strife, I have made it through. We have made it through. (With the help of some very special people). Family and friends really do make or break any difficult time. Sisters who calm me down when I need to vent, Hubby who calms the panic, the Boy who knows just how to make me laugh, and friends who build rails, text and call and just help encourage me, including my blogger buddies.... 

I love you all so much. 

We have been through so much this year. 

It only gets better from here!

Let's get this shit fixed!

I will let you know how it goes!

Thursday, September 24, 2015

One Week to Lift Off

T-minus 1 week..... Panic has set it.  That overwhelming feeling of "things I should do/prepare before surgery" is here and I am choosing to ignore it.... Well, the best I can anyways.  One week without that Vimovo has proven difficult. Tylenol does help take the edge off but my hip joint is ouchers. I am even using my cane in the house, and at the gym. Athletic therapy yesterday was easy peasy. He didn't make me do anything. Not even the treadmill. I got a 'light' massage and some joint mobilization. The big bad athletic therapist then sent me on my way. I made an appointment for the week after my surgery but for now I am done there. He told me to take it easy this week, but to make sure I stretch and move the joint as much as I can, without overdoing it. 

Being in pain makes you tired. Being tired makes you more tired. Does that even make sense? 

By this time next week, all will be said and done. The new hip will be in and I will be on the road to recovery. The road to activity, movement, dance lessons, running, travel.... Anything is possible!

Monday, September 21, 2015

Don't Be a Tool. Use Those Tools

Right now life is about making shit easier. Let's take the struggle out of everyday tasks, all in the name of energy conservation and pain management. Especially since I had to stop taking the Vimovo. I was actually curious about its effectiveness but now that I am on the two week pre surgery Tylenol only stint, I know exactly how well that Vimovo worked! Holy shit balls people. Holy. Shit. Balls. 

There are many tools out there to help make things easier. Tools that extend your reach, help put your clothes on, tools to help you shop..... basically if there is job or task, there is a tool to make it easier! I am quickly learning these tools are my friend!

For instance, this funny looking device:

This funky looking things is a sock aide! You slip your sock on it, put it on the floor, put your foot in, pull the straps and voila! (It also works for tights!) To be completely honest, it has probably been about 2 years since I have been able to put my own socks on.  This means that either Hubby puts them on my feet or the Boy does.... They are so good to me. (Side note, I felt so bad about getting Hubby to cut my toe nails, I now go for regular pedicures...such a sacrifice!)

Load the sock...

In goes the foot...

Pull on the straps..... TA da! I even bring this thing to the gym with me so I can still wear sandals outdoors while the weather lasts!

Amazing!  For so long, Hubby was actually putting socks on my feet for me. I mean, if we are in a rush, he still helps because this does take some coordination and time. 

I also have this fantastic grabber tool. I can use it to help pull up my pants (because who can reach the floor these days? Not me!), I can bug the cats or the boys with it, or grab the phone and remotes when they are on the other side of the couch! Be warned, if you do get 'too annoying' with it, your loved ones will take it away.... D'oh!

Today I 'broke down' and finally agreed to use the electric scooter cart thing at Costco. You know what? I should have used it sooner. Don't be a stubborn so and so like me. Use all the tools available to you. We actually haven't had to buy too many items because many are on loan, but the ones we did purchase are well worth it. 

Beep beep!

11 days to go!

My favourite tools right now are the fancy new rails in my front steps built by a fabulous friend, Hubby, and the Boy!

Aren't they lovely? They are also so sturdy that if a fight broke out on the front steps, they wouldn't break!

Don't be a tool!

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Fifteen Days to Go!

Guess what? I just took my last Vimovo before surgery. You may be asking what the hell I'm talking about. You see, 2 weeks before surgery, I have to stop taking all non steroidal anti inflammatory drugs. Vimovo is a fun mix of 500mg naproxen and 30 mg Zantac. I have been taken 2 a day for a long time. Don't get me wrong, I also take a whole hell of a lot of Tylenol as well... Keeps me moving. It will be interesting to see how far I get once I stop the Vimovo.... A little apprehensive about it (scared) but we will see what happens...

I will keep you posted. 

15 days.... 

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Twenty Days To Go

Yesterday was a long day.  We were at Grace Hospital at 8 am to check in for my day at the pre admission clinic. This is a day of appointments and getting ready for the big day. First we met with the anethetist. This is the doctor in charge of administering the spinal and the sedation. He assured me I would be completely knocked out and wouldn't be aware of anything going on! He talked us through the process of the spinal, assuring me it was a smaller needle than the one used for my epidural some 20 years ago, describing the morphine and fentanyl that would be pumped into my spinal cord. The best part about the spinal is that it helps provide pain control post surgery for a bit. He reviewed my current meds list and advised which ones I have to stop pre surgery and when. 

Next up was our appointment with a nurse. She was awesome. They have this whole binder filled with my info, questionnaires I have filled out, and papers from my doctor.  She reviewed everything with us, took some more notes and clarified things in the binder, talked about procedures when I arrive on the morning of surgery day, and answered all of our questions. After she was done, she sent me downstairs for X-rays. X-rays were taken so they could do proper measurements to fit me with the correct size prosthetic. They re took a couple of pictures to make sure they had it right. The worst part about X-rays was when I had to point my toes together and hold them there. My left leg did not like that at all! That was the one they had to re do because I moved.... Oops. 

Once X-rays were done, the physiotherapist came to get us. She reviewed how I was doing now, what the house set up was like (number of stairs, available help, and that sort of thing). Then she assessed my cane, made sure it was the right height and that I was using it properly. (I was!)  Next she took some measurements of how far I could bend my left leg at the hip and how strong my hip and leg are. We reviewed the exercises and the reasons for them as well as my movement restrictions post surgery. I will not be allowed to bend past 90 degrees, twist, or bring my leg to or past the midline. These movements all increase the risk of dislocation and disrupting the healing muscles. My favourite part of the exercise assessment was when my hip clicked. It made a horrible cracking sound. The physiotherapist had a look of horror on her face and she stopped everything to make sure I was ok. It was quite uncomfortable and painful when that happened. Ouch!

The occupational therapist was the next person we saw. She goes over all the day to day living items such as getting dressed, showering, and using the washroom. She wrote out everything I would need to make everything easier post surgery. We all went into their bathroom set up to figure out the right height for the toilet seat, the correct bath seat, using the rails properly... She was quite thorough. Everyone was. 

Our last stop on this crazy day was the vampires.... I mean the blood lab. They needed a little bit more blood to make sure they had the right blood type on hand, should I need any and a bunch of other tests. All in all, this type of set up was great. We left feeling more prepared than ever for something this big. Needless to say we both napped when we got home. 

Now I just need to make it to the big day!

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Did I Make The Right Choice?

Sometimes that little voice in my head really messes with me.  Yesterday marked my first official 'sick day' from work. I decided to take the month of September off in preparation for the hip replacement surgery which happens October 2nd.  That silly little voice tells me I'm crazy.  That I should be at work. I can handle it. So then I feel I need to prove myself by 'getting shit done'. Needless to say, this means I over do it.

 Every. Damn. Time. 

Seriously. I went to the mall to get my voting issues in order. (Turns out I could actually vote early yesterday, so I did). Next I decided on my last full pedicure before surgery. I say last full pedicure because I won't be able to have pretty polish on my nails for surgery. After that, I ventured off to the grocery store.  This was my fatal error.  I found a loonie in the car, got myself a cart, and did too much.  Too much wandering, too much meandering, too much pushing a cart, even packing my own groceries...throws the whole body off. When I got home, the Boy brought the groceries in but I still wanted to go get the mail.... A short walk I assure you, but sometimes still too far...
Once inside, I cleaned the kitchen and made a huge batch of homemade chicken noodle soup while putting the groceries away. The Boy has been sick and the homemade soup was  definitely needed.  

I then promptly fell asleep on the couch for 2 hours! Holy shit! We are talking out like a light!  So if I ever need a reminder that being off work right now is a good idea, this is it! The after effects of doing too much included taking too much Tylenol and not being able to sleep last night. I couldn't get comfy. 

My hip kept yelling at me. 

This means I slept until 10am this morning and I have most likely thrown my entire sleeping pattern off. Damn it! I need to be at the hospital for 8am Friday! That is going to me painful!

We will fix that hip good!

Monday, September 7, 2015

Happy Back to School Season.

It is the weirdest feeling in the world knowing I don't have to return to work tomorrow.  Knowing all my coworkers will be starting up again without me is such an odd feeling. How dare they continue their day to day lives while I'm away on sick leave? Can they really function without me? D'uh, of course they can because if they can't, they are screwed! Tomorrow will be the first time in 21 years I am not going back to work. What? You heard me right. 21 years with the school division and tomorrow I don't have to go. This is one of the advantages of having 23 weeks of sick time saved up. I figure I will use September to get physically and emotionally ready for surgery. Also, there's this 2 week period before surgery where I have to stop taking my meds. Another problem is if I get sick, the surgeon may cancel my surgery.... No way in hell. I work in a school and September is germ month. I don't even want to risk it! 

Sorry friends and coworkers. You will have to go on without me (suckers).  

My hip has been feeling kind of wonky these days. (Ok, more so than normal.) I was doing my wall squats and I swear my hip (butt) kept swerving to the left.  That probably makes no sense to you guys but when I told my athletic therapist that, he kind of nodded and reminded me that we are at the point where we just have to make it through to surgery. After surgery, we have plans.  Recovery plans.  Recovery and get better than ever plans! This is exciting shit! I'm calling it my new lease on life!

In the mean time, anyone know where I can get one of these?

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

One Month to Go!

I am both nervous and excited to be getting my hip replacement. The big day is fast approaching. There's this list of things that need to be done looming overhead. (Okay, this list is entirely made up in my head and most likely completely ridiculous but still it looms!)  Completely stupid things like organizing the linen closet and being all caught up on laundry. Why? Because family and friends will be around to help me out and heaven forbid they see what the inside of my linen closet actually looks like. Goodness gracious, I hope no one goes into my basement!!! Ack!! Or the spare room upstairs.  Shit!!!  
I will be the first to admit that I am not a fussy house keeper. I let a lot slide. My house is definitely lived in. As my mobility issues increase, I have to ask for more help and let some things go. For instance, my garden is so over run, I can't see through the tomato vines to get ripe tomatoes. An indoor example? I don't vacuum and mop as often as I used to (I have never vacuumed or mopped as often as I should...). 

I swear the Boy thinks I am crazy for wanting to get these types of things done.  I think it will just make me feel better about letting people help me if my house isn't a complete disaster before they get here. I can't explain it. I mean I don't mind a layer of dust and the cat hair just comes back again anyways. Who the heck knows what is going on in my pre surgery mind?!?!? Panic. Panic about being reliant on others... 

To be honest, I am noticing I am having more trouble getting around the house and the yard. I'm even using my cane more often in the house, which is something I haven't been doing. Today I walked into the living room and my wonky hip forced me to 'curve left hard' and I just about fell... Yeah. That sucks. Big time. When your left leg rolls out to the left like that, your body has a tendency to follow... This means we need to keep floor clutter to a bare minimum, including cat toys.  Sorry kitties. My handy dandy reacher tool works well for this! 

I have been laid up with a nasty chest cold since we returned from Chicago. I have been literally doing almost nothing so I'm probably just feeling bad about sleeping and resting so much. The urgency to get shit done is setting in. 

I also need to get cracking on my exercises. Stretches and strengthening of the hip muscles is very important and will help with my recovery. I can walk for 20 minutes on the tread mill when I have the rails to hang onto but I can hardly walk a block. Come on new hip day!! The urgency effect is here, let's get this done!!

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Making Things Easier

When you're in pain, or are having mobility issues, getting out to have some fun can take its toll. It can add to your pain, fatigue, and cause you to be cranky, even though you went out to have fun. At times it is just easier to stay home with Netflix and books.  Unfortunately, this causes all sorts of unwanted issues including stiffer joints, sedentary lifestyle, missing out on fun, loss of contact with friends and family, weight gain... The list goes on. This can cause stress at home, at work, with your friends...why doesn't she ever go out? Chronic pain and mobility issues are so much more than a physical issue. The gradual loss of independence gets frustrating. One day you realize you aren't walking to the store on your own anymore because you can't carry home groceries the next day you, avoid a fun outing because there will be too much walking.... It gets way too easy to isolate yourself. Fortunately there are ways around this sort of thing. 

Last week Hubby took me to a mobility store and rented a wheel chair. I slightly protested, citing that I wanted to be able to do things on my own. One of my dirty little secrets is that I hate asking for help, or needing help. The biggest reason for the wheel chair was our fantastic family trip last weekend. We drove to Fargo, took a train to Chicago, and went to the 2015 Wizard world comic con. This event was huge. Their convention centre is so much bigger than ours. Their comic con is easily 3 times larger than ours. The wheel chair facilitated movement around the show floors (yes, multiple floors). It aided waiting in line to see my sweetie, Nathan Fillion. The wheelchair even got us to the front of that line along with all the other people in wheelchairs. Believe me when I tell you, the lines were long, people stood for a looooong time. There was so much walking involved in comic con, I NEVER would have made it. 

My boys were awesome. They pushed me around, stopping when I asked to see a booth and took me close to the washrooms when needed. I have to admit, it was a sweet deal. It allowed me to spend the entire day on the floor with the boys, all the way to closing time. I was even able to wheel myself to some booths when the boys stopped to look at comics and graphic novels! To be honest, I probably wouldn't even have made the walk across the street and through the convention centre to get our entrance bracelets. Don't get me wrong, I can still walk 20 minutes on a treadmill but a treadmill has the rails on each side and no one to bump into and I go at turtle speed. Walking freely, with just my cane is getting tougher. Good thing surgery isn't too far away. 

So here it turns out. This wheel chair that I didn't even want was amazing. I had feelings of guilt though. Worried I was being a burden on the boys, slowing them down...when actually, the chair sped them up.  No more waiting for me. I even made sure the the boys took advantage of laser tag shooting zombies. I really don't mind waiting for them to do something awesome like that, especially with so many sites to see and people to talk to at comic con! I know they felt bad leaving me out there but I still had fun. Next time I will be shooting zombies along with them!

Monday, August 17, 2015

Tough Days Happen

Not going to lie to you guys, yesterday was a bad day. My pain was through the roof!  I spent extra time in the hot tub (good thing the weather cooled off a bit). Hubby helped me stretch and even dug his knuckles into some tight muscles. Sometimes certain muscles just tighten up and throw me right off balance, literally. Even after hubby got out of the hot tub, I continued to let my self float for a while. Floating just feels good! My left leg not only felt like it was turning out more, it was literally being pulled into my midline by over tight adductors...ouchers! I even took this lovely photo of my legs to show you! The right leg is straight and braced on the bench but the left let is being left to its own floating devices.

This second photo, my legs are both floating. See how that left foot points outward? Up! Something just ain't right!

Ultimately, this will get fixed when the new hip goes in. Unfortunately, this means lots of muscle work for me after as my leg muscles re adjust to the proper position of my hip and finally having forward facing toes! Oh what fun!

Double unfortunately, this causes me to become quite anxious and worrisome about surgery, making it another 7 weeks, the 2 weeks prior that I am unable to take my meds, pre hab, re hab, recovery... You get the idea. If my brain could conjure up a bad idea, it did.  Having that happen is soooooo tiring. I even had my nap back in bed, none of this napping on the couch shit for me! 

I also had to wrap my head around the wheel chair we rented.  Yup. You heard me. Wheel chair. Not for everyday use, but to help us get through. We are going to a huge comic con coming up that has multiple floors of nerdery for us to indulge in and I don't want to slow the boys down nor do I want to miss anything because I am too much pain.  For some reason, I let the wheel chair bother me and my ego.  I did the same thing when I started using a cane.... It is there to help me be able to get out and about and keep going.  Keeping the positive thoughts going today. Coffee with a friend was very therapeutic today! So was getting out Saturday night! Lots of things to be thankful for!

I am so lucky and thankful to have a Hubby who is doing so much to help me and make sure I am ok.  He is awesome at being awesome! Thank you sweetie! 

Wish me luck!

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Still getting ready.

So far, I have attended a bunch of classes geared towards getting my family and I ready for surgery. Last week, Hubby and I attended the 'Total Hip Replacement' class and learned all about what to do, what not to do, how to move, how to set up the house, and all sorts of goodness.  As per usual, we were the youngest ones in the class by at least 25-30 years.  I was the only one in that class getting a ceramic hip and not a metal hip, so I saved some of my questions for the end of the class. I didn't want to be the one slowing the class down. Tomorrow we attend one more class about preparing for surgery. After that, I believe we just have the pre surgery hospital visit where I will get a tour, meet with the therapists and anethatists and basically spend the day getting prepared for the big day! 

There have been some other things to do in order to get ready. One of them was making sure I went to the dentist. Sounds odd, right? Apparently having dental work done post surgery requires antibiotics to keep any possible blood infection from going to the surgery site so they ask for a check up and any work needed to be completed before surgery. This is a risk, and I made sure I went. I am not a fan of dental work, even the cleaning. Fortunately, even though it has been a looooong time, I was cavity free and complication free.  My teeth were cleaned and polished and I was given a new tooth brush and sent on my way! 
See? I actually went!

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Scan Day

Yesterday I ventured to one of our fine local hospitals for the CT scan of my hip. I was impressed with the how quickly I was in and out. I was early (as I like to be so I can get the car parked, pay, find my way to the right spot...blah, blah, blah.)  They called me in well before my time and I was out still before my scheduled appointment time! The most uncomfortable part was when the lady asked me to put my heels further apart and point my toes together.  'Hey nice lady, my left leg does not stay that way.' You know what she did? She taped my feet together!!!!! I mean, at least I could relax a bit and not worry about moving, but it was weird. I wish I had thought to have my phone with me so I could take some photos, that wouldn't have been too weird, would it?

The surgeon ordered the scan to make sure there is enough bone in my acetabulum for him to use his funky spherical drill on.... He essentially needs to build a proper acetabulum for my new hip because I don't actually have a proper socket to begin with. Gross! The day I asked the surgeon how he deals with such a shallow acetabulum, he started to describe the cheese grater drill thing......ew.  If there is not enough bone, he has ways to deal with that but he will need to order some special material to build the acetabulum, so the scan was needed. 

Anyways, the scan is done. Now on to finding someone to build railings for my front step!

Saturday, August 1, 2015

One Long Day

Hubby and I got back from taking the Boy to the airport. Normally this would not be such a taxing event but this venture started yesterday evening. The cheapest way to fly the Boy to Tucson, Arizona was to drive to Fargo, North Dakota. His first flight left this morning at 6am so that meant leaving for the U.S. yesterday, staying at a hotel for a few hours, getting up at an ungodly hour, and taking him to the airport. We did manage to putter around Fargo for a bit, but with the Canadian dollar being in the shitter, we didn't really do much shopping, more looking and less buying.  That's ok, we weren't even in the States for 24 hours. We did manage to make it back to the city to make it to Hubby's Grandma's 96th birthday dinner.

After all of that driving, puttering, and getting up so darn early, I am wiped and the pain has set in, and is here to stay for the night. I did manage to take all of my meds, and even kept on top of the Tylenol today but my hip adductors really tightened up and the pain is here. This is too bad, my athletic therapist loosened those up just the other day.  

A nice soak in the hot tub when I got home helped as did some stretches, but sometimes, it just needs to rest.  Unfortunately, pain causes fatigue and fatigue enhances pain. It is a nasty cycle. 

For those wishing to see what the hip adductors do, check out this link:

My issue is generally caused by the outward rotation my leg makes at the hip. My femur rotates away from my body so instead of my foot facing forward while standing or walking, it faces towards the left. This puts strain on those adductors. My AT works hard to release and losses those up and let me tell you, of all the torture he puts me through, the only time I have cried is when he works on the adductors. Holy. Shit. I walk so much better the next day and it is worth it but I dread the days he asks 'what are we working on today?' (Or 'what don't you want me to touch?!') and I know the answer is 'my hip adductors'. Hate doing it, but it helps.  We don't want those things pulling my new hip out of place!!!

For those asking, the Boy is in Tucson for his leadership training with the wonder folks from Me to We.

He is going to have so much fun!!

Friday, July 24, 2015


Summer break seems to whiz by!  I haven't been too busy, but I did have a busy weekend (2 weekends ago... I am slow at posting these days, apologies) My mother in law and I drove to Swift Current, Saskatchewan for no other reason than to surprise her friend at the Farmers' Market. I did fairly well with the driving and sitting, mostly because I have to stop at almost every gas station to pee.... Yeah, I have to restrict liquid intake on driving days. We stopped in Moose Jaw and found a cute little shop and had lunch. We had a great time. I'm glad to have my mother in law as a friend. 
The other awesome thing about last weekend, was my sister, the one who lives in Calgary, decided to make the 4.5 hour drive with her 21 month old to come visit. That was fun. It was great to see her and spoil my nephew for a day! That kid is cute. For some reason, little kids seem to love playing with my cane...

He is adorable!

I have taken a few days to catch up on sleep and putter around the house. That's what I officially call it.  Putter.  Hubby had the awesome advice of making a list of I want/need to do.  Then I am supposed to start a timer and work for 10 minutes, then sit for 10.  It seems weird at first but it seems to help. I got frustrated with myself Monday evening. I want to get my gardening and weeding done all at once, but I can't.  The pain starts and the frustration sets in, then I have to sit. I hate asking for help because gardening is one of my escape activities and asking for help means it isn't me doing it... 
So puttering it is, with many breaks.  I know it won't all get done, but I will get something done.  I hope! 

This week I attended two pre surgery classes.  One on nutrition and exercise, the other on pain management.  They were well done, but I don't know that I need another copy of the Canada Food Guide more than I need someone to slap food out of my hand....  I am the youngest person in thes classes by about 20 years. They all look surprised to see me there. 

Learning to pace myself and feels like I'm getting shit done seems to be the key right now. I'm working on it though.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Realizing My Limits....They Won't be Limits for Long!

This morning I ventured out all on my own! I went to Costco and to Superstore....Guess what?  That was too much for me.  I could tell near the end of Costco that I was pushing my limits but I kept going because I wanted to do shit on my own. Turns out pushing grocery carts is hard on my hip, increases my pain, and makes me want to nap. It gets so dam frustrating not being able to do the things I used to, or want to do on my own.  For instance, gardening. I needed the boys to get my garden in shape to plant and to roto till... Even last summer I was able to do all that by myself. This summer I need extra pain killers and a nap after grocery shopping. I'm glad my garden got planted. I am very lucky and thankful to have the boys here to help. 
I feel bad about needing so much assistance and feel guilty asking them to do the extras.  I know feeling bad and the guilt does nothing to help me, or to help my boys. It gets nothing done. I just like to do things on my own. I take comfort knowing that I won't need this much help for a very long time. Surgery is the best option for me as it will correct the pain and mobility issues I am having and getting me moving for years to come.

The Boys are awesome. They even help put socks on my feet! (I know there are contraptions out there that I can use, but like I said, this is temporary) There are days getting dressed feels like a chore.  If I haven't slept well or I tossed and turned because I couldn't get comfortable enough, I ache lots in the morning. Wearing summer dresses actually helps because I just slip it over my head. Flip flops aren't the most sturdy shoe, but I can put those on all by myself. These days it is about making things easier and less frustrating, for the entire family. 

That's one Monday said and done.  Let's see if I can pace myself better the rest of the week...

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Just Keep Moving

One of the problems with being in pain and having limited mobility is that exercising sucks. It completely sucks. Being in pain all the time is not only tiring, it is exhausting. Exercising can add to the pain and exhaustion. On days where you think you are having a relatively pain free day, you get cocky and blow it by doing too much. (The doctors tell me that if an activity increases my pain for more than 2 hours, it is too much!) Finding that happy medium is difficult. Now that I am on holidays, I am hoping it will be easier to find that happy medium.

The last few weeks at work were absolutely draining. I was sleeping on the staff room couch during my breaks and having no trouble falling asleep. Makes me very glad that I will be starting my sick leave promptly after summer break. I have enough sick time saved up to start sick leave on the first day of school in September and take until the beginning of March. Wow! Happy day! Hallelujah! I truly believe this will help me focus on preparing for surgery, focusing on me, and getting healthy (and moving).

Today I went swimming for the first time in ages! Sometimes all you need is the feeling that you have the time to do these sorts of things. When I'm working, I would have to swim in the evening, when the pools are super busy with swim lessons and full of people. I want a quiet pool.  I need a pool with stairs which means I would be swimming in the shallow end.  The shallow end is usually full of children splashing around. This afternoon, the pool was quiet. I was the only one in the shallow end. It was glorious. I walked out of the change room with my cane, laid my things by the stairs and made my way carefully into the water. Then I made my way carefully back out of the water to put my glasses on my towel.... Oops...  

I swam for about 20 minutes, not continuously mind you.  Some flutter kick only, some front crawl, some back crawl.  I must admit I was frustrated. My left leg is so much weaker than my right I am suprised I wasn't swimming in circles.  Every now and then my former lifeguard skills would kick in and I would attempt a whip kick.. Holy shit, was that ever a bad idea.  OUCH!!!!!!

I do think it was a good start. When I am in the water, my pain is very minimal. I plan to start slowly. I pushed my luck today because I also saw my athletic therapist. Seeing the AT means more exercises, stretches, and some deep tissue massage. 

Lucky for me, dinner was waiting for me when I got home, as was the hot tub.  I have a sneaky suspicion I will sleep well tonight. 

Monday, June 29, 2015

Baby Steps

Sometimes I am in awe at how fast things change, especially when it comes to my mobility.  In the past month I have started using a cane. (It is very pretty and covered in butterflies!)  I was so apprehensive about this. I was worried what people would say, or having to repeatedly explain to people why.  Or worse, people would just assume I was using it to get attention.  Using an assistive device made a world of difference in my quality of life. Much as eye glasses help you see, a cane helps me walk.  This baby step of using the cane eases my limp, eases the strain on my hip joint, and helps with pain.  I still don't walk too far without needing to stop and rest, but it's definitely helping. 

Since my hip is basically out of its socket, the muscles surrounding it had all tightened up in an effort to keep it proper. Unfortunately. This does not help me walk, or do much of anything. I see an athletic therapist (AT) once a week.  He gives me stretches and exercises to do and does this painful deep tissue massage to help loosen the muscles. If the muscles are too tight when the hip replacement is done, I run the risk of the new hip dislocating. I. Do. Not. Want. That. To. Happen. The funny thing is, after that massage and the stretching, I feel sooooo much better, even on the days he makes me cry. 

Even though it seems like every thing is happening so fast, each step is a baby step.  A baby step to feeling better. A baby step to keep me working.  A baby step to keep me moving. My latest baby step was mailing in my application for a handicap parking pass.  Feels weird. I'm 40.  I use a cane. I will get to park a little closer for the next little while. All these baby steps will be so worth it! 

Monday, June 22, 2015

Hip Hip Hooray!

Hello everyone! I have been hiding for quite some time. A few of you have checked in on me and I truly do appreciate that. (Looking your way, Happy Whisk!). So much has been going on. Work gets busy, life gets busy, medical issues take over.... That's just how it goes these days. I don't spend as much time in the kitchen these days, at least not without help from Hubby or the Boy.  I am due for a total hip replacement surgery this October. Unfortunately, that means I have limited mobility, lots of pain, and I get pretty darn tired quickly.  

The story of my hip goes back to when I was a wee lass. Back in the day, screening for hip displaysia at birth just simply was not done. When I started walking, my parents noticed a pretty severe limp and took me to the doctor. From there we were sent to an orthopaedic surgeon who promptly jammed it 'back into place' and put me in a cast from the waist down to help it 'set'.  (Crazy!!!!). I was in that cast for 8 months!!! I managed to get around quite well, believe it or not.  I got into lots of trouble.  From finding my way to the kiddie pool and letting the water flow into my cast, causing a trip to the doctor for a new cast, to getting my head far enough over the side of my crib to cause my heavily casted legs to flip over the top... I landed quite hard on the floor but unharmed.  I even sweated through a cast, forcing my parents to install central air! (You're welcome family)!

By far the easiest way for me to get around was for my parents to literally tie me to a wheelie board and let me zoom around. 

I have no memory of these things, but have been told them many times over the years.  

After living a normal and active life (including a year playing provincial field hockey), I basically stopped doing things a few years ago when the pain started to show up on a regular basis. I did have pain over the years, but the past 4 have been the worst.  My entire life I have been told that by my 30s I would have severe arthritis and need a hip replacement and for years I was told I was too young, the damage wasn't bad enough..... Blah, blah, blah.  I have made it to 40 and am now using a cane to help me walk. Just before my 41 birthday, I will get a brand new ceramic hip! Hip hip hooray!  For the next little while, I plan to blog about my journey to a new hip, the trials and tribulations of pre-surgery, post-surgery, and my physical therapy leading up to this.  This is huge for me. It is a new lease on life. A whole new life filled with mobility, travel, and adventure! 

This blog is taking a new turn but  I'm sure I will get back to talking food even.  Hubby and I have been busy in the kitchen with all sorts of new things! 

Sorry I have been away, I hope you will stick around and take this journey with me.

Did you know, if you make friends with the X-ray tech, they will give you a copy of your X-rays?
How awesome is this?

Until next time, stay warm and eat well!