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!!