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!!