Friday, July 20, 2012

5 weeks Post-Op

So... another week further into recovery. I can honestly say - there are more good moments than completely awful ones. When I type that out it seems unreal that 5 weeks have already passed - I am beyond halfway through my initial recovery. I have noticed that some things are a little bit easier. Definitely better than a couple weeks ago but I am still in more pain than I really thought that I would be at this point - which sucks...

I run between a 7/8 (when I wake up and when I push 6 hours on pain meds) and a 3 when icing, using CPM and 30 minutes - 3 hours of taking pain meds. I am still having the severe sunburn pain - skin is still very sensitive to touch, even my clothes hurts sometimes. I am still having the muscle cramping/twitching/locking up. Sometimes I wake up from it (not that I am sleeping great anyway)...

I talked to Dr.'s office today because I still have a lot of swelling/redness/hot to the touch. I don't have a fever, night sweats or chills though. I had sent them a picture of my leg just to see if they still thought it wasn't infected because the incision and drain holes (while not fully healed) still look good. They are concerned it might be contact dermatitis. I was still a little worried that it might be cellulitis but my blood work showed nothing significant and I did have a round of antibiotics... So, tomorrow, I will be trying some hydro-cortisone cream topically and a new med for the nerve pain. Lyrica or gabapentin - we'll see how it goes.

This last week has been super busy. My lil man had his 5th birthday - he is getting so big! I can't believe it. I was up and about  A LOT trying to get things ready (shopping & decorating) and then at his party when we had a bunch of people over! It was lots of fun but I was seriously hurting afterward. My feet were so swollen (both of them) that I put my TED hose back on for a couple days! It was also my mother-in-law's birthday and we (my family and brother/sister in laws family) drove out to the in-laws house with a birthday dinner. The sun came out, the food was good, the kids were playing and I fell asleep on her couch after food for about 5 hours and that was with kids and loud family members around!!!! I was so wiped that even after we drove home I was so ready for bed. I can't believe how sleepy I was. Obviously, my body needs it but it is still crazy how tired I get with so little "hard" activity.

I have been sleeping in my bed again - without the CPM machine but still using the cryo-cuff. I still haven't made it comfortably to 90 degrees on the CPM but I am noticing that I am not AS STIFF when I have been out of it for awhile. I can only sleep on my back or non-operated side. I usually start on my back with a pillow under my operated leg longways and another pillow underneath my knee. After just a couple hours I wake up super sore and stiff. I have to wake the Mr. up in order for him to help me roll sideways onto my non-op side and fold the top pillow in half underneath my knee. I do this over and over because I can't stay in the same position for more than a copule hours...

I can't help but wonder, when does it stop taking SO MUCH out of you to do things  - normal things?? I was really hoping to try some camping before the summer is over. We have access to our in-laws motor home to drive south or stay at the river when the Mr. is busy with fishing. We can also use our cabins at the lake. They are pretty decked out and I have a queen size bed out there, a hammock, my camping chair, the dock and the fire pit. The only issues there are the walk down to the boat landing, getting in the boat, getting out of the bank, getting around the cabins & an outhouse.

Leg at 5 weeks (redness & swelling that got me worried and emailing the Dr.) 5 weeks morning, Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App
Incision @ 5 weeks 5 weeks evening, Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App
Atrophy @ 5 weeks 5 weeks, Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App
Little girl with all her braces off! Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App
Little man at his birthday dinner - Red Robin "yummm" Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App

Saturday, July 14, 2012

4 weeks Post op

I hit two pretty decent milestones this week!!! July 8th marked my 10th wedding anniversary to Mr. Broken Hip. We met 12 years ago and have been together since!

And..... I am HALFWAY THERE!!! Well almost... halfway to the BEGINNING of my real recovery. I will be able to put weight on that leg (assuming my x-rays show good things), drive, and THINK about getting rid of these crutches. They told me it would take another month or two to get off of crutches completely. I have to be able to walk without a limp. I hope I am able to do that well. Even now, using crutches, I try to use a rolling heel-toe motion on my right leg - just without putting a lot of weight on it. I was told that should help.

I am starting to get a little anxious about it. Cabin fever is starting to settle in. I have done quite a bit more this last week. I have paid for it afterward with pain but that is expected to some degree right? I will recap my activities, not necessarily because I think you all will care so much - I just need to see it written out so I actually feel like this recovery is moving along.

Took a short road trip out to my in-laws house. They live about an hour away in Wasilla. My awesome husband hooked my Cryo-cuff up to an inverter in the car so I could keep the hip iced and wrapped on the drive there and back. He also loaded up my CPM machine to use on the couch once I got there. *note - totally missed my raised toilet seat. The drive, a lot like my plane ride, was okay - not too uncomfortable - until I had to get out of the car. I am super super stiff and sore and I wasn't even sitting completely at a 90 degree angle - had the seat reclined back pretty far.

Then I had a day full of outings - my little girl got her braces off (well the top half) and I wanted to be there with her. So loaded up the Cryo-Cuff again. Then we had to stop at the store to get little man soccer gear since he has soccer camp this week. THEN, I had to go have an ultrasound done on my leg. The Dr.'s office was a little concerned because my hip is still pretty swollen, red and hot - also, the muscles are still cramping up and locking often. I have finished the antibiotics and Flexiril doesn't help at all. The ultrasound was negative, so that is good! Then I hung out at my Dad's house while the girl had her golf lessons. By the time I got home - I was hurting and really needed the CPM machine to help the muscles in my leg calm down.

It took a lot out of me. I slept/napped on/off the entire next day. But then I followed that up the next day with grocery shopping. I rocked those little motorized carts at Costco and Fred Meyer to get the ingredients for two copy cat recipes for some food that sounded good. I nailed a pretty good homemade version of White Chocolate Cherry Bread and an Italian Chicken Sandwich! Yay for a little bit of an appetite. I am still not back to normal but food is at least tasting good and sounding alright now - and my scale is jumping back up to confirm it.

I was also able to sit through two of my lil man's soccer camp practices! It was so awesome to watch him. I am glad he likes doing it! I brought my nice reclining camping chair and a blanket. 1.5 hours/day for two days. Not too bad but definitely hurting by the time I got home.

Feels like a lot - even though it isn't. Getting better at showering by myself and dressing. My yoga pants, while comfy, are still difficult since I can't bend completely to reach my foot if the material gets stuck. Unfortunately, I had to go back to sleeping on the hospital bed. My bed is just not okay by morning - with or without the CPM and ice. I am still hurting when I wake up in the hospital bed but it is not the same bone-crushing, overwhelming, makes you wanna scratch your own eyes out pain that I have when I wake up in my bed. I hope that changes soon - it is lonely sleeping out here by myself.

Pain is finally starting to feel manageable as long as I stay on my meds - which has been a little tricky between two surgeons in two cities who are out of their office more than they are in it. I just need to be a better advocate for myself I guess.

I can't see the light at the end of the tunnel yet... but I know it's there! This weekend it lil man's 5th birthday. I can't believe how big he is!!! We are having his party here and I hope I survive it!

More pics!

Incision 4 weeks post op 4 weeks, Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App
Quad atrophy - 4 weeks 4 weeks, Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App
Circulation issues??? 4 weeks, Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App
Soccer Fun Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App

Thursday, July 5, 2012

3 weeks Post Op

Another week into recovery, which felt like a really long week. I started having some increased swelling and a tingly burning pain along with some redness. After talking to the Dr.'s offices (both Dr. Mayo & Dr. Prevost) I went into the walk-in clinic. I saw my Dr's PA and he said that everything looked good but decided to do some bloodwork anyway. He also started me on some antibiotics just in case... just in case. Allthat earned me an early follow-up visit and a chance to see my x-rays.

My bloodwork looked good. The incision looks good and I got to see my x-rays! There are 7 screws in there! Wow! Crazy!!!!

We talked about pain. I was concerned with the amount of pain I still had - the burning throbbing pain, the muscle cramps and how awful I feel in the morning. Unfortunately, he said that none of it was out of the ordinary but that most people don't have ALL these symptoms afterward but they are all fairly common. But he said I was "perfectly textbook" in regards to post-op and results. According to his measurements I went from center edge angles of 15/16 - 30 on the front and from 19/20 - 35 on the side. He seemed pretty happy with it. He explained all the screws too - which I never knew the specifics.

The longer screws hold specifically bone and the smaller ones are where they cut around a muscle (don't remember the names) and move the small bone piece and the muscle to the correct location! crazy! He gave me a muscle relaxer which makes very little difference. I have my 8 week post-op appt on 7/31/12. He also told me to not worry or feel bad about pain medication. He re-assured me and my husband that this was a pretty big surgery and I would likely be taking pain medication 6 weeks post-op and they wouldn't worry about weaning me off until then and they would still do it slowly. So I felt a little better about that. He told me to try getting through a couple more days and if it still wasn't getting better to call back. so we'll see.

I am still using my CPM machine and ice. My husband has had two knees surgeries and each one left us with a cryocuff machine with a knee attachment. Since my insurance doesn't cover cryo therapy and it runs about $300 for 2 weeks... I couldn't do it. So we rigged up the knee wrap so it covers as much of my thigh as possible. "The red-neck solution!" I am supposed to return the CPM on July 10th but am worried that I will still need it. I am supposed to make it to 90 degrees of flexion and be able to stay out of the machine for 24 hours without getting stiff. I think Dr. Mayo said it could take up to 6 weeks. I am stuck at 80-85 degrees. It feels so close but I can not up the degrees yet and struggle with extended time at 85 degrees. But otherwise I am in the ice and CPM a majority of the day and all of the night.

I haven't made a whole lot of progress. I did the dishes yesterday but then realized that proving I could do only meant the my husband would happily pass that on to me. I backed off on some of my laps but am still walking around the house a bit every hour or so and trying to stay up for longer when I am up.


I am able to shower by myself (not shaving) and given enough time and the help of my grabber - I can get my pants on by myself! I managed two outing this week - well one really. The first was the Dr.'s office. That was a 3 hour appt (unexpectedly). The other outing was to to my girlfriend's house - she is having a scope done tomorrow and had her GameReady wrap (which is way better than my makeshift rigged up knee cryo cuff wrap from my husband's knee surgery) and CPM machine delivered already so I got to try her stuff out!!! ha ha so that doesn't really count as an outing since I was doing the exact same thing I would be at home but it was nice to be out of my house! This week I will tackler a store shopping trip! My goal!

Pain is still about 4-8 depending on how soon it was to a dose of painkillers or the morning. Mornings are still super hard even though I have started sleeping in the hospital bed. It's lonely but hurts a little less than waking up in my bed but I still have to have the Mr. help me out to get up and go to the bathroom.

3 Weeks Post Op - still has some glue on it. Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App

X-rays - Front view Photobucket

X-rays - Side view Photobucket

Muscle atrophy at 3 weeks Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App

My "hip" (knee wrap) Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App