Tuesday, November 18, 2008

farewell left crutch...I won't miss you

That's right, as of this morning, I have the official go ahead to start bearing weight, and to lose the left crutch...WOOOOHOOOOOOO - I'm JAZZED!

Dr. Schrader, after looking at the XRAY and prodding here and there told me all the things I wanted to hear:

a) I could drop to one crutch
b) The bone is fusing back together in all the right spots
c) I can DRIVE!! (no longer a prisoner in my own home!)

In addition, he told me that I could start to do some more 'serious' excercises on my left leg, straight leg lifts, side lifts etc., and that it was time now to start to build the muscle back (since the bone is nicely under way!)
The last bit of good news is that I can ditch the crutches altogether in 4 weeks time!!!! at which time I can also start back on the exercise bike or eliptical machines...

So here's what we've waited 7 1/2 weeks for...


On the Outside: The scar is healing really well, and I'm now massaging Bio oil into it twice a day (thanks to Sis who brought me a bottle over from Blighty!)

On the Inside:

I'm feeling GREAT!!

I know I still have a long way to go, and Dr. Schrader did say that for some time until the muscle is fully back to normal, that I would probably have a pronounced 'waddle' to my walk - but I know what I have to do, and I'd rather have a waddle and be able to do something about it, than to be back where I was 7 weeks ago and in pain.

Many, many, many thanks to Dr. Schrader who is an absolute STAR.
He has given me my life back with this operation, and I can't begin to thank him enough.

Thanks also to my entire family who have showered, dressed, fed and watered me through the tough and groggy times... I couldn't have gotten this far without you xx

So, onward and upward... :)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

sleep just got sweeter....

I can't believe another week has gone by. Ugh.

Yeah, yeah, I know you're wondering why a week going by in my current state would warrant a "ugh"...

Here's why:

a) It was a week ago today that I was eagerly awaiting the arrival of my sister, Becky, from the motherland. And now here I am, having just waived goodbye to her :( it never seems like there's enough time, and even though we had a blast and spent everyday together, it's always too short...so Ugh!

b) A week has gone by and I STILL haven't burned those bloody stockings!!! Something Becky and I had planned to do, with Jim being the flame thrower.

C) Another week has slipped by without a blog update. I feel less 'ugh' about this one, as I have a few 'milestones' that I can now tell you about...

So, onward and upward...

Per the title of this post, sleep has gotten that much sweeter over the last week, with me now being able to FINALLY lay on my stomach - HOORAY!! which means that now I can lay on my back, non-op side and stomach...I really haven't even attempted to lay on my operated side yet, primarily because it's still tender (go figure!) but I may give it a whirl in the next week or so.

I'm just jazzed that gone are the days are where I have to spend the entire night laying perfectly still on my back, and waking up with THE BEST bed head ever known to man.

Let's see, what other turning points have taken place this week...

Socks and Shoes:
I've managed on more than one ocassion now (so I know it's not a fluke!) to pull on socks (WITHOUT a grabber I might add), AND, tie my own shoe laces. Yes, for those able-bodied people, I know it all sounds very silly, but it's amazing how BIG these small things matter.

Cooking on Crutches:
Well, not in the food sense, but speed. I think i've found my groove with the crutches and can move at a pretty peppy pace (I think crutching around the mall for almost 8 hours in one stint with my sis may have given me all the practice I needed!)

My Leg is working again...well almost:
I think this has been the biggest point of frustration for me. Whilst my leg works fine and dandy from the knee down, I have not really been able to lift it under it's own weight until this week. Which basically means that in order for me to lift it, I have to physically grab it with both hands and move it. Not fun.

However, this week it has become more, shall we say 'mobile'.
I can now whilst seated, lift my thigh (no hands!) almost 2" off the couch. It's not a lot, and I wish it were much more, but I also know and understand the reasons why. My PT told me that it takes a full 6 weeks for the quad muscle (which was detached during surgery) to lay down enough scar tissue to where you can even think about moving it. So, I'm right at the 6 week mark - hence it's started to move under it's own power!!

I have my 7 week follow up with Dr. Schrader next Tuesday, so I'm excited to see the Xray and how the bone has started to fuse, in addition hopefully with him telling me that I can now start to put weight on my left leg.

Well, that's all the update I have for now...of course, as SOON as the stockings have met their doom, I will post again, in addition to posting after my meeting with Dr. Schrader on Tuesday.

Over and out.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Ia ora na ....where has the time gone?

So the weekend came and went without a ceremonial burning of the stockings. Fear not readers, they are still here and they WILL feel flames licking at their heels soon (and of course I will post photos).

Well, today is our 6th Year Wedding Annivesary (Happy Anniversary Babe!) and as I sit here, crutches by my side, with an REI mug filled with tea, I can't help but whisk myself back to this time last year...

This time last year, we were in Bora Bora (Tahiti) for our 5th Wedding Anniversary. Called the most beautiful island in the world, it certainly lives up to it. WOW.

This time last year, my hip hurt...and pretty bad when we would walk along the walkway to dinner, or when we would catch the water taxi and stroll around Bora Bora's town (main Island).

This time last year I didn't know what was wrong with my hip.
I had not been diagnosed - I just knew it hurt.

ia ora na (yah-ri-nah) meaning 'hello' in Tahitian is something we would hear each day from all the staff at the Intercontinental Bora Bora Resort & Thalasso Spa. Words can't really describe or do justice to Bora Bora, the crystal clear lagoon, the abundance of flowers, Mount Otemanu.... ahh dreamy.

I'd love to think that someday we'll make it back there...perhaps for our 25th :)
I know one things for sure, if and when we do, I plan to walk my socks off around that little Island!

In the meantime, I'll continue to work on my recovery, which seems to be going according to plan. A couple more weeks before I see the doc - and then just more of the same I guess.

Now, I must go...I've got some Bora Bora day-dreaming to do...

Nana (goodbye)

Thursday, October 30, 2008

I'm FREE.....and have transportable TEA!

Well, it's been a long five weeks, but I am finally FREE of the Lovinox injections and the awful TED stockings. WOOHOO! Whilst doing the injections was not really so bad, the thought that I no longer have that looming over me each evening is a very pleasant one! As for the stockings, I feel those may be subject to a ceremonial burning this weekend :) Of course, any stocking burning will be photographed and posted here for your viewing!

Other things since my last post..

Fon and Alex departed last night :( after a fab two weeks with them. It was so good to just hang out and have some quality time with my bro and sis-in-law for a couple of weeks. Seems kind of strange sitting here at the moment, knowing that there's nobody here... I've had family here since the day I got out of surgery and now there's a quiet time. Until of course next week, when my sis shows up from Blighty! That should be fun and I'm looking forward to her being here.

I'm now on to knitting my 5th Scarf! Don't ask me what I'm going to do with them all! Needless to say, family and friends may be getting a winter wooly for christmas! :) I still have a ton of books to read, but I'm still not sure I'm 'in the mood' to read...knitting is pretty mindless and doesn't require a lot of concentration (at least scarf knitting anyhow!). We'll see. Perhaps I'll pick one up this weekend.

So, on to the tea. For those that know me, will know I enjoy a cuppa or two throughout the day. This has of course not really been a problem since I've had my fantastic hubby and family around to make and deliver to me. That said, the one time when I decided I would make one for myself (everybody was out) I quickly figured out that whilst I could make it...I had no way of getting it back to the couch, since both of my hands were holding the crutches!

So, yesterday, knowing that things would be getting a little desperate for me with nobody here, we ventured out to REI and picked up the perfect cup!.. It's insulated of course, which helps, but the top screws on with a tight seal as does the spout. So a trial run this morning is a proven success. I can pretty much hold the handle and my crutches so that the cup is horizontal, with ZERO drips. Perfect! So, for anybody out there with the same beverage dilemna, I would recommend this one - primarily because the top screws down, vs. just pushing it on, like some of the other 'travel' cups.

We had a nice visit yesterday from Jim's family, on their way up to Murphy, NC. 4 Adults and 3 dogs (two of which could be classed as adults - they are LARGE chocolate labs!) It was great to see them and hang out for a little while, whilst the men loaded up the trailer with family furniture, on it's way up to Murphy to furnish the house there.

That's about it for an update. I'm progressing pretty well, continuing with my exercises, and just looking forward to my next appt. with Dr. Schrader where hopefully he'll give me the all clear to start bearing weight...we shall see!


Thursday, October 23, 2008

Crutching along with the best of them....

Sunday evening afternoon/evening, I decided to try out the fancy crutches I had intended to use from day one. I little unstable at first, but I quickly got the hang of it and decided to venture out on them Sunday eveniing.

Since then, I've pretty much abandoned the walker, as the crutches are definitely faster and fit into more spaces.

The crutches put a little more movement and momentum on my hip, and the first day or two it made my hip ache more...just because it was being 'swung' around more than it did with the walker, but i've gotten used to it now, and am starting to perfect the walking motion with the crutches.

Been having fun with Fon and Alex even if the weather has cooled off some for them, and they are making good use of the j-heep and getting out and about.

That's my update for today...things are going to schedule with the recovery, I have my last PT session tomorrow, and then will just need to continue the exercises each day from home....


Sunday, October 19, 2008

Pill-free...and almost stocking free

Apart from half a pain pill last night before bed, I haven't had any in the last 2 days! I'm planning to take regular tylenol if I get pain in the day, and just take the hard stuff at night (if I need it). I will say that a pain med at night definitely helps with a good nights sleep, despite this now being the 4th week of sleeping on my back with my leg propped up! (ugh)

I am SO over sleeping on my back and waking up with a major bed-head everyday - and given it takes so much faffing and energy to wash my hair and dry it, I'm just going to apologize in advance for anybody coming to visit :)

Well, Fon & Alex (bro and sis-in-law) landed without any hitches on Wednesday night, the same night mom and dad went back, and we've been pretty 'active' since they arrived. We headed out to the Ferst Center on Friday night to see Abigail Washburn and the Sparrow Quartet... a great night, even though we were a little challenged with the wheelchair.

I had booked tickets online and saw no seating specifically for wheelchair access, so I chose 4 seats that were at the end of a row near the front...thinking it would be easy to just sit in the wheelchair at the end of the row. Well, that bit WAS easy, but getting down there - not so, since the way down was via flights of stairs... We had to wheel outside, go in through another door, and then I had to abandon the wheelchair and have Jim and Alex pretty much hold me up enough to dangle my leg down the stairs as we went step by step... Phew. We made it, but it was a bit of an adventure. Needless to say that when half time came around, I needed a bathroom break and one of the Ferst people who had seen us struggling before proceeded to inform us of the wheelchair friendly area. It was much further back from the stage, but in the center and with no stairs. So, that's where we spent the second half of the show.

Since I'm able to get myself in and out of the wheelchair easily, and can shuffle around pretty good with the walker, we've been trying to get out a little more. Yesterday was no exception with our trip to the annual Great Decatur Beer Festival. Weather was great and it was a nice atmosphere. We arrived around 12:30 and left about 4:30, so a good day out in the fresh air! I sampled a couple of the beverages on offer..but nothing crazy :)

Have to give a shout out to my bro for an awesome curry last night. He and Alex decided they were going to cook dinner after our day out and that we would have an evening in. Chicken Pathia (I think) with rice, naan - YUMMY. Needless to say, Jim and Fon polished off what was remaining, whilst Alex tucked into (but only a little) her indian desserts (sweets).

On a final note for this entry, I am now down to the final (and counting) 11 days of wearing these anti-clot stockings, and the LOVINOX injections! The injections are over and done with in seconds, but these blasted stockings - ugh! So, yesterday, before the beer festival we took on a little craft project. We CUT the stockings. Those that have worn them will know that they have an elastic band around the top to go around the thigh, however I've always just worn mine kinda folded over just above the knee...they're uncomfortable as it is let alone cutting off the blood around your thigh!

Anyhow, having taken my shower yesterday morning and being 'stocking free' for amost 2 hours, the dreaded time came where I had to put them back on. THIS is when we decided to take the scissors to them! We cut the band and about another 2-3 inches off the stop of the stocking...and so now the stocking just folders neatly back on itself, and they look more like knee-high socks. The compression area is still very much where it needs to be at the calve, but I just couldn't deal with all the rest of it any longer... What a difference!! now it just feels like I'm wearing long socks. Success! (and I think way more bearable for the next 11 days!)

That's about it for today...

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

I've seen the screws....and they are BIG

So today was my first visit with Dr. Schrader since I left hospital.
Jim and I trundled off there this morning, while mom and dad took a stroll up the road to the nearest mall area.

Dr. Schrader took a look at the incision (which I might add, only 1 steri-strip had fallen off to date) and swiftly proceeded to pull off ALL the steri-strips! I have to say, the location and 'neatness' of the incision is pretty fabulous. It's the neatest I've ever seen, so I'm pretty pleased about that! I will post pics once I have it moisturized and looking it's best :)

Once that was done, we headed off to XRAY, and then back to the room - all of about 5 minutes. Dr. Schrader came back in and put my charts up - the 'before' chart and the 'after' one. Needless to say it was easy to spot the 'after' chart, cause there are 3 WHOPPING screws in there and one smaller one...I reckon each one must be about 4 inches long. He showed us where the 3 'break/saw' points were and it's easy to understand why I felt as if I'd been hit by a truck in the first week.

The bone that had been cut and rotated looks really good, in the right place, and much more coverage over my femur - which is of course what we're going for here. He said that the bone had really not yet started to heal, but that the XRAY did show the early signs of 'healing activity' around the three breaks. All in all he said the incision looked really good, the screws and everything else is in the right place and I need to see him in 5 weeks time.

I'm bummed that I forgot to take a picture of my xray :( It totally skipped my mind until Jim mentioned it on the way out. I'll be sure to take one during my next visit, which will hopefully show fused bone!

I couldn't remember if he'd explained before the reason for the 30 - 70 degree restriction, so I asked again, and here it is for all you folks out there. You can't move your leg BELOW 30 degrees due to the fact that the quad muscle and tendons get detached and reattached during surgery, and anything less than 30 degrees may end up pulling and ultimately detaching the muscle again...can't stretch it out that far until its fully reattached itself. As for the 70 degrees, you shouldn't go beyond this because it can put too much pressure on the screws and they can shift the bone before it is fully fused. Now we know!

So, that's pretty much the update for today.

Mom and Dad just have one day left before they fly out tomorrow, and it's gone so fast :( They'll pass like ships in the night with Fon and Alex who are landing tomorrow just as Mom & Dad take off. It's Dad's birthday today, so we'll be heading out this evening for some tasty dinner.

So, I'm feeling good about where I'm at so far...scar looks good, bones & screws look good, taking fewer and fewer pain pills, feeling more mobile.

I'm glad I have those first 2 weeks behind me - and I couldn't have done it without my loving hubby Jim, and my wonderful parents.


Sunday, October 12, 2008

A Walker A Day....


Zoinks. Yesterday was the first day I had paid any real attention to the bottom half of my 'bad' leg... I've been so focused on the top half, when and where to bend etc., that I didn't really notice how thin my calve had gotten - in just 2 WEEKS. Mortified.

I've never had real shapely calves, and they've always been on the 'thin' side, but what little shape I did have is now gone! my left leg looks like a 10 year olds :(

I'm hoping they build back up as quickly as they disappeared...any words of encouragement from the hip chicks out there is GREATLY appreciated on this subject :)

All for now...may post again later.

Friday, October 10, 2008

2 Weeks...

2 weeks today since my operation, and what a difference 2 weeks can make.
If I think back to the week of the surgery and how I was in hospital in terms of appetite, getting around etc, it's a major change.

I realize I've not blogged much about my hip and what it feels like, so I'll attempt to describe some of that, for you folks who want to know.

My scar - which I guess is not yet really a scar and more of an incision with stitches and steri-strips on is about 7 inches long and runs pretty much the full length of the crease in the joint (when you sit down). It looks pretty neat and tidy from what I can see through the steri-strips and when it's healed much more and ready for broader viewing, I'll post a pic on the blog (and for those that are squeemish - well, just look away).

I do have a rather large patch (about the size of a good piece of steak!) on the outer part of my left thigh that is totally numb. Dr. Schrader had stated there was a potential of this happening, as there is a nerve that sits very close the surface of the skin that they can't always see when operating, and this can become damaged during the surgery. He also said that it often gradually comes back and reduces in size. I'm hoping for the latter. The most frustrating thing at the moment is that my leg is itching, and I can feel the itching...but I can't get any relief from scratching it, because I can't feel a damn thing...GRrrrr. Although, better a small patch to be numb, than not being able to feel or wiggle my toes!

Sleeping has been another challenge for me...I'm used to having a good 7-8 hours of sleep a night, and whilst I HAVE been sleeping, it's been broken and not terribly comfortable. I can only sleep on my back, as my leg has to be positioned at a 30-70 degree angle - which means it has to be propped up with 3 pillows. I've attempted twice to move onto my side , but even with pillows in between in my knees, the 'pull' on my left hip is just too much to bear...so it's back on the back.

PT has visited for the third time this week and I think my leg is getting more mobile and stronger as the days go by - she at least seemed pretty pleased with my progress (even though my blood pressure is still on the low side). I wish I could say the same for my wrists!...man, that walker takes it toll on your wrists and hands...especially when you're having to hoist your entire weight around.

Mom, Dad and I took our first trip 'out' yesterday - a big day. We only went to our local Target store but it seemed like a big adventure. Walker and wheelchair at the ready, we made it into Target and spent an hour or so wheeling around. I think one of the things that struck me the most is how much stuff you can't reach when you're sitting down. I guess if I had taken my 'grabber' with me, it would have been easier, but it was an eye opener for sure!

The evening excursion was even bigger and better. A trip to TDS (those in the know, will know). No margheritas for me, but tasty tacos and a nice evening 'out' instead of trying to find something half decent to watch on TV...
Of course, the end of the evening always finishes with the wonderful LOVINOX injections into my stomach (for blood thinning), but I'm even getting used to that now too. Only another couple of weeks of LOVINOX and anti-clot stocking wearing - and THAT day can't come soonn enough.

So, I think two weeks on, and I'm doing pretty well. My hip still feels incredibly fragile and just when I think it's not hurting, I move in a slight direction and WHAMO...it gives me a sharp reminder of just what went on in there two weeks ago. I feel it will be sometime before I'm using my crutches, but I'm fine with that. One day at a time.

My good friend Amy popped round this morning with some goodies! a box of yummy bakery items from Alons and some trashy mags...perfect! I'm set now for a good few hours :) Thanks Amy it was great to see you!!

Jim just collected and dropped off my Disabled Parking Permit - so look out Lennox!

Just wanted to say thanks for all the continued well wishes and comments on my blog. It's so nice to know that so many people are reading it...


Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Wheelchair time...

Today has been pretty good...

I spent some time sitting outside this afternoon - the beautiful fall weather (well, hotter than usual for this time of year) was just too perfect to be sitting inside.

So I rounded up my walker, got mom to get my wheelchair on the outside path, made it outside and down the driveway where the sun was shining. Before too long however it got a little warm - especially wearing skin-tight stockings! So I rolled from sun to shade, and back.

I guess I spent a couple of hours sitting outside, and then made it back in for a nap. I also decided at this point that I was going to skip the percocet, and opt for three tylenol - just to see. My main reason for this is that the Physical Therapist came yesterday and took my blood pressure - which ended up to be a pretty low reading - clearly it's not only the pain meds, but they do/can have an effect on it - so I thought it'd skip it and see just how great the pain was without them.

The pain was there. But it wasn't unbearable. I'm going to try 1/2 percocet and tylenol and see how that works for this point on.

The rest of the afternoon was a lazy one. Jim took mom for a trip to Bed, Bath & Beyond, since mom hasn't been out of the house since they arrived last Tuesday, and there were some things she wanted to pick up.

Jim prepared another tasty dinner tonight...and its fair to say that my appetite is pretty much back to norm. So much for losing some weight during all of this!..

I have been sleeping on the couch for the last couple of nights, which has been suprisingly more comfortable than the bed, however I think tonight I may venture back to the bed for a couple of reasons - I think my hip is a little more 'mobile' and less stiff, I am sleeping through a good part of the night (from 10.30 - 6am), and of course, I want to get back to sleeping next to my hubby.

PT is coming again early tomorrow morning, so I'll need to get a good nights sleep so I can be up and awake in time. We'll see how my blood pressure is then.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

A day of nothing....

No major updates today. Things are progressing as they should.

I had another good nights sleep last night on the couch.
Jim cooked a perfect dinner of steak, jacket potatoes and salad last night, after which he took Dad over to the Brick Store for a few pints and mom and I watched 'Deal or No Deal'... I think it was the latest I have been up since I had my op.

Took my pain meds at around midnight, and didn't wake up until 6.30am, when I took another single tablet. I'm feeling pretty good about the hours between paid meds. Dr. Schrader had said that whilst I had no reactions to them, I was sensitive to the medicine and so a lot was going a long way. I only take 1 tab each time, with 2 before I go to bed.

Spent some time this AM doing my PT moves, which are getting a little easier. My leg still feels like I have a 100lb weight hanging off it, but I can now begin to move it a little, which is encouraging.

Susan and Alan came visiting today, as did Sean, who came with another tasty meal in hand for this evening - Lasagne. Needless to say, my appetite is quickly returning.

Jim and Dad have been busy today working on the wall in our garden and 'filling' up holes. Dad is going to work on getting it looking a little more decent whilst he's here and I've asked he and mom to pick out some plants to edge it with, so that should make it a little more pleasant to look at.

I still have a swollen ankle and foot on my good leg, but I'm not too concerned. This is the same ankle and foot that swells when I take a flight, or spend too long in high heels on a hot evening.. I'm just gonna keep an eye on it, and keep it raised up when I can, plus I think the TED hose make it look far worse than it is - given that these things could squeeze water from stone!

PT are scheduled for 3 times a week for the next 3 weeks, starting tomorrow at 9am, which means I'll have to be up and alert for their arrival - yawn.

That's it folks for today's update - no major happenings.

I'm hoping to maybe make it outside tomorrow for some period of time. We have our new patio furniture which I'm thinking I'll be able to get pretty comfortable on - I just have to wrangle with the 2 steps to get down there and back...we shall see!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Let the Rain Fall....

Today marks one full week since my operation (well, the day after the ACTUAL op)

Got a call yesterday from Dr. Schrader checking in to see if I 'was still alive' :) he really has been great, and I'm so thankful to have had a surgeon as good as he is, right here in Atlanta. I really don't think I could fly to and from another state, like many of the other hip chicks have done to have their operations. Just knowing what I know now of the discomfort etc, the last thing I could handle would be a flight back home.

More flowers arrived. I think I'm now up to a count of 14 arrangements in all shapes and sizes. Absolutely beautiful and the house is filled with the scent of them as you walk in...

I had a very sweet visit yesterday from Linda (on my team). It was great to see another friendly (and always smiling face). She was delivering food - totally unexpected and a wonderful suprise. THANK YOU LINDA! you are 'salt of the earth'. By the way - if you're reading - Mom wan'ts the recipe!!

Yesterday didn't end so well, with me being sick - I think a combination of pain meds and an empty stomach...a few dry crackers later and I was fine...and then of course Linda's great casserole and I was set for bed.

I had decided to sleep on the couch last night (and for anybody that knows our couch will know that it's a GREAT place to sleep). I was having trouble with my back aching in the bed, so figured I would try the couch. I had a really good nights sleep with far less back pain, so I'm planning on doing that for the nights to come.

And the rain fell....

Today is the day I've read about in all the other hip chick blogs...the day that makes you feel human again, or as human as possible. The day you can't wait to arrive....SHOWER DAY.

Mom and I figured out a whole 'approach' as to how it was going to go down, and what we would need, where and when. Walker here, wheelchair there, shower seat this way etc. It was a success! I have to say that something as simple as water running across your body is something I've now realized is taken totally for granted. I can't explain (and the other hip chicks will know for sure) what it feels like to have hot water pouring down on you for the first time in 7 days...I found myself sitting and grinning like a child. One things for sure, I did NOT want to get out, but after about 15/20 mins of hot water blasting on me and two shampoos and conditioner, I figured it was about time.

Out, dried, dressed, moisturized, hair combed.....aahhhhh I'm Alive!

Going to start some of the PT exercises (they're pretty low impact) throughout the day today to get those muscles back working again. I find that my leg is moving a little more with each day, which is a good sign for sure.

One QUESTION to the hip chicks... Did you find that your GOOD leg (specifically your ankle and foot) swelled? I have these gorgeous TED hose on (which I know you all had to wear too) and when I took them off this AM for my shower, my good foot and ankle were elephant like! Not sure whether that's cause that's the foot that all my weight goes on or what, so If it happened to you and it's pretty normal, lemme know.

OK, I think I'll finish this entry now and may post another later today...since this one is already pretty long!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Friday, late

Long day today. Rache was feeling pretty weak all day, if in decent spirits. She is getting around pretty well with aid of the walker, just not far. I think she's just really tired, and may have pushed herself too far yesterday, activity wise. Or, maybe she's fine, and just overall weak. I don't know hardly anything, just ask anyone.

Pete and I took some time to cause some trouble for the chipmunks burrowing under the corner of the fireplace / side patio area. 150lbs of cement grout should slow them down, the little jerks. Eat all the acorns and bird seed you like, but keep your distance from my foundation. Let that be a warning to everyone reading this. Even you.

Physical Therapist came by this evening (finally, after a full day of scheduling screwups,) and the woman checked Rache out on a few tasks. Little tests, I guess. Rache can get up out of her wheelchair, and onto the walker, and transfer from walker to the bed, with only assistance being someone to lift her bad leg. PT woman said she would teach her some tricks to do all this unaided, but mostly I think it's just time for the joint and leg to heal and strengthen. But again, I do not know much.

Just 4 to 6 weeks, and she'll be mostly mobile!

We had another satisfying and tasty "comfort food" dinner tonight, delivered personally by one of Rache's fine coworkers. Good folks, those fizzy-pop-types. I approve of her workplace, and not just for the random free beverages!

Rachel's parents were a little bewildered by the food arriving yesterday and today. So, I spent some time explaining why, particularly in the American south, food (often in casserole form!) shows up at people's homes at certain times... The past few days have reminded me of other anxious, tiring, and stressful times, and of the friends and family so eager to provide what they could, more often than not in delicious form. Many thanks.

Lassie! What is it?! Did Timmy fall in the well? SOMEBODY MAKE A GODDAMNED TUNA CASSEROLE, QUICK!

Regina!? Can you get a banana pudding going? We got sick people!

Somebody call Eva, she makes the best lime jello and marshmallow salad in three counties, and we are going to need GALLONS OF IT!

g'night. I'll get Rache to provide more interesting insights tomorrow.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Thursday, from Jim.

Well, you've already heard from Rache, so I'll just add my .02.

Today, I figured out that if we removed a couple of the doors from the bathroom, and modified the walker so the wheels are on the inside of the frame, instead of the outside, Rache could make it from the bedroom to the bathroom mostly unassisted.

Triumph! So, I completed the above tasks, and it works just swell.

Our home isn't one of those fancy new places where all the interior doors are 36" wide and 8' tall, so we have to make adjustments! I'll be pleased if we end this entire journey without too many wheelchair gouged walls!

I bought Rache a couple of different "grabber things on a stick" last night. So she can grab things. At a slight distance. They're both kind of silly looking, but they do work. One of them is AS SEEN ON TV! ... So it must be good.

Thursday...and back at the helm....

Well, Rache here! I'm finally feeling well and able enough to pick the blog back up. It's been tough to focus on anything for more than 2 mins straight, but today feels 'right', so here I am.

Since Jim has been doing a more than stellar job at keeping the blog updated on a daily basis, you know all of the details and happenings since I went in last Friday AM. Well it's been a journey.

I guess the blog will now take on the 'road to recovery' angle.

I think the biggest/hardest thing for me to deal with has been the sheer 'loss' of use of my leg. Of course, whilst laying in the bed, you don't really NEED to move it..it just kind of sits there like a large wallowing sea lion. But when it IS time to move it...it's pretty much impossible. It doesn't matter how much you stare at it, will it, shout and swear at it, it's not moving.

The Physical Therapy folks at Northside were great, but them telling me to 'just pick my foot up and move it', was not so endearing. I can't explain what it feels like to know that you need to move it, and that you know HOW to move it, but simply can't. No matter what.

But now I'm home and things are progressing pretty well, I think. I haven't yet walked the length of our hallway from the living room (where I'm spending my days on the couch) to the bathroom, but I am beginning to make pretty good transistions from the wheelchair to the walker, walker to couch/bed etc. I'm taking it one day at a time with a few more steps each day.

I spent an hour or so in the wheelchair today which was nice just to be up OFF my back for a while. Not being able to sleep in any other position other than on my back, and pretty much lay perfectly still for the entire night is already getting a little tedious. I guess 7 days flat on your back will do that to you.

I feel as if there is so much I need to blog about...and instead of this becoming the longest blog post known to man, I'll cover it in the next posts...but just so I remember, I need to cover; Flowers, Nurses, Friends as well as of course, the daily updates and improvements.

OK, so maybe I'm still not able to focus for more than 10 mins, since I'm about done as I type this sentence, but just like my resident wallowing sea lion, that too shall improve with time :)

Thanks to EVERYBODY who has and continues to help me through this, my friends, my family, and especially my hubby, who has been a true saint.

Until tomorrow...

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

2000 Words



Dateline - Atlanta..

Looks like we're headed home today! Doot dee doo!

We shall keep you posted, but everything is being prepared for departure!

Later, dudes!









(Mine, not Rache's)


The Jeep is now laden with stuff. Walker, wheelchair, other contraptions. Have to get that home, and then we'll have room in the car for Rache, whenever she heads home.

We'll find out her departure date late this afternoon, after her next physical therapy session..

Wednesday Morning...

Rache is steadily improving, but naturally the progress is slow. Rache has made it outside her door today, but that was about as far as she could make it.

She may make it home today, after all. The Physical Therapist person has indicated that there may not be a real reason to stay much longer, if Rache can get around even a little bit. We shall see.


This woman says I'm not blogging enough. What does she know? I've never seen HER blog!


Later, folks!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Tuesday Evening

The folks are here!

Meanwhile, Rache has been on an expedition to the door! There and back. Really tough for her, but still progress.


Tuesday, mid-day

Rache is in fine spirits today, and has been spotted sitting in a chair! This is a big deal, so take the time now to applaud. Go on. I'll be here when you're done.

I'm waiting?! I don't hear you, there, with the blue shirt on...

Ok that's better.

So, physical therapy is continuing, and arrangements are being made for it to continue from home once we're back there. Steady progress, and we're all quite pleased, especially Rache.

Looks like a release from the hospital tomorrow is less likely now; don't be surprised if it is Thursday before we're outta here. The Dr. (and Rache!) want Rache to be confident about moving around before she's sent home.

Plus, I think she's starting to like the food here. I spotted her asking the food service folks for the recipe for their beef barley soup.

The Folks arrive from Blighty this afternoon. I'll be trekking to the airport (in my fully fueled Cadillac) a bit later to drop off my brother Lee (thanks for sending him, Jenny!) and pick up the parents. All carefully choreographed. I'm a care-taking MACHINE!

for your amusement and boundless delight, here's a picture of my Torino. It has no gas, because I haven't found any Premium!


Monday / Tuesday overnight update




Monday, September 29, 2008

Monday PM update

Another venture UP, and some additional pain for the trouble. But, it's getting better each time. Just going to take time and practice!

Great news! More flowers!

09-29-08_1657 09-29-08_1658


Folks came in and got Rache up again this morning, and let her sit a bit. Pretty painful, and she's got no strength (naturally) in that hip. Using her "good" hip causes lots of pain in her bad one, so things are difficult.

But still, it's progress!

Monday morning..

Got here this morning and Rache was watching TV and munching some cereal. Awake, obviously, and looking pretty spry. She's still got a headache, they're trying to help with that. Rachel thinks it might be a sinus headache from the little oxygen tube.

Dr. Schrader was by again this morning, inspected, poked and prodded, and everything is looking good.

Brought in the crutches this morning, so she can try those out some time, too. 

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Sunday evening...

Just left Rache to rest for the evening. She ate some dinner, and is quite relaxed and probably pleased with her own day. Eating, standing, off all the IV's and the medication pump.

The oral percocet seems to be working well for her, managing the pain without quite as much drowsiness. Huzzah!

So, now Lee and I are (with Alan, but not Susan, because she doesn't like us) at the Brickstore enjoying a pleasant beverage. And Alan is mocking me for BLOGGING!

Sunday afternoon update!

Physical Therapist lady was just here, and with the assistance of the nurse, Rache was UP UP UP!! She swung around, sat up and stood on her walker a few times. Very good progress by all accounts.

She's kind of looking forward to her dinner, I think, after all that exercise. But it's fish, which might not be so good.. Time will tell.

Sunday, Sunday, SUNDAY!!

Saturday night was pretty uneventful. Rache got some sleep, and watched a little TV. Lee and I had dinner at Cakes & Ale, and watched some TV.

This morning, we arrived back at her room around 8:45 to find Rache awake, smiling a bit, and having consumed a banana for breakfast. And some apple juice.

Dr. Schrader has been by already this morning to remove the dressing from her wound and remove the drains. Everything is good there. Moving today away from the pump for pain medication to some tablets. Rache doesn't like the other stuff because it makes her too drowsy.

Sometime later today, the Physical Therapy folks are coming by to see if she can get up for a while. That should be quite an event.

Yesterday, Rachel wanted to move in the bed some, to be more comfortable. The nurses valiantly tried to help her roll over a bit to adjust her back, but the pain was too much, and Rache apologetically asked them to stop.

About 2 hours later, still uncomfortable and now really annoyed with it, Rache decided to try again. Lee and I moved the pillows, but she just hauled herself around the bed with her good leg and her arms on the overhead bar they provide for just such a thing. Way to go, Rache! Determined, as always, and successful at what she tries.

More flowers last night, these from Lee and Jenny.


Saturday, September 27, 2008

Saturday Afternoon...

Lee and I went to get some lunch, and stopped at Lowe's to look for a new pump for the fountain. They have Christmas stuff out. Great. I want to get some new ornaments for the tree ASAP!


Rache is doing pretty well, in my medical opinion. Pretty strong pain, naturally, but also discomfort with her back from laying around. Other than that, she has been deemed a very healthy person, aside from the surgery! I'm very proud of her. I wouldn't endure any of this, that's for certain.

Dr. Schrader was by earlier, and indicated all is well so far. Blood tests are good, no sign of anemia, etc. He's coming by again tomorrow, and the drains will probably be removed then, and the Physical Therapists will try to get Rache up and around a bit if possible. Big day.

More flowers today!


This picture turned out pretty dark; they're from Aunt and Unk down in Florida.



And, more flowers, these from the Arnette clan.


Note my use dazzling advanced formatting in the post today. To quote The Monarch... "I have been BLOGGING!!" 

Saturday Morning

Long night for Rache last night. Pain in her hip, annoying pain in her back, and an uncooperative pain machine. They swapped out the machine, and moved her IV to her other arm, and it's better.

She's doing her little spirometry machine like she's supposed to, and looking forward to a cup of tea!

Friday, September 26, 2008

More flowers! These are from out mid-occidental way.



Some flowers! We've been in this damned room for... Like an HOUR with no flowers! Whew.


(You know I'm joking, right?)

First quote after the surgery...

"Have I still got that stupid hat on?
Take that thing OFF!"


This, good people of internetland, is the McSurf-N-Turf. Suitably fortified, I should see Rache soon.



Dr. Schrader just came out, and said everything went very well. She has "very girly bones" which is a good thing. Of course we knew they were girly bones, of course they are!

No blood transfusion, everything went well. She's currently in recovery, awake. They'll let us know when she's off to her room.

Somebody remind me that the Dr. said to keep the leg straight, and not let it flop over!

And going, and going....

Still going. 11:45.

And she's on the way!

Well, after getting up super early (for Rache,) and wheeling our way over to Northside Hospital this morning, Rache is now in surgery. Met a whole lot of folks, and they all seem focused and competent. Except for me.

They administered some "relaxation medicine" which made an already relaxed wife into a super-relaxed wife. Note to self. Medicine is weird.

Oh, here's a picture!


Go, baby go!!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

The night before...and all was quiet...

Apart from the overwhelming number of text's, phonecalls, voicemails and facebook messages from family and friends I've received throughout the day today.

It's such a great feeling to have so many people routing for you...and one that gives me even more confidence and courage for the days ahead.

This won't be long post, and I even contemplated not posting at all, but figured I should. Figured I needed to, if only as a way of passage into tomorrow.

I'm packing my bag...with the few things I'll need in the first day or two. Jim will of course bare the brunt of my requests to 'bring me X...and don't forget to bring Y' but I know he will be all too glad to do those things. You see my husband is a wonderful man - and one who cares deeply for me. He is not a lover of the 'medical' profession, but I know he has every confidence in Dr. Schrader and that makes me really happy.

Well, as I need to be up at the crack of dawn (4:45ish) I am retiring to my bed, with a few good last gulps of water before 'nill by mouth' kicks in.

One last thank you goes to Lauren, who left me a very special and heartfelt voicemail tonight... thank you for all words of encouragement and support...they mean a lot. Please come visit (preferably after the first few 'rough' days!)

Alrighty kiddo's, I'll see you on the other side. Keep watching the blog for updates from Jim.


Saturday, September 20, 2008

Destination: Mall

So, it's a Saturday, and I like nothing more than to visit the mall on this day.
I guess it's always what we did when we were growing up and I've never really outgrown it. Saturday was the day we went 'down town'.

And today shall be no different. In fact today, I plan to carry my little hip around that mall until I can carry it no more! One good last shopping day for a while, I'm thinking, since how much shopping can you really do on crutches!?!?

I have specific things I need to pick up...so it wont be the wandering into every store like the good ole' days, but I do plan to spend a couple of hours for sure.

Pretty much wrapped up all the 'medical' stuff before my op. Had the pre-op assessment interview with Northside which took all of 30 mins and was conducted by a very softly spoken and calming nurse. One thing that really gave me a lift in my day is finding out that I can wear nail polish for the surgery!!!! Which, for anybody that knows me will know i LOVE my nail polish. Never a day without it, toes and fingers....so this was VERY exciting for me since I had just assumed, like the good ole days that the surgeon needed to be able to see your nails in case of a color change....

Got my blood work done, and was presented with a red hospital bracelet which I'm supposed to wear from the time I had my appointment (Thurs) until I go into surgery. Why? apparently that bracelet is the only thing that connects me to the 2 units of blood that will be on standby, and you bascially have to fill out a form that says if you lose, or do not have it on you at the time of surgery you will be subject to costs. Needless to say, it's really big on my wrist, so I slipped it off and have it ready to go next to a bag I will take with me next Friday morning.

Other things this week....

My new swanky DELL laptop arrived that Hubby Jim got for me...so we've been surfing the web from the couch, which is cool. I have the blog loaded and ready to roll, I just need to find out from Northside if they have wireless access or if we need to buy a 3G card...

I have decided to take next Thursday off from work. Rita, my cube neighbor and great colleague convinced me to 'have a day to chill'. And whilst I was originally planning to take half day on Thursday, I'm now just taking the full day. I don't want to be stressing about trying to get stuff done at work, and then not feeling like I've had time to relax etc. So THANKS Rita for the convincing...you talked me into it!

OK, that about wraps it up.
I'm certain I'll post again before the main event, probably on Thursday to share some pre-op jitters with you all :)

Monday, September 15, 2008

this time next friday....

I will be back in the hospital room, and probably very out of it....after a successful LPAO!

Had the pre-op meeting with Dr. Schrader last Tuesday and all is moving according to plan.... although there were 2 minor changes....

1) I had been told 7.30am by the nurse, thinking of course that I would 'check in' at Northside for 7.30 with my surgery taking place around 9ish. WRONG. Turns out my SURGERY is AT 7:30, which now means we have to be at the hospital for 5.30am. Oh joy. not only am I convinced I'll have a crappy night, the night before, but now I have even less time to get a good nights' sleep - hey-o, I'll survive.

2) I had just assumed that my incision was going to be straight up the front of my thigh over my hip....WRONG. Schrader informed me that my incision would be 'different to Lauren's' in that it would go around the side of my hip (which I've seen in some of the other hip chicks photos). I actually feel pretty good about this latest change, since I'm hoping the scar might hug, heck, even be covered by a bikini...either way, it won't be sticking out the bottom of my shorts!

In other news....

My Millenia Crutches arrived... I originally ordered the gray ones, thinking they would be metallic and match my car (yeah, yeah, I know...) but then Ken from Millennial Medical (absolutely fantastic chap!) called and said they were out of the 'nice' gray and that the latest batch looked a little ....well....'medical'. Needless to say, I changed my mind and went for the racing red!

A big shout out to Millennial Medical...Ken was great, customer service to beat any other. I would highly reccommend them. I got the 'In-Motion PRO' crutches, since I figured the spring loaded bottom would give me an extra boost!

My plan while I'm in hospital is to while away the hours with the low-effort, low-focus act of 'decorating' them with stickers....so I'll be taking a trip to Michael's this weekend to stock up on the glittery kind :)

I have my pre-op interview with Northside this Thursday, and I need to return to get my pre-op blood work done for the cross-match for the 2 units they'll have on standby. That'd be A Negative PLEASE, Red Cross!

Not really much more to do other than wait for next Friday to roll around.

Hubby Jim is now set and ready to go as the interim author during the first few days after the surgery...and I know you'll enjoy his ramblings..and potential rantings :)

I'll post again before the main event...

Sunday, August 31, 2008

tick, tick, tick...

26 days and counting...

We just returned from a fab trip to England to watch my brother get married to the wonderful Alex :) What a day, the weather held out and was just perfect, couldn't have asked for anything better, and the bride and groom both looked fantastic!!

So, now I'm back, the real countdown starts...

Coming up:
Pre-op meeting with Dr. Schrader on Sept 9th
Pre-op assessment telephone interview with Northside on Sept 18th

and the week after is...well, it, the big day.

Of course, during our last few days in England, I received many well wishes from my family and friends, all cheering me on from across the pond. My parting words were "check the Blog!"...since the plan is for Jim (hubby) and hopefully mom to keep this up to date during the first few hours/days...

I've already lined up the important things to get done before the surgery; hair cut, hair color, and a facial :) and schedule permitting, I may try and squeeze in a massage the day before.

I have a couple of busy weeks ahead at work, which I know will keep my mind occupied which is a good thing and I'm really trying to not think about it too much...but I'm certain the week of the surgery (it's not until the Friday) will be a different game altogether.

'tis all for now.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

7 weeks away...crutches ordered!

So, not much been happening since my last post...other than time has been passing pretty quickly!

We're getting ready to depart for England on 19th Aug, for my brothers wedding, which we're really looking forward too.

I think the fhe fact that he and the rest of the groomsmen are wearing custom made orange chuck taylor high-tops, should give you an idea as to why we're looking forward to. It should be a blast!

So, with only 7 weeks to go, I'm starting to get just a little jittery...anxious perhaps. I'm not at the nervous stage yet (which I'm certain I'll get too), but I'm beginning to think of all the things I'll need...

Lauren has been a great help and sent me a 'check-list' with almost a running commentary about what will happen and when...very useful.

Needless to say I felt like I needed to begin the preparations, I've ordered my crutches! I contemplated the blue, but decided I'd go with the grey...plus they match the color of my car - VERY sporting :)

Nothing else ordered, but just starting with this has made me feel a little more 'in control'...

I guess I still have a fair way to go, but once I return from England (30th Aug) I will be just a few short weeks away, and then the countdown REALLY begins...

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

hey-o, 11 weeks to go...

Not really in major countdown mode yet, but I am concious that time is passing, especially with the recent booking of flights to England for my brothers wedding (22nd August).

Needless to say that once that has been and gone, I'll be down to 4 weeks...and I know that will be here before I know it.

On the pain front, things are holding up....kinda.

I had a pretty stellar day on 4th: We decided we were going to check out our neighborhood 4th July parade, which is pretty much where the elementary school takes to their bikes, trikes and anything else and follows a small band and a firetruck down a few roads in our neighborhood, ending at the neighborhood pool, with popsicles for all!!

The stellar part here is that we decided to 'wander' to see it 4 minutes before it started. Now any 'normal' person would set out on a fair paced walk and gotten there with time to spare since the walk was approximately .6 miles and google says you can do it in 2 mins (thanks google maps!) however I have to say I was pretty chuffed with myself for making it there with no pain or limp - IN TIME and before the arrival of the fire truck!! incredible.

This is NOT a normal day in the life of my hip, but for some reason that day, it was on top form!! (pretty sad that a 4 minute walk should seem like some form of accomplishment, but hip chicks will understand all too well).

The last few nights have been pretty rotten. Harsh pain in my hip, followed by shooting pains down the left leg and no real comfortable position to be had.
The throw pillow on our bed has now become the 'prop your leg up at night' pillow and offers some relief, but I feel another solution may be needed before too long.

I'm holding out on any real 'pain killers' since I know I'll take my fair share after the operation, so for now, a dose of 4 advil (prescription strength) will see me through.

Some days are great...I feel like I could run a marathon.
Some days are really crappy...I feel like I can barely walk two steps.

and that's about where we stand as of now...
I'll continue to count down, and hope you will with me :)

Monday, June 2, 2008

Start your engines....3 2 1

We have lift off!!

I received confirmation from Dr. Schrader that my scan results are great, cartilage looks good, and we are a GO for surgery!

I have to say, that it feels a little weird being so excited about the prospect of surgery, but knowing that the only thing standing in between me having the surgery or having to live with the pain for ...well, who knows when, was my cartilage.

When Dr. Schrader informed me that the cartilage was good, and that we are a GO for surgery...it was a great moment of relief.

So, now I can sit back and count down the days.

Schrader doesn't need to see me until a week before the surgery (26th September), so I guess I just relax, enjoy my summer, and post again when I have an update :)


Saturday, May 17, 2008

So an update from yesterday. Scan Day.

As planned we (me and hubby) showed up at Northside at 7.30am to get checked in and ready for the appointment at 8am. We sailed through main admissions, got my medical wristband and made our way down to the radiology department.

After filling out a number of forms (although not too many this time since I was already in their system from the botch-up before!) we proceeded to wait...

"Mrs Cain" the nice lady at the desk called....I made my way over..."Do you have a work order from your doctor for the MRI?", to which I replied "No". "Ok, no problem thanks".

I return to my waiting position.

A few minutes go by...

"Mrs Cain" she calls again. "when the phone on that desk rings, pick it up...it's the radiology technician and they want to speak with you".

Now, at this point I'm starting to feel a little 'oh no....not again...if this happens again, i'll' "RING RING" "RING RING"

'Hello Mrs. Cain, do you have a work order from your doctor for the MRI?"
"Hmm, well we have what we need for the Arthogram with Dr. Feiner, but nothing on the MRI"
"OK...well I was assured that all of this was taken care of"
"Do you have your doctors telephone number so that we can call him?"
"Yes, I'll get it, hold on"
"OK great, we'll give him a call now and get what we need to start"
"OK, thanks, bye"

10 minutes later 2 radiology guys show up, and I'm whisked away....

The rest is pretty much un-interesting.
My morning went like this:

MRI > CT Scan > Arthrogram > MRI > done.

We left at around 11.45 which didn't seem to bad, and once I finally got down there and into my non-slip socks, I went from one machine to another like clockwork.

What I will say is that Dr. Feiner was awesome... funny, upbeat and spoke to me the whole time throughout the arthogram, which I have to say was pretty uncomfortable. He also did a great job of explaining everthing, how it might feel when it's happening, what I might feel when it's done...Very strange sensations when the dye is going in, and of course that blasted 'bee sting' to start always seems to be the worst ever!

I left clutching my MRI charts, Dr Feiner is 'deconstructing' the other charts and sending them directly to Shrader, so I guess I should call his office or set up an appointment over the next week or so....

So, success!! we can all breathe a sigh of relief, and move to the next stage :)

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Rachel vs. Non-slip socks - Round 2

A quick update to say that yesterday (7th May) I got the long awaited call from the doctors office for my 2nd attempt at MRI/Arthrogram/CT scans.

I'm scheduled to have them next Friday (16th) at Northside hospital.
Dr. Finer apparently is 'the man' who will be carrying out the 'protocols'.

I'll be having them back to back, starting at 7:30 in the morning - ugh.

It was pretty funny, as the nurse at Northside was all about looking after 'Mrs Cain', to the point where she told me that Schrader's office said, 'now, make sure you look after Mrs. Cain, we've tried this before and it didn't go so well'....

So, that's the latest from the front line.
More updates, and maybe more pictures of non-slip socks from next Friday's adventure!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

No News is......well no news

Not much of an update really, other than to say that I haven't heard anything yet from Dr. Schraders office on the 'try again' for the MRI and CT scans.

Of course, with the surgery not being until the end of September, there's plenty of time (according to Dr. S) to get them done, so no anxiety here.

One thing I have noticed however is that I think my 'good for 2 hours before the pain sets in' is on the decline. I know Sam told me that by the time she was a week away from surgery, she was pretty much down to 1o minutes and then WHAMO...the pain.

I can see a similar picture beginning to unfold before me. I do try and limit my walking for sure, but just walking around at the office is starting to take a toll.

If I'm down to 10 minutes walking when the time for my surgery comes, I'll be fine with that... I'm just not so sure I want to decline to that in the next month!

I do have a question for all the other 'hip gals' out there...

Q: what type of strengthening excercises did you do in the months prior to surgery...to get the muscles strong in your legs?

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

We have a date!

Surgery date is confirmed.

Friday September 26th.....Mom's birthday!
So, we're locked and loaded for that date, and can begin the countdown.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Ha HA...April Fools!!

...and the events of today, truly lived up to that...

As planned, I left work around 11:15 to go pick up Jim (hubby) from his office so we could get up to Northside for 12:00. The appointment was for 12:30, but they asked me to get there 30 minutes early for registration, preparation etc.

The location provided was 5444 Meridian Marks Road, Suite 450.
Having been to see Dr. Schrader a couple of times now, I knew he was in 5445 Meridian Marks Road - so figured it was close! We headed up there in good time, only to find that there IS no 5444... so, I finally got on the phone and called the people who called me for the appointment. "Oh, we're in 5445... somebody must have given you the wrong address".

....and so it begins.

We park, and head up to suite 450.

The kind lady at the desk checked us in and proceeded to give me all the forms I needed to complete (even though I had done a pre-registration the day before on the phone??). Nevertheless, I completed all the forms and handed them back.

Next, another nurse came out and said, "so, you're having an MRI AND CT today?" - to which I replied "Yes". She then asked "I know what the CT is for, but what about the MRI...is it on your leg?" It's at this point that I'm starting to wonder if they even know why I'm there...

We sit back down and wait a little longer.

A different nurse then comes to collect us and takes us around to the MRI waiting area - where there's a TV, some chairs and lockers. This is where Jim will wait the 2+ hours...it's not so great, but Sanford and Son were on...followed by Family Feud...he was happy enough :)

We wait.

The same nurse then comes back and says "OK, we're still trying to figure out some things regarding the MRI, we're not sure if you'll have it today, but while we're figuring that out, let's go ahead and get you changed and we'll do the CT scan first".

So, I change into the wonderful backless gowns (I did get lucky with 2 gowns so that I could turn the other one around and where it as a nightgown!), and get my non-slip socks on. I'm ready!

We wait.
We watch a couple more Family Feud's..

"Name the top facts about trolls:"
1: they live under bridges
2: they're ugly
3: they have crazy hair
4: they are short
5: they are not real
6: they are mean

more importantly, the facts do not include that they have warts and they are smelly (much to my protest!)

The nurse re-appears. "I apologize...we haven't forgotten about you... we're just trying to get some more information from the doctor on the protocols he needs for the scans. We have our technician calling the doctor to find out a bit more".

More Family Feud...

Now the technician appears saying "I'm really sorry, but I've spoken to about 4 different people to find out about the scan protocols the doctor is asking for, and we're still not exactly clear on what's needed". To which I reply "well, you know that my doctor is just 2 floors downstairs...it might be easier to just go speak to him directly to find out what he needs you to do". "Ah really, ok, I'll go down and talk to him".

At this point the time is now 2:15...I've been sitting in my gown and socks for over an hour...

10 or so minutes later and the technician shows up, not looking terribly positive.

"I'm really sorry about this but you're not going to have your MRI and CT today, the doctor has cancelled it because he needs specific 'protocols' and we can't do them here".


"Sorry about the time wasted, have a parking validation ticket!" as he hands over a little sticker.
"The doctor says you can go down and speak to him directly on the situation and why it was cancelled".

So, back into the changing room, out of the gown and socks, get dressed and head down to the second floor to see Dr. Schrader.

We wait about 15 minutes and finally get to see Dr. Schrader. and this is the funny part....

Dr. Schrader (upon seeing us) says "oh, were you so frustrated that you wanted to come down and shout at me"....to which we responded "huh? the technician upstairs told us that YOU told us to come down and speak to you"...

Don't you LOVE the flow of communication????

Anyhow, as it turns out, one of the nurses in Schrader's office had made an appointment with the regular radiology place that he uses, only to find that it's closed...with no forwarding address - so she just booked it with a closer one (in their building) I guess assuming that anybody could do the 'protocols' that Dr. Schrader needed.

Dr. Schrader didn't find out the other place was closed until 12:30 that day, when the nurses upstairs called saying "urm...what are we doing with this patient".

So long story short, NO MRI, NO CT scan and Dr. Schrader now has to go research/locate another place that can do it, but has a gut feeling that it might be either Piedmont or Emory.

We'll wait to hear from him on that!

All in all, a day of waiting, watching, wearing non-slip socks and generally being the April Fool!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

MRI and CT Scan abound....or is that a joke?

So, today I spoke to the radiology department at Northside Hospital, as they had called and left a message yesterday for me to set up an appointment for an MRI and CT scan.

I'll be having my MRI and CT scan in the Meridian Mark building next week. Suite 450. Got it.

However having read Laurens post from a good while back on the trials and tribulations she had with this part of the process, I'm hoping it's pretty straight forward.

Although, the fact that my appointment is on April 1st....it could be rife with jokes and hilarity.

I will report accordingly.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Back from L.A...oh la

So, I've just returned from a couple of days out in sunny L.A, on a work project.

Spent two days talking to weird and wonderful people - all part of the job and task at hand, however through that, I've returned feeling totally unfit, and...yes, old.

Most of the women we spoke to were in their mid-late 20's. Now, i'm under no illusion that L.A and hollywood is the place of extremes, with most of the women working out every day, and drinking as much water as their tiny tummies would take, but still.

Talking to them made me realize that the last 12 months (since my hip pain started) has seen a pretty significant decline in my overall fitness. Me and hubby used to take strolls, nay 'power walks' around our neighborhood, but I just can't hack it anymore. 2 hours of any type of walking and I'm done.

Anyhow, the final straw being when I departed the aircraft last night in terminal B (Atlanta Hartsfield). I'd flown back first class, so was off the airplane lightning fast, however with a pretty impressive limp setting in fast - everybody was flying past me even those almost 40 years my senior - to the point where I was last to make it to the train and may as well have sat at the back of the plane!

Oh well...things will improve. Of that i'm sure.
I'm off to Pilates tomorrow morning to try and kick-start some hip-friendly exercise.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Another Day...Another Limp

First, I should say that I'm not sure how frequent this 'blogging' will be, but I do hope to keep a running diary of my trials and tribulations on the PAO adventure - if not for only for me, but for my family and friends who happen to live on the other side of the pond!

So... where to begin??

Well, at 12 months old I was diagnosed with a dislocated hip - the left one. Needless to say that mom thought there was something wrong with the bottom of my foot, because I never wanted to put it down or stand on the left side...so a quick trip to the doctors and voila...turns out I'd been BORN with the hip dislocated but was never diagnosed until 12 months of age. Anyhow, many plaster casts later (I think mom recalls having it replaced every 3 months) the hip was back in it's rightful place, and traction began - to pull my hip back in to alignment.

That was then.
This is now.

Fast forward 35 years (yes, I know..I've just given away my age), and on a great 3 day trip to New York (April 2007) I began to experience an awful, grinding, 'hot-poker' type pain in my groin (on the left side). For the other hip chicks reading this, you'll know the feeling all too well.

From that point on up until December of 2007 I'd been diagnosed with the following:

Transient Synovitis of the hip
Tendinitis of the Hip
Inflamed Bursa

Each of which came with either a course of anti-inflammatory or cortisone - not to mention the 8 weeks of physical therapy to treat the tendinitis - all the while of course, experiencing the same pain without any real relief.

One thing however was for sure. Walking did NOT make my hip a happy one.

Then something strange happened. Bizarre perhaps.

Denise (who happens to be Lauren's mom and who'm I work with) happened to stop me in the hallway and say with glee "You're the 'fixed' version of my daughter" - to which I replied "huh?" - she went on to tell the story about Lauren and the PAO surgery and the other women who are now starting to find out they have hip dysplasia.

Fast to follow in the conversation came my story of the New York pain and well, Denise's face turned from glee - to one of 'oh geez, NO!'

Oh geez, YES.

I scheduled an appointment to see Dr. Schrader who after seeing the xrays, proceeded to tell me that I am 'exactly the same as Lauren'. I have almost 0% coverage over my left femoral head, and would be a good candidate for PAO.

Which brings us to today.

I am awaiting final confirmation on surgery dates from the nurse, but it looks as if my surgery will be sometime during the 4th week of September.

I contemplated getting it over and done with, but I have my brother's wedding to attend in the UK in August, and wouldn't miss that for the world. Hip pain or no hip pain.

Phew...I didn't realise I had so much to say in my first post. I don't plan on being this verbose with the next posting. But there again, anybody that knows me knows I have a hard time shutting up :)