4 weeks…something magical!

Last week my surgeon told me that there was something magical about 4 weeks and  6 weeks.  It’s not that I didn’t believe him, but I am amazed by the difference a week made.  I’m not saying I am 100%, but the pain is significantly better.  I went from needing regular tramadol and tylenol to nothing almost overnight.  My swelling hasn’t changed….I’m still pretty swollen by the end of the day.  Because of the swelling, I did add back the mobic as an anti-inflammatory.  Luckily the walk to my office doesn’t feel like a marathon anymore, but more like a 5k.  My numbness hasn’t changed…it’s still super weird!

Other than that….I have PT Friday…more for my neck/back than anything else! I don’t start hernia/hip rehab until 6-8 weeks!

Post-op appointments…

Today was a day!  Oh my!!

Today started off fine.  I didn’t have to leave for my appointments until 9:10am so technically I could sleep in, but I woke up at my normal 6:30am.  I stayed in bed until 7:45am and then got ready.  I left on time, but was surprised when I turned my car on, my battery light was on.  I got nervous, but needed to make these appointments.  So, I called my dad and asked him how concerned I should be.  He told me he didn’t know, but asked if I had time to run to their house and swap out with their truck….no and I didn’t have time to go swtich cars with my mom either….so I took my chances.  I drove the hour and 20 minutes without heat or the radio!  I also couldn’t charge my cell phone (which hasn’t been holding a charge). I made it with time to spare to my first appointment with Dr. Ruane as a follow-up to my glut med injection a month ago.  When I got to my appointment my phone was at 55%….knowing that my car wasn’t acting right, I put my phone on ultra power saving mode.

Dr. Ruane is typically on time…..but today (of all days) when I had another appointment at 11:30 am…he wasn’t!  I waited, and waited, and waited….I was getting nervous!  I finally got called back at 11:05am.  I told his MA that I thought I was going to need to reschedule.  I asked her how long it would be until I saw him.  She looked at her watch and apologized.  She told me that Dr. Ruane’s colleagues flight was cancelled last night so he was covering some of his appointments….and she said there was an accident on the highway that caused patients to be late .  She told me that she knew I drive up from Dayton, so she’d get me moved to his next patient so I could get to my appointment with Dr. Leff.  Since I’m still dealing with pain from the hernia and on intermittent pain meds…Dr. Ruane wants me to pay close attention to when the pain from my hip (glut med) and get in to see him before it gets too bad…he said “that sweet spot.” Once I got in to a room, I was in and out in less than 5 minutes.  Luckily my car started (I had planned to walk to my appointment with Dr. Leff if needed….it was less than 1/2 a mile).

I made it to Riverside with plenty of time to spare.  My appointment was at 11:30am.  Dr. Leff’s MA took me back to a room at 11:40am.  She told me that he wasn’t back from surgery yet, but would be there anytime.  Anytime turned in to 12:10pm.  I rushed and panicked for no reason!  Dr. Leff came in and asked me how I was doing….he reminded me of how much I’ve been through over the last 2 years and that things are going to take time to heal….especially since he had to convert to an open procedure.  He checked my incision and had me turn my head and cough.  He was happy with my recover so far.  We discussed my questions and he reassured me that everything I was feeling is normal.  He said that the swelling will last for months and I will need to continue to ice for awhile (and probably start icing at work throughout the day as able).  He said I need to take this recovery slow and focus on my posture when walking and focus on flexibility.  He said I probably wouldn’t start therapy until 8 weeks.  He’d prefer I wait to start swimming until closer to 8 weeks too!

I did get a copy of the op report….I’ll write more on what he actually did later.

I’m tired of being tired all the time.  It’s taken me three days to write this because I kept falling asleep after work.

 

2 weeks

Today I am officially 2 weeks post-op.  Yesterday I mentioned that my walk from my car to my office is long…it is 675 steps (or ~1/3 mile).  I told on of my friends in the office today that I felt like I had run a marathon by the time I got to my office.  I was truly exhausted!  I spent most of my day either in meetings or in my office.  I was very sore and achy today and my mood reflected that.  My typical cheery mood and jovial demeanor was pretty flat today, which meant my patience with certain members of my team was limited!  I worked a full day (plus some).  I left at 5pm to run home before I met my parents, sister, nephews, and my uncle for dinner at 6pm.

We rarely see my mom’s brother.  He lives in North Carolina and flew in to town for business.  We met him for dinner since he was in the area.  It was good to see him and catch up.  It meant that I didn’t get to ice at ll tonight 😦  It was 9pm by the time I got home I was EXHAUSTED!  I put laundry in the dryer so I would have something to wear tomorrow.  I sat down to watch a little TV and rest….and then it was to bed!

As I got ready for bed, I noticed how super swollen I am! It feels like a huge knot when I sit down! Hopefully that doesn’t mean tomorrow is going to be rough!

Back to work

I returned to work yesterday!  Overall it was a good day.  The walk to my office from the parking garage is long!  I don’t typically mind it, but yesterday (and today) it felt extremely far away!  We had 3 call-offs so I wanted to help very badly, but resisted!  I did attempt to hang out in my office and catch-up, somehow I managed to walk 7500 steps.  By lunch, I was very sore and tired, but I held out until 3:45pm before I had to give in and head home.  Once I got home I started icing immediately!  I took a short nap and then reheated dinner from my meal prep on Sunday.

I overslept this morning.  I was tired and sore from Monday.  I got to work about 8:45am and luckily our staffing was better today.  I had a few meetings today and was able to stay in my office most of the day.  I caught up on a lot of paperwork and emails from last week!  I was sore and achy today, but since I stayed in my office most of the day I was able to make it until 4:30pm.  I walked less than yesterday, only 5000 steps today!  I got home and made dinner and have been icing since.  I plan to continue to ice until I go to bed….which will be early tonight as I’m exhausted!

A few more days off…

I decided to go ahead and take Thursday and Friday off. It would give me until Monday to get stronger rather than need to weekend to recover from working for a few days.  Thursday night I gave in a texted my lovely PT to see if I could ‘bribe’ her into seeing me on Friday to work on my neck (and by bribe I mean I would bring her allergen free baked goods and coffee…just because I love her).  She texted me back at 5:50am on Friday and said she would fit me in at 11am.  I was so very thankful!  I was already awake when she texted me, so I got up and made coffee and started reading a book on my Kindle.  Around 9am I started the Almond Butter/Jam bars that I told my PT i’d bring her.

My PT is fantastic.  She spent an hour working on me.  She said I was a mess….she told me that my shoulders had huge knots in them.  Next she needled my shoulders to try and start breaking down the knots.  She continued to work to figure out what was causing my numbness down my left arm/hand.  We determined that most of my issues were coming from a rib that had shifted out of place.  She worked for awhile to get it back.  Then she had her husband come over to make sure she didn’t miss anything!  I was very thankful that she was able to get me in today….I am very blessed 🙂  The rest of my Friday was low key.  I did run a few errands to get one last ball of yarn to finish a blanket I started 2 surgeries ago and some groceries for meals for next week!

Saturday I met my mom for lunch and ran a few errands.  We went to Piada to get salads!  They are so tasty.  My mom was on the hunt for another HydroFlask bottle and a French Press.  I didn’t ‘need’ anything, but was contemplating running down to Jungle Jim’s (largest International Market- http://www.junglejims.com/).  I was in search of a locally roasted coffee and the company had posted on FB that Jungle Jim’s was carrying it now.  While at lunch my sister texted my mom and I to see if we wanted to get dinner.  Since JJ’s is in Cincinnati (an hour drive) and my sister lives down that way…we decided that we’d meet her for dinner and we’d head to JJ’s.  We made few stops on our way down.  We stopped at Dick’s to look for a HydroFlask, then HomeGoods for a French Press.  Next was JJ’s.  JJ’s is over 200,000 square feet of awesomeness.  I can spend hours in there, but I was already tired and sore.  I was on one mission….Rooted Grounds Caramel Cream coffee.  JJ’s has 3 different places that they have coffee stocked (the normal grocery area, the international section, and the organic section).  We wandered around and grabbed a few other items while attempting to find the coffee.  I was ready to give up because I was super tired/sore, but my mom knew I really wanted it.  She went to customer service with my phone (and FB post) to ask.  They sent us back to an area I had already checked.  My mom (being wonderful) said she go ask someone else.  She went back to customer service and asked again…the lady called around and finally found out they had a display over by wine and cheese (RANDOM)!  That was the ONLY area that we didn’t walk.  We found it and I got 4 bags of coffee :)!  When we left, I had to take something for the pain!  We still had an hour until my sister was meeting us for lunch, so we decided to wander around Target.  We met my sister and nephews for dinner.  It is always good to see them.  I love those boys so much!  By the time I got home I was EXHAUSTED!  Daylight savings time started, so we lost an hour, but that didn’t matter!  I slept like a rock.

Sunday I woke up and made some of my newly found coffee!  OMG!!  So tasty!  I plan on a very low key day.  I am currently sitting in my ice machine.  I don’t plan on leaving the house.  I have a few items to make to prepare for this week at work, but the rest of the day will be lazy….recliner, ice, tv!

Back to work tomorrow.

POD #6 & 7

Day 6:
Sleep was pretty much the same!  It is getting much easier to sleep on my side…this is exciting.  I had the same ‘chest heaviness’ while trying to fall asleep.  I awoke wide awake at 6:30am.  I laid in bed reading a book for awhile, then I finally got up and showered and got ready.  I made coffee and came down to ice for awhile.  My doctors appointment was at 11:30am.  He wasn’t too concerned with my “chest pain.’  With my family’s history of aneurysms and my hypermobility he wanted to start with a chest x-ray.  The chest x-ray showed pneumoperitoneum (gas/air within the peritoneal cavity) from surgery.  My doctor said it should steadily get better and not to worry!  That’s a relief.

I felt pretty good today.  I drove (my dad’s truck) to my doctors appointment because my SUV was getting an oil change.  I did fine getting in and out of the car…no sharp twinges surprisingly.  I did stop by one grocery store to pick up some crackers before my appointment.  I tolerated the outing today fairly well.  I came home and iced and rested.  Tonight I am a bit more sore than usual.  I am starting to get some tingling in my adductor (like the sensation may start coming back soon), the area around my incision and the right half of my crotch are still lacking sensation!

My plan is to take one more full day off and then return to work for a half a day on Thursday (and then play Friday by ear depending on how I do).  I emailed my boss (who has been super understanding over the past two years)….his response is great:
Ms. Subborn-
I don’t want to see you until Monday at the earliest!  Rest and heal up.
John
I don’t think anyone realizes how BORED I am!!!!  I am going to go home tomorrow, against my mom’s wishes!  I’m not going to push it, but I’m sick of ‘wasting’ my vacation time!!!

1 week:
I’m made it to a week post-op and I came home!  Yay!!!  I am so thankful for my parents (especially my mom) and all they’ve done for me over these last 5 surgeries, but there is just something about being in your own space!  I am pretty sore from yesterday’s outing and my Donjoy that I have at my house isn’t working correctly.  I am going to ask my mom to bring me the one I was using at their house (my dad’s) when she brings the rest of my things tonight.  She didn’t want me lifting/carrying my stuff, so I only brought the things I needed.

I had no food in my house, so I took a quick trip to the grocery store to grab the necessities.  I was very slow moving and noticed every movement.  Unfortunately, my temporary handicap placard expired on 3/1!  So, I just looked like an old lady hobbling around slowly!  I am sore, so I’m just hanging on the couch with an old school ice pack.

I made one of my favorite (and easiest) dinners….shredded buffalo chicken!  I used my instant pot to cook some frozen chicken.  Later in the evening, my wonderful mom came and brought me the rest of my stuff and the working ice machine!  Yay!!!  I always feel bad when I “leave” her, but there is just something about being home!

POD # 4 and 5

Day #4
It’s Sunday.  I slept well until 4am.  At 4am I started getting antsy.  I couldn’t get comfortable.  I wanted to sleep on my side, but I didn’t want to deal with the searing pain when I shifted from my back.  I was able to fall back asleep until 8am.

My mom was up early to get ready for my sister and nephews visit.  They were coming up to keep me company….so my mom felt the need to ‘get the house ready’ with vacuuming, etc!  I didn’t take any norco overnight, but during the day I still need it approximately every 6 hours…otherwise the pain is too much.

My sister got here around 12pm.  They brought me a flower and get well balloon.  Mom had grilled brats and hamburgers.  We ate lunch and then I made my way back to my ice.  The boys came down and played while I hung in the recliner. They left around 5pm and I stayed in the recliner the rest of the night.

It’s amazing how exhausted I can, but how I’m unable to fall asleep.  I just couldn’t get comfortable.  It was another night of decent sleep until 4am and then restless sleep until 6:15am.

Day #5

I got up at 7:45am.  I made my coffee and headed down to do some work.  It’s payroll Monday, so I had to remote in and approve my employees timecards or they wouldn’t get paid.  I also caught up on email and did a few other tasks that were easy to complete.

I took a 2 hour nap which felt great.  After I woke up I colored.  I made the realization that I prefer to color children’s coloring books with crayons than adult coloring books with markers/colored pencils.  The small detail areas are too much for me on the adult coloring books.  I think I am going to try and finish crocheting a blanket I started after my second hip surgery.  I don’t know if I have the desire to work on it!!!  Mom made boneless short ribs in the instant pot and boy were they good!  I was craving chocolate after dinner, but I wanted it to be Whole30 compliant since I haven’t had sugar in 62 days!  So, I made 3 ingredient brownies….they are in the oven (bananas, almond butter, & cocoa)!  Eh, they’re just ok.  They taste like banana.  I would tweak them more if I ever made them again.

Pain-wise today has been significantly better.  I haven’t taken any norco today, only ibuprofen.  I’ve been icing most of the day.  I’ve only had two close “searing” encounters, but I was able to shift quickly so it wouldn’t hurt!  I have sneezed numerous times today….luckily I was able to brace myself so it didn’t hurt too badly.  I am still hopeful to go back to work half days on Thursday & Friday….but I’m playing it by ear.

I did make a doctors appointment for tomorrow just to be sure.  This ‘chest pain’ continues.  It’s more annoying than anything and I want to make sure it’s not something I should be concerned about.  I didn’t tell my mom (eek) and I’m going to drive myself.  I’ll get in trouble for it, but she has done enough for me and I don’t want her to worry OR have to miss more work for me!  I’ll manage 🙂