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Friday, September 25, 2015

Open the door and let me out

Today marks five weeks on my post surgery calendar. As I look back I am thinking I really need to encourage others who are living in unnecessary pain to bite the bullet and get help. In my case it was a matter of not having insurance, but when the time was right it all worked out. It was as if the universe said, "it's time for you to focus on yourself". I listened, followed my intuition in making decisions and I am grateful for all the help that came my way.

The first thing I did even before I had insurance was to have an x-ray taken of the hip. When it showed that it was pretty much bone rubbing on bone I knew I had no choice. My next move was to check online to find the top rated surgeons in New Mexico. Five of those names were associated with New Mexico Orthopedics. I dialed the number and in the blink of an eye I had an appointment with Dr. Joshua Carothers. As it turned out he really is one of the top orthopedic surgeons in New Mexico.

By the time of my initial visit all of my insurance problems had been taken care of. Because of the decisions I had made absolutely everything would be paid. I don't even have co-payments. Well I did have to pay the $147 yearly premium for Medicare B, but that was all. Actually, that's not even true. Because it was added to a hospital bill for other charges and I called to offer to pay it right now, I ended up getting a 40% discount. There's the universe, helping out again!

My surgery was so brief it could have taken place in the doctor's office. My hospital stay was less than two days and then I went home. For the next four-five weeks I did everything I could to get my life back to normal. My doctor's instructions were to stay active. That is a little tricky when one has to deal with a walker and several "you can't do that" rules. I tried to follow, but sometimes I cheated just a little. During the day I was alone so stuff happens. My son was home in the morning and at night and did his best to help out, which I am grateful for.

My first checkup was this week and I was holding my breath, worried that one of those times I cheated might have caused a problem. Everything was just as it was supposed to be. The x-rays were perfect and the incision looked great. I pretty much got a free pass to either continue on with therapy on my own or choose to go to out patient therapy. For the last month I have had a physical therapist come to the house because I didn't have transportation and wasn't allowed to drive. Tuesday is my discharge day. Yay!

I have chosen to go to Cibola Sports and Physical Therapy for the next month. I am very excited about this as my therapist and I both have positive energy and are a good fit. I know that when we are finished I will be better than when I started.

In the last week I have walked through the open door, done grocery shopping and run errands. It feels great to be free once again. Due to my experience I really want to encourage others who have been living in unnecessary pain to stop it; do what you can to fix the problem. So for a few weeks your life is not going to be the same, it doesn't matter because the results are more than worth it.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

What day is it?

This morning I woke up thinking it was Friday. I wondered why my son's bedroom door was shut. Was he sick and not going to work today, I wondered. I moved on with my morning routine, finally sitting down at my computer. Still no movement from my son. That's strange.

I began feeling that something odd was going on. I was very aware that Mercury is in retrograde and sometimes can cause some weirdness. I usually just try to hang on and roll with the punches it produces. Some of the things that happen are even funny and I really believe they are just another means to teach us lessons we have been too stubborn to learn.

Glancing up at the calendar on my wall I realized nothing was weird- it isn't Friday as I had thought, it is Saturday.

I already did Friday and it was a landmark day in my healing. It was the first day I had official permission to use a cane and toss the walker. It was the day I had been waiting for to get rid of the TED hose that help to eliminate blood clots in the legs. They are no fun to put on and even less to get off. I wanted to take them out to the back yard and burn them!

I had actually celebrated yesterday by cooking one of my favorite dinners. We had oriental stir fry with shrimp and brown rice. I have loved Chinese food since I was a child and as an adult I tend to use it as a reward for accomplishments. I suspect it has something to do with a previous life.

Now that my memory is back and I know it is Saturday I am ready to accept whatever happens. My first check up is in four days and I am expecting everything to be on track. I know total healing for a hip replacement takes about three months and the fact that I am not patient is not helping. It is something I need to work on.

Everything takes practice. My personal goal is on October 2, the six week mark, I will be walking with no assistance at all. It's kind of interesting that it is also my deceased father's birthday.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Re-teaching an old dog

Recovery from surgery is boring! Of course focusing on self is important, but for a previous active person finding positive things to occupy my time is a challenge. During my last recovery period in 2011 I made little dresses for children in Africa. It was fun, used my imagination and I felt my free time had been spent on something that benefited others.

Before my hip surgery I had seen a web site that suggested making simple crochet caps for babies. They were sent to hospitals and orphanages around the country. In preparation I purchased a couple skeins of baby yarn. I also purchased the book, Everything the internet didn't teach you about Crochet.

It had been so long since I used my self taught crochet skill that I felt I needed a refresher course. Over the years I made, sold or gave away tons of crochet items. I enjoyed crochet because it is so versatile. Like any skill use it or loose it is very true. It is the same situation I now have with leg muscles that have been allowed to weaken over time. Re-teaching is not impossible, but it takes time, practice and patience.

My physical challenge is getting better, with the help of a physical therapist who comes twice a week. We are both amazed at how quickly the incision is healing. Now to concentrate on the work inside. I have come to the conclusion that part of the healing process is mental. If you believe you can do it you will do it. I am not a robot nor a statistic.

Back to the baby cap issue- Yesterday I decided it was the day I would try making a simple shell meant for a newborn. The pattern only uses double crochet and is listed as easy. The first thing I noticed was that I had never done the stitch correctly. How is that possible considering all the items I had previously made! It really gave me cause to laugh. It was simply a matter of not going through the correct loop of the previous stitch. After I re-taught my brain to make the adjustment everything came out fine. I believe I will continue to make these little caps because it will give me something positive to do that will benefit others while my body is healing.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

post surgery

Well I see that my last post was August 16th, five days before my scheduled surgery. I decided perhaps I should write something. I have this fantastic family who give me great support- not. It is no longer necessary to drag them around if that is how they choose to live their lives. My oldest son, who now lives with me, is doing a good job of helping out, even with a full time job of his own. There is stuff you can't do when recovering from hip replacement surgery. It is annoying, but necessary if one is to properly heal and not end up back in the hospital. So thank you Jeff for all your help and just ignore your siblings, nieces and nephews who can only see what they have been told!

Healing is hard and it certainly has given me a first row view as to what those with physical handicaps deal with every day. Suddenly I can't get from here to there without assistance. The good thing is I know this is a temporary situation that will aid in future experiences. I am looking forward to whatever that brings me. Note to my oldest grandson, Andrew: Grow up kid!