Last Friday marked 4 weeks since PAO surgery, I’m a little behind with writing this, but figure that my 6 week, super important follow-up with my surgeon will be on Monday in 2 weeks so it’s probably good to switch to Mondays for now. Let’s see where to begin….
Positives from the past week: started pool PT, have gone 3 times now, and can walk in the pool and perform simple exercises for legs (first day I was grasping the bar for dear life in chest deep water, felt like the leg was going to give out-a little funny thinking about it now because 1.) I can touch fine and 2.) I’m a pretty good swimmer if need be), went out to dinner last Saturday with the family, went to my daughter’s dance recital (arrived an hour later than the show purposely since she was near the end and I didn’t think I could sit for 2 1/2 hours straight), yesterday went to a movie with the family (saw Epic, highly recommend it, fabulous!), have prepared myself several snacks and a couple of breakfasts and lunches without help, even friend up an egg today (from w/c level). My energy level is better, and I am starting to sleep better, mostly I think because starting around 3-4 am I turn to sleep on my side for a while, then turn to the other side for a while. It’s a little sore to sleep on my sides, but finally tolerable enough to do for at least part of the night. Yeah for sleep!!
Negatives are the continued dependency on others for certain things, especially driving!!! Not that I have a lot of places to go, but I have a few I would like to go (on top of needing a ride to therapy 3 times a week) and it’s so hard not to drive myself. Also my right non-operated leg has taken a beating the last 2+ months. That leg almost mirrored the operated one on the imaging because it too has a torn labrum, impingement, and I think the surgeon told me it was mildly dysplastic as well (we’re going to discuss it and the plan for it at my appointment in 2 weeks) so hopping on it for the past 4 weeks, plus the 3 weeks I was on crutches in early mid April from my scope where it took the majority of the weight equals a very unhappy leg. To top it all off, I have developed severe pain and burning in my hands just above the palms from all of the walker and crutch use. I’m guessing it’s either a tendonitis or beginning stages of carpal tunnel. I’m now getting about in the wheelchair in the lower level of the house as well as in pubic. I’ve sworn off the walker, as I’m convinced the hard plastic handles on it was what caused this in the first place (since I’ve mostly used the walker up until this point), and use the crutches upstairs, or on the deck, and have padded them up with foam until my Crutcheze pads arrive hopefully later this week. Basically I have no good extremities at the moment, ugh:( I called my PA today to ask her about an improper move I made yesterday that set off some pain (more on that later) and asked her if this hand pain/carpal tunnel was common and she said since I basically had back to back surgeries, I’ve been on a walking device a lot longer than most people (I’m counting 7-7 1/2 of the last 9 weeks) and it probably happened due to that.
As for my injury yesterday, at the movies I decided I could hop up the steps without my crutches (was in the w/c) to get to the first row of seats so we could sit with the kids (handicap seating only has 2 seats together), well as you can imagine that did not go as planned. My operated leg did not clear the step and went back into forceful hip extension (has not gone past 0 degrees since before first surgery April 9th) and I felt a weird creeeeakkkkk noise inside my leg. Freaked out!! Luckily it was not followed by severe pain, just burning in the hip flexors and some discomfort deep in the joint, and thankfully the pelvis itself did not hurt where he cut the bones. I sat through the movie, came home, rested and iced it, and this morning it was just tight hip flexor muscles and some light burning pain. Pool PT told me to call surgeon just in case, and PA said most likely I pulled a muscle (hip flexor) and it was probably nothing, keep resting and icing and call back in a week if it’s not better. She didn’t think I re-broke one of the healing bones, but you never know hence the taking it easy part. I feel a little better about it all now.
Anyways, mentally/emotionally/spiritually I go back and forth, have good days and bad days just like with the physical stuff. There is purpose in this journey of chronic pain, delayed diagnosis, surgeries, and recovery. I’ve found some of it in how it’s changed me and my husband and how we look at our present as well as our future, how we realize how much we need God and need to turn to him in both good times and bad, how our time here on Earth is just a snapshot in time compared to infinity. I feel now like I used to be very naïve in my thinking. I used to look to the future and think I had all the time in the world to do the things I wanted to do. I felt like I could do anything I put my mind to. I took so much for granted thinking my life would always live out the way I expected it to. Maybe it still will and this is just a bump (by the time it’s all over will be a very LONG 3-4 year bump) in the road on my path, or maybe it’s not and will be something I have to deal with forever and have to change my long-term plans that I had made in my brain. Everyone says it’ll get better, someday this will all be a distant memory, etc…..the same things I’ve told other people who’ve dealt with pain (physical or emotional) and hopefully it will but life is not like movies, things aren’t always a happy ending. I’m not being negative, just realistic. It just has been on my mind a lot lately thinking about my will and what it was and that the quicker I can completely let that go, the happier I’ll be in my life. I know that God always has a purpose in why he allows things to happen, sometimes we know that purpose, sometimes we don’t know until later, and sometimes never. My devotional the other night had Romans 8:28 and I read and re-read it over and over letting the words soak in and trying to truly believe them (And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose). There has been good in this, it’s just hard to see some days (ok a lot of days!) but since it continues on I imagine there is still more purpose in it somehow, more good to come out of it. Until next time:)