Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Unexpected Drawbacks

Just passed the six week mark, and all is going well. I'm walking in the house a lot without cane or walker. Doing my best to stay slow and symmetrical. 

Though the pain is still there, I'm taking Tylenol less and less. Mostly just when I bump my activity level ahead too much all at once. When that happens, I do some lying around the next day. I have some tension in the upper left quad, a result of new or overworked muscles...or both. Yoga always helps!

I'm looking forward to my visit with the surgeon on Thursday, although I have a feeling it's going to be short and sweet. I'll let you know how it goes.

In the meantime, here's a list of some unexpected drawbacks of THR recovery. 

1. Say goodbye to the foot on your operated leg
Since you can't bend more than 90 degrees for 3 months, you can't get up close and personal with the foot on your operated leg. So, cut your toenails before you head into the hospital, or give yourself a last pedicure.

2. One wet shin
For the same reason, you can't dry all the way down your operated leg after the shower. I just wave it around a bit before I put my pants back on.

3. Limited cat petting or lifting
It's  not easy to reach down to cat level standing on one leg with the other behind you, though it's possible. What's really a challenge is picking up the cat, as usually I use two hands, and that requires expert balancing skills.

4. Bye bye fancy boots (sniff...)
I have a new pair of boots I adore, but the left is inexplicably tight, and they zip up on the side. I have worn them a few times with my loving partner's help, but I usually clop about in clogs. If I have to take my boots off when I'm out, at the physio for example, I'm forced to ask for help to get that left one back on.

5. Looking like a disabled person
It is interesting to be out in the world using a cane or crutches. People look at me sidelong, or ignore me. I know this state is temporary - but they don't. It gives me a little window into how it feels to use walking aids every day, for the rest of your life. My three month flirtation with sticks and wheels and small steps is really nothing to complain about. 

6. Getting nowhere fast
Do you remember the old man character Tim Conway used to do on the Carol Burnett Show? If you don't, he has this slow shuffle of small steps. Tim Conway Wheelchair Sketch It feels a bit like that when I walk. Walking down the hill after the bike race the other day, I kept having to step aside to let people pass. I guiltily remember striding ahead of my ex in the snow, leaving him and his aching knees struggling along in my footsteps. I am humbled.

Today's Quote: “There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self.” ~  Ernest Hemingway

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