Tuesday, January 08, 2013
3 weeks ago today, I had my hip replacement surgery. I had already gotten up and walked to the restroom twice and was feeling fairly good. 2 weeks ago today, I was nursing a big fall. today, I went to work and did two conference presentations that were successful. Walking through the high school and managing materials was not easy though and after having had physical therapy, I have been nursing myself back to reality all evening. I realize that simple things are not easy right now--and the doctor told me I cannot work for a reason.
Lady is doing okay, but it is increasingly obvious that she is going to need another surgery when she sees the vet this Thursday or Friday. Her bandage is loosening up and you can feel the swelling coming back. My poor pup--who is 7 years old, is not going to like this and is not doing well. This isn't her fault. Nature doesn't like empty spaces and is filling this up with blood. I am so sorry for her.
I am also feeling sorry for myself--even walking was too much for me and I didn't think that was true. I believe it now.
I need to ice things again and I pray that my lower back quits aching. It is not helping matters. I learned my second lesson today about doing too much. I know that when I am semi-alone tomorrow that I will NOT try to clean up this room. I will be patient and wait for someone to help me.
I don't like it. I will do the right thing.
Sunday, January 06, 2013
I am blue which can go hand in hand with a lengthy recuperation period. I am working on it and I will do what I am supposed to do, but I sure feel sad that the things I love most are at arms' length.
Saturday is all about my basset baby. she has had this swelling on her left ear that has kept me alarmed all week since I noticed it on New Year's Eve. I don't know if I missed it because of my own issues or not. Lady is a 7 1/2 year old hound and at 60.7 pounds, she doesn't jump or climb a lot because the shape of her body and back won't safely allow it. She likes having her bottom scratched. so if I have been in a position to reach her, it has been giving her that loving scratch on her hind flanks. Anyway, I have been bugging the folks I live with to help me get her to the vet all week. they haven't been purposely defiant, we have only got one running car with another in the shop and the third waiting for that one to be finished.
Yesterday was my big day--to get what I wanted. I went to WW long enough to weigh in--I lost another 2.2 pounds which leaves me at 3.8 to lose to get back to where I was before my surgery. Then the guys helped to put Lady in the jeep for a ride to the vet. Lady is a typical, very stubborn basset and one thing she is stubborn about is her lack of interest in being in a vehicle. She cried all of the way to the vet, pottied twice on their lawn and then once in their lobby as well. She is a smart girl and knew she didn't want to be there.
Those big beautiful basset ears are not supposed to be about an inch wide, the puffiness looked pretty sore to me. The vet tech came and we did our best to weigh her--she kept trying to climb off of the table even when it was raised about 4 feet high. She wouldn't let him touch her ear, but she let him get a look while I held it gently. He knew a lot by looking. The vet came in and told us it could be one of two things--either an infection and the swelling was full of pus or a hematoma and it was full of blood. A basset's long flat ear is simply the front and back layer of skin that sit next to each other without anything in between as a rule. Usually when the vet sees this, it is a hematoma--but because we have this new wild child puppy of Mason's here who has taken a lot of pleasure in biting my sweet basset. I keep telling Lady that she needs to help teach that Catahoula pup to behave, but Lady has patiently tolerated a lot of abuse with the pup biting her on her ears, tail, and flanks. It looked like drainage from her lower ear, so the vet suspected infection.
Either way, this ear needed to be lanced and the vet took her in to do the minor surgery. Lady let out the most awful wail as the IV was put in place--of course, we weren't allowed to be in there. The entire procedure took about a half an hour. She did have a hematoma coupled with a yeast infection in her ear. She has a big bandage on that basset ear that makes her look more sad and pathetic than usual. We need to try and keep it in place to prevent that ear from doing what nature likes to do--which is to refill the space with more blood. If that happens, she will need a second procedure that will include several sutures all over her ear to hold it tight enough to prevent it from filling again.
Anyway, she spent the rest of the day being groggy and sleeping. She and I are nursing our hematomas together and she is a far better patient than I at this point of the game. I am doubtful that she will allow this big bandage to stay on her ear until her return to the vet on either Thursday or Friday, and I get to fuss over that. We will find what my sweet girl needs next then.
Personally, I am going to try and get the guys to unpack some of the boxes of things I brought home from the last school move. One of those boxes contains my "grabber," that I used after my lumbar fusion to do everything from getting dressed to retrieving dropped items. That may relieve some of my frustration. I am finishing my talk on teaching poetry writing to young children today so I can share one of my favorite activities and topics with other teachers tomorrow. (One of my sons-- most likely Marshall, will attend with me to do the leg work so I won't have any issues.)
I have to check on the weather today to see if I might go to church. It was snowing yesterday morning and I know it got quite cold during the night, so it depends on the iciness of parking lots and walkways if I will go out. I really love going to church, but I cannot take any chances of slipping on the sidewalks or in the parking lots. I am afraid of falling--especially on the ice. This last experience has made it worse for me as well.
I do hope that everyone has a wonderful Sunday. It is a special day for me--I like the opportunity to fill my spiritual cup. We have a new interim pastor starting this week who will work with us until our new pastor is free from her prior contract and joins us at the end of the month. Our church has some very special opportunities coming and I am looking forward to them.
Saturday, January 05, 2013
My appointments went well today. The big one, of course, with my ortho, was the telling information. I am happy to report that my hip is fine--the x-rays showed the apparatus is totally in alignment. That was the happiest photo I ever saw.
The big pain and issue is this gigantic lump which is right under my incision. My doc removed the dressing and the single stitch that was in it. (He uses surgical glue and butterflies to repair large incisions--they heal almost invisibly and totally strong.) He believes I have a large hematoma behind there and he was worried that the coumadin (the blood thinner) that I have been on has been adding to this thing, so he took me off of it entirely. He said it is time for me to be gentle with my leg and rest it frequently, applying ice as I have been. He also had no part of letting me go back to work at all before I see him again on February 4--the same with the pool. I am going to go to the conference on Monday and try and get away with my presentations anyway. If it doesn't work, it doesn't work.
I am not a good patient. I don't know how to sit around and do little to nothing. I don't know how to ask for help all of the time, especially every time I drop something because I am not allowed to pick anything up off of the floor. I'm often awake at night when everyone is sleeping which is another issue, I cannot wake people up to do things for me, so I sit in some situation and am unable to do anything. It makes me a bit crazy.
All of that being said, I am going to get ready to do my presentation on writing poetry with young children for Monday. I sent an email to the folks in my building asking for test scores so I could make new reading groups--and I can do that here at home. (Some of the children have made great progress and either need to be discharged from my program or moved to another group. Others have not made such strong progress and either need extra service or they need to be moved to a different group. There is no sub who can do this work for me. However, in order to be able to do this work, I need up to date data on each of the children involved which includes all 6 classes of 1st and 2nd graders and all of the 3rd and 4th graders who are at risk. Getting these scores from the classroom teachers is often a big problem for me--it happened with my progress reports again and they weren't turned in until late Thursday afternoon to the teacher who offered to help me out.) It generally takes me two days to make all of this transition, so I hope that I can do this my way. Other wise, I have made plans for the children, in their groups as they were already established. It isn't right for the kids, but it can be done that way. I already know enough about how they are changing and I don't want to waste an important month of their education because it is convenient for adults.
Anyway, I am not a good patient and I am frustrated. I am doing okay and as soon as this hematoma that is bigger than my wrist and lower arm goes away, I will be doing better. My aches and bruises will heal in their own good time and my hip will be as good as possible. My doctor does amazing work!! I am so fortunate that my pig-headed behavior didn't cause me any grief. I think I have a good plan that protects me from doing harm to me while helping me to maintain the best level of professional care for my students possible during my absence.
Any thoughts on all of this? Help me to celebrate my good news too, you have all done a good job of looking after me so far and I appreciate you dearly.
Friday, January 04, 2013
By today, I expected to feel close to being back to normal. I am noticing some extensions in my range of motion, but the pain from falling is not letting up on me. I will see my doctor tomorrow and I am hoping to understand what's up with this lump on my incision site and the soreness.
I keep getting calls from "Claims" at Walmart and I haven't returned one yet. I'll wait until I talk to my doc and then, I'll let them off the hook if he endorses it. I don't think I have ever seen this side od Walmart. I'd sure be foolish to think it was because they were worried about me rather than them being worried about a law suit.
I spent this morning running errands. My husband took the rest of the week off to help me out. I had an appointment with the three teachers I am doing one of my workshops with on Monday to finish our planning. We met at Panera in Davenport which was very hard for me to navigate. Micah had a doctor's appointment and I had to get Marshall into the dentist for an emergency. I had to go have another INR done and the gal who did my blood draw was brutal and hurt me. I was surprised because I have a vein in my right arm that everyone uses all of the time without a problem. She shoved the needle that was too big for me and she either went thrugh the vein or right past it. She continued to dig around until she hit it. Grr, then, of course, the alternator went out on the jeep today. This, of course happened while the other car is in the shop and we are waiting to take the blue car in the shop when it is done. Today was a pain in the behind.
The guys worked together to fix the jeep which is good because I have two doctor appointments and physical therapy in the morning.
Hopefully tomorrow will be a better day and I will have answers to all of my questions. Is there any new damage due to my fall? Will I be able to go to work and do my presentations and work half days to help me manage writing lesson plans for an unknown sub? That would help me a great deal.
I'll let you know too... Thanks for supporting me so much!
Tuesday, January 01, 2013
Yesterday was tough. I'm not over this fall and when I went to my scheduled Physical therapy appointment, the therapist was concerned too. He brought in a colleague to check as well and they decided to do massage to try and break up the big knot on my incision site and then to ice me down good rather than work my hip out. the PT was astounded to see me walk in because I was not bearing any weight or doing any of the good things he saw me doing on Thursday.
They had me call my ortho (who I knew was out of town until Wednesday.) I didn't know their big office was closing at 11 yesterday and of course, I had therapy at 10, so they couldn't help me much. I asked them what to look out for and what I should do for myself. (I guess that I haven't explained the high level of pain I have had non-stop since I had my accident. I have a big knot on the incision that still has the hospital bandage. Walking is painful in every way.) My ortho's nurse was amazed that the folks in the ER hadn't undressed my incision and looked at it. She recommended that I use ice, take it easy and that I remember that the ER doesn't close and if need be, I go back. I had my coumadin put on hold last Friday because the level was too high and she said that that was probably a good thing. I will get a call from them on Wednesday morning to let me know if the doctor wants to see me early--his current schedule is loaded and frozen unless he directly changes anything. I have an appointment on Friday morning with him. Personally, I am barely functioning due to pain right now. It is relentless and unlike my post-op pain. It is a nauseating kind of pain that I cannot find a way to sit or lie or move to be a bit comfortable. Anyway, my ortho will be able to get the x-rays from the hospital and as my PT mentioned, be able to look for anything that he needs to see which might be different than what the ER doc was looking for.
Anyway, I am not having a good time. We usually go out on New Year's Eve for a family date and this year, we debated and debated until I finally told them we could still go bowling and I would watch rather than play. We had continued problems with deciding on a restaurant for dinner and again, we intervened with pizza and appetizers. I wish I could have stayed at home but I didn't want to ruin the family party. We did come home early and end the night earlier than usual. We had a lot of fun and the kids got along really well. Marshall was at work and Mason was with his friends, but the rest of us were together.
I am trying to manage things as they are right now and will wait until I hear from my doc tomorrow. I have plans to go to school and direct my husband to take down the Christmas tree and holiday decorations and to write lesson plans. Those plans may change.
I will do only what makes sense and makes me feel better until I am told to do anything else.
I'll keep you informed. I sure hope that lousy fall didn't cause anything to set me back.
Have a happy New Year!!
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