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Monday, 1/7: 3 Weeks Recovery and Overdoing Things

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Hi all,

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.

Gentle hugs,
Sylvia

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MORTICIAADDAMS 1/10/2013 9:13PM

    I am praying for both you and Lady!!

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_LINDA 1/9/2013 1:01AM

    Sorry you are learning the hard way that sometimes the Dr.'s are actually right -no work for a reason. I hope you can recover fully from this without any more troubles.
I trust they can do something for poor Lady? I found out Daisy has an infection -she showed no signs of being sick at all, but because she was spotting blood on her blanket Mom took her in to be on the safe side. She is now on antibiotics. They think what happened is she may have been going into heat when she was spayed :(
My news is my X-Rays of all my joints were all okay. So the Dr. is going to try eliminate cancer as the source of my severe back pain that is preventing me from sleeping or resting. I have had the blood test, but unfortunately, specialized bone tests take a long time to get done around here. More waiting. At least its free. Spent three hours at the hospital to do three things, get through admin, X-Rays, Blood test and seeing the Dr.
Relax and Recover. That is your work now.
{{{gentle hugs}}}
Linda

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MARTHAWILL 1/8/2013 7:34PM

    Glad your hip surgery is behind you now. Now listen to doctor's orders!
Get well.
emoticon

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PUGRAD1995 1/8/2013 1:20PM

    So sorry to hear you are having issues. But sometimes we are slow learners. I have had a hard time slowing down but yet keep moving. I'm getting better at it-but it's tricky. I am good at making sure any task I can do sitting or lying down is near my chair/bed. At least it keeps me feeling productive that way.

Hang in there-the body will recover eventually. And darn, when those doctors are right!

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COURTNEY055 1/8/2013 4:51AM

    Oh, Sylvia, it's been awhile since I've been on. You are right, let someone help you. I know u are an independent spirit but you have to take it easy right now. You just had major surgery. Whatever u do, don't over due it. You don't want to wind up back in the hospital for more surgery. I'm thinking of you and praying for a speedy recovery.

I am so sorry about Lady. I hope she's ok.

I'm praying for you both.

Take care and don't forget that you're not alone, let the family help you and stay off your feet as much as you can. God Bless...

Courtney

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Sunday, 1/6: Recovery Day 20--for me anyway

Sunday, January 06, 2013

Hi all,

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.

Gentle hugs,
Sylvia

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MORTICIAADDAMS 1/7/2013 9:41AM

    Poor Lady. It sounds like you may have to keep the other dog away from her. I hope she has a speedy uncomplicated recovery.

I have a grabber too - very handy.

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LIVINGLOVINLIFE 1/6/2013 4:42PM

    HI SYLVIA; Sounds like to me you are very tired of being pinned down. I know from experience just how aggravating and frustrating it can be when you have to depend on others. When you normally do it your way,when you want. Do you feel like saying, " LEAVE ME ALONE I"LL DO IT MYSELF" when everyone is busy right then. This impatience is a curse of an independent, strong and maybe stubborn person. So, this is one time you need to slow down and wait for others to help you even if that means not doing things to your perceived time table. Ha that's a bitter pill to take. You know everything will eventually get done around the house and at school but it would get done alot faster if you weren't layed up.
I am sorry about Lady, I hope she gets over her ear infection. I know you feel like this wouldn't have happened if you had been your usually up and at um attentive self. But you aren't and that is just part of life. The vet and your family will do the best they can for lady. You and her will just have to slow down and let time heal your wounds. Best thing you both can do is curl up somewhere and keep each other company and let time and others do their thing. This whole experience will be behind you soon and you both will be up and about doing your usual. Remember to slow down, smell the roses and appreciate the wonderful bounty that our Lord has provided. emoticon Pat

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Saturday, 1/5 Recovery Day 19--Answers

Saturday, January 05, 2013

Hi all,

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. emoticon 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.

Gentle hugs,
Sylvia

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

_LINDA 1/6/2013 12:29AM

    Sylvia!!! That fall should have been a warning to you, big time!! Take no more chances!! You really can't risk it!! No work means no work!! Sorry about the pool, but with that hematoma you couldn't go in anyway :(( You were very, very lucky this time! Why don't you have a reacher to use to pick up anything off the floor?? I actually got around it by simply bending the knee of my operated hip and doing a one legged squat to get things, but of course, you have to have very good balance and be in shape to do it. But I always made sure to hold onto something solid first. But a reacher does work for most things.
Please take care of yourself
{{{gentle hugs}}}
Linda

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DETERMINEDJANET 1/5/2013 2:48PM

    So thankful everything was okay with the hip! How long did he think it would take for this hematoma to go down?

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WALKZWDOGZ 1/5/2013 4:00AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon Well, that is a lot of good news finally!

But...but! (nag mode kicking in) You need to take care of you! You'd take care of kids, family, & the Bassets & not let them do too much too soon, right? Do the same for you. You do not need to mess with clotting issues. Rest. Follow drs. orders. Breathe!

If you were a Basset, I'd put you on imposed crate rest. emoticon

For picking things up, have you tried one of those grabber gadgets? My aunt has one that I think she got at Ross's. It lets her get things off shelves or the floor, even from her wheel chair.

Keeping paws crossed here! emoticon

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Thursday, 1/3--Recovery Day 17

Friday, January 04, 2013

Hi all,

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!
Gentle hugs,
Sylvia

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

_LINDA 1/5/2013 1:40AM

    It sounded like you forgot to or didn't get your walker locked securely before sitting on it from how you described it -to me some of those things look flimsy with not very good brakes on them.
Hoping you have not damaged your new hip and that he can help with the pain.
Its too bad you can't find a good person to take your blood and use the same one all the time. I am lucky the woman in my health center is really good with a needle -she was using a butterfly to help take my blood when my good arm was out of commission -I too have one good vein only. I loved being on Remicade but sure hated the five or six times they had to try to get an IV going :( Even experienced anesthetists struggle with my veins.
As you haven't been by my blogs, I will have to tell you my page is offline now as I am heading into a extremely busy month and will have very little time to Spark. Also, I am still getting friend adds and can't really deal with any more of that. This also cuts way down on the amount of e-mail I get too. It makes it hard for my friends to make comments to me unfortunately, but they can use my friend feed for that if they wish as I will put a comment out on it every day.
I got your Christmas Card/Newsletter. Very nice, reminded me of the time when my sister used to send out a newsy family letter complete with photos. This was before the internet became big. But now she has no time.
Thinking of you,
{{{gentle hugs}}}
Linda

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DETERMINEDJANET 1/4/2013 1:01PM

    Definitely be careful with Walmart. Good that you are seeing the doctor first, but there is potentially something on the stores floor that sent your walker flying and you're right...it is the lawsuit they are concerned about...not you.

A friend at church had back surgery and he developed a huge lump at his incision. Ended up with a day surgery to drain a cyst that had developed. That could be what you're looking at Sylvia. Glad you have an appointment soon!

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MORTICIAADDAMS 1/4/2013 12:10PM

    I would hesitate before I sign any papers for wal-mart. I hope the doctor can give you some relief.

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X5X52000 1/4/2013 1:11AM

    emoticon emoticon

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Tuesday, 1/1 Recovery Day 15-Happy New Year!

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Hi all,

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!!
Gentle hugs,
Sylvia

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MORTICIAADDAMS 1/2/2013 3:09PM

    I hopee you can see your doctor and get some help soon.

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WALKZWDOGZ 1/2/2013 1:02AM

    emoticon emoticon

What was with the ER team?!?!? emoticon And over a holiday naturally. I hope you can get a follow-up soon! Keeping paws crossed here!

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_LINDA 1/1/2013 11:07PM

    This sounds really bad Sylvia :(( And of course it happened at holiday time when offices are closed :(( You may just have to go back to the ER. That may have also been foolish of you to go with your family on this outing. It was nice to be so concerned for your family's happiness, but you must also take care of your own needs too.
Please take better care of yourself and if you feel a fever or hot around the incision, go back to the ER immediately.
{{{gentle hugs}}}
Linda

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DETERMINEDJANET 1/1/2013 1:09PM

    So sorry that this fall has caused so much more pain and questions on your recovery. Hugs !!!!

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