Welcome back, loves.
This week has felt like a loop — same thing almost everyday.
Instead of giving a day by day break down, I am just going to categorize what’s been going on. It’s easier and less stress on my cabin fever.
It’s definitely still hard to sleep. Laying on my back, not moving my leg, just makes me hot and itchy. The itchy is more because of my skin, which has made this process all that much harder anyway. My leg and back also gets achy in the middle of the night and I don’t want to take any of the oxycodone. I do have Tylenol, but it’s hard to move around while in bed to get it and take it. I am now using Benadryl to help with sleep. It’s not the best solution, but needed. I am usually not a sweaty sleeper, but this definitely has changed that — my hip and back area get damp since it doesn’t budge during the night. Because of this, you may want to switch out your bed sheets more often or sleep with less clothing (I am in Florida, which may play a factor). Exciting times.
In general, if you’re tired, nap. Because of my lack of sleep, I try to nap in the middle of the day. It doesn’t always happen, but don’t snub a siesta if it can be taken.
After doing exercises and moving around, ice. Use it. I have been the worst with it. I always forget. I am pretty sure it is a priority in a surgeon’s eyes to always ice it after working the area.
Do them! I don’t go overboard; only do what the doctor prescribed. I still haven’t seen X-rays or had my post op appointment (it’s in two days), so I want to make sure everything is fine before pushing it. I do the hospital exercises 3x a day with my mother. Spread them out throughout the day. I’d also say don’t lounge too much. When I am up to use the bathroom, I try every so often to do some laps on my walker. I don’t want my joint to get stiff or my muscles to get too tight. I know it’s important to sit at a 90 degree angle for an hour or two a day to help with mobility. But, because I also had the arthroscopic surgery for my labrum, it’s not good to sit too long at a 90 degree angle. Mix it up!
Going back to work
I was going to attempt being back at work today, but because my post op appointment changed from this Monday to this Friday, I decided to stay home longer. Plus, my skin is still giving me a really hard time, so dealing with both has been exhausting. My doctor said most people don’t go back to work for 4 weeks, but I do feel it’s possible to do it earlier if you’re work isn’t anything to do with manual labor or walking around a lot. As a teacher, I would be able to sit and move around when necessary, as well as not over exert myself. It’s not ideal, don’t get me wrong, but if you’re antsy like me, it can be done. Just be smart about it. And have a reclining chair! I may purchase one this weekend. More money… lol
I prefer front seat over laying out in the back. I am still not driving yet. Just make sure the seat is all the way back and leaned backward a bit to accommodate yourself lifting and getting your leg over the hump.
The swelling has gone down! My leg and abdomen are not huge anymore. I can definitely feel it while I am lugging my leg around. There is atrophy of my muscles (my backside and quadricep are ghosting me) and not much anyone can do about that. I still have my dressing over the sutures, so it’s hard to see what type of bruising or coloring is happening under there. It’s still red on the left side of the bandage, but that will go away in time.
Uh, this is my most private time alone but also most stressful. Dealing with my leg alongside my aching skin while sitting on a chair and having to turn water on and off in order to bath is not relaxing. It’s a balancing act and takes way more time that usual to do. I can not wait to be on my own two feet again.
For those of you with removable shower heads and no tub, lay the showered on your sliding door handle, along with a grabber stick so you can reach the water knob. If you don’t have a removable shower head and no tub, you’re best bet is having a bucket and using a wash rag from there. Sucks, but that’s the easiest way to not soak your dressing. If you have a tub, sit your seat by the tub’s faucet and just leave it running and use a wash cloth.
Washing your hair… good luck. The only time you can do that on your own is with the removable shower head or with the tub faucet and a bucket. If your shower head doesn’t come off and you don’t have a tub, you’d have to have a bunch of buckets of water ready.
Every so often, I get these tiny lightning bolts in my quadricep. It’s most likely the muscle repairing and nerve endings firing. Should be normal. What I am not sure is normal is the click sound that happens if I sneeze or cough. I am desperate to do neither after having experienced the tightness and clicking sound. Holding in a sneeze is rough. I shall see about that when I go to the post app appointment.
I take the baby aspirin twice a day, my Calcium vitamin twice a day, and my Vit D. I have stopped using any laxatives or stool softener. I also take the benedryl at night now to help me sleep and only take the Tylenol if necessary. I skip out on it some nights, but it’s best to just take it if you know your leg is going to ache.
I still like wearing baggy pants so nothing is up against my suture spot. I also use bathing suit bikini tie bottoms, but it’s leaving me with a line of raw skin between my legs on both sides. I might switch back to normal underwear and only wear the bikini bottoms during PT and doctor’s appointments.
I am on a it of a rollercoaster. FOMO is on the rise (FOMO = Fear Of Missing Out). It was Spring Break all of last week and it sucked not being able to do anything. You are also stuck inside most of the time (I don’t have a patio). I tried a couple of days to get some sun for 10-15 minutes near my side door, but it’s a mission just getting me out there on my little stoop. It’s never fun being cooped up and unable to do much for yourself. It can get you down, especially if you’re used to doing a lot of stuff and have a significant other. I am also dealing with my health condition, Topical Steroid Withdrawal, which doesn’t help in the slightest. It is still the #1 thing ruling my life at the moment. If I didn’t have to deal with all my skin issues everyday, this healing process wouldn’t seem so daunting and hard. But, life never promised a fair ride and we roll with the punches.
I am also looking into a colossal career change. I worked so hard to become a performer and all that came tumbling down with my health. Now, I am a teacher and it’s exhausting me. I don’t find it fulfilling and the effort I put in doesn’t yield much reward. I want to feel good again about what I do. I don’t want to dread mornings or put in extra effort that isn’t returned. Teaching in a school just isn’t for me. I have a lot of other talents and trades, but nothing hyper focused in one lane. It’s a bit overwhelming to think about, especially when I am dealing with my health, my leg, and wishing to start my memoir this summer. My health is part of the reason why I want to stop teaching, but at this given moment with so many other things pouring onto my plate, it’s hard to just quit a job that is stable.
Lots of strength to anyone going through this. Baby steps.