Saturday, September 1, 2012

#753 now the real work begins

Happy September! I can tell you that September is probably my most favorite month. The weather here in Utah is usually very nice in September. It's warm, but not as hot; toward the end of the month, the mornings are cool and the afternoons are mild and it's just plain pleasant.

It has been about a week since my last post. What have I been doing? Still recovering from the surgery, but getting stronger every day. My mother-in-law was here the week after the surgery, and my sister was here last week. I can't even remember the last time Lizzie and I hung out together for that many days, mostly by ourselves. It was wonderful to have her here! T started school on the 27th, so Lizzie and I were hanging out without anyone else for most of the day. We watched movies and tennis and chatted and napped. It was pretty glorious, if you ask me. I was sad sad sad to leave her at the airport last night. I hope that we can hang out together again sometime, and maybe I'll be more mobile next time.

Last week, on Tuesday, I had my two week follow-up with the surgeon. He released me from home care and gave me a prescription for outpatient physical therapy. He also removed the dressing from my wound, so now I can get it wet and look at it every day. It's kind of creepy-looking. Dr. F told me that he used a substance that is basically dissolving fishing line to close the wound. The wound looks sort of like the spiny back of an animal. It's about eight inches long and is kind of raised. I can barely touch it, let alone look at it. It does seem to be healing well, though.

I thought my home physical therapy was going really well. My home therapist, Bethany, was very pleased with my progress. I thought she was great, and I enjoyed working with her. But now, three weeks after the surgery, the real work begins on the rehabilitation. My new physical therapist is Lance and I go to his clinic for the therapy. Lizzie and I met with him on Friday for an evaluation, and he just started right in on some stretches and exercises. The first thing he had me do was walk without my crutch. I was scared, but I did ok. I also stood just on the right leg. It will bear weight, and it does.

Most of the stretches/exercises that Lance asked me to do were fairly easy, but there are a couple that are quite challenging. One of the most important goals we have is that my leg should be able to stretch out and be flat against a surface. My right leg hasn't been flat in years. The surgeon told me that he made it be flat after surgery, so it can be done. I currently have a slight four to seven degree bend in the knee, even when I'm trying to press it down with all my might. Of course, Lance has some stretches to get the knee flat, and they are not pleasant.

My least favorite move is one where I lay on my belly and squeeze my glutes together and try to lift my right leg. I used to be able to do this, but now, I just can't. I need to be able to lift it about six inches or so, but I don't think I lift it more than one centimeter currently. MT and T helped me do it today (I've tried it twice). The first time I cried and yelled. It wasn't good. The second time I held it together better, but I still couldn't raise the damn leg.

It's so frustrating not to be able to do such a simple thing! I imagine how sweet and rewarding it will feel the day that I can raise it. :)

Another part of my PT is riding my stationary bike. There is no tension on the pedals, but it takes a lot of concentration and effort on my part to bring those pedals around. I can really feel a good stretch at the top of the motion. It sounds like the bike will be an important part in my recovery.

I have a good two to four weeks before I will be released by the doctor to go back to work, so I will focus on my PT during that time. I do have my computer here from work, and I've been taking some calls. There are a few things I need to do next week for the end-of-the-month closing and I think I can do it all from home and send it to the office. That should be interesting.

That's all for me today. Have a great Labor Day weekend, friends!


Kteach said...

It looks like you are doing very well, rehab is not fun but necessary, you can do it!
I am so happy you and Lizzie had this time together too! :)
Love you

emtes said...

I'm happy to hear about your progress but of course it will take time and it will hurt. But you are so determined that I'm completely sure you will have it flat in no-time!
Take care and a big hug to you and your family
Puss och kram Mia <3