Thursday, May 2, 2013

Mostly Forward; One Step Back

The hip recovery moves on apace, with much progress and one small setback.

I’ve had the okay to drive for a week-plus and have been enjoying it: going over to visit the horse, running errands, just getting out and about on my own, and relishing the liberation. I wouldn’t be comfortable driving any more than local distances yet, but in time my leash should lengthen and eventually begone.

My physical limitations on movement are likewise easing; I can safely and comfortably bend forward farther than 90 degrees now, and continue to add increments of flexibility within the confines of what my body’s reactions tell me is appropriate. My stamina is still small but I try to push its bounds gently on my daily walks – still taken with one crutch for now, rather than the cane that serves me indoors, for safety’s sake and because I tire more rapidly when caning rather than crutching on an outdoor expedition.

I plan tomorrow morning to try, for the first time since shortly before the surgery, to clean the cats’ litter boxes myself, a task requiring kneeling and bending as well as stair-climbing. Easing into the motions and positions necessary for this have been part of my PT routines for the last week and now it’s time to see if I’m ready. If it’s too soon, I’ll call the woman who’s been doing it for me and let her know she needs to keep on, but I’m hoping to win back that further bit of independence.

My physical therapy at home has ended, as my therapist and I agree that I can take my rehab from here without her further guidance. I’ll miss Kristin’s wonderful help and direction; this recovery wouldn’t have gone nearly as well without her assistance, and I made sure to tell her so.

So, all in all, it’s a happy story, except for one thing: I must retreat from sleeping in my bed. For the last few days I’ve awakened with discomfort in my hip, and yesterday it was edging into outright pain territory; indeed, the hip ached all morning, enough that I forbore the usual round of exercises and eventually gave in and took an oxycodone, something I hadn’t needed to do for quite a long time. I have tried to find a comfortable way to sleep on my right side, my usual presurgical position, but no arrangement of legs and pillows has produced a workable solution. I suspect I’m rolling over to side from back during sleep and stressing a joint not yet ready for that.

So last night I went to bed in the lift chair where I’d spent the first nights sleeping at home, and was decently comfortable, enough so to sleep well till my first bathroom-run wakeup. Then I moved to the living room, to the narrow confines of the couch, with no room to lie other than flat and straight on my back, and slept well there. I got up this morning with a much more comfortable hip. Eureka!

Of course, it’s not all sunshine and kittens; now my left knee is grumbly, perhaps from being stretched out straight all night instead of slightly bent over a pillow. So I’ll try a knee pillow for it tonight and see if that’s what it wants.

I daresay setbacks are only to be expected, but they still annoy me.

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