Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Eight Week Anniversary and Wrap-Up

I'm past the eight week point, and will be returning to a full-time work schedule on Monday. I still have a little minor pain at night, and there's still a bit of a "hitch" in my walk that I need to correct. But I've put away the crutches, walker, cane, leg lifter, shower chair, elevated commode, and handicapped parking permit, and things are clearly returning to normal. So at this point, I'm going to discontinue posting on this blog.

I have been absolutely amazed at the amount of support I've received from family, friends, and work colleagues over the past eight weeks. As I've noted, the first few weeks after hip replacement surgery greatly resemble old age: You're using a walker, you need help with mundane tasks, and you tend to sometimes feel helpless and vulnerable. And it's a reminder that, when you return to good health, you have a great opportunity to take advantage of your working body while you still have it. So I'm looking forward to putting my new hip to good use in 2009 and beyond.

Thanks for all your comments and good wishes over the past two months, and please have a great New Year (no matter when you're reading this).

P.S. Like most blogs, this one is presented in reverse order, with the last post shown first. If you are new to this blog and would like to read everything in chronological order, from the beginning post to the end, try this: Go here, which will get you to my initial post. Then after you finish reading, scroll down to "newer post" and click that. This will get you to the second post. Then repeat. Good luck!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

My THIRD Big Adventure

I was dog sitting this weekend, and took the dog for a walk around the block. The entire block! Dragging a big dog on a leash. No cane, nothing. My long walks are slowly coming back!! Can a good night's sleep, resulting from healthy physical exhaustion instead of pain killers, be far behind?

If you missed them,

  • My second big adventure is here.
  • My first big adventure is here.

Friday, December 26, 2008

I Can Put On My Socks!

I put both socks on this morning with my bare hands! For the first time, I didn't have to use the "sock-putting-on" machine that you get after surgery. I can dress myself now!!!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Seven Week Anniversary

At this point, seven weeks after my hip replacement, things are going well enough that it probably makes sense to just highlight the areas that still need improvement:
  • I start the day fine and make it through mid-afternoon okay, but later in the day and evening my bad leg starts to drag -- and therefore so do I.
  • It's sometimes a little hard to sleep with the pain from the scar, and night time is the only time that I take painkillers any more.
  • I still can't completely bend the leg that had the hip replacement, so putting a shoe and sock on that foot is still a daily challenge.
Other than that, life is returning to normal. Although there is one nasty habit I've picked up from this operation: I now have grabbers stashed all over my house, and almost never bend over to pick anything up any more, even though I almost certainly could.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Ten Good Things About My Hip Replacement

  1. I can jump out of my chair when I'm surprised or excited.
  2. I can rise to greet guests without wincing and falling backwards back into the seat.
  3. People seem to act amazed, and praise me, when I perform simple tasks like getting up and down stairs by myself.
  4. I have something to talk about with others who have had hip replacements, which seems to be a surprisingly common procedure these days.
  5. I'm forced to exercise, and that's healthy, even though I'm only exercising one leg.
  6. I have a handicapped parking permit, although a fat lot of good it's doing me since everyone in the entire rapidly-aging baby boom generation seems to have one now.
  7. I already have lots of the equipment (walker, crutches, cane, grabber) that I'll need for old age.
  8. I could run marathons or go ballroom dancing if I wanted to, which I most certainly don't, but I could, which is the important thing, even though I won't.
  9. I got $50,000 worth of medical services for about $450, which makes me feel like I've beaten the system somehow.
  10. I still have one of my original hips, in case I'm ever feeling nostalgic.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

A Most Unpleasant Surprise

You know what happens when you reach the six-week mark after your hip replacement? A lot of good things: You get to cross your legs, bend over, drive a car, and start functioning like a normal human being.

But here's the bad news, which I just found at at this morning's physical therapy session: They DOUBLE the number of exercises you have to do, and make them twice as hard!

And it's all focused on my right leg, nothing else. I have a hideous mental image that I'm going to wind up with the same out-of-shape body I've always had, but with a right leg that is as bulging and muscular as one of Popeye's arms.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Six Week Anniversary: Back to Work

I went back to work today, did nothing except attend a series of meetings, and am completely exhausted. I can't even really put a lot of mental energy into making this post particularly humorous or interesting. But, overall, it's a healthy thing to start getting back into a routine and productive schedule. My plan is to work half time through the month of December, and jump back in full time immediately after the New Year. Fortunately, my doctor, my supervisor, and my employer's short term disability insurance carrier have all approved my plan.