Thursday, December 18, 2014

All American Surgery Recovery - Week Two Update

All the pretty colors, plus 2/5 of my incision sites
Yesterday I had my two-week follow up with the surgeon's PA. We took the soft wrap off, removed the stitches and staples (ouch!), took a couple of x-rays, then I got my new shiny hard cast.  The PA walked me through the different procedures that they done, explaining the incision on my inner left calf that I hadn't expected (lengthening my Achilles tendon) and we talked about restrictions on the recovery. The bad news, I am allowed to do upper body weight lifting, but no cardio. That sort of kills my goal from last week to get active again, but I'll readjust for this week).

What I Would Have Done Differently - Reality Adjustment
I will be perfectly honest with you, I had no idea how intensive this recovery would be. I thought I did, going in, especially after having shoulder surgery only two years ago. Boy, was I wrong. After getting back from today's appointment, I crashed hard for an hour, and I was outside for barely two hours. Also I would have asked specifically where the incisions were, I was a little surprised that I had one so far up my calf, but that's where they lengthened the Achilles tendon.

What is Frustrating - My Stomach
I am still struggling a bit with managing my stomach while on the hydrocodone. Hopefully I'll be able to wean off of those soon and transition to something less strong that bothers my stomach less. I've eaten more yogurt, saltines, applesauce, and ginger ale in the last two weeks than I care to think about. The yogurt is a trick I learned from an ex-boyfriend's pharmacy major buddies, and it really does help as long as you time it right. I was exceptionally frustrated on Saturday when we had company over for my birthday and I wasn't able to eat at the same time as everyone else because my stomach was so wonky.

What I'm Looking Forward To - Target
All I want is to wander the gleaming white and red halls of Target. Seems like such a silly thing, but after being cooped up for two weeks I am itching to spend money on a basket full of things I probably don't need. But combine all of that with a $50 gift card, and I am ready to go. Plus, I might see if I can use one of those little motorized scooters.

What is Working - Knee Scooter
Because of my ongoing shoulder issues, I can't use regular crutches so have had to look for some additional solutions. Once I'm moving more I'll tell you about my armless crutch, but for moving around our apartment the kneeling scooter that I've got has been great. Plus in the parking lot today, I totally got to just scoot around for yards on end. Wheeeeeeeeee!

What I've Accomplished - Following Instructions
Patience is not a term that has ever been attached to me. Being ordered to keep my foot elevated pretty much constantly has not been easy, but I was good and followed the doctor's orders. Now I'm on self-directed restrictions in terms of things like driving and travel, although they still want me to elevate 20 minutes at least 5 times a day. Knee above the nose!

This Week's Goal
I'd like to say my goal is to get active again, but I'm going to try to be realistic. We decided I wouldn't accompany the hubby to his grandma's house, which I'm sad about, but that will hopefully make the trip to his parents in Connecticut for Christmas that much easier. So, my goal this week is to effectively manage the trip without increased pain levels. That means an action plan for the car ride, ideas to manage everything once we're at my in-laws, and planning ahead in case any issues do arise.

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