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Posts Tagged ‘physio’

On Fridays I post FFF to stop and recall blessings of the previous week. Suzanne sponsors this exercise at Living to Tell the Story and invites you to participate too!

Thanks for your patience as I have been sparse with writing and posting. It has been an interesting 7 months. I know God has a purpose in this unexpected health journey and I see some of that purpose, but most of it remains unknown to me at this point. But I am at peace with the fact that whether or not I ever figure things out, God has it planned for my good and His glory and I rest in that.

1. Medical update – My recovery journey continues to provide some unexpected detours. The month of November was pretty much taken up with fighting a bad cold and a lingering constant cough. I was so relieved when that cough abated!

But come December, instead of gaining strength and feeling better, I was weaker and constantly fatigued. I had been making good progress with my physio until I found I was unable to complete my reps and instead had to go lay down after doing a few simple exercises.

There was something wrong with me and my whole family was concerned. The signs were all there and under normal circumstances I might have put them together, but I was so very tired and was certainly not processing things well mentally. Hair loss. Brittle nails and particularly dry skin. Food irritating my tongue. Forgetfulness and fogginess. And utter, debilitating fatigue. While sitting in my chair one day I bent over to pick something up off the floor and immediately fell asleep all hunched over. I would do a few things around the house and, absolutely spent physically, sink into bed and drop off to sleep. Twelve hours of sleep at night and I still was exhausted when I awoke. It finally dawned on me that some underlying problem (other than recovery from surgery) was going on.

Blood tests revealed I have both iron deficiency and anemia. My stored iron is so low that my doctor scheduled me for an iron infusion, but there is a waiting list, so I likely won’t get the treatment until April. Meantime I am on oral iron and after three weeks I am feeling a modicum of improvement.

After starting a new physio exercise in December my hip and pelvis hurt and ached constantly. It felt to me like something had shifted and I was concerned that the exercise had caused damage. After x-rays and a consult with my surgeon I was greatly relieved to learn that there was no shift and the bone grafts were continuing to heal well. There is always discomfort as new physio stretches and strengthens weakened areas, but this concerning level of pain and discomfort is most likely due to my iron problem. I see my therapist again soon and we will discuss how to handle physio in light of my iron issues.

So, here’s a simple bit of advice: if you feel like something is wrong physically, go get it checked out right away. At least then you will be dealing with your reality and won’t be wasting time speculating (or worrying) about all the things that could possibly be causing you to feel so bad.

2. Amusing translation – My son and his family live and work in China. They teach there and are constantly working on acquiring and improving their Mandarin. It’s a tough language and not at all like English. But they are making progress. They teach their program in English and most of the students use electronic translators to help them better understand the English instruction. But when those translators provide a literal translation, the results can be really amusing.

I bought some Japanese matcha powder and the translated message on the package truly lost something in the translation. I got the gist of it, but It made me smile, and I hope it will make you smile too. “Only for once, all customers are in a lifetime. We have the soul which entertains the customer so that there may be no regret.”

3. Office makeover – Now that I am in my golden years, I am trying hard to declutter and reorganize. A young friend is helping me rearrange my office space so that I can sell off some of my library and do more writing. I need a larger desk and have spent hours investigating what’s out there, but I’m having a hard time choosing the best quality with all the features I need that is within my budget. I don’t mind buying used, but I am not in a position to go look at desks that are advertised online, plus I would need to pay someone to pick it up and bring it to my house. I am, however, excited about getting going on the office makeover!

4. Light! – I look forward to each December when we get past that shortest (and darkest) day of the year here and begin to see more and more light each day as winter melts away. We were having some pleasant warm days until Thursday when temperatures dropped and we received a huge dump of snow. Now the sun is back out and reflecting against all that newly fallen snow, it makes for a pretty, bright day.

5. Black raspberries – I love black raspberries. We had a few bushes in my Ohio childhood yard, along with raspberries, red currents, blueberries, and the overhang of a mulberry tree from the vacant lot next to us. I enjoyed them all, but black raspberries were (and still are) my favorites.

We have lived in Alberta for 30 years and have found black raspberries are almost unknown here. One vendor at a farmer’s market told me there was no such thing as black raspberries! A few years ago, one of my daughters found some black raspberry spread at the Italian market in Edmonton. It was delicious, and I bought that brand several times until I was told they were discontinuing it. Last week my husband and I stopped in at the Italian market and I was delighted to see they were carrying the black raspberry spread again!

We had a two-day R and R in the mountains earlier this month. Here are a few photos from our time there.

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I have been home since Monday evening. I cannot remember a time when I was more exhausted than I was on Monday night. My meager post-surgery strength did not match the demands my body required of me. That night I deeply second-guessed coming home instead of going into rehab. I could barely move, much less properly engage the specific mechanics required of me to consistently keep the weight off my right leg.

My week was filled with focus, practice, adjustment, and caution. I had little to no pain in hospital, but as my previous painkillers worked their way out of my system and I reduced the amount of new painkiller I was taking, my pain increased slightly. Was this a bad sign? Was I doing something wrong? Should I cut back on physio? Increase it? More meds? Less? Not sure.

The surgeon wanted to see me two weeks after my surgery. After returning home I called to make the appointment. I discover that the ortho clinic will be closed two weeks after my surgery, and closed for the entire week. My follow up is now 3.5 weeks after surgery. Will this be ok? Will my dressing last? What about my staples?

As the meds work their way out of my system, I struggle with fatigue, ennui, enervation, and depression. I hesitated to write about this, but it is my reality. When we share what is going on in our lives with the body of Christ, we do not share only the blessings, but also the struggles. The love and prayers of God’s people are a great encouragement in times of struggle.

Slowly I am seeing improvement. I am better able to hop using my walker and keep most of the weight off my injured leg. I discovered I tend to hold my breath when I am concentrating. I need to talk myself through the steps. Remember to hold in my abs, breathe, hold my arms straight, and move forward, keeping my foot barely on the ground for balance. And again. And again.

How did my appliance fail? How did I go so long without knowing it? Did the doctor do something wrong? Was it something I did wrong? Am I doing something wrong now? Is it even possible to find the truth about this?

Why hadn’t my hip itself hurt? The last month before the x-rays I felt crooked and was unable to stand straight. I felt the tightness in the muscles of my back and in the thigh of my right leg, but when I poked the hip area, nothing hurt. I thought it was my fibromyalgia. I now realize that not every muscle pain is fibromyalgia.

I become aware of many others who are struggling physically, emotionally, spiritually, and I pray for them. Sin has touched and cursed us all. We all need Christ and His truth and His salvation. We need to speak truth to each other in times of sorrow and in times of joy. We are family. We rejoice and we weep with each other.

Today as I heal and continue to work to strengthen, I am enjoying some special blessings. My family has arrived from China and I get to hold and talk with my grandchildren, listen to their dreams, join in their imaginings. This morning my grandchildren picked the first of my garden peas to share with me. Well-formed, sweet and delicious, they are consumed with gratitude and satisfaction.

I am abundantly blessed through this ordeal to have my daughters living nearby ready to sacrifice to help in any way possible. God has also blessed me with many children of the heart who visit and write and stop by to help. They bring their little ones, my ‘adopted’ grandchildren, to visit Purple Grandma and hand me sweaty fistfuls of flowers or grasses or other treasures selected just to cheer me.

Truth is, just like many others who suffer unexpectedly, I may never know why this happened. God chose it for me for His glory and my good. I do not understand what that looks like right now or how it helps me and the body of Christ overall. I struggle to rejoice in infirmity. I struggle against self-focus and negative thinking. I struggle to rejoice in the Lord always, but by God’s grace, I am not content to be disobedient.

The prayers and love of God’s people are very precious to me. Thank you to each of you who have prayed for me and continues to pray with me. I pray God will bless you for your love and concern.

Philippians 4:4-7

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice.  Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

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christmas-fff

It’s Friday, time to look back over the blessings of the week with Susanne at Living to Tell the Story and other friends.

1. At my six week post-op appointment I was cleared to drive again! It was nice to go out and do a bit of Christmas shopping. I was concerned about walking on the ice, but went slowly (still have to use a cane for another six weeks) and had no problems.

2. My house helpers lent a hand and we got the tree decorated. (We had planned to do it as a family but several of us came down with the cold/flu that is going around and had to cancel the family tree-trimming.) I’ve scaled back on decorating this year due to my surgery, but the door wreath is up, the mantle is resplendent with candles, sleigh bells and pine, the hall flower arrangement is in place and the red and green decorations modestly adorn the tree in the living room. Pretty!

3. I am enjoying the freedom of walking without having to use a walker or crutches. I need the cane when venturing away from the house, but can freelance it inside the house. Physio starts on Tuesday. I ended up about an inch shorter in my ‘bad’ leg before surgery and my body had (painfully) adjusted to the mechanics of walking in light of that difference. Now my legs are the same length and my body is talking to me. “Yo, woman! What’s with the legs being the same length now? You’re making all the muscles on my right side adjust! I don’t like it! I think I will tense up and cause you pain.” Physio will help alleviate the muscle tension and pain as well as strengthen the weakened muscles which were cut during surgery.

4. This will be an unusual Christmas for us. Our son and his family minister in China, and our youngest daughter is currently over there with them studying nursing. Two of our other daughters will be on a fun trip to Scotland during Christmas, and our remaining daughter wants to wait to open gifts until after shopping at the Boxing Day sales the day after Christmas (think Black Friday for Canadians.) This year we have invited several young couples and singles who have no family nearby to join us for a Christmas dinner. Oh, and we are going to try a three continent Skype call with family on Christmas Day. Should be fun.

5. My car has had to have a lot of repairs these past few months. This last time was especially expensive. Four different times the mechanic called to tell us of another issue that needed to be fixed. Because neither my husband nor I know much about auto mechanics we were concerned that the dealership could possibly be making things up. How would we know? God laid it on my husband’s mind to call a mechanic friend we know to ask for his assessment. Thankfully we were not being taken advantage of and everything is now working well. One of the problems we had was that the heat would not blow warm air if the temperatures were below zero (32 F.) Now this can be a BIG problem in the winter here. A working heater is essential for safe driving in Canadian winters. My husband had not mentioned this particular problem when the car was taken in due to bigger issues, but the problem was solved when the other things were taken care of!! I’m very thankful to have a car with a working heater.

Have a blessed Christmas!

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unnamedIt’s Friday, time to look back over the blessings of the week with Susanne at Living to Tell the Story and other friends.

I haven’t posted FFF in over a month because my surgery date got moved up a month from November 21 to October 24.  I had a lot of pre-surgery prep to take care of in less than two weeks, but by God’s grace, and with the help of others, it all got done. As of today I am 4 weeks postsurgical and I have a new hip!! God answered a prayer that I would be able to have the surgery before the snow stuck and that’s exactly what happened!

I am exceedingly grateful for all of my church family and friends in the area who have volunteered to help me with physio and household duties these first weeks.  Not only has their help been invaluable, but their fellowship has lifted my spirits.

One must follow certain rules to successfully maneuver through the waters of post-surgery hip replacement. The invisible line of a 90⁰ angle cannot be broken or the patient runs a very real risk of undoing the surgery.  No bending down to pick up something you drop, no twisting, and no crossing the leg inward past the center line of your body.  There’s a very particular way one must get into and out of bed, and special toilet seats, shower seats and cushions must be used when sitting.  No more than 50% of the patient’s weight is to be put on the replacement side so crutches or a walker are used these first weeks.  Oh, and getting into and out of a car also has very particular mechanics!  I am so, so grateful that all of these things are available and that I do not have to be the old granny in the rocking chair by the fireplace for the rest of my life.  Imagine that!  A new, working hip!!

I had this same surgery on the other hip 8 years ago. It did not go smoothly at first.  Right after I got back to my room I threw up on my dear husband.  When that got me up to move around a few hours after surgery I was so weak and dizzy I almost passed out.   I lost so much blood that I had to have transfusions, and my incision would not stop draining so had to stay in hospital for 11 days.

This time was completely different.  I was in hospital for three days and did not need a transfusion nor did I get sick to my stomach.  In-hospital physio went well and I felt prepared and ready to go home when the time came.  So thankful!!

The morning after surgery I woke up to the most beautiful sunrise.  I called it my get well gift from the Lord.  Here are a few shots from that morning. These are in the order I saw them as the beautiful colors unfolded outside my window.

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Finally, I am grateful beyond words for the wonderful support of my husband and daughters who have lovingly assisted me with every detail of living these past few weeks and for my church family who have supplied meals and other help as I recover.  I am blessed and grateful for the many expressions of love from so many.

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