I had my 6-week check-up with the surgeon two days ago and am happy to report that he’s pleased with my progress! I’m now officially off the 50% weight-bearing restriction and am allowed to drive … both of which I, uh, sort of ‘awarded’ myself a few days earlier than he did.
So, where am I at?
I’m walking with just a cane now and am doing much practice walking without it too. Without the cane, however, I have a definite limp – a sort of a sideways bob & waggle – that I’m working hard to lose. According to the physiotherapist, it’s a very hard thing to lose if it becomes too entrenched, which is why it’s better to stick with the cane a bit longer and be vigilant with the strengthening exercises. OK!
There’s just one problem with the cane though: it makes me feel old. Crutches are a clear indication that you are recovering from something. Not so with a cane. I was at the local mall yesterday to do some Mother’s Day shopping. It’s a destination for the elderly, in that a high number of senior’s residences and organizations bus their seniors there. As I worked my way around the mall, where I and they all had walking aids, I began to feel like one of them – it was a relief to finally escape!!
Actually, there is one other cane issue: a huge callus mid-palm on my cane hand.
I’ve been able to wave goodbye to all the other recovery aids too, most notably the raised toilet seat. For the unfamiliar, this is a seat that sits (firmly clamped) on top of the regular seat so that it’s not such a long way down (and up again). Side handles make things even easier. Nothing makes it in any way comfortable. The rest of the family was every bit as happy as me to see it go.
The other aids – the reacher/grabber and the sock aid – are things I really didn’t use at all. I either got up or got closer when I needed to reach something and, for items down low or on the floor, I used the golf reach (standing on the good leg and extending the other behind me while bending forward), which has given me a much stronger right leg! To get dressed, I went, within days of being home from the hospital, to just using my toes to get pants to within arms’ reach. As for the sock aid, well, I’ve just not worn any, opting for slip-on canvas shoes or my ratty old wool-felt Haflinger clogs, neither of which require socks. And neither of these required the long-handled shoe horn either.
A week ago, you could likely have knocked me over with a feather when I was standing unaided but I’m far more stable now and I can finally start on the exercise for lateral strength and stability that will really move me along.
I was started using the recumbent exercise bike at my last physio session and was really happy to note that the painful mid-rotation catch that had kept me off a bike for years is now gone. So, I can now go ahead and order the recumbent tadpole trike I’ve been eying! And if you’re wondering why a trike, I’m not talking about the old, upright ‘grocery cart’ trikes driven by Florida retirees – tadpole trikes are fast, fun machines!
Did I mention fun?? I test-drove a few last year – loved them, even with my bad hip. Plus, no feet off the pedals for stops and, at longer stops, a built-in place to sit. I think the trike will be a big benefit to my rehab and I hope to be able to ride it to and from work this summer.
So to sum things up, I’m half way through recovery, about two weeks away from returning to work (the 50% weight-bearing restriction pushed my return date back a bit) and generally feeling fine … in fact, still more so each day!