Thursday, March 5, 2009

Day 1 Off Crutches- 6 Weeks Post Pao

Today is my first full day off of crutches and I am definitely feeling it. Yesterday was my 6 week post op visit with my surgeon so I was given permission to come off of crutches, but he said I should use one crutch for a week or so until I get my balance back. He said I didn't have to, and the joint will not be affected at all whether I use it or not. My hands are bruised and calloused so I have opted to not really the use the one crutch except at home. Here are the highlights of my doc visit:
  • my bones are healing really well, though they will not be completely healed for a few more months. The main structural bone in the hip that was cut and where the screws are has healed about 75%, and the bone in the groin that was cut is barely healed which is normal because it has to be shifted so much and barely touches the other side.
  • The doc said I will be one of the patients he always will remember because the way both of my hips have healed has shown him what is possible in recovering from this surgery. That made me very proud of myself and my perseverance in rehabbing and pushing myself in the healing process. I did it for myself, but if I can teach this well renowned doc something new it is a great feeling.
  • I have been riding the stationary bike with no resistance since week 4, but now I am allowed to ride using resistance. I am also allowed to start using the elliptical machine right now which kind of surprised me.
  • I can go golfing in 4 more weeks, which surprised me even more than the elliptical did. The fact my doc is letting me golf 10 weeks post op says something about his belief that being active will help the healing more than sitting around. Many others that have had this surgery are completely non weight bearing for 10-12 weeks so my doc is quite the renegade in rehabbing and healing. I have been 50% weight bearing since 2 hours after my surgery when pt came to my room, and I know that is different than most docs.
  • I can't play softball for 3 months because the swing is different than a golf swing. Apparently the step that comes with the softball swing is what makes it bad, but he obviously hasn't seen my golf swing because it resembles swinging at a low pitch.
  • My screws can't come out for a year. I could go in in June and have the right side taken out, but if I wait until January I can get both sides taken out at the same time. I am choosing the one surgery even though it means waiting for 6 extra months.
  • As a joke I asked him if I can spring ski and he just laughed at me and told me not to push my luck. I will be ready for a full season next year, and I might even postpoine the screw removal a little bit to get and extra month or so of skiing in.

All in all it was a very productive day at the doc and I don't have to go back for a year to see him. Today was pretty tiring being the first day off of crutches. It didn't help that I had a 7 hour meeting for work, and it took place in a damp feeling farmhouse/ barn. We were sitting on metal folding chairs and by hour 4 I was hurting. At lunch time my boss went in search of a better chair for me, and tha helped. I got an ergonomic office chair for the final 3 hours which made it a little more tolerable, even if the meeting itself was not really tolerable. I had already scheduled a dog training class for the evening, but I was barely functioning by the end of the meeting so I pushed Ripken's class up and hour so I could come home and go to bed earlier. I am now in bed having taken a pain killer, and I will probably be asleep before 7pm. At least I am off crutches so I guess nothing else matters.

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