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24 Days Post Op: 4 Days to go in Rehab

Posted May 02 2011 7:16am
Today is the first day that I have been able to consistently get my feet in and out of bed.  Last night I didn't have to buzz for help to get out of bed which was completely awesome.   I also had too many chances to practice last night as I was pretty restless and was up four or five times.   Part of being able to do this is down to the fact that they forgot to lock me in for the night by putting the side rails up on my bed (they got two late transfers from another ward and were rushed of their feet - so I smiled and nodded and didn't remind them!).  Even though I had mastered the in and out of bed thing,  I would have still required assistance as you can't actually put the rails down when you are in the bed unless you are able to contort yourself over the side and lift a latch to do so which I really can't as to get to where it is placed would violate my hip precautions.  

This really was the last thing on my absolutely must do goals list before I can go home.  The extra couple of days is going to be good to solidify the progress and start to put a new plan in place as to what I want to achieve next.  I'll need to talk to my real Physio about that one and put a proper home plan in place so that I am maximising the results that I achieve.

I also had real food smuggled in for me today again.  It was awesome.  I miss real food and am counting down the hours until I can have it all of the time.  I'm not sure what my nutrition has been like while I've been here but do doubt that the meals are nutritionally balanced and designed for optimum health.  If they are, they certainly don't taste like it.  Having said that, dinner just arrived and actually looks ok.  The broccoli and carrots look real.  I might just eat those!  I still need a few more vitamins and minerals to help with the healing.

The rehab assistant turned up as we were finishing eating to take me for a walk which I politely declined opting to walk with my guests today.  It still surprises me that they have asked considering that I haven't received that level of attention on holidays before today with them expecting my husband to assist.  I wonder what has prompted the changes.  It is a little bit too late really given that I am going home in just a few days.

I had an interesting talk to a registrar today that will be presenting my case as a case study for his physician's exams.  It seems that emotional responses to chronic illness now feature as part of a patient assessment.  I'm not sure when this cropped up in the medical process but I am glad that it did and I hope that it filters throughout the medical profession as this seems to be where a big void was when I was diagnosed.  There seems to be more information sharing these days as well, making patients more informed about the medical process and what is going to happen.  It isn't completely there yet, google still helps (and probably hinders in a number of occasions) and the number of reputable medical resources online are growing.  Take Mr McMinn's site  as an example of valuable medical information in relation to the procedure that I have had done.  My surgeon pointed me in this direction to find out more about the process and the prostheses which is something that couldn't and wouldn't have been done a decade ago.

Tomorrow is my home visit and I'm a little nervous about getting in and out of the car.  It's not something that I have done before and I'm not sure how I'll go.  It's something that I wish we could have tried before the actual day though there is no real way to do this without them actually organising a car and bringing it to the front of the building where the patient transfer vans pull up.   I have to decide tomorrow whether or not I should organise an ambulance to get me home or whether we should go in the car.  I'm leaning towards patient transport to get in the first time.  It also means that even though I can get up the front steps, I won't need to be able to get up them that day as I will be stretchered in and will actually be able to do some more work on building strength and mobility and be both physically and mentally prepared before we go out into the real world.  I'm a little bit worried about going out too early and not being strong enough to hold my own.  At the moment my pace is more than slow and the idea of being pushed around scares the living daylights out of me.  I'm sure like my progress so far, things will come together and I will know when it is going to be ok and until then, I'll at least be in the comfort of my own home.

I suppose it isn't surprising that I have new anxieties as the next change to my situation changes.  I have to keep reminding myself that it was a massive surgery and progress isn't going to be immediate. Apparently the mood swings are quite a normal part of the whole process.  For some reason it came up when I was talking to the rehab doctor today and he wasn't overly concerned and reminded me that I have had a major surgery and there will be emotional ups and downs as I get through the rehabilitation process.  I have been reasonably even the last 48 hours and I'm hoping to at least get through until I get home before something else sets me off.   The disparity between what the appropriate emotional response is to a catalyst to what actually happens is lessening but there is still a way to go yet.  I'm not sure I made the right decision in not following up my request to speak to a social worker or not.  I'm sure that I will work through these issues, just not sure if I should have sought more help to get there.  I guess I will see how I cope when I'm in my own environment again and just keep an eye on the mood swings and enlist the help of friends to give me the heads up if I start to head too far into a slump.  It's important that I keep a positive attitude to speed up the recovery process.

I'm still hoping that I will meet my end of June goals though right now I can't imagine walking without a mobility aid.  It's crazy that I can't because only a few days ago I couldn't imagine getting my feet into bed.  I really shouldn't have these hangups as my progress should be proving to me that I am on the right path.  I guess that's really why the physio upset me on Saturday.  Even though I really didn't have doubts that I would get there eventually, I still can't imagine progressing that far and I didn't like being told that I just had a 'good chance' as it's made me actively think about the little things that are niggling at the corners of my mind as the main part tries to stay positive and focused on what needs to be done.


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