So….the alternate place for therapy called. “After our therapist consulted with our facility manager, we think you would be better served by going to the other rehab facility.”
At least they were honest. I much prefer that than to going somewhere they dance around a therapy plan because they can’t figure out what to do. So now I wait until December 8 to be evaluated (3rd time, if you’re counting) for formal outpatient therapy.
Plan B…I am once again my own therapist. I’m not going into it totally blind. I have printed out exercises that were given to me by the in-patient facility I stayed in, another print out of some from the in-home therapist, and still more from a comprehensive original packet given to me by the surgeon prior to surgery to give me ideas of what to expect post surgery. I also have some very good suggestions from my trusted prosthetist.
Meanwhile, during the hunt for therapy, I had follow-up Doctor’s appointments: my orthopedic surgeon’s office on Monday for my 6 week checkup x-rays of their handiwork to give me an idea of when I can return to work and my family doctor two days later on Wednesday for a general, “How ya doing now that you’ve been home for a while and are you going nuts yet?”.
First, the surgeon. Well, not really the surgeon, but his clinical assistant. Yet again, another doc whom I’d never met before but one I immediately liked and related to. She showed me the x-rays, took the time to explain what was on the x-rays, listened to my bitch session about my therapy woes, said she understood my frustrations, shook her head and laughed at the blueberry muffin and pompom debacle saying that it was a theme she had heard before from other patients and immediately pronounced me one of the quickest healers ever, adding that my walking with a cane at this point was Fab-U-Lous!
She also gave me the Great news that…many people never go to therapy after hip replacements and do fine…as long as they worked hard on their own. She acknowledged my disability added a layer of difficulty many don’t have but she also acknowledged that obviously I was a very motivated and dedicated patient. We were on the same page! She told me the 3 MOST important things for successful recovery. 1. Walking. Walk as much as possible. With and without the cane. More and more, as my body would allow. 2. Abductor exercises-both standing and lying on my side in bed, lifting the operative leg straight up toward ceiling , holding for 5 sec and then down. Repeat. A lot. And 3. Listen to my body. If there is pain that does not go away, call the doc…otherwise, keep on keeping on.
Armed with all this, I designed my own therapy program. Because I have past the 6wk mark, many of the restrictions of movement of the operative leg were lifted. All the90 degree sitting angle stuff, and using a booster=chair seat for the toilet. GONE! There is only one movement she told me, or rather showed me that she said I could never, ever do. Believe me, it was so contorted, I don’t even think it’s physically possible for me to do it. I think doing it would even dislocate a natural hip.
I’d say it was a total successful appointment. She cleared me to return to work Dec 7, and again congratulated me on everything I have done so far. It will be a reduced hourly schedule, which is fine because I am going to go to the Dec. therapy appointment and at least get a month of formal therapy in. I want to do as much as possible to give myself every opportunity to succeed. So for about a month it will be go to office, go the therapy, go home, fall in bed.
So until Dec.8…I’m walking, exercising and getting back to “my” normal.
My appointment with my family doctor went well. He wanted to make sure I was really wanting to go back to work this soon. After I showed him my progress and assured him that I did really want to go back to work, he was happy and gave his blessing. As long as I promised to not push myself.
Of course, I do. Push myself, that is. There are days I am so sore after exercising or doing daily stuff. And when it happens, I back off the next day or two and try to remember the bonehead thing I did and not do it anymore. December 2 is an appointment with the rehab doctors. I don’t imagine it will be a fuzzy warm appointment because I intend to have a good heart to heart with them. They may not like to hear what I have to say…..but it won’t stop me from saying it. I think it’s necessary for both them and me to be as honest as possible. I think they fumbled the ball on my case and maybe, just maybe me letting them know might make a difference for the next person. There’s also the chance it will just piss them off.
You know what? Tough. It’s my life and I’m the one who has to live it and I have to live it my way.
And now…Tomorrow is Thanksgiving.
I have a full plate to be thankful for. I may bitch and scream and get pissed at what life continues to hand me but I am grateful. Very grateful for my family, my friends, my life, my mistakes that make me stronger, my triumphs that make me proud, my bull-headedness that drives me forward.
And a very big thank you to Dr. Glassman for my very, very pain-free new hip that is allowing me to bake my favorite pies.
I’m going to enjoy every friggin calorie!