Start of week 2 means time for the bandage change! Time to see what’s really going on beneath everything. A glimpse into the scar. I always get excited about the bandage change. It confirms to me that things are moving forward.
Week 2 still involves a lot of relaxing. TV watching (my go to is HGTV), reading (since this time around I am actually able to retain information… good pain management is key) and napping (which also includes going to bed super early).
My boyfriend started sleeping in the same bed as me again. This was very helpful as I could just quietly wake him up to help me (lucky him) get out of bed for the late night bathroom trip instead of yelling for someone and waking everyone up in the process. But lets be honest, it was most often my mom who would help me cause no matter how old I get I am still her kid and her instincts kick in to wake up.
This is the week I first fit into my lose pants! The swelling had decreased enough for me to wear more then just a night gown or my huge comfy sweat pants.
My swelling was not as drastic as last time, I really wish I got a picture of the swelling in my right hip but I didn’t.
So as you may or may not know I run a company with my boyfriend and while he takes on a lot more responsibilities while I am recovering there are still things that I need to get done. The Thursday of this week was pay day. Luckily, my boyfriend had brought my computer to my parents house (along with other payroll necessities) so I could get it all done. (Hmmm… lucky for him or for me??)
I was worried about sitting for a couple of hours and while it was challenging, and required a break or two, it was better then anticipated. However, I’ll be honest, after finally laying down after completing payroll I thought that I might have popped a stitch. While I didn’t break 90 degrees it was the longest that I had sat on my wedge since surgery. I think that I had stretched some muscles that weren’t use to being in that position. The side of my hip (near the top of my incision) was tender for a day or two. (Don’t worry, I know now for sure I didn’t pop a stitch but I was worried for a little bit).
If I had a job were I wasn’t responsible for 50% of the business functioning then I would have had someone else complete the work (or still been off work all together). But since I have more responsibilities as a business owner, I made sure to allow myself extra time to complete the one or two necessary tasks that needed to be completed during my initial recovery.
My First Outing (or at least I had hoped)
I had an outing planned since before surgery. The second Thursday after surgery (at 1.5 weeks) I was going to go to the rugby club for a beer. Last time my surgery was on a Thursday and the following Thursday I went to the club to get out of the house. It felt great to get out of the house and while it took me an hour to drink a pint (don’t worry I was off pain meds by that time) it was a great change of environment. For me it’s a safe place I can take my wedge and sit. Everyone is aware of my situation and so sweet with any assistance I need and very careful around me. Well the Thursday I planned to attend this time around was horrible! Things were flooding, practices were cancelled and it was just a mess. Luckily, 2 of my girlfriends came over and hung out with me for the evening. Thank goodness for my 2 girlfriends cause I was honestly a little heart broken I couldn’t leave the house as I had started to get antsy and restless. And when you are going through such a process with surgery/recovery and your first outing is cancelled you get a little sad, I honestly was.
During this week I am moving much better then last time. My pain is WAY better managed and the last pain pills I took was at the end of Week 1 (not including a Tylenol here and there). I feel good enough that I want to walk and do things… but I can’t. Soon though, soon! (deep breath) And then no one, not even the boyfriend, will be able to keep up with me. I’m trying very hard not to get ahead of myself though. My quad still didn’t have the reaction or strength it should and the road to recovery is still long.
Finally… I left the house
As I spoke about in my ‘Riding in Cars with New Hips’ Week 2 was when we went for a drive. The Friday of this week is when my boyfriend set up the wedge in the car and we went for a little drive. We stopped by our place (grabbed 1 or 2 things) then went for a drive around North Burlington (views and scenery are gorgeous). We stopped in the LCBO (liquor store) on the way home as I needed to pick some stuff up for my best friends bachelor weekend I was missing (yes, a new hip replacement and a weekend in TO does not mix well).
Relieving some of the Restlessness
On the Saturday and Sunday of this week I did finally leave the house! There were big home opener games at the club so I went to watch my boyfriend and friends play. I took my zero gravity chair (as it’s actually an outdoor chair) and set it up beside the field. I got to sit outside in nice weather, watch rugby, enjoy a beer (just one, I’m still unstable sober) and hang out with friends. All from the comfort and safety of my own chair. My mom dropped me off and my best friend helped to set me up. A change in environment can really do wonders for the spirits! Don’t get me wrong, I love my parents place, it’s a little piece of heaven, but a change is always good when feeling restless.
My only concern about being at the club for more then an hour was about being able to use the bathroom. I soon figured that out. I used the handicap bathroom and with the assistance of the hand rail I was able to hold myself at an angle to prevent from breaking 90 (while also not peeing everywhere cause I’m a lady). I was at the club for a few hours. When the games were done my boyfriend put my chair in the car, grabbed my wedge and we headed upstairs to the clubhouse. He found a secure chair (cause a few of them are questionable on their stability) and I planned roots. I got to catch up with a ton of friends I hadn’t seen since before surgery and surprised some of the NOBS (old boys) as to the purpose of my crutches.
Before we headed back to my parents place we stopped into our own home for a little while. My boyfriend did some laundry and it allowed me a little bit of time on my own couch (I definitely took a nap… it had been a long day).
On Sunday we went back to the club to watched more rugby (this time my boyfriend wasn’t playing). Any opportunity to leave the house and still feel safe I’m down for! Overall, a great weekend! Lots of fresh air and sunshine. I can tell you that I slept great Sunday night.
A bit happened on the Monday of Week 2. We made our first trip to the Chiropractors office. It’s about a 20 minute drive (each way) but it wasn’t to bad on the hip. I wasn’t able to do this last time around, I still had a lot of sensitivity in Week 3 when we first made the same drive.
This Monday was also the first time I was able to cook for myself. Mind you I still needed help getting supplies out and taking my plate to my chair but I was feeling strong enough to stand at the stove and cook 2 eggs for breakfast (yes, that might sound basic but man did it feel like I accomplished something huge).
Making a meal ‘independently’ happened way sooner then I thought it would. Last time it didn’t happen until Week 7! That was the first time I could stand along enough to get anything done. I cooked edamame and shrimp (steamed one and pan fried the other – don’t let the picture foul you, it wasn’t a hard meal to cook). Not a labour intensive process at all and I remember how challenging it was. Now this may also be due to the fact that I still needed my other hip replacement done due to dysplasia and arthritis… that would make sense.
Showering is getting easier but I am still heavily reliant on my mom or boyfriend to help me in and our of the shower and with cleaning my legs. But the entire process is getting easier.
Things I’ve Learned and Realized on Week 2
I CANNOT believe the pain and limitations I had before. It’s the little stuff that shows me the drastic difference (such as above) in my recovery process. It’s the simplest things that I didn’t anticipate being easier this time around, but also others that I didn’t anticipate being harder. It just goes to show that even for the same person each hip can be so drastically different in it’s recovery. Don’t compare yourself to closely to others in their journey, I can’t even do that between my two hips!
Also, I never have to go back on my pre-surgery pain medication!! That makes me so unbelievably happy and emotional. The time has finally arrived where I can see a light at the end of this long tunnel. There is a lot to celebrate in the coming months, milestones on moving forward from chronic pain. I’m excited people are following my journey and I can help others by sharing my experiences.