Monday, May 16, 2016

Week 1 Post-op: Small successes

Well I made it through the first week after surgery - not that there was ever any doubt that I wouldn't, of course. But sometimes making it through something is an accomplishment in and of itself. All in all the recovery process has gone pretty well. It's definitely been more painful than I thought it would be but it's always hard to imagine how your body is going to respond to something like surgery, especially since surgeries are so different from person to person.

Here are some of my small successes from the past week:
- Accepting and asking for help. This is tough for a fiercely independent person like myself. I felt really guilty about my mom driving down and back in the same day to take me to PT and help out while Phil was at work but I also knew that I needed to accept the help she was gladly offering (and really there was no way I was going to talk her out of coming!). Later in the week I had to ask a friend to rearrange her morning schedule so she could take me to PT as I wasn't able to drive yet and was nervous about getting in and out of the house by myself. And I've asked Phil to help with countless things, from doing my PT exercises with me to doing stuff around the house/being my personal pack mule.

- Warming up meals for myself and making simple things like oatmeal. Thanks to my ability to balance really well on my right leg and shimmy along the counter of the kitchen, I've gotten pretty good at making meals for myself. Plastic bags are my best friend right now as I used them to transport things to/from the fridge and to/from the couch where I eat my meals (obviously you can't hold anything in your hands while using crutches).

- Working my way up to biking for 30 minutes. By my second day of PT on Thursday, I was able to bike with my good leg with the surgical leg "along for the ride." I started off biking for 7 minutes that day and have progressed up to 30 minutes. It's far from what I'd consider a "workout" but I'll take what I can get right now!

- Making friends with Oscar. Up until my surgery, Oscar was always a little "standoffish" and made it very clear that she preferred Phil. But the flip really switched after my surgery as she has become the best little companion. It was such a comfort to have her around when I was at home by myself last week.

She hopped up on my legs when I was doing my PT tummy time.

Nap time!

All sprawled out for another nap!

... and another nap!
I'm so glad that I'm halfway through my 2 weeks of non-weight bearing crutch time. I have my post-op appointment next Monday and hopefully at that time I'll be cleared to walk with the aid of crutches. Being on crutches makes everything so much more difficult so I can't wait to ditch them in a couple of weeks!


Kyria @ Travel Spot said...

I am so glad that things are going well for you! I think one of the hardest things is...(a) asking for help and (b) realizing that the small wins are in fact big wins! I know you like to do things on your own (as do I) but people want to help you and don't even expect anything in return, which is hard to wrap your head around sometimes. I always feel like I am a burden, plus then I owe the person something, which I don't like feeling... Secondly, it's really hard, especially for an active person, to see things like biking for 7 minutes (or whatever) as a success, but really it's such an accomplishment! I worked at a PT office for a little while years ago and little things like finally being able to do the A-B-C movements with one's ankle, or being able to stand up without aid were huge! You have to see these wins as something as important as a PR at a race. Each one is a new PR!

Charbelle said...

Oscar is the sweetest! It's ridiculous the amount of Jack pictures that I take because I just find him to be adorable! I love that she is napping with you! You are absolutely right, every body responds to surgery very differently and this was not a minor surgery! I think you are doing absolutely amazing! I know that they post op visit is going to go well! You have maintained a level of activity up to surgery so it makes sense that your after surgery recovery will move along at a very healthy pace, not the pace you would probably prefer, but likely much better than others who have had the surgery who were not at your level of fitness. Cheering you on from NC!!!

katielookingforward said...

Keep up the good work!!! I feel you on having a hard time asking for help, but i've found that people really do want to help.

Leigh said...

So glad to hear that your recovery is going well! Asking for help is definitely a hard thing to do- I struggled with it after having Amelia. Though it drove me nuts when people would just jump in and be like let me do that for you. I am capable! I would rather say can you please help me then someone just jump in. That's just me though :)

Emilie said...

I'm so glad you have Oscar to keep you company! I think when our health is compromised it's important to not compare our current situation to previous ones, even though it is easier said than done. I'm going through some health/medical stuff, and running/endurance is a huge struggle as a result. I told Pete I don't even want to run anymore because I know I can't push myself right now, and I constantly compare where I'm at now to where I was a year or two ago, and it's just not fair to myself or my body to have unrealistic expectations, but I do it ALL THE TIME. Same goes for a body that's just gone through surgery! 30 minutes on the bike may not have felt like a strenuous workout a month ago, for a post-surgery body it's a big deal! Thinking of you and hoping your recovery continues to go well! xo

Raquelita said...

I'm really glad to hear that recovery is going well and that you are accepting offers of help and assistance (even if it doesn't come naturally to do so) where you need to so that your recovery continues to progress. I'm so impressed with your biking time increase. I haven't been on my bike all year so 30 minutes sounds like a decent amount of time when not injured. :D

Hurrah for Oscar keeping you company!

Kelly (She Wears a Red Sox Cap) said...

Aww I love that Oscar is even taking good care of you! <3
Also glad you are halfway done with crutches!

Marlys said...

Actually, being able to help someone in need is a gift to the helper! We feel good about doing things to ease someone's burdens, but being on the receiving end is difficult. You have and will be able to do the same for others along the road and get the "feel good" response!
I am so happy to hear about your progress and will be excited when you can put the crutches to rest and resume your normal activities in due time!
Seeing Oscar keeping you company warms my heart!

Nora said...

I'm glad that you were able to get help from your family + friends during a time like this. It's hard to ask for it, I know, but we the helpers like to be able to contribute some way during times like this. Just wish I could have helped you and live closer during these kinds of situations.

You're not far from thoughts + prayers lately and I'm sending you lots of love. If you went back to work this week, I hope it goes ok and that you give yourself rest + grant grace to yourself when you need it.


Jeanie said...

It sounds as though it's going well and you're right -- no way you could stop your mom. But I'm glad you have a good network around you to be able to help.

Sending lots of big hugs and good wishes for continued recovery and kitty kisses to Oscar who is a real champ! Watch out, Phil -- you may have a rival for your orange girl's affections!

Caroline said...

Glad you're making it through! Thinking of you!

Stephany said...

I'm so glad to read this update! I know it's really hard to ask for help and feel like a burden, but I know when a friend (especially one who is super independent and doesn't ask for help usually!) needs me to help, I JUMP at the chance. It makes ME feel better knowing I can be there for someone in a way I typically can't.

So glad you have little Oscar there to keep you company. Pets are really the best at offering comfort.

Hugs to you! Hope you continue seeing improvements!

Gracie said...

Oh man, I totally forgot about the cooking /plastic bag trick. I would keep large ziplocs nearby and stuff my cooking hands into them before grabbing my crutches. Like if I cut up onions, I'd stick my hands in ziplocs to keep the crutches clean while I went to the fridge for lemon. Then I'd take the bags back off to squeeze the lemon, but use them again to hop over and stir the soup...etc!
It can be hard to ask for help, and I had little after my surgeries - I so automatically just say, "Oh, no, that's ok! I don't need it, but thanks!" - when really I could have used help with meals or cleaning! You're certainly smarter to take advantage of the assistance! And it's good for friendships, I think, to give and accept help every so often.

Linda said...

You are such a soldier! Oscar is an adorable cheerleader.

Elizabeth said...

Way to go Oscar! So glad that she's decided to be your "heal time" companion. It's so incredible how animals pick up on these things though and can offer extra love at just the right moments. Glad you're having these victories and way to go with the 30 minutes! That's pretty impressive and I'm glad to read that they're having you do that. Great job with asking for help---I know it can be challenging but it also let's others feel like they're able to give too :) I'm on a 30 days of prayer challenge...and your comfort & healing is on the daily list, lady! Big hug in your direction--less than a week to go for stage one!

Jolene - EverydayFoodie said...

Sounds like you're doing well :-) That's so cute that Oscar has warmed up for you; it's like animals can sense when people need them.

San said...

So happy to hear that you're making progress... and look at all the bonding time that you got in with Oscar :) So sweet.

Amber said...

I LOVE all the pictures of Oscar on you! She is so sweet. It's so funny how animals just know when things aren't right, isn't it!! I definitely find it comforting to have pets when I'm home alone, it just makes your house feel not quite as empty. So glad you let your mom and Phil step up to help you so much that first week after surgery. It's hard to ask for help but we all need it sometimes!