Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Bizarre Observations

I cut my fingernails yesterday.

See, the title said it was bizarre. Actually it's more proof that my body has been putting its energies elsewhere. Fingernails are meant to grow at around 3mm/month and I find I'm trimming them every ten days or so. But I've gone over five weeks between trimmings, i.e. since before the operation. It's a similar story with my hair, now I'm not exactly blessed with a lot of hair but again it's hardly needed cutting since the op. In fact I've lost weight over the Christmas period so there's still some repair work going on, though I've also lost muscle mass and tone so actually look fatter.

One thing that has markedly improved is the state of the operation scar - it's looking decidedly reticent and is well on the way to complete healing. There'll always be a mark of course but already it's beginning to look like a mere scratch, albeit one that's 15cm long.

My mobility is also improving: I'm walking without crutches around the house and only really need one crutch when outside just to steady myself. I can walk for a couple of miles without much problem so the main thing will be to keep on doing the exercises to work the ancillary muscles which will help to stabilise the joint.

Yesterday was also the last day of injecting Fragmin - phew! At least I'm now qualified to give subcutaneous injections to an orange :-)

Well that would appear to be it for this year. Somewhat eventful though not for the right reasons and I've seen more than enough of medical staff and the inside of hospitals to see me out. Here's hoping for an improving year.

All the best and Happy New Year!

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Another Week Gone

Things have improved dramatically over the last week!

First: I'm now able to lie on my (non-operated) side when in bed. This has made sleeping somewhat easier though I'm still waking up at rather silly times in the middle of the night. I didn't try and push this, it just happened and I round that I could roll over. I caught myself rolling over on to my front a couple of nights ago, which is a bit too much too soon I think. Most of the bruising around the wound has gone and it isn't too sensitive to touch.

I'm also able to take a few steps without crutches. I need to be close to something that can act as support but it's a definite improvement. Again it was an accidental discovery: I'd get up and walk to make a cup of tea and then realise that I'd left my crutch by the table. I don't want to push this as my gait isn't correct at the moment and doing too much will ingrain those motions in my muscle memory and potentially cause problems down the line.

I still need a power nap or two through the day, though yesterday's lasted most of the afternoon! I think the body is using all available energy to repair itself as I'm eating as much as I would normally.

My gait is actually correct now when I'm walking with crutches rather than the curious swinging to the outside of the body that I had previously particularly on the injured side. Now both feet move forward in a straight line.

I had the wound dressing removed yesterday so last night was a little bit delicate as I kept catching the scar on the bed clothes. The scabs will soon go though. I've another two weeks of anti-thrombosis injections to go, I've actually got used to self-administering them now.

If the next week or two show the same level of improvement then I'll be very pleased.

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Day Fifteen

As is usual with complicated things like the human body, not everything improves at the same rate. So while I'm definitely moving around a lot easier I still have to lie on my back to sleep (or rather moan about not sleeping). It's a pain to wake up every morning around 3am and not be able to get back to sleep.

Of course I get round this by having naps through the day - they aren't planned, I suddenly start feeling very tired so I hobble up to bed and by the time I've lain down I'm both shivering for some reason and nearly asleep. Yesterday my power nap lasted about 90 minutes. I'm probably getting my usual amount of sleep, just not in one block.

One odd thing that I think is due to not being able to turn around in bed is that it feels like my ITB has flared up again. It can hardly be over-training! It must be due either to the constant position when I'm sleeping or possibly the knee realigning itself back to normal when I'm moving around.

I had the wound dressing changed yesterday and this was the first time I'd had chance to look at it, it's certainly a long scar, possibly 25cm or so. Currently it looks all a bit crooked as the flesh underneath is still settling down. The nurse did offer to leave it open as it looked OK but I thought it best to cover it up again to provide a bit of protection.

Still, I suppose it's early days yet, it's another month before I go back to see the surgeon and another six weeks after that before the restrictions about bending, sitting, etc. are relaxed. I'll just have to be patient.

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Ten Days Gone

Well, nearly. Things are getting a lot easier though the bruising and scar tissue do give occasional twinges. Getting in and out of bed is a lot less painful and I switched to using just one crutch on Friday but if I go outside for a walk round the yard then I'll still use two. I'm also able to shuffle round for a step or two without crutches but I do need  to have something to hand just in case.

The biggest problem I'm having is sleeping - I'm just not used to sleeping on my back. The other night I awoke to find myself halfway through turning on to my (good) side, I suspect the pain from the wound woke me, it took a moment or two to ease myself back. The following day things were a little more sore than usual. The solution is to put a pillow between your legs. In itself it doesn't offer much resistance but it drags against the duvet so is quite effective. Until that is last night when, half-asleep, I found myself almost on my side. Another gentle easing back down. I don't feel as sore this morning so hopefully that means I haven't done any damage.

The current concern is that I'm coming to the end of the course of painkillers that I've been given: paracetamol and codeine four times a day. I've been dropping the frequency of codeine down over the past couple of days so that when I do finish it won't be such a shock.

If the next ten days show the same improvement then things are definitely going in the right direction.