First Two Weeks and Starting PT
We closed the last entry after Day Four when I took off the surgical dressing and made it through my first real post-op shower – glory hallelujah, it was wonderful!
I am enjoying my morning quiet time once more, making my own coffee, and crutching it from the counter to the table. I’ve figured out how to feed our kitty, Ramjet, or “Jet” for short, while balancing on the crutches. We adopted
Jet when we lived on Kwajalein, a tiny island military base in the Marshall Islands. (Interesting information if you click the links.) Because my husband’s job revolved around rockets, or cruise missiles, and Ramjet engines were used on them, our kitty was dubbed, “Ramjet.” His full name is Ramjet Monster-Baby Cantrell because as a feral baby, he was a biting, scratching terror in the vet’s office, thus the vet dubbed him Monster. 😆 He did sort of look like a wild space cat when he was a baby. He’s a sweetheart now.
On Day Five post-op I was excited to jettison the lounge-wear, put on real clothes and fix my hair like normal. 😄 No problem, as I put on a dress to avoid the pants over/under hip brace struggle. What a nice pick me up to pamper my skin, fix my hair, and see myself in the mirror looking more normal. I’m sure my husband was relieved to see me feeling more energetic and joyful. I highly recommend putting forth this effort to bolster your spirits.
*A note here – after getting dressed and “fixed up” a bit, I was exhausted. If you have this surgery, be prepared to be worn out from the smallest tasks. I found I had to rest a bit after every exertion. This, as it turns out, is normal.
Six days after surgery my sweet daughter, Tiffany, flew in from out of state to help my husband “take care of me.” I feel a bit like a child, but I would use about any excuse to get her here. 💗 She decorated my crutches in my favorite pink and gold sparkly ribbon. I think they are beautiful, and she thinks I’m a little “extra.” 😉 I think everyone who has crutches should sparkle them up because, after all, we all need a little sparkle in our lives, right?
I spent the next few days being waited on, cause Tiffany needed to play mommy over me lol. Loving on this sweet girl is what I live for, and it was hard not waiting on her. I sat a lot in between bursts of crutching around just to exercise a bit. Let me tell you, crutching is hard! Practice, practice, practice!
Ten days post-op I had my first physical therapy (PT) which I will have twice weekly for at least eight weeks. Woohoo! I was motivated to get this started so my hip wouldn’t stiffen up. This first session was mostly evaluating my hip strength, flexibility, and mobility. Laying on my back, the therapist bent my surgical knee up toward my chest. Our goal at the six-weeks mark is to be able to bend it to ninety degrees. I sure wasn’t getting ninety this visit. I was surprised because I have always done daily stretching and am normally fluid and flexible. Goal noted!
The next few PT sessions had me sitting on the edge of table doing easy leg raises from the knee down, and laying on my back doing surgical leg slides, bringing my knee up toward my chest. One exercise that was difficult for me was laying on my back lengthwise with my surgical leg at the edge of the table, allowing Eric, my therapist, to hold my surgical leg, dropping it downward to stretch the thigh and joint carefully. First, this is a trust issue for me in giving up control of my leg, and second, a test in relaxation, neither of which I am good at. We both persevered, however, until I was able to let go and allow him to do his job. Lo and behold, on my third PT session I reached ninety degrees!
Thank you, Lord! I am so relieved!
I leave you with this encouragement, to hang in there, trust in the process, and know you will get there. For some, PT is a bit painful and difficult. For me, at Vista Physical Therapy, Little Elm, directed by Eric Spencer, it is exciting and fun. Yes, we sometimes stretch to the point of feeling pain, but then back off until the pain is relieved. Each time we do this, we can go a little further. And, remember, all that difficult crutching is making you stronger. Keep your goal in mind – getting back to mobility, so you can take your life back. I am so excited for this!
"He gives power to the tired and worn out, and strength to the weak. Even the youths shall be exhausted, and the young men will all give up. But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength. They shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint. " Isaiah 40:29-31
*It’s worth saying here, the importance of having a good connection and an easy rapport with a kind, compassionate, and dedicated physical therapist cannot be overstated. I suggest looking for a clinic where the staff are friendly, outgoing and have a good rapport with each other, where clients working out are smiling and not looking miserable. Chances are, you will enjoy your time there, even when it’s hard.
Thank you oh so much for trained medical physical therapists, Eric, and Briana specifically, who are patient and kind and help us get back to normal. Thank you for the wonderment of our physical bodies that can heal and be normal again. I pray, Lord, for each person embarking on a surgical/healing journey, that you would help them, lead them, strengthen them, and love them into full health once more. Please give us all motivation and courage to dig in and do what is required to get better.
Thank you for all you do, God, we love you.
Love and blessings to you,