Thursday, February 14, 2013

One Month Post-Op

As it has now been four weeks since my hip surgery, and two weeks since my last post, I thought this would be a good time to write another update.

Everyone involved in my surgery has always said that the key hurdles would be the two week mark and the six week mark. Sure enough, they were right about the first two weeks at least. As I described in my previous post, I was pretty dependent on Greg for a lot of things and I spent almost all of my waking hours doing some form of physical therapy or stuck on the couch in the CPM machine.
heading out to physical therapy on a rainy day
Greg decided to go back to the office on January 29th (14 days post-op). Even though I was still on crutches, I was stronger than before and therefore more mobile. Those first few days on my own weren't easy, but I was happy for Greg to get back to his normal routine of working out at the office gym in the morning.

The CPM machine was picked up on January 30th (hooray!). At my PT appointment on January 31st, my therapist checked my gait to make sure I could fully bear weight on my hip/leg and walk normally. I passed the test, so I got to start weaning myself off crutches. Initially my maximum standing time was about 30 minutes, then I would start to feel fatigue in my hip and had to sit & rest as long as needed before I did anything else.
taking a break at Hawthorne Fred Meyer
I went to the grocery store for the first time since surgery on February 2nd. I walked to the bus stop (.3 miles) without crutches, but could already feel the hip fatigue so I got on/off the bus and went into the store on crutches. My therapist had told me to use the grocery cart to support my weight as I walked through the store, which was effective, but not enough for going up EVERY aisle! I was worn out after three aisles but forged on. After almost two hours I was truly exhausted and called Greg to come carry all the groceries home (I took the bus again). I rested and iced my hip for awhile then cooked a full dinner (plus I had cooked breakfast that morning). No pain, no gain!
shopping at Safeway
As the days pass by I can tell I am getting stronger and regaining range of motion. I spend 1.5 hours doing exercises at home every day and have progressed to Closed Kinetic Chain exercises plus the overall intensity of my workout has increased. In 20 minutes on an exercise bike with no resistance I can easily pedal over two miles. I know that doesn't seem like much but considering I'm only four weeks post-op I think it's great! Next week I start aquatic therapy. I have already joined a gym that has a pool so I can do my own aquatic program 2-3 times each week. I also still go to physical therapy at OHSU twice weekly. Today I actually did squats!

I continued to stay out for longer periods of time, going to the library, post office, etc. but still carrying & using my crutches as needed. I finally felt strong enough to venture out without them on February 10th. That was my second big trip to the grocery store and, while I still got tired, I tolerated it much better than the first time. Now the crutches have been relegated to the basement (along with the shower chair) and I am cooking and doing light cleaning & yard work with no issues. If you had not seen me in previous weeks you would never know I had hip surgery!
taking the elevator at the Central Library
My incisions have healed completely now and I was able to quit taking pain meds (oxycodone) entirely just after two weeks post-op. If I have any discomfort I just take Tylenol and apply ice.

I've also had a few well-wishers in recent weeks. "Rose," the neighbor's cat, continues to check up on me every now & then. And my sweet friend, Cindy, brought yummy lunch from Lardo one afternoon!
Rose wants to come inside
The timing for my rehab progression is perfect as we are just starting a week of cultural activities that will require me to be out & about for the longest periods of time since the surgery. Last night we had dinner at Brix Tavern then saw the Hubbard Street Dance Chicago performance of Three to Max and Too Beaucoup. This was part of the season tickets to White Bird Dance that I won last year and it was fantastic! I did a fair amount of walking yesterday plus quite a bit of sitting which made me somewhat uncomfortable all evening, but it was totally worth it!
Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall
Next week, on President's Day (which Greg has off work), we are going to take advantage of free admission day at Portland Japanese Garden. Tuesday evening we will see another White Bird Dance performance, this time Black Grace from New Zealand. Wednesday evening we have tickets to a book talk by former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. Then Saturday evening we will see the closing performance of Oregon Ballet Theatre's Swan Lake. Of course, there will be happy hours to accompany these events!
the last time I was at the Japanese Garden, when Greg's parents visited us in October 2012
The other big news is that Greg & I booked our 2013 Alaska vacation. I spent most of my spare time over the past couple of weeks researching all of our options and trying to get the most bang for our buck. We ultimately settled on a week-long Inside Passage cruise followed by another week of independent travel to Anchorage and Denali National Park. While I have cruised Alaska before (in August 2008 with my paternal grandmother), Greg has never been to the state. We are both very excited about this trip and have booked some special excursions (Juneau whale watching, Seward glacier hiking, Mt McKinley flightseeing) to make the most of our time there. So now I have even more of an incentive to get 100% rehabbed asap!