Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Two months down, several more to go

The time is flying by, as always. Hard to believe my last post was over a month ago. Of course, I'm still very busy with my hip rehab. March 15th was the official two month post-op mark so I figured it's time to update everyone on my progress.

As I mentioned in my last post, Greg & I had lots of activities planned for the week of February 18th. While it was a great week, the ultimate result was that I spent way too much time on my feet which caused tendonitis in my right leg. I had weaned off crutches so was not carrying them with me, even on days that I walked for hours. As my therapist said, "It's called walking PROGRESSION for a reason!"
Who carries 12 750ml bottles of beer home on the bus six weeks after hip surgery???
Luckily I didn't do anything to damage my surgically repaired hip. I simply overused my leg muscles (the very ones I am so diligently and gradually stretching & strengthening during rehab). I did see my surgeon the following week for my first post-op appointment. She was still very pleased with my progress and did not admonish me too severely for over-exerting myself. She just cautioned me to stick with the "slow & steady" pace of rehab to avoid any further complications.
I should have been doing a lot more of this and a lot less walking!
To help decrease the tendonitis, my doctor put me back on Piroxicam, the anti-inflammatory I took for the first month after the surgery. I also had to start using crutches again, any time I would be on my feet for more than 20 minutes. For me that's pretty much every time I leave the house. While I hated lugging them around everywhere, it was a far better alternative to not being able to get out at all!
Maybe I should ride around town on a horse like the police!
One of my post-op projects had been to call American Airlines to find out when we could use our plane tickets from Portland to Nashville (the trip we didn't take in December due to the possibility that I could have the surgery sooner than later). We had originally booked the trip in August and used frequent flyer miles for both tickets. The itinerary was not ideal: overnight flights from Portland to Las Vegas to Chicago and then a final flight to Nashville the next morning. The return trip was easier: Nashville to Washington, D.C. to Portland.

Reissuing the tickets required calling the AAdvantage desk because two of our flights were on Alaska Airlines and we had been told when we cancelled the original tickets that we had to keep the same itinerary on those segments. Of course, this complicated things tremendously because I quickly discovered that for the entire remainder of the validity of the tickets (they would expire on August 15, 2013) there were not two seats available on ANY of those flights at the same mileage allotment we originally used, no matter what day we traveled! If we wanted to alter the itinerary in any way we would have to pay $150 per person; ditto if we decided to reinstate the miles to our accounts.

I am not one to give up easily when it comes to getting what I paid for, so I started calling the AAdvantage desk twice each week and spending over an hour on the phone each time having the representative check all flights on all dates to find an itinerary that would work for us. After several weeks of this, I finally scored a round-trip ticket for myself but still nothing for Greg. At this point we were starting to consider paying the $150 fee, at least for one of the tickets.

I really got frustrated with the whole situation when I spoke to a representative that said we DID NOT have to book the exact same itinerary and proceeded to find a seat for Greg using the same miles but not on the same flights (or dates) that I was traveling. Still, I thought it was better than nothing because the dates did overlap enough that we would be in Nashville for the better part of one week at the same time. She issued both tickets, which were for travel to Nashville on March 2nd (Greg) & 4th (me) and return to Portland on March 11th.

I thought the drama was over until 24 hours later when I received an email confirmation for one ticket but not the other. I double-checked our accounts and one itinerary had been updated but one had not. I immediately called American again and was told that the seat on one of the flights was no longer available. Of course it WAS available when the ticket was supposed to have been issued, so I got transferred to a supervisor. It took another hour and a complete change of our outbound itineraries but the end result was that we both would be flying together to Nashville on March 2nd and returning to Portland together on March 11th.

The date this was booked: February 25th, less than a week before departure. We quickly notified our families that we would be coming to visit and started making arrangements to get together with as many people as possible, knowing we would probably not make another trip to Nashville in 2013. I had already checked with my doctor that it would be okay to fly but had been told to take my crutches as a precaution. So less than two months post-op, I traveled cross country, which I will write about in my next post!

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