Today has been a weird day. I wanted to make an entry in my hip blog to kind of detail or at least begin to detail some of the things I went through over the last month but it’s not in me today. Each day I have friends who care enough to ask me how things are going, what they can do for me and if I need anything.
Today was the first day in about a month I woke alone. The first day where my day didn’t begin with a 3am IV antibiotic infusion a 4 am blood draw a 5 am vital check and then a 7 am visit from one of the doctors (usually the same one) or my hip surgeon to change my dressing and sometimes hurt me in the name of trying to heal me.
Over the course of the last weeks my niece has asked me multiple times if I will be at her 8th birthday party. Her golden birthday. I promised there was no way I’d miss it. She’s 8. She’s extremely understanding and tender and I know she understands. But that aside, as my mom said; there would be no one to pick me up and bring me not to mention I still have to spend most of my time on an angle where the majority of my weight is on my left hip, leaving the pressure off my right hip so my internal and external sutures can heal without ripping. Since the party was at a bowling alley there was no chance I could sit even remotely comfortably for an hour.
Anyway I woke up after sleeping with little discomfort but several brain jarring wakeups. I checked my wound, gathered all my supplies…I’m still terrified to look at it. I realize this is ridiculous. Gathered wound care supplies, gauze, saline, special wound pads a huge amount of tape and very carefully and slowly attempted to bandage myself one handed. Not as good a job as my best friend had been doing but after I felt it all when I was done it felt like the hip diaper I was used to. So far it’s held and I’ve been good.
It’s been such a weird day. I did some walking – both backwards and forwards, I did the exercises my Physical therapist, Hassan has me doing and was able to do them with ease(mostly). Despite my desire to do more than my usual reps I didn’t because I am alone today and I had no desire to writhe in pain because I did something stupid. Also there’s a new pull on my incision area which I know means it’s healing but it still really hurts. Hassan would be proud.
The whole PT thing. I’m literally having to learn to walk again and I feel like a child. Keep your toes straight, walk from the hip, not the knee, and keep your steps normal, not too wide. Stand up straight, breathe, and so on and so forth. You have no idea how it feels to get up to use the bathroom and the entire way there you feel like rainman constantly repeating to yourself ‘walk with your toes straight, stop pigeon toeing, stop rolling your hip, stride from the hip blah blah blah’
Remembering to take my antibiotics out of the fridge so they aren’t ice cold and will actually transfuse at IV time. Remembering to flush my PICC line in the evening and then send through the blood thinner to keep the line open. Remembering a boatload of vitamins to encourage healing (whether you believe in those things or not after what I’ve been through I am following my doctors orders and the dieticians orders to the Nth degree), and protein, protein, protein. Don’t get me started on food. I want a giant bowl of pasta but I refuse until I eat protein. Today I managed to get ¾ of my protein in before midafternoon so I felt a little more relaxed. I feel stressed just worrying about food alone. And obsessively taking my temperature. It took 2 weeks straight in the hospital before my fever didn’t spike up at least a couple times a day. And every time the Physical Therapist comes he takes my blood pressure, informs me it is quite low then tells me I’m pale and need to eat. Then while I’m exercising he tells me I need to concentrate to lose weight and then suggests I eat oatmeal for breakfast because it’s good for my cholesterol(which, mine is perfect). After we argued about the fact there’s not enough protein to make it worth my while (and also that I hate oatmeal) I wisely decided to take my best friends advice just to nod politely and listen to him. He has no idea my medical history, the weight I’ve already lost or my doctor specified nutrition needs. FFS I’m on a high protein, high calorie diet for a few weeks until I get better. I’m not going overboard but I definitely know what I need nutritionally more than he does. I will say, he’s a damn good PT…man. I cannot complain. Perfect.
Yesterday in PT as I walked backwards down a flight of stairs (with guidance) and then down the hall backwards to work whatever muscle group that is I told him my goal was to get all good enough with my new hip to crawl on the floor with my niece and play with the Barbie Dream house. He put his hand on my forearm and stopped me. “You will never be on the floor again. Who told you you could do that?”
I asked what he was talking about; I knew I couldn’t until at least the first 6 weeks were over. He said “You will never be on your knees again, never.”
Of course, I had to keep the laughter inside because I’m still a 15 year old boys brain trapped in a 39 year old woman. Also I had a fleeting moment of trying to explain that to a gentleman caller. But whatever.
I digress. This makes me terribly sad. It’s not the end of the world. But it’s just one more thing.
I’ve spent a good portion of the day napping. Trying to rest when my body asks for it, I know I need to not fight it. It’s frustrating not to bounce back quickly, it’s frustrating how my life has changed. And yes, I know all this is temporary and everyone who has seen what my surgeon did after cutting off mass amounts of dead skin and tissue has been awestruck by the medical engineering he did to piece me back together.
Crap this is aimless and I’m tired. Just so much on my mind. I’ve been so fortunate to have my friends check up on me, visiting me (hell, my best friend drove from another state and spent her spring break here taking care of me, practically being a slave to my needs and my other best friend is flying here tomorrow to take care of me!) and bringing me contraband, and my family, especially my dad bringing me steak so I could get in my necessary proteins. And despite all that I just really feel alone. I don’t want to go to bed alone tonight. I’d rather almost die than be undressed in front of a man who would see this intricate wound dressing that sits several inches above my skin. But the reassuring touch, a kiss on the forehead even. All the stuff we need and so many of us rarely get.
Time to go flush my IV and maybe an early bedtime. And the hope that tomorrow truly is a better day; not just physically but mentally as well.