Thursday, April 21, 2016

On the recovery side

I am finally through the nervousness, preparation, anxiety, and actual surgery! My right hip's labrum had a large bucket handle tear which was fixed with 4 anchors into the acetabulum. No bone was shaved, yay! 

One week ago was the day I remember very little of, since of course I slept most of it away. Mom came the night before and drove me to UAMS at 5am to get my clothes changed into a fashionable gown with complementary compression socks. 

The lighting, the gown! It's all so flattering!

I pumped some milk, walked to the bathroom, got my leg signed by Dr. Sachleben, asked the anesthesiologist to keep me alive, and then was wheeled away. In the OR, they got to work quickly with my anesthesia taking me to dreamland before I knew it was coming. It may have been the prior dose of Versed that took all my awareness away, but the last thing I remember was a med student being instructed on how to hold my "oxygen" mask and me being told to take deep breaths. Apparently I was stretched into a position like this to dislocate my hip during surgery, which I can only assume accounts for some of the post op stiffness: 

I awoke to a nurse talking to me and I told him my back was really hurting. It seems like he gave me a pillow for it before he gave me pain meds. Who knows which of those actually took the pain away? ;) Somehow Mom and I got a dress on over my giant brace and ice pack, put my shoes on, and suddenly I was in the car with Mom asking me questions in my very drowsy state, like, "How do we get home from here?" It wasn't a trick question, and I had a hard time coherently answering, but I think she was trying to keep me awake so she knew I was conscious. Don't ask me about the rest of the day or night. Or Friday, for that matter. 

Saturday Mom left and Jeremy's mom and aunt arrived just a bit later. I spent the next two days lying on the couch in my CPM while the three other adults took care of everything else. And I do mean everything. I'm responsible for letting them know what I need that may not be obvious, like an escort to the low low toilet seat. And that's it. Since Monday, Jeremy has been back at work and Mammo and Nanny have no idea how invaluable they have been to me. Josie mostly wants to ride around in my lap in the wheelchair, and Nanny has been driving us a good bit, even getting Josie to sleep that way. 

She is seatbelted in with a Maya sling. 

She gets frustrated at me for not carrying her around and playing on the floor with her. And Hunter has been affected too, although he is taking it very well. 

And he is helping out with Josie, even when she's not that into it :)

But usually she's having a blast. This is exactly what she wanted to do!

Wednesday was my first PT session, and I do believe I have found a PT who is worth paying upfront and filing my insurance myself. She's cautious, knowledgable, and makes me very comfortable. I was a bit sore from those strenuous heel slides we did a hundred million of yesterday. But in a good way. 

I'm feeling mostly good, able to get in bed on my own, and even got my underwear and shorts on by myself today, though it took a good 20 minutes. The bandage came off to reveal more blood than I'd expected and three tiny incisions neatly sutured. Also a rash where I left the thick waterproof bandage on a bit too long. Oops. 

I can't imagine what I'd do without this caring husband and family I have around me. They have done everything. Well, except they also may be trying to kill me with all the plastic eggs, toy trucks, random blankets, and Legos scattered around on the floor, making me crutch through obstacle courses. 

I keep on healing, and the days fly by as we wheel around, watch Hunter, take selfies. But that could be the meds talking. 

Sunday, April 10, 2016


'Tis the season of projects around the Harwood house. You might think one of those projects is spring cleaning, but it is not. We have plenty going on without dealing with those unnecessary boring details. 

The best project: my little engineer's Lego truck creation

First up is my physical being. With surgery scheduled for Thursday, we met with the surgeon this week, and I asked about some of his post-op protocols. The good news is that my time on crutches has shrunk to just three weeks. The less-than-good news is that my limit of hip flexion for those weeks also went down, from an expected 90 degrees to 70. This means my trainer set-up (with no resistance) might not work. I will have a brace and a CPM, which is what the latest evidence supports. I already feel better about his protocols, since it seems to align with that of the top hip docs in the country, as opposed to the original surgeon's. No psoas will be cut/released/lengthened in this leg either. If my labrum is in terrible shape, he will be reconstructing it, which I can't be sure would have happened with the first planned surgery. There is a very small bump on my femoral head to be shaved, but overall, it seems pretty simple, right? When we ran into my referring doc in the hallway, he basically told me, "Don't screw up the recovery!" It seems easy to do too much.

To get ready for this, I have been riding my bike for fun, and for a Strava QOM, outside when I can. I have slacked a little on my leg strength training, since it seems to aggravate an already irritable hip and lower back. But I need to get back on the good leg strengthening (since it will be only leg for a while), along with some pre-hab glute work.

Nutrition is on the table for a reworking in the near future. I keep threatening that I won't allow sugar in the house post-op, so I tend to eat all the Ben & Jerry's now while it is here. And before Hunter finds it. He has an eye for delicious ice cream. 

The second project is the yard and garden. Jeremy has once again done some upgrades to the garden by adding a framed chicken wire fence along the low borders, in attempt to keep the rabbits out. Seems to be working, and I'm really liking how it looks.

We have planted several tomatoes, zucchini, okra, a New Mexico chile, eggplant, potatoes, cucumbers, cantaloupe, raspberries, blueberries, and watermelon so far.

A few new bushes are going in the ground around the house also; we will call them "rescues," as they were abandoned in varying degrees of dryness, around the neighborhood. From Ethelyn's house, we transplanted a flowering quince, and a few daffodils and lilies, and I am currently failing at rooting some hydrangeas, fig, aucuba, forsythia, and Japanese magnolia. Her tiny dogwoods Mom brought last fall have leaves though! I feel like I am terrible at landscape design. Our house was new when we moved in and only landscaped in the front yard. We have added plants here and there, and I worry that that's exactly how it looks: disorganized. I'm sure it'll eventually come together and be a flowering oasis, like Mom's or Ethelyn's yards. 

columbine from Mom

Inside the house, as always, I have a few projects for my handy husband. I don't want him getting bored. Just last night he cut off the legs of our dining table, since it predates me to when super tall people sat around it. It was counter height, and now it is normal-person-table height. Next to be included in the shortening are the chairs. Then he is building me a bench, since we always need extra seating.

My latest big plan is in the stairwell. It's kind of closed in and totally boring (except when you pull the railing off the wall--that's exciting), and I have tried to fill it with pictures. It just wasn't working for me. So we have the supplies needed to make a little transformation of one of the walls. I'm super excited!

I always have art projects in my head just waiting to be put on canvas. Actually finding a time when little fingers won't be helping is the difficulty. Not that I don't want those little fingers helping, because I love their art, but because too much would be going straight into a little mouth these days. Just like where all my pansies seem to be going. 

Some of my ideas involve items from Ethelyn's house. And I just need to get around to doing them. Lately all my free time has been spent on triathlete training plans, which I really enjoy. And those who can't do? Coach. :) The blog has fallen to such a low spot on my list that it gets a few words here and there when I have a sleeping baby tucked by my side and don't want to move to wake her. Like now. 

Next week when I'm laid up, medicated, and immobile, I'll surely have time to post a quick update. 

Now for what you've all been waiting for: pictures.

baby selfies

What is this marvelous material?!

She's electric


Snack time. Together