Posts Tagged ‘rehab’

I Am A 30 Percenter !!!!!!!

February 24, 2014

Two years ago today – Feb 24th – I fell and broke my hip.  I had surgery to have a screw and plate put on – it was lower enough I didn’t need a hip replacement.  After about 4 days, I was sent to rehab for at least 6 – 8 weeks to heal and learn how to walk again.  I went into rehab feet first and came out on my own 2 feet with the help of a wheely walker.  After another 4 weeks of outpatient therapy, I left there with a cane.  After a  few weeks I was walking all by myself, though I took the cane to places I hadn’t been to before or if there were a lot of people around.

This is what they did for my hip, kind of explains why I spent 8 weeks in rehab.

 

Right Hip Fracture and Emergency Surgical Repair

The next time I saw my rheumatologist, she told me something interesting – 70& of people who break a bone will break another one within 2 years.  I thought to myself, I am going to be in the 30% group and now By George, I am!  Recently a friend asked why anyone, especially a doctor, would say such a thing to a patient.  Maybe it wasn’t the wisest choice of words, but I have concentrated o being in the 30% since then.  How true the whole thing is can be anyone’s guess.

I am also happy to report I haven’t fallen during those 2 years, though I did stumble against the shower door in the middle of the night.  I hit my upper arm on the glass door rail for the bathmat.  Not a very comfortable thing to do, but I didn’t fall.  The next morning I saw this huge purple bruise forming, that sucker hurt!  As I looked in the mirror not too long after, I thought “This must be what it is like to have a large tattoo” – only mine would fade and soon be gone.  Don’t think I will have a tattoo;  that’s voluntary pain and then what happens when I don’t like it any more.  More voluntary pain to remove it.

For the last two years I haven’t really thought about the 70% or the 30%, every once in a while it comes up and I choose the 30% every time.  I decided dwelling on it and being afraid of falling would be a self-fulfilling prophecy; I would rather think in terms of being the 30%.

I was also wondering if I would mark the 2nd year as the day I broke my hip; but that seemed un productive.  I didn’t “celebrate” having RA for 43 years in November, it was just a measure of time.  I see this in the same way, though no one gave me percentages with RA.  Let’s just say I have reached my goal of 2 years without a “break”.  Whether the whole things is true or not, it is now something in the past.

One interesting thing, I was sure I would set off the security scan when we left for Toronto, so I told them I would probably set it off.  So they took me to a full scan and I was done.  What surprised me was that coming through security in Toronto on our way home, nothing happened.  However, Eddie was chosen for a random scan, so he had a little more to deal with than I did.  Do you suppose they used a plastic screw and plate in my hip instead of metal?  It has me wondering.

Time to work on my next goal – not sure what it is yet, but I will be concentrating on that rather than what has happened in the past.

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There’s Something About Bunny

June 24, 2012

SAMSUNG DIGITAL CAMERA

Two days after I went to rehab, a close friend, Chloe Ann, came to visit and brought a soft, cuddly, stuffed bunny.  It was a light brown with slightly curly fur and  long ears that were velvety inside.  I was so pleased with that bunny, just what I needed at that moment.  She thought I would have plenty of flowers and things and when she saw the bunny, she knew it was just the right thing.  I slept with the bunny every night and any time I had a nap in the afternoon.  I asked the bunny if it would tell me if it was a boy or a girl.  She let me know she was a girl. I asked her if she would tell me her name, so far she hasn’t, so I call her Bunny.  One of the nurse’s aid, Eleanor, decided her name was Cozy because we looked all cosy together in bed.  When she made my bed, she would sit Bunny up again the pillows and spread her ears across the pillow.  One day I said to Eleanor – “You haven’t finished making the bed”.  She came over and looked, studied the bed for a bit to figure it out.  Finally she realized Bunny was on the chair across from the bed.  She laughed and put Bunny in her usual place by the pillows.

I had many people compliment me on my Bunny, they thought she was so cute and adorable.  When they woke me up at night for blood pressure and who knows what else, they were often surprised to see me with Bunny, but also raved about her as well.  When I was moved upstairs to another room because I didn’t need nursing care, just therapy, I was in my wheelchair with Bunny.  As I went down the hall I heard people laughing and enjoying the picture we made – I had buttoned Bunny into the front of my sweater so she wouldn’t fall.  She was facing out so she saw where we were going.

Bunny has been in our room since – I just realized I hadn’t taken her with me to the hotel.  She would have been company since I spent most of the nights by myself because it was extra traveling for Eddie.  Oh well, she was waiting for me when I came home.  When Eddie makes the bed, he puts Bunny in the middle between the pillows.

I have had trouble sleeping comfortably with the hips and legs, I do a lot of tossing and turning, which keeps Eddie awake a lot.  I either sleep on my side or on my back propped up with some pillows, sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t.  I don’t sleep enough to really feel rested, I am hoping one of these days it will all settle down.

I will come clean, for the past three weeks I have been sleeping with Bunny again.  What I find interesting is that I am sleeping better with her in my arms.  I don’t know if it is psychological or that Bunny has a special vibe for me.  I just know I have slept better in the last three weeks.  Now I have had some nights that have not been so swift even with Bunny, but on the whole it is better than without her.  I realize to some it is ridiculous for a 65 year old woman to sleep with a stuffed animal; however, I am not interested in other opinions.  It is working for me and that is all that matters.  Of course, after this post is published, the whole world will know instead of just me and Bunny.  My guess is that I am not the only one who sleeps with a plush animal.  Here’s to all of you!

I am going to publish this right now and may have more to add later.

Rehab and RA

May 4, 2012

I had quite an experience while in rehab for 8 weeks – unfortunately when I was in the hospital under the influence of pain killers and who knows what else, it took a while to realize I had missed some very important information.  The surgeon apparently told me he was stopping my Methothrexate so the wound would heal faster – I don’t remember hearing that.  I had not had it for a week when the fall happened and then about 2 weeks later I woke up one morning with the most miserable flare up I have had in a long time.  When it finally penetrated that I hadn’t had metho for 3 weeks, I kept asking questions and let them know I was pissed off.  Finally I got the message and realized I didn’t remember anything about it.  So not only was I constantly telling the therapists that I was worried about not messing up my shoulders and hands, then I was dealing with a flare up.  Now I will commend the therapists for working with me to prevent as much problem with those parts while I was learning to walk with toe touch.  I could only put my toe on my right leg down to balance but not put weight on it.

I know there were many times when I did put a little too much wieght, it isn’t easy not to do it.  The weight had to upperbody strength and I will confess I didn’t have much at the time.  I was given exercises for all parts of my legs, for my arms and anything else they could think of that could be done in a wheel chair.  I was having such a hard time with the toe touch walking in a regular walker, I was determined to master it if it killed me.  It was probably getting on to almost 5 weeks before I started get the hang of it – I knew that because I didn’t hear the therapist checking weight bearing,  reminding me of toe touch, saying good step more often and of course, less reminding me of “spaghetti leg”.  What bugged me was the comment that once I learn how to do it, I won’t have to do it any more – I kept wondering why I was doing it at all if I wasn’t going to need it.  It simply meant that when the surgeon gave me weight bearing status then I could walk with both legs and not deal with toe touch.

I was so appreciative of one of the occupational therapists, Carol, for giving me hot packs for my hurting shoulders and hot paraffin for my hands to elp relieve some of the pain.  They were all very caring and concerned about me – as they are of all their charges – but were also rather hard assed about things I could do I wasn’t sure I could.  I remember when I first stood up – I was scared of so much and Tony was there to keep me going and was very encouraging.  I slowly began to walk a few steps and of course there were always exercises for muscles, tendons and such.  I was so proud of myself the day I went around the circuit at one go – 60 feet.  I was really winded when I was finished, plus I had to stop and rest twice.  What I found was that each time it was easier and I could go a little farther.  I walked around one of the halls next to the gym for quite a few feet – it felt as if I was doing it without a net.  They always made sure I had a gate belt on so that they could catch me if I got in trouble; that gave me a secure feeling.  I was able to do 130 feet by the time I saw the surgeon the second time – 6 weeks after surgery.  He gave me weight bearing as tolerated status, so things got more intense and instead of being in a wheelchair all the time, I used my wheely walker.  They decided I could be independent and walk anywhere, plus go to meals.  That felt so good, to be able to do things on my own again.

As for the methotrexate, I finally started it again about the 3rd week I was there but it took 4 or 5 weeks for it to kick in again.  It seemed to take forever to feel halfway comfortable again, plus my hands  developed blisters and new nodules from wheeling myself around.  When I first was able to wheel myself, my personal goal was to wheel myself from my room to the dining room.  My room was at the other end of the hall and it looked a long way to go.  But I worked at it and finally accomplished my goal.  Now I will admit when I was having a bad morning because of the flare up, I accepted a push because it was hardest in the morning – it was better in the afternoon and evening.  I learned how to turn and few other things, so by week 6 I was going a bit faster than in the beginning.

I will admit to feeling really tired and lousy most of the time, no energy or interest in anything.  I was bone weary as well as mentally and emotionally exhausted when I went in, so the surgery and ehab was just more piled on.  I have been home a little over a week – well, a few days and now I have been at a hotel for almost a week while the bathroom is being remodelled.  Still tired but I was pleased to find on Monday I felt like reading a book again.  I wasn’t interested in doing anything for those long 8 weeks, so reading felt so good.  It has been along journey and I am curious to see the changes and effects it has had on me – maybe in the coming months.

There’s A Reason For My Silence

April 29, 2012

I apologize for not writing for over 2 months – it was not my choice.  On February 24th I fell and broke my right hip which sent me to the hospital and then 8 weeks of rehab.  It was not on my agenda, though I did need a break – I was thinking more in terms of 2 weeks at a spa.  Rehab was no spa, but I had time away from home and all the things making me crazy at the time, so it wasn’t a complete disaster.  However, it was no rest and relaxation either, I learned to stand, walk with toe touch on my right leg and then finally when I had full weight bearing clearance from the surgeon, the therapists really worked me over and I was able to leave rehab on my own two feet and a wheely walker.  I still have 4 weeks of outpatient rehab left – when will they let me drive again?  I am dependent on others to go anywhere, very hard when I am so used to going whenever I want.

To add insult to injury, I caught the flu while I was there.  So my last week was uncomfortable and now I am trying to get rid of this stupid cough.  I need to go see my acupuncturist for that, she does such wonders.  Right now I am packing up for a week to 10 day stay in a hotel while we put a stall shower in the bathroom – I don’t dare get into that tub!  Also a taller toilet and grab bars to make things easier – long overdue improvements.  My Mom is in a tizzy because she really doesn’t want to leave home even though she wants the new shower stall.  We found an adult family home for her to stay while the work is being done, no idea how she will settle in there.

I didn’t miss the computer at all, I had no interest or energy to read or write – 2 things I thoroughly enjoy. I was dragging myself around most of the time,trying to get rested but it never seemed to improve- I suppose I have to remember my body had taken a huge blow and takes time to recover.  I didn’t sleep all that well at night – they had these bubble mattress covers that undulate as I was lying on it.  Trouble came when it wasn’t working, just flat as pancake and my back hurt all the time. I started sleeping on all the pillows, a bit better but not much. Finally got it fixed and then I was kicked upstairs to another room.  That one would only inflate on one side, so they got me a new one and I finally found the right combination of feet up and head up so I was comfortable.  I was only able to sleep on my back – I couldn’t turn myself over on my side at all.  The food is a story in itself – maybe for another time.

So now I am home trying to navigate around and everything seems much narrower than I remember.  My mom has forgotten I live here and really doesn’t know who I am.  I have come to terms with that, it was a lot of emotion in the beginning and as far as I know, the emotion is gone.  It is time to look for a place for her to live permanently – my doctor is very worried about me and also in rehab they don’t want to see me back again.  So when the bathroom is done, it will be time to see what is available and is affordable.

A short version this week, just  to touch touch base and let you know I am still here.  It has been a strange time and I am slowly picking up the threads of my life.  I am curious to see what changes have happened inside me as a result of the whole experience – it maybe quite awhile  before I really know.


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