I did pretty well with week one (The Highs And Lows Of Week One), week two has been a little more challenging. My goals for week two were to be less tired, eat proper meals, walk more and be allowed to shower.
I hoped that I would be less tired but what has actually happened is that I am just as tired but I am sleeping more. Considering recovery is meant to be an uphill climb I felt a bit miffed to be going back to bed in the day on Friday (for the first time since I left hospital) although a. that had more to do with my dad watching tennis on TV downstairs and b. I felt much better for it! I am following the old adage of ‘listening to my body’ and while I’m still drugged up, sleepy and not at work, I am resigned to the fact that whether I like it is not, I clearly need sleep so I should just do it. It is still frustrating though, the simplest things knacker me out – yesterday I went to see my zebra pony for over-the-gate cuddles, cleaned my tack, was completely whacked and spent the rest of the afternoon asleep!
I have completely smashed the eating thing. I watched a few old episodes of Supersize vs Superskinny at the beginning of the week and seeing people munching down takeaways seemed to relight something in me! I’ve had a Chinese takeaway, fish and chips and a meal out in the last week (and a whole host of much healthier things).
Walking more was another of my aims. My ‘hip replacement bible’ booklet said to walk at least 100 yards for weeks one and two, progressing to at least a quarter of a mile from week two. I think if I stuck to that my walking would be done just by trips to the toilet and my chair! I have been averaging between one and two kilometres each day and it still feels like nothing! Although it is more than the booklet says, I’m certainly not overdoing it on the walking. Walking from the house to the car and from the yard to Pea’s field is fairly effortless racking up of steps. In addition to doing a bit more walking, my physio gave me a few challenges to add to my normal hip exercises. As well as doing my standing exercises with my ‘new leg’ she suggested I also do my standing exercises with my other leg while standing on the new one and gripping onto a sofa/chair/anything! It feels very weird to be putting so much weight on it for so long but it actually feels ok. What doesn’t feel good is using the ‘yellow band of pain’ (an elastic resistance band) for my hip abduction and bridging exercises. This is definitely one of those ‘no pain no gain’ things!
Today I went to the nurse so that she could take off my dressing and see whether I needed a new one put on or whether I could go bare and have a shower. The dressing came off almost perfectly clean – a good sign. The poor nurse then had to contend with the worlds largest collection of steri-strips. She kept apologising as they were stuck very well and quite tricky to peel off but I couldn’t have minded less.. I was so excited! She was really impressed with how neat the wound is and although there are still some scabby bits, gave me the all important news that tomorrow I can SHOWER! She said I have to be careful of it, pat it dry and apply Vaseline to the wound afterwards but that I should be all good to keep it uncovered. Before my operation, my surgeon told me that as he would be opening up the top of my old scar, he would try to neaten it up when he stitched it back together. I said I didn’t really mind as to me a scar is a scar; it is a record of something you have been through and it is nothing to be ashamed of but he did what he said he would and it looks amazing! Look away now if you don’t want to see it!
One thing that I didn’t say I was going to do but I had decided to do was to start reducing my drugs, more specifically, my codeine. In my discharge documents it said that I should take 30 or 60mg of codeine four times a day for two weeks. For the first week I was taking 60mg four times a day without fail but I know what codeine is like and I don’t really want to be taking it for a long time. Since Thursday I have been gradually reducing my doses and the pain still seems to be ok. Fingers crossed I can kick the codeine completely this week.
On what I assume to be a related point to the drugs, my mood has been all over the place. I have had some days where I have felt so rubbish with no real rhyme of reason to it but other days I feel good. I think I’m being quite levelled and coping fairly well even when I feel completely down; I’m generally not screaming, shouting, crying, lashing out or anything like that, I am just quiet and flat. It is horrible to feel so down when actually I’m on the mend, I’ve got fantastic support around me and I should be feeling good. I feel a bit like I can’t control how I feel which is not nice (being such a control freak myself!) I am hopeful that once the horrible drugs are out of my system I’ll start feeling a bit more in control.
I was told that the first two weeks would be the rubbish ones. Although week one started off horribly, it improved massively whereas week two has been a bit more of a plateau. I have high hopes for week three! Firstly I’m aiming to get off the sleep inducing, mood altering codeine. My second week three aim is to progress to using one crutch around the house and in safe places as I am now pretty stable and putting a fair amount of weight on my left leg. With one hand free, this will also help with aim three which is to be a bit more independent; if I can prove that I am safe to do things myself and stop getting so tired, I might have a bit more freedom! When I was at university we had the catch phrase of being ‘strong, independent women’ – I’m not feeling strong or independent at the moment but hopefully I will be soon!