Hi all...3 weeks post op today. *Still same challenges as the rest of you...difficulty sleeping, swelling and pain in the knee and foot, and trying to survive the boredom, immobility, and daily challenges of being down 8 weeks.
Saw my physio for the first time this week. *Since the doc's prescription was so *vague with no timeline, there wasn't a lot he could do until he talks to him. *He did however do a full leg lymph node massage which felt great and relieved a lot of swelling in the knee and foot. *He also taught my husband to do the half hour massage twice a day on my leg. *Just to have the *brace off during massage feels great! *
A new find....when searching the house to find the right cushion to prop my leg for the massage, my husband *found the bedrest backrest a forum member had previously recommended. *If you lay it flat with the arms up and deeper side towards your buttocks, it provides the perfect incline to rest your braced leg on. *Add a pillow for under your foot and it is more comfortable than a couple little pillows. *Will be my new pillow prop...try it. *Found a link to it so youmcan see...
Carol how did your big friend's weekend go? *How did your leg and energy hold up? *Thanks Carol and Flerdle for your new posts for our newbies...they are always encouraging and informative for all of us. *And how are my old buds Tania, Maddog, Nicole moving along? *Keep us posted...
Welcome Christine and Scott!
I will try to share some my own experiences in response to your questions.
Christine, in regards to pain meds, Carol and Flerdle are right in that it is different for everyone. I could only take prescription meds a couple of days since I could not sleep with them, broke out in hives, and felt like I was reliving the 70's on a hippie drug trip (yes I am that old). So a health professional friend of mind suggested 2 to 3 (200mg each) of Advil ( Ibuprofen) in combination with Zantec for my stomach since Advil can be hard on your stomach. It worked and got me off of hard drugs. The other problem with prescription painkillers is that they increase emotional depression and constipation, so that alone is a plus.
Scott I too had headaches daily. I try to lie on my good side every evening for a while with two small pillows between my legs. That change in position getting off the back of my head seems to help my headaches. Your nausea could come from a little vertigo from being horizontal all the time. The best thing for nausea is crystalized ginger. The first few days after surgery I nibbled on it daily to help with the nausea from pain killers. It is an old Chinese remedy that works. You usually have to get it at a health foods store...tastes terrible, but well worth it.
As far as getting your environment ready for surgery I can suggest the following from my own experience:
1. A hospital bed - I had to rent one since there is no bed on the first floor of my house. It is great because you can set the bed to the right height for you, and is electric so you can raise the head part of the bed to a comfortable height and still not be sitting.
2. Memory foam 3 to 4 inches thick for the top of the hospital bed. Those mattresses are not comfortable, so it helps. They are a little pricey, but comfort for 2 months helps.
3. Prep your bathroom - you are so lucky to be a guy and not have to sit much. I did get a raised toilet seat with arms, and had a safety bar installed to help get up. It is a lifesaver. Ableware makes a raised toilet seat that has one side scooped out so your injured cheek does not have to rest on it. Get disposable hand sanitizer cloths by the toilet so you can clean your hands before getting your crutches to get up. For girls, I also got diaper wipes because when you pee sitting on one hip different things get wet and you want to clean them.
4. Get bedside accoutrements ready....have a table next to your bed and moved down alittle so you can easily reach: meds, kleenex, handiwipes, toiletries, tv remotes, phone, etc.
5. Let your caregiver know that you won't always be at your best and appreciate all they do for you. It is a hard job for them.
6. Don't be hard yourself. All of us here have felt overwhelmed and frustrated. Hey, if tears burned calories I would weigh only 80 lbs. right now! Check in with us, we will help you.
Hi everyone: thanks so much for the responses and great advice. It is very helpful and the genuine carrying really feels good especially when the days are long and sometimes lonely. This support group is fantastic and a big thanks to everyone for sharing their experiences in order to help others.
I am back on the meds and feeling much better. I am looking forward to Friday's appointment to remove staples. Enduring the same stuff as others with swelling and pain.
Tammy hope your surgery goes well.
Scott I also keep lots of water near my bed. I seem to be extra thirsty right now. Not sure if it's medication or part of the healing process.
Great thread and thanks to all who have posted. I have 4 tears as a result of a cross country ski fall about 3 weeks ago. One tendon retracted 125mm. I thought I was recovering until the MRI showed the damage and now my surgery is scheduled for Monday. The worst part is that I feel pretty good now. No pain. Getting around with a slight limp. I can do full squats with light weights! I know the surgery is necessary if I want to get back to my pre-injury level and an aging (55) weekend athlete, but I'll need to swallow hard before I get on the operating table. You've all been inspirational and I am sure I will be back next week. Standing by the computer, or sitting on one cheek...
I remember when it felt like my leg was healing, and didnt have any real pain before the surgery. The only thing is, I kept getting weaker, and it was obvious that I just wouldn' t heal right without the surgery. I understand your hesitation, I too felt that. I am really glad that I had the surgery. It's been 7 weeks post op, and I know I made the right decision. Getting through the first month is hard, but I know I will be able to do all of the active things I love, so it is worth it! Best of luck with your surgery Monday.
Sorry about your injury. It is great that you are able to get into surgery soon, that is to your advantage. The best thing for constipation is collace. It is a stool softener, so it won't make you sick, but it makes it much easier to go. Water is also important.
Working is not going to be very possible for at least 3-4 weeks. Even at that time it takes heroic levels to accomplish. 5 or 6 weeks is probably more realistic. Do you know if you will be in a brace? I don' t know about the stomach sleeping,as I am a back and side sleeper. Propping with pillows seems to help most of us, and unfortunately, we have to figure some of this out as we go through it.
I had the mild frontal headaches too. I guessed mine were from stress. I get that mild nausea when I don't sleep well. Stress can make me not sleep well too. Good luck with your upcoming surgery. It is an intense healing process, so try not to expect too much of ypurself or push too hard. It is important to take the time that you need to heal. Rushing back to work can actually slow the healing process because of the stress. I had to lie down almost the wholetime during the first four weeks, and that weakened my whole body. I am still trying to get my regular energy level back at 7 weeks. I rest a couple of times a day. Ii also find that being up more now, makes my leg swell even morw. It just takes time, and there is no way of getting around that. Sorry, you probably would like a different answer, but that is my experience, and I think many of us are going through similar difficult healing processes.
Tammy I hope that your surgery went very well. Be kind to yourself, and keep up with the pain meds for the first few days. Remember it will get much better. The first 2-3 days are very hard.
Mobley, I'm so glad that you are getting that brace off from time to time, and that your husband can massage your leg. That brace about drove me nuts. Hopefully you won't have it too much longer. At least it's good that you can get some relief taking it off for awhile. The boredom was the hardest part for me. I really started getting depressed. Just about when I thought i couldn't take it any longer, I regained some of my independence and started getting stronger.
My weekend with friends on the retreat was fabulous! The weather was unusually warm, so we were able to sit outside on the deck at sunrise and sunset, and then later look at a clear starry night. It was wonderful to reconnect with my closest friends, we've seen each other through thick and thin over the past 25 years! This experience with my hamstring has really brought to my mind what is important in my life, and the gratitude I have for good friends, family, and the ability to be able to do simple things, like dress myself, or walk. I definitely have a different attitude now. I want to make each day count, and I want to live my life to the fullest.
RPOlaw - welcome to the Club of Unfortunates
I definitely agree with Carol - my injury was recovering well before I went to surgery, but I knew that the prognosis long term was not good, especially with all 3 detached.
There is lots of good information on this site - it is just a bit difficult to search it all. Surgery with the right doctor has an excellent prognosis. Stay away from Docs who say this is their first, second or even fourth. The good guys have done over 25 or 30 each, and have developed techniques that work.
And Tammy - our thoughts are with you .. Best of luck during recovery.
Followup: 5 1/2 months
It is 80 degrees in Boston this week, so I pulled the bike out and rode it to my shop (I'm a furniture maker) for the first time on Tuesday. The seat felt like I was sitting on rocks. But it is only 4 miles, so I was fine. Wednesday morning I felt every bump, stone and pebble on the ride over, but it was much better on the ride back. This morning is an unknown, but I am so thankful that I am able to bike again, walk again and move well. As they say - it isn't original equipment, but is sure seems great to me!!
Hi everyone!! 2 weeks post op today and I had my first shower!! Yes the real deal-not just the sponge bath. It felt great and I actually feel like there might be a light at the end of the tunnel.
Ferdle - the Tylenol is definitely making a difference, great advice.
Hope you are all doing ok.