Saturday, 15 December 2012

Two steps forward, one stumble back - day 13

Sub-titled Progress and A Cautionary Tale

Because I've read in so many other people's blogs that doing too much too soon causes pain and can even affect your overall recovery, I've been really erring on the side of caution, and doing everything I can to maximise my recovery.

So I've been elevating all the time, even overnight, and only walking around to go to the bathroom.

But pride comes before a fall. In my case, literally.

To get around, I'm using the hospital-issue crutches. I do have some lovely ergonomic-handled ones my friend George has lent me, but I'm saving those for downstairs. It's like an incentive to graduate!

Anyway, when I first came hom from hospital I was properly crippled. I could hardly bear to put weight on my feet, and really bore my weight through the crutches. It took me ages to shuffle slowly and painstakingly to the bathroom.

In fact, I borrowed a toilet frame from the Red Cross so that I have help to get onto the toilet by myself. Here it is:

It just sits around the toilet and has handles at just below hip height, which means I can hobble in on crutches, lean the crutches against the wall while leaning my weight on the frame, and then use both frame handles to lower myself. They're also extremely useful to get back up again.

I honestly think that without this frame I'd have needed physical help to sit down on the loo and get back off it again, so it's really saved my dignity (which presumably I've just lost through telling you all this).

I have borrowed a few things from the Red Cross: the toilet frame, a wheelchair for when I go outside further than I can hobble (pretty much everywhere for a while) and I did also borrow a commode chair, as I'd read from another blogger that their pain was so bad they couldn't do anything more than slide from bed to commode.

Thankfully, I haven't needed it so it will be returned unused.

The Red Cross is amazing. They are a charity, so they lend you the equipment for just a small £5 deposit. And then you just pay what you can afford for the hire. Obviously, we will be giving a reasonable donation because we're not poor, but how fabulous for those people who don't have much money, because the hospital won't help at all - they refused to lend me a wheelchair.

I found out about it accidentally while Googling, but if you want to know more then have a look at their website here, and if you are able, please consider giving them a donation in recognition of their incredible work.

Back to my progress report.

So at first I could hardly move, it hurt and was difficult and I really NEEDED those crutches.

About three or four days ago, so on day nine or ten after surgery, I realised that I wasn't leaning on the crutches so much, In fact, I was able to walk a few steps just holding the crutches.

I experimented a bit, and discovered that I could stand without the crutches or any other support, so suddenly I was able to turn the light on for myself, or open my curtains, instead of having to call for help.

And that was my problem. I got a bit cocky on the crutches. And yesterday, I was speeding back to the bedroom when I lost my balance. I stumbled, which is fine if your feet haven't been sliced and diced, but was not great for me.

I banged my left foot on the floor trying to catch my balance. I didn't get shooting agonising pain or anything like that; in fact at first I thought I'd got away with it.

But since then, my left foot has been unhappy with me. It aches and twinges at the place where I knocked it, which just happened to be the exact spot where it's been cut open.

It's obviously not very happy. And I feel so stupid for rushing around and not taking it easy. After all, I'm not in any kind of hurry at the moment.

So this is my cautionary tale. If you're having this surgery, make sure you take all parts of your recovery slowly. Don't rush, don't push yourself too far too fast.

From now on, I'm staying like a little old lady and leaving the speeding to Lewis Hamilton.

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