Off and … Well, walking slowly! 05/31/2015

May, 2015

YIPPEE!!!

I saw the doctor last Tuesday and whoopee – I get to put full weight on my leg! I can progress off cruWalkingtches as quickly as my leg allows without limping – what a relief. I admit, I was concerned that the doctor would want me to continue with some weight-bearing limitations, especially since I begin my full schedule of patients next week. Luckily I’ve had all week to gradually explore and progress the return of support from my right leg.

I was also released for driving, which was another huge relief! I cautiously drove around the block the following day before trying a full trip into town, and it was a simple as getting on a bicycle. Whew!

I tried my first unsupported (no crutches) step in the doctor’s office which caused my knee to buckle as it forgot how to support my weight. This actually created a bit of anxiety and much needed caution for further progression. We had a long drive back home (from Portland) so I was able to play with weight-bearing just a little bit at a time.

By day 2 (last Wednesday) I had a full day of meetings at the office. Since my hands didn’t have to put as much weight through the crutches or walker, I opted for the walker so I could stop and use my hands without having to find a resting place where the crutches wouldn’t fall over. With the walker, I also have pockets to put papers in to travel to and fro. Little by little I was able to support more of my own weight through my leg and use less support through my hands.

On day 3, I used a cane. Although I could technically “walk”, I still had a slight limp and I didn’t want to retrain my muscles in poor form. Limps can be hard to retrain, and I had developed a bit of one prior to surgery as well.

By day 4, Friday, I left the house without anything. No crutches, walker or cane. WOW – what a sense of freedom! And what a terrific opportunity to remember all there is to be grateful for:
– Showers standing up!
– Hands free to carry a cup of coffee, or anything from one surface to another.
– Not having to worry about the crutches falling over.
– Being able to stand up easily, take a few steps, pick up a book, magazine, the remote or anything, and take a few steps back to my seat.
– Being able to make my own food in the kitchen without feeling like it’s a major upper body workout or imposing on my family.
– Beginning to stand on my right leg to put my socks on and off.
– Letting the dog and cat in and out of the house (which they do ALL-DAY-LONG) and not having to ask Scott every time, or, again, feel like it’s another workout.
– Standing on both legs, for longer than 5-10 minutes without feeling like my poor left leg is going to buckle from holding all of me up.
– Plain ‘ol walking!
– Getting to enjoy weeding and playing in my garden!

I’m sure there are some that I’ve forgotten but it’s amazing how we take such simple things for granted.

Also, I’m having very little pain. The two main areas of limitation and pain prior to surgery were in upright sitting with my hip at 90 degrees or more, and that is much better! (which makes it a lot easier to sit up at my computer and type this blog 🙂  ). I was also very limited in how far I could walk before having pain and a limp. I could go about 10 minutes and then would start limping. It will be a while until I really know how that is going. Since I’ll be asking a lot of my body the next few weeks at work, I’ll be progressing my other activities slowly so as not to over-do-it.

Practicing what I preach can sure be hard at times as I SOOOO want to try to go for a nice long walk. But it would be silly to go through all of this and then over-do-it and set myself back. So, steady as she goes. I look forward to writing more about the explorations of weight-bearing, leg support, exercises and walking, but for now, I’m resting in gratitude.

Posted in: Allisons' Blog, Hip Surgery

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