Tag Archives: Access-a-Ride

10+ week status — Open Surgical Dislocation (SDD)

I started this blog with two purposes: 1) to inform the world of how I’m doing, and 2) as a record I can look back on to remind myself how I was doing at certain points in my recovery (really helpful when I’m coming up on a follow-up with my surgeon, as is the case this Wednesday).  This post serves the latter purpose (i.e., it’s probably gonna be boring and you might wanna skip reading it).  I warned you!

I am 10.5 weeks post-op on my left hip SDD (a little more than 7 months post-op RPAO).  I have had several sessions of PT (one/week) and one session of hydrotherapy (PT in the H2O).

PT Exercises — status:  

  • Most of my PT sessions are about determining my current level of ability to perform existing exercises and introducing new exercises into my routine.  The therapists also massage and stretch some of the tendons and muscles that are tight or sore so as to improve range of motion.
  • My limp has definitely improved since my first session, but it is still there and gets worse the more exercises I perform.
  • I continue to perform my PT exercises at home including PT Phase I post-op PT exercises (i.e., seated leg extensions, cow pose to child’s pose, core/glute tightening, and quad stretches) and SOME of Phase II post-op PT exercises (including bridging with red elastic band abduction, bent knee fall-out with red elastic band resistance, standing abduction on the affected side, core stability with hip extension + abduction, balance and proprioception, and upright bicycle).
  • I am unable to perform standing abduction on the unaffected side (where I have to stand on my left leg and extend my right), posterior gluteus medius strengthening (where I have to extend my left leg to the back/side at 45 degrees with a red band) or contralateral elastic band for stability (again, standing on the left [affected] side and extending the rights side with a colored band.
  • Hydrotherapy is great because, when you are in the water, your body doesn’t hurt as bad so you can do more than if you were doing therapy on land.  It’s also terrible because, since you don’t hurt as bad, you don’t realize that you are overexerting yourself until you get out of the water.  That’s what happened with me, and I will be avoiding further hydrotherapy sessions until I am stronger.

Non-PT activities — status:

  • I use one right forearm crutch (Millenial) whenever I walk to off-set the limp and because it’s painful otherwise.
  • To date, the most I have walked in the course of a day is approximately 15 blocks, and I was extremely sore/in pain and exhausted at the end of it.  In average, I walk no more than 2-3 blocks in a day.  I use Access-a-Ride almost exclusively for traveling in the city as my local subway station does not have an elevator and I have a terrible time going up and down stairs.
  • I AM able to ride a bike, which I do on occasion when it’s not a million degrees outside.
  • I am still unable to sleep on my operated side.
  • When sitting my left leg needs to be extended at least 75% of the time.  Otherwise my knee becomes progressively more painful.

Pain levels — status:

  • My pain seems to have increased in the last few weeks, from very little pain at 6 weeks post-op to some level of almost constant pain in my hip, back and knee.
  • I have constant pain in my left side of my left hip.  I would not say it is in the joint itself.  Rather, I would say that that it’s in the trochanter or in the muscles between the trochanter and my lower back (the gluteus muscles).  The pain is relatively mild (around a 2/3 out of 10)  most of the time but can spike to a 7/8 out of 10 depending on my level of activity.  I cannot abduct my left leg at all when lying down (i.e., no “clam shells” — a PT activity for abduction).
  • My Sacroiliac Joint (SI) on my left side has been hurting a lot since my hydrotherapy session.  Note that until recently, I have not had any significant pain in my back and SI joint since prior to my RPAO in December.
  • My left knee started hurting about 2-3 weeks ago, in the area behind and just below my patella.  I am guessing it has something to do with tight tendons / IT band but honestly I have no idea.  It looks swollen — I have tried ice and Voltaren anti-inflammatory ointment on it but without much luck.
  • I manage my pain through a combination of rest, elevation, ice, Tylenol and, on occasion and if needed, stronger pain medication (as was needed as few times in the last week).

Next post will be more interesting — promise!

Access-an-Adventure!

The six weeks following surgery when you are prohibited from putting basically any weight on your operated leg presents a special set of circumstances. On the one hand, you are tired and recovering and need a lot of sleep and are happy to hang out at home. On the other hand, you have basically been in the house for six weeks straight (in my case, almost four weeks to date) and you are starting to go stir crazy. As a result, I decided to venture beyond my apartment door a few times in the last couple of days to see, what the kids these days call, the outside.

Yesterday I went for my disability evaluation with the MTA Access-a-Ride paratransit program (http://www.mta.info/nyct/paratran/guide.htm). Basically, its an on-demand alternative to standard public transportation which, if I am deemed eligible, I could use to get to my appointments and even to work since wheelchair accessible public transit is not really an option where I live.

The evaluation required that I use an Access-a-Ride bus to visit the evaluation center.20130108-184503.jpg20130108-184531.jpg

In the wheelchair and used the lift to get into the bus.  Once onboard, I was SHOCKED (see shocked face) by how many cables and belts they used to make sure I did not roll around.

20130108-184511.jpgMy friend Dave helped push me around in the wheelchair.  I am really bad with the wheelchair, like bad enough that the nice lady at the evaluation center suggested I take lessons.  I get stuck in corners, a lot.  I always think of that scene in Austin Powers where he tries to do a three point turn and gets stuck in the hallway.  At least I can laugh — otherwise it would be tragic.

I’ll hear within 21 days whether I’m eligible for service. Fingers crossed!

My husband and I realized that it had been a long time since we’d taken our dog to the park to run around so on Saturday we bundled up like crazy and Guy wheeled all the way to Fort Greene Park so that Boris could play with his buddies.

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After all of that activity, it was nice to have a visit from my husband’s Aunt Margaret and cousin Elaine.

20130108-184632.jpgThey were so kind and brought pastries, bagels and a cake.  We relaxed for a while — it has been so nice to have visitors.  Since my energy is still FAR lower than it used to be and since my mobility is basically non-existent, I have appreciated that people have been willing to stop by.

 

Next big adventure?  I am weening myself off of Tramadol and onto only Tylenol and Aleve.  Oh, my life is full…