Monday, March 12, 2012

Six weeks post op

My how things have changed in six short weeks (although it's felt like forever to me).
I'm not using the walker at all now, not even at night.
In fact, even the cane seems to be holding me back sometimes, but I know that I will still need it for a few weeks yet.  My physiotherapist will tell me when I can abandon the cane altogether.
Some movements still cause me difficulty, a low crouch being one.  It's very difficult to get up from too low a crouch without assistance.  Last week we went to Chapters and while there, I had to go to the washroom (my famous thimble-sized bladder).  Turns out their toilets are way lower than standard (funny, I never noticed that before).  Fortunately, there's a grab bar on the wall that I was able to use to help me get up.  Otherwise, I might still be there!
On Saturday night, we went to the Awards Dinner at John's gun club (it was delayed until then so that I could attend -- a sweet gesture, I thought).  As I left the table to head to the washroom, I said to my friend, "If I'm not back in 30 minutes, it means I'm stuck on the toilet.  Come and rescue me please."  We had a good chuckle about the difficulty getting off toilets in some establishments.  (She told me about a friend of hers with bad knees who in fact was held captive in a restaurant until her friends noticed her long absence and went looking for her.)
As we were leaving that evening, a very odd exchange took place.  One of the wives, who was also walking with a cane, approached me and asked, "Do you use your cane on the side of the bad leg or the good leg?"  I did not know this woman and she did not introduce herself.
"Opposite the bad leg side," I replied. 
She went on to explain that her mother-in-law (or was it her mother?) insists on using her cane on the bad leg side.
"Dr. House deliberately uses his cane on the wrong side," I commented.
And then she walked away.
I found the whole exchange very bizarre and bordering on rude.  John couldn't understand why I was offended by it. 
I took her question to be coming from a place of  "I see you're using a cane and just want to make sure you're using it correctly."  I mean, did she seriously think that the physiotherapists would have instructed me to use the cane incorrectly?
I just figured that if she wanted to tell me about her mother-in-law's bizarre use of the cane (and I have to wonder why she wanted me to know that?), she might have opened the conversation differently.  And frankly, truth be known, in the ten years that I've been walking with a cane, I've often used it on the "bad leg side."  I can understand her mother-in-law's preference for doing so, especially if she's right handed and the left leg is her bad one.  But she has to know that she won't get proper support from the cane by using it thusly.  If that woman was looking for allies in her effort to convince her mother-in-law how to properly use a cane, the internet is full of instructional information.
Anyway, I enjoyed the evening immensely.
What a pleasure it was to be able to socialize and sit through a meal without pain!
Then I spent that night in agony.  I should have taken a painkiller on my way to bed because I suffered big time, all night long.
My hips and legs were burning almost like the old days.  Obviously, I'm not ready for prime time yet.
So yesterday was a day of R&R to recover from the abuse of the evening before.
And it must have worked.  Last night, without benefit of painkiller, I managed eight and a half hours of very restful sleep.
I'm loving this business of being able to sleep on my left side!

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