Week 1: Adaptation and Elevation

Week 1 was a challenge but was actually not as bad as I thought it would be.  My hip and knee started getting very sore from the weight of my cast but when I felt confident enough to crutch around with it behind me instead of stiffly held out front, that eased off.  I was drinking SO MUCH WATER.  I don’t know if that’s a side effect of the surgery but I think this is the only time in my life I actively craved it.  I had some throbbing and some aches.  The cast pulled on my sutures a little and my staples but at worst I think the pain was a 3.  The only really bad pain I had was some hypnic jerks at night where I felt like I was falling and would wake up to  a tensed ankle and similar to surgery level pain (5-6) for just a hot second.  It made me scared to sleep for the first few days but eventually went away.  I ended up sleeping with my leg not elevated (GASP) and it was fine.

I elevated all day every day aside from bathroom breaks.  I would have iced my leg but because I wasn’t given one at checkout I spaced it off for a while.  Luckily my swelling was basically nonexistent when my leg was elevated.  I did get kind of stiff and uncomfortable from being on the couch so often so I made sure I crutched around a little every few hours at least to the bathroom or kitchen.  I also switched to my bed once in a while for variety.  I also wiggles my toes all the time to make sure I could haha.

This may be too graphic for some readers, but going to the bathroom was and continued to be a challenge.  It was hard to wipe.  I’m not sure if that’s because I had one leg hovering, because I’m plus sized, or because of the toilet riser but I ended up getting a special stick (LMAO the indignity).  Until the stick came I was just taking a mini sponge bath after bathroom trips and using wet wipes to make sure I was actually clean.  Possibly a bidet would help? I even tried standing up but thats also dicey.

I also made sure to take a sponge bath every morning or evening.  The idea of not taking showers was pretty hard on me as an avid shower/bather.  They help with my anxiety so this was probably more important to me than many others.  I also hate having greasy hair and my hair is INTENSE.  It is long, course, and curly, and does not respond well to dry or foam shampoo.  I even went so far as to try shower caps but those are clearly made for those with thin, short hair.  I ended up wearing a lot of headbands as my hair isn’t quite long enough to put up, and pinning my bangs up.

I was weirdly chipper for the first week, mostly happy to have survived surgery and be mostly pain free.  The second night I felt like I was spinning from the pain pills so the next morning I switched to Tylenol and never looked back.  After day 4 I didn’t need even that, and only felt minor throbbing and pins and needles.  Day five BOOM DEPRESSION.  It only lasted a day haha, but the SADNESS.  When I woke up I couldn’t get off the bed.  I had been using my crutches to swing myself off of my bed and couch but it was hard.  Sometimes I would try but just fall back down.  That got old fast.

After a pity party I became productive and found some alternatives.  I slid down to the bench at the end of my bed and could stand from there.  On my couch I used the arm and back to lift myself up to the arm where I could stand on one leg from.  Sometimes anger really is a tool that helps you innovate.  My couch may never be the same haha.

Cooking was a no go.  I didn’t even try.  Pre-surgery I prepped some egg scrambles for a week’s worth of breakfasts and some frozen meals/sandwiches with lunch-meat.  This was my salvation.  Did I mention I live alone so I am mostly on my own in this regard though I have many wonderful friends who made me adorable gift boxes complete with coloring books and face masks galore.

Anyway, here are my favorite snacks :)

  • Cottage Cheese
  • Jello
  • Fruit  and granola yogurt parfaits
  • Tuna
  • Cheese
  • Bell peppers with ranch or hummus
  • Apples with peanut butter
  • Applesauce
  • Banana chips
  • White cheddar Cheetos
  • Juice boxes/water
  • Cherry tomatoes

I found a lot of independence in finding safe ways to do things I would normally do (dishes, sweeping my kitchen, food prep).  I did need help with a few things, however.  I can’t do my own laundry as mine is in my basement so I ended up prepping it all in a basket sorted and in delicate bag and had to hand that over to my mother.  I also couldn’t take the trash out but I got it bagged up and ready to go at the door.  I don’t like to ask for help but  sometimes you just have to.  I also accepted all offers of food delivery and had to have my mother bring my groceries in off the step.  She helped me reorganize my fridge shelves to make everything easy to access from the wheelchair.  I am so lucky.

One Response to “Week 1: Adaptation and Elevation”

  1. intersting
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