I wanted to write about this while it was still fresh in my mind. Let's me just say that the first week sucked. You no longer have the IV pain medication when you need it and for me the pain pills didn't always work. Before leaving the hospital, I had 2 PT lessons. One was learning how to walk the other was learning how to master the stairs and 1 OT lesson that showed me how to put my socks on with the grabber and sock glove. Honestly, I could of used a few more OT lessons teaching me how to live life without going over the 100 degree angle. For those not familiar, after a PAO surgery, you can not go over the 100 degree angle so that the area can heal correctly. It's not really as easy as it sounds. Things like bending over, getting up from a chair, sofa, or toilet can all put you over the 100 degree angle.
I knew moving would be painful, so I moved as little as possible, but made sure I walked and did my exercises every hour. I also knew that I would be fully dependent on my husband to take care of me so patience for us both was needed. Him, to figure out what made me most comfortable and for me to understand that there is no manual on how to take care of your wife. Actually, I think we managed fairly well the first week. I was fed, when I moved locations, my belongings followed me, and I got lots of hugs and kisses.
The little, little people in my home were also super helpful. They were great at grabbing ice packs or throwing trash away or picking up things that I dropped. Having the grip and grab was also a life saver. I have 2 and they stay in the rooms that I am mostly in. I really should have 3, one for my bedroom, kitchen, and living room.
I also slept a lot the first week. This wasn't the get comfortable and maybe fall asleep kind of sleep. This was nod off where ever I was at, drooling on the couch kind of sleep. I would just topple over in the middle of talking. I could sleep through anything which I actually did. Kids were home on Veterans day and there I was, fast asleep on the couch with 3 boys and 1 girl screaming through the house. Thanks to Super Dad, he kept everything under control while Mommy was passed out on the couch from surgery and pain pills. Here's to a new look at suburb Mom's.
What surprised me the first week was the area of my pain. It was more in my glutes and lower back than the top of my thigh area. I tried to get in to see my dry needle therapist, but unfortunately I needed a new script due to surgery. I tried to get my home PT to send a copy of my script to his office, but because of insurance reasons they were not able to. Thankfully, I was able to see my PT Hip Specialist since I was seeing him under a different script. He was able to gently manipulate my lower back and hips. He did say that I would continue to have problems with this until my muscles gain strength due to the weight of the screws and my immobility to move or stretch in certain positions due to the 100 degree rule. Bonus, he gave me some extra exercises that I can do to help decrease the pain that does not effect my range of motion
Because of this, I will be asking my surgeon for a new script to that will cover both my PT Hip Specialist and Dry Needle Therapist. They want me off of pain pills and the sure fire way for me to do that is to receive PT that works. This I know because that's how I managed to get by with minimal pain medication prior to surgery. As for home PT, I don't know if I will keep them. They are following the surgeons guidelines to a tea and I believe I would receive more of a benefit seeing the specialist that kept me moving with their . With the help of my husband, I can do the assigned exercises at home.
The after surgery swelling has gone down immensely. Although I brought clothes that were one size big for after surgery, I ended up having to wear my super stretchy pajama pants because I swelled up to almost a size 14. I thank my decreased swelling to my BioMat, which is a full size FAR infra red heating pad that helps to stimulate the body in many ways. Another blog on that to come, but in the meantime here is the link to the companies web page Richway BioMat Professional. I also took Arnica pills daily to help with swelling.
So, to recap week one, I slept a lot, tried to manage pain. I used both heat and ice to increase comfort. I was able to sleep in bed with lots of pillows. My recliners were a definite bonus during the day. Learning how to move without going over 100 degrees was one of my major challenges along with learning how to move with crutches/walker. Sorry no pics... unless the hubbi took a Mommy passed out on pain pills picture that I don't know about.