Thursday, July 31, 2014

THR +27

July 31, 2014

I had more problems sleeping last night. The apartment was stiflingly hot. Even with a fan and no sheets, I couldn't get comfortable. That was compounded by my increasingly sore right shoulder and hand.

I drifted in and out of sleep until 2:30am or so and then popped an oxy. I hadn't taken any on Wednesday, so I felt no guilt. Soon, I was sleeping like a baby.

I woke up at 6 feeling fairly refreshed. I could have slept longer if it was darker. I really don't like these long northern days.

So from now on, I'm going to take one oxy before going to bed. That's 7 fewer tabs than I'm allowed so I doubt I'll become addicted. Once I'm off the crutch, the shoulder and hand pain should go away. I hope.

The day ahead: I have to finish some work, meet an old JHR colleague for lunch and work on the documentary Kickstarter. Busy, but not crazy.

UPDATE:

I got all my work done and took a break in the afternoon for a couple of patio pints.

It was another hot day, and the apartment was brutal. I managed to stay up until 11 before crashing. I took an oxy about an hour before going to bed. I managed to sleep until 2am and then had a fitful sleep after that.

The leg was fine. The shoulder was brutal. I need a solution.

Exercise: ~10 blocks, 10 flights of stairs

-30-

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

THR +26

July 30, 2014

Finally a decent sleep! I only woke up once and I could have slept longer, but I had to get up and work.

I did take an oxy before going to sleep, so perhaps that's the answer. I was also very tired, so that too could be the answer.

Lots of work to get done today. Plus laundry. Plus more grocery shopping.

No pain this morning, but my lower leg remains tight and tingly.

UPDATE (5:30pm):

I managed to get two loads of laundry done and did a trip on foot to the grocery store. Also, I bought some apple cider for cooling purposes. It's an oven in here.

I got some work done -- finished and submitted one piece (a 25 image gallery). Tonight I will work on and hopefully finish another one. Don't feel like it though.

Exercise: 42 flights of stairs (trips to laundry!) and 10+ blocks.

Also: the business cards for the documentary project arrived!

The new cards!
Interested in knowing more? Visit: deadburiedforgotten.com.  

-30-

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

THR +25

July 29, 2014

The fear of clots gone, I'm finding myself my much more relaxed. I'm still sleeping poorly due to the inability to get comfortable. Overnight I woke up twice but still managed about 7 restless hours.

The calf is still swollen and tender but there is no real pain in my hip. I didn't take any oxy last night and don't plan to today. I did discover that I shouldn't be drinking grapefruit juice while taking my blood thinner -- whoops. I'll stop that.

Most of the pain I have is my right shoulder and hand. Hopefully that goes away once I'm off the crutches.

I have much work to do today plus I need to get groceries. And maybe do laundry. Busy day ahead.

LATER:

So, I did a bunch of work. Picked up some groceries. Had a pint with an old college pal. And worked some more.

I'm knackered. And sore. And took my first oxy of the day at 10:30pm.

The apartment is an oven again... sleep may be difficult.

Exercise: 8 blocks, 20 flights of stairs

-30- 

Monday, July 28, 2014

THR +24

July 28, 2014

It was a rough night. I couldn't get comfortable (or sleep) and had to take an oxy around 3am. The skin on my operated leg remains tight and tender -- although the swelling was down when I got up (5:30).

The apartment is quite toasty, even at this early hour. There's no wind and even the fan is ineffective. Also, it's not going to get better:

Oh, to have some cool rain!

Despite my fears, HandyDart arrived on time at carried me up to Mount St. Joe's for an ultrasound. I had a 9:15am appointment and was getting scoped in no time. It was a painful procedure as there were times the tech had to really push the sensor into my leg.

After it was done, the tech said things looked fine -- no clots. But she had to consult with a physician. A few minutes later she came back with the thumbs up.

I then had to return to admitting where they insisted another doctor had to look at the results before I could leave. An hour later, I finally got the 30 second sign-off.

I was now late for a scheduled brunch with former CTV weekend news crew. I walked up to Broadway and hopped a bus to Commercial. Then walked from Commercial Station to Cafe du Soleil where everyone was waiting.

After brunch, a couple of us went to the Nerd Bar (Storm Crow Tavern) for afternoon pints of cider.  Some future options were raised, including me moving to Toronto. Hmm.

After all that activity, it was time to head home for a long nap. Then some writing work. Then another nap. Then some TV (the BBC series Shetland). Then finally, at 10, sleep.

Exercise: ~20 blocks, 10 flights

-30-

Sunday, July 27, 2014

THR +23

July 27, 2014

Morning has broken. Via Katkam.ca
A beautiful Sunday morning and I'm concerned. Concerned about my leg and possible blood clots.

After a fairly decent sleep, I'm up early to get ready to go to the walk-in clinic for 9. The leg is tender but there is no swelling (I elevated it overnight). It does seem warmer than the non-operated leg, but there is no redness.

So who knows? The doctor, hopefully.

My rib pain has returned. Not really pronounced, but every once in a while there's a hint of it. Odd.

And my left calf threatened to cramp this morning. It didn't, but that's a scary thought.

I'm worried. But I've been worried before. And in a couple of hours, I'll know whether I'm being paranoid or if there actually is something wrong.

Cross those fingers and toes.

Before I forget, here's a picture from yesterday (July 26, 2014 / THR +22):

22 days post surgery. July 26, 2014. Photo: Steve Mc.
UPDATE:

Little was resolved at the walk-in clinic. The doctor agreed that I was showing some symptoms and that I needed to get things checked out. Unfortunately, being a Sunday, all the nearby labs were closed.

He suggested going to Emergency at a local hospital. The closest was Mt. St. Joseph's. I figured I'd give it a shot, rather than Vancouver General -- assuming it wouldn't be nearly as busy.

I walked home and called HandyTransit and was able to get a ride to the hospital (emergency!) within about 30 minutes. It only took 10 minutes to get there.

At the hospital the waiting room was dated and vacant:

Hospital waiting room: Not pretty, but pretty vacant.
In no time, the forms were filled out and I was waiting for a doctor. A nurse took some blood and the doctor came by just minutes later. He said I needed an ultrasound to see if I actually had clots. But there is no ultrasound tech on Sundays, so I have to return on Monday.

He did say that if I did have clots, the treatment would be the blood thinner I'm already taking. Likely more of it.

I was done by noon. Outside, I called HandyTransit to see if I could luck out again. The answer was no. I'd have to wait 90 minutes.

I decided to just go home. As I can't ride in a cab (too much bending), the only two options were the bus or walk. And it was too far to walk.

So I did a combo. I walked four blocks to Broadway Ave. where I caught a bus to Commercial Drive. I had a seat at the front, so it was pretty easy.

I got off at Commercial and decided to walk the rest of the way: about 15 blocks. I got home tired, but feeling good. More exercise!

And now I wait for tomorrow...

Exercise: ~30 blocks, 20 flights of stairs

-30-

Saturday, July 26, 2014

THR +22

July 26, 2014

I woke up twice overnight. The second time around 4:30 or so. I had a hell of a time getting back to sleep. Eventually I did, sleeping until 6:30am. I tried to sleep with my operated leg elevated.

I took an oxy before going to bed, but it was the only one on Friday.

The operated leg is still tender but the swelling has gone down substantially (this morning, anyway -- it always gets worse). No changes in bruising. But the skin is tight and tender to the touch.

UPDATE

This afternoon I met up with Steve McC, a former CTV colleague. We went for a short stroll, stopping to watch some bicycle polo and other Commercial Drive craziness.

Then we hit The Red Pagoda (Vietnamese) for lunch and a beer. Then we grabbed a table on the deck at Fet's and watched the world go by. And talked about the media. And travel.

Plus, all of the above was done with one crutch! And a backpack stuffed with pillows to sit on.

I came home and had a nap, with my feet up. The swelling and tingling had returned to my operated leg. I've done some more reading and I've got some mild concerns that this might be symptomatic of a clot. Now, the physio therapist said to worry only if it got worse. It hasn't. If anything, the swelling is down overall.

But, I'm concerned enough that I'm going to pop into the neighbourhood walk-in clinic Sunday morning just to be sure.

Turning to weather: the sun is back and the apartment is an oven again. At least the days are getting shorter and there is a bit of a breeze. Thankfully, I have two fans running in the sleeping area.

Exercise: approx 16 blocks + 20 flights of stairs (2 walks). And physio, of course.

-30-

Friday, July 25, 2014

THR +21

July 25, 2014

Today marks three weeks since I went under the knife. The actually anniversary hour is around 1pm.

To say that I'm shocked at the speed of my recovery is an understatement. I thought it would be fast, based on all the reading, video watching and conversations I'd had. But not this fast.

I'm finally getting relatively decent sleeps -- although I still wake up early (today: 5:30am). The pain is minimal -- with the exception of tight skin due to swelling and some tingling in the leg. But no real pain. And certainly not like before.

I'm able to stand unassisted (and have been for a while). I am now down to using one crutch -- although that puts strain on my poor shoulder and hand. The incision still looks nasty but it's clean and healing. It's definitely not subtle!

I've upped water intake, exercises and rests. Today I'll go for a walk to the bank. The funny thing is now, I have no hesitation to go anywhere. Whereas pre-surgery, the thought of walking a block filled me with despair. That's how bad the pain was.

Now, I'm not kidding myself. There's still a long road ahead. LOTS more physio, and at least 11 more weeks of restricted movements.  I won't be driving for a while, but I should be able to hit the gym in August. Swimming will follow, I hope.

But I've adjusted to all the restrictions and I'm happy that I can actually get out and move again. 

Once I'm past the three month mark, the next project begins: dropping 40 lbs by Christmas. I'll do that by exercising and juicing once or twice a day.

But for now, no dieting. I need my food energy.

Time for physio/a nap/water... 

UPDATE #1

Ran errands. 10 blocks walked. 10 flights of stairs.

UPDATE #2

Spent the evening watching the ITV series Broadchurch. Pain was low, but it is still very hard to get comfortable in any position.

Crashed around 10.

-30-

Thursday, July 24, 2014

THR +20

July 24, 2014

7:15am

Last night's sleep wasn't bad. I slept fairly solidly but woke up twice. Each time it was hard to get back to sleep. I kept my operated leg elevated on a pillow -- so blood clots don't kill me!

Getting up (around 6:30) was tough. Despite the oxy last night, I was stiff and sore. The swelling was down, but the leg hurt. After a bit of movement, things improved. I also popped an oxy (first morning one in a long time). Relief isn't immediate: it takes about an hour to kick in. Perhaps the stiffness was from all of yesterday's activities.

Today's agenda is fairly full: I've got to get some groceries and vitamins. I have to finish a Shaw piece. And I'm meeting up with my co-producer to work on the Kickstarter campaign for Dead, Buried, Forgotten. And after that we're meeting up with a Global (TV) buddy for a drink at the Nerd Bar.

However, the rain is still falling, so that may mean delaying the trip for groceries. We'll see.

 From KatKam.ca - Rain, rain, go away!

UPDATE:

Well, the rains let up and out of the house I went. First to meet up with a couple of pals at the Storm Crow Tavern (aka Nerd Bar) which is just a block from my house. Then to Fet's for some whiskey and lunch.

It was the first day I left the house with just one crutch. I brought along my backpack stuffed with pillows so that I had something to sit on (my hips have to be 2" higher than my knees).

After lunch, it was off to get groceries and actually carry a bag. No problem at all.

I'd say I'm now officially on one crutch.

The heat is supposed to arrive tomorrow and stick around for a while. I think I'll get out and do some walking/errands. Having one arm free will make all the difference in the world.

Now, if I could just get the swelling under control!

-30-

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

THR +19

July 23, 2014
6:30am

Finally -- a decent sleep. And on my back, no less.

I retired early last night, taking an oxy about an hour before hitting the sheets. Worked a treat! Solid sleep with one trip to the baƱo in the middle of the night. Not much pain -- even the shoulder cooperated.

I did roll out of bed early, though. Something like 5:30am. But I love like this time of day and it gives me hours to get ready for physio at noon.

Speaking of which: it's supposed to rain like hell today, but so far... nada. Hopefully the rains hold off until I'm back home this afternoon. It'll make the trip downtown much easier. And drier.

Katkam.ca - July 23, 2014 @ 6:30am. No rain yet!

I find I'm stronger every day, although my calf (operated leg) remains tender to the touch and there is some numbness in the thigh. I'll be asking about that today.

My diminished appetite seems to be gone too. This is good and bad. Good, because food is important for recovery. Bad, because the next goal is to drop at least 40 lbs by Christmas. If I can't exercise yet, then I'll really have to watch the intake. I don't want to gain a bunch, just to have to lose it again. I have my juicer, so I may start juicing 1 or 2 meals a day. There's a fresh veggie market a couple of blocks away -- so perhaps I'll start going out every morning for fresh ingredients to juice.

I'm eating more wheat as well. I have a bit of a gluten issue (I get intolerant if I consume too much). But it's helpful in keeping the system flushed. The oxy and blood thinner were stopping me up.

UPDATE:

Physiotherapy Day!

HandyDart picked me up at the pre-scheduled time. That went well. For $2.75 I was delivered directly to the physio's office downtown.

Physio was fine. The PT said things are progressing nicely and I'm doing well. However, he was concerned with the swelling in my leg and bruising in my calf. He told me that I have to elevate my leg several times a day (which I hadn't been doing, other than at night). He also said to continue with the same exercises, just increase the amount. He did some electroshock stuff, too.

I return in a month.

Getting home was a bit of an issue. First, I'd scheduled HandyDart for 3pm even though physio ended around 2pm (my mistake). That meant I had to amuse myself downtown for an hour. I ended up at Tim Horton's for a coffee and sandwich. I sat outside watching the waves of people trying their best to avoid the heavy rain.

At 3, I received a call from a taxi. When HandyDart gets busy, they send cabs. When booking, the customer tells the reservation office what gear they have: wheelchair, walker, crutches, etc. So, knowing that I just had crutches they sent a cab.

It was not fun.

I struggled to get into the front seat (I'm not allowed to bend past 90 degrees, cross my legs or twist). I'm sure I did all three. At one point I thought I'd dislocated the new joint.

After major effort, I managed to get in. It was awful, and next time I use HandyDart I'll tell them that I can't do cars. Yet.

Once home, the day returned to normal. I had planned to go out with some CTV pals, but it was pouring -- and I can't hold an umbrella when using crutches. Plus I wear sandals because they're way easier to put on the swollen foot. So, going out in the rain means getting soaked.  

I ended up doing some Shaw work, more exercises and generally took it easy. I elevated my foot for a while and went to bed early. I took a single oxy (the only one of the day) just before bed.

Exercise: 4 downtown city blocks, 10 flights of stairs

-30-

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

THR +18

July 22, 2014

I had a weird sleep last night.

After boring myself with some television, I went to bed quite tired around 10pm. I had to get up several times because I forgot to turn off lights, etc. Then it took forever to get comfortable. Even though my shoulder hadn't been bugging me earlier in the day, it sure was when I got into bed. I finally drifted off around 10:30.

I woke up in the middle of the night, or so I thought. It was only midnight. I had to go to the bathroom, which I did. And by the time I got back into bed, my shoulder was even worse. I popped an oxy.

Next thing I know I woke up at 8:20! I never sleep in that late. Guess I needed it.

There isn't much on the agenda, so that's fine. I see a relaxing day of laundry and writing ahead.

***

UPDATE [10:45pm] 

I spent the day doing exactly what I had planned: laundry and writing. Watched some of the BBC series Sherlock (end of season three). Not much else.

I'm trying to increase my water intake -- so I created a chart to tick off every time I drink 450ml. I managed four today.

I didn't take any oxy all day, but popped one about an hour ago to aid with sleeping.

As for exercise: just 16 flights of stairs and my physio.

Big day ahead Wednesday... best crash.

-30- 

Monday, July 21, 2014

THR +17

July 21, 2014

That was better.

Yesterday I stayed home and off the crutches. When it was time for bed, I found that I didn't have as much shoulder pain. I was able to get somewhat comfortable -- although I detest sleeping on my back (and sleeping on one's side isn't recommended after hip replacement).

I popped an oxy and drifted off around 10am. I slept solid until around 2, when I woke up and felt uncomfortable. I fell asleep again, and then woke up at 4:30. I decided to just get up.

Around 5am, there was a message from a friend of mine in Halifax with that bad news that a former Global Halifax colleague had passed on. Cancer. Boo.

***

On the agenda today: coffee with CBC pal Bob Nixon at 8:30. Then the hunt for a physio therapist/clinic. I've also got a piece to finish for Shaw (which is all but done and not due until tomorrow).

And that's life at 5:56am.

***

I met former-CBC colleague Bob Nixon for coffee at Joe's on Commercial Drive here in Vancouver. We sat and shot the breeze for a couple of hours. It was very nice to visit with someone!  I hard to stuff my backpack with pillows so that I had a riser to sit on. My hips have to be 2" higher than my knees. We went for a short stroll, too. Bob was surprised that my pronounced limp is now gone. Hurray!

Then I came home, took the garbage out -- using carabiners to attach the garbage bags to my belt!

Then made an appointment for physio (downtown) on Wednesday. Which means I had to then book rides with HandyDart (Vancouver's HandyTransit service). Sounds like I'll be doing a lot of waiting.

I should be able to travel on the bus once I'm down to one crutch or a cane. And that isn't far off.

A good day. So far. :)

Exercise: 18 flights of stairs, 6 city blocks


Sunday, July 20, 2014

THR +16

July 20, 2014
6:45am

I was so tired last night that I didn't even make it to 10pm. The sky was still pink when I rolled into bed, groaning as I tried to find the sweet spot. There isn't one, of course. Getting in and out of bed is the worst. Trying to get comfortable is the second worst -- mostly because of my sore shoulder (crutch effect?). Sitting also sucks, but not nearly as much.

The one thing I look forward to: comfort.

I didn't take any oxy before going to bed, and paid the price. I woke up several times and had a shit sleep until sometime after 4am. I also dreamt of San Pedro. The pool. Floating it it. COMFORT!

The Pool That Is No More

I'm still having to go #1 in the middle of the night and immediately upon waking up. Before the operation, I never had to pee overnight. Hopefully this is temporary.

This morning I'm all seized up. I have a general dull pain in my leg, back and shoulder. I'm tired. It's hard to focus. Then again, it's not yet 7am on a Sunday morning.

It's raining, so hopefully that continues. I think I'll skip going anywhere today and try to keep crutch use to a minimum.  I also popped an oxy, but it'll take an hour for that to kick in.

Not a great day so far, but I'm sure I just did too much yesterday. And it's still early...

UPDATE

I spent the entire day inside. I did some physio exercises, but stayed off the crutches for the most part. I watched a movie (Rush) and some TV (Sherlock) and just basically hung out.

I crashed early -- around 10.

-30-


Saturday, July 19, 2014

THR +15

July 19, 2014

Not a great sleep last night. I stayed up late to make myself tired and sleep better, but the shoulder pain was more powerful. Even with oxycodone, it is very difficult to find a comfortable sleeping position.

That said, getting in and out of bed is finally getting easier. Which is nice.

I woke up early and I was going to skip taking oxy first thing, but the hip/leg was hurting too much. I also have to wander up to the walk-in clinic to get my staples removed. So, pain management good!

If I shoot for 9am, I can likely get in and out of the clinic quickly. If I wait until 1pm, the doctor that originally started this whole hip replacement process will be working. Hmm.

Also, I'm feeling kind of lazy.

I've finally got it out of my system with regard my frustrations with my close Vancouver friends acquaintances. As mentioned, there were lots of messages of support from the outer circle. But the core group (with one notable exception) basically vanished. And I'm not even talking about looking for offers of assistance. I'm talking about simple emails/messages/texts. Things like "hope the operation went well" etc. But nothing. Radio. Silence.

Maybe I'm not over it!

Anyway, I put a bit of a blast on Facebook yesterday. Then I went and defriended those I expected more from. Perhaps that was the problem: expectations. But it's funny how people in Guatemala can take a few minutes to Skype me to see how things went when people I've known for almost 20 years here in Vancouver can't be bothered to send a text.

Wow, I guess I'm not over it!

Right. So I won't mention it again, until I can finally leave Vancouver once and for all. I just need to complete my recovery and get rid of the crap in storage.

I reckon it's time for a vat of coffee.

Nom!

6PM UPDATE

Finally got the staples out. It went well and was relatively painless. Doctor said the incision looks great. I did have to make two trips to the clinic, however -- the first time I went I was told there would be a 2 hour wait. So I went home for a while.

Which means I walked a total of 16 blocks and climbed 20 flights of stairs.

But that's not all... I have to run out and get some cheddar! I'm craving a grilled cheese sandwich!

7:45PM UPDATE

The closest market was closed so I had to walk 8 blocks to get my cheese. And climb 10 flights of stairs.

So: 24 blocks/30 flights.

Knackered!!!

-30-

Friday, July 18, 2014

THR +14

July 18, 2014

MORNING REPORT:

Today marks two weeks since my surgery. Crazy. I'm much improved and caught myself at one point last night walking without crutches. I think I might try using just one crutch today. I don't want to push things, but I can definitely support my weight on the operated leg. But I'm not completely confident of my balance yet.

The only thing missing so far is intense physio. I've been doing some exercises and walking, but I think I need a real action plan. I'll likely get the staples removed from my incision today. Once that's done I can set up physio for next week.

The weather has cooled a bit and there is rain in the forecast. Yay! After all the heat, it'll be nice to have a bit of a break and be comfortable in the evening/overnight.


I slept poorly again last night. The skin on my operated leg feels really tight -- which is new. And I definitely needed the oxy. My right shoulder and hand continue to be bothersome. I'll see if I can find out more from the physiotherapist next week, otherwise I'll go to the doctor and get some x-rays. It could be lingering problems from my fall at the end of May or it could be from sleeping in uncomfortable positions. It could even be from keyboarding too much.

I've got to deal with my toilet today. I'd be so nice to flush it without it overflowing.

But, after 14 days, I continue to improve and I'm shocked at how fast the recovery process is.

EVENING UPDATE:

Toilet: fixed. Non-slip stuff for tub: done.

I didn't get the staples out: I'm leaving that for Saturday.

It is so much cooler that hanging around the apartment is actually nice. I did get out for a walk, though -- all the way to the bank. And I took more garbage out! Look at me! Super Hippie!

It's funny walking around with crutches. Half the people I encounter are helpful and courteous. The other half are oblivious.

Looking at your phone and not at me coming towards you? Too bad, I'm not changing course. Stick your foot where my crutch is going? Ah well, it'll heal!

It's actually kind of fun!

Also: I wonder if the shoulder and hand pain are from leaning on the crutches too hard? Hmm. I will have to test this theory tomorrow.

Anyway, the exercise count for today: physio plus about 10 blocks and 18 flights of stairs.

And maybe tomorrow I'll post a picture of my big ass scar on my big ass!

-30-

Thursday, July 17, 2014

THR +13

July 17, 2014

I'm still finding it difficult to sleep. I just can't get comfortable -- not on my back nor my side. And forget lying on my stomach! The shoulder pain seems to flare up too. I definitely need to take my oxy in order to make it through the night.

It was a cool night, thankfully -- so I did get some sleep.

The hip is tight and sore this morning. I'm going to attempt doing laundry solo. I also have to go to the hardware store for some no-slip stuff for the tub. My fear of falling is huge!

I'll do all the above on my own, of course. If I don't, no one else will. 

That's is as of 7:40am.

UPDATE (9:30pm):

What a shit show!

So, the morning was derailed when my toilet overflowed. I flushed and the "water" rose and rose and rose. Up and over the lid, onto the porous floor. I grabbed as many towels as I could to try and soak up the "water" before gravity pulled it down into the suite(s) below.

It's hard to wipe up a floor of "water"when you can't bent or twist. But I did, then threw the towels into a big garbage bag.

I went down to check on the suite below, but no one was home. I left a note and crossed my fingers.

Then I did not one, but two loads of laundry -- the load I'd planned to do, plus the bonus load of soaked towels. Ugh.

A little later the landlord's son popped by. He said some water made it all the way to the 1st floor. I'm on the 3rd. He wasn't mad, but he wasn't helpful either. He figured the toilet would fix itself.

Right.

We pulled the cover off the tank and I tried flushing slowly by holding on to the valve. The water flowed into the bowl and kept rising. Not good.

I asked if he had a plunger. He went off to find one, returned empty handed and said he had other stuff to do. And off he went...

After all the laundry was done, I showered and headed over to the local hardware store. I bought some non-slip strips for the tub and a funky plunger.

After a few attempts at plunging, I'm still a little afraid of testing the system with a flush. I think I'll leave that for tomorrow. Can't have too much excitement in one day!

Exercise: walked 8 blocks, climbed 42 (!) flights of stairs.

-30-

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

THR +12

July 16, 2014

The latter part of Tuesday was great. Got together with an old pal and we visited a couple of watering holes on The Drive. It was nice to have someone mule my big foam pad -- which allows me to sit in regular chairs (I have to keep my hips 2" above my knees). The pad is high density foam, meaning that it's not very soft/comfortable. But, it's nice to get out and sit! Until this point all my excursions have involved standing at a bar.

The apartment was hot as hell again, but I moved the a into the "bedroom" (which is little more than a mattress tossed on a pullout couch in the kitchen). This made a huge difference and I was actually cold enough to reach for a blanket. Needless to say, I had a much better sleep.

I'm still suffering from a sore right shoulder and a sore right hand. Both are likely connected to my big fall at the end of May when I bruised my ribs. I think the constant use (of the hand, especially) is preventing healing. I'm going to ask the physio therapist about it. The hand doesn't hurt a lot, but it is tender and one of the fingers is fairly weak. Tendon issues, methinks.

The hip is about the same. I had a ton of swelling yesterday -- both the left foot and left leg. It was so hard to get my sandal on my left foot that my metal extended shoe horn (which I have to use so I don't bend) bent! It took 20 minutes and an awful lot of patience swearing to get the sandal on my left foot. Not fun. I'm not sure what I'll do today.

The wound is all healed now. Staples come out on Friday. And then it's off to physio. Not sure how I'll get there -- likely HandyTransit.

I'm feeling pretty good. There's not a lot of pain, but there is a fair amount of stiffness if I sit in one spot for too long. The swelling is usually gone in the morning, but increases throughout the day. There's some tingling. All normal, say the experts.

I still don't have much of an appetite. I had a disappointing dry chorizo sausage in a dry bun Tuesday at a place called Falconetti's on Commercial Drive. The drinks were good, but the restaurant had a fly problem and the server had an attitude problem. Needless to say, we didn't stick around. It was expensive too. $13 for what was basically a hotdog. Live and learn! We ended up at The Storm Crow Tavern for the rest of the evening.

Today's goals: home physio. A couple of walks (if I can get my shoes on). And some writing work. But first: a pot of coffee!

UPDATE: Got my work done and escaped the house. Not a far walk -- maybe 5 blocks in total plus the 10 flights of stairs. Picked up some groceries. No pain when I started, lots of pain now. Odd.

Ah well...

-30-

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

THR +11

July 15, 2014

Another brutal sleep thanks to living in an apartment/oven during a heat wave. Also, sleeping is difficult due to much pain in my right shoulder and the inability to get comfortable.

Eventually I slept. And then woke at the crack of dawn.

SUPER grumpy today. Not happy with what we shot yesterday, plus I'm finding doing stuff so annoying. This too shall pass, but Jesus, it's difficult to get much done.

I also have no tolerance for things like loose arms on my glasses. And dirty lenses. Think I can tighten them? No. Think I can clean them? No -- despite gallons of cleaner.

I HATE GLASSES. 

If I don't get a decent night's rest soon, I'm going to loose my shit.

The hip is fine, if stiff. Pain is low, but I still need the Oxy if to get in/out of bed. And to sit. And for pretty much everything requiring movement.

The big challenge today: take the garbage out. This means 10 flights of stairs, three doors and a locked trash bin. I've tied a string around the garbage bag and will wear it down.

Nice.

Yeah, I'm grumpy.

UPDATE: Walked 13 blocks, 10 flights of stairs.

-30-

Monday, July 14, 2014

THR +10

July 14, 2014

A bad sleepless night.

So, Vangroovy is in the midst of a heatwave. When it's 25 by the water, you know it's 30+ inland. And 40 in my apartment. There are few clouds and zero wind.

My apartment faces west, so I get the full furnace effect from about 2pm through sunset (9:30ish).

Even with fans, the place doesn't cool off until the wee hours.

Not good for sleeping.

Case in point: last night. At 1am the airport temp was still 22. I lay atop my sheets, sweating, stiff and in pain. I broke down and took an Oxy. And I just took another (6am) because the pain/stiffness is still with me.

Perhaps I sat working too much yesterday? I don't have a lot of options. I have to work and both sitting and lying down are uncomfortable. If only there was a zero-G switch around here somewhere.

Busy day ahead. Some brutally slow cleaning. In home physio at 11. Shoot for the documentary (Kickstarter video) this afternoon. And another written piece due for Thur (though I won't likely do much today). Also I have to remove my dressing and perhaps apply another. I'll ask the PT about that.

Overall, things are pretty good. Same complaints: stiffness, some pain, general tiredness, lack of patience when I keep dropping stuff. But we're 10 days in, and miles ahead!

LATER

I had in-home physio this morning. That went well. Answered all my questions and made me feel a lot better.

Then it was off to shoot stuff for the Kickstarter. Done and done.

A few pints on the way back to the oven/apartment was a wonderful break.

Total walkage: 16 blocks (about 2km) and 10 flights of stairs.

Knackered!

Sunday, July 13, 2014

THR +9

July 13, 2014

Weird dreams and pain. That pretty much sums up last night. Also very uncomfortable -- not the hip, but the shoulder, back, etc. What I would give to float in a pool.

As soon as I'm more stable, I'm going to join Britannia Fitness Centre, which is just a few blocks away. They've got a pool and a gym. I need to start floating and riding a stationary bike.

This summer isn't just about recovering from the hip replacement, I must drop 40 or so pounds by the end of the year.

I'm looking forward to the day when sitting and lying down are actually comfortable.

UPDATE:

Early afternoon: Walked 10 blocks, 10 flights of stairs (appx 1.25km)

-30- 

Saturday, July 12, 2014

THR +8

July 12, 2014

A week ago I woke up in a drug induced stupor. The last thing I remembered was the anesthesiologist administering, with some difficulty, my epidural.

Lying in the hospital bed, I was completely zonked. But the toes on my operated leg wiggled and I could feel the nurse's touch. Good signs, all.

And so, the hip replacement was done.

Fast forward to today. I'm still a little confused by the physio process (there wasn't much guidance other than a list of exercises, half of which I can't yet do). And I'm still taking 15-20g of oxycodone and a blood thinner every day. But a PT is coming to visit on Monday. And I think I can start backing off on the drugs soon.

I've been out walking. I've climbed the many stairs to my apartment. And I've been living with zero assistance for a few days now. I'm disappointed by the lack of contact from my Vancouver "friends" (all but a few and no phone calls or visits), but this is more than made up by the concern shown via email and Skype from real friends in Winnipeg, Halifax and San Pedro. Some facing battles much more onerous than my little hip replacement.

Of course, my business partner went above and beyond for several days before and after surgery. Many beers are owed.

I'm a little frustrated today. Mostly by things like sheets bunching up and coming off the bed (argh!) and constantly dropping things (bah!). And I'm tired of being inside and feeling like I have a log for a left hip.

But I am a million times better than a week ago. The pain is far less than I'd anticipated. And life is actually pretty easy. Except showering. Showering sucks. I'd like to pitch my tub transfer bench out the window! Also the bath mat that slips in the tub.

Being self-employed means that I've got to get back to work this weekend. It's been an awesome break (just a week), but I need to make enough money to at least break even in this most expensive of Canadian cities.

I'm not long for Vancouver. You can't eat the view, and with the death of my industry, I can't afford to live here. Which is fine, because there are places I'd much rather be. Places that are affordable and people offer a little support.

And so, things are pretty good. I'm looking forward to more healing and then, come the end of October, chasing the next adventure. There will be a garage sale!

UPDATE 8:16pm

Walked three blocks, 10 flights of stairs on crutches. Shopped a little, too. Had to ask strangers for help. Ooooh!


Friday, July 11, 2014

THR +7

ONE WEEK!

Small gains. Sleeping well. Pain manageable. Took an oxy at 4 am, woke up with far less pain.

- walked 4 blocks
- climbed 10 flights of stairs
- minimal physio
- swelling similar, perhaps down a tad
- general pain level low
- feel good
- poor appetite 

-30- 

Thursday, July 10, 2014

THR +6

Thursday, July 10, 2014

- pain low but hip felt like a log this morning
- very frustrating having to do multiple trips because I can't carry much
- physio schedule confusing
- walked to pharmacy/bar - about 2 city blocks and 10 flights of stairs

-30-

Wednesday, July 09, 2014

THR + 5

Wednesday
July 9, 2014

- Overnight was OK. 
- Woke up in higher than normal pain (6)
- took Oxy and blood thinner at 7:30
- bathroom stuff good
- evening was good
- hard to get in/out of bed
- pain low until the oxy wears off
- cramping in good leg

-30-


Tuesday, July 08, 2014

THR + 4

July 8, 2014

Pain: 5

First morning in the Salsbury Drive place. Previous night was difficult (showering was particularly challenging -- read: tantrum).

Today... hard as hell to get out of bed. Leg seized up. Took 2 x Oxy (don't think I've had any for almost 24 hours). Two uses of the bed pan.

8am - 2 x 5 mg Oxy, 1 x 10 mg blood thinner

- Started physio - OUCH

- Still lots of pain going from seated to standing position. Ice helps.

- 6pm - 10 mg oxy

- First successful shower

- Crashed @ 10.

-- 30 --