Sunday, August 31, 2014

THR +58

Sunday, August 31, 2014

The last day of August... and it feels like the first day of fall or West Coast winter! Cool. Dark. Rainy.
I think I'll stay inside and let her be the hero.
I think I'll stay inside. At least for now.


I'm not sure how I'm going to handle footwear given that my post-op restrictions mean I can't bend forward enough to tie my shoes.

I've worn nothing but shorts, sandals and t-shirts since the operation (July 4) -- and if the weather changes, I'm going to have to do something. Hmm.


I had a great sleep last night. Woke up a couple of times, but didn't get up until 8:15am. That's amazing!

I wonder if not eating wheat has anything to do with it?

What do I eat instead? Here's yesterday's menu:

BREAKFAST: Coffee, Corn Flakes, blueberries and banana slices

LUNCH: Crab flavoured pollock mixed with chipotle mayo and lettuce on corn tortillas

DINNER: Sushi (avacado roll, veggie roll) from Fujiya, some Argentinian wine

And today? So far:

BREAKFAST: Coffee, feta cheese and black olive omlette (2 eggs)

Also: I plan on making some Blerk™ today.


LUNCH: Sushi


- went for a short walk

- chilled out at home most of the day

- made Blerk™ with apples, beets, ginger, lemon, orange

exercise: 2km walked, 10 flights, physio 



Saturday, August 30, 2014

THR +57

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Well, the rainy weekend isn't very rainy. Yet.

Here's the view at 7:40am from the mighty KatKam:
English Bay on a early Saturday morning. Via
It feels like fall: just 14C and quite crisp. LOVE IT.

I had a good sleep last night. The operated leg still has the odd pain and some stiffness. The shoulder is OK -- but still not normal. And it feels like the rib(s) I bruised earlier this year aren't quite healed.

Ah, age.

Anyway... on today's agenda: who knows!


- I took the walker out of the tub and now I'm showering normally

- I did a bunch of errands that required 6.1km of walking including a couple of stretches without the cane

 - The rains held off

- Enjoyed a day of not having to work

- Quiet evening. Bottle of wine and some British television 

- Day 6 of no wheat

exercise: 6.1km walked,  28 flights, physio

Friday, August 29, 2014

THR +56

Friday, August 29, 2014

And... EIGHT weeks since my surgery.

It's hard to believe that much time has passed -- and how far I've come. Was I really hobbling around like an old man? Was I really using a walker? Was getting in and out of bed almost impossible?

Yup. And just weeks ago!

As per yesterday's post, recovery is coming along nicely. I still need to increase the strength of my operated leg. I'll discuss that with the physio therapist next week.

In other news: all my work is done, so I can have a few days off. Unfortunately the clouds rolled in and rain is in the forecast, but it is a long weekend after all, and that's what the weather usually does.

Today's plans included a ferry ride to Bowen Island, but given the weather, the idea is dead in the water. Better to do it on a nicer day.

That means I have a day of nothing to do. Hmm. Guess I'll read and listen to some tunes... like:


- I ended up going downtown. Walked to Skytrain. Walked around downtown. Skytrain home.

- I think it's time to add some more freelance writing/editing/screening work. Anyone got?

- Chilled out in the evening. Watched a terrific new show called You're The Worst. And finished Spooks Season 4.

- 5th day of no wheat. 

exercise: 4.16km walked, 10 fights, physio 


Thursday, August 28, 2014

THR +55

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Not a bad sleep last night, but I had to get up early as I have to be at the hospital at 7:45. I'm meeting with my surgeon to have the first follow-up. Seems like 55 days is a long time to wait, but everything is going well.

I'm a bit stiff in the operated leg. The right hand is better but the right shoulder is sore.

After the hospital, I'm planning to do a little work (mostly housekeeping) and then relax.


I used Car2Go to drive to the hospital. Easy peasy and very little traffic. Found parking right outside VGH.

The meeting with the surgeon went well. I spent more time with his assistant, but that was fine. Apparently I'm the poster child for hip replacement surgery.

The incision is all healed. My strength is good and he said I could stop using seat risers and sleep without pillows between my legs when I felt comfortable. I'm also cleared to ride a stationary bike and drive a car (heh heh).

I still have 4 more weeks of precautions to follow, but I get the impression I'm all but healed -- with the exception of soft tissue around the incision. I'll also have to keep doing physio to increase my strength.

Here's a before and after shot:
All ready to set off the metal detectors!
The only bad note? The surgeon said my right hip is showing the early signs of osteoarthritis. He said it would be years before it became a problem... and said "come back and see us then!"

Ah well. Now the next challenge: dropping 50 lbs.


Went for a stroll around the neighbourhood and ended up having a pint of cider at The Storm Crow Tavern -- and watched the world go by.
Did someone say pint? Like 20oz pint?
After the Crow it was time to head home and do physio. And then watch some more of BBC's Spooks. And then a new and pretty funny show called You're the Worst.

Another no wheat day!

exercise: 16 blocks, 20 flights, physio


Wednesday, August 27, 2014

THR +54

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

I actually had another good sleep last night, although I've still got some leg pain this morning. Maybe a short walk will help. Or make it worse. Hmm.

Not much on the agenda today other than lots of writing work. Trying to clear everything off my desk so I can have a few days off.

On another note, if you have an iPod Touch or iPhone and the "home" button suddenly stopped working... were you ever able to fix it? My iPod's home button suddenly doesn't do anything. It worked fine yesterday and nothing happened to the device.

Thankfully a virtual home button can be activated in the accessibility settings. Phew!


- worked most of the day

- got out for groceries

- relaxed in the evening

- some stiffness in the leg

- another "no wheat" day

Also: a nice sunset...
Sunset. Vancouver. August 27, 2014.
exercise: ~10 blocks, 10 flights, physio

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

THR +53

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Not a bad sleep last night, but the leg and shoulder hurt today. I'm going to take it easy -- stick around the house and work/relax.

Also, Monday was the first day off all wheat products. I'll see if I can continue that for the rest of the week.


- worked most of the day while doing laundry -- which means a lot of stair climbing

- had dinner on the drive with an old CTV chum at Fet's

exercise: 4 blocks walked (taking a break due to pain), 74 flights of stairs, physio

Monday, August 25, 2014

THR +52

Monday, August 25, 2014

Today marks seven weeks since I left the hospital. Recovery continues, but has slowed a bit.

I managed to get a good sleep last night. I took a couple of Tylenol and crashed around 11pm. I woke up at 4:30am and then around 7am. Nice!

On the agenda: I have to go to the hospital today for x-rays. Then downtown to shop. Then home to work.

I'll likely take a car share to the hospital then transit downtown/home.


- I took a car share car to the hospital. Cost: $4.60. Convenience: Priceless

- I had to go downtown, so I walked to the closest SkyTrain station and zipped downtown for $2.75.

- As the transit ticket is valid for 90 minutes, I ran my errands quickly.

- I zipped past CBC and grabbed a coffee before heading to another SkyTrain station to return to my neighbourhood.

- I walked about 15 blocks to my place from the station.

And then I worked until the early evening... and went out for yet another walk to get the important things in life: blueberries and wine!

Exercise: Walked 4.5km + 6 blocks (so, 5km?), 20 flights of stairs, physio

Sunday, August 24, 2014

THR +51

Sunday, August 24, 2014

I had a pretty decent sleep last night, but I still wake up a lot. Although I'm feeling pretty good after yesterdays 6km walk.

I'm disappointed with my weight loss. I was down 10 lbs earlier in the month, but much of that has returned. I'm not sure why. My diet is heavy with vegetables and healthy foods -- and I'm exercising more. So... I dunno.

I still plan to go off all wheat as soon as I can. That should be in a day or two -- I've still got some flour tortillas and whatnot in the fridge. I also have a million corn tortillas just waiting to be consumed...

And... I'm trying to figure out what to do today. I don't want to spend any money. I don't want to do the same walk again. But I don't want to remain inside, either.



I ended up doing some work, followed by a 4km walk, followed by a pint on the patio, followed by a couple of episodes of the BBC series Spooks.

Exhausted, I crashed around 11pm.

exercise: 4km walk, 10 flights, physio

Saturday, August 23, 2014

THR +50

August 23, 2014

Crap sleep again. Not sure why, but I just couldn't get comfortable and the operated leg was/is a bit tender. Gave up at 6:30am.

The apartment reeks from cooking onions last night. It'll be made worse when I cook halibut today!

No much on the agenda today. I'll poke away at next week's work. Maybe take the bus to the beach, but feeling lazy this morning.

The hip is a bit tender today and my shoulder has flared up. I've taken some ibuprofen to see if that helps.


Big day: point form...

- the ibuprofen seemed to work on the shoulder pain

- I went for a walk from my place to and around Trout Lake -- even through the farmers market. Far too expensive for my blood. But, I logged a 6km walk!

- Had dinner at Fet's (again!) with Don and Linda who were visiting from the Okanagan.

- The SDHC card in my point and shoot camera has gone on the blink, so no photos from the long walk.

- Crashed after midnight... fell asleep fast!

exercise: 6km walk, ~4 blocks, 30 flights, physio+

Friday, August 22, 2014

THR +49

Friday, August 22, 2014

Today marks seven weeks since I had my total hip replacement. So far so good.

But first: last night.

I went to bed around 11pm and woke up around 2am with leg cramps (thigh) in my non-operated leg. They didn't last long, but they sure hurt. I stayed up until 2:30.

After that I had a decent sleep, rolling out of the sack around 7:30am.

On the agenda: a relaxing day. There's a noon concert at CBC Vancouver. Then it's off to a patio on Commercial Drive for the afternoon.

And not much else. This is my day off.

Back to week seven:

My healing is progressing well. I do have a bit of extra pain when I overdo things, but generally the operated leg feels good.

The right shoulder feels good too, especially when I don't put too much weight on my cane whilst walking.

I'm adding new physio exercises and have noticed that my operated leg remains weaker than the good leg. Not surprising, of course. But it may be time for some stationary cycling.

I've got to go for x-rays today or Monday (methinks Monday) ahead of meeting with my physio therapist and surgeon next week. Before I make any huge changes, I'll wait until after I've talked to them.


- it was a fairly relaxing day... went with biz partner to The Charlatan for a beer. Then to The Reef for some Jamaican jerk and pints, then to Fet's for some tasty G&Ts

- I sat on a backpack full of pillows. Not the most comfortable option, but better than hauling my large high-density foam pad around with me

- home by 8pm, relaxed, cooked some veggies, apartment stinks of onions

- off to bed at 10:30pm

exercise: ~10 blocks, 10 flights, physio+

Thursday, August 21, 2014

THR +48

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Another not-too-bad sleep!

I went to bed around 11pm, eschewing any pain meds. Woke up at 12:30am (bathroom) and then a few more times (comfort) before getting up at 6:30.

Shoulder pain is definitely down, but the operated leg is stiff. Too much exercise?

On the agenda: work early, and then hopefully the rest of the day off. We shall see.


- Got lots of work done. Finished for the week!

- Went for a 19 block walk

- Drank some shiraz

A good day.

exercise: 19 blocks walked, 9 flights of stairs, physio

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

THR +47

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

I actually had a good sleep last night.

I was up working until sometime after 11pm. I popped a couple of Ibuprofen and went to bed. I fell asleep quickly. I woke up once or twice, but it was a pretty deep sleep.

I had to get up at 6:30am to meet a deadline (grr), but I feel rested. I didn't have any alcohol in the evening, which may have made a difference. I usually have a glass or two of wine in the evening.

Anyway... deadline(s) loom.


In point form:

- work completed

- took Car2Go car share downtown

- caught Murray Porter performing at CBC
Murray Porter singing the blues at CBC Vancouver
- chatted with a few former colleagues

- took Skytrain back to my 'hood

- walked ~15 blocks home from the station, buying groceries along the way

- worked some more

- noticed stiffness and pain in the operated leg. nothing severe, just new

- crashed around 11pm, with no pain meds

exercise: ~30 blocks walked, 10 flights, physio


Tuesday, August 19, 2014

THR +46

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

I went to bed late (11ish) last night. Tried taking some Tylenol to see if that would help reduce the shoulder pain and increase my ability to sleep. Meh.

I woke up a couple of times, but managed to sleep until 7:30am. Not bad. But still pretty much status quo.

Agenda items: work. Downtown visit?


I ended up going shopping for food/supplies. I walked about 30 blocks and stopped at the Nerd Bar for a pint.

Spent the evening working. Didn't get downtown. Maybe Wednesday.

exercise: 30 blocks, 34 flights of stairs, physio+

Monday, August 18, 2014

THR +45

August 18, 2014 (Monday)

Today marks six weeks since I left the hospital. As I just posted on Facebook, "Day 45: Getting a new hip is like being a kid on Christmas morning and unwrapping that toy that you really, really wanted. All I want to do is go outside and play with it!"

Anyway: More issues last night with regard to sleeping, but eventually I drifted off. I tried taking Naproxen before going to bed, but that didn't really help. Tonight I'll try Tylenol.

The shoulder hurts this morning, but the pain isn't nearly as bad as it was. Still, it flares up when I type (!) and put pressure on it while using a cane. Same old story! 

On the agenda: work. 


Pretty much stayed in the house all day. Filed two stories. 

Went for a 10 block walk late in the day, primarily to pick up some beets. 

I spent the evening relaxing and called it a day around 11pm. 

Exercise: 10 blocks, 10 flights, physio.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

THR +44

August 17, 2014 (Sunday)

We may just have a solution to the shoulder pain problem.

As previously mentioned, I picked up a new and far lighter cane yesterday. I used it for the rest of the day, and the difference was astounding.

I was going to take some painkillers before going to bed, but decided not to. I hit the sack around 11 and fell asleep quickly.

I woke up a few times, but not in any real discomfort. I woke up again around 6:30am and because I had the car share car until 9, I thought I should get up and use it. But I could have easily gone back to bed for a couple more hours of restful sleep.

The shoulder was much improved. 

So... I got up, grabbed my stuff and ran out the door to enjoy the last few hours of vehicular freedom.

First stop was Continental Coffee for a double americano misto.

Then off to Kits Beach for a stroll before the tourists and lululemon crowd took over. It was incredibly peaceful:
Kits Beach (English Bay), Vancouver, BC
The next stop was further west: Spanish Banks. But I didn't really have time to hang around. I had to get back to my neighbourhood by 9:30am.

Which I did.

So, for 24 hours of having a car on demand including gas, insurance and taxes, the total cost was $56. That included 242km of driving! And, because I gassed up during the 24 hours (their gas card), I was rewarded with 20 free minutes off my next rental.

I love Car2Go!

It's now midday Sunday. I'm restless but don't feel like working. I think I'll go get some sushi. And make some Blerk™.

Oh, and the shoulder? Still feels pretty good, despite the typing.


I managed to get some work done. And I walked to the Japanese grocery store. And I walked to the regular grocery store.

After that, I kicked my feet up. The shoulder started to flare, so I popped a Naproxen.

Exercise: Beach walk (30 mins), Grocery shopping (3km), 30 flights of stairs, physio. 

Saturday, August 16, 2014

THR +43

August 16, 2014

I didn't take any painkillers last night and paid the price.

I went to bed at 10. Woke up at 11:30. After much painful tossing and turning (which isn't easy to do) I managed to drift off, only to wake up every few hours.

I gave up at 6:30am. The shoulder is absolutely brutal. Also, there is some pain in the operated leg, but I assume this is from rolling around all night.

Things are getting frustrating now. I'm bored as hell, my shoulder and hand hurt all the time and I'm anxious to get outta here!



The day turned out to be a good one. In point form:

- Snagged a Car2Go car share Smart Car for the day for $50 including gas and 400km

- Picked up my buddy Randy around 9

- Headed to Caffe Barney (Granville St.) for an awesome brunch

- Hit the Sally Ann on West Broadway and found a super light aluminum cane for $9!

- Drove to Spanish Banks to look at the ocean

- Popped into a British grocery store (Dunbar/41st) but found the meat pies to be a bit dear

- Headed to the DTES (Downtown East Side) to grab some groceries (mostly veggies)

- Did not find Sriracha in travel-size packets (boo!)

- Dropped Randy off so he could go to work

- Drove to Peace Arch Park - which straddles the US/Canadian border on Highway 99/I-5
An international stroll
- Walked around and tested out the new cane (it's g-r-r-r-eat!)

My cane bisected by the Canada-US border
- Drove down Zero Ave (parallel to the US/Canada border) to Abbotsford

- Drove home via a specialty booze store on Main Street (Brewery Creek) and picked up a nice Vancouver Island Moon Hefeweizen and a He'Brew Origin Ale

- Returned home. Parked the car

- Went for a 10 block walk amongst the tourists (go away!) on Commercial Drive

- Came home to drink beer, write this blog post and watch an episode of Spooks (S03E02)

So, yeah, awesome day!

Exercise: Peace Arch stroll, 10 block walk, 30 flights of stairs, physio x1


Friday, August 15, 2014

THR +42

August 15, 2014

Today marks six weeks since I had my total hip replacement and while recovery has slowed down a bit, things continue to improve.

- I now walk exclusively with a cane

- There is no real pain in the hip area

- I walk around the apartment unassisted about 50% of the time

- Showering isn't near the hassle it used to be

- Getting in and out of bed is easy-peasy

- My strength is definitely increasing

- I can climb the occasional flight of stairs using alternating legs

- I can drive a car (and my handicapped parking permit has arrived)

- I can get out when I want (and sit, as long as I bring my special pillow!)


- When I walk without assistance, I have a limp (meaning the left leg is still weak)

- My right shoulder and hand continue to be painful

- Sleep is still difficult (though that may be changing, see below)

Overall, everything is great. I'm surprised how far I've come and how fast the time has passed. Six weeks already? Crazy!

Regarding my inability to sleep (or get comfortable enough to sleep), there may be light at the end of the tunnel.

I went to bed last night around 11. I took an oxy about an hour before. I fell asleep quickly but woke up at 12:30am.

After struggling to get comfortable (the right shoulder is the big problem) I managed to get back to sleep. I woke up a few times overnight but not for long.

Around 6am I was up again. After a quick visit to the bathroom, I went back to bed for a bit -- and fell asleep! I woke up at 8:30, feeling like I'd had an actual good night's rest.

I closed my eyes again and suddenly it was 9am.

Now, I don't like sleeping in so late as I feel like I'm behind the gun for the rest of the day. I like having 2-3 hours of me time in the morning to putter around and read the news.

However, the fact that I slept for nearly three extra hours is definitely a sign I need rest. And perhaps it's part of the healing process deep within my leg.

It may be time to go back to taking afternoon naps -- something I haven't done for about a week.
§ § §

Not much on the agenda today. I think I'll go for a long walk but other than that, I'll just take it easy.

My car share company has a deal tomorrow: a car for 24 hours (including gas and insurance), plus 400km mileage allowance) for $50 (+tax). I may take advantage so that I can do some running around and exploring. 


Went for a long walk. Watched some TV. Was incredibly bored all evening. Went to bed at 10.

Exercise: 10 flights, 29 blocks (4km), physio


Thursday, August 14, 2014

THR +41

August 14, 2014

Horrible sleep last night.

I went to bed around 10pm and decided not to take any painkillers. That was a mistake. My right shoulder was on fire again, and it was all I could do to get to sleep.

And then I woke up at 11:30. Grr.

I spent the rest of the night dozing off and then waking up in great discomfort, thanks to my shoulder. I'm doing my best to avoid using the shoulder, but being a writer and right-handed, that's tough.

I'm sure the pain is a combination of too much typing and using a cane.

Anyway, I know better and I'll be popping pills before bed tonight. I might try some over-the-counter pain relievers.


My cabin fever was unbearable, so I grabbed a car share car and headed over to the North Shore for some fresh fish from the Crab Shop. I took a small detour downtown before coming home. Meh.

At home, I finished another piece for Shaw and then headed out to meet up with a buddy to discuss documentary work and enjoy a patio beer. On the way home I picked up a bunch of healthy treats at Sweet Cherubim, the local organic bakery.

The evening was quiet with a little TV. Pain was low and even the shoulder felt better.

I went to bed around 11. Took a pain pill and drifted off...


Wednesday, August 13, 2014

THR +40

August 13, 2014

I think my sleeps are getting better.

Last night I stayed up until 11:30 or so. I popped an oxy and hit the sheets. I was able to fall asleep quickly but woke up around 1:30am. Once I got back to sleep, I slept until 6:45 -- waking up once, briefly.

I closed my eyes again and suddenly it was 7:30. A good sign.

The shoulder doesn't hurt as much this morning, but my right hand sure does. Methinks it's too much time on the computer. However, I still have a fair amount of work to finish before I can take a break.

Also, I'm going to avoid using my crutches from now on. While I use a cane when I go out, I had been using a single crutch around the house. I may have been leaning on it too much -- putting pressure on my shoulder at the armpit. That could be one of the reasons the shoulder keeps flaring up.

The cane is different, although there is still a tendency to put too much weight on it.

I've tried walking around unassisted -- which I can do -- but the left leg is still weak and I end up unintentionally limping to keep full weight off of it. And, as per the physio, I don't want to train myself to limp!

The weather has definitely changed. It's cool and wet. Hurray! Nice to have a break from all the heat.

With the exception of work, I'm going to take it easy today. Maybe grab a car and run over to the North Shore for some fresh fish. We'll see how much work I get done.


It rained for most of the day, so I stayed inside.

Work goals met. Then got out for a quick shopping trip. Didn't bother going anywhere else. Watched a few episodes of Spooks. Hit the sack around 10. 

Note that I tried climbing the stairs at my place using alternating legs. Normally, I use my good leg to go up a step, then follow with the operated leg. And repeat. But today I did 4 flights 'normally'. This will help strengthen the operated leg.

Exercise: 10 blocks walked, 6 flights left leg weight, 4 flights alternating legs, physio x1

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

THR +39

August 12, 2014

Last night was a mixed bag. I fell asleep early, but woke up around 1am. I had a hard time getting back to sleep because I couldn't get comfortable. Both the new hip and the old shoulder were paining me.

Eventually I drifted off. I woke up a few times, but briefly.

It didn't really cool off, either -- so the apartment was a bit toastier than usual overnight.

I woke up around 7:30, which, for me, is definitely sleeping in.

The forecast is for a dull, humid day with some rain. At 9am, it's already 22C at the airport. Probably 25C here with zero wind.

On the agenda: work, laundry, make more Blerk™ and get some groceries.


I got most of my work done. Laundry done. Groceries done. But didn't make Blerk™. It's definitely on the agenda for Wednesday.

It was a cloudy/cool day -- which was very nice.

And... goodnight!

Exercise: 10 blocks walked, 50 flights of stairs, physio x1


Monday, August 11, 2014

THR +38

August 11, 2014

Today marks 5 weeks since being released from the hospital. Hurray!

As mentioned, I didn't take an oxy last night. I went to bed super tired around 11pm. And I woke up at 1am -- for a pee. Grr. I hate getting up to pee. This better go away.


I had a hard time getting back to sleep. And then I woke up around 4. For another pee. Grrr, again.

After much effort, I was able to get back to sleep and then, surprise!, I slept until 6:30! How nice!

No cramps overnight. But my operated hip is a little sore today. I'll definitely take it easy, but I'll still need to get out of here. Especially with a forecast calling for 33C inland. God help me!

At least it's cool now.

In other news, I continue to lose weight. Since the Aug 1, when I first weighed myself, I'm down 10 pounds. The weight loss has been slow the last few days, but that's fine. NO rush.

It'll be interesting to see what I weighed when I went in for surgery. I'll ask the doctor when I go for my follow-up visit at the end of the month.

Today's agenda: work, blerk and sweat all evening. But it looks like a break from the heat is coming:
It says 27C today, but it's supposed to be 34C inland. Which I am.
Also: today is my last day on the blood thinner. I'll be able to eat grapefruit again!

Also, also: I broke a tooth. Grr. 


The heat wasn't as brutal as expected, which was nice.

I worked away on stuff and filed Tuesday's item early. Wednesday's piece is nearly done,  it just needs some editing. And Thursday's piece is about half done.

Around 6pm, I met up with a couple of people for dinner/drinks on The Drive. Jen, who I met in San Pedro and Chris, who I worked with at CBC.

We had a feast at Fet's and then headed to The Storm Crow (Nerd Bar) for a rousing game of Cards Against Humanity. A good night out. Who needs the old gang?

My home away from home. A block away!
It's also fun dragging my special cushion around with me so I can actually sit! Although by the end of the evening, the hip was sore.

It was nearly 11 by the time I got home. The apartment was warm, but tolerable. I popped an oxy because my shoulder was on fire.

And off to bed I went... 

Exercise: 10 flights of stairs, 4 blocks walked, physio x1 (a bit of a rest day)


Sunday, August 10, 2014

THR +37

August 10, 2014

Oh sleep, why do you avoid me?

Just like every night the rest of the week, I took an oxy around 10. When I went to bed, I drifted off quickly -- only to wake around 1:30am (uncomfortable and a need to pee). I managed to get back to sleep until...

5am, when my right (non-operated) leg cramped up. Primarily in the inner thigh. I was unable to do much other than some ineffective punching and massaging of the muscles in question. After a few minutes of agony, I gave up and got up.

Thankfully it was the good leg. And thankfully the pain eventually went away. But it's now 5:25am and I'm wide awake.

Also, my shoulder hurts and I occasionally feel twinges from where I bruised my ribs a few months ago. But the operated leg feels great!

So: what to do this early?

First I'm going to drink a vat of coffee. Then I'll see if I can grab a Car2Go car. Today is a photography challenge day -- 10 pictures on the 10th day of the month -- as devised by a former work colleague (I already have pictures of the clock (5:12am!) and a rather large moon). So I'll go take pictures.

Back to the cramping: methinks I'll cut back on the exercise today. No long walks. Maybe a couple of shorter ones.


It turned out to be quite the busy day, so let's review, in point form:

- I grabbed a Car2Go and hit the beach:
Cars on demand: best idea ever!
It was so early there was no one at the beach:

Spanish Banks, with no people. Yay!
I even went for a short stroll:

Canes aren't really meant for beaches.
- After the beach, I drove around Vancouver a bit before heading home.

- Once home I worked on some, er, work.

- I felt like I needed a stroll, so I ended up walking 20 blocks around the neighbourhood:

I found corn growing in the middle of an intersection.

I found a neighbourhood book exchange.

And I found a pillow for those who don't get my life.
- I spent the evening relaxing and poking away at things I have to do in the week ahead.

When it was time for bed, I noticed the hip was acting up. Perhaps I AM overdoing it. But I get so bored being cooped up in this wee bachelor suite of mine! Must... walk...

I didn't take an oxy, just to see how I would sleep. Details to come.

All-in-all, a good day (and a long one).

Exercise: 20 blocks, 20 flights of stairs, physio x2, short walk at the beach


Saturday, August 09, 2014

THR +36

August 9, 2014

These posts are becoming Groundhog Day-like. The same thing, over and over.

Last night I took an oxy around 10. Woke up twice to go to the bathroom (no idea why I have to pee so much overnight -- I'm careful about water intake before bed).

I eventually got up around 7:30am, which was a but of a surprise. Not a bad sleep, but still difficulties with arm/shoulder pain.

The operated leg is a little tender around the incision. Nothing serious, likely just the healing process.

As mentioned in my previous post: I AM SO BORED. I've been stuck in my neighbourhood for more than five weeks. I reckon I could hop a bus somewhere... but where? And to do what? I'd also have to carry a big pillow if I wanted to sit anywhere.

Doesn't seem worth the effort. I'd rather hop in a car and drive to the beach. But that is still a few weeks away.

There is the overpriced hipster organic-a-thon farmers' market. Maybe I can go this week and try to trip people like they tried to trip me last week. Or walk into them as I stare at my phone! Fun!

Maybe I'll just stay in the house and poke away at next week's work. Boring!


I can drive!

I decided to see if I could fit into a Car2Go Smart Car. They're the car sharing company that I have a membership in. With taxes, the cars cost about $17/hr gas and insurance included. Plus you can pick up and drop off almost anywhere in Vancouver. It's a great service!

Love Car2Go!
Anyway, I brought a selection of pillows and wouldn't you know that my $60 hard foam special hip replacement cushion worked the best. I have to sit on a cushion or pillows so that my hips are 2" higher than my knees. The cushion adds about 4".

Getting in and out of the car was easy with the seat pushed back and reclined. I sat a bit higher than I'm used to, but I still had lots of headroom.

I took off for about an hour - driving from my Commercial Drive neighbourhood all the way to Deep Cove and back.

This. Changes. Everything.

But I still need to exercise, too. So when I arrived home (and left the car on the street in front of my oven apartment building, I went for a 20 block walk.

All that's left to do is survive the heat in here (help!) and finish my physio exercises.

Also: I made Blerk™ with beets today. I call it Plerk™!

And that wraps the day.

Exercise: 20 blocks, 20 flights, physio x2

Friday, August 08, 2014

THR +35

August 8, 2014

Today marks five weeks since I went in for my total hip replacement. So far, so good:

- incision totally healed
- walking with cane
- can walk unassisted for short distances, but tend to favour good leg
- it's much easier getting in/out of bed
- no pain in the hip
- left leg sometimes swells a bit, but not like before
- leg feels much "softer" -- the log that was in my thigh is gone
- still having sleep difficulties
- right shoulder and hand are still problematic
- weight has fallen 9.1 lbs since August 1 (MUCH more to go)
- feeling positive and healthy

I took an oxy last night to assist with sleep. Still suffering the same issue with my right shoulder and arm -- they're sore almost all the time. At night the shoulder tends to flare up.

I'm trying to not put much weight on my right arm when using a crutch (at home) or cane (when out), but it doesn't seem to help. Methinks once I'm walking without assistance, the problem will go away.

Last night's sleep was poor. I woke up several times (and surprisingly had to go to the bathroom each time), the last time just before 5am. I almost stayed up, but managed to get back to sleep for a bit before getting up around 6:30.

Not much on the agenda today: check some work before submitting, perhaps escape the neighbourhood and hope for clouds!

But first: coffee!


Pretty standard day. I finished my work and then went to get fruit & veg to make Blerk™. On the way home I stopped at a neighbourhood bar and had a pint on their patio.

Didn't do much for the rest of the day/evening. Watched some TV and went to bed around 10. Took 1 oxy.

I'm after 35 days, I'm awful anxious to get out of the neighbourhood! 

Exercise: 6 blocks, 10 flights & physio x2. 


Thursday, August 07, 2014

THR +34

August 7, 2014

As noted, I popped an oxy last night before going to bed. It helped me sleep, although I woke up twice to go to the bathroom.

I actually slept in a little -- until about 7:30am.

One thing: I had a calf cramp in my operated leg. It lasted for only a second, but was pretty disconcerting. Maybe I need to drink more water? I'm already trying -- and push 2 litres a day -- not including coffee and juice.

Lots of stuff to do... best start.


Accomplished everything. Walked to supermarket, did laundry, got work done.

But I was tired far too early and it was a struggle to stay up past 10. Popped an oxy... and drifted off.

Exercise: 42 flights of stairs (laundry day!), 10 blocks walked + physio x2

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

THR +33

August 6, 2014

Taking an oxy before going to bed worked a treat. I fell asleep right away and woke up just once -- and only for a couple of minutes. I was able to sleep most of the night on my back, but I did attempt both sides. Not quite there yet.

It's nice waking up refreshed. And in a cool apartment.

As an added bonus, the forecast for today is for similar toasty temperatures but with a mix of sun and cloud. I find a little bit of cloud makes a big difference in how hot my apartment gets in the afternoon.

On the agenda: a walk, Kickstarter stuff and the never ending work, of course.


I got all the work done. Almost. Walked to the grocery store. Did stuff around here. All with a cane. 

Took an oxy at 10.


Tuesday, August 05, 2014

THR +32

August 5, 2014

I think I've found a solution to sleeping: take an oxy before going to bed.

I did that last night and it worked a treat. I slept from 10:30pm until 2am. And then from about 2:15am through to 6:30am. I could have slept longer if not for the bright light of a new day.

Yesterday I made Blerk™. Today I drank it:

Kale, Lemons, Apples, Ginger, Celery, Cucumber = Blerk™
I'm going to try and drink a litre a day. Eventually Blerk™ will replace breakfast.


Spent much of the day working. Headed out later in the day to pick up some wine. I walked about 10 blocks on the cane. Still getting used to its lower centre of gravity.

Watched some TV this evening. The apartment was a tad cooler.

Took an Oxy around 10.

Exercise: 10 blocks, 10 flights of stairs, physio.


Monday, August 04, 2014

THR +31

August 4, 2014

I'm still having difficulties sleeping. Not from the hip, but from the (right) shoulder. It is very difficult to get comfortable. It seems that the shoulder doesn't like being in any position at night.

I may try some oxy (I've been off it for days now) tonight.

There is good news: I now make it through the night without having to go to the bathroom.  Yay! Back to normal!

But I kept waking up with shoulder pain. At one point, around 2am, it took a long time to get back to sleep.

This better be from using a crutch on the right side and not some new annoyance. I may attempt a cane today, but the cane I have (from the Red Cross) is awfully heavy -- heavier than a crutch. So I don't know if using it will solve anything. And my operated leg is still weak enough that I require walking assistance.

Perhaps I'm overdoing it?

If only there was a way to get to the Red Cross to swap the crutches for shorter ones and get a lighter cane.

On the agenda today:

Even though it's a holiday, I have to get more Shaw work done. Deadlines loom tomorrow, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. The Kickstarter project requires some attention, too.

I hope to be out of the apartment by the time it starts to heat up. The forecast is for another hot, windless day. It's already 18c (7am) and the prognosticators are calling for a high of 31 (with high humidity).

Give me strength. I may have to just go sit on a patio somewhere with a book. But can I do that for 7 hours?!


Well, I managed to get tomorrow's piece done today and half of Wednesday's. So that's good, but I'm not really ahead.

Then I made some Blerk™.

And in the afternoon, I was rescued by an old pal and spent the afternoon enjoying a patio on Commercial Drive.

I also used a cane for the first time today. It's certainly different than a crutch. Let's see if lessens the shoulder pain.

Back home now, where the apartment is silly hot. The sun should be going down in about 90 minutes. If only there was a breeze. Or a cloud!

C'est la vie!

Exercise: ~4 blocks, 10 flights of stairs, physio x2


Sunday, August 03, 2014

THR +30

August 3, 2014

I had a better sleep last night. I didn't take any oxy and went to bed as soon as the apartment cooled off. I managed to fall asleep right away. I've got no hip pain, just the hand and shoulder. Damn crutch!

I woke up a couple of times - to go to the loo and because of the shoulder. I tried sleeping on both sides, but it didn't really help. I have to keep a pillow between my legs as a hip precaution.

By 6am, I was ready to rise.

This time of day is great because it's actually cool in here. But that'll change by midday.

Another hot, windless day is forecast:

However, it's really nice right now:

Nice view from

It was a great day. The apartment was cool this morning, so I hung out and poked away at next week's work.

Around midday, I had a sudden desire for sushi. I walked to a Japanese market and back. That was 2km. The reward: lots of sushi and a coconut bun!

My favourite food.
I spent the early part of the afternoon working. I also did a double dose of physio and took a 40 minute nap (and elevated my feet - doctor's orders!).

I was going to make some juice, but I figure I'll do that tomorrow.

As the sun began to set and the temperature began to drop, I decided to go for another walk. Not very far -- just 1.2km. I stopped on Commercial Drive and listed to some live Latin music. Awesome! I even walked 1/2 a block without a crutch -- just for fun.

And then came home where I'm now enjoying a cold cider and catching up on things.

A fine day.

Exercise: Physio X2, 3.2km walking, 9 flights of stairs.


Saturday, August 02, 2014

THR +29

August 2, 2014

A better sleep, but still lots of heat. Took an oxy an hour before bed. Went to bed around 11. Woke up at 2. Fitful sleep followed for a bit. Then woke up at 6.

The leg is a bit sore -- perhaps because I slept on the operated side for a while. Right shoulder is definitely making itself known. The right hand is tender.


I feel like I've been cooped up in the house for far too long. Sure, I get out for brief periods, but I'm dying to go for a drive or walk on a beach. But I can't drive, I'm not ready for long bus rides and, well, I'm kind of trapped.

Today I decided to up the exercise AND get out of the house. Around 10am I headed out. Destination: Vancouver's Trout Lake Farmers' Market. It took a while to get there -- it's roughly 20 blocks. And I should have worn a hat.

But I made it. On one crutch. I felt a little dizzy, but that was because of the sun. After a couple of minutes in the shade, I felt fine.

I thought I'd see what overpriced goodies were for sale in the market, but I only managed a couple of minutes before turning on my heels and leaving. It seems that everyone with a stroller, dog or smartphone was out to either run into me or to try and trip me. Seriously, who brings a dog on a long leash to a crowed farmers' market? It was a cavalcade of morons.

I left without buying any overpriced hipster okra and instead went to nearby Trout Lake to lean against a tree. In the shade. It was nice. Until a dog tried to pee on my crutch.

Trout Lake on a hot summer day. Aug 2, 2014.
After that, I'd had enough. But it felt great to be able to walk with no hip pain!

I strolled back to my neighbourhood and stopped in at the veggie market for reasonable priced fare. I'm going to start juicing tomorrow (as a supplement to my diet, not a replacement), so I need some veggies.

The Nerd Bar across the street looked inviting, and I decided to have a nice cold cider at the stand-up bar.

By the time I made it home, the apartment was a sauna. No matter what I do, the place turns into an oven on sunny days. It makes it difficult to do anything -- and there's no where for me to escape to. I'm stuck.

I had a nap until the heat woke me up. And now I'm waiting for the sun to go down so I can stop sweating. Once I don't have to carry special sitting apparatus with me -- and drive a car -- then I'll be able to escape. Of course, that will be when the rains begin.

Still, a really good day and a sign of good things to come.

Exercise: 4.5km walked, 10 flights of stairs, physio exercises.


Friday, August 01, 2014

THR +28

August 1, 2014

Another rough night. Solid sleep until 2am (thanks, Oxy!) then the shoulder pain took control, resulting in a fitful sleep. I got up at 5:30am.

At least the apartment has cooled off. But the heat is forecast to continue for at least another week. Ugh.


It's been 4 weeks since my operation and I'd say my recovery is beginning to flatten out a bit.

- There's almost no pain in the operated leg/hip
- The swelling has really gone down, but flares up late in the day
- The calf is much less tight, although there are occasional tingles
- I'm pretty much off the oxy with the exception of the odd night
- Getting in and out of bed is no longer difficult/painful
- I'm regular
- The energy level is good
- I'm positive
- Sleep remains elusive due to...
- Crazy shoulder pain and to a lesser extent, hand pain

Goals for the upcoming week(s)

- double physio (I'll start doing exercises twice a day)
- increased walking
- increased water intake
- resolve the shoulder pain issue
- attempt to use a cane (which may help the shoulder)

There isn't much on the agenda other than filing a story and doing some cleaning around here.


Kind of a boring day. Napped, watched some UK TV, did some errands. Not much else.

Exercise: 10 blocks, 10 flights of stairs + double physio.

Also, there was a kick-ass sunset:

Aug. 1, 2014 from East Vancouver, BC