As the Dual G’s gain strength and mobility each in their own way, they seem to have developed a gimpiness about blogging. What is there to say when there is nothing to say? So the male DG bowed out last night by calling a bye, while the female DG just did nothing.
Some developments: There is talk of resurrecting the Dawn Patrol over the next few weeks, with the female DG pinch hitting for Scott and Lily (the former temporarily joining the gimp brigade). And she sees her surgeon Dr. Lawrence Oloff tomorrow morning, although she’s not expecting much to report from that visit as she doesn’t have much to report. The Achilles tendon is a daily reminder but gets better in weekly increments.
Meanwhile, in addition to Scott, friend Cathy has joined the gimp brigade with a broken bone in her foot. So two gimps up , two down.
Leading up to her surgery, the female DG spent considerable time on the internet trying to get a better idea of what she faced in her recovery from surgery to repair an Achilles tendon. (Looking back, she is somewhat glad that she didn’t spend as much time researching stage 3 glioma when the male DG was first diagnosed; she might have been more inclined to fold the tents – even in the good hands of the top-of-their-game UCSF neuro-surgery and neuro-oncology team.)
She found a ton of material about recovery from surgery following a Achilles tendon rupture – and it all sounded grim – but little about her less serious injury (severe deterioration and partial tear). So in the hopes of someone, someday, finding this post, she’s offering eight things she’s learned in the week since surgery.
1. Plan for pain but don’t be surprised if it’s more discomfort than real pain. That has been her experience.
2. Surgery takes the wind out of you – even if you’re fairly fit. She’s unclear if it’s the assault on the body itself or the anesthesia – or both. Don’t try to be a hero and do too much.
3. Do everything possible to make sure your spouse (or other caregiver) knows how really helpless you’ll be. Being restricted to non-weight bearing activity necessitates balancing on one foot and not having the use of arms/hands (if using crutches or walker).
4. Ask your surgeon very early on if he orders cold therapy following surgery – and don’t leave the surgical center without it. More about this here.
5. Order a knee walker. There are different models.The female DG ordered hers through RentAKneeWalker. It arrived as ordered, and the customer service staff has answered two basic questions with courtesy. The knee walker allows you not only get around easier and more quickly. You can literally do more. The female DG can stand at the kitchen sink and kind of toggle between the sink and refrigerator to put a salad together, for example
6. Be ready to say no and yes. No when you’re really not feeling up to it and yes when people offer to help.
7. Spend the money on an wedge pillow to make it easier to keep your leg comfortably propped up in the “toes above the nose” position. No combination of pillows would have produced the same results.
8. Hope for temperate weather. The rarely too hot, summery temperatures of Menlo Park have been a boon.
With the blue tubing of the Polar Care 500 hanging barely in place and the surgical bandages starting to unravel, it was clear that the post-op visit with Dr. Oloff was coming none too soon. But when you’re a two gimp household, the prospect of getting dressed, into the car, out of the car, to doctor’s office and the reverse is a bit daunting. (We promise to forever spare readers the details off the sponge bath procedures currently in effect .)
It was also to be the most activity the female dual G (gimpy and grumpy) has had since Friday. She’s feeling good – clear headed and pain free as far as her Achilles tendon is concerned. She’d feel almost normal if it wasn’t for the reminder of the dreaded walker at her side and how much it hurts her hands and arms moving from one place to another.
Having reached the SOAR office, they were quickly ushered into, for lack of better words, the fitting room where there was three (or four) examining tables separated by curtains and every kind of orthopedic device you could imagine. A certified orthopedic technician by the name of Joe removed the bandages. And there, surprisingly, was something approximating her pre-injury foot/heel. There was no discoloration to signal the sniping that had gone on and minimal swelling. The male DG could see the four-inch long incision knitted together with sutures. Soon Oloff appeared to pronounce “looking good,” to encourage the daily injections that ward off blood clots (giving yourself a shot isn’t all that bad) and to give the go-ahead on the application of a cast. She’d never considered that getting a cast would be good news.
Nor had she known that today’s fiberglass casts come in a multitude of colors. She couldn’t resist day-glow pink. Mission accomplished – next visit in a week