Monday, September 23, 2013

Post Surgery Therapy and other Medical Thoughts (An honest post I will probably get blogger's remorse for and delete :)

arrows, morals, street signs

Yesterday I wrote how Mr SeaSpray caught me dancing to Shakira music - Loca.  Today ...I am paying the price for that.  My knees are punishing me for putting them through that.  I was also busy all day (weight bearing for a small amount of time turns excruciating under normal circumstances), and so it was not the smoothest move on my part.  Ha ha ..it was not smooth dancing for sure as I certainly can't do that for long or the way I really would on the dance floor ...and probably should not, but sometimes A SeaSpray's just gotta do what a SeaSpray's gotta do.  :)  And the music was so motivational ..that it really kept me going ...to one more thing ...and one more thing, etc.  And I am not looking forward to going over to Home Depot after we eat in a bit ...but we will have the kids tomorrow and I R-E-A-L-L-Y want to pick out some low, slow growing shrubs for in front of our house and today is the best day this week to do that.  Plus ...I am on a QUEST for transparent amber 7 watt bulbs for the fall candles I put in the windows.  I can't find them in any stores and I DO hope they still make them.

Anyway ...I got this idea for knee rehab.  I have no idea what to expect ...but I think they should do a little Shakira therapy with me because I will ALWAYS want to get up and move to her music.  Ha!  Although ...maybe that would be better for hip rehab vs for knees.  :)
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I removed a post I had put up fairly recently, about my going to the cardio office to consult.  I had mentioned one of the concerns was that he sent my PCP a letter clearing me but that in that he said I had an a-septal aneurysm that he never told me about and I wanted to be sure it was safe.  Well it turns out it was an atrial aneurysm and he said, "It's nothing."  I asked again and he again reassured me and so I mentioned my grandfather had died in his sleep that they did know about and he said that was something different.  So ...while I pretty much thought that would be the case ...I am thrilled to know for sure.  I shouldn't have waited over a year to ask.

And I also mentioned a small part of my not being happy how he responded to something with me and maybe sometime I will tell the whole story.  I decided to tell him how I felt and what I felt he was thinking/doing and why.  he told me, "You assume much.", but I know I was on target with that and I don't regret clearing the air.  It actually feels better than keeping it in.  I was gracious though regarding several things about that.  And when He mentioned something he said he prescribed, I said, "But you didn't.  I read you had written that in the record.  I have no doubt you thought about it.  But you did not prescribe it."  So I must've seemed like this annoying, uppity patient ..but I just wanted to start with a clean slate.  If I were going back as a regular, I am sure it would be smoothed out in time... or maybe already is.  Thankfully ...I don't believe I will be a cardio patient ...thus not a regular.  He seemed nice after that.  We parted amicably.   I am supposed to still get a nuclear stress test, but I just canceled it.  I will do it.

And the reason I cancelled it today is because I am in the process of seeing other doctors first and then based on what they say ...I will decide when to do it.

A-N-D the reason for that is that he suggested I should NOT do the knee replacement surgery until I lose more weight because I will have a TOUGH time after surgery.  (Emphasis his)  he said if you are at the point that you use your arms to get up, then you WILL have a TOUGH time afterward.

The surgery is currently set for November 5th.  I lost 4 lbs since last week.  But he had 50lbs written on a script and even though I hate admitting it ...could stand to lose more.  I lost 70 something pounds since 05, but admittedly since hurricane Sandy hit last year, I began to gain weight ..maybe 20 at most ...lost most and then yo-yo'd and am finally all the way back down now to pre-Sandy.  But I have been stuck in this range for a few years now and never got past it.  I'm not making excuses.  I know everything I do wrong.  The worst is staying up late and then eating before going to bed.  My joke is that if I just go to bed by midnight ...I'd lose weight.  That is actually true.

And now it has only been since last fall that the knee pain has gone up exponentially ...to the point that orthovisk knee injections do not work as well as they did.  And so I have to take a pain med (that I monitor very closely), to do physical activity and pain always comes through - it just takes the edge off.  The Home Depot floor I will be on tonight actually will hurt me more than dancing to Shakira.  This is because I can still sit down intermittently when at home.  Stores have hard floors and no place to sit.  last week, my granddaughter Wren asked, "Mum mum? Why do you walk like a penguin?"  Out of the mouths of babes.  that was at the end of the day watching them when I am up on my feet most of the day with them and so I guess I am so swollen or whatever happens ..I am stiff and not much flexibility.  So EMBARRASSING and FRUSTRATING!  And I am w-a-a-a-a-y-y-y to young for this!

Even today when at the salon, I heard a local add for an outdoor wine tasting event, etc., that would be nice to go to.  And in the fall there are so many fun things to go to ...but I really can't walk that far or if I do I don't want to be seen walking so compromised and I know THAT is being ridiculously vain...but is just how I feel.  And I guess I feel this way because I feel like I did this to myself because I let myself gain so much weight over time.  I also wonder if it is because anytime I have fallen it has mostly been square on my hands and knees.  Even when I totaled a car at 17, my knees hit the dash.  They must be real strong tho because I was always alright.  And even in my 20s ...I fell hard on them.  I'm not at all a klutz, btw ...it just happened.  Did you know that for every pound overweight it is FOUR pounds of EXTRA PRESSURE on your knees.  EGADS!

A friend asked me why in the world I have not asked for a disabled parking sticker.  I wanted to say, because I'd rather CRAWL first then give in to it, but I just said I didn't know it was that easy to get one.  Btw ...I do wonder why some people park in those spots when they leap out of their vehicles and bound into the stores like a gazelle?  I guess ..I admit I wish I would use it and resent that someone who doesn't need it would use it.  But mostly ...it really is not fair to the people that DO need those spaces.  I was mortified when a guy in Target asked me if I wanted one of those scooters.  "NO thank you!"  Although ...secretly I did.  Again - NOT giving in to it.  Now if I didn't need it ...it would be fun to just tool around the store in one.  :)

To give an example of the level of pain I feel when I have overdone it ...which is just from doing normal everyday things ...weight bearing for any length of time.  We have one step down from the kitchen into the family room.  Sometimes I am so sore that I stand trying to figure out which knee to go down with because either one will send a knife up my knee and then when I decide ...I brace myself against the wall and just plunge down.  I know it is only one step ...but it feels like a "GOFORIT!", kind of plunge.

Since I am discussing this and now more sensitive to the needs of people with sore orthopedic conditions, why don't all doctor offices and medical facilities have higher toilets?  That is something very nice they could do for their patients.  I saw something interesting in the new orthopedic satellite office I was in.  they have a HIGH, comfortable waiting room chair.  I asked about them.  They are for the hip surgery patients.  What a fabulous idea.  Well there are different things I've noticed over time that would be helpful to physically challenged people in which improvements could be made.  I guess it's only because now I am walking the walk ...that now ...I understand.

Well, I didn't mean to digress this much.

My point is that I obviously am holding back ...I am not living a quality of life.  it was since last fall that I began to get more significantly compromised with walking and standing and so I have been doing less physically ...which I also feel had been weakening me and perhaps also facilitating weight gain ..or hindering loss anyway.  To a point.

BUT ...the TWO things I could do to help myself ...I so an guilty of not doing.  SWIM at the Y and also use their equipment to exercise in the water.  I know what to do.  I HATE having to shower there before going in water and then showering to go home.  But I should just look at it as a job.  Because when you work ...you always just do what you have to do.  i DO LOVE the water and am as happy as a clam in the water.  AND ...I also FEEL so much better!  The 2nd thing I could do is lose weight.  So ...I am a part of the problem too.

And for those of you who know about my abject fear in doing the reconstructive uro surgery ...you KNOW how hard this must've been for me to get to the point of requesting the knee surgery because I still have the same high risk factors.  the only positive is I won't be recouping a week in the hospital post-op with an abdominal incision and all the things that would've come with that surgery ...including my last stent while I healed.  But total knee replacements are significant surgeries.  But as you can see ...I have come to the point that I just have to get past this.

And so the plan is surgery November 5th - left knee and then 3 months later ...the right knee.  And then DONE!!!!

But when the cardiologist suggested I wait and lose weight, etc., I came home last Tuesday feeling so defeated, frustrated and like I hit another wall and just feeling trapped in a box I will never get out of.  I couldn't see the forest for the trees that night.

But it is amazing how perspectives change when the sun comes up and I have not been that down since.

I am currently in the process of setting up appointments to run his opinion past the operating dos, regular orthodoc, pcp, physical therapist, urodoc (although I'm pretty sure he will tell me it's not his area.  I'll ask him because he knows my concerns from when I was looking at the uro surgery), and I will ask a couple of overweight knee replacement patients to see how they fared.

In the mean time ...I am finally just trying to lose the weight.  I am still trying to get all medical appts in as if it all has to be done by the end of October.  Gyne, derm, pcp physical, sleep study (next week), uro, dentist ( DO LOVE the new one and raved about him to all the women in the salon today - giving his name, etc.), and I am still going to try to do all Christmas shopping  ..or most anyway by the end of this month.

I honest to God do NOT know what to do at this point!  I wish God himself would just drop a BIG sign out of the sky with directions for what to do.  ohhhh ...WHY can't he just DO that???

But if everyone agrees fifty pounds is good enough ...and assuming I really will do it ...I DO think I could do it by January.  Of course I am having to go through the baking holidays.  But ...i will say it is as if someone put dynamite under me and I really am trying now.  I guess that is because ...I know I just cannot go on like this.  I want my LIFE ...BACK!

And the thing is ...if I am not going to lose weight then I might just as well keep the date.  But if I am doing it then it might be worth putting it off until then but no later.  But the later I put it off  ...the later I get going in my LIFE that I want to ACTIVELY pursue!  I am telling you ...there will be NO flies on me after these rehabs.  I will be off and running in front of the cloud of dust behind.

And I feel so strongly and desperate about his because this was the first summer I had a hard time going up the pool deck steps ...or up in the attic.  It is the first year of my life that I have felt weaker and wondering ...OMG is THIS what aging is????

And the kicker ...and I don't mean anything bad by it ...I have felt JEALOUS of elderly people that are active and walk without problems and can do more than I can.  I'm not even close to elderly yet!!!  Well ...my definition of it.  I am 58.

Oh and I know what freaked me out a few months ago.  When I read about a study that says "Sitting is the new Smoking" that sitting is THAT bad for our bodies.

So ...I will be meeting with the operating doc next Thursday.  Also getting set up for a sleep study that day.

I rescheduled some other things and have to still schedule some more.

Oh and another thing for getting this done and I am very serious.

Right now we still have our GOOD and affordable private insurance.  Who knows what will happen in 2014???  I am very upset about this!  And I am so upset for all the people currently having to drop their now expensive private insurances and others thinking they will lose it too.  But that will be another post sometime.

So ...you can see that I have a lot on my plate to get done right now and a big decision to make.

I'm curious though.  I know people may not want to comment ...but what would you do if this was your decision to make based on the information that I gave you.  I know some people don't want to risk being blamed for giving me their opinion ...but believe me ...my family would tell you they get frustrated with me because I ask there opinions ..they give them to me and then I don't listen and do something different.  But ...I do listen ...I consider it all and the I guess I end up liking my idea better.  Also ...you can comment anonymously in this blog and so ...please if anyone has an idea, opinion, insight, experience regarding the things I have said in here ...please know that I welcome your comments.

And now this SeaSpray has to get going.

Ha!  I may end up with EXTREME blogger's remorse over this post and powerless to delete.  Too much personal info.  Just needed to vent and I am hoping someone ...somewhere ...can provide insight, suggestions, experienced info guidance ...something ...please.

PS - I don't recall if I mentioned this in this novella post ...I did not write about the hardships with knee pain to whine.  I am just stating the facts of some of what it is like to have to deal with this issue, explaining what has finally driven me to request surgery (a HUGE deal for me to cave in and do) and I guess even this post is helping me work through it all.  And it is part of the journey I am in at this point of my life.  I've come through a lot since 2006 and now I just need to get over this hurdle and I will be free.

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