The Blessing of a Chair

Day 9

The Euphoria of being home amongst my critters and husband was short lived when it came time to go to bed.

My first attempt was my own bed…but hubby’s side.  I got positioned, laid out some ice with the intention of laying on my back on top of the ice – pillow under my knees and blissful slumber for a couple hours until my alarm went off to take more meds.  So I sat on the edge of the bed, kicked off my slippers and proceeded to tilt to the left.  Hips and shoulders aligned, lowering your shoulders down while simultaneously lifting your bent knees and feet up to the bed – the physical therapists and nurses call it the “log roll”.  Once you are horizontal, then you log roll onto your back.  Or not.  I couldn’t do it – it was waaaaaay too uncomfortable and painful trying to carefully roll onto the ice pack, align my hips, shoulders, etc.  I gave up and settled for laying on my left side.  Pillow between my knees, pillow kind of behind my back attempting to hold the ice packs actually against my spine, fumble around to get the blankets over me, turn off the light and pray for sleep – knowing I had more meds due in 2 hours.  I lasted about 45 minutes.  Got up – walked in an attempt to alleviate the cramping and loosen things up…I could tell I needed ice – but HOW?!?!?

I reasoned that if I put the ice packs IN the back brace and left the brace on…maybe I could complete the log roll and lay ON the ice in bed.  NOPE.  I carted the pillows back to the couch, tried to find a blanket, got a good fresh VERY cold ice pack, and settled into the seated but not exactly reclined position on the couch.  I dosed off and on, but with no support for my head – the bobble-head thing got old.  Plus my legs were sort of hyper extended at the knee and pinched at the hip.  I got up and walked as best I could every couple of hours, trying to think of alternative sleep options.  Then I remembered the blow up travel pillow – went and got it out of the drawer – blew it up, and solved the bobble head problem and got a couple hours of fitful sleep in the wee morning hours.

I could think of no reasonable alternative – I needed a recliner.  So I texted hubby about it, and then put a note out on my church news list asking to borrow a recliner for a few weeks, and by the way, could you deliver it too?  Within short order my mother in law offered the recliner they have in storage.  They just dropped it off about an hour ago, and after some shuffling around of my “essentials”, a flannel sheet to cover it, I settled in with a fresh ice pack and a heart full of the blessing of a chair.

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Home Sweet Home

Well, after 8 days, I’m finally back to my own house…being loved on by my own kitty and dogs, and working on finding the best set up to relax and be comfortable for the next few days.  I’ve spent the last few days in a recliner at my lovely Pastor’s house, with her family – but we don’t have a recliner here – so the creativity wheels are turning.

I took a spin on one couch – but the seat wasn’t well supported, there was no real recline to it, and my feet on the coffee table was the wrong height and angle for my hips.  But I needed some down time with ice…so it gave me time to snuggle with the kitty and think.

My ride home in the car was actually pretty alright.  I had my anti-nausea wrist bands on…because puking in your friends car is just bad manners…they did their job and I had no nausea on the way home.  We left Pastor’s house with all my gear, and drove over to the doc’s office to pick up an Rx for more pain meds – I’ll need them later this week.  And then off we went headed south.  We stopped about 65% of the way home at a rest stop.  I walked,  went pee, walked some more, and then got situated back in the car for the last stretch home.  We were quite the Laurel and Hardy pair – she walks with a cane following hip replacement this June…I have a back brace and a walker.  I really only need the walker for getting up and down from places, not for support while I walk – but it was all funny just the same.  Anyway, we loaded back up, and headed for my house.  We got home to my big dog whining pathetically, giving me a big sniff over, and my friend unloading all my stuff (no lifting over 5 pounds).  I walked, put away a few groceries I still had, put my ice packs in the freezer, and just generally enjoyed being home all while visiting with my friend.  a couple nice hugs…and I was on my own, my friend headed home.

So I tried couch number one.  As far as a sit up straight and ice my back spot….it worked just fine.  But comfy, hang out and recoup….not so much.  After my foot surgeries a few years back, I spent lots of time on couch #2 with my foot propped up on a pile of pillows….but maneuvering an ailing extremity around is worlds easier than maneuvering around a fused spine.  And then I had an idea….I have a great big sleeping bag stuffed into a sleeping bag tote…firm but soft support, not as tall as the coffee table… so off I tottered to the back room with my walker…and got the sleeping bag…and back to the living room we went.  Couch #2…2 pillows behind my back for most optimal positioning comfort….sleeping bag roll on the floor….fresh ice pack from the freezer…water…laptop…phone… and it’s actually not too shabby for now.  I’m holding out for the bed being the best place to crash overnight…time will tell I guess.

Hubby isn’t home yet, and I’m not up for actually cooking a meal…so we’ll see how he feels about dinner when he gets home.  Several things in the freezer still to choose from I think.

For now…I’m just chilling with the ice pack, and enjoying being in my own space.  It’s been a big day…but I’m glad to be home.

 

Day 3 and 4

Honesty here…Day 3 sucked. But I knew to expect it….so I just powered through to get to today.

I was discharged from the hospital day 3 – in the afternoon.  It was a busy day, I was up several times to walk, had a check in with my doc, and planned the discharge for mid range of pain pill timing.  Breakfast didn’t appeal to me, but my anti nausea bands did…so I put those on and continued to drink water.  I did manage to get up and into the bathroom for a bowel movement.  Wiping was interesting – I felt a bit like the karate kid trying to reach and wipe and not land myself on the floor.  But I did it.

My sciatic pain was creeping back – and so I tried a couple different positions to get some rest before I attempted my shower and lunch.  Oh wait…I also had my drain removed that morning.  That was no fun at all…and literally then had me laying flat out instead of reclining in the bed.  Pain pill and ice pack for a couple hours and the worst of that was over.  They set up my shower which felt amazing.  I’ve got a water proof dressing over the drain hole to stay in place until Saturday.  There is no dressing over my incision at all – but a mesh like stuff that snugs it together.  I washed my hair and body and then put on real clothes- ok…sweats and a t shirt, but that’s my wardrobe for my recovery for now. It takes quite a bit of exertion to just shower and get dressed.

I had a lovely grilled cheese sandwich for lunch, and a fruit bowel, went for another walk up and down the hallway.

I was fitted for a back brace on day 2, and I’m able to get it put on and comfortable by myself.  Its just additional support while the muscles heal….and a convenient way to keep ice packs in place.  I can’t bend in my waist at all….any direction – so it also keeps me aligned hips and ribs. My back itself doesn’t really hurt – its more muscular and nerve centered pain.  My sciatic nerve was compressed quite a bit before surgery, and so my hip and buttock would be painful and cramp up – and then pain radiate down my leg and into my toes. Usually a heating pad and some time focused on stretching and relaxing the muscle would get me mobile for the day. Well to say those nerves are a bit ticked off now would be an understatement. I knew to expect this, as it’s related to swelling, but it doesn’t make it any less painful.  Walking helps, as do the muscle relaxers and pain pills.  Changing positions throughout the day and night also makes a difference.  I can sit up in the recliner for a little while.  I can stretch out on the couch for little while. I can lay on my side for a little while.  Pretty much I just rotate through positions to try and give different parts a rest.   Yesterday when I got here to the house, I couldn’t hardly get up or down on my own. But I’ve got a great team of loving friends to help as I need it. Learning to be humble and ask for help – and not be stubborn is hard, but necessary.  I get a little stronger each day, and hopefully will be past the worst of this in a week.  My body just needs to find a new equilibrium and get stronger from there.Image result for scripture pain and suffering

Thank you for all the texts, emails, and messages.  Thank you to those who have prayed for me, and asked others to pray as well.  I truly appreciate it.  Many blessings to each of you who are also going trough trials – Krystina, Julie, Cole, Britt – I love you all and continue my prayers for you and your families.