In preparation of my doctor’s appointment, I ate a yummy homemade breakfast. My mom and I have perfected a healthy morning muffin. I made a new batch yesterday and I think these are the best yet! They’re made with zucchini, carrots, coconut, chia seeds, coconut oil, greek yogurt and dates instead of sugar. I’m drinking my coffee out of my new “hip hip hooray” mug that Chris’ cousin sent me. I’m totally obsessed with it, especially because it is my blog’s site icon! Thank you Suz; your generosity completely made my day. I also made sure to wear my PAO tank and my PAO bracelet. All decked out for my surgeon!
My visit with Dr. Santore went well and was very helpful. He’s such a wonderful person and an incredible doctor who actually takes the time to listen and talk with his patients. He heard things that I’ve been telling my neck surgeon for months (who is not listening to me at all it seems) and is actually taking action. We discussed that I am still numb in my right leg. He thinks my main nerves in that leg are working and that the numbness will take more time to come back, but he does want me to get nerve conduction studies done. I have been very shaky and it has been really worrying me. He did a full assessment of me and thinks that the shakiness as well as hyperreflexia could be stemming from my cervical spine. The reflex tests were worse then before any of my surgeries. He said that the concern with how hyper the reflexes are and that they are asymmetrical in my upper extremities is that at any point my spinal cord could collapse completely. He is referring me to a neurologist for a full neurological exam as well as four extremity EMG (electromyography) studies. I also told him that I advanced and had a harder physical therapy session last Friday and by that night I could barely walk and was in so much pain. It lasted all weekend. I went back to two crutches and laid really low for the weekend. I told him that every time I have a flare up like that my back also really hurts and for a couple weeks my back has been in a lot of pain even when my hip is ok. Dr. Santore did a back assessment too and found all the supporting muscles really tight. He thinks it could be from my hip recovery, the non weight bearing for so long, my new gait pattern and also could be my underlying back problems irritated. I will discuss this with the neurologist too. The good news is that he was happy with my x-rays and my range of motion. He also watched me walk down the hall without my cane and was impressed with my gait. He said that I am walking well and swinging both arms like I should be! It’s ok to toggle back and forth between the crutches and the cane until I am out of pain and feeling great just on the cane. He also said that PT shouldn’t be hurting or flaring me up, so that I should continue with water therapy and maybe bump that to twice a week and land therapy once every other week for the next month. I will have the testing done with the neurologist and then follow up with Dr. Santore on May 30th.
Three month updates:
- I have removed the raised toilet seat. I do miss it, but am ready to keep moving forward to my new recovered life.
- I have a couple more weeks of iron and it no longer bothers me to take it. It’s the only hip med I’m on now. I haven’t taken pain meds in awhile.
- My incisions are looking good and healing well still. I am applying coconut oil and vitamin E oil as well as massaging the areas. The bumps and thickened areas are smoothing out. The purpleness will take up to two years to fade, Dr. Santore told me.
- I am now hanging out on the couch and it is so nice to be living in the living room again!
- My restrictions have been lifted and as long as I have the strength to slam on the breaks, I can start driving. Yahoo!!!! This allows me to gain some independence back and I am so happy about it.
- I can reach my toes now which also means I can shave my own legs!
- I am lying on my right side more and more and able to nap on my op side, but not for too long of a time. Still it’s a progression!
- I’ve had some weird nerve pain/sensations down my right leg and some muscle cramping. One day I had a hamstring cramp for about half a day. Chris massaged it that day and the next day my PT did soft tissue work on it.
- I haven’t taken a muscle relaxer in several weeks. My neck surgeon said I don’t need to take it every night anymore and only when I think I need it.
- I’ve completed my lyrica bottle and at this time am not restarting it.
- I think I am developing an adhesive allergy. I cover all my incision scars when I am outside. My neck incision is more sensitive to the tape and bandaids because my hip incision doesn’t have the rash or blisters like my neck gets.
- My mood has improved immensely and I feel much happier now.
- I have taken a couple walks in the neighborhood. I will usually use both crutches because I can go farther and faster, but I have done it with one crutch and also with my cane. The furthest I’ve gone is about 0.6 miles, which I was quite impressed with. The best part is that I can walk into our neighborhood downtown area where there are coffee shops and restaurants. It will give me something to do to pass the days! Driving and walking! I’m moving forward and seeing the progress.