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Recovery Update

I realise that I have not actually put anything in about my recovery for a while. The problem that I have is that every day is very much like the day before. There are improvements, but comparing day to day like I do, gives very little idea of how I am progressing.

The most obvious change is in my hair. I have not cut it since my fall, and so it is getting pretty long now. Maybe I will leave it, or maybe just have a trim. It is strange to have hair again after so many years of clipper cuts.

Stairs are now much less of an issue. I started off arseing up and down stairs, but now, I just go up and down on my crutches. Up is not to bad, as if I go off balance, the tendency is to fall forwards onto the stairs. Going down has a few more issues. I have to put the crutches on the next step down, and hold my right leg forwards, then drop onto the step with my left leg. It seems more unsafe than going up the stairs, and I feel that I will fall forwards down the stairs rather than backwards onto the stairs.

Moving my leg compared to how it was one week, two weeks etc, ago is also improved. When I was in the hospital, Dr. Lee said I should aim to bend my leg to 90 degrees by the 4th week after the op. I was able to do that 2 weeks after the op, and now I can bend it well beyond 90 degrees. Not only that, but I can move it with the muscles rather than using my hands, or forcing it with my other leg.

Getting into Mum and Dad’s car is also getting better. They have a Toyota Rav4, and the seat heights are perfect for me. I do not have to drop down into the seat, it is at a level where I only have to bend my knee a bit, and I am there. Initially when I got in the car 2 weeks ago, I could not bring my right leg into the car without pulling it about. Now, I can lift it into the car, and move it around on it’s own.

I have been doing small exercises every day. These consist of swinging my leg forwards and backwards, lifting my leg up (to simulate going up stairs), and swinging my leg from side to side. I do 50 reps of these each time, and I try and do that at least once a day. There is no pain in the movement, it is the muscles that are sore and need working to help my recovery. Where the plate was put in it would seem that they had to do a lot of cutting through my quadriceps to get to the bone. I am trying to make sure that I am moving the leg as much as possible to stretch tendons and improve the muscles. When I first started, it was difficult to do 50, now it is less so. I now do them with a boot on, which adds extra weight, and is more representative of actual life!

My right ankle swelled up last week, and I put it down to the fact that I was not using my foot, and I was no raising it when I sat down. Dad was concerned, so I put my DVT stocking on, and make sure I raise my leg in the day when I am sat down. Not all the time, just not having my leg down all the time. I also think that the sofa / chair have quite wide cushions front to rear, and that was perhaps reducing blood flow to my lower leg. Since doing that, my ankle has reduced in size, and is now comparable to my left ankle.

Sleeping is now much improved. In the hospital, I basically slept on my back, as turning to one side or the other pulled the muscles too much to be comfortable. I now sleep with a pillow between my legs, lying on my left side. The pillow keeps my hip in a similar position to where it is when I lie flat on my back, and so does not pull or strain anything. Last night, I even slept for a while without the pillow, and it seemed fine. Lying on my right hand side has not been an option, as the stiches holes were still healing. They have lost their scabs now, and it does not hurt as much to press them. I tried lying on my right side for a bit last night, and it is much better. The acid test will be when I wake up and find myself lying on my right hand side, as it will not have woken me up!

That is all recovery wise. Just a gradual improvement day by day. It is only when I compare to a few more days ago that I realise how things are changing. Everything is improving, and I am hoping that by the time I can put my foot down, the exercises I am doing now, and the movement that I have will mean it will not take long to get full weight on my leg.

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