Sunday, March 30, 2014

Back to (para)normal

It's Sunday night. And just like most of you, I have to go to work in the morning. No. I GET to go to work in the morning. Things are getting back to normal. Well, as normal as they ever get around here.

The weekend was a whirlwind. On Friday I had my first follow up with the surgeon. I took advantage of this last free-ish day to meet my friend, Megan, for lunch. Cannot believe I didn't think to grab a picture of us, as I haven't seen her since the War of 1812 or so. Anyway, it was a long overdue get together. Countless laughs and a couple of hugs and we were both reset to "happy."

My appointment was good, but a bit of a puzzle.

The Good:
The CPM is on the couch, you can see the corner of the 'cooler' on the floor to my left. 

  1. The doctor was quite pleased with his work (aren't they always?) and the x-rays they took looked good to me, too. 
  2. He also thought my PT progress was quite strong. Little did he know that I brought and used the crutches only as a show for him... I had  been off them since Tuesday. ("Necessity is the mother of recovery"!) The last thing I needed was to waltz(ish) in and have him freak out that I was ruining his reconstruction! 
  3. I brought back the CPM (Continuous Perpetual Motion) machine even though I technically can keep it until my next follow up. (It only goes to about 100 degrees and my range of motion is already beyond that). This thing is vital in the beginning but it is a huge and heavy contraption... not conducive in lowering the chaos level in our living room.
  4.  He did not manipulate my leg to see how the graft was holding up (Holy OUCH if he had tried that!) 
  5. Getting the stitches out was not traumatic. I was concerned about this because on my long incision there were no visible knots and I had this fear that somehow the knots were INSIDE the leg and the nurse would have to pull them through. I was wrong about that, thank goodness! Musta been some fancy knot-less style of stitching. (What a good Boy Scout!)

The Puzzling:
  1. He asked me if I was back to work yet. This got me immediately a teeny bit defensive, possibly because I knew that I really would have been able to handle it the last couple of days. My 100% honest response to his question was "I... thought... I... wasn't...allowed... to.. go... until..." He looked over my chart again and agreed that, yes, I did need clearance for Worker's Comp before I could head back to work. Weird.
  2. He asked me if I was wearing the brace in bed at night. My 100% answer to that question was, "Well, I was prepared to tell you 'yes,' but it sounds like it's okay with you if I am not. So, uuhhh, no. I have  been taking it off to sleep." He was fine with that.
The reason why those things were puzzling is that they went against the 'strict instructions' I got when I left after the operation. I am starting to see that all of the MUST DOs and MUST DO NOTs are a little more flexible than they sound. Right now I look at the timeline for my physical therapy and I am thinking that I can move things along at a faster clip if I am smart and consistent with my PT. ("Straight Line Jogging" beginning at 3 months, I'm looking at you!) 

I had a great surprise after church today. Jim, my Mile 25 teammate, presented me with this funny, sweet, and STRESS-REDUCING gift:
I was not able to capture it very well with my phone, but what you are looking at is a little plastic Phoebe, complete with a "40" cape, head band, and determined facial expression. His Pay It 40ward project is to create science experiments for kids. In this one, the Plastic Phoebe floats to the top until you squeeze the bottle, whereupon she sinks to the bottom. I believe this phenomenon is called "science". (Yes. My journalism major is showing here!) I am going to bring this awesome gift to work with me and share it with students and staff. They will love it. Thanks, Jim!

Finally, a little photo to show how weird the circulatory system is.... 

The surgery didn't touch that part of me knee at all. And though it's hard to see in this picture, there's a pretty cool looking bruise on the inside of my ankle. I believe this phenomenon is called "science gravity". But I might  be wrong.

OH. WAIT!! FINALLY, finally... A picture of the cake I baked for my amazing co-workers as a thanks for all of their care and support while I've been hobbled:

Thanks for being there when I 'kneed'd' you. Your kindness 'takes the cake'! Onward! -Phoebe
I didn't have my preferred dark chocolate powder (rats)  but I used coconut oil instead of regular vegetable oil. If my tastes of the batter are any indication, it's going to be SOOOO yummy! 

Please keep my dad in your thoughts tomorrow. He's going in to have his horribly messed up shoulder replacement fixed. Keep Mom in there, too, as she's not 100% yet from her falls around here and she'll be busy taking care of him. THANKS!

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