FREEDOM...Oh...oh wait...maybe not...
Updated: Nov 25, 2019
Ah the sweet taste of freedom! Well, that is if freedom tasted of oramorphe, tea and frustration...
As I turn on today's 5th episode of Don't Tell The Bride and drink my 1000th cup of tea, I reflect back on the last week with an amazing feeling of confusion and a lot of internal questions. Where has my first week out of hospital gone? How am I so tired when I've sat on my arse all day? Have I done too much? Have I not done enough? Am I doing my exercises as well as I could? Is this strange ache in my leg bone normal??
(The good thing about all these questions, is knowing that I have a genuinely helpful person who I can call and ask! The poor nurse who dishes out her number upon your discharge must have seriously regretted her life choices when she met me!! haha! Regardless of how small a question, she has been amazing and has eased all of my silly little concerns with confidence and care. So please never feel like you're on your own!)
So, my first few days out of hospital...well...it was interesting! Thank God for my Mum and my in-laws, otherwise I definitely wouldn't have been able to cope (particularly with my loving fiance off on a fishing trip!!)! I was still pretty high on my mass amount of meds, so although I like to think I was slightly more sensical than when in hospital, I was still rather out of it. Dragging myself around the house was probably the hardest thing, although this was only really to do exercises/go to bed/use the loo, it was certainly not easy - plus using crutches is hard work! Anyway, in my first week I managed to host a small tea party for my nephew's birthday, take my sick note to school and catch up with colleagues, and attend several doctor's appointments to deal with the backlash of all this madness! Not bad going really :)
The Reality No one Talks About
Whilst I say I didn't do too badly, ultimately it really was, and still is (I'm writing this retrospectively I'm afraid, and at 3 weeks in I'm still pretty shattered!!) very tiring and painful. So here are some realities to be prepared for:
PAIN - ok, ok, it's better than I had expected, but just make sure you keep taking those drugs, because otherwise it isn't much fun!
Bladder and Bowl issues (sorry if this is a bit gross, but it is important!) - Having IBS means my internal workings can be pretty iffy even at the best of times, but this has been a whole different ball game! Be prepared to run to the loo every hour (including during the night) whilst your bladder is adjusting and to be doing shots of laxatives as if they were tequila! Most importantly, go to the GP if you are concerned, particularly if it has been several days of tricky toilet trips!!
Spinal issues - 4 days after discharge, I was nearly back in A&E at 2am due to severe/debilitating pain in my lower back. I believed it was pain in my coccyx caused by sitting too much, but I didn't really know. Pain killers didn't touch it. No position eased it. 111 said their doctors wouldn't be able to give me any stronger meds than I already had...Luckily I fell asleep due to pure exhaustion and then called the ward nurse in the morning who sent me to the GP believing it wasn't due to the hip. The GP saw me and said it was down to the muscles either side of the coccyx adjusting to the new leg length/position. They gave me Diazipam to help me sleep but otherwise I had to just wait for the muscle to adjust. My surgeon called me after the nurse had mentioned it to him and he said it was totally normal and just to put up with it for a few days! (Luckily it has now eased off :) But it was worrying at first!)
Disturbed sleep - You won't get much sleep. Just accept it. And if you share your bed with someone, they won't sleep well either. I hate sleeping on my back and apparently it makes me snore like mad....I advise setting up a bed in a spare room for your significant other (or prepare for grumpiness!!)...
Proud Moments of the Week
Coping with a stressful trip to ASDA that I stupidly thought was a good idea (I don't advise this folks!)
Getting showered and dressed with minimal help for the first time!
Surviving quite a busy day out of the house with my Mum - GP appointment, taking sick certificate to work and having lunch in town! :)
Keep smiling folks!