Each day brings me closer to being able to walk strong, sure and balanced no help necessary once again. It has been and is indeed a challenge to relearn something I’ve done since I took my first steps as an itty bitty being. Thankfully, I am now able to practice walking outside graduating from going with a walker to steady myself accompanied by my therapist to going out on my own. While I would love to say I can cover miles, I cannot, taking very short walks performing a delicate balancing act with my cane and camera. I know I should be focused on my feet however I found my eyes searching every nook and cranny of my limited routes and just had to begin taking pictures again.
I am extremely careful as I move about, have figured out how to position everything including me in order to stay safe yet able to capture what captures my eye so onward I press and as I do…
I was most fortunate to have a room with a view while in the hospital. Each time I got up, I was able to look out and see a lush green field, flowering trees and lovely homes in the distance. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to see the scenery while in bed so I was most happy when one of my friends graced my windowsill with a gorgeous orchid. It now sits across from my bed at home bringing me great joy every morning when I wake; it also reminds me to embrace progress.
Here’s to the unexpected things that encourage. They’re out there so…
Got a feelin’ that I will be able to attempt a sunday snaps venture sometime soon. Though I know it will be limited as far as time and how much territory I can cover, it is one of the things I look forward to getting back to as little by little, mobility (on foot and by car) and my surroundings (including putting furniture and items back where they belong) as I knew them pre-surgery returns. That said, I took these photographs on previous Sunday outings with the camera as I rode through town…
Before I went in for surgery, I had to prepare all of the rooms in my home so I would be able to use a walker with no obstructions. This meant throwing out stacks of magazines used for collage purposes and lately, I’ve had a desire and really needed to get creative during the hours I am confined to being indoors. At the moment, I am not able to sit at my table to create artwork, pondered what I could do and where. And then it was clear as day -- use the catalogs I receive to source pictures then keep it simple by making torn paper collages, something I’ve done while perched in bed on countless occasions in the past when I was completely well.
It was wonderful to feel the sticky glue on my fingers again as I worked on small scale creations, one after the other. My plan is to make them as catalogs come in the mail pulling pictures and patterns that appeal to me, have used a couple as thank you notes for friends who sent thoughtful gifts to cheer me as I recuperate. I hope to get out my watercolors to continue making pieces for a project I started earlier this year. Not too sure that this is a good idea for the boudoir so as I now ponder this dilemma…
I am still whipping up green smoothies and since I have time on my hands, decided to experiment. Have to admit, I did make some not so lip smackin’ versions, however, I finally arrived at one that I am willing to share because it is quite delicious (kid friendly too)!
virgin spinach colada
1 banana (to make thicker add ½ frozen banana)
big handful fresh spinach (1 cup packed)
½ cup frozen pineapple
1 cup coconut almond milk (my preference is Califia)
¼ tsp rum flavoring
1 tsp ground flaxseeds
Put all ingredients in blender and blend on smoothie or shake setting until very creamy. Pour into a glass, pop in a paper umbrella if you have one handy and a straw. Kick back and imagine you are in the tropics somewhere, lounging in a soft beach chair listening to the sound of the ocean washing against the sand, sunglasses perched on the tip of your nose, the blue and turquoise horizon stretching out as far as the eyes can see while you...
When I made the decision to have hip replacement surgery, I began to make changes in preparation for this event. The desire to be as ready as possible drove shifts in eating and exercise as I stepped up my mindfulness, meditation and self-Reiki practices. Four weeks have passed since my hip was replaced and as the days pass, I am so aware of the role of mindfulness in recuperation. Every step I take is taken with care and thought. The art of bathing has become a redefined ritual where I really must pay attention to how I get into and out of the shower, how I move about as the water cascades the soap over my limbs and down to the ceramic beneath my feet. Anything that involves movement from getting out of the bed to functioning in the kitchen to walking down the stairs is done, again with care and thought.
My expectations going into this were not great or unrealistic, however I did and still do have some because in recovery, expectations are the goals that set your progress. Sure I had a moment when I just wanted to get to the finish line, frustrated with how very slow this process is. I am now at peace with not really knowing where that line is, happy to just take note of each new change in the mobility of my hip, grateful for being completely in that moment.
I’m not sure what speed time is moving in these days. Some mornings I wake and wink and day is done; others stretch out as long as the desert is wide as I wait for when I can climb back into bed for the night to give my leg and hip a rest from rehab.
My older sister came two weeks ago today to help me and honestly I don’t believe I would have made the progress that I have without her being here. Having a constant presence encouraged me to get up and get moving every day and though I couldn’t get out very often, we have managed to make the most of each day including watching both awful and informative TV! One evening, she stopped on PBS and much to my surprise, there was an actor from a hit TV show playing with a band in a club down in New Orleans. Who knew that Hugh Laurie could not only jam but also sings in a gravely drawl that I really enjoyed! I pulled out the electronics, ordered the CD and have now declared Let Them Talk as my soundtrack for the summer…a slow cool reminding me to let the mend do what it do, so from the mend...
The past few days have brought to my attention in high volume the things we take for granted giving me pause for thought.
Three days ago, I left my home for the first time since I came home from surgery on 7/18. We headed to my first post op visit where my bandage was finally removed and I was also given a green light to go outside for VERY short walks each day. Woo-hoo was how I felt as we stopped at the Whole Foods; I looked up at the sky around me before going in with my walker.
That said, I cannot get up and walk down the stairs and go out the front door unattended let alone jump in the car and drive somewhere until I am no longer using a walker and have better use of my right leg.
I gingerly stepped into the shower yesterday for the first time since 7/15, the morning of my surgery. I had to wait this long because my scar needed to dry out hence the joy about the bandage removal I spoke of above. Every hair and pore on my body sang the hallelujah chorus in silent unison as loud as they could as I bathed with someone standing outside of the shower just in case I lost my balance.
If I drop something, I cannot bend down to pick it up unless I use the wonderful tool I was given so long as the item is not heavy or too large/wide. I can no longer cross my legs. Last night as I used the step stool to help me get into bed, it tipped over; I felt the fear of dislocating my new hip. I repositioned, got situated on the edge, paused to catch my breath and found myself thinking back to when I was wheeled into recovery, thankful that I woke-up period and that I wasn’t groggy thanks to an epidural and local anesthesia. All seemed well until I realized I could not feel anything from the waist down. Though my mind told me I could wiggle my toes, none of them moved. Lying there, I remember being so very grateful that I would regain that ability within a few hours; not everyone has or will have that privilege. And that puts it all in perspective and keeps it real for me as I recuperate.