Perspective & Mental Health

*** This post was inspired by an article written by former Mental Health Nurse, Ashley L. Peterson. The title of that post was, The Role of Values in Acceptance Commitment therapy(ACT) ***

Having surgery for hip replacement has given me some time to think about many things in life that I value. Things such as, walking, feeling the sunshine on my face, visiting with neighbors outside, and even being able to cook my meals once again.

I have been giving a fresh new look at all those things and more. There once was a time where I could walk all over the city to do shopping. I would love to be able to do that again, but putting it in perspective I first have to conquer being able to walk through Walmart to do my shopping.

I love to cook and also bake. I once entered a apple pie and a loaf of fresh bread in our local fair. When the winners of those categories were announced I could hardly believe that I one first prize in both. I would love to bake an apple pie, but putting it in perspective, I will have to wait until I am given the green light to be able to bend down to the level of my oven.

When I was told that I would need a hip replacement I accepted it. For me it couldn’t come fast enough, I kept hoping each day that the phone would ring and that it would be the operating schedule office with a date. Putting that in perspective I just had to take a deep breath and tell myself it will happen when it happens.

I always dreamed of buying a big log style home where I could enjoy sitting at a piano playing to my hearts content. Putting it in perspective I had to accept the fact that I could not have it because of finances. The best I could do was buy my current place on a rent-to-own contract. By the way, I paid it off in just over seven years.

It is easy to get through each day, step by step, moment by moment, by keeping things in perspective. As I finish this, the movie, “What About Bob“, and the quote “baby steps, baby steps” to Bob, the main character played by actor, Tom Hanks.

So dear reader, are you able to keep things in perspective when dealing with your issues in your current life? I and the other readers would love to hear your thoughts about “perspective”!

Therapist – Good Report

This morning I was at my appointment with my therapist, and she was very happy with my progress. She did some measurements to check the length of my legs, a test to see if both hips are aligning properly, and last was to see how my range of motion in my hip. Happy to see that I have full range when kicking out to my side, it was twenty-five degrees.

I now have new exercises that helps my stability, one exercise is practicing standing up from a chair without using my hands. Other ones are for me to have the ability to roll on my sides, which I find great because before the operation I slept on my side. She also encouraged me to practice getting into the tub and standup to see if I can shower that way without the tub bench.

Finally, after I came home and had some rest I took my first walk around part of my neighborhood, although using my wheeled walker. It was a feeling of satisfaction for reaching part of my goals for this summer. Also, was able to stop and visit with two of my neighbors for a good twenty minutes.

My stability using my cane today has greatly improved Getting my own coffee and other things feels so liberating.

So dear reader, once again I am reminded that if you do the hard work, you will see results!

p.s. – I cannot tell you how I feel mentally. I think I reached the clouds combining both of the days!

Good Doctor’s Report

This morning I went to see the surgeon. After waiting an hour I finally was called in only for him to send me for a x-ray.

So, away I go using nothing but my four-legged walker. Once again, more waiting. After the x-ray back to see the surgeon.

He came in and told me he looked at the x-ray and gave me a great report. I can now put as much weight, as is comfortable, on the replaced hip. So, I can go back to using my wheeled walker, but for the most time I walk around my home with just a cane.

I spoke to him about the exercises that I was given by the therapist. I mentioned about the exercise where you simulate making a snow angel. He became upset and told to stop the exercise. His reason, you wouldn’t make those type of moves even with a good hip. So, when I see the therapist tomorrow I am going to ask why the contradiction.

It feels great that I no longer have to see the surgeon and that I have gained some more freedom of movement.

So dear reader, this almost sixty year old guy has just jumped one more hurdle on my way to reaching my goal of walking around outdoors. Well, maybe you can teach an old dog new tricks…lol…chuckles!

A Brief Update

I have not written a post for several days. I have just not much to write about.

My recovery is going great and this week I will find out how well I am doing. I have appointments with the surgeon and the therapist. Also, on the vaccine front I will be having my second dose on Friday morning.

I have had a couple of battles with companies, one was about a return and the other is getting a refund. The former is solved, while the latter is ongoing.

I have been concerned lately over how many sites are starting to require a cell phone number, for which I do not have one. I wonder how many people worldwide would this affect. I have not had a need to own a cell phone and the biggest reason is the cost. For those on a fixed budget that can mean whether you pay rent or the phone company. I have three services from my phone company that cover, landline, internet, and television. For those three I pay much less than the cost of the cell phone.

So dear reader, that are some of my brief thoughts for now!

Attitude of Gratitude

One very important aspect of motivation is the willingness to stop and to look at things that no one else has bothered to look at. This simple process of focusing on things that are normally taken for granted is a powerful source of creativity .Edward de Bono

I have for the past several days taken and worked at my exercises. I am progressing slowly, but some of those things were things that I never thought about when doing them. One of those things is putting on long legged pants. Since I cannot bend I have to use a tool called a “reacher”. I have conquered that task and I was elated when I did it correctly on the first try.

Yesterday, I made a small step towards being able to go outside. I was able to walk down my ramp to the first landing, then making it back to my living room. I realize that this seems trivial until you have to teach yourself how to do something using a new technique. Each day has caused me to know how I took things for granted when I had two good operating hips.

For instance, I have been shown what a true friend is. I met my best friend in the latter part of the nineties. It was a basic friendship, basically cordial and someone to visit. My friendship with my best friend has grown into more like a family. His mother used to tell people, “he’s my son of another mother” when speaking about me. He is more than just a friend now for I consider him to be the big brother I never had.

During this whole journey with my hip he has went far and beyond. He has been cooking meals for me and while I was in the hospital he watched my house. He walked through the pre-op along with me which was about six hours. I tell him many times a day how much I appreciate all that he has done.

I have realized that even the little things deserve our gratitude. Even while in the hospital I always told the nurses how much I admire and am thankful for all the work they do for their patients.

So dear reader, I wonder what little things you are thankful for. Is there something that you have come to the conclusion that you have taken it for granted?

Progress…Slow & Steady

“Sometimes life knocks you on your ass… get up, get up, get up!!! Happiness is not the absence of problems, it’s the ability to deal with them.” ― Steve Maraboli,  Life, the Truth, and Being Free

Yesterday, Friday I went for a session of therapy. It was to check how I was doing since surgery. The good news was, that I had gained a ten point in range of motion, since pre-op measurements, for most areas of the new hip. It gave me the feeling that, like little Johnny, I had received an “A” on a test Then the therapist gave some new exercises for me to do to help move that range of motion even further. The whole session lasted about an hour.

All my life has been one challenge after the other, challenges that if I wouldn’t have had the attitude to move forward, I would have never attained some of the gains in my life. I am someone who needs a challenge, something to cheer me on, to keep my eyes looking forward and never backwards. The therapist also added a new challenge, it is to start conquering walking up and down my wheelchair ramp. I am looking forward to conquering that, it means my goal of walking around the neighborhood is one step closer.

My next appointment is the middle of June where I will see the surgeon one day, then the next day more therapy.

I hope that maybe my posts about my battle to walk again might inspire others to keep moving forward, face the challenges that life throws your way.

So dear reader, once again I wish thank everyone for their support and their cheers from the sidelines!

Quitting, Not An Option

It does not matter how slowly you go so long as you do not stop.- Confucius

Today the home care nurse was here. It was a two goal stop. First, intake for home care, then to check on the dressing on the incision. Everything was good and next Monday the staples come out. Hallelujah!

Growing up I heard a saying more than once, “no pain, no gain”. I have decided that quitting is not an option for I am the one that loses if I do.

There have been several people on the maternal side that have experienced hip replacement. My grandmother, two aunts, and one uncle. It is the uncle that has motivated me to work as hard as hell. He had fallen and broke hip hip, but for some reason he gave up and spent the rest of his life in a wheelchair. I do not want to spend the rest of my natural life in a four wheeled chair.

I have battled lots in my crazy life, from a fall out of tree breaking my arm in two places, to being thrown off the back of a motorbike landing on my behind ripping my back apart. I am also a suicide survivor. I didn’t quit then and I am not quitting now.

For me I am at the end of this tunnel and daylight is only a weekend away. Tomorrow I have to go for therapy and I feel the therapist will be amazed at my progress.

So dear reader when I am at the end of my rope, I tied a knot and held on tightly!

Now Working For My Recovery

Well in the hospital they started working with me to get me back on my feet. The work is hard, but it is necessary if I want to use this new hip for what it is intended.

I spent most of my lone time to go back to what I love, reading! Since their so called tv. system is a joke I needed to find a way to fill my time. One of the therapists went down to the main floor and brought up two books written by two of my favorite authors, Tom Clancy and James Patterson. I am currently reading the writing of the latter. It is a true story that takes place around the birth of the twentieth century. It is dealing with the lynching and the K.K.K. in the deep south of America. The Title, Alex Cross.

I am grateful that I could have a hip replacement. I think about those who are not fortunate to have a health care system like that found in Canada. If I were to be in another country I may not have been able to afford this surgery. My heart goes out to those who suffer with health issues and do not have the resources to seek help.

I am told my recovery will take about three months before I can walk without a four-legged walker. I cannot use my other walker because it has wheels.

What kept me going forward was my thoughts about an uncle that had hip replacement and for some reasons he spent the rest of his life in a wheelchair.

I feel that anything you work hard for is worth having, which for me is being able once again to walk my dog, Natalie and visiting my neighbors.

So dear reader I am on my way to the end of the tunnel!

May 10-Home

I arrived today around 1 p.m. MT.

The surgery went well and I have a new hip. I do not know how long the surgery took, but most believed it was about two hours.

I woke up in the recovery with no side effects. I was taken to my room around 3p.m. MT, the rest of that day is a blur.

Iam writing sitting on the side of my bed using an android box. Sittin at the laptop may be a challenge due to the fact I cannot go past 90 degrees. I am learning new skills for my walking, standing up from a seated position. Learning to put my socks on using sock aid to keep my seated position correct. It goes the same for putting on shoes and my pants.

I had no wifi connection, but also was not allowed to take my laptop. It does feels great to be home, having access to the web and also to catch up on some t.v.shows.

It will take some time to catch up reading all of the great posts.

So deader, for all those who was sending good will my way. I have much else to write about. Now I need to continue the hard work of getting back on my feet soundly!

Almost There

It has been a busy time for me this week. It started Monday where I spent almost six hours going through tests, meetings and information overload. When I made it home I basically fell into my bed and stayed there until morning.

On a positive note about my appointments is that I met with an anesthesiologist. He looked at all of the results from echocardiogram and an x-ray of my lungs. Both tests were great, my heart is strong and so are my lungs.

Tuesday I met with the surgeon for the last time before the surgery. He too was pleased about all of those tests.

The hospital here is only booking surgeries one week at a time. This outbreak of Covid has everything in a tailspin. The surgeon and also the anesthesiologist said that if surgeries are put on hiatus that the both of them would fight for my surgery. My hip is that bad and growing worse.

For the first time in my life I have the utmost confidence in all those who will be working during my surgery. They seem to feel that I will only be in the hospital for about five days. I am not going to be anxious to push going home, I know they will discharge me when it is safe to do so.

I have to use a four legged walker, not my own with wheels. The therapy department ordered one for me and it was here over night. So, I am trying to learn how to properly walk with it according to a video that was sent to me from the O. R office. The video walks me through from start to finish. What happens during an hip replacement, then speaks about the post-op afterwards. There are exercises, how to put on socks and pants of which I have a tool to help. All these things are there for me to use that will ensure a complete and successful hip replacement.

I appreciate all those who have sent good will my way. I am not sure when I will be able to post again, but I will at that time tell you of my hip replacement.

So dear reader, take care of yourself, stay safe and I will chat with you on the exit from this tunnel!

I Can See Light at The End of The Tunnel

Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness. DESMOND TUTU

Tomorrow I head out to the hospital for everything of pre-op. They will be measuring my hip, taking blood work, chest x-rays, and I will be seeing an internist. I was told it will be about six to seven hours. I am looking forward to this, the beginning of the final last stretch to my hip replacement.

I find I am buoyant about everything leading up to May 3, 2021. I am praying and hoping that there will be no postponements. I am being extra careful and cautious not to cutting myself while shaving, etc., The surgeon will postpone the surgery if there is any cuts or scratches on me. He is picky about infections and to be honest I am thankful that he is that way. I have total confidence with this surgeon. This is not the first time I have been to him for all things orthopedic. I saw him for a fracture in my knee and one in my foot. Yes, he has relayed all the things that can happen. I guess this is necessary, probably it is the hospital’s policy.

I was sent a link to a YouTube video that the hospital produced. It is concerning everything I need to know about the surgery. It ranges from pre-op straight through to post-op and recovery at home. It shows you all the things that you should have in your home. I am fortunate that I have all these things already installed, except for a raised toilet seat.

So dear reader I start counting the steps that will lead me to the exit of this tunnel called “hip replacement”!

p.s. – I thought that this day would never come around!

Update – My Journey to Hip Surgery – 3/16/2021

You may notice that I have not posted many over the past several days.

My hip and the pain have grown worse this past week. It is becoming more difficult to move around the house. With the aid of my cane and walker I hobble about.

Sitting and laying are limited and it is dictated by the pain that I am experiencing.

My best friend acted as an advocate and called the office of the surgeon. He spoke with the receptionist, explained what he has been witnessing concerning me. After speaking with her she booked an appointment for me to see the surgeon once again to assess the condition where he will determine my need for hip surgery. This could result in the change of urgency and placement on the waiting list for the surgery.

I may not be as active on WordPress for the next amount of time. I will write posts and publish them depending on how I am dealing with my pain.

So dear reader and fellow bloggers, I will check in to at least look at my notifications and to read some blogs that I follow. I will keep you updated on the progress I am making.

My Journey To Having Hip Replacement

Yesterday morning started my long journey to having a hip replaced. I saw the surgeon and he started the exam by explaining what he saw in an MRI. He said I really didn’t have any hip left. It was obvious that I needed a hip replaced.

The he lead me to an exam room where I was asked to take my jeans off and climb up onto the exam table. He began to move my leg around when he moved it to a certain position I let out a scream. I am sure those sitting out in the waiting area heard me.

Then he sent me back to the hospital to have a up to date x-ray of my hip. After that I was back in his office where he proceeded to explain things that will happen just before the surgery. I will have a meeting with an anesthesiologist and one more person connected with the surgery.

Next came all the scenarios of what could go wrong. I have a history of blood clots and will have to stop the blood thinner, Warfarin at least three days beforehand. He was blunt that it could be possible that my heart may stop. There was much more, which I cannot recall at the moment, then the big question was “do I want to have the surgery”? My reply was simple, “of course I do”.

I had prepared years ago a Living Will(Advance Care Directive) in Saskatchewan. This was written after my first blood clot battle. So I will make a copy to be given to the hospital to be on record for my surgery and recovery.

I wrote my aunt yesterday about my meeting with the surgeon and told her ‘that I don’t feel anxious’. Whatever comes of it I am prepared to meet it head on.

So dear reader, I thought I would journal/post about this journey I am taking to having my hip replaced.