Tuesday, November 25, 2008

New furnace

So how long will it take him to get this installed? He wanted to do this about a month ago when all this back stuff happened and delayed his plans. It's always something. Can't plan anything around here.

The furnace came at the end of last week and he was anxious to install it over the weekend but guess what? He measured wrong and the coil thingy or whatever it is called on top doesn't fit correctly and will have to be "modified". And also our present air conditioner doesn't fit so in spring he has to buy and install a new air conditioner which I am not happy about. Everything he does turns into an ordeal.

So, he is going to different stores making sure he has all his parts before turning the a/c off this coming weekend . . . Thanksgiving weekend when our daughter will be home visiting us. He says the heat will only be of for a couple of hours. Shall we all take bets here how long it will really take him? I think I should have a secret back-up plan for a place to go get warm since it is very cold here now since it's nearly December. If a guy installed it they would indeed have it done in a couple hours, but that is $2,500 to do it. So, he is doing it himself for that reason.

He says it will take a couple of hours, and I am saying it will take at least double that time that he says. At least Miller has her heater tank, but the rest of us won't have anything since the gas will be off. Last year it was the water heater and that took him two weeks to do. I told him to wait to do the heater till spring, but what do I know.


Therapy is really difficult, and I am only going for the ankle at the moment. I have about a dozen exercises, one of them being this one pictured, that the hospital therapy department gave me to do at home till I can start the big stuff.

My therapist, Carrie, told me I was twisting while standing up from a seated position when I lean on my walker and whatever else I have nearby to push up with. I didn't realize I was doing that. So, she had me attempt to stand up alone without touching anything. I could not do it. I tried about a dozen times with sweat dripping down and finally I managed only with the help of the therapist's hands in front of me. It's like I have lead weight in my butt. My ankle is still real weak so that doesn't help. She says I will be able to do it in time.

Then she had me walk without the walker. That was also difficult. She was trying to get me to loosen up and I was too tense. It's still sore to move and I am also afraid to fall. She says to keep trying and before long I will regain my regular walk and relax. She had me cracking up as she held out her arms and said "come to Mama". LOL! That's what it feels like, a baby taking their first steps alone.

She says this is about three months after I start the back therapy after December 12th when I get the green light from Dr. Lim, the back surgeon, to begin. I am definitely going to have to wear lighter gym clothes because I pour sweat doing just the simple things right now. I have shed another 8 pounds from all this back crap.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Sock aid...great invention!

I have found this handy little gadget (along with the EZ Grabber) to be so helpful since I cannot bend and put on my own socks and shoes. Now if they only had something for underwear and pants!

I'm back

I won't be making every day posts for awhile since I am unable to sit here for very long. While recovering from my ankle surgery, and because I was struggling to take that damn boot cast on and off, I blew my back out. I had surgery to remove part of L-5 in my lower spine in 2004 and this time it completely blew out. Also, L4 was also herniated. S1 was degenerated and nothing but bone rubbing on bone there.

So, had spinal fusion surgery on November 3rd and have been doing my best to get moving again. This has been one of the most painful recoveries I have experienced, but the post op pain from this is nothing like the sciatica and horrible back pain I had before the operation. The pain was hot and searing and going right down the leg into the foot I just hand ankle surgery on. So, had to interrupt the ankle therapy and have this done. Before they did surgery they tried an epidural. The first attempt was a failure when the damn anesthesiologist put the needle in the wrong place and I felt nothing but pain and he wanted me to come back and do it again in a week. NO way was I going back to someone who says "oops, wrong place, have to try it again!" I found another spinal specialist who urged me to try the epidural again. I did and this one did not take even though the spinal surgeon who did it injected the steroid into the right spot.

The only option was spinal fusion. So I agreed, wanting to get the problem solved sooner rather than later. It was unavoidable so why prolong the wait. So, after five hours of surgery, I now have six screws, metal rods and some mesh cylinders, etc. in my lower back. There are also plastic discs between the vertabrae which are not shown on these images.I sort of feel like I have a rod up my back and a bunch of hard stuff in there. I am told that I will get used to the feeling once the pain goes away.

Here is a couple of photos I found online similar to what I had done.

Things are starting to get easier, like getting in and out of bed which has to be done without bending my back at all. Tricky. Then sitting down and getting up. I can't twist at all and have to make sure my hips and shoulders are aligned at all times. I can't sit too long or else it hurts really bad. I have ten pages of therapy exercises to do twice a day. And I had to walk farther and farther each day and have to try to get up to a mile at one time. Right now I am about a half a block.