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Thursday, July 15, 2010

On up days, and down days

As to be expected with all of this, there are Up Days and Down Days.

Now these come and go in a cyclic pattern, their cycling more intense since my recent round of surgeries. In the surgery on my arm, they got rid of a lot of heterotopic ossification (fancy word for extra bone formation in the arm), apparently which caused a fair amount of blood loss. They didn't give me any blood during or after surgery, so I was desperately anemic, short of the red blood cells my body needs. Though this isn't an excuse to why I haven't blogged much this past month, the low levels of energy I've had sure haven't helped.(I will be trying to post a couple times a week from now on) My Hemoglobin count, the actual molecule in red blood cells that allows transport of oxygen and CO2, was dangerously low. The body eventually make more hemoglobin but it takes time, more time if the body is also recovering in other ways such as building skin, muscle, and bone.

At first while out of the hospital there were some really Down Days. I didn't want to get out of bed because it hurt so much to move. When I did move I didn't generally do a whole lot, since I didn't have much energy. There were a slew of Good Days through in there, but at least at first the days were very bad.

Once I started PT again, things began to visibly improve. Because of the surgery to my arm, I had a weight restriction of 5 pound on that arm. HIGHLY annoying, but it turned out to do major good for me in the end. Because they were limited in the amount of work they could do, they had to adapt their strategies, now focusing on the lower back, trunk, and abs. This was enormously helpful, since this strengthened my bag and core, as well as getting rid of most of my back pain. This surgery, a pain in many respect, may have been a gift after all.

So now I am continuing to improve, empowered with a whole myriad of stretches, exercises, and movements that keep me from going stiff and limiting my pain. There are still up days and bad days, but at least the down days are getting better. I've found a few strategies that help, including medication, more stretching, electrical stimulation, icyhot, massage, etc. It's not perfect but I can now make it though the bad days when they do strike.

All in all, things are looking back up for a change. I'm feeling little by little like my old self again.

1 comment:

  1. It is good that things are a bit better, Peter. We in the crab lab still read your blog with interest and are thinking of you!