Wednesday, 23 October 2019

Physio Day 1

Today I am 10 days post op and yesterday was my first visit to the physiotherapist.

Janusz my lovely Physiotherapist

I have to admit to not looking forward to it.  The pain has been absolutely unbearable this week especially the last couple of days.  I have truly experienced what 'distraction' pain and it is bloody horrendous.  It is an ache that goes really deep into your legs, for me from my hips down to my ankles and it is completely relentless and has caused a lot of pain and crying.  

The first relief I really felt from it was my trip to see Janusz Szymichowski (the physio).  As I say I was rather nervous about my visit as I couldn't bear the thought of any more pain being inflicted on me but it was quite the opposite.



Janusz is absolutely lovely and incredibly knowledgeable.  I took Craig in with me which in itself was a great comfort. What I found really wonderful was that he took so much time to explain everything to us.  It's amazing how much better your brain is able to process something if it understands why something is happening.

He explained that the 'distraction' pain is caused by nerves in my legs.  I am 3 cm taller since the operation and everything is trying to adjust to this, least of all the nerves but the problem with nerves is they are not really very stretchy.  This means they hurt a lot and it will take time for them to get used to my new height and eventually will stretch to accommodate.   Some folks are really lucky and don't get this pain, others however can suffer with it for weeks, months, and sometimes even years.  I am just desperately hoping that for me it will only be a few weeks at the most.


 
My Scar!


The physio session started off with some gentle leg massage and frankly within seconds I felt such relief even blurting out "I love you already" poor Janusz looked at me somewhat confused and I once again remembered that I must be more careful what I say as things get lost in translation.....lol but oh my goodness, I had gone from a morning of crying my eyes out to relief in a few seconds it was wonderful.  Using a arnica based oil he rotated my hips and massaged the pain away.

We stood up and he taught me a few exercises.  It was really fascinating he talked to us about simple walking.  I expect most of you had noticed with my crutches I had started to waddle like a duck, due to that dastardly nerve pain from the SIJ cockup and I am finding it quite difficult to learn to walk without the penguin waddle (as Craig calls it!).  Janusz broke down the elements of walking into separate movements, something I had not ever contemplated before and we both sat listening with great interest.

The exercises I have to do are very simple and are based on just the movements of walking.  I started doing them at home today although it was a bit painful here and there.

Unfortunately, I didn't have a physio appointment today but turned out I did have a followup consultation with my doctor which somehow got lost in our planner. I have three copies of the roster for the week ahead and I have confused myself which one is which.  So tomorrow's job is to ring and confirm all appointments!  

Although I could not have gone to the appointment anyway as poor Craig has been absolutely out of it today with a horrific migraine.  I couldn't have made it there on my own and he was in no fit state to take me, just upset that Dr Rischke would have been waiting for me and I didn't show up!  I really do like the doc and his wife Elke there are just such nice people.  If you are considering ADR surgery I would seriously consider using Spine Rischke here in Zurich.

Tomorrow we have a day off everything, so we are going to just stay home, do my exercises, go out for a short walk in the morning and in the afternoon but mostly just take it easy.

One of the things I am really thrilled about is that the three couples (including us) who came here to have more or less the same operation are all in contact.  It has been so wonderful being able to talk to them about how they are feeling, what they are doing for pain, how they are dealing with walking etc. The only thing it's hard not to do is compare yourself to how well they are doing.  I have to remember this journey is different for everyone and no two stories are the same.


I have learned a few tricks that I want to pass on for anyone dealing with this horrible distraction pain:-

  • Walk it out no matter how much it aches or what time in the early hours of the morning it is, walk around for at least 5 minutes .
  • Take a magnesium supplement every time it hits really badly.
  • I found that valium/diazepam seem to be the only medicine that help relax the muscle.  
Hot water bottles, my Aunt gave me one and we went and bought another from the shop.  Make them as hot as you can bear and move them to wherever the pain is, by far the best thing I have found for the pain. 

Hot Water Bottle Therapy!


Love

Kate x

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