Henry Warner continues to make pretty satisfying progress. At this point I am generally self-sufficient. I can get in and out of bed by myself and dress/undress myself. Two tools that help are a “reacher” tool that lets you grab items and a “sock slider” tool that lets you put a sock on your operated foot unassisted.
Today I walked slightly over a mile inside the house. I measured off a route that was 260 feet long by weaving in and out of various rooms. I completed 25 laps of this course. As part of the course was through the laundry room, I would place a dog food kernel on the counter every time I passed through as a lap counter. Anyone who has ever run laps or swam pool lengths knows what I am talking about. It’s easy to lose track otherwise.
I strapped-on my iPod and headset, tuned in to my French language course and started walking using one crutch under my non-operated side. I quickly found out that I could walk while placing very little load on the crutch. I basically had no load on the armpit-rest and only used a few fingers on the crutch handle. I estimate that I was only applying about 10 pounds of force to the handle. I even took a few steps holding the crutch off the floor entirely. I was sort of using the crutch as a cane, rather than a crutch. This seems amazing to me that I can walk this well after only a few days since the operation!
I did notice, though, that my operated leg tended to want to turn inwards while I was walking. I had to consciously force it outwards (pigeon toe) in order to have my foot end up in a straight path alignment. This does not seem very serious to me, as it was a relatively low level of effort, but at the end of the walk the knee of my operated leg felt tired. After finishing the walk, I sat in the recliner and iced my knee and hip. After about a half an hour, I got up and was definitely somewhat stiff. The stiffness quickly wore off, but I took it as a good sign that my walk had slightly challenged my muscles.
At this point, I have not experienced the pinching feeling at all since the first day home from the hospital. I still am experiencing the “clunking” sensation, but even that seems to be somewhat improved/less frequent. My general walking/resting pain level is quite low to non-existent. It is still painful, however, to try to do a leg raise movement. There is yet very little strength in the leg for that motion.
I took about a half hour nap around 1:00 PM, then got up and did some computer work. About 5:00 PM, I decided to give my stationary trainer bike a try. I was able to change into my riding shorts and mount the trainer without any assistance. My wife was on the phone while I was doing this and she rushed into the the workout room after her call and gave me a disapproving look. But she did agree to snap the picture!
I had to be careful mounting the bike. I would normally mount it from the left side like a horse, but I didn’t want to try to swing my operated (right) leg over the seat. So I braced myself on the right side of the bike with the single crutch (pictured) and swung my left (good) leg over the seat. I then clipped-in my left foot, sat down, rotated the pedals a half turn to have the right pedal close to the ground, then gingerly clipped my right shoe into the pedal. I didn’t want to take the chance of a slip, so I took my time, but had no issues.
I then started to turn the crank by applying force with only my left (good) leg – just letting the operated leg go along for the ride. But I discovered after just one revolution that there was absolutely no pain or discomfort. It felt great! I got a little bolder and started to apply force with both legs, albeit a lower amount with my right leg. But after a couple of minutes I was spinning the pedals with a pretty even force distribution at a cadence of about 45 RPM. I only did the trainer for a total of ten minutes and did not work up a sweat. The whole intent was to just let my hip move through the pedaling motion at a therapeutic level.
I carefully dismounted then showered. Not bad for less than five full days from the time Henry Warner was on the operating table!