After today, my right leg is .75 mm longer! I’ll explain my day today, because this will basically be my routine until we leave Baltimore.
I woke up around 7 a.m. with moderate pain. My mom got up out of her bed to get me some medicine. I ate a saltine and drank some ginger ale to help protect my stomach before I took it. Then I had to go to the bathroom. For that, I have to unhook my legs from these specials cuffs designed to prevent blood clots. They’re plugged into the wall then attached to me. I have to wear them 20 hours a day. Once I unhook those, I scooch down to the end of the bed. I put my left leg on the ground then call my mom over to hold my right leg and ease it down gently to the floor. I then use my walker to get to the bathroom. If I feel like I can stand I will also brush my teeth standing up. Then I do the whole thing backward, get back in bed and hook myself back up to that machine.
My mom has to help me with so much. She brings me everything I need to eat and drink. She brings me a change of clothes and helps me get dressed. She gets me my medicine and pushes me in my wheelchair. She has been such a trooper. I know she’s tired, too. It can’t be easy helping your daughter through something like this. She has been so positive and calmed me down when I get upset.
At 8:45 a.m. I get into my wheelchair and my mother pushes me across the street to the hospital. We’re staying in a Ronald McDonald type house for people having surgery at this particular hospital. She wheels me all the way over. Some cars stop for pedestrians/wheelchairs and some cars don’t. We have to be careful! We get up to the 2nd floor where we go into a back room with Martin. Martin gets out the magnet box. The magnet is programmed to lengthen my leg .25 mm. We set the magnet on my leg. It makes a noise like an electric can opener and after a minute we’re done.
Then my mother and I head back to our room across the street. Today I took a nap. Then at 11:45 a.m. it’s back to the hospital again for another .25 mm lengthening. After that’s over, it’s time for lunch. Today we ate in the hospital cafeteria. NERD ALERT: I kind of felt like Katniss Everdeen in the Capitol. It was my first time in a place with a lot of people since surgery. All the doctors and nurses were moving around so fast and they looked nice – just going about their day. I’m in my wheelchair just trying not to get in anybody’s way. I had forgotten since last time, but you certainly can feel like an outcast in a wheelchair.
We didn’t have to go to Physical Therapy until 3 p.m. So we sat outside of the hospital’s cafeteria. My mom watched a movie on her iPhone and I began writing this blog. It was very nice out today, so that was great.
During PT, my therapist stretches out my right leg. My ankle and hip are pretty good to go, but my knee has become very stiff since surgery. Raj forces it to bend until I’m in pretty bad pain. I breathe like I’m in Lamaze class and sometimes yell stop, but he just keeps pushing me. It’s for the best, but it hurts.
After an hour at PT, we went back upstairs for our third and final lengthening of the day. After a minute or so, we were done and free to do whatever we please until tomorrow morning when we start all over again.
This evening I’ll probably continue watching a marathon of Arrested Development on Netflix. I have plenty of books, but they’re not going to be a big enough distraction yet. I’ll probably fall asleep around 9 anyway.
My days are definitely busier than I thought they’d be. Going to and from the hospital takes up several hours, but it also takes longer to use the restroom, change my clothes and shower. I feel like this is my job and I’m “working” about 8 hours a day.
This will pretty much be my routine until we leave Baltimore on Monday and continue lengthening at home in Pittsburgh.
I really enjoy passing the time, looking at nice comments on my Facebook page and posts to my blog. All that helps to keep me motivated. Thanks so much again and I’ll continue to keep you updated!
The man on the right is my surgeon, Dr. Herzenberg. The man on the left is the creator of the PRECISE Nail which is what is inside my leg. He came to watch several surgeries using the device, including mine. They came to my hospital room earlier this week to check on me.