Coming home

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I have been home for a full week now and though it has been a big dis­rup­tion, it is nice to be home where I can be comfortable.

The rou­tine is the biggest change, and chal­lenge, this week. When I was in hos­pi­tal there were plen­ty of nurs­es, doc­tors, occu­pa­tion­al ther­a­pists, phys­io­ther­a­pists, et alia to help keep me on task and fol­low­ing along a strict reg­i­ment­ed rou­tine. Where­as at home, I am on my own time and in my own way. This has been refresh­ing and relax­ing on the one hand, whilst chal­leng­ing on the oth­er, because I need to keep ensur­ing I man­age my phys­i­cal exer­cis­es, pain med­ica­tions, et cetera, and this is dif­fi­cult to achieve when I am tired and com­fy. Nobody pok­ing their head in every 20 min­utes to ask if I want a cup of tea is a nice change though…

At home I have spent a lot of time in bed, so my daugh­ter has giv­en me a few games of chess, and the fam­i­ly has been real­ly great in mak­ing sure I have every­thing I need with­in reach, so I don’t have to bend/twist/lift anything.

Play­ing chess in bed with my daugh­ter to help pass the time

First post-op bushwalk

On the phys­i­cal exer­cise front, I have been increas­ing the distance/duration of my dai­ly walks — at St. George’s Lake near Creswick the oth­er day I clocked up near­ly two kilo­me­tres. I have been let­ting myself down a bit with fre­quen­cy though, as my part­ner wants to come along, but is busy so walk­ing oppor­tu­ni­ties can be lim­it­ed. This com­ing week, with Danielle back at work, I may have to start walk­ing alone a lit­tle more. It has also been easy to lay in bed rest­ing longer than I real­ly need to.

With the frost approach­ing and the end of a very poor toma­­to-grow­ing sea­son fast upon us, we also had to tack­le the task of pulling out our toma­to plants and hang­ing them in the garage to ripen. This was a tip Danielle appar­ent­ly picked up from the all-know­ing Cos­ta Geor­giadis on ABC’s Gar­den­ing Aus­tralia; I’ll let you know how it pans out. Danielle did the heavy work, of course, I just stood around direct­ing whilst hold­ing some paper bags to put the loose toma­toes in.

Restrictions/limits at this stage of my recovery

The restric­tions are slight­ly lighter than last week, but not by much:

  • No bend­ing above the hip at all.
  • No lift­ing of any­thing more than 1kg.
  • No twist­ing at all. This one was described as Rule Numero Uno.
  • No sit­ting for more than 20 minutes.
  • Lay­ing flat in bed, no sit­ting up in bed. I am allowed to have a pil­low beneath my knees to neu­tralise the cur­va­ture of my spine a little.
  • I can walk 500 metres to a kilo­me­tre or two at a time with a walk­ing stick.
  • When I am out of bed, I must wear a Don­Joy Duos­trap sup­port­ive lum­bar back brace.

Spinal Rehabilitation Exercises

Exercise/ActivityWeek 1Week 2Week 3
Walk­ing: Assist­ed~100m laps of ward
4× daily
Using walk­ing frame
~200m laps of ward
4× daily
Using walk­ing stick
250m–500m out­doors × daily
Around gar­den daily
Using walk­ing stick
Walk­ing: Unas­sist­ed50m indoors × daily
Hip knee rolls10 left, 10 right
4× daily
15 left, 15 right
2× daily
20 left, 20 right
2× daily
Mini squats5 reps
2× daily
10 reps
2× daily
15 reps
2× daily
Glute squeezes10 secs × 10 reps
1× daily
10 secs × 10 reps
1× daily
10 secs × 10 reps
2× daily
Calf rais­es10 reps
2× daily
20 reps
2× daily
20 reps
4× daily
Seat­ed leg exten­sions5 left, 5 right
2× daily
10 left, 10 right
2× daily
Swing back leg5 left, 5 right
2× daily
10 left, 10 right
2× daily
Stand and sit10 reps
2× daily
10 reps
2× daily
Trans­verse abdomi­nus con­trac­tionsHold 10 secondsHold 20 seconds
March­ing on the spot20 steps (10 per side)
2× daily
30 steps (15 per side)
2× daily

Exercises

Walk­ing has been encour­aged as the ulti­mate recov­ery exer­cise for spinal surgery, by every­body from the neu­ro­sur­geon to the phys­io­ther­a­pist, occu­pa­tion­al ther­a­pist and nurs­es. Walk­ing was most­ly unas­sist­ed with a walk­ing stick more for secu­ri­ty than actu­al support.

= New exer­cise intro­duced this week

Other posts about my spinal injury and recovery

Category: Spinal Injury & Recovery
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