Much like my hip surgery, I tend to gauge my recovery by how well I can do things by myself. Now that I’ve started back to work, I’m driving and wearing “big girl” clothes, so I have a whole new list of things I’m [supposed] to be doing by myself.
Getting dressed [and undressed] has still got to be my biggest issue. I occasionally “get stuck” pulling a top on or off. Other types of clothes that need to be pulled on or adjusted with both hands are a problem since I don’t have any “pulling power” in my left arm yet.
Blow drying my hair is a daily adventure. My ultra-short haircut has now grown out to a little over an inch on top. On the weekends I can just towel-dry and go. However, during the week I actually have to dry it because if I don’t it’s still wet when I get to the office. I had this really neat hair dryer stand that was basically a long goose-neck stand with a clamp on the end that held the hair dryer. That worked great for exactly three days until my cleaning lady picked it up by the hairdryer and broke off the clamp. The process is three parts. The first is me waving the hairdryer around with my right hand, stopping and styling the hair, repeating as necessary. The second is me propping my left arm up on the sink and holding the hair dryer while waving my head wildly around trying to style with my right hand. The third is my husband doing his G.I. Joe imitation with his Kung Fu grip holding the hairdryer, which allows me to style with my right hand. None of this works very successfully, but as short as my hair is, it’s styled straight back, so there’s not a lot of damage that can be done. In another couple of weeks, though, my hair will be long enough that I’m going to have to do something with it.
Driving is the other exciting part of my day. Driving in Dallas is an adventure in living even if you have both arms available. Driving with 1.5 hands is really exciting. I’m to the point that I can hold the steering wheel with the left hand, although I do all the hard steering (turns, etc.) with my right arm. I also have to use my right hand to use the turn signal. Normally I’m driving alone, but this weekend I was test driving new cars and I think the car dealer thought I was a bit weird the way I was driving. Can’t say that I blame him.
So, I’m getting there. It’s a slow progress and I occasionally forget that I can’t do things — like open doors with my left arm and I am quickly reminded. I cooked dinner last week and getting things in and out of the oven was pretty scary. I also cracked open an acorn squash one handed with a large chef’s knife and it’s a wonder I didn’t chop more than the gourd.
Tomorrow I see Dr. Tucker (the ortho guy who did my hip) and my rheumatologist. My hip has been bothering me since my fall and my knee is making me miserable, so we’ll see what he says. This is my check up with my rheumatologist. The Humira hasn’t kicked in completely since the surgery and I am still having some problems, but not as much as when I was off because of surgery.
I’ll check in tomorrow after I see those guys.