IN THE REHAB ZONE

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Post-Op Recovery: Anti-Inflammatory Medication and Over-Confidence

Prior to surgery, my doctor gave me three prescriptions to fill, one for pain, one for inflammation and one for the nausea from the drugs used to knock me out during surgery. Five days in, I realize I never took the nausea medicine and only took the pain pills for the first two-three days.

In a warped sort of way, I figured if I was going to be nauseated, what’s the worse that can happen?  Nausea may be disgusting, but it is a very quick way to lose some unwanted weight, and that’s not a bad thing.

But I never was nauseated and I never experienced severe intolerable pain, so I discontinued both medications.

Anti-inflammatory medication, however, is a very different story.  My thigh was swollen like a blimp for the first three days, and still looked like a good sized water balloon five days out.  I continue to pop Naprosyn, morning and night to try and get my thigh to look like something that belonged on a human.  The Naprosyn is a necessary step at this stage of the game.  My thigh, although feeling less sore, is still extremely weak and it shakes and jiggles like some pre-historic jellyfish.  The lasting effects of Naprosyn seem to be a general level of fatigue, and nothing more.

That was until …

My Rude Awakening!

Five days following surgery and I was brimming with over-confidence. I felt like I was up for venturing out of the house, so with my wife assuming all driving duties and me using the crutches to maneuver smoothly, I figured we would be able to go watch one of my son’s basketball practices.

Practice goes smoothly, but as I make my way out the front door, I momentarily forget that guys on crutches move slower than guys not on crutches.  I’m walking through one of those weighted doors that slowly closes behind you, I think I’m clear of the door, when it slightly bumps into the ankle on the bad hip side.

When I say slightly, I mean the door was traveling somewhat less than 1 mph.  And that was enough force to very clearly remind me … you aren’t ready yet!!!

I can’y accurately describe the sensation I felt. It was not clearly pain, but more a feeling of deep fear. The type of fear that tells you, it won’t take much for you to damage what you just had fixed.

Lesson learned: Go home, and get back to resting and rehabilitating like I am supposed to.

Learn more about Dr. Booker’s recovery in the next installment of Bill Booker’s Fantastic Feats for a Faster Recovery.

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