BSRD12 – The Swing Of Things

Changing-prioriteis-198x300So I guess I am into a kind of routine, walking during the day, mostly earlier in the day so I can eat after I am done. If not, then later in the day so I can have dinner right after. I am finding that I am not eating much at all, which is to be expected since I am not doing very much and my weight is relatively stable. Here’s an update on how the rest of the things are going and an insight into my next week.

Sticking with paleo obviously, trying to add more fruit and veg where possible, drinking coconut water where I can instead of coffee. I have smoked more ribs this week, the pork ones turned out spectacular but the beef ribs were a bitter disappointment. Also, the eye of round didn’t come out well either, but if I had some Au Jus it would have been acceptable on a bun.

Walking is going OK, I took it easy last Saturday and took Sunday off, that meant that my hips have been much better the last couple of days. I find that when I walk I still get the shin pain in my right leg and I am still unable to heel walk on my right leg. However I am able to walk 2,5km like I did today at a decent pace. I still take my cane just in case but it’s a bit redundant so far. As far as other working out, I am restricted to limited bench, I haven’t even tried doing any pushups yet. I will be trying to expand my workout a little to get some shoulder work done and some bands work for my back, very limited since that it the biggest concern post surgery. I am also going to drop in some air squats so that I can work a little on my leg range of motion and strength to start getting back up to speed.

The surgery site is still very tender and the steri strips have not come off yet. I have very limited movement forward and that is when it’s most painful. My hips are better than they were, but they may go back to being very painful again after a couple of days walking we will have to see. The shins are much better, in fact no pain in my left leg at all but still some pain about 2 minutes in on my right leg. The pain seems to go away after a while, in fact once I have been walking for a while the hip pain also disappears but that it replaced by a feeling of fatigue that so far is preventing me from walking any further than about 30 minutes. I do still spend an inordinate amount of time laying down however, it’s a pain to stand for too long and too stressful on my back to sit. I am hoping that sitting will become easier so that I can return to a more normal life of standing and sitting, and saving the laying down for bedtime.
EDIT – I also wanted to comment on the hip and upper shin pain on my left leg which should  be unrelated to the back surgery. I get a quite sharp and intense pain in the very top part of my shin almost at my knee on the exterior side. It’s a real discomfort and I can initiate the pain severely if I lay on my back and stretch my left leg straight above my body stressing the hamstring and pulling the whole anterior chain into effect. For some reason that gives me excruciating pain in my shin, and I realize that it’s probably a ITB thing tying into the low back which hasn’t been stretched and is antagonizing the hamstring and thereby pulling on the knee but when it happens, it really doesn’t seem to make a whole lot of sense.

Nicole’s truck cost $1000 to fix but drives like new. It still could use another $2000 in various repairs and I think for that reason it’s about time we parted ways. With the limited kms on her schedule a lease would be much more sensible and would enable her to be covered under warranty 100% of the time. Nowadays places even throw in oil change schedules as well.
Lightning is much better, although still not exactly a frisky feline. We spent a week giving him fluids under his skin twice a day and it seems to have worked to some degree. He is going for more blood tests Thursday so we will know exactly just how well it worked then.
The weather has been just great for being outside, the mid to high 20s during the day so at least that’s one plus. People ask me all the time how I am doing, and I guess the appropriate response is that I am doing better and I think that is the truth. Each day brings it’s own challenges and pains but I think in the general scheme that I am on the upswing, and that’s the best I can expect at the moment. I do have to admit that it’s been better than I imagined, only because of the nightmare that happened last time. Still, it’s not something I would recommend as a fun time…








Recovery Day 1 – Friday April 26 2013. Plus sugar free BBQ sauce.

tumblr_m4o2eqCLmu1r8v6q9o1_500Bed was surprisingly comfortable however I still was woken up regularly by the pain and had to take pills to manage getting back to sleep. Fortunately Nicole was up early to take Elyse to daycare and I was afforded the luxury of sleeping in. Once awake, I thought it best to try to restore whatever semblance of normality I could back into my life. I was unable to shower, since I have to take 3 days off, but I tried to make it through brushing my teeth, hitting the big hole in the toilet and washing my hands and face as normally as possible. This meant standing without my cane, making sure my posture was good, not leaning over the sink and paying close attention to the distribution of weight between my two legs. I managed to make it downstairs OK, toothpaste stains and all and for the first time in a few weeks had a little bacon and egg for breakfast. My day (and for the next 3 days at least) comprised mostly of wandering doing various menial tasks around the house and then hitting the couch once my leg or back started to hurt. In fact, it was not my back that hurt at all but rather various parts of my lower body. When the urge struck me, I went outside for a walk, which happened twice. I had a goal of 1km walking today, and after both my walks I had reached a grand total of 1280m. I actually downloaded Nike+ that I had on my old iPhone so that I can keep track of my walking since the physio and EVERYONE I spoke to told me that recovery from back surgery is all about staying mobile and above all… walking. The fact that I can keep track of my walking online with Nike+ is a huge bonus too, since statistics and monitoring is one of the things I love about working out. My Nike+ account can be monitored here for those with obviously very little else to do. It’s actually pretty sad that my walking pace after back surgery is not that far off my pace when I used to walk at lunch during work…

Apart from the walking and the sleeping I was also able to make some pork in the crock pot and come up with a pretty good base for a sugar free BBQ sauce. If you add to it your favourite spice mix (of which there are many) you can come up with a pretty damn good sauce:

1 large can of tomato paste
1 400g can of crushed pineapple in juice (no sugar added obviously)
200ml of pineapple or apple juice
150g of pitted dates
Your favourite spice

Getting the pineapple and tomato paste mixed is easy, but getting the dates to cooperate is harder. I opted to put mine in the Vitamix and be done with it. You mix everything together, but make sure that you leave the mixture to sit for a while since using powdered spices takes time to dissipate the flavour. For the spice mix I have 2 that I use, both from the Bulk Barn. Once is called BBQ spice and the other is called Pulled Pork Spice. I find the pork spice to be more salty but both make equally good sauces.

On a related note, a few weeks ago Bob brought a protein bar into work that he and his wife had made and it was magnificent, I have since been playing with the recipe a little to try and get the calories down a little and to jazz it up a bit but once again, getting the dates to behave is proving problematic. You see, the recipe calls for almonds, almond butter and flax meal however I found that if I added dates, it would be tastier, less caloric and you could add pure cocoa chocolate to it for a nice chocolatey kick without the sugar. So, here  is my recipe for protein bars with dates. I find the best thing to do when preparing this is to mix the dates with the coconut oil on the stove then vitamix it. Otherwise you get a very sticky ball of dates in the food mixer. I can’t actually remember the original recipe so this will have to do.

1 cup almonds
1/2 cup flax meal
150g dates
1/2 cup coconut oil
touch of honey
drop of vanilla
1 cup unsweetened coconut
a couple of pieces of pure cocoa

Blend all the dry ingredients in the vitamix and then add the wet stuff, press into a pan lined with foil and if you can get a small cake tin you should be able to get about 25 cubes of protein bar at about 150 calories each. And you know what’s in it! Thanks to Bob for the original recipe however don’t use carob since carob is in fact just sugar with a small amount of carob seed in it.

As for the updates as to how I am actually doing today here are the basics.

I walked 1280m today mostly without the use of the cane.
I an flick my toes against each other, a habit that Nicole finds incredibly annoying while we are watching TV but I couldn’t do it yesterday, That means my toes are getting stronger. I cannot however grasp anything with my toes on my right foot, there is still a long way to go.
I can lift my toes off the floor on my right foot if I stand neutrally, however I cannot raise the foot at all.
After walking today I got a pain my my left shin right at the knee. Also I find that my left hip is sore today. I do expect some odd soreness since I have to assume that my body will have to readjust constantly as my strength returns in my right side. In the mean time, my left side is struggling to compensate, something this is bound to lead to some soreness.
Sitting on the recliner is not as comfortable as I had hoped, this means I won’t be spending too much time here but it also means I have had to try and find a way to get onto and off the floor.

Tomorrow my goal is to walk 1500m. I don’t want to go too crazy so I will see how I feel. I promised no weights or bands or anything until Monday at the earliest.

I got my temporary disabled permit today, something I regret not doing last time. In fact, not having it almost caused me a serious fall last time around. I respect the institute and I do not plan on abusing the privilege.

Finally the cat went in to the vet and it doesn’t look good. Apparently his kidneys are pretty much shot and it seems like if he doesn’t improve over the weekend then it will be time for him to be reunited with his brother Thunder in the big litter box in the sky. Poor little fella has had an arthritic limp for a long time now and it seems like he is falling apart. The tough thing will be what to tell Elyse. I can’t imagine this will be easy.









I am not one to fear hospitals, in fact the though of having someone else take care of everything while I sleep is something I find particularly attractive however, there are certain circumstances where even I just can’t wait to get out. Today was one of those situations. I awoke fairly mobile but unable to get out and walk due to the IV in my hand. I was therefore reduced to peeing into a bed bottle (something that is harder than you would imagine) and counting the hours until the nice nurse came on to shift to get the medieval torture device out of my arm. After what seemed like an eternity of medications, discharge documentation, visits from doctors, surgeons and physiotherapists I was finally told I could leave. I packed up my meagre possessions and limped out of the ward to my first real challenge, walking to the hotel, a mere 50 metres from the Hospital. I knew that the walk wouldn’t be as bad as the car ride and I was right. Sitting in my usually plush seats was excruciating for me, and as much as I love the drive up the DVP on a sunny day I was driven to distraction by what felt like my non-existent stitches ripping out of my scar one by one. We had to make quick stops for medication but we got to the house as quickly as possible where I was faced with what seemed like a pleasant choice pre-surgery. Was it to be the recliner or the bed? To my surprise I felt like the only solution was to take the memory foam topper off the mattress and use the bed. Since laying on the memory foam was incredibly painful it was actually a real treat to lay on a relatively firm mattress. Sure, it wasn’t the adjustable bed I had been used to over the last 48 hours but at least it was bearable. I spent the rest of the day (which by this time was actually the evening) trying to get more sleep and gauging just how well I could do without the Percocets.

The answer, surprisingly was that I could make it through on lack of sleep and one Perc every 4 hours.