Hippy Times #12 … 🏋🏻‍♀️

First morning in our Airbnb in Darlinghurst.  Very close to the gym. I had a chat with Lexi yesterday who confirmed she was still having a session with our PT this morning and they would be training the back.  I didn’t say anything yesterday but I think I will join the session.  Up early and off to the gym – how good does this feel.  I know it’s only been a bout 10 days since I was in the gym but for those of you who know me well, it feels like a lifetime so I am very excited.

It’s a big surprise for everyone concerned – Phil, Lexi and others there that know I have been through an operation.  So, with a few adaptations, all goes well and I manage to use all the required equipment without sitting in positions that may be detrimental to my new hip.  It was a really great session.  At 7 am, Phil is training my friend Kath who is competing on 21 April.  Each week before her session there’s a bikini check-in to see how she’s looking and so Lexi and I always like to see as well and take photos to send to Kath so she can have progress on record.  That done, I am meeting Anthea for breakfast at Kepos Street Kitchen.  David has been over to Gadigal Avenue on Scootie, because we left the car there due to lack of parking around Darlinghurst.  He’s back now to pick me up and drop me off at breakfast.  Have a great breakfast with Anthea, as always.  We have lots to catch up on, her renovations, her new job, my operation etc etc and  before we know it, there’s an hour gone.  Anthea hands me a gift – it’s a going away gift which is very well received and I say that I’ll open it later.

Just before I had my hip done, my surgeon, Dr Nick Vertzyas, told me that the leg they operated on would be a little longer!  Well, it is definitely longer and I think although I can feel it, it isn’t noticeable.  However, I can definitely feel it when I stand still and also a little bit when I walk.  It is a constant battle not to limp as I was in so much pain prior to the operation, and I want to preserve my new hip, my natural instinct is to limp.  I am carrying / using my walking stick to take the weight off the leg when I walk / get tired.  My feet really swell up when I spend too much time standing but as soon as I sit down and raise them slightly, it soon goes down.

When we checked into the Airbnb yesterday, horror of horrors, there is no microwave!  We had given our microwave to Lexi so I had sent her a Whats App message last night asking if we could please borrow it back for the duration of our stay at the Airbnb.  David picks me up from breakfast and we go off to Bondi Beach to collect the microwave to use at the Airbnb.  On the way back, we stop at Edgecliff Coles to get some groceries then it’s back to our temporary home.

We are out for lunch today at The Rocks Teppanyaki – we have had a Groupon Voucher for a while that we haven’t used and it expires on Saturday so we have decided to use it today.  We drive down to The Rocks – it’s not easy to park but eventually we find a spot near The Australian Hotel and it’s a slow walk back to the restaurant.  The chairs are a reasonable height but it’s hard to extend your leg outwards because the teppan table has a solid base but with a little manoevering I get comfortable.  The food is delicious – every single mouthful.  After lunch, David has to go back to Gadigal Avenue to pay the cleaner, let the carpet cleaners in, drop the hire car back, drop the apartment keys into the real estate agent and empty the mail box – the final few chores.  He drops me home first and I can do my rehab exercises for my hip whilst he’s away.

The rest of the day is spent with my leg raised as it’s now a little swollen, watching a really great series, Level, on Netflix.  It’s a snack for dinner as we’re not very hungry after our lovely lunch.

Thursday morning and a second session at the gym – shoulders today.  I’m feeling more and more normal every day.  Have a quick coffee catch up with Lexi afterwards and then it’s home for breakfast.  It’s lovely sitting out in the back courtyard – so peaceful after moving from the Gadigal Avenue apartment where no mater what time of day or night, you could always hear traffic especially from the main Eastern Distributor.  Sitting out in the courtyard in the sun and reading – great way to spend a morning.

I have a hair appointment at 2 pm and so have worked out where to get the bus, time etc.  I wander up to the bus stop, this is a first, getting on the bus, sitting appropriately, having the walking stick etc.  So, waiting at the bus stop, here comes the bus.  Hmmm the bus driver stops the bus about 50m from the stop and I have to waddle down to it – he advises he couldn’t pull up closer because of a parked car that would stop him from manouvering out after pick up.  Is the car parked in the wrong place, has the ‘No Parking Bus Zone’ not been made big enough or is the driver just no good?  Who knows.  It’s only a few stops down the road to Saba Hair on Crown Street and the stop is almost outside the door – very convenient.  After I have my hair done, I decide to grab a cab to get home as the bus is 10 minutes away and I can be home by then.  The cab stops as I hail it, middle of Crown Street where the road is too narrow to pass.  Patient drivers needed here as it takes me a little longer than normal to get into the seat.  On board and away we go – I text David and tell him I’m on my way and to make some tea.

Nice cup of tea in the courtyard, a short while to relax and then we get ready to go out.  David has watered all the plants at the house today and hosed down the courtyard.  While I am sitting in the lounge waiting for David, Jason (one of the owners) comes by to collect the mail and see that we have everything we need.  He notices that we have watered his plants and I think he is super impressed that even though we are there for a short time, we treat this house as if it were our own.  Jason and I chat, he and his partner Dave are off to HK for a long weekend over Easter and he tells me that Dave became an Australian citizen yesterday and it’s his birthday at the beginning of Easter and so it’s a way of celebrating all those things.

We are off to meet Heidi, Jason and Tilly for dinner who are here from the US for a few days.  It’s been ages since we saw the whole family.  They have an Airbnb in Riley Street so we walk down there.  I’m leaning on my walking stick heavier than I have been for the last couple of days because I’m not sure how far we are going to have to walk to dinner etc.

It’s so good to see them and little Tilly is growing so quickly.  She’s just 1 now and is standing and pulling herself from sofa to table, smiling, laughing and generally entertaining us.  A glass of wine and then we decide to walk down to Woolloomooloo and find some food.  We end up at The Tilbury.  The food is great, the staff are so engaging and friendly and everyone loves Tilly who turns out to be a real flirt with the French waiter and we have a great evening.

Heidi and Jason weren’t aware that trading hours on Good Friday are non existent in terms of bottle shops and supermarkets.  They are planning to entertain tomorrow so we leave the restaurant to find a bottle shop and go to Woolworths so that they can get essentials to get them through Good Friday.

We leave them at Woolworths and walk back to our temporary home.  It’s a reasonable amount of walking for me this evening and I can’t wait to get my shoes off.  We watch another episode of Level and then off to bed.

I’m not sleeping well at the moment.  The house has no air conditioning but that seems to only be part of the problem.  Perhaps it’s just that my body hasn’t settled into a new routine, perhaps it’s that I’m not doing a whole heap of stuff in the day so not very tired, perhaps it’s the cortisol tablets I am taking or perhaps it’s a mixture of everything.  Whatever it is, I’m not stressing about it because my body will take sleep when it needs it and I don’t need to worry.  The pattern has been to go to bed and get perhaps 2 or three hours.  I am then wide awake so I get up and go to the lounge – either to write this blog, watch some property or renovation programs on TV, have a cup of tea etc and then an hour or so later, have a couple more hours sleep on the sofa – works for me right now. The sofa seems to be the ideal spot for my hip/leg, really comfortable with a couple of cushions under my knees.

Hippy Times … 🏋🏻‍♀️

Hippy Times #11 … 🏋🏻‍♀️

Monday morning waking in my own home, well for the next 48 hours anyway.  Until we move into our Airbnb location in Darlinghurst.  David is also up and about coz we have stuff to sort out today – removalists are coming tomorrow.

I do my exercises and David is doing some paperwork. Then it’s time for an early breakfast before we set to on various chores.

I am feeling pretty good today and my hip is calm, some of the swelling has subsided, but definitely not nearly back to normal yet – I have to remind myself that I have recently had the op and not try and do too much.

Now need to pack the suitcases full of the things that will travel with us.  How come you always think you have just the right amount of stuff but actually find that when it’s out of the wardrobe and into the suitcase, there is far too much stuff!  All the cabinets in the bathrooms are empty as are the wardrobes apart from what we will wear on Tuesday but the bags are creaking under the strain.

We decide that it’s fine for now, we can sort things once we are settled in our Airbnb and probably end up shipping another box of things to my Mum rather than taking them with us – excess baggage on the plane is soooo expensive that shipping boxes – even though it is by sea and takes anywhere between 78 and 90 days – is cheaper and will still be there in plenty of time for when we will need it.

We have decided that we will hire a car for Tuesday and Wednesday so that we can relocate ourselves to the Airbnb – it would take us a couple of trips in an Uber to do what we need to do and so for the cost of a small hatchback, we may as well have the use of a car for two days.  Online, let’s book it.  Firstly, we try to use some points for this purpose but why is it there’s never any availability or you need to pay and use points and it works out so expensive.  It’s cheap enough through Europcar to pay cash so we book through them as there’s a pick-up point just around the corner.  I choose a hatchback for ease of loading.

8 am and I decide to call Waratah Rehab to see if I can get my outpatient rehabilitation changed from Hurstville to Wolper in Woollahra as it’s much closer to home.  I relay my request to the lady on the phone and she says she will talk to the physio I saw at the weekend and get her to call me.

Lexi has quite a bit of stuff from us and hopefully Adries will be able to borrow a car and pick it up and transport to her house.

David makes me take regular breaks – just 20 to 30 minutes or so as if I am on my feet too long, I can feel my legs and feet swelling up.  The day just seems to glide by – it’s weird how you feel as though you are achieving heaps and then look around and there’s still heaps more to do – we know we’ll get it all done – because we have to but the sorting always seems to be endless. We have moved houses enough times now that we are pretty slick at the process but seriously, I have a minor panic each time always thinking we will never get it all done.

Haven’t heard from the removalists yet as to what time they will be arriving.  Initially we were told it would be around 8.30 am which suits us fine.  However, I give them a call just to check that they are actually coming.  They advise that the packers will be there between 1pm and 2pm the next day. That’s a lot later than we expected but gives us time to organise some more things in the morning so we can pace ourselves a little this evening.

Hippy has decided it’s time to rest as my leg and especially my foot starts to swell – I take a shower and relax on the sofa with my feet up.

I haven’t heard anything from Waratah or Wolper so follow up with a call.  The physio at Waratah advises that she will send over a referral to Wolper and then follow up with a phone call tomorrow to ensure that they act on the referral and call me.

Lexi comes around after work and we chat about her day and her training.  It’s strange but the anticipation of hearing about her training and also getting Instagram updates from Kath as to her prep progress, goes some way to alleviating the hole in my day where I would love to be at the gym but in all seriousness, should definitely not be at the gym yet.  I ask Lexi about Adries picking up her items the following morning but it seems that she has no idea what time, or even if he is coming.  I text him and he says he will let me know in 30 minutes or so.

David and I have a quiet evening in readiness for the frantic move tomorrow – Tuesday.

During Monday night, I move from the bed (such as it … a mattress on the floor) to the sofa.  I am cocooned in a blanket and lying on the sofa and find that I have the best night’s sleep I have had in a long time.  I woke up feeling that I really needed to roll over from my back to my side.  It’s not advisable to sleep on your side for the first 4-6 weeks after hip surgery so the easiest thing was to move location which kind of tricked my body into thinking it was in a different position and I dropped off almost immediately, not waking again until just after 6.30 am.

There was no news from Adries in regard to picking up Lexi’s items today so we decide that we will load them in the hire car and take them over to her place ourselves.  She will be at work but is leaving a key for us.

Once David has collected the hire car, it is loaded – I can’t really help with this as I can’t twist and turn and push and pull – need to be careful on what movements my hip makes as in the early stages of hip replacement there is an increased risk of dislocation.

David and I go off to Bondi to deliver the bits for Lexi.  We arrive at the house and my mobile rings.  It’s the removalists and they have just arrived at our place – only 2.5 hours early!!  WOW, almost unheard of but had to be the case that they arrive when we are not there.  We get access to the house, unload the car and then high tail it back to our place.

The Chess Removals van is parked on the footpath but I have booked parking in the loading dock for them so they move the van.  Just as we are about to walk away, this officious burly man comes along saying you can’t leave that there, we have garbage collection today’.  I explain that I have booked parking through the Ruby building management to which there is a tirade of expletives about what a d***head that bloke is and he shouldn’t be giving people permission as he is not in charge of the car park etc etc etc.  The poor guys from Chess take the van back out on the street – Ruby Building Management will be hearing from me as with the letting agent.  I’ll park that thought until I get a chance to log on and send the email.

For those of you that have moved house, you will know that every time removalists come, they look around the place, um and ah, grunt and groan and identify things they believe are not included and when challenged, go off and ring head office to find that everything is OK.  This has been the situation with nearly every one of our moves so it’s just a case of going through the motions – tiring but there it is.  We tell the guys that the two blue leather sofas are going to the rubbish pile in the loading dock – they flop down on them saying how comfortable they are and how good it would be to flop down on them with a can watching the game.  You can have them if you take them away today we say.  Disappointment clouds their faces – we’re so busy we have no way of taking them they say – oh well.

David needs to show them the stuff in the basement carpark in our storage cage. So, where are his keys?  He must have the lift swipe and the front door key somewhere because he came in just now.  He’s furious that he can’t find them, searching high and low and huffing and puffing with steam coming out of his ears, swearing and cursing.  Well blow me down – there they are, still in the front door – hmmmm.

By the time we have ‘gone through the motions’ with the removalists, David has packed the car with the stuff that is staying with us, it’s lunch time.  We decide to pop across to the Village Crown for some refreshment.  I need to take some medication so need to have something to eat.  We order an entrée size salt and pepper calamari to share.  I am sitting outside with my foot up on a chair as it’s started to swell, and David goes to get the drinks – he returns with a very large glass of Shiraz for me and some kind of frozen drink for him.  That consumed, it’s back to the apartment.  Good news the guys say, we will take those sofas.  Saves David the job of taking to the basement so that’s great.  The items in our storage cage have not changed since we moved in some 2 years ago.  Included there is one armchair, one hall table, one small drawer unit and three lamps.  The guys advise us that this is furniture and they have been told there is no furniture going so they won’t take it.  They have phoned Steve back at the office and he has confirmed this.  OK, give me Steve’s number and I’ll call him.

Check in time for the Airbnb is 2 pm so we decide to drive over and meet the host and keyholder, Dave.  We are there in plenty of time, the sun is shining and the property is situation in a backstreet mews area of Darlinghurst – so lovely, very quiet and yet right in the heart of inner Sydney.  We wait and wait.  Dave doesn’t show so we try texting and calling but to no avail.  I contact Airbnb who say they will reach out to him and see what is going on.  It’s now 2.30 pm. Finally, a response from Dave who says he forgot to text us and tell us that he wouldn’t be able to get away from work to meet us and we would need to get the keys from the lock box.  So simple when you are actually aware this is what needs to happen.

Dave is so very apologetic and offers us a cash refund of $100 which we accept telling him we’ll buy some champagne with it.  We wouldn’t normally take such an offer but having been standing around outside having just had a new hippy, I feel put out so take the offer as compensation.

Keys retrieved, we gain access.  It’s a cute little sandstone cottage, very cosy and welcoming.  David unloads the car and we decide that I should stay here and he will go and finish off at the apartment.  I do some of the unpacking – mostly the food into the fridge and freezer and then the bare essentials such as toiletries etc.  The cottage has a spiral staircase and there’s no way our big suitcases are going up there – that’s fine, we will manage somehow but figure it out tomorrow.  I need to sit down and get my foot up as it’s starting to swell again.  I put a load of washing on and move to the sofa with a cup of tea.

I have the doors and windows open as it’s such a lovely day its good to get the fresh air through.  ‘Hello’ I hear from the open front door.  It’s Jason who is Dave’s partner.  He comes in and says hi, asks if I need him to show me how to work the induction cook top to which I say no thanks it’s fine, tries to find the Wi-Fi details which should be on a card by the TV but they are not and then departs saying he is only down the road so will come back if there are any issues but will contact Dave about Wi-Fi etc.  I get a text from Dave with the Wi-Fi details and hey presto, we are online.  I settle back with my now cooling cup of tea.

Around 4.30 pm, I decide to see how long David thinks he will be.  No immediate response.  I remember then that I have not yet heard from either rehab centre so try to call – damn, they close at 4 pm.  Must remember to do that first thing in the morning.

Still no news from David so I call him.  The removalists have gone, the cleaners are there taking a look and he thinks he will be leaving in about 10 minutes.  Tells me he is very thirsty.  I had already put a bottle of Champagne in the fridge to celebrate the end of this phase and moving into the next great adventure of our lives but we don’t have any water or crackers for cheese and a few other essentials so a I make a quick dash to the convenience store.  Return to the house and unpack the few items and David arrives.

Great, cheeseboard at the ready, champagne at the ready, we go out to the courtyard and sit in the peaceful, calming surroundings and as you may well have seen on Facebook, probably devour the bottle of Bollinger in record time.

It’s curry for dinner which came out of the freezer the other day, when David sold it, so just needs reheating.  We sit with dinner on our laps as there’s no dining table and chairs except in the courtyard and as David is always prone to getting bitten by mozzies, we prefer to eat indoors.

Dave calls round with our $100 compensation – what a nice chap he is too.  We have a chat and then he leaves.  We find a really good series on Netflix called The Level which we haven’t seen before so watch a couple of episodes.  Or should I say one and a half coz during the second half of the second episode, I fall asleep…….. goodnight guys.

Hippy Times … 🏋🏻‍♀️

Hippy Times #10 🏋🏻‍♀️

Good morning Sunday.  I spoke with the nurses and physio yesterday who in turn spoke to the ward Dr – whom I might add I have not seen since I got here.  I was told that he / she would speak to the specialist to check that it was OK for me to check out of inpatient rehab today.  All my vital stats have been stable for the last few days so it’s looking good.  They all agreed that this would be fine – how exciting, I get to go home.  I always believe that home is the best place for people to rest and recover.  You have all your family around you and all your own things and your own food, you just feel that much more relaxed I think.

I work out that I have just enough time to shower and wash and dry my hair before the arrival of breakfast.  I plan to pack and then go to the gym after breakfast to do my exercises, and then it will be time for ‘check out’ which I have been advised is 10 am.  I phone David and chat about my coming home and he lets me know that he has sold the fridge freezer and the washing machine (again!).  Let’s hope the people turn up this time.  He also has somebody coming to look at the two sofas at 10 am so I will try and time my arrival either just before or just after that time.

Like clockwork, breakfast arrives – I am mid-way through eating and the nurse comes in.  We discuss what needs to be done for my discharge a bit later in the morning.  I check with her that I can go to the gym – oh no she says, there will be a physio on but it’s not generally open as we don’t normally have patients that need 7-day physio.  That scuppers my well thought out plan.

Breakfast devoured, I pack, which takes a little longer than normal as I can’t reach and twist to pick things up so easily but that’s fine, the job gets done.  So, I put on a T-shirt and decide to do my exercises in the room.  The only piece of equipment I really need is a step but hey as I don’t have one, I’ll do a few extra of the others to make up for it.  The standing exercises are fine and then we come to the lying down ones.  So, the bed is not wide enough for me to do my lying hip abductions so I think I’ll lie on the floor.  This is not as easy as it sounds……. I take a blanket from the bed and place on the floor.  Now, I have some ideas on how I am going to get down there without my left hip going past the 90-degree angle.  Bending towards the floor and extending my left leg out behind me, I make it onto my right knee.  I bend my left knee in, but not quite to 90 degrees and place a pillow between my knees.  I roll over onto my right side lying down as I go.  Then, rolling over onto my back, removing the pillow and straightening my legs – success, I made it, no odd movements or twisting or bending beyond what is permitted.  Feeling quite chuffed – just have to do the same in reverse to get up.  This is good practice for when I get home as we currently are sleeping on a mattress on the floor having sold the bed a few weeks ago.  I was thinking that until we relocate to our Airbnb on Tuesday, I would have to sleep on the sofa but no, I will be able to make use of the mattress – achieving these little things each day for me is real progress I think. So I start with my lying exercises – I’ll list all the exercises at the end for those that are interested.  I am on the floor stark naked, with my knees bent doing glute bridges with a 5 second hold at the top – I’m in the hold position – tap on the door and before I can move or say anything the door opens and there’s the cleaner – she (thank goodness it’s a she) says oh, I have brought clean towels for you.  I say, please give me a moment – I am being discharged today, I don’t need them.  After what I have been through this past week, I think all embarrassment has been used up on my part, not quite so sure on hers – flushed cheeks, won’t meet my eyes and backs out of the room.  I have to chuckle to myself as I’m not sure any of the other patients who are all probably at least 20 years older than me, would be down in the position let alone naked doing glute bridges – he he he.

Exercises done, I finish packing and get dressed.  The nurse arrives and we complete the small amount of paperwork for my discharge.

I have three bags to get downstairs and when I asked the nurse about calling reception to help me carry these down to the Uber I was going to use she said, no, it’s Sunday, there isn’t anyone on reception today so just press your call button when you are ready and I’ll come and help you!  Well, to me that is ridiculous.  To have a senior nurse who should be attending to patients helping me with bags is a complete and utter joke.  So, what to do?  In true Sarah form, I’ll manage on my own – it’ll take me a couple of trips but I will do it.  I actually devise a way of attaching two bags to my suitcase and carrying my oversized handbag but that’s everything so we only need to make one trip.  I have decided to book the Uber once I am downstairs in case it’s a quiet morning for them and there’s one just a few minutes away.  OMG, I hope I get one with plenty of patience as I’m not sure how long it will take me to get into the car.  I forgot to recount to you the trip from St Vincent’s to Waratah.

I think I mentioned that I hired my own car … to be precise a limo, I wasn’t driving … to get me there as the hospital wasn’t sure what time the hospital transport would turn up – or indeed what day!  There had been a mad flurry as the car advised it had arrived, and the Occupational Therapist wanted to demonstrate how I should get in and out of the front seat of a car.  She ran off, grabbed a small towel, a plastic bag, and a seat sized square of foam.  We went down to the car. She proceeded to have the front passenger seat pushed back as far as possible, used the rolled-up towel to fill the small dip at the back of the seat, placed the foam square on top of the seat and the plastic bag on top of that.  She showed me that I should have my back to the interior of the car, use the dashboard to hold onto with my right hand and the pillar between the doors with my left, lower myself in whilst extending my left leg out in front of me to ensure we didn’t go past 90 degrees and then lower myself onto the seat.  Then swivel around – ah ha – that’s what the plastic bag is for, to make swivelling easier.  I was safely installed into the front seat when she said oh by the way, the foam square is $20.  I just gave her a blank stare – I mean seriously?!?  I suppose this will be added to the bill that goes to the health insurer.

Back to the Waratah discharge.  So, I am now downstairs at the reception desk at Waratah – but wait, I am recounting the process for getting in the car and find that I have left my foam square in my room.  I check with the security guard that he is happy for me to leave my bags there and he will keep a ‘casual’ eye on them whilst I go back to collect the foam.  Yeah, he says looking up from his reading but he is actually sitting at the far end of reception behind a wall and wouldn’t have a clue if somebody came in off the street and took my things and simply walked away.  However, I have no choice in the matter, I have to trust to humankind.  Back in the room, pick up my foam and back downstairs again.

Seated in reception, on my piece of foam on one of the reception chairs, I tap into my Uber app.  WOW, did you know there is a service called Uber Assist?  This is an Uber that has a driver who has received training to assist disabled or movement impaired passengers, those with wheelchairs and guide dogs etc.  WOW I think, this is just what I want as at least I can be assured that I have somebody with patience whilst I manoeuvre myself into the car. So, tap, order, finding ride – it’s 20 minutes away.  That’s OK as I am earlier than I thought and if I leave now, I will arrive home at the same time as the lady who is coming to check out the sofas and David won’t be able to help me with my bags.  I lean back in the chair and rest my head on the wall behind me.  I have an enormous, pounding headache – have had this headache since about Thursday.  I have put it down to all the meds, change of diet, hospital environment, lack of continuous sleep, noisy air conditioning, the air conditioning itself and lack of fresh air and I am hoping that when I get home, have a snooze and am in my own surroundings, I will feel heaps better.  So, I relax there waiting for the car.

Geoffrey pulls up outside in his Toyota Prius and from the moment he says hello, he is helpful and calm. He loads my bags into the boot, I load myself into the front seat – without too much drama and much quicker than I thought I would be able to and joy of joys, we are off home.  I text David on approach and as we pull up outside the building, I’m happy to see David waiting on the pavement. He advises that yet again, the person who was coming to look at the sofa has made some excuse about a broken-down car and isn’t coming – do people not realise that we have lives and we put stuff on hold for them?  Oh well, at least we will have something to sit on to watch TV tonight and some lucky punter will be able to pick up the sofa from the rubbish bay at the loading dock for free when we finally put them down there on Tuesday morning – this is simply because we don’t want to pay to store them for a few years before unpacking them for the house in Spain to decide that they don’t fit the style of the house and we don’t like them so will throw them out anyway.

Out of the car, not too spritely but not too slow either, and up to the apartment.  The fridge freezer (which was supposed to be collected yesterday by a buyer) is outside the apartment door – no point in moving it as the ‘second’ buyer will collect later today. David has done an absolutely stellar job clearing out the cupboards, sorting out the foodstuffs that we will throw away or give away or keep and the apartment now really looks like we are about to move out. David has made a fridge by filling a couple of plastic tubs with huge bags of ice from Coles and immersing some items into it. Brilliant. I know that most of this has been achieved in the last 24 hours when it was a definite that I was coming home, as there didn’t seem to have been much progress in chores between his visits to me in the hospital – so we need to crack on with some stuff today. We have coffee and chat about what we will do next.

We go through some of the things we are going to give away to Lexi – there’s stuff left over from the Glebe markets, foodstuffs etc and stuff we are chucking away.  That done, the Lexi boxes are packed and ready for pick up.

Next is to do the final sort of the wardrobes so that we have an absolute idea of what we are taking with us in suitcases and what is being packed by the removers.  David’s wardrobe is more or less done and so I do mine – didn’t take too long as it was mostly done except for a bit of fine tuning.  I complete this task and then I know that I need to rest.  My left leg and foot are swollen (as is my right but to a lesser degree) and my head is still thumping.  David drops the blind and puts the air conditioning on as it’s a bit humid and steamy today, I lower myself onto the mattress, put my head back on my lovely bamboo pillow and hey presto – sleep.  I think it’s about an hour later that I wake up and although I am feeling much better, the headache is still there.

Time for a snack – need to keep David’s energy up for focus and build my energy up for recovery. We eat whilst watching something on TV and then potter around doing bits and pieces.  The person who has bought the fridge freezer and washing machine has an AirTasker picking the items up and they let us know they will be here around 3.30pm.  I had no idea such a service existed – brilliant idea. There are a few shirts that need ironing – I think I am OK doing those so David sets up the ironing board and off we go.  Whilst I am doing that, the guys arrive to collect the whitegoods.  That done, I sort through some paperwork and David is tapping away on the computer.

I make a loaf of protein bread and then set to with doing dinner.  It’s fish for dinner – kind of just using up things that we have left in the cupboards / defrosted from the divested fridge freezer etc.

Relaxing evening in front of the TV, my headache is still there but comes and goes in waves so now that it’s getting annoying, I think I’ll go to bed.  I make preparations and then retire with a book and a cup of tea.  Being back in my own surroundings in our bed is one of the small pleasures in life we take for granted.  This is a heavenly moment and I feel totally relaxed.  Let’s hope the headache acknowledges the changes and finally gets sorted.

Exercises to be completed twice per day each day.

40 reps of each execise

Lying on your back on the floor:

Single leg raises – believe me, trying to do this with the leg that has been operated on is soooo hard.  I am advised this takes some people months – I am able to do 40 so that’s brilliant even if it takes all my strength and concentration

Single leg bends – bending the knee and sliding the heel as close to the buttock as possible

Quad squeeze and hold

Glute bridges

Hip abduction

Standing exercises

Step ups (side ways and normal)

Side walks

Knee raises (not beyond 90 degrees)

Hamstring curls with squeeze and hold at top

Calf raises

Squats – no further down than 90 degrees

Hip raises

Standing hip abduction

With the concentration and mind to muscle connection, this lot takes around 1 hour.

Hippy Times ,.. 🏋🏻‍♀️

Hippy Times #09 🏋🏻‍♀️

Waking up with a lovely view – it’s so quiet here, almost feels as though I am here all alone!  I get up to make tea to take back to bed and do some reading.  I decide to have a look through some YouTube clips – various headings.

– How to tie your shoe laces after total hip reconstruction

– How to put on trousers after total hip reconstruction

– How to sleep after total hip reconstruction

Seriously, what did we do before You Tube, there are some good tips on here and then there are some not so good tips – take the first subject for example, the answer is, buy elasticated shoe laces that are no tie!!  Yeah, good advice but what about when you are in the hospital and need to know now coz you can’t go out until you have tied the laces you have?  That said, there were some good tips on there.

I am feeling pretty desperate for coffee but have googled Café Santé which is in the building and they don’t open on Saturday and Sunday – I mean who runs / owns a café at the entrance of a hospital / rehab centre and doesn’t open at the weekend, at least in the morning.  Missing a huge opportunity there I think especially as there are lots of visitors on a Saturday morning and most of the rehab patients are up and about too and well, everyone needs coffee right?!  Anyhow, I have a look on the internet to identify a coffee shop that’s not too far away where David and I can go to have a coffee together.  I find one that is only a block away and looks as though it has a really nice little courtyard, so that’s where we’ll go when David gets here as we had agreed that he should come at 8 am today as Lexi will be sleeping in on a Saturday morning and I have to be down in the gym with the physio at 9 am.

Here goes, let’s try and dress myself.  Well, it takes a while but I manage to get support socks on and then leggings on top of that – I am so impressed with myself that I decide to take some selfies and post them on Instagram – hope you saw them.  Murphy’s law, breakfast is delivered when I am mid selfie – a quick tap on the door and in they march with the tray.

I wouldn’t mark the food at Waratah as highly as that at St Vincent’s!  The portions are miniscule, seriously.  However, having ordered a medium sized dinner the night before, and in my view that had been a bit less than small, I had decided to order a large breakfast.  What does large mean, well, it means a portion of scrambled egg with tomato, 2 slices of gluten free toast (anaemic toast, maybe the toaster broke) and two servings of oats – I guess the second serving makes this a large meal.

I decide to only eat the scrambled egg which will mean when David comes, we can go and have coffee and I can have toast and he can have a breakfast cos I know he won’t have eaten anything before coming here.

I have come up with a plan as I really don’t feel like I need to be an inpatient.  I’m going to get myself checked out tomorrow and go home and become an outpatient for rehab but get myself transferred to Wolper Hospital as that’s much nearer home.  I’ll chat this through with David when he comes.

David has arrived wearing only a thin short sleeved shirt – aren’t you cold I ask?  Yes, he replies but clearly didn’t bring a jacket – it’s quite a clear morning and now that it’s autumn there’s a nip in the air so why isn’t he wearing a jacket?

We embark on a slow walk to the earlier identified café – hmm, it’s amazing what can be portrayed in photos, the place we go to is nothing more than what I can only describe as a café that’s not really sure if it’s a café, an ice cream shop or a convenience store and I’ve seen cleaner more appealing places in the wild west movies than this.  So, we about turn and stumble across Westfield.  I say stumble because you can normally see the multi storey shopping centres but we were quite high up in Hurstville and Westfield is down in the dip so wasn’t obvious.  We head there and end up in Jamaica Blue one of the coffee shops in the centre.  Great, they have decent height chairs for me to sit on and serve good coffee.

Time for the gym is drawing near – David decides to go off and find a newsagent to buy the Saturday papers for me, I’ll sit here and wait I say.  However, he’s gone for a few minutes and I think it would probably be a good idea for me to start the walk back.  I send David a text to let him know I am making my way back and I’ll meet him at the hospital entrance.

As we draw close, we see that there are two fire engines there.  There has obviously been an alarm but we don’t see all the residents sitting outside on their hospital beds so it’s been a false alarm but all the security measures have been triggered and the lifts are out of action.  Thankfully the gym is only on the mezzanine floor so we’ll take the stairs and won’t be late.

Turning up at the gym there are two young physios on reception.  I announce my arrival and they think I am visiting somebody as opposed to being a patient.  We start with some timed tests.  I have to do as many sit to stand from the chair as possible in one minute – 34 achieved and I’m told that’s really good.  Then there’s a 6 minute walk just up and down the corridor – 6 minutes is a long time when you are only doing laps of about 15 metres a go.  David is taking pictures and videos to capture the moment – I’m moving freely and well, the physio is pretty impressed.

We move over to doing some other leg exercises some are performed standing.  These are undertaken near a bar which you can reach out and grab if you need to.  Others are done lying flat on the floor.  All up, there are 12 exercises and I need to do 40 reps of each.  I complete these without too much trouble, the only one is a single leg raise – hmmm, I have to concentrate really hard to get my heel to lift off the floor.  Keep trying I’m told because even on the rep that you don’t get the heel off the ground, you are tensing and strengthening the muscles.  The gym is starting to get busy – there are all sorts of patients arriving but mostly I would estimate they are either over 80 or obese and they are all really struggling to get mobile after whatever surgery they have had.

Gym work completed, I retire to my room to read the papers.  Before that, I will call Wolper and see what I need to do to transfer there as an outpatient – it says on the website that they are open 8.30 am to 2.30 pm on Saturday.  Nope, that’s not right, there’s no answer.  I speak to the main switchboard and she says I can leave a message on the rehab extension and they will call me on Monday.  OK, that sounds like a plan.  She transfers me and guess what …… it rings and rings and rings but doesn’t switch to voicemail.  I guess that means I will have to call them on Monday.

I read through the Australian and come to the magazine.  I glance up out the window and as the weather is still quite good I had noticed there was Hurstville Oval not far down the road.  So I decide to take the rest of the papers and go and sit in the sun.  I meander down the road, arrive at the oval and there’s a cricket game on.  I find a seat and sit in the sun and call David who tells me that he is in the process of cleaning the fridge out as he has sold it.  He’s also had some offers on the washing machine.  Great – two more things we don’t need to worry about.  I tell David not to worry about coming out to Hurstville this evening, Lexi will come and we can go to the movies at Westfield and that will save David a few hours when he can be wheeling and dealing and divesting of the last few sticks of furniture

After a while, I wander back to the hospital and my room and finish my reading and before you know it, it’s 12.30 and lunch time.  Lunch is duly delivered … I had ordered chicken Caesar salad – uh oh a small oblong bowl of cos lettuce, half an egg, and three slices of chicken that are no bigger than 2 cms x 2 cms – this is a large lunch because they have given me a couple of desserts – I mean seriously.

Lunch devoured, I’m going to take a rest before I go back to the gym for my second session at 2.30 pm.

Down I go to the gym with my music – this mornings music was more geared to the other gym goers so I’ll take my own this time.  There’s only one other person there and he has the attention of both physios.  That’s fine, I can do my own thing.  One of the young ladies comes over just to make sure I am OK and I decide to mention to her that I may check out tomorrow and become an outpatient.  She believes that’s the right thing as I don’t really need the inpatient facilities because I am so mobile.  I start my routine and she goes off to write down all the info on outpatient that I will need.  She also gives me tips and advice on when I can start using some weight on my legs but resistance bands are a no until the 6 week post op point.

The old gentleman that is in the gym needs to go back to his room.  One of the physios finishes her shifts and goes home, the other is to help the gentleman back to his room.  She says I can stay and finish what I want to do, she’ll shut the door so nobody else can come in but I can stay as long as I want – that’s dangerous.  I complete the lower body exercises and decide to make the most of the opportunity and take some free weights and run through a 40 minute shoulder routine.

Back in my room, I again watch some cooking programs on TV and relax until Lexi arrives.  We hobble off to Westfield and find a bite to eat and then into the movies to see Red Sparrow.  I know it’s not what you should do but I do check my phone during the movies and see that David has sent a text – having busted his arse cleaning the fridge and moving it to the corridor for ease of the purchaser, the rude, disrespectful person who had undertaken to buy this for cash and collect at 7 pm had not turned up and was not answering text messages.  David’s pretty hacked off I can tell you.

The movie was brilliant – love the story line but it was a little too graphic and gory in some places.  Lexi escorts me back to my hospital room and then has to ride her Ninja home with the promise that she will text me when she arrives safely.

I make a cup of tea and give David a call – poor chap has been working hard today cleaning stuff up and emptying cupboards.  He tells me he has just had a chat with David and Fiona (our friends in Spain) and they have obviously perked him up a bit so all good. We say good night and it’s time to get some shut eye.  So, until tomorrow when I make my escape ………….

Hippy Times … 🏋🏻‍♀️

Hippy Times #08 🏋🏻‍♀️

Friday morning dawns – well technically not dawn yet as it’s still pitch black outside but its 4.45 am and I’m awake.  That’s not so bad, call that a pretty good night’s sleep.  So, let’s have a walk around the floor and see if there’s any life out there.

I take my walk, do my standard exercises whilst my tea is brewing and then jump into bed and watch the early news whilst I drink my tea.  Today is the day I go to rehab – excited to be changing locations and to get back to some normal activity.  After showering etc I decide to empty the fridge of emergency rations and pack up as much stuff as I can so that when I have my morning visitors, I am not distracted and already packed.  Lexi is early this morning having been to an earlier training session and needing to be at work a little earlier.  We chat about her back work out and she shows me a couple of videos – wish I had been there……..  really makes me feel that it’s been ages since I was in the gym but it really is only a week to the day since I was there.  I’m feeling brain dead – Lexi and I have this weird conversation where I say that I have noticed the bottles of water they are supplying are out of date.  The date is 12/03/20.  Lexi says yeah well 20 is not out of date, and I say but it’s gone 12 March – yes she patiently replies but 20 isn’t out of date.  It’s gone 12 March I repeat and we’re in 2020 – stunned look from Lexi as she says uh no, it’s 2018 – OMG my brain is definitely woollie!

When Lexi leaves for work, breakfast arrives, I am soooo hungry.  I try to save the toast for when David arrives with my coffee.  The nurse arrives to do the usual BP checks and advises me that the transport to Waratah Private should be around 9.50 am.  However, there is no guarantee as there was a lady who should have been moved yesterday and she is still waiting.  I said I would make my own way there and perhaps she and I could share an Uber so that we weren’t travelling alone as the hospital does not like to discharge you to travel there alone.  Nurse says, let’s wait and see what happens.

I’m all packed and ready to eat my toast with my coffee and David comes in – I’m so happy to see him I jump up and give him a hug and knock the extra large black coffee out of his hand and it tumbles to the floor.  SPLOSH – no coffee.  He’s looking pretty hacked off and simply turns tail to go back downstairs to get another one.  It was an accident but he doesn’t look impressed.

So, having tried to resist the toast for so long, with my stomach still growling, I eat one piece whilst waiting for him.  He returns, coffee in hand.  I am sitting down and have vowed not to move until the coffee is on the table – yum, coffee and toast.

The nurse returns with the announcement that the transport is delayed until 11.30 am.  Uh oh, I tell her I will take an Uber with the other lady.  She says she doesn’t think that’s a good idea as the other lady is in her late 80s and of mediterannean descent and doesn’t speak English.  David queries what ‘travelling alone’ actually means and we discover that if he travels behind on Scootie, that’s OK. I duly order a car and off we go.  Unfortunately David gets a little wet and soggy on the way as it rains and he has no jacket!

Arriving at Waratah, I go to admissions on the ground floor.  The young lady behind the desk asks my name, am I here for residential rehab?  Yes, I reply to which she says are you going to the fourth floor?  I have no idea I tell her, you tell me where I have to go – strange?  With the flick of a few keys and the assistance of what looks like her supervisor, we are directed to L4.  Waiting at the lifts, we encounter this lovely young lady who has just taken a patient home – she says come with me, I’ll show you to your room.  We drop paperwork at reception and are directed to the room.  I probably have the best room in the hospital.  It is a corner room with dual aspect and an amazing view southwards with nothing in the way – it’s bright and huge.  It’s like checking into a hotel – we are kind of left to our own devices.  So, I unpack and check out the amenities – hmm no fridge in the room – disappointing.  The nurse arrives and shows me a small communal lounge where there is an under counter fridge and tea and coffee making facilities but no microwave – I’ll have to eat the hospital food as I don’t believe there’s anywhere to heat anything up – I can explore more later, maybe in the evening there’s a microwave in the staff room I can use.

The nurse arrives.  He does the usual check in tests, swabs, blood pressure etc etc.  For once, I don’t appear to be thinking about food but David asks what happens about lunch, will I get anything as I am just checking in?  The nurse assures me he will call the kitchen and sort something out and then leaves.  David and I are left alone again.  It’s decided that David should probably go home rather than just hang around and then he can come back later.  I walk him to the lift which is something I love to do now that I can.

Back in the room, I realise I need a blanket, a pillow and some towels.  I make a mental note to ask at reception next time I wander out there.  A gentleman knocks on my door and wanders in – introduces himself as Phil, he’s wearing ID so obviously some type of official.  He asks how I am and says that I seem a very upbeat healthy patient for somebody who has recently had surgery.  I explain about my obsession with the gym and he starts talking about advice on some exercising etc as he has sciatic pain.  I ask him what his role is a the hospital and he tells me he’s the Pastor.

Lunch is delivered and Phil leaves me to it.  This lunch is something they have put together for me as I hadn’t been here to order for myself.  There’s chicken, pumpkin and broad beans, a side salad, a banana, some ice cream, water and tea and coffee.  Chicken and veggies was very nice I must say.

John the physio comes in to introduce himself and say that he will show me around.  He takes me down to see the gym, the hydro pool and the café.  The gym and pool are out of bounds unless you are accompanied by a physio which means I probably won’t get there today, so my first session in the pool will probably be Monday afternoon but I will apparently start in the gym tomorrow at 9 am – yay.  The café is one that is at the entrance of the hospital and is open from 7 am to 4 pm and apparently serves good coffee.

John is a useful source of information.  I talk about the time it takes before I am allowed to bend past 90 degrees, not being advisable to cross your legs, not twisting your hips and the reasons for this.  He explains that if you move in any of these ways in the early stages of hip replacement there is a high risk of dislocation due to the neck of the implant coming into contact with the edge of the cap and being pushed out of place as it has not yet had a chance to embed into the tissue around it. We chat as we walk  back to my room and it seems as though I may be able to go home on Sunday or Monday and become an outpatient visiting the hospital for physio a couple of times a week – sounds perfect to me.

Back in my room, I settle down to read and see what’s on Foxtel.  The wifi here is pitiful and keeps dropping out – that little circle goes round and round and the picture just freezes, so frustrating especially when everything was so efficient at St Vincent’s.  As I am standing by the side of the bed, there’s a knock on the door and a young man asks if I would like tea or coffee.  I ask for a mug of strong tea which he duly makes, comes back in the room and hands it to me saying ‘what relationship are you to the patient (who he presumes is in the bathroom).  I am the patient I reply to which he says how come you look so well, why are you here.  I explain I have had a hip replacement almost a week ago and he looks at me incredulously – WOW how come you look so good he says.  We chat about being fit before an operation and about me being young for a hip replacement.

The nurse comes in and wants to do an ECG.  Another very young very pleasant Asian girl and for some reason we all gravitate toward conversations in regard to nutrition, meal plans and the gym.  She tells me she has a Crunch membership and has been to the gym this week and is trying to lose weight.  I ask her how many times a week she goes and apparently she made it once this week.  Encouragement comes from me in the way of saying that’s a great start, once is better than none but also you need to build on this.  So we chat and laugh about the reason she hasn’t made it any other day but Monday this week and low and behold it’s because she admits she is lazy.  Her shift starts at 2 pm but she doesn’t get up early enough to get there beforehand!!  We discuss the types of food she eats and she admits there’s lots of cake and rice involved and not a lot else.  So embarrassed giggling over she says she had better get on and do the ECG and proceeds to stick sensors to various parts of my body.  She conducts the ECG and disconnects all the leads saying that she will go and check the results and come back in 15 minutes.  If the results are OK, she’ll remove the pads, but we may need to redo this and therefore I should leave the sensors on for now.

Lily is another of the nurses, she is full of life, friendly and upbeat and appears to do vital obs check.  I ask her when meal times are (food focus as usual).  She responds that breakfast is at 7.30 am, lunch at noon and dinner at 5 pm!  What the hell – dinner at 5, that’s afternoon tea time not dinner.  I enquire as to whether or not there is an option to have dinner later and / or somewhere to reheat my food if I choose to eat it later.  She tells me there’s a staff microwave and if I let her know when I am ready, she will reheat dinner for me – how sweet.

So I sit down to write this and tell you guys all about my experiences.  Just before 5 pm, here’s David – great to see him – it’s quite a trip on Scootie to here but he’s here on his trusty steed!  It’s 5.15 and dinner arrives – ha ha ha.  Being unsure of portion size I had ordered a soup and a main – hmm the main is more like an entrée so I’m not impressed.  On the Google map I have noticed there’s a Coles express nearby so we decide to go in search of it and see if they have some pre prepared salad to go with it. As we exit the hospital entrance, we notice there’s a Korean restaurant almost next door so we just wander down there to see if there is a takeaway option.  Hmm – it’s closed down.  Walking towards Coles Express, I spot the lovely Lexi coming along the road on her Ninja.  We attract her attention and explain that we are just off to Coles and won’t be long, we’ll see her back there.  As we go around the corner, David sends Lexi a text and tells her to go up to the room and make herself comfortable.  The Coles Express is attached to a petrol station and although there are signs for lots of shops around we can’t spot them and David is nervous that they may be too far away for me to walk.  We turn tail and walk the other way along a street that has lots of takeaway food options however the menus aren’t in English – that could be a challenge. We go back to the hospital and Lexi is sitting in reception waiting – she thought we had just been telling her the room number.  So up we all go to the room.  David says his goodbyes and Lexi and I catch up on our days.  I have decided to order Uber Eats – they’ll deliver to my door and so I order some Chicken San Choy Bao and some Chinese Broccoli – hmm, feeling hopeful now.  Meal delivery is about 4 minutes away and so Lexi leaves and I settle to wait for the delivery. There’s a knock on the door and here it is.  It doesn’t disappoint and there’s enough food there for two days.  There’s no fridge in my room so I have to package it up and put in the shared fridge in the patient dining area.

I finally manage to chat with my friend Martha on the phone.  She’s running around as usual with her hectic life – working, studying, taking exams, being sociable, going to the gym etc etc and I think she is one of the very few people I know with as much energy (if not more) than I do – Go Martha.  I exchange text messages with the lovely Larissa who has gone out of Sydney for the weekend so we’ll catch up next week when I’m a bit more mobile.

Time to settle and watch some TV and read my book.  I’m not sure how I feel about being here – my room is huge, the view is absolutely amazing, the staff are friendly and it’s all a bit casual but I feel as though there’s not really anyone who actually ‘knows’ that you are here if you know what I mean.  I feel out on a limb.  Oh well, there’ll be some activity tomorrow so we can see how we go.

Hippy Times … 🏋🏻‍♀️