Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Surgery and the Hips - Part 10

At the recent surgeon appointment, the surgeon said I was clear of all restrictions and that it looked like I had no infection. Just having no infection was a big Christmas gift for just about everyone, considering how it was last year with the infection and antibiotic spacer.

I'm getting back to swimming soon, which will help me in the transition from walker to cane. With home PT, I went from one lap to four, and should be able to get to more with swimming. I also should be going from in-home PT to outpatient, returning to the same place after the left hip's final surgery. Around the beginning of the new year, I'm going from twice a week in-home PT to three times a week outpatient. This should be interesting.

I also had this job interview a week before the appointment, and the only way I could get there was to drive. Since I couldn't find anyone to drive me there due to it being short notice, I had to drive myself against doc's orders to not drive. Fortunately, it wasn't too bad a drive, and I had just a little pain.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

No Utility Bill? Sprint IP Says NO!

Just got this comment on the previous post The End of Text IP-Relay Services? Say It Ain't So...

Sprint IP is denying services to consumers who live in group homes. Sprint IP requires government ID plus "utility bill with the same name and address on it as the ID". This means persons living in situations where their OWN name does not happen to be on the bills are being denied their right to equal access!!

Sprint IP has not been willing to accept other types of proof of residency as part of verification (i.e. medical bill w/name and address, credit card or bank statement with name and address, notarized letter, etc.)

Sprint IP is also unwilling to allow consumers to communicate via email directly with anyone other than a low-level customer representative at a generic email address. They will not give out name or email of a "supervisor" who can answer questions with more than a "we will have to get back to you on that." Instead, they tell you to CALL. Duh. Without IP relay, I cannot call! Isn't that my point?

Has anyone had the same issue? If so, what did you do to resolve it?

Time to complain to the FCC via the ECFS.


Monday, December 1, 2014

Surgery and the Hips - Part 9

I've made some big milestones since my last post back in July with Part 8.

I continued to do swimming and water walking in the local community pool until it closed, then went on to the local rec center which had a hot tub/spa. I kept on going until my next surgery which was November 3, this time on the right hip, right as I predicted back in Part 5.

I started the process for surgery in September, and was cleared for surgery at the presurgical appointment three weeks beforehand. Fortunately, this time, I wasn't in that much pain, but my walking was beginning to go downhill again. The surgeon and I agreed on using the lateral procedure rather than anterior in the interest of avoiding infection.

I finished my internship with Sprint about the first or second week of August. The money was used to pay off the previous bill from the nursing home and a student loan with just a little left to carry over to pay for the next surgery bills. It was a rather educational internship and I met up with three other deaf who also worked within the same campus, but a different building. Two of them were former classmates back at NTID. One person I worked with Sprint knew some sign and was a supervisor, so we talked here and there when we could.

Come the date of surgery, there wasn't a lot of pain, just a lot of improvements. The same nurses and physical therapists from the previous surgery last year were there and it was nice to talk with them at times. For physical therapy, the first few days, I wasn't able to go too far. But with the last day, I was able to make it all the way from my room to the PT room, stopping twice. Right when PT ended, Jamie and our neighbor friend showed up and we all talked a bit before heading back to my room. Then we had checkout and left. Doc's orders were to not drive until cleared, and a few other things related to post-hip surgery including some prescriptions, one being for oxycodone. Strong stuff, but not as strong as the dilaudid I've had before. That was an interesting experience. I had percocet during PT after the spacer surgery and after this surgery.

But it was dealing with Purple's discontinuance of their IP-Relay service (1 / 2 / 3 / 4) that's caused the most problems. This is the most critical time in terms of recovery and communications with doctors, and I'm left without it (Why IP-Relay is Important to Me Personally). I was dealing with the news a day after surgery via my phone and a laptop via wireless in between visits with the doctors, nurses, and PT. This was NOT the thing I wanted to deal with during my recovery period. Fortunately, I was able to change my phone number to the one I use with my Sorenson VP. Shame on you, Poople. Tell the truth to the FCC, please.

With the first home PT appointment, I was only able to do one "lap." Two weeks later, with Jamie watching when she was off work that day, I did seven laps. Later on, I was able to do eight. This means that my swimming and water walking helped out quite a bit. The nurse checked the incision area when she visited, and so far, everything's looked good. The incision area measured was 30 centimeters or 12 inches, using 43 staples. They were removed two weeks after surgery. Jamie wanted to watch the removal since she missed the last three. It wasn't too painful, just had a few areas that were sensitive.

I'm still on the walker, but could be using a cane maybe within the next month. I'm still a little too unsteady to use it. I did manage to do a slow lap with the PT helping out.

I've got an upcoming post-surgery appointment with the surgeon soon. So far, no sign of infection. Jamie and I have been changing the tegaderm coverings of the incision area every 1-2 days. This means that if I go this far without an infection, this will be a big milestone for me and an even bigger Christmas gift for her.