Tuesday, 28 August 2012

I am slowly recovering

Three weeks ago I dislocated my hip replacement and I am now slowly recovering, but I realise that it’s going to take time to get back to where I was right before the incident, and I have been told that I have to be careful for the rest of my life so that I don’t dislocate my hip again. I had my hip replacement operation in June last year, my third operation on that hip, after the two previous operations turned out to be unsuccessful and no other solutions were found than to give me a hip replacement despite my relatively young age. Since the hip replacement my hip has been a bit unstable and the pain after the operation never really settled, this is due to my primary condition and not something gone wrong during the operation. I have now been told that there is nothing more that can be done for my hip, I will not have the planned hip replacement on the other hip, and I will just have to careful not to dislocate again.

The thought of going through the dreadful experience of dislocating my hip again (think of the feeling of having your leg torn off at your hip...) makes me very careful right now, but I know once the healing process has progressed at bit further and I am feeling better, I will soon want to do more than hobbling around on crutches being constantly careful. Well, I’ve been there many times before, after numerous operations, eager to get out in the garden and just DO something. All my plants are crying out for some care and attention, and even if they can survive very well on just water without any other care, I just want to potter around in the garden for my own sake and sanity. So, in realising that I am not that good in listening to my body’s own voice when I am doing something I like, I have now got someone to help me with my garden :-) There is a charity where I live called Helping Hands who offer free help with anything from shopping and taking people out on trips to help with odd jobs around the house and help with gardening. I have had a visit from the charity today and on Thursday a ‘Helping Hand Volunteer’ will come to help me with my garden. My volunteer will help me; that’s what I have asked for, I haven’t asked for someone to do the gardening for me, but to do the parts I can’t do so that I can be outside with him or her and still enjoy the things I can do. That’s the kind of help I want and need and on the visit today the lady from the charity was very understanding when I said I didn’t want someone to come and take over the gardening for me. I am so grateful that charities like this exists and that with one phone call you can just ask for help when you need it. This charity is based on people donating their free time, as with any charity, and I asked today if I could help them back in any way and it turns out I can – I am going to redesign their website for them, that’s something I can do from my sofa on my laptop. Great exchange of resources!

I haven’t got any new photos from my garden for you today either, it is still very difficult to stand and take photos when on two crutches, but I am aiming to take my tripod out the next couple of days and have a go. With no new photos to work on for such a long time I have instead collected the best photos I have taken so far from this spring and summer and made another movie for you. The music is Dvorak’s Symphony no 9, fifth part.

The movie is saved in HD and will absolutely look best if you open it in full screen and view it in HD, but to enable my readers to view my movies in the small YouTube size if they want to, the quality setting is by default set too low for full screen view. For best result I recommend you to:

-Start the movie
-Click on the tiny gear icon on the bottom line to change quality and choose 1080p HD 
-Click on the icon for full screen
-Push the progress bar back to start to get the movie to start from the beginning

...and when the annoying ad turns up, click the X inside the ad to make it go away. The ads are Google’s ‘punishment’ for when we don’t make our own music. If you find that your Internet connection is too slow for 1080p quality, try 720p instead, or pause the movie for a moment so it can download a bit before you resume.





Let me round up by saying thank you to all of you who wrote kind messages and well-wishes on my previous post on the 15th August, I really appreciate all the care you show me, it means a lot to me. Thank you everybody! Until next time, take care :-)

22 comments:

  1. Your garden is breathtaking - all those roses and lilies! That is too bad that your hip is taking so long to heal and will always be a worry. I hope that the volunteer will be a big help and that you can get out and enjoy your garden! And I hope your hip feels better soon!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! I am looking forward to my first volunteer visit.

      Delete
  2. Hi Helene: How frustrating that you have to deal with this. I'm glad you've gotten some help, and you've sparked a thought for me to try to find a similar organization in my community--maybe I can volunteer. What a great idea to help someone and spend time in a garden at the same time. I loved your movie--especially the parts where the Roses are closed and then open. Take care of yourself. I've been thinking about you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, I am working on another movie right now, I will probably post it next week. I am sure you will find similar charities in your area, if not, perhaps you can start one or advertise your help. You might have neighbours that could need an extra pair of hands now and then?

      Delete
  3. Helene, So happy to hear that your recovery is coming along -- even if slowly. The Helping Hands charity seems like a godsend. -Jean

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, I am so happy they could help, it was my local Social Sevices that told me about them.

      Delete
  4. What a great idea and I'm so pleased you've asked for help - this is something that can be difficult to do! You will be also helping them immensely too.
    Take care Helene and keep sharing your beautiful garden with us x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks PJ, it is a big step to ask for help when all you want is to be independent, that’s why it is important to me to be involved and not just get someone to come and take over the gardening. I am still going to be a gardener :-)

      Delete
  5. Helene, I am so sorry that I have been out of the loop -- but I am very happy to hear that you are on the mend and that you reached out for assistance. I know that can be a difficult thing to do, but how wonderful that such an organization exists.

    I also enjoyed your movie for so many reasons. Yes, there are the flowers -- but it's also a testament to your strength and determination.

    Take care!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Kevin, I get gardening withdrawal symptoms if I am away from it for too long so I substitute with ‘gardening on my laptop’ when necessary :-)
      Glad you enjoyed the movie, as for strength and determination – I am the kind of ‘one foot in front of the other’ person. Never look too far, never make too many plans, never have any deadlines as I don’t know what next week or next month is going to be like.

      Delete
  6. What a lovely movie of your gorgeous garden! Thank you for posting it for our enjoyment. I'm glad that you'll be able to work alongside your volunteer and that you'll be getting the help you need to continue to follow your gardening passion! Here's to a speedy recovery.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! Glad you enjoyed the movie and thanks for the well-wishes.

      Delete
  7. Helene... I had no idea of your hip problem and am so sorry to learn about it. I'm sure you will couple good judgement with continuing to do the things you enjoy... It's sometimes easy to fear the things we deal with physically and allow them to be displaced totally with caution... personally I'm for not giving up on our joy.... we simply have to understand and practice the necessary limitations which becomes a new way of life... at least, that has been my experience... here's to a quick recovery for you... Larry

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Larry, and I totally agree, never stop doing the things you enjoy, just find other ways to do them! I have been medically retired for 18 years, since the age of 30, and I had to find other things to enjoy than my career, hobbies and outdoor life. I can safely say that gardening and the work I do on my computer has kept me sane! The ever growing list of medical issues has made me housebound the last few years, making my garden even more important to me and my online friends very dear to me.

      Delete
  8. I have been told I need hip replacement surgery and a good friend of mine had it done. She really has had a problem with it now for two years. She walks like she is 90 and after seeing what she went through, I chose to live with the periodic sharp pain. I now ask to have the heavy garden work done, rather than aggravating my hip. I am glad to hear you are improving. Please, do ask for help. It has made my problem so much better. Not carrying around heavy things has made a great improvement for me without the surgery.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Fortunately, most people get much better after a hip replacement and only a small minority have long term problems, and usually only if they have underlying medical problems. The reason for my problems is my main condition, a connective tissue disorder called Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome.

      Delete
  9. Helene - I really admire that despite your suffering you're still striving to be independent and giving back too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, being independent has always been important to me, I have been ill for as long as I can remember, retired for 18 years, but managed with only occasional care from Social Services every time I have had an incident or an operation. I had my operation number 11 in May...I intend to continue being independent for as long as I can :-)

      Delete
  10. Hello Helene
    I am sorry to hear that you have not fully recovered from your fall. I am however very happy to hear that someone can come and help you with the garden. At a certain point, you need to ask for help.
    The video was gorgeous!! Your garden is so lovely and this slideshow captures all the beauty. And I've always loved your choice of music.
    Take care and know we are thinking of you.
    Astrid

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So glad you liked the video, I was a bit afraid it was too long, but I didn’t have the heart to cut out too many of the photos I had taken over the spring and summer! I always use classical music for my videos, and I have a special relationship with most of the music I choose – many of the pieces I have played in the past, back when I used to play in an orchestra myself. That’s a very long time ago though, I had to give up playing when I was 19 because my hands became too stiff and painful to continue, but I still remember all the music even if it is almost 30 years ago.
      These days I ‘go to concerts’ on my TV and I thoroughly enjoy BBC Proms from Royal Albert Hall. Do you get the BBC Proms concerts on TV in Canada?

      Delete
  11. What a wonderful organization Helping Hands sounds like! I hope the visit from the undergardener yesterday went well and made a good dent in those chores that must have been driving you mad to get get done. From the little I know of you, you will enjoy redesigning their website, too! Hope you continue to mend well.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, I was supposed to have a visit from Helping Hands yesterday, but then the British Weather played up again and gave us yet another day of heavy showers, so after a chat on the phone earlier in the day we decided to postpone it until Monday, hoping for a better day. Thanks for your well-wishes, I spent a couple of hours in the garden today with my camera, haven’t taken any photos for nearly 4 weeks so it was almost like re-discovering my garden through my camera lens :-)

      Delete