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16886 Turner Street. Lansing, MI 48906 || (517) 327-1059 || Fax: (517) 327-0299

Open M-F from 8 a.m.- 5 p.m. Also by Appointment

This has been a challenging and humbling adventure. I sought advice from a well-respected local surgeon and scheduled a full hip replacement for July 1st. I would be laid up for a time and then have a process of rehabilitation to get my mobility back after being impaired for so long. I planned with my team at work for a two-week full stop to my presence in the office.
I planned carefully at home for how chores would get done, what care I might need, what would happen on surgery day and after. The day of surgery was a whirlwind, getting to the outpatient surgery center very early and experiencing the careful preparation and communication as we met the surgical and care teams. It seems like I had barely closed my eyes when I was being awakened from anesthesia and gradually prepared to stand and use the walker for the first time. By mid-afternoon I was on the way home to the recliner.
The first two days were a haze of potent pain medication and naps. Trips to the bathroom were great adventures, as I discovered what my body could and could not do at that stage. My staff checked on me by text and in person, sent flowers (as did others) and handled the bustle at work without impacting my foggy brain. By day three, I realized I had less pain than I did before surgery, and I left the narcotics behind. As I got my abilities back to think and to balance, I was able to appreciate all the special meals, hard work and little kindnesses at home and the great support from the team at The Plant Professionals.
I write about this here because the systems we have built and the trust in our people made it possible to be away and not be stressed about what was happening in the office and in the field. All the caring and focused people at work kept things humming, as the two weeks turned to almost three as I waited for the first follow-up surgical appointment and the permission to drive again.
Physical therapy visits began at home the day after surgery and after a few days, switched to outpatient sessions twice per week. I began to go in to the building for an hour or two, and eventually to climb the stairs to my office, once I moved from walker to cane. Frozen soups and lasagna that Alexa sent home were a great help and comfort.
There is nothing like being a recovering surgery patient using mobility aids to allow a person to appreciate what walking is normally like, and to experience how differently people see you when you require a walker or cane to get around. Many people held doors, offered encouragement and asked how they might help. My speed is much less than my normal, and I have had to accept that focusing on quality movement and good form are more important than speed, even though I very much want that speed back.
Being unable to go full-tilt requires that I experience more fully the differences between carpet, tile, asphalt and gravel beneath feet and cane. At my first home PT visit, I was told clearly that I was not to step out onto the lawn until much later. By the fourth day, I was able, with professional guidance, to go outside and go down and back up the cement steps. This is an essential skill if one hopes to get into a car and be driven to the doctor.
By the second week, I was stealing out onto the lawn like a teenager sneaking out of her room at night, giddy to be out where I could smell the garden flowers and see and hear the birds. This experience reinforces for me the importance of providing garden settings for those who live in retirement and nursing homes. It also helps me see how important exercise is to retain our mobility as we age. At six weeks, the surgeon gave permission for me to weed, pull hoses, and mow again. Amazing how chores are a privilege after being unable to do the work for a few weeks.
My staff knows they can thrive whether I am here or away, and our clients have been kind and patient in the few instances when something had to wait for my input or decision. This has been a learning experience and one of personal growth as well. Thank you to all who have been so kind during this time.