Okay, well maybe don’t!
As I was getting ready for my 5-week post-op doctor appointment today, I knew I was going to have x-rays done prior to my appointment. This means I had to dress in my “x-ray/MRI/CT Scan” clothes (no metal)! I much prefer having my pre-appointment x-ray done say the day before (or even the week before) my appointment but when that was suggested, I was told that they would “just do the x-ray at the time of my appointment”! This posed a conflict for me but not one I felt comfortable sharing with my doctor at the time.
My conflict is that I would need help undressing and wearing a patient gown if I wore any metal on my clothes and I doubt seriously they would let hubby back into the dressing room to help me dress/undress. I’m not sure if they have people designated to “help” a person dress and undress? I’m not sure I could admit that I needed a person, other then hubby, to help me with this? So my next best option… don’t wear any metal on my clothes!
This is harder to do then it may sound. My leggings, which I’ve worn for the last five weeks and can hardly stand wearing any longer, are fleece-lined athletic leggings. They have a little zip compartment for a key or a credit card on the rear waistband… These are definitely NOT “metal free”! Fortunately, I found a different pair of leggings only slightly covered in dog/cat hair! As I’m frantically lint picking these leggings, I started looking for an appropriate top. Again, one without any metal on it! And long enough to cover my butt because, really, leggings are NOT pants!
Two tops later that didn’t work out and I’m beginning to panic now. We have a two hour drive to get to this hospital and I’m beginning to run out of time. And then I see the PERFECT top that I will wear over my less-than-favorite leggings!
Cut back to Christmas when hubby purchased several items of comfortable clothing for me to wear after my surgery. This was a very thoughtful gift idea and not something I was really thinking about at the time. Knowing I get cold easily, he purchased a lovely plaid flannel night shirt for me to wear lounging and/or for sleeping. Two nights ago, I wore that night shirt for the first time. I got so frustrated that it didn’t move with me when I moved and just got all wadded up in the bed covers that I took it off tossing it in a pile to be donated! But on this morning, I thought it would look just fine with my less than favorite leggings.
Does it look like a night shirt? These days, I don’t know how you could tell that or not? I dressed it up with a loosely fitted elastic belt with a vest and a scarf. Outfit complete! Oh, sure, I knew I would have to take off the belt and my vest but everything else… Metal free! After hubby’s initial shock that I was going to wear pajamas not only out in public but to my doctor appointment, even he had to admit the nightgown didn’t look all that bad. My opinion? Conflict resolved in not having to struggle changing clothes in the doctor’s office. And with accessories, I pulled off a “nice” outfit befitting 40 degree temps successfully masking my inner fears.
The result of my post-op visit… My hardware consisting of rods and screws (although I prefer to call them my “nuts and bolts”) is still in the position it was placed from the surgery according to the new x-rays. It is still too early to see if I am making bone to fill in the “cages” that were placed in between the disk spaces. My intake of Vitamin D that is needed for my body to make bone was questioned so I had a blood draw to determine my Vitamin D level. While I am taking Vitamin D both in my calcium supplement and my multivitamin, my level is a bit low but it IS winter time which could account for the lower level. This concern is going to be discussed with my rheumatologist/endocrinologist on whether I should supplement more Vitamin D or not because too much Vitamin D is not good either.
And according to these x-rays and the radiologist’s review of them, thanks for reminding me that I have mild arthritis in my right hip and moderate arthritis in my left hip. Yeah, something else to look forward to “repairing” in the future!
My physical exam confirmed I still have muscle weakness of my right leg which is a new finding since the surgery. I’m to continue the exercises I’ve been doing; this finding will be reassessed at my next appointment. While physical therapy SHOULD BE started at this point, I’m already doing more then what PT would teach me to do. I’m to remember to avoid repetitive bending and to work up to my 25 pound lifting limit. Pain medication scripts were refilled since I will run out before my next doctor appointment although I was told these are the last scripts they will write for me. Hopefully I won’t need additional pain management scripts by then?
It was a full day with two long car rides. Happy to be home again and I do think I will wear my flannel night shirt again with these leggings. I will probably wear this outfit for my next appointment when I will need another x-ray where I will need to wear “metal free” clothes. Does this shirt look like pajamas? Do I really care if it does? I am sure in the big scheme of things, this is a silly concern but it is important to me. My outward appearance, my dignity, is very important to me. I am more then a spine (or a hip) patient! That is what I care about the most… To not lose sight of the person I am outside of x-rays, doctor appointments, and tests. From the outside, that is what I want people to see when they see me!