Journal entry by Joe Schell

February 22, 2019

I graduated from rehab today—it’s been 6 months!  I am still dealing with finding a normal gait, balance, numbness, and a “snapping” of muscle over bone near the sutured area, but Dr Gordon & Eric, his NP, thinks it’ll take a full year to find my new normal. At least he says, “It’s better than before surgery.” Plus, I can email him questions along the way. I.e. I’ll always be his patient!

Thanks to all your prayers and well wishes. Here’s to spring! The birds are chirping up a storm today.

Much love, Marge

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Journal entry by Joe Schell

Great news as I start Week 15 (3 months): I started driving and doing stairs…although slowly. With daily walking, water aerobics, strength & balance training, these will continue to improve the next 3 months: my normal gait, better balance when transferring, sitting without a cushion, excessive hip flexion with knee flexion, swelling, and writing. I’m able to hinge at my hip, but will never be able to bend at the waist.

My restrictions are to NOT fall and don’t carry anything heavy up stairs. Rehab continues through February 2019. My next surgeon appt is Jan 2.

Thanks & appreciation for all your encouragement. Happy Holidays!

Journal entry by Joe Schell

I’m at the end of Week 11 (2.5 mo) in a 6-month rehab. I get Physical Therapy (PT) 3x/week on the right butt & leg, as well as on my right hand. (Weakened from holding myself up on the walker.) The pool has been a blessing. Beside doing water aerobics and PT leg lifts, I’m now doing daily runs in the water for at least a mile.

Starting to walk on land after 6 weeks of no weight-bearing on my right leg is a strange feeling. As I continue to work at my normal gait without a cane, I still have to concentrate on heel-to-toe movement and balance. Last week I could start resistance strengthening on the leg press, bike, treadmill and use the dumb bells and bands. My goal is get strong enough to drive and do stairs.

Little successes: I started using the dishwasher since I can now reach the bottom shelf. And I am able to use the regular hi-rise toilet instead of the commode.

The hamstring repair has pulled the rods & screws in my back fusion, so I now feel them more in the center instead of the left side. How the body functions is a miracle!

Thanks again for all your messages/cards. You are in my daily prayers.

Journal entry by Joe Schell

Today begins Week 6, which means I can put full wait on my right leg and start gait training (walking). I started using a cane today, but have my walker close by. I feel a bit unbalanced, so I’m walking slowly and paying attention to rolling my foot heel-to-toe. My 4x-a-day exercises have changed from lying in bed to standing exercises and I started lifting light weights for upper body work too. I am also “graduating” from using a foot-to-hip TED stocking to a knee-hi, which I was able to put on my myself with the PT looking on. The swelling is going down, but increases towards evening. I started doing some cooking—especially my grains. And Joe took me grocery shopping for the first time.  I handed stuff to him; he filled the cart, packed the bags, loaded/unloaded the groceries and helped get them to the right storage areas.  A friend from St James took me to church for the Anointing of the Sick this weekend.

Physical Therapy (PT) continues to do edema massage and added ultrasound to break up some of the hard scar tissue on my butt. I will try to get my swimsuit on, so we can start aqua therapy next week.

HEAP BIG thanks again for all your prayers and help. I know those are contributing to my small successes!

Love you,


Journal entry by Joe Schell

What an exciting visit to Dr Gordon yesterday. Everything is healing well.

The huge edematous right leg will decrease in size with toe pumps and muscle use. I'm to wear a shoe  and start partial weight bearing (PWB) to "my tolerance" level...not to overdo it. Physical Therapy will do an evaluation early next week and determine my schedule  for the next 4 weeks, the date of my next doctor appt Oct 12. I will also get edema massage on that leg. Dr Gordon thinks I could move to full weight bearing (FWB) in two weeks and start gait training. Plus I got a MOGL T-shirt...the attached print is on the back.

Thanks again for all the well-wishes and prayers.

Grateful for you,


Journal entry by Eliana Schell

The bruising is almost gone from the surgical site, but there is LOTS of swelling. My foot is huge!
Because of the 20% hip flexion restriction, I can’t “elevate” as you would normally think. The picture shows my position for resting, icing, and elevation. I do this in bed or on my small couch 3-4x a day for an hour...moving the ice packs every 20 min. 

A person who visits must knock, then open the door to identify oneself, then let themselves in.  No one hears if I shout “come in.” Nurses come to my apartment 2x a day. Occupational therapy comes 3x a week. Physical therapy will start with partial weight bearing...about Oct 1. PT may take me to the Therapy Gym. I will also get evaluations from Long-Term Care.
If you call ahead I may be able to give you a specific time.

Thanks again for all your thoughts and prayers. And Happy Birthday & Happy Anniversary to all those I will miss this Fall.

Journal entry by Eliana Schell

Thank you for reading CaringBridge, sharing your comments, mailing cards and emails, the countless prayers, and all your thoughts. Being back in my apartment is giving me better sleep, but all the restrictions still apply…and I must now do them by myself. I pay for CNA help in my apartment at 7 am and 9 pm primarily to put on my TEDS elastic stocking that goes to my hip and remove it before bed.

I use a walker to keep weight off my right leg. When I “walk,” I put full weight on my left foot, but, on my right foot--I must touch the ground and roll heel to toe while holding myself up on the walker. My palms are very sore, but I am thankful for my upper body strength…which I’ve worked on this past year thanks to my trainer. Since I couldn’t do lower body workouts, I did water aerobics this past year. I think that helped the “hanging hamstring” get a blood supply, so the surgeon did not have to use cadaver muscle. However, the surgeon said my bones are soft; thus making “healing time” twice as important for muscle and the 3 screws into the bone.

I am allowed to sit a maximum of 20 min, which was a gift I did not expect. That allows me to use the toilet, shower on a bath seat, and transfer to my bed/ chair/wheelchair. When I do sit, it’s on my cut-out-cushion since the surgery site (and leg) is painful and swollen. The rest of the time, I cannot bend—I only have 20% hip flexion and 15% knee flexion. So when getting in/out of a car, I must lie on my left side in a fully reclined passenger seat. Or, ice my leg on the couch/bed in an almost flat position with a pillow under both knees. When standing at my computer/sink/microwave, I’m on one leg with my right foot resting on my left foot. I am leery of preparing my own grains on the stove, as I‘m not confident yet to do it safely. Right now I microwave all my pre-prepared plant-based food. Getting a cup of hot instant coffee from my microwave to my table takes 5 steps. If the meal takes longer than 20 min to eat, I must stand on one foot for the remainder.

This morning I timed my shower to be ready for the CNA to wash and dry my legs at 7 am before putting on the TEDs. She arrived at 7:25 and said I should plan on a half-hour window for them to come.

I see the surgeon Sept 14.  Perhaps the percentages will change slightly, but partial weight bearing doesn’t begin ‘til 6 weeks—Oct 1.  If you visit, I will ask for a 20 min wheelchair ride outdoors!

I have also prepared mentally for a year plus. It is with God’s help and meditation that I am at peace with whatever is. As Julian of Norwich said, “All shall be well.”

My prayers are in appreciation for all of you. Much love,


PS. I also must wear dresses because I cannot wear underwear.

Journal entry by Eliana Schell

Hooray! I will be returning to my apartment tomorrow afternoon Aug 31.
Supportive Services will begin tomorrow at 9 pm to take off my TEDS elastic stocking.
They will return each day to dry my legs after showering & put on the TEDS at 7 am.
I’ll assess my needs going forward.

The first 6 weeks are about healing—resting, elevating, icing. Weight-bearing begins week 7.
Happy Labor Day!

Journal entry by Eliana Schell

I saw Dr. Gordon, the surgeon, this afternoon.  My bandage was removed, an X-ray showed the sutured hamstring looks good, and he responded to all of Tudor Oaks’ questions about my ability to be safe at home.
Tudor Oaks got the paperwork at the end of their workday, so the discharge process will begin tomorrow.
I have a Nursing Evaluation tomorrow to determine how they will help me in my apartment.
These first 6 weeks are about healing—rest,  elevating the swollen bruised leg, and icing.
Hope to be home Friday. Will see the surgeon in 2 weeks.

Journal entry by Eliana Schell

I’m working with Occupational Therapy, Nursing and Supportive Services to get back to my apartment.
To determine specific need, I’ve showered in my apartment and changed things on the kitchen counters.
With microwave and water on opposite sides, making instant coffee one-legged with a walker will be a new challenge. Tomorrow we’ll rearrange the freezer for ice pack retrieval. Maintenance removed the door mechanism so it stays the door doesn’t start closing on my walker.
Lots of details!

Journal entry by Eliana Schell

Welcome to MARGE SCHELL - 2018 CaringBridge site. 

We are Joe & Eliana Schell and we have created this website to send updates on Marge's surgery to friends and family. 

Marge's journey started in May 2017 when she could not move her leg to get out of bed. It quickly followed with major pain when trying to sit.   Dr. Michael Gordon, an orthopedic surgeon, diagnosed it as a 75% torn proximal hamstring, torn off the ischial tuberosity, the sitting bone.   The surgery to repair the tear is August 20th, 2018. Prayers are appreciated for a successful surgery and rehab.   

We will update you after the surgery.   Thank you for visiting.
Marge’s Story

Site created on August 17, 2018

Welcome to MARGE SCHELL - 2018 CaringBridge site.

We are Joe & Eliana Schell and we have created this website to send updates on Marge's surgery to friends and family.

Marge's journey started in May 2017 when she could not move her leg to get out of bed. It quickly followed with major pain when trying to sit.  

Dr. Michael Gordon, an orthopedic surgeon, diagnosed it as a 75% torn proximal hamstring, torn off the ischial tuberosity, the sitting bone.

The surgery to repair the tear is August 20th, 2018. Prayers are appreciated for a successful surgery and rehab.   

We will update you after the surgery. Thank you for visiting.