New Hip Day

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  • Lilymary
    Lilymary Member Posts: 1,669

    Correction, I misread my Fitbit (which has been mothballed for the last year), it was 220 steps in half an hour (including stopping to look at stuff). It’s a start.

  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,223

    Talk about rubbing it in! Also, I think Toby is just showing off because he can get his foot in his mouth.

    You do sound to be getting a lot of pain. All credit to you that you're persevering with the exercises. At least you're getting the oramorph nearer to your mouth! I have to sleep on my back all the time. I thought I'd never get used to it but........it's OK now. I wonder if the hospital chair did for your backside. I hate them.

    Now, the tum. I had a google (I do for others: not for myself) and discovered, on a very reliable site, that, although oramorph usually causes constipation, it can cause the opposite in some people. They reckon it's one of the inert ingredients, lactose and recommend Vit D and calcium but do check this out with a doc or pharmacist before trying it.

    Mr SW hasn't been out of the garden yet but he's been pottering there, stick in one hand and hosepipe in the other. Then coming in and falling asleep. You may be surprised how tiring it can be just answering emails. Don't overdo things.

  • Lilymary
    Lilymary Member Posts: 1,669
    edited 22. Apr 2021, 20:51

    😹😹😹 @stickywicket

    My colon went into all-action mode the day after surgery, before I started oramorph, I think it was just jubilant to be free of the cocodamol and wanted to make a point. Even the hospital were quite surprised that I declined their generous offer of laxatives. I’m pleased to report it has now got over itself, but I have a huge supply of Movicol to show it who’s boss if necessary.

    While on matters scatological, I had the distinction of winning the prize for the best post op piddler on our ward. Sometime in the evening post op I realised I needed a pee, due in no small part to the intravenous rehydration. Oh joy, my first bed pan. The lovely nurse slid it underneath me, and looked at me expectantly, but I suggested this wasn’t going to happen with spectators in the room. Oddly (and others said the same), I had to force it out despite a full bladder, prob due to the anaesthetic. After a long while, I realised my backside was getting wetter than I expected as I had filled the pan to overflowing! The nurses were very impressed with my core strength when they had to roll me to change the sheets ...🤕

    so the next time I needed the bed pan, I told them to bring two. Given the whole straining scenario, I was able to hold the flow between pans and managed to fill them both! Next time round I decided enough was enough and tried for the loo, but we all know where that ended up (cue oxygen mask drama). Oh the simple pleasure of sitting on the bog! 😂

  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,223

    I am in awe.

    I have always been proud of my reputation for being an excellent shuffler onto a bed pan (Note the singular) but never have I encountered anyone who could...erm....do the double. Indeed, my poor husband's first post-op effort took him 5 minutes to produce little more than a dribble. Deep respect, LilyMary. Was there an award? Bookends, maybe?

  • Lilymary
    Lilymary Member Posts: 1,669

    I was hoping for a sticker or a little badge at least. Would have been worn with pride.

  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,223

    Might I suggest

    BEDPAN QUEEN

    SHE DID IT HER WAY.

  • crinkly
    crinkly Member Posts: 117

    I'm sure a medal would be in order! Well done on getting this far and best wishes for an increasingly speedy recovery.⭐️

  • Lilymary
    Lilymary Member Posts: 1,669

    @stickywicket 😂or maybe Don’t Stop Me Now

  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,223

    😁👍️😁

    I wouldn't dare try.

  • Lilymary
    Lilymary Member Posts: 1,669
    edited 23. Apr 2021, 15:32

    Ok, Day 5 post op, feeling pretty rubbish today. Even the fluffy pillow bed and oramorph wasn’t enough to make me remotely comfortable, and the fluffy jumper under my feet didn’t ease the pressure points on the back of my heels. The one legged all night tango seems to have stopped, thank heaven.

    The hospital care team rang for a follow up, and we discussed increasing my pain meds (hello codiene, hello movicol 🙄), as the pain is actually worse and more constant than the arthritis was. Apparently the swelling on my hip/thigh can last for up to 12 weeks (deep joy), and the pain will continue for weeks too. At least I know this is normal, but I wish my new-hippie friends, and others, had warned me. Yes, it’s encouraging to know they’re all out leaping around like spring lambs, but some honesty about the early weeks, re pain, tiredness, lack of mobility etc, would have made me better prepared.

    One person I spoke with today recounted how an uncle had decided to go with minimum sedation when he had his hip replaced as he was fascinated by what was involved. This is where I eat my words a bit because I’m not going to tell you what he saw (ask your surgeon if you need to know!) but at least I now understand why my body feels so brutalised! I’d only been told part of this process by a hippie friend, and that alone was enough to make me ask for full sedation...😱

    My brother and SIL dropped round for a garden visit this morning. and it was lovely to see them but it made me realise how weedy I’m feeling. Mr LM was out mending mountains (“fixing the fells”), so I had to fend for myself for a while today. So now I’m on a fluffy pillow full of pain meds watching old recorded movies and eating chocolate. Mr LM is now back and serving me with hot tea. I might as well make the best of it.

  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,223

    I've given this some thought and concluded that the reasons no-one told you how painful it was going to be for how long are that:

    1. We all (I think) have a natural tendency to forget about pain once it's over. How else would one explain families of more than one child 😉
    2. We all experience ops and post-ops differently. Probably because we all bring different bodies in to them.

    I think you seem to be experiencing a lot of pain, not because you're a wimp but just because it can happen. Mr SW has had broadly similar experiences with both his THRs - very bad at first but soon able to reduce to paracetamol by day and a couple of trammies by night. I assure you he's not excessively brave, though he is trusting to my very wonky hands to change his dressings😮 He has no timescale, as yet, for getting back on the golf course or the local hills.

    My two experiences were quite different. I managed to break the first hip while in bed. (No idea how but we really don't have such an interesting marital life.) They thought it could be bone cancer as it was only two years since my breast cancer so, for a week, I was doped up on morphine while they ran tests. Nothing, post-op, was as bad as that week. I r ecall telling one very kind visitor "I'm sorry. I can't open my eyes to look at you or I'll throw up."

    With my second one I told my family not to visit on the first night. Obedience was never their strong point so husband and elder son rocked up. The latter was visiting from his new home in California where he'd absorbed all the airy fairy stuff so, when I was utterly desperate for morphine he said "Mum, just magine you're on a lovely warm beach with sun, golden sands and palm trees and......" "And", he still delights in telling everyone "my own Mum tóld me to eff off." It was bad but, maybe because of the other hip, maybe because, having been off my DMARDS in preparation for the op, my other joints were all crying out too, I didn't have many expectaions of the THR working miracles. I seem to remember sitting in the recliner for long periods, trying to defer the next lot of pain relief by distraction methods and not even getting out into the garden for at least two weeks.

    Fatigue? Oh yes. Anaesthetic stays around for a long time. I had this conversation with my beloved a couple of days ago:

    He "Why am I so tired all the time?"

    Me "Because someone chopped off bits of you and you had an anaesthetic."

    He "I didn't. I ónly had a spinal. That's a sedative."

    Me "It's both. For your next op try telling them just to give you a sedative then you'll believe me."

    We're just all different. We go at the pace of our own bodies at that time. Our own bodies are awkward critters. Keep plugging away, gently. You'll get there.

  • Lilymary
    Lilymary Member Posts: 1,669
    edited 25. Apr 2021, 12:43

    Thank you @stickywicket for your good advice and for making me laugh out loud, several times! And I’m sorry your body has thrown so many challenges at you, it’s awful that some get more than their fair share of that to deal with.

    One of the nurses did say everyone’s experience of pain is different for the reasons you describe. In my case I bruise very easily and spectacularly, so my soft tissues took particular umbrage at being thrown around “sans bone” while they whacked the new joint in (my sister, an ex-ortho nurse, describes orthopaedics as “medical grade carpentry”. )

    and I agree, there’s a limit to how much visualisation and mindfulness can make a dent on severe pain. If anyone had tried that on me immediately post op I wouldn't have been answerable for my actions. It may have involved a bedpan.

    I’ve just spoken with my physio-friend, who has reassured me that this level of pain, at this stage, is pretty normal, and I’ve told her off for not warning me! She said that soft tissues heal so much slower than bone, they will take around 3 months to fully heal, but will be 80% of the way there at 6 weeks. While it’s natural to think of joint replacement as simply bone surgery, the trauma to the soft tissues is huge, particularly with knees, and this is what the recovery is primarily about. And it’s these soft tissues that hold the new joint in place; without this healing, the risk of dislocation increases. (End of public announcement).

    My rubbish day turned into a rubbish night, with the one legged tango literally kicking off in style again with my sad little left leg joining in by waggling its foot. The pillow hack didn’t work this time so I gave it up as a bad job and wrote it off as some unplanned horizontal physio, but it meant only 5 hours broken sleep, punctuated by shooting pains and oramorph. At least the cat came to visit to cheer me up.

    i’ve found a useful method of getting in and out of bed without setting off the new hip by daring to move it 2cm to the left: keep duff leg straight out in front of you, hook good foot under ankle of bad leg, and use the good foot to lift and guide the bad leg. Hard work, but easier and less painful than asking traumatised muscles to join in the party, as it stops the joint flexing.

    Despite the awful night I forced myself out the next day, it took me 45 minutes to do 390 steps (up from 220), but at least my leg is starting to remember what to do, and it was too tired to tango when I got to bed last night. The crutches are playing havoc with my hands (old nerve damage) which I’m just going to have to put up with, they’ll have to heal later. My physio has assured me this is “normal” progress, that I don’t need to do the punishing exercises required for knees, and I’m starting to feel the very worst is behind me. A long way to go yet, but.... ⛈🌦🌈🌤☀️

  • janiebin
    janiebin Member Posts: 37

    Great blog, @Lilymary .

    I was at Wrightington for my hip op last December and have been reliving the pain and angst you have been describing and realising that I had forgotten so much of it already! I can say that yes it does get better, it is not a straight line to recovery some days are good and some not so good but then life with Arthritis is like that anyway.

    I did eat loads of prunes and also found a non alcoholic ginger wine both of which helped with constipation and discomfort post op. The thing I disliked the most was the self injection into the stomach to help avoid blood clots but fortunately that was only for a couple weeks once I was home.

    The tip which one of the nurses gave me to help getting in and out of bed was to loop my dressing gown belt around the foot of my op leg and whilst leaning backwards onto the pillows swing my leg up with the belt taking the lift and strain away from your hip. It was really helpful for 3 or 4 weeks.

    Now I am walking 2 miles almost everyday without a stick ( unless I know it is going to be very steep or uneven)

    So thank you for your blog it is a marvellous addition to the VA website and I am sure many viewers will find it really helpful.

    Pace yourself and keep blogging

    Janiebin

  • Lilymary
    Lilymary Member Posts: 1,669

    Thanks @janiebin , good to hear you’re doing so well. My surgeon did discuss the self-injections, but they decided to just limit those to when I was in. hospital (not as painless as the nurse tried to make out), then put me on pills when I got home, which was a bit of a relief.

    I’m having a floppy, weedy day today, bolstered up by the boxes of chocs people have kindly showered on me since my return home. I think my gut is so delighted to be free of codiene I haven’t needed the prunes yet 😳

    I’ll give the belt tip a go though, getting in and out of bed is the bit I’ve got wrong the most, the neighbours must be wondering what goes on at night with the moans, grunts, yelps and curses that emanate from our bedroom!

  • Lilymary
    Lilymary Member Posts: 1,669

    A little aside - on Night 3 in hospital I was really tired so decided to turn in early and went to sleep quite quickly. I woke up feeling reasonably refreshed, and grateful for a better night’s sleep, I decided not to bother going back to sleep, thinking the nurses would be round with the drugs trolley soon. So I waited, and waited, and realised it was unusually quiet, so I checked my phone, it was 00.41!! I had another 6 hours to get through!

    Anyway, after a while I decided to kill time by going to the loo, which involved a lot of mental preparation as well as physical fortitude. Let’s just say the toilet was 10 feet away. It took me 20 minutes.... 🙄😂

  • Lilymary
    Lilymary Member Posts: 1,669

    OWWW!! Silly blighter!! Not concentrating on the way down stairs, my crutch Went down two steps instead of one and I jarred my new leg badly, and at the wrong angle, which sent a weird shooting pain down the middle of my femur, and radiated down my shin to my foot and up to my hip. I’m so going to pay for this tonight.... silly clot, not concentrating. 😠

  • Lilymary
    Lilymary Member Posts: 1,669
    edited 26. Apr 2021, 07:18

    As predicted- an awful night. Left leg shouting, more shooting pains from the nerve in my groin, pressure pains from my left heel, and the right leg trying to run for the hills (I don’t blame it). Have learnt one thing from hospital, that is to send Mr LM for tea, biscuits and drugs in bed. Just missing the telly on the wall to take my mind off it.

  • janiebin
    janiebin Member Posts: 37

    Sorry to hear about your leg jarring accident sounds really painful. I am wincing at the thought of it. Thank heavens for Mr LM ,tea and chocolate.

    Janiebin

  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,223

    " Medical grade carpentry"? I love it.

    I think the soft tissue thing makes sense. Also tendons, ligaments and muscles. They've all been messed with. The day after Mr SW's op his surgeon came to ask how he was. "Very sore" was the reply. "Ah, that'll be my fault" confessed the surgeon.

    Knees are different but.......after my knee revision the consultant saw me walking (and delighting in being able to do it properly by bending the new knee). He was very pleased but immediately I was brought an enormous heel to thign contraption which I had to wear for about 4 weeks when walking to protect the embroidery he'd done with my ligaments. I looked as if I was about to open the batting.

    After both his THRs (different hospitals) Mr SW was given a 'leg lifter' for getting into bed. I guess a dressing gown belt would do just as well. I wasn't but couldn't have used one anyway. I always sat down on the bed, shuffled backwards until my leg was broadly supported. Then it was just my old friend the straight leg raise to get it in. I aimed for independence asap as one or two of the nurses scared me the way they threw it in.

    Also, he's still doing his jabs every night. I was never given them. Probably they just looked at my hands and thought "She'd be as bad as Lilymary is with oramorph😉

    I had a good look at my husband's bottom today(!) as he came back from the shower. He is still pretty swollen. Pity. With all the sport he's always done it was always one of his best features😉

    One thought - heels. I had this trouble after ops and I remember my solution was not to prop them on something soft but to try to ensure they didn't actually touch anything at all ie they could overhang the end of the recliner and, in bed, I think I propped up my lower leg rather than the actual heels so that they could overhang that pillow too.

    Re the stairs stumble. about 10-14 days after one of my THRs, Mr SW was at work and I was at my desktop. The phone, which I'd left on the table, rang and I tried, too quickly, to get to it. Result was the chair tipped me onto the laminate, square on the new hip. Somewhere on here I detailed my efforts at getting up. Basically, you know that video about squirrels running all sorts of gauntlets to get to a nut feeder? That was me. I did get up. My THR was intect. I did, actually, learn a lesson for once. I think.

    Also, when I'm next in hospital, and my family are being 'kind and helpful', may I have you and your bedpan in the next bed, please?

  • Lilymary
    Lilymary Member Posts: 1,669
    edited 26. Apr 2021, 13:50

    @stickywicket 🤣🤣🤣

    i dread ending up on the floor, and am keen not to join the ranks of hip dislocations. Last summer I had a stark lesson in my new limitations doing a loft inspection. I was trying to edge my way across the ceiling joists and lost my balance. Arthritic hips don’t move as fast as they used to, and I ended up face down in the loft insulation. Arthritic hips also don’t fold the way they used to, so I had to wriggle round like a maggot on my stomach, spreading my weight across the joists, until I got back to the access hatch. This was where the inability of my knees to bend in both directions became problematic, so I had to continue feeding my legs through the opening (trousers riding up in an increasingly unappealing manner) till I could get my feet back onto the ladder, whence I emerged dishevelled and covered in itchy yellow fluff.

    There were some similar, but cleaner, shenanigans just before surgery getting up off the floor from a prone position between two bits of furniture trying to retrieve cat toys from under the chairs. They can bloomin well get them themselves in future!

    I’ve got a knee cushion that I can use to try to prop my foot. Keeping my knees apart never really worked for me pre-op, it just seemed to move my hip to the painful bit of the socket, but as I slept on my stomach in those days, I used to hang my feet over it, which flexed my knees, and with a pillow under my hip, seemed to keep all my leg joints at just the right angle to minimise grating in my hip. So I call my knee cushion my “foot teddy”, it gave them something soft and squishy to cuddle up to. 🐻😊

  • Lilymary
    Lilymary Member Posts: 1,669

    Today’s not looking promising. I defeated the jumping competition my legs set up last night, but woke up stiff and in pain almost all over. I did some of my leg exercises for a while but eventually Mr LM had to help me out of bed. A couple of paracetamol and a dribble of oramorph later I made it downstairs only to suddenly regret the laxatives I’d taken the night before 🙄

    my entire leg hurts today, and my left foot is looking puffy, so I’ll have a go with the compression sox when Mr LM gets back from his re-up on my paracetamol stash. I need to finally attempt the computer chair today, and will also force myself out for a walk. My muscles need to step up and set my new hip in place, whatever their own personal opinion on the matter may be.

    Meanwhile I’ve been slapping on arnica cream in the hope of reducing the bruising, but the wound and surrounding area has also started itching, which I’m lead to believe is a good sign.

  • frogmorton
    frogmorton Member Posts: 28,211

    Today will be better than you think I'm sure @Lilymary

    Your husband (the ex-townie????) is doing excellent nursing duties well done to him.


    Once you have your oh so attractive stocking on and have had your walk I am sure you will feel much more positive.

    Arnica is supposed to help yes, I'm not sure it does, but also use it when needed

    Take care and ((()))

  • Lilymary
    Lilymary Member Posts: 1,669

    @frogmorton , no, the townie ex didn’t last - a man who can’t cope with random wildlife in the house is no use to me! 😂. Mr LM is well trained in mouse catching, hog rescuing and toad wrangling.

    I managed to sit at my PC for an hour today, checking the fallout from not picking up emails for a week, and we’re waiting for the weather to clear for a shuffle into the village. Thanks for reminding me about the stocking though!

    I'm not convinced about the arnica, but many swear by it so I thought I’d give it a go, won’t do any harm at least. I keep finding random evidence of surgeon damage on my leg, eg residue of sticky tape in odd places, a worn dry patch of skin above my knee, new bruising below the knee. I hate to think what they were doing while I was unconscious!

  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,223

    Clamping and glueing you to the operating table would be my guess:-)

    After my first TKR the doc explained the process. They used a kind of superglue with two components which they mixed together. The resulting concoction promptly began to heat up. And when it gets to hot for the doc to handle he drops it into your knee.

    Well, for 27 years it worked.

    I have changed my last dressing. He gets his staples out on Thursday. He does have a lumpy swelling but the scar has healed beautifully.

    First rule of meds - never take sleeping pills (or strong pain relief) and laxatives together. I trust you made it.

  • Lilymary
    Lilymary Member Posts: 1,669
    edited 27. Apr 2021, 15:58

    Well, I have amazed myself, our afternoon shuffle extended to 1.4km! It took over an hour mind you, mostly without stopping, (compared to an average walking speed for fully functioning legs of 5km per hour). We seriously doubt my Fitbit though, as it said I’d done 2,200 steps. My guess is it was closer to 600. My hands (on the crutches) hurt more than my leg, but I’m sure that will reverse shortly. We got back just before the next freezing rain shower, just as well as I haven’t had my crutches fitted with Grand Prix style slicks yet.

    if my freestyle tangoing legs are anything to go by, it wouldn’t surprise me if they did have to tie them down during surgery to avoid getting a knee in the face!

    interesting what you say about dressings, glue and staples. They gave me a permanent waterproof dressing that hasn’t needed changing, despite the accumulating gore. It’s interesting to note the differences between my treatment and that of Mr SW for basically the same surgery, eg variations in dressings, drugs, injections vs pills for blood thinners, etc. But I doubt it makes much difference to the outcome. Hoping my scar will look suitably heroic.

    I seem to have unwittingly cut and pasted your avatar @crinkly , but for the life of me can’t work out why nor find how to remove it, so you have the last word on this post!