New Hip Day

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  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,223

    Excellent advice from Crinkly. I do hope it doesn't seem as if we're 'ganging up' but I assure you, if it does, that we're ganging up FOR you not against. Frogmorton, Crinkly and I have, between us, far too much experience of orthopaedics and I do realsie the tremendous presuure of running your own businesss in such circumstances as my son in USA has his own and the demands are relentless whatever the current circumstances.

    You are getting there, though, and I'm pleased that exercises are increasing. Some time ago I saw my local physio in an effort to improve my mobility. The exercises she gave seemed futile - far too little - but all our family, including me, have been very impressed with her before so I went along with what seemed stupidly minimal. The first thing was I could do them and doing them made me feel I was, at least, doing something. As directed, I began, very gradually, to increase the repetitions. That made me feel smug! Even more gradually, I realised she had, as usual, been right. I was steadier, stronger, better able to do very mundane stuff. That was my motivation to continue.

    Post-op our progress can seem dishearteningly slow and there are days when we seem to go backwards. But, if we proceed as directed by our physios, we really are able to look back and see how far we've come. Not, necessarily as quickly as we would have liked but, as Crinkly says, tortoises have their assets too.

    I think my days as a 'bum inspector' are now over and yesterday he had a 'trial walk' to the podiatrist's to ensure he can do it later this week. 56 steps there and 56 back. He's confident. Just as long as they don't close the schoolyard's short cut. That would mess up his calculations!

  • Lilymary
    Lilymary Member Posts: 1,669

    Thank you @stickywicket , @frogmorton and @crinkly , I don’t feel like you’re ganging up on me at all. I’m sure you’re right, and it’s really helpful to hear this from the perspective of life-long arthr warriors. I will change my regime to more regular minor movement (instead of sitting/lying down for several hours at a time - curse you Netflix!), punctuated with bits of physio, and only short walks. Now that the pain of surgery is easing I can do more of the exercises, so I will focus on those for a bit.

    Thanks again for watching my back(side 😅)

  • Lilymary
    Lilymary Member Posts: 1,669

    I felt so pleased with myself, washing my own hair today for the first time, but the effort, along with yet another tummy upset, meant I slept all afternoon as a result.

    Mr LM says my scar is still looking good, hopefully the final dressing comes off tomorrow, but I’m now more consciously aware of the deep tissue healing that’s going on now, as the gluteal muscle just feels odd and occasionally gripey.

    The weather’s too foul for walking, so just some gentle muscle exercises instead. I failed miserably to do any work today, which is hard not to feel guilty about, but sitting at the computer yesterday was just too painful after about 1.5 hours, even with breaks, so I couldn’t face it again today. This is so frustrating.....

  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,223

    I hope the tum is resolving itself. I know that constipation is by far a more usual side-effect of opioids but, in a few people, exactly the opposite can result. Be proud of being different😉

    I know your work has to happen but a break - even an enforced one - can be beneficial. Computer chairs can be a bit unyielding to sore bums. Would a cushion help?

    Mr SW is a bit grumpy about his scar. It's nowhere near as beautiful as his previous one. Clearly an apprentice stapler. Not that many will be looking at it.

    He has a fitbit which tells him when to get up and move about. He regards this as 'really useful'. For years he has had a wife who did exactly the same. This was not useful.

    He went out intending to mow the lawn today. I felt this was a bit too ambitious and warned him to stop as soon as it hurt regardless of the unusual pattern he'd made. He was soon back. The battery had gone on the mower. Good.

  • Lilymary
    Lilymary Member Posts: 1,669
    edited 5. May 2021, 13:26

    Thanks @stickywicket , I hadn’t thought of using my Fitbit for the activity reminders. I will fire it up.

    Both legs went into full tango mode for most of last night. I counted it, on average they flung themselves around every 18 seconds. But at least the left leg is actually capable of joining in now, so perhaps I should see it as a plus. On the down side, it meant I got about 3 hours sleep and now feel even more wrecked than yesterday. I’m going to attempt a walk outside this afternoon, despite weariness, in the hope that it will wear my legs out so they behave themselves tonight.

    The district nurse revisited today, apparently a very small section of my wound is “sloughy” and will require further ministrations next week. Meanwhile the rest of it is raised and tender, but apparently normal. When sitting it feels like I have a knot in my rump, so I feel a walk will help ease it out.

    i will upgrade the wedge cushion and soft cushion on my computer chair by one fluffy pillow and see if this helps, but I’m so tired I can’t see straight and I can’t think of an answer to that one.

    i am now managing to get round the house carefully with just one crutch, although if I put my leg anywhere other than straight in front of me my hip yells. Still, this makes life a lot easier, particularly for the wonky sprints to the loo. An unexpected bonus is that I have lost 5 pounds in two weeks, but I would have preferred this to be more measured and by less drastic means!

  • Lilymary
    Lilymary Member Posts: 1,669
    edited 7. May 2021, 09:38

    Not a great start today, woke around 5.45 with random pains throughout my arms and legs, which paracetamol and codiene have failed to shift. I eventually got up as there was no position in bed that was tolerable. Normally I’m rarely out of bed before 08.30-09.30. Please don’t let this be the start of fibromyalgia... i’ve only had one remotely decent night’s sleep all week and my dodgy tum shows no sign of letting up. I’ve lost 6lbs in 2 weeks despite all the lovely “get well” chocs people gave me - the rate of weight loss worries me slightly.

    On the plus side I can now get around the house with only one crutch, if I concentrate, and the nerve pain in my groin has largely gone, so I can do a few more strengthening exercises. I ought to go for a little walk today, but the pain in my hands makes using crutches a pretty unpleasant experience. Plus I have no energy today for all the above reasons. Ho hum.

  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,223

    This is certainly no easy ride for you, is it? I hope the wound, at least, is a bit better. 

    Possibly the kind chocolates are 'helping' with the weight loss. Chocolate is a known laxative. As is coffee if that's your drink of choice. Horrible to go without such comforts just when they're most needed but I'm an inveterate tea drinker and I've occasionally had to swop it for water for days when my hiatus hernia / GORD has played up.

    I don't know if this will be of any use but, on the rare occasions when I've needed to use my Dad's old walking stick (Rare because my hands won't hold it properly) I've found that wrapping bubble wrap round the handle softens it a bit.

    Mr SW got to the podiatrist and back yesterday but his BP is still pretty low and he's still no need for the BP-lowering meds he took before the op. Good in a way and probably caused by the continuing blood thinning jabs but something he has to watch.

    In your shoes I think I'd be keepng an eye on things - pain, nght tangos, loo sprints, weight and fatigue - and, if no better on Monday, I'd be ringing my GP for a professional thought. Sometimes we just get so used to soldiering on it can become habit-forming.

  • Lilymary
    Lilymary Member Posts: 1,669
    edited 7. May 2021, 11:56

    Thanks, it has been a bit of a haul. My physio is going to drop round in the next few days for a review, so it will either be encouragement or a roasting I’ll be receiving 😳

    ive eaten all the chocs now and tum still playing up, so thankfully I don’t think I need to cut that out of my diet!

  • Lilymary
    Lilymary Member Posts: 1,669

    Well, in the spirit of “blow this for a game of soldiers” I went for an accompanied walk round the village yesterday and decided to try to get to one of my favourite bridges over the river. I realised this was a little rash..... Anyway, long story short Mr LM went home to get the car to pick me up, while I had a lovely rest listening to bird song and talking to some lambs. I’m none the worse for it, I now know my limitations and will work within them, and my legs were far too tired to tango last night!

  • Lilymary
    Lilymary Member Posts: 1,669

    Well, I’m still relatively new to this surgery malarkey, and have no way of gauging what’s normal and what isn’t. I’m just plodding on (no pun intended) trying to remember to do my exercises and trying not to overdo the walking. It’s all still pretty painful, none of the miraculous “pain free post op” that some people report. If I’m honest it’s about as painful the arthritis was before the operation 🙄, just in slightly different places. Sitting still even on soft pillows is starting to hurt now, so I end up watching the telly standing up and doing a few gentle exercises while I’m there.

    But I’ve also noticed that by comparison with the British Standard pasty white of my good leg, my operated leg often takes on a mottled purple hue, particularly to the foot, but sometimes to the whole leg. Generally it’s not swollen unless I’ve been sitting a lot for a day or two, just a noticeably different colour. Any thoughts? (I’m still on blood thinners btw.)

  • frogmorton
    frogmorton Member Posts: 28,211

    When are you going back for a check-up @Lilymary ? and have you seen physio yet? Having said that as you know I am rubbish post surgery and never seem to do 'as well' as other people do. I get there in the end though and I am sure you will too 🙂

    Not sure about the mottled skin - is that circulation? I wonder whether a chat to someone 'medical' might be an idea?

    I am still inclined to think you are doing very well it hasn't even been a month yet. Keep up the good work ((()))

  • Lilymary
    Lilymary Member Posts: 1,669
    edited 11. May 2021, 12:48

    I’m due back to see the surgeon later this month, but seeing my physio for a review tomorrow. I’ll see what she says. Looks like I’m just not one of those rapid healers either 🙄. Thanks for the encouragement though Toni. I feel like I’m just making this up as I go along, and have no idea if I’m doing it right or wrong

  • Lilymary
    Lilymary Member Posts: 1,669

    I hope it’s ok to share this link (mods - delete if not) but I found this useful in understanding pain post THR. I realise this is an site in the US, but hips are hips the world over. Others may find this helpful.

    https://arizonapain.com/pain-after-hip-replacement-surgery/

  • Lilymary
    Lilymary Member Posts: 1,669

    Well, my physio has just assessed me, and apparently now the hard stuff starts! It seems this is another thing I was deluded about, ie that you need lots of physio for TKRs but not for hips.

    She says my progress is about right for 3.5 weeks post op, and that some suffer more pain than others but it’s nothing to worry about, it will settle. BUT, the exercises are now more important than walking distances, and that I should stick to no more than I am currently walking. (My Fitbit says I’m doing max 1.4km, but usually much less.) I should be doing exercises 3 times a day and gradually building them up in intensity, and putting up with my muscles making a fuss about it at the time. They’re allowed to sulk for 10 mins after, but if it’s worse than that I’m doing too much. She has given me some new, rather punishing exercises from the comfort of my bed, along with gentle squats and standing exercises that I’d recently started to do anyway.

    Tbh this should be a part of what is provided as an integral part of the THR process. The only physio advice provided by the hospital was crutches and staircase training, buttock clenches and toe lifts. But apparently studies have shown that if this is all you do, compared with someone who works on muscle strength after the initial healing period, the outcome 12 months later is much the same, and this is probably why the NHS doesn’t feel the need to offer it. The down side is that patients like me have no idea whether we’re doing well or badly, whether we’re doing the things right, and have no idea how we can help the recovery without making things worse. At least I know that with a bit of hard work at this stage I can help the new hip bed in more quickly and hopefully get myself more mobile a little sooner. But all things in moderation.

    I’m hopefully having the last of my dressing removed today, and after some nagging I also have a date for my 6 week review with the surgeon at the end of the month.

  • Lilymary
    Lilymary Member Posts: 1,669

    Update, my wound still hasn’t fully healed in one small area, not infected, just slow to sort itself out. I’m rapidly coming to the conclusion that contrary to reports of people being largely pain free within a week or so post op, my body is being a right bloomn’ drama queen about all this.🙄😁

  • frogmorton
    frogmorton Member Posts: 28,211

    @Lilymary

    You are doing WELL! You have to believe me and what did the physio say? about right for 3.5 weeks! Try to hang on to that, but I think you are like me too and trust me I got there in the end. Maybe it's a bit like those babies who reach all their milestones dead quick and their parents think they will be a child genius? Quite a few that I remember are definitely not geniuses now. We may be tortoises but chances are you may yet win the race!

    You must feel better having some actual exercises to do (squats😲) and know you are doing something to help yourself. Gosh, knowing you, you would have kept on walking more and more so such a good job you saw physio!

    Sorry about the wound taking it's time. Could you up your protein intake at all? a neighbour who had surgery last was advised to do this to aid healing. It might help. Worth a try. You poor body has had major surgery and is allowed to be dramatic 😁

    Take care girl!

  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,223

    That sounds like excellent physio advice and, to be frank, you've no idea how relieved I feel because I seem to be banging on about exercises all the time.

    I've never been told that they are less important for hips than knees. In fact, it was after my two THRs that my lower legs swelled and so I had to do even more exercises and elevation to combat it.

    You say that the NHS should provide the exercises but, actually, it always has done both for me and Mr SW. (A combination of three different hospitals.) I know your hospital has an excellent reputation for orthopaedic surgery but maybe someone slipped up there.

    Anyway, you are on the right track and speed is not of the essence. Your body may be 'a drama queen' but we all óf us, on here, have bodies which are a pain in every sense. Fortunately, your mind is in good nick and, even better, you are more than willing to use your own difficulties to help others even though it's hard to keep listing our bad bits. In once sense, the slow wound healing is no bad thing as it will serve as a reminder of all the slow knitting together that has yet to take place 'underground'. Carry on with the good work😀

  • Lilymary
    Lilymary Member Posts: 1,669

    Thank you @frogmorton and @stickywicket , for your continuing encouragement, it is much aprpeciated. At the moment I tend to view pain as my body's means of communicating with my brain and telling it to modify its ambitions, and in the early stages this was really valuable. I was certainly very aware of the muscles knitting around the incision, as if I moved suddenly or too much it was almost a tearing feeling. Very unpleasant. But having now been given the go ahead by my physio to push my muscles a bit harder, I shall rewrite the script.

    But I agree, I had expected much more input from the physio at the hospital, and in following up. I will grumble about this to my surgeon when I next see him.

    My husband is force-feeding me good food of the meat and fresh veg variety, while I sneak vast amounts of chocolate for mental fortitude!

  • frogmorton
    frogmorton Member Posts: 28,211

    Morning!

    Now if there was a button underneath which said totally agree Mrs Wicket would have got that pressed by me! bang on as per. Hope you yourself are doing ok S@stickywicket ?(())

    Now @Lilymary you are right pain is doing just that and while you are healing I think you have to listen to it. Forget the 'pain barrier' on this occasion! Trust the physio she/he knows best.

    I am glad to hear your husband is force-feeding you extra protein well done Mr LM I am proud of him. My dear husband can do plenty of cooking, but only if it comes via the telephone. I would have to do some batch cooking and freeze it in advance in your shoes!

    Onwards and upwards as they say!

  • Lilymary
    Lilymary Member Posts: 1,669

    😂 Mr LM does the cooking as an act of self preservation. I get bored half way through and wander off to do something else, but before he took over I was quite used to carbonised food. He hates laundry, gardening and diy, so the division of labour works quite well. I do let him buy the household gadgets for him to play with, the house has never been so clean since he got the new vacuum!

  • Lilymary
    Lilymary Member Posts: 1,669
    edited 14. May 2021, 12:37

    One of my new exercises has been a stark lesson in how much “damage” has been done to my muscles and ligaments etc during replacement of the hip joint (all of which were basically cut through back to the bone, sorry if that’s too much info). It involves laying flat on my back (on the bed, floors are for standing on only atm!) with both legs out straight, toes pointed to the ceiling. Then keeping the leg straight and my toes pointed to the ceiling, raise one foot about 6-9” off the bed and move it outwards, then back in and slowly lower it down onto the bed. Right leg flings itself around with gay abandon, the big show-off that it has become, with no effect on heart rate. The left leg? I can barely raise it off the mattress, and that’s with enormous effort and considerable pain and general discomfort. I managed 4 this morning before it got too much, I have a long way to go....! However, slow and steady away, at least I know the direction to go now.

  • Lilymary
    Lilymary Member Posts: 1,669

    Curse these restless legs, and arms and everything else. And then when I think I’m dropping off it feels like I’m passing out and suddenly I’m awake again! I’m off for a cup of tea

  • frogmorton
    frogmorton Member Posts: 28,211

    Oh dear @Lilymary

    Post operative restless legs😕 ((()))

    Right legs is becoming a bit of a show-off don't you think with it's ability to exercise so easily! I wonder whether you would be allowed to use your dressing gown belt hooked around your foot to 'help' new hip? Or would that count as cheating? Where is @stickywicket when you need her opinion😉The only reason I say this is because a lot of the kids in hospital with Lucy (who had had cancers in their legs) used theirs to help move their legs about.

    Slow and steady wins the race! You are doing WELL!

    BTW charred food is good for the digestive system i heard😁

  • Lilymary
    Lilymary Member Posts: 1,669
    edited 16. May 2021, 09:34

    @frogmorton , the left leg was doing a pretty good job of joining in last night🙄. A trip downstairs for a cup of tea and a recorded David Attenborough documentary eventually had things calmed down and me dozing off in the armchair in all sorts of positions my physio would frown upon. The sight of an 8ft long (think floor to ceiling) thigh bone of a titanosaur gave my own femurs something to think about! so I shuffled upstairs and managed to get back to sleep ok.

    I’ve awoken to a new problem, my cat appears to have snuffled one of my bespoke earplugs down behind the head of the bed. And it’s a big, very heavy bed crammed with stuff underneath it. How Mr LM is going to enjoy retrieving it...

  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,223

    I'm here, frog 😊 though not much use, I fear. I've never been able to fling a leg lifter or, indeed, a belt round my foot. Mr SW had one briefly but soon found a more preferred way of getting into bed. I can't see that they'd work for exercises as surely they'd do the work that the muscles are supposed to be doing ie literally defeat the purpose of the exercise😉

    Having said that, I've never tried the exercise that Lilymary has been given. I've been doing the straight leg raises for about - crikey! - 40 years with or without weights (always without when part of my pre and post op exercises) and, when necessary, the hip adbductions to the side (I prefer to do them standing while hanging onto the back of a chair) but never the two together. I've always been 'excused' the second string / resistance exercises as I think they twig, with one look, that I'd just fall over😁 I hope yours is helping, though, Lilymary. as, once those muscles are strengthened, the pain will decrease.

    Nor have I any helpful suggestions re night tangos or cats. I've always used the radio to exercise by and thereby picked up some interesting stuff I'd never, otherwise, have listened to. Plus some dross but I guess that's life.