New Hip Day

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  • Cazbaz
    Cazbaz Member Posts: 70

    @Janieh20 Hi, just read your post I totally agree with your comments, I had THR about the same time and I must say @Lilymary and @stickywicket have lifted my spirits every day, it’s so nice to have a chuckle when you are a bit low, hope it continues 🙂

  • Lilymary
    Lilymary Member Posts: 1,669

    Yaay!!! I put my socks on all by myself today!!! I don't remember being this happy since I learnt to tie my own shoelaces!

  • Crookrise
    Crookrise Member Posts: 13

    I'm now 16 days post THR. I'm finding it really difficult to get comfortably seated, especially in the evening. I'm fine in bed but, even if I set an alarm every 10 minutes I drop off and then can't sleep at night. I've got a chair with arms, hips higher than knees etc but I'm only comfortable for about 15 minutes. I've read about perching stools. Anyone tried one?

  • Lilymary
    Lilymary Member Posts: 1,669
    edited 21. May 2021, 10:24

    Hi @Crookrise , I only use the perching stool in the bathroom to help with strip washes (I still can’t climb into the bath for a shower). I don't find it comfortable though, it’s too hard and presses on the wound and bruised areas.

    For sitting and sleeping I sit on a really soft squishy pillow on the armchair, and in bed I have another lengthways under my spine and rump, and cushions under my knees and feet so I’m all on one level. I was getting pressure points on the back of my heels at night, so I use a knee pillow under my feet so they’re slightly overhanging it, keeping my feet off the mattress. It’s a comical arrangement, but it works. (I feel like a crusader laid out on his tomb, with my crutch in place of the sword and the cat instead of a lion or hound at his feet.) I still have some swelling in my rump and tenderness along the incision, 4.5 weeks post op, so I’m still using them, and they make it bearable

    I also take a couple of painkillers before I go to bed, and keep some handy (and a glass of water) on the bedside table for if the pain wakes me up. For a while I was using oramorph the hospital gave me on discharge for if I had a real pain flare up at night, (which resulted in several sticky incidents), but haven't needed it for a while now. The last time I used it I’d been off opioids for a week or so, so my system wasn’t used to it any more. I was stoned all day! It’s been put away now.

  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,223

    I'm so glad you've put the oramorph away. And that you got away with just feeling stoned. We can't just opt in and out of these strong meds. They have to be very carefully controlled. So pleased you got away with it.

    Mr SW does his final stomach stab tonight. And has a telephone call with his consultant next week. All is well and getting better.

    By the way, please tell me you used a sock aid to get yours on 'alone'. Bending down to feet can very easily cause dislocation especially at this early stage. Mr SW has never relinquished his sock aid since his first THR just before the pandemic struck.

  • Lilymary
    Lilymary Member Posts: 1,669

    @stickywicket, so pleased to hear Mr SW is doing so well. It’s lovely to see the pile of drugs that have kept us going gradually diminishing. After a year of codeine and a few weeks of intermittent use of oramorph, I had no noticeable withdrawal symptoms, but that may be because I constantly varied the dose almost every day, depending on what I was doing and how my hip felt. I just took enough to make life bearable. Mind you, those fluctuations may have impacted on me during that year without me realising. It was a struggle in every sense, every day.

    I’ve just read up on withdrawal symptoms, and I suffer from quite a few of them anyway, plus the effects of the anaesthetic and general hospital trauma, so it’s hard to know whether any of it was due to withdrawal.

    BUT, oh dear, it seems I’ve overdone it again 🙄😢. I am chastised, I will resurrect my sock slider! At least I know I can do it in an emergency.

  • Lilymary
    Lilymary Member Posts: 1,669

    Well, I appear to be listing to port at present if I try walking without my stick. It’s a bit disconcerting, but my physio says this is not unusual, and has told me to do more exercises to strengthen my hip abductor muscles. (Ie lying on bed, legs out straight, toes pointing up, lift leg c 10cm and move out sideways and back), but this time with a resistance band. Demonstration of dodgy gait on the link below. Has anyone else had this?

    https://youtu.be/mA3enWJ53Kc

  • Lilymary
    Lilymary Member Posts: 1,669

    Well, the last of the prescription drugs are finished. Blood thinners and omeprazole, gone, little box that used to bursting with heavy duty anti inflammatories and the daily handfuls of cocodamol, the night time swigs of oramorph, juggling with combinations of laxatives, (sorry, but that’s another of the very real daily battles), all now replaced with a little pack of paracetamol.

    I wish I could say that’s the end of the battle, but it really isn’t. I’m still listing around like a badly laden galleon, my much needed exercises to address this are hampered by whatever happened to my groin, my flamingo impersonations to strengthen my left leg are playing havoc with my right hip, I can’t stay on my feet for more than an hour, tops, and even when I’m up there I can’t do much. It seems unlikely that I will be driving in the programmed 6 weeks, or returning to work. Ho hum. Enjoy the rest while you have an excuse lass. Things improve by tiny increments daily. While I’m actually less mobile than I was pre-op at the moment, at least I don’t need all those wretched drugs just to function.

  • Cazbaz
    Cazbaz Member Posts: 70

    Hello@Lilymary like you I feel the battle hasn’t ended, one day I think I have progressed in leaps and bounds the next day it seems I have gone backwards, I’m sorry you are still struggling with your groin, I have decided that everyone’s recovery time differs and to listen to my body and not overdo it, we will get there in the end at our own pace. Hope you have a good day tomorrow.

  • Lilymary
    Lilymary Member Posts: 1,669
    edited 23. May 2021, 22:52

    Hi @Cazbaz , I’ve got my 6 week review with my surgeon next week, so i’ll ask him why this hurts so much. My physio says she’s come across this with quite a few hip patients. She’s also said it’s really unpredictable how quickly people recover, and often finds the younger patients take longer, for no obvious reason. At the other end of the scale she cited one 80 year old patient (who included climbing Mt Everest in his achievements) who was complaining that after 8 weeks he could only walk 6 miles a day!! The general consensus is that it takes around a year to fully recover.

  • Crookrise
    Crookrise Member Posts: 13

    First night without needing a top up of codeine overnight. Also the first time I massaged my scar and the area round it before going to bed. I thought it would be very painful but to my surprise it wasn't and was very soothing. Coincidence or not I don't know but I'll carry on. Maybe not for the ten minutes three times a day the physio advised though.

  • Cazbaz
    Cazbaz Member Posts: 70

    Hi @Lilymary, I’ve got my six week review with the surgeon on Friday so I am making a list of things I need to ask him, unfortunately there is no face to face at the moment here so everything is over the telephone which I find strange as obviously they can’t examine you over the phone, it has been the same with physiotherapist, all done over the phone. I couldn’t walk six miles a day before arthritis set in😂

  • Lilymary
    Lilymary Member Posts: 1,669

    @Crookrise How long ago was your surgery? I haven’t been told to massage anything. Isn’t it odd how post op advice varies. Why did they tell you to do that? What motion do you use?

    @Cazbaz , I’ve been lucky, all my consultations have been face to face. Seems a bit of a postcode lottery on that score. I agree, how can they assess the scar, pain levels and range of movement over the phone? I had a rough night again last night, no idea why, body just went into overdrive again. But I managed more than 3 hours, that sounds wretched for you. I hope you cam catch up a bit during the day. I am fed up with feeling so wiped out all the time. Hard to know if this is normal for post op or the CFS returning. I thought I’d licked it at the beginning of last year, but then the OA kicked in and grounded me.

  • Crookrise
    Crookrise Member Posts: 13

    I'll be three weeks post surgery on Wednesday. My physio didn't give any advice about technique. However, I found a YouTube video by Lou Grant Hip Physio aka PhysiocureUK. She's a UK hip physio who has had a hip replacement. She massages standing up with oil or cream and says it's fine to do it once your scar is well healed and free from scabs. I was advised to use BioOil but she mentions other cheaper options. Brave lady to post a video of herself scar and all. I'm not surprised she turned comments off. I suppose you might want to check with your own physio before going ahead. I agree, advice post op seems variable. I have a friend who had a knee replacement at a different hospital. She was also advised to massage and says her scar is"beautiful"!

  • Lilymary
    Lilymary Member Posts: 1,669
    edited 24. May 2021, 17:08

    Hi @Crookrise Thanks for that recommendation. I've googled her and found her videos. Sadly they've just left me feeling depressed. She has a 10 day post op physio visit (in the UK - where was this luxury provided??) and is walking pretty well without her crutches at that stage, whereas I walk like I've got one leg 3" shorter than the other.

    The exercises I've been doing now are a bit tougher than hers, although my physio did assess me before I started and knows me well, but I wasn't capable of any strengthening exercises at all until Week 3 due to pain, other than going for short walks.

    However, my scar looks no worse than hers, so that was a comfort. I may try massaging a bit, as it does feel a bit lumpy sometimes and pulls when I try to use that muscle, and it's almost fully healed now.

    I'm off for today's walk now. My sanity needs rebuilding.

  • Crookrise
    Crookrise Member Posts: 13

    I'm so sorry to have made you feel bad @Lilymary . I don't know how old you are but she looks quite young (at over 70 anyone under 60 is young to me). Age makes a difference to how quickly you recover. And she's a physio. She'll have been doing all the right exercises for years. Maybe she only has arthritis in her hips. Some of us have additional problems in other joints which like to join the party. Perhaps she has a physio friend who can treat her. Maybe she didn't have to wait for ages on an NHS waiting list getting worse all the time before her op. I'm learning that we're all different and the only person you should compare yourself with is you. A tiny bit better every day is progress.

  • Lilymary
    Lilymary Member Posts: 1,669

    Hi @Crookrise , I’m 61, previously fit, only slightly overweight, and am blessed that I only have OA diagnosed in my opposite hip atm, although I strongly suspect it is lurking in my knees, and possibly in my neck. Given that the damage to my operated hip was very severe to the point of needing replacement before it became apparent, who knows what the rest is like? however, they don’t affect my mobility at present, so I try to ignore it. But you’re right , everyone heals differently, I’m just disappointed and frustrated that I’m one of the slow ones. And yes, Lou Grant had the benefit of being a specialist hip physio herself, so she was well prepared, whereas mine came out of the blue. I shall just have to brace myself for the long haul.

    i guess I have a life experience analogy for this. Most of my life I’ve been a keen mountain walker (not climber), from the age of 4 when my parents dragged us up Snowdon during our holiday as it was the only place open for lunch in N Wales on a Sunday in those days, and we couldn’t afford the train. I obviously wasn’t traumatised, as we all still love the mountains. But however big or small, whoever I’m with, I have always been the one trailing along at the back. I still did the same walks as everyone else, just a few paces slower. So I really should be used to this.🙄

  • Cazbaz
    Cazbaz Member Posts: 70

    Hi @Lilymary , hope you are having a good day, I’ve slept most of the day so slowly catching up with sleep, like you I am fed up with feeling wiped out but I’m not known for my patience😂I sometimes think getting over any major operation affects your mental health as well as the physical side, I think we need to be kind to ourselves and take each day as it comes, I find I have good days and bad days, I’ve got a list of questions for the consultant when he rings, hope he has a cup of tea at the ready😂😂

  • Lilymary
    Lilymary Member Posts: 1,669

    @Cazbaz , my surgeon’s going to need a stiff drink!

  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,223

    I hope you guys are feeling a bit better today. I've never been told to massage scars (neither has Mr SW) and I have a fine collection of them. I think it's just to make them fade quicker but they do fade anyway.

    Well, I'm pleased to report that mine has now been signed off by his consultant who rang at lunchtime. He can remove the pillow from between his legs in bed, sleep any way he likes with anyone he likes (I think he made that bit up), drive and ease himself back into golf.

    He's been lucky. He's always been fit and kept himself so during the two years he's been bone on bone. When golf had to go he gardened more. When that went he walked into the village more and when covid rocked up he bought himself an exercise bike, started with 2-3 minutes per day (followed by several minutes of groans) and built up to two or three 20 minute sessions per day (fewer groans) pre-op. Plus the exercises before and after which he was still doing this morning. Also still using the higher armchair which he dislikes and the high loo seat about which he has no option as our loo is the highest possible for my sake.

    He certainly found the first night painful but, after that, he managed to decrease the pain meds pretty quickly. He really doesn't get on with opioids. He says he feels as if he can't breathe with them which could be true but mostly I think it's just fear. And our GP reckons he's too old (78) to be safely taking NSAIDS so he was just on paracetamol after about three weeks and now nothing. But he's been going stir crazy recently so I'm sure the driving and the anticipation of summer on the golf course will help.

    Good luck to all of you. I'm sure you'll get to the sunny uplands of happy hips in your bodies' own sweet time. It's just the trek there that's annoying. Stick with it.

  • Cazbaz
    Cazbaz Member Posts: 70

    Good afternoon @stickywicket , that’s really good news, Mr SW has done so well, I’ve got my telephone consultation on Friday, I’m looking forward to hearing I can sleep on my side hopefully, i also have never been told to massage the scars, mine does feel a bit lumpy and bumpy. Still doing exercises, I’ve never exercised so much in my life, although I was active before hip went, worked until I was 70! only problem is still numb leg but it is slowly improving, I think I could do a little bit more but it is so nice to be waited on although hubby has definitely had enough. Hope Mr SW enjoys his golf, weather should be improving next week

  • Lilymary
    Lilymary Member Posts: 1,669
    edited 26. May 2021, 18:13

    Hi @stickywicket , so pleased to hear Mr SW has been signed off, he must be delighted! I’m sure you’re right, all that concerted effort to exercise must have paid off. I had 3 yrs of mild CFS before my hip took centre stage, and by the time the CFS wore off the pain in my hip stopped me exercising as well. A friend who had THR last summer is a ski instructor and was walking her dogs every day, so her muscles must have been in great nick, and she had a much faster recovery than me. So anyone reading this with the prospect of hip or knee surgery coming up, the message is build up your muscles as best you can, it will pay off post op.

    @Cazbaz , I hope your consultation goes well on Friday and that you can milk a bit more sympathy and support out of hubby until then!

    My review with the surgeon went reasonably well, although he has described my rate of recovery as “low end of average”. Sounds like my school reports, so no change there then... 🙄😆. He didn’t seem concerned about anything though, and has told me to keep up the exercises for the hip abductor muscles to stop me lurching around, and walk as much as I feel able, building it up every day. He’s also happy for me to reduce reliance on crutches, as soon as I feel confident enough to do so, but given that my gait without them resembles a three legged donkey, I think I’ll hang onto them a bit longer. I tried reverting to my stick when I got home, which had kept me going for months pre-op, and was amazed at how much less stable it is than a crutch, wretched thing was spinning around all over the place. But I’ll practice using it in the house more in the hope that it will make my muscles work harder.

    We did have a long chat about the groin pain, at which point he went through some of the processes during surgery to work out why. Words such as pins, whack (!), nails, cement, rasp, wrench and saw were mentioned, along with parting and cutting through muscles. I decided not to press him further on the details, it sounded more like a conversation I’d have with one of my builders. 😳😂

    My wound STILL hasn’t fully healed, but oddly the small area affected is next to the incision, not on it. This is when “rasp” got mentioned in the context of cutting through the bone, it appears they caught a bit of flesh while doing that. I have been given higher grade dressings, which hopefully will help it heal. Mr LM suggested not putting a dressing on at all to let it heal naturally, but when I pointed out that this would require me walking around in my underwear or hot pants for the duration to stop clothing rubbing against it, he decided this wasn’t quite such a good idea 😱😂

    As for driving etc, my surgeon’s view was “as soon as I feel confident to do so”. I think given the instability and residual pain, I’m going to give it at least another week and exercise like mad meanwhile. Mr LM has said we will go out to an empty car park one evening for a test drive. Hope it’s a big car park, I’ve always wanted to have a go at handbrake turns 😂

    We stopped for coffee and cake in the hospital cafe, then more lunch, coffee and more cake in a garden centre on the way home, then tea and chocolate biscuits when we got back, followed by a spot of light gardening (snipping round the edges) to work off all the cake before the rain started. It’s now “snacks-o’clock”. I’m wondering if I can keep up this calorie overload till bedtime! I’m certainly going to try 🍰🧁🍦🍫🍮☕️🍕

  • Crookrise
    Crookrise Member Posts: 13

    I'm finding groin pain troublesome so it's good to know I'm not alone.

    The physio suggested I watch a YouTube video of an operation, which he described as a cross between butchery and carpentry with a little finesse. Not for me, I'll leave it to the imagination. He said the massage isn't just for the scar but will help to free up all the battered tissues below that were hacked about. Coincidence or not, after three days massage the side of my thigh is much less sore and I slept on my side from 02.00 till 05.30 this morning. Bliss.

  • Cazbaz
    Cazbaz Member Posts: 70

    @Crookrise, well done for sleeping on your side, that’s what I’m waiting to do,hopefully my consultant will give me the go ahead when he rings me for my six week check up, as I said before I don’t know how they can check you over the phone but what do I know. I have started to massage my scar now even though it’s pretty good. Hope you have a good day

  • Cazbaz
    Cazbaz Member Posts: 70

    @Lilymary, good morning, it sounds as if your review with the surgeon went pretty well, I was never given crutches just a Zimmer frame to start with then two walking sticks, I must admit I walk better with one walking stick than I did with the zimmer, some days I feel as if my walking is getting worse rather than better, I would have liked the consultant/surgeon to see but obviously he can’t do that over the phone😂😂with regard to my numbness and nerve problems I think once I have been signed of by the hospital I will book some private physio treatment as I have got a feeling the problem is foot drop and that is not always temporary even though consultant told me on discharge that it should get better, will have to wait and see, it is hampering me putting shoes on etc. Your coffee and cake pit stops sound wonderful, after reading about it I just had to have an enormous slice of cake😂