My hip replacement diary

Day 1

So far today my journey has gone so much better than I dared to hope. I know I had read lots of stories and had so much encouragement from this ahead of me but I didn’t dare hope I’d be the same.

After having my surgery postponed by almost seven weeks due to low haemoglobin/being borderline anaemic I was nervous it wouldn’t go ahead and nervous it would. I’d had time to prepare my home better, done more research but my mobility decreased to the point I was almost housebound and clutching the furniture to move around so I knew the surgery had to go ahead.

Yesterday, indeed the last couple of weeks, had been spent planning, packing, and trying unsuccessfully to exercise. Today I had to check in at the hospital at 7.00am. From then until almost 2.00pm I had a succession of lovely people checking me, surgeon, anaesthetist, physiotherapist, nurses, and more.

Anaesthetist was particularly good telling me exactly what would happen. I had wanted to see and hear nothing at all but he said there may be breakthrough noise and explained what it would be and that I only had to look at him and he would increase to keep me asleep. As it happened I was awake almost throughout and was disappointed to nod off at one stage. I won’t go into detail but I have an increased respect for the surgeon, it is a brutal process but he was so confident and methodical, I felt no pain or anything at all and would recommend to anyone suffering.

In the recovery room I said I had enjoyed it, and was grateful to everyone for their compassion and professionalism. They thanked me and said they would be redundant without people like me. One said it was time I restarted my life and that I could now🤣🤣

Sorry for this long post but I hope it helps those following me? It is now evening, I am sat comfortably in bed, albeit drugged so no doubt I’ve trouble/pain ahead. I’ve managed to get to the toilet - I have to be supervised until they deem me safe, I’m back in my own clothes. I’ve really appreciated the food and they’ve taken my orders until Monday breakfast. If I want to go home before and they feel I’m safe I can, if I’m not confident then I can stay.

Getting out of bed was awkward but no worse than it’s been for weeks, if not months. The arthritic pain has gone, I’m a little unsteady and unsure of myself, but know I have to move to improve. Physiotherapist will be back tomorrow and I will get more gentle exercises.

My son video-called and my five year old grandson asked if we could go for a run on the canal bank again if they came for me tomorrow. I’ll have to find a way to lower his expectations!

Its not painful so far to lie on my back and I managed the regular toilet seat - they don’t use raised ones here as they prefer us to get used to as normal a life as possible as quickly as possible. Apparently there’s far less risk of dislocation with modern surgical processes, so I’ve to take care but listen to my body. I’m a bit scared but trying not to be.

Once home I’m told I can walk outside immediately and I’ll find how far I can go very quickly. I’ve lovely neighbours offering help and I will ask if I need them, but that is a challenge as I’ve never before had to ask for help, maybe I’ll just ask them to join me for short walks.

Thank you if you’re still reading, you deserve a medal! If you have any questions I might be able to answer please ask.

Take care, best wishes to all, Janet x

«134567

Comments

  • speedalong
    speedalong Member Posts: 3,315

    Well done you. Great you have taken first trips to loo and managed to squeeze out a wee.

    Wow - no physio at weekends when I had my ops. All part of the discharge as soon as possible approach.

    I’ve always rated the anaesthetists too.

    Hope you get some decent sleep.

    I have had OA since mid twenties. It affects my hips and knees. I had a THR on the left aged 30 and now have a resurface-replacement on the right - done May 2010.
  • Janlyn
    Janlyn Member Posts: 209

    @speedalong thank you.

    I’m feeling very lucky, and just had my second bathroom visit, a little uncomfortable but certainly no worse than the last few months have been. I know it will be worse when the drugs wear off but I seem to be on the right track. Dozing rather than sleeping but that’s ok.

    Thank you for the encouragement, much appreciated!

  • Janlyn
    Janlyn Member Posts: 209

    Day 2

    Allowed to go to the bathroom alone, had X-ray and physio. Drugs wore off in the night and was given morphine. When I told the nurse this morning I’d heard birdsong well before dawn she looked at me strangely so I guess that was the morphine🤣

    Had the stairs test and actually allowed to go home but opted to stay another night to get my mobility and exercise regime under control safely, I will be alone at home so feel to make it easier on me now will help me later. And to have someone else cook for another day is a bonus.

    Definitely more pain today and stiffness but feel that’s to be expected and hopefully exercises will help.

  • Janlyn
    Janlyn Member Posts: 209


  • speedalong
    speedalong Member Posts: 3,315

    @Janlyn you are making great progress.

    Make sure you have decent pain relief to take home. Don’t let them fob you off.

    if you haven’t managed to have a pooh yet, it might be worth asking for some meds to take home for that too.

    Hope you sleep ok, not easy to sleep in hospital - too much noise, hustle and bustle.

    I have had OA since mid twenties. It affects my hips and knees. I had a THR on the left aged 30 and now have a resurface-replacement on the right - done May 2010.
  • Janlyn
    Janlyn Member Posts: 209

    Day 3

    @speedalong thank you for your good advice.

    Feeling much better today, a little nauseous from the medication I think but all working well. Home this afternoon. Had a wash down and got dressed early this morning. A bit scared but did sleep better last night. Got up for the bathroom a couple of times, not very elegant but managed. Getting used to slow steady albeit still painful steps.

    I suppose there’ll be good days and bad days?

  • swimmer60
    swimmer60 Member Posts: 146

    @Janlyn

    So pleased it's over, went well and you are well on the road to recovery. I fell in love with my anaesthetist... he was brilliant and kind.

    Have you thought of getting a cleaner for the first few weeks? I got mine through Age Concern. She wasn't great but vacuumed and cleaned the bathroom/kitchen etc. At 8 weeks down the line, physio still wasn't keen on me carrying the cleaner upstairs.

    Yes, I would ask your neighbours to come with you on short walks, it will just give you so much more confidence. The pavements round here have been dug up so much they are very uneven and I did find that difficult at first. For the first 10 days I had my daughter then a friend with me.

    Take care, listen to your body, keep us posted and ask whatever you like! x

  • JPT
    JPT Member Posts: 10

    Thank you for sharing your experience @JanlynThat really helps me come to terms with the fact that I have to have a total hip replacement and that I will be awake during the operation. You have given me some reassurance that all will be well. I now wish this op will be sooner rather than later so I can get back to living life properly.

    Wishing you all the best for your continued recovery

  • Janlyn
    Janlyn Member Posts: 209

    Day 4

    How is it Day 4 already? @swimmer60 thank you for your good advice and yes, my anaesthetist was really so, so kind and I felt very, very confident with his advice and care. The whole team in the operating theatre worked so well together and were so cheerful I didn't really want to miss anything. I suppose my lack of a social life of late and so much pain made it all rather special!

    I'm very lucky in that my son and daughter in law have been doing my vacuuming, and I intend to lower my standards - essential cleaning for hygiene and learn to live with the rest until I'm up to it. My five year old grandson expected me to run on the canal bank with him the day after surgery - I really hope my son can lower his expectations of me!

    It is a little slippy and wet outside so I'm happy to hobble around the house. I find I'm slowly getting used to the steps and how to manage, although so much is upstairs when I'm downstairs and vice versa. I'm sure my physio will think that's good!

    Definitely intending to take it steady today and what will be, will be.

    Take care everyone.

  • Janlyn
    Janlyn Member Posts: 209


    @JPT I felt like you a few weeks ago, wondering if I could come to terms with going ahead and worrying about the process and recovery. Each day has become a little easier and I am learning. I'm not ecstatic with my progress, but neither am I disappointed. I am feeling a little weak and tired but my haemoglobin is down from the op and I'm back on my iron tablets so hoping to get that a little more sorted soon.

    The anaesthetist really was helpful and reassuring and there really is nothing to worry about. I kept reminding myself it is major surgery, but extremely common. And to read about people who had their surgery years ago and are doing so well gave me confidence. I decided so long as I didn't feel any pain, and I didn't, that I would have as little sedation as possible, as I knew I only had to indicate and more would be given immediately. It did mean that I think my recovery was quicker and I was eating and drinking almost straight away. I think a good diet and plenty of fluids is essential post-surgery. I've managed with only paracetamol for pain relief so far since coming home as I think the codeine was making me a little nauseous. I'd ask all questions you have and get yourself as well prepared as possible ahead of yours.

    Take care everyone.

  • swimmer60
    swimmer60 Member Posts: 146

    @Janlyn

    Physios love stairs! I suppose going up and down does help strenghen your muscles. I'm going up and down normally but operated leg doesn't feel quite right. I've been to the gym two times, on the treadmill and the cross trainer, and found my bottom started to ache after 15 minutes on either, so I stopped. I'll gradually increase the time.

    I was very glad to have a light anaesthetic and come round when it was all over. I was first to be operated on in the morning and was scoffing sarnies at 12! Out of bed pm and walking to the loo. After a spinal your legs feel so weird.

    Can't emphasise how worth it is, though.

  • swimmer60
    swimmer60 Member Posts: 146

    @Janlyn

    PS. Although it has become a routine operation, it is still a major one and you are bound to feel weak and tired at first. We are all different in how we recover and the time it takes.

    I find that people seem to fall into two camps, those who are immensely supportive and tell me how well I'm doing, and those who seem to think I should by now be playing tennis with Andy Murray! GRRRRRRR!

  • Janlyn
    Janlyn Member Posts: 209

    @swimmer60 You're right the physios do like stairs so I must remember that when I'm feeling daunted and realise how much they help! I'm currently thinking about going up to bed but already dreading the not being able to get in and out of bed, I must be more positive and tell myself it's only temporary.

    I'm amazed at what you are managing to do, albeit not as much as you want. I've not been outside for a walk yet, just slept, done my exercises and pottered around the house.

    The light anaesthetics make such a different, I agree. I should have been down late morning but it seems they had a problem with someone before me and then it appeared to run in to lunchtime so it was afternoon but I was still up and being helped to the toilet shortly afterwards. They don't mess around do they?

    I am definitely telling myself I will take as long as I need to recover. Fortunately so far people are supportive but I imagine that won't last!

  • Hello Janlyn,

    I've not been online for a while so missed out on your great day. I'm smiling right now to hear that it's over for you and that you are doing amazingly well. Go Janlyn, well done x Great choice with the anaesthetic, it certainly worked for me although unlike you, I slept through the whole lot. Wishing you the greatest of success on your new hip journey, enjoy being painfree x

  • Janlyn
    Janlyn Member Posts: 209

    @Teresapescado I had definitely intended to sleep right through but I can honestly say I didn't feel/see anything. I can even say I preferred it to the dentist although the recovery is taking longer than any dental appointment I've ever had. Thanks for your help and advice, and wishing you all the very best with your recovery, x

  • Janlyn
    Janlyn Member Posts: 209

    Day 5

    How is it Day 5 already? Slow, but steady progress I think? The stairs are nowhere near as daunting, I'm even only using one stick if I need to carry food or drink out of the kitchen. Generally two sticks and a bag around my neck with anything to transport though. A little easier to get in and out of bed, maybe the exercises are kicking in? Very uncomfortable in the night on my back, not sure how I'll manage six weeks of it. Felt I was getting bed sores on my heels last night and a tricky middle of my back. Maybe lie on extra pillows/duvet tonight? Bit of a battle with constipation but hopefully got that sorted. Definitely not as hungry as usual, have put weight on - water or does the new hip weigh more?

    Sleeping more during the day, trying to just take each day as it comes. I know when my painkillers are due but managing mainly on paracetamol only. Not been outside for a walk yet as it is very wet and windy and I don't want to risk falling - will have to brave it soon I suppose. Very grateful to have got so far.

    Wishing you all the very best wherever you all are in your journeys? x

  • Janlyn
    Janlyn Member Posts: 209

    Day 6 - took a codeine in addition to the paracetamol to try to get more sleep and padded myself with pillows for more comfort. Seemed to work a little better although nauseous today - maybe codeine/laxative/iron related so will try to manage without codeine tonight.

    Generally not too bad a day, learning if I can't do things one way to find a way to do it. Had a couple of online meetings with an organisation I'm involved with - managed but slept well after each. Fortunately able to give in to the sleep. Exercises seem ever so slightly easier but as I'm struggling to lie down easily they're difficult to do. Bruising around my wound and swelling around my knee are more noticeable today. I suppose there's a lot of healing to do. Feeling quite tight/stiff around front on my thigh/groin - maybe I'm not exercising/walking enough - will try to do more tomorrow or investigate.

  • Denis68
    Denis68 Member Posts: 53

    @Janlyn

    It's been interesting reading your posts as I'm two days behind you, my Op was 18/12/23

    I came home last night, a day or two later than I hoped, due to having low BP and feeling lightheaded when standing. Thankfully that's gone and I've come home with half the pharmacy 😁

    I too have some swelling around my knee/ lower thigh on the operated side, my lower leg is slightly bigger too. A little relieved to see I'm not alone in that

    Hoping you have a good recovery

  • Chris1
    Chris1 Member Posts: 40

    Hi Janet

    How are you?

    I've had a couple tired days. Muscle aches like you perhaps I'm overdoing it. I'm finding getting comfortable at night difficult as well. I hope you had a better night.

    Take care xx

  • Janlyn
    Janlyn Member Posts: 209


    @Denis68 Good to hear you're home now and better a little later, but safer.

    Good to hear we've similar swellings - it is reassuring that it is normal.

    Hoping you recover well now you're home but probably expect to feel tired for some time. Take care and keep us updated on your progress!

  • Janlyn
    Janlyn Member Posts: 209

    @Chris1 I hope you are giving in to your tiredness, I admit I can't seem to fight mine. I just wish it came when I went to bed. I had another uncomfortable night but I can't honestly say it was painful, just uncomfortable. It's hard to know if the muscle aches are due to overdoing it or just stiffness/recovery from surgery. Are yours any better/worse than a few days ago? Are you walking outside now?

    Take care, xx

  • Janlyn
    Janlyn Member Posts: 209

    Day 7

    Not been a bad day but another uncomfortable night. I just seem to doze a little then wake up wanting to turn over/get comfortable and all I can do is raise/lower my knees. Struggled for a good few hours then decided to get up early.

    Easier to get about, leg seems to be getting a little more flexible and exercises a little easier but a long way to go and I haven't managed to get outside for a walk yet. Exhausted after the effort of getting breakfast and washing/dressing so sat down and immediately fell into a deep satisfying sleep. Woke up and pottered around the house mainly with just one stick, would prefer two but easier to carry things with a free hand. Nausea/constipation gone today so could eat properly and feel much better. Amazed really that paracetamol can mainly control the pain, and can't really believe this time last week it was all ahead of me!

  • Chris1
    Chris1 Member Posts: 40

    Hi Janet

    I find nights uncomfortable as well usually I give up and get up. Mostly I can't sleep on my side at the moment. Afternoons are when my batteries fall out thats when I give in to naps. My muscles do ache more Probably due to doing more and exercises.

    You are doing well. Take care xxx

  • Janlyn
    Janlyn Member Posts: 209

    Day 8

    How is is Day 8 already? I'm actually finding I'm feeling much better than I expected and can do more although I've yet to walk outside. Far too wet, windy and slippery to make me feel safe. Exercises definitely getting easier, even the more difficult ones. Managing without codeine and only taking paracetamol. The pain is there from my wound and I do know when my paracetamols are due but as my previous pain was relentless for so many months it's a pain I can bear. I would rather have the pain and not the nausea/constipation I had with the codeine/laxatives.

    @Chris1 I see you were up in the night too. Another bad night for me but after struggling I got up early then fell into a deep sleep in a chair so maybe that's the way forward. I've no complaints because everything else is becoming better than I had hoped. You take care too and hoping you get your sleeping sorted soon, xx

  • swimmer60
    swimmer60 Member Posts: 146

    @Janlyn @Chris1

    Before the op the pain from my hip lead to very, very disturbed sleep. After the op., as I mentioned before, I had awful restless legs, and also found sleeping on my back very awkward at first. More disturbed sleep, alas. I did get some sleeping pills from the doc but they seem very reluctant to prescribe more than a very short dose.

    Now 9 weeks down the line my sleep is still disturbed, fall asleep quite easily then after 3/4 hours wake up and toss and turn. I think a pattern has been set which hopefully will improve the more exercise I do.

    I've been pain free almost from day 1 though, which is marvellous, but do get ache in my bottom if I do too much exercise.

    My feet got so cold the other day, that I disobeyed instructions and put on my socks! EEK! Nothing awful happened, phew! I think I've mentioned my surgeon has a real thing about feet, as in NO Feet Till 3 MONTHS!

    A lot of different advice floating around, confusing.