THR my new life as a bionic person

Hi,

Finally, it's my turn.

I've found that reading the experiences of others have helped me more than anything. I was tired of Social Media overachievers and private clinics trying to get customers. I've found here the experience from real people with their fears, pains, struggles and lack of sleeping. That's why I'm sharing my experience.

I had yesterday, 5pm, my THR surgery. As many of people have commented here, spinal was very easy, not painful at all. The cold spray they applied is the worst of all 😁They put an oxygen mask on me and next thing was the anesthetist telling me: wake up, it's over. Is it not unbelievable?

After, maybe, an hour in recovery, they remove many of my colourful cables all around me and they brought to my room.

Pumps on both feet, my legs were woken up slowly. I felt my body very itchy as the anesthetic was wearing off. It's a weird feeling but not a bad one. I had a sore wound on my side but not too much pain. My consultant says it might be worse today and tomorrow so I shouldn't be worried if it happens.

I usually feel sick with medication and motion so this time wasn't different. I had a hard time at night with sickness. I couldn't have anything to eat or drink. I had nurse visits every hour to check on me trying different medications to relieve my sickness, room lights on and a hundred of rings and beeps all around me. I didn't sleep much but we know that hospitals are the worst places to rest.

Today, I managed to eat a good breakfast, they've removed my drains, pumps and I have a wash before getting me up to do my first steps. It wasn't painful, but It feels like it's my neighbour's leg, not mine. It's funny to feel what others say. The leg tries to escape outside and the first steps are like: ohhh, hello!. The arthritic pain inside my groin has disappeared and I can currently open my legs around 10 inches, 9 inches more than before.

Thank you for reading. See you soon!

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Comments

  • Janlyn
    Janlyn Member Posts: 209

    @Nurina this is such a delight to read - well done!

    I've read, nodding to myself that, yes, that's how it was for me in many respects, although thankfully not the sickness. I love you say your leg feels like your neighbour's leg - what a perfect description. The good news is mine now eventually feels like mine and is so much better than before.

    A weird feeling, but not a bad one, is how I remember so much. It took me a few days to believe the arthritic pain was gone and wouldn't make a reappearance when the numbness wore off.

    Take care and keep us updated, please!

  • Shellbeth
    Shellbeth Member Posts: 14
    edited 13. Jan 2024, 12:04

    Great news @Nurina !

    You must be so relieved to have it done. Like yourself my spinal was straightforward and not painful but that spray is certainly cold.... I know a few of the other ladies in my bay had been awake during their spinal .... one was even listening to Michael Buble & the other had a 70s play list on ! 😄

    Sounds like you're doing great.

    Look forward to hearing about your progress....

    Xx

  • Nurina
    Nurina Member Posts: 185
    edited 13. Jan 2024, 16:55

    Thanks @Janlyn and @Shellbeth


    Afternoon update: My back pain was even worse than the groin pain, unbearable. I thought I could have OA in spine too. It looks like my bad hip bone was pulling my back muscles to compensate. The pain now, has disappeared. How amazing is that? And then, the question we all have Why did I do that before?. Anyway, it's still early days and a long journey of ups and downs. I'm a litte bit scared to hear from nurses than next couple of days could be worse but pain is manageable at the moment.

  • Janlyn
    Janlyn Member Posts: 209

    @Nurina it's absolutely amazing how the pain disappears as our bodies don't have to compensate for our dodgy hips, that's really good news.

    It is early days but I hope there are more ups than downs. I found it so much easier to cope 'on the other side' once that awful, always there, pain disappeared. Everything seemed to take so long and sleep was elusive, but otherwise better than I'd anticipated and I really hope it is for you too.

    Take care, x

  • Denis68
    Denis68 Member Posts: 53

    @Nurina glad things went well with your operation. I remember feeling a similar thing about my leg in the first day or so, it didn't quite feel like it was mine. That went quickly for me, hopefully it will for you too.

    As others have said it is so good when realising that the arthritic pain has disappeared and the only pain now is the ache of recovery. I was and am so grateful for that.

    Good luck with your continuing recovery

  • Nurina
    Nurina Member Posts: 185

    @Janlyn Thanks for your kind words. I read everything from you to see what to expect. The worst feeling is to be unable of doing anything that was so easy and logical before. My kids were playing with the crutches and they left them on the wall. I can't reach them and I can't walk without support. I've had to call the nurse to grab the crutches for me. I went to the toilet and the nurse received a call from another room. Me, standing by the toilet door without deciding if waiting for her or walk on my own to the chair. I've put the frame on the side of the bed closer to the toilet and the crutches next to the chair on the other side. I hope the crutches don't fall because they behave like they are alive. Well, actually everything is constantly falling. If I find the Genie's lamp, I'd wish the power of levitation.:)

  • Janlyn
    Janlyn Member Posts: 209

    @Nurina You're bringing memories back to me. Please be kind to yourself. I found somehow you have to re-learn how to do things and it can be exhausting but so worth it and happens quickly.

    A nurse told me to always put my crutches so they couldn't fall and it was sound advice. I had them on the bed with me in hospital wedged against the rail and wedged between my bed and bedside table or on the worktop or sofa at home. I remember ringing for the nurse to take me to the toilet and she was with someone else and I was worried she wouldn't get back to me in time! It's difficult feeling out of control but for me it did improve very quickly and I soon got used to doing things differently. My new normal is so much better than how I was before surgery.

    Take care, be kind to yourself, take your time, take your painkillers!

  • Nurina
    Nurina Member Posts: 185

    Day 2

    I'm waiting for my consultant visit to be discharged. They've offered me to stay another day, if I want, but staying here one day more will not make things much easier than now. And this is boring as hell. Wobbly walk with crutches and tried stairs safely. Nurses and physio said they are impressed but I suspect they say that to everyone 😁 Frustrated but very happy. My back and groin pain are now a bad dream that belong to the past. A little bit concerned about how to normalise my life when I arrive home. I'll try to delegate but it'll be difficult because I'm used to be in charge of everything. No much pain with the lowest dose of codeine. Leg swollen but they say that it could be worse. It feels like dragging a heavy sack of potatoes but it's getting lighter every time I stand up. Tablets for anti coagulant, not injections, compression socks out and a lot of ice. Every consultant has their preferences. It looks promising. I think I'll be ok.🤞If you are living in pain and you are having the surgery after me, please don't be afraid. This is really amazing. X

  • Shellbeth
    Shellbeth Member Posts: 14

    Sounds like things are going really well @Nurina - great news.

    I certainly know what you mean about the dragging a sack of potatoes feeling !

    I got discharged with the same as you - aspirin once a day rather than heparin injections. And the ice has been a godsend !

    Keep us posted 😊

  • Nurina
    Nurina Member Posts: 185
  • Janlyn
    Janlyn Member Posts: 209

    @Nurina I hope you're home now. You sound to be ready to get home, you've done all you can in hospital. I live alone so had no-one to delegate to but definitely there were times when I wished I could just ask someone to nip upstairs for something I'd forgotten, or to make me a drink or something to eat, or nip out to the shops for me, so maybe you'll find things to delegate? My son and daughter-in-law popped in daily and I saved up my jobs and shopping list for them, but really I was doing most things for myself very quickly. Once you find a way it all falls into place, even when you have to do things differently. Good to hear you don't have to battle with the injections too - I botched my first one!

  • Nurina
    Nurina Member Posts: 185

    Thanks @Janlyn I love you said that everything will fall into place but now everything is very strange. I admire you can manage everything on your own. That's why you are having this speedy recovery.

    Here's to my night number 3

    I arrived at home yesterday. My entrance to my home triggered too many alarms in my head. Everything was dangerous. How to get out from the car? Boys overexcited to see me trying to hug me vigorously, i remember reading about someone that refused to go to the park after surgery to avoid happy dogs jumping on her. What do I do now? There aren't safe rails to grab like in the hospital oh no! the stairs are too steep and scary 😭. It felt like going in a derailed roller coaster without seatbelts. The pre-approved chair I tried at home before going to the hospital looked perfect then but now it feels far too low. That was unexpected. There I am standing with my crutches in the middle of the living room and nowhere to sit. My husband took the dojo rubber square tiles we have in the other room and put them under the sofa cushion to raise it, adding one at a time until it was high enough to feel comfortable. An Ikea stool for my short legs. Much better. Another hurdle jumped.


    When I was leaving the hospital, the nurse asked if I wanted the Zimmer frame. I thought that it was too bulky for home and I was doing well only with crutches but what if I need it? So with a lot of difficulties my husband fitted the frame into our tiny Fiat 500.


    And Yes, I really need it for my next hurdle.

    First visit to my toilet climbing up stairs wasn't as easy as I thought. Until then, I was so proud of my advances with the crutches, but a surprise was awaiting. There is a little step to access the bathroom that, in normal conditions, isn't high and I thought it would be manageable but I felt like I was about to jump into the void. No side handrails to grab. Panic attack mode on. Where should I put the crutches to step down? What if one of them slides with the weird angle and I end falling face down? And what crutch/foot first? Right or left? My husband was holding me all the way down and he had to pull me from the raised seat because I can't lift my body out of it, and, btw, it's torture.

    My son brought the Zimmer frame upstairs and phew! What a life saver. I can use it to get in and out the bathroom with no problems and no help. Hurdle sorted.


    I've had a weird night. If during the day is a derailed Roller Coaster, at night is a Ghost Train with no light at the end of the tunnel. These endless nights are dark, silent and frozen in time. I kept watching the bedside clock: Only 1am?, just 1:30am?, is it really 2am?. It's like I've had a newborn again, begging for the morning to come. My skin feels dry like a Jurassic Park dinosaur. My friend Becky gave me a "hospital survival bag" which contained every little thing I might need, from a nail file to protein bars. I applied Baby lotion on my face and hands, and balm on my cracked lips. I felt refreshed and more positive. A few drops of lavender essence on my pillow. Sleeping on my back is going to be one of the hardest hurdles and the reason why I'm writing this at 3am. The hip has started to feel painful. I couldn't wait another 5 hours until morning for my next dose of painkillers so I ate a protein bar from my survival kit and took a couple of paracetamol.


    My husband isn't here with me, as he promised in case I need help. He is probably sleeping downstairs. He will say tomorrow that he fell asleep watching "Match of the day" . I can't blame him. This is a too strange situation even for me. He is very helpful and patience with everything that is happening to me lately, but I have to run this hurdle race on my own. As I said before, it feels like having a newborn again. I'll let him sleep.

  • Shellbeth
    Shellbeth Member Posts: 14
    edited 15. Jan 2024, 12:57

    Hi @Nurina

    Sounds like you've had a stressful 24hrs, but well done - you are home and that is a big achievement! I totally understand how everything / every move is overwhelming, with your mind thinking about how to get from A-B etc.... and when you are tired and in pain it just makes it all feel so much worse ! I think in the next few days you will find a little 'system' that works for you.

    I too struggled with our sofa. Found it too low to get up from so have one of the garden chairs in the living room now - padded out with a blanket and cushions.

    Your husband may well have thought he is being helpful by sleeping downstairs.... mine is sleeping in the spare room next door 😂. Gives me more space to myself in the bed - along with all the extra pillows etc

    Hopefully you get some much needed sleep today/tonight which definitely helps. Make sure you take your pain relief when you need it too.... I'm still having to take mine regularly (day 5 now)

    Take care x

  • Nurina
    Nurina Member Posts: 185

    Thanks @Shellbeth It's true that my husband is trying to help me. He told me he had the phone next to his ear in case I needed him (he says "call the red button"). The garden chairs situation made me laugh 😂 but it's a great idea. So soon everything will be over and you can use the chairs in the garden again. How is your pain? Mine is ok, with a lot of medication that is destroying my stomach. Dryness is an issue now, eyes, nose, skin. Walking is getting easier. Take care x

  • Janlyn
    Janlyn Member Posts: 209

    @Nurina Oh you have brought back memories for me - so many similarities, but a little like childbirth I've found I forget and keep moving forwards, and I hope and think you will too. Looking back those first days were hard, but at the time I was so grateful to be on the other side and knowing it had gone well that I just plodded on. Your chair, the car, finding nothing to hold on to - all so familiar but you're already finding solutions and soon you won't need those solutions, as you move on to the next stage.

    I remember looking at the stairs and thinking I can't do it, then getting upstairs and remembering I'd left my painkillers downstairs and having to do it all again. Or the postman would ring the doorbell and I'd have to go back down. It's all so hard, but it does get easier.

    My pre-op physio said she liked people to have someone with them as they recovered quicker because they could concentrate on exercises and sleep rather than having to get food and do all the necessary things you have to do. But my post-op physio said all his patients who lived alone recovered quicker because they had to figure out how to do things or they didn't get done. I suppose there are advantages to both.

    Thank goodness you've got your zimmer and the bathroom sorted - so embarrassing isn't it? All the things we have taken for granted up to now but will never do so again. It took me a while to trust myself not to slip or fall but as the stiffness reduced and my strength increased so did my confidence. I was frustrated that I couldn't do some of my exercises properly at first - the raising my knee and leg out to the side mainly, either stood up or laid down, but slowly I managed just a little bit of movement and then it got easier. My physio said if they are easy they're probably not helping so to concentrate on the difficult ones.

    I agree the night time is the worst. I'm getting some reasonable nights now but the first few nights were dreadful. I started not going to bed until 1.00am and getting up at 5.00am and then having three deep sleeps in the chair downstairs during the day. I'm allowed to sleep on my side now but I am a bit scared so I only do it to doze for a few minutes for a change of position. I do find by propping myself up on three pillows so I'm almost sat up is a little bit easier. I keep the radio on all night on the BBC world channel which has some interesting news/documentaries so at least I'm entertained.

    I found I was always waiting for time for my painkillers but now I have to remember to take them. I was going to wean myself off them but my physio said it would be best to stay on the paracetamols because I would be able to exercise more and make quicker progress and I think he is right.

    Looking back I think you are at the stage I found the most difficult, so hoping you soon start to make quick progress.

    @Shellbeth I love that you're sitting in your garden chair all padded out for comfort! You sound to be doing really well as it's still very early days for you too.

    Take care, xx

  • Nurina
    Nurina Member Posts: 185

    Thanks for your kind words @Janlyn and your encouragement. They mean a lot to me 😍.

    I'm sleeping with 4 pillows behind my back, almost seated, another pillow under my knees (muscles are still very stiff) and another one on my side creating a psychological barrier to stop turning on my side. I'm not really worried about exercises at the moment. I think I'm doing not too bad and I don't need more pain in my life. Somebody said this is a marathon and not a sprint. I struggle enough just going to the toilet or getting in and out of my bed holding my leg with a strap. I'd like to get rid of the strongest medicines that are killing not only the pain but my stomach too. A day at a time. X

  • Shellbeth
    Shellbeth Member Posts: 14

    Morning to you both @Nurina @Janlyn

    Yes - thank goodness for the garden chair. It is serving me well ! I did look at the sofa this morning.... but think I'll give it another few days before I attempt that again.

    Hope you both have a good day .

  • Nurina
    Nurina Member Posts: 185

    Good morning! I'm really pleased I'm sat on my sofa again @Shellbeth with the help of a step to put my feet up and help the swollen leg. You can use several pillows to avoid the 90 degrees rule. I've been two days enclosed in my bedroom, and I was getting mad. It almost feels normal. Climbing up and down stairs is getting surprisingly easier but I have to stop and double think what foot goes first: 'Good leg up to heaven, bad leg down to hell'

  • Nurina
    Nurina Member Posts: 185

    Night 4,

    Long chat with my two teen boys about life and future before sleeping. I've noticed they don't react normally when they are near me. I've been always the strong, the one that takes care of them and now, we've swapped our roles. The youngest just looks at me with his big eyes without saying a word. The oldest repeats the sentence "You'll be fine, mum".

    Last night I set up myself almost seated surrounded by a lot of pillows because it is the only way I can sleep on my back. Not ideal but I woke up only twice. I took just three paracetamols during the night and two chocolate bars to protect my stomach which is shouting "leave me alone". My plan is stopping codeine, ibuprofen and omeprazole but all depends on the pain. To deal with the solitude and slow motion of the night, I listened a podcast in Spotify with the name: "Relaxing music for sleep" and it worked. Thanks for reading.

  • Janlyn
    Janlyn Member Posts: 209

    @Shellbeth hoping you can get back on the sofa soon but only you will know when that is. Padding with cushions, pillows and anything soft worked for me, both to raise the height and also to pad out my painful bits. I honestly felt I would find it more painful to sit but padded properly I've been quite comfortable.

    @Nurina I keep repeating the mantra - it's a marathon not a sprint - every time I get impatient because I can't do something or do something quickly enough.

    Looking back Night 4 and Day 5 were my worst times so I'm hoping you're past your worst times and it certainly sounds so. Well done for waking up only twice - I'm still not managing that even now and am just resigned to getting through the long nights the best I can. Having to think which leg goes first takes some getting used to - I occasionally forgot but soon remembered when my leg felt a tug.

    I only took one codeine when I came home from hospital and then decided to stick to paracetamol only as I found the pain easier to deal with than the awful nausea/constipation. Chocolate sounds a nicer stomach liner than the medication!

    I can imagine the role-swapping. My son and daughter-in-law popped in to help me during my first few days home and it was strange to see the role-reversal with my son - he's never had to do anything for me because I've always been able to do things for myself but it was really quite sweet and I think he seemed to enjoy it. I had to show my five year old grandson my scar/wound to prove I couldn't immediately go out for a run with him. I've bought myself some time by telling him the doctor said when it's all properly healed I will be able to run again!

    Hoping you have a good night's sleep x

  • swimmer60
    swimmer60 Member Posts: 146

    @Nurina

    You're doing really well, be kind to yourself, it's a whole lot of new learning. I found the first week tough, my daughter plus poorly grandson looked after me for the first week. She was marvellous and i couldn't have done without her!

    I spent a lot of time resting in bed.

    I didn't have that "cold spray" but am very envious of you not having to inject, that was the very worst part RBH especially on first night home.

    Take care.

    @Janlyn

    Interesting what you said about people on their own recovering quicker. Couldn't have done without daughter than friend who took care of me for the first ten days, but after that it's grand to be able to please myself and do what you feel is best for you. If I was upstairs I'd ignore the land line and the knocks on the front door! Of course I then got, "are you alright?" phone calls, annoying but caring!

    The weather's been a bit off hasn't it? Torrential rain and gales and now icy pavements. Probably spring is a better time to have op?

  • Nurina
    Nurina Member Posts: 185

    Evening update.

    I've stopped taking codeine, omeprazole, ibuprofen and lactulosa to see if my nausea and brain fog dissapears. At the moment, I haven't feel a difference. Could it be the anaesthetic that is still wearing off?. I'm only taking paracetamol and blood thinner and I don't have much pain, only a lot of discomfort. Sometimes I feel I'm sat on something hard to realise it's just my sore bum. Not much swelling and bruise but nurses said it's not unusual to have a belated reaction. My consultant swears by ice so I'm using ice pads when I'm sat on the sofa.

    My stomach feels funny and I crave for food I usually don't eat like pot noodles and cheese crackers. I can climb up and down stairs easily with two crutches. I have small hands and I find difficult to grab the unused crutch with my . My husband in front on me in position of goalkeeper and singing with me "hand-crutch-foot to hell-ding" to create a system because I keep forgetting it all the time. I had a nap after luch. My sleep and food patterns are erratic and that's messing my usually organised life. I should listen to my body. Maybe with a podcast would be easier. :)

  • Nurina
    Nurina Member Posts: 185

    Sorry, I'm having problem sending my replies in order. Sometimes I can submit the reply, and sometimes the it has to be review. The previous post was sent yesterday, before @Janlyn and @swimmer60 replies. Thanks both for your support. X

  • noddingtonpete
    noddingtonpete Moderator Posts: 938

    Hi @Nurina sometimes if you send a lot in a short space of time the system will quarantine them which is why we sometimes have to release them.

    Need more help? - call our Helpline on0800 5200 520Monday to Friday 9am to 6pm

  • Nurina
    Nurina Member Posts: 185

    Thanks @noddingtonpete That makes perfect sense. I'm not complaining, just explaining. ;)