New Hip Day
Decided to take matters into my own hands re the unhealed wound. No one was home, so I removed the dressing, cleaned it up and wandered around trouserless all day to let the air get to it so that it could dry out and scab over (sorry - tmi?) . Success. Just as well, as we wrecked the last two dressings in a ham-fisted attempt to protect it again, so resorted to Elastoplast, which should be enough.
luckily the village is surrounded by wildflower meadows, which have been Spectacular! this year, so my gloom at slow rate of recovery is lifted by acres of ox eye daisies, clover and buttercups, with hawthorn, cow parsley, campion and the last few bluebells in the verges. Heaven. No cake needed today, although we did sneak a shandy in the pub garden on the way home.
Good luck with your exercise classes @Cazbaz . I’ve been doing my flamingo impersonations more regularly, using resistance bands now, but I’m due for my next torture session with my physio tomorrow. I’m mostly wobbling about without crutches indoors, concentrating on trying to stay bolt upright, with mixed success, but my listing to port seems to be improving. On one crutch outside, and can manage around 1 mile, but it’s slow, tiring and a bit wobbly. The joy of not having to sleep on my back is immeasurable, but I’m still using odd arrangements of pillows and cushions to keep it comfortable.
I watched a hospital documentary on BBC this evening which showed a patient who had been awaiting hip surgery right through lockdown. How I empathised with her increasing pain, mobility reduced to the bare essentials, and the depression and frustration that went with it. I could have done without the graphic images of her surgery though, and was glad I was offered full sedation when my turn came. Watching her first wobbly steps with crutches brought back how very vulnerable I felt at that stage, but I was amazed she went home the day after surgery. There was no way I could have done that, too busy passing out and necking heavy duty pain relief, and I was still on a drip on day 2!1
My physio is officially heartless. But boy is she good. New set of exercises, total agony, which she says is a good sign. She assures me worse is yet to come. Thanks (I think...).4
@Lilymary, glad you’re getting on well with your exercises, like you I’m finding them challenging now especially the exercise class I’m doing on utube, put on by the hospital, if I don’t do them for a couple of days I do feel the difference so they must be doing some good. Reading your previous comment, I missed that programme unfortunately, I had my operation on the Thursday and was home on the Friday afternoon ordering my fish and chip supper, wouldn’t have minded stopping in hospital for one more day as the food was delicious, I do seem to think of my stomach a lot😂Keep up the good work1
@Cazbaz , did you have minimally invasive surgery too, like @Licklelilly (“hip replacement”)? I’m beginning to wish I’d had that too. Given how badly my muscles and tendons have responded to the assault of surgery, perhaps if I ever need the other hip doing I’m minded to ask for that procedure. However, my surgeon wasn’t to know (and nor was I) that my body was going to be such a drama queen, and given this is his specialism I’m sure he had good clinical reasons for the type of surgery he opted for.
i was speaking with a friend who’s an OT, who said that early in her training 25+ yrs ago, she had to watch numerous THR ops, and like everyone else who’s watched one, said what a major and brutal process it is. (Potential THR folk reading this, don't let that put you off. You won’t know anything about the grotty bit.) She also said when she first trained they kept patients in for 9 days! Some of that may have been to do with recovering from the anaesthetics, which were pretty heavy duty in those days, but still... Anyway, she made lovely encouraging noises about where I’m at atm, so I don’t feel quite so useless about it.1
@Lilymary, good morning, I had the usual posterior op. with a six inch scar to display, I keep getting told I’m doing really well on the recovery road given my age😂at the minute I feel as if I’m going backwards with the mobility, my walking doesn’t seem as good as last week and I am suffering with back ache which I have had on and off for years. Hubby said I’m doing too much, cooking, gardening etc. so he is watching my every move at the minute, I think he may be right but I would never tell him that. Keep up the good work.0
Lilymary, I think it's just as well you didn't have the Minimally Invasive op as one of the things they take into account for them is how quickly the body heals. Someone who is slow to heal is not an ideal candidate so things could have been worse for you. I'm glad you sorted out your difficult bit though. Well done! Just as well you'd no visitors, though😉
Cazbaz, you're quite right. It doesn't do to tell them they're right too often. Especially when they are😊0
@stickywicket , I did a bit of googling around and it did mention best suited to slim, young patients. I only need to shed a stone or so, and at 61 I'm not exactly "old". But I hadn't read that about healing times. We had not way of knowing in advance that my body would play up afterwards, but as you say, in retrospect it's just as well my surgeon went for the "open 'er up and get stuck in" approach. I wonder whether he had also found the recovery times a problem in keyhole surgery and that's why he doesn't offer them routinely? As the hospital is a centre of excellence for joint replacement, I'm more than willing to trust his clinical judgement. At the end of the day I'm just grateful they fitted me in and that they put me out so I knew nothing about what they were doing to me. How they did it is their concern!
@Cazbaz I find garden forks making a very good walking aid..... 😉 but I knew I shouldn't be doing it and have set myself lower limits. Even so, it was easier for me to dig out the last few roots of nettles that Mr LM missed than to ask him to do it again. I mainly limit my activity to pottering in the house, very lightweight pottering in the garden, a walk round the village most days, (up to about a mile, no more at the mo) or a short targeted bit of shopping in town, and my exercises.
HOWEVER, my latest milestone is that I am DRIVING AGAIN! We did a few test drives, eg in empty car parks or just a few miles on quiet main roads, but last night we spent an evening catching up with old friends and left after midnight. Mr LM did the drive there to make sure I wasn't overdoing it, but as I am not drinking at the moment it seemed churlish to deprive him of a tipple when I was staying sober anyway, so I did the homeward trip. The 45 minute journey involved going over a notorious mountain pass, that I have done many times, but with the added excitement of total darkness and thick fog, dodging sheep on the road. This did at least keep my speed down, as I didn't fancy having to explain my new hip to an ambulance crew, but we got home in one piece and I can now visit my mum or potter round garden centres to my heart's delight.1
Licklelilly Member Posts: 29
@Lilymary I felt old at 56 before I entered the hospital, but was told numerous times that I was young for the THR😮, I did worry that I might be overweight and not eligible for the minimally invasive, as I put a whole stone on during the lockdown, I was 11 stone 4 ibs on the day of op...now 11 stone 8lbs...wonder how heavy those ceramic hips are! haha0
@Licklelilly You are relatively young for this, so that may have stood in your favour for your surgical option. I'm about the same weight as you, but need to shift at least a stone and a half. Oddly I actually lost half a stone in the two weeks post op, and have so far kept it off. But I suspect that's mostly to do with being physically unable to sit at my computer inhaling kitkats and biscuits by the packet!1
An update,8 week’s post op (I’d say brief, but as you’ll have noticed, I don't do “brief”). My Trendelenberg gait (ie sideways collapse of torso over my wobbly leg) is much improved by my current physio regime. I feel like I’m switching back on the muscles that were disturbed by surgery, they feel very odd, but it’s good to have them back on board. This means if I concentrate I can shuffle round the house without sticks etc, so can now manage to carry a cup of tea AND a packet of biscuits from kitchen to comfy chair in one trip, and without having to mop up spills.
However, it’s too slow and unstable for outdoors, so still using one crutch when venturing out. On a good day I’m probably up to about 66% of full speed, in short bursts at least, but mostly at half speed. I can manage about a mile much more easily now, and even had a brief, careful, foray off road on footpaths through fields, which was lovely. On non-walking days, I potter around the garden, directing Mr LM where to dig holes and doing a bit of maintenance myself. (Being back behind the wheel resulted in some expensive trips to the garden centres.)
I have very little pain now, particularly as I’ve been able to stop the exercises that irritated the psoas tendon in my groin, but as I’m now back to normal sleeping positions, I’m getting a bit of tenderness around the new hip as it’s overflexed when on my side. However, a buttress of knee pillows and cushions seems to help. Nothing that paracetamol won’t sort.
My biggest problem now is fatigue, both physical and mental, it’s stopping me getting back to work, even desk work from home, and limiting how much I can exercise, and the brain fog is awful. I do at least sleep through the night now, no horizontal tangoes (yay!), but I’m sleeping about 9 hours a night and still shattered after very little exertion. On days that I do manage to nail myself to the desk, I’m wiped out after about 2-3 hours. I still have a business to keep afloat and obligations to meet, and I’m not sure how much more slack my clients are prepared to give me. 🙁 Any suggestions would be gratefully received.1
Things seem to be really moving for you now and I'm very pleased because your patience (notwithstanding the crutch chucking incident😊) has been exemplary.
All I can think of re work is that, if it's for private clients, I think many, if not most, would be OK if kept informed and given even a rough timescale especially if they've used you before and clearly been satisfied enough to use you again. lf it's businesses, though, I just don't know. Good luck.1
Thanks @stickywicket , I’ll revert to my plate-spinning skills to try to keep the clients on board, but the level of fatigue still bothers me. I treated myself to another quick visit to a local garden centre this afternoon, but after about 15 minutes I was ready for a sit down and felt really quite wobbly after another 15 minutes. I persevered until target plants were sourced, and then retreated home and slumped in my chair oblivious even to the tedious football Mr LM was engrossed in on the telly, and from which I barely moved for the rest of the day other than cat, wild bird and hedgehog feeding duties. 🙄😴🐈🐈🦉🐥🦅🦔🦔🦔0
Just a thought and probably not a very good one. A friend finds her rollator seat invaluable for quick sits when in eg a checkout queue. I know the Red Cross used to hire out wheelchairs. I wonder if they'd do the same for rollators. (A quick google just showed several organisations hiring them. One mentioned £11 per week.)0
Reluctantly I'm thinking I just need to go back to the handful of spoons principle, pace myself and stop pushing my luck. At least the crutches are easier to lean on than my stick. Shopping trolleys also double as a good walking aid, despite lack of brakes (although one of our garden centres has clearly learnt the hard way and now has notices in EVERY trolley telling customers not to use them as walking aids - which gives a clear idea of their customer profile). I did jokingly think of "passing out" just to get someone to bring me a chair, but didn't feel the melodrama was going to end when I miraculously "recovered". Silly moo that I am sometimes 🙄. I just focussed on the important bits of the shopping list, pushed through it, and went home to my pile of cushions and a cup of tea.0
Lily, been following with interest. Am having my op on15/7. Strange question, what sort of knickers did you find best after surgery? I’m not sure if I’m having the open up and get stuck in or minimal invasive op yet, only had call an hour ago1
@Carolbee , congrats on your op date! Just relax and let them take charge, us worrying about it won’t make a jot of difference to the outcome (not that I’m suggesting you are of course).
The dressing you’ll have for the first two weeks will withstand most underwear. I wear good old M&S high legs, they seemed to miss all the tender bits. If you don’t have any already, invest in some nice soft baggy trousers and comfy but stable flat slip on shoes. They make life so much easier and more comfortable. The other immediate post op tip is soft pillows to sit on, specially in the car, but also to lie on.
I gather my recovery isn’t typical, so don’t be put off by my continuing saga. Do keep us posted, and ask away if it helps . Good luck!0
Wow! It's been a while since I have been able to pop in and see who you are doing @Lilymary I am so pleased to see very well indeed!
and you have a few hippies who have joined you such a lively, funny and optimistic helpful thread!
Keep it up everyone😊
and @Carolbee hope you'll give us your story too. As you know now it helps a LOT when you can read other people's stories before your own procedure xx1
Thanks Toni, my expectations far surpass reality still, but I’m almost at the stage of ditching crutches for stick, and my wobble without it is much less pronounced. Could do without the fatigue 🙄🙁 and still have some groin discomfort going uphill/going upstairs, hoping it will eventually go away, or that injection offered by doc in next review will do the trick. Retirement is looking ever more attractive,...0
Glad to hear that all went well. A few years ago, I had arthritis in both hips and decided to have both replaced together. Not common but doable. Best move I have ever made. Healing time was the same for one replacement, I was walking after no time and driving after 5 weeks.
Hope you heal as quickly as I did.
I certainly will keep you updated.1
I am also having my hip done on 15 July.
Maybe we can keep in touch and gee each other on!1
I really should know better than to go into a garden centre for just one lupin. 🙄🌸🌻🌼🥀🌹🌷💐😅. Thank heaven it doesn’t get dark here till 10.30 pm. Getting this lot into pots or in the ground has been a real chore, but it will look lovely when I’ve done it all. Mr LM is helping with the heavy digging, but gardening has always been one of my go-to distractions for pain relief and maintaining sanity, as well as just getting on with life with my new slightly wonky hip. It has made me practice more getting around without my stick or crutches, and has been an all over workout. (It’s hard to work up a sweat when all you can do is shuffle!). I’m quite certain my physio and surgeon would be horrified, but I’m finding teaching my body to walk again a dispiriting process, and this does at least take my mind off it.
Sadly though, it has also highlighted that my right hip isn’t in great shape either, and has been quite painful the last few days. It’s got a way to go before it gets to surgery stage, but the thought of going through all this again is just too ghastly. Given the waiting lists, perhaps I should get myself on the list now? (Just kidding, but then again...). I’m hoping it will settle down again once my left leg rejoins the party. If not, I’ve got a huge pile of left over drugs I can threaten it with.1
Hi @ET63 , congrats on your hip op day too! It’s great to hear things are getting moving again in surgery, after that long grind we endured during the last 15 months. I hope others will feel encouraged by that. I bumped into a chap in the village today, also hobbling about on one crutch, who had just had knee surgery and was proudly displaying his scar. We’re on the move again!1
one thing I've noticed when walking round the village (much of which doesn’t have pavements) is that anyone else with a stick, crutch or mobility scooter are the first and only to make encouraging comments, which are so much appreciated. But also vehicles of all sizes give me an incredibly wide berth, some even slow down. It’s kind of them, but I do wonder what they’re expecting me to do.... possibly startle like a horse and bolt off up the road? Or wobble and fall over in front of them? 😂1
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