Saturday, March 5, 2016

28 Things - Random things about a hip replacement.

Sounds exciting, huh?

Sorry I've been so non-communicative.

1. I am fine.

2.  Recuperating is a full-time job.

3. I spend a good amount of time therapizing, walking from room to room, going to the bathroom, and icing my hip, leg and butt.

4. I'm not sure the reason, but my attention span is as short as my memory so it's hard to remember to do things.

5. Also hard to complete things.

6. Getting a hip replacement hurts.

7. People who say it is a piece of cake are lying.

8. It's not awful. Because you have hope. Lot's of hope.

9. Every hour, every day, you get a little better. You can tell.

10. A picture for you. This very long metal piece is now pounded into my femur.  The ball on the end goes into a metal socket lined with a thick layer of hard plastic. Sorry I didn't get a pic of the socket. It's pretty cool.


11. Inside me, the whole thing looks like this:

12. Pretty cool, huh?

13.  So parts of two bones are cut off, two gluteal muscles (butt muscles) are cut, a couple of ligaments are removed from the bone and reattached, and I can't remember what else.

14. Basically, when they do all this stuff your muscles have to re-learn how to move.  That's not hard. Just painful.

15. I had a little problem with nausea for three days. I feel sorry for the people in my therapy classes. "keep doing your exercises please. don't worry about Karen. she's just vomiting her head off. we'll get her out of here as soon as she can walk." 

16. There are two approaches for hip replacement - anterior and posterior. My surgeon uses posterior. It's more like side approach. If you stand up, hang your hands at your side and pat the top of your thigh, where the base pad of your hand hits is where the scar begins. It moves at an angle up towards the upper butt. My scar is 9 inches long.

17. When you first look back at your scar it is quite alarming. When your husband first looks at your scar he is alarmed. When your friend first looks at your scar she jumps back and says "OH MY!" 

18. You wear the staples holding your butt together for 2 weeks. The whole time you have them you see them like major industrial hardware.

What your staples look like and feel like while they are in your body.

19.  When you get your staples out you are apprehensive because you are just a little afraid that your butt is going to come apart and you will be able to see inside...

20. When you get your staples out it only hurts a very little bit - just a tiny little sting with each of them.

21. When you get your staples out you are completely astounded at how very small they are. It is unbelievable how small they are. And that they kept you together.

What your staples ACTUALLY look like. The little v in the middle is where the remover bends them to pull them out of your skin.

22. When you get your staples out it is wonderful.

23. The most painful part? When I lay on my back with my leg extended flat and bend my knee and slide the heal up towards my butt.  That still hurts. Not as bad but it still hurts.

24. This is what my couch looks like pretty much 24/7. I mostly lay on my side with one of the back pillows between my legs. Or I lay in a V with my head on one pillow and my legs on the other.  I can't actually SIT on the couch because it puts me in a position that I'm not allowed yet. 

25. I'm still using a walker and have lots of restricted motion.  My left leg can only be moved forward and backward. No lateral - no crossing the mid-line and no abduction (lifting away to the side of the body).  That will come soon enough. I also can't bend at the hip beyond 90 degrees. That means no touching my toes.

26. I'm pretty sure that I get to graduate to a cane on Monday. Nothing could make me happier. NOTHING.

27. The stack of books I so diligently prepared for my recovery time sits mostly unread. I did read most of Room - the 1st quarter and the last half - and found the story to be pretty fascinating. I get really uncomfortable and restless every night about 8:30 so I go to bed and read stuff on my phone. I should probably use that time to read books instead. We'll see.

28. In case you were wondering how you shave the bottom half of your leg when you can't bend more than 90 degrees.

29. I haven't figured out a way to clip my toenails yet.

I hope the last month has been good for you. I've missed hearing from you and I appreciate that some of you cared enough to check on me.  Now that I know I can sit in one place long enough to do a blog post I should be in your mailbox more often.

Thanks for listening!


Joy@aVintageGreen said...

Hugs. Patience. Hugs again. Thanks for such a clear sequence of your operation and the beginning sequence to your recovering process.

Joy@aVintageGreen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bliss said...

I never ever want to have my hip replaced. At least not till you come back and tell me it was all worth it.

Terra said...

Most informative; it is a lot of work on your part.

Susie said...

Yikes Karen, now my tummy hurts. Bless your heart. I am praying you recover totally and soon. That x-ray was amazing. It's a blessed thing that people can go thru this and walk without pain after a time. Sending you big hugs and good wishes. Bless you, xoxo, Susie

Anonymous said...

Wow! It's good to see that your sense of humor was not damaged in the operation. Sorry that you have had to go through this, hoping your recovery is quick.


Patricia | The Black Sheep Shoppe said...

I didn't realize how difficult the recovery process could be. I hope your recuperation continues to go well and you have a full recovery soon.

Artseycrafts said...

Oh my, thanks for the information.. I need a hip replacement but after reading your comments, I have second thoughts. As bad as my hip is, It Seems better than yours as of now. I hope you are much better very soon.

Scribbler said...

I read your blog every time it turns up in my mail, although I don't aways comment. I am glad to get this much info because my right hip is killing me. It is going to have to get a lot worse before I do this! I got a total knee about a year and a half ago, and people who have had both said that the hip is not as painful, although I rather doubt it. I will say that the pain is excruciating the first two weeks after a knee, especially because I had trouble tolerating a lot of the pain meds. We finally agreed on Tramadol, which I was able to stand for ten days. The therapy was not as bad as I had feared, and I will say that this was probably the best thing I have done. Arthritis was really affecting the quality of my life, and I really felt that I got my life back. I need to do the other knee now, and I am concerned about the ankles. Severe join problems run in my family, and I have cousins my age who have had multiple joint replacements, as did my mother. One just got a shoulder and will have the other after her therapy, this after both knees and ankles.

I hope it all gets better very soon, and that you will be up and at'em better than before!

Anita said...

Good for you, what a wonderful positive attitude!
And thank you for sharing your experience with all of us. Just remember baby steps - we never heal as fast as we want to.

Chris K in Wisconsin said...

I had mine done about 9 years ago, and the pain BEFORE getting it done was excruciating. I was ready for anything they could do to make that constant pain go away. The first week or two there is surgical pain, but beyond that you will never look back, I am sure. Just the other day I had to ask my husband if he remembered which hip it was, as I couldn't really remember. I have heard the knee is much much worse than the hip. I wish you much luck and I know you will be so happy you had it done.

Cheryl in Wisconsin said...

Crap. I have an appointment at the end of March with an orthopedic specialist due to hip pain.

Kirby Carespodi said...

Keep on keepin' on, chick! Pretty soon you'll be excercising your non-painful buns off. Until then, swing your cane at people and call them "whippersnappers."

Robin Jo said...

Thanks for the pictures and information. My mom had her hip replaced and I didn't get this much information! :-) I thoroughly enjoy your blog, so I am glad that you have determined that you can sit long enough to write one... will be looking forward to future installments. I hope you recover quickly and like another commentor said... never look back! Great to hear from you!

Art and Sand said...

Well, your sense of humor seems intact!

My cousin had hip replacement at 63 and 6 months later she was in the family group when we rode our bicycles across the Golden Gate Bridge.

Hang in there and you'll be back to normal soon.

Have a Daily Cup of Mrs. Olson said...

Not fun! Wishing you a very speedy recovery and pray that it is all worth it!

LindaSonia said...

Wowza!! I totally missed seeing this update and was wondering how you were doing - now I know - e v e r y t h I n g!!!

I hope you'll forgive me if say I kinda wanted to throw up reading some parts, wimp that I am.

Glad you made it through and am hoping each day gets a little bit better. Good thoughts and prayers coming your way!

Cecilia said...

Yikes. I'm sorry I am so far behind. I just read your post on your cabinet redo and didn't look at the date. Seems like I missed your surgery and all by quite a bit. Glad you are getting better. Nothing worse than being limited in mobility and in pain! Modern medicine is amazing and a bit scary too. That was a lot of staples. Yikes. Prayers for continued healing.


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