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  1. PLEASE NOTE THAT ONE RECOVERY THREAD ONLY IS PREFERRED. PLEASE DON'T START ADDITIONAL THREADS ABOUT YOUR RECOVERY.

Rider1960, Dorothy, back home finally!!!! (the long version!)

Discussion in 'Hip Replacement Recovery Area' started by rider1960, Feb 4, 2012.

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  1. rider1960

    rider1960 Post-Grad

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    Jo, I'm just trying to fumble along and try to do the right things (and making mistakes along the way sometimes too!) to get my mobility back. YOU are the one I'm in admiration of--you give so much great advice and support to everyone here. What a job that is!!

    Dorothy
     
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  2. DallasSarah

    DallasSarah Post-Grad

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    Hi Dorothy,

    Hope you are resting :) and having a fabulous weekend!

    Sending lots of good wishes and love your way!

    xxooxx
     
  3. Horsey girl

    Horsey girl Member

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    Hi Dorothy
    Hope you are resting well this weekend.
    You are only four weeks post op about your hip abduction. I am just starting to get better with it myself. Can now lift my left leg as high as my right (the unoperated) one. That is better than prior to surgery.
    Last year I also had trouble getting my right leg over my horses behind. I am thinking, if my right leg gives me to much trouble, I will get onto the horses from the right side. Hope they won't mind.
    Maybe a crane would do the trick. :loll:
    Dorothy, I hope you will feel better soon. Hope you have better weather than we do. It's been snowing and very windy all day long here.
    Take care and rest a lot.
    Bea
     
  4. rider1960

    rider1960 Post-Grad

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    Bea, the crane--that's funny!! I think that would be a great thing.

    I remember trying to ride last summer and I was wishing for something like that, particularly when it was time to dismount. I actually could not swing either leg over the butt or the neck--to get off. I thought I was going to just have to fall off to the side until I flagged a neighbor down who helped me get my leg over.

    I remember my right hip and leg (unoperated one) hurting almost as much as the left once I was mounted (think of pulling on a wishbone or doing a sideways split!), so I really think I'm going to need to get the right replaced before I can ride a horse comfortably.

    All in all, I'm doing pretty well and feeling well. I finally have more energy, although you better believe I am still being careful with resting between activities. I don't want to go back to massive-fatigue-land ever again. You know, that was actually frightening! I wasn't sure if I was going to pass out, couldn't think straight, couldn't speak coherently at times ... not fun and really quite scary.

    We have a little bit of snow here but not enough to prevent me from going out to the barn to see the horses and take the dogs out for a bit. The only chore I've been able to do is tidy up my stalls a little--not really muck them out for real, but do a "super careful poop picking" kind of light mucking, even out the shavings and stuff like that.

    I'm amazed at how much I can do out there around the horses and not even use my cane--I'm not thinking about anything but getting my job done. I'll start walking towards my manue pile carrying bit of poop on the pitchfork (very light and not enough to use the wheelbarrow) and I'll realize I'm not using my cane since I have both hands on the pitchfork AND I'm usually not limping. They are very brief periods of time, but I do see where I'm getting stronger and not limping as much without my cane for the little bits of time I go without it.

    I find it a strange feeling to limp, but yet it's due to weakness and not pain. I limped forever before surgery but that was because every step was painful. The limp-from-weakness is just a strange feeling to me and I want to just will it away and walk normally, but I know I can't do that yet.

    Patience, patience!

    I have a vent--Has anyone else noticed that there are very few public toilets that are high enough to use without breaking hip precautions (question mark key doesn't work on my keyboard). Some have nicely placed handrails so I can kind of sit down slowly with my torso straight and operated leg extended, and then I pull myself up without bending at the waist to rise up. Even places that I would expect would have elevated toilet seats don't (doctor's office and hospital lab where I had my testing done 2 weeks ago when I had my fatigue episode). If it hadn't been for the good hand rails, I would have had to ask for help. Not a good thing for us post op hippies with the restrictions. I was discussing this with my physical therapist and she told me that her mother needs a raised toilet seat all the time and she actually carries one with her in a tote bag when she goes out. Otherwise, she would need help getting on and off the toilet. I've seen a couple on ebay that are only 3 inches high and don't look as bulky as the 5 inch one I have on my toilet at home; I'm tempted to buy it and find a way to tote it along, especially if I will also need it when I have my right hip replaced later. This limits my ability to get out and about.

    Dorothy
     
  5. dianemarie

    dianemarie Graduate

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    Hi Dorothy,

    Yes, don't those low toilets drive you crazy and some are really lower than average. As we get on with our recoveries it becomes easier but I have cringed sometimes in public when I go to the ladies room and find myself looking down way too far to see the toilet. I tell all my friends and family if they ever get a new toilet to get the higher version, makes our lives so much easier. Take care.
     
  6. Z15

    Z15 Graduate

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    Dorothy....hear is geeky thing that now only YOU will know...

    If you have a NUMERIC KEYBOARD over on the right of your keyboard...make sure you have the NUM LOCK on.

    If you HOLD DOWN the ALT key and type the number 63...when you let go of the ALT you SHOULD see a QUESTION MARK

    ...it works for me anyway...

    Z
     
  7. rider1960

    rider1960 Post-Grad

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    Testing, testing -- Z thanks for posting the tip about the alt 63, but it doesn't work on my keyboard ... darn! I probably just need a new keyboard ... the slash key (same key as the Question mark) doesn't work either ...

    Dorothy
     
  8. rider1960

    rider1960 Post-Grad

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    I'm down to my last 3 weeks before I have to go back to work. I'm really feeling quite good and now I feel more like getting out and having a little fun with my time off!

    The fatigue is lessening ... but I still have to be very mindful about my activities and I find that one short outing for lunch or a quick shopping trip per day is plenty. And, I ALWAYS follow every activity, walk, or hip exercise session with a good solid rest period, even if I don't feel I need to. I think that is key to halting the "knock you on your butt" fatigue that I experienced with my surgery and recovery.

    We are having a little bit of bad weather today, but it shouldn't be horrible. So, I'm going to do my first solo official horse care this evening. My horse care givers live up on a massive hill; I don't want them to be out driving in a storm. They have the hay set up for me--I just have to dish it out and they have extra water already in the stalls. It's not that cold, so it shouldn't freeze this afternoon. Just dole out a little grain and do just a quick "poop sift" and pile it in a corner of the stalls, which they will remove tomorrow morning. And, if the weather gets to the point that I don't think I can do it safely (Don't worry, I'm going to use good judgment!), then I have a more local emergency back up I can call. I do think I'll be fine with my Yaktrax on my boots. It feels good to be useful again, and as silly as this sounds, I'm excited about doing the evening horse chores!

    I went out for a walk on the sidewalk this morning before the snow started. The left (operated) hip feels a little stiff around the incision area, but doesn't hurt at all while I'm walking. The right hip, though, does. I didn't notice it much before my left surgery because the left hip was SO painful it took center stage and pain radiated all over the place. Now I can really feel the right hip.

    I meet with my surgeon March 19 and we will talk about replacing the right before it gets worse. Maybe an injection might be worth trying to tide me over till surgery--we'll talk. I will aim for a July surgery because I need to save some more money to be off work again, and the weather will be good and I can take care of the horses myself when I get home.

    Summer horse chores are SO much easier. My horses graze on their pasture as their primary source of food and don't poop in their stalls during the good weather (bless their potty trained hearts!), I can fill the water with a hose, and the fans I have in my run-in type stalls operate off a temperature-sensor timer. Piece of cake! Very different than winter horse chores.

    I'm just so pleased with my hip replacement and relieved to be rid of that unrelenting pain I had. OMG! I have never in my life felt so depleted and just plain horrible as when I was dealing with that nasty hip pain. Hip arthritis pain can be SO bad! I will not let the right one get that bad before getting it out of there.

    Hope everyone is doing well and enjoying their day!

    Dorothy
     
  9. Z15

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    Dorothy,

    I love to hear that folks are happy with their new hips...and i can see how summer horse care would be less demanding for you so that could work nicely!

    We're scheduled to get 8-9 inches here...just when I was ready to start doing spring cleanup...yuk...

    Z
     
  10. dianemarie

    dianemarie Graduate

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    Dorothy,

    Know what you mean about that awful arthritis bone-on-bone pain before our surgeries. I was going to wait till June for my 2nd but found at the end of the day at work I could barely walk and the pain was killing me...so Nov. 15 had my 2nd and am glad to be moving forward with that recovery. Take care and spring is coming so your horse duties will lighten as will the days.
     
  11. Josephine

    Josephine Forum Admin and Mother Hen Administrator

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    Your horses have it made! Sounds better than the Hilton!
     
  12. Jaycey

    Jaycey Moderator

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    No so long ago I remember a post from you wondering whether you would ever be able to care for your horses again. There you go... another THR success story! Well done Dorothy!
     
  13. rider1960

    rider1960 Post-Grad

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    Thanks all!

    I did the evening horse chores yesterday, and it was SO much easier than before my surgery. I'm 5 weeks post op and still on my hip precautions, so I had to be careful with the lifting and bending, but I topped off the water buckets and fed the grain and hay. The stalls didn't need any cleaning (potty train your horses! ha ha). I was even able to figure out a way to get out a bale of hay (50 pounds and too heavy for me to lift normally safely at this time) down from the stack, open it, and load up half of it on the sled I use for winter hay transportation to prepare for the next feeding. --All without lifting more than I've been told to do or breaking the hip restrictions. I left the barn with such a feeling of accomplishment and feeling that my life is changing for the better SO much!!!!!! This new hip rocks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Before the surgery, EVERY step and move was an effort and so painful. Looking back, I don't know how I did what I did, but I guess just like caring for one's children, you "do what you gotta do" and just get through it somehow. Good bye and good riddence (sp) to that awful left hip!! Now I can't wait to have the right one out of there, although I think I'm making the right decision to wait for a few more months to strengthen the new left hip and recover from that surgery. My entire body and spirit were pretty depleted when I had the left hip replaced as well--I need a little more time to recover before another major procedure.

    It was so funny--I told a friend who lives a little out of the area and my non-horsey neighbors that I was doing the evening horse chores. My neighbor all but insisted that she come over and at least be there with me while I did things, which I told her I didn't think I needed and politely refused, and both insisted that I carry my cell phone with me and also phone them afterwards to let them know that everything went OK--very reasonable; I typically carry a phone with me when I'm out with the horses anyway. The hired caregiver also called me to make sure everything went OK and that I wasn't out there lying in the mud and snow. lol I told everyone that it was much easier than before the surgery and the only concern I had was the footing, which turned out to be managable with the Yaktrax on my boots.

    I'm even thinking about taking over one shift of the horse care by the weekend. I will still leave the heavy work for someone else, but as long as the weather cooperates and we don't get dumped with a lot of snow or have ice, I think I'll be fine. I really feel that it is time to add this back to my daily routine--but I will be careful, for sure. I learned a very valuable lesson from the "doing too much" crash I had at the beginning of my recovery.

    And, it's SO much easier now than before surgery. It also gives me more exercise and a sense of accomplishment. I'm off work for another 3 weeks and I'm enjoying that a lot (Yippppeeee!), but I'm also getting a little itchy to do something productive daily.

    This is the greatest surgery and I feel so fortunate that I was able to have it.

    Dorothy
     
  14. Z15

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    Dorothy,

    The smile in your voice comes through!

    You got me smiling too...

    Z
     
  15. Horsey girl

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    Dorothy, I am so happy for you that you are feeling so much better. The stiffeness will go away too. I still have some and also still use the cane most of the time, but it is getting better. I think in the beginning the pace of the healing is so fast. Then it slows down and more patience is required.

    I am going to try the pool at the club today to help strengthen my leg. Our health club has a running river pool and the PT says to walk it upstream for 1/2 hour a couple of times a week. Should help, I hope.

    I am glad for you to be able to take care of your horses again. It is so much nicer to be able to be with them yourself. I always worry that other people wouldn't see if something is wrong with them. I hope your weather is getting better soon. We had more snow overnight. It's not often I have to shovel snow on March 1st.
    Bea
     
  16. Jaycey

    Jaycey Moderator

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    Well done Dorothy! You are well and truly on your way to that new pain free life!
     
  17. DallasSarah

    DallasSarah Post-Grad

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    Hi Dorothy,

    Yeah!!! Thrilled you are doing so well and yes I remember the earlier days when you wasn't even sure if you could take care of your horses. You are recovering so quickly. Isn't it the BEST!

    Makes me sole reading your posts!!

    Lots of love,

    Sarah
     
  18. rider1960

    rider1960 Post-Grad

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    Thanks everyone! Yes, I'm very pleased with the results of my hip replacement. Again, it hasn't been a walk in the park, but I never expected it to be. All in all, it's been easier than I thought it would be--after the first couple of days right after surgery. They were the most difficult. My hysterectomy recovery went the same way. I think my body has a really hard time with the immediate post op days, but then takes off like a jet plane afterwards and heals pretty quickly from there on out.

    Bea, you are so right about the rate of healing--at first you can notice a difference every day and then later it slows down. The first week or so still amazes me when I think about the huge progress I felt every single day. It was really quite fascinating (sp). Our bodies are just healing machines if they are set up to be able to do so!

    I gave my horse caregivers the whole weekend off and am taking care of the horses myself, kind of like a test to see how I fare. My ex (and still close friend) Mike unloaded the bags of bedding shavings I had bought the day before--I'm not ready to do that yet. They weigh about 40 pounds. I figured out a way to do the hay so I'm not lifting much weight in the process.

    I use the golfers reach big time for everything. I'm approaching 6 weeks out from surgery and if I could see my surgeon, I bet he would release me from hip restrictions ... although I still plan to work the new moves in gradually after he gives the "all clear". Not taking any chances.

    I did a little too much, though, Saturday morning. My horse caregivers did a wonderful job overall, but they weren't as picky with the stall cleaning as I am and I stripped the stalls, adjusted some of the rubber stall mats that had shifted and stuff like that--a little too much for a body that's hasn't done this stuff in a while. It didn't bother my new hip that much (I swear that thing is indestructible!) but my back, shoulders, and other hip have been complaining a lot since then. Just muscle soreness and stiffness, and I know it will recover with a few days of rest, but I had to take a couple more oxycodone yesterday. I had been usually taking only one or two in the morning because of my overall body stiffness when I get out of bed. I must have a lot of arthritis in my body at multiple sites because my new hip feels better than many other parts of my body.

    Now that I have the stalls updated and brought up to snuff, the day to day horse care is really pretty easy--much easier than before the hip replacement because I hurt so much with every step. There isn't any ice or snow (!!) where I am in upstate NY and I don't have much mud to walk through either because I had a lot of gravel work done around my barnyard area a few years ago (and worth every penny of the $6,000 it cost), so it should be pretty clear sailing today.

    I'm going to touch base with the horse caregivers on Monday morning, but as long as the weather cooperates and we don't get dumped with a big snow storm or ice accumulation, I think I can manage the horses from here on out. Mike will still do the big things for me, and I'm sure the caregivers will remain "on call" for day to day stuff if turns out I can't do it all the time.

    I really lucked out with the people who cared for my horses. They have been so wonderful! They really cared about my horses. And, they cared about me too. They were always thinking ahead and picked up grain for me when I was getting low, brought me some homemade beef stew, bought me a few things at the grocery store. Nice! They also took my dogs out with them when they did the horse chores so the dogs got more outside play-with-a-person time, which was very helpful especially in the beginning of the recovery when I couldn't do that much with them outside. They are busy, very active dogs that love to do things with people, not so much each other. I call them my "Calgon! Take me away!" dogs. (remember that old TV commercial).

    See the surgeon for my 6 week follow up (which will end up being more like 7 and a half weeks) on March 19. My plan is to return to work the 22nd (Thursday) so I will have to work only 2 days before having a weekend to rest. A couple more weeks off work, which will be wonderful! My job is sedentary and I can work at my own pace, so I think I'll be fine. Really, I feel SO much better than before surgery--even right now at five and a half weeks from my surgery--that I think I will be able to handle a typical work day much better than before.

    What I can't believe is how I did it before surgery! I met with a co-worker for lunch Friday and first thing out of her mouth was "OMG! You look so much better than before your surgery!" Well, that's what happens when they took away that awful unrelenting arthritis pain. Isn't it a great thing!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I'll be forever grateful that I was able to have this wonderful surgery. Heck, I'm even going back for round two for the other hip later in the summer--not looking forward to it, exactly ... but overall, I guess I *am* looking forward to it. With two new hips on board--world watch out!!! Crazy woman will be turned loose ... and she can move now!!!! ha ha

    The sun is coming out and it looks like a beautiful day here today. It was like this yesterday too. Upstate NY is usually pretty cloudy and dreary this time of year, so a sunny weekend is just SO wonderful! YIIIIIIPPPPPEEEEE!!!

    Dorothy
     
  19. DallasSarah

    DallasSarah Post-Grad

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    Morning Dorothy....aka President of the sweatpant clan!

    I love your updates, every time I read I feel like getting in the car and coming over to see the dogs and horses! Problem is you a little too far away hehehehehe!

    You sound sooooooooo well and getting stronger daily! I adore all your friends, horse caregivers and Mike that's made your journey very special all the help!

    I was thinking thank goodness you have had great weather up there, mild compared to last year. All my coworkers lives up there NY and CT and wow last year was horrendous.

    Enjoy the sunshine and rest of weekend!

    xxxooxx
     
  20. haldox

    haldox Post-Grad

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    Wow Dorothy-Im impressed with all that stall work!! That is some real labor. I hope today you will be relaxing, enjoying that wonderful sunshine!
     
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