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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. Horsey girl

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    Hi Dorothy
    Checking in to see how you are doing. I hope your recovery is going well. How are your horses? I hope you have better weather than we do.
    We had snow again last night. But, it's supposed to go up into the low 50s by this weekend.
    My daughter is visiting the following weekend and said she would ride my horses for me. That way someone has at least been on them since last October. Will be easier for me when I get on them the first time.
    Are you going to be able to ride before your next surgery?
    Take care and enjoy Spring.
    Bea
  2. rider1960

    rider1960 Post-Grad

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    Hi Bea, Thanks so much for asking about me :)

    I haven't been on the board much lately. Just seems like there has been so much going on.

    The weather has been fantastic here. Unseasonably warm and sunny almost every day for at least a week. Makes me want to ride big time, but I know I can't. I'm sorry you are having cold weather in Idaho. We really should be, but I don't know what happened here in upstate NY--someone forgot to tell the weather control people that it was supposed to be winter! I hope you get some spring soon. I'm also glad your daughter will be able to ride your horses before you get on them. It's good to have the kinks worked out after winter, especially with a new hip.

    I saw my surgeon yesterday and everything with my new hip on the left is great. This is the first time I've seen him personally since the surgery (saw his PA at the 2 week point). He was a little skeptical when I told him that I didn't go for any outpatient physical therapy and had just 3 home visits and did the rest on my own. But he had me get up on the table and put me through my paces and agreed that I was doing well and he didn't think I needed any additional therapy. Just keep doing what I'm doing. All restrictions are lifted and I can basically do anything I want to, but increase activities gradually not only because I am still in the early stages of recovery, but because I have been sedentary for so long--almost 2 years!

    I can start riding lightly whenever I'm feeling comfortable to do so, but I don't think I'll be able to do it until the right hip is either replaced or symptoms in that hip are improved by the cortisone injection he gave me in it yesterday. I'm hoping that will tide me over until the surgery and makes things more livable and I can be more active. Just have to wait and see what effect the injection has. The right hip isn't anywhere near as bad as the left was, but it is too painful to do my pre-arthritis activities--day shopping trips, hiking, walking my dogs, riding, etc.

    The good news is--I do have a date set for the right hip replacement--June 20th. I'm also on the cancellation list for an earlier spot, but he doesn't want to do it any earlier than mid May because he wants my left to heal some more. It was SO weak before surgery. But things are going well on the left now--It's been 2 months since surgery and it's come so far already. Another couple of months and I'll be able to run a marathon on it compared to the pre-surgery state, lol!

    Now, I have to save my money for another round of being off work. I'm returning to work Thursday. I'm looking forward to seeing my friends, but not getting back into the work routine. I really love having my freedom and being home with all my animals :) Oh well ... And to think all I had to do was have my hip hacked up and a metal stake pounded down into it to get this time off work ... ha ha

    Dorothy
  3. Dee205

    Dee205 Senior

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    Dorothy,
    Glad to hear its going so well! The weather here on the East Coast has been great (I'm down on the Jersey Coast) daffodils and dogwoods are blooming, walked on the beach this weekend......almost feels like summer:)
    I'm a little ahead of you on side#2......mine's scheduled for May 14.......excited and dreading it at the same time......keep us posted on your recovery and the road to #2
    Dee
  4. Horsey girl

    Horsey girl Member

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    Dorothy
    I am happy for you that you have now a date set for your second surgery. You know you are going to get it over with soon.
    Sorry you have to go back to work. I hope it won't be too hard.
    I am going to retire on the 30th of March. I think this time it will be for real. Looking forward to riding my horses more and puddle around my place. I have so many unfinished projects.
    Hopefully you will be able to ride between your surgeries. I hope the shot will help you. Did they give you a shot directly into the joint?
    I used to get shots on the side of my hip by the doctor and they did not last very long. Then, last September the ortho surgeon sent me to the Immaging Center here and they gave me a shot with a TV directly into the joint from the front. That one did help a lot more. Probably will get one into my right hip maybe next month when I will be more active.
    I hope your healing will keep up. Sounds like you are doing great.
    Bea
  5. rider1960

    rider1960 Post-Grad

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    Dee, hasn't our weather on the East coast been amazing! I'm excited for you to be having your second hip done in May. Then you will be completely set and ready to do anything!!!!!! Take on the world!!! Watch out--Dee is coming!!!! :) I know what you mean, though, about being excited about it, yet dreading it, at the same time--I'm there with you. I hate going through all that immediate post op stuff again. But, the bad time is really quite short when you look at the big picture. That's how I try to look at it. I hate even low level chronic pain SO much that I'd much rather go through a few days of more intense surgical pain and know things are going to improve than endless days of chronic pain with no improvement in sight. Don't worrry--we will both do great!!! You will be my inspiration as I prepare for the second one!

    Bea, yes, the injection was directly into the joint. He did a 2 of these on the left before replacing it and 1 on the right last year. I got quite a bit of relief from the first one on the left for about 2 months, but the others didn't do much. I also had an injection on the side of the hip for bursitis, since I have that too along with arthritis in the joint. It didn't do much for the overall pain--the joint pain is worse than the bursitis so I didn't notice much of a difference in my pain.

    The ortho practice I go to is large and pretty high tech. They have lots of machinery right there and they can do pretty much anything without my needing to go anywhere else. I just had to wait an hour for him to see the rest of his afternoon patients. I travel an hour and a half to get there and he will always fit me in that same day if anything extra needs to be done rather than make me come back another time. He also told me to try to coordinate my 6 month recheck on the left hip at the same time as one of my post op appointments connected with the right hip. I attempted to do this when I was there, and his office schedulers gave me a hard time about that because they said they wouldn't be able to bill for the 6 month check on the left if it is combined with a 6 week follow up on the right because that is included in the surgery fee for the right hip. Later, I told him what they said and he said he didn't care about getting paid for the visit and wasn't going to make me come up separately for 2 visits for that reason. We figured out that the 6 week post op for the right will be the same time as the 6 month follow up for the left, so he told me to just remind him to check out the left when I'm there for the right--and I also won't have to pay anything for the exam. I thought that was nice. His surgical scheduler will handle schedule that appointment at the time of my surgery.

    Well, back to work tomorrow ... fun, fun, fun ... I really have enjoyed my time off. It's going to be tough to give up all this free time. I think my dogs are going to have a rough time with the adjustment. I already talked with my neighbors about coming over to play with them each day for at least the rest of this week. That will break up the day for them and cut back on their boredom. The weekend will be here soon enough, and then I will expect they will be ready to accept our usual routine thereafter.

    Happy Spring to everyone!!!

    Dorothy
  6. DallasSarah

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    Hi Dorothy,

    Congratulation on an excellent post OS visit, plus going back to work PLUS getting a date for your 2nd hip. WOW no stopping you now!

    You really have done amazingly well which makes me very very happy! Love also you have good weather it was perfect timing..yes??

    Don't forget to walk around when you get back to work, meaning dont sit at your desk all day and get all stiff and sore.

    Lots of love,

    Sarah
  7. Dee205

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    Dorothy,
    Thanks for all the kind words! Let's be "Side 2" buddies.....I'm much less apprehensive this time around also:) ........Now that we know the drill, it's much easier. So glad you have a date for #2 also. I have a feeling that time is going to fly by. Already starting my list of things to do before......
    Dee
  8. Jen

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    Dorothy, your ortho sounds like a really good guy. And congrats on getting a date for hip #2. You might be able to ride again before the end of the summer then?

    I hope your first day back at work went well.
  9. welshjane

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    Hey Dorothy, I must have missed something. I see you now have a date for the second hip - well done, you. As you say, one has a mixture of excitement and dread. Like you I'm not looking forward to the immediate post-op bit, but it doesn't last long, and the best thing is that you can see progress every day. Well, I've only got 4 days left, so I'd better get on and finish my preparations! We have lovely weather here, too, so it's hard to stay inside. I'm off up the hills now with the dog to enjoy one of my last days of freedom. However, this sunny weather is indicative of awful drought to come, I'm afraid. Here in wet Wales we've had less than one fifth of the rain we normally get at this time of year, and the rest of the country is in an even worse state. never mind - can't fix the weather (but we can fix our hips, eh?)
  10. rider1960

    rider1960 Post-Grad

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    Back to work and two days under my belt. I had to go back to work full time, so I did it so I would only have to work two days and then have a weekend to rest up. That worked great and I highly recommend that.

    I was pretty tired after the first day but I think that was more from the pre-return-to-work anxiety jitters and from the excitement of seeing everyone again (it was like I was the celebrity of the day, ha ha) and all that than from the actual work day itself. The second day was more of the usual work day and I wasn't tired after that day. A lot less tired than before surgery.

    I have a self paced desk job and made sure I took wise Sarah's advice and got up frequently throughout the day. That helped a lot. I did a lot of stretching, which kept my hip flexors from seizing up throughout the day. They wanted to do that because I was sitting at 90 degrees for so much of the time and they weren't used to that.

    My co-workers couldn't stop commenting about how well I was walking and how great I looked. I was smiling non-stop, especially the first day before they gave me much actual work to do and I was mostly just socializing, ha ha!! My boss was practically speechless when he saw me walk towards him because I was walking normally and not hobbling along painfully with my cane. He's a very nice man and he sits right next to my desk, so he had seen me go through so much pain and agony prior to surgery. He kept saying over and over that the difference was SO astounding and how happy he was for me.

    We have some retired doctors that work with us and one is a retired orthopedist. He was quite impressed with my visible results and I showed him my x-ray of the new hip and he said it looked very well done. He said that when he was in practice hip replacement was the most rewarding surgery he did because of the high success rate and patient satisfaction. It was wonderful as a doctor to be able to see a patient go from limping around in pain to feeling good and getting back to their normal life.

    One of my dogs is having a little trouble adjusting to my new schedule. She was pretty clingy both evenings, but that has been her norm when I work. I had my neighbors come over and play with them for a while both afternoons to help them transition a little easier, but I guess it's not the same as Mom being there with her. My other dog is doing fine with it. She's not quite so much of a mommie's girl. I know Lucy dog will be fine, but it's just a little hard to see her struggling with this.

    It's kind of a bummer being back to work--I loved being off, I must admit! But I'm very fortunate that I work in a place where I can get up and go for a walk any time I need to. I can even put my feet up on my desk if I need to elevate them or stretch out my back. My other hip and my back are still bothering me, so I've let them know that and that I still need to take care of those things, and they are fine with that--they really don't care if I stand on my head as long as the work gets done. Then I'll be out again in June to get the other hip done. I'll have a matched set :)

    Thanks for all the support and advice!!!! This board has been SO great!!!!!

    Dorothy
  11. dianemarie

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    Dorothy,

    You sound wonderful...good for you getting back to work and glad you are able to take care of yourself (walking, stretching) there. I have a visual of you with your feet up on your desk:th_heehee:Continued well wishes to you.
  12. Horsey girl

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    Hi Dorothy
    I am so glad for you that everything went fine with you working again. Next week will be a full week working. Hope all goes as well as this week.
    It is great that you have a job were you can be flexible in when you want to get up to walk around or whatever you need to do to stay flexible.
    I am lucky to also have a job like that.
    Your dogs are probably happy it's the weekend now. They get used to being with you. Mine sure got more clingy since I have been home more. Especially my older Newfie mix.
    Have a great Sunday yet and enjoy. We are supposed to have it in the 50s today and no rain. Maybe the snow will melt in my pasture. Rain is coming back tonight thought.
    Take care
    Bea
  13. DallasSarah

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    Hi Dorothy,

    Fabulous news about work and good timing to work two days and have weekend to recuperate, smart planning!

    Poor baby about your dog, I'm sure they miss you being away all day. I sometimes think I'm going back into an office environment then I look at Miles and think ohhhhh he would be devastated oyyyyyyy!!

    Have a good week!

    xxooxx
  14. rider1960

    rider1960 Post-Grad

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    Post op blues has hit hard, but 9 weeks out ...

    First of all, I just want to remind everyone that my question mark key doesn't work, so please excuse punctuation errors.

    I had the "post op blues" hit pretty hard a few days after I was discharged from the hospital at the end of January. I had all the whirlwind stuff going on at the hospital and then went to the rehab on the weekend, where nothing was going on, and I had way too much time on my hands to sit and think. Let's just say that Sunday afternoon, especially, was not pretty--I cried so much I'm surprised I didn't get dehydrated. I got through that during the first 24 hours I was there and moved forward and really never had much trouble with "the blues" until now.

    Another period of change--I've gone back to work. I could not do a part-time return--I had to go back full time. The hip isn't bothering me more because of it, but suddenly I no longer have time to do things in a leisurely fashion, one of my dogs is having a difficult time adjusting to having less of me and is very whiny and demanding during the time I am home, a friend recently passed away from cancer, I'm not completely "normal" yet, etc. I'm feeling pretty good physically, but I'd like things to progress faster and nothing I do makes this happen. I still feel like my overall body muscles, tendons, ligaments, etc. are still recovering--I don't hear much about that on here. Is this just because I was so weak and debiliated before surgery.

    For at least 6 weeks after surgery, every muscle in my body was very stiff when I got out of bed or up from a chair, even my fingers hurt! These are slowly getting better, but it's taking forever! Did anyone else have problems with stuff like that at where I'm at--9 weeks. Frankly, the new hip has been pretty easy and feels like the least of my problems. It has rehabbed very well and I could feel a steady, continuous improvement. It still has a little strength and stretching to go before it's back to feeling like a completely normal hip, but it feels almost there now.

    The few I've shared this with ... I've told them that sometimes I feel like I'm one of those catastrophic accident victims having to learn to use their body again and really struggling to do it. That makes me cry when I think about it.

    I was SO debilitated before I had the surgery. My left hip arthritis advanced so quickly--it is almost frightening when I think about it--I never even had a twinge of pain on the left until Feb 2011 and by July 2011, I could barely walk more than 100 feet. By October, I was near tears and leaning on a cane to do the same. I can see the progression of my arthritis from the x-ray CD I have--OMG!!! Just the difference between July and January, just before my surgery is amazing! No wonder I could hardly walk.

    And, before the left started up, the right was hurting too and limiting my activities to just what I needed to do with nothing left for social activities, recreation, etc. I hadn't even been comfortable enough to take my dogs for a walk for two years prior to the hip replacement. It was "do what you gotta do, and then sit or lie down the rest of the time". The right hip, though, has been a slower progression and no where near as disabling. Funny how these hips do their thing when they start deteriorating.

    Well, here I am at 9 weeks. Back to work. Back to regular life. But ... not really. ... ... I'm in limbo because I need to have the right hip replaced, which will be done ... but I want it done tomorrow, not June! Darn it!!! (The whiny, "I want it now!" part of me coming through!)

    My friends are planning their horseback trail riding season, and I'm *not* ... ... going on the 3rd year because of these hips. I still can't walk more than half a mile or so because of the right hip pain and some back pain with sciatica that was stirred up again by the hip surgery and recovery. I'm getting a spinal injection April 6th for that. I hope that settles it down.

    Although I'm still limited, I'm like a marathon runner in comparison to how I was before the left hip replacement. So, I'm moving much more freely, quickly, and fluidly. No more hobbling. My gait is normal until the right hip starts yelling at me. Then it's more of a kink in my stride, rather than an actual limp. I just have to stop walking or it hurts too bad to continue.

    That said, as my mobility improves, I have weird things like tendons straining, feet hurting and having prickly, pins and needles sensations after being on my feet for extended periods of time or when sitting at my desk in the dreaded 90 degree position that was so difficult for me the first few weeks after surgery. I do get up and stretch or take a walk frequently, but I kind of "seize up" within 15 minutes or so after sitting back down. I can't be up and down continuously--I'll never get anything done, lol. Please tell me this will pass ... It's amazing how hard it is to sit at a desk.

    These "non-hip, physical" things are frustrating and a little disturbing. I think they are just part of my body regaining what it lost over the past 2 years--I was pretty much a slug with a cane--and I'm also 51 now and I'm probably not going to bounce back as quickly as when I was younger and got tossed off a horse or whatever. This period has been the first time in my life that I haven't been able to do anything I've wanted to do no matter how physically difficult it was. But, it's so frustrating and sometimes I get scared that I'm never going to be "normal" again. That's where the Blues come in. I feel like I've given up 2 years of my life already, and I don't want to give up a minute more.

    I just feel that I could cry any second throughout the day. It started up yesterday and is worse today. I have to go to work in a little bit and I'm dreading it. I know I'm going to be so tired at the end of the day. I haven't done much housework this week and I have a sink full of dirty dishes. I look around and it looks nothing like it was when I was off work and had all day to do things. I did almost all of my own housework, cooking, laundry, etc. beginning as soon as I came home from rehab at the 10 day post op mark. Now, I feel like doing those dishes will make me collapse straight into bed!

    My new hip itself has been non-problematic since the get-go. Seems like for me, it was the fatigue, the overall body adjusting, muscles in other parts of the body getting upset about having to work again, and stuff like that--those were the unexpected problems. The hip itself probably felt like it was free to fly! It just needed the usual post op strengthening and range of motion stuff and it was good to go.

    Don't get me wrong--I'm SO grateful for the new hip and grateful to be getting the second one done soon. I feel so much better. My life before was just a blur of pain and blah. And, I feel selfish and "you ungrateful thing" when the negative feelings do surface. I just get very frustrated with "why am I not back to normal yet!"

    Any advice. Anyone else go through this kind of thing.

    Dorothy
  15. mrsdouce

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    Re: Post op blues has hit hard, but 9 weeks out ...

    Hi Dorothy,

    I can tell you from experience that what you are feeling is normal even 9 weeks post op. About 3 months post op it hit me hard. I ended up seeing a psychiatrist to help me through it. I suspect the start of these feelings for you came about when you returned to the "normal" world but not feeling so normal in it. It is exhausting going through so much pain and discomfort and to be around seemingly normal people who are able to just live their lives without this kind of disruption. Hang in there. It does get better. You are very early still in you recovery. It will take awhile but there will come a time when you will forget you even had your hip and eventually hips replaced.

    Many of those pins and needles feelings etc. you are having are all things I have experienced. YOu can definitately expect ot get tired easily for awhile.

    Others will be along to comment more on the physical recovery stuff.

    Hang in there with your emotions. If they don't get better, it can be really helpful to find a therapist to talk to.

    Lynne
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  16. Mad Rocker

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    Re: Post op blues has hit hard, but 9 weeks out ...

    Good morning Dorothy

    I can sympathize with what you are going through to a certain extent. I find this all so over whelming sometimes. I know it's part of a grieving process. Grieving for all I have lost in the past to these darn hips of mine. The time I have missed with my friends and family and just the ability to do what I want when I want to. I am waiting for my 2nd hip too but no date as my OS is waiting for how my 1st one is doing. I know it was hell to get my first one done and I don't want to be in the agony that I was. I wanted to get both hips done at the same time to have my life back but no-o-o dice with the OS.

    I think that all we can do is hang in there and be gentle with ourselves. Time does heal not only our bodies but our "souls". I will keep my fingers crossed that you have a better day today than yesterday.

    Take Care :console:
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  17. Erushka

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    Re: Post op blues has hit hard, but 9 weeks out ...

    Dorothy,

    I'm 9 weeks out from THR too, so I can surely sympathize! Sounds like you started back to work too early, especially given that a phased return to work was not an option.

    Is there some reason that you had to return to work now, instead of taking more time off? If you exhausted paid time off, you could take unpaid time. Most employers are obligated to provide that under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Of course if your finances won't allow that, you might not have much choice.

    There are a few things to try if you must work now. Consult with your physical therapist. I'm returning to work part time on 4/2, and my PT offered a host of suggestions to make the return easier. Ask your employer to provide physical accommodations. Most employers are obliged to do that under the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA). Some things that might be helpful include a phone headset so that you can talk while standing, a work station that can be raised and lowered so that you can stand or sit while working. If the employer is agreeable, you may benefit from a flexible or variable work schedule so that you can rest up on those truly lousy days. You may be able to get an OT on the job to make recommendations--no harm in asking.

    Standard office chairs are the pits for hippies. Are there any other chairs around that you could use? If you can get some time off, try sitting in an office chair at home, gradually increasing your time in the chair as time goes by. Worked for me. I can sit for 2 hours now without severe discomfort.

    These are just a few thoughts, hope they're helpful. Do let us know how things progress for you.
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  18. Z15

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    Re: Post op blues has hit hard, but 9 weeks out ...

    Dorothy,

    I completely understand the frustration and stresses when you go back to work. Our time was more gently paced after surgery....ample time to do our exercises...decent amount of time to nap....no real need to RUSH anything or cut corners.

    When I went back to work I instantly had to start trimming things... I could not do 3 leisurely sets of exercises anymore.

    I could not walk early and late...I was lucky if i got in one walk in a day.

    But, after a couple weeks my mindset had changed. I no longer EXPECTED to walk twice a day. I no longer EXECTED to have 3 opportunities to do my exercises. I was settled into my new reality and it was no longer stressing me. The good news is, that as we get further away from surgery the ongoing investment in our recovery is (slightly) less critical. we can hopefully get by with less.

    I also had to make decisions and prioritize. Maybe I got some quick take out instead of cooking. Maybe I saved a favorite program to watch on the weekend instead of the busy weekdays.

    You will get thru it...you will. But it is overwhelming at first....you are so right.

    Z
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  19. jailbird

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    Re: Post op blues has hit hard, but 9 weeks out ...

    Hi Dorothy,

    I know how you are feeling about the 'Blues'. I got them too quite badly this week and I am only 4 weeks post-op. I think my problem was thinking I could do more than I actually can and stopping my meds (which I have now restarted). I also have issues with my spine but I had cancer in it 8 years ago and always worry it may be that again. Realistically I think it is probably a 'flare-up' due to the surgery andI will mention this when I go back to see the Consultant on the 19th April.

    I'm sorry I do not have any real advice to give you but would like to say I am thinking about you and hope you feel a bit better soon. You have come such a long way and have done so well.

    Try and keep your chin up. Sending gentle hugs

    Chris xx
  20. DallasSarah

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    Re: Post op blues has hit hard, but 9 weeks out ...

    Oh Dorothy,

    Sorry your having the blues, it makes perfect sense because your half way through the journey of getting both your hips fixed. I'm sorry that has to be very tough. Its so easy to say chin up, hang in there though it will get better. Youve had a very long journey with all the pain before I really admire you.

    Be good to yourself and sending you lots of good wishes and love!

    xxooxx
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