7/6/18 Left Lateral THR TIP: Bring a plastic trash bag to the hospital for the ride home. Great video showing how to use a plastic bag to safely get into the car and pivot easily @ 12:57 WEEK 1: Waking up in the middle of the night 4 or 5 times soaked in sweat even thought I’m way past menopause days. Sleep fitfully. When I awake I feel energized and elated – my posture is better and I’m in much less pain than before the surgery. My quad, IT band and gluteus medius are sore, common with the lateral approach. No appetite since the surgery except for Saltine crackers and apple juice. I have the irrational fear that I’m going to break my new hip if I put weight on it. The visiting PT assures me that I won’t. My left leg now feels longer than my non-surgical leg and I worry that they’re uneven. This is also irrational. It’s lovely to have both feet firmly planted and utilized, where I used to favor the left leg. I’m also amazed at the control and function I’ve already gained, where before I used to hurl myself from counter to railing to wall for support. So happy I’ve had this done. WEEK 2: I didn't expect how tired I'd be - especially cognitively. I purchased an ambitious stack of books ... but focus is an effort - decorating magazines are much easier. You Tube "Comedy Central - This is Not Happening" even easier Balance PT/OT exercises with ice/elevation, rest and sleep. Also, keep forgetting that every task is a huge production now - "I'll take a shower" is fraught with pitfalls, props, preparation, pragmatism and logistical decisions. Pain, like grief, is an amazing "leveler" - bringing every decision to its lowest common denominator, simplest components and my priorities shift greatly. (Sniff, sniff - yeah, that shower can wait. ;-) I’ve found planning is a must – gather the shampoo/conditioner, washcloth, body wash, Glad press-n-seal, towel and anything else before the shower. Once my left leg is wrapped, I get in per the OT instructions and sit on a shower chair. I fill a plastic pitcher to wet my hair and body. Then I wash/rinse while seated, refilling the pitcher as needed. By sitting in the chair, I can take my time, not worry about falls and enjoy it. I also can place my heel safely on the tub ledge and shave my legs. Had the walker ready by the tub. Needed a nap after the “sit-shower”. TIP: The hospital tape and bandages pulled the skin off my thigh when removed. This made taking off the Glad Press-n-Seal especially painful, so I put generic brand plastic wrap on first and then cover with Glad Press-n-Seal. I also cut it off with scissors rather then unwrap it, which was painful on my already irritated skin. WEEK 3: Physically, I'm in much less pain than I was in before the surgery. There's a lot of reeducation as my left leg was 1/2" shorter than my right for some time. My body doesn't know what to do with itself! Overworked parts now on stand-by and under worked parts called into action. So nice to be in a body-centered awareness instead of data analytics, systems administration as I am at work. Different data and different system - working the puzzle of recovery. Not driven by an Outlook schedule, managing pain dictates my day. As mentioned in some of the other posts, my body lets me know when it’s ready for more. I’ll realize I left my cane behind, or moved with more ROM, balance or endurance than a few days before. I trust the wisdom of my body first. Frustrated by conflicting instructions – surgeon says I don’t need PT, his PA says make sure I perform the PT exercises religiously, visiting PT tells me I’m “in my head” when I ask questions regarding form and performance. I’m very grateful for this blog and the sound advice. Prior to surgery I hired a PT to create a “prehab” routine to strengthen my muscles so my post-surgery rehab would go well. I knew what to expect post-surgery visiting PT and outpatient PT. I’m glad I did it because the exercises are familiar to me and my body responds well to the movement. I now have an appetite and focus on fruits and veggies and hydration. Digestion and elimination are back on track. Getting restless and frustrated, which means my energy is up! Each evening my husband or a friend takes me out. Yesterday, a concert in the local park – we sat in the car. I also enjoy going for a latte or short strolls with friends. To ward off isolation, I make sure I call 2 friends each day and discuss things other than the surgery/recovery so I don’t feel defined by it. I find it also builds my social and focus muscles. I also make sure I get fresh air each day and connect with nature – birds singing, sun on my face, wind rustling leaves, people going about their day, kids on the swing set. It’s a balance to the “medical” and “clinical”. There's humor everywhere! You can't make this stuff up. Yesterday, I had a delayed allergic reaction to the adhesive on the steri-strips on my incision (10" lateral procedure). They've been lifting over time like a line of Tibetan prayer-flags flapping down my thigh and then just fall off. Visiting PT slathered on a hydro-cortisone cream and told me to leave it to the air. I dozed off in the recliner and the doorbell woke me out of a narcotic induced nap. I caned myself to the door and pressed the "access" button for an impressive flower delivery from my employer. The woman saw I had a cane, let herself in and offered to carry the floral arrangement to the dining room table. She asked about the scar and I look down and was horrified and apologetic. I forgot I had no pants on - buck-wild from the waist down!!! "Honey, I've had 5 kids - there's nothing I ain't seen!" she said and then proceeded to discuss her daughter's pending knee surgery for 15 minutes while I tugged furiously on the hem of my t-shirt.