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[THR] Are We There Yet?

Discussion in 'Hip Replacement Recovery Area' started by Barbaraj, Sep 25, 2018.

  1. Barbaraj

    Barbaraj post-grad
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    Oh, @An54, you are, of course, quite right that one clear choice (some might say obvious) would be to stop doing much of anything and really try to recover more slowly without forcing the issue as I do. For me, however, so much of who I am is, regrettably, wrapped up in staying semi-active. I am not running marathons or doing hours of exercise--just 30 minutes at the gym, a weekly Pilates class and 15 minutes of PT exercises, all of these on alternating days. I really get depressed when I can't do something physical most days, and maintaining my mental sanity is a real goal for me in addition to physical recovery. I really and truly do try not to overdo things, with limited success at times, but I can't imagine a life of hanging out without some form of physical exertion but I will try to be more aware and to slow down a bit. I know, I know--just because I CAN do something doesn't mean I should. But still...

    That's so sweet of you to say that I could try writing. I suppose I could, but I have a bit of an inferiority complex about writing. My mother, she was a writer--both prose and poetry (she even wrote one book, which I ashamedly have never read as it's non-fiction and on a topic I have no interest in at all--club work and organization!) and I feel my few attempts at writing are so pathetic. I find writing on this forum to be easy and fun--I am a complete stream of conscious writer--but writing "for real" seems unattainable. And, of course, what the heck would I write about? I actually changed majors in college from English to History because the thought of writing a thesis, which I would have needed to do to graduate with an English degree, seemed profoundly unattainable. Still, so kind of you to think about my situation and make suggestions.

    @mojo, I understand that PT can be bad for lots of folks, but I truly have benefited from it. They've never pushed me into doing things I can't do, and I always feel that they want to work with me to improve my situation. I think some different exercises might actually benefit me, and if they hurt or made things worse I would, of course, not do them. Remember, they kicked me out of PT a month or so ago!

    Okay, it's Monday morning and I'm off to mail tax documents (gulp...) to our tax preparer, buy ingredients for Cuban black bean soup with rice, and then--to the gym for a SHORT and EASY workout. Overcast skies were predicted for today, but so far the horizon looks clear with only a few errant clouds. Love it when the forecast appears wrong if it means a better day than the pundits have predicted.
     
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  2. An54

    An54 senior

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    @Barbaraj , looks like you've 'got a handle on it', as they say. Have a great day. :)
     
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  3. Barbaraj

    Barbaraj post-grad
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    It's Wednesday, "happy hump day", with overcast skies and rain to greet me this morning as I look outside my study window. Feeling philosophical this morning about all things hip related. I had my PT appointment yesterday morning and got both good and bad news. Bad news first: I have arthritis, it's not going away; I have very, very tight hips (nice if that meant svelte but that ain't the case); and until my left hip is replaced I will never be free of this stiffness and ache. Even then, with some arthritis in my lower back, I am simply never going to be that careless, easy-breezy moving girl of my youth. I will always be dealing with a certain degree of discomfort and unpleasant body awareness. The good news is that the therapist said she did think we could work on some exercises that would help loosen me up a bit, strengthening and stretching my hip flexors which are apparently causing some of my problems. I am really doing well, she said, and my hamstrings are "amazing". Although I am frustrated by my issues, she said these were very typical for someone in my situation.

    I was initially sort of bummed yesterday after leaving the PT clinic, sadly putting to rest my foolish belief that I'll be able to get back to where I was five years ago before all this back/hip nonsense started impinging on my life. But later on in the day I'd moved on, resolved to "deal with what you're dealt". I will push forward, be diligent about doing exercises as assigned by PT, keeping my weight down (therapist said that has helped me since carrying extra weight around puts a stress on your joints), getting enough cardiovascular exercise (horrid family history here so very aware I need to regularly exercise those heart muscles!) but not so much I stress my joints, and working towards acceptance of what is now and what will be in the future. So, off to do three new PT exercises this morning before heading to the gym for a 30 minute elliptical workout. Onwards!
     
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  4. Barbaraj

    Barbaraj post-grad
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    Feeling reasonably chipper this morning, trying out my new attitude of, "okay, you are always going to have some discomfort so get used to it without excess whining". Hips are stiff this morning, but I'm off to a Pilates class at 11:00 this morning, and that usually loosens me up a bit. I'll get home and do a few new PT exercises I'm supposed to do daily now, and then shower, get dressed and off to the grocery store. I noted that there was a mere inch left in the gallon jug of milk in the fridge, so essential to get more as my morning latte is a non-negotiable need! Another fun day in the neighborhood.
     
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  5. Klassy

    Klassy senior

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    Well done for your positive attitude. You are doing all the right things to be the best you can possibly be, and there is still so much in life to enjoy even if we are no longer the limber young girls we feel like at heart (and which I must say you still resemble in your photos!).
     
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  6. Atkinson8

    Atkinson8 member

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    The really ty check is always a tad sobering. I love that your hamstrings are amazing; I think mine have clenched a bit during recovery. Any suggestions to gently stretch things out a bit? I had my annual physical today and asked whether I should see a rheumatologist to see what I can do to preserve what’s left of my healthy joints. The response is that for osteoarthritis, there’s really nothing to be done to slow its progress.okay then. Who knew?
    Sort of funny: the assistant to the shoulder os I’m seeing asked “compared to when you were 20, how would you rate your flexibility right now? Man, what’s the right answer to that one? I’d rather, “compared to one year ago, hows your mobility right now?” Answer: amazing, now I can move!
    Let’s remember that, and keep moving. :tada:
     
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  7. Barbaraj

    Barbaraj post-grad
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    Oh, thank you @Klassy and @Atkinson8 , for positive postings. I am trying to stick to my "gut it out, darling" mantra and goal, and yesterday I slowly walked down to the local library and back, to pick up a book on "will call". It's about a half mile walk each way, and while not exactly easy or comfortable, I made it without the discomfort worsening. Then last night we were out to dinner with our kids, a belated birthday dinner for my younger daughter, and we had to walk an obscene distance from the car to the restaurant and back, as parking was very crowded. Again, not an easy walk but I managed and felt proud of myself for not whining once to my husband. And I did get outside for a couple of hours yesterday afternoon to do yard pick up without straining my back so, slowly but surely, I'm trying to do things carefully and ignore the fact that it's not like it used to be. With severe osteoarthritis, it IS just going to get worse and it's only a matter of time before additional surgery is necessary--what a bloody miserable condition it is!

    I can't believe that you were asked to compare your flexibility from 20 years ago--that sounds like the dumbest question ever! My response to that would have been "really? you really want to know?" But I do agree that compared to a year ago, I am feeling much better--not out of the woods discomfort-wise, but able to walk without as much pain (before, after about a block, it would be so painful I'd definitely have to sit down and rest before getting up again). So, you are absolutely right, focus on the positive and keep moving forward.

    It is March 17, and thus St. Patrick's Day, an holiday which I don't exactly understand, just an excuse for wearing green and drinking an unconscionable amount of beer, I think. We'll head down to trivia this evening which our son hosts, but we've warned him that if the bar is filled with drunks and there is no place to sit, we'll just nip in to give him a hug and then home immediately. During the day I hope to get outside for some yardwork--warm, sunny day--yippee--and maybe trip to a local nursery with a friend who wants to look at outdoor pots and plants to stick in 'em. Feeling pretty good this morning and looking forward to a good day. Cheers!
     
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  8. Klassy

    Klassy senior

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    Walking without whining, well done you!
     
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  9. Barbaraj

    Barbaraj post-grad
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    Awww...thanks, @Klassy!

    Today is another sensational weather day--temperatures supposed to get up into the high 60's! I will hit the gym this morning for a bit of cardio and then this afternoon I will pull out my kneeling pad and contentedly return to debris removal. Got all the junk removed finally from the gravel pathway at the back of our yard, today will focus on picking up debris from the back lawn. Slowly but steadily I'll get this place whipped into place! And I planted a new planter yesterday afternoon with some cheerful purple pansies. All quite satisfying.

    Hips doing pretty well this morning, just the usual stiffness and soreness. A neighbor stopped by yesterday, walking with a cane (kindly delivering a bottle of wine as a sign of appreciation for us allowing him to borrow our snow shovel during Snowmageddon in February). When we inquired, he said he was two weeks out from a hip replacement! This is a young guy, 55, and I've seen him out cycling many times in past years. He said his older brother has osteoarthritis too, and has had both hips replaced so he wasn't shocked when it came to be his turn. He was, of course, full of questions which I was happy to answer as I'm so much further along than he is. I suspect he'll do great--young, active before surgery, and height/weight appropriate so no obvious issues for recovery, and the fact he walked down to our house (3 houses away) clearly indicated he's on the road to recovery!

    Made it to trivia last night, and we didn't do so great. Should have known that as it was St. Patrick's Day, one category would be related to that and, unfortunately, neither my husband nor I are really "up" on our SPD information for trivia purposes. But, we still took third place which was nice--and they tinted my greyhound with green food coloring so I fit in with all those green beer drinkers!

    Happy Monday!
     
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  10. Atkinson8

    Atkinson8 member

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    Happy Monday to you too! We're not into planting season yet; today it's back into the 30's, but the sun is out and birds are starting to chirp. Your comments and positive outlook on osteoarthritis are right on, and I'm going to try to stop complaining about that which I cannot control (no promises, but I'll try). St. Patty's Day was low key, but I made my annual corned beef and cabbage which was a big hit. I do draw the line at green beer, however!
    Hope your day is going well! :)
     
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  11. Klassy

    Klassy senior

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    Third place in the trivia comp, congratulations! Purple pansies and green greyhounds, very colourful. Enjoy the good weather, it must be especially welcome after snowmageddon.
     
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  12. Carriemay60

    Carriemay60 post-grad

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    Oh I do envy your weather!! My girlfriend in Victoria was bragging yesterday that it was warmer outside than she keeps the heat in the house! 23c/74f We saw some sun yesterday but still very cold here.
     
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  13. Atkinson8

    Atkinson8 member

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    Cold here too in New England, but no ice or snow on sidewalks or roads. I guess it’s time to stop making excuses for not walking more. . . Something I definitely Italy know I need to do. :walking:
     
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  14. SurreyGirl

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    Hi @Barbaraj I love the fact that you can act as advisor to your neighbour re his forthcoming hip op. You have a wealth of practical experience and kindness to share!

    Did you ease up a bit on the physio and did it help?

    I liked your comment recthe club in that you felt you had to go because you have paid for it. My free voucher has run out now so might swim at the local council pool now to compare and contrast. Until I know what is happening jobwise there is not much point in joining the swanky club.... time will tell.
     
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  15. Barbaraj

    Barbaraj post-grad
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    Well, our extraordinary run of fabulous weather (temperatures in the low 70's, absolutely unheard of in March, and records shattered daily) has ended. It's still hazy sunshine today, and highs in the low 50's but not shorts and a tank top sort of weather anymore. I got outside again yesterday, so that was three days in a row, and did an hour plus of weeding and debris pick up, and was definitely feeling worse for wear last night. I knew I'd really overdone it last night at 1:30 AM (argh...) when I woke up with aching hips and no position was comfortable. Sure, it was low level ache but enough to keep me from getting back to sleep. My sleep tracker this morning indicated only 4 hours of sleep last night!

    I dutifully hoofed it off to PT this morning, and whined a teensy bit so they took it easy on me, and I ended the session with heat on my neck and shoulders and two ice packs on my hips, fashioned into a "hip burrito" with a long winding sheet, plus "electrical stim" which felt great. Then home to unload the dishwasher and throw in a load of laundry before heading out again for Pilates. I took it easy in Pilates and tried to be mindful so I don't stress my body any further, and while I'm still a bit achy, I feel better and just waiting until later this afternoon when I'll head out to pick up my granddaughter for her ballet lesson. After I drop her off at home I'll be coming home, changing into my fuzzy bathrobe and slippers, and collapsing into my recliner with a couple of ice packs! The good thing (if there can be anything good said for a wretched night's sleep) is that I anticipate falling asleep in my chair early and thus trundling off to bed.

    Good luck, @SurreyGirl, with your decision about expensive (private health club) versus local pool (budget option). Go with whatever one you please, but go! Paying a significant amount at my swank club insures I will go regularly, but I have a friend who is also a member and it doesn't seem to impact her the same way so it's really an individual decision--only you know what motivates YOU!

    Hope the weather warms up for all of you in colder climes. During this transitional month between winter and spring, it's hard not to get out there and frustrating when it's miserable and you can't.
     
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  16. Barbaraj

    Barbaraj post-grad
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    Ah, well--I knew the sunshine and blue skies couldn't last and as I sit here at my laptop, staring out the window, I see drops of rain spattering the window. Forecast for the foreseeable future is back to more normal PNW weather: overcast and rain, with all residents gently sighing and rusting away! We do need some rain, as lawns and beds are dry, but sure loved the few days of wonderful days.

    Felt stiff and achy this morning so decided to skip the gym and instead turn on my heating pad and plop in my chair to finish a mystery novel. I should have gotten up and started moving around in the morning, as I had some tidying up to do with my husband's return from a week long business trip, but decided it could wait until this afternoon. But, now that it's late afternoon, I've stripped bed and bath linens, done laundry, remade the bed, tidied up the kitchen and run a vacuum downstairs. Husband arrives around 8:30 this evening, after a long, five hour drive and I am sure he'll be heartened to find a tidy, calm house.

    I'm now on a "do them every day" exercise regimen from PT, so despite wanting to just plop back down after my flurry of tidying activity, I did the prescribed exercises and am actually feeling pretty good. The last exercise I do, where I keep my legs straight and bend from the waist to put both hands on the ground, gritting my teeth and counting out 30 seconds, was actually more comfortable to do than it's been for weeks, so maybe there is something to doing them daily. Tomorrow I'll be back at the health club for elliptical and the recumbent bike, but after finishing this post I'm back down in my chair to read until dinner. Nothing like a good mystery novel to while away the hours, at least for me.
     
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  17. bickypeg

    bickypeg senior

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    I can't imagine ever doing the bending over exercise! I still struggle to get into our below counter fridge! Ouch! Well done you!
     
  18. Barbaraj

    Barbaraj post-grad
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    It actually warmed up a little yesterday, and sunshine returned in full force. So, I did PT exercises (and, @bickypeg, despite hip nonsense I'm pretty flexible and the stretch described is a great lumbar stretch exercise for me), then hit the gym for a workout and then late in the afternoon I took a walk with a neighbor. All in all it was a good day. Sure, a bit of stiffness but was able to do everything described without any real pain. Feeling a bit more hopeful than I did a few weeks ago. Arthritic left hip is achy still, but that's something that isn't going to be fixed and, at least for now, it's not as uncomfortable/painful as my right one was before surgery. So, will be keeping on doing what I'm doing for now in terms of daily PT exercises and gym on alternate days. If I can just make it through the summer without significant discomfort it will be a success for me, and then this fall I'll talk to the surgeon about hip #2 when I return for my one year check up. Fingers and toes are crossed that I can get this all under control (c'mon, hips, work with me here!) and continue moving forward.
     
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  19. KathyD

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    Hi Barbara,
    I saw on another thread that you were wondering about steroid injections in the hip. I did that 4 weeks before I went to Europe. It was uncomfortable only for the time they were actually injecting and it felt great afterwards. Unfortunately, it only lasted 3 weeks, and I had to take a LOT of ibuprofen in Europe. (but I had fun, anyway)
     
  20. Barbaraj

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    Good morning, @KathyD. Thanks for sharing your experiences with hip steroid injections. Sounds like it worked for you, although for only a short time which is what I'd been told by the physiatrist and others who've had these shots. I don't know why the idea of a shot in my hip creeps me out so much, but I confess I feel nauseous even thinking about it! Thus far, the left hip, while clearly not happy and presumably is going to get crankier as the months go by, isn't really hindering me from going about my day. Sure, there is an underlying ache all the time, but manageable. I'd have to be really much more miserable to even think about--shudder--injections. And if I get that miserable, I'll definitely be trotting back to my OS's office sooner rather than later.
     

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