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Battling with the Decision

Discussion in 'Hip Replacement Pre-Op Area' started by Mersada, Jul 18, 2018.

  1. Mersada

    Mersada member
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    I find myself battling with the decision to operate or wait. My 2nd consultation with a doctor that only did posterior approach told me my hip is now bone on bone. It is uncomfortable when I walk but, not that painful for 5 minute walks. It's when I walk a lot that it hurts at a level of about a 7ish on a scale of 1 to 10.

    I already have to wait a few months to accumulate vacation time from work because medical leave is unpaid and I really can't afford that. That or save enough money (which I'm not good at) to sustain me for a couple of months.

    I go for the third consultation in the end of August with a doctor that does anterior approach. I want the anterior approach because I don't want the bending restrictions, I have to feed two small dogs and pick up their wee wee pads. I worry about things like falling, I'm a clumsy as it is. Just having all these negative thoughts and it's scary.

    I just ordered my recliner because I like sleeping in the living room with the tv on and I have a futon in the living room which is probably too low for post opp. I get the recliner delivered Saturday, my way of preparing my brain for what inevitably has to take place (surgery). Also, preparing the home a bit for post op...if it ever happens.

    Has anyone else gone back and forth on deciding what to do?? I say to myself if it was painful enough I would just do it, but as long as I avoid long walks I'm ok. I also cancelled a cruise in October because walking the length of the ship was not fun...but, again pain was like a 7 or 8.

    Bottom line I'm scared. Also, I really can't ask anyone to stay with me, so I will doing mostly everything on my own, another scary thing. How stable is one walking shortly after the surgery.

    Sorry, I went on sort of a tangent....it helps to get it out of my head.
     

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  2. Eman85

    Eman85 graduate

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    Yea, 32 years later I had it done. I didn't avoid much, just kept going until I felt it was time.
     
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  3. Layla

    Layla FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    Please don't wait. It's enevitable that you'll need the surgery if you're bone on bone. You don't want your hip to collapse, I've heard it's very painful. One of the forum moderators @Jaycey experienced collapse and I know she will weigh in on her experience in an effort to save you from suffering the same.

    You said it's not that painful for 5 minute walks. But for lengthier walks the pain reaches a 7 out of 10.
    That's no way to live. It won't improve. Your world will continue to shrink as your pain increases and it can happen quickly. You'd be wise to schedule surgery and figure out what you need to do to be financially
    secure during recovery, until you're able to return to work. As far as pets go, some have boarded them for a time. If that's not within the budget, you'll need some help initially.

    Restrictions: They vary from surgeon to surgeon. I experienced posterior approach and didn't have any restrictions. I was advised to move slowly and carefully. If anything hurt, STOP.

    It would be best if you can find someone to stay with you for a week, or two. At the very least you need someone who can stop by daily, or who will respond to a phone call, should you need them. Consider transitional care as an option for a time between hospital and home.

    Everyone suffers anxiety before surgery. Sadly, it's just something you have to go through. Once you schedule surgery we can try our best to help alleviate your fears. You will get through it, we all do. You'll get your life back and not have to worry about walking for over 5 minutes time, or canceling vacations that you are unable to tolerate physically due to hip pain. Again, it's no way to live your life. Most of us worry about falling too but you shouldn't live in fear. You can't dwell on all the "what ifs" that will most likely never happen. If it does, you'll deal with it. Every fall does not mean dislocation, fracture / revision, or even pain. People have fallen and shocked themselves that all was okay afterward.

    Last question you asked was about stability in walking. That varies from person to person. It has to do with your rate of healing, which is different for each person. Some may be dealing with pre-existing health conditions that hinder a speedier recovery. It also depends what shape you were in going into surgery. I can only speak of my experience. I used a walker for 11-12 days. I transitioned to a cane at that point and at three weeks post op I was walking unaided. I kept a cane in my car in case I felt I needed it, but never used it. Everyone is different.

    Recovery moves more quickly than you imagine and surgery is easier than you imagine.
    Just know we're here if you have questions, need advice or support. We understand because we've been there. Wishing you comfort and a peaceful end to the week. Stay in touch!
    @Mersada
     
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  4. anny

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    Hi @Mersada....we all know exactly what you're thinking cos we've all thought the same....I can manage, it's not that bad, I don't need it......I'm still swinging back and forth myself, even though I know it made such a big difference after my first hip in March (and the other is whinging louder and louder....but the minute it stops I'm thinking "oh, perhaps I won't") You said you're ok walking for 5mins...well that won't get you very far....you're far to young to restrict your life this way! The thing that spurs me on the most is the thought of being able to walk my dogs again.....so that I won't feel guilty about them :sad:

    Oh and btw, I had posterior, and a conservative surgeon who had me on 12 weeks of restrictions, but I found if I did the golfer's bend (stick op leg straight out behind you and bend the other knee) I could pick things up (didn't let on to my husband tho, made him do the Poo Patrol for a couple of weeks :heehee:)

    Keep asking questions....the better you can imagine yourself doing things, the more confident and motivated you'll be
     
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  5. Jaycey

    Jaycey SUPER MODERATOR Moderator

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    Nearly every person contemplating THR has been through the same roller coaster of emotions. No one likes to face major surgery. But waiting will only make the recovery longer and more complex.

    As Layla says, I suffered due to waiting far too long for my LTHR. If you are cancelling activities and even thinking about planning your life around hip pain - it's time.

    BTW - many of us were alone through recovery. Sure it's nice to have help. But you can certainly do this on your own if needed.

    Talk about your fears here. I am sure others are sharing the same feelings.
     
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  6. Mojo333

    Mojo333 FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    I struggled on for several years bone on bone with no diagnosis.
    The toll on my body having to work in pain, limping and leaning, began to also take a toll on my spirit.
    You deserve the great years to be great years!
    Amazing how much younger I feel...and people tell me I look younger happier and healthy.

    Loved my recliner...
    Not too happy about double hip replacement at age 53...but it sure gave me my quality of life back.
     
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  7. InkedMarie

    InkedMarie graduate

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    I’ve had two anterior THR’s; the second 2.5 weeks ago. Right now, I can pick up something quickly from the floor if it’s big. I dropped my crutch earlier and i got that but if i dropped a pill or something flat, i can’t...yet. While I have no restrictions that doesn’t mean I *can* physically do everything right away. To be honest, I don’t think I could pick up a potty pad & fold it up. I’m not saying you won’t be able to, we’re all different but just have realistic expectations, just in case.
     
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  8. Gypsy

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    Hi @Mersada, yes it is common to feel anxious and apprehensive about surgery. But from your post, it seems that your pain, with minimal walking, is severe. That level of pain takes a toll on body, mind, and spirit and affects every aspect of life. You have adapted to pain and accommodated it by limiting your activities. Are you satisfied with under-5-minute walks (which rules out a lot of life) and canceling cruises? Your hip as you described it will not get better. Hips also can get worse quite quickly.

    Recovery is temporary, and it is manageable. There are tools like reachers (or grabbers) that are very useful for retrieving things from the floor. They could help with the doggie-pad and feeding tasks. Assistive devices (walkers, crutches, canes) help with stability until people are comfortable and confident walking without them. There is no timeline for using them that applies to everybody.

    Hopefully you will be encouraged by the many positive experiences of people who have had the surgery and not let fear hold you back from enjoying the benefits of a new hip.
     
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  9. DuncanWA

    DuncanWA junior member

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    My $.02 (and I expect change)... Just think of ALL the things you've not done, quit doing, and want to do but were afraid because of the pain. Those are not seconds, hours, or days. Those are YEARS wasted rationalizing our pain and the instant we find ANY relief we wishfully think we're turning the corner - until you take that next step.

    Living with constant pain is great for Spartans and maybe some monks - but we are all trying to be fully functional active human beings! And we all understand that this is a MAJOR surgery and the decision should never be taken lightly.
     
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  10. GrannyC

    GrannyC post-grad

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    I agree with the others. We all had those very same feelings but honestly if I had it to do over again, I would have had my surgery sooner. You are loosing out on a lot as far as quality of life goes. You really can't do much of anything if you can only walk 5 minutes. That will get you from the car to the grocery store door and that's about it. Then to top it off, it won't get any better. It will gradually (or sometimes overnight) get worse. You need to get the surgery scheduled.

    If you live alone, they won't release you from the hospital to home until you are ok on your own. Some go to rehab for a few days first. Hopefully there might be someone you could call if you needed help or needed them to walk your dog. You can purchase a grabber to help with picking things up although I don't think it would work very well with the dog's water dish. Even with no restrictions, I doubt you could bend over to pick that up for at least a week after surgery and maybe longer. It can be very different with each person and there is no way to predict how you will respond to the surgery.

    I hope you will keep posting and asking any questions you might have as there are so many wonderful people here on BoneSmart ready and able to help you with suggestions and support you as needed. Just think- after surgery it won't hurt at all to walk!! Pretty amazing really. I wish you all the best and I hope you can find some comfort in knowing that everyone here is rooting for you.
     
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  11. SurreyGirl

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    Please please go ahead and book it. I had to wait 2 years in order to lose weight. I started with bad pain after 20 minutes walking then 15 etc and now after 5. I work full time and am exhausted. I am surviving on 4-5 hours sleep a night if I am lucky. Driving is painful too and my holidays and abilities to do things are restricted. I have lived a long time with pain and went through all the thought processes you did and thought I was too young at 56-58! Now the op is imminent. I am not looking forward to it but am planning for that light at the end of the tunnel and getting my life back big time. Please don't wait as long as I did. If my right hip starts to go I will be making a LOT of fuss to get it sorted out sooner rather than later! Best of luck.
     
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  12. Windsong

    Windsong junior member

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    When my OS told me last April I was ready for THR I convinced myself that because the pain wasn’t all the time, I could wait. Well, it continued to get worse and worse (the limping got so bad in the last month I’m now using a walker). It wasn’t bone on bone then but it is now and my THR is scheduled for 10/23. It’s horrifying to me now (maybe a bit melodramatic!) to think of all the things that I cannot do. I love to travel and when I had to cancel a trip, I still couldn’t bring myself to accept the inevitable. But after reading the many articles and posts on this website, and becoming more informed, it made be feel more confident in making the decision.

    And, yeah, I’m scared too but I’m not going to allow that fear to limit my life any longer.
     
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  13. Mojo333

    Mojo333 FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    I can do this now:chuckmarch:
     
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  14. Alitm

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    Hello @Mersada. I'm having bilateral THR via the anterior approach in mid September. It is a roller coaster of emotions trying to make the decision. On this site, read everyone's pre-op and post op posts, check out the library, and ask questions. I finally got so frustrated by and sad from not being able to do all the things I loved, and not being able to do the things I needed to do in everyday life for my work and family. I also can't sleep at night, and that is affecting everything in my life as i'm so tired all the time. The hip pain goes down hill really fast too, so don't put it off any longer. One does go through so many ups and downs of emotions regarding the surgery, but there are so many great folks who understand here and give such great guidance. What I noticed was that many folks having THR live on their own and were coming home from the hospital on their own. The hospital won't release you until you can function on your own. There is a lot of support here. Wishing you clarity in your decision making...and keep coming back to BoneSmart!
     
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  15. Mersada

    Mersada member
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    Thank you all for your support and words of wisdom. It definitely is a roller coaster of emotions. It helps to know many of you are dealing with similar. I just worry about doing it alone and taking care of my dogs. I may have someone come in from rover.com and change wee wee pads and feed for the first week. I am hoping by the second week I can do it??

    I read some of the post op posts where people are still in pain way after a few weeks and that scares me.

    I can't stay out of work for a super long time and worry about the worst outcomes sometimes...like what if it is worse. Right now I can avoid pain by simply avoiding walking distances. Sometimes I feel like a little old lady and I'm only 49. It totally sucks.

    I go for my third opinion in a couple of weeks. He does anterior approach. I copied a lot of the questions to ask from this site. It's very overwhelming, one doesn't know what to ask first.

    I got my recliner yesterday. I live in a studio apartment so, it takes up so much space and it will be a reminder that I have to do this. I so want to travel more and I can't do the excursions I want to do if I don't have this surgery. So scared!

    Any of you with anterior could give advise on what you were able to do and not do first couple of weeks? Greatly appreciate all your input.
     
  16. Mojo333

    Mojo333 FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    I had bilateral THR via anterior procedure.
    No restrictions.
    Walking next morning...got around with the help of a Walker for stability and safety...pain meds caused some dizziness.
    Just did everything very slowly.

    First weeks were rough, not going to lie. But all improved quickly.

    What kind of work do you do...what will you be doing when you return?
     
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  17. Josephine

    Josephine FORUM ADMIN, NURSE DIRECTOR Administrator

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    You will be amazed how quickly you are back on your feet and as for looking after pooches, it can be done but gently. However walkies will be out of the question for 2-3 weeks at least.

    And you don't need to be in pain provided you take your pain meds regularly and by the clock. But we'll guide you if you need it. Just say when you get problems.

    And read these - they should give you some insight

    Hip Recovery: The Guidelines
    1. Don’t worry: Your body will heal all by itself. Relax, let it, don't try and hurry it, don’t worry about any symptoms now, they are almost certainly temporary
    2. Control discomfort:
    rest
    elevate
    ice
    take your pain meds by prescription schedule (not when pain starts!)​
    3. Do what you want to do BUT
    a. If it hurts, don't do it and don't allow anyone - especially a physical therapist - to do it to you
    b. If your leg swells more or gets stiffer in the 24 hours after doing it, don't do it again.​
    4. PT or exercise can be useful BUT take note of these
    5. At week 4 and after you should follow this

    Pain management and the pain chart
    Healing: how long does it take?
    Chart representation of THR recovery

    Dislocation risk and 90 degree rule
    Energy drain for THRs
    Pain and swelling control: elevation is the key

    Post op blues is a reality - be prepared for it

    Myth busting: on getting addicted to pain meds
    Sleep deprivation is pretty much inevitable - but what causes it?

    BIG TIP: Hips actually don't need any exercise to get better. They do a pretty good job of it all on their own if given half a chance. Trouble is, people don't give them a chance and end up with all sorts of aches and pains and sore spots. All they need is the best therapy which is walking and even then not to excess.

    We try to keep the forum a positive and safe place for our members to talk about their questions or concerns and to report successes with their joint replacement surgery.

    While members may create as many threads as they like in a majority of BoneSmart's forums, we ask that each member have only one recovery thread. This policy makes it easier to go back and review history before providing advice.
     
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  18. Mersada

    Mersada member
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    I am a case worker for people who apply for public assistance. I interview and am sitting most of the time except for when I have to retrieve paper from the printer which is a couple of yards away and when I have to go fetch a client in the waiting room again a few yards.

    Thank you for your input...I can deal with doing things slowly for a little bit. Walking next morn is awesome.
     
  19. Barbaraj

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    Hi, @Mersada, I think with a good surgeon, and a positive attitude (plus doing what they tell you to do) you should have a successful outcome and will be looking forward to a much brighter, stronger 2019! Here's to good health and good hips!
     
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  20. Layla

    Layla FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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