Depression/post-op blues - open for all

CoffeandCrafts

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@Dduck1968 I relate to those same feelings and questions swimming in my head… what if? What if my pain will be worse now and not better? Pain really plays a number on our minds! I didn’t think it was possible but today I have some relief from the pain… praying it sticks. You never know when you might have some relief coming your way!
 

barbloki

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I had a meltdown yesterday. Cried most of the day. Then slept all afternoon. Got up for supper, then cried until after midnight. I feel like I'm watching life pass me by. How long before I can have my life back? Why does my knee hurt when I had hip surgery? So many questions. Too many thought swirling around in my head. I've found that the only thing that takes my mind off it is the watch re-runs of the show Leverage. I'm up to Season 3 now. When I run out of those shows I will move on to Law & Order. What are others doing to keep their mind off things?
 

F9h

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I'm jumping aheah here... (give up making corrections on this sucky kdyboard) and I'm concerned. I suffer from really major depression -the kind that puts you in the hospital-in the first place so I have even more reason to be concerned. It gives me a judo chop to the neck and I don't get out of bed.
 

Jaycey

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@F9h Are you under treatment for depression? If so, discuss this with your consultant. If you are not under treatment please do bring this up with your surgeon. You may not have post op blues. But it is best to be prepared.
 

Mojo333

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Hi @F9h
I know you said you were diagnosed with an anxiety condition, but chronic hip pain and lack of sleep pre-op, along with the prospect of surgery certainly makes it all more intense.
I was becoming very anxious and depressed in the lead up to my surgery.
Getting my hips fixed was key to getting back to healthy and happy.
As Jaycey suggests... do talk to your doctors.
 

ravenina

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Has anyone else found their cognitive functions struggling after surgery? I’ve found myself to be mentally slower, forgetting words, messaging one person when I thought it was another… I’m four months out. It’s shocking and frustrating!
 

Jaycey

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Has anyone else found their cognitive functions struggling after surgery?
I did! Sometimes I felt like everything was moving in slow motion. Then there was finding my way back to normality. When you are away from work it can be a real challenge to get back in the swing. Just give it time. This surgery has a major impact on our bodies.
 

ravenina

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Has anyone else found their cognitive functions struggling after surgery?
I did! Sometimes I felt like everything was moving in slow motion. Then there was finding my way back to normality. When you are away from work it can be a real challenge to get back in the swing. Just give it time. This surgery has a major impact on our bodies.

Thank you for sharing! I feel like I’m in slow motion. And then being off work for three months and watching way too much TV… that’s what happens. I’m being patient!
 

Merrimay

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I'm another one who's been blindsided by the impact this surgery (posterior LTHR) has had on my emotions. Having been in pain for so long prior to surgery, I assumed I'd be relieved, motivated, and grateful postop. And I was... for about 10 days. Then fear took over, triggered by feelings of isolation (after a week, I was home alone), vulnerability, and, I'm ashamed to say, self-pity. I'd imagine my house catching on fire, or having a heart attack, or falling, you name it, with no one to hear or help. Which is unlike me -- I've always been quite confident in my abilities and happily independent. I was healing well postop, when bam, downward and downward my thoughts and feelings went as I struggled with a vulnerability I'm sure I've always harbored but never acknowledged. Fortunately, when I posted on bonesmart about my difficulties, I was reassured that it's not uncommon for surgeries that impact our mobility to unleash our worst fears. So now I consider my emotional state as important to my healing as my PT. I distract myself best I can: read, do crossword puzzles, watch comedies, and sit at my picture window watching the Squirrel Drama in the trees nearby. Emotionally, I'm still vulnerable, but it's comforting to know it is normal and will fade. Wishing everyone struggling with the post op blues the strength that comes from knowing that you're not alone and that better days lie around the corner.
 

Merrimay

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Ravenina, yes, yes, yes! Not sure if it's the meds or what, but my cognitive skills have taken a hit. Like I'm walking under water.
 

Layla

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Wishing everyone struggling with the post op blues the strength that comes from knowing that you're not alone and that better days lie around the corner.
Ever the nurturer, Merrimay. Taking the time to cheer others on when you're feeling blue yourself.
It is so normal to feel vulnerable after surgery, especially if you've been self sufficient and suddenly have to rely on others for simple tasks, as you did with your sister. Now you're doing it alone, without the extra help which I am sure was a comfort to you in those very early days. Everything seems to take more thought and effort. Fatigue may play a part too, as well as the lingering effect of anesthesia or meds. You have the right idea in keeping your mind occupied. I found the post op blues to be fleeting. I'd have a crying jag over something I realized was silly and suddenly be okay. As your body continues to heal and you become more fully engaged in life, the blues will fade away. Hugs and best wishes.
 

Kazza22

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I'm another one who's been blindsided by the impact this surgery (posterior LTHR) has had on my emotions. Having been in pain for so long prior to surgery, I assumed I'd be relieved, motivated, and grateful postop. And I was... for about 10 days. Then fear took over, triggered by feelings of isolation (after a week, I was home alone), vulnerability, and, I'm ashamed to say, self-pity. I'd imagine my house catching on fire, or having a heart attack, or falling, you name it, with no one to hear or help. Which is unlike me -- I've always been quite confident in my abilities and happily independent. I was healing well postop, when bam, downward and downward my thoughts and feelings went as I struggled with a vulnerability I'm sure I've always harbored but never acknowledged. Fortunately, when I posted on bonesmart about my difficulties, I was reassured that it's not uncommon for surgeries that impact our mobility to unleash our worst fears. So now I consider my emotional state as important to my healing as my PT. I distract myself best I can: read, do crossword puzzles, watch comedies, and sit at my picture window watching the Squirrel Drama in the trees nearby. Emotionally, I'm still vulnerable, but it's comforting to know it is normal and will fade. Wishing everyone struggling with the post op blues the strength that comes from knowing that you're not alone and that better days lie around the corner.
I think the post op blues certainly take us all by surprise and I imagine, if you live on your own and without the distractions if people around you, those emotions are increased. I'm sure you will feel better soon, keeping in mind the independent, strong woman you were before. I remind myself how I was able to cope with the years of continuous pain pre op, it takes a lot to deal with constant pain, lack of sleep and the frustrations that goes with both. Unfortunately, as you say, we all think all those issues will be resolved with surgery, and they will, but it takes longer than we'd hoped. Take care xx
 

ddj

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I am 5 years past my first THR and do agree that the emotional rollercoaster does smooth out. I think it is hardest when there is not experience in asking for help, being ”in need of help” or even talking to someone. I have had a very long career as a nurse, from a time when you were strong for your patients, worked through your needs and pain so you could take care of others. The ability to cope, rise above personal needs and get through the hard stuff worked…until it no longer did.
I have weathered 4 other surgeries since the first THR, being able to reach out in a safe place and talk about feelings is good medicine. Professional help is good, but access and finances are often a barrier too hard to approach. To be honest, sometimes I would sign on to this site and pour out words and feelings in abundance…..and then delete without posting… kind of odd, but for me it helped, as did finally finding a therapist I could feel safe with.
The roller coaster does slow long enough to get off, but the sensation of being out of balance can go on for a while. I think western medicine as a whole, is just now coming to awareness that our bodies, minds, and emotions are intricately intertwined.
 

Merrimay

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Thank you for your insights, ddj, both as a nurse and THR patient. Your expression for it, "feeling out of balance," is perfect. Today was Day 12 for me, and within the space of 10 hours, I experienced euphoria (my PT session went well), fear and (my ankle and foot became seriously swollen), and anger (I couldn't get something off the floor with my grabber). I keep a journal to vent when I'm particularly "owned" by the feelings. I agree with you that body, mind, and emotions are interwoven.
 

ddj

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I think journaling is an incredible therapeutic tool that many ignore. Journaling for yourself. I noticed that even in my regular (pre-CoVid and when my emotional rollercoaster was off the tracks) therapy sessions, my therapist did not look at the pages. She would ask “So, tell me more about…..”
As a nurse, open ended questions are my 2nd stethoscope, as the person on the other end, often hard and thought provoking, ultimately positive.

When we are caught up in the rollercoaster (regardless of the source) it is hard to believe it will ever have a positive end, or even end at all!

I had an interesting thought this week. My partner is retired and home all the time, wonder if he is on his own rollercoaster? Reacted in a highly negative manner when I opened the door and went out to greet a friend that had brought me something. Thinking it must be just as challenging to know when to support instead of do for a person.

I think the “grabbers” are most effective for 8 year olds wanting to play the “What can I pick up?” game!! I had a long shoe horn thing that I could use with my other hand that helped corral the objects, a children’s toy broom also works
 

Merrimay

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Looks like no depressed bonesmarters since 2016? :what:

I was so ready for THR because I'd been bedridden with level 10 pain for three months prior to surgery. Told the pain would be gone and I'd be back to normal within 6 weeks. I came out of surgery optimistic. That lasted all of 4 weeks when I stopped progressing and had to come off nsaids due to stomach issues. Now at 6 weeks and in constant discomfort, not from the operative hip but every other muscle and bone in my body. I use Activator poles to walk but the knee pain is severe, much worse than before surgery. So depression is very real for me now. My bonesmarter friends are in my corner, I know. Without you all, I'd be in real trouble emotionally. But the fear that I will spend the rest of my life on poles and in severe pain, well, it was so unexpected. I've always been an optimist, but I'm just tired and frightened now. The postop blues are my reality now. Posted this here instead of on my thread because I want to offer sympathy to anyone who decides this thread speaks to their condition. May we all find comfort soon! :fingersx:I
 

Woodstockhip

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Ah, @Merrimay, I wish there were some magic words I could offer to help you feel better. Whoever told you you’d be “back to normal” within six weeks was just plain wrong. How could you NOT be disappointed when someone makes a promise like that? Many of us go through these periods of plateau. We feel like we are not making progress and then wake up one day and see we really have. If you were very disabled before your surgery, your poor bones and muscles have a lot of readjusting and healing to do. I was in relatively decent shape before my second surgery and my knees (both of ‘em) hurt like crazy some times. Time will be your friend and, if down the road you still feel this much pain, there are other things that can be done to help provide relief. A friend of mine has been having great success with a pain management doc. Bit truly, I suspect you will be feeling a lot better without that kind of intervention.
 

Merrimay

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Dear, dear Woodstockhip, thank you for the suggestion to possibly see a pain management specialist. I hadn't thought of that option. I guess I thought pain management clinics are opioid fronts. But it's clear to me that without a viable option to nsaids, I'll never get my muscles and joints workable again.

Because I've been such a complainer for 2 weeks, I feel I should point out what abilities I have regained since surgery: I can drive (though get terrible lower back pain after 15 minutes), I can walk two blocks and back, though with real stiffness and pain in my knees and nonop hip), i walk my dog and go up and down rickety stairs to do my laundry, and I cook and keep my first floor (where I sleep now) tidy. Prior to surgery, I could do none of those things. Had to depend on kind friends or hired help. So, there was progress until this increased pain. Perhaps I'm overdoing because I live alone? At any rate, thanks to you and everyone who keeps trying to coax me out of my Debbie Downer phase. :wink: Without you all, I'd feel far, far worse than I do. :loveshwr:
 

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