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[THR] Diary of my journey to happy times

Carriemay60

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Sorry you have a cold when things were moving along so well but it will keep you in your place for a day or two. You definitely trump! :elevate:

I think looking out the garden is absolutely necessary. We plant in the first place to appreciate the beauty but that's how I plan what to plant and dream of all the things I want to do but can't.
 
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Klassy

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Day 85: my cold seems pretty mild, touch wood. I had a full-on day. A ringing practice this morning, a long seaside walk in the afternoon, and another ringing practice this evening, followed by an hour in the pub with the ringers. Everyone was pleased to see me back.

Oh, and pancakes for dinner for Shrove Tuesday. Life is good.
 

Layla

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A waning cold, the sound of bells, a sea side walk follwed by a pub visit,
then pancakes...sounds like a good day! Your life is good. :yes: I'm happy for you.
Just think...it's going to get even better. :happydance:
A happy Wednesday to you. :SUNsmile:
@Klassy
 

Barbaraj

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Ugh, having a cold as a recovering hippy sounds awful, @Klassy! I agree, your status as the Invalid in Chief is unchallenged now. I hope you are able to get more rest, and that this cold will swiftly pass and leave you just to deal with the hip recovery issues. Congrats on being able to lie on your operated side! I was able to do that pretty quickly but I normally sleep on the unoperated side so sleeping on the operated side didn't gain me much. Are you a side sleeper? Is your operated side the side you'd normally sleep on? I imagine when I have hip #2 done I will have to learn how to sleep on the other side, which will be a challenge. One's sleep routines are so ingrained, at least they are for me, that it will just feel "weird" to sleep on the WRONG side. I hope you're feeling better soon.
 
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Klassy

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@Barbaraj I am definitely a side sleeper, but sleeping has felt weird for so long that I can’t remember what my normal side is! On my operated side I can still feel a tiny bit of lump/ tenderness, so I have to wiggle about to find the sweet spot of no discomfort. On my non op side I have a wretched pillow between my legs. I emailed my OS secretary today in the hope that now I am at 12 weeks the pillow restriction might end. She replied “I have spoken to (OS)’s assistant and the advice is that you can sleep on the operated side now and if you sleep on the unoperated side just make sure that your legs do not cross without the pillow. You should continue like this for at least another four weeks.” ???? Am I supposed to stay awake all night concentrating on not crossing legs? I have translated it to mean keep the pillow for another 4 weeks.

The last couple of days I have felt very good, apart from that cold. Until now I had a sensation, not pain really, a twinge at the top of my hip when I walked. Now that has gone. Once I have walked off initial stiffness (I guess that might be the “stutter steps” others mention), walking round the house feels totally normal. I really understand how people wind up in ODI club at this point. I have been receiving engraved invitations and special offers of introductory membership, but am trying hard to resist. Nonetheless I did do a circuit of the block without my crutch, which is a first. I took a walking pole with me just in case but carried it the whole way. I went as fast as I could, trying for 14 minutes which would be 3 mph, something like a normal walking pace, but I took about 15 minutes, so 2.8 mph. My stride length is short, so still a work in progress. And I am now lying down with ice. So not normal but getting there. It really is a danger time because of course to the outside world it looks like recovery is all finished, but we know inside the leg it isn’t.

Time for my 10 day progress report.

To recap, Day 76 was “ All walking at home and in the garden is without aids. Walking outside I take one crutch but only use it intermittently. Stairs are still non-alternating but working on it. Can almost but not quite reach my toes - in the race between toenails and flexibility I have conceded that the nails are winning and have made an appointment with a chiropodist (podiatrist) to get them cut. Hobbies getting close to normal. I’ve taken two long car journeys on successive days. I can still find the lump, but I have to search for it - a small divot is actually more noticeable than the lump now. I sleep about half the time on my operated side, which means better nights. I took a few pills in the last week. I still get a lot of stiffness but I think it is lessening.”

Day 86. Can walk outside for .7 miles without aids. Flexibility has improved, though still not as good as on non operated leg. I can go upstairs at home alternating feet, with a lot of help from banister, and I have once gone downstairs on an easy flight of stairs alternating feet. I could probably cut my toenails if I really tried, ironically my podiatrist appointment for this purpose is tomorrow so I haven’t tried. Hobbies normal but for short periods of activity. I’ve driven for about 30 minute trips. Lump is still there but much less tender. I can sleep reasonably well except for the pillow wrangling. I’ve been back on the pills but in the form of cold and flu tablets. (Now I write that I’m wondering if that is why the twinge has gone). Stiffness remains but has improved.

Writing this out it doesn’t seem like any major changes, but it does feel like the last 10 days have been a period of huge improvement. I guess it’s doing the same things but doing them easily.
 

Carriemay60

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The good news just keeps coming from you! I remember you being beyond nervous to give up the 2nd crutch and now you are strolling the neighbourhood without an aide at all! I think it might be fair to say you are really getting your life back.
:loveshwr::yes!:
 
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Klassy

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Thanks @Carriemay60, yes I feel like I’m finally coming good. I looked back over my posts and for the whole of Week 7 I was fretful about still needing crutches, since “normal progress” would have seen me aid-free by 6 weeks. So my story can be a reassurance to anyone else who may be worried about slow progress, just give it time. It was in week 7 that I wrote to the NHS to ask them for the reference for the studies from which they drew the conclusion “Generally, you should be able to stop using your crutches within four to six weeks and feel more or less normal after three months, by which time you should be able to perform all your normal activities.” They promised to review what they said. I’ve just visited that web page https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/hip-replacement/recovery/
and they now don’t give any comment at all on walking aids, except to use as directed. And no deadline for “back to normal”.

Day 87 found me in one of the down loops of @Mojo’s famous diagram of recovery. The twinge in my hip is back, in fact it is more of a twang. I think I may have been overdoing the sitting down. Due to my cold and a windy rainy chilly day I was sitting around inside and didn’t pay as much attention as I should have to getting up frequently. I can definitely feel something in my hip occasionally catching and releasing. A coughing fit can bring it on. I remember mentioning something like this to the physio at about week 3 and being told it was the disturbed muscles still healing. I’ll assume that is still the case, but monitor it.

I had my chiropody appointment. I now have neatly trimmed toenails, but as it cost £49 and the chiropodist talked politics throughout, grrrr, I have an added incentive to regain ROM so I can cut them myself in future.

And I joined in my home tower’s weekly ringing practice and went to pub afterwards, so definitely back to normal there. Although I drank decaf black coffee, not my usual cider, in an effort to provide my new hip with a fitter, lighter, body.
 

Mojo333

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:hi: and glad to see you getting back to life!
I had considerable back pain pre-op...it hurt worse than my hips.
After my hips were replaced
I couldn't sit for long periods without it aching. Also as we get more active...bell ringing would certainly qualify...our whole body readjusts to a better hip.
I found that I found some relief by making sure when I stood up after sitting, I did some reaching my arms to the sky...gently bending side to side..
It did take many months after BTHR for it to settle however
Hope you have new shoes. This also helped as new hips/back can be sensitive to a bad wear pattern.
These things do have a way of coming and going. :good-bad:
Glad you are taking it all in stride. You are doing beautifully!:ok:
 

SurreyGirl

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[QUOTE="Klassy, post: 1276608, member: 32138]

I had my chiropody appointment. I now have neatly trimmed toenails, but as it cost £49 and the chiropodist talked politics throughout, grrrr, I have an added incentive to regain ROM so I can cut them myself in future.

y.[/QUOTE]

Firstly , great news about the NHS website - you have done future UK Hippies a favour.

Re the chiropodist - yes they are expensive but that ROM will come and you can add up what you are saving by cutting your own toenails!
 

Layla

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Hi Klassy,
You continue to do very well with your slow measured progress. In mentioning the change in weather from your walks by the sea, I'm wondering if it has anything to do with the twinges you mentioned above. Whether it's accurate, or not, I read through MU Health Care that some patients report increasing pain and stiffness, or can feel changes in the weather after hip surgery. For the first couple years, the bone adapts and grows around the metal prosthesis, and this bone activity probably leads to sensitivity to weather and pressure changes. :chinstroke:
I guess, it could be?

Kudos to you in instigating the NHS review their timeline on recovery. It just shows how effective we can be in initiating change. I hope you're having a great day so far. Enjoy the weekend! :)
@Klassy
 
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Klassy

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Thanks as always for your support. I tried your arm raising tip @Mojo333 , it does help! I will try to remember to do it (at home, maybe not after sitting in the pub). I’m sure @Layla that you are right and the weather is a factor, we had been very spoilt here in UK by our unseasonably sunny February.

Day 88 Today my hip gave a massive twang, sufficiently sharp to make me gasp. I was coming home after a car trip, so I was stiff, and I stepped up over the threshold of the front door a bit awkwardly. It’s a reminder that at almost 3 months I still have a way to go on this journey. I have been pushing the leg to go up stairs alternating feet, I will give this a rest for a couple of days in case that is aggravating things. And there are a lot of new, or rather newly rediscovered, activities in my life. Not just the fun things like bellringing, but putting out our wheelie bin, pushing a supermarket trolley, lifting bags of shopping, etc. Today I was changing the bed and not bothering to ask H for help with the fitted sheet, I knelt on the bed and tried to advance on all fours to the opposite corner to tuck the sheet in from above. I suddenly realised this position was unfamiliar territory, very unstable and my left leg was not co operating. I extricated myself very cautiously. This was later in the day than the twang incident, so not a cause, but indicates that I am forgetting to baby the hip and it maybe needs a little more cosseting. So gently does it for a few days.
 

SurreyGirl

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Our front door step is steep and I had s misstep coming down from it where I rocked sideways and nearly fell over. Pranged my hip and took resting and ice got the next few days to sort it out. That was around the three month mark too. Had lunch with friends today who had visited me in hoispital 7 months ago. They were pleased to see me looking so well. 2 hours in the pub in a wooden chair had me helping as I got up but the stiffness did not last too long.... do much progress albeit squiggly rather than a linear approach!

Take care !
 

Barbaraj

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I love the comment about "disturbed muscles", @Klassy, I think our muscles are disturbed and irritated with our bodies, not understanding (at least in my case) the desire to get back to "normal" (what exactly is "normal", by the way--an elusive concept at best!) and protesting, subtly and sometimes as with your sudden twang, not so subtly. As someone else commented, can't remember who, hips are definitely communicating in so many ways, "you're not the boss of me", and when we try to forget that, they act up like irritable toddlers or teenagers! Having said this, your plan of backing off and cosseting the hips a bit is probably the most sensible approach. Two steps forward, one step back--it's a process. Have a good day--it's a sunny morning here in my neighborhood, I'll hope the same for you as well.
 

Layla

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Hi Klassy,
Sounds like someone was flirting with the ODIC a bit. Doing a quick drive thru maybe? :heehee:
In all seriousness, sorry you're having a little time if it all. It is so easy to get overly exuberant
when we're feeling so much better. It sounds like a day or two of rest will most likely do the trick.
I hope you're having a good Saturday. Enjoy the rest of the weekend!
@Klassy
 
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Klassy

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Day 89, @Barbaraj my hip was definitely a grumpy teenager today because it grumbled at me when I got it out of bed. I have mostly cosseted it all day as promised, and it seems to be in a better mood now. I did make it do a practice quarter peal in our tower (real bell, simulated sound) because I am committed to a real one on Wednesday and today was the latest I could reasonably cancel if I felt I wouldn’t be ready. It went well enough to reassure me that Wednesday should be OK. Both legs ached equally by the end which is fine, it only means lack of conditioning not hip problems. Hands also not sore, the various practice sessions have toughened up my skin as required.

I attended the second meeting of the gardening group and have promised to host a session at Easter. The daffodils, primroses, magnolia which are glorious at the moment will be finished and the weeds will no doubt be surging by then, and I’m not sure what will be flowering. Not to worry, the garden is sure to please, either by its own charm or by making the group members more satisfied with their own.
 

Mojo333

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Not to worry, the garden is sure to please, either by its own charm or by making the group members more satisfied with their own.
:giggle: funny.
Next year will be splendid...you will have an early start and that hip will be stronger.:flwrysmile:
 

Barbaraj

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Hi, @Klassy. As I noted somewhere, I am no gardener, only focusing on weeding and debris pick up from two enormous trees in our backyard that shed an inordinate amount of junk year around. It was sunny again today and I bundled up and went outside to survey things. I decided to just do a few things--cutting back some dead foliage and cleaning up a bed of oregano (like grape hyacinth, a WEED in that it spreads like crazy if you are not ruthless with it) to remove all the bits of tree debris that had worked its way into the clump. It all feels a bit overwhelming to me this time of year--so much that needs to be done in the way of clean-up and I've not got the energy to really do a lot. I got about an hour in and it felt pleasant to be out there with the sun on my face, sitting on a kneeling pad and grubbing in the dirt. I bet your garden is truly lovely, @Klassy--you care about it and I'm sure that will show. Those garden ladies will be green with envy at your next meeting!
 

Layla

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Happy Three Month Anniversary!
I hope it was a good one. It's still the 10th for me but I'm sure you've been sleeping like a baby for hours :sleep:
Wishing you a pleasant Monday and a great week! :flwrysmile:
@Klassy
 

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