BoneSmart® Hip / Knee Replacement Forum
Joint Replacement Patient Advocacy
and Online Community

[THR] Diary of my journey to happy times

Discussion in 'Hip Replacement Recovery Area' started by Klassy, Dec 14, 2018.

  1. Layla

    Layla FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

    Member Since:
    Jun 26, 2017
    Messages:
    12,055
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    Minnesota
    Country:
    United States United States
    Hang in there, Klassy.
    It gets better and I bet you'll notice a difference over the next two weeks.
    It does take some patience initially but you're doing it! You already have a month under your belt.
    Think back on the progress you've made.
    I hope you have a great weekend!
    @Klassy
     
    • Like Like x 1
  2. Klassy

    Klassy member
    Thread Starter

    Member Since:
    Dec 13, 2018
    Messages:
    109
    Gender:
    Female
    Country:
    United Kingdom United Kingdom
    Thanks @Layla and @Mojo333 for being there for me, your messages are such a source of comfort when I’m down and encouragement when things are going well.

    Night 32 was back to just a few hours sleep, perhaps because I had a long sleep the night before and also an unexpected afternoon nap. The insomnia didn’t bother me this time, I just read through the small hours. Then in the early evening of Day 33 I once again had a spell of dizziness and slight sense of unwellness, though not alarming this time as I was sitting in my new comfy chair and felt secure. It’s only a sample of two, but does suggest a pattern: the dizzy feeling occurs after a night of poor sleep. So perhaps what I feared as faintness was nothing but sleepiness plus a huge dollop of paranoia. What with the vigilance to avoid any action that might risk dislocation plus monitoring myself for symptoms of DVT or side effects of medication, I may have gone a bit crazy. Memo to self: just chill!

    Day 33 was nice. A relaxing morning, and in the afternoon we took a trip to yet another furniture store for stair training. Interesting, both at this store and at the Dunelm store earlier this week, I passed another “customer” on crutches. Coincidence, or are these places regularly haunted for rehab purposes? This store actually had 3 floors, thus two flights of stairs, a double workout. I was a lot more confident. And no lift, another bonus, as it was easy to deflect the kindly concern of the staff. I was strict with H: “No looking! Keep moving!” in the hope we might be able to go back another day. Though it is hard to travel incognito with a pair of crutches.

    This store had no cafe, but there was one conveniently next door for coffee. Well, that was coffee for me, the all day breakfast for H. At 3.30 pm. He is naughty.

    When we drove home it was still daylight, gosh, at 4.15, looxury! I still had energy and no pain so took a stroll round the corner and back. That’s the corner that was the limit for me only 12 days ago. I started off walking very slowly and carefully, then I noticed and thought, why am I doing this, I can walk a lot faster. And suddenly I was walking like a normal person, swinging my crutches but not relying on them. It only lasted about 12 steps and then I was back to cautious steps. But that brief moment was wonderful.
     
    • Like Like x 3
  3. Layla

    Layla FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

    Member Since:
    Jun 26, 2017
    Messages:
    12,055
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    Minnesota
    Country:
    United States United States
    It's good the overnight insomnia didn't bother you because the nap could have been just enough to spoil a good night's sleep. I slept really well at night during recovery and never napped during the day. I wasn't tired enough to nap, but imagine if I had been, I may not have slept as soundly overnight. I always felt I wasn't getting in enough activity to be wiped out. I assumed any increase in fatigue was most likely due to my body healing from the trauma of a major surgery.

    I'm wondering if your dizzy spells could be a side effect of any medications you're still taking?

    Have you considered an indoor shopping mall with stairs in common areas where you wouldn't have to feel aprehensive that a sales associate may be hovering nearby, ready to pounce?

    Congrats on your new more confident (crutchless) stride. It will only get better.
    I hope you and hubby have a wonderful Sunday!
    @Klassy
     
  4. Klassy

    Klassy member
    Thread Starter

    Member Since:
    Dec 13, 2018
    Messages:
    109
    Gender:
    Female
    Country:
    United Kingdom United Kingdom
    Thanks @Layla. I’m only taking 150 mg of aspirin and paracetamol, and I’m down to 2 or 3 paracetamol a day (1000 to 1500 mg). But yes, having googled the possible side effects, way down the list in small print it mentions dizziness. And I was taking them pre op, so that would fit.

    I think I have another possible explanation. I’ve just googled “menopause and dizziness” and apparently it’s “not uncommon”. I had a fairly early menopause, horrible hot flushes etc, and a sympathetic GP prescribed Livial, a synthetic HRT, which worked a treat. Since then many different GPS have given me a lecture about it every 2 years when I need to renew prescription. I never seem to see the same GP twice, so for about 15 years I have been telling them I’ve only been on it 5 years, and wangling “just one more” prescription. Every once in a while I tried coming off but symptoms returned. But once I was booked for THR, in about July, and my prescription ran out, I decided it was time to quit. I did, and still do, get hot flushes, but they weren’t as bad and other symptoms like headache and itching didn’t return. But yes, these latest episodes started off feeling like a hot flush.

    Further googling (never a great idea!) says dizziness may be due to aging! Particularly in women. Sigh, not much I can do about that.

    I think a trip to the GP may be indicated. I’m not sure I can face that waiting room, more blood samples...

    I might try stopping the paracetamol because I think I’m having very little pain. That would remove one variable.

    Re the malls, we are miles from any. Funny thing, with the weather in England you’d think they would be popular, but they aren’t. Anyway, I don’t think I have exhausted the supply of furniture stores yet!
     
    • Like Like x 3
  5. Bone-obo

    Bone-obo graduate

    Member Since:
    Apr 28, 2018
    Age:
    66
    Messages:
    610
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    North Carolina
    Country:
    United States United States
    Much sympathy on the dizziness - the number of possible causes is itself dizzying! I have Meniere's, which can be a real funhouse ride at times, so I have every sympathy for how miserable it can make you. Good fortune tracking the culprit!
     
    • Friendly Friendly x 1
  6. Mojo333

    Mojo333 FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

    Member Since:
    Mar 8, 2017
    Age:
    55
    Messages:
    14,033
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    GA
    Country:
    United States United States
    :walking:Look at you...taking a little maiden solo walk :egypdance:

    Alot of your body's energy and resources are being rerouted for healing purposes...so is no wonder we have some weirdnesses going on when trying to do normal things when we are recovering and sleep deprived.
    Too early to make much of the come and go sensations.
    Stay slow and steady .
    You will get there:roseshwr:
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2019 at 12:11 AM
  7. Klassy

    Klassy member
    Thread Starter

    Member Since:
    Dec 13, 2018
    Messages:
    109
    Gender:
    Female
    Country:
    United Kingdom United Kingdom
    My commiserations @Bone-obo. I hope the Menieres is holding back for now.

    Thanks @Mojo333 , yes, have to expect some weirdness, so best not to fret.

    Night 33 was pretty good, I was awake for a spell so decided to test out sleeping on non operated side, with pillow. I had permission at about 2 weeks, but found it painful. I thought it was worth another try now. It wasn’t painful, but I felt insecure, not conducive to snoozing, so reverted to the stranded tortoise mode. I’m also permitted to sleep on the op side, but that doesn’t feel attractive yet. I’m actually getting fairly used to sleeping on my back anyway. In fact I think it has helped my neck be less stiff.

    Day 34 was great. I decided we would make a daring lunchtime raid on the local furniture store (the one where I tried every chair in the showroom on our previous visit). Our cover story, should we be challenged, would be that we were there for the cafe. I wanted to walk not drive to the store, H worried it was too far for me, but I insisted. Well I walked it fine, though using crutches certainly draws one’s attention to the poor state of repair of the pavement. And we managed to sneak in and up the stairs without seeing a single member of staff. And sneak down the stairs and straight out again, because the absence of staff applied also in the cafe, which evidently doesn’t open on Sundays! So it was a nonstop round trip, which I was pleased to find I could manage fairly comfortably. I measured it on the map and found the round trip amounted to 1/3 of a mile, quite satisfying. On the other hand it took me almost 20 minutes, which means I am travelling at a stately 1 mile per hour, a bit disheartening. No wonder my phone was only prepared to acknowledge 250 steps. Unless the phone is accurate and my strides are each seven feet long.

    So our mission was a total success except for the tiny matter of lunch. We decided to drive to the coast. Where we found a great little cafe overlooking the sea, and yummy food. Plus I set off ahead while H sorted out the parking machine, and climbed the flight of stairs to the cafe holding my spare crutch horizontally just like the picture in the how-to booklet provided by the hospital. I felt proudly independent.

    I’ve been uncomfortably aware that I have my next appointment with the physio in 3 days, and I have done slightly less than 1 set of the exercises she wanted me to do 3 times a day. I decided to have a gentle go at them. I did one set ok, though taking quite a lot of weight on the counter top I was using for balance. I’ll try another set tomorrow.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  8. Klassy

    Klassy member
    Thread Starter

    Member Since:
    Dec 13, 2018
    Messages:
    109
    Gender:
    Female
    Country:
    United Kingdom United Kingdom
    @Mojo333 I have just been reading the first pages of your recovery thread. What a read! Far more gripping than any of the novels I’ve got lying around half read. Between you and the Darned Auto Correct you had me laughing out loud many times. Fascinating facts discovered:
    *. Until you had the double hip and found Bonesmart, you weren’t into social media. Look at you now, helping us all, as a turn around it’s up there with St Paul
    * Low Country Boil is not what it sounds like (some nasty disease) but a delicious stew. Don’t worry about coming to my place for dinner, I’ll come to yours!
    * The reason you look 25 in your avatar is that it’s an old photo. This made me feel better until I saw a post op pic of you from neck down. Or did you get some passing teenager to pose for it?
    * @Josephine worked with the hip pioneer way back in 1963! How lucky are we to have her input here!
    * By Week 5 you were sufficiently recovered to be able to watch an animation of the THR process. I’m not sure I’m ever going to reach that stage.
     
    • Friendly Friendly x 1
  9. Mojo333

    Mojo333 FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

    Member Since:
    Mar 8, 2017
    Age:
    55
    Messages:
    14,033
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    GA
    Country:
    United States United States
    :curtsey:Guess you also noticed all the whining and calls for reassurance.
    My Bonesmart pals were certainly busy talking me off of the recovery cliffs.:nah:
    Hey hey! Flattery will get you Everywhere with me.:yes:
    I'm very blessed to be able to share in others journeys of recovery.
    We are all superheros in my opinion.:tada:
    Unfortunately
    DAC still gets me in trouble...
     
    • Like Like x 1
  10. Jaycey

    Jaycey SUPER MODERATOR Moderator

    Member Since:
    Jan 27, 2010
    Messages:
    26,541
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    Yorkshire
    Country:
    United Kingdom United Kingdom
    Well I have had both hips replaced and still can't watch the op. Too much carpentry!
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
    • Funny Funny x 1
  11. Mojo333

    Mojo333 FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

    Member Since:
    Mar 8, 2017
    Age:
    55
    Messages:
    14,033
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    GA
    Country:
    United States United States
    Hey...my current avatar is me currently.
    My new hips took ten years off, I swear!
     
    • Funny Funny x 1
  12. Klassy

    Klassy member
    Thread Starter

    Member Since:
    Dec 13, 2018
    Messages:
    109
    Gender:
    Female
    Country:
    United Kingdom United Kingdom
    @Mojo333 seriously? I am so jealous!

    Today is my 5 week anniversary. I celebrated by walking without aids! Well I say without, I had both crutches but took 20 baby steps holding them an inch above the ground. My heart was hammering by the end as if the steps had been on a tightrope above the Grand Canyon, but hey, I did it.

    I also did a repeat performance later in the day to show off to H. His reaction was to frown and say “Are you sure you should be doing that?”. Not exactly what I was looking for.

    I also did one set of the exercises to appease the physio. Supposed to be 3, but who’s counting!
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Funny Funny x 1
    • Informative Informative x 1
  13. Mojo333

    Mojo333 FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

    Member Since:
    Mar 8, 2017
    Age:
    55
    Messages:
    14,033
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    GA
    Country:
    United States United States
    :giggle:You are too funny.
    Of course, helps to be able to laugh. :yes:
    The vulnerability of our situation brings out either the best or the worst ...or the best AND the worst of our spirits.
    All of these baby steps lead up to great strides....
    Just over one month out and lots of healing still happening.
    Keep it classy, Klassy!
    You are doing a great job.:tada:
     
    • Friendly Friendly x 1
  14. Klassy

    Klassy member
    Thread Starter

    Member Since:
    Dec 13, 2018
    Messages:
    109
    Gender:
    Female
    Country:
    United Kingdom United Kingdom
    Soooooo sloooooooow.... this recovery process is soooooo sloooooooow.....

    Day 36, well, it went slowly. Hard to find anything to report. I went for a walk. Slowly. A task like emptying the dishwasher is sooooooo slooooooow: slow careful semi squat, grip plate with left hand, slowly straighten legs, slowly side step to cupboard, place plate, slowly side step back, repeat 20 times ....soooooo sloooooooow.....

    Time to take a tip from @Layla and look at the bigger picture. How far have I come?

    Day 6: lay in bed recovering from the previous day spent in A&E after a fall due to fainting. Constipated and uncomfortable, but relieved to be in one piece and not in great pain.

    Day 16: very excited to have first outing in car. Felt every bump and turn in the road. Very very cautiously venturing for short walks outside. Sleeping about 5 hours a night. Appetite and digestion good. Still enduring the TED stockings, but off the self-injections. Pain meds 8 paracetamol and 2 codeine, watching the clock for enough time to pass to take next dose, but pain never too bad. Took my first tentative steps with one crutch, but not feeling secure.

    Day 26: walking (slowly!) for half hour spells indoors with 2 crutches. Able to get around with one crutch so more independent, but still preferring 2 crutches. Tackled stairs for first time. Longer walks outside, hands sore from gripping crutches too much. Pain and insomnia had reduced in previous week but then increased again, possibly through overdoing it or because numbness round incision being replaced by sharp twinges. Pain meds back up from 4 paracetamol daily to 7 paracetamol 1 codeine.

    Day 36: walking (slowly!) for half hour spells outside on 2 crutches on uneven ground. Car trips (as passenger) comfortable and able to get around unfamiliar places. Walking comfortably indoors with one crutch. Taking first steps indoors without aids. Gaining confidence on stairs. No pain meds required for last 3 days.

    Yep, not so bad! Thanks Bonesmart, I feel better now!
     
    • Like Like x 3
  15. Layla

    Layla FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

    Member Since:
    Jun 26, 2017
    Messages:
    12,055
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    Minnesota
    Country:
    United States United States
    You're doing great, Klassy!
    I know you've probably read the Activity Progression for THR a few times already. Looking at it again will reinforce your progress.
    http://bonesmart.org/forum/threads/activity-progression-for-thrs.13187/
    It's a rough gauge, some will be further along, some not quite as far as you.
    I think you've come a long way and I bet you'll feel more confident in your progress in another week, or two.
    Just keep doing what you're doing, you're on your way!
    I hope you have a great week :)
    @Klassy
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Friendly Friendly x 1
  16. Klassy

    Klassy member
    Thread Starter

    Member Since:
    Dec 13, 2018
    Messages:
    109
    Gender:
    Female
    Country:
    United Kingdom United Kingdom
    [In case of TLDR, here is a summary of my long post below: I am in famous physio-induced ODIC, but will survive!]

    Thanks @Layla. I’ve been a regular visitor to that link, but it was good to review it again and see, actually, I’m pretty much spot on! Except that I had to laugh at the suggestion that it might be time to vacuum the living room, for two reasons:
    1. It is impossible for me even to clamber round the living room floor, because it is full of the furniture moved from what is now my temporary downstairs bedroom, plus my newly acquired comfy chair, plus the spare chair borrowed in hopes it would be comfy but wasn’t... The good side of this is that when I am enthroned in my new comfy chair to watch TV I can’t see the floor, so the dustballs accumulating don’t worry me; and
    2. It has been a running gag between me and H that if anyone asks how long recovery will take, the response is that I will probably be on crutches for some weeks, it may be some months before I am back to ringing, and definitely doctor’s orders are that H takes care of the vacuuming for at least the next 3 years, and quite possibly forever.

    Day 37 and I had my second post-hospital physio appointment. At the first one, two weeks ago, I was given exercises to do 3 times a day. That’s 42 sets. I have done 4. So I was able to answer yes honestly when asked if I’d been doing them! I said they were ok except the raising leg to side, which produced a nasty feeling. We discussed the feeling with reference to a diagram of the muscle groups and she persuaded me that I was not feeling my new hip falling out, but the muscles moving over each other and/or the bony corner and nothing to worry about. Ok.... She had me demonstrate the exercises and set the following adjustments or new exercises:
    Marching on spot, lift knees higher, as high as comfortable;
    Side raises, hold good leg for count of 5 as well as operated leg (not at same time :heehee:)
    Backwards raises, ditto
    Use just bottom stair to step up leading with operated leg. Step back down backwards leading with operated leg.
    Then she produced the dreaded resistance band. I thought, well that’s going in the drawer. But of course I was too polite to say so. She wanted me to do side steps in each direction with it, concentrating on maintaining control as I brought legs together (ie resisting the pull).
    Generally all this felt ok at the time, although I had to take a lot of weight on my arms to step up with my operated leg.

    Then we went for a drive to a different bit of the coast than previous trips, where there is a cafe we used to frequent a year or two back when I could walk a few miles. We figured we could find a parking place nearby instead of walking. In fact we found one very close, but it was still a real struggle of a walk because the wind was blowing a gale. So when I’m cursing the physio for the after effects, I will bear in mind that this may have contributed. We had a yummy lunch and it was pleasant looking out at the crashing waves, normally the sea round here just lies there wallowing.

    There was luckily a beachside disabled toilet unlocked, as the cafe doesn’t have its own toilets and the council locks the ordinary public toilets for the winter. I never thought I’d be feeling grateful rather than guilty about using a disabled loo. Those lovely support bars! I’ve just gone online and ordered myself one of those keys that unlocks disabled toilets, I’m not too proud to take advantage while I’m on crutches. I looked into a temporary disabled parking permit too (we only got a non disabled parking spot within reach of the cafe today because it was a weekday and the weather was so bad), but in the UK you have to be permanently disabled to qualify. I think that’s a bit tough, not for myself because I have H to do any errands or drop me off, but there must be people who really need to park close to things during some temporary impairment.

    By the time we got home mid afternoon I was exhausted. I’ve been lying in bed icing like mad. Despite this, I’m getting nasty little feelings in both legs. The most annoying one is inside thigh of operated leg, an irritated adductor I’m guessing. Not agony by any means, but somewhere between a twitch and a jab. I stuck it out without painkillers for a while, not because I want to be heroic or such but because I wanted to eliminate medications as a possible source of dizziness. But I’ve given in and taken some paracetamol. I’ve also got codeine (a new prescription from GP, which I got just in case...) and I will take some before trying to sleep.

    I am a bit cross with myself for being too compliant. But maybe I’m just anxious and these feelings will go away. I have another appointment in two weeks, and if I do have too much discomfort, I’m either going to cancel or absolutely be resolute and say, show me the exercises and I’ll do them when I feel ready.
     
  17. Layla

    Layla FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

    Member Since:
    Jun 26, 2017
    Messages:
    12,055
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    Minnesota
    Country:
    United States United States
    Hi Klassy,
    I hope the discomfort you're feeling doesn't escalate overnight, or over the next couple of days. Hopefully with ice, some rest, the paracetamol and codeine you'll do alright. i cringed at some of the exercises physio put you through and was sorry to read she added the resistance bands to the mix. Ponder this....if you sustained the injuries / trauma you're healing from in a car accident, would you go to physio, or allow someone to talk you into exercising with resistance bands. I'm only concerned because I don't want to see you visiting the ODIC, or worse yet developing any chronic pain issues. Consider waiting for a few months and if there is something you feel you need to work on at that point, schedule a couple sessions. Lecture over :old: I do care and don't want to see you suffer needlessly.

    I know you've read this, but here goes anyway -
    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.

    I hope the overnight brings you relief and tomorrow feels brighter. :SUNsmile:
    Sending a hug your way.:friends:
    @Klassy
     

Share This Page

Sponsors
Close X