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Gearing Up for Round Two

Barbaraj

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Well, after lurking around on the forums a bit for the last few weeks, I decided, with the first of June, that I'd officially hop back on as a participant now that I've got a date for a second hip replacement (left hip, August 19, 2019). For my first hip replacement, I found both the pre-op and post-op forums to be useful outlets for all my scattered thoughts and anxieties, and those who were posting as well as the administrators to be welcoming, kind and supportive.

I had my first hip replacement surgery September 26, 2018, and was so looking forward to having months if not years of comfortable, relatively pain-free living before I had to have my second replacement. Both hips were arthritic but the left one had given me no problems before surgery. Now I realize that is probably because the right was so deteriorated, a level 4 and bone-on-bone, that any aching and complaining was drowned out by the right hip's whining. But as recovery progressed after the first surgery, it became increasingly obvious that the left one was in bad shape, too. I tried PT, which certainly helped with regaining some strength and flexibility for my right hip, but the left hip's aches and pains kept getting in the way. They finally "fired" me from PT, saying that I had exercises which I could (and should) continue to do regularly to continue working on my right hip, but that until the left hip was replaced I was still going to have problems, particularly as it continued to deteriorate.

I had determined that I was NOT going to think about a second hip replacement until at least a year following the first surgery. But as my left hip grew ever more uncomfortable and achy, and my husband urged me to at least talk to my OS, I decided to go ahead with more x-rays and a consultation.

Surprise, surprise--NOT--but left hip is worse, now also at a level 4 and "severely arthritic". I've decided that rather than toughing it out for longer, I should go ahead and just get the darn surgery done. My recovery from the first surgery was fairly swift and unremarkable and I am earnestly hoping that Round Two will be similar. But, of course, I don't know that. I am sure there are those out there who are also facing a second surgery and I'm wondering about your reasoning for moving ahead and, if there are any post-op folks out there who might read this, whether your experiences the second time around mirrored your first replacement experiences or not?

I am feeling discouraged, as if my body has let me down, although I know that is foolish thinking. It is what it is, and I always knew that both would need replacing eventually. I just thought I'd have more time to enjoy a fully repaired hip #1 before looking at having to deal with hip #2. Argh... The only good thing I can say, as I try to pierce through the gloom and my own personal pity party, is that at least this time around I will have a better idea what to expect and will be, I hope, less anxious. I was so freaked out by the whole "sedation/spinal" last time, and now I know that isn't really an issue. Am I looking forward to surgery? Absolutely not! But I will get through it, just as I did last time and then--oh, I hope this is true--I really WILL have a chance to regain strength and flexibility and live without the incessant aching all the time. I really do want my life back.

Sorry this is so long, but if anyone has read my threads from hip #1, you'll know that brevity is definitely not my strong suit. Cheers, and happy Saturday, everyone!
 
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Layla

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Welcome back! Sorry it's under the circumstances but we knew it was coming through all you've shared.
I think you will be an asset on the pre-op side due to the anxiety you dealt with and freely shared the first time around. I feel your kind and reassuring words could be helpful to many waiting on their first surgery experience.

Eleven months is a good amount of time in between surgeries. I'd be comfortable with that, myself. You did have a great recovery, so why not get your Left one done and get on with life...fully.

We'll get your new date added to your signature and once again follow your journey to brighter days.
Liking the updated avatar, pretty pic!

Have a great weekend!
@Barbaraj
 
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Barbaraj

Barbaraj

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Well, thanks for the warm welcome back, @Layla. And for telling me that 11 months isn't all that bad. It is not what I'd hoped for but clearly my body had other plans! I do plan to try to be encouraging to others on pre-op since I know what a terrifying time it can be for those who've never had this surgery or, like me, had never before had any kind of major surgery. Fear of the unknown, as I've read so many times, is the absolute worst. I am not sure I have many ideas for coping with/suppressing this fear since no matter what assurances you're given, they don't help at 3:00 AM when you're obsessing wildly! But I'll try to be supportive as I do know, having been through it, that this is an incredibly stressful time for most, and I can honestly say that things WILL get better (well, for me for a short time anyway) following surgery and that the surgery itself really wasn't all that bad despite one's fears.
 

julesglass

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Morning @Barbaraj. I'm going for round two also. I was so relieved when doc finally figured out what was going on with my right hip 3yrs ago. I was so looking forward to getting it "fixed". I can't say I was scared, it hurt sooo much I just wanted it done. Like a bad tooth, just get it out and over with. Lefty is a different animal. Righty was an aching that didn't stop. Lefty is down right screaming sharp pain that gets the knee screaming also. One baby cries the others will join right in. I understand this round could be different however I know the result will great. I want to walk my dog which I haven't been able to for 3yrs. She's 42lb of muscle and still needs some work to walk nicer than she does. I'm just a month ahead of you. Here we go, head held high! :walking:
 

Layla

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I knew your pain, I could relate to your anxiety and fears. I managed to hold back, don't know how, until I finally reached out on the eve of my surgery. I was tip toeing around here long before that though. I think sometimes it simply helps to know that we're not the only one who is / was terrified. Let's just call it hand holding. We can't necessarily make another's fear go away, but we can sympathize, hand hold, offer virtual hugs. You'll be good at it.
Happy Saturday! :wave:
@Barbaraj
 
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Barbaraj

Barbaraj

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Oh, thanks @julesglass! Nice to know that you are looking forward to a second surgery (well, the results really) and are thinking positive thoughts. And interesting that pain in both hips has manifested itself differently. I didn't have that much difficulty sitting with hip #1, but walking was really hard. Hip #2 hasn't impacted my walking that much but sitting is very uncomfortable and even painful, lots of twitching and shifting my weight around and it totally interferes with my desire to spend a chunk of each day reading. Yes, I can get up and move around regularly but I often forget as I'm reading until--ouch, ouch, ouch--the pain takes over and I gingerly get up and hobble a few steps. It's like a dreadful charley-horse almost. Anyway, best of luck to you in July. Love your confidence--very reassuring.
 

Jaycey

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Welcome back @Barbaraj !
whether your experiences the second time around mirrored your first replacement experiences or not?
My second round was totally different than the first - much easier! I waited far too long the first time which usually means a more complex recovery. When my right hip started to complain I got the diagnosis and replacement as soon as I could.

Yes there is the dread of surgery. And the frustration that yet another joint has failed. But the delight when you have it all done and join the double hippie club is great.

We are with you all the way!
 
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Barbaraj

Barbaraj

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Awwww...thanks for the welcome, @Jaycey! Interesting that hip #2 was so much easier but, if I am recalling correctly, you'd waited so long with hip #1 that it collapsed completely, right? Fortunately, I was never in that much pain before the first hip replacement and the pain this time around is quite different. I've got 2+ months to go, and my hope is to just follow the plan that worked last time--keep as active as I can, keep my mind busy and distracted, and--rats--manage my weight. I know I will have days where I'll feel overwhelmed and weepy, but I chose my avatar this time based on the fact it was about 2-1/2 months after first surgery, and we were at a glamorous and fun holiday party where I was feeling so positive that life was finally looking up, hip-wise. Need to hold onto that good mood as I trudge along...
 

Jaycey

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you'd waited so long with hip #1 that it collapsed completely, right?
That's right - lesson learned not to wait. These things go quickly.

You have a great attitude - eye on the prize. I think I was very impatient pre and post op the second time around. Just wanted to get it done and get on with normal life again.
 

Right Hip

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I am also angry with my body ... So much so that I am donating my body to UCLA medical school after I'm dead. I had melanoma at age 36. Right knee replacement a few years ago. Both big toe joints replaced and then fused after the replacement material disintegrated in both big toes. My back has fused L4, L 5 and S1 joints from scoliosis. The back surgeon had to stop because I had breathing problems. So I have a spinal cord stimulator implant and though it reduced the amount of pain, I am still on 4 Vicodin a day. Now I'm having right hip replacement June 27th. Like my back felt prior to surgery, I want to rip out my right hip myself! Osteoarthritis sucks!
 
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Barbaraj

Barbaraj

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Oh, @Right Hip, so sorry to read about all your health problems--you HAVE been through the ringer, haven't you? I certainly can't comment on your other health issues but I can say, based on my experience, that hip replacement surgery has been a game changer for me--it's given me a taste of what can happen once I get this second pesky hip replaced. I know it's hard, but try to stay focused on how much better you should feel after surgery and recovery. I suspect you'll still have some problems given your other health issues, but that stupid hip isn't going to be piling on. Take a deep breath--you can do this! Best of luck. And, yes, osteoarthritis TOTALLY sucks!
 

ahipgma

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@Barbaraj
Hey welcome back.
My right hip was done may 1 but unfortunately I tossed a coin knowing one was bad as the other.
So on June 13 when I see my OS for my 6 week I will be asking him when I can do the left, which is giving me such grief. Hopefully no more than 4 months apart
So i have one barely recovered and one next up.
But my reasoning is that at this time I have no other medical problems at this time to complicate things, and if I get it done in the same calendar year I will save $6000 in insurance copays, and I am currently not working (bedside nurse)
My postop hip is already better than my other one so I feel this is best
So I feel for you! I'm hoping for August too!
 
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Barbaraj

Barbaraj

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Thanks for the welcome, @ahipgma You are brave to think about having your hips replaced so close together. But with recovery from hip surgery going so smoothly and rapidly for so many, it probably makes sense with two bum hips to get the second one done as soon as possible. I'd hoped for more time in between surgeries but my left hip wasn't enthused with that plan. At least this time around I (and you, too) will know what to expect and I'm not so totally frightened the way I was last time. And, like you, despite this other hip's constant ache and complaining, I will say the right hip feels strong, stable and ready to have the left one feeling the same way. Good luck on getting your surgeon to schedule a second one--sounds like a huge financial incentive is involved as well as getting two solid hips in place. Best of luck to you.
 
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Eman85

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I'm in the same boat as you. I had my L done last year and really was hoping the R would hang in there as it wasn't as bad. At 3mos the OS asked if I wanted to schedule the R, I told him not just yet. Now my R is getting bad between the pain at night and it's locking and popping like the L one did. I'm trying to make plans and have it at least last me through the summer and look at another winter recovery.
 

leejaa

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Totally understand the frustration of needing another surgery. I had my knees done in 2013 and I thought that was done and all my pain and issues with mobility were gone. In 2017 after many many months of people trying to figure out what was wrong and increasing pain and inability to walk without pain or sit or anything -I had my left hip replaced and life was really good. Like you uneventful recovery in retrospect. My right hip must have gotten jealous or lonely and decided to start hurting with motion and I became unable to do stairs or lift my leg again to do stairs or put on socks. This time I knew what it meant - I am scheduled for RTHR 11-13-19. If you are wondering why so long of a wait- my OS is scheduling 5m out plus they need to prove conservative treatment first so that insurance does not deny. In order to accomplish this they scheduled me for a hip injection which postpones the surgery according to my OS who is very careful to 6m. If you are wondering if the injection solved the problem - it did not. It is slightly better 20-50% depending on my activities (such exciting things as vacuuming, grocery shopping). I cannot wait to get this hip replaced and get to the other side though of course there is a small part of me that gets apprehensive since things can happen even though my other 3 replacements went very well.

I keep telling myself this too will pass and soon but not soon enough I will be on the path back to full pain free mobility.
 
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Barbaraj

Barbaraj

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Oh, @Eman85 and @leejaa! It definitely sounds like I'm not alone in having one hip done and then the other one immediately kicking up a stink, like a younger child who is jealous of all the attention lavished on the older sibling! Good luck with waiting until later in the year to schedule, @Eman85, and I totally understand your decision to move ahead, @leejaa, as soon as possible. Yes, a November date seems far off now (hey, August seems quite distant to me at the moment) but I am betting the time will push along and your surgery date will be here before you know it. Also, nice to get confirmation that injections (the thought of which still make me cringe!) didn't really do the trick. I do understand getting them if it's needed for insurance approval, but from everything I've read, even the "successful" ones don't completely resolve the arthritic pain and they don't last. You'd think insurance companies (don't they have orthopedic resources to consult?!) would realize this and save themselves money if a patient wants to go straight to hip replacement. It's not as if they won't need it eventually, and having it done earlier just makes sense to me. But I am not an insurance company and they're not obligated to explain their reasoning to me!
 
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Mojo333

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:hi: Barbara and welcome back.
Sorry that other hip has become so troublesome but...
On to double hippy status and shed of hip pain...:yes!:
 
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Barbaraj

Barbaraj

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Thanks, @Mojo333 I always knew I'd be back--just didn't think it would be this quick. I had so many expectations about surgery (well, more fears pre-surgery) and my recovery (back in the saddle and moving well) which weren't borne out. Surgery was nowhere near as scary/awful and I thought it would be, and, unfortunately, the dream of full recovery and the ability to move easily and without discomfort was derailed by hip #2. But, as you say, I'll be a double hippy by year's end and THEN maybe my hopes and expectations for a relatively pain-free life might be realized. Keeping my chin up!
 
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Barbaraj

Barbaraj

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Sunday morning is dawning bright and sunny here in the PNW. Lately the pattern has been to wake up to a significant, foggy marine layer, so very nice to have sunshine early--quite the mood booster. Granddaughter's ballet recital was yesterday and parking was a challenge so it involved quite the hike to and from the recital venue. As I said before, walking isn't too bad (not comfortable, but not painful) but, oh, sitting in a theatre seat for so long was really hard. I twisted and bent forward and back and jiggled around constantly. I hate this! But, but I need to remember, "it's only temporary, my dear" and get on with my day. Do my PT exercises and then a quick trip to the gym for some cardio--onwards!
 

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@Barbaraj, surprise and delight to see you on this side of the board again. I think you can be quite proud of yourself for quickly facing the reality that the left hip needed to be done. The older I get, the more I try to just face unpleasant reality more quickly--even if the reality is ugly. Just my experience, I get better results that way and I limit the period of agonizing and worrying and delaying and justifying.

You went to PT, got good feedback from that experience. You did what you could to avoid the surgery. Now you've getting the other one done, which should really liberate you for your highly active life. I'm quite aware that my right side will need to be done someday. I'm pleased that it hasn't acted up so far. But who knows? My right isn't bone on bone, but it's inching that way it seems. I hope to follow your strategy when the time comes. If the right acts up, I might check out PT, and then I'll try to "pull the trigger" quickly on setting up surgery.

Congratulations to you for not prolonging the torture.
 
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