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THR Gimpy Gal post op!

GimpyGal

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Hi, Everyone - I wasn't able to be active on the pre-op side of my right HR, but I did just barely make it to an August surgery - August 31st. It was my fifth try for a date due to many circumstances, but mostly unexpected dental work. My surgeon is extremely cautious with dental issues and wouldn't touch me until many weeks after my stitches were removed.

I'm astonished how much easier this hip is than either of my knees. I was flying high on Day 2 when I got home but Day 3 was rough. I either did too much or the high feeling after it was done wore off. So, I'm getting more educated here about recovery. I suspect my swelling is at its peak so I plan to ice more today.

Pain management with knee #1 was non existent, much better with knee #2 and now with my hip very much under control because we know what meds I can tolerate. My surgeon has paid attention to my past failures with managing pain and went directly to what works. I have home health and PT coming in for two weeks. I couldn't be more pleased with the first few days.

Except for getting in and out of bed, which is excruciating the pain is quite tolerable. I've been using a belt to get my leg into bed but still can't manage it without whimpering. That will improve quickly, I hope!
 

leejaa

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Congratulations on finally getting your new hip. So good to read that they have your pain managed - that is so vital. I had that feeling of euphoria also for the first couple of days. Maybe it was the relief of the hip pain being gone and surgery being over.

Hip recovery is easier than knees but still remember that slow and steady is the best way to go. I am going attach hip recovery guidelines for your perusal. Have a peaceful day.

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

BoneSmart philosophy for sensible post op therapy

5. At week 4 and after you should follow this

Activity progression for THRs

6. Access to these pages on the website

Oral And Intravenous Pain Medications

Wound Closure

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.
 

Elf1

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Welcome back to the healing side :wave: ! Happy that you're pleased so far, just don't overdo because you're feeling so good. Ice and elevation are definitely wonderful for pain and swelling. Was never much of an ice fan until I had my surgery, now I'm all in! :ice:
 

Mojo333

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:flwrysmile: congrats, and glad you were able to finally get this done and are home.
Putting that op leg to bed was my least favorite part the first week, but it does get easier quickly.
Keep that ice going...relax and remember...All Temporary.
Healing hugs coming your way!:) :-) (:
 
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GimpyGal

GimpyGal

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Thanks so much for the responses, links and encouragement. I know in my heart I'm doing just fine, but yesterday was the weeping/discouraged/impatient day. And yes, the link about the blues put it into perspective. This is proving a bit tough on my care giver husband, who has Parkinsons, but we're getting into the groove of what I need help with and what I can do myself and so far we've been able to meet both of our needs. In truth, we are managing fine and a day of discouragement along the way is not rare.

I saw a smidgeon of improvement this morning - day 5 post op. I was able to shower all of me, not just the most demanding areas, and dressing was a tad easier, too. It's all baby steps, I know. I'm taking my PT very easy, which is about half of what is suggested. I'm of the belief that I need healing more that training, but I do think most of what I'm doing is helpful.

Still battling getting the leg in and out of bed - so excruciating! I use a belt but that helps the length of the struggle more than the pain. It's early yet.

ETA: We're considering making a YouTube video of the process of getting on my TED hose. It's nearly impossible for us and takes forever! :loll:
 
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Mojo333

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:wave: oh yes, certainly and ebb and flow.
Your sweet husband with his own physical limitations trying to help you...I can imagine that makes for it's own set of complications.
ETA: We're considering making a YouTube video of the process of getting on my TED hose. It's nearly impossible for us and takes forever! :loll:
Oh my stars. .:dubious:
The dreaded TEDS...the bane of my existence for the short time I wore them...aaargh.
Hopefully you won't have to wear them for long if you are taking aspirin or blood thinner and doing your ankle pumps and short walks regularly.
 
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GimpyGal

GimpyGal

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Day 6 post op. I've dropped the exercises that make me cry and am limiting my PT to the ones that I feel may be helpful. I think my body is just not ready for what they are asking and I'm listening to it. I'll talk to my PT about it during my first home session tomorrow. The PTs from this agency have been on the same page as me through my two knees so I don't expect that they won't be now. They just haven't been here to see the struggle yet.

I think sometimes, that doctors and PTs have unreasonable expectations for their patients. A good friend had spinal fusion surgery recently and their goal for her was to get her walking a mile and half within 10 days. Mind you, she couldn't do this for years prior to her surgery, and is 74 and overweight and now fighting an infection. I need to learn from the advice I've given her which is to do what you are able to do and listen to your body.

I see marginal improvement. It's not the 'better today than yesterday' improvement, but the 'better than several days ago improvement.' I'll take it. My worst problem right now is a constant Charlie Horse in my butt so my pain level at rest is worse. I don't know if that's related to the HR or if my back is unhappy with all the sitting I'm doing right now. Either way, I'm sure it's not permanent, but it's not adding to my post-op enjoyment!

The two things that are unclear to me in my discharge instructions are how long to wear the TED hose and how long to use the spirometer. Nurses suggested the TED hose for two weeks until I have my post op appt and I'm using the spirometer just a few times a day (when I dose with my pain meds so it's spaced out) since it's not a big concern of mine. But, I always find something doesn't make it into the discharge instructions. It wouldn't be hard to address this on paper.
 

ken325i

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Hi!
RE getting your leg in/out of bed
I had the same issue for about the 1st week. Getting my wife to help still caused tremendous pain. One change I made in the process was to hook my good leg/ankle under my bad leg/ankle and let the god (strength) assist is raising and lowering the bad. It really helps! I am 3 1/2 weeks post surgery and still use this approach. Also. as your bad leg "wakes up" you will have more strength and muscle control to get that leg in/out of bed. When I first accomplished this, I considered it my first WOW in recovery.

Keep trying! You will get there!

Ken
 

Elf1

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Sounds like you're doing a good job listening to your body, that will definitely help your recovery. If it hurts, don't do it, words to live by! :snork:

Any improvements are good improvements, no matter how small. Sorry you're still having the log leg issue, it will go away, just so frustrating waiting for it to happen. :skep:. Maybe try putting a small pillow under your knees when you're in bed and see if that gives that Charlie horse some relief.
 
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GimpyGal

GimpyGal

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Hi!
RE getting your leg in/out of bed
I had the same issue for about the 1st week. Getting my wife to help still caused tremendous pain. One change I made in the process was to hook my good leg/ankle under my bad leg/ankle and let the god (strength) assist is raising and lowering the bad. It really helps! I am 3 1/2 weeks post surgery and still use this approach. Also. as your bad leg "wakes up" you will have more strength and muscle control to get that leg in/out of bed. When I first accomplished this, I considered it my first WOW in recovery.

Keep trying! You will get there!

Ken

Thanks, Ken. Yes, it hurts just as much to have help. I remember your trick from my knee surgeries but haven't been doing it! I've been using a belt but my other foot is always close by!

Elf, I will use a pillow tonight. Thanks for a possible solution to a problem.

I do believe today was a little better. Got out and walked with my walker outside, although they told me inside only. Inside just has me dodging things and our streets are in good shape so fairly smooth. I walked about 300 yards - twice - with no increase in pain.
 
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GimpyGal

GimpyGal

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Well, I officially over did it. Yesterday was mostly a good day. The two days prior were great and I got out for walks with no fallout from either of them. So I walked another 50 yards last night and about two hours later it was obvious it was too much. Live and learn. I even needed to pull out my break through pain med, Dilauded. I'll clarify with the PT today what he suggests. I felt the shorter walks were good for me. And I'm basically back to where I was yesterday morning.

Now, I'm waiting for Home Health Care to return. Putting on my TED hose after a shower today, I looked down and was covered with blood. Enough blood that it soaked through all my clothes and the chair I was in. I'd split open a small section of my incision stretching it too much. It's got a good flow of blood coming from it and even with pressure I can't stop it. She should be back soon. I swear that TED hose is causing more problems than it's worth. I've only been showering every third day just so I don't have to deal with them, but there comes a time when one really needs a shower! Maybe next time I'll just shower with them on and then go sit outside in the sun!:headbang:
 
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GimpyGal

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Thanks, Eman. I can see how that would help.

So, it ended up being quite the adventure today. The Home Health Care nurse told me to call my surgeon and if he couldn't get me in today, call them back and they would send someone out to access the situation. I was surprise at how much blood was running out of the wound and even with pressure couldn't get it to stop. Within a minute or two my clothes were completely soaked as was the red (lucky me!) chair I was sitting on. Most of it was light colored at that point, but it soon turned into straight blood flowing very well. I called my surgeon who had us drive to him immediately. Before we left I used make shift first aid supplies to serve as gauze and wound tape around my leg to get more pressure on it. By the time we got to his office the bleeding had pretty much stopped. They called me 'quite creative' after seeing my bandaging effort.

So, I had a sernoma, which is a collection of fluid under a wound. It is usually absorbed by the body but when I forced reaching to my toes to get the TED hose on, a weak stitch must have given way and the sernoma was more than happy to drain out that way. It was under a lot of pressure which is why it bled and bled and needed even more draining by the surgeon. He has several types of bandages on it now, including a large pressure bandage. He says he's not concerned with infection but I see him on Friday to have some of the dressings removed and he'll of course, look at the wound again then. No PT today, as was planned but okay tomorrow.

To add to the fun Utah is in the middle of an Arctic storm and authorities want everyone to stay home. Schools are closed, business are closed, one freeway closed, thousands out of power, fallen trees everywhere, and winds up to 90 mph. That was a fun ride, dodging debris all the way. I half expected Dorothy and Toto to fly across our windshield.

We are now home safe and sound and exhausted both emotionally and physically. But honestly my leg feels so much better having that fluid out of there.

BEST OF ALL, I can ditch the TED hose. He says with me being up and walking so much and so often it's not necessary anymore. That was worth the drive in and of itself!
 

Hippielife

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GimpyGal that was quite a survival story. One with a very good ending. Thank goodness your are home and doing well. You have a great attitude and that is 80% of the battle.

keep on truck-n ..it will all fall into place and don’t bend to your toes ever until you well enough to have you knee bend to meet you half way..

so another day means more healing and soon days of thr struggling will be a memory..

now grab a good protien shake a nice piece of chocolate. We all know chocolate fixes everything.

wind storm here in Oregon too lots of wildfires . The wind should settle by late this evening. This will be a good story for the GKIDS.

stay safe and take care, keep icing, resting, and more rest. Your hip will let you know when it‘s ready for longer walks ..
 

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Elf1

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Oh my, so glad you made it home safely! Happy that the bleeding stopped and you the seroma drained so hopefully that takes care of that. I like that they were impressed with your ingenuity. :snork: Hopefully he have you the ok to ditch the dreaded teds. Take it easy, not like you can go anywhere, just do some strolls through the house.
 

Layla

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Hello and Welcome to recovery...once again! Wow, you had quite the adventure with the seroma. It must have been a little frightening with all of the blood you described above. Thankfully you made it home safely and also good to hear your surgeon doesn’t feel there is any infection and will continue to monitor the situation. After the excitement of the day, I hope you have a peaceful evening and sweet dreams! :sleep:
@GimpyGal
 

leejaa

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Kudos for your ingenuity and calmness in the middle of such unusual situation. Definitely chocolate or dessert of your choice. Sweet dreams tonight.
 
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GimpyGal

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CHOCOLATE! I FORGOT CHOCOLATE!

Thanks for your responses. Just sharing my trials yesterday make me feel better. I don't remember anyone else having that problem and it was a bit scary.

My wound is pretty sore today and I can't check on it because of the new bandage. It's really warm so I'm icing, but from the skin around it that I can see, it's not an angry red or anything. He worked hard on draining it which involved a lot of pushing on the wound, so I choose to consider this soreness and heat the normal fallout from that.

Treating myself good today. Even staying in my sleep clothes cause my soft and cozy robe provides comfort and no one is coming over except for a neighbor delivering dinner. Any PT I will do will be minimal such as walking around the house and moving my feet around while sitting.

But I forgot about Chocolate. :headbang:
 

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