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[THR] Going bionic, part 2

Discussion in 'Hip Replacement Recovery Area' started by chatterz, Oct 2, 2016.

  1. chatterz

    chatterz Member

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    Today I am 5 weeks post op and doing rather well. I am walking on the treadmill for 15 - 20 minutes every day and I've slowly increased my speed from 1.2 mph to 2 mph. I know that I need to walk without holding onto the handrails of the treadmill, so that's my next goal.

    I'm enjoying my PT place. The employees seem to like each other and work well together, so the atmosphere there is positive. They have listened to my concerns and I'm not leaving the place overworked or in pain. The first 15 minutes are spent doing a slow manipulation of the hip joint to help with range of motion. I get ultrasound and a massage on the incision site since there is still inflammation and they want to make sure no scar tissue is forming that would limit my movement. I get a few exercises, but nothing that will hurt my knees and most of them stretch muscles. At the end I get some electrical pulses from a TENS machine while my hip gets iced. I find the machine interesting because my hip is still rather numb, so I only feel the ones above the incision, not the ones below. In the coming weeks, I assume things will take a turn toward building/strengthening the muscles.

    I noticed that I haven't had to get up in the middle of the night anymore. I am happy that my bladder has returned to normal. Still sleeping pretty much on my back. When I try sleeping on my side with a pillow between my legs, it irritates my other hip, so I can only do it for a few minutes. If I happen to actually fall asleep, I will awaken and find myself sleeping on my stomach and it's a battle to get the pillow moved and my body turned back over. It's rather comical when I think about it, but in the middle of the night it's frustrating!
     
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  2. chatterz

    chatterz Member

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    Today I got on the bus and went to treat myself to a pedicure! This place is old-fashioned in that they don't have the newfangled chairs with the soaking bowls attached, that I don't think I could get in or out of at this stage of the game. I had gone there the week before my surgery, so they were wondering what happened to me. The gal listened to my list of precautions and worked very gently with me. She even took off my shoes and socks and put them back on at the end. What a gem she was!

    I am really feeling isolated, not being able to drive and the folks who said they'd be there for me have not come through. I'm not blaming them. My daughter has a new boyfriend and she's gone for hours on end. One of my friends has been battling her own health problems and can't help me. Another friend has a brain injury and she's hit and miss if she is healthy any given day. It's just life being ornery. Randomly though, some friends will pop in and I have such an appreciation for their gift of time to entertain me. My aqua aerobics buddies came by this weekend. Gosh, but I miss being with them.
     
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  3. firstx1017

    firstx1017 New Member

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    Hey there - another local here from Ventura. I feel for you as when I have my surgery I will not have ANY help. Not sure how I will handle it all. Sounds like you are doing pretty good, which is great to hear!
     
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  4. chatterz

    chatterz Member

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    No help at all? Gulp! Will you be sent to a facility to recover for a while since you have no one to help at home? When is your surgery?
     
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  5. firstx1017

    firstx1017 New Member

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    Nothing scheduled yet - I'm trying to put it off till 2018 if possible. Dr. set me up with PT to get me some stretches and exercises to use so that I can continue to snowboard this winter and waterski next summer. I felt SOOOOO good after leaving PT! Loved some of the stretches and could tell a tremendous difference in my pain level!

    My husband gets no time off work, my kids live out of town and work full time with very young children and I have no family. The few friends I have all work full time with families.

    Love reading your post on your recovery!!
     
  6. chatterz

    chatterz Member

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    Got to say that I was sorry I put off my first THR for so many years. The immediate relief from the constant pain was a surprise. If I hadn't fallen last Oct., I'd have gotten my other hip done before Christmas. We had rescheduled for July and then the spousal unit wanted a divorce, so I put it off. My family and friends urged me to get the other hip done while I was waiting for the divorce to be finalized so I could stay with the same surgeon since I still had the same insurance coverage. I am glad I decided to do it. My surgeon is like a god in this area when it comes to hip replacements.

    I was all stiff and uncomfortable this morning and it really didn't get better as the day progressed. I went to PT and she did some ultrasound over the incision, along with a massage. Then she manipulated my leg slowly to improve range of motion. Then I had to do some exercises with an aide. I was struggling with them and the aide kept wandering off and suddenly I got so emotional that I had to leave. I all but ran from the place. I was glad my friend was there to drive me home, although I think I scared her. I took a few moments to cry and then I was able to calm down. I'm going to take a pain pill and knock myself out for the evening.
     
  7. chatterz

    chatterz Member

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    Everyone deems me to be fit enough to no longer need help. When I ask, they act like it's such an imposition and I'm left to say never mind. If they weren't willing to help, I wish they'd been honest up front. I'm trying to take care of myself as best I can, but I am still unable to drive, so a trip to the grocery store takes 2 hours and I can't carry that much back anyway, so it's frustrating. Someone called today to say they saw me walking down the street the other day and they were glad I was doing so well. They decided not to stop and ask me if I wanted a lift because they didn't know if I could climb into their car. I remember that day. I was in such pain and I would have sold my soul for a ride back home. I wish they hadn't told me they'd seen me, because now I'm angry with them for not stopping to help.

    I've hurt my knee now. That should add to the fun I'm having lately.
     
  8. chatterz

    chatterz Member

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    I'm now 6 weeks post op. The PT today was concerned that my knee hurts now. She thinks it's because I'm relying on my right leg too much and it's strained the knee. After PT I got ice on both my hip and knee. I dare not ask what else could go wrong!

    Tomorrow I see my surgeon. The two most important things to ask are can I drive and can I go back to aqua aerobics? Although, the aqua aerobics question will not matter if I cannot drive because it's too convoluted to figure out the bus system to the gym. I look out the window at my little car and I miss driving it. The surgeon had originally said 8 to 10 weeks, so I'm not really counting on him releasing me tomorrow.
     
  9. Tweetybrd

    Tweetybrd Graduate

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    Good luck with your post op appt tomorrow. Hopefully, he can look at your knee also. Hang in there! :)
     
  10. chatterz

    chatterz Member

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    @Tweetybrd, I decided NOT to talk to the doctor about my knees. At least, not yet. I have been elevating and icing and cutting down on my activities. I was doing way too much, even though it didn't seem like it.

    Today was the 6 week check-up of my newest hip. They took two x-rays and then I sat in the exam room, waiting for the doctor. On the computer screen, up pops my x-rays! I get up to look at them and I was kinda surprised with how the hip had not straightened out to be at an even level with the other hip. I sat down rather bummed. I'd been religiously doing all the stretching of the shorter leg to lengthen the muscles, tendons, or whatever it is that is supposed to be lengthened. I really felt like I was walking pretty evenly.

    After a while, I got up to look at them again and as I was looking at the x-rays, suddenly I noticed a penis. Last time I looked, I didn't have one of those. Wait a minute! I'm looking at someone else's x-rays! Whew! I clicked on my name and my x-rays popped up (wonder if they popped up in the other examination room?!) My x-rays looked pretty darn good compared to that other guy's. I've been cleared to drive short distances and I can go to aqua aerobics. Yay!

    I came home on the bus as I'd taken the bus to my appointment. However, once home, I got out the car keys and tenderly got into my car, bumping my hip in spite of trying to be careful. Ow. I went back up to the apartment and scrounged around for my gel seating pad. Much better! Very weird to drive when one hasn't been driving for 6 weeks! I drove to Target and bought junk food. That's right. I bought a bunch of junk food as my first official outing on my own. I'll probably be sick tonight. It will be worth it.
     
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  11. Tweetybrd

    Tweetybrd Graduate

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    @chatterz OMGosh!!! :rotfl::heehee: That was a great story!! Glad that was not your xrays. Super excited for you that you got the all clear to drive and be in the pool. :)
     
  12. chatterz

    chatterz Member

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    Ever since I abruptly left PT in tears, the folks there have been most accommodating. I think they were afraid I wouldn't come back. I really like the ultrasound, the massage, the TENS machine with ice at the end, so why wouldn't I come back for more TLC?! Today, with a new PT prescription from the doctor for 3x week, they offered the therapy pool for walking in on one of those visits each week. Woo hoo!

    I'm still taking the bus to PT because it's relaxing and it forces me to walk a bit and warm up the muscles before PT. It also makes it so I don't have to do the stationary bike. I don't like the bike because I can hear my knees creaking with each pedal. It doesn't hurt, it's just the sound that's bothersome.
     
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  13. Sunny girl

    Sunny girl Senior

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    hi @chatterz, sorry to butt into your thread - I just wanted to reassure @firstx1017 that it is do-able to recover on your own. I did. I live alone and just had to get on with it. I was home day 3 post op. I had company the first three nights out of hospital only, and that was a comforting presence but even then I was independent with everything (showering, toilet etc). I had the odd lift from friends to GP and OS and for groceries - though I had cooked and filled the freezer beforehand. I was also in a country spot at the end of a dirt road, so quite isolated. I'm so used to doing everything on my own ... it really wasn't a worry. I hope this reassures anyone else in the same situation.
     
  14. chatterz

    chatterz Member

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    I found my hips and knees incredibly stiff today. I really don't know if it's related to the PT I had yesterday, as it seemed like I really didn't do much at PT. Or it could be that I had a rough night. I had a hard time getting to sleep and couldn't get comfortable in bed, so I kept waking up. I decided to take it easy today and took myself to the movies this morning. I was the only one in the place, which worked out well as it allowed me the freedom to get up and walk around every once in a while. I spent 20 minutes on the treadmill, working on my gait, but it just made everything stiffer. I'm doing some ultrasound on my hip and then I'm icing everything and elevating my legs this evening. I'm thinking what meds I might like to take. Maybe Motrin PM?
     
  15. Sunny girl

    Sunny girl Senior

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    It's all sounding pretty good on the whole @chatterz! I'm about 6 days ahead of you (but second hip to still come). Good to be back in my car, going for little drives and walks. I don't do any PT. Also went to the movies like you - but it was a long film (2.15 hours!!) and I got uncomfortable. I should have paraded around, like you, but it was full. I think it best to be active one day, rest up the next. Please don't overdo anything, those stiff hips and knees must be the exercises - just lying in bed won't do that. Resting = healing. Sorry someone sailed past you in their car as you were bravely forging along - I can see why it upset you ... some people!
     
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  16. chatterz

    chatterz Member

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    Today is the 7 week mark. It's been raining and my joints all told me about it. Very stiff. LOL I made it to PT this morning and we discussed my knee a bit. If it doesn't get better in a week, she wants me to go back to the doctor. Sigh.

    I rested up on Sunday and put on my expensive knee brace that I got when I fell last year. It really helped to keep it from aching all day long and I iced it quite a few times during the day and night. Today, the PT woman massaged my knee and said it was very swollen. She had one of her aides use that kinesiology tape on my knee. It looks like a giant pink spider is eating my knee! Gotta say, my knee has felt pretty good all day long.

    My hip scar has flattened out finally. I'm very happy with how it is looking. I still rub a little vitamin E oil on it nightly and ice it as I'm getting into bed - along with icing my knee. My poor cat is upset with all the icing spots. She's not sure where she can curl up to me anymore.
     
  17. Jaycey

    Jaycey Moderator

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    @chatterz Sounds like your hip is doing just great. Too bad about that knee! I hope it calms down for you. Please keep us updated!
     
  18. chatterz

    chatterz Member

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    I'm at the two month mark with my new hip. I've been talking with my PT about my knee issues and we discussed two things that might be adding to my misery. One is that I'm carrying things, like groceries, that are too heavy for me. I don't have any help at home and I hate to make 40 trips to the car to bring everything up to my apartment, so I've been carrying too much. I purchased a rolling cart to put my groceries or laundry or whatever into, which has already been useful. A second problem is that when I bend over to pick something off the floor, even with putting the operated leg out behind me, it's too much of a strain on my knee, so I've been told to revert to my "picker-upper" stick again. Just doing these two things this past week, along with having the kinesiology tape over my knee has really made a big difference. My knee is no longer swollen and it doesn't feel as "tight" as it did across the top of the knee.

    I continue to walk on the treadmill every day for 20 minutes and find that if I try to walk faster, I begin to limp. Old habits die hard. So, I'm just resigned to the fact that I need to walk slowly and correctly.
     
  19. Jaycey

    Jaycey Moderator

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    Treadmills are very hard on the knees. Walking on flat surfaces is much better for recovery. Try staying off the treadmill and see if this eases.
     
  20. chatterz

    chatterz Member

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    I hadn't thought that the treadmill might be hard on my knees. I knew that the cement sidewalks were not a friend to my joints, so I really haven't wanted to walk the neighborhood much. Hmmm. I guess I should drive to the indoor mall and walk there. I used to go there a couple times a week to walk in the hours before the mall stores opened. Thanks for the suggestion!
     

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