THR Grasstuft's Right THR (22 July 2022) Recovery Journey in UK

OP
OP
G

grasstuft

junior member
Joined
Jul 28, 2022
Messages
98
Age
57
Gender
Female
Country
United Kingdom United Kingdom
I hope we can agree to disagree
Of course we can agree to disagree and I hope you thrive in Physio.
Thanks.
I will caution you to avoid forcing movement though and hopefully you will refrain from any movement in physical therapy that causes you pain. That is the only advice I'd like to share as we don't want to see anyone in pain if its avoidable.
I will be careful, and take note of any movements that cause pain. I am also going to mention this to my surgeon tomorrow, and get his advice.
Have a nice Thursday and good luck with your appointment with the surgeon tomorrow.
Thank you, much appreciated.
 
OP
OP
G

grasstuft

junior member
Joined
Jul 28, 2022
Messages
98
Age
57
Gender
Female
Country
United Kingdom United Kingdom
Day 21 morning
Thursday 11th August 2022
6.40 am

I managed to scare myself overnight, on one of my many trips to the bathroom. I looked in the mirror at my scar and thought it looked like the redness was returning, despite the fact that I had seen and my wife had confirmed that it had been receding since Monday. I then took my temperature, and it was normal. I also took the temperature of both legs, which were also normal. I did this temperature checking routine several times a day last week when my wound was reddening. Still, I had managed to sow doubt in my mind that it was perhaps getting worse just 3 days after finishing the antibiotics. I went back to bed, and rather unsurprisingly sleep did not come. I had reverted to my glass half empty persona. Instead I played through the possibility of the infection returning, and decided I would need to phone my surgeon's secretary at 8am providing my wife confirmed my suspicions. Thankfully she was awake at 6am when I returned from the bathroom and agreed to take a look. To my immense relief she said it looked the same as when she had last seen it a couple of days ago. I breathed a huge sigh of relief, and vowed to not jump to conclusions without enough evidence (especially in the middle of the night). I should have taken a photo of it when the redness had begun to subside last Monday, as then I would have been able to compare. Taking regular photos is vital, so I can verify if there are any changes. Lesson learned!

Perhaps I need to continue what I started when I feared the worst last week, and be kind to myself. I would stroke my reddening operated leg and tell it that it was a good leg really, and didn't deserve the pain it was going through. Of course I would do this in my head, because if my wife heard me she would think I'd lost the plot. Come to think of it, it was a bit like an adaption of Phoebe's Smelly cat song (from Friends):

Three, four...
Operated leg, operated leg What have they done to you, and why are you so red?
Operated leg, operated leg
It's not your fault.
 
Last edited:

Klassy

graduate
Joined
Dec 13, 2018
Messages
913
Gender
Female
Country
United Kingdom United Kingdom
Now (at 2 am) she has a funny tummy and it's a good job I was up at that time, so I could wake up my poor wife to clear it up.
I hope you will forgive me for finding this funny!

That was also the division of labour in our household during my recovery. Patient’s (very important) job was to identify the emergency, spouse’s job was to deal with it. My husband is a saint, and it seems that you are similarly blessed.

Re what you said about middle of the night scares and reverting to glasshalfempty mode: I am a naturally a glasshalfemptyandprobablypoisonousanyway person, and I have learned to tell myself firmly that whatever is scaring me in the middle of the night will look better in the morning. So far, it always has. [Though I suppose the midnight may come when I really am having a heart attack or whatever, she says pessimistically…]

I don’t mind at all being disagreed with, even by a fellow Brit! If your approach to physio works for you, that’s great. Our bodies are all different.
 
OP
OP
G

grasstuft

junior member
Joined
Jul 28, 2022
Messages
98
Age
57
Gender
Female
Country
United Kingdom United Kingdom
Day 21 afternoon
Thursday 11th August 2022

Overactive imagination

My wife was right again, but I don't mind in the slightest, as it means my infection/redness/cellulitis has not returned, as I wrongly thought overnight (for some strange reason that I cannot fathom). I checked in the bathroom mirror this morning, and the skin around my wound looks nice and pale in comparison to last week when it looked and felt like it was on fire. I took photos, so if I doubt myself again I can compare, or maybe it looks red at night when there's no daylight, I don't know.

Walking
I did say at the start of week 3 that I was going to go out every day and walk a little, but it hasn't really gone to plan. Friday at the dog walking field was fine.
But I overdid it at the lavender fields on Saturday, and needed Sunday to recover. Not that I was in pain at any time during the trip, just uncomfortable. On Monday I had physio at the hospital, so counted that as my walk. The rest of the week I've not been sleeping well, so haven't had the will or energy to go out. This morning I did decide to venture out without my crutches before it got too hot at 9am. I walked around the garden, and then walked around the block. My walking crutchless trial was a success because I haven't been using them at all indoors since last Friday, my balance has improved, and I think my limp has gone. I've been practising walking heel to toe, as recommended and it's paid off. When I have the appointment with my surgeon tomorrow I don't need to take my crutches. :egypdance:
 
OP
OP
G

grasstuft

junior member
Joined
Jul 28, 2022
Messages
98
Age
57
Gender
Female
Country
United Kingdom United Kingdom
Now (at 2 am) she has a funny tummy and it's a good job I was up at that time, so I could wake up my poor wife to clear it up.
I hope you will forgive me for finding this funny!
Not at all. I'm happy to provide a little light relief, even if unintended. :heehee:
That was also the division of labour in our household during my recovery. Patient’s (very important) job was to identify the emergency, spouse’s job was to deal with it. My husband is a saint, and it seems that you are similarly blessed.
Exactly, she said she would have woken up anyway because it smelt so foul. I did kinda feel guilty for having to wake her but had no choice, as I don't normally do the cleaning up after our doggy even before I had my new hip. I can manage to replace a pee pad if I have to using a grabber, but if it's contents strayed off the pad then it was time to get my wife involved who thankfully has both good knees and good hips.
Re what you said about middle of the night scares and reverting to glasshalfempty mode: I am a naturally a glasshalfemptyandprobablypoisonousanyway person, and I have learned to tell myself firmly that whatever is scaring me in the middle of the night will look better in the morning. So far, it always has. [Though I suppose the midnight may come when I really am having a heart attack or whatever, she says pessimistically…]
I'm glad I'm not the only one with the ability to torture myself in the middle of the night.
I don’t mind at all being disagreed with, even by a fellow Brit! If your approach to physio works for you, that’s great. Our bodies are all different.
Thanks, I really appreciate that.

How's the heatwave where you are? We are managing quite well so far, and the taped bathroom windows have been brilliant. The trick is to not let the heat in. ho

Hopefully we won't need the portable AC unit on today. We did have a problem with our UPVC front door this morning that was refusing to open and close properly. My wife was the one to identify the problem when she took our doggy for a walk this morning. I provided a potential solution (screwdriver and hammer) but left the elbow grease to her, as I can't bend down that low. Anyway we ended up calling our plumber, who recommended a window guy, and within a few hours he had come over and fixed it. Apparently the heat had melted the door frame out of shape, so he had to replace the seals. It was all done in about 20 minutes for £70.
 

Zoebichon

member
Joined
Feb 20, 2022
Messages
188
Age
65
Gender
Female
Country
United States United States
Your broken nights remind me so much of mine! In fact, last night, one day shy of 12 weeks postop, I slept through the night!!! Hopefully better nights will be in your not too distant future as well!

I do wonder if your documenting your progress in the middle of the night isn’t perhaps helping to keep you from returning right back to sleep. Rather than just barely waking to use the bathroom you are fully waking to get the iPad and actually write. Now your brain is really awake!

I have really enjoyed reading your detailed account.
 
OP
OP
G

grasstuft

junior member
Joined
Jul 28, 2022
Messages
98
Age
57
Gender
Female
Country
United Kingdom United Kingdom
Your broken nights remind me so much of mine! In fact, last night, one day shy of 12 weeks postop, I slept through the night!!! Hopefully better nights will be in your not too distant future as well!
Thanks I live in hope.
I do wonder if your documenting your progress in the middle of the night isn’t perhaps helping to keep you from returning right back to sleep. Rather than just barely waking to use the bathroom you are fully waking to get the iPad and actually write. Now your brain is really awake!
I see where you're coming from, but that's not usually what happens, occasionally but not usually. Also I generally post overnight on my Android phone, which is never far away from me as I use it as a torch, for watching streaming TV, listening to Spotify, posting here and.so much more. If I have to get up to use the bathroom then I generally change my ice pack too, and once I return to bed if I'm not tired, the pain hasn't gone away, or I choose to stay awake until I need to take my next lot of meds then I will post. I also find that if I go to bed early, for example at 8pm then I invariably sleep for a few hours and when I wake up I'm wide awake, and find it hard to get to sleep again. It's almost like my body thinks that was just a nap and then it's time to wake up. Tonight I went to bed at 10pm and I'm hoping I can fall asleep quickly because I'm so tired.that I can barely focus on the screen.
I have really enjoyed reading your detailed account.
Thank you so much, that is really nice to know. I hope your week is going well.
 
OP
OP
G

grasstuft

junior member
Joined
Jul 28, 2022
Messages
98
Age
57
Gender
Female
Country
United Kingdom United Kingdom
Day 21 evening
Thursday 11th August 2022
10.27 pm


In bed by 10pm, lying on an XL sheet ice pack. It's still 24c outside (dropping to 17c in the early hours) so we have the ceiling fan on, with personal fans on each side of the bed. I have not taken my Codeine yet, as I was planning on seeing if I needed to when I inevitably wake up later. However, I just realised that RLS has arrived and is making my leg bounce around; I cannot keep it still. So I'm changing tactics by using my USB-powered device to see if that helps, If not I will be giving in and taking the Codeine.

[Edited to add: it seems to have worked, so that's a relief, and £30 well spent.]

While I was away, my sneaky doggy has taken my place. So I'm going to have to move her.
IMG_20220811_225459.jpg
 
Last edited:

Zoebichon

member
Joined
Feb 20, 2022
Messages
188
Age
65
Gender
Female
Country
United States United States
My dog does the same thing. I just pretend like I’m going to lay right on top of her and she always quickly moves!
 
OP
OP
G

grasstuft

junior member
Joined
Jul 28, 2022
Messages
98
Age
57
Gender
Female
Country
United Kingdom United Kingdom
My dog does the same thing. I just pretend like I’m going to lay right on top of her and she always quickly moves!
Haha, I do exactly the same. I was obviously too tired to put that into words earlier.
 
OP
OP
G

grasstuft

junior member
Joined
Jul 28, 2022
Messages
98
Age
57
Gender
Female
Country
United Kingdom United Kingdom
Day 22 early hours
Friday 12th August 2022
0.46 am

I have about 20 minutes before my next dose of Paracetamol is due, so here I go again. I must have slept since going to bed at 10.30 pm, but it's all a blank at the moment. I ended up getting out of bed not that long ago, visited the bathroom, and noticed light streaming in the lounge window and went to investigate. Through the blinds I saw the latest super moon (the Sturgeon moon) shining brightly in the sky, having read that tonight was the best chance of seeing it from 8.55 pm as there would be no cloud cover. I even set an alarm to see it earlier, but it wasn't visible at the time, but now it was. I took photos with my phone and camera, and was surprised that the phone photo was the best. I've just read up on tonight's super moon and found that I should be able to see the planet Saturn above the moon, so I'm going back for another look.

I think Saturn is the tiny dot directly above and to the left.
IMG_20220812_001756.jpg
 
Last edited:
OP
OP
G

grasstuft

junior member
Joined
Jul 28, 2022
Messages
98
Age
57
Gender
Female
Country
United Kingdom United Kingdom
Day 22 morning (1st day of week 4)
Friday 12th August 2022
5.38 am

I have been awake for about 30 minutes, with no pain and sprang out of bed without any hip pain or stiffness. :shocked:

I've done my heatwave morning routine a little early today as it's already 18c and the temperature won't go any lower today. So the back of the house, which gets the sun in the morning, is closed including windows blinds and curtains. I've also just closed our bedroom curtains, as I left them open with the blinds open enough to let in the cooler overnight air. Of course this means that the sun streams in at dawn, which today was 5.39 am (a few minutes ago). That's probably what woke me up ten minutes ago. I could have worn an eye mask, but didn't. So could my wife but she rather strangely prefers to sleep with a pillow over her face. I know she's still breathing because I just saw her feet move. :loll:
IMG_20220812_054416__01.jpg

It's day 3 of a 5 day heatwave, so I only need to keep up this heatwave routine for another 2 days. I will not miss this at all once we move to Florida in a couple of months. Yes, it will be hot most if the year, but everywhere is air conditioned, and front doors won't be melting in the sun, because they're made of wood in Florida not UPVC.

Now I'm going to catch some more Zzzs, as it's a big day today. I have a 1pm appointment with my surgeon to check on my post-infection progress and then on the way home we will stop off to pick up curbside Five Guys bacon cheeseburgers in lettuce wraps, making sure it's double-bagged so it survives the short journey home and doesn't end up all over the pavement when it's taken out of the car, as it has on 2 separate occasions previously. This is because they stupidly place the unsealed side of the burger wrap at the bottom so the juices can drip through and make a hole in the bag. When this happened to my wife on a solo trip a few months ago, she told me she was so devastated she wanted to cry, but instead went back with the evidence and made them make another order this time double-bagged.
 

Klassy

graduate
Joined
Dec 13, 2018
Messages
913
Gender
Female
Country
United Kingdom United Kingdom
When this happened to my wife on a solo trip a few months ago, she told me she was so devastated she wanted to cry, but instead went back with the evidence and made them make another order this time double-bagged.
Good for her!

Yes the moon was amazing. I can’t say I really appreciated it. I had the windows and curtains open to try to cool off, and was woken at 1 am by someone shining a searchlight in my face. I eventually woke up enough brain cells to realise it was moonlight.

Hot enough to melt your door, gadzooks! That is definitely unBritish. I am sitting in the shade in the garden, where it is still just cool enough at 8.20 am for me to be wearing a jumper. Every window and door of the house is wide open and I am calculating the moment when I leap up to batten the hatches. Ten minutes more I think.
 
OP
OP
G

grasstuft

junior member
Joined
Jul 28, 2022
Messages
98
Age
57
Gender
Female
Country
United Kingdom United Kingdom
Day 22 afternoon
Week 4
Friday 12th August 2022
1.23 pm

Back at the hospital

I have just had my appointment with my surgeon, and he's happy with how my wound is looking. The infection hasn't completely gone yet, but is on the way out. I'm now in one of the non-air conditioned parts of the hospital (waiting for a blood test), I'm wearing a mask and it's 32c outside, so I'm starting to feel like my head will explode before too long. They really need to get this place fully air conditioned and stop patients having to suffer unnecessarily. I look forward to returning home in our air conditioned car. I have another appointment with my surgeon to follow up in a week.
 
Last edited:
OP
OP
G

grasstuft

junior member
Joined
Jul 28, 2022
Messages
98
Age
57
Gender
Female
Country
United Kingdom United Kingdom
Day 23 early hours
Week 4
Saturday 13th August 2022
0.00 am

I have had about 2 hours sleep so far, having woken up about half an hour ago. RLS has just returned, I have taken some Codeine and am using the TheraPulse to try and keep it at bay. I know I won't be able to sleep until the Codeine kicks in, so I'm posting in the interim while listening to Missy Higgins on Spotify.

My aim tonight is to get as much sleep as possible, so I can at least enjoy my Saturday, without having to take too many naps.

I only had one nap on Friday, from about 4pm after setting up of our portable air conditioner in the bedroom. As I'm not working currently, thanks to my THR, we will not be moving it to the study, so I've taped all around the window where I have fixed cardboard around the exhaust hose opening, to ensure no hot air from outside can get in. I'm rather pleased with the result, which means we can keep cool in our bedroom (heatwave bunker). At least we can until we have to venture out into the rest of the house to get supplies, use the bathroom etc., which is like going from a walk-in freezer to a sauna.
IMG_20220812_164458__01.jpg
I managed to stay awake tonight until about 9.30pm but felt myself desperate for sleep while watching episode 6 of our latest Netflix bingeworthy show The Sandman, and decided to save the rest for later when I could enjoy it properly. I think it's my favourite new show of the year so far; visually stunning, great cast and script and an original premise. No wonder it's been No. 1 in the UK since it was released a week ago.
We do have a TV that pops out of the end of our bed, but as I am sleeping with my head at the foot of our bed my wife and I are watching the same thing but on our own devices (me on a Chromebook and my wife on her iPhone).
We have had the portable AC unit on since about 3pm, after I set it up this afternoon. I did venture out to the bathroom before midnight, and although the house is cooling down it is about 23c outside and feels too warm out there to be able to sleep comfortably without the AC. So I made the sensible decision to leave it on until the temperature drops below 20 after 5am assuming I am awake then. If not we are getting up early at 7am to walk the dog, so I can switch it off for a few hours then.

I hope everyone else in the UK is managing well in this latest heatwave.

01.21 am
The burning pain has replaced the RLS but it is pretty mild tonight, only a 4. I have an ice pack under the knee of my operated leg and another on my hip. Now to get some more sleep.

03.08 am
Awake again, and I can feel that my ice packs are warm now, and my leg feels like it's still burning albeit mildly. So, it's time for a trip to the loo, and to replace the ice packs then back to sleep again. It's still rather warm outside of our cool heatwave bunker, despite Alexa confirming that the temperature is now 19c, and adding that today's high will be 33c. Gee, thanks for that.
:hissy:
 
Last edited:
OP
OP
G

grasstuft

junior member
Joined
Jul 28, 2022
Messages
98
Age
57
Gender
Female
Country
United Kingdom United Kingdom
Day 23
Week 4
Saturday 13th August 2022

I had a good night's sleep thankfully, about 6h 32m according to my smartwatch, and I'm happy with that as it's way more than my recent average. I woke up rather early at 5.40am, went to the loo, and decided to stay up as I'd had enough of laying in bed and didn't feel like I needed any more sleep. My wife and doggy were still sleeping so I went in the study and boxed up some Amazon returns, ready to be taken to the lockers near the end of our road.

My wife emerged around 7am, and after breakfast we took our doggy for early walkies to a local park, which is set in the ruins of an 18th century house. It was the first time I'd been there since my THR, and it was good to walk on level ground, especially as there was hardly anyone else there, except for the odd dog walker. I was of course walking much slower than my wife and our doggy Piper, and periodically Piper would stop and turn around to check I was still bringing up the rear, bless her! The walk was 30 minutes long but didn't feel that long, as Piper likes to sniff every blade of grass so probably only half of that was actual walking. She also took the opportunity to roll in the dirt, and get the last traces of that dreadful scent from the groomers off her fur.

DSC05089.jpg
 
Last edited:
OP
OP
G

grasstuft

junior member
Joined
Jul 28, 2022
Messages
98
Age
57
Gender
Female
Country
United Kingdom United Kingdom
Looks like a beautiful spot for a walk!
Yes, it certainly is, I find walks always much more enjoyable when there' s plenty to look at, especially if it's scenic and historic. However, unfortunately I think I will have to give it a miss in the morning, as my knee has been painful on and off from mid afternoon. I shall have to have a chill day on Sunday, take it easy, ice it, and hope it improves. I'm not sure what I've done, but I do have OA in my knee too, which pre-dates the OA in my hips. I don't think it was the walk, as it was all relatively even ground with no hills. It was fine when I did 2 of my usual 3 sets of exercises; one at 7am and one at 2pm. But I had to skip the final evening set rather than aggravate it further. I did walk nearly 3 miles in total, and 2/3rds of that was at home doing chores, so maybe that was too much.
 
OP
OP
G

grasstuft

junior member
Joined
Jul 28, 2022
Messages
98
Age
57
Gender
Female
Country
United Kingdom United Kingdom
Day 23 early hours
Week 4
Sunday 14th August 2022
0.02 am

I woke up about 20 minutes ago, after probably a couple of hour's sleep then took my tablets (Codeine, Paracetamol and Piriton) and realised when I was in the bathroom that my leg was on fire with the burning pain, which felt like an 8 at least. Now I've moved to the kitchen, and am sitting on the perching chair I bought for my recovery with a fan blowing coolish air at my head, and I'm thankful that the pain is subsiding, so I can go back to bed and get some more sleep soon.

In fact the itchiness from the gnat bite I have under my left arm is of more concern than my leg right now. I always suffer a bad reaction to gnat bites, and because I've been taking Piriton 24/7 and it's not in a noticeable place, I only discovered it yesterday when it was already looking quite angry and was surrounded by a large red circle. I need to both take Piriton and apply hydrocortisone cream to reduce it, or it will blister. If it's not one thing, then it's another!

3.30 am
Awake with no pain, but it's time for Paracetamol, as my app tells me so I take it.
Now let's get some more sleep.

05.43 am
Awake with no pain, and my app tells me it's time for more Piriton. How did I do that? That's a bit more than a coincidence surely, especially twice in a row? I've taken the Piriton, and once I got up and noticed the Sturgeon super moon out of the bathroom window with the clearest view yet, I decided to grab my camera.
DSC05119.jpg DSC05118.jpg
 
Last edited:
OP
OP
G

grasstuft

junior member
Joined
Jul 28, 2022
Messages
98
Age
57
Gender
Female
Country
United Kingdom United Kingdom
Questions I asked my surgeon on Friday 12th August (3 weeks post-op having suffered with a deep tissue infection for the last 2 weeks when he was on holiday) and his responses

Was there anything to indicate the cause of the infection from the swab the nurse took when my dressing was removed?

No - and he doesn’t really give much credence to these tests on the skin surface because they can also pick up bacteria that naturally lives on the skin.

Has the infection gone now?

No - it has subsided, hence more blood tests are needed today to make sure I am making good progress.

Has this set back my recovery time and/or date I can return to work? Or is it still 6.5 weeks following surgery, following my appointment on Wednesday 8th September?

Does not believe so, because my mobility is very good; walking without crutches three weeks following surgery.

On the 26th July I noticed a new spot of dried blood on my dressing. I called and spoke to a nurse on the ward, but was told it was a normal part of the healing process. Could that have been when the infection started?

No, I agree with the nurse.

Could the infection have been caused by the surgical clips being left in too long?

Not conclusive, but unlikely. He normally likes to remove clips after 14 days. Mine were removed after 10 days (half) and 12 days (rest).

How much standing can I do?

Pay attention to how you are feeling, and take frequent breaks, as necessary. Try not to overdo it.

Which is worse for prolonged periods: standing, walking, sitting or lying in bed?


I can’t answer that, as each may have its own potential consequences.

My right ankle became swollen overnight 2 days after the pain worsened at night. It has begun to go down in the last couple of days, after I was able to elevate it successfully without too much calf pain, which I assume was caused by wearing a compression stocking on my right leg that was too small for me for 5 days. Is this normal?

This is normal, and can be expected for at least 3 months following surgery.

Could the burning leg sensation and RLS be as a result of neuropathy?

It’s too early to say.

Can I put anything on my wound like Arnica gel when it gets itchy or should I just stick to Piriton and ice?

Not yet.

Is it ok to visit the hygienist in 2 weeks time (5 weeks post surgery)?

Does not recommend it, until at least 6 weeks after surgery, preferably longer because of the risk of infection.

So I’m going to phone the dentist tomorrow, and ask that my wife can take my appointment as she tried to book one last week, and there was nothing until October.

When I return to work should it be full time, or a phased return?

Phased return to work is preferable, because you will be tired.

When can I sleep on my left hand side?

This isn’t recommended until after 6 weeks, as there may be a tendency to cross your legs.

I always sleep on my side with a pillow between my legs, but concur there is still a possibility of leg crossing so I shall continue sleeping on my back for now.

Have you heard of TheraPulse for the treatment of RLS?

He hadn’t, and I brought it in to show him, and he was going to look into it.
 

BoneSmart #1 Best Blog

Staff online

Forum statistics

Threads
60,664
Messages
1,519,818
BoneSmarties
36,969
Latest member
CanadianLiz
Recent bookmarks
0
Top Bottom