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theolderdaughter

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Hi, First I just want to say that I'm here to get info to help my mom out. So, if it's inappropriate for me to be here in place of someone else, please say so:)

My mom, age 73, will be having a total hip replacement on May 1st. She had been having hip pain for quite awhile, but due to her total distrust of doctors (which is partly due to schizophrenia, but she is now on meds for that condition), she would not go to a physician to have it looked at. When she finally got bad enough that she had to ask me to do all her shopping for her, she agreed to go to a doctor. Her doctor has told us that hers is the worst hip he's ever seen and can't believe she can even walk the few steps she can-he called it "a square peg in a round hole-literally!"

The biggest obstacle is her allergy/sensitivity issue to everything. She can not be in contact with polyester or any other man-made fiber (wears all cotton clothing and has no upholstered furniture in her home) and also has problems with some metals-nickel we know, for sure, and others that are not known.

So, of course, this is causing issues regarding her acceptance of a hip replacement. Her doc at Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN (the first doc, who was local, didn't work out, as he apparently doesn't believe that allergies are real) has said that he thinks a titanium/ceramic replacement will work. Anyone have one of these?

She's also very worried about her time in the hospital. She's planning on taking her own sheets and can not use pillows(stuffed with man-made fibers).

She lives on her own, but I live about 1/2 hour away. My sister is planning to come for the week of the surgery, but is unavailable the rest of the time. Mom can not live in our house, due to man-made fibers (beds, carpet, & furniture) and stairs to all the bathrooms (I hate it too, but we're stuck here for now).

She does have a couple chairs and we found cushions to boost her hips up (she covers them with cotton towels to minimize exposure) and an organic cotton/organic latex bed (don't even ask how much that cost!).

She will have access to home-health care and therapy and I can be there some of the time, even sleeping over if needed.

The booklet she received said many people are ready to drive about 3 weeks after surgery, but I'm not sure she'll be one of those, as her lack of mobility now is causing body weakness. How soon are most people able to get out of bed on their own and get to the bathroom, etc?

I know this is a lot of info and many questions, but I really appreciate any and all guidance you all can give me!

Her next appointment is this Friday (March 23) for pre-op physical and continuing consultation with the surgeon.

Thank you so much!
 

Jamie

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Hi, theolderdaughter....welcome to BoneSmart! It's MORE than appropriate for you to be here helping your mother. We have had a number of daughters, sons, spouses, and significant others on BoneSmart to help those important to them.

Your mother has some special circumstances that it sounds like you are addressing very well. Your thoughtful preparation will make her recovery go more smoothly.

We have had members with nickel sensitivity and the hip she will be getting has worked well with others. Despite your one doctor's viewpoint, there ARE people who are allergic to the metal and their bodies cannot adjust to an implant that has nickel in it.

You are in an excellent facility at the Mayo Clinic and they should be able to address any unexpected problems that arise. However, things do sometimes get overlooked with all the staff that might be coming in contact with her during her stay, do it will be important to tell EVERYONE over and over about her allergy. You might even make some signs for above her bed and on the room door. See if you can get her assigned to a private room too.

It's good that she will be taking her own sheets. Take 2 sets so one can be laundered if needed. Also take your own towels. You need to ask how the hospital will handle her allergy in terms of the staff who will be treating her. I would imagine that most nurses and doctors wear clothing that is not all cotton. If that could be a problem, address it before she checks in AND remind them once she is at the hospital.

It would be good if you or your sister could stay with her in the hospital. Maybe you could even trade off times. Your mother should be there about 3 days and then will be released to go home. She will be walking the first day after surgery and should be able to use the rest room, walk short distances, and do stairs before leaving.

You would need to take the same precautions with any home health workers who will be coming to see her.

Driving at 3 weeks is possible in some cases, but most people are asked to wait until the 6 week mark. I would plan for that and then, if things go better than expected, that's a bonus.

Here is some reading from our BoneSmart Library to give you additional information. I encourage you to read these articles as well as others in the Library. You also might benefit from reading posts in the pre- and post-op forums about other recoveries.

Pain management and the pain chart
How Long Does Healing Take ......
Chart representation of THR recovery
Energy Drain for THRs
Elevating your leg to control swelling and pain
Myth busting: on getting addicted to pain meds
Post op blues is a reality - be prepared for it
Some suggestions for home physio (PT) and activity progress
 

djklaugh

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Dear Older Daughter

Your Mom is very fortunate to have you and your sister helping her arrange this surgery and the recovery period afterwards!

You might also want to contact the Social Services Department at Mayo Clinic and/or the hospital she will be going to. They have extensive information about resources available in the community to help folks in your Mom's situation. I recently had bilateral hip replacements and was able to borrow from the Senior Services Center in my area (for free though I did make a donation to the program when I returned the equipment) a commode which I used the frame of to go over the toilet to provide a very comfortable raised seat and also a bath bench that really helped with showering right after surgery.

Most places that do frequent joint replacements have education programs for their patients and families - if your Mom is offered ( and some places require attendance) a class for joint replacement surgery please either you or your sister go with her to this - they are very informative and will probably demonstrate how to manage getting in and out of bed, in and out of a car, and other activities. Plus they will give additional information about the procedures in the hospital and what to expect on discharge.


As Jamie said your Mom should be able to do most usual daily living tasks prior to being discharged from the hospital - the physical and occupational therapists will be working with her every day to make sure she can get around OK.

Also since your Mom takes medication for schizophrenia be sure to talk to her psychiatrist about her medications and check to be sure there will not be any adverse drug interactions with anesthesia or pain meds or any other medications she might be given during and after surgery! It would be really helpful if your sister or you could be with Mom most of the time while she is in the hospital. It is not unusual for patients to be a bit confused or disoriented right after surgery, this is particularly true for elderly patients - and the stress of surgery can aggravate mental health preexisting conditions.

I think your Mom will (eventually) be really pleased with the out come of her surgery - the relief from bone on bone pain is almost miraculous - and that is evident immediately after the surgery! Once her strength and mobility has been restored she will be much more comfortable and able to get about much more easily!
 

DallasSarah

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Hello and Welcome the older daughter I'm glad you have joined BoneSmart and hope you find our website helpful.

Jamie and Deb have given you lots of good information. i just wanted to say hi and look forward to getting know you and your mom.

All the best,

Sarah
 

Josephine

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From what you have said, it sounds like your mother will need barrier nursing while she is in hospital. This is where doctors, nurses and orderlies put on disposable gowns and hats before they enter the room. Special cleaning routines are used to ensure the patient is not exposed to any stimulant products or materials. This all needs to be discussed with a team of personnel who will be caring for her so all know what can and cannot be done.

Special attention will need to be applied for her in the OR. It might be appropriate for her to be declared as having a latex allergy as there are strict protocols to make sure she has no exposure to latex (rubber) and this can include man-made fibres as well. ORs usually have a special kit that has not been contaminated with latex or MMF which will include everything from surgeon's gloves to anaesthetic equipment.

What I am saying is that there are protocols for dealing with such a condition as it is not that uncommon these days. Tis said that allergies are the 20th century ailment and now it's the 21st century! So please don't feel you have to battle the hospital on this - you shouldn't have to do that provided your doctor/surgeon gets everyone on board.

If this is the surgeon that doesn't believe that allergies exist then you need to find another one who has more sense! At least as much as he was born with!
 

Poppet

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With all the wonderful advice already given, passing this onto your Mum, hopefully will help her feel more reassured that her allergic condition can be catered for.

I am allergic to latex and this was marked on all my notes and certainly all staff were aware of it.

Welcome to Bonesmart and what a great daughter you are :)
 

gizmo

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Hi to both you and your mum,
Sounds like you are doing a teriffic job at helping your mum. Finding out all you can is really helpful. Reading different stories here will give you all an idea of what to expect both in terms of the op and the recovery. You may have already noticed there are many really positive stories here. I had my hip replacement done last October. I have a nickel allergy and was given a titanium stem and ceramic bearings. It seems to be fine. My progress is slower than average, my muscles were really weak by the time I had my op so I didn't get to driving for quite some time, and then I changed from a clutch control to an automatic- and haven't looked back since. All the best and I'm sure you will find bonesmart both informative and very supportive.
Best wishes
Gizmo
 
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theolderdaughter

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Thank you all for your replies and helpful info! To update-Mom's seeing a doc at Mayo Clinic in Minnesota and definitely not the one who didn't believe in allergies. This Mayo doc has been so incredibly understanding on all of Mom's concerns and she is soooo impressed! They are going to be doing some pre-op testing for the latex, and possibly some other allergies, next week, so they can be certain that she doesn't get exposed. They seem to be going over and above what's customary in most places to make sure the surgery, recovery, and the new hip go/work well. Right now, someone's actually checking on the linens and gowns to make sure she can have 100% cotton materials or they will let her bring her own sheets/gowns.

She's just trying to wait patiently until the surgery on May 1st. She is, apparently, first on the list to move the surgery up if there's a cancellation sooner.

Funny thing happened after her pre-op check last week. When they measured her height, she was surprised that it was only 4' 10" WITH her shoes on! She used to be 5', but I wasn't surprised at all, since I look down at the top of her head and I'm only 5' 1/2"--LOL! Soooooo, the doc ordered a walker for her to use now and through the recovery process. We went to the store in Mayo, as it just seemed easier, since she was already settled in a wheelchair, and started trying out the walkers. Fortunately, I went to ask for help, as the walker she was trying just seemed too tall for her. The salesman looked, grinned, and said she should try a 'youth' model, as they could be adjusted taller, but the adult one was as short as it could go. Tried it out and it's the perfect height AT THE LOWEST SETTING!:hysterical: Even the salesman was laughing! Mom & I just laughed all day about that! I can't believe she didn't realize she'd been shrinking for the last few years:th_heehee:

Thanks again, everyone!
 

Jamie

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So glad to hear things are going well. The Mayo Clinic is awesome and it sounds like you will be receiving excellent care there.

I certainly understand about your mom's magical shrinking height!!! It does happen sometimes as we age! She may find she ADDS a little height following surgery. Sometimes that happens when a joint is put back into proper alignment and/or the person can stand more upright with the new joint.

Let us know how things go!!!
 

djklaugh

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I'm so glad to hear that all of your Mom's concerns and conditions are being taken seriously and appropriately addressed!

I'm also giggling at the "youth walker" - I had a similar experience when my OS ordered crutches for me before surgery - I went into the PT department to get them and the very nice fellow first brought out the shortest adult pair - and they were way too tall! So I ended up with a "Youth" pair of crutches - set about half way through the options - and I did have to lengthen them after surgery! As Jamie said - once the hips are straightened out and no longer are causing pain - one can stand straight again - and be taller :) Many of my friends and family have commented that I seemed to have grown a couple of inches since the surgery - and look 10 years younger! When the bone-on-bone pain is gone the face muscles relax and the worry/pain wrinkles erase themselves - I think you and your Mom are going to be very happily surprised at the extent of the changes this will bring to her life!
 

DallasSarah

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Thank you for the update!

I love the walker tale that is very funny! Sounds like your mom is in excellent hands.

Stay in touch.

xxooxx
 

Poppet

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Hi, so pleased for your Mum that her allergies are being taken seriously, and how funny is your story about the walker. It is good that your Mum found it funny as well, sounds like she is relaxing a little regarding the surgery... I am so pleased for her :)
 
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theolderdaughter

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Just a quick update-Mom is still eagerly anticipating her surgery. The pain has gotten a little worse over the last couple weeks, but some of that may be due to so many road trips for the allergy evaluations, as it's almost a 2 hour drive one way.

So far, her latex allergy has been healed (truly believe in the healing power of God), but still had a reaction to gold, which won't be in the replacement anyway, so not too worried about that-LOL! This Friday is the final 'read' on all the test spots (162 in all!) and the metals are the key, as they frequently have delayed reactions.

If all goes well, May 1 is still the day. She has even done more research and asked our pastor about the blood transfusion issue and decided that she had misinterpreted that part of the Bible, so will allow a transfusion if needed, which does give the rest of us some stress relief. We're doing what we can to make sure everything's ready for her to come home as well, but can't mount any grab bars in her shower area, as she lives in a mobile home with thin walls and they won't support her or anyone's weight, even if we can put a bar up, so hoping the support on the toilet will work for her getting in and out of the shower---they're very close together (within 6"), so she's not too worried. And, my sister may be coming to help also, although that's still not a guaranteed thing.

Thanks for all the good info and help! I'll keep posting:)
 

Jamie

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Wishing your mom well on her surgery day!! Please let us know how she does.
 

calmom51

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Please be sure to watch your mother's meds like a hawk before and after surgery. My mother-in-law is on anti-psychotics and broke her hip a few years ago ( I know, slightly different situation, but....). Some stupid doctor at the hospital decided to take her off the anti-psychotic drug totally cold turkey. You're not supposed to do that! I found out about it a few days later and did a lot of yelling and screaming until they put her back on the drug. She had been off of it for a week and was becoming delusional. That taught me a valuable lesson. Make a list of the drugs your mother currently takes. When you visit her in the hosptial, get a list of the drugs they're giving her every single day. Make sure that some stupid doctor doesn't discontinue an important med.

By the way, I want to also mention that gluten can cause a LOT of "allergies" in people. When your mother is all healed up, you might want to have her investigate this. It's something I have learned about recently myself. Gluten can do a lot of damage that is not overtly recognizable, because you don't necessarily get the digestive problems that people with full-blown Celiac do. And BTW, gluten can cause mental illness in some people, too! The only way to tell is to have her go totally gluten-free for about 2 weeks and see whether it makes a difference.
 
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theolderdaughter

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Thanks, again, to everyone for all the helpful words and advice:) And, Calmom51, I would never have guessed any of that about gluten, as all we ever hear about are the celiac problems. I will definitely be monitoring her meds and will mention the potential gluten problem after all this is over. Fortunately, her main med for her mds is given once a month by injection, so that's been taken care of for now.

She's eagerly anticipating the surgery tomorrow and had packed all her stuff a few days ago;) We found out my sister is not coming to help out after Mom's released from the hospital, so Mom asked to stay in a nursing home/rehab center for the week after, so it'll be easier for the PT and blood checks. We visited the place and she thinks it will work out, so that's the plan at this point, but I know all plans are rather fluid when doing things with Mom.

We appreciate any prayers for Mom's surgery tomorrow (May 1st) and recovery and thanks again for all your input. I'm guessing my next posting will be in the post-op area here:)
 

Elizak

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Best wishes to you and your mom. It is great that she is so involved and ready for the surgery. I took care of my mom during her chronic illness and I know how tough it can be. Also, very funny and very touching sometimes, as you wrote in your entry about when you and your mom laughed so much about the walker. It sounds as if you are having some wonderful moments.
My thoughts are with you and your mom.
 

djklaugh

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Prayers going up for your Mom and a very successful and problem-free recuperation from her surgery!

I look forward to hearing from you - and her - on the other side
 

Jaycey

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All the best for your Mom tomorrow! We look forward to your updates on the other side!
 
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