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Husband of a late-August BTHR, looking for support.

TangoGunn

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My wife is having a Bilateral Total Hip Replacement (I believe it's called the Conformis Hip) on August 27, 2019, here in Nashville. It's just she and I... and she's scared as hell. She doesn't really want to talk about the upcoming surgery. So I'm on this website, looking for Pro Tips, and anything that might make it easier for her. I'm hoping that I can get her to log on and take over this account, soon (which is why I set it up, under her name).
 

Jaycey

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@TangoGunn You have come to the right place for support through what we know is a very scary time. Well done to your husband getting you linked in. I hope you will join us so that we can support you.

Posting here does indeed help with the nerves pre-op. We have many members going through exactly what you are going through right now.

I'm going to tag my colleague @Mojo333 who had bilateral surgery. I know @mikeycat is currently on the BTHR recovery road as well.

Perhaps start with what are you most concerned about regarding this surgery. We are here to help!
 
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TangoGunn

TangoGunn

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OK - this is great. Thanks. I'll show her this thread, later today, when she gets home in the hope that she'll pick it up. But first things first; I'm trying to convince her that we need to set up a bed in our basement, which requires no steps to access - comes straight in from garage. She seems to think she's going to walk up the 7 steps to our front door, when they release her from the hospital. Can we convince her that taking up temporary residence in the basement is the way to go, here, for starters.
 

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zauberflöte

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let's tag @Mojo333 again. I can't remember if she had steps to climb on her return home. Myself, I'd be motivated to climb those steps, but maybe your basement is much nicer than mine have been! :snork: We have cave crickets in basements (yes, finished ones too) around here, and having one jump onto my leg as I hobbled to the toilet would unsettle me a great deal :bolt:
Or you could run out and find a big ol' box turtle to eat them! :heehee:
 

mainegirl1

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In the hospital she will be trained in how to go up steps. It is not really a big deal unless you need repeated trips daily..
Don't know the layout of your basement but I am thinking it might be a mental prison.. Its tough enough mentally after surgery. Far better to be involved with the family and have sufficient light in your life literally..

There may be issues with the front steps. Handrails are useful. However I have 16 of them to get to my living area and with my knee even with no handrail they weren't an issue for me. They are a little shorter than the average step..

I cannot speak for your hospital but mine does not allow patients to go home until they can do a flight of standard stairs.. You might check with your hospital whether they want her to be stairless initially.. But it sounds more like you are afraid for her. Don't assume she will have trouble.
And get ready for a roller coaster ride.. It all depends on how hard the surgery goes.. And BTW if you read some recovery posts beds are not used early post op very often. Recliners are.. ( Need to go shopping?)

Just noticed the picture.. Look like my front stairs.
 

Ptarmigan

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Did your hospital offer a class for pre-op education? I attended a class that was extremely useful, and gave me a much better idea of what I might be able to manage when I first get home.

One thing they made clear is that a great deal depends on whether a person has one hip done or two, which approach is used (because this determines the type of movements a person will use post-op) and how a person is getting up and down stairs, on and off the toilet, and in and out of bed before surgery. That’s why it’s so hard to come by clear answers to some questions, when the answer actually is “it depends” or “your surgeon will decide” or “your pt will show you how to do this.”

Do you think your wife would be interested in getting some aids early (a walker, for example), and practicing a bit at home before surgery? I have been doing this, with the thought that it will be easier to figure some things out now when I am more comfortable.

Also: one great idea I got in class was to take photos - just like the one you showed us here - of the circumstances in your home (entrance, bed, bathroom, car, stairs), with your wife in place so they can see how she fits into her environment, to the hospital. Then you can show the therapists there exactly what she’ll be navigating, and they can help her (and you) figure out the best approach, given her individual circumstances.
 

mainegirl1

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@TangoGunn . Surgery is coming up pretty quickly and I certainly hope your wife has had the opportunity to attend a hip replacement class. Mine was very useful in practical information and also allayed fears.
If not I would certainly insist on an appointment with your OS office to iron out the bugs.. Keep a list of all your questions. ( when I go to the MD my mind tends to go blank)

My heart goes out to you as I think that two weeks pre op you are lacking information that will help you in your particular situation.

I did find this thread with a Bilateral Hippie using stairs.. https://bonesmart.org/forum/threads/stairs-after-thr.36370/
 
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TangoGunn

TangoGunn

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Thanks everybody. This is all very helpful... and for the record, we have the PreOp class set for August 19th. We're going together.
 

mainegirl1

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Very good! Both of you should take notes if there is no handout. My hosp gave me a notebook!
The reason two is better than one is that you might miss something while jotting notes
This class should affirm that its old hat to your care team and you can trust them
Its your first bilat (and it should be your last)
Do not be afraid to ask what you think others might perceive to be silly
Chances are it is on someone elses mind too
All the best of hugs to you. Both. The patient and the caregiver; already you are an awesome team!
 

Jaycey

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No need for a bed in the basement. Your wife will not be discharged until she can move about on her own including up and down stairs. I had a set of 13 stairs post op both THRs and managed just fine (several times per day).

Perhaps write down all your concerns and have them ready to discuss at that pre-op assessment.
 

Mojo333

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:wave:@TangoGunn and :welome: to the forum where you can get the scoop from those who know.
Those stairs will definitely be daunting for a new double hippy.:flabber:
Thinking back on my experience after surgery, I wouldve made it up there ( with hubby's help)since they don't appear terribly steep, but will definitely be like climbing a mountain and wouldn't be a daily adventure.

I recovered at my sister's for the first three weeks as she had a walk in shower and a more open floor plan but she also had some steps with no handrails that definitely had me "stuck" inside when I had no help to get up and down.

I had anterior approach and those quads are super weak and tender for the first weeks. Thankfully your stairs dont look horribly steep and seem to have a wide landing for going up and down toddler style.
She likely can make it up but she will be worn out when she gets there.
Getting my hips replaced definitely gave me my life back, and though the surgery was scary, I was so weary of living in the current state if chronic pain and lack of sleep...I was excited to know there was a "cure"
:yes:
I have never been part of an online community (not even a facebooker) but this site was a great tool for me and a great comfort during recovery. :tada:
 

julesglass

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Morning @TangoGunn. First I have to say the bedside nurse looks very attentive. My Lucy (English bulldog) has been so good and careful around me in recovery. Working as a team is the best and helps alot. Being a part of this beautiful forum is truly a God sent. Information, encouragement along with the emotional support is priceless. I agree that a basement wouldn't be good on the mental part of recovery. You take care, keep close with us here. Remember we're pulling for you we're all in this together. :SUNsmile:
 

mikeycat

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Ask your wife to view my recovery thread. I had a BTHR May 31 this year. I was reluctant to do it and so consumed with fear I almost did not go. I went for hypnosis, got meds for anxiety, tried meditation, postponed the dates, and was tempted to fly away somewhere. I found this site and with the encouragement ,support, and positive outcome stories I was able to get the surgery even while saying after coming out of a general anesthetic ,'what have I done' I moved ahead. I am presently 10 weeks post-op, walking without pain, unassisted in the house and a few blocks outside. I am doing things I haven't done in years. I can stand on 1 foot without holding or wobbling for nearly a minute--couldn't do that for years.I am allowed to do anything I want and can do more at 10 weeks post-op than I did in the last 12 years when one of my hips needed surgery--the other went down in the last year. Yup, I waited that long.I am happy that both are done at the same time because it's over for good. OS says will last 30-35 years so at 66 that is to the end of my life so by golly I am a happy camper.There are challenges in the first couple of weeks well at least for me but life is fraught with challenges . You overcome , get better and move on. I could not do stairs as I left the hospital of my own accord 3 days after but with the help of the PT I did them a few short days later. I had 6 in the front of my house to get into the house.I stopped pain meds in 2 weeks as there wasn't any pain for me just stiffness. I am limber now oh so much so I wondered at the years I endured that arthritic scenario.I,too wanted to stay in the basement but hubby persuaded otherwise--much better and glad I listened to him as I saw the birds, the garden, the sun. He made a walk-in shower so it facilitated everything.
1. get /rent a powerlift recliner--best friend for the first 2 -3 weeks
2. grabbers 3 if you can
3.long shoe horn
4. bed rail
5.commode or toilet risers
6. must have rails support in shower
7. shower chair
8. remove all carpets
9.plastic devise designed to assist in putting on socks
10.elastic laces
11.all things within reach-on counter etc.
12.walker of course with a basket or something attached to the front to carry phone, grabbers,glasses etc.
13. a cane for later
14. I got walking poles some use crutches but poles can be used even when you are 100% for exercise
15.clothing you can easily get in and out of-i.e. used shift dresses to put over my head and I am not a dress person, nighties etc.( at the beginning)
16. ice packs, several
17.thermos for coffee or tea so no dropping
18.a pill dispenser with the days and various times of day indicated (may be on various meds and this will assist you)
19.cream for your elbows, hands and feet
20.really good closed shoes with rubber soles, slippers with rubber soles and closed as well no sling backs,flip flops or the like
You will get there , make it and wonder why you waited so long. I was the biggest coward ever and a nurse to boot. I am sure I take the award. Believe me I know what you are going through. I am taking control over my life with much to look forward to and you will too.
Come here to see how you too will be one who will not look back only forward with joy, promise and a new life.
 

CricketHip

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Mikeycat, those are some very good pointers for @TangoGunn, I hope his wife will be comforted by them.

TangoGunn, I commend you on your thoughtfulness and with your research. You are going to be a huge comfort to your wife, but if she's like me, you won't necessarily feel helpful some days! :heehee:
I'm sure my husband was very confused in the early days about what I really wanted from him! But we got through it and laugh about it now.
Hopefully the Pre Op class will give her a better idea about those stairs and the basement option.

good luck :flwrysmile:
 

djklaugh

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@TangoGunn (and dear husband too) :wave: I had my BTHR when I was 64yo - 7.5 years ago. Yes my hospital had me do stairs before I left ..... but they also insisted on having me take a care car home with driver and helper to hoist me up the 7 steps into my home! While I'm sure I could have managed those steps slowly it was nice to have the "lift" up them.

I also rented a hospital bed for about 3 months following this surgery and I loved having it! It made it super easy to elevate my legs "toes above nose", it adjusted to the right height for me to get into bed without breaking hip precautions, and was quite comfortable to use until I was ready and able to climb the steep winding stairs to my bedroom. My dear cousin who was helping me arranged delivery and set up just before I went home and set it up in the front room of my home -- with a sheet over the picture window ( what the cats are looking out of in my little avatar picture) so I was not "on display" for the neighbors and passing foot traffic :heehee:

Placement of this rental bed was great - same level as the bathroom and kitchen and kept me in contact with my housemate and anyone else visiting. While I could do stairs I certainly did not want to do stairs very often for the first couple of weeks!

Don't know if it's been mentioned yet but if you go over to the recovery side, find a green "Bilateral" tag, click on the tag and you'll get a list of all the bilateral threads here - there are quite a few of us around :) The link to my recovery thread is in my signature -- it's old and has not been updated in quite a while. 7.5 years late I am super glad I had both hips fixed at the same time .... and rarely even think about them .... until I log in here :)

Best wishes to you!
 

marieltha

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I’m a knee, shoulder, and foot recoverer, but my husband’s foresight and continued and continual caregiving is getting us both through this. Praise for you for thinking ahead.
You must have plans for icing and sleeping. Sleeping plans for both of you! You cannot care for her if you get sleep deprived.
Ice systems, electric or gravity feed seem superior in my experience. Fussing with ice packs when you are tired and in pain and out of patience puts me over the top. I like Aircast Cryo. I have the gravity feed.
An adjustable bed has been a godsend. We had a sleep number bed and added an adjustable base. Both have been crucial in my ongoing recoveries. Fussing with pillows when you are tired and in pain and out of patience puts me over the top.
After helping me shower after my first Partial knee replacement, my husband remodeled the bathroom shower stall in the spare bedroom. The masterbath had already been done by him, but it is big and a long walk from the bed.
Right after the next two surgeries, I slept in the guest room and used that ensuite shower-smaller and closer, and redone with a bigger seat, ledges for handholds, dual, movable shower heads.
I’m still showering in there even though I’m sleeping in the master.
Again, praise for your foresight.
Good luck to you both!
 
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TangoGunn

TangoGunn

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Welcome to both of you lol. I wanted to share an image of the transfer bench I used. It’s a Moen. Very sturdy.
Sorry for the dumb question; Transferring from what to what? Is this a toilet thing? A get in and out of bed thing?
 

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