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

DEL2019Sep-7

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Aloha Cristina and Tom...what a special couple you are. Tom, I can't say enough about how incredible it is that you are posting here, reaching out, asking for suggestions, etc. Again...pretty super special.

Cristina, I reiterate what many are saying, take it easy with the exercises. Sometimes less is more. When I had my knee done in 2011, the protocol (not sure if it still is the protocol) was bend, twist, stretch, push the heck out of the knee to break up scar tissue, etc. Well, today 8 years later, I'm still having some major issues, much of what I think came from too aggressive PT. The hip, of course, is a very different kind of joint. Nonetheless, you are still very early on in your recovery (BTW, we had our surgeries on the same day!). Just moving up and down from bed/chair, walking to another room, doing dishes, brushing teeth, going to bathroom, etc. is really all our body needs to do as it has been majorly assaulted, and the tissues need time to heal. When I tried to do what they advised me to do at hospital, I found that my body just wasn't ready. It would revolt with severe spasms, etc. So I stopped and waited til when I felt my muscles were ready for something new, without the revolt. Listen. You have a very wise body/mind connection. That's MY story. You will create your own. :)

A big hug to you two! It will get better, one second, one day, one month at a time. We're here to support you in any way we can. Malama pono...:flwrysmile::loveshwr:
 

Layla

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Hi Tom,
I'd ice as long as there is swelling or pain. And both can continue for months.
I'd also ice preventatively after walking or exercising. It seems Christina is doing well and she's lucky to have you as her caregiver. Hope you both have a great rest of the week!
@TangoGunn
 

CricketHip

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Hello @TangoGunn !! Nice to meet you, Christina!!
What a great team you two make! I love the one day of work and a day of rest, game plan, that is a great idea and you’re now handling your stairs!
Ice will continue to be a big part of your recovery. Its the best natural anti-inflammatory that can be used that doesn't require taking a medication.

So happy to hear that things are progressing smoothly!!! No pressure but can’t wait for the next update. :heehee:
 

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For me, icing for knees, shoulder (May2019 surgery, most recent surgery), feet is months, but with steadily decreasing frequency.

Others can speak better for hip replacements, but I have been icing hip bursas off an on for decades. Most hip bursa pain has gone away since I got the knees fixed, but as I exercise more, the hip sometimes likes the ice. I have come to view icing (& moist heat) as pain relief and preferable to drugs longterm.

As before, you are a very good caretaker. We are on one floor, but spread out, and it was a day for smiles when I moved from sleeping in the guest room (west) to the master bedroom (east). Cristina sounds like she is doing great. Look forward to hearing about the move to upstairs!
 

Layla

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Dropping by to say :hi: Cristina and Tom.
Wondering how you're coming along Cristina? Hopefully all is going well and you're enjoying weekly progress. Three weeks out now, I'll bet things are looking up.
Take care and have a great week!
@TangoGunn
 

Layla

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Hey Cristina :hi:
How are you doing? We'd love to hear from you when you have time.
It's a special day, One Month already, Happy One Month Anniversary! :flwrysmile:
Wishing you a Happy Friday and a wonderful weekend! Hope to hear from you soon.
@TangoGunn
 
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Hi gang! (It's the husband, Tom, again). Today was the 1st day of the 6th week, since Cristina's surgery (8/27/2019). One week ago, on a whim, I pulled into an Academy Sports, and picked out a couple of aluminum hiking poles, with the snow-ski-type grips. It took Christina about a day to get used to them, but she hasn't used the walker, since. She really prefers the poles, although carrying things in her bag on the Walker is not optional with the poles. She also walked herself out to her car, this morning, and took herself out for a few laps around the block. She's driving her own car, now. Not quite ready for traffic yet, but close. Hips are still quite swollen, but she's resisting ice more than she used to. She's tired of being cold all the time, so we ice when she's up to it, but not round-the-clock, as before. She is also very tired of sleeping on her back, but can't make it on to her side just yet. That seems a ways-off. But I have every confidence that she'll be ready for our road trip to Virginia, next week. We are still debating Depends diapers. vs. Public restrooms at gas stations along the route. She no longer requires my brilliantly-designed two-step that she used to need to get into our mini-van (see photo, attached). She's able to go into the grocery store and use the cart for support walking and get our grocery shopping done, by herself. It was driving her crazy, me buying all the wrong stuff. She reminds me that she is very glad that she got both hips done together. That may not be an option for some, but for those that can, she recommends doing them together. All in all, I feel like we're on the right path, at the right pace. We can't say enough good things about the support we received from this message board. It was just very VERY helpful, so Thank You all for your help.
 

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Layla

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Hi Tom and Cristina,
Tom, thanks for updating on, Cristina. It sounds like she's doing really well.
Moving from the walker to the hiking poles, driving and grocery shopping on her own...all great progress!

I'm wondering how many hours you'll be on the road and what's the longest length of time, Cristina, has driven in a car as a passenger since her surgery? Your brilliantly designed two step used for Cristina to access her vehicle is awesome. Nice work!

I can only speak for myself, but know I'm not alone in this -
For the first several months post op, I could not sit comfortably in the car as a driver, or passenger for longer than 30-40 minutes. I'd get terribly uncomfortable and would begin to jiggle around in an effort to change positions to get comfortable. It simply felt like there was no leg room and I'd even get a bit achy around 30 minutes in. Even though Cristina is tired of icing (understandable) consider bringing some gel ice packs in a small cooler. I used to stick one underneath the buckle of the seat belt because it hit part of my incision. I felt the cold also served as a distraction as I began getting close to that "GET ME OUT OF HERE" feeling.

You two may find frequent stops to get out and stretch your legs and walk a bit more comfortable for Cristina over using disposable underwear. Only mentioning it so you're aware that she may not be as comfortable for lengthy
times on the road without breaks as you're hoping. It would be best to be mentally prepared for either / or scenario. You'll have to let us know how the road trip goes upon your return, since we all learn from others experiences.

On behalf of BoneSmart, thanks for your kind words in regard to the forum.
Please continue to stop by with updates. If we don't hear from you again before you head out for Virgina, safe travels to you both...Enjoy!
@TangoGunn
 

Mojo333

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:wave:Great to hear Cristina is doing well.
I agree the trip will need some stops...car riding for very long could be a struggle for me.
Things will keep getting better and better and I'm with Cristina on the "one and done!"
Lots of great improvement to come.
Thanks for the update.
 

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I too can only speak for myself. I do like car rides but after three hours I am stiff for a couple of minutes. The car ride itself is fine.
I would just plan on rest stops and there are usually higher toilets in disabled stalls . At least there are grab rails. Gas stations may not have disabled access. Anyway I remember them from old days as being less than pleasant which is less true now
The rest stops will get her out and moving
McDonalds restrooms are usually ok if Cristina doesn't mind going in a fast food place
 

CricketHip

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Good morning to you both! I agree with the above sentiments, the more you can make the stops and have Christina walk around, the better. I learned the hard way with my first hip. While I didn't feel badly at the time, it was all cumulative and I wished I had stopped more often.
But how exciting to get away and glad to hear a good update on her.. you guys are a good team.
 

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Great update!
I carry purse size lysol spray for restrooms. Sold in drugstores and some grocery stores.
Consider clay cold packs instead of ice. They do not feel as cold or make me get chilled & last about an hour.
Do your car seats have cold and hot temps? I alternate between the two on a low setting in the car.
 
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TangoGunn

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Hi gang! (It's the husband, Tom, again). Today starts the 9th week, post-op for Cristina. We made it from Nashville to Virginia Beach and back again. Like many of you suggested, we made frequent stops in-between to stretch the legs. But all-in-all, a very successful trip. Mission accomplished and with no real problems. No Diapers were needed, after all. Before we left for the trip, Cristina had done a little driving on her own (just around the block, and once or twice, in light traffic). She needed to return back to work, last week, and I was able to drive her and pick her up each day.

Cristina has not been icing on a regular basis for the past several weeks; very little icing and very little in the way of pain-meds, however a pretty steady regiment of 2 Aspirin+2 Tylenol every 3-4 hours, if the pain is troubling her.

We thought she would be driving herself to work this week, but we had a small scare, this past Friday afternoon (10/18/2019). She was attempting to come up our basement steps, and at the very first step, tweaked something on her left hip, as she applied pressure to her left hip lifting herself up to that first tread. She was using poles, rather than the hand rails, and that put all of the lift, on her left thigh/hip. She's a tuffy, but this "tweak" - whatever it was - froze her in her tracks and put her in tears. She didn't fall, but we struggled a little to get her to the basement couch, where she remained the entire weekend, at my insistence.

We went full rest, and full ice, for the entire weekend, and by Sunday night things had returned to their previous state. But it was scary. Personally, I think she just forgot she had just had major surgery - things had been going more less according to plan, after all and I think she just forgot, and went a little too aggressive with the step up, and may have torn a little muscle that was trying to re-heal/reattach itself to bone or other muscle.

However, that scare pushed us back a week or more on her driving herself. Not a big deal for us - I'm just posting on the off-chance that someone in the future will be reading this thread and may learn something from our experience.

Again, she's returned to the normal state of progress, but I remember (I think it was Mojo333) who said something about occasional "zips and zaps." I don't know if this was one of those or not but whatever it was served as a good reminder that even now - 8 full weeks past recovery - she is still swollen on both hips (smaller footballs, but footballs nevertheless) and she still needs to take it easy, and icing is still called for (although I'm still struggling to get her to ice on the regular). Anyhow - that's our 8 complete weeks post-op update. Talk to you guys later.
 

Mojo333

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It is scary when one of those "what was that?" :flabber: sensations comes out of the blue...even when you're tough!

Hope she will reconsider the icing...and even the elevating... after being up and about a bit...still helpful for swelling and pain relief.
Thanks for the update @TangoGunn
Indeed, our shared experiences are helpful and my guess is by Christmas...there will be lots of blessings to make you both happy for modern technology.
Bad hips are just....Bad!
Healing hugs for dear wife!
 
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Layla

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Thanks for the update. It's nice to hear from you again. Glad to hear the trip went well!

Sorry about the scare, glad Cristina is doing better after some rest. I agree with, Mojo, regarding the ice. Cristina can use it for months to come.
Have a great weekend you two!
@TangoGunn
 

Layla

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Hi Cristina and Tom :wave:
Stopping by to wish Cristina a Happy Two Month Anniversary!
I hope you both have a great week. :)
Stay in touch, we'd love to follow, Cristina's bilateral journey a while longer.
@TangoGunn
 

Layla

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Happy Three Month Anniversary, Christina! I hope you and hubby have a nice Thanksgiving.
Leave an update next time you stop by, would love to hear how all is progressing.
Until then...all the best!
@TangoGunn
 

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