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[THR] New hip amidst fire evacuations!

Discussion in 'Hip Replacement Recovery Area' started by otisbeagle, Nov 19, 2018.

  1. otisbeagle

    otisbeagle member
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    Hi Everybody!
    Thank you for this wonderful forum, which has already become invaluable to me. Please pardon the long story, but it’s so cathartic!!

    I’m a 42 year old with an 11 month old baby who was only recently diagnosed with bilateral hip dysplasia. Though I’ve never had any symptoms in my left hip (and I know this could change!), I realize in retrospect that my right hip has always been weird—less flexible, and with a tendency to turn out. After having a very big baby (thanks, massively tall Hubbie!!), I started working out again and was immediately taken down by right hip pain. It deteriorated spectacularly rapidly, and the injection we tried did nothing. Taking care of a baby for many months without being able to walk or bend in most directions was absolutely exhausting. I’ve always looked young for my age, but between my difficult pregnancy, C section and then this arthritic hip, I aged about 20 years in 2. But at least I have a really fun little baby to show for it!!

    I had an anterior hip replacement on Nov. 7, which went well, I was released on Nov. 8 as planned, and then we went home. Just a few hours later, the crazy Southern California fires started up, and my husband’s ex-wife (we are friends) had to evacuate to our house. A few hours later, we were all on the run (including my husband, parents—who had come from the east coast to watch the baby—and assorted dogs), but when we arrived at the beach hotel, the rooms we reserved were mysteriously gone. In all of Los Angeles, there wasn’t a single hotel room available. So around 5am, we were sitting in the lobby of a hotel that couldn’t accommodate us, and I needed to use the restroom. So my husband brought in the little “princess toilet” provided by the hospital, but the bathroom was just too far away. Humiliated and experiencing spectacular pain, i started sobbing uncontrollably (normally I am NOT very emotional). I was whacked out on Oxycodone and hadn’t slept in ages, so I was beginning to reenact scenes from Taxi Driver.

    Eventually, we found a friend of a friend’s apartment, and managed to stay there two nights. Then we went to my uncle’s house, which was going okay until his girlfriend’s mother suddenly wound up in the hospital. My parents immediately started guilting me about leaving right away, but I was on Day 4 and in major pain. I started crying again.

    The following morning, our mandatory evacuation orders were fortunately lifted, so my parents made sure we booked it out of there. I begged to have some breakfast so that I wouldn’t get sick from meds, but they were in some kind of insane hurry. I threw up after taking the meds, but then I was pretty much okay.
    That night at home was more relaxing, but then I woke up the next morning with severe flu-like symptoms. I was retching and almost passed, but my husband managed to get me back in bed. We called the nurse, who was certain that it was a reaction to the Oxycodone. Amazing, because I was only taking 5mg (I am a small female, so maybe it hits me harder). So I went cold turkey on drugs, and my symptoms improved over the course of the day. Though no one told me not to take any meds, and my internist was willing to prescribe me Traumadol, I had had enough of opioids. My brain cleared almost immediately, I stopped crying, and found my parents much easier to deal with! My doc did allow me to take a small amount of Naproxen, so that’s all I’ve been taking. The first few days without meds were horrible, but I didn’t want to get sick or lose my mind again.

    On day 8 I finally had my first home PT session, as the fires had backlogged everything in town. That went well, though I was tired and weak. ( And I’m a pretty fit, almost hyperactive person, so that was depressing.) My PT (who has forty years of experience) doesnt want me to use a cane anywhere but the stairs, because he thinks I could end up with a limp. I wholeheartedly agree, so I use the walker primarily.

    Today is day 13, and everyday I get a little stronger. Today was my third PT session, and we went from 4 laps around the house to 12 to 25. My pain level is pretty low, though there is still plenty of upper hip swelling and lots of stiffness. My PT wants me to start playing around with walking unaided, though I can’t do that too well yet. I still sort of shuffle.

    So, my health care providers feel that the whole trauma of the evacuation set me back three or four days, but now I’m doing a lot better. They tell me that I’ll be walking unaided soon and doing more, though I don’t know when I’ll be able to take care of the baby again. Can’t wait to go back to being autonomous!!

    Thank you so much for reading, and I wish you all great success with your new hips!!
     
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  2. Lski

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    My goodness you have been through so much in the past few weeks. At 2 weeks out I was at my low and have had struggles of my own. This journey is a challenge. Being a new mom is a big adjustment, I can only imagine trying to care for a baby while recovering from hip surgery. Thankfully you have good support from your husband and parents. You mentioned they came from the east coast, that means they traveled quite a distance to be there for you. I'm all too familiar with living far from family. I'm in PA and all my relatives are in MA. It's not easy to accept help when you are used to managing on your own. It's time to rest so you heal and gain your strength. Wish you well.
     
  3. Bionic

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    @otisbeagle
    All I can say is WOW,
    I can't begin to imagine the things you have been through.
    Some how you have managed to get this far and by the sounds of it are now doing well.
    You sound tough so draw on that strong will and you will get through all of this.
    Best wishes for your future recovery
     
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  4. Mojo333

    Mojo333 FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    :wave:Definitely a tough start to recovery!:umm:
    Take all slow and easy and it will get better faster.
    Hope you have no more crises to deal with as you continue to get better.:beg:
    Well get you in the November Nimbles recovery club so you can see who had surgery around the same time and add a signature.
     
  5. otisbeagle

    otisbeagle member
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    Thanks so much for the responses!!
    @Lski, you make a great point that I am very lucky to have parents who will travel across the country and take care of their grandkid for 3 weeks! Fortunately, he is just about the happiest and lowest maintenance kid in the world (he will probably get me back when he’s a sullen teenager listening to the Cure all day...), and they’re all having a ball together. I recently launched Operation Convince My Parents to Move to California, but I fear that the recent fires did not help my agenda!!
    That’s great that your family is fairly close, Lski. I am from DC and have lived up and down 95...but no one ever returns from Southern California!! Apart from the fires, heatwaves, mudslides and earthquakes, it’s the perfect place to live. I see that you and I are similarly aged. How have you been feeling with your recent new hip? Did you find that people were surprised to hear that you were getting a new hip at your age? People thought I was joking!!
     
  6. otisbeagle

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    @Bionic, thanks for calling me strong, but I assure you I was a bigger baby than the baby!! Frankly, I have led a very easy life with absolutely zero health challenges, so I try to put things in perspective. Whereas many of my LA friends complain about Western medicine (the holistic/new age movement never left these parts), I thank my lucky stars for it. Without modern medicine, neither my (very healthy) son nor I would be alive after that delivery, and I’d be permanently disabled at age 42. I also have a newfound appreciation for chronic pain. This is terrible to say, but when people I knew used to complain about their knees/hips/back, I sort of thought they were just being lazy on some level. But now I understand that chronic pain wears on a person psychologically—and it must be so much worse for pains with no cure.

    Today is going pretty well. I found that I can sort of get to the piano (I’m a musician), but I need to have my legs up on another chair. So, I can at least work with my right hand, which is better than nothing!

    Parents just went on a Thanksgiving grocery store odyssey with the little guy, so it’s REALLY nice to be alone at the piano. And hey, I don’t really have to cook this year!

    Hope everyone is having a good day!!
     
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    Last edited: Nov 20, 2018
  7. Jaycey

    Jaycey SUPER MODERATOR Moderator

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    Quite a rocky start for you. Thank goodness things have calmed down and you can rest and relax a bit.
    Please do not let PT push you. There is no set time to stop using assistive devices. It's all about when you are ready. You certainly don't want to develop a limp. Keep using your walking aid until you start leaving it behind.
     
  8. otisbeagle

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    Jaycey, thank you for the advice. Fortunately, my PT doesn’t seem the type to want to push through pain. But I will say no if it’s really uncomfortable.
     
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  9. Celle

    Celle FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    @otisbeagle - What a rough start you had to your recovery! :console2:

    I hope things improve from now on.

    Here is the recovery reading we give to everyone with a new hip:
    Hip Recovery: The Guidelines
    1. Don’t worry: Your body will heal all by itself. Relax, let it, don't try and hurry it, don’t worry about any symptoms now, they are almost certainly temporary
    2. Control discomfort:
    rest
    elevate
    ice
    take your pain meds by prescription schedule (not when pain starts!)​
    3. Do what you want to do BUT
    a. If it hurts, don't do it and don't allow anyone - especially a physical therapist - to do it to you
    b. If your leg swells more or gets stiffer in the 24 hours after doing it, don't do it again.​
    4. PT or exercise can be useful BUT take note of these
    5. Here is a week-by-week guide for Activity progression for THRs

    Pain management and the pain chart
    Healing: how long does it take?
    Chart representation of THR recovery

    Dislocation risk and 90 degree rule
    Energy drain for THRs
    Pain and swelling control: elevation is the key

    Post op blues is a reality - be prepared for it

    Myth busting: on getting addicted to pain meds
    Sleep deprivation is pretty much inevitable - but what causes it?

    BIG TIP: Hips actually don't need any exercise to get better. They do a pretty good job of it all on their own if given half a chance. Trouble is, people don't give them a chance and end up with all sorts of aches and pains and sore spots. All they need is the best therapy which is walking and even then not to excess.

    We try to keep the forum a positive and safe place for our members to talk about their questions or concerns and to report successes with their joint replacement surgery. While members may create as many threads as they like in a majority of BoneSmart's forums, we ask that each member have only one recovery thread. This policy makes it easier to go back and review history before providing advice.
     
  10. Ldm380

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    WoW @otisbeagle if there is a bonesmart award for worst start to recovery I think you had better start writing your speech . I can’t believe what you went through the first few days of recovery, so sorry to hear. Hope that everything runs smoothly from now on.
     
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  11. otisbeagle

    otisbeagle member
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    @Ldm380, Thank you for your kind words. Honestly, my plight was very stressful, but so far the hip is recovering normally (knock on wood). Having an infection or dislocation requiring revision sounds much, much worse. It's interesting how much home care I am getting after this surgery. Nurses have come three separate times (this is their normal protocol, apparently), and I am thrilled with this level of concern. I compare it to my C section a year ago, when they just released me from the hospital and told me to go to the doc at 2 weeks. That was it. I suppose that taking stuff OUT of you is less dicey than putting stuff IN you!!
     
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  12. otisbeagle

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    I wanted to ask you all a few questions. I had been elevating my leg on a large pillow in bed and on the couch (as you all recommended on bonesmart), but my PT said that that was unnecessary. He feels that just having it up is enough. I have to say that the angle of the pillow was bothering me a bit after awhile. Do you think that is sufficient? Also, sometimes I sit at my computer/piano with my legs up on another chair. Could this result in more swelling?

    Yet another question: how long would you recommend icing my hip? I still have some swelling and a ton of soreness up high and toward the side of my hip. I've been icing, icing, icing!!
    Tomorrow will be the 2 week anniversary of my operation. Can't say it's gone by quickly exactly, though the last four or five days have passed more easily.
     
  13. otisbeagle

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    Today was exciting because I walked 300 feet sans walker/cane with my PT!! It wasn’t the world’s most beautiful walk, but hey...I did it!!
    After that I futzed around with laundry and then made a pie. So, maybe I was on my feet too long. Guess I’ll find out soon!

    Hope everyone is doing well today!
     
  14. otisbeagle

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    Ugh, looks like my baby has cellulitis in his eye. He will be taking antibiotics. I’m assuming this isn’t communicable, but it scares me slightly. Rrgh!!
     
  15. Lski

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    Yes I do find most people think I’m too young for a hip replacement. I too have always appeared younger than my true age, so I’m sort of used to this reaction with everything I’ve done. At 27 I was too young to be married with a newborn, was told I was mature for my age since I was age 10. After this hip surgery I sure feel all 43 years + with the constant pain. It’s getting better but I’m impatient. I find PT both land and water very helpful and recently started visits with a chiropractor. His treatments are intended to help my muscles and nerves heal faster and “ wake up” as well as re-align my pelvis. He said my right side is 1/4 inch lower than my left.
     
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  16. Layla

    Layla FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    Hi, Welcome to BoneSmart and Recovery. It sounds like you were beset with drama in those very early days.
    Thankfully things have calmed down.

    I didn't really elevate much either, just reclined all the way back in my recliner. As far as icing goes, it's recommended by the forum Nurse to ice for no less than 40-60 minutes several times per day. I iced anytime I was sitting or laying down. Went to bed with an ice pack also and refreshed it during overnight bathroom runs.

    I hope poor lil baby boy's eye issue clears soon.
    Wishing you a Happy Thanksgiving!
    @otisbeagle
     
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  17. otisbeagle

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    @Lski Sounds like you have had a rough road with your hips. Wow!! But pretty cool that you had a baby when you were 27. I wasn’t nearly mature enough to do that at that age, nor had I met the right guy (my first husband and I were very amicably divorced when I was 33, and then I met the awesome father of my son when I was 36 and later delivered at 41). Although becoming an older mother suited my particular path, I think it’s fantastic (and probably wiser) to do it younger!! My poor parents had to wait forever for a grandkid, and my chances of meeting my grandkids are slim (and even slimmer for my husband, who is 56!!). Because my older husband has a bum ankle, I will need to run after the little guy (who is on the verge of walking). Right now, it’s a competition between the baby and me. Not to toot my own horn, but I think I’m a better walker than he is right now. But he keeps stealing my walker!!
    Happy Thanksgiving!!
     
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  18. otisbeagle

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    @Layla Thank you greatly for the advice and well wishes. I’m icing up a storm.

    Went out to dinner for the first time with everyone. Since it was just our club (very casual), I could put my feet up on a second chair and not feel badly about it. It was nice to see some friendly faces there, though my hip didn’t love sitting in the car—not terrible though. Do you all think sitting in the car for short periods is bad for the hip 2 weeks in??
     
  19. Mojo333

    Mojo333 FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    Not short trips...just wasn't overly comfortable for me ..I was ever so ready to get out after 5 minutes.
    Sorry about the baby's eye but don't think cellulitis Usually spreads from person to person. But you have an increased risk if you have an injury, such as a cut, fracture, so I would be cautious and diligent.
    Guessing he is on antibiotics and hope it will clear up soon.

    Hope today is a good day !
     
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    Last edited: Nov 23, 2018
  20. otisbeagle

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    @Mojo333 Thank you for the reply. Yes, he is on antibiotics. I had read that these sorts of infections don’t normally spread from person to person, but I was still a little spooked.

    Yeah, the car thing is a drag, so I will limit it to short trips for now. Even though I had my right hip replaced, I do feel like I could probably drive pretty soon.
     
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