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THR One week away - Still apprehensive

scorow

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My right THR is scheduled for a week from today. Intellectually, I know that it needs to be done (as there is no alternative treatment) and, thankfully, the pain has been getting worse since the surgery was scheduled. The latter is "good" because it has helped mitigate thoughts that would arise during relatively pain-free stretches that maybe I didn't really need the surgery after all. And everyone I know that has had the procedure - to a person - has said that they only wish they'd had it sooner.

But I'm still having trouble accepting the irreversibility of the procedure - just the concept that a person (the OS), who I hardly know, is going to cut-off the head of my femur. I really cringe when I see the diagrams or even the models of the devices and procedures depicted during the pre-op session. I've had other surgeries - mostly arthroscopic - but none involved permanent modifications like this, with the potential for leg length issues and all of that. While I have significant paid during movement, I'm still basically functional, and while at work (desk job), really feel 100% normal. That, plus having been very athletic up until about 8 months ago, makes it hard to convince myself that I need to undertake such an irreversible step.

I'm not concerned about the recovery - I've faced that in various forms before (including after hip arthroscopy about 6 months ago). I know that this is a mostly "venting" post, but it helps a bit to just express this anxiety. I guess that I just need to grit my teeth and get through this waiting period when my mind seems to focus on the wrong aspects of this.
 

dunestar

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You remind me of myself. I had an issue of letting go...but the last few weeks told me it was definitely time! Though I wait again, for a bit, I am expectant to move beyond and let it all go! I pray you can calm yourself and let go of the pressure. You are here "now" for a reason. Try to visualize yourself beyond the surgery. Maybe stop looking at the procedure...that's for the team of professionals! All "we" have to do is sleep for a while then recover! Perhaps treat yourself to a nice trip to a sunny climate, when you are ready! {That's what we're doing! Wink!] Take care, God Bless!
 

VSlowLife

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I am very familiar with this feeling:

But I'm still having trouble accepting the irreversibility of the procedure - just the concept that a person (the OS), who I hardly know, is going to cut-off the head of my femur.
It’s not easy to wrap your head around it. I did the best job I could finding my OS, and at some point, I decided, it’s like deciding to jump into a pool of water. Hesitant at first, but so glad you did, when you emerge.

Folks here told me the bone pain was not going to be a significant pain, compared to breaking a bone, type pain. I found them to be right.

Reading other folk’s journeys helped me prepare mentally, how to carefully move, and to ice, ice, ice. I can honestly say, 13 days post surgery, if my other hip goes, I would not hesitate to do this again, and I live alone.
 

Going4fun

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I hear you. This feeling occurs with a lot of people.

Presumably you have researched your surgeon and found a surgeon with a good record and someone you trust. When I got my last-minute terror, I reminded myself of how much I liked my surgeon and how much I trusted him.

You can also put in a call to your surgeon's office and express your doubts. Sometimes a nurse or a staffer can say just the right thing to calm nerves. A staffer from my surgeon's office called me right at the height of my presurgery jitters (more than jitters). I think she called on a Thursday, and my surgeon was coming up in 5 days, on Tuesday. I told her how scared I was, and she just said how good my surgeon was ... and how well patients did after surgery. Nothing fancy or deep, but her words really calmed me.

You're right: surgeons are strangers. A friend of mine would use the term "professionals," and her meaning is that a professional is good at a certain skill and doesn't let minor things interfere with doing a good job. Professionals get their satisfaction from excellence and their excellence doesn't rise or fall based on personal affection or relation. It's funny: surgeons often do get operated on by their friends (fellow surgeons), and I'm not at all sure that is a good thing.

See if you can avoid visualizing the surgery. (I'm an odd one--who totally was comfortable watching surgery videos.) Hip replacement is a great achievement in modern medicine. A century ago, folks would just be walking around in pain, with limps--not not walking around much. The surgery improves the quality of people's lives, reduces pain ... makes mobility and activity possible again. After surgery, people can do all kinds of activities they couldn't before surgery. They get on with the rest of their lives and their interests without hip pain raising its nasty head.

I get the agony of the fluctuating pain. I will tell you that if you canceled, your pain is guaranteed to increase the next day, the next week. Don't why that happens. I could walk well when I had my surgery. I walked into the hospital that morning of surgery while my sister (who had worse hips but who delayed the surgery) was using a walker. The intake worker assumed my sister was having the surgery. I told her I was having it.

I wanted to get rid of the pain ... I could walk pretty well ... though at a certain distance pain would flare up ... But I couldn't exercise like I wanted, couldn't engage in my dance hobby like I wanted. I was there to have the surgery to fully live, to feel fully alive. And I assume that's why you signed up for the surgery.

I'm sure you liked your surgeon ... and you are going to a hospital-center with a record you like or a reputation you like. You are not going to a "stranger-stranger.' You are going to a high-level professional, surrounded by other professionals (anesthesiologist and OR nurses and staff) with years of training, working off of a rich knowledge base that surgeons have accumulated over a century or so. Your surgeon has likely performed thousands of these operations and has fine-tuned their approach to get the best results for their patients. Your surgeon has a reputation to protect. And you'll be receiving a device that is the product of precision manufacturing and advanced biomedical engineering and science.

The hospital will do a complicated setup protocol for your arrival. There is a detailed protocol for recovery, based on decades and decades of research and patient experience. I won't tell you that you "should" go forward. But you are not taking some haphazard risk. You are taking advantage of one of the great achievements of modern medicine.

Good luck.
 
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scorow

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Thanks all, for the wise words - I needed that. And Going4fun, your situation with the pain sounds very similar. And I realize that much of the reason that I seem "relatively OK" much of the time compared to some others is because I have slowly withdrawn from things like sports, working out, even walking any distance, that would aggravate it (and it still hurts much of the time). But I want don't want to just "cope" - I want an active life back. And "coping" is increasingly difficult anyway. I know I need the surgery - not only have I .

In some ways, this mental aspect probably arises from the time between scheduled and surgery - too much time for the mind to ponder it. I should be thankful as I know that others in the UK and other places often have a longer waiting interval than I.

Anyway, thanks again for the replies. This forum is really, really helpful for those walking this path.
 

Eman85

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I've been through it twice, and had second thoughts both time. First one I didn't feel comfortable about it until the night before at the motel. Second one I even joked with admitting the day of the surgery if I could leave as it wasn't hurting. I didn't feel comfortable about it until I walked back to sit down and it locked up. Apprehension about such a major surgery seems to be normal. Especially since once you commit you're all in. As long as you understand the recovery that will make it better.
 

leejaa

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Coming here and venting ones fears is a blessing. We all understand that fear. I was really having a hard time the first time with my knee- losing a part of myself. After the surgery with the pain gone I did not think of it much and especially after a few more joints got replaced. Most of the time I do not remember that I have artificial joints and in fact when looking at my x-rays it always shocks me a little to see them in there - it does not seem like me since I should feel it more. The hips especially do not feel different once your fully recovery.

I have worked in the OR and seen these surgeries and yet I could not watch them on video prior to the surgery and I am not squeamish but it was just too personal at that time. I would say, stop looking at the pictures, etc and make a list of the things you want to do again once fully recovered. You said you were more active 8m ago so start imagining being active again and not having to think before walking longer distances or bike riding or..........
 

Mojo333

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Get ready to get your life back...:egypdance:

I also mourned the loss of my Original Parts, but it is broke...like both of mine were.
Nurse Josephine rightfully reminded me I would not like to lose a rotten tooth, but it was ridding me of pain and it truly gave me my life back!!!
I have never regretted the surgery or the recovery.
I can do anything I want to do and am back to a happy active life!:happydance:
 

dapplega

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Some great responses and similar stories. I too experienced the same doubts and readiness questions. I do think it is important to try and get in the right mental state before the surgery. My doubts stayed with me even afterwards questioning why and if I did it to soon and that led to some depression (that similar to my hip surgery was something I had never dealt with before). Don't want this to come across as talking you out of surgery - only encouraging you to try to get to some level of acceptance as a way of dealing with any doubts beforehand...
BTW - my hip is doing great. :)
 

Layla

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Hello and Welcome to BoneSmart. Thanks for joining us!
I can certainly relate to your feelings. I had many of the same. I struggled with the finality of it all. The thought of being under anesthesia while someone sliced my flesh, sawed my natural hip and replaced it with a prosthetic was unnerving to me. The entire prospect frightened and caused me great anxiety.

I found the time between scheduling a date and my actual surgery to be the most stressful also. Initially I was was relieved that I finally scheduled surgery, but anxiety was pretty much my constant companion. While I did limp and struggle with pain, it wasn't overwhelming and like you, while sitting I was comfortable and could forget that my hip was bone on bone. Through tears and prayer the night before my surgery, I thanked God for the 60 good years with my hip and tried to make peace with it all. I also shed a few tears on a trip to the bathroom on my own several hours post op when I looked at the covering of my incision in the mirror and realized "the switch" really did happen.

You will adjust. Since you realize post op that there is no going back, there is an acceptance. While things can go wrong down the road, we have no guarantees in this life anyway, so we take a chance for a brighter future.

As you've heard from others, you will forget you even have a prosthetic hip at times. It takes awhile to get to that point, but it truly happens. I think you're going to love your second chance and we'll be here to support and encourage you in any way we're able.
Wishing you comfort and peace of mind as you await next Wednesday.
@scorow
 

dunestar

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Wow! So much great advice here! We ALL struggle with fear! I get so overwhelmed sometimes that I just shake. We constantly tell ourselves; "It's not THAT bad yet!" But...it really is or we wouldn't be here right now! The waiting is so very hard! But the actual realization that this hip is about gone has to take precedence over all or it will be far worse on your body and soul! I pray for peace for you!
[You can do so also for me...as I wait again!]
 

CricketHip

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Hello! Glad to see you found the forum.. when you get nervous just return to your thread here and reread the above posts.
They tell you just like it is and soon you will be on the other side and helping others that are anxiously awaiting their turn.

I took my nightly walk last night and was marveling at the smooth glide in both replaced hips- the thrill never gets old for me and I wish the same for you!
 

CricketHip

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We've all been right where you are currently. I struggled with my decision clear up to the last few days pre op.
Then, when I got to the last few days, I began to feel very calm. I hope this happens for you, too.

@scorow
 

GrannyC

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We all struggles with the jitters prior to surgery but by the day my surgery came, I just wanted to get it behind me and move on with my life. My only regret after surgery was that I didn’t do it sooner. It has been wonderful to be rid of that OA pain and get back to a normal life. I bet you’ll find the same thing. Wishing you well.
 

Elf1

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As my fellow hippies have already told you, you're about to get a new lease on life. The waiting is truly the hardest part of this. You just have to take a deep breath and put your faith in the surgeon and his team to do their best job. You will truly be surprised when the dust settles and you're on the healing side. We'll be here to help you through. :console2::praying:
 
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scorow

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Thanks all. Your words have been really helpful these past few days. Between them and the pain the past couple of day, I think that I'm becoming at peace with all of this. I know that the next few days will be tense (my surgery is on Wednesday), but I'm getting there.

Would that more people in the world could be as empathetic and supportive of one another as they are on this forum.
 

Mojo333

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Hi @scorow
I hope today is a day that you have peace of mind that this surgery is going to put you back to a full healthy life.
Try to lay down the what ifs (easy for me to say...Now) and only focus on the positives.
Lots of folks cheering you on.:tada:
 

Layla

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Sending a friendly hug and prayers for comfort and peace of mind.
You're going to do fine. A week from now you'll be on the road to recovery and so happy it's over. It's your second chance.....no more pain! :happyfeet:
@scorow
 

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