BoneSmart® Hip / Knee Replacement Forum
Knee Replacement & Hip Replacement
Patient Advocacy & Online Community

Pre-Op Blues

Discussion in 'Hip Replacement Pre-Op Area' started by Lerwick8, Jun 11, 2017.

  1. Lerwick8

    Lerwick8
    Thread Starter

    Member Since:
    Jun 10, 2017
    Age:
    56
    Messages:
    215
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    San Francisco
    Country:
    United States United States
    Hello everyone!

    This is my first post and having read others posts, I am so glad that I found this community.

    My surgery is scheduled for July 11th (posterior total hip replacement due to Grade 4 bone-on-bone degeneration and a shredded labrum in the left hip).

    As I have been in so much pain for the last year, I know I should be excited at the prospect of a new lease of life so to speak. That said, ever since the pre-op orientation last week, I have been having bouts of depression (something I rarely experience). I think most of it has to do with the prospect of losing my independence for an extended length of time and not having a huge support network (I will have in-home care for the first two weeks).

    Has anybody else experienced these feelings. If so, your feedback would be most appreciated!
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • Friendly Friendly x 1
  2. Horseshoe

    Horseshoe

    Member Since:
    Apr 3, 2016
    Messages:
    555
    Gender:
    Female
    Country:
    United States United States
    Congrats on getting that new hip! After you attend the pre op class it makes it very real, those feelings are normal. You will be mobile before you leave the hospital and will be pleasantly surprised at how well you can get around afterwards, you're just moving slow for awhile. Many here went through thr on their own and did very well.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  3. Lerwick8

    Lerwick8
    Thread Starter

    Member Since:
    Jun 10, 2017
    Age:
    56
    Messages:
    215
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    San Francisco
    Country:
    United States United States
    Thank you @Horseshoe for your encouragement!
    Yes, the pre-op orientation was certainly an eye-opener. At my orientation, I felt as though they focused on the negative aspects (all of the don'ts and limitations) and not the positive, and I am sure that did not help.
     
  4. sharonslp

    sharonslp Forum Advisor

    Member Since:
    Mar 1, 2011
    Age:
    70
    Messages:
    3,251
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    Middle of the Mitten
    Country:
    United States United States
    Hi Lerwick. The limitations aren't actually as onerous as they sound. Your body will be reacting to major surgery, and won't really let you do much. Sleep, ice, hobble to the bathroom, sleep, ice, and so on. Then very gradual increasing of hobbling to the kitchen and maybe the front yard, and maybe down the street just a little ways, and so on. But very gradual, and still lots of resting and lots of ice. For me, I was driving very short distances in just a few weeks, which really helped with feeling independent. I ditched the walker after the first week, and used a cane for a month. Once my gait was normal (and this greatly varies among us) life was pretty much normal too....only vastly improved because no more pain (except normal surgical recovery pain which is very different from bone on bone make you limp pain).

    You don't need a huge support network. Just one person is enough, and only to get you through the immediate post-op needs, if you actually need it. I worried that I would need help getting out of bed to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night. I actually managed it on my own, and left my SO snoring blissfully unaware while I did so.

    So concern and trepidation are entirely normal. But after the fact, for most of us, we worried unnecessarily. I had home health care come for a week. It was nice to have them for peace of mind, but in reality I didn't need them.

    And do get excited about that new lease on life to follow. It is five years later for me, and I'm still thrilled to go for walks and not be limping in pain. Dancing. Bike riding. Taking grandchildren to Disney World. A few weeks of dependence is a very fair trade.

    Also, visit our library and get yourself well-prepared for post-op recovery. Knowledge is power. Ask your questions....there is always someone here who can address them.

    Sharon
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
  5. Lerwick8

    Lerwick8
    Thread Starter

    Member Since:
    Jun 10, 2017
    Age:
    56
    Messages:
    215
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    San Francisco
    Country:
    United States United States
    Thank you @sharonslp for your support!

    It is good to know that you did not need as much help as I thought one might. Also a relief to hear about your ability to get in and out of bed without too much difficulty as this is one of my big concerns!

    My bed is currently too low (only 19" from the floor to the top of the mattress) and I was told by the pre-op orientation nurse that I would have to raise it up to 12" higher. Currently looking for a mattress topper.

    All said, I am looking forward to not being in debilitating pain on a daily basis (I just started using a cane 2 weeks ago as the pain has gotten worse).
     
  6. Miss Muffet

    Miss Muffet Forum Advisor

    Member Since:
    Jan 11, 2016
    Age:
    64
    Messages:
    1,847
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    Derbyshire
    Country:
    United Kingdom United Kingdom
    Honestly your feelings are entirely normal but believe me you will cope. You'll be very well advised by the hospital staff/Physio on how to mange things, and the warnings you received are purely precautions which we all had to adhere to and which will ensure a smooth recovery. I absolutely agree that the 'inconveniences' we encounter (stiffness, swelling etc) while we recover are a mile away from the incessant grinding pain preOp. These are all things which I viewed as 'getting better' irritations all of which I knew were taking me on the road to recovery, as opposed to the alternative which would be gradual deterioration and heaps more pain.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  7. Irish Joe

    Irish Joe Forum Advisor

    Member Since:
    Dec 13, 2016
    Age:
    52
    Messages:
    825
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Co Louth
    Country:
    Ireland Ireland
    Hi Lerwick.
    Best wishes on July 11th. You really are making the best choice for yourself.
    Don't worry too much about feeling down because this will pass. Pain and lack of mobility tend to get us down sometimes.
    Just thing that tho time next month you'll be on your way to a new life.
    Keep Well.
    Joe......
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  8. Lerwick8

    Lerwick8
    Thread Starter

    Member Since:
    Jun 10, 2017
    Age:
    56
    Messages:
    215
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    San Francisco
    Country:
    United States United States
    What a great way of looking at the healing process! Thank you!
     
    • Friendly Friendly x 1
  9. Lerwick8

    Lerwick8
    Thread Starter

    Member Since:
    Jun 10, 2017
    Age:
    56
    Messages:
    215
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    San Francisco
    Country:
    United States United States
  10. Mojo333

    Mojo333 Forum Advisor

    Member Since:
    Mar 8, 2017
    Age:
    54
    Messages:
    1,772
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    Statesboro, GA
    Country:
    United States United States
    @Lerwick8 All of that pain you have been living with sets you up for that depressive state. It took so long for them to finally get a diagnosis and then when surgery was my only option... My friends and family were like...ok, you are gonna get this fixed, good. And I was like, um, No, not the answer I was looking for. Today is 6 week anniversary of my bilateral THR and even with the minor struggles I still have, I am 10,000 per cent better and have found the BEST advice from day one right here.
    We are rooting for you.
     
    • Useful Useful x 2
    • Informative Informative x 1
  11. Jaycey

    Jaycey Moderator

    Member Since:
    Jan 27, 2010
    Messages:
    22,236
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    Yorkshire
    Country:
    United Kingdom United Kingdom
    You will not lose your independence and as others have said - you won't need all that support once you are home. They will teach you everything you need to know about moving around on your own before you leave the hospital. Just put things within reach in your kitchen and bathroom and have an area set up where you can rest, ice and elevate during the day.

    THR is all about getting your life back. Please don't worry!
     
    • Friendly Friendly x 1
  12. Lerwick8

    Lerwick8
    Thread Starter

    Member Since:
    Jun 10, 2017
    Age:
    56
    Messages:
    215
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    San Francisco
    Country:
    United States United States
    Thank you @Mojo333 for your encouragement! I had a similar experience to you in that I did not get a correct diagnosis for over a year! I saw 5 different doctors who all told me I was having back issues, before I finally found one who realized it was my hip.

    Glad that you are progressing well!
     
  13. Horseshoe

    Horseshoe

    Member Since:
    Apr 3, 2016
    Messages:
    555
    Gender:
    Female
    Country:
    United States United States
    @Lerwick8 yes, it's alarmingly common, unfortunately. Was also not diagnosed correctly and then told to wait another *decade* until I was older to get my two thrs. Meanwhile, hips were deteriorating, started to limp which compromised muscles, very painful. Then more time to find a new OS, etc.

    Lost a lot of precious time waiting in the wings; time spent in pain, missing out on life and work. I have to wonder why so many GP's are not clued in about this very common ailment :shrug:
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 13, 2017
  14. Mojo333

    Mojo333 Forum Advisor

    Member Since:
    Mar 8, 2017
    Age:
    54
    Messages:
    1,772
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    Statesboro, GA
    Country:
    United States United States
    Mine spent 5 years get increasingly worse. For first almost 3 years I had no insurance as the business I managed for 20 years closed shortly after it was bought out. I did have lower back pain and terrible sciatica... MRIs bonescans xrays all re my back. Think my PCP was about to send me to a shrink but instead sent me to a neurologist who after watching me walk and letting me describe my symptoms said 'let's do a hip x-ray'
    I was like yeah Right. I just knew I had some chronic lifelong problem.
    Came back endstage OA. He said flip a coin which was worth it which to replace first. So... Bilateral it was.
    Things will get good Lerwick8.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  15. Josephine

    Josephine NURSE DIRECTOR Administrator

    Member Since:
    Jun 8, 2007
    Age:
    75
    Messages:
    72,608
    Location:
    The North
    Country:
    United Kingdom United Kingdom
    Why, do you think you're going to be an invalid for months? Did they not tell you that you will be up and walking the day after surgery (the day OF if it's done in the morning!). And that you will be moderately mobile from then on. Of course you will feel a little weak and weary but in between times you'll be able to get about, make yourself a drink and/or a snack and take yourself to the bathroom.
    Here again, this is one thing you should NOT experience and it's in your own hands. You must keep on top of the pain meds schedule. Don't wait until you are IN pain before you take them.

    Just to give you a starter, here are our recovery articles to read up on

    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. At week 4 and after you should follow this

    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.
     
  16. Lerwick8

    Lerwick8
    Thread Starter

    Member Since:
    Jun 10, 2017
    Age:
    56
    Messages:
    215
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    San Francisco
    Country:
    United States United States
    Wow @Mojo333 ! You really have had a pretty rough time of it. Apart from the incorrect diagnosis from the 5 aforementioned 'specialists,' my former primary care doc was convinced that I was suffering from acute diverticulitis (due to the intense groin pain) and sent me to the emergency room.

    You really do have to be your own advocate in the complex medical world we live in today, and it seems as though your own self-advocacy paid off when you asked for the hip x-ray.

    Now you are on the road to recovery and hopefully getting back to a semblance of normality each day.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  17. Lerwick8

    Lerwick8
    Thread Starter

    Member Since:
    Jun 10, 2017
    Age:
    56
    Messages:
    215
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    San Francisco
    Country:
    United States United States
    @Josephine ...They did indeed tell me that I would walk briefly after surgery. Otherwise, they (as in the nurses at the pre-op orientation) told me that I would only be able to walk for very short distances (such as from room-to-room) for the first 3+ weeks. I was told that it would be at least 6 weeks before I could walk even two blocks. I do not own a car and depend on walking and public transportation to get around. The bus is off limits for 3 months minimum for a myriad of reasons!

    So, in my view, as someone who is exceptionally independent, then yes, I may well be an invalid for a few months.

    And you wonder why I have been feeling the pre-op blues?
     
  18. Mojo333

    Mojo333 Forum Advisor

    Member Since:
    Mar 8, 2017
    Age:
    54
    Messages:
    1,772
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    Statesboro, GA
    Country:
    United States United States
    I agree you have to be your own advocate...I agree you have a right to be worried... That's why it is my duty as your Bonesmart friend to tell you... First, don't pre-worry any more than you can help it. First, it stressed your body which is terrible for your immune system which is already dealing with chronic pain. Second, not gonna change a thing and probably half the junk we worried about it either doesn't happen or is way less horrible than we imagined. All of this I say with love because I didn't have a long prep wait but I did drive myself unnecessarily nuts for a month or so. Not good for us.
    You will work out solutions and have lots of support here.:fingersx:
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  19. Constanze

    Constanze

    Member Since:
    Mar 22, 2015
    Age:
    61
    Messages:
    487
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    Flörsheim
    Country:
    Germany Germany
    Hi @Lerwick8 - and welcome to the Bonesmart forum. I think, you'll be able to walk longer distances than just from room to room after 3 weeks +, and you'll be able to walk around blocks sooner than after 6 weeks. I walked about 1 mile after 6 weeks - with my lovely husband (he was absolutely overjoyed that I had lost that limp and all of a sudden walked more himself. He used to find walking boring). I walked along the hospital corridor with crutches 2 days after the op, and a few 100 m in the open air after 1 1/2 weeks. We use crutches in Germany (and, I believe, they also use crutches in the UK). It is thought that this helps to regain a balanced symmetrical gait. I was also able to cycle and swim short distances after 4 weeks. You seem to be in a relatively good physical condition apart from your bad hip, because you are used to walking and getting onto buses. The recovery periods that nurses and doctors give a merely to be used as guidance - they are for people with mediocre levels of physical fitness.

    I'm all sympathetic concerning the pre-op blues - I'm glad you mentioned that here - because I don't think it has been addressed a lot in Bonesmart so far - they usually talk about post-op but not so much pre-op blues.

    Like you, I was misdiagnosed at first (my silly primary care doctor - she thought I had a slipped disc). This delayed surgery and made my pre-op blues worse. Besides, I had done 10 marathons pre-op and they said I should not run again. For that reason, too, I was in a very dispondent mood. My surgery was just over 2 years ago, and ever since, I've done 2 half-marathons. Even tried a full marathon, but had to (more or less) walk the last 10 Km, but then again, not because of my legs but because of the heat (31°C). I'm currently training for that marathon again. No hip issues - both my legs are stronger now than they ever were.

    If you want to make your pre-op blues better, do read some success stories in Bonesmart to cheer you up. I've written a Bonesmart thread with the simple title: "Constanze's recovery diary". All the best!
    Constanze
     
    • Like Like x 4
  20. Lerwick8

    Lerwick8
    Thread Starter

    Member Since:
    Jun 10, 2017
    Age:
    56
    Messages:
    215
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    San Francisco
    Country:
    United States United States
    Thanks @Mojo333 ! You are always encouraging :loll:
    Funny you mention the worry, stress, and the immune system. I developed a mild bronchitis two days ago and I am trying very hard to get rid of it so that I do not have to postpone the surgery. Thankfully, I am sleeping well (I do not know how, but I am such a deep sleeper that I have slept through the hip pain for months now).

    Also stressed because my 84 year old father has not been well. He has advanced Parkinson's disease and is bedridden. Fortunately, he has full-time care at home. He has had a rough few months, in and out of hospital with breathing issues,etc.

    I really agonized over when to have the surgery because of this. As I can't really walk without a lot of pain, I thought that I would try to get the surgery over with sooner rather than later so that I could be there in a full capacity for my Dad. But it is always in the back of my mind that his health will suddenly deteriorate, or worse. while I am recovering and I won't be able to be there.

    I am planning on returning to Atlanta to see him mid-September (hopefully will be well enough for the five hour flight).
     
    • Agree Agree x 1

Share This Page

Sponsors
Close X