Shocked & Surprised!

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gizmo

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Hi Kathy,
Welcome to the forum. It is a shock and there is every reason for you to feel as you do. It is a completely understandable reaction. Once you get your head around it all (and this is a great site to help you do that) , I wouldn't be surprised if some of the emotion is pure relief. As others have said the whole process is a rollercoaster and sometimes the positives and negatives are just a mash of emotional energy. Cry and rant when you need to and don't try too hard to analyse why or if you should be feeling like that. Over the following months your emotions are likely to be on high alert. That is just the way it is. I had my op in October, my progress is slow; but it is definitely a big plus to get rid of the arthritic pain and to be improving rather than deteoriating.
All the best
Gizmo
 
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klalota

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Thanks for your support, Gizmo! I had to smile as soon as I read your ID...my family really enjoyed that movie when our son was a child. :loll:

I'm looking forward to a sense of relief. I'm still in a bit of disbelief as well as resentful toward the professionals in whom I trusted. Plus, I have some anger at myself for not advocating on my own behalf. I'm also scared. For a previous back issue and now this knee/hip issue, I was told shots would help, I was told physical therapy would help and none of it worked; now I'm a bit frightened that I'll go through an entire surgery and rehab and still not feel better. I feel pretty distrustful of the medical establishment at present. I'm hesitant to get excited and hopeful because I've been there and was severely disappointed.

Thanks so much for listening. I hate to burden my family and friends with this, plus I'm starting to sound like a broken record: ever since I received the diagnosis my conversation is dominated by talk of this THR. I' mso grateful for this forum!
 

gizmo

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Hi Kathy,
I can relate to so much of what you are saying. I deteoriated over a number of years and felt I wasn't being listened to or my pain taken seriously enough. Even when I first had an X-ray years ago no action was taken and the root of the problem missed. I have developed a general apprehension of experts and a mistrust of what I am told. At times this is more deep seated than is good for me. I do at times wonder should I have done more, but do think that's hindsight talking to some extent and I do feel that I did do and say enough that help should have been more forth coming.

BUT I do think that now you are where you are on your journey, there is reason to be both excited and hopeful. :dancy::thumb: This is actually a wonderful operation with a great success rate and there are really talented surgeons out there. Surgeons who do these ops hundreds of times a year- so what is enormous for us is actually routine for them. Find out all you can about the op and recovery. Expect it to be an emotional rollercoaster and that your recovery after might be easier or harder than you are expecting. But longer term you have many reasons to expect life to improve. And support is available here.

My husband complained I talked too much about my hip as my op approached. It just loomed so large as a scary obstacle that I just somehow had to get over. I found it hard to get it out of my mind and it did terrify me. I had my op cancelled at one point which helped put things in perspective: as I realised it was even more of a scary option to not have the op!!!! This forum will help with the outpourings to some extent as people here do understand. Also though your family are on the journey with you and have their own rollercoaster ride as your supporters. If they can accept any pre op ramblings sympathetically that will help a lot. The further you get the other side of the op the less it dominates everything and life does begin to start to feel ordinary again- THANK GOODNESS!!

All the best
Gizmo
 

Poppet

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Hi Kathy, just reading through your thread, you have every reason to feel apprehension , anxiety and fear, this is so normal, and you have had the added complications of previous experiences and loss of confidence in the medical profession.. I can so relate to this, I have had a similar horrid experience..

But I can honestly say hand on heart  that you will be so pleasantly surprised with your THR.

You still have a few weeks to go, but keep bring your questions to us, your concerns and your fears, we are here for you to help you through your journey and up and onwards to a better quality of life. Because life does improve and soon all of this will be a distant memory.

Sending you much love and lots of hugs
Sandy xoxoxox
 

DallasSarah

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Hey Kathy,

The blessing is you have found this website and will get a lot of good support and TLC plus it's easier to share your story with fellow hippies we GET it and Gizmos comments are spot on. It's hard for friends and family to really relate to this journey and boy it's a long one too! Have faith in your surgeon now, if you have questions always write them down and take with you for appointments or if you don't see him now till your surgery make friends with his nurse or PA. I would call my OS's nurse with all kinds of funny questions. The other thing did you see your hip X-ray I found it was pretty black and white that my hip was a wreck and needed replacing, depending how far you are with bone on bone you hopefully can see in he xray and HEY on a sincere note what I know now I would have gone in sooner to have replaced instead of living with hip pain for those few years and mine wasn't as severe as some stories I have read. I think I went into a denial mode there for a while.

The PRE surgery journey is really a long painful one both emotional and physical, it really takes away a big part of your life. You will see and others recently have written about feeling 10 years younger after their surgeries I completely relate to that one!

Glad you are with us!

xxooxx
 
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klalota

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Gizmo,

"This is actually a wonderful operation with a great success rate and there are really talented surgeons out there. Surgeons who do these ops hundreds of times a year- so what is enormous for us is actually routine for them." Thanks for this perspective! True, though this is a big deal for me, my surgeon is experienced. He said he's been doing hip replacements for 11 years, so hopefully he's skilled and all will go smoothly.

"I do at times wonder should I have done more, but do think that's hindsight talking to some extent and I do feel that I did do and say enough that help should have been more forth coming." For me, this is a BIG concern that will definitely motivate me to be a better advocate for my own health. I was always so demure and obediant to anything a medical professional said...I never questioned, never complained, never spoke up. I'm certain that's how I ended up going through this longer than necessary. But, I also have to say that looking back I did give enough clues to professionals, esp. the physical therapists, that someone really should have noticed the actual problem was not my knee but my hip. *sigh* Hindsight is always 20/20. This has all been a HUGE eye opener for me! I will now speak up and when I'm in pain, I will tell them. How can I expect good medical service if I don't speak up?!


"I had my op cancelled at one point which helped put things in perspective: as I realised it was even more of a scary option to not have the op!!!!" Thanks, this really puts things in perspective for me, too! As nervous as I am about surgery, I don't want to live this way. There are so many things I can no longer do. The pain has narrowed my world. So, as much as I may dread it, I am grateful that there is a remedy.

Thanks for your post!
 
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klalota

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Sandy,

"Because life does improve and soon all of this will be a distant memory." This is great! It reminds me of when I had my gallbladder out. I was in excrutiating pain, but years after its removal, I barely remember it anymore. It's fascinating how when we're in pain, it's all that's on our minds; yet, once remedied, we can forget the entire episode. I am sooo looking forward to forgetting this time of limited mobility someday! After reading your post, I was talking to my boyfriend about how I look forward to one day being physically active again, hopefully even being able to hike again, and as I take part exclaiming, "Hey, I had forgotten about it, but do you remember back when I couldn't do this? Remember when I was using a cane and all?" Gosh, I really hope that's how the big picture plays out. :biggrin:

Thanks so much for your support! :thumb:
 
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klalota

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DallasSarah,

"The other thing did you see your hip X-ray I found it was pretty black and white that my hip was a wreck and needed replacing, depending how far you are with bone on bone you hopefully can see in he xray and HEY on a sincere note what I know now I would have gone in sooner to have replaced instead of living with hip pain for those few years and mine wasn't as severe as some stories I have read. I think I went into a denial mode there for a while."
You know, this was a very helpful point...thank you! Yes, they showed me my x-ray that day. I went in for my knee, then they did an x-ray on my hip and brought it in and showed me both my knee x-ray and the hip x-ray. They demonstrated that it's not my knee, but my hip that's the problem. Yeah, it was black-and-white: they showed me a normal hip (my left one is perfectly fine) compared to my right one (no space/cartilage left between the ball and socket...it just looks like one whole misshapen bone. He pointed out bony spurs and such.) The surgeon even said it was the worst he'd seen. I saw it right in front of me, so I really needn't doubt. Though a previous doc did not accurately diagnose my issue, I have no reason to doubt these specialists. In fact, their practice is very highly regarded in this area and everyone to whom I have spoken who has had experience with them has very generously praised them. So, between the highly regarded docs and the very positive statements I read on this forum about hip replacement, I really can allow myself to look on this with more hope.

Thanks, just talking through my post as I wrote it, thinking about it logically, has calmed some of my fears!
 
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klalota

klalota

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I do have another concern after thinking and reading further today. As I've read in some other posts, there are docs who attempt to dissuade patients from having replacement surgery/put it off 'til they're older. My surgeon didn't do that at all. In fact, in my surprise over the diagnosis and recommendation for replacement, I asked if this was really going to fix my issue and if I am too young. He assured me I'm not too young and that it would fix my pain/knee/hip issue. When I voiced concern that the replacement may one day need replaced, he told me that's not a problem and it would simply be replaced again; he said my hip won't get better on its own and if I try to put it off it will only deteriorate further. Does that sound like a good surgeon? Should he have suggested that I wait? Does this mean he's a doc who is surgery happy? I've only heard good things about this orthopedic and spine specialists practice, yet he recommended replacement right off. Each time I've spoken with someone and they find out I'm having a hip replacement, they always say I'm too young.

I guess I've still not quite fully accepted this whole thing. I just hadn't thought about this, but now I'm a bit concerned that my doc might be surgery happy. But then, if I don't have the surgery, what are my other options to feel better and walk without a cane? One minute I'm OK with this whole hip replacement thing, the next I think (wish, maybe) the surgeon must be wrong. *sigh*
 

DallasSarah

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I like surgery happy!

He's right! Now your hip is a mess it's not going to heal its self and will continue to get worse. Think about the hip joint rubbing and rubbing those bones are alive, have blood this really starts to explain the pain, that constant dull ache YUCK! Once you have all this data your choices are continue to live with the pain and it will get worse or take the time now and have a new hip which will eliminate all the hip joint pain. The hip is a very simplistic ball and socket, I think the emotional part is knowing the hip joint is a large part of our structure.

My OS never mentioned weight, age he just told me I was a good candidate to have replaced and it will create a better way of life for me, activity, golf (if I played) my active job. He was very proactive for women in our age group. You will hear lots of comments from friends, coworkers, strangers, medical people, PT who will all say your soooo young! I immediately give examples of the many hippies we have on here who are much younger than me. I think seasoned OS know they have the ability to change our lives so why would they want to hold back, unless for medical reasons.

Its normal to go back and forth, I started to feel better before my surgery would added to my hesitation but then again my memory of the really bad painful days were enough to keep me focused on getting fixed. The pain was miserable!!

Night Night!

xxooxx
 

Poppet

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Hi Kathy

It is perfectly normal to have feelings that 'yo-yo' back and forth, truly :)

This is elective surgery for most of us, even though we see the proof of the wear and tear damage on the x-rays. It is one of the most important decisions one makes in their life!

I spent 8 years in total denial and then two more years draped over a walker using the wheels as my feet. I was in an extremely bad way. I had AVN of the head of the Femur, the Acetabulum had collapsed and all was pushing it's way up into my pelvis!

So even with such complications of the Acetabulum having to be reshaped with bone grafts, here I am four months later, walking unaided, straight, tall (for two years, I literally studied every bodies shoes)..

Trust you OS, he says you need it, he is trained, he wants to give you back your quality of life..

I know with a lead tine of another month, your emotions will go back and forth, but once your date gets closer, it will be easier to accept and then you can go with the flow of the procedure.

Once you are admitted to hospital, it all moves fast, and you will be in the care of the professionals, trust them honey...

You will be fine 

Big hugs
Sandy
 

Jamie

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I'd say your surgeon's comments earn him the BoneSmartie Gold Star!!! He's not "surgery happy." He's very, very wise and knows how to get your life back for you! So smile and pat yourself on the back for picking such a crackerjack surgeon!:thumb:
 

welshjane

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Hi Kathy, I totally agree about your surgeon - sounds like you picked a good one! And the going back and forth on the issue that you are experiencing is very normal, I'm sure. I'm so much better after my first THR 4 months ago, I've been having yo-yo moments in the last few days, wondering why on earth I'm going through it all over again, especially as unlike most people here I don't have hip pain in the hip about to be replaced. But my surgeon observed that it's just as bad as the other one, and if we wait it will only get worse, I'll be older etc etc. Everything I've learnt here tells me that the younger and fitter you are the better you will recover. Though even older and less fit people can sail through it. It is, at the end of the day, a hugely successful operation.
 
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klalota

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Thanks so much for your words of support! After your comments, I'm feeling less hesitant, less unsure of the doc. Hopefully it will all go well. He did say surgery would completely change my life.

Welshjane, thanks for your kind words. It looks like you have surgery tomorrow. Best Wishes for a smooth surgery and anticipated pain relief! I'll be thinking of you!

Sandy, I'm sure I'll continue yo-yoing, at least for a while yet. I'm definitely looking forward to standing tall! I look a bit like a little old lady right now...LOL. You've certainly gone through a lot, which is inspiring to me. Thank you.

DallasSarah, you are definitely right on the pain thing. Today, I'm so tired and sore that surgery's not sounding so bad...LOL! And if this surgery is similar to past procedures I've had, I won't be able to take any of my pain meds the week prior, so I'm sure that'll really motivate me to have the surgery.

Jamie, you know what, I will pat myself on the back! I chose the specialist practice based on recommendations from patients and PTs. I almost cancelled the appt. when I found out they don't operate at my local hospital, but at their own surgery center about 25 mi. away. However, after talking to more people, they assured me that the practice is top notch. Then, after joining this site, I also found a link to a website which lists who can do the anterior approach (I think that's what it's called) and the doc's surgery center was listed as one of only in 11 my state. So, that seems like a good thing.
 

djklaugh

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Kathy
I'm wishing you all the best with your upcoming surgery!

I don't think your OS is being "surgery happy" at all! One aspect of the OS's job is to assess the patient's condition and offer the procedure(s) that are the most likely to bring relief to patient's symptoms and be the least invasive/problematic over all. Experienced OSs know how to look at short term vs long term benefits from all the procedures they do and they do take their patient's over all health and life style into consideration as well. For your OS to come into an appointment offering hip replacement surgery means he already considered other options - when through his menu of options and discarded all others as not being appropriate for you.

When I first met my OS I went into the appointment thinking I needed something done because of the pain and dysfunction I was having - and thought I might have to whine and beg to actually get that ;) But the OS walked into the exam room and said he'd reviewed my xrays - and the only option he saw as viable for me was total hip replacement - AND he recommended doing both at once because both hips were severely deteriorated. While the early thoughts of bilateral replacements was daunting and scary - I was also relieved to not have to whine and beg to get something done - and relieved that my OS took my symptoms seriously - and offered his best option first. We did discuss other options but he felt that none of those would be very helpful and since joints with severe deterioration do NOT heal themselves - and since I'm not into any kind of extreme sports or other activities he felt that new hip joints would probably last the rest of my life - and enable me to get back to normal activities fairly quickly. That has definitely proven to be the case for me!
 
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klalota

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Deb,

"I don't think your OS is being "surgery happy" at all! One aspect of the OS's job is to assess the patient's condition and offer the procedure(s) that are the most likely to bring relief to patient's symptoms and be the least invasive/problematic over all. Experienced OSs know how to look at short term vs long term benefits from all the procedures they do and they do take their patient's over all health and life style into consideration as well. For your OS to come into an appointment offering hip replacement surgery means he already considered other options - when through his menu of options and discarded all others as not being appropriate for you."

Thank you, your very logical explanation helps a lot. Because I've been so emotional about all of this, I've been viewing things in less than a logical manner. I really appreciate hearing about your experiences as they bolstered my confidence. :)
 
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klalota

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I realize no one can tell me what, if any, limitations I'll have post-surgery, but I'm wondering if anyone has ever skydived after replacement? I really want to try skydiving (just once!) in my life and I'm just wondering if anyone else has done this after THR? Seems like everything else I enjoy doing I may be able to do once again after surgery (dancing, hiking, weight training). Just hoping this one-off extreme adventure won't be off limits.
 

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just thought I'd offer my 2 cents worth - I think your OS is awesome!!! glad he is not afraid of surgery for someone your age...as for being mis-diagnosed - that happened to me on my first hip for 6 + months and it was not a good situation as my femoral head was collapsing and I was in tons of pain but Dr. just thought I wanted drugs - so I can see how upsetting that is to you - my advice is to try to let it go and I will try to heed my own advice ;) Yes I think skydiving would carry the same risks pre-op as it does post-op in my opinion...I'm a runner and haven's stopped (tho my Dr. doesn't really approve, its my life not his)!!! Good luck and let know how its going!
xoxo,
Linda.
 

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You are right - every OS is different in terms of restrictions. I only have two post-op. No bungee jumping or parachuting. I think sky diving falls into the later catagory - but discuss this with your OS.
 

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This was one thing I have wanted to tick off my bucket list was to do a tandem jump... sadly, along with sailing our 20ft racing Hobbie Cat, my OS no to both! My hubby who was part of the Australian free fall team has also said 'not wise' due to the extreme G that one gets when you pull the chute and the possible jolt on landing...

I will find some other exciting activity to challenge me for sure :)

Good luck :)
 
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