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THR Teacher Turkey Time Surgery 11/19/20

dgojill

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Like other November teaching folks, I am using planned breaks at Turkey/Xmas to recover from Same-Day RTHR: Posterolateral approach and dual-mobility prothesis. With judicious use of ibuprofen, I'm able to walk, hike, and Jazzercise at will. My surgeon said, "You'll make it right through. You're young!" 60 doesn't seem at all young to me. I was told that the incision will hurt, but my doc said he's excited to see how easy recovery will be for me, considering my fitness, flexibility and body weight. Since I've never had surgery, I do wonder at the rosy picture he paints. I've read many of the BoneSmart recovery threads outlining a 12 week recovery progression. What's realistic to expect and plan for?
 

Schaargi

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Hi! I'm a 56 year old educator who thought mine would be a breeze, as I had been active swimming, practicing yoga and doing dog agility. Yours might! Mine wasn't, partly because I had a rare complication and partly due to what I am going to talk about below.

From reading through the forum and through my own experiences, I thing surgeons have a different definition of success than patients do. Surgeons are concerned with how the implant fits and if the joint is working properly. That's the lens through which they see things.

What they don't experience is what is happening to you between visits. Each hip is different, so your pain might not be locate just at the incision. The muscles and surrounding tissue gets yanked around pretty violently during surgery, so it's not a minor thing from which to recover.

After surgery, your body is working really hard to heal from the wound, so a lot of your energy is being used for that. I was exhausted for weeks, even though I wasn't doing much. And my brain didn't work correctly. My reaction times were slow and everything took forever.

The exhaustion, insomnia and brain fog were things I hadn't expected and are part of recovery that surgeons don't really consider. Again, part of my issues had to do with a nerve injury, but I really didn't feel like I was in good shape to be taking care of other people's children, even at 12 weeks. I ended up taking an extended leave of absence because my school simply could not make the accommodations I needed to have.

It's good that you have the school holidays built in to your recovery time. That will take some of the pressure off. Again, this is just my opinion and my own experience. Everyone is different!
 
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Eman85

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If you read the majority of posts you'll find that reality for most of us is the 2wk/3mo/1year recovery. The first 2 weeks are no day at the beach and from there it takes most of us 3 mos to be fully functional. Then up to a year to really get back to where we were. The incision was only an itch factor the first 2 weeks, that's not what hurts much. It's an interesting recovery, for most of us it becomes the harder you try to recover faster the more it hurts and longer it takes.
 
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dgojill

dgojill

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Thanks, everyone, for the helpful information! Based on what you've shared, I'm going to hope for the best and prepare for the worst. I'll complete an FMLA application/certification with HR, so that if January arrives (6 weeks post-surgery), and I'm not ready for a full return to my work as a Special Education teacher, no one (including me), will have to scramble. Due to COVID, I am in my classroom, but teaching all of my students virtually. The only time I must leave my classroom is for outdoor AM arrival duty, making sure in-person students are herded to the correct location(s). Since all of my teaching is virtual, and I can likely work from home, might my (virtual) return happen sooner rather than later? Be honest! I appreciate any and all ideas and suggestions.
 

Jaycey

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It is best to plan on 10 -12 weeks. There is no way we can predict how you will react to this major surgery. Then there is the Energy drain for THRs . Don't underestimate the energy you spend getting up, dressed and out the door to work. Even if you are working from home you still need the energy to concentrate and deliver your lessons.

Trying to short cut the recovery will only set you back.
 
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dgojill

dgojill

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Everything people are saying makes me more resolved to fill out the FMLA paperwork. Luckily, I also participate in the sick leave bank. Should I have a challenging recovery and need more time, how do I go about documenting my need? Would my surgeon do so, or would my PCP look me over and determine my eligibility? What happens if I'm still needing recovery time, but my surgeon or MD won't authorize it? What experience have people had with the nuts and bolts of this process? I'm all ears. Thanks!
 

Chatty63

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I’m getting ready to do the same thing. I need to have reverse shoulder replacement done. I don’t have a lot of PT time so I’m requesting sick leave bank time and submitting my FMLA paperwork at the same time. It’s up to the SLB committee to approve it. My plan is to have surgery over thanksgiving then use my SLB bank til I return, 11 weeks total time off, in February.

If it’s not approved then I will wait til June to have my surgery done. Im hoping I’m able to wait that long .
 
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dgojill

dgojill

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With you, Chatty63. It's dicey dealing with time off as a teacher, even when virtual work allows some flexibility. Having done virtual at home, and in my classroom at school, I'll take home. That said, pandemic virtual work is so much harder than "normal" teaching!
Let us know how your request re: shoulder surgery time plays out. Hoping that they do not play "hardball" with you.
 

Eman85

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I used FMLA time when I had my 1st THR, no big deal to use the 3mos. All of my OS's information was based on 3 mos recovery so the paperwork was no big deal.
 
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dgojill

dgojill

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FMLA paperwork with approval from HR arrived in today's mail. So official looking! My last day of paid leave is 12/16, with unpaid to follow, as necessary. It's slowly sinking in that this is, um, a happening thing.
 

Schaargi

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Hi @dgojill!

Good! It is official!

Does your school district break on the 16th or is the last day the 18th?

I think you picked a good time for your surgery. Best of luck!
 
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dgojill

dgojill

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Thanks for the good wishes @Schaargi! Break begins on 12/18, so I'll collect two days from the Sick Leave Bank. That's my next conversation with HR. All the hip supplies are sitting in my home office, ready to go...
 

Mojo333

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I know how anxious I was when all the formalities confirmed what seemed to me surreal.
Know that you are certainly not alone in that feeling, especially here.:friends:
Getting back to a life that doesn't revolve around hip pain has been amazing.
Love your About Info...dreamers and readers are special people.
Now let's get back to hiking and dancing.:hiking: :happydance:
 
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dgojill

dgojill

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@Mojo333 Thanks so much for your words of kindness and support!
Yes, back to hiking and dancing! Another joy is knowing that beyond the rawness of recovery, I'll have time. First for dreaming, then reading. During this hard season of Covid and teaching, that feels even more surreal...
 

Ozinthedesert

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The best advice I can give you is not to focus too much on the “expected” timelines and try to take it as it comes. Which is most definitely a case of “do as I say, not as I do” if you take a look at my recovery thread! My OS painted a very rosy picture, and while everyone around me has told me how great I’m doing (5weeks post op tomorrow) I was frustrated at my progress. The one piece of advice he did give me was that I should feel that every 3 days I am making an improvement. And that has held true. Good luck!
 
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dgojill

dgojill

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@Ozinthedesert The nugget at the end of your post "Every three days I should feel that I'm making an improvement" is my new mantra. It's realistic, concrete, and achievable. Thanks!
 

Jaycey

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I should feel that every 3 days I am making an improvement
But don't be disappointed if this doesn't happen. You just can't predict how anyone will react to surgery. Some of our members sail through this process. Others struggle and get frustrated that their recovery doesn't compare to another member's recovery.

Set realistic expectations based on what you read here but be aware recovery can be a roller coaster ride.
 
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dgojill

dgojill

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Perhaps I should amend it to: Check in with myself, being realistic, and looking for the best every three days! I must admit that I'm hoping for a straightforward recovery, since I've made it this far in life without ever having any surgery, hospital stays, or ill health beyond the usual ailments during cold and flu season.
:tada:
We shall see...
 

Hip4life

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My experience was that the OS didn’t necessarily paint a rosy picture but I didn’t understand the reality that the minimum 6 weeks was just that-minimum. Unfortunately, that’s what my boss and I planned on. I worked in healthcare. I filled out my FMLA. I had to keep pushing my return further and further out which I felt terrible about. Luckily I had a boss who was wonderful in working with me. My OS was very also very supportive in whatever time frame I needed for him to approve. 12 week end of FMLA and I HAD to return or be fired. I couldn’t pass their physical competency test to return. No surprise to me. So 2 more weeks elapsed until I was able. My total off time was 14 weeks and then I was blessed that my boss phased me back to work over 3 more weeks. I needed every bit of that. I hope you do have a wonderfully smooth recovery but as you have probably gleaned from this site, the hip is in charge of the recovery, not necessarily the person no matter what the hopes. I just wished I had had a more realistic expectation going in. All that said, I’d do it again in a heartbeat for the return to the fully physical, joint pain free life that I have now.
 

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