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Bilateral THR Tiare’s Recovery Thread — Let’s do this!

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Tiare

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And of course, after writing all about the positives in my last update, I had a bit of a meltdown last night. I've just been trying so hard to focus on the positive, but got irrationally upset at being stuck downstairs yesterday. I’m just so reliant on my partner and housemate for everything (even with the progress I’m making) and hate knowing how much stress that's bringing to their lives, even if they swear that they're happy to help.

I also quit a really toxic job right before my surgery—which was the right decision—but I think I'm just feeling really isolated as I enter this next period of recovery, where I feel more mentally “with it," but am still slowly progressing physically. After reading lots of threads on here, I knew to expect some blues, but it's still just hard when it hits unexpectedly.
 

djklaugh

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@Tiare :console2: Down days are very normal after surgery! Your body is healing from major surgery, you're probably still taking pain medications, your mobility is limited, and yes there is the isolation going on too! This is a major life changing experience and a lot to process! Leaving a toxic work place is also life changing - in good and not so good ways. Part of you is missing the structure of having a job to go to and the people to have around you and to talk to . :console2:

Ask your partner and housemate for something special - your favorite food or dessert. Get to the social area of your home so you can be with folks even if just elevating your leg and lying on the couch. Put on some up beat music. Or watch a funny movie.

This down time will ease off
 

Mojo333

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:wave:@Tiare
I'm sorry you are struggling right now.
I totally understand and Remember how it felt to be dependant and feel infirmed.
It is very humbling and somewhat scary.
Its interesting you say you got stuck downstairs.
I rehabbed at my sister's as she has an open single floor plan and a walk-in shower so my better half and I stayed in her guest room for the first 3-4 weeks. Unfortunately the stairs to outside had no railings and, as you know, double hippys have double trouble with stairs. On a beautiful spring day at a few weeks post op, I began to feel like a caged animal stuck at home alone and decided I could caaaarefully go down the four steps one by one.
I did well, and used her carport to practice walking about.
Long story short, I go really tired and realized No Way I was getting back up those stairs. I had no phone and it was getting up to 85 degrees outside.
And my husband was over an hour later than he intended...probably needed time away from me.:heehee:
I was So upset by the time my BIL got home.
All Temporary and you will be better than before and able to pursue a great new job with happy new good hips.
This really is a tough time for postop blues and cabin fever.

Hang in there friend, and our significant others realize that this is tough stuff.
Just apologize and know this won't be forever.
 

JohnWilky

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The good thing about the bad thing T is that it's the norm ,we all have to go through it, it's natural to be grumpy about having to ask for assistance especially if you've forgot something then have to ask again, for me Mrs Wilky almost did everything before the op so my situation had hardly changed. To highlight my selfishness I said out loud to Caroline " don't you be I'll ,well both be in the Tom Kite " thinking more about me until she tore me a new one explaining what I,d said so keep your nerve T it's all for one ,one for all ,good luck
 

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:hi: Hi @Tiare

The toxic job, the anxiety of an upcoming surgery, the surgery, now the recovery. THAT IS A LOT!

We often hear how people power through challenges / crisis, then have a total meltdown once the dust settles. I think that’s where you are. You’re also probably feeling good enough that you want to do more than you’re physically able and it’s frustrating you as a bi-lateral hippy.

Try to believe your partner and housemate aren’t bothered by the help they’re offering, after all, I’m sure it’s the same you’d lovingly do for them if the roles were reversed, right?
While the post op blues can seem to hit out of nowhere, I found those lows dissipated almost as quickly as they appeared. Hang in there, think positive thoughts and reflect on how much better this Summer will be than the last. You’re on your way! :happydance:
 

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I wanted to say don't underestimate the stress of having, then quitting a toxic job. I went through this years ago & believe I had PTSD for years after (I stayed way too long). Even making the right decision to leave can be stressful. But give yourself a pat on the back for making a move that can be tough. And good luck with the ups and downs of recovery!
 

Going4fun

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Meltdowns happen. I suspect that we have to generate all kinds of adrenaline and energy to go through with the surgery. Then we have the surgery and it's all new for a few weeks--and then the at some point, our bodies say, "I'm tired! Can I relax finally?"

And there ensues the letdown. And then our mood can tank. I remember getting all these surveys from my surgeon and one of the questions he asked (with slightly differently wording) was about my mood.
 
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SCee

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Recovery is a roller coaster without the work issues - especially in the early weeks. The work issues are a roller coaster, too! The work issues may make you feel overly dependent on others. I promise you that in the next year or two you will find yourself engrossed in a new job thinking, “why did I beat myself up when I should have relaxed and taken care of myself? I am working so hard and I would love to relax!”

You are clearly thoughtful because you don’t want to put others out. It’s been my experience that people will gladly help those who are appreciative - people like feeling needed and appreciated. Someday it will be your turn to help.

On a lighter note, those first weeks when I became blue, I binge watched all the shows and movies that I was denied because of my responsibilities. It helped me get out of my head!
 
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Tiare

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Wow thank you all so much for the messages and support!! Reading through your similar experiences and advice on how to get through this time has been so helpful. Even as someone who likes to think of herself as a “positive realist,” I think I still hadn’t fully felt the impact of these big life changes until this week—and as many of you pointed out, it’s a lot! Just acknowledging that fact has lifted a weight off of my shoulders.

@JohnWilky and @Going4fun - thanks for the encouragement about going through the ups and downs, and asking for help.

@djklaugh - I’m sure you’re right about missing the people and structure of work! I‘ve been able to go upstairs more often over the past couple days, and hanging out with my housemates and ordering fun takeout has definitely helped with the isolation.

@Mojo333 - oh wow that sounds so rough to get stuck outside! You are so right that it’s just temporary, and my partner has been so supportive—I freak out about it all much more than him!

@Layla & @DancerHips - as someone who is usually very good at just “powering through” I think you got it exactly right: this is my first time really stopping in years, and I think all of the emotion/frustration/everything is just hitting now. But the fog will (literally) clear from San Francisco soon, and I’ll be able to enjoy the sun and freedom!

@SCee - I actually had an interview for a new job yesterday, that reminded me of exactly what you said! I don’t want to accept another job I hate, so I should take my time now and enjoy the time off while finding a new job that will actually be a good fit. And I have binged so much tv already! Maybe I’ll try reading a few books soon too haha
 

Mojo333

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Hi @Tiare , fellow "both at once" hippy pal.
Wondering how you were doing and hoping you are finding things are progressing slowly but surely.
Hope your well is sweet.
 
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Hey @Mojo333 - thanks for checking in! I'm doing pretty well overall. I’ve been taking some time to just relax and recover, since I think I was just getting so overwhelmed by everything during the first few weeks.

I've been walking a ton, still sometimes with a walker and sometimes without, but feeling stronger and stronger! It's so interesting how the two hips and legs recover differently and have different good days or bad days. Right now, my right hip is feeling great, but a muscle in my quad has been acting up. Versus my left leg, which feels way more stable, but still has more swelling and tightness near the incision and on the side of my hip.

I've begin to look for and apply to jobs, but trying not to stress out too much about any of it. Definitely still have "blue” days, but on average I'm feeling better!

My back and tailbone didn't hurt at all the first few weeks, but have been acting up over the past week or so. My guess is just the combo of so much sitting but then beginning to be more active is what’s causing the achiness? Any recommendations on how to give some relief to my lower back?
 

Wyn wombat

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Hi Tiare, very nervous about my upcoming Bilateral THR on 20th May started self isolating today pre op for 2 weeks,
So reassuring to hear your comments and positive ness, glad I found this site as I need this info about this procedure,
Thank you,
Wyn Wombat.
 

djklaugh

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@Wyn wombat Welcome to BoneSmart :welome: Please start your own thread in the hip pre-op area so that we can give you some important information and also answer any questions you may have. There are quite a few of us here who have had bilateral hip replacements. If you click on the bilateral tag in front of a thread you will get a list of all such threads. Do feel free to read any thread.
 

Ric A

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Hey @Mojo333 - thanks for checking in! I'm doing pretty well overall. I’ve been taking some time to just relax and recover, since I think I was just getting so overwhelmed by everything during the first few weeks.

I've been walking a ton, still sometimes with a walker and sometimes without, but feeling stronger and stronger! It's so interesting how the two hips and legs recover differently and have different good days or bad days. Right now, my right hip is feeling great, but a muscle in my quad has been acting up. Versus my left leg, which feels way more stable, but still has more swelling and tightness near the incision and on the side of my hip.

I've begin to look for and apply to jobs, but trying not to stress out too much about any of it. Definitely still have "blue” days, but on average I'm feeling better!

My back and tailbone didn't hurt at all the first few weeks, but have been acting up over the past week or so. My guess is just the combo of so much sitting but then beginning to be more active is what’s causing the achiness? Any recommendations on how to give some relief to my lower back?

I had that, most of us probably did too. Part of it also is the fact that we have been walking off line for years with the body compensating for this. Now that we are FIXED the body muscles etc have to start again so to speak.

I used ice packs, or heat packs. They both help. I also use a TENS machine which is very good. Going forward you may want to treat yourself to a professional massage, and or a chiropractor to loosen up and realign a few of the spinal joints which can get jammed up after the hammering physically we all get during surgery.

You'll get there in the end. Good luck.
 

Mojo333

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Hi, @Tiare
I also had achy lower back and back sleeping was no fun while healing.:sigh:
As Ric says, kind of the traveling pain indifferent spots as we adjust to our new hips and new gait.
A small pillow under my knees really helped when resting in bed.
My quads were super sore...I attributed this to the anterior approach and yes, it seems one leg was more of a problem child...weaker than the other.
Still early days, so try to stay patient.
Alot of it will just take the healing time it takes.
Tightness is normal after this major surgery. And so much resting.:umm:
When I stood up, I would spend a moment reaching my arms up to the sky to help decompress my spine.
I would also do a bit of easy marches to get things pumping before setting off cold.
Some very gentle hamstring stretches using the wall for support was also useful. Tight hamstrings can also lend to a sore back.

This recovery is definitely a process... But you sound to be doing well all in all.
Keep the faith, it really is worth it in the end.:chuckmarch:
 

Ric A

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When I stood up, I would spend a moment reaching my arms up to the sky to help decompress my spine.

Me too.

Also,

Do they call this a START UP problem when standing up?

Something I came across also, on here? was too before standing up kind of run up and down on the spot for a minute before even getting up, it seems to liven up or reactivate the nerve endings in your leg running down from the hip. Upon standing I feel for balanced and stronger.
 
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Tiare

Tiare

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Thanks all, and sorry for the slow reply!

@Ric A - Thanks for the advice! I've been using heat packs more than ice at this point, now that most of the swelling has gone down, though it’s hard to know which to use sometimes! My PT has been doing some massage & manipulation, but a full on professional massage sounds amazing right now!

@Mojo333 - The reaching up to the sky stretch is my favorite! Gets both the spine and the front of my hips. I've been doing some very small yoga sequences too - barely looks like yoga right now, but makes my body and my brain a little calmer!

@Wyn wombat - congrats on your upcoming surgery! I completely understand being nervous, but just keep reminding yourself that you're going though this tough thing so that the rest of your life will be better. That’s what I keep reminding myself at least! Please feel free to reach out with any questions about bilateral THR, and there are lots of others on bonesmart with great advice too!
 

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Happy Four Month Anniversary!
Wondering how your recovery is going? We haven’t heard from you in awhile.
Hopefully all is well, you’re making steady progress and getting back to the things you love. We’d love to read an update if you care to share one next time you’re on the forum. Hope to hear from you soon! :)
@Tiare
 
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Tiare

Tiare

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Thanks for checking in @Layla! I can't believe it's already been well over 4 months since my surgery! It's been a crazy couple of months, and I definitely have a couple way overdue updates.

Right around the 6 week post-op mark, my progress suddenly seemed to just speed up exponentially. I went from still using the walker and knee braces constantly to walking miles without pain and beginning pilates classes again. I was even able to start biking again, which was super exciting!

The only thing holding back my recovery was a rather large scab on my left incision. Unfortunately, the scab sank and turned into a small hole instead. After waiting and monitoring it for a couple of weeks with my doctor, we decided that it was time to just go in and complete a "debridement procedure" - aka an incision revision surgery. I went in for the procedure on July 18th, so it's been a couple of weeks of scaling back the exercises and movement to let the new incision heal.

It's definitely been hard to feel like I've had to hit the pause button again, but I know that getting the incision to heal properly has to be my number one concern.

Other than the incision revision, I'm so excited about my new hips! I already have SO MUCH more range of motion than I've had in over a decade, and I'm so looking forward to continuing to strengthen my hips and legs.
 

Layla

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Hello Tiare,
Thanks for the update. I’m sorry you had to experience the debridement, stalling your progress a little. Hopefully you’ll be back on track soon. I sense your excitement and wish you smooth sailing from here on out. It was nice to hear from you, please don’t be a stranger here.
Stay safe, well and enjoy life with those new hips! :)
@Tiare
 

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