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[THR] Up, up & away!'

Discussion in 'Hip Replacement Recovery Area' started by doopy, Nov 15, 2016.

  1. Miss Muffet

    Miss Muffet Forum Advisor

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    :friends: Hello @doopy - just caught up on your thread. Happy New Year and apologies for being MIA. Santa brought us 'flu for Christmas and we've been extra low for ages as a result.

    So sorry to read you're a bit disappointed about how things are at the moment - pain and lack of mobility. Jaycey is right - there isn't a set timeline for recovery as much depends on how bad we were our build-up to surgery, how long we were suffering and how badly affected was our mobility. Add to that a major Op and lots of healing and muscles that have been either inactive or badly used for ages and our bodies have a lot of re-learning to take onboard. Don't forget what my surgeons wisely told me - "listen to your body, it will talk to you". If you need a crutch and pain relief then your body is dictating what it wants from you. Don't put yourself under that extra pressure. You need to actually enjoy your recovery!

    And I also agree with Jaycey about pool walking - I did it after my first THR and really enjoyed free movement in the water. But it is easy to think how easy it is (being weightless) and perhaps push it a bit. So, yes, do a little then stop. You don't want to end up disappointing yourself again by adding pain. Float, relax and smile.

    Let us know how it goes and meanwhile be kind to yourself :console2:
     
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  2. doopy

    doopy Member
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    :swim:Well, at 7 & a half weeks post-op, I made it in & out of the pool without having to call the Fire Brigade! And on my own, as swimming friend has bad cold. Just got back, feel nicely tingly in my leg muscles but followed advice (thanks, @Jaycey) & did far less than I felt inclined to do - just about 16 lengths of a 17m pool. I did lots of gentle stretches whilst just standing, inc the side leg lift which was the only exercise my surgeon gave me (which I can't do "on dry land" yet as I think my jumbo legs probably weigh twice what they should!). Felt a bit silly just wafting up and down, walking so slowly & using the edge as a guide, but I don't care - I feel great! I wanted to have a balloon floating above my head saying "Look - 1st outing for new hip!"
    The only difficulty? Not getting clothes on, but picking up wet costume from floor, ditto towel, & trying not to slip on very wet slippery floor. :swim:
     
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  3. Jaycey

    Jaycey Moderator

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    Well done on doing all that on your own! Please don't feel silly about moving slowly and cautiously. You did great! Next time just add a bit more and gradually build up.

    Slippery areas are a nightmare for new hippies. Are you allowed to wear any type of shoe to the pool side? You can buy water shoes that have a non-slip sole. You could even wear them in the pool if allowed.

    Picking up things off the floor - do you know about the golfers reach? You need to have a surface to hold on to when you do this. But with a bit of practice it really helps. I still use this method as I have lower back issues:
    golfersreach.jpg
     
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  4. doopy

    doopy Member
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    Aha, found your reply, @Miss Muffet - my laptop just doesn't like the Bonesmart site & refuses to function, so now I'm on my phone I've found you from yesterday!! I'm so sorry you had 'flu all over Christmas - truly awful, & it takes so long to recover. Not what you need when still healing & needing all the boosts you can get.
    Thanks (as ever) for your support - you'll see I've just posted about my successful pool outing - let's see what effect this has tomorrow!
    I agree that I must just do what my body tells me - I just find it hard to accept that the new lovely hip has actually been such a pain- free breeze but has dumped pain & stress elsewhere (KNEES!!). The other hip is pinching dreadfully & now I'm finding that sometimes, when I'm not thinking, I end up reversing the "good leg up, bad leg down", as I guess I'm not sure which is which now!
    I went to the pool today as i was feeling a bit miserable - it was the first day of term for my husband - son is here but is gloomy as he's been ill with colds for what seems like ages, & friend has cold too so I was a bit lonely & down. But of course, a bit of forcing myself to do stuff worked wonders, & I feel a bit more upbeat (not to mention virtuous).
    So, onwards into 2017! Happy New Year to you!!
     
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  5. doopy

    doopy Member
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    Thanks, @Jaycey - you are right - I should give myself a pat on the back! (but had a mince pie, instead....).
    The shoes I took made it even worse on the slippery floor in the changing room, so I'll just have to cling to the lockers next time. Yes - I read about golfer's reach on this site when I was a newbie - the problem is that it's a difficult one to perform inside a v small shower cubicle! But I don't care now - I'll take my grabber for my next trip!
    I feel quite evangelical about how good it was to feel so free & supported & safe in the water - I feel like starting a hippies' session there! :catdance:
     
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  6. Miss Muffet

    Miss Muffet Forum Advisor

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    Well done you on your pool outings @doopy! So glad we've hooked up again. Was going to mention footwear - I wear my extremely fashionable Crocs to the pool, right to the steps, in the shower afterwards and go home in them. I'm the last word in style - but don't care a jot. My new hips are too precious to worry about that. I have been told that some people wear a pair of socks in the pool if they are concerned about slipping. Funnily enough I was going to suggest taking your grabber for any droppages and also to assist dressing afterwards. You've done well and I agree that it is hard to motivate after we've been inactive for so long, but the mental lift is such a boost. Hubby and I walked around the block after lunch today. The feeling of glowing cheeks in the frosty air was great. Sure I found it a bit uncomfortable but it certainly boosted my step-count, so I can relate to the virtuous sensation!
     
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  7. gertie

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    @doopy Good news about the pool visit! And yes, I've wondered (obsessed???) about how I'd deal with the wet suit/towel on the shower floor when I finally get around to a swim! Of course I'm still trying to imagine getting my snug suit on in the first place with my stiff and still slightly swollen op leg.
     
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  8. Krista

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    @doopy, I am so happy for you that you got into the pool! My biggest fear about the pool is the slippery floors. I am still using at least one crutch when I am out of the house since I'm not strong enough yet. On a smooth wet surface the crutch slips easily. I do have water shoes that would help me to walk without slipping, but they are difficult to get on and off. And at the therapeutic pool where I will be going eventually, the distances are pretty long from the locker room to the steps down into the water. I just don't feel confident enough in my ability to get around safely there. Maybe in a couple of months...!
     
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  9. doopy

    doopy Member
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    Hi @Krista & @gertie , & @Miss Muffet, thanks for the encouragement! I think I've been lucky with my recovery in many ways - to be honest, I'm not even aware at all now of my new hip, but boy! are those knees killing me!! Today they were aching (after doing nothing except lying around reading Sunday papers!) & I went to a not-too-huge supermarket without any walking aids, knowing I would cling to the trolley for balance. But I found that whilst that does work for balance, it's useless for actual body/weight support compared to my crutch, & the knees are now agony. I haven't taken any painkillers for days, as out of the blue I had a scary episode of Atrial Fibrillation last week (I've had it before & take meds to keep it at bay), so was sad & depressed to suddenly get it for no apparent reason. I didn't go to hospital but stuck it out at home, & with extra meds & relaxing it lasted about 3 hours, but sometimes I wonder if ibuprofen is maybe not so good for those with dodgy heart rhythm issues?
    I'm seeing the PT this week so will ask about the knees - I know they can be problematic in early recovery but it seems such a shame when my shiny new hip is behaving so well that the rest of my body is deciding to pack up & misbehave!! :sorry:
     
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  10. Krista

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    @doopy, shouldn't you see a doctor when you have a scary episode with your heart? That sounds worrisome to me!
     
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  11. doopy

    doopy Member
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    Hi @Krista , yep - it sure is scary! But I've seen a cardiologist (who wants to operate if it gets more frequent), & my GP - about 2 years ago instead of going straight to hospital I went to the GP's surgery where she kept me under surveillance then sent me home. She told me to go to hospital if it didn't stop or became extreme, & now, like many others, I'm learning how to manage it myself. I was free of it for 19 months, then had 2 episodes in 4 months - I really hate it!!
    Went to the pool again today but just did a bit of general stretching & v slow walking, but even only 5 days after my last visit, I felt so much more at ease. Also saw a lady staggering round the edge with 2 canes - wanted to jump out & find out if it was a hip issue!!
     
  12. Krista

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    So glad to hear that you saw a doctor and were observed!

    Wonderful that you felt more at ease at the pool this time. And that lady at the pool with the 2 canes...ugh, I don't want that to be me. I know I'd fall down! I want to be walking strongly and steadily without aids before I will go to the pool.
     
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  13. gertie

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    @doopy How are you doing these days? Still working out at the pool? I'm back at work (working at home today because of snowy weather) and generally doing well.
     
  14. doopy

    doopy Member
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    Hi Everyone, & @gertie !
    Well, sorry I've been absent for so long, but here goes...!
    I’m posting from (slightly!) sunny France - and just as soon as I get used to the relaxed pace of life here I have to get ready to leave again, and the ensuing panic takes over! I’ve sent my "boys” out record shopping in Poitiers this afternoon, and have spent a quiet time messing around on my laptop, but if I’m honest, although I did want a quiet afternoon alone, if I could walk for miles without any problems, I would have gone too, and just wandered off on my own. But on a bad day, I’m still just about limited to a circuit round a supermarket before bad pain kicks in. I’m also not good at striding out in big open spaces without the support of a supermarket trolley in front of me, although I don’t think about it round the house. I think I’m noticing more that the “new” leg is longer than the other one, and it unbalances me a bit.
    My problem is still the knees - they are agony (the new hip is a dream). After standing for any length of time, or walking a bit, they just sort of lock straight, and then all sorts of other bits of my legs (ankles, Achilles' tendon, calves etc) start to ache. I'm still seeing the physio (my health insurance covered me for 6 sessions) , & she is lovely, and we talk a lot about the psychology of pain etc, but apart from analysing my approach to pain, there aren't really any concrete suggestions. I've floated the possibility of rheumatoid arthritis (GP says I tested negative), & fibromyalgia (a possible). She massaged my knees for about 20 minutes (painful, but bliss!), but I really couldn't honestly say it did anything at all! It is true that on the very few days when I take 3 x 200mg of Ibuprofen I am able to do more, which maybe helps to “oil” the joints and encourages exercise. But even taking a pill just before bed, one knee (which was dodgy before the op) wakes me at night, and gets locked.
    So I must get the knees x-rayed, and deal with it. To be honest, although I’m keeping my spirits up, if I stop to think about it, I’m really anguished about not being able to walk. I think that’s what has kept me off BoneSmart recently - in the early post-op days it was such a wonderful help, and I was so optimistic and sure that the THR was going to solve all my problems, and I almost can’t bear to re-visit as I feel nostalgic for those days of hope. Does that make sense to anyone? It seems almost unbearably cruel that the new hip is absolutely pain-free but now the rest of me isn’t.
    However, on the bright side, although I have to limit my activities slightly, I do realise that the hip has never hurt at all after the op, so that's one thing gone. And I have gone back to doing everything I was doing pre-op, at about the same level, so that's good. Although yesterday I got down full length on the floor to mess around with some plugs and it was in a tight space and I really couldn't get up at all!! I had to manoeuvre round and round and drag myself up - but although none of me was working "properly", the hip never complained once!!! Glad no-one was there to post it on YouTube!!

    So best wishes to you all out there, hoping you are all doing well and skipping with best foot (leg) forward to Spring (at least, those in the Northern Hemisphere!).
     
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  15. gertie

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    @doopy So nice to hear from you! And lucky you in the south of France. Ah...I look at piles of dirty snow here and wish I was in the south of something! Wonderful that your new hip is doing well but too bad that your knee pain is holding you back from enjoying that hip--I think that happens for lots of folks on here, so you're in good company but still it must be frustrating. I too have knee pain and hip pain on the other hip--I know it's OA in both cases but am putting head in sand for now about further surgery.
     
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  16. leejaa

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    I can identify fully but in reverse. I had my knees replaced in 2013 and recovered well but had some issues with iliopsoas the following year and then when I thought all was going to be well, I started chasing the reason for my groin pain - with everyone I saw saying it was my SI joint and possibly my back, went through SI joint injections, PT which only made me have more pain and frustration with decreased ability to walk, stand or do anything due to groin pain and inability to bend or raise my left foot. Turned out to be my left hip needed replacing. Had to wait 6m to get on my surgeon's schedule.

    I was so frustrated when I did not know what was causing this and angry that I went through the two knees and everything was supposed to be fine. I know it does not help everyone but for me the one thing that helped was knowing the reason and getting scheduled so I had a new plan to get mobile and pain free again. Surprisingly for me the hip pain was worse than the knee pain and even more limiting so extremely depressing and made me very grumpy. I had to tell myself once I had an answer, isn't it wonderful I have an answer and a solution.

    Now 3wks post surgery and doing well. Awful pain gone right away and almost all hip pain gone. Getting mobility back slowly but on the other side. My anger, frustration, depression (except for the post op blues periodically) all disappearing and my husband says my face looks much more relaxed and like I used to be.

    Get your knees checked out as soon as you can so you can figure out what can be done and what you can do to deal with it and get back to enjoying your life and get your mobility back. THere will be a light at the end of this too.
     
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  17. doopy

    doopy Member
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    Thank you @leejaa - that really helps. You've made me realise I must stop being a wuss about it & I must take action, otherwise I'll never get the full benefit of that lovely new hip. I fully appreciate how you must have felt - it's v similar I guess, but as you say, the other way round. But you are right - I can't just give up at this point. Very glad to hear your hip is doing well - let it go at its own pace & you will be all fixed soon!
    And hi @gertie - yes, lovely sun here today again - I'm in the middle of France (rather than the absolute south), but it's still warmer than at home in the grey Uk. Sat & had a coffee outside in the market square today, then limped back to car (not a good day - forgot to take painkiller this morning). Sorry to hear you have both hip & knee pain - let's hope we will both be fit again sometime very soon. It seems it's never just a nice straight road for any of us! But it really helps being back on Bonesmart & knowing I'm not the only one (though I hate for others to be in pain too).
    Am having a little lie-down now before gearing up to a dinner with neighbours - I'll need my energy to concentrate on a few hours of totally French conversation! The neighbour hosting the dinner had her THR in October (I mentioned her in my early posts), but I haven't see her since her op so it will be v interesting to hear how things are done here in France. If I understand it all, I'll report back!! :martini:
     
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  18. leejaa

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    You are not a wuss - just human who is disappointed that she still cannot have full mobility. You are awesome for living your life with pain and doing all you do. :flwrysmile:
     
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  19. Miss Muffet

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    Yes, do. I can only imagine that putting off is going to cause you even more angst. Do so feel for you after getting that naughty hip dealt with - don't forget BS is always here for you, and we really do all care.:console2:
     
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  20. doopy

    doopy Member
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    Hi @leejaa & @Miss Muffet - thanks, guys!! It's so good to know others understand! Thank you for caring.
    Well, as I last posted, I was in my beloved France last week, first trip post-op. Getting there was fine but coming back was horrendous - 12 hours straight in the car, with only a 20min stop. I drove the last 6 hours & after getting stuck for ages on the M25 late at night, after loads of other delays, my right (accelerator) knee was screaming in pain. Not good. Since then, it keeps giving way under me. I've just been for a swim & pool-walk - agony. :groan:
    My neighbour in France, who is over 80, was amazing - she & I compared THR notes & I felt she was glad to have someone who understood (albeit a bit more slowly than if she'd been speaking to me in English!). She has no pain but at 4+ months still wears the TEDs as her leg is badly swollen. Like me, she says she feels safest in the supermarket where she can clutch the trolley, & worries about her balance in big open spaces. But she was far stronger than me - she stood in her kitchen & produced a 4 course meal for 8 people, including individually-flambéed crêpes for all of us!! As the French would say, "chapeau!" (hats off to her!).
    Ah well, although I feel sad that I still can't walk, the rest of me feels quite happy & good - as long as I don't move! (yes, I know that's not the idea, only joking).
    Hope everyone's doing well out there,
    :ok:
     
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