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week 3 and a different world

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tom w

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At week 2 I thought oh what have I gotten myself into. Today is end of week 3 and I can't believe the difference...no pain pills, walking with cane but still use walker on more difficult missions. Sleep is still a problem but have found that non operative side sleep is becoming longer each day. Yes there is a light and what a difference. Can't wait for week 4 and what it will bring.
 

jeaniebug

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Recovery/Work

Hi Tom,

That was very encouraging, thanks for the post!! My THR surgery is coming up on March 17. I am not too worried about the surgery, I have had surgery (although not on my hip) twice before. And I am very excited about the possiblity of walking without pain.

I am mostly worried about my recovery. I have gotten to the point where it is too painful to walk more than a short distance even with a cane. I am 53 and I have had hip dysplasia all my life (just on the right side) according to Ortho surgeon.

So I know I will be up and in a walker.. but I have a stupid question, what is the most difficult problem post op.. is it muscle weakness, pain, trauma to the bones? My leg has been so useless for so long it's hard to imagine it being much more useless. I already pull my leg up by grabbing ahold of my pants when I am getting in a car for instance. And I go up stairs one at a time using my good leg anyway.

And is the muscle weakness just the result of the "dislocation" of my joint? It has been hard for me to pull myself up with that leg as long as I can remember. My thigh and calf muscles are much weaker and smaller than on the other leg. Do other THR patients find that their affected leg was much weaker before surgery? Does it get stronger afterward? (These are general questions, Tom I don't expect you answer all of this...)

My supervisor wants me back to work fairly quickly, but she knows the Dr. will have to release me. I don't go into much detail with her because it will be hard for my co-workers to cover their work and mine as well. I do work at a desk all day at the moment so I may be able to return more quickly?? Although my hip pain has gotten so much worse since I started sitting all day.

I think I am rambling! Anyway, thanks for sharing that improvement can be rapid even though it doesn't seem that way at first!
 

pebitpeb

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More improvement coming

Tom it was good to read your post and hear that you are feeling better now and that you are looking postively to the future of full recovery. The sleeping part of this has been a little challenge here in the hospital for me, however they gave me a little something to help and last night I think I slept for almost 7.5 hours, which for me is a long sleep in the average of sleeping in my life. Continued recovery to you and enjoy the better days ahead.
pebitpeb
Paul
 

Josephine

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Re: Recovery/Work

I am mostly worried about my recovery. I have gotten to the point where it is too painful to walk more than a short distance even with a cane. I am 53 and I have had hip dysplasia all my life (just on the right side) according to Ortho surgeon.

So I know I will be up and in a walker.. but I have a stupid question, what is the most difficult problem post op.. is it muscle weakness, pain, trauma to the bones? My leg has been so useless for so long it's hard to imagine it being much more useless. I already pull my leg up by grabbing ahold of my pants when I am getting in a car for instance. And I go up stairs one at a time using my good leg anyway.

And is the muscle weakness just the result of the "dislocation" of my joint? It has been hard for me to pull myself up with that leg as long as I can remember. My thigh and calf muscles are much weaker and smaller than on the other leg. Do other THR patients find that their affected leg was much weaker before surgery? Does it get stronger afterward? (These are general questions, Tom I don't expect you answer all of this...)
Muscle weakness and dysfunction almost certainly as a result of the hip problems. However, having said that - your leg didn't get this way in a few days and it's not going to get better in a few days. It will take time to build those muscles back up and for you to get accustomed to having a hip that works again. Best thing is, this time around it will be pain-free!


My supervisor wants me back to work fairly quickly, but she knows the Dr. will have to release me. I don't go into much detail with her because it will be hard for my co-workers to cover their work and mine as well. I do work at a desk all day at the moment so I may be able to return more quickly?? Although my hip pain has gotten so much worse since I started sitting all day.

I think I am rambling! Anyway, thanks for sharing that improvement can be rapid even though it doesn't seem that way at first!
Word of advice here, Jeannie - do NOT let your supervisor guilt trip you back to work too soon. You will have had major surgery and although you 'see' your hip as all shiny and new, your body takes time to recover from the assault. You may be back on your pins with just a cane but you will also feel tired and washed out very, very easily for about 6-10 weeks. So desk job notwithstanding, you need to get back in a structured way and not straight back in to full time working.

Unless you have remarkably recuperative powers, I would suggest at least 8 weeks off and then the first 2-3 weeks on short days. But that's just my opinion. I suggest you talk it over in more detail with your surgeon.

 

Ginny

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I agree with Josephine...I'm 35 yrs old and consider myself in great shape and even though its been 6 weeks, I still get tired in the afternoon and am usually in bed by 8:30pmm...I have two more weeks off before I need to go back to work. If I were you, take advantage of the time off. You will need it.
all the best,
Ginny
 

jeaniebug

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Stress and baggage

Thanks very much for the info. I agree that I will need 4-8 weeks before going back to even part time. There are three problems--we are down one person already in my small group at work, and it will be hard for my co-workers to take up all the slack (ahhh guilt!!!). And my supervisor seems to think it shouldn't take very long to heal up.... The third problem is that I only have two weeks of sick leave/time off here at my job. I have only worked here a year. Being upaid for weeks will be a major problem. I'm a single Mom, and even though I have a pretty good job, financially I am just getting by.

They have a new policy here that people can donate up to 20 hours of sick pay, but I was warned by HR that "You many not ask anyone to help!" I don't know what that's about. But I am going to have to ask for help.....

So I'm feeling stressed and worried, but not about the surgery.

I didn't mean to hijack this thread, perhaps I should start one of my own. I'm finding that I have a lot of issues about this disability before I even knew I had it, that it had a name, or that not being able to walk and run was not my fault. I have spent my whole life feeling different from other people, really clumsy, not able to keep up, and feeling like if I worked out harder I would be stronger... yada yada...

Anyway, thanks everyone!
 

MsSplenda56

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At week 2 I thought oh what have I gotten myself into. Today is end of week 3 and I can't believe the difference...no pain pills, walking with cane but still use walker on more difficult missions. Sleep is still a problem but have found that non operative side sleep is becoming longer each day. Yes there is a light and what a difference. Can't wait for week 4 and what it will bring.
I am glad things are better for you. Keep up the positive attitude.

Splenda
 

Josephine

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Being unpaid - oh wow - that sucks! But like it or not, you will regret it if you go back too quickly. And so what if your co-workers are short handed? This is your health you are talking about. The work will always be there and no-one is indispensable! Do talk it over with your surgeon before you make any decisions or promises to your supervisor. Thing is, once you are back they will very quickly (and conveniently) forget you have had major surgery, believe me!
 

Josephine

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Tom - how are you doing? I want updates!
 

Ginny

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Jeaniebug,

I know it's a lot of stress; work, money, kids, surgery etc. Take a deep breath and relax for a second.

You need to take care of you first, if you don't the situation may get worse. I would be quite matter of fact about it when talking with your supervisor...this is what I need from you/the company. My health is a risk, I need to take care of myself for my kids etc, etc. Have you considered asking for paid time off? I would by pass the your supervisor and as the owner of your company. You never know, tell your situation and they may surprise you. If never hurts to ask, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

Rally your friends/family and have a good support system in place. Trust me, people want to help. I was OVERWHELMED by all of my friends coming over and helping, people I wouldn't even expect. I truly felt blessed.

If you live close to me (Panhandle of Florida) I would be happy to come help you. babysit/grocery shop etc.

Keep your chin up. You are going to be fine. This is time to take care of you.
~Ginny
 
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