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Hip Infection* Westy's Hip Recovery Thread

Elf1

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Hi @Westy, so good to hear from you and especially when most of your update is good news. Sorry you're still dealing with the pain and will probably have to deal with it for some time yet to come. Will continue to keep you in my thoughts and prayers, hoping you're on the down hill slide! :angel: Keeping fingers crossed your blood work comes back good. :fingersx:
 

Aura Gypsy

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Hi @Westy

I’m so happy to hear the pain is less intense now and soon no more PICC line... yippee .
Mine came out last week and it was a WOO WHO moment.

Moving forward I wish you more pain free days than days with pain. It is such a slow healing process with plenty of ups and downs...... thankfully you are optimistic.

Look forward to your next update ....with great news I hope. Take care.
 

Mojo333

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Tremendous to read this...:happydance:
Made my morning to read some good news.
A long journey, for sure...but we are all rooting for you, friend.
Hope today is a Good Day!
 
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Westy

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Hi Hipster friends,

Thanks again for the kind words, advice, and well wishes. I see the new OS in May. If anything comes up prior to to then, I'll update the thread. Stay safe and healthy all.

Westy
 

Layla

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We’re here for you, Westy.
Thanks for reaching out to Badhip in the midst of your own journey. It’s a testament to a compassionate and kind heart...admirable characteristics. We will look forward to an update after you meet with your surgeon unless we hear from you before then.
Take care, be safe, stay well! :)
@Westy
 

Layla

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Hello Westy,
You’re one month in and one day closer to an end to this chapter.
Hopefully you’re doing well and your spirits are still up.
Wishing you a peaceful week. :)
@Westy
 
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Westy

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Hello @Layla and all,

I see the new OS next week. I was originally scheduled to see him mid month, but I'm still in a whole lot of pain. In fact, the pain gets so intense at times, I asked my primary to run all the blood work to check and see if my numbers showed the infection was back. Luckily, the numbers were beautiful. The only thing that's still a tad low was my HMG.
I have no idea what's causing all this pain, but it's frustrating. It seems to be concentrated in the upper left groin and at times along the incision. I'm still on the walker 95% of the time, which is truly discouraging, 2 plus months out from the spacer install. We'll see what the new OS has to say.
I'm not sure if surgery will even be an option just yet due to the Covid situation in our area. My local hospital has successfully treated well over 350 people thus far. I'm also a little apprehensive about having surgery while this awful virus is still so prominent in our area. I'd hate to take up the resources that someone with the virus might need. I'm also concerned about being in the hospital at this time, for obvious reasons.
Scary and surreal times. Thanks Layla, I'll be back after the OS visit and keep the thread going. Until then, please stay safe and healthy everyone.

Westy
 

CricketHip

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Oh Westy, I'm so sorry you are having continuing pain and on top of that, worrying about what's wrong or is it normal? You must be so frustrated.
We will be most interested in hearing about your upcoming appointment.

You are correct, it's a very difficult time to think about going in for a surgery, procedure or whatever else is needed.

The best we can do is think things through to the best of our ability and find the best Dr/Surgeon to help us. Then trust in our decision.
I wish for you some peace of mind and a lessening in pain. hugs..
 

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@ Westy I am so sorry you are suffering like this,my first spacer was like this i could barely move i slept downstairs on the sofa the whole time,it is very very hard, i do hope you get relief,in the end they made me a splint which helped and finally went on traction which was just blissful, this spacer is so much better and i know not why. I do hope you find relief,xx
 

Mojo333

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:hi:Just popping by to let you know we are thinking of you and hoping you have had some cessation in your pain levels.
Keep the faith, friend.
 
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Westy

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Hello Hipster Friends,

Warning: LONG POST

I went to see the new OS a few weeks ago. He had me get new labs and the blood came back good. He told me to call his scheduler once the blood work showed good to go, and we'd get something on the schedule for my revision. A day later his scheduler called me and told me I was having my revision on 18 May, which was pretty shocking to me. They just started to do "elective" surgeries again on 14 May. The very same scheduler called me back the next day and said I was now scheduled for 15 May, due to an opening.

I thanked her and hung up. I messaged the OS and asked him to give me a call. He called and we spoke for 20 minutes or so. He said the first thing they do when they make the new incision is take tissue and fluid samples and test them on the spot for bacteria. If they're positive for bacteria, that means they remove the current spacer, flush the area with strong antibiotic solution, install a new spacer, and I go on 6 more weeks of PICC line IV antibiotics.

I asked him what percentage chance there was that I was still infected? He told me 10 to 15%. That left me feeling very dejected and down in the dumps. Next I asked him while he was in there if he could repair my Gluteus Medius which was severely damaged by the last infection. He told me that there's not much that can be done with that at this point, due to how badly the tendon was damaged by the infection. Double downer feeling now, cuz this sucker is a constant source of pain.

I gave it 24 hours of thought and am trying like heck to make a decision. I cancelled the surgery for 15 May, because I honestly don't know if my body can take 6 more weeks of that poison aka antibiotics. During the last course, which lasted 10 1/2 weeks, I felt like death was imminent 4 or 5 times. I couldn't eat, I had zero energy, and lost so much weight I looked like I was terminal.

Now to refresh your memories. literally everything that could go wrong from surgery # 1 thru surgery # 4 has. There is a 1% chance of infection in the initial hip replacement. (6-27-19). In Dec 2019, my Gluteus Medius needed to be reattached and several weeks after that I became severely infected. Surgery # 3, Dec 2019, the clean out and partial implant replacement, along with the PICC line, was done. I was told by the top ID doc in the area, I had a 90% chance of this 3rd surgery being a total success.

Wrong, and I had an Explant on 2-26-20. Started a fresh course of 6 weeks of strong antibiotics via the PICC line. I'm still in a lot of pain, and on a low (almost useless dose) of Norco that barely takes the edge off. I called a doctor friend today and asked him for his advice. I'm starting to think at my age, maybe a pain management program with Norco is the better option. I don't want to spend the rest of my days going through a cycle of surgeries, one after the other. I specially don't want another PICC line.

I'm 66 and change. My dad died at 60 and my younger brother at 50, both from cancer. My doc friend says it's a tough call to make, but if I choose pain control, I'm still immobile as can be. If I choose revision and it's infected, I'm back to square one. What a huge kerfuffle. I can't walk 3 feet without a cane, and if i want to go 10 feet I'm still on a walker. I'm really trying to keep my spirits high, but it's hard.

My two main hobbies are playing the blues and jamming with friends, and long range precision shooting at my club. I married into a very well known competitive shooting family and caught the bug right away. I haven't been able to do either in months and months. I sit and watch Netflix all dang day and night. I sleep in a chair, and not very well. Essentially my quality of life is lousy.

When the pre op nurse called to set up the surgery, she was a so unorganized and out of touch, it literally scared the heck out of me. I don't want to be a test dummy this soon after they just reinstated elective surgeries. The hospital is very short staffed and that concerns me too. Basically I'm totally undecided now on how to proceed. Do I want to be on pain killers for the long haul, still not being able to walk properly? Nope, I truly don't. Do I want to risk being in a never ending cycle of surgeries at this stage if my life? Nope, I don't.

Please feel free to opine. I've discussed this at length with our first born, and only son and my wife. They both say do the pain mgmt for 6 months and re evaluate. I'm not sure that's the answer. I'm at a complete loss. Hate to seem like a downer, but the stats have worked against me since day one, that's the reality of my hip replacement. I can't discuss this with my adult daughters, because they get too emotional and have their hands full with their own families now. They're great moms too, I'm very proud of all 4 of of our children. My son is a world traveler and single. He's currently stuck half way around the globe due to C-19. We spoke earlier and he said to make the call I was most comfortable with. Problem is, neither call is a "great" option. This really stinks.

Thanks for reading, sorry for the very lengthy post. I appreciate all the well wishes, advice, and kind words. Hope all who are recovering are doing well and on the road to complete and full recovery.

Stay safe and healthy, friends

Westy

PS, if the grammar or spelling is off, I can't blame the Norco, I'm down to two 5-325's per day, one after breakfast and one after dinner. :)
 
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Mojo333

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Dear Westy...Wow, I'm sure I would've had my head spinning with the surgery put before me so soon after reopening...I mean I am glad they put you as a priority, but there's one decision you mustn't revisit.
I hate that the antibiotics were so incredibly tough on you and I think that your wife may also think your body needs some time to regroup.
Not sure why the option for pain management has to be you only get strong enough meds if you are not going to go forward with the revision.
Hardly seems fair.
Why can't they up them now?
I don't have any grand wisdom but I do hope you can regain some health with the break in antibiotics, and strength...

I'm no help at all, eh?

I've discussed this at length with our first born, and only son and my wife. They both say do the pain mgmt for 6 months and re evaluate. I'm not sure that's the answer. I'm at a complete loss
It doesn't have to be six months if you do decide to proceed, right.
I think you deserve a few weeks at least to boost your immune system and reassess things...
I do wish there could be certainties vs percentages since you must feel you are always catching the long odds.

I hope you could get some pain control so you can feel more like moving about...even with the walker...
Important to keep your strength up.
Praying today will be a sunny day, so maybe you can catch some rays of Vitamin D...
Still praying for your health and for His guidance as you make decisions...
:praying:
 
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Westy

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@Mojo333 Thank you, and fwiw, every single one of you on this forum have been a huge help to me. Reading your stories, advice, ideas, and helpful healing tips played a big part in getting me this far. This forum has been a great resource for me, and no matter how this ends up, I'm eternally grateful for this place and all the helpful folks who post here.

Have a great weekend, stay safe and healthy.


Westy
 

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Hello Westy,
Your story is a heartbreaking tear jerker. I’m so sorry you have to deal with this. We all realize that this could happen to any one of us. You definitely have some decisions to ponder.

I‘m wondering if you’ve given serious thought to researching a nutritional approach in all of this? I’m not discouraging the antibiotics as I believe they are a necessity in your case, but given your history and recent unbearable side effects, possibly you would consider scheduling an appointment with a nutritionist who comes highly recommended, if you haven’t already. Someone who could assist in fine tuning your diet to help build up your immune system as well as combat the horrid side effects you mentioned you suffered. After all...what do you have to lose?

I’m wondering if you took a daily probiotic while on the antibiotics in an effort to restore the friendly intestinal flora (good fighting bacteria) that is killed off right along with the bad? Doing so can also help reduce the risk of diarrhea. Eating yogurt daily, drinking Kombucha and increasing water intake may all help also.

Any boost to your immune system through clean and healthy eating could prove beneficial. Eating fiber rich foods can reduce inflammation in your gastrointestinal tract. Leafy greens, kale, beans, legumes, oatmeal, fruit, garlic, even a little dark chocolate may all help ward off some of the miserable effects you experienced with your latest round of antibiotics.

I asked him what percentage chance there was that I was still infected? He told me 10 to 15%. That left me feeling very dejected and down in the dumps.
While I understand this is not what you hoped to hear, the odds could be a lot worse.

When the pre op nurse called to set up the surgery, she was a so unorganized and out of touch, it literally scared the heck out of me.
I think you should mention this to the surgeon. For your sake, and the sake of others going forward.

I'm 66 and change. My dad died at 60 and my younger brother at 50, both from cancer.
Very sad, but you‘ve already outlived both of them and look at all you’ve been through. Don’t lose hope, YOU CAN DO THIS!

Do I want to risk being in a never ending cycle of surgeries at this stage if my life? Nope, I don't.
This does not have to be your story. While this is an extremely difficult road and I wouldn’t wish it for anyone, many have made it through to the other side, why can’t that be you too? It can be.

Prayers for comfort, peace of mind, clear decision making and perfect healing.
We‘re here for you always, so please stay in touch.
 

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Westy, my heart goes out to you in trying to determine the best choice for you at this point. But I have faith in your ability to decide what is best. I would definitely be on your side in having some reservations about another surgery just as the hospitals and doctors are gearing back up. Your situation is not like a "routine" joint replacement, and I can see some value in finding a way to wait a while until your medical team is back on track.

You've received excellent advice from Layla and Mojo333....and from your son as well. Sadly, you are the one who must decide the best option. You've laid out all the facts quite clearly. Now the hard part is to pick what to do. Your son had the right idea....you must choose the options that make you feel the most confident to achieve success and reach your goal of a better quality of life.

Your BoneSmart family will back you no matter what. :friends:
 

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Hi, Westy. My heart goes out to you. It’s hard to imagine what a toll this has taken on you. I can relate somewhat in that I survived a massive peritonitis from appendix when younger that took a year and another surgery to recover from. I also looked like those pictures of famine victims. It appears to me you have more or less answered your own question. There was a lot more sadness/regret about what you’ve given up, can’t do, and mobility restrictions let alone increasing distancing (not related to C-19) from family. The surgery/antibiotics is a known entity in that you know what that entails. 10-15% chance is not the worst as Layla said. What about the 85-90% chance this could be over? When you go through all you have, it’s hard to look beyond the small world your life has become. What does the true alternative to not having the surgery look like? I think that all of the suggestions above to build you up are great and that doesn’t necessarily have to go on months before surgery. I think you might be surprised at how quickly your body responds and then it’s an ongoing process through the surgery and beyond. It would help you physically, mentally, and emotionally as you start to regain some health and stamina. I would have another talk with your OS about all of this and see if there’s a problem with delaying things a bit. It is ultimately your decision, of course. You will never have all the answers to the unknowns. You just honestly need to answer how it is you want to live. I wish you angel blessings for peace, wisdom, and comfort as you decide. ❤ Pat
 

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@Westy You've truly been down a tough road and you may not feel like it at the moment but you impress me as one tough person to go through what you have and persevere. If it was me I think I might try a combination of the above great ideas. Maybe only a three month pain management program while pursuing nutrition and hoping that pain management would let you build your physical strength as well. With a bonus of the hospitals getting back on their regular game and be running smoothly. Just my two cents, hang tight my friend we are all rooting for you.
 

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