It has been just over three years since “Miss Muffet” (forum name) had her first total hip replacement and 2 1/2 years since her second one. She has been so kind to share her story of what became of her life before and after she met BoneSmart.
Over the course of several years Miss Muffet started noticing that her right hip often would give out on her, particularly when crossing a road and always taking her by surprise. Often she’d comment jokingly that “I’d inevitably need a new hip one day”, but sort of put the idea on the back burner.
Then one summer the whole family decided to visit Marbella, Spain, for the holidays. Miss Muffet and her husband were so ‘lucky’ to have the top suite of a 3rd floor building and foolishly Miss Muffet dragged both suitcases up three flights of stairs, immobilizing herself for the rest of the trip. A vicious beast had got hold of her hip and knee and was setting her whole leg on fire.
Later the same summer on a sailing trip to Cornwall the pain flared up again – so badly that she couldn’t walk at all and ended up spending a fortune taking taxis. “By this time, I would cry myself to sleep at night,” Miss Muffet describes and it was time to schedule a doctor’s appointment.
“Incoming meltdown! It’s time for bilateral hip replacement”
Despite the clear hip symptoms, Miss Muffet’s doctor misdiagnosed her condition, assuring her that her back was the root of the problem. With some doubts, Miss Muffet submitted to an MRI scan and was subsequently referred to a spine specialist. Unfortunately, Miss Muffet did show signs of osteoarthritis in her spine and was given three choices:
- Perform surgery to remove some small nodules
- Administer painkilling injections
- Remain on the anti-inflammatories and wait
Rejecting options 1 and 2, Miss Muffet elected to soldier on, thinking she’d feel the same in a couple of years, but within just 6 months, she was back at the doctor’s office, begging to see the specialist again. “I explained that the pain was actually in my hip and knee, and fortunately he sent me straight down for x-rays!” And guess what…it was her hips after all … and she needed a bilateral hip replacement!
Miss Muffet had a complete meltdown. “I would howl when I couldn’t cope with the pain and generally believed that no one truly understood what I was going through. My world had shrunk to the walls within our home. Activity was curtailed. Even limited outings had to be carefully orchestrated to avoid walking and ensure parking was accessible. My art classes were abandoned, yoga was too painful. Even swimming hurt. Grandchildren, who I adore, wore me out so I’d feel impatient with myself for not coping and invariably slope off to the loo and weep. I put on weight.” Miss Muffet felt old before her time, but the truth was her bones were older than she was. Luckily by this time she had heard of BoneSmart through a friend of a friend.
I’m not alone!
Like many others, Miss Muffet bombarded the site with questions regarding fears, uncertainty, etc. – “All of my questions were astonishingly rapidly answered with great understanding and compassion. Practical advice, honest and frank discussions took place. Nothing was taboo.”
Slowly Miss Muffet began to understand that she wasn’t actually the only person in the whole world who felt fear and self-doubt about hip replacement.
“I realised that my anxieties stemmed from feeling out of control. Handing my life over to someone, who I needed to place all my trust in to turn my life around came hard. The best thing, I could do was to seize back some of that control. So I set off trawling the site for clues about how best to be equipped for ‘The Great Day’. I wanted to make my preparation and recovery as smooth as possible. So I shopped for my survival kit; bought suitable clothing; cooked and froze ready meals; got my hair done; my nails stripped of varnish; legs waxed and generally readied the house for my homecoming.”
Miss Muffet even found herself an orthopedic surgeon with the right experience, filling her with confidence! And most importantly, she trusted him and his team to do the job.
Finally, when asking Miss Muffet to sum up the essence of BoneSmart, she describes it like “There’s no merit in soldiering on and suffering in silence. Everyone is there to help. We’re all in the same situation – or have been – and I’m a great believer in the buddy system. It certainly worked for me.”
A life after hip replacement surgery
After surgery, Miss Muffet started her new hip replacement life, and having said that, we’d like to leave Miss Muffet to finish the story in her own words:
“Today I’m a ‘double transplantee’, as my grandkids call me, totally disbelieving what has happened. I have absolutely no consciousness of these new bits of ironmongery which have transformed my life. The only evidence was my matching ‘zips’ down either side of my thighs. These have faded and went through pale pink to silver and are barely discernible. Honestly – I really wouldn’t care a jot if they hadn’t faded. They are my badges of honour and I wear them with great pride as one of the best steps I ever took in life.”
“The recovery, if the BoneSmart guidelines are followed faithfully, is slow but steady. None of it compared to the disability I endured for far too long ahead of surgery. Ice was king. Rest and gentle exercise (mostly walking) in moderation is key. I feel like I’ve dropped a decade. My energy levels are UP. Hubby and I have new electric bikes, which encouraged me to get back in the saddle and pedal my way through the Peak District; down canal paths and past windmills in Holland and through the French National Park.”
“I’m swimming again and walking is a joy, not a drudge! Time to look ahead and live – and thank goodness for the exceptional BoneSmart.”
So if you’re feeling lost and confused about an upcoming joint replacement surgery, don’t worry! BoneSmart is here for you. Our community of members and staff have all been right where you are in this process. We understand! Hopefully, Miss Muffet’s happy ending will reassure you that you can regain the active life you want.
And to Miss Muffet: Thank you for sharing your experience with us! We’re both proud and happy to have you as an active member of our BoneSmart family. We believe your story will not only calm nerves but also encourage people out there to take action when their lives are disrupted by joint pain.
If you haven’t yet read the full post, you can access the forum and read it right here: https://bonesmart.org/forum/threads/miss-muffet-proudly-presents-her-new-hips.35646/page-35#post-1019890
If you have questions or comments you’d like to make regarding Miss Muffet’s Spotlight story and her recovery, please click on this link and post in her recovery thread on the BoneSmart forum.