I’m a refugee (Percy Hipkiss) from the other forum – the re-surfacing one which seems more active. Hope this is not an omen !! It now looks as though I’m going to need two thr’s and not re-surfacing as was first mooted.
I went for a pre-op check last week and for a while the specialist and I were talking at cross purposes. He’s always suggested re-surfacing but it seems now he has new data, some new difficulties with stiffness and recommends that as my OA is unusual (in a different place at the bottom of the femur head) that THR is the best option. Apparently I have ‘medial pole’ arthritis….at the outer bottom edge of the femur head…the unusally affected places look clean as a whistle!
I’m less than thrilled to be honest. Though he does say the joint repair looks straighforward’. I’m probably going to have the first of these – the left- done in the next month on the British NHS service but possibly in a private hospital – they’ll pay for it.
I’m also a diet controlled diabetic, so infection is a slightly higher risk. This is why I’m keen on the durgery being done in a private hospital as they have a better reputation on the infection front.
I’m 57 years of age. Five ten with a BMI of 23 – perfect I’m told, though I’m no longer pretty!
I’ve had trouble with my left hip for six years. I’m a truck driver but have not yet had any time off due to arthritis. My right hip is now getting much worse. Buttocks ache – bed is often uncomfortable and the fleeting stabs of acute pain in both hips can be quite sickening.
Can’t walk much further than a few hundred yards without wincing – hence my nickname – my wife is ‘Wallet’ we’re Wallet and Grimace ! She’s long suffering too – largely because of me.
I keep the painkillers to a minimum. Partly because I like a beer or two or a glass of wine, but partly because I’d rather suffer a little than throw tablets down my neck with gay abandon.
I’ve really been very lucky with my general health and even though I have this problem I’m still fairly lucky – things could be much worse. I’m not looking forward to the procedure though. I’ll get next to no money from my employer whilst I’m off and my wife is in the throes of a redundancy round at her place of work. Great timing.
Never rains but it pours!
We’re comfortably off – ish and money is not too much of a worry. It’s pain and worse that troubles me
April 24, 2009
Easter Monday. Traditionally a British Bank Holiday. A day for outings to the seaside and sitting, smouldering in traffic jams on the drive home.
In the past I’d avoided the norm by taking a motor-cycle on Easter days, though this year was to be altogether different. The bike has gone now and anyway I was admitted to hospital in the late afternoon for total hip replacement surgery the very next morning.
I’m a 57 year old HGV Driver, part-time amateur blogger, photographer and Albaphile (I love Scotland). I have been struggling with osteo-arthritis in both hips, and the spine for several years now. Three weeks earlier I finally threw in the towel and ‘went sick’ from work, the aching, stiffness and unpredictability of both joints finally defeating me as surgery drew near. Other than the ‘Arthur’ and diet controlled Diabetes my general health has always been good.I’m five ten and 165 pounds.
Replacement Eve had proved another restless night – nothing unique in that as I have become used to aching , especially in the buttocks. A real live pain in the backside. I’ve been working my way through an Alfred Hitchcock ‘boxed-set’ – a Christmas gift. At 6-00am. my other half and I were lying in bed watching ‘Psycho’! apt preparation for a going ‘under’ the knife, albeit it in a hopefully less frenzied manner.
I’d chosen a hospital about six miles away and my Daughter was good enough to deliver me, with small suitcase on castors to the main entrance. My wife helped me strip out my necessaries and fill the inadequate locker beside my bed. One of four in a small side ward. When relatives had gone I made small talk with the other occupants. Also recent arrivals. Jim Knee and Bob Knee – not brothers, merely having their knees replaced and I do not want to use real names. I’d already been bracketed in with the ‘knee-jobs’ several times. For some reason almost every medico I came across had inferred that I was in their hospital for attention to the lower joint. If not quite hearing alarm bells, my mind was experiencing minor misgivings and a deternination to impress upon all concerned that my left hip was the target for tomorrow.
Jim and Bob had different stories. Jim was 84 years old, and had been struggling with arthritis for years. He was an agreeable, if curmudgeonly old chap and we talked long into the evening about the modern world and its many problems. He’d say things like ‘World War Two never did us any harm’ which I challenged of course, though in a gentle, emollient way, trying to prise some positivity from the likeable old grouch.
Bob was a different kettle of fish some twenty years younger. Apparently his knee’s demise was down to an old footballing injury. A claim he made with some pride. “I was told I’d the knee of a sixty year old when I was forty” he declared more than once. By that reckoning his knee was now as old as Jim’s. Both of them were well and truly knackered and as bullets were finally being bitten all round we shared a common empathy as the newly formed trio – locked into each others company got to know one another. Manchester City fans all. we had common memories to cover.
The staff were friendly, and informal. We were given a tea-time meal but were starved from midnight. Luckily, I was to be the first into Theatre the following morning. I slept well, but was awake when a Nurse called me for a shower around six am.
Newly scrubbed up I had to don a surgical gown which tied around the rear. I managed as best I could. Somewhat pensively I awaited the trolley ride to surgery, and potential oblivion.
A member of the Surgeon’s team visited me at my bedside and again asked which KNEE was affected! I momentarily lost patience and snapped back threats of court action! He apologised. Not until I was on my trolley literally and metaphorically did I see Mr Royal – my Surgeon. He explained that re-surfacing of the joint was inadvisable now after new research data. The metal on metal procedure is proving unsatisfactory on femur heads smaller than fifty millimetres. My own head is 48mm. He produced a thick black marker to draw an arrow on my left thigh, plus, as I discovered later, the word ‘HIP’ in large letters.
Soon we were off. I remember looking up at the ceilings of endless corridors as my trolley gathered pace. Wishing I had my film camera. A vertical outlook from a horizontal perspective would work well, as fluorescent lights sped by I mused. For in truth I was savouring the experience at this stage. I’d handed myself over to professionals and was now merely the point of their pay packet. I lifted my head to see a busy passageway of people who were moving aside to assist my progress.
Arriving finally, and transferred into the care of ‘Nicky, the Anaesthetist’s Nurse’. Her Boss had already explained my method of transfer to an unconscious, unfeeling state was to be a ‘spinal anaesthetic’
I had electrodes attached to my chest and elsewhere and a ‘canula’ was inserted into my right hand, where drip feeds could enter my body if required. They sat me up and applied a very cold solution to my back. He prodded and poked my lower lumber region feeling for a suitable place. On an anxiety scale of one to five I was hovering around three to four. Theatre staff were marvellous.
I felt a series of sharp pricks to my lower back. A highly unusual sensation soon followed which was momentarily unpleasant – a kind of ‘don’t go there’ warning from my central nervous system. I was told to lie on my back again as a welter of warmth began to creep up my legs. The Anaesthetist began to spray a very cold solution onto my left hand side, asking for feedback as to where I could feel the chill. As the sound of the spray soon became my only reason for knowing what was happening the numbness was clearly underway. A deep numbness, which would allow all manner of hacking, poking, dislocation and general abuse to go sailing over my head. Speaking of my head, I’d been given a mild sedative which made me feel woozy within minutes. I remember the team rolling me over onto my right hand side, some encouraging words and then I was in la-la-land. Half asleep.
I was happy there, I recall. A very pleasant dream ensued which I cannot remember in detail. I was in the recovery room within minutes, or so it seemed. In truth almost two hours had past. A pleasant male nurse talked about his horse-box , and his habit of jumping over fences on his favourite beast. Sitting astride horses has been out of the question for me for a long time and I doubt I shall start anytime soon. My canula was attached to two bags of liquid allowing drips of anti-biotics and I think, a saline solution to replace lost fluids.
Soon I was back in my bed in the small ward. People buzzed around for a while, then left me alone. For the first time in years I was lying on my back without aching….the ‘spinal’ had not yet worn off.
It was some several hours before it did so. By this time I was aware of an intense aching in the area of the left hip. I had an appetite though and was thirsty. A thirst which was slaked by water. As the others in the ward had by now gone to theatre themselves for their new knees I was alone, but happy to be so.
The rest of the day is a blur if I’m honest. I remember visitors of course, and I remember eating an evening meal. I was checked regularly for blood pressure and pulse etc. and assistance was there if needed. For a while it wasn’t.
to be continued – if the mods allow
April 26, 2009
Three Weeks Post Op
I’ve been home for five days now. and it’s twelve days since the op. A bed downstairs. Lots of TLC and attention from my Wife.
Nightly visits from the District Nurses to inject anti-clotting agents. Staples due out tonight.
I have some bruising to toes and ankle area. Left foot is a bit swollen.The leg feels a bit tender to touch, tight to stretch. I ache in the left buttock and can still only lie on my back.
I’m getting about okay on two crutches. Managing five to seven hours sleep a night downstairs.
Exercises ar egetting easier and I stick to the three times a day routine. Each day I walk about fifty metres outside.
Feel upbeat but will be glad to lose this ache. Still no real pain as yet. I’m up to the limit of eight Co-Dydramol p/k’s per day.
I had a pint of Guiness last night to address the iron defficiency pulse has almost normalised around 75 bpm resting.
April 28, 2009
A little pain in the groin today and the ankle feels weak on rising – soon strengthens up. Bruised toes seem worse. Nothing to worry about. Have maintained exercises and been up and down the stairs and a short walk outside.
Sleeping more at night and easing off the painkillers a bit now – but I still have the other leg to think about.
May 5, 2009
My left leg (op) does seem a trifle shorter than the right. Which I suppose will leave me with a limp if it’s uncorrected.
At least my gait has improved I think, and I no longer look like John Wayne after ten hours in the saddle – not on both sides anyway.
Have cut the painkillers down to two in the middle of the night. I still cannot fully lie on the operated side. I don’t like sleeping on my back much.
The soreness in the heels is easing a lot and I’m going up and down stairs about ten times a day. This is my seventh week off work and I have to say I’m getting used to it !
I’ve had no pain at all in the left hip, and my range of movement is greatly improved. I can move the leg inward without feeling pain. I still ache a bit and the wound feels hard but it’s getting less noticeable with every day.
The bruising in the toes is undiminished though the swelling in the left leg is reducing slowly. Calf muscle a little tender, ankle likewise….not drastic.
May 8, 2009
I just finished my course of Ferrous Sulphate tablets so hopefully the iron/haemoglobin count is returning to something like normal (13 for a bloke – less for a lass).
I know it’s an acquired taste but Guinness is full of the stuff. Absorption is also aided by Vitamin C apparently. Who said a little knowledge can be dangerous? !
Any feelings of fluid in the leg? When I get up from lying all night I can feel tingling down to my ankle and the joint is sore for a minute or two. The bruising on the toes is still there and shows little sign of going anywhere soon.
I’ve started pumping iron to keep my upper body strength up too and lift small dumb-bells with 20kg. on ’em for about five minutes in a seated position. If I try lifting them over my head I can feel protests from down below on the operated side…so I don’t do it. RThe leg excercises are now easy-peasy but the one wear you bend the leg back as far is it will go well, I feel like there is a small towel rolled up and stuffed in tight behind my knee – must be fluid.
Keeping busy editing old holiday movies , following the stock market and becoming addicted to Jack Bauer (24) …not to mention the net, which fills in an hour or so each day.
May 12, 2009
Four weeks since the op.
My birthday today – 58.
Had an assisted scrub in the shower. Noted that the bruising in toes is starting to subside. Clalf and behind knee less tender to touch. Can put full weight on operated leg for a while and take a few unsupported steps. NO PAIN PUNCTUATED NIGHTS!
Have cut tablets right down to minimum and other leg now worse than the operated one.
That said the op’d one feels nothing like ‘normal’ yet and I expect that to take a few more weeks.
Wound all but healed now and contemplating an emollient (E45) to soften the scar a little. So relieved there was no infection.
Thanking our NHS in my mind and the fact that though I had to wait a while the excellent treatment was free at the point of delivery (forget the thousan££’s of ££ in taxes since 1967)
Glad I had thr now – not that I’m trying to diminish re-surfacing I just think this ceramic job the best option for me at this age.
Filling in forms to claim mortgage insurance – finances holding up well – no worries – enjoying life to be honest. Mebbe could do with getting out a bit more
May 14, 2009
Early doors I thought my operate leg was slightly longer – maybe a half inch or so.
Now I’m not sure. The leg was beautifully straight post op. but now seems a little less so and the discrepancy has all but disappeared.
I still use the crutch. I like the extra comfort the bracing action of the arm ring brings. Good job. Yesterday while I was stood on the kerb glancing at my paper outside the newsagents a ten year old girl walked straight into me. She simply wasn’t looking where she was going. Could have been nasty. Dizzy little thing never said a word and neither did her mother. Pre op. I’d have told her off for not saying ‘excuse-me’ or ‘sorry’ but I guess I feel less than feisty at the moment – or at least a tad vulnerable.
May 19, 2009
Five weeks yesterday since the op.
The remaining crutch has now given way to a stick. About ten per cent of the time I’m walking unsupported – albeit gingerly.
Yesterday I did fifteen minutes on the treadmill at 3.5 miles per hour which was fairly brisk. I felt it a little later in the evening…maybe I overdid things a bit. I ache a bit this morning but then again I’ve had little physical exertion for a long time now.
The burising in the toes has cleared up completely. The instep and back of the calf and knee are only slightly tender – nothing really, I just wonder what causes it.
Daughter’s wedding next week – 28th. so should be able to attend no problem – maybe even stickless (not that I’m self-conscious) anyway it’s a very small, sensible wedding in the beautiful Derbyshire Peak District. Her first and hopefully last ! At the age of 37….her Husband to be has been married once before.
I’m working on a speech – actually bought it from a seller on e.bay – his i.d. was ‘leavethemlaffin’ – but as with many things on e.bay there are no guarantees. If I’ve done that gag before blame senility. Daughter will emerge with a double-barrelled name – surely the best form of ‘shotgun’ wedding ! Three children already in the frame so no plans for more.
How I wish them all well.
Still spending most of the time sat in the house – online or working on old movies (editing) or watching ’24’ My wife now resembles Jack Bauer !! as the weather is poor here…no surprises. The wealth of this area was built up in the 19th century because it’s so damp ! It was great for the cotton in all the textile mills. We have a predominance of grey skies, although as I type the sun is shining in the early morn.
Most other functions have normalised. I have a visit from ther Nurse to get blood tomorrow – her colleague failed miserably last Friday ! My veins are deep but no-one has ever drawn a complete blank before
Sleeping is still fractious. I still have a dull ache, particularly in the operated side. 2 x Co-Dydramols usually ‘see it off’ around 3am. so I can go back to kip….I’m usually up at six though..unable to lie in longer in any comfort. This is much as it was pre-op and I’m hoping things will change gradually.
I’m applying Bio-Oil to the now healed up wound and early signs are that it’s doing it some good.
I still have a big decision to make on the other hip. I’m not in a hurry to submit myself to another ‘THR’ this side of the Autumn…although when I get more mobile I will be able to evaluate just how much the difference is between both joints. My newly replaced hip was always the more painful.
Should be driving on the first of June and I’m looking forward to firing up the auld Audi once more. She has been missed.
Son Paul is up again at the weekend and the family have been extremely supportive over this period, as have some friends. It’s certainly a time for finding out just who your friends really are.
May 27 2009
Six weeks and a day now…time flies.
The Bio-Oil is brilliant – I’m applying it to old scars on my hands and it’s softening them up nicely – as is the extended absence from work! I’m a horny handed son of toil no longer. Wallet likes the smell but I mark the level off every neet
Doc says the haemoglobin count is well into double figures after last weeks blood tests.
Still can’t put my own left sock on. Buttocks axhe at night but I’m pretty sure that’s down to the arthritis in the spine
The feeling of something ‘foreign’ in my hip is abating gradually and I feel stronger. 50% of the timne I can walk without a stick. Will tax the car today and I will be driving myself to hospital on Monday.
Wedding tomorrow – a small doo as I said. When that’s nicely out of the way we can look forward to a holiday week up in Scotland early July.
Still contemplating the ‘other hip’ and will take advice from the experts.
Looks like the weather is bucking up a bit – not before time.
June 1, 2009
Seven weeks tomorrow. How quickly these weeks go by.
I drove over the weekend – first time in seven weeks …no problem really, just stiff as I got out of the car even after a short hop.(unoperated leg and buttocks)
Hospital this morning for the six week check. All good really. Thehy are pleased with the wound, and my strength. Still cannot get a ninety degree bend but they have said not to worry at this stage and have told me how to work on it – by pulling the leg back manually with a towel, or long strap.
Other leg….well, still have a decision to make but I’m on the list. I think I’d rather wait for a five or six month gap between the two ops. It is now noticeably worse than the operated leg. Todays X- Rays show hardly any joint space.
Young lass had a feel of me wound and says it’s nice and softish – Bio-Oil !! result (thanks Jan) No soreness to speak of around there either.
X-Ray on the ceramic shows all sited well and it looks er….big! … and quite beautiful in a strange kind of way… (sorry, I’m getting carried away)
Felt a right Charley in the surgical gown – I’d put it on the wrong way round and had to walk down the corridor with all and sundry looking on holding the thing together at the front…. – bare legs and a pair of shoes and socks !
Feel good. Did a bit of gardening when we got back from Hospital. Bending down is a challenge but can almost be done. Had my first stand up shower this morniung – all on me own. Wallet’s put the talcum away – I can’t be bothered with all that so long as I’m clean.
Operated leg feels more normal by the day – I’d now rate it at 85%….the coming few weeks I’m told will make all the difference. It’s never going to be as good a smy own hip once was but the pain free/stiffness free/ache free aspects is encouraging me to get the other one sorted out in due course.
Hope all the other recipients are feeling good.
GrimaceOh! still can’t quite get me left sock on !
June 9, 2009
8 weeks on.
Scar itches a bit but no bother with it at all.
Walking about three miles a day or half an hour on the treadmill…canal tow-paths are a favourite. Luckily we’ve had some good weather.
Other leg is not so bad at the moment either.
Best thing? Night time. Sleeping is not so fracturred a -the aching buttocks have been alleviated as the healing on the op’d side seems to have helped the other side.
Legs ache a bit after walks but I’ve not sone so much exercise in many a year.
Have sometimes to remind myself that the left hip is artificial.
Decision day on the right is drawing ever closer.
June 17, 2009
Nine weeks yesterday…
My heart is okay – ECG revealed all is ‘perfectly normal’ Some fascinating imagery via the ultra-sound…what a busy muscle!
I checked the waiting list and I could be bi-lateral by the end of July…mmmm.
Walking almost everyday. A tiring four miles yesterday again by the canal….the Macclesfield Canal this time. Theraputic – as is the photography I’m working on….some gorgeous scenes out there at this time of year, especially as the sun keeps on shining (not today though)
Still sleeping quite well with buttock aches alleviated. I’m looking forward to a bath now, and lying on the un-operated side (3 weeks). Have virtually dispensed with painkillers – the other hip has been behaving better but is still aching and stiff….I put up with it rather than stuff tablets down my neck.
The operated hip is about 90% functional and there is an absence of pain.
Driving is no problem but I’m careful how I get in and out – my car suddenly seems quite low. A bit of light digging in the garden the other day too. I’m not sure how I found the time to go to work pre-op!
I’m not going to post anymore on this unless something dramatic happens – hopefully it wont. Ill be back when I have some news to report.
July 1, 2009
Eleven weeks for me and something dramatic has happened!
I’ve decided to take the Surgeon’s advice and go for the second op. on the 21st. July. My GP ‘grimaced’ when I told him it was soon but the expert says there’s no problem. My body has normalised with bp 128/80 and resting pulse rate around 60. The ehart has been declared normal following an ‘echo’ gram. I had my pre-op assesment on tuesday and all went well.
I’m not relishing the op. as there are some unpleasant procedures but at least I know what to expect now. If I have same experiences as with the first one it will be well worth it (he said trying to convince ‘imself)
I’ve been walking up and own the canals around here and it’s been a real eye opener -some wonderful spots to admire the Chehsire scenery. (I now want a narrowboat )
Off up to Scotland very soon for a bit more walking and wine drinking – a week when I get back then it’s the big ‘O’…for op.
Will keep you posted.
p.s. I get the odd twinge from the scar when I’ve walked a lot but no other ill effects on the operated side. Changed a wheel on the car today – cut the grass etc.
July 29, 2009
For the first time since this journey into hip replacement surgery had begun, I was afraid.
I was crouched forward on an operating table wearing a surgical gown, minutes away from the second of two major operations. Yes, it’s routine surgery – of course it is, tens of thousands of these are carried out successfully every year but…but after the great success and partial liberation of the first one just three months ago, was
Was I pushing my luck? The only pushing I could feel as the fear kicked in was the deft fingertips of my Anaesthetist…long needle in his other hand I assumed as he probed for a suitable entry point at the very base of my spinal column.
His first choice was not a good one as I felt the most dreadfully overwhelming tingling sensation down the length of my left leg and foot. I protested firmly but calmly and he re-assured me as he resumed his finger prods.
I was now crouched so far forward it was beginning to be uncomfortable, my whole back was exposed to the crack of my backside. He openly appreciated my restraint as I talked him through the way I was feeling. A minute or so earlier the whole area had been brushed with an ice cold solution which had the aroma of something clinical about it.
As success was declared and a better needlepoint allegedly found a sickening warmth began to spread around my lower body, and then gradually up to my thighs. The banter which had been flowing gave way to impatient overtones from the Surgeon, now in the room and keen to get on with matters. An aerosol of very cold liquid was sprayed up the entire length of both of my legs and I had to tell them when I could feel it.
This was all very familiar from the last time and seemed to progress normally. Eventually I could feel the spray only on my abdomen in the midriff. Satisfied the treatment was working the team – six handed turned me over somewhat unceremoniously onto my newly ‘good side’.
More prodding and poking in the area of the hip but I could feel it.. This did not seem right and when I sensed the Surgeons thumb or finger tracing the outline of the incision onto my upper thigh I spoke out. Loudly !Immediately the decision to ‘put me to sleep’ was taken. There was no going back now, even though I knew a general anaesthetic carried implications for the swiftest of recoveries.
The Consultant re-assured me there was nothing to worry about and the next thing I knew was waking in the ward with a ‘V’ shaped abductor cushion between my widely separated legs, and something of a thirst.
So came and went the next few days in extreme discomfort bordering pain.A gradual process of slightly increased mobility. As the Physiotherapists began their limited work. On the day following the op. I was walking a few yards with a zimmer frame. This was easier than crutches because the bag containing my urine – delivered by catheter and a tube could be hooked onto the device. The right leg was extremely swollen and already showed signs of serious bruising.
I assumed the knock-out drops had enabled the Surgeon to be slightly quicker, perhaps slightly rougher with his expert handiwork.
I was wheeled off on a trolley for an x-ray which seemed to suggest the new ceramic lined prosthesis was sitting exactly where it should be. The first two nights in hospital were painful and long. It emerged I’d been given only half strength pain relief . Once the liquid morphine was administered correctly on a three hourly basis I was feeling more on top of the pain which though never agonising, was considerable.
The attention in hospital (surgery aside) was only ever three star at best. Perhaps this is all we can expect. I was in ward of eight beds which emptied at a surprising rate, not to be refilled. My eventual departure left only one other patient contemplating a quiet night ahead.
Food was reasonable and care varied from Nurse to Nurse – Auxiliary to Auxiliary and largely the older the staff the more caring they seemed.. Asking for things – always kept to minimum – was a hit and miss affair.
Fresh drinking water or a ‘pee bag’ emptied perhaps. All brought a variable response. Many had attitude and I needed to hold my tongue on a couple of occasions…this was no place to make enemies.
A black nurse called Jessie put the tube in my penis. She was skilled and it didn’t hurt. Still, the tube went in with a minimum of discomfort. Unlike the needle which delivered the freezing lubricant into my todger.The real discomfort though had come earlier when I had rolled around my bed for almost an hour in some distress awaiting the instant relief this urinary evacuation offered.Last time I had the op. I was ’inside’ for eight days due to a sinking haemoglobin count . Due to a low blood count
I was anaemic. My heart responded with an erratic episode I was really hoping to be home sooner this time. The ward was right at the end of a huge corridor and all of us declining number of patients felt we were dealt with as something of an afterthought.
– thankfully this was not repeated and by Saturday – still as sore as hell and barely mobile
I was discharged. I’d weaned myself off the morphine the night before as I’d no idea I could continue this at home. Back on ‘ordinary’ painkillers the night was a slow and long one once more.
Despite the efforts of my Physio –
Gemma – a fresh faced girl who looked about fifteen I could not for the life of me lift the leg whilst lying on my back. I could manage to lift from the knee but the hip-lift seemed as though something had been dis-connected. She encouraged – I worried. All other movement was possible with a grimace and a grunt. Slow progress was being made as the exercises were ritually performed three times a day. I’d now gone tubeless and the crutches had replaced the ‘zimmer’ After just three days I was washing myself and making day time raids on the loo – bowels were open too which is always a bonus and cannot be taken for granted after upheaval such as this.
Son Paul motored miles to collect me on Saturday morning, and after five days it was so good to be home. I just about managed to wedge myself across the rear seat of his Rover 45.
Home for four nights now and things are still tough. I hurt. Disconcertingly and unlike the other side some of the pain is familiar (unlike the left side when the aching was all knew and seemed temporary)
I now expect several weeks of slow progress, more discomfort, hard work and not a little pain. I’m up for a challenge once more. Glad to be infection free (he reckoned) and will feel better once the line of metal clips holding this wound together is cut away by the District Nurse. I’m injecting myself daily now with anti-clotting agents.
Lots of tender loving care at home and food of the highest quality and nutritional value will see me through this. My day is made up of several sorties around the house trying to get comfy. I can manage fifteen minutes at the keyboard…the lap top – bedside with a very light & wireless keyboard across my stomach has facilitated this ‘bulletin’ .
Outside the weather is grey and damp. Summer has gone. My view is enhanced though by Wallet’s new ‘Birdfeeder De-Luxe’ and we are regularly visited by a horde of Sparrows each vying for a place in the pecking order and or two gormless ringed Doves who twitch and gawp before flying off again.
August 5, 2009
Two weeks post op. Swelling has gone down a lot in the leg. Bruising seems to have subsided too – to negligible levels. Not as much swelling or bruising to the foot this time. Painkillers down by 30%.
Still injecting myself daily with ‘clexane’ to prevent blood clots – fingers x’d.
Had most of the metal clips out yesterday: a ‘student’ hurt me with the first three….wife intervened and the professional took over…didn’t feel another thing. An inch of the wound is granulated so they left the clips in the area stay until tomorrow.
Still using two crutches but leg feeling stronger – other leg (op in April) feels really strong and versatile. I’m now at the stage where the tingling in the lefgon rising from lying/sitting down is easing too. Things slowly normalising all round. Feel like a babies wrist n’fist is clenched inside my hip – obviously it’s the big prosthessis…went through this last time and the feeling subsides.
All in all I’m in a better place than I expected to be a week ago. Thanks to tlc at home and good food etc.
I’m only walking about two to three hundred yards a day at the minute and will build it up slowly.
Not quite bionic but certainly ceramic – -Life’s not bad.
August 13, 2009
……twenty three now since the second op. Forgive me for dwelling on the matter a bit but at the moment it’s uppermost in my mind. I’m aware that some folk who are contemplating similar surgery look in from time to time and feel almost duty bound to comment. I have been looking back on the last blog and it’s proving valuable as a reference point to progress.
The new hip is feeling stronger. I’m down to one crutch (other side) I can put more and more weight on the joint and feel confident it will support it. I still have some tenderness in the lower leg and ankle and put this down to fluid. The swellings though have almost completely subsided. The right leg is not quite completely straight when I bring my feet together – suggesting a slight discrepancy in leg length but this can correct itself over time. Attendant back and inne rleg pain has subsuded to tolerable levels and I’m down to just 2/4 co-codamols per day (usually night). I hope to dispense with these in the next six weeks.
The wound is causing some discomfort (mild) and I’ll be glad when the last couple of inches has healed enough to get the dressing away completely. The top half of the scar is undressed and looks fine. although some of the staple holes are tender – they even feel as if bits of metal are still in there – unlikely.
I can sleep on the operated side but it’s not very comfortable – however it makes a welcome change from lying on my back all the time. I can’t lie on the good side yet for fear of dislocation.Sleep is fitful and I wake every hour or two. Last night a nearby burglar alarm went off (false alarm) at one am. which didn’t help – good turnout of neighbours though.
Urine is not flowing so freely now though – settling down a bit it seems- to more normal overnight levels.
I try to remain upbeat – I talk about the upsides and the downs – the latter are becoming fewer as the lght at the end of the tunnel gets a bit bigger (someone said it could be a train !).
When friends call it’s a real tonic – as was having my Grandaughter to stay yesterday. I showed her how to find towns and villages via the index in a Road Atlas and she enjoyed it. More people should do this kind of thing – small practical tasks for kids. I stuck to simple spellings – like Wem , Duns and Ely. She seemed keen to concentrate on Wales though which is currently uppermost in her affections – Scotland and France have been temporarily relegated (probably ’til the next trip to either – allowable when yer six!) but easily to read place names are thin on the ground west of Offa’s Dike !
I’m awaiting the District Nurse to check the wound. The sun is shining and I’ve been for a short walk already this morning – keen to ‘go again’ when she’s been. It’s Thursday and the weeks not far from done. Wallet’s course has progressed well and it’s the last day tomorrow. Being alone all day hasn’t really phased me afer all I’mused to it but I’ll be glad when she’s finished…so will she…she’s been walking five miles a day back and to. Hopefully in another month or so we’ll be covering similar distances together along canals and the by-ways of the region.
Target time to think about a possible return to work is October’s end, but I have to first satisfy myself – and possibly my employer that I can still do the job and perform routine tasks, as well as contort meself as is necessary from time to time in the rufty-tufty world of truckin’.
Big Son Paul is coming up at weekend and I’m looking forward to a trip out locally and to seeing him. This time he’s staying over so perhaps a good chinwag and a few glasses of Guinness or something similar. He’ll be away early on Sunday mornijng though to pick up his lorry in the afternoon and head for Scotland from Leicestershire. It’s all go for some folk – and I still remember when it was for me…just about!
August 16, 2009
Progress report – July hip.A troublesome inch and a quarter of the wound has not yet healed.
The joint feels a bit stronger and I can put more weight on it.
I’m using just once crutch now and have been for a week.
Still feel a bit lethargic. Almost all bruising has gone but there is a bit of tenderness around the calf and ankle – nothing much. Hardly any tingling now when I stand up after lying for a while.
Sleep is still fractured. Not too comfortable lying down yet – just like last time. Not had a painkiller for forty-eight hours though now.
Tried to ge tinto the car to move it a few feet yesterday – awful feeling in the April hip – set me back a bit, for a moment I thought I’d put something ‘out’ !
Okay now though, just done seven minutes on the treadmill and will build it up. The weather is uninspiring for walks and I’m so used to the area now I’ll be glad when I can get a bit further afield.
District Nurse xalls tomorrow to check the wound – will be glad when I can get some Bio_oil on it – hopefully next week.
cheers and keep smilin’
August 26, 2009
Just over five weeks now since the July hip and the dressing is off! The bottom end of the second wound is slightly raised but its healed up. Perhaps bio-oil will flatten and soften it a little as time goes on. I’m can walk without a stick about ten per cent of the time (as with the first op.) I’m using the treadmill now and do fifteen minutes at three miles per hour. I’ll build this up gradually. Next Tuesday I can drive once more. I can get in and out of cars okay with care. I rasie the seat with a cushion.
I take very few painkillers now as and when needed. No more than two a day (or night).
I can sit more comfortably although the area of the wound is a bit more uncomfortable than last time – I’m unsure why. However, it is bearable. I lie in now! No longer do I wake up in the morning aching a fitful night with ach – feeling like I’d been kicked in both buttocks by a donkey. First job in the morning for Wallet though is to help me on with my right sock ! Still can’t manage that.
Wallet says I appear a couple of inches taller because I am ‘walking much straighter’ and my legs are no longer bowed. We have a saying around this part of the world ‘he couldn’t stop a pig in a ginnel’ well this no longer applies. My gait looked dreadfully laboured before and pain was etched upon my face just before I had the first op. I feel I’ve been given a new lease of life even at this relatively early stage.
I owe a lot to the medical staff who attended me in hospital and here at home. I think I’ve timed the ops just right and the five or six years of working with severe arthritis are just a memory now. It was never ‘crippling’ – just debillitating and wearing beyond measure sometimes, and those sharp stabs of pain led to brief feelings of sickening despair.I have had no pain whatsoever for about three weeks now. In the April hip there has been no aches, pains or even discomfort since late May!
In hospital they would occasionally ask us to ‘score our pain’ and with this in mind I feel ready to score the whole process of bi-lateral hip replacement. Of course things can still go wrong and however long these hips last they are never quite as good as the healthy, bone, cartilege and gristle variety but comparing myself before and after I’d say the benefits rate an eight out of ten. Maybe a nine in a couple of months – watch this space.
I look forward to a six or seven week period building up my strength and mobility after which I’ll decide on options for the future
I will keep this diary updated for a while ,and from time to time write bulletins for anyone who is interested.