The next phase…
26 April, 2014
Well, it happened. I finally took the ultimate step in the fight against the limp: hip replacement surgery. It took years for me to get here – to get to the point where the pain and inconvenience was enough to get me over the fear of the operation. The final straw? The day I couldn’t get out of the tub. I wasn’t sitting in the tub; I was standing in it. I couldn’t get my foot up high enough to get over the edge. After spending what felt like an eternity trying everything I could think of, I finally found the right combination of leaning and positioning to allow myself to de-tub. I called the surgeon’s office the next day.
I had the surgery a week and a day ago. Here’s a few things I’ve learned since then:
- Doctors who don’t do their own rounds after surgery are a bit annoying. I haven’t seen mine since just before the operation and the college that did rounds in his place knew nothing about when I should be released.
- The physical and occupational therapists only paid me short visits, but oh my goodness where those helpful visits. The OT gave me tools – both actual and knowledge – to help me when I got home. The PT took me walking and gave me the courage to know I could do that and even handle steps. She also gave me a list of exercises to do daily. I needed that sense of direction.
- Getting in and out of bed is the most difficult thing ever. Well, other than picking things up off the floor. (But that second one is easier to fix unless the thing you dropped was the grabber the OT gave you.)
- Pain meds are a thing of beauty…except for to your digestive system.
- Walkers are wider than you think and don’t fit through the bathroom doors in small houses.
- An easily detachable bicycle basket is your best friend ever. Plop it on to the front of your walker. (Why easily detachable? So you can take it off when you need to go sideways through the bathroom door because the entrance is too narrow to drive the walker into straight on.) It’s useful for:
- Food transport
- Tool transport (phone, water bottle, strap to help you tug your leg around where it needs to be, grabber, etc) when you don’t have pockets – remember, your hands will always be occupied by the walker when moving around.
- A make shift laundry basket
- Showers are very complicated but worth every single complication and then some.
- Not getting a shower exactly when you want it and you are tired and gross feeling can lead to a massive emotional breakdown that will have you crying and calling your mommy for help.
- Don’t be stupid like me and try to do this on your own with just a little help from mom (and nice co-workers) from time to time.
- LEGOs are good therapy
- Don’t forget to plan ahead in regards to your pets. I never dawned on me I wouldn’t be able to bend over to feed them. Also, have ways to keep them off your surgical area. Lastly, be prepared to not be able to pet any elderly cats who can’t jump up on furniture any more. Freya can’t jump up, won’t use the ramp I bought her and I’m not supposed to bend from the waist as far as is needed to pet her.
- Be very careful when walking outside with a walker. Sidewalks are uneven and full of all kinds of rocks/twigs/obstacles that cause trouble.
- Ask for help
Since I’m an over-sharer, here’s a slide show of some of this week’s Instagrams.
And, a short Instagram movie of my second walk outside.