12 April 2014

A runner with a walker...the road after hip replacement.

I'm now the proud possessor of an artificial hip. And a walker.

And, let me tell you, recovery is a bitch.

My surgery happened on April Fools Day. It started at 5 pm and was a wrap by 6:15. It went seamlessly and flawlessly, and the surgical team was very happy. Yay! I walked the next day with my walker, and I went home three days later.

The time leading up to the event was NOT spent getting in great shape as I had hoped and mentioned in my last post a million years ago. Turned out that working out in pretty much any way caused me great pain...and I was just soooooo sick of being in pain. So I bagged it. I went into surgery out of shape and overweight. #winning

The best part of having surgery late in the day? You basically fast for 24 hours! Starting off my weight-loss journey ;-)

So the surgery happened. The pain came. It was horrible, but not as horrible as being massively and concretely constipated. Turns out pain killers do that, and the only way to get unconstipated is to stop the pain killers. So guess what? I'm not taking pain killers! Wheeeeeeee! Sometimes I almost get high from the pain. Sort of. I'm lying. It really hurts and there is no euphoria attached to it.

The pain is in my right thigh.

The joint feels fine.

Apparently, during the surgery they slice into your TFL and then split the muscle fibers and then retract the split muscle with metal retractors. And then they retract your quads with metal retractors. All so they can see the joint capsule, which they then slice open. Once they've sawed the femoral head off, they drop the leg down perpendicular to the rest of the body using a special table. This pops the femur up and out a little so they can drill down into in more efficiently and with greater visibility.

Are you cringing yet? I'll stop. But if you click the first link in this post it leads you to a post that has a link (you following me?) to an actual video of a hip replacement surgery...should you wish to make yourself totally skeeved out. Or educated. For me, it was both.

What this means is that my quad is ON FIRE. And weak.

Physical therapy is so humbling.

Every simple exercise causes leg shake. I have 10 exercises and a couple of "practical" things that I do at least three times a day. My PT says that I would progress faster if I were taking pain meds :( I'm going to test the waters with acetaminophen and ibuprofen, and I'll be icing after every session. Yesterday she had me go up and down our big flight of stairs (now one of my "practical" things to practice) and our goal is to have me off the walker and using the cane by the middle of next week. Graduating up to my friend, the cane :)

Most of the time I'm in good spirits. It's been challenging sometimes because I really just want to be alone. Or have people baby me. But my kids are on Spring Break (I know, I know! They are NEVER in school!) and they are still perfecting their "helpful" skills and because I can't drive them anywhere, they are ALWAYS here. (Go ahead...ask me how many times I've seen Frozen since my surgery. Go ahead...ask.)

People who've been down this road tell me that by six weeks out, you hardly even know you had the surgery...other than the fact that you don't hurt anymore :)

Others say that you shouldn't really plan on being "normal" for at least six months.

And then there's the guy who just ran a 100-mile ultra just shy of 11 months post-surgery. He finished in about 28 hours. That won't be me. Sorry not sorry. 

Will I ever run again? I don't know. I know that I want to. At least a little bit. But I have a lot of work to do before I'll feel comfortable tackling that. For now I'll be working on getting out of bed without using my hands to lift my leg up and over ...and graduating from the walker ;-)

Happy spring, people! Never ever ever take your mobility for granted :) Ever.

I've been posting a lot of this....ummmm....journey on Instagram. Feel free to click on over and follow me there.


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