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.

13 comments:

  1. I'm so glad you posted this update. My husband just defended his PhD on Weds and I've been distracted, but I have been thinking of you. I know the constipation of pain killers from my C-section (it was the worst part of it for me)--I too opted to put up with pain, though mine was much more temporary and sedate. I'm wishing you the best! I know you'll come out of this better, and if running is what you want, I know you'll do it.

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  2. I was going to mention Gregg Ellis to you...I assume he is "the guy" that just ran the 100 miler? He was in my running club in GA. Glad you found him. Anything is possible! Thinking of you and hope recovery is going well!

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  3. Somehow I missed your last two posts and just went back and caught up. Glad your surgery went well. It's just amazing how fast they have you back on your feet. I do hope the pain goes away soon and you are able to walk pain free. Hang in there!

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  4. Good to hear from you! I hope this surgery fixes your hip for good. Wishing you less pain and a speedy recovery. :)

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  5. Glad to hear that you are healing! I found that if I only used the painkillers infrequently that I didn't get all backed up. It really helped my physical therapy post-knee surgery to be able to handle the pain better. Advil just doesn't cut it. More positive vibes coming your way from me!

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  6. It's good to hear from you! I'm hoping for a speedy healing for you, more of the 6 weeks time than the 6 months. In the mean time, you should spruce up that walker with some streamers and maybe a nice squeaky horn. :)

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  7. you have been on my mind everyday. 1. should've warned you about the poop. BUT, it's from the anesthesia, not the pain meds. Or thats what my mom the nurse and my doc told me. They had me on laxatives/stool softeners right when I came out of surgery. Take those bitches and take the pain meds if you will heal faster. I literally know exactly how you feel (except yours was more in depth) and I just want to hug you. Stay strong, stay positive. We will be running TOGETHER before you know it. xoxo

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  8. Glad to hear that the surgery went well and that you are tackling the mobility issues...the faster you are up and about, the faster you heal. It sucks that pain killers constipate, but maybe that is motivation for people to not take them...LOL. I recommend aleve/naproxen as you don't have to take it as often and it generally doesn't bother one's stomach even if taken empty.

    I have a friend that had hip replacement done not too long ago (mid 40's) and he is back to 100%. Playing golf again and enjoying life. He was never a runner other than what he was required to do for fitness requirements at work, so I can't comment on how hard it might be to get back at it.

    My sister is going through some major back issues and might end up having to have back surgery. I hope she finds some relief because she is having to be drugged up 24/7 as it is now and she is not a happy camper about it. I know the PT to get back from it will be hard and probably painful but totally worth it to have the mobility back in the end.

    Sending you lots of good thoughts!!! -- Mishka

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  9. I pray that you recover quickly and especially that the pain goes away! You are amazing and if running a little is what you really want to do then you will make it happen! (((HUGS)))

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