Week 2 – Left Hip Replacement

I have been genuinely surprised at how well I have been doing. From a Hip Dysplasia pain perspective, it’s gone, actually gone. All I have is post-op pain, but it’s a different sort of pain and one I know is going soon. The deep, sharp, grating, continuous burning ache has gone. Happy is certainly an understatement to how I’m feeling… anyone who has lived through Hip Dysplasia, arthritic pain, or both, will definitely appreciate that.

Dropped a few clangers this week that I thought I’d share for a giggle…

Ice Pack Blunder

As with anything, hindsight is a wonderful thing. So after the first Hip Replacement, there were certain details and mechanisms Himself and Myself were going to put in place to ensure that the recovery from this next Hip Replacement was as smooth, comfortable and uneventful as possible.

For those who have had a Hip Replacement, you’ll be all too familiar with the Day 4/5 Swell; this is when a dimple emerges where your knee cap used to be, your leg appears to wearing a fat-suit of it’s very own and it basically looks like you’re becoming a Klump family member from the film The Nutty Professor. Joking aside, it is one of the most uncomfortable and also, frightening experiences, especially when it’s completely unexpected – as it’s one of those things the hospital completely neglect to tell you to expect. This was the swelling in my right leg after my first hip replacement in December 2015:

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So we were ‘on it’!! One of the BEST icing tips I was given by a fellow Hippie was a frozen bath towel (yes, a frozen towel), dampen it and pop it in to freeze – fits your entire leg, including the wound site, like a dream. Oh and the relief!! (Just be sure to put another towel underneath your leg or you’ll end up with a soggy bed!)

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It’s not very convenient to have a soggy towel draped across you while sitting in the lounge, so Himself has fashioned an ice pack from a gel-filled bottle cooler by cutting it in half so it cupped my derrière nicely…

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I was so grateful and it worked a treat. Only one down side however, do not let your newly-huge swollen backside smother that thing, because this happens…

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…and of course, it happened just as Himself had left the house. So I’m stuck, standing in the lounge, with a soggy blue bottom, deciding whether I should negotiate the stairs without supervision or if I can stay like this until Himself gets back from the shops. Hmmm? It’s definitely best to stick to the towel and a bag of frozen peas from here on in I think. Suffice it to say… I tackled the stairs, I HAD to… the stuff was getting EVERYWHERE and I was starting to look like a smurf. Besides that… GO ME! Another target in the form of the ‘stairs unaccompanied’ tackled.

10 Day Check Up

One of the sad sides of recovery, you get really happy over the smallest of things. You know you’re improving when boredom starts setting in. You get to that middle-of-the-road recovery point where your mobility won’t keep up with your will to want to get on with things. So the sound of the evening paper getting pushed through the door, for instance, makes your ears prick up with excitement, knowing you now have something to keep you entertained for at least the next hour, while you read it from cover to cover (I’ve never known so much about goings on in our local area!).

So visitors to the house are a big deal! Even if they come in the form of the Nurse coming to remove your stitches and redress your wound. Sitting in MY chair (the one that has been raised to its 18inch height so I avoid breaking my restriction), I have a perfect view of the front door in my peripherals. Every little sound, every car going by, when my dog barks, all send my eyes darting round to see if she’s arrived yet. Nope, not her. Sigh. (Being given a timeslot of “anywhere between 9 and 5” is actually quite cruel for someone who’s got nothing better to do). Then she arrives! I have someone to chat to! But I forgot… this little visit actually involves discomfort. Great. Before she even gets to the stitches, she has to remove the gel-type dressing that seems to have welded itself to my skin, it’s like getting a wax! The Nurse is tugging at it with all her might, all the while sticking to her gloves making the task more challenging. “Did they superglue this on…?” she asks. All I could muster through the gritted teeth and gasping with every pull of the dressing was a sarcastic response… “Yes. All surgical theatres keep a tube of UHU to hand…”. Possibly not called for. I got a non-verbal reply in the form of a side glance. I’m pretty sure her thoughts were a lot more expressive! When she’d finally removed the dressing, she was pretty taken aback with how good it looked for only 10 days post-op. After struggling to break the couple of stiches at the end of the wound for five long minutes (I offered her my seam-ripper from my sewing box and she laughed – I think we were friends again after the UHU comment!), we were finally all done and it turned out it looked so good I didn’t need it redressing. Because of my restrictions and the position of the wound, I couldn’t twist to see it, so she offered to take a photo of it for me… and wow, I was impressed! It did look good. I explained to the Nurse that it was definitely because of the lack of stitches and my consultant had said that he had ‘glued’ the surface skin, to which she replied (…and I totally deserved this!!) “..that must be that UHU – marvellous stuff”. Oh, how we laughed………….!

(Here it is anyway, the picture at 2 weeks, which I’m amazed by:

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I’ll include a week by week pic from here on in to show my progress).