Labour, baby wearing and hips

July 24, 2013

It’s been a while…..

Since I last posted things have been busier, more sleep deprived and a lot of fun. Over 16 months ago now (and yes time flies at a rate of knots you never thought possible) our beautiful little girl arrived in the world.

Now I could bang on about the experience of babies; the good, the bad and the smelly but this is a hip dysplasia blog so I will resist.

After worrying my wotsits off about giving birth (as I’m sure any expectant mother does) it all went much better than I could have hoped. Little E arrived naturally, albeit nearly 2 weeks over her due date and sadly not in a pool as hoped – there wasn’t enough time to fill the pool by the time I got to hospital. There were no complications, no hip related issues and she was a healthy well baked weight of 9lb 9oz!

Throughout my pregnancy I was still having physio for my hip related muscle weaknesses and tendon issues many of these exercises were about strengthening my core so that my hips have the support they needed as baby grew and increased in weight. I believe these exercises helped me no end during my pregnancy and during labour. The most simple was pulling in my bump and holding it for an increasing amount of time, then repeating. So whether post PAO or not I would recommend this, oh and the obvious pelvic floor pull ups!

Since having little E life has changed in many ways, and my hips, well they seem to be holding up. I ‘wear’ or carry E most of the time when we’re out and about; I love having her close. More importantly she is happy to be close (she is also happy in a buggy). She was born a good weight and now is over a stone and a half, but I can still carry her; on my front for short periods of time and on my back for a couple of hours and without major hip issues. I do have a left hip twinge every now and again, but that’s my own fault for not doing enough exercises to keep my butt muscles up to strength.

So how about little E? First born girls are allegedly more likely to have hip dysplasia, but E has escaped. When she was born she had the clicky hip test where they wiggle the hip in the joint and feel for clicks and any unnatural movement and was given the all clear, after 6 weeks she then had an ultrasound for a more detailed analysis and again she was given the all clear, so it would seem that her hips are happy and healthy – HOORAY!

Incidentally according to some research baby wearing can help happy hips  see the link for more information and make your own judgement, one thing I will say is that I couldn’t carry E in a dangly leg carrier past around 5 months – she was just too heavy and the weight distribution is no where near as comfortable for me as when she’s in a wrap.

http://hipdysplasia.org/developmental-dysplasia-of-the-hip/prevention/baby-carriers-seats-and-other-equipment/

So there you have it, a year and bit after E arrived in the world I’ve managed to update my blog, if you have any comments or questions they will be gratefully received.

xx

I almost forgot, a few years on from right PAO and I’m now back to kick boxing a couple of times a week – it all feels fine apart from my hip flexors (both sides) which tighten up a fair bit, I figure they’re picking up the slack from my lazy ass butt muscles so I need to work on those some more. It’s blooming good fun though :0)

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Over exhuberance does not pay off!

September 23, 2009

The title of this post is something I should know, but bloody mindedness and impatience are the enemies of rational thought.

After having felt pretty good for a week or so I decided to walk to the local shops using only one crutch. The going was good on the way, but pretty ropey on the way back.   I’ve been paying for this little excursion ever since, scarily in the form of well known discomfort.  My hip has felt like it used to on a really bad day pre op; all sore and stiff with a few stabby pains thrown in for good luck. New pains I can deal with, they’re spose to be there, but old ones can take a hike; they haven’t though, not for the last 3 days.  To be honest I have been for little walks, done the hoovering, got the washing in and been for a swim, so I guess not resting up properly might have something to do with it!!

This did knock me a little and I even had a 5 minute strop involving tears and the immortal words “was it even ****** worth it” followed by “I’m getting the same ****** pains and I’ve one ****** leg longer than the other which is making my ****** back hurt”.   As you can see I was feeling somewhat sorry for myself and a little angry!! Incidentally insert whatever naughty word you fancy into the ****** bits, I think I may have used a variety!    My lovely man just listened to my mini outburst, let me shed my ‘woe is me’ tears and waited until I was calm enough to be rational again.

I’m back to my normal self and realise that as a wise hippy (Annick – wibbly wobbly blog)  said ‘Just because I can, doesn’t mean I should!’  I need to chill, no matter how good I feel in myself I have to listen to my hip and be nice to it rather than beast it. After all it has been sawn, chiselled, and screwed back together….. that was just over 10 weeks ago though, surely I should be able to run a marathon by now!


Early days

July 22, 2009

So since I got home how’s things going? Initially a bit painfully and very sleepily, Saturday afternoon I had to wait for my leg to deflate a little before I could hobble around, and even then I was very unsteady.  Managed the stairs with supervision and sleep was a bit painful. I think after being in a hospital bed that moved where you wanted it too (fancy pants buttons and everything!), it took some time to work out how I needed to sleep in a normal bed comfortably. Anyway I was very tired and in more pain than I had been in hospital, but nothing that couldn’t be solved with tablets.

Sunday I was very sleepy and the hip was still smarting. My lovely fella shopped for and cooked (while I had a 3 hour sleep on the sofa!) a roast dinner for my folks and little Nannie, which was scrummy. Mind you I had a tiny plate of food as my appetite seemed to have disappeared, something that is unknown where roasties and Yorkshire puds are concerned!   After tea more napping ensued and a little unsteady hobbling around, but all in all I was not on form.

Monday things felt a bit better, but the frustration of not being able to carry stuff around started to get to me, no tears, just a little rant to myself every now and again!  The pain was under control, still taking the meds as prescribed and hobbling was speeding up. Managed a one legged supervised shower, the perching stool goes in the shower, but you can’t close the door which isn’t much use unless you want ducks setting up home in the bathroom!  Spent a bit too much time sat up at the table – leg returned to former swollen glory :0(

Tuesday my man was out early and I was left to my own devices for 3 hours. A little bit of stroppiness may have risen it’s ugly head as I tried to get dressed. The grabber dropped to the floor while I was sat on the bed, then in the bathroom the loo roll did a similar thing with no grabber in sight – somehow I managed to use my crutches to lever things around so all was not lost, just took a blooming long time! I then  hobbled downstairs to get brekky. Hmm how do you get cereal from one room to another without spilling it?! Well I decided to go with toast; bread from the freezer transported in mouth to toaster, shuffle to fridge to find jam, jam on sideboard as far as I can reach, hobble a bit, shuffle the jam a bit, hobble a bit, shuffle the jam…. etc until I got level with the toaster.  Get out a knife, can’t be bothered to do the whole shuffle/hobble thing with a plate so spread jam on toast and eat whilst perching on stool.  Not too frustrated after that rigmourol then!  I had managed to find my little rucksack which means I can now transport stuff around the house for myself, although loading and unloading it can be a pain in the butt,  specially if you have a sieve like memory and can’t remember where you unloaded all the gubbins that you collected an hour ago!   The name of the game post op is definitely organisation. Know what you want before you want it and plan how to get it, whether by poor long-suffering boyfriend (who is constantly just about to sit down after making us a cuppa only for me to say, could you get me …..?) or by own transport rucksack stylee. I am not a very organised person, pre op I would frequently run upstairs to get something, find something else to bring down then have to go back up for whatever it is I wanted in the first place. This is not a good scenario when you can only carry what you can fit on your back, and when after a couple of goes up and down the stairs you need a little nap! 

Tuesday; a good nights kip, feeling more like me again and managed to dress fairly quickly without much ranting -HURRAH! A step in the right direction. Also for the first time since the op I can see my right knee cap in it’s knobbly glory!!!  Thigh is a little swollen but a marked improvement.  Still taking pain meds but leaving the gap between them slightly bigger just to see what the score is, nothing having a major grumble so it would seem that I could reduce them a little.  The problem with feeling more like myself is that boredom is now setting in, on day 3 of being at home full time. This does not bode well.   Had a visit from a friend who was really mean and bought scrummy biscuits!  A pretty positive day all round.

Wednesday; had an uncomfortable nights sleep, the compression stockings are far too good at keeping your feet warm, so I got a little overheated. I’ve been told that I have to wear them for the 6 weeks until I go for my check up. (not the same pair you’ll be pleased to hear, I have a spare!). If we ever get a real summer I’ll never get any sleep – overheating from the feet up just isn’t fun!  Had a very exciting excursion today; we’ve hired a wheelchair from the British Red Cross as we’re off to a wedding on Saturday (see CK on blogroll – V excited), and to go the distance figured that a wheelchair and crutch combo is going to be a winner. So for our road test I hobbled out to the path, boyfriend brought out the wheelchair cushioned and ready for action. It was a relatively short journey down the road, but still there was plenty of room for crap steering from yours truly, nearly went off the curb a coupla times, but I did manage to do a full 360 turn when it was time to come back!  I chose to hobble back and expend some of the pent up energy, which worked cos I fell asleep when we got back!   Being sat in a wheelchair is very odd, I felt like a bit of a fraud really, as I can hobble, but not for any length of time yet. We only met a couple of people along the way, but they gave me a puzzled look.  

 I’ve not really taken many pain meds at all today, only one lot of parcetamol and ibruprofen, and one lot of the morphine based painkillers, pretty darn good considering it’s now half eight at night.  Maybe it’s time to start properly weaning myself off them, I’m just not sure of the best way to go about it. Do I quit the nasty morphine ones altogether and rely on normal painkillers, or do I only take a couple of doses of each?

Well I’ve waffled another significant amount – that’s what being left on your own for a couple of hours does to you! I think a day by day account might be a little over indulgent so I’ll calm it down now. Also with my new found energy I’ll hopefully get to play outside a bit more.


Home again!!

July 20, 2009

Hurrah, how nice it is to be home and in one piece if a slightly swollen one!

So I’ll start at the beginning and work my way up to this point, it’ll be a long one but hang on in there!

Monday Morn;

Woke up at 1.30am, thought it was as good a time as any to chomp my last food intake – an Eat Natural bar. Went back to sleep til the alarm went off at 5.50am for me to have my last drink then get outta bed and into hospital. My man and I trundled off from our Travelodge and walked the 10 mins to Guys. Once in there I was seen pretty quick to wee in a pot and have a blood test then change into the very lovely hospital gowns. Luckily there was a nurse in the cubicle next door because I’d only been given one gown – therefore either flashing my bum or my boobs to all and sundry! Once another gown had been retrieved and the disposable knickers had been donned I was ready for action. Only prob was although I was first on the op list, they’d moved me to the afternoon. I did warn the surgeon that no food makes me a grumpy girl, but this didn’t seem to phase him!  Time seemed to go really quickly and before I knew it they were calling my name to go to the anesthetist. So a quick snog with my man and off a toddled (not only wearing disposable knickers and a hospital gown, but also a rather fetching stocking and some hospital slippers) what a sight to behold!

Once in the anesthetist room I had an needle put in the back of my hand and one in my wrist – well it was attempted to put one in my wrist, unfortunately it would seem that my artery, which is what the fella was looking for, is quite well hidden. So eventually he gave up and said he’d sort it when I was under. The next stage (whilst being hooked up to blood pressure, heart rate and oxygen saturation machines) was the epidural.  My hypnotherapist clearly did a fabulous job; the first attempt didn’t go too well as I kept feeling pressure in my lower back then a sharp pain in my hip, so after trying about 3 times it was decided to take it out and start again. Second time round was just dandy, a change in vertebrae was all that was needed and bob was my aunties lodger. Throughout this whole episode I felt relatively chilled about the whole thing, considering my previous panic at the mere mention of epidural this can only be testiment to the hypnotherapy and NLP techniques I had been taught.  Next came the general anesthetic, now I’ve heard many people talk about having to count down from 10, all the bloke said to me was “how are you feeling?”, I replied with “yuck that tastes gross!” and promptly fell asleep!

On waking up the first thing I felt was the needle in my neck, I’ve no idea how big it was or what it was for but it was rather uncomfortable,  they took that out pretty soon after I came to. Other than that I had an IV in the crook of my elbow feeding me fluids, a catheter, and the epidural in my back giving me painkillers.  I was lucid enough to ask if my boyfriend had been phoned, and he was waiting for me in the ward when I arrived – ahhhh lovely :0)    I generally felt pretty ok straight after the op, the odd thing was not being able to feel my legs as I was having 15ml of epidural pumped into me each hour.

Monday night;

 My boyfriend had left whilst I’d been in good spirits and drinking lots of water as encouraged by the nurses, then I was getting ready for a good night’s sleep, but to no avail. I am, it turns out, one of the many people with whom general anesthetic does not agree. I spent most of the night sipping water, then within about an hour or so throwing it back up again! This is not a good turn of events when your temperature is rising and your blood pressure is falling.  Anyway the nurses looking after me were fantastic, the events of the evening included; a leaking epidural which meant a change of bedsheets, a leaking wound which meant a change of bedsheets, not being able to keep water down, blood pressure too low, and temperature too high, and the fact that I had a leaking epidural but still couldn’t feel my legs clearly worried a few people as they decided to turn it off for a couple of hours to check everything was connected as it should be. 

Tuesday

I was keeping down water (thanks to some magic anti-sickness drug), my temperature wasn’t getting any higher, my blood pressure was creeping up and most importantly I could feel my toes!  The epidural was turned down to 8ml per hour and all was well. I was pretty much left to sleep.   My boyfriend came to  see me as did my Auntie which was fab – she caught me for just about the only hour I managed to stay awake, my poor man spent lots of time reading his book whilst listening to me snore!

Wednesday

They moved me into a room with a window that opened – funnily enough my temperature seemed to drop to a normal level then!     I was introduced to my new friend the walker;

Walker

I hobbled all the way to the door you can see in the pic, and back on wed morn whilst still being attached to the epidural, it felt brilliant, and knackering!   Later that day they removed the epidural and started me on morphine based painkillers – cue vomiting again!   I then tried the walker again in the afternoon and it was not nearly so successful, feeling a little despondent I shuffled back to be for yet another nap. My Pa and man came to visit and I was not the most entertaining patient ever it has to be said, too sleepy for words, though I did manage a game of Gin Rummy.

Thursday

Feeling more like myself again I began to read – yes really! I am an avid reader and had bought a massive two books in one volume novel, however my concentration was that poor over the first few days that I couldn’t even attempt to read it!   I had another bash on the walker and although this was fairly successful it wasn’t the triumphant voyage I’d hoped for. Most of the problem was being able to get my operated leg on and off the bed, it was at this point the OT angel delivered two of the best post op presents ever!  One is a leg lifter, it looks like a short dog lead with a loop at each end, you put your foot in one loop and use the other to lift your leg with your hand, BRILLIANT!  all the huffing and puffing and pain getting off the bed was sorted. The other tool is a grabber – absolutely indispensable when you can’t bend to pick stuff up. Just make sure you park it properly – it’s not much use when it’s fallen on the floor!  Mum and Dad came to visit and I was a little more entertaining.

Friday

Catheter out and freedom begins whoo hooo!  Feeling far more normal than ever before I was introduced to crutches and weeing all by myself!  I also managed to have a shower with the help of a nurse who put a chair in for me, and do my big unruly hair.  I had an X-ray in the morning and I have to say this is the most painful thing that happened during the week; having been propped up on pillows all week I had to lie flat. This was something my hip was not happy about, I could feel not only the incision pulling, but things in the joint and there was an almighty ‘clunk’ as something resettled itself.  Once I got up off the x-ray table all felt fine and I had a peek at my x-ray, I’ve seen lots of pics of post PAO, but it doesn’t prepare you for seeing your own hip kitted out with mammoth screws and massive gaps in your pelvis!  Hopefully on my next visit to hospital I’ll get a copy of the x-ray. In the afternoon mum and dad came to visit, we played cards, I gave and received lip, all was well with the world. I even went for a midnight hobble up the corridor I was so full of beans!

Saturday

There was some confusion as to whether I was spose to be going home or not, but after a lesson from the physio on going up and down stairs I was given the all clear. HURRAH!  Up until my departure the staff had been fab, really looking after me, but as soon as it was time to go I got shoved off with bags of drugs and that was that.  I was taken home by ‘patient transport’ aka a slightly battered ambulance with seats and what felt like naff all suspension!  The 2 and half hour journey took it’s toll on my leg and I looked a little more swollen;

elephant leg 2   It’s amazing the things that swell up! Obviously the operated leg is going to bear the brunt of the enlarging, but I also look like I’m about 4 months pregnant – not the kinda look I’m going for right now, hopefully I’ll deflate soon though!

 

Ok following is a pic of the scar – it’s pretty neat and has apparently been glued together rather than stitched or stapled.

Scar

Right enough waffle for now I’ll carry on banging on about various things now I’m home and able to access the net. Hope you’re still awake!


Here we go…..

July 12, 2009

Well the day is almost upon me, tomorrow morning is Op time.  So far no coughs or colds to impeed my surgery and overall I’m feeling a lot more prepared than last time.  Positive thinking is the way forward – and if that fails prescription drugs will do!

Rather than scary needles and painful hobbling I’m going to attempt to focus on the fact that this is the first step to me being able to do a triathlon, this time next year I’ll be bionic and fit and healthy, so there!!

Next post might not be so chirpy – but in my defence that’ll be the drugs talking!


News flash; Op cancelled due to runny nose!

March 31, 2009

So here I am again, I should now be in hospital re-cooperating from some hefty surgery with new shiny metalwork holding me together. Unfortunately this is not the case. I have a cold, and this coupled with my (very mild) asthma means I have a 10-20% chance of getting pneumonia post surgery. Both the anesthetist and surgeon decided that it’s not worth the risk and I am to have surgery later this year – probably around June time.

I’m pleased that the experts are looking after me and are not willing to risk my health any more than necessary. However I am not looking forward to facing reality again.  Over the last few months, I’ve become used to the idea of surgery, and talking about it and living with the idea has become second nature. What I haven’t really done is let it hit home too often. Yesterday I had a bit of a reality check – this isn’t something I can just talk about, it’s something that really will happen, twice.  It’s real and it’s happening to me. Now I realise there’s plenty of other people in the same situation, there’s others that have come out the other side and are happy and pain free, and there’s plenty of people with far more serious problems in their lives. My head hasn’t quite accepted any of this though.  The anesthetist I saw yesterday was straight down the line and very matter of fact about everything. This is where I had to do everything possible to not cry like a baby and run the hell outta there never looking back.  For those of you who would rather not know skip the next paragraph. It’s probably not so traumatic for those of you who have faced the reality better than me, but this is what I was told yesterday that made me want to run for the hills;

I will (as expected) need to have an epidural which will be left in for 3 days, this is to manage the pain after surgery which I was reminded is pretty horrid. The anesthetist said that sedation is possible before the epidural but he doesn’t usually do this as it increases the risk of nerve damage, (only a 1 in 10,000 chance without sedation).  He was telling me this whilst having the epidural needle on the desk in front of him.  Next he said that all the needles for drugs and IV etc will be on the left hand side of my body as the right hip is being done. I’ll have a needle inserted into my hand for the general anesthetic (administered after the epidural), then while I’m under they’ll attach the catheter and a few more bits and bobs including a needle in my neck! I have no idea what this one is for, but I really didn’t need to hear that… so far I have a big arse needle in my spine, one in my hand, one in my neck, I’m weeing into a bag, and there’ll be a drain somewhere too.  I’ve previously been told the surgery should be around 3 hours, apparently the one they did last week lasted 8 hours. HOLY CRAP! mind you I guess I’ll be asleep so the length of time shouldn’t be a problem.   Anyway when I wake up the needle in my neck will still be there for a while AARRRGGHHH!

So that lot freaked me out a bit, only a couple of things I didn’t expect, but these were enough to send me to the edge! That and the hunger of course – I hadn’t eaten since 8 the previous evening – I’m not a happy bunny when I’m hungry at the best of times! 

On a lighter note, you have to do a pregnancy test before surgery, so I had done my duty, peed in a pot and handed it to the nurse. Well after I’d seen the anesthetist and surgeon and they’d cancelled the op one of the nurses called me over; “it’s about your pregnancy test, it’s not shown up as urine”….. Urm right then. Which beggars the question “what the hell has it shown up as then – cos it sure as hell came outta me in the way that urine should!”  I will never understand the mystery of the urine, having cancelled my op I guess they just chucked away the mystery sample!  I aim to confuse them next time too – lots of jasmine tea the night before may have been the problem, I’ll try it again and see what happens!


Hello all

March 29, 2009

This a quickie as I still need to prep for tomorrow… YIKES!

I just wanted to apologise for not replying to emails properly yet – I should have a bit of time on my hands in the coming weeks, so you’ll all have a barrage of my drivel then!

As for tomorrow, I’m not too scared just yet – the terrors seem to have abeited this week, but I know I’ll be shaky and feeling sick with nerves tomorrow morning.  We’ve still a ton of things to do to sort the house out, and my lovely folks are coming round today to help shift furniture which is a massive help, other than that the house is like a bomb site and I’ve still not packed even one slipper!  Oh the good news is that PJ’s and Trakky bottoms have been given the green light from probably about Wednesday onwards – WHOO HOOO!!  The not such good news is that my belly button piercing has to come out, and according to the nice lady in the piercing place it’s likely to close up in less than a day cos it’s a small hole. Bugger – it’s been there for 10 years, and despite the fact that I don’t have the right stomach to be able to show it off, I’m really quite attached to it. Mind you if that’s all I have to worry about in the name of being bionic, I think I’ll cope!

Right that’s it now til I’m through the other side, I don’t think there’s freebie internet in hospital so it’ll probably be next weekend at least before I can report back on all the fun of the week.

Laters peeps xx see you when I’m part mended ;o)