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)


Terrors

March 22, 2009

Countdown is progressing, and I’m having fleeting moments of sheer panic. Which is nice.

The first this week happened when the hospital called and said the Op date might need to be moved forward a week.  Right then. My folks have taken time off work to help me through, as has my teacher boyfriend (for those of you who don’t know it’s INCREDIBLY hard to have any time of during the school term, so re-arranging could be an issue), and I’m at Uni and have been able to restructure my course to accommodate my op happening on the 30th. The new date is not looking good from where I’m hobbling. Anyway somehow things seem to be back to the original date again, but not before I’d shed tears in front of my mentor at school and begun to re-arrange my life. 

The next moment happened when I called our local OT service and asked about the home visit I’d been promised pre-op. They only had my details this week and the receptionist told me on more than one occasion that there was an 8-9 week backlog of home visits. Hmmm, with a week and a bit to go I didn’t greet this news with pleasure.   This situation has also now rectified itself… which led to the third and most intense feeling of terror.

The OT is booked in to come round this week, and during the conversation with her the word ‘commode’ was mentioned (but only in passing however it was enough to start the fear). Apparently I also need a perching stool to be able to make my own cuppa. Now I may have been naive, but I figured I’d be able to do this standing on one leg and using one crutch, but obviously not!  Well after this conversation some of the horrid realities of day to day life with a semi bionic hip hit home.  There were tears and a few little swears one of which was in response to my poor boyfriend who I rang for moral support. He’d already asked if I was ok, to which I responded yes on more than one occasion, then the third time he asked I responded, through tears. “no I’m f*****g terrified”.  Seriously, he couldn’t have seen that coming, but the boy done good and made me feel a bit more sane, as did my friend who was unfortunate enough to be in the room at the time. Poor girl.

So I wonder what lies in store this week. After a pretty dull weekend of moving furniture around so my hobbling isn’t obstructed, and a day of planning lessons I’m already tired, which doesn’t bode well for a terror free week.

Ho hum only 8 days to go…. in a week and a day I’ll be so drugged up there won’t be an ounce of stress or terror, that only comes when the drugs wear off.


Feel the burn..

February 24, 2009

..and I did……… momentarily.

I can’t wait for the day where my muscles give out before my broken joints, the day when I have a good work out and have to stop because of sore hard working muscles rather than a sore silly hip. I don’t even mind waking up the next day walking funny as long as it’s because my muscles have worked hard, not ‘dodgy hip’ induced hobbles. Today was nearly that day – biking to Uni again gave my sore hip some aggravation, but I also felt the burn in my quads HURRAH! It was only for about 2 mins whilst tackling an upward climb, but it was there. Unfortunately the burn is now fully back to my right hip in particular, oh and my left calf which I can only assume bears the brunt of my hobbling action. Hey ho,  give it a month or so and I’ll be having muscle pains from learning to walk again – not sure I’ll be overly jubulant about it at the time though!


They just don’t understand!

February 23, 2009

My blooming hips haven’t read the manual!  I’ve restricted the sort of exercise I now do (a little!) so don’t do circuit training, rowing, or running.  Apparently cycling is now also out….. goddamn it – why don’t my hips understand, they’re spose to be ok with biking!  I’m having words with them, but until tomorrows cycle to Uni and back  (car is a bit broken meaning my lazy butt has had to get back in the saddle) won’t know if they’ve taken heed of my stern words!  

5 weeks to Op day and counting……… occasional freak outs, but they only last a few minutes so far.


Pre-Op Assessment info

February 11, 2009

So I had my Pre-op on Monday morning at Guys, the whole thing took about 3 hours, but that includes about 45 mins of waiting for very busy and helpful staff to come and see me.  All the info below is specific to my surgeon and hospital, so don’t be surprised if there are differences from what you’ve heard or read before. I just tell it how I’ve been told 😮

First I had some MRSA swabs, and height, weight and blood pressure taken. Next was going through family contact info, medical history, and general health questions, followed by a blood test. (I still have the bruise!). I then saw the Orthapedic nurse, who is super lovely and patient and very knowledgeble. She went through lots of pre and post op info, and answered pretty much all of my questions.  Then I saw the OT, who made me realise just how much of our house we need to tidy so I can get around!  I have a form to fill in with measures of various bits around the house so they can make sure I have everything I need.

Here’s what I learned;

The surgery, whether just PAO or PAO and FO will take around 3 hours. I’ll have an epidural beforehand, and can ask to be slightly sedated before this if I feel really nervous – this is good news for me, as mentioned before the thought of my spine being pierced with some big arse needle, or even a tiny needle, does make me feel a bit sick and shaky.  Obviously I will also have a general anesthetic, but the use of the epidural means they don’t have to pump me so full of the general which is better all round.  After the surgery I’ll be taken to recovery and monitored before being taken to the ward.  Where possible they’ll put me in an all female ward, but if this isn’t a goer they put all the girlies together in one part of the ward and all the boys in another.

I will be staying in hospital for 5-7 days, this timescale depends on how well I can get around. When I’m up on crutches and able to get up and down stairs they’ll let me loose on the world once more!  During my time in hospital I’ll be seen by the Physio and the OT on the day of surgery provided I’m ‘with it’ enough, if not it’ll be the following day. At this point they’ll try and get me up and hopefully about a bit too.  Apparently day 3 after surgery is renowned to be the low point of the whole affair.  By this point I’ll be off the epidural and on pain meds, this change in medication and the fact that I’ll feel a bit better, but still not able to do anything and totally shattered leads to a bit of teary depression. Obviously this is not a definite, but as the warning came from the very experienced Orthopaedic nurse I’m willing to accept it as a high possibility!

I will be able to shower as soon as I can get up and about as the dressings used are waterproof.

There is likely to be nerve damage in my thigh so I’ll loose some feeling. In 95% of cases this is temporary and the feeling returns withing 6-8 weeks, however there is a possibility that this will be permanent.  During the surgery they will cut through the hip flexor muscle and the only thing I can do to help at this point is stay as mobile as poss before the op. Other than that things will repair themselves as they see fit.  Either one or both legs are likely to swell up after surgery, only if they become hot, red or inflamed should I begin to worry.

I may have to inject myself for 28 days after the surgery with anti-coagulents, this will thankfully only be once a day. Fingers crossed the new tablet version will be up and running by the time I’ve had my Op, so I can have a tablet a day instead of a needle.

I will be non weight-bearing (on crutches) for a minimum of 6 weeks, after which I will have a follow-up appointment at Guys when my new hip will be X-ray-ed. If the bone is knitting back together I’ll be allowed to bear weight on the operated side, on the other hand, if the bone is not knitting together well enough then I will have to continue non weight bearing for up to 12 weeks.  During the non weight bearing phase I will be doing naff all. No bending forwards to put socks on, no bringing my knee up, no crossing my legs – not even my ankles, no twisting, definitely no exercise unless physio specified.  I will be able to hobble my way around on crutches but have to be super careful. I can be a passenger in a car if I really have to, but this is best avoided as getting bumped in any way (even just going over a speed bump) might result in a wonky bit of bone floating around my pelvis! For the same reason I’m not allowed to use public transport.   Obviously I’ll not be able to drive until I have the all clear to try and walk, even then I need to be strong enough to be able to do an emergency stop if needed.

In terms of aids in the home I have to measure the sofa, chairs, bed and loo to see how high they are off the floor. The measurement from my foot to my knee is around 19″ when my knee is at 90 degrees, so all the furniture has to be high enough for me to keep this measurement, anything less and I’ll be putting pressure on my hip joint. I’ll be getting a very glamorous riser loo seat, some cushions to bulk up the sofa and chairs, and may need a stool in the shower so I can sit down whilst washing my hair etc..  and I will have a ‘helping hand’  or grabber so I can put my own socks on (if I can be bothered to wear any!).

I received the confirmation letter to day for my surgery date, so it looks like this is it folks, countdown is progressing.   Just a little over 6 weeks and I’ll be on the way to being bionic 😮

I’ve come to realise, through a lot of reading of other peoples blogs and medical accounts, that I am blooming lucky in the amount of activities I can do with my dysplastic hips.  Don’t get me wrong, I do have pain, soreness and hobbling in varying degrees every day, but I can still go for a walk, kick box, go spinning and lark around in the snow – knowing full well it’ll hurt tomorrow but I’ll blooming do it anyway.  Being fortunate enough to still be this active means I’m going to be really pissed off at not being able to do anything, not even put my socks on!  It’s a short term pain in the arse for a long term better quality of life and being able to go about day to day stuff without any pain in the years to come…… at least that’s what I keep telling myself!


A New OUCH!

January 25, 2009

I’ve discovered a new type of hip related ouch, one that I’d only heard of before, but have now discovered the joy of!  It’s all in the groin and it smarts a bit.  Most of the pain I get from dodgy hips is right in the joint a sort of sore achey scratchness, occasionally I have a flamingo moment too. This is when it feels like I’ve trapped a nerve and its a sharp shooting pain right inside my hip, so I have to stand like a flamingo for a bit.  Anywho the new groin pain is like a pulled muscle that twinges every now and again, I guess that’s just what it might be, my wimpy muscles are fighting back to keep my joints in the sockets!

How did I discover this new pain you may ask…. through taking part in a Tag Rugby coaching course…which is BRILLIANT!  We did all sorts of running, dodging, weaving, stopping suddenly and a whole lot of other stuff that ailing hips don’t enjoy. It’s my bloody mindedness and competitive streak that is causing my hips the most problems these days – you think I’d learn by now!


Questions and more questions….

January 11, 2009

Countdown is progressing and my mind won’t switch off to the plethora of questions regarding surgery, some of these are repeated from my previous list as they go unanswered, however here’s what I have so far;

  1. To wax or not to wax? – apparently there needs to be some bikini line trimming prior to surgery, and quite frankly I’m not ready for anyone to give me a nice razor rash, so I’m banking on being prepared and waxing away anything necessary!
  2. How soon after the Op will I start physio, and will it be at my local hospital or will they do home visits?
  3. How long approximately will I need crutches for? (this will be a fairly individual thing, but a rough idea is what I’m after)
  4. If I need a Femoral Osteotomy as well how will this affect the timescales for staying in hospital and overall recovery?
  5. How ‘with it’ will I be during the days in hospital?
  6. Can I borrow the crutches early to practice with before I need to use them for real?
  7. I will be travelling home in a car, but how restrictive should I be on car journeys after this?
  8. When will I be able to use public transport? (I’ve been told that this could be about 6-8 weeks, which is the time for driving too. Now the restriction on driving I can understand, but I’m a bit befuddled about public transport, unless it’s the potential for being barged in the stampede on and off the bus/train!)
  9. Are there any aids I need to have at home?
  10. Will I be sedated before having the epidural? (As far as I’m concerned my spine and a needle should never meet it’s just wrong, so this be scares the living crap outta me. Friends who’ve had children tell me it’s the best thing ever, but they were already in pain when the needle went in, I won’t be in pain until afterwards…. maybe if I stub my toe really badly I’ll be less stressed about it!)
  11. How long does the surgery usually take for just the PAO and the PAO plus FO?
  12. Will I be in a mixed ward and will it be old folks who’ve had a hip replacement?!
  13. What are the restrictions on my movement of the joint in terms of flexion and extension, for example will I be able to put my own socks and shoes on?
  14. When will I be allowed to go to the gym/swim?- again very individual but a rough idea would be nice.
  15. Will you need to cut my tattoo? –  It’s only a little one, but I like it so am not looking forward to it being sliced.

That’s all for now but I’m sure there’ll be a million more to come, plus I’m working on a list of things to get sorted the week before I go in;

  1. Any necessary waxing done
  2. Hair dyed (sadly I’m going a bit grey)
  3. Hair cut
  4. Feet loved and looked after by a Podiatrist
  5. Lots of dinners made and frozen
  6. House to be cleared of any obstacles – this is a bigger job than you’d expect as we’re in the middle of DIY, so there’s stuff everywhere!

again there’ll be plenty more to add, and if any spring to mind that aren’t here then please fill me in!