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.

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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.


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!


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!


Oh crumbs it’s real…..

January 8, 2009

Countdown is progressing … Pre op assessment due the 9th February, Op provisionally scheduled for 30th March.

YIKES!!

time to start thinking of all those questions I need answering


Battling the biscuits

December 1, 2008

In the last week I have spent an inordinate amount of time sitting on the sofa tapping away at my laptop in a vane effort to write an inspiring essay. As is my way with these things I successfully avoided doing a decent stint on the 3000 words of wisdom required by distracting myself with anything and everything. Checking email every 5 minutes (even though I knew there’d only be new junk mail and no matter how often I get offered the means to ‘enlarge my manhood’ it’s just not going to happen) tidying the kitchen, doing the washing, and even a spot of cleaning were just a few of my diversions. The biggest and most enticing was the biscuit tin, as a friend in the same predicament said “it keeps calling my name”. Now fortunately there was (note the past tense!) only a few slightly soft Garibaldi’s left, so not all of the waistline was lost.  BUT what I got to thinking about was after having surgery when I’m sat on my butt, incapacitated, possibly in pain, feeling sorry for myself cos I can’t go out and play any sport and bored cos everyone else is at work, what will the biscuits do then?  I can hear them enticing me now, whispering sweet nothings from the kitchen, they’ll be teasing me and no mistake; “come and eat us, we’ll be lovely with a cup of tea…. you know you want to” CUP OF TEA?! who do these biscuits think I am? I’ll be on crutches and able to make a cuppa, but will have to lurk in the kitchen to drink it cos a crutch in each hand is worth no tea in the lounge!   Darn it, I have standards, no biscuits and tea will be eaten while standing in the kitchen on one leg and all by myself, no, they must be dunked whilst sitting and relaxing. So what will I do? maybe a biscuit and tea making stash in the lounge is the way forward….hmmm something to ponder. Mind you that will definitely add inches to the waistline which, while I’m spectacularly inactive, I could do without.

What this is really all about is that fact that I will be having my first surgery in around 5 months time, and it’s starting to feel real. The realities of everyday life on one leg are just one small part of what’s in store that is playing on my mind. There’s so many really good blogs and information sites around that it’s a bit overwhelming….so why do I keep looking?!! Curiosity killed the cat, or so they say, keenness for knowledge might send me cuckoo me thinks.  So in a bid to rid myself of this internal churning over of surgery, the outcomes, the effect on my course ….etc etc I’ve feeling I need to ramble more often.  You have been warned!


it’s been a while…

October 30, 2008

This weekend just gone my man and I went to my folks for some lovely home cooked grub (full roast if you must know- yummy too). Anywho after dinner my very ‘down with tha kids’ parents got us all playing on their new toy… a Wii, much to the interest of my little nannie who was a bemused and amused spectator throughout.  If you’re not familiar with this particular toy it’s great entertainment with interactive games aplenty.

We partook in Wii Sport – boxing, tennis, baseball, bowling and a coupla others, next we moved onto Wii fit. Part of which is a sensitive board which you stand on and it can work out all sorts of things about you that you’d rather not know – weight, balance and more worryingly your Wii fit age (whatever that might mean!). I’m apparently 12 yrs older than my real life age – blooming rudeness! The age calculation isn’t based on any cardio or strength level of fitness, but on your balance. Obviously with wonky hips I was off to a looser on that one from the off (at least that’s what I keep telling myself).   After the initial balance assessment the machine decided that I put most of my weight on my right side, and then mentioned something along the lines of ‘your pelvis may be out of alignment’ NO SH*T SHERLOCK!!  Any way after this amazing revelation we all continued onto the balance games – thinking it prudent not to shake up the roast dinner too soon with aerobic activities.  We slalomed, ski jumped, headed balls and a couple of other things I can’t remember. Not that I’m competitive at all but my fella beat my overall high score on the ski jump, so I gotta go back and rectify that soon.  After a while I decided to have a go at something different and found the hoola game….  Basically you’re stood on the Wii fit board thingy facing the telly and wiggling your butt like a maniac, that is until you have to pause and lean to one side to catch another hoop (yes I did manage all 6 hoops spinning at once whoo hooooo!!). Needless to say the others in the room had an interesting spectator sport and were rolling around on the floor in fits of giggles … ahh they may mock but they’ve not managed to unlock the next level of Hoola! I will not be defeated!  Well that’s what I thought until Monday morning. 

Hobbling out of bed and limping my way round Uni all day topped off by my kick boxing session being hampered due to hoola related hip pain was all too much.  It’s day’s like that it really brings home to me how things could be if I’m not careful and if I don’t have the PAO in the next 12 months.  The day of hobbling wasn’t so bad, bit of a pain but bearable, what really got me was kick boxing. Something I really love doing and when possible love launching myself into, part way through the class I had to leave. There was no point in me being there as I couldn’t do kicks with either leg – kicking with the right made the right hip sorer, and kicking with the left meant supporting all my weight on an already sore right side. IT SUCKS,  so frustrating, and I still only have mild discomfort compared to many. 

The rest of the week has been ok hip wise, just a little sore from the weekend shenannagins – I mean Hoola-ing of course!  It makes you wonder though, what’s next? I can’t circuit train anymore, running is out (not that I did much but it’s still off the list), rowing machine is a no-no, clearly Wii Hoola isn’t such a great idea, how many more things are gonna be struck of the list?…….