Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Half Year Completed!

My Hip At 6 Months!
Sorry It has been so long since I have written..I feel this should be apology letter for being away for so long BUT I am back now so lets move forward ;) (and plus I have something to actually write about..there is just so much I can write about one body part without completely boring the hell out of you ;))

Today I had my 6 months appointment with Dr. A , so I figured it would be a good comeback post for my blog :) BUT don't forget I have been doing a 365 photo blog on Flickr about becoming "The Bionic Woman"..a picture every day for a year that started the moment I woke up from my THR surgery and will go to Sept 27th 2012 (day 365)..so you can always see what I am up to on there on a day to day basis ;)
http://flic.kr/s/aHsjwNA6f3

So I am now past the 6 month mark! I was making some progress and than had a big setback when my apt building burned down a few weeks ago which has forced me too do way to much on my hip and I am paying a BIG price for it because the pain has increased and I can't do much about it at the moment, but we all made it out of the building without a scratch and that is most important.
D and I at the hotel we stayed at for 2 weeks post fire (now we are at D's parents house while we look for an apt)


On my 6 month anniversary!
So a breakdown of progress made:
1. I can sit up and down from a chair pretty easily (which is quite a feat from 3 months ago)
2. I can walk around small rooms without a cane
3. I can walk up stairs while holding railing (just very painful)
4.I swam in a pool at the hotel (wasn't the most graceful swim but I did swim)
5. I can do the bike for 7minutes at PT
6. I can go out more (for longer periods of time)
7. Gone on short walks with my cane
Queen of Physical Therapy..5 years makes you a pro;)


Things I can't do still (that is completely frustrating me and causing my patience to be completely tested)
1. Get off my medication due to pain , I still am in constant pain everyday..the level daily is different depending on the day and I have weened off the dosage I am taking for pain meds but still in a bad pain cycle (I have added anti --inflammatory to the mix) and it is by far the hardest part of all of this because chronic pain wipes you out physically and emotionally and my biggest fear is that this pain will never go away..it's been FIVE YEARS!!!!!!
2. I can't drive still and not sure when I will ever be able too (Going to look into a car that can do steering wheel driving instead of using foot)
3. Walk distance without limping (sometimes it feels like I have dumbbell weights sewn into my hip..that's the only way I can explain it)
4. Feel like "myself" yet..this is a draining journey that is like the craziest roller-coaster ride ever (and not a fun kind of roller-coaster ..but I don't find roller coasters fun at all..I am a wimp, but in case you like the coaster I don't want to get you excited and intrigued about replacing your hip ;))
5. Stand or sit for extended periods of time BUT I did go to the movies for the first time a few weeks ago to see The Hunger Games..that was the longest time I have sat in one place. We got cozy seats where I could put me feet up and I sat in the aisle seat so I could stretch every once in awhile
At The Movies!! First time in a looong time!

Waiting for Dr. A an entertaining myself at the same time :)
So now to my appointment that I had today with Dr A.
Let me begin I cried when I left so It isn't a happily ever after story (yet)...

I had X-rays taken today (see top pic) and waited around for awhile. I only got about 8 minutes with DR. A (if that..and I find that really frustrating and here is why: I am starting to feel like MY hip surgeons are turning out to be the guys your mother tells you stay away from when you grow up. They wine and dine you at first and tell you how much they can improve your life, you want to believe all that they are saying. Than you give in and let them do surgery on you, and then they don't seem to have the time of day for you anymore..seriously! Dr. A knows how bad my hip is (he is constantly reminding me of that) .How could after he has not seen me for 3 months take some time to answer the questions of why my foot is still numb?? OR ..I had a MRI done of my back because I am having back, neck and shoulder problems now on my right side (I did have some trigger point injections that helped), BUT all the Dr's I saw for these issues say it is related to my hip, so I brought the MRI to Dr. A and he wouldn't even look at it. He says his only focus is my hip. MY HIP IS WHAT IS CAUSING ALL THESE SECONDARY ISSUES..if he isn't going to take a look at this than who is going to help me..another hip surgeon??!!

Than the icing on the cake comes with the fact that Dr. M who did my 3rd and 4th surgery was suppose to fix a typo on my medical notes about a specific surgery he DID NOT DO on me and my psoas tendon during my open SDD surgery and Dr. A won't discuss how much pain my psoas tendon is causing me, because he said it was someone else's surgery that made it that way??!! I tried to explain to him as clear as possible that I did not have the surgery, but he said he only believes the paperwork. At this point D chimed in and said he was at the DR. M appointment where Dr. M said that it was a typo, but Dr. A said surgeons don't make mistakes like that. Sooooooo I placed a call to Dr. M immediately to get this taken care of so I can get my psoas issue taken care of. His assistant PROMISED me he would be in touch today..I never heard from him, so I will call again tomorrow.

 I am just so frustrated with the fact that I feel like none of my surgeons look at the big picture and until they do I am not sure what kind of recovery this will be. If anyone has ideas on how to handle this I would love to hear. I don't see Dr. A again until Oct 2012 so all I am suppose to do at this point is to do PT and wait and rest (according to Dr. A, because the fire made me overdue stuff on my hip which is causing backtracking). I guess Dr. A's only goal today was to do an X-ray to make sure my hip replacement is still in properly (I guess in the first year they check this on day 1, at 6 months, and at 1 year).

"On Top Of The World...because we are together" :) or "Just Try To Knock Us Down" 
In the end a hip nor a fire will break me or us :)
Much Love and Hope You Are All Well xoxo, Sarah

Remember you can find me on flick daily for my 365: http://flic.kr/s/aHsjwNA6f3

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

I Am Back...3.5 Months!

Waiting for 3 hours in the waiting room to see Dr. A!
I am officially 3.5 month post THR. WOW it feel like 3.5 years at the moment! So much and so little has happened at the same time...haha!  I am sorry I haven't posted much recently, but I just had a check up with Dr. A, so I figured it was a good time to follow up with a blog piece.

I am doing a daily blog through photographs and mini stories about my recovery which has been a great creative outlet;you can find this on Flickr: My 365 Days Of Truly Becoming Bionic: http://flic.kr/s/aHsjwNA6f3  I am trying to make it as fun, creative, and informative as possible. The idea to do this was that I found so much information about what it's like to have a hip replacement, but not a whole lot about what happens afterwards, so I figured this would be a good way to show the other side of life  (recovering) from THR!

So where I am at! I saw Dr. A last Friday for my follow up apt. I WAITED and waited and waited in the waiting room (it truly is a perfectly named room) for 3 hours to see Dr. A . To keep myself busy I bought a new iPhone app to capture me waiting ;) ..hey it passed the time. One thing I can say positive about this waiting time is that I could actually do it. Last month I was there I had to lay down on a gurney, because I couldn't handle all that sitting, this time I toughed it out! After all my waiting I was fortunate to get a full 10 minutes to meet with Dr. A ,yes I am being sarcastic once again, but my blog is the one place I get to vent because it's my blog ;)..so ya I am going too) ;)!
So highlights for the 10 minutes with Dr. A.:

1. I can't sit on the floor..Dr A said no no no! (Total bummer..I really like to sit on floors..I am not being sarcastic now..I actually enjoy it..I do a lot of organizing that way )

After precautions were lifted I couldn't wait to plop myself on the floor and stretch out, but I guess no more of this ..for now!


2. I can walk without my cane in my home as long as I am not limping..if I start limping I need to use my cane( I have been for the most part lately not using my cane inside my home, but still need it outside. I can't do any distance without limping). Dr. A said this is normal for me ,because of all that has happened to my hip and surrounding muscles
Ode to my cane ;)


3. I can start adding strengthening to my PT along with stretching and deep tissue massage (which feels great when getting it done; like a good pain), but OMG it kills like 2 hours later. Dr A said that is also normal.

4.Dr. A said he is proud of me and all the hard work I have been doing, he said it shows! I know that is not a big deal, but no surgeon has really said they are proud of me or validated all my hard work and that felt good!
Being careful not to fall while embracing the season outside instead of always being indoors!


5.We discussed my foot numbness, my achy pains down my leg, sharp pains in my groin, my swelling..he had no real answers except we need to give it time. He said 3 months isn't going to undo 5 years worth of damage. He truly believes it will take me one year to feel some true relief and if I don't than we will have to look into why.

6. I can take advil or alleve now along with my other medication (it is actually helping..Yay!)

7. He gave D and I big hugs because D PROPOSED to me last week..we are ENGAGED!!! That sure help takes ones mind off their hip ;)
Pic taken right after D proposed to me!!!! :)

8. Dr. A and I walked the halls of his office so he could watch me walk with a cane...it was a nice stroll where we got to chit chat ;)

9. Biggest issue I have at the moment (well besides the pain) is full blown insomnia. I cannot get comfortable to sleep. I catch a few hours every morning, but it's not enough. I am working on that. Dr. A. said I could go back to acupuncture now, so I may try that again it really helped before! I really feel like a walking zombie most of the time, not the best feeling! Ugh..working on it!!

Me Zombie..haha!



10. I see him again in 3 months: So for now Physical Therapy and do whatever I can to help control pain. (will try massage and acupuncture as well as Lidoderm patch (numbing patch /no narcotic.. does seem to help a lot with out side-effects!))

Even though this still is really a hard time I am doing better than I was last month, so with that said.. Cheers!
Don't forget you can follow my daily THR story on Flickr: http://flic.kr/s/aHsjwNA6f3 ,and I will definitely be back to update after my next apt with Dr. A! Hopefully I will have made some real progress at 6 months! Look forward to see what the future holds for me and my hipster!

If only I could know what my future has in store??!! ;)
Until then hipsters! XXOO

Me daydreaming about proposal ;) Still in lala land over engagement...YAY!





Any questions or comments please feel free to write ;I will definitely get back to you! :)

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Dr. A., We Meet Again......

Waiting for Dr A, French Fries (special treat) and my car hit 100,000 miles all on the same day!
 I had my 2.5 month check up with Dr A. last week. There was a lot of waiting involved..like 2.5 hours worth (it must have been an honor of my 2.5 months with a new hip). I waited in the waiting room for about an hour and then my hip couldn't wait any longer, so I spoke with the receptionist and they let me wait the rest of the time on a gurney (which I actually think was temperpedic, seriously, I am not being sarcastic (it was so comfortable I got a nap in ;)).

Dr A finally did make an appearance and I asked him every question I could think of. The main points I got out of our meeting were:

1. My hip is not like a regular hip replacement, so I need to get those kind of ideas and timelines out of my head. There was a lot of previous damage as well as a lot of surgery done to my hip, tendons, and muscles. I need to stop comparing my hip to regular replacements (he reiterated that to me quite a few times..ok I got it!)
2. I can start weening off crutches! Dr. A also pointed out my crutches are to short for me. Ironic no one has said that to me before including him..it's not like this was the first time I have shown up with these things with me (ok now I am being sarcastic ;)). He was talking about drilling holes in them to lengthen them (it must be the surgeon within him ;)). I am just dealing with the situation by just trying to get off the darn crutches. At this point I am down to one crutch and have taken a few awkward steps without them. Hopefully can transition to a cane this month. I do have to say it really is hard to walk on my own currently. I can't do it very well and I have a limp. They say it is due to my leg being weak at the moment...
3. Physical Therapy: For the next 4 weeks PT should be focusing on deep tissue massage and stretching, so that's what I have been doing! Don't go and get all jealous over these massages ,they are more of the ones that make you cry than feel relaxed, but it is needed to get to the other side of this so I am just rollin with it.
4. All precautions lifted..YES!!! This is the one hip thing that is makes me hip happy...Hooray! Having precautions sucked to say it bluntly. The first thing I did when I got home was lay down on my floor and just stretched which felt amazing it just took me a little bit to figure out how to get up afterwards. Just because the precautions are lifted doesn't mean things start working automatically I came to find out while I laid on the floor contemplating a plan to get my body off of it, lesson learned;baby steps :)!
I got back to see Dr. A towards the end of January to find out what happens next!

Every day has been different some up some down. This hasn't been easy, but it is what it is and I just hope that 2012 will bring me the hip that I have been working so hard to get. At this point I don't really have it in me to type my complete feelings about this recovery because it has been difficult and I just honestly don't want to focus on all the negative parts because it is emotionally draining for me at this time and I pretty sure it's not so much fun to read about either. If you have any questions please feel free to write to me in the comment section and I will be happy to answer any questions about my THR recovery. I have been doing a photo documentary on Flickr on my day to day recovery (they say a picture is worth a thousand words anyways so you can follow my progress there if you would like :)
http://flic.kr/s/aHsjwNA6f3

Happy Holidays xoxo


Happy Holidays and Cheers to a New Year!


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Two Months Down...One More To Go!

Day 56 Of 365 Days To Becoming Truly Bionic

The past 48 hours put me out of commission again..swollen hip again.hurts to move..UGH!
Seriously so sore couldn't even be inspired to get my camera out again this evening..(thank goodness I got my iPhone ;))
On a positive note tonight is the last day after 8 weeks of wearing T.E.D. Anti-Embolism socks..I can't even begin to tell you how excited I am to take these darn socks off after 8 weeks of wearing them. First week had to wear them 24/7. The last 7 weeks I had to wear them at all times except when asleep. D did the honors of the last night removal of taking off the  last wearing of these socks (well he had to do it every night because I couldn't but this seemed more special ;)). Seriously magical butterflies should have been flying around my bedroom because this was definitely a well earned milestone/moment : 8 weeks accomplished! Buh-bye T.E.D. Socks!


#1 So first things first..I started a 365 Photo Journey to track my day to day process of my recovery from my hip replacement. I really wanted to do it to help bring hip awareness to as many people as possible, to be able to provide myself and others a photo journey of what's it's like to be a "young" person dealing with major hip issues and multiple surgeries, to give myself at least one moment a day no matter what is going on to get a chance to be creative with photography (which is a true passion of mine), and hopefully I will be able to visually see a huge positive progress with my hip journey. Please feel free to share my 365 Days to Becoming Truly Bionic   photo journey with others: Flickr link to 365:  http://flic.kr/s/aHsjwNA6f3

#2 Dr. A..could stand for "A"mazing! I saw Dr. A for my first follow up a few weeks back and then realized after the visit I forgot to ask half of my questions, so I sent him an email with my list of questions. He got back to me in less than 24 hours with very full answers. When I was at the appt. with him he mentioned to D (my BF) that he noticed that he was talented with the ukulele. D brought it to the hospital to help cheer me up and it is definitely more compact than him bringing his guitar (he even did a jam session with the harpist on my floor!),  so they talked music for a second. As an after thought I emailed Dr. A the video the filmmaker Gary Barmin did of D and one of his songs (that I am also in.) I didn't think he probably had time to watch it ..but hey why not. I then got a second email from Dr. A: It is as follows:

" Dear Sarah,
After I replied to your questions, I  clicked on the  Delvis YouTube site. That is a beautiful song, and the video is excellent and particularly poignant...especially since I have experienced you both as you go through this whole  ordeal and recovery.  I knew Dennis was a musician, having heard him in the  hospital room once or twice, but didn't know he was also a singer. Very well done, indeed, with you both in front of the camera.  I am amazed, as I had no idea that there was so much artistry and talent at hand."
This email actually made me tear up
1. It was so sweet and he took the time to write such a caring and beautiful response
2. I couldn't believe he took the time to watch it
3. It made him more "human" than "surgeon" and I really needed that..he saw me as a person not just as a patient..and being a patient for so long with so many surgeons and Dr's it really just meant a lot to me.

If you want to check out the video I sent to Dr. A of D's song "She Walks In Beauty" starring me and D ;) than you can click here: http://youtu.be/Pc2V_m9mnBc


So since we last spoke it has been sort of a battle with my hip...a battle I plan on winning (see pic on left) ;)  I have been trying to achieve balance by doing some stuff with out over doing it..haven't quite found that balance yet, but working on it. Unfortunately the over doing it has caused sooooooooo much painful swelling that I get mini setbacks. I have spoken with Dr. A and it is par for the course..or my course. So ice packs 24/7 for me..it's the only thing that can get pain under some control, but the swelling is doing funky stuff to my nerves and tendons down my legs which is really really really uncomfortable.
I have started in the past week experimenting a little with using one crutch around my apt which is a big step..literally I am taking bigger steps! I am also officially done as of tomorrow morning with wearing my blood clot socks. I am still on an aspirin regime for another week every morning and evening to help reduce risk of blood clots, but that is better than the shots and wearing those socks. I start outpatient PT after thanksgiving so that will be another milestone, so even though I get frustrated at the pain and the "waiting" as I write I do see how things are still moving forward.
3.  I  celebrated my 37th birthday last week (wow) this whole hip thing started right after my 33rd b-day, so having that birthday kind of made things feel a little surreal that this "hip journey" is still going on, but it is what it is. I had a really great birthday though. I went on my first outing outside of my house post surgery with my Dad, Step-mom, and D for a b-day dinner which was a few milestones rolled up together. I had friends throw me a beautiful surprise get together, I got so many beautiful messages and emails from family and friends near and far, my mom came over with a delicious b-day cake to close off the day..truly it was my best day since surgery and a very HAPPY birthday. D also got me a new lens for my camera as a gift..when I take pics it helps me forget about my hip. It truly was a perfect gift that I have been having soooooo much fun using. When you keep your mind busy it doesn't have time to think about pain :).



So I am still a big work in progress...but "progress" is the key word! Trying to do my best every day.
My goals for the next month would be
1. To start getting some sleep (this has been truly difficult ..it's 4:07 am as I am writing this)
2. to try to get off crutches and switch to cane
3. To get muscles stronger so I can do more
4. To hopefully have swelling become less
5. To achieve better balance (How not to overuse my hip, but use it at the same time)
6. To hopefully be in less pain
I am sure there are more goals I have for myself but those are the first few that popped in my head. I see Dr. A in the middle of Dec and hopefully get my major precautions lifted..I think that will be a big game changer for me!
In the meantime just taking it day by day and trying to remind myself of all the wonderful things that I have that I should be very thankful for!
Until next time..Peace out fellow hipsters and friends. xxoo

Also please feel free to ask me any ?'s about hip stuff in the comment section..I am always available to be of any help to others..and can answer any ?'s the best I can. 

Below are some pics taken with my new lens (including one upbove of d and I right after D gave me the camera lens). All shots were taken in my bathroom except the last one which was in my living room..that's is as far as my body is going to take me for fun with photography at the moment! You can see plenty more also on my Flickr page: http://www.flickr.com/photos/46454976@N03/



Monday, October 31, 2011

One Month Down...Two More To Go!

At BI Hospital/Awesome T-shirt is a gift from my friend Nancy
Had my first outing two days ago..unfortunately it was to the hospital. I had my 4 week post surgery check up with Dr. A! The first question Dr. A and his Physician Assistant (who the majority of my apt was with)  was "How are you?" My answer was "a million times better than last time you saw me." They also agreed I look a million times better than the last time they saw me.
So Upgrade:
4 weeks ago: Felt like actual death
Now: Just feel like hell ;)

I was told that all my pain is quite normal and it will probably be this level of intensity for the next two months (first 3 months are the roughest). They said my incision looked great and that I can now start putting Vitamin E on it. They want to see me start making the transition from at home physical therapy to outpatient in the next few weeks.
I have 1 week left of giving myself blood thinner injections,
4 more weeks left of wearing compression stockings to reduce the risk of blood clots,
and 8 weeks left till I can stop my restrictions (this really sucks to be quite honest..restrictions are a true pain in the butt, especially having to sleep with a pillow in between my legs which makes sleep for me virtually impossible, so one month down two more to go)
It was not that exciting of an apt. to be quite honest, they watched me walk with crutches, looked at my incision, gave me more details about my surgery now that I was more coherent, and told me they were pleased with my progress. They also reminded me that I am going to be on the longer side of recovery due to all my previous surgeries, so not to be hard on myself that progress is slow, and that it was a MAJOR surgery. They also reminded me that I have a bonus of youth being on my side..with my 37th birthday approaching next week and being in bed with a hip replacement I am not feeling that totally youthful feeling..I mean my 91 year old grandparents walk faster than me!
I was given the OK to start venturing outside my house for small adventures to help strengthen my body and hip. The two hours in the cars to the Dr's apt., and the two hours in the hospital in turn led to a 3 hour nap when I walked in the door, so I found one way to make sleep happen with precautions...get out of bed! ;) I did ok with my adventure except for the last 1/2 hour.. that was pretty  torturous in the car due to swelling and nerve pain from swelling, but all and all it went better than I expected.
I did tell Dr. A that I watched a hip replacement surgery videos online..he was like, "What are you crazy"..and I said crazy would be watching it BEFORE surgery..this was just curiosity! So if you want something scary to watch for Halloween tomorrow definitely Google "Hip Replacement Surgery"! From those videos I had a much better understanding why I am in so much pain..quite informative and disturbing footage! ;)
Steri Strips Off...Ta-Dah!


My steri -strips finally came off and now I can see myself that my incision is healing pretty well. I am glad that went through my SDD incision instead of adding on a new scar.

I also found out my Bionic parts are as followed:
"Stryker Trident PSL HA cluster acetabular shell 52-mm E secured by a single 20-mm bone screw. Trident X3 10-degree polyethylene insert 36-mm E. Stryker Accolade TMZF standard ofset 132-degree neck shaft angle V40 hip stem size #3 x 35mm neck length and a Biolex delta ceamic V40 femoral head size #36mm by +2.5mm necck length"

Not sure what that all means, but I thought I would share ;)  They said my new Bionic hip was a nice, tight, and a perfect fit, so that sounds good to me! They also did something with my piriformis muscle/tendon/capsule (a detaching, lengthening, reattaching) and that is why it hurts to sit currently.

I go back to see them in 2 months and they said hopefully by then I will be on a cane instead of crutches.


Where I am now at home:

Chillaxin in Bed
I am moving around the house a little faster on my crutches now which means my walk is getting a little stronger. I am doing more exercises for physical therapy now that I have a new physical therapist (side note: I realized I wasn't getting proper care with original Visiting PT person and spoke up, and now have a person who is doing the right program for me and my hip. Always speak up if you feel like you are not getting the correct treatment for your health, so glad I did. You have to always be your own health-care advocate to get the best possible health care treatment..always! :) My new PT woman set up my wheelchair in my house with a pillow, so I have a comfortable seat that also follows my precautions in my house or for when I venture outside of my house. She also helped me to set up other comfortable areas in my home with pillows.
Icepacks are still my #1 source of pain relief I have them going in constant rotation (as I type now I have one large ice pack under both of my butt cheeks)...seriously it hurts to sit! I am having friends over to visit the past week which is great, because it definitely helps with my mental health ;) and it means I am improving, because I really couldn't do that the first few weeks.
I have my moments of sadness and frustration due to pain and being in a recovery situation again(sometimes it feels never-ending), but I am lucky I have a great support system that helps me refocus when that happens. I still can't believe I have a new hip... it's strange that it still hasn't hit me yet. I feel I will believe it when I see it..well ok I seen the X-rays but I guess when I feel no pain then it will feel real. I know slow and steady wins the race..so cheers to the champion of slow and steady: The Turtle.. I strive for your strength and determination! Until next time Hipsters  xoxo!
Having fun with my iPhone apps in bed..and look I am actually smiling :)


My Halloween gift to you! Links the two THR videos I watched online..if you dare..haha! Thanks Nicole for helping me find these ;)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zJyd8NiKvjw
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XTIrdGU175A







Thursday, October 20, 2011

An Ode To Three Weeks Post THR

First pic with iPhone
Decided to write a cheesy poem to mark my three weeks..hey I am bored so I am going to roll with it :)

AN ODE TO THREE WEEKS POST THR

My hip is now three weeks old
My future is waiting to unfold

In the past three weeks I have made some strides
The biggest one being I can sleep on my left side

With my crutches I have walked down a street and up a tiny hill
I still need to keep a journal by my bedside to keep track of all my pills

Giving myself blood thinner injections daily I truly despise
I get very freaked out by the needle but can't close my eyes

I have watched hundreds of hours of television and movies and now I am so beyond bored I really need to vent
I am burnt out on TV and using my computer and even tried to entertain myself by only speaking in a British accent

Hip surgery is extremely hard and I think recovery is even harder
It definitely makes you a stronger person like a soul with coat of armor

You have days that are up and days that are  quite down
It's quite the roller-coaster and you need to put in effort to not frown

Every two hours I walk around my apartment for ten minutes
And have had some loved ones come over for special visits

I have laughed and I have cried and sometimes my pain makes me groan
But there was a light that came into my life this week when I got an iPhone
iBored in iBed with my iPhone camera apps!


Time is surreal and the past three weeks have felt like many years
I have made many small improvements and try to battle through my tears

I am happy to get these past three weeks behind me and look forward to getting to week four
Because I get to see my doctor again and hopefully get to throw some restrictions out the back door

In the end as long as I get a pain free right hip
I will be at peace with this crazy hipster trip

My doggie Sky has been my hip bodyguard!


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

On The Other Side

My New Hip! This Xray was taken the same day as my surgery!
I HAVE A NEW HIP!!!! WOW! I still can't quite believe it myself. What a journey it has been to get to this actual point. Very surreal. I am writing this from my bed on my 2 weeks post surgery anniversary. Probably won't finish this blog piece tonight, but today was the first day I felt inspired to write,so I felt it was important to get started.
Not even sure where to begin with this post because the past two weeks have felt like two years, and I don't want to babble on forever, so I think I will seperate it into parts....don't worry short and to the point parts..well I will try my best! ;)


Surgery Day:
My surgery got bumped up from 2pm to 11am so I had to arrive at the hospital at 9:30am. I had my entourage of my dad, my stepmom, and D. To say I was nervous would be an understatement, but I still cannot put into words what was going on in my head. I checked in at the front desk at the hospital and they gave me a light up pager like the ones you get at The Cheesecake Factory, still not quite sure how I felt about that. When the buzzer went off they were ready to give me a new hip (yes, it was a little strange). While I was waiting for my table..I mean for my surgery.. I did some laps around the waiting room..a kind of farewell to my hip;taking it out for a final spin. There was a harpist in the waiting room which was actually relaxing and serene, but I still couldn't actually sit still. Buzzer went off and they took me to the pre-op room..on my OWN! Yes I am 36, but I really did'nt want to go anywhere by myself at the moment, but I did...I had to "woman up" ;) They got me into their beautiful hospital gown, put an IV in, met with Dr. A who autographed my right hip, and then got my epidural put in. It's strange during this 30 minute time period you feel like the most popular person in the world. You have about 40 people in and out asking you a million questions at the same time, putting blankets on you, trying to make you "comfortable'. Then they drug you( and you are ready and willing) nerves are in overload at this point. I got the epidural on board, then they put a anti naseau patch on behind my ear, got my hair up in a blue shower cap and now they let my "entourage" come say there goodbyes/ or goodlucks to me one by one. It was a surreal moment. My loving "entourage" was giving me positive advice to keep me strong up to the last second and then they were ready to roll...literally they move D out of the way and rolled my bed past him and down the hall we went.
Back in the OR again; Cold, noisy, lots of people you never met, cold, lots of "machinery", and oh yeah cold. The rest is kind of basic, they talked to you for a few seconds, you have a moment of panic, I look the people in there right in their eyes and tell them they better take good care of me, and then lights out.
Waking Up:
I woke up and remeber being cold and feeling pain, but it really is a hazy blur. I do remember my epidural was misbehaving and numbing the left side of my body and not my right (the injured part)..I guess I had a 50/50 shot on that one. I remember getting A LOT of medication, I remember a nice nurse who was with me the whole FOUR HOURS I was in there. I remember someone bringing an x-ray machine to my gurney, I vaguely remember Dr. A coming in twice telling me all went well, I remember getting a blood transfusion, and I most clearly remember that I wasn't allow to see anyone while I was in that room..which to be honest totally sucked! At 4 hours they let my mom come in and see me before she had to leave, but I can't remember the conversation we had just that I was happy to see her. Finially they rolled me on up to my PRIVATE room (yes I got the VIP plan this time). I figured after 5 surgeries I deserved some peace and quiet and DR. A agreed with me. When I got to the room my dad, stepmom, and D were there and it felt really good to see them.
Seven Days:
Me and My Hip
Blood Transfusion
Tackling The Stairs With PT
I spent the seven longest days of my life in that hospital room. Epidural came out on Day 1 they couldn't get it to work. Day 2 got a 102 fever (which was scary, but they got it down), and I also received a second blood transfusion that night. Catheter came out on Day 3. PT started on Day 4. Climbed 5 Stairs on Day 5. Walked the halls with a walker on Day 5 and 6. Went home using Crutches on Day 7. This was my roughest stay in the hospital. They tried every pain medicine uder the sun with me. I got every side effect they came with them except for actual pain relief. The pain was actually unbearable and at moments I didn't know how I would make it to the next moment. The swelling was extreme, I had to wear and still have to wear long "ted socks" to reduce blood clots (8 weeks). I went through an array of emotions, but the most important part is I got through it. I want to thank my friends and family who visited me, as well as the ones who couldn't, but sent me such encouraging texts, messages, and cards...they all helped so much in keeping me positive. Also thank you D for staying with me the whole time in the hospital no words could express my thanks for being there for me like that.
First time sitting up to eat in hospital.





Home Sweet Home:
Dorothy was so right.."there is no place like home". First I had to get there! It was a little strange that you could have a major surgery and spend seven days in the hospital and then when it's time to go..that's it. D wheeled me out of the room and I waited outside for him to bring the car around. No one told us how to actually get in to my low seated car. You would think there would at least be an escort out to help you not destroy your new hip before your even leave the parking lot (yes that was full blown sarcasm). Thank goodness there was a nice nurse outside with another patient who saw the situation asked what surgery I had an showed me how to get into my car. So If you are ever in this kind of spot and have a low to ground car (I have a Toyota Corolla) you adjust the seat in almost full recline than you put your bad leg forward and with the help of others you ease yourself into the seat backwards while holding bad leg out and then when seated you have someone lift bad leg up and help you swing it gently into car, seriously there should have been someone from the hospital there to help with that. Once in car I dispersed ice-packs that we took and spread them around hip and braced myself for car ride home. We were very lucky that there was no traffic,so 45 minutes later I was home and it felt amazing. I swear you just get healthier by entering your own home, plus it was the first time I got to be outdoors in a week nothing like some fresh air!
I slept pretty much the moment I hit my bed.
Adjusting to home life is different post surgery because you are not the same person physically you were when you left for the hospital. "Lucky" that I am a "surgery pro", so I knew kind of what to expect. I had a raised toilet seat already on toilet. I had a special pillow on my bed
for my legs to help with my hip precautions (legs can't touch for first four weeks...not easy to sleep like that). I had house cleaned, organized, and made handicap accessible. I had shower chair put in shower and grabber next to bed for hard to reach things. Had computer set up on table next to bed for entertainment and no wires or movable rugs on floor to prevent tripping. Home life this past week has not been very "exciting", so not much to write about. What I do want to point out is the major changes that happened from week one in hospital to week two at home.
First time walking outdoors and sitting outside post surgery
Had visiting Physical therapist 3 times so far and he has had me walk around apartment for 10 minutes every 2 hours. I have walked down my 5 stairs and walked down my sidewalk twice without tears. I can't even to begin to describe to you the pain I felt the first time I tried to walk post surgery in the hospital, it took to day 7 to do it without either crying or vomiting...for reals. There is still A LOT of pain, but walking doesn't bring it on like it did last week. It actually feels kind of good to walk with crutches around house because it help stretch things out, the only thing that gets hard is muscles are weak so you get exhausted with your "bad" leg quite quickly. I even sat outside for 10 minutes which was amazing thinking where I was just last week.
I also have a visiting nurse twice a week. Yesterday on my 2 week anniversary she removed the 28 staples that helped close my incision. I was a little nervous about the removal. I thought it was going to be done in a hospital with Novocaine, but that is not the case. They use pretty much a staple remover and no Novocaine. I closed my eyes for this "operation". It felt like the staples were breaking in half some hurt more than others, but no tears from me. She then applied steri- strips to the incision which she said would fall off on their own. It feels much better without the staples. The staples were getting sore and itchy and pulled on my skin. Now the area feels a little raw, but no pulling and weird little zings, plus they really grossed me out so I was happy to say buh-bye to them.
Staples/ No Staples!


There is so much to say, but at the same time not so much. It feels good to be on the other side of this, deep breathing is my friend, it is so important to keep your mind in a positive space or you can go downhill fast, and be proud of all your accomplishments..they may be small but they are so big at the same time. I have been through a lot, but I am very lucky because I hopefully will one day get a chance to be pain free ,and that I am very lucky to have great friends and family so I don't have to do this all on my own. I will try to update weekly to give status on my progress. I got a NEW HIP..WOW! Still can't believe it!