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 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 ;)

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 :)


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!