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Week three update October 13, 2009

Posted by hiphoperation in Post-op.
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I found this picture on Matt’s blog today which is a helpful illustration of the carpentry done on my hip. You can see how they have to cut the pelvis to make the socket a bit deeper. I know I have three screws but until I have my next x-ray I won’t know exactly what position everything is in now.

What I do know is that I am now in real discomfort. Even immediately after the operation it didn’t hurt this much. I think I was getting too smug that I could manage on headache tablets (paracetamol and diclofenac) and this is my body’s way of reminding me who’s in charge. It feels like there are pins being stuck into different parts of my hip and thigh and it isn’t nice. I am hoping it is just the nerves starting to work again rather than a sign of something I have done wrong.

I have done really well so far in keeping weight off my right leg. I am flamingo-like in my ability to perform tasks balanced on one leg. It all went wrong on Sunday when I went to return some books to the library and tried to hold the door open for a lady who was coming out. We had an awkward moment of “after you”, “no, after you”. Since I was the one on crutches she insisted…as I tried to release the door that I was holding I lost my balance and had to put my foot down. It didn’t hurt at the time but felt tingly for a while after once I had sat down. I don’t think the pain I have now (Tuesday evening) is because of that but not sure what else it would be.

Scar status: Glue is really starting to peel off now and looks disgusting. The actual scar is showing through and is very neat and pink. If the whole thing is like that then it shouldn’t look too bad.
Pain levels: Most of the week has just been a manageable ache but the last 24 hours have been much worse. Strange firework sensations in different parts of my leg. Hope that’s the nerves fixing and not something bad.
Medication: Paracetamol and diclofenac still plus some co-codamol for nights. Purchased in bulk from the chemist.
Crutch ability: Went on a 15 minute journey back from Nandos which was exhasting. Need to get out more.
High point of the week: Visits from friends on Saturday (karaoke and curry) and Monday (lots of laughter, homemade food and wine). The wheelchair makes an excellent extra piece of furniture.
Low point of the week: Last night – hip pain + period pain is just not fair.
Lesson learned: Don’t try and open doors for other people when you are the less able.
Main achievement: Going out three times and not falling over.
Gains: Pretty flowers, get well cards from overseas colleagues and homemade macaroons.
Losses: The novelty of working from my living room and my love of sleeping.


One week on September 29, 2009

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I can’t believe it has already been a week since my operation. I did go home yesterday and it is wonderful! I have even managed to find a comfortable enough position to enable me to start getting back to work this afternoon. I will have a follow-up appointment with Mr Witt in 6 weeks and will get a letter about physiotherapy soon (dependant on postal strike, I imagine).

So, some reflections on the past week:

Scar status: Long, dark and covered in glue.
Pain levels: Constant, dull aching but tolerable. Sharp pain every time I sneeze, cough, laugh etc.
Medication: Paracetamol and diclofenac (not sure what good they actually do though).
Crutch ability: Short trips around the flat are fine. Am a bit worried that I don’t really understand what ‘touch toe’ weight actually feels like and might be doing it wrong.
High point of the week: The relief of sitting on my own sofa yesterday and realising the worst was over.
Low point of the week: Morphine side-effects (see earlier post).
Lesson learned: What an amazing boyfriend, family and friends I have (actually, I already knew that).
Main achievement: Surviving. And not crying too much.
Gains: Massive scar; bruises on on my left hand and both arms from cannulas and injections; grabber (note: Bag strap + elastic bands + grabber = portable pick-up tool); wheelchair (on loan); new fold up table to work from chair; new nightdress; lots and lots of magazines and chocolates.
Losses: My mind (for brief moments); my dignity (on occasions); use of my right leg for a few months.

A higher state of consciousness (Friday) September 25, 2009

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Overall, today has been a very good day. I have had the catheter removed (it wasn’t as bad as I had feared, just stung for a sec) and have walked up and down the ward five times on my crutches. I’m no threat to Usain Bolt but I’m so relieved to have done it.

I have had lots of wonderful visitors to come and paint my toe nails, make my ward smell nice and generally entertain me with ridiculous stories.

Now that I am off all of the horrible drugs I realise how out of it I have been for the last few days. I brought lots of stuff with me to watch and read and managed to do none of it. Not even a whole puzzle from Pick Me Up. Just as well the internet wasn’t working before as I would have sent illegible emails anyway.

Ive heard the Features Editor is very good

I've heard the Features Editor is very good

My hip hasn’t been hurting much at all. It aches after I have walked about for a few minutes but otherwise is behaving well. Fingers crossed I can go home on Sunday as planned!

And, I found out I only have three screws in me.

Ready, steady, go! September 21, 2009

Posted by hiphoperation in Pre-op.
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In exactly 12 hours I will be checking in to UCLH. Thankfully it has been a busy day at work so I haven’t had much time to worry. I do keep getting a sudden wave of nausea but have so far been able to contain it (which is just as well since the new boss started today and don’t want him to think I’m a total nutcase).

Last night I went crazy on the internet and found lots of really helpful websites written by women (seems to be a predominantly female problem) who have been through exactly the same procedure.  I have started adding links to some of them on the right and will add more later. Whilst reading some of the details did make me feel sick with fear it is a huge support to know that people have not only survived the experience but are feeling better!

A lovely lady called Kate who sent me a message to wish me luck is back at the gym after just four months. This is bad news to me as I have never been happier than when I froze my (largely unused) gym membership for six months. I at least thought I’d be able to dodge the gym – damn it.

I am off home now to finish packing my bags. Before I go, I know that some, maybe two, people were extremely interested and concerned with the nightdress situation. I did give in and go to Cath Kidston. I thought: if I am going to wear a bl**dy nightdress for the first time in over a decade then I am going to buy one from an over-priced, aspirational lifestyle shop. So, for those who won’t have the pleasure of seeing it in the flesh, here is a preview. Imagine it accessorised with dark blue DVT socks and a catheter. Oh yes.

Thank you to all of my wonderful friends and family who have wished me luck – I love you all lots! Not sure if I’ll be able to write tomorrow but will let you know how it goes as soon as I can.