Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Two Weeks!

Today is the two weeks since my surgery, and I can't quite believe how well I'm feeling.   I can stand, and hobble a bit without my walker, and am having lots of fun scooting about on it. Then I wave admonishing finger at myself, mentally. Slow down, Anthea. 

When I look back on my the two week mark on this blog (It's a Rollercoaster!), I remember the frustration. It's a long haul, that's for sure. As before, I ran out of Dilaudid, and went back to Celebrex topped up with Tylenol. The pain is always there in the background, even with painkillers. Without them - too much!

This time around, I had a two week follow-up call from Colleen at the Joint Replacement Clinic. It was very useful in answering a few questions I had.

Off with the bandage!
I mentioned to a nurse in the hospital that I'd only changed my dressing once last time. She said that people often mess around with their dressings too much. So this time I haven't even pulled it up to take a peek. Colleen said I could peel it off, and take a shower without it. 

Some people get staples, but my surgeon used steristrips, which will eventually fall off. The drugs make me sweaty and stinky, so showers feel extra wonderful. The only slight drawback is that if I don't have help, my left leg has to airdry.

Last time I was waiting for my 6 week surgeon visit, hoping that he'd lift my restrictions. That was before my physio explained the reasons for them. Besides the outside incision, the inner joint capsule is also cut. It needs to grow thick scar tissue to keep my new, ceramic femoral head in place. 

My restrictions, if you remember are:
1. don't bend at the hip past 90 degrees
2. don't twist at the hip
3. don't cross the operated hip over the midline of the body

I have to keep these restrictions for three months, so everything heals up tight and strong. During the operation, the surgeon dislocates the hip, so he can get at the acetabulum (hip socket) and femoral head (the top of the thigh bone). With too much range of motion, the new hip is in danger of re-dislocating, again and again. We wouldn't want that!

As with most things, it's easier the second time around. It works for me to keep the alignment between my pelvis and my thigh bone from going past 90 degrees. So if I turn, I turn with my whole body. If I bend forward, I keep my pelvis upright, rather than tipping it forward. I feel like I live in a pelvic tilt. 

I remembered another reason I don't use my reacher much. I don't need it for getting dressed. When I put on my pants, I hold them as low as I can without tipping my pelvis forward, and lift my operated foot up as high as I can without going outside of my restrictions. This allows me to (just barely) hook my foot into the top of my pant leg, then squirm it up to the top of my thigh. Then I put my other leg in, pull my pants up, and... Voila!

Today's quote: 'Slow and steady wins the race.' the Tortoise and the Hare

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