"It takes a village to raise a Dad." (Something I said to my daughter's and wife after they turned my home into a recovery room!)
First, I would like to thank all of you for your thoughts, prayers, good wishes, speedy replies, and outcomes released out into the Universe. They all worked!
Second, this is a bit about getting and healing from hip surgery. It is not a medical column, advice column, or in any way a directive that you should follow. It is simply my experience with having a hip replaced; lesson learned, tips from experience, and the value of friends and family.
Hip surgery (for the most part) is elective surgery. You can live without getting it…it just won’t be much of a quality life that you would lead. Quality of life is important at any age, but slightly more important for us old folks because we don’t need as much to qualify for having a quality of life.
As long as we can dress ourselves, pee and poop every morning (AFTER getting out of bed), go for walks, get invited to Social things with folks we like to be around- and stay curious and engaged in the Mental and Emotional aspects of life; we are basically happy campers.
Little things mean a lot. And I mean a lot. Like I can sit in this chair to type at my computer. Something I can’t do for long (I will write this in short increments) but for the last week haven’t been able to do at all. I was cut off from part of my world. I discovered that I missed that part of my world, and they missed me!
I got well wishes from countries I have never been to (yet), from people I have only met through the wonders of StoryStar (Thank you Julie!)- people who want only the best for me to happen. I thank all of you. My email friends had a bit of an empty inbox for the last two weeks, and my inbox was full of good wishes.
So now, let’s get to the nuts and bolts- literally. I have nuts and bolts in me now. I have a hip designed by engineers and not Bob and AnnaMae Hughes. And goes what? It doesn’t hurt. For the first time since April of 2017…sitting without pain is back in my life. Oh sure, the Surgical pain is there- but not the mind numbing constant arthritic pain. I am almost pain free. Almost.
In five days.
This may be a bit disjointed and jump around a bit, I am still in enough pain that I can’t focus for long. Well, some would say I never could focus for long. Like this thought just popped into my head:
Last night while my Daughter and Kathy were treating me like a precious metal, or favored subject- my Kathy remarked: “Something is wrong with Daddy. He isn’t talking.”
That made me laugh. I am on a very limited pain protocol, basically ice and Tylenol. I am allergic to any of the big guns in the battle against chronic pain- so no Opioid addiction for me. Trying to get through hip surgery with meager pain tools was a bit tougher than I thought.
And I learned yet another little thing: People in pain don’t want to talk (usually). Not even me. There is a reason the Doctors want you to take that pain protocol for the first few days- and it isn’t to make themselves or Big Pharma rich. It is to help you heal. Your body needs to rest. Mine did.
A little bit of pain can be magnified by the simple fact that you don’t have anything to occupy your mind. So you think about how much you are hurting- and not about how much you are healing. Without the pain, or with muffled pain, you can rest. Sleep is nature’s cure all.
My Kathy and my daughter’s have been doing everything in their power to make my life simpler. My one daughter was willing to hop in her car and drive five hundred miles to pitch in. We didn’t need her this time, but next time, she has told us she is coming down as back up!
For the first three days I couldn’t even get into bed, or out of it. So here’s a tip for those of you who might choose to get a new hip one day: rent a hospital bed. Not only are they safer, can be adjusted in almost every direction, and have hand rails and supports, but they make egress and exit easier too.
(I always wanted to have a sentence that had alliteration with three “e’s” and now I have one.)
Okay, I have a day bed. Much lower than our big bed. Thank Kathy for thinking that through. I would have never made it into the big bed. The day bed is lower- and that helps more than you can possibly know. And you find out little things as you try and get in and out of that bed.
NOTE: When you have the Surgery, they want you go get out of bed as soon as possible. You can go home THE SAME DAY as the surgery- if you do like I did: pass the Physical Therapy tests, pee, and get in and out of bed by yourself. A Hospital Bed. Hint.
On our day bed is an old mattress with the raised loop of almost rope around the top and bottom. Usually those are no big deal and just help hold the sheets on the bed. Well, when you are wearing Plasma Socks (just picture an inflatable knee brace, and you will have a pretty good idea of what they are) that have chargers built into the sides- they catch on those stringy lips- and voila! Pain.
Who would think a little quarter of an inch difference would make such a difference, but it does. During the day it is suggested (Directed!) that you get up every hour and move around the apartment, house, or living facility. I just set my timer for an hour, and from Nine to Nine- I walk every hour. Only for a few minutes at a time - and those first two days it was a nightmare to do. Now? I have worked out some wiggles that allow me to scoot down and flop my legs over the edge of the bed, and up I go!
I am healing. A lot. I can walk without a walker for a few minutes, just limping around the house. I typed this email- and it exhausted me as much to write it as it did you to read it. LOL
I am now one of the thousands of folks who say: “I Should have done this a year ago!”
Still a long way to go, but compared to last week? Infinite progress.
I will write a more cogent post when I get my brains back from the pain fog.
Hugs to all of you who have kept my spirits up. It looks like I just might be able to dance at my daughter’s wedding, and walk on the beach too. Oh, and roll over. I haven’t been able to do that since February.
In Obedience School I would have had to take the class over again. LOL