Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Lessons Learned

Some images may not be suitable for young children or Jim.

Surgery is over and things are going as well as can be expected. I have spent the last 3 weeks sitting in my recliner, watching a lot of TV. I had always thought that that would be a great way to spend your days, but now that I don't have a choice, I am getting tired of it. Like they say, "Be careful what you wish for". 

Before going into this operation, it seemed like so many people would tell us that they knew someone who went through it. A cousin, a neighbor or a co-worker. And every time they would tell us that there was an immediate relief of pain after surgery versus before surgery. Although I do believe them when they say that, but it makes me wonder if things have been left out of the equation. 

For instance, let's call the time before surgery "A". Then let's call the time after surgery where you are fully healed "C". I can see where there would be a noticeable improvement from point A to point C. So what's missing is the time in between that nobody talks about. "B". That is where I am currently floundering in and from a first hand perspective, it sucks. 

When you think about that type of operation and what they have done to your body, it should not be a shock to how much pain you are feeling. If you Google "hip replacement surgery" you can see what they are doing to your body. It is very traumatic to say the least.

My thigh for instance. I am/was black and blue from my hip to my knee.

Along with the bruising, the skin on my thigh is hyper sensitive to touch. Just putting a finger on my thigh feels like you are trying to push a knife through it. 

Swelling is another issue and now after 3 weeks it is finally subsiding some. Right after surgery it was about twice the size of my other leg.
They told us to get a walker. I don't go a step without hanging onto that for dear life. I just hobble around everywhere with it. Walking has been difficult but it is getting easier. I am sore from my hip down to my knee. I have knee pain because for them to work on my femur, they had to dislocate it from my knee joint. 

There are two different ways that they can do a hip replacement and I am unsure of the differences. One way is to go through the side of the hip to do it. The other is to go through the front of the hip. That is how they did mine. They make a 4 inch incision to do it. 
No stitches. Just some kind of mesh covering the incision. I still don't know how they could pull that femur through that, cut the head off, insert a titanium ball joint and socket through there. It was probably a good thing I was knocked out. Speaking of being knocked out. Remember how I said that it took them 14 tries to do my spinal block. Lisa took a picture of my back when we got home.
Each little dot is an attempt with a needle.

So what have I learned from all of this. Well I have learned to live with non-stop pain. Once the Oxycodone that they send you home with is gone, the only other thing you can take for pain is Tylenol, which really doesn't do a thing for it. 

I learned that if you want a peaceful night of sleep, that is just not going to happen. I can't have the sheets or blankets touching my thigh and if you try to roll over to find a more comfortable position, the pain wakes you up. To be honest, there really are no comfortable positions. 

I have learned that doing anything for yourself is difficult to say the least. From going to the bathroom, sitting at the dinner table or just getting up out of your chair. It is a struggle that causes pain and discomfort.

I have learned that at Physical Therapy, they try to see how much pain you can take. I know in the future that if I ever have to do the other one, the pain would have to be unbearable before I go through this again. Maybe I will just get a scooter and say "To hell with it" and just scoot around everywhere.

Last night was a milestone for me. After more than three weeks, I had my first beer. That may be a new world record for me. It was good, so good. It was like drinking the nectar from the gods. I only had one if you can believe that.

Christmas is fast approaching so we would like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.