May 9, 2012 I am almost 3 months post-op (BHR R hip; Dr. Antoniou), and the right hip did seem like it was going well…although I think I might have overdone things over the weekend climbing outside and then in the gym. I managed a pretty steep 11c and other 5.11’s in the gym (all on TR), but I still feel pretty fragile.
I have been climbing up and down a long set of stairs (kind of interval training), and using a stationary bike. Using rock rings, gymnastic rings, and the local community centre, too (although public pools gross me out so I don’t swim). This may sound great, but 3 months out I feel like I have a very long way to go…. and then I have to get the other hip done!
Last week, Antoniou’s office called me to tell me the hospital couldn’t take any more out-of-province patients. I wrote a letter to the hospital ombudsman… and it worked! The hospital decided that several of Antoniou’s patients are under his care, and we have rights. Now I want to get in and get the other hip done before they change their minds again.
I am surprised how long the recovery is actually taking me, and I am HURTING today. Of course, I am dealing with the back thing described above as well, so I am not a “normal” hip resurfacing….but still. I am guessing it will be another 3 months or so at this rate before I feel healed.
My back has been tweaking a lot over the last month, requiring a return to Tramadol and occasional Percocet. I get these shooting pains down my left leg that I believe are caused from damaged, scarred nerves from my back. When my hips hurt and muscles tighten up everywhere (guarding, spasming) it seems to set off a chain reaction and then my back gets into the game.
July 25, 2012 I am now 5.5 months post-op from BHR R hip. I am scheduled to have left hip done August 17th. To be honest, I am not sure what to think. My BHR right hip is far from “normal”, but I am doing a lot of activity: hiking, stair intervals….no running, because I can tell that I can’t do it. The undone hip bugs me so much, though, that it seems to overhadow everything. Then there’s the back and the associated nerve damage, so it’s a mess down there. I am making the best of a bad situation/ history, and I have done a lot with a messed up body, all thanks to great surgeons and medical care over many years.
Sitting is tough, but it seems to be coming more from undone left hip. Still, the BHR is giving me issues, and I am not sure if I should be expecting more at this stage….or what.
Here I am, about to go in for another surgery. The first week post-op in February ignited the scarred nerve tissue in my back (swelling, guarding set off this sciatica-like pain – not new) and the shooting pain was crazy for 7 days. Likely I will have to go through that again, and this time I am going to make sure I get enough pain meds before I go in for surgery as the hospital was severely lacking in this regard – despite my ample form-filling and e-mails prior to surgery about the pain issues I have been dealing with in the last few years. No question, Canada’s health care system needs to be brought into the modern age, but this seems to be less about surgical skill, and more about modernizing the administrative capabilities and systems the hospitals and health care system uses. It is embarrassing to be filling out the forms I have filled over and over, and to be relying on fax machines, etc.
This is hopefully the last surgery I will have to contend with for a long time.
August 16, 2012 Saw Dr. Antoniou yesterday, and he seems to feel that I can work weights on that new hip w/o danger. Doesn’t sound like he is a big fan of running, though, and I have been discouraged from doing this – at least for a a few months longer. Anyway, surgery tomorrow morning at 8. I can’t wait to get this month over with.
August 22, 2012 Whew!…it’s over. Sort of. Surgery was completed on August 17th, and I was in ICU awake by noon.
The surgery went well, as the resident I talked to said the bone all looked good, and they saw the region of wear and tear that was causing me grief. However – once again – I had to have a general anesthetic, as opposed to a spinal as my fusion is too large. The big difference between the two is for that both times I have had this the first 90 minutes coming out of it is a suffer-fest of extreme proportions: I came out of a general anesthetic with NOTHING for pain, and it it takes a while to get that morphine pump doing it’s job. Or maybe the ICU staff is lame… why can’t they just give me a shot and stop dicking around? It seems completely unnecessary and stone age. I was in a bad way for a very long time.
I went in on the Friday and was discharged at 2 pm Sunday. I only needed the walker for the first day up, and I am already getting around with just one cane if I am in the house (2 for outside). Incredible, and very different from the right hip.
But…I have had a return of the cursed nerve pain and I swear to God it’s like every medical person I talk to is hearing about my medical history for the first time. None of the nursing staff had anything in my chart about previous spinal surgery (uh- like 5 of them), and when I tried to explain the source of pain and discomfort I usually got very well-meaning but innexperienced responses about what would help.
The pain meds issued to me were completely inadequate, and I went through the 20 5 mg tabs of oxycodone I was given in 2.5 days – as I had these burning nerve pains in my foot (related to my back injury), and I still do. I tried to talk to the Head Nurse before leaving the ward when I received these lame meds about getting more, but she made it clear I would have to speak to Antoniou if I needed more. So of course, I did, once the pain started getting bad the night I left the hospital. It all just seemed so unnecessary after what happened in February. That said, they loaded me up with enough meds now and hopefully that will get me through what has been a tough period with pain. But pain medication is the new bogeyman, so anyone with chronic pain has to deal with this ultraconservative nonsense.
As happened in February, I have been soaking the bed with night sweats, and I am a little constipated. I’m not very hungry, and it’s tough to sleep.
It’s a beautiful day so I am going out for a walk. I hope to be back in the weight room next week, and I have already returned to desk-work part time. I still look at climbing magazines and fantasize about a return to that great sport: I have done it before, so I might as well do it again – just to show it can be done.
Lots to look forward to, and I hope anyone going through anything like my experience finds this information useful.
September 24, 2012 I am 6 weeks post-op, and for some reason the last week I have had a regular occurrence of nerve pain that has me back on the heavy meds. I am hoping this goes away with time, as I have noticed it is still really easy to overdo things and I am pretty keen.
September 28, 2012 I saw Dr. Antoniou on Tuesday, and he seems pretty psyched about my progress. He has been very personable and attentive – despite being obviously in huge demand with his time.
I am going to climb indoors on TR tomorrow, almost 6 weeks to the day of the last surgery. I ditched the cane last weekend .