Just got home yesterday from Mt. Shasta. I am so grateful that decisions were made to cause me to travel that far for surgery. For anyone with a liking to personalized service, strong spiritual support, and the beauty of outdoors and small towns, I highly recommend it. From my very first phone call to Denise at Dr. Ure’s office, to my very last goodbye to John at the hospital, I can’t say enough good things. EVERYONE from the motel manager to the hospital nutritionist were extremely personable and very supportive. I really am impressed.THANKS TO ALL!
Now for my little surgery story: I had severe OA in my left hip, but held on to my own joint over 20 years hoping it would go away or technology would improve. I used a lot of alternative and western medicine therapies and the orthopods that looked at my x-rays were impressed that I was still as active as I was. But this June after a surfing trip the pain never relented, and I ended up with a bad limp and a cane, and knew the time had come.
Dr. Ure performed total resurfacing surgery using Birmingham BHR on Monday afternoon. I was surprised when I checked in for surgery I had a slight fever. I’d had some sinus problems leading up to that but it was assumed to be viral. So I woke up about four hours later in my room with no pain (epidural and other dope still in strong control). Dr. Ure checked me out that afternoon as did the PT and they all said I was doing fine. That night my fever faired up to 101 and I felt really shitty, like I had the flu. I used a couple of the morphine drops for comfort and I think they gave me something for the fever. The next morning I felt better and was able to eat breakfast. Still very little surgical pain. The PT cam by that morning and we did some movement things. That afternoon/evening my fever faired again and I felt really bad. They controlled it with Tylenol and a couple of more morphine drips. Really hard to sleep just due to fever thing…. So the next morning I felt much better again and we took out the morphine button. As the fever this came back each afternoon I took Tylenol and Percoset..and some Ambien at night for sleep. Sleep was the magic that was so hard to get….I’m a side sleeper and usually not very good at it anyway. With the fever and lack of mobility sleep was very difficult to achieve.
On Wednesday I got blood in my urine…another complication. These ancillary complications were much worse than the surgical pain. We decided to stay at the hospital another night.
By Thursday the blood was gone from my urine and my fever was starting to go down. I checked out of the hospital Friday morning and we flew back to Solvang on Saturday.
It is so good to be home!!!! I slept 12 hours last night and fever is gone. I feel more surgical pain now and my incision looks more black and blue. I’m using Celebrex, Tramadol, and Tylenol for pain, plus now I’ve kicked back in some great supplements like fish oil, SAME and alph-lipoic acid.. Pain at rest is 0-1. Pain when walking is 3-8. Two crutches. Having never had major surgery or illness before, the concept of being so dependent on help and immobilized is still something for me to grasp.
So if this helps anyone just the tiniest bit, good. If not, it’s a great place to journal my story.
Kevin L-BHR Dr. Ure 10-8-07
This is a running journal entry but I’m going to copy and paste in different categories to see if I get help.
I downshifted yesterday and even more today, trying to come to terms with movement in a pain level of less than 4, as . I think I was trying too hard. It is not a race, it is a healing.
One observation that I’ve had since I was in the hospital and for which the continued referred pain in my knee and thigh (my hip and the incision area feel ok) may be responsible for is increased leg length on the operated side.
My operated side had been about 3/8- 1/2 inch shorter and I was wearing a lift in my shoe to compensate. Interesting over all the years how different professionals would measure and come to conclusion about where the shortness was. Some said leg, some said due to the deteriorated joint, some said pelvis structure. Anyway, I had discussed this with Dr. prior to surgery and it was apparent on my x-ray that the left hip socket was distinctly higher than the right. Dr. Ure said he thought he could change that through the surgery, which I agreed to.
Now my operated left leg feels distinctly longer (seems like an inch) than the right when standing up. If I stand up to what feels straight my right foot is actually off the flor or I’m standing on the ball of the right foot in a lifted position. If I put all the weight on the right side, my left leg must stay bent. This is not a good feeling, along with the pain.
What a difference paying attention to my body made. By slowing down and keeping moving pain always under a 4, I feel a huge jump in welfare in just one day. I think I got a handle on this now. Only thing is, I felt so good today, I may have overdone the walking…but it sure was fun! This morning was so beautiful I actually drove through the valley with my wife taking pictures of the fall scenery.
I think my issue with leg length will resolve….seems to be common complaint that usually goes away…and I’ve noticed that posturally, my stance and balance are radically different than with the funky old joint. So I think I just have a lot of unlearning and relearning to do. Also, some people have said it is a physiological thing with surgical recovery, swelling, etc.
This note to Dave Kelly who is also considering Dr. Ure sums it up:
Hey Dave…how’s it going? I’m doing a little one day, then I do too much and the next day I’m tired. So goes life huh? Anyway today I feel good, I walked two blocks with just barely the assist of a 4 5″ wheeled rollingwalker on part of my stride. I find I can stand up straighter and work on balance and stride by kinda letting this walker roll along with me and only touching it as needed. Got my house routine down now and also this was the first day I didn’t wake up with a nasty headache. I think the headache was due to neck complication (more calcification) and the crutch use. I started a routine of upper body/neck/shoulder stretches yesterday, and applied heat and ice before bed and walah!! no headache.
Oh and I can’t say enough good things about Denise at Dr. Ure’s. She helped me yesterday track down some durable medical goods (I’m getting a different kind of crutch) in an instant. Ordered and paid for through insurance, when I’d spent half the day in frustration dealing with insurance and trying to find the thing. If you choose Dr. Ure, rely on here heavily for all help…she comes through with simplicity and she loves it.
Have you made any decisions yet? Give me a call if you want to talk.
I’m really stoked to have a joint that doesn’t keep telling my body how to move….just gotta get all the tissue happy now.
3 week update:
Well, days seem long when you don’t have to work and small things seem larger. Overall I’m stoked with my progress. I just have to ignore the little stuff and give it to the bigger power of the universe….and of course to my surfacehippy support group.
Dr. Ure was kind enough to reply to my email of two weeks ago regarding leg length….as we already figured out…it is most likely perceptual.
I had some interesting questions for Dr. Ure regarding his view of PT. He really doesn’t recommend it for 6-8 weeks post-op but when you leave Mercy Medical they give you a a set of exercises to do 5-7- times a day. I’m going to my PT once a week and I find that he really helps my stay right with the exercises and explains healing and the muscle stuff which is very reassuring. So I’m waiting for a response from Dr. Ure on this issue. It’s so great that he is accessible by email.
Also, I’ve had a really bad time getting a much needed forearm PLATFORM crutch. I need it because I have a bad right wrist and the regular crutch is causing pain and swelling, and probably screwing up the little bone I have left in there. Apria health care tried to deliver a Forearm crutch to me….NO WAY….this has been a constant problem…..no one seems to understand that a PLATFORM crutch supports you weight with your elbow, not wrist. Anyway, after a lot of research, I’ve found that there are safety concerns with the PLATFORM crutch….but I think it’s BS. They are available on the market for about $170, but I can’t get my insurance to pay and I can’t afford. None of the local loan pools have one. If anyone out there has one, please let me know.
So I ordered some trekking poles today for $35…maybe that will help.
I’m getting around pretty well. Able to walk a couple of steps with no crutch. Walked about a mile today with the walker. It’s better than the crutch. I just kinda push it in front of me and only touch it on part of my stride.
I’ve cut the Tramadol in half but still taking 200 mg Celebrex. I’ll be happy when I’m able to get off that crap. The pain level in my wrist is as bad as the hip at times. The pain in my hip is mostly around the groin..and down to the knee…unfortunately some of the same pain pathway I had before surgery…It will take some manipulation (massage, acupuncture, yoga) probably to get my body to forget that pain channel.