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Author Topic: The New Normal  (Read 4161 times)

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Jenn Marie

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The New Normal
« on: July 08, 2011, 03:03:37 PM »
I am an active and busy 37 year old elementary school principal and mother of 5 who had THR on my right hip three weeks ago.  Reading posts of people my age and even younger has reassured me that I am not alone.  I ran my first (and probably last) marathon last November and that's when the pain in my right hip started.  X-rays confirmed I had no cartilage left in the joint (how is that even possible!) and I could take pain pills to deal with it or have surgery.  After much research on the internet and hearing personal stories, I decided to go for the surgery.
It has been 23 days since my surgery and I am walking with stiffness, but considerably less pain than pre-surgery.  However, I am trying to adjust to the "new normal" and have a few questions.
Will I always feel the strangeness of a foreign object in my hip when I first wake up and stretch?  I swear I can feel the joint.
Do people ever stop treating you like an invalid, like by asking "should you be doing that" or "why didn't you ask for help?"
Will people ever get over the shock of a young person needing a new hip?  I feel like an alien specimen.
Do you ever just "forget" you have a titanium joint?  Should you?  The one time I let it slip my mind, I sat on the driveway to do sidewalk chalk with my 9 year old and was scared to death I had popped it out of joint.
Will there come a time when I won't worry about popping it out of joint!
I haven't had any side effects to the metal that I am aware of, but could I develop an allergy over time?
These are just a few of my thoughts as a new surface hippy.  Any words of wisdom (or comfort) are welcome.  Thanks! :)
The time is always right to do what is right.

bothdone

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Re: The New Normal
« Reply #1 on: July 08, 2011, 03:27:03 PM »
Hi Jenn

Welcome!

I had a BHR on my left leg over 7 years ago and on my right leg over 3 years ago.    I can honestly say that I think about my hips every single day - they are part of me.    However.....

Both hips feel just like other joints - like my shoulder or wrist.  I am not aware of any difference.   Whilst I think about them, I still make use of them.   Last Friday I went hiking up stony paths and open moorland to a beacon on Dartmoor (South West England).  I probably didn't think about my hips on the way up, whilst wandering about on the high points, or on the way down.

A couple of months ago I was in my garden taking close up photos when I stepped back and fell down a couple of steps.   I landed hard on the ground and lay there wondering if I'd done any damage to the hips.     Both hips OK.  I did, however, break the camera lens and strain a muscle in my back as I twisted on the way down.

I'm just off to the gym to blast away on an exercise bike and then another hike tomorrow.

As a final point, at about 6 months after each op I realised I felt so much better.  You are at a very early stage now.   If you are careful and don't push too hard your recovery should go well.    Very best wishes to you.

Ed
LBHR 25 May 2004
RBHR 19 March 2008

Lopsided

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Re: The New Normal
« Reply #2 on: July 08, 2011, 04:15:57 PM »
I am an active and busy 37 year old elementary school principal and mother of 5 who had THR on my right hip three weeks ago

Why did you have a THR and not get a resurfacing?

Reading posts of people my age and even younger has reassured me that I am not alone.

You are certainly not.

Will I always feel the strangeness of a foreign object in my hip when I first wake up and stretch?  I swear I can feel the joint.

Possibly you will always be aware of your hip. But you might grow to enjoy it.

You have not said much about what type of THR you got. Small or large ball? Ceramic, MoM, PE? The two patients that I met that had large ball ceramic THR at the same time as my resurfacing operation, are pleased with their hips, and one has returned to sport.

I am continuously aware of my implant, because that joint feels better than all other joints in my body.

Do people ever stop treating you like an invalid, like by asking "should you be doing that" or "why didn't you ask for help?"

Well don't tell them. No one treats you any differently.

Will people ever get over the shock of a young person needing a new hip?

Most of the people in the world are not aware you have had a hip replacement. The few people that are interested are those who also have degenerated or replaced hips. A friend of mine had bilateral ceramic THRs and he is in his early twenties. He is pleased with his hips and glad that he can enjoy life without pain.

Lots of young people need their hips done.

I feel like an alien specimen.

Can you post a picture?

Do you ever just "forget" you have a titanium joint?  Should you? 

I cannot forget my cobalt chrome joint, but I am quite pleased with it. I most definitely live my life well.

I haven't had any side effects to the metal that I am aware of, but could I develop an allergy over time?

It might be possible, but would be extremely unlikely.

Any words of wisdom (or comfort) are welcome.  Thanks! :)

  • Lots of young people need their hips replaced or resurfaced.
  • It is an opportunity to enjoy your life and your family more.
  • The rest of the world is totally indifferent.

D.




Proud To Be Dr. De Smet's First Uncemented Conserve Plus, Left, August 2010

lori.36

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Re: The New Normal
« Reply #3 on: July 08, 2011, 04:16:46 PM »
Hi Jenn,

I am also a 37 year old Mommy that just had a new hip installed.  For me, I would call this thread "getting back to normal."  I lived with pain for a year and now I am without pain.  I am at the 8 week marker and I am able to do all that I want to do except Yoga.  I am hoping at my three month appointment I will be given the green light on that.  I do have some clunking but I hope that all will go away and that I will forget about the impant.  Yesterday while swiming I was able to do the summersault at the wall, which I havent done in years.  Not even my husband is babying me anylonger and my kiddos are starting to jump on me, so I guess I am getting back to normal.
Take it easy and listen to your body.  I think at 23 days Post op and doing Sidewalk art is amazing!  Be happy and enjoy the sun.
So did you get a THR?
L-BHR 5-11-2011 Dr Rector
R-HR 9-11-2015 Dr Gross

hernanu

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Re: The New Normal
« Reply #4 on: July 08, 2011, 04:52:16 PM »
Hi Jenn, welcome to hippyland! I agree with all the comments, and can tell you that we've all probably had the same feelings. Lori in particular is close to your situation, so she (as usual) can give good advice.

I think a lot of the issues you brought up will be less of a problem as you do more with your hip and become more confident in it. I had the same concerns, they all have attenuated as I exercise, walk and do a lot of other stuff (including being in a car crash). I think if you read people's posts, they have many experiences and challenges that have given them more confidence in their hips.

You have valid concerns, but all of these become less as you become more experienced and happier with your quality of life.
« Last Edit: July 08, 2011, 04:53:41 PM by hernanu »
Hernan, LHR 8/24/2010, RHR 11/29/2010 - Cormet, Dr. Snyder

Jenn Marie

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Re: The New Normal
« Reply #5 on: July 08, 2011, 06:12:15 PM »
Thanks, Lopsided, for reminding me that it doesn't matter what anyone else thinks about my surgery. I am very active in my church and community and have had to explain my condition many, many times.   I was on crutches after the marathon for 6 weeks when it was originally diagnosed as a femoral head stress fracture and I had 600+ students and staff members who wanted to know what had happened and were surprised when I had to have my joint surgery.  I guess it just gets old explaining it to people and I have never known anyone to have hip surgery, much less someone my age.  I did have the Birmington metal on metal resurfacing surgery instead of total replacement.  I guess it's pretty clear from my post that I am struggling with accepting my new joint.  I'm sure with time, it will become more natural.
Also, thank you to Lori36 and the others who gave the good advice.  I have been blessed with excellent health all of my life and have been frustrated by the recent restrictions and limitations.  I know from reading so many posts how lucky I am that a surgery exists to alleviate Osteoarthritis.   Can you imagine living most of your life with that kind of pain caused by bone on bone friction?  I want to run with my kids again and tie my own shoes and get in and out of my car without wincing.
It is reassuring to hear from others on Hip Talk that my apprehension and concerns are normal.  I know no one personally who has had hip resurfacing or replacement.  I spent many hours on Surface Hippy and reading everyone's blogs prior to surgery to become better educated.  This is an outstanding forum.   

The time is always right to do what is right.

hernanu

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Re: The New Normal
« Reply #6 on: July 08, 2011, 07:05:43 PM »
So you had resurfacing? I did as well, on both hips.
Hernan, LHR 8/24/2010, RHR 11/29/2010 - Cormet, Dr. Snyder

lori.36

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Re: The New Normal
« Reply #7 on: July 08, 2011, 07:24:26 PM »
Hi Jenn,

I know what you mean about explaining your surgery to others.  I live in a remote area, where they do not even perform the surgery, so no one knows about it.  I do have to say that having the arthritis, I was hanging out at the pool, with the older crowd, to swim laps.  I meet many people that had the THR, and only one woman knew about BHR and was against them.   >:(  Very puzzling, but each person makes up there own mind. 
In regards to feeling normal, you will, it happens with time.  Again I am at the 8 weeks and able to do pretty much everything that I want.  I havent felt this good since prior to childbirth, which was 4 years ago.  The cane went away at 4 weeks and I still had a limp, the limp went away at 7 weeks and my athletic performance is amazing now.  I can now take my kids to the park, grocery store, or even the airshow all by myself!  That is a normal mommy.  It will happen, it just takes a little time and time goes quickly with kids.
L-BHR 5-11-2011 Dr Rector
R-HR 9-11-2015 Dr Gross

Tin Soldier

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Re: The New Normal
« Reply #8 on: July 08, 2011, 08:29:28 PM »
You came to the right place.  These folks here are super supportive and there's lots of great info here. 

I had a lot of the same questions early in recovery.  5 months now and I don't think about the hip much, a little clunk, and poor range of motion (ROM), but no pain.  I'm doing those things that I thought would go away from having a bad hip.  I certainly haven't gotten back to full speed on everything, but there is a bit of acceptance (accepting that I might not be going full speed again, I might, but I'm not going to expect it) that actually gives me a positive outlook.

I still have people asking if I should be doing certain activities, I've gotten used to it.  Also, I like talking about HR.  I learn a lot when I talk with folks about it, even people who are clueless about HR.  There's always a perspective from someone. 

In short, I think Lopsided summed it up pretty well.

Also with the metals issue, you should look at the metals subforum and Pat has a page here on SurfaceHippy that has a great article she wrote on the subject.  I wouldn't worry about the metals issue.  I think it gets a lot of undeserved attention.   

Hang in there, every day gets better.
LBHR 2/22/11, RBHR 8/23/11 - Pritchett.

hipnhop

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Re: The New Normal
« Reply #9 on: July 09, 2011, 12:26:25 AM »
Jenn welcome to the crew. It's been almost 4 months for me and the main thing i feel is the scar tissue.  I try rubbin it, slappin it, kickin it and it still feels tight and a little itchy at times.

Every week I get better. Today I hit the heavy bag at the gym. I was moving like Muhammad Ali. "I'm so fast I can turn off the lights and get in bed before the room gets dark" type of speed.

I dont mind when people treat me special. At a recent AquaVelo (Swim/Bike) race I tried wearing a shirt saying that I had my Hip Resurfaced 3 months ago. I was hoping that the other athletes would feel sorry for me and let me pass. They showed no mercy.

Use it to your advantage. Tell all those elementary schools Angels Principal Jenn needs a break. Any one caught messing up will have to polish your metal.  Scare them straight!!!
3/2011 and 2/2012 HR Dr. Craig Thomas

FlbrkMike

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Re: The New Normal
« Reply #10 on: July 09, 2011, 02:40:29 AM »
Use it to your advantage...

I have a California temporary handicap placard that expires in August.  I haven't really used it since maybe three weeks after my RBHR because I really don't need to and I'd feel guilty using it even though it's legal, and I'd rather get the walking in anyway.

I've had jury duty for the past four days and was running late this morning.  The parking lot was very full, but there was an empty handicap spot right in front of the entrance.  So, I pulled out the placard and used it.  I don't feel that guilty...
Dr. Ball
56 years old
LBHR 2/11/11
RBHR 3/11/11

John C

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Re: The New Normal
« Reply #11 on: July 09, 2011, 03:48:42 AM »
Quote
Use it to your advantage.

Sorry, but people using handicapped placards when they are not severely handicapped is a real sore point for me. There are not that many handicapped spaces around, and they need to be left available for the people that really need them. When my 90 year old mother had a severe stroke on top of her failing THR, and could not make it more than fifty feet or so on her walker before needing to sit and rest, we really needed to find handicapped spots for her, or she would not make it to the door of wherever we were going. If there is a wheelchair van that needs to load and unload a wheelchair from a side door lift, they really need the extra space of a handicapped spot, or they simply cannot get in or out to reach where they are going.
I cannot see most resurfacing candidates needing a placard, though as FibrMike pointed out, the first few weeks for a bi-lat could sure make sense.
Nothing wrong with accepting a note from your doc for a placard if he thinks you will be a special case that will need one, but if you are to the point where you are doing laps around the hospital corridors on your crutches, or crutching to the end of the block to get your new hip moving, lets save the handicapped spots for people who really need them just to be able to get to their destination at all.
Sorry for the rant, but if you are ever involved in transporting someone who really needs those handicapped spaces, you will soon realize how important they are.
John/ Left uncemented Biomet/ Dr Gross/ 6-16-08
Right uncemented Biomet/Dr Gross/ 4/25/18

rbt2011

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Re: The New Normal
« Reply #12 on: July 09, 2011, 01:24:25 PM »
Jenn Marie and all who replied:

Thanks for sharing your individual experiences and best of luck to everyone as you continue your recovery. 

I am still "unfixed" waiting on some insurance issues to be resolved, still choosing a doctor, and still choosing a device.  For what it is worth, your concerns and personal stories about feeling the joint, constantly thinking about popping it out of place, agitation with having to explain why you need a hip replacement at a young age, etc., etc. really help us folks that haven't yet taken the plunge. 

Taking these concerns you wrote about along with stories of those whose recoveries are inspiring to me (hipnhop, lori36, hernanu, tinsoldier, just to name a few).

Best of luck on your continued recovery to everyone!! 
Right side BHR 11/29/2011

lori.36

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Re: The New Normal
« Reply #13 on: July 10, 2011, 03:18:38 PM »
JohnC- I use my handicap pass in extreme situations.  Ex yesterday went to the airshow w/ kiddos(2 under 5).  The parking they had everyone parking in a really muddy lot.  I used the pass for preventative, it seemed better to be safe than sorry. We are still healing and need to take precautions.
Hipnhop,  I know at our courthouse all parking is 2 hour, but if you put the handicap pass up you can park anywhere all day.  Check with the city
L-BHR 5-11-2011 Dr Rector
R-HR 9-11-2015 Dr Gross

FlbrkMike

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Re: The New Normal
« Reply #14 on: July 10, 2011, 04:53:27 PM »
Quote
Use it to your advantage.

Sorry for the rant, but if you are ever involved in transporting someone who really needs those handicapped spaces, you will soon realize how important they are.

Now I do feel guilty   :-[ , and also completely agree with your rant.

I used the placard several times when first out of the hospital, especially when I was on crutches and my wife was still driving me around.  Our local Costco store has at least 20 handicap spaces and they are invariably filled within 1/2 hour of the store opening, even if the rest of the lot only has 20 or 30 cars in it.  I always found this to be somewhat mystifying.  I read somewhere that in California  the number of handicap permits (permanent and temporary) is equal to about 10% of the number of registered vehicles.  It's hard to believe that there are that many legitimate users.  I read an article in the LA Times recently that DMV has started sending out investigators to counter the illegal use of the permits by people who aren't even the registered users.  This happens a lot in the LA area where parking is scarce and metered spaces are expensive.  Handicap permits allow you to park indefinitely at metered spaces withiout paying and, I believe, in loading zones, etc.

In my own defense, I would have been late to court if I had parked at the far end of the courthouse parking lot, and didn't want to keep the other jurors (and the judge, both attorneys and defendant) waiting.  There were at least 3 or 4 empty handicap spaces in front of the building, and I moved the car during our first break.  Yes, I was "taking advantage".

Dr. Ball
56 years old
LBHR 2/11/11
RBHR 3/11/11

Tin Soldier

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Re: The New Normal
« Reply #15 on: July 11, 2011, 07:46:47 PM »
Fun rant about parking permits for disabled.  I'd get involved, but I won't, actually a little.  The first week back to work from my 2-week no work recovery period, I got rides from some coworkers, the 2nd week back to work I had finished fashioning my "wicked" femur cane and was excited to use it, so I parked my usual 1/2 mile from the office and gimped in with cane.  It was probabaly a little much for me at that point.  Anyway, my coworkers reminded me that I could probably get a parking permit and I could park all day right outside my office.  I think I would have felt guilty.  So I never did the disabled parking thing.

I have 2 friends in a wheelchairs and often think of them with regards to HR and all that I've been through. That puts this all in perspective, not sure I'll ever feel like it's acceptable for me to use a disabled parking space.

Jenn - on the topic of questions ahead of time, I had almost all the same and it was really helpful getting help from folks here.  I had a lot more confidence going into surgery because of this forum. 
LBHR 2/22/11, RBHR 8/23/11 - Pritchett.

23109VC

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Re: The New Normal
« Reply #16 on: July 16, 2011, 06:11:29 AM »
My handicap placard is was good until this month but I quit using it because I felt guilty too.... It was legal but indent feel handicapped.

There was a window of time where I did need it...but Not anymore!  I'm glad to give it up!
Sean
Dr. Gross- Biomet uncemented, 2/23/11

Jenn Marie

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Re: The New Normal
« Reply #17 on: July 21, 2011, 06:32:14 PM »
Well, it's been 5 weeks now since my right resurfacing, and I'm feeling much better.  Thank you all for your encouraging posts.  You brought me out of my pity party, along with reading many other posts on various topics. 

I have been working hard in physical therapy getting ready for my 6 week post op appointment.  My son started football and I have been able to walk him there every day, even down a steep slope into the football stadium, (and back up again).  My son is 9 years old, in case you were wondering why his mommy needs to be there!  ;)

I am beginning to feel more like my old self, so I agree that instead of the new normal, maybe this is the start to a better normal, without nagging joing pain.  I'm not taking any medicine anymore and only get sore after my PT overworks my muscles, and even then, it's a completely different pain.

This is an amazing resource for anyone contemplating surgery or who has had BHR.  I enjoy checking back in with you all and know that we share a bond! (Though my BHR was cementless...sorry for the bad pun.  I work with preteens for a living!)
The time is always right to do what is right.

hernanu

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Re: The New Normal
« Reply #18 on: July 21, 2011, 11:06:15 PM »
I'm not sure the world is ready for a funny principal  :o . I'm glad you're seeing the improvement and it'll only get better.
Hernan, LHR 8/24/2010, RHR 11/29/2010 - Cormet, Dr. Snyder

lori.36

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Re: The New Normal
« Reply #19 on: July 22, 2011, 03:43:50 PM »
Jenn,  Very funny!  So happy that you are feeling great, 5 weeks is amazing with the amount of energy and ROM you get.  I am glad that you are enjoying things like taking your son to FB practice.  I am now at 10 weeks and I am doing everything that I want to do, minus yoga.  The clunking is disappearing and I do not have start up pain any longer.  So  ;D
I did want to ask, you have a BHR cementless, is that just the cup or the femoral head portion?
Again happy to hear all is well and that you are seeing the bright side :)
L-BHR 5-11-2011 Dr Rector
R-HR 9-11-2015 Dr Gross

 

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