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The Hip Talk Discussion Forum was hacked a few weeks back. It has taken me a long time to fix it. The only backup I could use was way back to April 2020. All members and posts up to that date are available. Anything newer has been lost. I am sorry, but that has been the only way to get things up and running again.

Author Topic: The mental game for those facing surgery.  (Read 2853 times)

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JHippy

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The mental game for those facing surgery.
« on: June 18, 2015, 08:09:40 AM »
No doubt about it. Facing the idea of surgery sucks. There are risks. And usually by the time you decide to go ahead with it you've come to a point where you'd much rather take the risks than continue living with the hand you've been dealt.

We all know that choosing the right surgeon is paramount. Let me repeat that: choosing the right surgeon is paramount. It's by far the most important thing. So you do your research and make the best decision you can. You know when you're ready. And when you are you put your trust and faith in your surgeon and the other capable professionals that help you through.

But there's still a part that belongs to you and that's your mental attitude.

Yes everyone's circumstance is different. Everyone heals at their own pace. But I do believe that how you think affects how you heal, and it certainly affects how you cope with whatever obstacles you may face.

In my case I researched and researched and researched some more. That's how I am. I don't trust easily and I don't have blind faith in doctors. I respect the medical profession big time, but I firmly believe that we have to fight to get the care we deserve.

The hip is complicated. It really is. Seemed so daunting in the beginning. I was searching for a way to avoid surgery, so I was trying to learn all I could. I couldn't find the info I needed, so I was going to figure it out for myself. Good information is really hard to come by through normal channels. After you research for a long enough time you notice the same info regurgitated. A lot of it is marketing as well. Where is the real truth? When you're trying to dig deep it seems there's only so deep you can go. It actually took me probably years before I discovered resurfacing. Or maybe it was there and I didn't accept it as valid, so I didn't notice it back then.

I learned all about the hip. The names of the structures and how they work. I studied my own x-rays and any others that I could find. I learned about the procedures. I watched surgeries on youtube. I would learn one thing and that was raise new questions so I'd search for those answers. And round and round it went.

By the time I met Dr. Gross for the first time about 10 months ago -- over the phone for my consultation -- I felt (jokingly) like I could almost perform the surgery myself with I know LOL.

And was I really going to travel across the country to have surgery by someone I never met in person? How do vet this guy, just from internet research? To get a procedure done that most doctors recommend against? To fly out to South Carolina when I live in Los Angeles which one of the best medical centers in the country? This was hard to explain rationally to other people.

But I digress. Back to the mental game.

I think a key pillar is to be 100% comfortable in your decision. Whether you're a deep researcher like I am or not, you need to feel good about your decision. One of the reasons I waited so long for have the surgery was because I wasn't at the point yet where I could say this is it (resurfacing), that's my doctor, and I'm ready.

When I got to that point I contacted the doctors on my short list and ending up setting a date with Dr. Gross. Even then I kept in mind that could back out at any time. Up until the very last moment as they were prepping me for surgery there was still a part of me that was saying I could back out right now. I even asked my girlfriend that when we fly out there, if she sees anything, ANYTHING, that's not right or if she has any strange feelings to not hesitate to bring them up. Because even though we are there having bought the plane tickets and hotel we can still turn around and go home if it doesn't feel right. But after meeting the doctor and seeing the hospital she was 100% sure herself.

When I let them sedate me for the surgery I thought to myself, well I guess I'm not backing out. I felt I had made the right decision for me and I was ready.

Here's another point on mental game: Once I made the decision -- in that I booked the surgery and booked the flights and hotel and the ball was rolling -- I shifted my mental mode. I still researched and still looked for reasons not to proceed but more as a final due diligence. Other than that I started to imagine a great outcome. I stopped the what-ifs and worry. As I approached surgery I listened to a guided imagery audio that helped me a lot. I imagined the surgeons being incredibly skilled and professional. I imagined the surgery going flawlessly. I imagined my body responding perfectly and naturally without any intervention on my part. I imagined my guardian angels were watching over me. I imagined a smooth and 100% complete recovery. So another key pillar is to imagine the best. It will project it onto the universe and make it so. Plus, the mind mobilizes the body, so align them.

With that said, part of my decision was an agreement with myself that if I decide to cross this line and have this surgery, which is irreversible, that I will accept whatever happens -- good or bad -- and deal with it. It's a resignation of sorts where I will accept whatever the outcome. No looking back. If things don't go well I will accept it and I will deal with it. Part of the decision is being prepared (mentally, emotionally) to deal with whatever comes as a result. No looking back, no regrets. That's another key pillar.

And finally I hoped for the best and prepared for the worst. I honestly felt I was going to have a very slow and difficult recovery. Just basing this on where I believed I was physically. It may seem contradictory but while I was imagining the best outcome I was preparing for an extended time off work. I made sure I didn't book and gigs for 6 weeks after surgery. I arranged for help as if I was going to be practically bedridden or at least in need of lots of assistance for a few weeks. The opposite happened, my recovery was nothing short of amazing. (Well yes I did need assistance in the beginning but it was far less than I thought, especially after a week or two.) With my expectations being somewhat low, of course I was thrilled with my progress. Had my expectations been that I'd be running around like practically nothing happened after a few days I would have been very disappointed. So the last key pillar is manage your expectations.

In summary, the key pillars (IMHO of course):
- Feel confident in your decision.
- Imagine the best outcome; positive thoughts.
- Be prepared to accept and deal with whatever comes your way. No looking back, no regrets. You can handle it.
- Be realistic in your expectations. Your body will heal at it's own pace. Allow it to happen. Make room in your life for this.

Very little editing, so hope it reads well.

Now smile. :)

Would love to hear other thoughts on the topic as well!
Left HR; Dec. 17, 2014; Dr. Gross and Lee Webb NP;
uncemented Biomet Recap/Magnum; 50mm/56mm.

Pat Walter

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Re: The mental game for those facing surgery.
« Reply #1 on: June 18, 2015, 01:17:03 PM »
Hi jhippy

Excellent article.  I would like to post it on the main website if you don't mind.

Could you give me your first name only to use as author?

Thanks for taking time to write such a great piece.

Pat
Webmaster/Owner of Surface Hippy
3/15/06 LBHR De Smet

karlos.bell

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Re: The mental game for those facing surgery.
« Reply #2 on: June 18, 2015, 09:59:11 PM »
 :) Thanks J Hip. King Rob.
Excellent article. Thanks
Not sure how many have time to reply to such a good article.
Good on you. I myself went through pretty much what you have explained. It is hard work mentally. I had to prep myself mentally for a bilateral operation traveling  around the world and to get home walking again all by myself. I also had to prep myself for if I passed away - or even the surgery went wrong as even the best can get it wrong. But it didn't as I had planned in some contingencies in which I never had to use. That comforted me. It was the extreme end of my mental ability but I made it.
I also had to prep myself for all the critics at home as well "traveling again for surgery"?
The question came up several times "are you nervous" I was as cool as a cucumber. There was no hesitation, questions, my mind had it sorted and was subconsciously thinking about it all the time unbeknown to me. It also was logical I had options, leave it or do it.

There are other things that crop up, and we all have them example "been on crutches for 6 years my shoulders have a impingement thing now", but hey its not as bad as not been able to walk so mentally work through the issue.  Get it sorted. King rob he had a torn muscle "no fix" but hey he got through it, good on him for his perseverance 8) .
Similar I blew my L3, L4 disc out into the spinal cavity due to the right hip injury and issues. They said I would never walk again 2007, there was no help but hey I found an orthopedic bloke in Germany that put some disc's in my back yep fixed that too. So I worked through the issues. Back, Hips.... ;)
Some of us do not seem to be built or designed long lasting I am not really sure why, some others seem to be bullet proof.

The mental state is the big part to continue on in life now what ever it throws at you.
To get that smile back on your face is the one. :D
I realize issues will always arise but life seems to be quite short if we did not try and do something about the issue we have or had.
I hope in the end not to worry about it my hips, back and other stuff and my mind then can be at ease or peace.
I look forward to more stuff from  J Hip :)
Cheers K

2019-2020 THR Left & Right COC Revision Zim Continuum cup with Biolox Delta Cer Liner, Biolox Delta Cer Head 40mm 12/14 Taper, CPT Stem Cem.
2019-2020 removal of Hip Resurfacing due to Metal Toxicity Cobalt - Chromium.
2011-2013 FAI hip surgery failure
2007-Injury wakeboarding with FAI Hyperflexion

JHippy

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Re: The mental game for those facing surgery.
« Reply #3 on: June 18, 2015, 11:47:24 PM »
Hi jhippy

Excellent article.  I would like to post it on the main website if you don't mind.

Could you give me your first name only to use as author?

Thanks for taking time to write such a great piece.

Pat


Hi Pat. Absolutely! My name is James. That's the "J" in JHippy :)

Left HR; Dec. 17, 2014; Dr. Gross and Lee Webb NP;
uncemented Biomet Recap/Magnum; 50mm/56mm.

JHippy

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Re: The mental game for those facing surgery.
« Reply #4 on: June 19, 2015, 12:00:57 AM »

Kingrob, wow. Carlos, wow. Those are an amazing stories. Glad it worked out for both of you. Very inspirational.


There are some really special doctors out there. Finding them is the hard. We're lucky! Pat, you've made such a difference for so many people with this amazing resource.


:)
Left HR; Dec. 17, 2014; Dr. Gross and Lee Webb NP;
uncemented Biomet Recap/Magnum; 50mm/56mm.

karlos.bell

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Re: The mental game for those facing surgery.
« Reply #5 on: June 22, 2015, 06:03:41 AM »
 8) :) Hey guys cool J Hip, King Rob, Pat, others. One thing I keep in context it may never be the same as it was...... But..... it should be a hell of a lot better than suffering for the rest of my life. There may be things I should not do any more but there may be things I can do now.
So that in the end makes me happy... :D Life then is better.. Cheers K
2019-2020 THR Left & Right COC Revision Zim Continuum cup with Biolox Delta Cer Liner, Biolox Delta Cer Head 40mm 12/14 Taper, CPT Stem Cem.
2019-2020 removal of Hip Resurfacing due to Metal Toxicity Cobalt - Chromium.
2011-2013 FAI hip surgery failure
2007-Injury wakeboarding with FAI Hyperflexion

surfhippy

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Re: The mental game for those facing surgery.
« Reply #6 on: June 23, 2015, 02:07:34 PM »
Nicely written! I'm sure this hits home with just about all of us. Having a positive state of mind is going to be your friend throughout the surgery/healing process. I went into my outpatient surgery with Dr. Gross, in good shape, and a good attitude. I figured being in good shape would help with my rehab, and it seems to have helped as I'm 11 weeks post op and feeling great. Still have more of the recovery road ahead of me, but the road is getting smoother all the time.
Mark / Dr. Gross Uncemented Biomet Right Hip Outpatient Surgery on 4/6/2015

 

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