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Author Topic: JD's story  (Read 17017 times)

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jd

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JD's story
« on: October 16, 2015, 08:18:03 PM »
I'm splitting my story off from the "almost time!" thread in the hip resurfacing topics area. Below are some ramblings as-of post-op day 2


I'm now post-op day 2 and doing fairly well. I was discharged and came back to the hotel yesterday afternoon (maybe 26 hours post-op) after demonstrating that I could do the PT exercises, walk up and down stairs, and generally get around OK.


In the hotel I found getting in and out of bed to be very difficult initially but it's already getting easier. My operated leg is much heavier than I expected when I try to lift it with the leg lifter! Showers, and a non-raised toilet seat are also pretty challenging at the moment. Things have improved drastically in the past 24 hours, but it's still fairly easy to move my leg in a way which causes some stabbing pain, so I need to be very careful. Sleeping is also difficult as I'm not used to sleeping on my back and ended up with a bunch of lower back pain by early morning.


My walking is going very well. I can now walk with a two-step gait (crutches and operated leg move simultaneously, then I step through with good leg, repeat) although obviously there's still some stiffness in the operated leg.


I went out with my wife this afternoon for some coffee. It felt good to get outside even though it's a little intimidating.


I haven't needed any immediate release Nucynta for the last 24 hours, but still taking the extended release ones. I'll probably need some extra tomorrow afternoon for the flight home. I'm lucky enough to have been able to use points to get first-class tickets back and we have AC sockets in the seats -- has anyone tried to use the ice machine on the plane? I'm pretty tempted to try to get it filled post-security and plug it in on the plane...

JHippy

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Re: JD's story
« Reply #1 on: October 17, 2015, 11:57:36 PM »
Sounds good!

After surgery I tried sleeping in the bed once or twice and didn't like it. I don't sleep well on my back either and I also felt trapped since it's hard to move the leg. I recommend getting yourself comfy in the cushy chair and making that work.

I didn't try to take the ice machine on the plane but I did ask the stewardess if there was any way she could put an ice pack together for me. I think she used trash bags and it worked great. That would have been a MUCH more uncomfortable flight without the ice.

Keep us posted! You're on your way. :)
Left HR; Dec. 17, 2014; Dr. Gross and Lee Webb NP;
uncemented Biomet Recap/Magnum; 50mm/56mm.

jd

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Re: JD's story
« Reply #2 on: October 18, 2015, 05:25:29 PM »
Back home safe and sound and feeling well, although I strongly recommend against following in my steps on the flights.


It's the morning of post-op day 4 and pain levels are pretty low. I'm working on weaning off the Nucynta now. I haven't had any immediate release since right after discharge from the hospital, and now I'm cutting back the extended release from 100 to 50mg per 12h. Try for zero tomorrow day, maybe 50mg again tomorrow night, then done. Obviously we'll see how that goes though!


Zero pain directly connected to just weight bearing on the leg. The muscles are still all fairly sore so stabilizing while weighting the leg occasionally tweaks a bit but the bone/implant/bone part of it doesn't seem to have any pain which feels great.


Psoas is still the least co-operative and painful of all, and very obvious when getting in and out of bed or a car (where I need to lift the leg and swing it to the side) but it's definitely better. Heel slides on the bed are now pretty easy and no longer painful.


I can sleep maybe 6 hours in bed at home before my back starts to get sore so I did that last night and then moved to the recliner for a couple of hours in the early morning.


I'm definitely less terrified of hurting myself now as things are clearly moving back toward "normal", but I keep reminding myself that it's only a few days and I really do need to be very careful still!


Alright, flights. We'd decided to splurge on first-class tickets back on American from Columbia to Charlotte and then to home in California (It was several hundred dollars cheaper to start in Columbia than Charlotte, but I knew that first hop was economy regardless). It all turned out OK as I wasn't in much pain anyway, but I would recommend against doing that. Frankly, it was almost comical how rude and incompetent the vast majority of airline and airport employees we interacted with, with a couple of notable exceptions. My wife and I both felt this, as did a few other couples we overheard venting to each other. I know this sounds ridiculous, but I've just never seen anything like it. I'd read about how great Delta had been helping post-op patients -- I felt the opposite with American. We were essentially ignored, given wrong information about how to get a ride around Charlotte ("just go and sit in those red chairs" -- 15 minutes later we're still sitting, ask again, "just sit there", another 15 minutes ask again, "well, why haven't you flagged down one of the carts?"). The gate agent in Charlotte was just plain rude when we asked if she thought we'd be able to get some ice on the plane and then lectured me about how stupid I was to fly after surgery. Anyway, there's lots more than this. The flight attendant on the main flight was much nicer and helped us out and everything worked out in the end, but I needed to vent since it was such a hugely frustrating day! Since people have seemed to have great experiences with Delta flying home from that area after surgery, I recommend following their advice!

blinky

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Re: JD's story
« Reply #3 on: October 18, 2015, 06:16:16 PM »
Glad to hear you are doing so well.


The flights: ugh. I am so sorry. After hearing your story, I think I will bring some big ziplock bags and get ice from restaurants. I won't rely on the flight attendants.


You could write a letter to American and complain, too.

jd

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Re: JD's story
« Reply #4 on: October 18, 2015, 07:17:37 PM »
Thanks Blinky.


I'll definitely send a letter to American, it was just ridiculous.


I was just going over my op report now. Leg length increased 6mm, does that sound common or unusual?


Otherwise, everything sounds good. 50mm femoral component, 36 degree AIA, zero anteversion.

I should add that Dr Gross also had very nice things to say about the quality of my previous arthroscopic FAI cam decompression surgery (by Dr Sampson in SF), both after reviewing the x-rays, and also in the op report!
« Last Edit: October 18, 2015, 07:20:25 PM by jd »

hernanu

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Re: JD's story
« Reply #5 on: October 19, 2015, 06:07:43 PM »
My girlfriend (who is a retired Delta flight attendant) will be happy to hear good things about Delta.

Sounds like you're doing well, keep it up and you'll soon be much more comfortable.

As for sleeping on your back - I was unused to it as well, but one thing that helps is to put a pillow under your legs (I found I needed to do both); that cut down on backaches from it.
Hernan, LHR 8/24/2010, RHR 11/29/2010 - Cormet, Dr. Snyder

jd

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Re: JD's story
« Reply #6 on: October 22, 2015, 02:34:20 AM »
Today is 1 week post-op.


Everything is still going well, keeps getting better every couple of days. I dropped to 1 crutch today which is a relief as it's far easier to do things at home and while out walking it also felt more natural. I'll wait a few days and see how I like the cane next. Today was one 0.25 mile walk and another that was just a little longer. General stability is also much improved -- I'm much more comfortable showering now, for example.


I still like using the ice machine. That, combined with Tylenol, is plenty for managing pain now. Particularly if I go for a walk and then do exercises, I'm ready to get on the ice machine afterward although it might just be my own paranoia about doing too much! Anyway, ice machine is great.


I know that I'm far from out of the woods at the 1 week point in my recovery (serious understatement) and who knows what muscular issues I'll have to deal with as I work on coming off the walking aids and re-learning a normal gait. But, I'm cautiously optimistic and very happy overall. First two days weren't the easiest of my life, but I've been cruising the last couple so I thought I'd share my optimism!

blinky

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Re: JD's story
« Reply #7 on: October 22, 2015, 02:22:04 PM »
How much fatigue do you have a week out? Do you mostly doze or are you reading/watching TV/playing on the internet? Can you concentrate on a task? Have you gone out to eat or for coffee or is that too exhausting? I work a little from home and am trying to gauge how pooped I will be....not promising anybody anything!


Is your appetite good?


Very pleased to hear how well you are doing!

jd

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Re: JD's story
« Reply #8 on: October 22, 2015, 03:49:43 PM »
How much fatigue do you have a week out? Do you mostly doze or are you reading/watching TV/playing on the internet? Can you concentrate on a task? Have you gone out to eat or for coffee or is that too exhausting? I work a little from home and am trying to gauge how pooped I will be....not promising anybody anything!


Is your appetite good?


Very pleased to hear how well you are doing!


The fatigue isn't enough to make me want to doze during the day, but I do feel somewhat short of normal (no, really!) and as though there's a bit of mental fog (even after coming off the narcotics). No dozing during the day really at all for me after leaving the hospital. Last night I did have to move to the recliner again so I tend to doze for a bit in the early morning but that's it.


Surprisingly to me, the entire week I've mostly just wanted to play on the internet. Yesterday was the first day I tried reading a book and that went fine but I wasn't really motivated to do so before that. TV is easy too.


I haven't given myself any tasks that are difficult enough for me to gauge my ability to concentrate :) . I'm a little bit fuzzy mentally still for sure. I think it would be very challenging to try to do a full day's work at this point, but I'm pretty sure I could spend an hour a few times a day doing work email and other basic work things.


I actually went out for both coffee and dinner 2 days post-op in Columbia as my wife was convinced I could, and it was fine. Done both again several times with her without issue. Just be careful about seats. Somewhere with booths is great as you can use the booth back and hopefully the table to lower onto the bench. I haven't yet gone out for coffee or to eat by myself as the closest places I'd want to go are still about 0.5 miles away and, importantly, I don't really feel comfortable to drive yet. This weekend, I'll do some very easy practice driving in my neighborhood to feel it all out. I'm confident I can get into and out of a car now without help, and now that my psoas is returning to life it should work out fine, but I'm not a fan of the whole left foot on the brake thing!


Appetite has varied between low and normal. I ate real food the day of surgery and the last couple of days I've been quite hungry and eaten a fair bit. Before that, I was probably eating maybe 30% less than I normally do (that might be more in line with what I should eat though!).


I'd say that it's plausible that you could do some very light work from home at a week, but you might not be able to either. Initially I was hoping to return on Monday but Dr Gross' office wanted 2 weeks post-op and I'm sure I could have talked then into it, but waiting those two extra days just feels like it'll give me more time for everything to be settled. I think I'll be much more comfortable driving there in a week too.


JD


EDIT: I just reread your thread and remembered that you are having bilateral done. Keep in mind I only had one side done, everything will be a little harder with both (but I'm sure you'll manage!).
« Last Edit: October 22, 2015, 04:06:08 PM by jd »

jd

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Re: JD's story
« Reply #9 on: October 22, 2015, 05:21:39 PM »
I'm still incapable of sleeping on my side unfortunately. Dr Gross said it's perfectly safe to sleep on either side but that it'll probably hurt sleeping on the incision. My issue is that lying on the non-op side, I feel the incision on top acutely, in sortof a stretching pressure type of way that there's no way I could sleep through. I've tried up to 2 thick pillows between my legs with no luck.


Has anyone else had this?

MattJersey

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Re: JD's story
« Reply #10 on: October 22, 2015, 08:11:37 PM »
It took six weeks or more for me if I remember rightly. Partly discomfort, partly wanting to be reassured i hadn't messed things up by doing too much or whatever worry was on my mind at that time.
28 April 2015, RBHR Mr McMinn

blinky

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Re: JD's story
« Reply #11 on: October 23, 2015, 01:54:08 AM »
Very inspiring! I hope to be going out to eat, too, if not working.

jd

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Re: JD's story
« Reply #12 on: October 23, 2015, 02:38:35 AM »
Today was a good reminder. It was the first day that psychologically I felt I was regressing and it was a little hard to deal with. Rationally, I actually still feel stronger and more stable today than yesterday, but I definitely have more pain. I think I pushed it a little too hard yesterday with both the jump to 1 crutch and adding some extra walking that included a (short/mild) hill and then I didn't sleep well. My psoas feels very fatigued and achy and I have some new pains in random muscles in my thigh away from the hip. Oh well, took it easy today, will have a good sleep, hope to be better tomorrow (or over the weekend).

jd

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Re: JD's story
« Reply #13 on: October 25, 2015, 10:36:34 PM »
10 days post-op now. Other than the one down day (post above this), things have gone very well. I switched to one crutch after a week, and then yesterday I switched to the cane which I like far more. I had tried it at 1 week and didn't feel ready, so it's amazing the progress made in just a couple of days.


I occasionally do something which causes a sharp spike of pain (for example, I pulled my skin taught above the incision which clearly pulled on something and was rather painful) but otherwise things feel good 95% of the time.


I definitely put quite a lot of weight through the cane but I don't have much of a limp once I get walking with it which I'm very happy about (I'd still limp without the cane though).


I still get pretty tired by evening, and sometimes a little mopey then, but overall psychologically feeling reasonable also.


Headed back to work on Wednesday which is the 2 week mark. Hopefully things keep improving and I'll be able to handle the mental load of a full work day!


Sleeping is still tricky. I've only once managed to find a position on my side that doesn't cause an incision ache (even lying on the non-op side). I tend to try that first and then unwind it toward my back a bit which let's me lie mostly on my back but in a more flexible, movable position. Lying directly on my back with a pillow under my knees/calves tends to immobilize me and causes my back to ache after a few hours.

jd

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Re: JD's story
« Reply #14 on: October 29, 2015, 01:51:05 AM »
Today's my 2 week anniversary and I celebrated by going back to work!


Really smooth day overall. No issues on the commute (25 minutes in, 40 minutes in bad traffic to get home), no issues walking around at work or sitting at my desk. Feeling good, and other than 500mg of Tylenol with breakfast (and the mobic Dr Gross has me on), no other painkillers all day.


Yesterday I also thought I'd check the distance on my new walking route and realized I messed up calculating my old one! What I thought was 0.28miles, was actually 0.56 miles, and my new route which I thought was only a little longer was actually 0.95 miles. So I've basically been walking a mile/day for 4 or 5 days now :).




djganz

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Re: JD's story
« Reply #15 on: October 29, 2015, 10:21:09 PM »
Congratulations JD! Sounds like you're doing great.
LHR (62/56) 6/22/15, RHR (60/54) 6/24/15, Biomet, Dr Gross

jd

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Re: JD's story
« Reply #16 on: October 29, 2015, 11:50:46 PM »
Thanks djganz. Yep, overall it's been going very well.

I should be clear though, not 100% smooth sailing. Today (just one day after my fantastic first day back at work), I managed to do something to really aggravate my psoas after lunch and it's been annoying me since. I'm sure it'll go back down, but I want to make sure others reading this are aware that I'm not super human and do indeed have bad times still! :)

blinky

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Re: JD's story
« Reply #17 on: October 31, 2015, 11:51:53 PM »
A packing Q.


I am looking for the dimensions of the ice machine. Will it fit in a wheely bag? Does it come in a box that can be checked?


We are putting our stuff together to see what kind of suitcases we need.


Thanks!

jd

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Re: JD's story
« Reply #18 on: October 31, 2015, 11:57:25 PM »
Yes, it comes in a box that can be checked (although you probably need some packing tape?). We carried it on with the (failed) hope of using it (see above), but it would be easier to just check. It might fit in a wheelie, but it's pushing it.


Just measured: 10"x13"x12.5" (roughly, for the box it comes in).


I definitely recommend checking as many of your bags as you can on the way back. It's going to be painful otherwise for whoever is accompanying you to carry them all.


blinky

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Re: JD's story
« Reply #19 on: November 01, 2015, 12:30:06 AM »
Thanks! We travel pretty light, but I will remind my H that he will be carrying the bags.

 

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