Author Topic: Out-of-State HR in Two Weeks and Anxiety About the Unknown  (Read 1191 times)

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Out-of-State HR in Two Weeks and Anxiety About the Unknown
« on: January 13, 2018, 06:07:29 PM »
62 y/o single male here.  After enduring increasing hip pain and activity limitations for quite a few years it finally got to the point that it had to be fixed.  I found this website about 10 years ago and knew from it and other research that Dr. Gross in SC was the closest Dr. that I had the experience I was looking for.  I live 900 miles away but sent him the necessary images and information and had a phone consult in Nov.  He said I was a candidate for HR and I scheduled surgery for the end of Jan.  In addition to the bone-sparing nature of the surgery I was also attracted to it because of the typical rapid recovery but in the phone consult, Dr. Gross said that I may be on the slow recovery program but wouldn't know for sure until he operated.

I live alone and am becoming increasingly worried about a few things.  One is the possibility of six weeks on crutches and only being to put 10% of my body weight on the operated leg if I'm on the slow program.  I weigh 180# and have used my bathroom scale to see what 18# of force on my leg feels like.  It's nothing!  If I had been "estimating" without the scale, what I think would be 10% of my weight is actually more like 25% (45#). 

I'll have my brother to help me at home for a few days after surgery but after that, I'm alone unless I can arrange for home health or some other kind of assistance.  I have few friends and they all work.

In addition to worrying about coping with the weight and crutch limitations, I'm also worried that I won't be able to drive for six weeks.

Finally, I'm worried about the managing the shear boredom of being home alone for four to six weeks.  I'm not a TV fan and anything I use to fill the time typically requires more mobility than two crutches will allow.

My greatest hope is that I won't need a slow recovery but I won't know that until I come out of surgery.  I'd almost choose a THR over HR if it would mean less time on crutches.

I've searched the forums for folks in my situation but didn't find any. If anybody out there can offer any advice or words of encouragement, I'd love to hear them.
« Last Edit: January 13, 2018, 06:17:17 PM by Owl »


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Re: Out-of-State THR in Two Weeks and Anxiety About the Unknown
« Reply #1 on: January 13, 2018, 06:38:05 PM »
hey bud...im 4 weeks out from a bilateral with dr.gross.  Im 35 and I was put on the rapid recovery so if you end up on the slow recovery then thats a whole different ball game that Im not familiar with.  I was in a very similar spot with you, worried about how i could manage after, how do i take care of errands, how will I manage mentally with all the down time etc.

I can tell you that I had someone stay with me for 5 days after the surgery....could i have made things work on my own?  Yes but it would have been extremely difficult.  You will not have the energy to cook meals so you will need your fridge stocked the hell up with easy simple foods to grab.  After that you can use things like instacart which is so easy to use, its an app where you can get your groceries delivered to you and its like 5 -10 bucks for delivery.  Have everything you need though for at least 2 weeks so you dont have to worry.

Have a walker for around the house getting around... if you are doing stuff for yourself crutches wont cut it, you will need a walker it is a game changer.  I thought i could get by without a raised toilet seat...I was wrong you will need that as well.  Have water jugs set up beside your bed and wherever you sit, you will find it very hard to carry things the first week so have the water already where you are so you can pour it easy. 

My recliner saved me, if i didnt have the recliner Im not sure what I would have done, my couch was too low, i would have had to be in the bed all day.  The recliner allows you to keep your feet elevated.  You will find lifting your legs impossible the first couple of weeks without someones help or using the tool the give you, the recliner eliminates that bc it lifts your legs up.  If you dont have one go get one.

pissing in the middle of the night.  Huge pain in the ass, i couldnt do it the first week, so difficult to get in and out of bed so  i brought the little urinal bottle from the hospital and pissed in that during the night and emptied it in the morning.

I made a terrible mistake and at a burger and milkshake after leaving the hospital.  From all the drugs i was constipated for 4 days so that on top of my stopped up system made me ill and throwing up with a fever for a day.  dont make my mistake!  Eat sensible until you move your bowels again.

You could do it on your own but it will suck, you just have to make it past that first week.  You will have no energy to do anything, just a walk to the kitchen will exhaust you and you will want to take a nap, on your own it will seem scary but just know that gets better with every day.  I highly recommend the walker bc its safer, you do not want to fall.

As far as boredom, Im a pretty busy guy so i was concerned with how i would handle this downtime mentally.  Let me tell you Im at week 4 and Im loving it lol!  Im spending lots of time learning guitar, Im reading books, binge watching netflix etc.  I journal write alot so i spend an hour or two a day doing that and thinking about my future and goals and things i want to do etc.   Have some type of thing you want to get better at like my guitar and time will pass, look at it as an opportunity to focus on things your busy life wouldnt allow before.  I was dreading the time off now I know i will actually miss it when its gone.

As far as the painkillers, I hated them, they made me feel like a zombie and I didnt want to do anything but sit there.  I recommend getting off them as soon as you can manage.  Also when i came off them i had cold sweats and felt sick, this was days after my naseau problem from the eating so im not sure if it was from stopping cold turkey on the painkillers or just my system getting back to normal.  My appetite didnt return until 1 week after the surgery.

Driving....I was told not to drive for 6 weeks, I can see why bc your ability to lift your leg and switch pedals is severely compromised if you can even do it at all.  Buuuuuut, if you use both feet it really isnt an issue, your ability to push the pedal is good with those muscles.  I drove at week 2 although I probably shouldnt have.  I had to get a prescription so i kept the trip very short with no traffic.  Ultimately i would drive as little as possible but sitting here at week 4 I feel like my driving is completely normal.

Thats about all I can think of but good luck, i hope you arent on the slow recovery, that will change things, you would have to get some outside help or pay someone to come in I would think.

Also as far as crutches I just got done walking .5 mile with no crutches and 1.5 on crutches so by week 6 im hoping to be off crutches completely but we will see.
Bilateral Hip resurface Dr. Gross


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Re: Out-of-State HR in Two Weeks and Anxiety About the Unknown
« Reply #2 on: January 13, 2018, 11:35:17 PM »
keep in mind everything i just said applies to a bilateral so both are done at the same time.  If you are only getting one done, even if you are on the slow program i would think it would be easier than bilateral
Bilateral Hip resurface Dr. Gross


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Re: Out-of-State HR in Two Weeks and Anxiety About the Unknown
« Reply #3 on: January 14, 2018, 06:27:01 AM »
Please have a look at Superpath if you need quick recovery


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Re: Out-of-State HR in Two Weeks and Anxiety About the Unknown
« Reply #4 on: January 14, 2018, 10:28:28 AM »

I flew from Chicago to SC for surgery with Dr Gross.  I wouldn't hesitate to do it again. I had the 'slow recovery' program since I had really bad bone density in that hip. 

Surratt's description of a bilat is much different than my experience with a single hip resurfacing.

One thing to consider is to start doing a bit of work/practice with the crutches ahead of time.  Its all doable, and may get frustrating... but consider it an investment in future enjoyment of your hip.

Another thing to keep in mind is the reasoning/rational for the slow recovery program.  At X bone density you go from weight bearing recovery right away to low weight for 10 weeks.  This is all data driven.  Trying to cutout that 1% neck fracture risk.  Is there something magical about the X cutoff, 10% or 10 weeks?  Nope.  Its a suggested goal/guideline to help reduce that 1% fracture risk.

Recliner really helped me.  Physically this is tough but its more mental.  Its a really unique experience and an opportunity to be 'mindful' of your body, recovery, etc.  Embrace the suck...

« Last Edit: January 14, 2018, 10:29:48 AM by einreb »
40yo at the time of my 2/16/2011 left hip uncemented Biomet resurface with Tri Spike Acetabular cup by Gross


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Re: Out-of-State HR in Two Weeks and Anxiety About the Unknown
« Reply #5 on: January 14, 2018, 11:21:34 AM »
I had a GF on slow recovery due to bone density. She practiced on crutches beforehand and got quite good at them. She had one hip done.

I'd check into getting some help at home for the first week, maybe even the first two weeks. You will probably feel pretty good a week out. Rearrange your home so you can function as independently as possible. Move your clothes up higher so you don't have to bend over to reach frequently worn items, for example. Think about what you could put on most easily so you need less help dressing. Move the pots and pans you'll need up higher, too. Can you microwave food? Use a delivery service for meals/groceries?

I lived in my recliner. Easier to get up from it than out of the bed by myself.

I love the bedside pee container idea. I couldn't do that since I am a woman, but if it had been an option, I would have embraced it. Getting up to pee in the middle of the night could be hazardous. If you are alone, you want to avoid falling on the way too pee when you are half asleep. Pick up your house so there isn't anything to trip over! Think how you will bathe on your own to avoid falls. (My H was my lifeguard for middle of the night peeing and all showering for about the first two weeks. During the second week I started to be able to do it on my own safely.)

A couple of other random ideas: can you have an "I've fallen and I can't get up" text list in case of an emergency? Keep your phone with you just in case. Could someone drop by and bring you ice once a day for the first week? Maybe set up your ice machine? Can you arrange for rides? Ride a bus or take Uber if necessary?

I don't think you need 24 hour care once you get home fwiw. Somebody could come drop by and set you up once a day. H left me alone for several hours at a time even in the hotel post op. If I had peed and had my stuff nearby, I was okay alone for a while.

The boredom wasn't that bad. I was mentally foggy for awhile, so that made it easier. I could read and concentrate after about two weeks. People came to visit (and gawk at me). I had a list of things to watch and read and do. I didn't just stay at home. With planning you can go out.

Best of luck. The issue you discuss, the recovery, is an important one and should be considered as someone thinks about which procedure to have. HR gives a better long term prognosis for activity, but I think it does come with a slower, more careful recovery.

bilat 11-15
Dr Gross


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Re: Out-of-State HR in Two Weeks and Anxiety About the Unknown
« Reply #6 on: January 14, 2018, 12:53:22 PM »
No matter what people tell you , you are going to be anxious about this.  But do everything that we are telling you here and listen to Dr. Gross team and the worst will be over soon.  Blinkys idea about having a phone with you all the time is a great idea in case you fall and cant get up or hurt something.  Id always walk around with the phone in my pocket. 

I was super anxious and even more so after the surgery, its a strange thing to be completely helpless all of a sudden.  But I learned to embrace the process and the time flew and now Im at week 6.  This down time has been pretty productive for me and this process of healing makes me look at life a different way, my health a different way, makes me appreciate my body more or something.
Bilateral Hip resurface Dr. Gross


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