In just 36 hours I’ll be checking into Hotel James for a long weekend stay. I’m scheduled to have a new hip installed. I have little trepidation now that the decision to have the surgery has been made and I am relatively prepared.
A couple months ago the pain in my hip returned. It was mild at first with just a little tightness. As it progressed I felt weak and pain became sharp in the evening especially after I sat for a bit and needed to stand back up. To get up and stabilize myself on my hip joints became a struggle. I had to position accurately and wait for my body to settle into the correct position before I could walk. The doctor sent me for a MRI and a follow up appointment with the orthopedic surgeon. The image showed AVN throughout 80-90% of my hip joints, inflammation of the bone and the beginnings of breakdown of the femoral head. The doctor described it as like a Ping pong ball. If the ball gets a small dent in it with continued pressure it will begin to collapse. He said that hip replacement surgery is necessary to correct it but the need would be based on my pain level. I asked about core decompression or injections. He said that if I was completely against replacement he would try it but there would be only a 10-25% chance that it would help and only be temporary. He said that those procedures are usually more applicable for people who are not quite as sick as me and who have a stronger bone structure. So, I left there with the idea that I’ll probably have to do it but I thought I might start to spontaneously feel better since my hip pain improved since my diagnosis in August. It didn’t work that way.
The pain increased to all the time. I am currently walking like a cripple and need a cane or crutch frequently but the decision was made for sure when I could no longer reach my toes to paint them. My new hip will be the next step in becoming the Bionic Woman.
In preparation I have acquired a new assistive device. I can’t wait to try out my new walker!
It is red (sexy!) has hand brakes (cause it’s so fast) and a basket to hold my latte while I’m cruising. But the best feature is the padded seat and backrest. I have experience with trying to get around on crutches or a plain walker and it is challenging to get from room to room while holding something and a seat will give me opportunity to be more active sooner. Sometimes I’ve wanted to go places with the family but I miss out when unsure of the availability of a place to sit to rest if needed. I can maybe walk around the Farmer’s Market, put some tomatoes in my basket and have a rest on my seat before going home.
Diagram of a hip replacement. I don’t know for sure what type I will get but they all look similar to this with variations on the amount of metal, plastic and ceramic.
I’ve been told that the hospital PT comes in the next day to get you up and walking. I will be in the hospital for 4 days. Outpatient PT starts a week and a half after surgery. The rest of my time will be spent watching the 2nd season of Orange is the New Black on Netflix that I have saved just for this occasion. The best part about watching a show while on meds is that I’ll be able to watch it again for the first time once I’m sober.
“Cause it’s hard to dance with the devil on your back”