Good grief, it's been a rough week, one I don't care to repeat. Ever. Here's a summary of where things are up to, from my hospital bed. I'm on Day 6 post op now.
The THR took around 4 hours, twice as long as expected. Despite planning on a ceramic/ceramic joint, in the end I've got a ceramic femur head (48 mm very small), a short stem into the femur, and a plastic (polycarbonate?) acetabulum, which gives better coverage.
Some surgeon told me on Day 1 that I've been ordered permanent hip restrictions, because of the smallness of my bones and replacement and weird anatomy. But when I checked with my surgical team this morning they had no record of this! So I'll need to wait to hear back from Dr Smith about this (he's on holidays).
Main problems have been :
Low blood pressure (still a problem), I get very dizzy and nauseated when I sit and stand up. I'm often on oxygen to help with this.
My left knee is very swollen and extremely painful, can tell when meds are wearing off by the state of my knee! Have had it x-rayed, still waiting on the report.
Pain management - I couldn't have a femoral nerve block, and my dear surgeon stopped my PCA after 12 hours (don't know why, nurses weren't impressed either!), there was some miscommunication about getting me onto alternative pain relief, the first few days were hellish.
I got a small blood clot in my lungs. My legs are all clear (had an ultrasound). My chest x-ray was clear, but my chest CT scan showed a clot. Am on Warfrin now for 6 months, and now have a lifelong risk of future blood clots too :/ For joy.
Crazed woman with severe dementia is in the bed across from me (I'm in a 4 bed room), who is 94, and talks / yells / demands non-stop when awake. Which seems to be most of the time, especially overnight. Even the saintly nurses can't stand her, which is saying something. She is making an already difficult situation much more unpleasant and distressing.
The good things :
My surgeon is happy with how the operation went, I didn't lose much blood, and didn't need a transfusion.
My leg length difference has probably been fixed (about 1 cm increase).
I'm starting to be able to sleep through the night, which is helping hugely. When said roommate is not ranting all night. Ear plugs are essential!
I'm off the walker already and onto my elbow crutches.
My pain meds are being reduced slowly, to see how things go, and I'm not needing oxygen as much.
My next door bed buddy W is lovely. She had a THR some years ago, but fell this week, and has just had another THR on the other hip. She's 81. Early Saturday morning (6 am) they were prepping her for surgery, and while the nurses were saying "You'll be fine" it was clear she was terrified and feeling very alone.
I introduced myself, sat with her for an hour, held her hand, and talked with her about her fear, not just dismissing it (having been there myself!!!) and talked with her about distracting things too, and then lent her my iPod with some calming music. It made a huge difference to her, and I was so glad I could help her out - another hip sister :)
Each day I can see that my mobility is getting better, it's less painful to move my left leg, and things are getting better. But it has been a much more painful experience than I was expecting.
The wound is very clean, only needed the dressing changed on Saturday for the first time. It's a posterior approach, cutting around my hip into my bum. Around 20-25 staples, just saw them for the first time, big metal - yup - staples. Horrible. They'll come out in another week or so. Looks like I've been attacked by a shark.
So that's me ... it's bloody hard and painful, I wasn't really prepared for recovery very well, as I was so focussed on the surgery itself! But the bad bits are mostly behind me now ...
Thank you everyone for all your kind messages and thoughts!