Joy

My new hip is named Joy.  No, I don’t talk to my hip, or attribute human thoughts or feelings to it. It is an inanimate object. The name came a couple of weeks after surgery because I got tired of referring to it at as “my new hip.” Giving it a name seemed like fun, and I like to do fun things.

When I woke up after surgery I cried immediately, feeling relief that I had survived, and that the surgery I thought would never happen for me had actually happened. Even the first time I walked, a few hours after surgery, with my thigh feeling very much like a block of cement, I felt better moving and standing than I had for months, maybe even years. There was no pain, and I could stand up straight with both feet flat on the floor. I felt pure Joy!

Soon after that first short walk, I came home and began the real work of recovery. I was up and walking with the walker several times a day. Walking, however slowly, allowed me to get around the house and take care of myself. The main difficulty in those first few weeks was putting on compression socks. It wasn’t any more difficult than putting on shoes or socks before surgery, however, and now there was no pain involved. Pure Joy!

I was sleeping well, after a few years of tossing and turning in pain all through the night. For the first two weeks following surgery, I am sure this was due to the pain medication I was taking. Honestly, my daily routine during those first two weeks revolved primarily around my medication schedule, then lots of rest and exercises. Even in the midst of my recovery-centered routine, it felt like my life had been returned to me. Pure Joy!

Within 3 weeks I was able to stomp my feet on the ground with my 19 month old grandson. This surprised him and made him smile, and that surprised me and warmed my heart. Pure Joy!

It has been four months since my hip replacement surgery and there have been disappointments and struggles as well, but those are for another post on another day. Today I am focusing on Joy!

 

 

 

 

 

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Perthes

When I was young I was diagnosed with Perthes disease. The disease was nearing the end of its course by the time it was diagnosed and damage was apparently minimal, so treatment consisted only of wearing a heel lift in my shoe and doing a few exercises daily to help maintain mobility of the affected leg. I went happily about living my life with the heel lift and exercises. The exercises were eventually forgotten, as they didn’t seem all that important to my busy young self. It took over 50 years for my condition to slow me down, but it finally did. I don’t know why, I don’t know exactly how, I just know that my Perthes (affected) leg was becoming noticeably less mobile and more painful, and it seemed to be getting shorter. There were plenty of days when I felt like I’d be better off without that leg. Eventually, arthritis in the knee of my non-affected leg sent me to an Orthopaedic clinic for treatment. My knee was treated with steroids, my Perthes hip was x-rayed, and I was scheduled for total hip arthroplasty. Less than 4 weeks later I got my new hip, which in my opinion is a miracle!

 

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Stretching and Strengthening

So I am doing low impact exercises daily since being released from physical therapy, continually stretching and strengthening muscles and tissue. I can move without pain since my hip replacement, and it is such a joy to be able to recognize progress in one area or another each day. When doing an  exercise for the first time it is challenging to discover that some muscles still have almost zero strength, and exciting to think about how much more mobility I will have when those muscles become strong. Life is Good!

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