Tag Archives: Hip Replacement

Stages of My Post Surgical Life – Part One

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My Pre-Op Attitude

Stage 1: The Prelude
AKA Before Operation – Characterized by:

 

  • Insane optimism – I WILL return to full-time work in 1 month, tops! EVERYONE will be in AWE of my stunning recovery – there will be tears of joy, applause, balloons, puppies, because who doesn’t love puppies in a triumphant return day dream? All recoreded in slow motion video. Also, my hair will magically stop impersonating the Lion King and my skin will clear up.

  • Impressive consumption of bone strengthening supplement power, protein power (that only tastes mostly of chalk thats been scraped off a sidewalk), stupidly expensive (but totally worth it!) miracle powders in green containers from Whole Foods, and actual green things all combined in blender. My muscles and bones will the best muscle and bones the surgical team has EVER seen. They will so impressed they will take pictures and post them to their surgeon friends. I will be famous in the medical community for having the absolute BEST bones anyone has ever seen. There will be autograph requests and TLC will do a special on my amazingly strong bones. I will be remarkably humble and slightly embarrassed about the attention and fame.

  • Enthusiastic daily strengthening exercises! Squats, planks, leg lifts 24/7.
  • Rekindling of old flame, not because of lame reasons like I’m worried about pretty major surgery, because I totally GOT this surgery thing, but because this time it’s gonna be so different from all those other rekindles that crashed and burned, well actually flopped, fizzled and limped off whimpering. But THIS time he’ll really SEE how wonderful I am. He will sleep in a chair at my bedside, make me protein shakes and miraculously lose all those somewhat irritating character flaws just for me. We will bond. He too will be awed about my amazing recovery and some point we will ride horses. Into the sunset. On a Motherfucking beach. That’s EXACTLY how this is going to go.

 

Stage 2: The Deed
AKA Operation Day – How Things Actually Happened. According to Me. On Morphine.

 

Right. So surgery is just a tiny wee itsy bitsy bit more involved than we had planned. Something about complications… bones dissolving, lots of bleeding, extra hard hammering of metal parts that break my femur, but just in about 6 or 7 places, so no biggie. Not a problem, see impressive preparation above. I will still be triumphant. PT, OT, medical and nursing staff will be stunned by my Can-Do attitude and miraculous healing powers. Some will suspect mutant genes or that I am secretly an X-Man. Professor Charles Francis Xavier – the Patrick Steward version – will come visit and ask me to join him. I will tearfully accept. Music will play, hospital staff will applaud (in slow motion, because see above).

I am now short a couple of pints of blood and didn’t quite have the super impressive bones I had imagined. Sadly there will be no
autograph tours with orthopedic surgeons. But I am stuffed with awesome NEW bone grafts from cadaver bones, which is totally awesome because Walking Dead jokes for The. Rest. Of. My. Life. I’m certain my donor will turn out to be a famous salsa dancer so along with my upcoming remarkable recovery I will also develop a sense of rhythm and the ability to move my hips independently of my spine. My students will be in awe of my new salsa based sculpt classes and they will have to move my classes to larger venues to accommodate the huge influx of students.

I am part Borg now. Which is totally badass. Screws, clamps, ties, implants, kinda creepy claw thingy – Got ’em! Resistance is futile.

 

 

 

 

 

coming soon….

Stage 3: WTF Leg?
I’d Like to Move It, Move It

learning to walk again v1

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I wrote this before my wonderful*, amazing*, spectacular* surgery. Today I’m writing about the wonderful*, amazing*, spectacular* post surgical recovery, but I thought I’d start with some history first.

Let me ‘splain, no it is too much, let me sum up*  (*Princess Bride quote for those less nerdy/hip than the author – hip…? see what I did there? brilliant, right?)images-25
  • I got my left hip replaced 7 years ago because I have hip dysplasia – yes, just like in dogs, but with less fur (thank god for leg waxing).
  • Shortly after someone wrote ‘I am Titanium’ about me* (*theory, but probably true).
  • PT was challenging* (*”Helga” my personal torturer aka my PT, was a daily star in my twitter/facebook feed).
  • Then life was awesome* (*my left leg had an awesome time, the rest of me intermittently so) I took up martial arts and got seriously into yoga.
  • I got extra attention in airport security – “Are you really that hip, because you just set off my security wand”*  (*actual conversation. with myself. in my imagination)

Fast forward.

b2a23f4fe6357f59bdd72681648cb0c7Uber cool hip starts hurting. I ignore it, hum lyrics to my song (I am Titanium). Hip hurts more, Seanna (my new Helga, I mean PT) gives me furrowed brow stare with one raised eyebrow.  I go to hip doctor, who really is nowhere as hip as I am, but I don’t point that out because I am a yoga teacher and above such petty observations, mostly. Doc smiles and furrows brow (a tricky look, but he pulls it off) and orders blood work. Still humming song, I get bloodwork. Doc calls, leaves message with ‘very serious doctor voice tone’ that I have high metal levels in my blood. I wonder about the Metalica music, he says no, has nothing to do with that.

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Well then. Dammit.

X-Rays, Scans, long conversations and several unhelpful Google searches later I learn that my hip replacement is not so hip after all, you could call it Tragically Hip (but you’d have to be Canadian to get that, or Google it, go ahead, I’ll wait). Metal debris around the hip has done the not so hip things like seriously damaging the muscle, connective tissue and bones all around it – like wow Scoob* (*Scooby Doo reference, don’t roll your eyes, I’m just trying to be helpful). So my pelvic bone is doing a disappearing act, but since it’s such a small and unimportant bone this is not worrisome* (*eye roll to indicate sarcasm). Also my blood is full of great things like Cobalt, which is a nice colour of blue if you like to paint, but not so great to have running through your entire bloodstream and all around all your cells and organs, like your brain, and all that. Also chromium, which I thought was a good thing, but there are different types of it, and wanna guess what type runs through my veins? (that was rhetorical, but go ahead and answer it if you want, I’ll nod wisely when you do) .

So there’s all that. But hey, not a big deal you can fix it with…. wait for it … surgery!

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Surgery that will replace the replacement with a different replacement that is much cooler, and less Titanium than the original replacement (aka ALL of my current replacement) It’ll be just like my new car brakes,  ceramic and plastic. Well except the plastic, because plastic on car brakes would just be stupid. Okay, forget that analogy… moving on. Look forward to the next hit song I am Ceramic with Plastic bits too. Surgery that may or may not involve bone grafts. Bone grafts from the Cadaver* Bank (*means dead, but really, really, super duper clean dead) – cue me making Walking Dead jokes for the Rest Of My Life. Surgery that may involve rebuilding my pelvis – so I will be even more hip, hard to imagine, but try (I’ll be waiting over here looking terribly cool while you imagine). Also, it may involve ‘cracking open my femur and opening it like a coffin*’ (*my surgeon’s word choice, I suggested a different metaphor/analogy/fucking word choice … like present! walnut! a goddamn door, but not a coffin, honestly dude, what are you thinking?).  But basically these are the are options, that they can only decide on after I am unconscious, so I just consent to them ALL beforehand. Also the surgeon is getting a new orthopedic ‘toy’ from a ‘friend’ that he’s really excited about using.  Cue awkward silence while doc looks excited and I have what I imagine is a neutral expression* (*neutral meaning eye roll continuing into blank stare that I imagine conveying understanding and empathy about ‘new toy’ that will ‘whack off’ part of my hip).

My next blog will be about better word choices for surgeons to use with conscious patients. Instead of ‘coffin’ try ‘fucking any other word in the English language’. Instead of ‘whack off’ use….  wait, whack off is kinda funny, but judge your audience and be prepared for a ‘that’s what she said’ response.

20140602_124948_dhhahff_smIn preparation for surgery I have been consuming Russian Weight Lifter amounts of protein and amino acids, an entire tub of collagen (which has just made my furry eyebrows furrier – so awesome), bone building supplements, supplements to help the bone, muscle, and connective tissue building supplements build more muscle, bone and connective tissue,  and an all natural chelation* agent (*pulls the metal out of my blood and puts it into my poop – insert your own toilet joke here). Basically this equates to a couple of chalky tasting grey coloured shakes and five fistfuls of supplements every day with occasional really awful Arnold Schwarzenegger impersonation. Also they have me washing myself down daily with surgical soap, because apparently I am a very dirty girl and need to clean myself up before they slice into my skin, muscle, bone… (TMI? sorry, ignore that bit).

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Also, I have had my hair roots touched up, my eyebrows tweezed, my eyelashes done and have a pedicure booked, because I’m not looking at grey roots, unruly eyebrows, wimpy lashes and chipped toenails for 6 weeks, let me tell you. Priorities people. They’re important. Considering having a hair blown out so I will not have to deal with the inevitable dreadlocks on day 3 post op, but then I thought if I don’t survive the surgery, my hair will be all wrong and no one will recognize me, so maybe not.

Surgery was Tuesday, January 17th.  It sucked. It was ‘the worst case scenario’, that my doctor told me about with his ‘serious, but hey it’s still okay’ face. Aftermath to follow in next blog.
 
Below, just in case you didn’t catch the reference in the title