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13 Not Really All That Gruesome Details

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I had a total hip replacement. If you’re squeamish or easily bored by medical talk, then this is a good place to stop reading.

1. My new hip is huge! Even below all the swelling, I can tell that the joint is larger. Since they said I wore the old one down to a stub, I suppose this shouldn’t be so surprising.

2. I gained 6 pounds in water weight in the hospital, though I ate a quarter as much as I normally would even while dieting.

3. In the days before and during my hospital stay, both my mother and sister were injured. All three of us need someone to take care of us at the same time.

4. The thigh of the leg operated on is now half again as big around as pre-op.

5. After you have a hip replaced, you have to be careful of “hip precautions.” that means you can’t let your leg assume certain positions. That business about not lifting your knee to anything greater than a 90% angle is the least of it! Keeping my knees apart and avoiding twisting and turning have proven far more problematic.

6. They put the diuretic in the opiate. That means when I tried to get off the pain drugs as fast as I could, I made it much harder to keep the swelling down.

7. The diuretic they use is the same is my original blood pressure medication. That’s probably why we had so much trouble getting my blood pressure up to reasonable levels post-op.

8. I’m in a lot of pain, but it’s more a matter of shifting than of getting worse. I still hurt when standing, and when moving my bad leg around, but not all positions hurt the same. More to the point, I worry about putting the hip out by accident. It bulges funny.

9. I don’t really need a walker. My house is so packed with furniture that I’d be better off with one of those four-ended canes. I need the stability, but also more maneuverability.

10. The doctor and hospital both worked hard with instructional print outs, computer lessons, and classes to teach me about the process before we started. I’m still confused.

11. I can do a lot of my fetching and carrying myself, but the bit I can’t is still substantial. Having The Boy home taking care of me has been a huge help.

12. I’m getting better really fast. I went to the doctor yesterday, and was told my recovery is on the leading edge. I attribute it to my floors.

13. In order to preserve my wood floors and area rug from the walker, I started carrying it around a couple of days after I got home. Since I have to pee every couple of hours, that was a lot of carrying.

Totally Random Picture above: boats on the waters off the coast of Bali.

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