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Hip Precautions

Until the muscles and tendons around my new, mechanical hip have mellowed out, I’m supposed to be very careful to avoid certain positions. Those positions are, specifically, never let the chest and knee get closer than ninety degrees. Never point the toes inward. Never let the knees get close, let alone cross. And never twist the hips around to look behind you.

1. 90 Degrees? Piece of cake. The arthritis hasn’t let me get my knee up any higher than that in years. Or so I thought. I went past it just by lifting my knee while reclining in the recliner. I really had no idea it would be such a sharp angle. I no longer feel the jab of pain in the front. It’s more a sense of strain and impending disaster in the back.

2. I’ve broken the pigeon toe precaution nearly every morning since the surgery. I wake up to find my foot has been flopped over that direction for who knows how long. It seems to be a natural position. But I can feel the strain in my hip.

3. Walking to the bathroom is treacherous. It takes five turns to get there, each one a chance to go pigeon toed.

4. I thought the no crossing legs/ knock kneed thing would be easy at first because, again, I haven’t crossed my knees in years. Not while sitting, anyway. Turns out I cross my ankles all the time. But so far I’ve only caught myself at it a few times.

5. For me, the hardest part of the knock kneed precaution is that I prefer to sleep on my side. You’re supposed to be able to do it with just a pillow between the knees. I have yet to find a pillow that doesn’t leave the hip feeling taut as a violin string. I’m afraid it could snap at any minute, so I end up on my back all night.

6. Not twisting is probably the hardest for me. Apparently I really, really want to know what’s behind me all the time. Shuffle around first? Nah! So far I’ve been lucky, but probably only because I don’t put much weight on the leg with the artificial joint. Yet. Anyone got a rear view mirror for a cane?

7. I got a transfer bench because I thought I’d need it for the hip precautions as well as in case of dissyness. Turns out trying to move the legs over the lip of the tub while sitting on a bench is much more problematic than gripping a handle on the outside of the shower surround and just flipping the knees up and over.

8. Who knew leaning in my seat could be such a problem? I’m not sure which one’s I’m breaking, but I’m often left with a burning sensation in the hip.

9. Making a turn takes a little thought. You have to do it without going pigeon toed. The physical therapist in the hospital told me to put my “bad” leg out first with the toe pointed out, then pivot on the “good” leg. Apparently she doesn’t realize that the new hip is now my good leg. The other one is also making crunchy noises.

10. In reality, I’m most likely to spin on my toe or heel. This happens a lot in the kitchen when I cook. Yeah, I gave up on the men folk and started cooking for myself. They are too fond of canned goods and Tabasco for my taste.

11. I’m supposed to be doing a bunch of exercises. They include things like standing next to a table where I can get a good death grip going and lifting my toes, or bending my knees. I’m supposed to do this several times a day.

12. We keep our spare toilet paper in a basket on the floor under some shelves. You can generally reach it from the toilet, should the roll in current use run out. Now with a four inch booster seat on the potty, I can’t reach. When someone else uses up the last of the TP, I’m left high and not so dry.

13. They make is sound like putting your hip out is a constant hazard. They don’t bother to mention that you’re a lot more likely to just sprain the muscles. Spraining is something I seem to do several times a day. It’s a pain, but nothing I can’t handle.

Totally Random Picture: Indonesia – Gitgit Waterfall.

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