Today I went for my hip education appointment at Southmead. Myself and eleven other people (all, I would say, at least thirty years older than me) listened to the advice of a nurse and occupational therapists about what we need to do to prepare for our operations and what precautions we will have to follow afterwards. Although I have read the booklet, looked at the pictures and endured my OH’s demonstrations of what HE has learnt from the booklet, it hadn’t quite hit home how tricky everyday activities are if you stick to the precautions. Which I am going to do. A good recovery is going to be absolutely crucial to getting the best I can out of this hip for as long as I possibly can. Usually I live life at speed, I always have more to do than I can fit into my days. It sounds like by the time I have got out of bed, managed to shower and dress myself it will be time to go back to bed! Speaking of getting dressed, I now have a long shoe horn, a special sock ‘putter onner’ and what is essentially a litter picker – I think I’ve got a lot of practising to do in the next two weeks!
After the talks and demonstrations we each had a short meeting with an OT to go through measurements of furniture and other information relating to home set ups. We established that
- My bed is too low so I am going to be provided with risers for it.
- We are going to have to swap sides of the bed – just one of the many habits I will have to change and one that my boyfriend is certainly not going to like!
- The sofa just isn’t going to work as my recover chair – I’m on the look out for an ‘old people’s home’ style armchair with a seat height of 47cm!
- The toilets are too low (no surprise there) so I am going to be sent toilet risers
- I shouldn’t drive for six weeks
Very crucially though – I am lucky. I have a shower cubicle (people with showers over the bath aren’t allowed to use them for three months). I also have a boyfriend who will feed me and help me in any way I need, I have parents who are coming to stay in the area for six weeks and I have friends who will make sure my pony is ok amongst other things! Compared to the woman who has had two months notice that she needs a hip op, has a daughter with leukaemia and a three year old grand child who she looks after (and only a shower over a bath) I am VERY lucky and that hasn’t escaped me.
However lucky I feel, it hasn’t been a great week. I have had one of those fluey colds, the kind I have had a million times over but rather than my usual ‘crack on’ attitude. I’ve gone into self preservation mode. I need to get over this cold quick. I haven’t had time off work but I have rested, taken pills, wrapped up warm and not physically exerted myself which means next to no riding. Pea has pretty much become a field pony and it shows. She has got a major grass baby belly! Again, I am lucky though, she loves being a wild herd pony. Thank goodness I don’t have a sensitive stabled beast that needs riding all the time! My leg pain has been worse because I’ve been all achy and rubbish.. not how I wanted to spend one of my last weeks. I feel like I might actually be learning how to look after myself though, rather than just overdoing it like usual. A lesson learnt just in time!
In other news, even my guinea pigs are prepping for the changes ahead – they’ve got a new feeder that refills for a few days – one small thing to worry about less often!