The last time I blogged I was feeling what can only be described as the ‘post op blues’. The fantastic community on the Hip Replacement for Active People group on Facebook which was started by Avril from https://avrilsjourney.com/ confirmed that it is completely normal to feel really rubbish for the first few days. It has been so reassuring to be able to hear from other people who have come out the other side of a hip replacement. Top advice was to get outside, make small plans, focus on eating and sleeping and to get stuck into mindless TV until I can focus on reading and writing (which is what I really want to be doing!)
I’m not doing too bad. Each day since I have been back from hospital I have been down to the yard to see Pea which involves a bit of walking, fresh air, sunshine and some refreshing human and animal contact. It is really hard to see other people riding Pea, untacking her, washing her, taking her to the field and all of that stuff that I can’t do but I appreciate so much that she is being looked after and getting exercise. I am immensely grateful for everyone at the yard that is doing that.
I have had my first proper visitors; my little (not very little) brother and his girlfriend. As top blog readers I didn’t have to start at the beginning of the journey I have been on since Tuesday because they already knew what had been going on! It was lovely to get out of my head for a while and to be able to talk about other things. I’ve got more visitors due this week along with a BBQ to go to tonight and a dressage competition to watch on Wednesday. It is definitely helping to have stuff going on!
Eating has certainly started getting easier though I’ve still got a long way to go. Two pizza slices and some carrot and cucumber at Saturday lunch felt like the biggest achievement ever! Two Weetabix this morning was the next. Those of you who know me know that at least six Weetabix each morning is my life blood so I’m definitely not there yet but I am moving in the right direction.
Sleep is still an area that I am finding quite distressing. I have always been a pretty good sleeper, I could curl up in a ball in the corner of a stable if I had to and would probably sleep all night. Sleeping flat on my back with my legs straight is not proving to be conducive to a whole night of sleep or comfort when I wake up. I have tried a variety of pillow formations to sit me up more or support me more but nothing seems to be working so far. I have been waking up with back ache and a tight tummy. If anyone has any bright ideas that would be amazing. Now that I am a lot less sleepy in the day I really need to sleep at night!
I am not usually a big TV watcher, curling up on the sofa for a bit of evening TV is one thing but on the advice of the hip replacement community, I have allowed myself to mindlessly get lost in TV when I don’t have visitors or when I am not going anywhere. Love Island was a standard anyway but my boyfriend and I have got several series deep in The Walking Dead (not sure how well that will go with sleep) and I’m finding things like Cops UK: Bodycam Squad and GPs: Behind Closed Doors sufficiently mindless. I’m starting to feel more and more mentally with it so reading and writing is next on my list.
Although I am feeling less drowsy and a little more positive, the next stage of mental recovery has hit hard. I’m calling it the paranoia stage. For a few days I have been panicking that my left leg is now lots longer than my right. It was 1.5cms shorter before, they said they had made up some length but that it still might be short but to me it just feels like it looks longer. I obviously won’t know for sure until my muscles are more normal, the implant is settled (ouch) and I can stand properly but I am struggling to get it out of my head. I am fully aware that my legs are never going to be the same length and that regardless of leg length this operation is going to have done wonderful things for me but in my illogical head I would rather I was still short on the left than wonked the other way. Don’t know why, can’t explain it, just another thing for my brain to worry about.
The other source of paranoia is my wound. I haven’t been actually showering, just my ‘stagnant showers’ in front of the basin but I can’t get out of my head what the HCA said about infection getting into my wound and going straight to where the metal is. Every time I splash water too vigorously and water goes on my thigh or the dressing I go into supreme panic mode. I think part of it is that for the first few days my wound was numb but now I’ve got that old familiar ITCHY feeling of the skin and flesh knitting back together (sorry for the mental image on that one!) When I think clearly I don’t think anything bad is happening to it, I have vague memories of my wound healing up when I was a child and it feels just like those memories. I can’t help but worry though. I wish I could see what is going on under the big dressing. In case you are interested, the bottom half of the dressing is covering my old scar. On Tuesday they opened up the top of it and carried on up from there. If you don’t want to see some exposed flesh, look away now!