I can’t actually believe it has been a week since I had my hip replacement. Sometimes I think the days are speeding past but other times it feels like time is moving so slowly. I feel really positive about some of the progress I have made and I have exceeded my own expectations in some ways. In others I feel like I am going nowhere and I am worried about whether I am going to achieve the goals I have set for myself or whether I have been far too ambitious.
One of the biggest highs of this week has been the outpourings of support and encouragement I have received in such a variety of ways. I have had lots of cards (some of which have genuinely made me well up) and my window sills and tables are covered with beautiful summery bunches of flowers that remind me of the beautiful outside world during the many hours when I am too tired to be out there. Top tip for anyone having a hip replacement is to get some vases – we are using a teapot, pint glasses, a tankard and a biscuit tin! The messages from friends, family, acquaintances and new online connections have helped to keep me sane and levelled at a time when I feel like I could easily have completely lost the plot. I have seen the full contingent of my siblings and my mum has been an absolute godsend. If I didn’t have her to help me get sorted in the morning and to take the pressure off my boyfriend, I don’t know what I would do. He is doing an amazing job and gets the worst of me (morning and evening), it can’t be easy being at work all day and coming home to this!
The other high has been being able to go to the yard every day. I knew this was what I wanted to do and what I intended to do but I never actually expected to be able to manage it! Obviously this is all down to my super chauffeurs but I cannot underestimate the healing power of breathing in that familiar horsey smell and putting my arms round that fat cobby neck! If I can keep up my horsey fix I know it is going to help keep the frustration of not being able to ride at bay.
Another high has been the progress I have made since my operation. Considering on day one I wasn’t allowed to move and by the end of day two I had gone up stairs and been signed off from hospital physio, I have done really well. I couldn’t drag my leg across the bed unattended and now I can lift it up and move it outwards. My muscles are getting less stiff, my leg is starting to feel like my own and I am moving in the right direction. I had physio at the local hospital today and she was pretty impressed with how I’m doing so it is onwards and upwards with my exercises.
The lows of hospital were documented in The Big Day and An Even Bigger Day! I am so relieved to be away from the bedpan drama, the sickness and the out of control pain. I am glad that I hadn’t realised that I wouldn’t be up and using the toilet the day of my operation and I’m glad I hadn’t thought of the sickness. I think I would have felt far less positive going into the operation if I had known what the first 48 hours was actually going to be like!
I talked about my first home based down day in The New ‘Normal’. I tried to roll with my feelings during the day but it all came out when I hit the keyboard! Yesterday was another down day. After having a good few days of visitors and starting to feel more and more normal with everything becoming easier and easier, I had a rubbish night’s sleep, I was late on my first painkillers, I felt sick when I got up and then things didn’t get much better later. My visit to the yard resulted in a major dizzy, nausea moment – a blinding fog came over my head. I didn’t actually faint but if it wasn’t for my mum and the YO sticking a chair under me and a drink in my hand I would have. I think it was too hot, too much standing, I hadn’t done much walking but evidently hadn’t quite got the balance right. I ended up having a two hour sleep to recover which my mum decided to photograph (nothing quite like showing the reality of the situation!) Little things like spilling apple juice all over me, my dress, my blanket and my chair in the afternoon was just the icing on the cake of another frustrating day.
Although one of my highs was how much progress I have made in terms of my hip, one of the lows of this week has been how slowly I feel like I am progressing in terms of my energy. I feel so tired and every small activity completely knocks me out. Each time I think I have some energy or I think it is a good day, it quickly turns into a tired day. I’m not getting enough quality sleep to get me through the day but I am assuming that the anaesthetic and drugs aren’t helping either. I don’t want to plateau and I want to do more walking (which I should be doing), I just need to get past this energy block.
Hopefully by this time next week I will be less tired, eating proper meals, walking more than once a day without crashing and.. excitingly, I will have had my wound checked and will have the all clear from everyone to shower! Keep your fingers crossed for me!