There are a lot of things that I have realised since my op that either no one told me or I didn’t realise before. Obviously not all of them would be relevant to everyone’s THR recovery but they were certainly relevant to me! Obviously I’m not a medical professional either but this was my experience! I started writing this post just after my hip replacement and there has been plenty to add to it since.
The Hospital Stage
- A general anaesthetic can make you puke. Lots. I should have known this but when it happened I was completely mentally unprepared. Since I’ve spent the last 10+ years successfully avoiding being sick, it wasn’t great.
- I had to have an oxygen tube to start with. This surprised me!
- The whole puking thing also meant I didn’t want to eat because I knew it wouldn’t stay down long.
- I got painted in red antiseptic which made me wake up and think I had something wrong with me.
- I was really swollen near the incision.
- Regardless of what I was told before my op, I still had to wait two weeks to shower.
- The car journey home felt like the worst rollercoaster I’d ever been on!
The Early Stages
- Anti-embolism socks made my heels sore. I used cotton pads on my heels which helped (although it is not medically recommended). Someone moisturising my feet helped even more!
- I completely lost my appetite.
- Whatever I was told before my operation, regardless of having a raised toilet seat, I could find NO way to go to the toilet without breaking my 90 degree bend restriction. Sorry.
- I got SO tired. Doing basically nothing. But I couldn’t necessarily sleep at night because it was just so uncomfortable lying flat on my back.
- As well as being tired, my brain was generally very fuzzy (probably the painkillers).
- When I went out in the sun I had a fair few faint moments (woops!)
- My scar pulled the skin around it tight, making a bit of a crater in my flesh! This happened a little bit with my original scar from my childhood operations but it has been far more significant with my hip replacement scar.
- I had to repeatedly explain why I had had a hip replacement!
The “Crutch Free” Stage
- Post op. walking was not walking. It was a funny cross between shuffling and marching.
- When I was still on bending restrictions but with the crutches and socks gone, everyone else thought that I was fully recovered.
- Or rather, most people thought I was fully recovered APART from the people who saw me carrying around a pillow so that I could sit down without breaking the aforementioned restrictions.
The Later Stages
- Little things reminded me that I had a false hip but everyone else had forgotten it even happened.
- I started to want to do things that I never planned to do! The perfect example being my decision to run again.
- I keep discovering things which are a hundred times less painful than they were before I had my new hip – no stirrups riding anyone?