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  • Hip Replacement Surgery - I Need Moral Support

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    Old 05-03-2008, 07:36 AM   #1
    kate38ca
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    Hip Replacement Surgery - I Need Moral Support

    I had my right hip replaced almost eight weeks ago and am badly in need of moral support because I have become very depressed. I feel recovery is happening at a snail's pace and it is driving me crazy. I'd like to know how others have coped with this period in their recovery. PLEASE do not respond with how well I'll be in six months. I need some strategies for coping with NOW. There are many things I still can't do or am not allowed to do - driving being a big one thing. I'm housebound on week days. I hate doing the exercises I know I have to do because depression has almost immobilized me. One big problem is that I cannot move my right leg even 1" off the bed when I'm lying on my back nor can I move it from right to left when lying on my back. The muscle feels totally useless. I have become weary of the ongoing discomfort.

    A second issue is that my main caregiver, my spouse, is exhausted and has become discouraged with everything. She's badly in need of some support too.

    I would like to hear from people who are either having a rough time recovering from surgery or had a rough time and how they dealt with it on a day-to-day basis, especially if they are prone to depression like I am.

     
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    Old 05-03-2008, 09:03 AM   #2
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    Re: Hip Replacement Surgery - I Need Moral Support

    Dear Kate:

    I can't speak to depression, because haven't experienced that. Sorry you are feeling so down.

    I still use a "leg lifter" which I purchased from a medical supply store near to the rehab facility in which I spent two very helpful weeks. This leg lifter is wonderful. I also had right hip replacement. I also purchased two very short bed rails- one for each side of the bed, that enable me to grab the one on the right side of my bed with my left hand - lift my upper body up, and at the same time use the leg lifter to help get my right leg off the side of the bed and putting my left leg over at the same time. Lift both legs together.
    Both the side rail and leg lifter are wonderfully liberating in getting up and down from the side of the bed. I couldn't get my upper body up without grabbing this rail. I use the right side of the bed. I live alone, so have done this all by myself since I got back home from the rehab place.

    Have you asked your hip surgeon when you are allowed to start driving? I suppose we all are different in when we are approved to do that. I was approved about a month after surgery, which really surprised me. Knowing how to get in and out of the driver's seat is very important. I got some good tips from an Internet Web site which had pictures in addition to text. Put pillow on driver seat to keep hips above knees, use plastic bag over the pillow for easy sliding. To get in, back up to the driver's seat, hanging on to the door jamb on each side for safety. It is hard at first to do all this, but I got used to it fast. Used leg lifter to lift right leg into car seat at same time as lifting left leg. Hold legs together as you enter. Move car seat way back to get more room before sitting down on the seat.

    I did and still do the on-the-bed exercises that involve only pressing one's knees, buttocks, and heels against the bed. Do each 15 times. These don't require a lot of motivation and they really help. Also did ankle "pumps". Exercises were taught in the rehab place. Also included in hospital booklet sent before surgery. I started doing them before the surgery and still do them every day a couple times each leg.

    I don't know if I have helped you any, but I tried.

    Shirley H.

    Last edited by Silver Swan; 05-03-2008 at 09:08 AM. Reason: please delete one message - duplicated

     
    Old 05-03-2008, 09:05 AM   #3
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    Re: Hip Replacement Surgery - I Need Moral Support

    Dear Kate:

    I can't speak to depression, because haven't experienced that. Sorry you are feeling so down.

    I still use a "leg lifter" which I purchased from a medical supply store near to the rehab facility in which I spent two very helpful weeks. This leg lifter is wonderful. I also had right hip replacement. I also purchased two very short bed rails- onefor each side of the bed, that enable me to grab the one on the right side of my bed with my left hand - lift my upper body up, and at the same time use the leg lifter to help get my right leg off the side of the bed and putting my left leg over at the same time. Lift both legs together.
    Both the side rail and leg lifter are wonderfully liberating in getting up and down from the side of the bed. I use the right side of the bed. I live alone, so have done this all by myself since I got back home from the rehab place.

    Have you asked your hip surgeon when you are allowed to start driving? I suppose we all are different in when we are approved to do that. I was approved about a month after surgery, which really surprised me. Knowing how to get in and out of the driver's seat is very important. I got some good tips from an Internet Web site which had pictures in addition to text. Put pillow on driver seat to keep hips above knees, use plastic bag over the pillow for easy sliding. To get in, back up to the driver's seat, hanging on to the door jamb on each side for safety. It is hard at first to do this, but I got used to it fast. Used leg lifter to lift right leg into car seat at same time as lifting left leg. Hold legs together as you enter. Move car seat way back to get more room before sitting down on the seat.

    I did and still do the on-the-bed exercises that involve only pressing one's knees, buttocks, and heels against the bed. Do each 15 times. These don't require a lot of motivation and they really help. Also did ankle "pumps". Exercises were taught in the rehab place. Also included in hospital booklet sent before surgery. I started doing them before the surgery and still do them every day a couple times each leg.

    I don't know if I have helped you any, but I tried.

    Shirley H.

     
    Old 05-03-2008, 01:20 PM   #4
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    Re: Hip Replacement Surgery - I Need Moral Support

    Hi. I haven't had my surgery yet, but I'm worried too about not being able to drive and being housebound when friends and family aren't around. I do have some stores close by (about 1/4 mile tops) that can be reached by walking quiet neighborhood streets. I'm hoping to make it my goal to eventually walk to those stores. Can you think of something doable like that--an activity with a goal that you might be able to pursue without your partner at your side. At 8 weeks, I'm assuming you can walk with cane or walker and don't necessarily need someone with you at all times. I'm also hoping that two of my friends who took early retirement are going to be available for entertainment purposes occasionally. Do you have any friends who could be your chauffeur during the week or who could join you for videos and popcorn? Having people around always helps me feel better.

    You might also ask your doctor for some antidepressants if you aren't already taking something (and, of course, if same would be compatible with any other meds you might be taking).

    I have purchased bed rails and a leg lifter after reading Shirley's advice and talking to other folks who have already had surgery. If you don't have such assistive devices, you might consider it. Anything that helps us be independent is probably worth the money!

    Take care.

     
    Old 05-03-2008, 01:56 PM   #5
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    Re: Hip Replacement Surgery - I Need Moral Support

    To larimergirl:

    I hope I made it clear that my bed rails are quite short - maybe a little over a foot on top and are for grabbing, not for keeping one from falling out of bed!
    They have very long "feet" that fit between the mattress and box spring. I wouldn't give them up for anything! I couldn't get out of bed without them. With rail and leg lifter it's duck soup!

    At the rehab facility, the dining room was about a block distance from my private room or maybe it just felt that way - it was a very long hallway. It took a lot of energy to walk to and from meals at first but became easier gradually. It was after getting home and doing a lot of walking around here that walking gradually got much easier.

    Now this week I am using the cane more and more and doing some walking without it. I still use the walker when getting up at night.

    Improvement has come gradually I have found, and then there are weeks where it seems to happen overnight. Very soon now I will be walking without any aid at all but I am not going to rush it. Slow but sure....

    By the way, larimer girl, you can start using the rail and leg lifter right now and get used to them.


    Shirley H.

     
    Old 05-03-2008, 03:51 PM   #6
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    Re: Hip Replacement Surgery - I Need Moral Support

    I just ordered the rail--its actually adjustable and l think its going to be similar to the ones you describe. I'll know when I get it in a few days!

    Maggie

     
    Old 05-04-2008, 04:54 AM   #7
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    Re: Hip Replacement Surgery - I Need Moral Support

    Hi larimergirl (Maggie):

    With having the grab bar rail and leg lifter ahead of time, you can get all practised up, and by the time you come home after the surgery, getting in and out of bed will have become an automatic procedure. This will help a lot in your rehab. Getting in and out of bed can be a major problem without these helps. The more independent you can be, the faster things will go. Walking around home a lot is great therapy. It also aids blood circulation in the legs, which is very important.

    Shirley H.

     
    Old 05-05-2008, 06:18 AM   #8
    kate38ca
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    Re: Hip Replacement Surgery - I Need Moral Support

    Thanks for replying folks. I think it helps to talk with others who have had HRS because we have first hand knowledge of the experience.
    I live with clinical depression but have been helped enormously with meds but this is pushing me to the brink of another breakdown.
    I think it would help to be told exactly what to expect during the recovery period, rather than "in six months you'll be glad you did it". From the first moment when I couldn't lift my right foot off the floor four days after surgery through these past eight weeks when progress seems to happen at a snail's pace I feel it would have helped to know what to expect.
    On top of everything I think I pulled a muscle in my sleep two nights ago so I'm in even more pain again.
    I had my first post-op appointment with the surgeon on Friday, including x-rays and everything looks fine. Of course x-rays don't show muscles so who knows what is going on there. And that is the big problem as far as I'm concerned... e.g. was anything damaged during the surgery?
    I was told it would be a minimum of another six weeks before I will feel much better. The day by day aches, pains and immobility really get me down.

     
    Old 05-05-2008, 08:07 AM   #9
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    Re: Hip Replacement Surgery - I Need Moral Support

    Hi again Kate:

    Did you have any therapy at all after your hip replacement? I started doing the on - the - bed simple leg exercises about a month before surgery - all self taught from the huge booklet of information sent by the hospital. My health insurance plan sent me to a rehab facility for two weeks, because I have no one at home here to help. This was wonderful. The physical therapists there used the same on - the - bed excercises that I had already learned. These were done of course on their mats in the PT room. There were quite a few of us hip girls there and it was very hard work but also fun in a way. We all had therapy twice a day and some days dreaded the hard work, but it got us better fast. This therapy got me walking with a walker and every day saw more improvment and less discomfort.

    I am so glad that I found this Forum before surgery because I learned so much from the postings and read all the hundreds of postings in the "6 months after THR" collection. This is at the top of the Forum and I recommend your reading them.

    I still do the bed exercises but was told to not overdo them. Everyone's progress comes at a different rate but exercise and a lot of walking around home help immensely.

    Shirley H.

     
    Old 05-06-2008, 10:20 AM   #10
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    Re: Hip Replacement Surgery - I Need Moral Support

    Hi,

    I hope this finds you feeling better and in better spirits. Hip replacement recovery is hard, I'm on my second hip replacement, and I have a knee replacement as well. Recovery takes time. I can relate to not being able to lift your leg off the bed, at first that was so hard for me, I could not beleive it. I can't stress how important your exercises are. Please do them daily, hard as they are, eventually, you will see progress, it's slow, but it does happen!

    Being allowed to drive with a right hip is sometimes a little longer than with a left hip (which is what I'm doing right now) so I was able to drive at 4 weeks, which helped me a lot. Try to do things for yourself that make you feel good about yourself inside. Maybe someone can take you out for a short drive or do to something that makes you feel happy. Walking is very important, even if only a little bit each day, and try to get outside and walk if that is possible.

    Let your doctor know too how you are feeling and the stress this is taking on your care giver too, perhaps they can help.

    I know it's so difficult to see the light at the end of the tunnel right now, but it does get better. Even though this is my second hip replacement, and I knew what to expect, I forgot about the depression! I'm more mobile now and able to drive but I still feel a little cut off from friends, etc. They all are busy, have their own lives and I never realized how much I would miss working!

    The depression is gripping me right now. All I do is cry! I know it will pass but sheesh I'm tired of it already. Pain wise the hip feels good, and I'm walking better with my cane and physical therapy is going well. I just need to hang in there.

    Try to keep smiling, it DOES get better!

     
    Old 05-06-2008, 10:24 AM   #11
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    Re: Hip Replacement Surgery - I Need Moral Support

    I felt the same way after surgery. I had mine 3 months ago. I wanted recovery to go faster. But the more I exercised the better I felt.
    I went through a bit of depression, as well. I think because I was not used to being dependant on others for personal needs.
    For me, though, the better I felt physically, and the more I was able to do, the better I felt emotionally.
    I am finally back to work and , while not perfect, I feel much better.

     
    Old 05-06-2008, 02:19 PM   #12
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    Smile Re: Hip Replacement Surgery - I Need Moral Support

    Relying on others is the hard part. You take for granted all you used to be able to do, until you can no lnoger do it. I was able to sweep the floors today..yay even though I have to have someone else sweept it into the garbage for me, it helped me to feel a little more productive. Even maganged to put dinner together...

    Hope I didn't forget how to cook!

     
    Old 05-06-2008, 02:36 PM   #13
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    Re: Hip Replacement Surgery - I Need Moral Support

    Hey meeyra!

    I have the answer to easy sweeping - years ago I bought a long handled dustpan that came with a long handled broom of course. This is the greatest thing whether you have had a total hip replacement or not. I even use it to pick up the huge Sunday paper we get here. The reacher is good enough for the daily paper, but not the Sunday one.

    I believe in wheels and long handles wherever possible.

    Shirley H.

     
    Old 05-06-2008, 06:32 PM   #14
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    Re: Hip Replacement Surgery - I Need Moral Support

    Hi Shirley! Thank you what a GREAT idea! I will go out and find one, it will give me something to do tomorrow! I have the grabber/reacher for picking up things like my cell phone, the remote, tennis balls for the dog, etc, and like you said it won't touch the sunday paper...excellent idea!!

    Thanks so much!

    meeyra

     
    Old 05-07-2008, 04:28 AM   #15
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    Re: Hip Replacement Surgery - I Need Moral Support

    Hi meeyra:

    I am delighted that you are going to look for a long handled dust pan. I got mine at a grocery store and it was about $15 or so. It has a plastic dust part and this folds back up for easy storage. One can also find metal ones. Hardware stores would carry these long handled dust pans. Even people without new hips can appreciate not having to bend down with a regular dustpan. I have had my long handled one for a long time - before the hip problems. Saves one's back too. And the more we can do for ourselves the better we feel, I have found. My very first long handled dust pan I bought at a dollar store many years ago. I also used it in the yard too, to pick up twigs. It did not fold up and finally got sort of worn.

    Shirley H.

    Last edited by Silver Swan; 05-07-2008 at 04:37 AM. Reason: punctuation

     
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