Putting the HIP Back into Hip Replacements
Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought I would have needed a hip replacement. It started out as a headache in my leg and soon, I couldn’t walk. After swearing off surgery, I spent two painful years in denial going to physical therapy, trying acupuncture, taking medications, even talking to psychics – and just plain praying for a miracle. Having never had surgery, I was fearful of the unknown.
I love and live to walk. Back then, I could not walk more than a block without having to stop. Merely reaching the top of my apartment stairs was a feat that was not going to happen much longer. I basically had to become a pseudo-shut-in. Realizing I was only going downhill, I began to take matters into my own hands. I started calling surgeons and tracking people who had gone through this process before. I did a ton of research before and after so I knew what to ask when I met with the surgeon. In fact, I visited five surgeons. A swimmer at heart and new to the sport of golf, I was ready to get back to the life I had been missing out on. I needed to feel pain-free again. No one can imagine bone-on-bone pain until you have experienced it.
I created my own Surgery Preparation Regimen to get me through the next chapter in my life, complete with:
– A hip farewell party with 45 friends and family members to help create a positive spin on the experience
– Who would stay with me
– Who would bring me dinner
– How I would get around
– Who would take me for walks
– Who was my emergency contact if I was feeling down
– Who would take care of my son as I am a single mother
I also kept a journal so that I had a place to let my feelings out and get in touch with the ‘new me’ emerging through this process. I called it an initiation.
After surgery, my 88-year-old mother flew from Arizona to help ME. Talk about surreal. Never did my mother expect to be taking care of me and changing my light bulbs. But to be honest, it was kind of amazing.
Recovery was intense as I worked through the process of walking with an artificial hip. Then…TWO. I think it would be easy to say ‘poor me’ but instead, I embraced it and realized I needed to help myself and help others in the process.
Jump starting the healing process, I began blogging about my experiences. I am so grateful for the mobility I have now. I am now extra willing to help people struggle with the challenge of joint pain or those who need a replacement of any kind. That is why I wanted to blog. I created HIPSTERCLUB.COM to share my knowledge, experience, hope and to create a community.
Patients have to be their own advocate and I want to help be a solid resource for those willing to seek out the answers.
Whenever I see someone with a limp, I ask them if it is a knee or a hip! Who knows where conversation can lead.
Hi Jodi! I am not sure if I found your posts before or after my TWO successful hip replacement surgeries. But, it doesn’t matter, I am really glad that I did. I totally agree with all that you mentioned. You must be become your own advocate. No one knows you nor will take care of you, like you. The only other thing that I want to say or add is this. When the patient is going through the process, before, during and after…it is so important to your recovery to do exactly as you are being told. I did. I pushed myself when I felt like giving up. When I was told to keep trying, I tried. And now today, five years after having bilateral surgery, I feel great! I am able to do what I want to do without pain or discomfort. Of course, I know that I have limits and I stay within them without feeling any sense of denials. My thoughts to those contemplating surgery….just do it! You will not regret it!
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