Another post about my surgery! Yay! Well, my surgery has pretty much consumed my life lately, so I don’t have anything else exciting to talk about.
The first few days post surgery were terrible. I hurt. I couldn’t do anything myself. I could barely get out of bed. I was drowsy from all the medications.
It was hard, and honestly, I couldn’t have gotten through it without my wonderful husband, Danny. He did everything for me. He gave me all my medications. He helped me into all machines and stayed close when I was on my crutches. He helped me to the bathroom and helped me get dressed. He took care of the kids. He cooked and brought me meals in bed. He went to Whole Foods and got me sushi. He sat up with me in the middle of the night when I couldn’t sleep because of the pain. He comforted me when I had mini meltdowns and cried my eyes out. (Don’t worry, it got better.)
Danny made me breakfast:
I am so thankful that I had Danny to help me through those first few tough days.
Coming home from the hospital, I had five medications to take.
- Aspirin – taken twice a day for thirty days post surgery to prevent blood clots
- Indomethacin – taken once a day for ten days to prevent bony overgrowth and to help inflammation
- Colace – a stool softener to help with “things” caused by anesthesia and the narcotic pain medcine
- Hydrocodone (Norco) - a narcotic pain medicine taken every 4-6 hours as needed for pain
- Zofran – anti-nausea medicine. I didn’t take this medicine but I wasn’t nauseous once I left the hospital.
I was in a good amount of pain when I came home from the hospital. I took the Narco every four hours the first few days. Besides the hip pain, I had intense stomach pain. At times, my stomach hurt more than my hip.
The first few days, my stomach was serverly bloated. I looked and felt five months pregnant. I was so uncomfortable and didn’t know what was wrong. The pain was so intense that I spent most of Saturday night awake and crying. I was ready to go to the emergency room.
Danny called the nurse Sunday morning and she said sometimes it’s a side effect from the Narco. The narcotics can make your insides go numb, making it harder to go to the bathroom, thus causing the bloating. I was certain that she was wrong and I either had fluid in my stomach from surgery or I was dying.
She said to drink lots of water, eat more fiber, and take a laxative. I decided that Norco was the devil and decided to stop taking it.
After a few days, my stomach pain subsided and the bloating went away. I have to make sure to eat healthy and if I eat too much sugar or processed foods, the pain is intense. I have being dealing with stomach issues for awhile and have started drinking Good Belly and taking Probiotics.
Stopping the Narco seemed like a good idea at first. My pain was pretty manageable during the day and if my hip hurt a lot, I used my ice machine. Then nighttime came. Sleeping is rough. I have to wear feet booties strapped together which is terrible.
Finally, I worked out a system. I wouldn’t take pain medicine during the day and would use the ice machine for pain. Before bed I would take the pain medicine. So far, so good.
I also came home with four different machines/equipment/braces.
Let’s talk about crutches for a minute. When I was in elementary school, I thought crutches were so cool. If someone ever broke a leg or twisted an ankle and got to use crutches, I was jealous. They looked so fun! Yay crutches!! Yeah, no.
Crutches are terrible. They are not fun. They are hard and uncomfortable to use. I felt like a baby deer just learning to walk when I first starting using them. I was all wobbly and fell over a lot. Danny had to stand six inches from me at all times so he could catch me when I fell.
I eventually got the hang of the crutches but I still hate them. They are exhausting to walk long distances with and it’s hard to determine how much weight I should be putting on my leg when using them.
I need to wear a hip brace at all times when I am up and about. I don’t need to wear it while using my other machines, going to the bathroom, or showering. The rest of the time I need to wear it.
It straps around my waist and around my thigh to keep my leg from hyperflexing and abducting. It’s tolerable.
- Continuous Passive Motion Machine
I use this machine four hours a day for the first two weeks.
It’s a large machine that my legs sits it and it extends and flexs my leg. Each day, I decrease the extension and increase the flexion. It’s kind of a pain to use but it’s not terrible.
Not the best picture, but hopefully you get the idea:
Of all my devices, the night time padding is the worse. I hate it. It makes sleeping impossible.
Basically it’s two booties that strap around my feet and they are attached with industrial strength velco to a drum that goes in the middle of my feet. The point is to keep my feet pointing upward and locked together so my hip can’t externally rotate.
It’s annoying to wear and I need to sleep on my back with my feet straight out, strapped together, and pointing upward. The bottom of the padding cuts into the bottom of my foot, similar to breaking in a new pair of shoes. I now place a thick piece of gauze under my heel and attach it with tape.
I did try sleeping in my hip brace for half a night which is an option if you can’t sleep in the foot padding. It’s only slightly better. Night time is the hardest time for me.
I saved the best for last! The ice machine is my best friend. I straps around my waist and leg and pumps ice cold water to ice packs inside it. It’s supposed to cycle on and off every hour. Mine doesn’t. It stays on continously for some reason. I have to remember to take it off after an hour or my leg goes numb.
I used it on and off continously for the first three days and now I just use it as needed.
Two Days Post-Op
My first physical therapy appointment was on Friday, two days after my operation. It was tough because I was still really out of it and in a lot of pain. The therapist did some different leg circles with my leg and bent it up and down. He gave me some exercises to do at therapy and at home which included quad squeezes, glute squeezes, hamstring squeezes, and ab squeezes. I am really good at squeezing. Really good.
He also showed me the proper way to use the crutches and how to put the right amount of weight on my leg.
I asked the physical therapist if I would be okay to attend my niece’s birthday party the next day and he said as long as I sat, wore my hip brace, and stayed for a short time then I should be fine.
Three Days Post-Op
My niece’s 3rd birthday party was on Saturday. Even though I was still a little out of it and sore, I really wanted to attend her party. It ended up being a very hard day. First, I mixed up the time and we ended up leaving our house earlier than we needed to so we ended up just going back home since I couldn’t stay out too long.
We got home and I was so exhausted that I slept for thirty minutes before we headed out again. When we we’re leaving for the second time, I tripped and fell down the last few stairs. I can’t even describe the pain. I stood there, crying, for a very long time. Danny kept trying to talk me out of going to the party but I was determined.
We finally made it to the party. I was in a lot of pain but I took pain medicine and sat in a chair with my leg up the entire time. It was hard but I was glad that I was able to make it to my niece’s party. We stayed for awhile and then went home where I immediately put on my ice machine and passed out for hours.
My family was so supportive and helpful those first few days. My in-laws and my stepmom took the kids for a few hours a couple of the days. They sent me flowers and cards.
They brought me magazines and candy. My aunt sent me a package of books!
And the nice people at Luna sent me an awesome care package.
Luckily, after the first few days, I managed to start feeling a lot better! More on that later!
Enjoy your day!!