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5 Months Post Hip Replacement Surgery.

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I had my left hip replaced 5 months ago. The impact was more than I expected. The recovery process has been impaired by a bout of Sciatica in the left leg along with the additional stress on my left knee from the re-alignment of my leg.

I was starting to get really worried. Walking up a flight of steps was more like hauling myself up by the hand rails. Walking down – the left knee would not effectively support the leg. Sleep was never a full night of rest without some level of discomfort waking me. The bottle of Advil was out on the counter for those occasions.

5 months in – and things they are a changing.

I actually walked up a flight of steps without holding on. It took a bit of focus but I did it – and each time has become easier. Stepping up on the curb with my left leg has become easier as has stepping off the curb with my right leg.

I’ve started to phase back in Squats of various nature and form. Not easy – my knees still hate me – but it is happening and getting easier.

There are two ways forward: Favor the left leg and never recover -or- force the left leg to work and eventually recover. 

There are all too many people walking around with canes and walkers because they would not go the distance in strengthening their affected leg.

5 months in – and I have hope of finally getting back in action. Some articles I’ve read speak of the 6 month mark as  being significant – and one year to a full recovery. Seems to be the way things are playing out.

No Regrets – the hip pain needed to be rectified.

And – the Sciatica has found the exit door – not fully shut – but getting there. I wonder – what is/was the relationship between the Sciatica and the hip replacement surgery? 

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Unintended Consequences – Part One

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Unintended Consequences – a term I’ve come to know all to well. It applies to so many areas of our lives. Some are positive – some are negative. In my life, those unintended consequences apply to several areas: VLCHF Eating – Weight Loss – Exercise – Hip Replacement Surgery. In no special order and not focusing on the positive or the negatives – but just the Consequence:

Hip Replacement Surgery:

I am super flat footed. Prior to any surgery, my right foot turned significantly outward. The Left foot did the same – but nowhere as much. Both legs are now pointed forward. Wonderful – but – 70 odd years of being flat footed, not only did my feet turn out – but the knees and ankles turned to support the body – along with all my muscles. Both knees now turn inward – kinda “knocked kneed.” The Surgeon said: “I can straighten out that knee.” Sorry – not so quick.

After the right hip was done, and I started driving, I realized that the seat and wheel adjustment where all wrong. Damn – my leg now gets in the way of the steering wheel.

My left leg – still figuring this one out – but my knees really – really hate me. My leg seems “loose” and not quite nailed into place – time will tell. I’ve been told that balance is not fully restored for close to a year. Leg/foot swelling – Six months.

After the right hip was done – I realized my right leg was 1/2 inch or more longer than my left. I had a lift made to insert into my left shoe. The surgeon lengthened my left leg to try and even me out. So far so Good. Does this mean I have regained 1/2 inch of age related lost height – can I carry more weight? Do my pants need to be re-sized?

But – I seem to have a real pain in the butt problem – which I finally have analyzed as a bout of Sciatica. Last bout – 20 years ago. Cause – effect – your guess is as good as mine.

The anesthesia for the first surgery caused a serious side effect which took several weeks to diagnosis. – That delay exacerbated the problem. Took several months to come out the other side. This time – I was aware of the possibility and was on top of it from 5 minutes after surgery. Same problem – just recovered faster. Had to be my own health care advocate when the specialist suggested a “temporary fix” that was not acceptable. – No – I am not going to elaborate.

All of my shoes have been worn down based on my feet turning out. Need to buy an entire wardrobe of new shoes – just have to wait until my foot stops swelling up.

……………..to be continued………………

Another Hip – Another Replacement

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Tomorrow I have my left hip replaced. I may very well be in the hospital for Thanksgiving. Some thoughts:

The hospital meals are the classic high carb – low fat – low salt meals. By the time I complain – I’ll be out of there.

If they discharge me on Turkey Day – It will disrupt everyone’s Thanksgiving and they will believe they have to bring it all to my house. I’ll be happy with whatever the hospital serves.

The new hip will increase my weight by a pound or more.

I will not be able to exercise – in the manner I want to – for many months. But – I may be able to go back on the Treadmill without pain.

Eating at home for several weeks will help control my weight. Not being able to imbibe while taking pain killers will also help my weight.

Not being in pain along with the pain killers – should make for a better night’s sleep.

Balance Pain versus disruption of my normal life – Pain rules the day – Surgeon – do your thing!

Detour

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Detour

This Blog has been and will continue to be a chronicling of my fitness and diet journey.  At times, the journey has been smooth – almost predictable.  At other times, I’ve hit some major bumps in the road.   So far – none of the curve balls that life has thrown at me and my family has thrown me too far off course.  In fact, some of those bumps have actually kept me even more focused on my journey.

The stroke that felled my wife has had a number of unexpected ramifications.

She was in residential re-hab for 3 months:  Going to the gym every day – kept me sane.

When she returned home, her Physical Therapy sessions were less than thrilling.  I became her Therapist – Personal Trainer.  This has kept us going to the gym 6 days a week for the last two years.  I probably would have thrown in the towel if I did not need to help her.  At her last physical, her physician was amazed at her recovery.  I commented that she is working hard.  He said – she has a great Coach.  We make a great team.

The stroke hit her neurologically.  Guess what – Ketones are part of the answer.  Surprise.  Again – this has kept us on the straight and narrow.

Years ago, all of these bumps-in-the-road would have resulted in my regaining my weight and walking out of the gym and not looking back.

Not today.  Not ever.

And Now – The latest Detour – I need my Right Hip Replaced – the pain is over the top.  Bone on bone – the cartilage is gone. Eventually – the left also.  But now – we focus on the Right.

So far – I keep going to the gym.  I’ve pulled back on certain exercises – and weights – but I am still doing more than the next guy.  I believe that my muscle tone will help my recovery from surgery – it had better help.  The surgery will be mid-December.  I intend to chronicle this aspect of my journey as I have the others.

There is some humor:  The loss of weight should make the surgery easier.  But – I will gain 1 -1.5 pounds from the prosthesis.  Not Fair.

The muscle tone should help recovery – but too much muscle interferes with the surgery – Damn – how do I know when too much is too much?  Yeah – probably Schwartznegger size might be too much – no worry here.