Lots and lots of naps!
Honestly, there isn’t a ton more I could write except that one line to generalize the remainder of the first week since surgery, but I’ll go into more details for those interested.
Day 1 at Home
Following the car ride home (which was smoother and less painful then the first time around) it was all about relaxing. We made it home by 1 pm and I immediately headed to my zero gravity chair (as it was to early to head to bed). This chair is the greatest chair for post-hip surgery ever!! You can sit, or you can lay down, it doesn’t matter. And the effort that it takes to change your body position in the chair is minimal and doesn’t put strain on your body.
A friend of mine came to visit for a little bit. It was nice to see a friendly face for a little bit. I was still taking drugs every 4 hours as it was hard to get comfortable, no matter where I was or what I would do.
When doing the hospital physiotherapy exercises, in the afternoon, the quad was still giving me a lot of trouble! It felt like a thousand knives and I just couldn’t do anything with it. My boyfriend still needed to lift my leg up to complete that exercise. Everything is exhausting… early to bed for me.
Day 2 at Home
Quad still wasn’t reacting. I started to see bruising around the incision spot. This is something that I did not see following the first replacement. I am not sure what or why this would be the case but it is.
Lots of napping, reading and HGTV (I don’t have cable at home so whenever I’m at my parents place I always tend to watch the home improvement shows… they’re addicting!) Two friends and their dog also came to visit! It was really nice to sit in the backyard and see the dogs playing and get a little sun, since I have been in the hospital or a house for the past several days.
This was also the day that my Chiropractor came to visit!! I am so thankful for Dr. Neil. I’m a strong believer in Chiropractor’s and I wouldn’t have been in such a healthy state before surgery without him. His continuous care of me afterwards also helped a lot in my healing process. The first while he doesn’t adjust my hips or lower back (for obvious reasons) but he can adjust my upper back and neck even while I’m just sitting. The adjustments help so much especially with all the sitting and laying down (along with the lopsidedness of the hips).
The 1st Nights at Home
Getting into bed required someone to lift my operated leg and position it for me. I did not have the strength to do that on my own (and wouldn’t for a while still). I often had a pillow under my operated leg as well to help with the swelling. I found this more beneficial after my first surgery, and less comfortable after my second. After the second replacement the pillow caused a lot of pain in my knee and didn’t seem to help much with swelling (as I didn’t seem to have as much in general).
The bathroom trips at night, all of which I would have to wake someone up to assist me with the entire process, involved me calling our from my bedroom for someone… sometimes that would take a little while and sometimes it wouldn’t. I was not able to get my leg in or out of bed on my own so I needed someone to help me out of bed, someone was also there to ensure I did not fall on the way to or from the bathroom and someone was also there to ensure I did not fall off the toilet (yes, you can laugh, but when your semi-asleep and don’t have a working leg it’s very possible!)
Part of the safety of not falling was the use of my walker at night as it provided more stability while I was still sleepy. The walker was also necessary for sitting down on the toilet. The orthopedic toilet seats that I have don’t have handles on the sides, they also just sit on top of my normal toilet. Having the walker there for support to lower and raise yourself is very helpful for the first while (day or night… it doesn’t always get easier when your fully awake). Below is the set up that I had on the main floor.
For the first week or so my boyfriend did not stay in the same bed (as we normally would) because I find that I need a bit more space (then he’s use to giving me) and any movement or bump might cause me a lot of pain. So he sleeps in another room while I am initially recovering. While this did require me calling out for someone in the middle of the night, it was worth it for me.
While I was still waking up a couple times a night I was still taking my pain killers and Tylenol. While my bladder and the pain would wake me up ever 4 hours or so it worked out that I would just take my medication at that time. I highly recommend that you keep a drug journal. With someone helping you, and perhaps you helping yourself, tracking your drug intake is important so that you don’t take to much, or perhaps to little. It can be challenging to keep it all in your head, about what time you last took something and of what. My journal includes date, time, what I take (i.e. Tylenol or Pain killers) and how much. That way, whether it my boyfriend or mom, it’s all record and there are no mix ups!
Remainder of Week 1 at Home
Crutches are the walking device that I am using around the house. I am focusing on walking properly with them so that I have less re-training once I am allowed off crutches. (heel, toe, heel, toe, etc.)
I started to use a bed sheet to assist with my quad exercises. This was very painful (again a thousand knives) but I can slowly see progress, since before a bed sheet would have done nothing to help in lifting my leg! My the end of week 1 I was able to complete the last 2 reps (out of 10) without assistance (but still very challenging) but a lot of progress none the less!
This week was a lot of naps, TV watching, reading and colouring (yes, adult colouring books are awesome). I had another friend visit me this week, which I am always grateful for, cause I was getting a little stir crazy.
My over all pain management was nothing compared to the first hip replacement. I was on different medication and man did I make a HUGE difference in how I felt and how I functioned.
By the end of the first week I was able to take my first shower! To do this I saran wrap up my bandage (I didn’t necessarily have to do this because it is water proof but I didn’t want any moisture getting in). It’s a delicate balance getting in and out of the shower, I am lucky that my mom has a nice walk-in shower set up so it’s much easier but still a little nerve racking on the slipping possibilities. Someone has to assist with the washing of my operated leg. While I do have a long handled luffa, at this point I am not fully comfortable reaching forward, so my boyfriend or mom do it for me.
Naps, naps, physio exercises, TV and naps. That’s Week 1. Lots of down town and that’s alright with me, cause I know once I’m all healed up no one will be able to keep up with me.