> The Beesley Buzz: Total Hip Replacement Surgery: Day 4 post-op

Total Hip Replacement Surgery: Day 4 post-op

Written on Saturday 27th January 2018

Last night was my first night home from hospital.  Of course it is great to be home with my family. But I hadn't realised just how much harder things would be in a regular bed rather than an adjustable hospital bed. 

Firstly the instinct to just want to snuggle up and curl up under the duvet in my normal sleeping position  (on my side) was so strong. I couldn't imagine how I was going to stay sleeping on my back all night so I surrounded myself with rolled up towels and pillows either side. 

Lying down flat my back immediately began to hurt. My hips felt 'overstretched' at the front. I tried putting pillows under my knees. That relieved the pain in my lower back but then it occured to me that it could affect blood flow and as DVT is a risk despite wearing TED socks and being on anticoagulant blood thinners, I began to worry about whether it was ok to sleep like that. We phoned the hospital ward - they said no - it's not good for the hip to be in that position. 

I explained my dilemma about how the hospital beds had been supporting my back because I didn't ever lie it totally flat.  They suggested propping myself up with pillows. So through the night the little pockets of sleep I did get were either almost sat upright or propped up. 

I even got up several times and walked around the bedroom to ease the agitation in my legs. The pain relief isn't totally agreeing with me - I think being sent home on ibuprofen rather than diclofenac is making me feel a bit dizzy and a weird feeling in my stomach despite taking omeprazole along with it. 

I remember waking up at midnight, then being awake again at 2, 3 and 4am. I had to put a light on and sleep with it on for a while after a full blown panic attack in which I just wanted to escape out of my own body. I've only experienced them very rarely in the past when pregnant or in a very dark room. However much I tried to breathe calmly or think mind over matter I just had to wait until the worst of that horrible feeling passed. 

People keep asking me about the pain i'm in. Bizarrely it's not actual pain that's the issue- it's a kind of discomfort and agitation. I can't get comfy sitting or standing. In fact, despite the stiffness, swelling and bruising around the hip and thigh, walking (on my crutches) is the most comfortable thing at the moment.  I know from previous experience that when I can go from two crutches to one, that will feel like a breakthrough as it will leave a hand free for carrying things about. 

In terms of adaptations and changes to our home, we've got raised toilet seats- one from the hospital and one on loan from granny from when she had her knee replacement.  A grip rail around the toilet - again on loan from granny but has proved invaluable.  

I've also been given a 'helping hand' grabber from the hospital which helps me be able to reach for things when no-one else around as bending is not permitted. No movement beyond 90 degrees is permitted as it can dislocate the joint. 

We've swapped sides of the bed so I can get in and out on my operated side which is what they recommend.

We've just ordered a bedside cabinet which is taller than a chair I currently use as a bedside table as that should help me be able to reach for any essentials I need. 

Despite his own excruciating knee pain, Richard had managed to take Miss T's armchair downstairs. It feels too low to be comfortable even when I try additional cushions to raise the seat. So I'm finding it easier to use a dining chair to sit on as long as it is alongside the arm chair so I've got something to push down on to get up. At the moment the shower chair  (also lent to us by granny) is downstairs as it is height adjustable and has arms so has given me a different place to sit at times in the midst of feeling uncomfortable the whole time. 

So once again I ask myself based on how I'm feeling today... do I regret having the procedure done and sadly the answer remains yes. I'm still very conscious it is early days and SO many people say they are so happy with their new hips that I remain confident of that turning point coming. I just pray it will be sooner rather than later.  

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