I will be having my hip replacement on April 14th.
I admit I’ve had my surgery date since right after my last post, but I didn’t want to make a post that just said my surgery date, so I’ve been procrastinating. I’ve also been busy getting ready. There’s really a lot to do. Had to get blood test to make sure I’m not anemic. If I had been I would have needed to start a drug to build that up a month before surgery. Since I’m not, I still need to start iron supplements 2 weeks before to reduce the chances of needing a transfusion. I’ll soon be having the post-surgical mobility people come out to help set up our home so I’ll be all set up after surgery. For now there are certain things we know we need to do and are trying to get those things done. (like lift a chair for me, and the bed…) There’s just all kinds of things I have to do……
Aqua Physical Therapy has been going well. It is magical. I get in the water and suddenly I can walk with no pain. I go from not being able to put weight on my leg without excruciating pain, to no pain! Amazing. Some of the exercises to hurt, can’t avoid that, it’s so different than normally being in physical therapy when you feel better and better as you go along. My pain is getting worse. We understand why, of course, but it’s difficult. However, I am getting stronger. I can do more repetitions on some exercises, can walk further, I just can’t certain exercises any more, and we have to change other exercises . She has mentioned how amazed she is at how much better my balance and vertigo have been. I noticed it too. When I first started going to the pool I was a woobly mess; the last session, on Thursday, I walked the length of the pool without having to have her hold on to me. That’s huge really.
On Sunday I woke up with vertigo. Just a moment and it was gone. I started to move and it was back. Ughumph. Back to my head on the pillow and it settled down. What the? I tried again. Same thing. So, I tried moving my head on my pillow….sure enough, if I moved my head a certain way the vertigo would start, fast! Oh it was BAD! Head back to neutral! Positional vertigo! I have no idea why. Normally when I have positional vertigo it is in conjunction with a migraine. So I took my migraine medication. It didn’t work. All day Sunday and Monday if I moved my head I was spinning. My only relief was to lie on my LEFT side. During the night on Monday it woke me up when I moved my head the wrong way in my sleep. I almost threw up in the bed. ughumph! Then I woke up on Tuesday still feeling very off. I was so cautious, I wasn’t sure I even wanted to attempt to move my head, I decided to just go to the bathroom. I hobbled to the bathroom with the help of my walker my head tilted to the side. In the bathroom I held on to the sink and straightened my head. No spinning. Good sign. I tilted it back. No vertigo! Really? I rotated it around …very…very…slowly…no vertigo. WOW. Yes I’m still very wonky and feel…well…off…but I’m not spinning! thank goodness.
What would this mean if it happened right after my surgery. Should I be thinking about this now? Really how can I NOT? I know I can’t change it if it happens. So, I have to think about it, I just do! I need to figure out a better way to handle this situation if it happens during my recovery. The only way that I was able to really stop the vertigo was to lie on my LEFT side. I’m having my LEFT hip replaced. I won’t be able to lie on that side for a while, at least not constantly for two and a half days. I’m not going to be able to figure this out right now, but I have to think about it. Getting up and down and keeping to the “rules” on how I can bend my hip was pretty darn impossible too. But that will have to be done. Hopefully that will be easier when I have a chair set up for me. Also being able to just lean to the left in the chair but not put all my weight on that side might would work better in a chair? If I have a bad attack and I can’t tell what way is up, or down, or left, or right….I have no balance at all….really, it is VERY hard to explain…there is no way I will be able to control how I fall in a situation like that. I’m not just dizzy, I have no clear vision at all, what I’m seeing is like a camera that is just spinning around and around as fast as it could be….and it doesn’t stop. I can’t tell what my body is doing. It’s not just what I’m seeing, my body feels as if things are moving too. When you are dizzy you feel a little off-balance. When you have vertigo at its worst you feel as if you are being tossed around. When I tell people I get vertigo, they often think I get dizzy. It isn’t the same thing. It’s funny, when I haven’t had vertigo for a long time and then I have an attack I forget just how bad it is. Not really….it is there in my mind….but my body forgets. It has to I think, for self-preservation. If it didn’t I think fear would control my life.
As it is now, my body handles it much better than it used to. As long as I’m in a safe place, lying down. I ride out most attacks pretty well, thanks to my mindfulness techniques, and a little help from medication. If I’m walking….that is terrifying. When this first started happening my head turned the wrong way when I was coming out of the bathroom and I started spinning fast! The walls moved, the floor moved, I grabbed the wall and held on! Luckily Stuart was right there. (I’m so lucky that normally when I need him most he is right there.) At this time my head tilted to the left and the world straightened. Oh, I had my head at the wrong angle….duh. I knew this was positional vertigo. Remember, living one moment at a time….without judgment.
Since this happened I think it showed me I can’t wait until it happens after my surgery to think about it. I have to think about it now. I am going to talk to my physical therapist, and the post op physical therapist about this. I’m lucky because my physical therapist who works with me in the pool is also a physical therapist who works with patients as soon as they come out of surgery to help them understand the right way to get up and down and stuff like that. She has already showed me some things so I’ve been practicing. I think that’s a great idea, that way I think I’ll be much less likely to goof up after surgery if I’m already getting up and down the way you are supposed to.
Not long now, and I will be in much less pain, but I’ll need to be careful. A few restriction that I think will be hard to stick to. I was talking to a new friend who had this done for the same reason a couple of years ago, and she said that it went so easily that it made it difficult to follow the rules for as long as they say….but it’s very important to do so. I’m going to try my darndest! I’m really good at following instructions, I think, why go through all of this and not follow the recommended instructions? I sure don’t want to mess up and end up having surgery again.
So, this time I think there is a bit of thinking about the future to be done. Not really thinking about it as in, worrying, or planning it out and being disappointed if it doesn’t happen….but making plans to be better prepared. That’s all I can do. I’m not going to fret about it. I will try to be as prepared as I can, that’s it. If things still happen and I end up falling and the worst happens, well then it happens. I will know I did all I could do to prepare. There’s a difference in living in the moment, not living in the past, not worrying about the future….that doesn’t mean you can’t make plans try to be prepared. However, if things go south, don’t get all out of shape, you tried to prepare, that’s all you can do. Keep being mindful. Take one moment at a time. Take care of yourself. That’s all you can do. That’s all I can do.