My surgeon told me I had to attend Hip School before I could proceed with my Total Hip Replacement (THR). I asked my surgeon what it entailed and he told me I would be told about the operation, exercises to do pre and post surgery and to set expectations about how things will be. I asked him if I had to go as I knew what exercises I should be doing but he told me it was mandatory. Despite my misgivings I found the hour’s attendance informative and even enjoyable. Two other ladies attended the session and I felt a fraud as I could walked. One my fellow attendees used a Zimmer frame and the other used crutches. The lady with the crutches had a THR last year and was back this year to have the other one done. Just hope I only have to have one hip in my life time.
The session was led by a physio who was very cheery, positive and funny. We learnt about the operation and how the surgeon will replace the ball and socket in our hips. Elapsed time from admittance to getting back on the ward around 6 hours. The operation itself will take approximately 2 hours so that 2 hours for pre-op and then 2 hours to recover. The usual warning about don’t eat anything the morning of the operation but you can drink water until 6am.
Useful tips were shared such as wear a skirt as it is easy to take on and off. Does this mean you are advised to wear a kilt if you are a man? Sadly, our group did not include any men so I can’t ask.
Discharge from hospital was discussed. A nurse will help us walk out of the hospital and help us into the car. We need to be like Princess Diana and keep our legs together and swing them into the car. Putting a shiny, plastic bag on the car seat will help with the movement so I intend to try a few (bag for life, black bin liner, plastic bag to name a few) to find the one which allows me to get into the car easily.
I was fitted for crutches and had a driving lesson on how to use them. I can’t say I am a natural user of crutches but I have a few more days to practise.
A hip kit bag was offered and included the following – shoe horn, gripper with a useful magnet at the end (to pick up the paper clips I shall no doubt drop), something to help you move your leg around in bed so you don’t use the hip (no idea what is called) and something to help you put your socks on without flexing the hip. As usual the family were offering all sorts of suggestions of what the sock putter-on could be. Have a look at the photo above and email me your suggestions.
I am in the middle of my infection control cycle:
· Daily showering with a special wash the hospital gave me to get rid of any potential bugs I could transmit to others.
· Daily washing of bed linen and my towel.
It’s very tideous all this washing but at least I can dry everything outside as the weather is gloriously hot this week (37C on Thursday!).
I’ve also used this sale time to buy shirt dresses. I have never been a skirt person so I wasn’t going to start now. I’ve been busy using the internet to buy a couple of shirt dresses in the sale. Best buy so far, a great linen shirt dress from Debenhams reduced from £35.00 to £12.00. It even has pockets which I am sure will be useful after the operation.
After hip school I had a pre-operative assessment where they weighed me, measured my height, took blood pressure, blood, tested urine, took swabs to test for MRSA and I had an ECG. I’ve been cleared for surgery so the clock is ticking down now to Friday. Keep in touch and I’ll let you know how it goes.