After many years of being misdiagnosed, I recently discovered that the debilitating leg pain I’ve been suffering with was actually severe arthritis in both of my hips.
In fact, my left hip is bone on bone and my right one has been totally destroyed.
Obliterated is how my doctor described it.
There was no bones about it….I needed new hips!
Needing new hips was a solvable problem, but it wasn’t going to be as simple as just getting insurance approval, scheduling surgery and getting it done!
Along with this new problem, would come even more problems and challenges to solve before getting new hips could ever become a possibility.
Much planning would need to take place before finally becoming pain free would ever be a reality for me.
I am the mom of a high maintenance young woman with special needs who requires round the clock supervision to remain safe.
I would need to be hospitalized for 3 days and 4 nights.
Our hope was that Malcolm would be with me at the hospital during the days to learn how to care for me once I was discharged, then he’d return home in the evenings.
Of course, all that depended on whether he could get enough time off and we could find someone to stay with our daughter, Bethany.
Luckily, Malcolm had plenty of vacation and family leave hours saved up.
He asked for and was granted 3 weeks off!
Connie, Bethany’s new aide, came to the rescue by rearranging her schedules with her other clients so she could stay with Bethany every day I would be hospitalized.
Knowing that Malcolm could support me at the hospital while Bethany was being well cared for back at home was a huge blessing and relief!
Another challenge we anticipated was keeping me safe from a sometimes rambunctious Bethany, once I arrived home.
Bethany doesn’t like change and experiences a lot of anxiety when I’m sick or hurt.
When I broke my shoulder last spring, I had to live away from home for 2 weeks because she kept trying to take my sling off.
It wasn’t until she got used to seeing my sling while video chatting about her new rules: no touching my arm or taking my sling off, and being very careful not to bump into me, that I felt safe in coming home.
This time however, I had the luxury of being able to prepare Bethany somewhat in advance about what she could expect to happen and how to behave!
Also, knowing that I would not be as fragile from hip surgery as I had been with a broken shoulder, Malcolm and I felt confident that I could safely return home after surgery,
On the day of surgery I hugged Bethany good bye and told her I loved her.
I had actually been sort of looking forward to a little vacation from being on constant 24/7 care person duty!
I planned to enjoy reading and watching movies uninterrupted
Surgery went perfectly!
However, my doctor said once he got in there he saw that my muscles had contracted and hardened to form a exoskeleton around my obliterated hip to keep my bones from falling out of place!
During recovery, I became very nauseous.
My heart rate went up while my blood pressure and respiration went down.
I developed the worst headache of my life!
As it turned out, all that misery was side effects of Oxycontin, the pain killer I had been prescribed.
Once I insisted on not taking it anymore, I slowly began feeling better and was discharged on schedule!
Normally, when I return home from an outing, Bethany dominates my every moment and demands my undivided attention.
But this time, when I got back home, she was sleeping.
She woke up long enough to smile at me then proceeded to fall back to sleep next to me on the couch.
Surprisingly, I was able to enjoy a relaxing first day back at home.
It has now been one week and one day since my surgery and I can honestly say, I am very happy with how things have been going.
Bethany has been very cooperative and careful around me.
Although, we haven’t been without any challenges at all!
The first problem we faced was when she accidentally saw my bandage and wanted me to take it off!
Malcolm began to panic, recalling the sling incident!
But I was able to calm his fears by reminding him that the bandage would need to be on for far less time than my sling had been.
In fact, I called the doctor and was told I could take the bandage off right then and there!
Our second challenge was slightly more difficult to remedy!
Bethany decided she didn’t want me to wear the support hose that I will need to wear every day for about the next 6 weeks!
Now, I normally don’t allow Bethany to have control over of everything I wear.
Because if you give her an inch, she’ll take a mile and want total control of everything!
But I was able to easily solve this problem by indulging in her love of picking out my socks!
Little does she know that my support hose are underneath the socks of her choice!
If she ever does realize my little act of deception, well then, we’ll just have to cross that bridge when we get there!
I have a long way to go on my journey to walking as normal as possible again, given my situation.
I still need my left hip replaced and I can look forward to months of physical therapy getting my muscles back in shape.
But so far, my recovery is going swimmingly and Bethany is adjusting well!
And I couldn’t ask for much more than that!