Positive Thoughts!

I have just got back from my ‘meet the surgeon’ appointment and I am feeling SO much better already!  This is the appointment I have been waiting for and I was able to ask all the questions that have been eating away at me for a while.

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‘Can you still get me the length?’

Back when it was decided it was time for a hip replacement, my surgeon said that he could get the 1.5cm back that I am missing from the length of my left leg. I wanted to check that this was the case and he reassured me that he thinks he can. Although there might be some discrepancy, it should be better than it is now!

‘What anaesthetic will be used?’

I have been feeling more than a bit wobbly about the concept of having just a spinal – I really don’t want to be aware of what is going on at all! My surgeon reassured me that I will be able to be asleep (sedated) as well.

‘When can I ride again?’

Obviously this is a crucial one. I like to know where I stand, I like time frames and goals. I’ve been saving this question for the surgeon because he is the expert and expert opinion is what I need. He said six to eight weeks! As long as I keep my hip precautions.. https://younghipandhorsey.com/2018/06/05/self-preservation-and-perspective/

‘When can I drive?’

At the hip education group I was told six weeks but he said as long as I can a. Get in the car, b. Do an emergency stop and c. Am off the hardcore drugs, I can drive when I want!

‘When can I swim?’

Swimming used to be a massive part of mundane life before it got kicked down the list by riding. I know it will be fantastic rehab for me though, I have vague memories of walking in the swimming pool when I was still wheelchair and crutch bound as a child. Providing my wound heels up nicely, I should be swimming pool safe by three weeks.

‘Can I have my hip afterwards?’

This was a largely boyfriend planned question – it would be cool to have my hip to show alongside the bit of metal I had in my leg as a child. Alas, they can’t give it to me. I would have to be preserved to stop it from rotting and the preservative is poisonous so not so lucky on that one.. can’t even give it to the yard dogs to gnaw on! He did say he would take some pictures for me though.

Overall it was a very encouraging meeting. My surgeon was very positive that this will make massive improvements for me and reassured me that the recovery shouldn’t be as bad as I think it will be! He mentioned riding before I did, I didn’t just feel like a number on a list, I felt like he really cared about doing the right thing for me. Big thanks also go to the best Yard Owner anyone could have for coming with me and debriefing over McDonalds!

This time next week I will be having an early night to prepare for hospital admission in the morning.. I am almost excited! As for this week, I have some plans for Pea and I to make the most of our last week of ‘normal’.. watch this space!

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Self Preservation And Perspective

Today I went for my hip education appointment at Southmead.  Myself and eleven other people (all, I would say, at least thirty years older than me) listened to the advice of a nurse and occupational therapists about what we need to do to prepare for our operations and what precautions we will have to follow afterwards.  Although I have read the booklet, looked at the pictures and endured my OH’s demonstrations of what HE has learnt from the booklet, it hadn’t quite hit home how tricky everyday activities are if you stick to the precautions.  Which I am going to do.  A good recovery is going to be absolutely crucial to getting the best I can out of this hip for as long as I possibly can.  Usually I live life at speed, I always have more to do than I can fit into my days.  It sounds like by the time I have got out of bed, managed to shower and dress myself it will be time to go back to bed!  Speaking of getting dressed, I now have a long shoe horn, a special sock ‘putter onner’ and what is essentially a litter picker – I think I’ve got a lot of practising to do in the next two weeks!

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After the talks and demonstrations we each had a short meeting with an OT to go through measurements of furniture and other information relating to home set ups.  We established that

  • My bed is too low so I am going to be provided with risers for it.
  • We are going to have to swap sides of the bed – just one of the many habits I will have to change and one that my boyfriend is certainly not going to like!
  • The sofa just isn’t going to work as my recover chair – I’m on the look out for an ‘old people’s home’ style armchair with a seat height of 47cm!
  • The toilets are too low (no surprise there) so I am going to be sent toilet risers
  • I shouldn’t drive for six weeks

Very crucially though – I am lucky.  I have a shower cubicle (people with showers over the bath aren’t allowed to use them for three months).  I also have a boyfriend who will feed me and help me in any way I need, I have parents who are coming to stay in the area for six weeks and I have friends who will make sure my pony is ok amongst other things!  Compared to the woman who has had two months notice that she needs a hip op, has a daughter with leukaemia and a three year old grand child who she looks after (and only a shower over a bath) I am VERY lucky and that hasn’t escaped me.

However lucky I feel, it hasn’t been a great week.  I have had one of those fluey colds, the kind I have had a million times over but rather than my usual ‘crack on’ attitude.  I’ve gone into self preservation mode.  I need to get over this cold quick.  I haven’t had time off work but I have rested, taken pills, wrapped up warm and not physically exerted myself which means next to no riding.  Pea has pretty much become a field pony and it shows.  She has got a major grass baby belly!  Again, I am lucky though, she loves being a wild herd pony.  Thank goodness I don’t have a sensitive stabled beast that needs riding all the time!  My leg pain has been worse because I’ve been all achy and rubbish.. not how I wanted to spend one of my last weeks.  I feel like I might actually be learning how to look after myself though, rather than just overdoing it like usual.  A lesson learnt just in time!

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In other news, even my guinea pigs are prepping for the changes ahead – they’ve got a new feeder that refills for a few days – one small thing to worry about less often!

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