There probably aren’t many people who would greet the news of some pretty major surgery with celebration. But that’s how I felt when I found out, about two months ago, that I would be getting my right hip replaced this year.
I know it’s been a long, long time since I last blogged on here – almost two years in fact, since my last proper post – but I felt this news warranted a post of its own. There have been numerous exciting things happen in my life since then, including an engagement, surgery on my elbow and a new job that isn’t so new now. I’ll probably save them for another post though.
Righty and me
Back to the hip. It’s been a long old slog for me and Righty. Since I was first diagnosed with arthritis back in 1993, my hips have always been pretty badly affected – as you may know from my earlier post on this topic, The Hip Doctor says “No”, I was originally due to have both my hips replaced in 2008.
When I was in my teens, the pain in my hips sort of went away a bit. But over the past three years, my right hip has been getting increasingly painful and stiff, to the point that I can no longer reach my own feet. Luckily I have Mike to paint my toenails for me!
I have quite severe pain in my hip every day, and it probably hurts about 80% of the time. It doesn’t really matter what I do – sitting down, standing up, walking, lying down all cause pain at times, but then at other times help to ease it.
Nobody wants to have their hip replaced at 27. Also, no one wants you to have your hip replaced at 27.
I’ve tried a few different treatments on my hip before I got referred to a surgeon. Last October I had a steroid injection which didn’t provide any relief. I’m currently taking naproxen, paracetamol and codeine. They’re helping slightly with the pain, but I am struggling a little bit with the side effects, which include nausea and constipation – delightful!
My surgeon has told me that – and I hope I get the stats right here – 80% of hip replacements done now will last for 10 years, 70% will last for 20 years, and 60% will last for 30 years. I’m trying to do as much as I can now to make sure my new hip lasts for as long as possible. I’ll probably need a new replacement at some point, but I’d like that to be as far into the future as possible.
A lot of admin
Since I found out about my surgery eight weeks ago, I have been to two hospital appointments and have a third one arranged for next week.
The first of these was a pre-operative assessment, which was to give information on my health, allergies and medications to make sure I was well enough to have surgery. The second appointment, my joint replacement educational session, was yesterday.
This appointment was a bit scarier than I thought it would be, and I have to say that despite toughing it out so far, I did get a bit teary afterwards. Everyone else in the session was about 30 years older than me (something one of the physios felt the need to point out to me!), and it was quite hard to hear about the recovery and time in hospital.
I think it’s normal to be concerned and a bit upset about it from time to time though, and I do feel a lot better today. Next week, I have an appointment in the orthopaedics clinic and hopefully I’ll find out a bit more about the type of replacement I’ll be having at that.
I’ll certainly have a lot to blog about, and a lot of time to do it in, so I’m planning to keep this updated with everything that happens on the way to my first joint replacement!