1 month PO!

Finally! 1 month post operative. Another hurdle tackled.

Lots has happened in my momentary small world last week. For example, I got my operative report from the hospital. Was an interesting read.

It also stated “no complications.”

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I was lucky that day anyways, the orthopedic surgeon on call was specialized in “trauma and hip”. I could not have had a better OS than that.

This was her and her physicians assistant, “the morning after”.

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We also got the bill for my little adventure.

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Holy smokes!!!! For sure our most expensive three days ever, anywhere, but thank god the insurance paid. Three amen for that.

The bill was two pages long and listed absolutely everything. Cost of the ER, the operating room, anesthesia, all the meds I was given; the screws in my hip are over $ 4,000 and so on.

~~~

Most of it made sense, two things didn’t.

Not sure how they ever got to $ 1,095 for PT services and over $ 300 for “occupational therapy”.

I had exactly four PT sessions. On PO day 1 I was given non weight bearing exercises to do with my legs in my bed and I sat on the edge of my bed. The whole show lasted 20 minutes.

My PT came back the same afternoon and I crutched a few minutes around in the hallway and showed her, I can manage stairs on crutches. 20 minutes.

Same the next day with the differences that my PT put me in a wheelchair to eat my lunch, left and didn’t come back. It was not very nice to sit all alone in the room, trapped in a wheel chair and you depend on peoples mercy. I had to ask for her several times to come back. Pissed me off.

And in the PT room, I almost fainted after doing the steps.

Except for that I had the same 20 minutes four times. How can that end up as $ 1,095??

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And to list the “occupational therapy” with $ 300 is a joke as well. She came in and said, she just wants to be sure I know how to dress and shower by myself. I gave the shower a go and (fainted almost again towards the end) and that was it. I showered without assistance.

(Thank god. That would have been too much for me. It was one thing to have your clothes cut off your body by two guys , to have to use a bed pan was also something I could have skipped but at least I could shower by myself!)

Her whole speech and existance in the room was five minutes.

I find it odd but I am not making a stink about it since the insurance is covering it.

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I am getting very interesting comments regarding being on crutches these days by the way.

The other day I was in the supermarket. I was asked what happened and answered  “I broke my hip”. The first lady asked “if I am in a cast” (how do you put a hip in a cast???) and the second said “did you at least have fun doing it? “ People are weird.

Being on crutches gets two reactions, either people are super kind and help you out with doors ect  OR  they make weird statements. Not a whole lot in between. I am sure I have more comments coming my way as I progress in my recovery, but I have gotten the alien look a bunch of times already when the hip fracture came up.

~~~

Talking about crutches… my mobil legs arrived!

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They are much better for the arm pits but the shock absorbers took a bit of getting used to. They are louder than regular crutches, pretty light but I found the grips very hard on the hands. Not sure why the reviews said, “there is no more fatigue and one can crutch on them forever”. Not me. Crutching is tiring and I am in good shape.

I put my crutcheze pads on the handles  PLUS  got special weightlifters gloves. They have build in cushioning and it helps too.

The gloves are comfortable but made me laugh.

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To me they look like gorilla palms…don’t they?

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The instructions for the crutches were awesome too. Quote “Walk as naturally with them as you can”. Hm, last time I checked there was nothing “natural” about it when you are toe touching!

~~~

My op side thigh keeps shrinking away, atrophy starts on day 11 according to my OS. It’s scary to see it getting skinnier and skinnier every week. Will take me many months to build up again.

I remember this from my last hip surgery rehab. “For every week you are on crutches, your body needs six weeks to build up muscle mass again.” (Fun little spring and summer project right here…)

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Pain wise I am doing pretty good. It’s around 2/10 during the day, the hip  WILL  start throbbing quickly though if I do too much and end up like a 4/10.

Nights are mixed. Not really bad but some nights I can’t find comfortable positions for my op leg or I am aching. I can sleep on my back, my left side is okay, tummy feels great but the right is not there yet.

~~~

Taking a shower is still an achievement. Not so easy if you are toe touching only and have to balance on wet tiles. The shower bench helps out tremendously even though it looks a bit different than this scene…

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.

…it’s more a matter of “fifty shades of purple”, looking at my op side foot. During the day I rest and ankle pump away or crutch around for keeping the circulation going but in the shower that foot looks creepy.

~~~

People keep asking my why I even went skiing after two hip surgeries and want to know if I will go skiing again.

I went skiing already 10 months after hip surgery and had a great time. The endurance was still not there but I skied!

And yes, I have full intentions of going again. Why not? I live for winter,  love to zip through the powdery snow and feel the cold, fresh air on my cheeks. This is freedom and happiness to me.

I took this picture last year in Colorado. How can this not look perfect?

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Of course it is “safer” not to, but I am not the slave of my hip. I will do whatever it takes to get strong and healthy again and then, I am back on the slopes.

~~~

To finish up, I want to quote an orthopedic surgeon, talking about recovering from hip fractures and why recovery can be challenging.

“It takes a vast amount of energy for a young person to break normal, healthy bone – some estimate as much as 1,700 pounds per square inch or more – compared with the significantly lesser amount of energy required to fracture osteoporotic bones.

The direction that the energy takes as it enters and exits the bone, as well the position of the limb when the trauma occurs, results in the fracture pattern and the type and severity of the fraction.

Despite the fracture patterns sometimes appearing the same in healthy, strong bone versus osteoporotic bone, it’s a very different injury because the energy and trauma needed to break healthy bone is much greater.

The increased energy also imparts significant injury to soft tissues that surround the bone and result in tissue tearing and bleeding.

When I care for a patient with a fractured hip, young or old, I always explain that the recovery is often more difficult than it is for someone who undergoes elective hip or knee surgery or replacement. This is due to the greater damage to the soft tissue and bone in a trauma patient compared with the elective hip or knee patient.

While the hip fracture patient is an energency, the elective patient can be optimized both mentally and physically prior to surgery.

Also, the patient with a broken hip often has a more difficult rehabilitation after surgery. The broken bones and injured tissues must heal and frequently the fracture pattern dictates that the patient delay full weight bearing on the injured lower extremity.”

Just some food for thought from a surgeons perspective.

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