Monday, 3 January 2011

NHS Hip Replacement - Four Week Progress Report

It's exactly for weeks ago today that I went under the surgeon's knife and had my decrepit and arthritic hip replaced with a super plastic, metal and ceramic combo and I thought I'd write a bit about it for the benefit of anyone thinking of undergoing this surgery who happens to hit upon this blog. (A statistical unlikelihood - but you never know).

The elephantine leg started to deflate after around two weeks. The reduction in the swelling started at the thigh and gradually worked its way down my leg until only my ankles remained puffy and swollen. After three weeks even those had returned to normal although they were still prone to swell up if I spent any time on my feet. The leg has felt stronger every day and I've started to sleep much better although it is a real pain that sleeping on my back is the only position allowed for another eight weeks.

I can walk (more of a hop, step and jump really) without crutches but the instructions say that I shouldn't, so I'm sticking to the rules for the time being and getting about with one crutch. We went up to see our daughter in St Andrews over the new year break and I managed to walk a mile or so on the crutches although I felt knackered at the end of it. 

This morning we did a big shop at Tesco and, again, I felt shattered when we got home but it was good to get the exercise. There is no longer any pain in the hip. After eighteen moths of agony, it is quite hard to come to terms with this and it's going to be very difficult to shake off the limp which feels permanently programmed into my brain. Marion has booked a session at the gym tomorrow so I am going to go along and do some light exercises to see if I can loosen up my leg muscles - tight thigh muscles (and a bloody big scar) are now the only real symptoms remaining. I reckon that in about two or three more weeks I will be almost back to normal.

I feel a little guilty that I've been living the life of Riley during my convalescence. I've been waited on hand and foot with a near constant supply of food and drink whenever I ask and I've indulged myself by sticking to my retirement resolution to read more books. These are what I have read since 6th December. Yesterday I finished Burley Cross Post Box Theft by Nicola Barker. My daughter Sarah bought it for me for Christmas and it's an original read. I'd liken it to an episode of Miranda on the telly - totally daft, silly, old fashioned and a bit naive but at the same time heart warming and, most importantly, pretty funny.

So the question is, what do I read next? Here is a selection that I've just taken down from Marion's bookshelves. They all look interesting - strange that two have "happiness" in the title but that might reflect my glass half full outlook on life. If any readers out there have any suggestions from this selection, please let me know.

One good thing about making progress with the hip is that we can finally enjoy another of our passions and get back to the cinema. What better than 127 hours, a film about a bloke doing a bit of DIY surgery. I reckon that I should be able to sit through it and , having got a load of VUE vouchers for Christmas from my mum, we might even take in a few more films in the next week with The King's Speech and the new Russell Crowe movie The Next Three Days all due out soon.

I'll close today with an interesting YouTube offering. An American dad filmed his kids coming down the stairs at Christmas every year for 25 years. a nice little film but if you scroll through the comments you'll wonder what's wrong with some people. Can we have and end to anonymity on the internet soon - please.