> The Beesley Buzz: Day 15 - Day 18 Post-op: Total Hip replacement surgery

Day 15 - Day 18 Post-op: Total Hip replacement surgery

Written on Wednesday 7th February 2018

Last night was horrible. I thought nightimes had got easier so it was an unpleasant surprise to find my legs felt extremely agitated again. Then the panicked feeling struck.

It's not a worry or anxiety but a feeling of darkness sitting on my chest. A feeling like I'm being buried alive and can't breathe. I just want to escape out of my own body.

And when it happens there's no way out - no distraction, no deep breathing seems to make any difference. I have to wait until the feeling passes.

The last time I looked at the time it was quarter to one. Then thankfully I must have slept until 4am.

My right shoulder was painful through the night. Possibly going onto one crutch has put too much pressure on it. I hope it resolves because if I can feel all this discomfort despite being on all the pain relief medication I dread to think what it would be like without pain relief.

Today I've felt tired all day. I didn't brush my teeth til 3pm. I didn't have a shower and get dressed until after that. I think I may have fallen asleep for a bit too.

Why the exhaustion? Possibly the lack of sleep or going for my first “walk” yesterday? Or both?

I'm still feeling really hungry too. Which is weird because I'm burning less calories than ever stuck at home and hardly moving. I dread to think how much weight I've gained these past two weeks - haven't dared stand on the scales yet.

The good news is that the slumber pillow I ordered a couple of days ago has arrived. I know they say a regular pillow will do for putting between your legs to stop the operated leg crossing over (risk of dislocation) but there's something reassuring about having a pillow especially designed for this purpose.

I'm not sure if I will be able to side sleep after all with the painful shoulder but I'm looking forward to giving it a try.

Consultant appointment this evening.

I've come home from my consultant appointment feeling really pleased. He's very happy with my progress. He said I can even try to walk around the house balancing on furniture in place of crutches but to stay on at least one crutch outdoors to avoid falls or being pushed.

I tried a little “walk” across the kitchen when I got home but it was definitely more of a penguin waddle!

He was happy with the wound and took the dressing off. He said it's fine for it to get wet and just to leave it uncovered now.

I can start to reduce the pain relief as and when I feel ready. I've already dropped pm dose of paracetamol and only take 1 ibuprofen for the two daytime doses. I take maximum of both for my bedtime dose to help at nightime.

He was happy for me to start my magnesium citrate again. From what I can find out it seems the leg jumps / restlessness at night can be quite common post op and so I'm hoping the magnesium may help. Some suggest quinine to help and some say its due to possible iron deficiency as there's often some blood lost during surgery- I only lost an average 600ml but my iron levels aren't great at the best of times as I have a hereditary condition causing smaller than normal red blood cells.

My consultant said I can also side sleep now with a pillow between legs. I tried out my slumber pillow earlier and I think it will take a bit of getting used to.

He said I can try lower chairs as long as it felt comfortable so a lot of the restrictions and worries I had seem to be gradually reducing over time.

I still long for these first 6 weeks to be over and just want to feel normal again.

Day 18 Saturday 10th February 2018:

Today is the first day that I've waddled less. Although I'm still only doing very short distances inside the house without crutches I feel like I'm walking more and more normally with less of a big waddly limp like I had on Wednesday night when I first tried.

I am still using one crutch for stairs and also when I first get up. Otherwise I feel too stiffened up to walk. If you'd told me on day one or two that I'd be taking steps without crutches within two and a half weeks of the hip replacement I would not have believed it.

Great big positives for today I've managed to sort some dry laundry, finish off a bit of cooking which Richard began. Cut down to 1 ibup and 1 paracetamol first thing and haven't had more since although I will take full dose at night and possibly 1 more paracetamol around dinner time depending how I feel.

The worst of the pain bizarrely comes from bed sores behind my ankles and the swelling under my knee rather than the hip itself. I have felt the wound twinging a bit since cutting down on pain relief.

I've tried my new slumber pillow a couple of times but not through the night. I use it for a short while first thing and for a few minutes before bedtime just to give my back a bit of relief from lying on my back the rest of the time.

Nighttimes still aren't brilliant but certainly better than the early days. I think the magnesium citrate has helped reduce the leg jumps / restless legs. I've noticed my heart feeling tachiocardic at night and so I looked up whether the riveroxiban anticoagulant can cause that and it seems that it can along with reports of anxiety and panic attacks which explains a lot.

I've got another couple of weeks to keep taking them but then hopefully there will be an improvement on that front.

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