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On July 23rd I had a total replacement of my left hip. I previously had both knees and my right hip replaced. My friends jokingly call me the bionic woman. I assure you, they are not bionic joints, but they are new and improved.
After having both knees replaced I had my right hip done almost five years ago. It was so easy. The first time the therapist got me up after surgery there was NO pain. I was shocked because I had so much pain with both knees and I was expecting it with the hip. Nice surprise. Recovery was quick and painless. I was so very thankful.
Fast forward four and a half years. My left hip goes out on me. There’s no pain, but it gives on me and I almost fall several times. I make an appointment and see my orthopedic surgeon who says that X-rays show bone on bone with a severe bone spur. Before I know it, I’m scheduled for surgery in two weeks.
The day of my surgery my sister took me to the hospital. Everything went great. Pre-op was good. The doctors, nurses, and other staff were efficient and kind. I was wheeled into surgery and given anesthesia. That’s the last thing I remember. Then I woke up!
Remember, when I awoke after my first hip surgery there was NO PAIN! I went to sleep expecting the same result. Surprise, surprise! This girl who has a very high pain threshold thought I was going to die from the pain in my hip. It was terrible. I’ve given birth, had multiple surgeries, had strep throat as an adult (up to this moment that was the worse pain I’d ever experienced) but nothing had ever hurt the way this did. And no one could tell me why.
My sister only knew that the doctor had told her after surgery that my vitals were good, I’d lost one pint of blood, and I was “balanced.” She thought that meant that both hips joints were now replacements. She was wrong. I just knew the pain was unbearable. Thankfully the nurse was able to order me strong pain medicine which took the edge off, but the pain was still there.
The next day when my doctor came in to see me the first words out of my mouth were, “What did you do to me? Why is there so much pain this time?” He explained that they discovered my left leg was longer than my right. Who knew? I’d lived over 64 years with uneven legs. Didn’t affect my quality of life at all as far as I could tell. He said that in order to “balance” me, he had cut the bone in my left leg. This is what caused so much pain. I tried to joke about it. I asked him why he didn’t get my permission before cutting it, but then I said, “Oh yeah, I was asleep.”
The first few weeks of recovery were awful because of the pain and the nauseating effects of the pain medicine. Even though I was now “balanced” my gait had changed and my back ached after just a few steps. My thigh muscles ached like I’d run a marathon (which I assure you did not happen!). Pain was my constant companion. My energy level was a minus 10. I was a mess.
It’s been six weeks since I had surgery. Today I still hurt, but the pain is manageable. My gait has improved and my energy level is slightly on the positive side of the energy meter. My muscles, while still sore, are getting used to their new position in my leg. The bone still hurts. I think it’s going to be the last body part to surrender and heal.
As hard as this journey has been, I’ve received blessings galore. I’m so thankful for my sister who took care of me during my most difficult days. I’m thankful for the visits, food, cards, Facebook posts, and phone calls I received from my family and friends. Most of all I’m thankful for the prayers of so many because, believe me, I felt every one of them. Most of all I’m thankful for my heavenly Father who sees my pain and hurts with me. On my worse days God has enfolded me in His loving arms of healing and comfort and reminded me that at the end of this journey I will experience blessings untold.
This journey has been difficult. It has also been an unexpected blessing. God’s grace, mercy, and love have been revealed to me in a myriad of ways. I wouldn’t have chosen to travel this road, but I’m thankful for the lessons learned and the faithfulness of my Father, family, and friends