Hip Hip Hooray! (well...nearly...)
So, after months of waiting, it was finally time for Part 2 (the final part) of my pre-operative assessment - Hip School!!
As with everything, I had no real idea of what on earth this was going to entail (other than maybe teaching me to be a real hip cat, daddy-o...or something...), but I was excited to find out. Ok, so I use the term 'excited' very loosely here. In fact, I use it in the same way my boss does when she says this is going to be 'a very exciting year!'...AKA: scary, confusing, strange, but ultimately worthwhile.
Anyway, so I headed to the hospital with my trusty spreadsheet of questions (if you don't know what I'm talking about, check out my blog post 'Pre-Operative Assessment Part 1') feeling ready to get the final tick off from the nurse. I arrived at the room stated on the letter and....ohhhhh....apparently this was going to be like real school! (As a teacher, I am totally fine with this, obviously, but I certainly wasn't prepared for a conference room full of people!) But, being the teacher's pet that I am, I embraced the randomness and sat at the front of the class ready to take my notes and learn as much as humanly possible about becoming bionic!
Baring a few irritating 'classmates' (including someone answering their mobile phone and having a full blown conversation whilst the nurse was talking!!) and some entertaining videos which discussed how "as we get older, our joints start to deteriorate due to wear and tear" - I laughed pretty loudly at this - it was a really enjoyable session. I learnt A LOT about what would happen on the day, what I would need to achieve to be discharged and how to cope once back at home. They also went through any adaptations/aids I might need post-op and I even got to feel a real ceramic joint! It was really great to meet the nurses, physios and OTs that will be looking after me and helping me recover as successfully and possible - definitely not scary in the end.
So, in case you are heading towards this stage yourself, or are just trying to learn a little more about joint replacement, here are my key takeaways from Hip School:
- Get yourself as healthy as possible before the op - eat right, stay hydrated, exercise when possible, look after your teeth.
- Start your post-op exercises NOW - get use to them so they don't seem tricky/strange
- Equally, start practicing your Hip Precautions NOW (don't bend past 90degrees, don't twist hip, don't cross legs)
- Don't be scared of the spinal block/sedation combo - you might hear the odd noise but you won't remember it or be aware of what is happening - apparently it is just like having a nice nap (I will update you on this more accurately next month!!!)
- Be prepared for the op site to hurt and don't be a martyr - ask for pain killers whenever you need them! The more comfortable you are, the quicker you can get up and start walking/go home!
- Some people need drains and catheters, but not everyone does, so try not to worry about it.
- Some people stay in hospital for 2 days post op, some for 5 (or longer), try not to stress - the doctors know what their doing and they will keep you as long needed to make sure you're safe.
- Wear your compression socks! You definitely do not want DVT...
- Ceramic joints sometimes squeak .....take a minute to feel horrified, accept it, laugh about it, tell your friends so they can also have a good laugh! :)
Keep smiling, folks! :)