Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Divine Praises

Happy Advent

I am now well along in my recovery from bilateral hip replacement. It's only been seven weeks and I"m already beginning to walk without a cane.

Immediately after surgery, I experienced almost no pain. I was in awe. For the first two days, I couldn't get to my feet without starting to cry. After two years of what felt like labour pain, the relief was truly blessed.

My post op week was spent in a crowded three bed ward. The other women in the room were lovely, but the hospital was old and not designed for modern equipment. I think anyone with serious cluastrophobia would have had real trouble there!

The care was excellent, however, so I had few complaints...except for the food. Not much there to pique a flagging apetite!

One week after my surgery, I was transferred to the rehab facility of our local hospital. This was really welcome. It was much closer to home, so my family could visit more easily. It is also a lovely, new facility. As a bonus, I even had a private room for the first week.

Almost the first thing I discovered at the rehab unit was that the food was excellent. Such a relief. As I ended up spending three weeks in this unit, that quality became very important.

My first week was glorious. After one day of feeling a bit lonely, I realized that now that I was feeling a bit better (I had been very tired due, in part, to a very low post-op hemoglobin level) I could pursue my reading and have a bit of a private retreat. I plunged into reading some of the classics of Catherine Doherty, foundress of Madonna House. Bogoroditza, Urodivoi, and Molchany were the books I chose. I would recommend any of them.

At one point during this week, I so wanted to recite the Divine Praises. Among all the books I had brought with me, I did not have a copy anywhere. And I sure don't have them memorized.

At the beginning of my second week, my left leg, which had had more work done on it and which had been in far worse shape leading into surgery, started to hurt. This pain grew until it was considered a good idea to take x-rays to ensure there was no problem with my new hip. All appeared fine, so we just had to treat it symptomatically. Now, nearly two months post-op, the leg still hurts frequently, although I can work through it most times. It is going to take a lot more work to bring it up to where the right leg seems to be!

I have had so many praying for me. I am so thankful! Many people referred to my surgery and seemingly quick recovery as a miracle. I can only agree.

In Canada, it seems bilateral hip replacement is unusual. I felt a bit like a minor celebrity. I had people sticking their heads in my room saying "There's the lady who had both hips done!"
I am told this procedure is more common in the US.

I would not have done it any differently. I cannot imagine recovering from having one hip done, and needing to rely on the "not done" hip to support the new one. I am sure that in the case of having had my right leg done first, it would have immediately been in better shape than the non-operated left hip! As it was, with two new hips, I was on my feet within 24 hours. Had I not been so anemic, with the resultant nausea and dizzyness, I would have been doing a fair bit of walking...with a walker of course!

I am still receiving outpatient physiotherapy twice a week, plus exercises I do at home. This will have me, I am told, walking without a limp within another month or so.

Blessed be God!