It’s been 12 months since I got my bionic hip (read the how’s and why’s here), well almost 12 months, on the 12 month anniversary of having a metal hip surgically implanted into my hip bones I will be undergoing another orthopaedic procedure and I will be back in hospital- which is not really the way anniversaries should be spent!
On Tuesday I attended my appointment with my hip surgeon, I was sent for an X-ray first. This is to check that the new joint is still in the right place and has taken well.
The wait for X-ray was pretty lengthy and a man had decided to sit pretty much on my knee in the chair next to me so I was in quite a state by the time I got into the room, however I’ve now had so many X-rays that I’m practically radioactive so the procedure doesn’t phase me at all. Once positioned on the table or bed I suppose, he had a good search for my hip and pelvis to ensure the picture would be taken in the right place. I have a pretty small pelvis and oddly aligned hips (and quite a lot of fat) so it took a while of jabbing me to find the right place. Once the X-rays were done, I headed back to the orthopaedic outpatient department to wait and see my surgeon.
I was called in pretty quickly, he watched me walk a few paces and noticed I still limp, I explained I was awaiting ankle surgery and we talked a little about some pain I’ve been having when I go from sitting to standing. He then told me I should be using a walking stick all the time and that I don’t put the weight through my leg properly, hence the ‘lurch’ I walk with. We talked about how my upcoming surgery will effect the way I walk and how my mobility will become worse (in terms of my hip) after the surgery as my newly fused ankle will be stiff and immobile. He then stood up and told me he’d see my in a year when I should be recovered from my ankle surgery. He offered to arrange for me to have a walking stick given to me there and then and I’m sorry to say that I lied and said I already had one, because I don’t want one.
I headed home in a bit of a daze really, I don’t want a walking stick. I’d rather be in pain. Why should I have to use the stick? The endless surgeries are supposed to make it easier for me not harder. Being told walking will be ultimately more difficult was unpleasant and I didn’t want to hear it.
I cried when I got home, I cried when my husband phoned me. I am stubborn and I refuse to accept that I will need a walking aid for the rest of my life, I’ve always fought hard against the offer of a wheelchair and I will fight the walking stick until I have no choice.
At the end of the day, my life is already difficult. It’s more difficult than I let on to anyone and it’s more difficult than I’m prepared to accept. So what if walking becomes more difficult? How is that going to make a difference to my current situation? I don’t think it is and I will accept my difficulties with grace (mostly anyway).
My hip replacement has actually healed really well, it’s taken to my body as it should and has removed my hip pain, the pain I have been experiencing is mostly because of my disability and my other ongoing issues, so just looking at the replacement alone it has been a huge success (head to this post to see some before and after images of my X-ray at the 6 month point). My gait has improved slightly and my hip pain has all but gone other than some issues I’m having going from sitting to standing (which we are putting down to the other issues).
I’ve been getting my exercise and steps up a lot lately, I’ve been doing 30 minutes a day on my exercise bike which I know isn’t a lot but I can’t really physically do much more so it’s something at least.
All in all, I’m very glad I was able to have a hip replacement, in general it’s worked really well for me and I am hopeful that despite the risks, my mobility will improve following my next surgery.
I’m struggling a bit to cope with my physical disability at the moment and it’s doing my mental health no favours at all. I’m not in the best place and I’m pretty confident I’m not that pleasant to be around at the moment and I can only apologise for that. Please try to bear with me.
Get in touch below if you have any questions. Have you struggled to regain mobility or are you worried it’s not as good as it once was?