‘After my hip replacement I realised I’d taken simple things for granted’

Aug 09, 2018
Five weeks on from her hip replacement surgery, Luba is looking forward to a full recovery. (Photo posed by model.) Source: Pixabay

I’m almost five weeks post-op total hip replacement and now I’m walking around the house with no aids, enjoying cooking meals and, funnily enough, my exercise regime. It’s really important to keep up with the daily stretches to strengthen muscles that hadn’t been used for a long time. Walking is the key, however, it’s important to take it slowly and increase the distance a little each time. I live in a small country village and the walks are a joy. Daffodils, jonquils, sheep, cows, horses, beautiful old trees and character homes are ‘my neighbourhood’.

It’s still difficult not being able to drive, though. United Way, a not for profit organisation, provide transport if I really need to go for an appointment. However, nothing beats the convenience of jumping into your own car and going where the heart desires. It’s usually six weeks post op before patients are allowed to drive.

I’m having sushi withdrawal symptoms and can’t wait to go to Akita Sushi in Delacombe Town Centre, near Ballarat, Victoria and get stuck into my favourite, vegetarian bento box, which contains tempura fried vegetables, tofu with fresh avocado and tomatoes.

The hardest thing is sitting a lot during the day, because you can’t walk around all the time. I do get up often, go outside or take a walk around the block and do small chores around the house. I’ve enjoyed reading of late, as that became difficult pre-op; my concentration levels had diminished due to chronic pain and fuzziness in the head.

I rest and stretch on the bed several times a day with Buster Boy, my devoted tabby cat, snuggled close. My beautiful Kelpie dog, Bella is on sabbatical, initially this was with family and now she is staying with a close girlfriend. It’s strange not having her around, yet so much easier to cope. Most services, e.g. Meals on Wheels, District Nursing, Home Care, will not enter your yard if there is a dog loose, which would mean me being extra vigilant and locking her away in the garage each time someone comes over. My family and close friends were also concerned for my recovery, as Bella is strong and excitable. She’ll return home mid-August.

Perhaps it’s a good thing that it’s winter, as I can hibernate without thinking I’m missing out on wonderful events and outings. I’m still able to see the beauty and capture it through the lens of a camera on my daily walks. However, I long to go further afield for country drives and exploration.

It’s been a time of reflection too… sometimes challenging and other times, blissful. Even prior to surgery, I became more of a home body, because it was easier. Sometimes, going out was tough, as I could barely walk. Now that’s changed, and I’m more mobile and yet still spend time at home with myself. I rather like who I am. The days pass quickly, even if there’s no one coming over to break the day. Netflix and You Tube are my constant companions and I love TEDx talks. There’s something for everyone and I’ve learnt alot about relationships, myself and life as a result. Food for thought, I say.

Living in a state of grace is so important to me. Showering and dressing oneself is such a privilege and so is putting on socks and shoes. One takes these simple things for granted, until they are taken away. I’ve always been fiercely independent, yet now have so much gratitude for the help I receive. It’s important to reach out to others, rather than soldier on alone. We are human beings and need the connection of others to function effectively. The bottom line for me is ‘living in the present moment, right here and now,’ because it’s all we have.

Have you had any form of major surgery? What did you take for granted?

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