Total Hip Replacement – Episode 3 – Ups and Downs

What do Snow White, Princess Aurora, Rip Van Winkle and mum have in common? ZZzzzzzz!

Is it really only 21 days since my total hip replacement? It seems so much longer than that. There have been many ups: I know I am getting stronger, I am obeying all the rules, the physio has given me some additional exercises to add to my daily programme and the specialist is delighted with my progress. My ‘Hip Tips’ have all been useful in getting me to this point. I can do no more … yet I am still sometimes visited by feelings of helplessness and total exhaustion – ‘down’ time. Most recently, this morning, in fact, I was dressing (you see even putting on one’s underwear is a challenge) to find that I had put my pants on inside out – meltdown!

Accepting the Downs

Thank goodness for Facebook support groups! At a time when social media is being scrutinised and demonised in some quarters, I have to say that without sharing my experiences with the wise and open community that I have discovered, I would struggle. The enormous amount of time I spend on my own while following the rules and the emotions that I have no option but to live with are, at times, overwhelming.

Exercise and sport have always been my escape, my thinking time and the spark to most of my creativity … not at present.
I am so relieved that the ‘sads’, the ‘weepies’, cabin fever and helplessness that I feel are all pretty much universal and thanks to my virtual community I don’t feel isolated. Indeed, I am inspired by stories of perseverance and progress … and accept that my recovery is not linear but that is normal. Sharing the experience of a total hip replacement with hundreds of empathetic souls has turned my thoughts back to the positives and near future benefits of this rather dramatic procedure.

Practising mindfulness is sometimes more easily said than done, and I have taught it in the recent past! A reread of an earlier blog, ‘Mindfulness – Taking a Moment’, has brought this strange time in my life into more perspective – maybe you could give it a try and see if my suggestions are useful to you?

Enjoying the Ups

The need to hail the positives since my previous blog is strong too – and there have been many. Outdoor walks with crutches are part of each day. How lovely to walk for 2-3 kilometres each day. A benefit or my reduced pace is my mindful attention to the nature around me. I have taken some great photos which, if moving at normal pace, I would have missed. Some of these pictures have now been transformed into paintings – a peaceful way to pass the hours.

Some British readers of a certain age may remember an adult literacy programme from the 1970s, called ‘On the Move’? (I urge you to click on the ‘On the Move’ link – it will make you smile) It had a catchy theme tune which in recent days has been the backdrop tune to my crutch supported wanderings.


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Published by Carol

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