So last week I got a new hip. A hip replacement to be exact. Yep. How old am I do you say? 37. Yep, a little young I know. Yep. Nod. I’ve had this operation on the horizon for a while now, and if you’ve been following me you would know that I’ve tried everything to avoid it, but have surrendered to the surgery. So last Thursday I checked in to hospital, got my gown and very sexy surgery undies on and went under the knife. In case you’ve missed it, here’s why….
About two years ago I woke up on holidays, post Christmas with terrible pain in my right hip. The result, I figured, of too much running around with a then two year old and a baby. I knew it wasn’t the late nights out dancing (heck, I can’t even remember what they are like!). After a few weeks of investigation I was referred to an orthopedic surgeon who discovered a ‘labral tear’ in my cartilage (possibly from child birth) and more severely, an impingement in the bone which meant that every time I moved my hip in a certain way, the bone effectively wedged against the hip joint, meaning pain. So under the knife I went for an arthroscopy and repair to hopefully fix what is quite commonly presented amongst young Mothers who have previously participated in sport and intense exercise. Note at this point I was laughing because my teen years were jam packed with athletics, netball and competitive dancing, but clearly the lasting effects had lingered on many years after finishing up my ‘professional’ athletics career! 😉
However post surgery, I was to find that my surgeon had in fact discovered damage and a hip in such a state of disrepair that a total replacement presented as the only real solution to my problem. I balled my eyes out. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. A hip replacement? That is an ‘old’ person’s operation. I was 37 not 97. However my body didn’t feel like it was young. What he saw was severe Osteo Arthritis. The result of bad genetics (thanks Mum and Dad), and a combination of years of exercise, coupled with child birth and Motherhood. It had just tipped me over the edge.
You see my problem was mainly at night. During the day I could run around (not quite literally run around, but you know…more of the crazy Mum run around thing). I could walk, go to work and do most things, but if I ever wore heels, or stood for a long time, or walked a long way…which let’s face it as a Mum is always, then my nights would be met with great pain and throbbing. All night. Every night. To the point where I couldn’t bare going to bed without a hot water bottle and pain killers. I did physio, I did pilates. I tried to strengthen my muscles. However the realisation quickly settled in that the daunting prospect of a hip replacement was something that I was really going to have to consider. However as all families know, we were just to busy. I simply didn’t have ‘time’ for a hip replacement. When could I possibly fit it into our life with the prospect of 12 weeks recovery? My job, my husband’s job (and own business), my kids, MY KIDS, daycare, appointments. The need to rely on people. The stress it would put on my husband. On my family. It had already been an awful year following the loss of my Dad. I felt terrible. However as the months wore on, I knew that I needed to do it. And if I was going to do it, it had to be this year, before Christmas. I didn’t want to spend this, our first Christmas without my Dad and Nan in agony. I also didn’t want to have surgery next year when my Ella would be going through her prep transition. Finding time to have surgery and recover is almost impossible as a Mum, and something that almost made me put it off altogether. However the prospect of another year of pain and relying on pain meds meant that I knew I needed to do it. To be a good Mum, to be a good wife, daughter, sister, friend. I needed to take care of myself first so I could take care of those around me.
So it meant biting the bullet and getting it done. I’ve actually since discovered that hip replacement surgery is more common in your people than is commonly known. I guess there are a whole lot of people out there who are in a similar situation, but simply find it hard to find the time, and money to have the surgery they need.
So I’m day 5, at home. It’s hard, I will admit to rest and do nothing. I’m not used to it (hence this blog post). However I’m grateful that I have access to an amazing surgeon and team of professionals who will get me back to where I want to be. Pain free. I know it will take a while, but I’m so looking forward to being able to sleep without pain. I have two legs that are actually now the same length (my left was previously 1cm shorter than my right) and I can already feel the healing nature of the pain. It’s better than the bone on bone kind that is for sure!
Thanks for all of your beautiful messages of love and support. I know that making the decision to take care of myself is the right one. I don’t know why, as Mum, we find that so hard sometimes. But we do. But this decision will mean happiness for me and that means my family. That can only be a good thing. You’ll see me running around in no time!
Onward and Upward as my beautiful Dad would say!