It’s been almost a week, and honestly I am amazed at how little pain I feel and how quickly I am progressing. I’m able to put a little more weight on my leg and walk a tiny bit more every day. It’s pretty remarkable.
I am convinced that the hard part of this surgery is not the immediate physical recovery, but the mental game that comes with it. Granted, I was in relatively good shape going into surgery, and I am young, so I already have a massive head start in my recovery, but the mental part is different. I am constantly wondering if it should feel a certain way or if I am going too fast or too slow.
“Was that pain I just felt normal?” “Did I walk too much today?”
“Will I be able to do this again?” “How long until I can do that again?”
“Will I need a revision surgery in 15, 20, or 25 years?” “Am I ever going to be able to…?”
There is just so much uncertainty that really weighs on you when you are limited to very few steps a day.
On top of that, comes the forced slow down of life. Let’s face it, I am a very active person. I walk my dog AT LEAST twice a day, play with her, do stuff around the house, exercise, and find whatever I can to fill the day. It is absolutely killing me to not not be able to do those things AND to not know if I am overdoing it when I TRY to do those things. On top of that, my stomach has not entirely agreed with the anesthesia and pain medications, so there have been added challenges beyond my actual hip healing.
I am trying so hard to stay positive, but I can so easily see how depression could swiftly kick in to a person undergoing this procedure.
But as a whole, from the healing perspective, things are really great. I even dropped into a Crossfit New Haven class yesterday and did a few, light stretches. It brought me back to my Tae Kwon Do days when I stood in the back of class and did 100’s of push ups after my compartment syndrome surgeries. Fun times, fun times. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to do all that much just yet, but it’s been 5 days so….
Part of the uncertainty of what I am going through is the wide-array of internet advice on hip replacement surgery. There are SO MANY ARTICLES telling you what you should feel on a certain day and what you should or should not do in recovery. My take is that the vast majority of those articles are written for an age group of 65+, and my age group’s “advice column” doesn’t even exist!
These are purely my experiences. I am simply sharing so that a person going through this at a similar age may have some reference as to what they should be feeling on any given day after surgery, in bullet point form.
Days 3-5 after surgery:
I’m going back to my original theory that the reason there are no articles or guides for young people getting their hip(s) replaced is because everyone recovers so fast and forgets it even happened. Don’t get me wrong-- there are still moments of discomfort, and I am by no means out of the woods, but I am starting to believe that it might just be as easy as they say it is-- despite my mild mental turmoil.
I did manage to do a Zoom call with 30 4th and 5th graders and NO ONE KNEW anything had even happened to me. #forthewin
Hi! I am Nicole Guimaraes. I'm a K-2 music teacher in Falls Church City, VA. I've got an amazing husband and a fabulous dog who keep me busy. If I'm not teaching or walking my dog, you can probably find me at the gym!