This walking lark is hard work………..

…………almost as difficult as keeping my blog up to date! It is, I apologise, a very long time since I posted but that’s because I have been doing physio exercises from dawn ’til dusk!! Well, sometimes it feels like it! Kept up the hydrotherapy for a month and then started to get some physio exercises I could do (just barely!) on dry land. My new physio continually lectures me on not overdoing it, then gives me enough exercises to keep me occupied on a full-time basis. The trick is to learn when to stop and to listen to your body I find, you don’t have to do wevery single exercise every single time (top tip for anyone else recovering from PAO…..).

Then, at the end of January, I saw the consultant again and was allowed to go to 30% weight-bearing on my left hip (from 10% or less since the operation) for a week, and then to 60% for a week – so basically dropping to one crutch – after which, all being well, I could be full weight-bearing. So I saw the physio at the end of that  and he asked me to walk along the corridor using just the one crutch – no problem – and then without. Very scary, very very scary indeed. But I did it without major mishap and not too noticeable a wobble. I had visions of collapsing on my face in front of the receptionists and all the people in the waiting room but it didn’t happen.

So I came home with yet more exercises and instructions to keep using the one crutch outdoors – i.e. longer distances – but to walk without at home. I also got permission to GO TO THE GYM!!! WOOHOOOOOO_OOOO-OO! – with a very strict programme of activities.

Of course, that was scary too – should I use the crutch to get across the gym car park and up the stairs? Would they send me straight home as an insurance risk? If I walked without a crutch would I fall over as I got in the door? Might the physio be following me to check up on what I was doing? Hah! None of those things – I decided to tough it out and wobble across the car par unaided, drag myself up the stairs by the banisters and smile sweetly at the Membership Manager on reception – who remembered my name, was delighted to see me and told me which trainer had specialist rehab experience. Fitness First Waterlooville, you are fab people!

Back to the physio yesterday who is very pleased with progress but wants me to “keep practising” for another month. The main problem I had, but am working on, is that my quads were really weak so they trembled if I tried to do any sort of squat, but all going well. This left hip seems to be easier than the right, maybe because I’ve been there before and am not so nervous but also the quad muscle is far les painful – for a long time the right felt as if it was catching and shredding.

Back up to see my consultant on Monday, hopefully he will sign me fit to go back to work………..


Hydrotherapy on ice…………

When I got home, there was something of a surprise waiting for me! Gary had been extremely busy whilst I was in the hospital – a couple of years ago we started on an extension at the back of the house and it all kind of ground to a halt when I was diagnosed with dysplasia because I could no longer do anything towards decorating and Gary was running round after me and worn out with work. We were left with a new living room plastered and full of “stuff”.

So imagine how chuffed I was to come home and find fireplace fitted, decorating completed and carpet laid! Well nearly – poor bloke, everything thing that could have gone wrong had done – the fireplace was the wrong size for the fire, the decorating had taken two days longer than promised, the carpet had therefore had to be postponed……… the first few days I was home it was completed around me by some very apologetic – and friendly – tradesmen. All the same, it is fabulous to have it finished and the Christmas tree looks perfect in there.

Spoke to my parents and my sister – had my Mum in stitches telling her about being asked to take a couple of steps with the walker to the chair and then being told I shouldn’t have been able to do it – she had to pass the phone to Dad!.  Nice to have a good old laugh and a chat with my Mum and Dad – they are  a very long way away.

I got a phone call from the physiotherapy centre (in Waterlooville – highly recommend it), which is where I went before, and set up a first appointment in the hydrotherapy pool. Unfortunately, my physio from last time has moved on >;o( and I miss her, but the new chap is fine, if rather more solemn! He gave me a very long lecture on not overdoing it – as if I look like the rebellious type!!

So we had a half hour session in the pool, much the same as last time – slightly different exercises but they achieve the same thing so not a problem. PS my personal trainer (see previous posts!) has taken note and promised to make sure I a) behave and b) do all my exercises but unfortunately we’ve been felled at the first hurdle. We’ve had snow recently and it’s very icy on the roads so I cancelled my appointment today – I wasn’t comfortable about using crutches on the icy ground and, more of an issue, PS is not the most confident driver and we live at the bottom of Purbrook hill on one side; the physio centre is at the bottom on the other side, so I wasn’t happy asking her to drive.

So I stayed at home and wiggled my foot a lot – do you think that’ll do it?

On the other side…..

So that’s it then – I now have PAOs done on both my hips. Came in to hospital on Monday at 11.15 and went up to surgery I think around 1.30. I walked up to the operating theatre – yes, me, walked. I didn’t do a runner although I will admit my legs went very heavy at one point! Took my posh purple stick with me too.

I then managed to have a chat with the anaesthetist – this was the fifth time I’d been in the room so I decided to confirm that it was in fact the operating theatre – which it is – and not some side room. We talked about the epidural and how I was so worried last time beforehand but can’t now remember a thing about it and he said that was deliberate on his part and he would do the same again this time round (which he did, I can’t tell you anything about it!!).

Worn my self out already! Be back later……….

Woke up in recovery – a place I’ve become familiar with! Felt a bit delicate and sore – when asked what my pain level was on a score of 0 -4 (0 being no pain, 4 being intolerable) I think I replied “same as being hit by a bus”! But that was quickly brought under control – by a nurse called Dawn I seem to remember. I remember that, but I can’t remember all the details. I think when I got in to recovery it was about 6.30, so that was around 5 hours in theatre, then I think I got down to HDU (High Dependency Unit) around 8.30. I know I got a bit snitty being told I’d have to wait an hour for a cup of tea because it had already been two hours – and I got my cuppa! Top tip for anyone going in for this type of surgery – do not order a cheese sandwich beforehand when you’re asked what you’d like to eat after surgery. Grated cheese and an enforced lying position DO NOT WORK! Made the consultant laugh, anyway, when he came to see how I was doing!

LPAO – here I go!

Well I’ve had the pre-op. checks, blood test, ECG, MRSA and all that over the last couple of weeks and today – is the day I have my left hip done. I absolutely don’t feel ready for it, it’s come round so quickly, and I’m sure I should be doing far more to get ready but I just can’t get as motivated as I did for the last one. I think that actually I’m not so scared, but we’ll see how I do when we leave in just over an hour…………………….!

Date set for LPAO

Went to see Mr. Hussell yesterday to follow up after the arthroscopy. We saw the video – it’s not as bad in there as we thought it might be but it’s still pretty raggedy and inflamed, so he wanted to do PAO sooner rather than later to avoid letting it deteriorate any further. He’d tidied up the cartilage as far as possible, and flushed out all the (ewwwww!) bits and pieces floating around in the joint. We’ve set the date for 29th November – here we go again! Still, as my old mate H says, it’s the last leg!

He also took out the stitches for me so that’s that dealt with. We agreed I didn’t need another appointment to go through the details of the operation as I already know, but I guess there’ll be a pre-op check appointment as before. I suppose I ought to address the smoking again – I did so well before, but then got bored and rebellious sitting around at home and blew it! D’oh!

So, Twickenham for England-South Africa November 27th and then PAO on the 29th.

Gary has been trying to stop me from doing anything since we saw the video, if he had his way I’d be sitting down from now til the end of November! I hope he doesnt overdo it himself, will have to watch that!

PAO r us!

Gary Sept 09

My wonderful Gary

So I waited – and I waited – and eventually they came to take me down to theatre at 6.30pm – by which time I was very hungry and pretty grouchy! The doctor that collected me understood and was very sweet and I WALKED DOWN to theatre! If I read back to my early posts about my (ex?) phobia when I was having CBT and huge amounts of sedation, I’m VERY proud of myself for that! I got on to the bed thing on my own, gave up my dressing gown (cold!) and made sure they only stuck needles in my right hand (I’m left handed) then———gone!

I woke up in the recovery room around 8.30, very very cold. I was given a cover which they blew hot air into – rather like those old hair drying hats that you attached to your hairdryer which you probably won’t remember if you’re under 40 – and that did the trick in no time. Lovely! The consultant came to see me, told me it went well and that my hip, although it had deteriorated (hence all the grief) IS a candidate for PAO – which was fabulous news. I was so hoarse I could hardly speak, so was given sips of water through a straw.

Back in to the room where Gary was waiting cos he’s a star – I thought he might have had enough of me getting grumpy earlier! Nurses came and did checks – one thing we’ve discovered is I have a very slow pulse and low blood pressure – the nurse was surprised I hadn’t fainted when I went to the loo but I felt absolutely fine. Apparently it’s likely to be due to being very fit – yay! All that time at the gym has paid off – I’d noticed on the machines that my pulse never reached the typical value for my age. Then they brought me a pot of tea, and the world was right again!

Slept fitfully through the night – with a 3am wake up for checks – woke early and sweet talked them out of a cup of tea.  (You see a theme here?!). More checks, showered and visit from the consultant. He thought I wouldn’t remember our conversation from the night before but I quoted most of it back to him – how could I forget something as important as that? He’d been and spoken to Gary last night as well, which was considerate of him – he’s that sort of person.

Gary came to pick me up – had to wait for physio and pharmacy before we could go. Physio recognised me from PAO so just said Hi, pharmacy turned up with a prescription for co-codamol – which I hadn’t asked for and didn’t want cos it makes me groggy so we didn’t take it – and then I was out!

Back to see consultant in two weeks to see the video and discuss detail of next moves…………


After being discharged by my physio last week, I’ve just spent most of the weekend flat on my back as my left hip is now playing up! When I saw my consultant at the beginning of this month he was really pleased with my recovery after my RPAO but wants to wait until a full year before addressing the left. The left hurt less when I was first diagnosed with dysplasia but looks worse on the CT scan. What are calcium deposits all about? Now, as I get more and more active as the right recovers – it’s been so lovely and “free” getting back up the gym, and my physio reckons mine is the best recovery she’s ever seen after PAO – the left is having none of it! Gone back on the Naproxen today and my other half (who is brilliant and has been incredibly supportive) is suggesting I go back and ask for a cortisone injection on the left. Don’t wanna! Work is manic and relentless which is not helping (although the money’s nice!) Grumble, whinge, moan, groan, complain!!