9 Weeks.

It’s now 9 weeks since mum’s hip replacement op – 9 weeks which have both flown by, yet lasted forever.

As you may recall, the first 6 weeks were ones governed by strict rules as to what mum could – or rather, couldn’t – do and so were a period of little change. She also still had the problem of low haemoglobin and was only prescribed iron a couple of weeks ago (which we think very odd. With a level of just over 7 post op, rising to 9 after a week or two, we’d have expected her to have been prescribed some much earlier.) She’s starting to feel much more herself now that this is kicking in and has dispensed with the twice daily rests in/on bed.

Just before her follow up appointment with the consultant, the physio (who was pleased with mum’s progress) had suggested mum could try to walk a short distance with just one crutch as long as it was on the flat, and someone was with her. She did this a couple of times with me there and seemed to be OK though she could feel it pulling the muscles around her new hip. She then went for the appointment at which she expected to be given advice on what she could do in this next phase of recovery and hopefully be told she could go down to one crutch. She DIDN’T expect to have a 10 minute chat, a dismissive “all looks OK, that’s fine, off you go” nor to have both crutches taken off her and told she could go! In fact, she felt quite shaky without the physical and mental support of the crutches. When she asked about what she was now allowed to try, the answer was just “whatever you feel up to” and regarding work, that she was OK to go back when she felt ready. Mum said that she had to master buses and stairs before she could do that, so she was given another month and that was that! She was left feeling bemused.

Luckily she had a physio appointment 2 days later and the physio (who was also taken aback at the abrupt loss of the crutches) was able to give some more useful guidelines. Some things are still definitely not to be attempted but others can be tried if mum takes due care.

So, the last couple of weeks, mum has managed to do a bit more and on my visits we’ve worked out what she can and can’t do – and where possible, devised ways of managing a few more things. We’ve also begun to move some things in the house back to where they belong as extra room is not needed for crutches and trolleys, etc. The frames are not now needed in the loos, though the raised seats are still in use, which means mum can now get the doors closed and feel a bit more human. Baths/showers are still out of the question though and beding down to the oven rules out much cooking. The wound itself is still rather painful, which mum hadn’t anticipated, and which makes sitting uncomfortable still.

The extra we’ve managed are shopping – the first time, mum made it round the supermarket but then had to sit down whilst I took the shopping through the till and packed, the second time mum managed all of it, with me just doing the packing, carrying, loading the car etc. We have also been into town on the bus and even looked in a few shops. (Mum hadn’t been to the shops at the bottom of the town for a few months as she couldn’t walk that far before the op.) And she can now do a bit of washing herself if she’s careful about how she loads and unloads the machine, and uses her trolley to carry the basket of clothes to the washing line.

She’s had her eyes tested as her prescription changed over night – literally. When she awoke after the op, her distance vision had improved and her reading vision deteriorated markedly. (Weirdly, she has also lost her sense of smell overnight.) We walked up to a local hairdresser one week when she was still on crutches, and both had a much needed trim – mum even paid for mine as a treat. Thank you mum. Next will be a visit to a chiropodist if we can find one with a ground floor consulting room as mum still finds stairs very difficult.

My weekly visits have been a little shorter – Thursday night to Saturday night instead of Wednesday night to Sunday night, and will probably become fortnightly soon just to help with the shopping and bed changing which remain the two main things mum can’t manage on her own.

I’m pleased mum is making such good progress and of course, we will both be pleased for her to get back to normal, though my visits haven’t all been running around after an invalid. We’ve accomplished a few extra things such as buying and setting up mum’s new laptop and TV, arranging a cleaner to come in each week, and so on. We’ve also had a lot of laughs, enjoyed watching quiz shows and Britain’s Got Talent together, had some lovely food and plenty of wine (a glass or two with dinner, not a bottle or two throughout the day, I hasten to add!) Mum has also insisted on paying my petrol money (though I feel bad about accepting it!) so I feel a bit of a fraud since I’ve enjoyed free mini-breaks with excellent accommodation, food and company. We are both aware that I’m having a job to stay on top of things at home and my clinic, and that the family need me at home too, so we couldn’t carry on like this indefinitely, but I am very pleased to have been able to have helped and have enjoyed spending time with my lovely mum.

Naturally, there is still a way to go, but I think having this op was a good thing and hopefully mum will soon be back to normal and out of pain again.

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  1. […] with doing a few jobs, lots of eating, lots of boozing, and lots of laughs (It was slightly reminiscent of last year when I was staying with her to help with things after her op, only she’s almost back to normal […]

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