Good News and Mixed Feelings
I had been in touch with my surgeon’s secretary to tell her that I was happy to take any cancellation at short notice and that we were disregarding the Christmas holidays. I was hoping that others might not be quite as sanguine as us about the holidays and I might get in sooner!
Just an hour later, Sam, the secretary, rang to ask if I could go the very next day for my pre-op assessment – a whole month earlier than my planned appointment. Of course, I said yes!
Pre-op assessment was reassuring, worrying and irritating all at the same time. The reassurance came from the lovely young anaesthetist who thought I would be the perfect candidate for a spinal anaesthetic with a sedative rather than a general which I know from past experience makes me very sick. The worrying part was the feeling that everything would be harder and more painful than friends who have had the op had suggested, that I could be on crutches for maybe three months and that I must not expect too much from my new hip. We came away feeling quite demoralised and telling each other that they must be presenting worst case scenario to protect themselves. This feeling had not been been helped by the occupational therapist whose ‘kindness’ was infuriatingly patronising. It is unlike either of us to be put down – we are both optimists at heart – but we arrived home feeling bad.
At the assessment, I had been asked to fill in an online questionnaire, The Oxford Hip Score so I did that and scored only 23 – You need to get your hip sorted out! While at the computer I decided to look up something along the lines of After my Total Hip Replacement and found a wonderful document which should be required reading for anyone who has been demoralised by an encounter with the prophets of doom.
It is called “Get Well Soon, Helping you make a speedy recovery after total hip replacement” and is written and published by the Royal College of Surgeons. It is positive, practical and powerful in making me believe that this can be done and that I can do it!
Click on this link to find it. It went into my file and became my handbook.
Only three days later, all the equipment deemed necessary by the occupational therapist arrived, all on free loan for as long as I need it. This includes a chair of the correct height, crutches, a ‘helping hand’ ( a wonderful little contraption that allows me to pick up anything from a thin knitting needle to a book or a cushion), loo seats at the right height, a shower board to put over the bath and a leaning stool to enable me to wash independently.
With all the equipment on hand, we feel the appointment cannot be far away!