Total Hip Replacement 10: Four Weeks, Over and Out

heelsThis will be my last report on the hip replacement saga, winding it up with the nice round numbers of 10 posts and 4 weeks.  From here it appears there will be nothing interesting left to say about the recuperation [insert gesture to avoid evil eye here].

This past week, I took only one nap, finding that 30 minutes of relaxation usually does the trick when I get worn out.  I went on a shopping trip with a friend, walking and standing around for three hours, and came away with only tired feet.  I walked with my dog for an hour, up and down some good hills, ending with only wind-stiffened cheeks to complain about.  I’ve started doing gentle yoga stretches, with which my hip complies politely, and am starting to feel a little looser.  Last night, I clambered around on a steep, rocky hillside, in the dark, pushing a herd of horses from one paddock to another, with no problem.  I ate a lot of iron-rich Total cereal and dried apricots and black beans and whole grains, regaining a girlish blush in my cheeks.

The only change is with my scar.  I know it’s important to massage and manipulate a big wound to break up adhesions and unnecessary scar tissue.  And I know it’s painful.  I’m getting professional help with this soon, but once I passed the three-week, fully-knitted point, I watched a YouTube video on how to work on a scar and started doing it myself.  Ouch.  But it’s working — instead of a big, rectangular patch of hard, immovable flesh, I now have a pretty normal thigh with a rubbery scar down the middle.

In another month, my bone should be solid and I’m allowed to get back to most activities (riding!).  Another month after that, I have my final follow-up with the surgeon.  Somewhere in the 6-12 month range, I should be fully certified to do everything I will ever be able to do.  There are more markers to come, but the progress is already just incremental and I think it’s time to, quite literally, move on.

Final lesson learned: the anticipation is often (always?) worse than the reality.  But did the angst help by setting me up to be underwhelmed by the reality?  I’ll ponder this on my next long, pain-free walk.

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