May 9, 2012
I am almost 3 months post-op (BHR R hip; Dr. Antoniou), and the right hip did
seem like it was going well…although I think I might have overdone things over
the weekend climbing outside and then in the gym. I managed a pretty steep 11c
and other 5.11’s in the gym (all on TR), but I still feel pretty fragile.
I have been climbing up and down a long set of stairs (kind of interval
training), and using a stationary bike. Using rock rings, gymnastic rings, and
the local community centre, too (although public pools gross me out so I don’t
swim). This may sound great, but 3 months out I feel like I have a very long way
to go…. and then I have to get the other hip done!
Last week, Antoniou’s office called me to tell me the hospital couldn’t take any
more out-of-province patients. I wrote a letter to the hospital ombudsman… and
it worked! The hospital decided that several of Antoniou’s patients are under
his care, and we have rights. Now I want to get in and get the other hip done
before they change their minds again.
I am surprised how long the recovery is actually taking me, and I am HURTING
today. Of course, I am dealing with the back thing described above as well, so I
am not a "normal" hip resurfacing….but still. I am guessing it will be another
3 months or so at this rate before I feel healed.
My back has been tweaking a lot over the last month, requiring a return to
Tramadol and occasional Percocet. I get these shooting pains down my left leg
that I believe are caused from damaged, scarred nerves from my back. When my
hips hurt and muscles tighten up everywhere (guarding, spasming) it seems to set
off a chain reaction and then my back gets into the game.
July 25, 2012
I am now 5.5 months post-op from BHR R hip. I am scheduled to have left hip
done August 17th. To be honest, I am not sure what to think. My BHR right hip is
far from "normal", but I am doing a lot of activity: hiking, stair
intervals….no running, because I can tell that I can’t do it. The undone hip
bugs me so much, though, that it seems to overhadow everything. Then there’s the
back and the associated nerve damage, so it’s a mess down there. I am making the
best of a bad situation/ history, and I have done a lot with a messed up body,
all thanks to great surgeons and medical care over many years.
Sitting is tough, but it seems to be coming more from undone left hip. Still,
the BHR is giving me issues, and I am not sure if I should be expecting more at
this stage….or what.
Here I am, about to go in for another surgery. The first week post-op in
February ignited the scarred nerve tissue in my back (swelling, guarding set off
this sciatica-like pain – not new) and the shooting pain was crazy for 7 days.
Likely I will have to go through that again, and this time I am going to make
sure I get enough pain meds before I go in for surgery as the hospital was
severely lacking in this regard – despite my ample form-filling and e-mails
prior to surgery about the pain issues I have been dealing with in the last few
years. No question, Canada’s health care system needs to be brought into the
modern age, but this seems to be less about surgical skill, and more about
modernizing the administrative capabilities and systems the hospitals and health
care system uses. It is embarrassing to be filling out the forms I have filled
over and over, and to be relying on fax machines, etc.
This is hopefully the last surgery I will have to contend with for a long time.
August 16, 2012
Saw Dr. Antoniou yesterday, and he seems to feel that I can work weights on
that new hip w/o danger. Doesn’t sound like he is a big fan of running, though,
and I have been discouraged from doing this – at least for a a few months
longer. Anyway, surgery tomorrow morning at 8. I can’t wait to get this month
August 22, 2012
Whew!…it’s over. Sort of. Surgery was completed on August 17th, and I was
in ICU awake by noon.
The surgery went well, as the resident I talked to said the bone all looked
good, and they saw the region of wear and tear that was causing me grief.
However – once again – I had to have a general anesthetic, as opposed to a
spinal as my fusion is too large. The big difference between the two is for that
both times I have had this the first 90 minutes coming out of it is a
suffer-fest of extreme proportions: I came out of a general anesthetic with
NOTHING for pain, and it it takes a while to get that morphine pump doing it’s
job. Or maybe the ICU staff is lame… why can’t they just give me a shot and
stop dicking around? It seems completely unnecessary and stone age. I was in a
bad way for a very long time.
I went in on the Friday and was discharged at 2 pm Sunday. I only needed the
walker for the first day up, and I am already getting around with just one cane
if I am in the house (2 for outside). Incredible, and very different from the
But…I have had a return of the cursed nerve pain and I swear to God it’s like
every medical person I talk to is hearing about my medical history for the first
time. None of the nursing staff had anything in my chart about previous spinal
surgery (uh- like 5 of them), and when I tried to explain the source of pain and
discomfort I usually got very well-meaning but innexperienced responses about
what would help.
The pain meds issued to me were completely inadequate, and I went through the 20
5 mg tabs of oxycodone I was given in 2.5 days – as I had these burning nerve
pains in my foot (related to my back injury), and I still do. I tried to talk to
the Head Nurse before leaving the ward when I received these lame meds about
getting more, but she made it clear I would have to speak to Antoniou if I
needed more. So of course, I did, once the pain started getting bad the night I
left the hospital. It all just seemed so unnecessary after what happened in
February. That said, they loaded me up with enough meds now and hopefully that
will get me through what has been a tough period with pain. But pain medication
is the new bogeyman, so anyone with chronic pain has to deal with this
As happened in February, I have been soaking the bed with night sweats, and I am
a little constipated. I’m not very hungry, and it’s tough to sleep.
It’s a beautiful day so I am going out for a walk. I hope to be back in the
weight room next week, and I have already returned to desk-work part time. I
still look at climbing magazines and fantasize about a return to that great
sport: I have done it before, so I might as well do it again – just to show it
can be done.
Lots to look forward to, and I hope anyone going through anything like my
experience finds this information useful.
September 24, 2012
I am 6 weeks post-op, and for some reason the last week I have had a regular
occurrence of nerve pain that has me back on the heavy meds. I am hoping this
goes away with time, as I have noticed it is still really easy to overdo things
and I am pretty keen.
September 28, 2012
I saw Dr. Antoniou on Tuesday, and he seems pretty psyched about my progress.
He has been very personable and attentive – despite being obviously in huge
demand with his time.
I am going to climb indoors on TR tomorrow, almost 6 weeks to the day of the
last surgery. I ditched the cane last weekend .