I was left with the choice of THR now, or wait and see what the future holds… The entire decision was resting on my ability to handle the pain and the deterioration of my hip. These are both extreme unknowns and can’t be predicted. While this might seem a simple debate, THR’s have a limited life, 15-20 years span, and you can only have 2 or 3 per lifetime. Therefore jumping the gun can have implications with old age.
Considering my medical history, I have a good quality of life, but it isn’t the quality of life I want. Unlike some of the other stories I read, I am not always in pain and I try to restrict my pain relief as much as possible, 3 or 4 times a week, but I don’t want to not join in family walks because I am in pain or struggle through a shopping trip when my friends are happily looking at clothes.
Due to university the operation can only take place at the beginning of a summer holiday, as the recovery period can be quite long. This only makes the decision more complicated. What would happen if I wait until next June? Could I be crippled with pain by November? Or could I be on medication that means I can’t complete my degree?
I can no longer complete a hockey game, jogging for more than 15 minutes hurts and if my leg is knocked in the wrong direction, shooting pains travel through my hip joint. My hip movements are very restricted and I often find I get stuck – it can be very amusing.
Not too long ago, I was sat down with my shoulders on my knees painting my toenails, a very simple task. When I tried to sit back up again, I was stuck. I couldn’t lift my chest as tensing my muscles was causing something to catch in my hip joint. I had to shuffle to the edge of my chair and lower my legs with gravity, rather then tensing my muscles. The instant pain is like pins into the joint, but 2 minutes later and the pain has disappeared.
The point at which I started this blog marks the time I decided enough was enough. I was going ahead with the THR this June.
I decided I couldn’t jeopardise my degree when I had the power to sort my hip now. My Granny raised something that stuck in my mind, especially being a science student. The medical advances during her lifetime, specifically around THR, have made leaps and bounds in technological advances. Instead of lasting 10 years, some of her friends had had their replacements 26 years. So what will their advances be like when I need my next replacement? They can only be beneficial. Maybe an app that walks for me?
Overall, the biggest decider is that I am plain and simply fed up!
With just under two months to go, I am so excited for what the future holds. The recovery period is long, up to 18 months, but putting the operation off is only delaying the inevitable.
I am so excited to not have to plan my pain relief around my day. If I go for a walk, I go for a walk, I don’t need to pop pills just before I go. I won’t have to sit down with all my bags and split my medication so I am never caught unprepared and I can FINALLY get back to some level of activity pain free.
But with the replacement comes different limitations. Jogging is not allowed, I will never be able to say, ‘I’ve run a marathon’, but I am 100% ok with that. I have never, and will never be the running type. I also have to close my hockey-playing chapter, but I am about to embark on a new chapter, my road to recovery, and with that come many roads with new opportunities.
(there were no pretty photos of me from this season - don't judge, we have all done this at some point)
Left photo: I am front row, second from the left.
Right photo: I am at the end on the right.