On November 25, 2008 I had a total hip replacement. I had been having issues with it for years, but could never really do anything about it (other than deal with it) because it seemed like I was always pregnant! So after I had Daniel and terminated my baby-making days, I finally did something about it. I went through arthroscopic surgery in February 2008 and that helped for a while - the meniscus was damaged and so the surgeon cleaned it up a bit and removed some arthritis. But after a few months, the pain came back with a vengeance. I tried cortisone injections *shudder*, physical therapy, medication, everything. After several more rounds of MRIs and x-rays my surgeon finally said the magic words: "All that's left to do now is to replace it."
I was thrilled. He tried telling me that I was too young to do it, but I pointed out to him that I was too young to be in constant pain, and I felt that it was time to do something drastic to fix it - even if it would have to be replaced again down the line, as is typical.
The first 24-48 hours after surgery were horrible. The pain was unreal. But they had me up and walking the next day - just out of my room, across the hallway, and back - but I did it. I spent 5 days in the hospital and came home to a hospital bed in my living room, at-home physical therapy, injections of blood thinner that I had to give myself, and all sorts of adaptive equipment.
Recovery was easier than I thought, after the first few days. I only used the walker for 3 or 4 days, and then it started to get in the way, so I switched to a cane. The kids thought that it was funny to steal my walker when I'd put it to the side when I was doing dishes, so I had to wean myself off of that quickly! I slept downstairs in the hospital bed for close to a month to avoid using the stairs any more than I had to, but all in all, it was ok.
To this day, I still believe that it was the best thing that I ever could have done. Yes, my left leg is now about 1/2" longer than my right leg, but I'm used to it. I have to have a lift built into my sneakers to keep my back from hurting, but I can now run around barefoot most of the day before it starts to bother me. I have no pain in my hip, which is such a blessing! I can run and keep up with the kids without telling them "no, I can't play that game because I hurt too much" which they love!
The incision healed beautifully. The scar isn't terribly noticeable to anyone other than me, which makes me happy. And if I hadn't gone ahead and had it done, I never would have been able to do the half marathon that I did last month.
There's another one in Wichita in October - I need to get my act together and get signed up for that one too and see if I can improve my time!