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New Book to read

My copy of Kelly Young’s new book, Rheumatoid Arthritis Unmasked, arrived a few minutes ago. I look forward to a good read. Kelly is also known as the RA Warrior. Her web site has been a port in the storm for those who are dealing with complex problems due to their RA. She has RA or RD as she would say. In spite of her personal health challenges she is a major advocate for those of us who have RA. My thanks go out to her.

Back from my hip replacement

My hip replacement didn’t turn out to be as smooth as I would have expected but my hip joint is fine and all the severe pain I had before the surgery is gone. It is a relief and makes the experience I had well worth the effort. The surgeon said my hip was warn out so I’m very glad he decided to do the surgery.

During Thanksgiving week I overdid walking with the cane and sitting too long. So yesterday during my physical  therapy appointment, my therapist and I decided I needed to stay with the walker when I went out and use the cane for practice only at home. My pain had increased and I wasn’t doing as well.

Back to the drawing board. Time to let the inflammation in the hip heal and to follow the rules.  And to rest more. I enjoy doing my assigned exercises. Resting more is hard.

I have had two RA flares since surgery. One was in the Rehab center as they had skipped my methotrexate dose. Why? They said because I was at my doctor’s appointment.  Odd reason. I was finally given the shot. Amazing what a difference it makes. The second time was at home. My feet were badly inflamed as were my shoulders and wrists and hands. I added the Medrol dose pack. It always helps. I also rub a cannabis ointment  into my feet and toes. This is a big help, too.

I am writing a small book on my hip experience. I will publish it in Kindle by the end of the month. I had the good fortune of working with kind, thoughtful people throughout my experience. I had run into one, maybe two unpleasant souls. So overall it was good. Lucky me.

RA Hip Replacement

I am hopeful that my summer long saga of pain and futility are drawing to a close. My surgery is two weeks away. I am grateful to Ruth and her practical approach to problems. It is reassuring to me. After all my worry and anxiety,  I know I will be fine.

I have only one more item to check off my list. It is an appointment to see my surgeon’s PA. My dentist gave me a pass. I had no oral infection. My primary met with me and did his part. I participated in a two-hour hip class which was informative but also made me anxious. I met with the anesthesiology nurse. I passed all my labs.

My worries

My RA will become a worsening problem as I will be off Medrol and meloxicam starting Sunday. My RA feet are badly affected as are my ankles. My tendons in my legs are also a problem when I walk. My hands, wrists and shoulders are also problematic. After taking the hip class, I became concerned that I wouldn’t be able to do such things as get up on my elbows to do the maneuvering to get up out of bed. I was reassured by the class nurse in a follow-up call that my recovery period would be tailored to meet my needs and all would be well. I am okay with it as much as I can be.

I am a planner. It isn’t always a good thing. I realized that although sleeping on the affected hip worked for me, after surgery I would not be sleeping on my incision. So, I decided to practice sleeping on the opposite side, the unaffected side. It was a bad decision. My pain quadrupled. It was unbearable. It was so bad that when I laid down I couldn’t get up to brush my teeth and put my nightgown on. I slept in my clothes with my socks on. So, after spending two days in pain beyond belief, I went back to sleeping on my bad hip. My pain level is much better.

The walker is another issue. My RA Doc ordered a walker when she saw me limping down the hall. It is a great walker. It has helped me stay mobile.  It has a bench that is handy for carrying things like coffee or laundry. I enjoy my walker for the freedom it has given me. After the Hip class, I realized that I would need a different walker. Oh no, I thought, one more learning experience. So, I bought the correct walker and I practiced with it. There was no place on it to carry my laundry or to carry my coffee. So, I decided to do what I had been told by many health care professionals and Ruth to do. And that is to work with today only. The rest will take care of itself. I am using my favorite walker and am sleeping peacefully on my bad hip. I am good with that. My exercise into preparedness was futile.

My last worry is about going home. I am expecting that I will be discharged from the hospital three days after my total hip replacement surgery. I have prepared the home front as best I can. My son, who is also handicapped, will help me the best he can. It may be possible to have home healthcare or it may be possible to extend rehab for a few days. But it is all maybe.  Not for someone who is a planner. I am into month five with this problem. I’ll be glad when it’s all over. So will Ruth.