Recently I had an arthroplasty procedure for a total hip replacement. I attended all the pre-surgery classes and read the booklet they give me. I figured I had done well to prepare having the assisted devices in place they recommended as well as moving some of my pots and pans up from the lower cupboard they were in. However, I still experienced a several Ah Haw moments – and OH My Gosh moments. I am glad I had arranged for private home care to supplement what a family member was able to assist with.
Those first couple of days while still in hospital you have the nursing staff to help you figure out how to move to get in and out of bed, as well as care for yourself after surgery.
Once home it took some figuring out how best move around using the walker, especially challenging was my inability to carry much of anything! The first two weeks after surgery were the hardest. I was unable to stand for long, walking with a walker presented challenges, getting meals or drinks required planning and some innovations. I had my family member as well as my Care Giver Staff prepare some meals for me. All I had to do when alone was get them out of the fridge. When no one was there is was usually the prepared salads, fruit and boiled eggs for meals. Hot meals were left to when someone was there to assist. By the end of the first month, my ability to manage better improved greatly, however as I had movement restrictions for 3 months following surgery, I still required assistance with various day to day tasks.
With any joint replacement there are physical movement restrictions depending on the joint replaced. These restrictions make some of the day to day activities that you did before impossible to do. – For me, loading or unloading the bottom shelf of my dishwasher was one of those. A simple task, however it required me to bend farther than I was allowed. Changing my bed linen and doing laundry as well as general housework were other tasks that were “off limits’.
I continued to have my care giver staff visit during the first three months after surgery to assist with the restricted activities I could not do. As I improved and was able to assume task, the number of visits declined.
If you or a family member are scheduled for any surgery, I recommend you have a recovery plan in place including utilizing the services of a private health care firm to assist and be part of your recovery program. Depending on your own personal circumstances, you can tailor your visits from several a day to start, or periodic visits to supplement assistance from family or friends. I also used my care provider to drive me to appointments after surgery as well as delivery my groceries, since driving was restricted too.
For me, utilizing private care giver support was a vital part of my recovery program. It allowed me to focus on my recovery by not overdoing it, risking damage or injury to myself during my recover.