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Hip-watch: probably about three stars out of five so far

Next Friday afternoon it will have been four weeks since I had my hip replacement operation and just two weeks until – received opinion has it – most people who’ve had the procedure are advised that they can return to work.

Having made spectacular progress in the first couple of weeks as a result of which I was able to discard one of my two sticks completely, with hindsight my third week was characterised by a general lack of energy and periods of ‘stagnation’ or even going backwards – though I was comforted to a degree by a pal who announced this was all perfectly normal and to be expected. Relaxation and patience, I was informed, were the watchwords.

I’m still taking a cocktail of meds (mainly pain-killers) four times a day and injecting myself in the stomach with a blood-thinning agent each evening, though I’ve been advised I can gradually begin to ease off towards the end of this week if my discomfort allows it.

Having been bowled over by the sheer efficiency and support I’d received in hospital – including receiving a bundle of pamphlets covering everything I might ever need to know upon being discharged – I have been slightly disappointed by things since. At no point has anyone told me when I should stop taking my meds, or even consider doing so (I had to ring the hospital’s 24/7 dedicated help line to find that out), or contacted me regarding arranging to see a physio – something that I was told was a vital aspect of rehabilitation – or even made an appointment to go back to see my surgeon, or indeed anyone else who could check how I had been progressing. Hopefully the latter might also be a case of them being able to ‘sign me off’ and update me as to when I might drive again, might be able to fly (I was told the norm was a three-month ban after the operation) and/or even might be able to remove the surgical socks (apparently designed to prevent DVT or deep vein thrombosis) that I had been told to wear daily for the first six weeks.

Frustrated by all this, last week I popped along to see my GP to ask about physio sessions and was told this was traditionally arranged by the hospital: I should check with them and (if by any chance they weren’t going to arrange any) then to return to the GP who would do it instead. On Friday afternoon, when I rang the hospital’s 24/7 helpline, I was told that the physio people’s office only operated from 0900 hours to noon each day so please would I call them today (Monday). Which is what I propose to do.

If you’d ask me to summarise how things have been I guess I’d reply that everything is broadly going as expected, albeit that I’m now beginning to become bored with not being fully fit.





About Gerald Ingolby

Formerly a consumer journalist on radio and television, in 2002 Gerald published a thriller novel featuring a campaigning editor who was wrongly accused and jailed for fraud. He now runs a website devoted to consumer news. More Posts