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Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Community helps mom after hip replacement

This week will be five years since I had a pretty extensive hip replacement. As a mom with two small kids, ages 3 and 5 at the time, it was hard to handle all the things a mom needs to do and be out of commission for awhile. I am so thankful for my family and friends who were there with me during the surgery and the year of recovery. Yes, it was a year recovery. I actually couldn’t put any pressure on my right leg for more than 30 days. I was still using a cane on my 40th birthday. I remember I was trying to get rid of the cane before my birthday, but the doctor said I still needed to use it a little longer.

I tell you all of this because having the surgery was such a blessing. I didn’t realize it at the time, but I realize it now. I am able to do all the things I use to do before the pain in my knee and hip got so bad, I didn’t even want to go shopping and if you know me I love to shop. I knew it was time for the surgery when I didn’t want to shop anymore. It hurt to walk and I didn’t want to take pain killers, even though I was taking about four Motrin three to four times a day.
You are probably wondering why I had a hip replacement at such a young age. Most people are 60 or older when they have a hip replacement. I was 39. The reason was because I was born with a dislocated hip.
Here I am in traction at 2 months old for 30 days. Luckily, I don't remember this.

 The doctors did what they could at the time to correct it. When I was two months old I was put in the hospital and in traction for 30 days. I had surgeries when I was a few months old, including a steel pin in my hip. After the surgery I was put in a body cast for a year. You don’t see too many kids these days in a body cast.  Again at age three I had surgery again and another body cast. I also had knee surgery when I was 9. My parents went through a lot with me. Years ago, being born with a dislocated hip wasn’t like today. They didn’t the technology they do today. My doctor told my parents by the time I was 40, I would need a hip replacement. He was right.
I was fortunate enough to be able to have one of the best doctors perform my hip replacement. He actually wrote articles and performed hip replacement surgeries on people who were born with dislocated hips. The reason my hip replacement was so extensive and I had such a long recovery time is because they had to cut the femur bone. The bone had to be cut to correct the leg length so that both of my legs would be even. By doing that my recovery time was a lot longer than your normal every day hip replacement.

I didn’t know until after the surgery that my recovery was going to be long because the doctor couldn’t tell for sure if he would need to cut the femur until her performed the surgery.
I am so thankful I had a great support team helping me with my kids at the time. I had both my mom and mother-in-law taking care of my two girls along with my husband. I also had a wonderful friend who helped me with picking up my girls from preschool and kindergarten. The women in my Bible study and church came to the rescue with meals for a full month. I couldn’t believe it. It was such a big help to have meals prepared every other night.

I can’t tell you how much a meal means when you aren’t able to cook. If someone is sick and needs a meal, I try my best to help out because, I know how thankful I was when I was sick and received a meal.

I learned so much from going through this surgery. If you asked me right after the surgery if I was glad I had it, I probably wasn’t because it was very painful and such a slow recovery. Today, though I am so glad I did it. I can’t imagine being in the pain I was in and living life in agony.

What really made an impact on me is the community of family and friends including neighbors who just did what they could to help me. Everything from my daughter’s preschool class sending a huge get well card with their handprints to other cards, flowers, to even cleaning my house for me. It was incredible. I couldn’t have done it having small children without the help of others. It’s those relationships that can help us in our time of need.

Thanks again to everyone who helped me and took the time to care.

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