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What Double Hip Recovery is Really Like

Monday, June 23rd will be three months since my double hip replacement surgery. The first thing I must do is thank God for progress – something I say to anyone who asks about my recovery. When I think on these past three months and how my life, my mental state, my faith in God, and my renewed appreciation/love for my husband has evolved, I am so grateful.

Since surgery, I have experienced just about any emotion you can think of. Initially, I felt helpless; having to depend on Husband to do even the simplest task for me. As time went on, I became overly impatient; like the healing process wasn’t happening quickly enough even though I had been told by my in-home nurse and physical therapist that I was progressing extremely well during the first few weeks, and then later by my surgeon and out-patient therapist the same. There were times I thought I was depressed until I learned the real meaning of depression, which didn’t fit me. I do understand (now) why the nurses frequently asked that question. You can easily be suicidal or depressed if you don’t have a reliable support system. It was during those times when I just wanted to get up and go, knowing I couldn’t, and drive anywhere or run up and down the stairs like I used to – that’s when I wanted the implants out of my body. I cried because I could feel them when I’d rather not. For months I was frustrated sleeping on my back with a pillow under my knees (to relieve pressure from my hips) because it was impossible to sleep on my sides. I wanted to walk the way I did before experiencing the pain I endured. I cried some more because I wanted to be at the point of not noticing the difference in my body. “When am I not going to feel ’em?” I would ask Husband who couldn’t answer. “I just want to not know they’re there.” So, not only was I tripping; I was taking him on an emotional trip as well. However, I am encouraged in knowing I’ll eventually get to the point of feeling normal.

I thank God that He kept me alive and I survived surgery because as my doctor said, “You didn’t just have one surgery, you had two major surgeries.” I never thought about it that way. Today was the first time I looked up an actual hip surgery, which was something I made sure not to do prior to having it done. I couldn’t believe my small frame sustained the skin slicing and all the sawing, banging, and hammering that was involved – just the surgical instruments alone made the operating room, I’m sure, resemble a well equipped tool shed.

And when I think of where I am now, I praise God for keeping me infection free and with no signs of blood clots – all things associated with recovery. In real time though, three months ain’t long for what I’ve gone through. But, within that time, I was able to gauge my own progress by charting how long I used the walker (two weeks), when I could drive (seven weeks), when to leave the cane behind (9 weeks), when to wear sensible heels (ten weeks), and be able to side sleep on either hip (eleven weeks; no more sleeping on my back! I’m a side sleeper once again, y’all!). I frequently journal my progress, figuring I could help the doctor with estimations when a patient asks, “When can I do….” No one could tell me exactly when I would be able to do any of the aforementioned, which is why I tracked myself and decided when I felt comfortable enough to do them all.

I’ve progressed in ways that I can literally do a well-informed infomercial; however, still with all the progress I’ve made, I continue to have struggles. When I get tired, Husband tells me I look like I’m walking on stilts – and the ironic part is, I actually feel like I do. Sometimes, when I get out of bed, I forget about the titanium, which is good because it lets me know I’m healing properly. I have a tendency to rub my outer thighs now because they feel slightly different. And that’s another thing – my surgical lines (don’t call ’em scars because they’re not) have healed very nicely. I haven’t done anything special or bought a bunch of nonsense creams to remove marks. I kept the area clean and used Shea butter. I’m thankful that the doc had steady hands too; no zig zag lines on these hips! However, as I sit and write this, I know I’ve been sitting for far too long (it takes hours to write a blog). I can feel the titanium, letting me know I’m gonna regret not taking a standing break. And because I didn’t, I’ll most certainly be walking like I’m on stilts, and I say that with a :), which brings me to this – when folks see me for the first time, they are surprised that I’m walking sans assistance. One person told me they didn’t know what to expect – thought I’d be with a walker, looking all decrepit and whatnot. Really?

Another positive aspect of recovery is the well wishes I received from so many people (I am so blessed). I received so many cards that our mail lady asked Husband if someone died. I had visitors, Facebook messages, text messages, phone calls, and two edible arrangements sent. This is funny because one of seven “Sheilas” I know sent an edible arrangement – no surname included. I contacted six who said, “That’s nice but it wasn’t me.” The last Sheila I contacted was the one who sent it. Chuckles.

From my estimation, I may not be completely healed until a year or so post surgery, which will be March 31, 2015. At that time, I’m hoping to move about without feeling the implants and walking better than I was before surgery. I’m just guessing, y’all – I don’t know for sure.

One thing I’ve discovered in this journey is that I’ve helped by sharing my story and that is my goal. Many of you are experiencing similar medical situations. I’m glad to be in a position that allows me to honestly answer your questions. I’m telling you, this hip thing is so widespread and common that either you’ll go through it yourself or someone you know will. If this post has been helpful to you or if you enjoyed reading it, please let me know by responding or hitting the “like” icon.

Thank you for reading – pass it along!


About T. Anthony-Horton

If you know me, you are very much aware of how I truly enjoy writing - because after all - it is my thang. If you are unfamiliar with me, welcome to my wonderful word of me. I have one book published, "Office Antics & Sexual Liaisons", and I am actively working on the sequel. I humbly appreciate all who have purchased and read my 1st creation (even if you read it without purchasing, you have entered my mind and got a sense of my writing style). I always welcome all feedback; positive, negative, indifferent - doesn't matter - makes me a better and more conscientious writer - all I ask is that you not be disrespectful. I can be sarcastic, comical, sensitive, informative, and overly descriptive (lol) as I've been told. I'm cool with all that, and to those who are not into my style of prose, I get that too. I still have two other books in my head that should've been on paper a long time ago - what?! - I do have a life y'all! So stay tuned for the sequel, which is tentatively titled, "After the Antics". In the meantime, continue to follow my blog and tell someone about it. I love you for readin' my writin'. Peace!

30 responses »

  1. I said it before and I’ll say it again…you, my dear, are one tough cookie! I read this months ago when it was a new post, but I didn’t comment because what can I say, I’m a slacker. I’ve heard from others that you are making great progress in your recovery and I’m sure you will continue to do in the coming months. A little advice from one gimp to another…don’t stop moving. Stagnation is the enemy but I’m sure by trial and error you’ve figured that out already.

  2. Tillie, I am just reading and seeing your blog since last year. I’m not getting regular updates. However, I was glad to hear of your recovery and survival of the double hip surgery. God is good. Lydia

  3. Hi Anthony its awesome, great thats all positive recovery, good to doing well and wish you recover very soon good luck

  4. Tillie, you are so brave and encouraging I am crying happy tears for you! GOD bless you! I am so sorry I didn’t know you were going through all this because I wasn’t receiving the blogs due to my e-mail address change. My doctor believes that eventually I will have to have a hip replacement (right hip). She told me that 2 weeks ago when I came into her office in pain and limping. I told her that I am not ready. Physically and mentally I am NOT ready! I decree wholeness in health with my hips by going to water therapy (back to the gym), and drinking pure distilled water and exercise. I haven’t been to the gym in almost a year because I have moved 4 times in 7 months and I am finally situated where I don’t have to move again no time soon! The moves have taken a toll on my body and my health issues. I probably will be back in the gym for therapy sometime next month but in the meantime I am just praying and going with the flow of life. Thank you for giving me hope! If it comes down to me having surgery, I will think of you and your strength to have both hips replaced at one time! I’m so glad you’re doing well! I send you my love and I will keep praying for the both of us!

    • Hi Linda! Thanks for your input and I appreciate your honesty as well, but unless drinking that distilled water and doing water aerobics can restore cartilage, you will have to go the surgery route. The longer you wait, the more damage you’re doing to your muscles. I know because it happened to me and now part of my therapy is to stretch my tight muscles, which takes months to do. Make your decision carefully and call me when you need to talk. I love you back, sistah, and will be praying for you also! πŸ™‚

  5. You are awesome, my sister! The “S” on your chest stands for “spiritually-secure”,’strong-in-faith”, “showing out with God”. Jehovah Rophe has been and continues to be your healer! Thanks for keeping it real and loving us enough to share your journey. Love you much!

    • Thank you, Sims! You have always been in my corner and I love you back! I ask God often “why am I here?” And this is one of the reasons – to share through writing – no matter what I write. πŸ™‚

  6. Tillie, you are such a wonderful writer, very descriptive so much so that I felt your pain. I will continue to pray for your healing and hope we can get together again maybe before you go back to work. By the way I ran across the Daily News article you wrote on Frank Rizzo and it brought back memories!!!

    • *chuckles* Yes, that was when we were in the State Office Building; having a good time going to work! I know that’s right, Izzy! I appreciate your kind words, my friend, and we will get together – before or when I go back to work. Thanks for commenting! πŸ™‚

  7. I’m glad you are felling much better T.A. Holla at me when you can get yo Lectric Slide on! Luv Ya LL.

  8. MaTilida you have such an strong testimony! I thank God for bringing you such a long ways! I’m so proud of what you has accomplish! You are such a strong person! I knew you where going to be fine with all of your determination. You have got so many people pulling and praying for you! May God continue to heal you in a mighty way! You rock lady!

    • Ha ha, thanks friend. I’m grateful to have so many folks in my corner – a true blessing. You played a major part too; you cry baby (insider)! Thanks for all you’ve done. I love you for it. πŸ™‚

  9. Hi Tillie. It’s so good to hear about your positive recovery. Continue to follow orders & don’t overdue it….I know how anxious you are too get back to work. LOL

  10. I am so Proud of U, keep up da good work & i wish U a Speedy Recovery!!!

    Luv U

  11. Blessings Tilda!! Thanks so much for sharing your healing journey via blog! I’ve been healing from an ankle break in January — nothing nearly as extensive as what you’ve endured, but I can relate to some of the feelings you’ve experienced. One of my co-workers is considering a hip replacement and I’m going to share your blog with her. Love & Blessings, yvonne

    • Hi Yvonne! Please send me your address via text. And thanks for reading my writings – you always have nice things to say, and yes, please share and let me know if I can help in any way. Still miss you girl! πŸ™‚

  12. Hey Tillie,
    Thanks for sharing your story. I’m glad that you’re recovering well. Stay strong, and keep they faith.

  13. Zanetta Ruffin

    Restless air “Gemini”!!! I know how you feel sister! When I fracture my ankle in 2008 and was taking cab at least 2-3 times a week because I could not drive. I would scoot down the stairs to do laundry. Surgeries or injuries cannot keep a independent women down!!! Take this time to relax, meditate and enjoying your family & friends!!!

    • Thanks, Zanetta! You are absolutely right about keeping an independent woman down – can’t do it! I now understand what you went through. And I am definitely taking time to relax and enjoy life! Thanks for responding, friend. πŸ™‚


    Good stuff, Little Girl:)Stay Focused!!!!!!!!!!!! Sent from my BlackBerry 10 smartphone. From: writing is my thangSent: Sunday, June 22, 2014 12:39 AMTo: auntsug@verizon.netReply To: writing is my thangSubject: [New post] What Double Hip Recovery is Really Like

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    T. Anthony-Horton posted: “Monday, June 23rd will be three months since my double hip replacement surgery. The first thing I must do is thank God for progress – something I say to anyone who asks about my recovery. When I think on these past three months and how my life, my mental “

  15. Very inspirational. During clinical I was in the operating room as three hips and 1 knee replacement. Well I must say lots of blood and heavy machinery used especially on the hips. I was amazed at what is actually done. But I will say it gave a much better insight into the amount of pain my patients are dealing with and why they are on their pain meds like clockwork. You are a strong person to be able to deal with not 1 but 2 of them at once. Your progress attest to ur endurance level. Gettum and God Bless My Friend

    • Thanks, Sylvia. Anyone who knows me knew I went in with a positive attitude from the get go. I was ready and that also helped with recovery. And I didn’t realize until after how strong I am because as you know this is serious stuff. But I thank you for sharing your experience in the operating room. And good luck to you, Miss RN! πŸ™‚


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