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Just finished reading your hip replacement story and it was wonderful! I'm 51 and just had mine replaced on Monday (it's now Friday) and all is going well. It's just so nice to read someone else's see what is ahead and also if I am somewhat on track.

I also wanted to be awake for my surgery. I tend to be somewhat of a control freak and just wanted to experience the "moment". My 1st spinal didn't take and another one was given to be in the OR and they said they would be ready to go in a few minutes. After 20 minutes they began but there was a problem because I could feel the entire cut of the scalpel (not just pressure, but a definite slicing cut) so they gave me something to knock me out. Luckily they didn't have to intubate me and I was awake almost immediately after the operation with no nausea, etc. The only problem was that since they did 2 spinals (started at 7:30am) they didn't wear off until after 9PM!! I was sad to miss everything but relieved that all was well.

Had lots of visitors that 1st day and everyone said I looked great.......must have been because I was still so numb and didn't feel a thing. Didn't sleep until 1am and woke at 4am. Then on 2nd day the PT arrived and I walked with my walker around the nurses loop. She was surprised I could go so far but when she came back at noon for another walk I couldn't go a step! I was feeling too faint so we gave it up. Later that evening I took a short walk and decided I needed to pace myself!

On day 3 I was wishing for a shower and hair washing but since I was going home that evening I decided to bag it. It was just too much effort and I was exhausted. Learned how to walk stairs and get in my car (a Ford Expedition monster!!) It was nice to get the drain, IV and catheter removed. Very liberating! But unlike you, I couldn't use the handheld urinal and had to get up to use the toilet. My fluid consumption went down a little after that!!

Yesterday (day 4) I was very sleepy and dozed off and on all day. So much for all my book on tape and magazines, etc. And I don't think I got through one entire TV show without falling asleep. But I'm sure it's what my body needed. I did feel good enough to water my garden (tomato plants and lots of flowers). Summer has arrived in the Pacific Northwest and they were so thirsty.

One thing that I also learned the hard's essential to take the Percocet every 4 hrs or my body is in EXTREME pain. I even wake up at night to take it because otherwise the pain eventually wakes me up and it's hard to get back to sleep.

Day 5 has been better except that I think the pain med has made me more emotional than normal. I would definitely cry if I saw a Kodak commercial!! The Homehealth nurse called and will be setting up a few home PT visits just to make sure I'm doing everything right. At this point I need to know if I'm doing too much or too little. They say to walk but how much should I walk?? I'm using crutches....the walker drove me crazy and made me feel too old!! There's something about crutches that's almost this was all just an athletic injury and we're recovering jocks!!

Well, thanks for listening to me. After reading your story I thought it was good to write mine down so I don't forget. All in all, it has been a really good experience and I'm glad that I didn't wait any longer. (Although I did get alot of "you're too young for this operation"). You have to live with the pain to realize there is no perfect age. My dad is 91 now and had his hip replacement at age 80. For him that was the right age. My left hip looks the same on xray as the right one did but I haven't had the pain so hopefully I can wait many many years for that one!!

I wanted to tell you that I also had 2 herniated cervical discs that caused excrutiating pain about 1 1/2 years ago. Much more intense, mind altering pain than the hip pain. But I work with an MD that has the same disc herniation (exactly the same discs) and she encouraged me to try everything before even considering surgery. I am so glad I did because even though it took months for the pain to subside, I didn't have to have anyone cutting into my spine. What worked for me was a combination of Physical Therapy and Accupunture. I can't say which worked the most but I haven't had a problem since unless I do something really stupid and lift something heavy. Even then, it usually goes away in a day. I almost forgot....I also used a TENS unit to control the pain and that seemed to help quite a bit.

Hope this email finds you healthy and again, thanks for listening to me ramble on!!


jljorissen at

Ferndale, WA

[Here's an additional e-mail from Joyce:]


I'm a medical assistant at a University Health Center and a bit of a control freak as I mentioned. These two things had a lot to do with wanting to "watch" the operation. I wanted to make sure they were doing it right!!!!

Feel free to use my story on your site. I know that I scoured the internet for other people's experiences with hip replacement and didn't find that many. It really helps to hear how others cope day to day. My husband is wonderful and very helpful but it takes someone who has been there to fully understand.

Have a great 4th!