Monday, 18 July 2011

Last Entry.

so there you have it - my pre and post HIP diary!

I decided to leave it there, as I was getting better with my rehab and starting back at university after my placements.

The whole experience of that year was a mixture of things.....fear, annoyance, frustration, boredom, panic, determination, fatigue, confidence name it, well, youve read it!

By far the hardest year of my life so far, battling with the issues and trying to stay focused on my degree. BUT, the experience made my second hip replacement easier - I knew what to expect!

Hope everyone has found this helpful - dont get me wrong it IS hard & everyone will battle with different things, but in the end it is worth it! I've not looked back since. I went back to uni in my 3rd year, completed the placements, got my degree, realised who my friends were, had my second hip, went to graduation, and began working as an Occupational Therapist, in orthopaedics no less!

I worked in ortho for 3.5years before leaving for my shoulder resurface in April this year, for which I am undergoing rehab now, and I'm currently not practicing as an Occupational Therapist while I get this sorted.

3rd Year Placement

September 29th – end of first week

It has been a tough week but I made a good start, and got stuck in quickly!

This placement is very physical, a lot more than I was expecting and so I have found it very tiring.  There is a lot of walking, but I am able to sit frequently when on the wards to write up notes etc.

I felt very self conscious being in the team using sticks and especially when going onto the wards.  I felt my confidence was lowered a little because I was going into the workplace a little ‘vulnerable’ and people were aware of why I was using walking sticks. 

I feel because I am in the orthopaedic team, and I have an orthopaedic ‘history’ this may be a little close to home and a lot of the patients I have seen have brought back some memories from when I was in hospital.

I felt a little awkward when patients asked why I had sticks – but found my own ‘’story’’ often comforted and interested them

I was hoping people did not notice or ask questions but quite a lot did!

Yesterday my R hip started playing up, but I think it is just because it is not used to all the walking.  It should settle down.

I haven’t had the time or energy to go the gym this week, I wanted to settle into work and not overdo it.

October 5th – end of 2nd week

I have felt so exhausted this week.  Last week seems to have caught up with me well and truly!

I have been having a lot of trouble this week with my R hip, to the point where I was off sick one day.

Did not go the gym this week, my hip was too sore and I was too tired.

October 12th –end of 3rd week

I am having real problems with my hip now, I have had to reduce my hours which I was not happy about.  I am really enjoying placement and it is very frustrating having to finish mid week.

October 20th – end of 4th week

I have been managing on placement much better with the reduced hours.  I was finding that by Wednesday I was ready to sleep for a week and my hip was really giving me trouble when walking to/from the wards.  Now my hours are reduced I am physically coping better with the placement, although I am still frustrated about having to reduce my hours as I wont get as much from the placement or dealing with clients because my week finishes in the middle!

I am managing to go the gym about twice a week now, as I don’t feel as fatigued as I did initially.

I am managing to conserve some of my energy by having the reduced hours.

My self confidence has lifted greatly

Overall summary of placement

After having reduced my hours I didn’t have any further problems!  I was able to better cope with placement in terms of physical health and I really enjoyed this area of practice.

My self confidence and confidence to be with patients was initially low because I had walking sticks, but this confidence lifted quite quickly when I felt integrated into the team and settled in easily and quickly.

By the end of the placement my self consciousness about the sticks lifted and it did not bother me any longer.  I found it was quite helpful sometimes to have the sticks, as patients would question me (something I hated initially) and when they found out my situation they would be very interested.  It proved to be a sort of ice breaker when making contact with clients and for those having/had a THR themselves they liked to talk about different issues.  Those with any worries could voice them to me and I could show empathy and offer support.  I found this very rewarding.


14th July - end of first week

I am soooooo tired!  I have done a lot of walking this week, more than I expected!  I felt very very self conscious using my walking sticks, and I felt apprehensive about seeing patients because of this.  Its something I will have to get over!

21st July – end of 2nd week

I am so unbelievably tired.  I feel under a lot of pressure now, with being on placement I constantly have to put on a front that I feel fine, when actually I am shattered.  I am under pressure to try and find the time and energy to do any PT, and I’m panicking about this essay because my placement is a hard one to write an essay about.  And I know I only have this one chance to pass if I want to be back in sept on time with everyone else!

My confidence is shot-I don’t feel confident with the patients or in myself.

Yesterday I broke down in tears at work.  I was being criticised for an assessment I had done, parts of which were not correct.  It was all too much, I am doing my best!  But my best doesn’t seem to be good enough.
I feel like I cant cope with everything that is going on right now.
I felt so stupid crying, but I couldn’t help it.  Her criticism triggered something.

Hammered the gym again to make up for not doing exercises this week.

24th July- 3rd week

I am shattered, it doesn’t feel like I have had a weekend.

I feel so stupid for crying in work, I felt embarrassed and I have a horrible feeling that if anyone is nice to me I will cry again. 

I was right, I did cry, I cant stop.  I feel so exhausted and weak.  Why am I letting this beat me?

I feel humiliated.  We discussed exactly what I am feeling right now, and if anything can help me.  I suggested reduced hours, to give me time in the week to do my PT so I can have the weekends free to rest.  It was agreed, and I felt relieved but also cheeky for asking this. I feel like I have let myself down because I am not performing to the best of my abilities, I know I can do so well on placements and know one is seeing this because I physically cannot put any more effort into anything, I am working 110% but it isn’t showing.

29th July – end of 3rd week

It’s the end of my first week at reduced hours.  I don’t feel as tired, and haven’t been as tearful this week.  I spent the weekend resting and that helped.
I did feel tearful when my tutor came on Wednesday, when I was telling her the situation I was in and how I wasn’t coping.
She asked me if I feel I will get through the placement, and I said yes because I have to!  But it is TOTALLY at the wrong time in my rehab, and I realise this now.  I had thought I would manage fine, but my expectations were unrealistic.  I felt like I was being picked on when my educator was discussing how I have been on placement, like in my own little world and not giving much effort.  She has NO IDEA!  And I felt like screaming at her that YES I AM giving effort, but she is expecting FAR TOO MUCH from me, bearing in mind I am only 13 weeks post op!

Overall summary of placement –

Placement did not go as well as I was hoping, and I overestimated my abilities to be on placement.  I had to push myself SO HARD to get through and I have never felt under so much stress and pressure. 

The attitude of my educator did not help, I felt intimidated and like I was a disappointment to her because I could not do things aswell as a 2nd year should be able to do. I had to try and live up to her high expectations and I couldn’t. 
She wanted me to leave and pick up the placement at a later date when I am physically stronger.  But this wasn’t an option and besides, I wanted to get it over with so I can rest and prepare for the next one!


I ended up at the hospital today, because my new hip felt very funny indeed and mum thought I might of dislocated it. she's a worry wort.

Turns out it is fine, I have just pulled and overworked the muscles around it.  Been overdoing it at the gym I think. Phew!  Lucky, I was panicking incase I couldn’t start placement tomorrow!

Night Out!

I went out tonight for a meal.
I felt very silly sat at the bar on my own with my sticks, while waiting for everyone to arrive. 
Tonight I felt out of place, not sure why exactly because I was with friends.  I just felt self conscious and at one point just wanted to hide.  I felt silly being dressed up, but using sticks.  And the crowded restaurant didn’t help, I am not liking busy places right now

Not the right side.....please.

Went shopping with my mum and did quite abit of walking.  I felt my R hip lock, but I didn’t tell mum because she will only worry or nag at me to get the R hip sorted now.  I couldn’t get back in the car, I couldn’t sit down because my hip wouldn’t bend. I told mum it was my back that was hurting. 

Reunited with my car!

I drove my car today!  It was brill!!!  It felt really weird though, being back behind the wheel, like I had only just passed my test!
But the feeling was amazing!    

I had to have the seat back further than usual, so I could get out easily and also have enough room to lift my leg without braking the 90deg rule when using the clutch.
It gave me such a boost!
Tonight I just wanted to go for a drive so I drove to the local bar where my friend was working, and chatted to her.  It felt really nice having my independence back.

Visiting Uni

I wanted to go into uni and see people today.  It was great to see familiar faces!  I spoke to some tutors about my placement, upcoming essays, and my personal tutor about my op and how it all went.
It is so not fair having to do placement over the summer, and so close to the next placement as well.  But, its my only option really..
I felt abit sad on the way home, I want to stay! 
It is amazing how you come to love one place so much yet feel weird going back…