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Knee & Hip Problems Message Board

Knee & Hip Problems Board Index

Hi Larimergirl:

My situation exactly the same as yours - right hip total replacement and living alone, except for lovely Tortoise cat. I am 78 years old and widowed in February of 2007 - my late husband was in a nursing home for 3 years previous to that. I had been having walking pain since May of 2007.

You will need someone to drive you to the hospital, and then back home from either the hospital or rehab place. I had wanted to go right home after the surgery, but decided the day after surgery that there was no way I could do that and manage, so went to the rehab place - all this paid for by my medicare advantage health care plan. You may not be in this category. Doing for myself takes all my time and energy each day and night. I need to lie down frequently and be very careful walking around with the walker. I follow all the surgeon's restrictions.

I was in the rehab center for about two weeks and they did a wonderful job of literally getting us on our feet, walking with a walker, and doing leg exercises. (I did these same bed leg exercies before surgery and my muscles were in good shape already.) I still do these bed leg exercises.

Because I needed them, I had already purchased many dressing aids - reacher, leg lifter, long handled shoe horn, sock donner, dressing stick. They are wonderful and you will find that out, too.

My grand daugter lives in this building too so I was able to call on her for such things as driving me to doctor appointments and putting the two bed grab bars under the mattress - these are essential for me to get out of bed. I don't bother making the bed, but now am allowed to do that, plus vacuum, sweep, bend a little further from the waist, take showers.

In the weeks before surgery, I bought large supplies of frozen foods for the freezer, and canned foods for the pantry, including about four 20 Qt. boxes of nonfat dried milk. I am still using these and soon will get to the grocery for the first time since surgery. Be sure to stock up enough stuff for about 6 weeks. Put items needed daily on shelves waist level or above.
I was cleared to drive on December 26, and had had surgery on December 12 but only started driving about two weeks ago. You have to listen to your body and not try to go too fast with things.

I have driven three times now - I learned to put my car seat as back as it would go, and lower the back of the driver seat almost to lying down level. This enables me to have enough room to use the leg lifter to get in. I fold up the walker and put it in the back seat of the car, then hang on to the side of the car getting to the driver seat. I use the dressing stick to hook the door handle and close the car door. This all works great. I have two pillows on the driver seat to keep hips above knees, and have a big black plastic yard bag over the pillows to help slide across the seat. (Without this bag, I stick to the upholstery.)

By the way, I have washer and dryer right here in my apartment so that helps a lot - and elevator - no stairs at all. Have underground parking garage.

This has been very long, but there is a lot to say to one who lives alone!
Please feel free to ask any questions you might have. No question is too "dumb"!

Shirley H. ;)

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