Australia, Common fibular nerve, Earl, Foot drop, Friday, Greater trochanteric pain syndrome, hip, Nerve injury, Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug, pain
Sunday here in Australia. It’s been a long weekend here for me as we had our local Callide Valley Show – a regional holiday on Friday.
I sometimes wonder where the hip story ends, but I guess I know the the answer. It just keeps, keeping on. The never-ending story, to borrow a movie title.
Three years on, the revised hip still hurts, makes it difficult to sit and sleep and due to residual nerve damage, I tend to trip when my foot doesn’t quite figure out where the obstacle is – which then leads to a new set of pain… acute, rather than chronic. And I will never run again, even if my life depends on it!
The left hip is definitely on the “way out” and is not able to be slept on most of the time – which is a problem for those of us that have to sleep on our sides, to sleep. Running out of sides to sleep on and I can’t sleep on my back or my front!
After the last operation and the damage to the right peroneal nerve, foot drop and the subsequent 90% recovery, my feet started hurting “like hell” – akin to a diabetic neuropathy, except I have no diabetes. This has continued and comes and goes – who knows why?
And last year there was 3 months of trochanteric bursitis and a number of steroid injections which seemed to finally work.
I managed to keep most pain under control over the last few years with daily anti-inflammatory drugs – such as Votaren and Naproxen SR1000 – but I can’t take these anymore as they made my insides and gums bleed – and who knows what else? So back to the full enjoyment of osteoarthritis and post-revision pain. Lucky me (self pity)!
And now for the latest variety event – peroneal tendonitis – yep, the outside of the feet hurt like someone had put a hot iron on them, actually worse, more like someone is standing on them with hobnail boots. And good old paracetamol, the universal pacifier dished out by those doctors who have not experienced pain, is about as useful as a jelly holding a hot cup of soup.
At least, I have lots of variety and I have pretty much overcome the clinical depression that dogged me after losing both parents since 2005, my health, metal on metal hip poisoning, a large fortune, my wife (now with the rich boyfriend) and my kids to another country.
The secret to this “survival thing” is learning to be grateful for what I do have, not what I don’t have, or what I used to have. It was a hard series of lessons – character building, or destroying, depending on your perspective, but I can truly say that I am much better off than many others and grateful for what I do have. This doesn’t mean that I don’t have days where I just hate life, but it does mean that I more quickly break out of that self pity which would destroy every good thing that I do have.
I don’t think many doctors or surgeons, except Dr Steve, understand the complexity of what we hip sufferers go through. It is not just a simple “change out of defective parts” and “live happily ever after”. It is a complete package of attacks on every fibre of your being and takes considerable strength not to “fall off, or jump off, the perch”.
At the end of the day, the only person who can help you is you, the rest are side-line referees, telling you useless stats, and penalising you for wrong moves. Only you can keep the game on track. I wish there was a magic bullet, but there isn’t. Sheer guts, determination and refusing to give in is the only way through. Otherwise the “bastards win” and you become another statistic on the “scrap heap of life”. Bugger that!
Anyway, got that off my chest!
Have a great Sunday, wherever you are.
I read your post Earl, and I think most of us can relate…I’ve said for ages that people who have multiple issues, from joint replacements etc suffer from some kind Of PTSD.
I hope you have a better afternoon, xx
Yes – suffer seems to sum it up. Mind you, it wasn’t that great before the hip operation either! lol
Well that’s true, but we did go into it thinking we’d be better off after. We need to have a coffee,…
Yes – we did think we would be better off – and I am in that I can still walk. Something which was not working very well before the operation!
Awful to hear of your ongoing pain . .. your experience is mine exactly, so, much empathy. And, I will heal, and will work on accepting the tightening limitations . . . this dancer fallen from grace. Since 2006, invalid-ated. Still in great pain from both late 2011 revisionaries.
Glad to read your story. We all need to tell our stories to others who do not judge.
BTW, your foot pain could be fibromyalgia which is triggered by stress or trauma, mental or physical. Characterized by DEBILITATING FATIGUE (have you ever dreamt in FATIGUE? a nightmare. Also by aching pain all over sometimes here, sometimes there. The soles of my feet always ache, as do my arms . .. from no structural damage. Also makes for FIBRO BRAIN FOG, bad memory losses. I flared like crazy everywhere right after my Dec. 1, 2011 op (4th). But you are right, we will come through this: every suffering is an opportunity to learn . .. I keep trying to believe.
peace, well-being, prosperity, justice,
Thanks Mickey. It is a tough gig but biology gas it’s limitations, as we all know! I will check out fibromyalgia. Fatigue is confusing for me as my thyroid quit at the end of the 80’s (last century!!!) and fatigue is a way of life at times. I think believing is good but sometimes you just have to have a bloody minded attitude to win. Lol
Actually not sure what I niece these days but losing is not on the agenda!!!
Connie Marotta said:
You can “get it off your chest” anytime here with us, Coach. Earl’s Blog, that you’ve created, is a great place to share hip stories. Keep keeping on is a great mantra for all of us – and I’ll use it Sunday (tomorrow!). Sorry about the foot pain you’re going through, ugh.
Thanks Connie! We have to keep on. Quitting is not a option. At least we are not in a slum dying of malnutrition. We have a good life, even in our darkest times. It is all relative.
Wordpress Linkendin, twitter said:
You have summed it all up admirably Earl. Sharing stories is therapy in itself. You are fortunate in having a good job, to go to daily. Quitting is not an option and without doubt there is an element of Trauma )Ptsd, unknown before in the overall equation.Pursuing other goals is another way, of moving forward. We all cope differently “As you say so well’ No one is going to do it, but ourselves’Congratulations on all that you have shared and achieved, and will go on achieving. Jill.NZ
Thanks Jill – I think PTSD is an interesting thing – but even if that is the diagnosis, it is up to us to beat it. There is no stronger medication than a strong will that refuses to lay down! Earl
Dominique Hamblin said:
Oh how I can identify with much of that, Earl! Thanks for writing it, I’ve been going back to the stage where I not only wonder if it will ever end, sometimes I wonder if the pain is in my head?! I know it’s not – it bloody hurts!! – but I end up thinking it sometimes when yet another procedure doesn’t cure the problem, it’s driving me crazy!! Four operations in 6 years & my surgeon still hasn’t been able to discharge me in 7 years!! It’s one ongoing daily nightmare….good luck to you & the rest of us, hi Mickey! x
A phrase springs to mind … Shit happens … But somehow we have to turn this shit into character building fertiliser!
Dominique and Earl,
Gads, this list of hippy-kinfolk is growing. All due to Earl who remains eternally positive. It’s good to share with all of you who understand. Like someone wrote above, we need to tell our stories to impartial non-judgmental kind listeners. That’s healing. What a tribe we are! Let’s hang in there for each other, from our hearts. Who knows how this will turn out, but even contrived joy will temporarily close the door to the dark abyss we all know. Life. Spring. Green. Singing birds. Friends. Home (hands on heart, say “Home”).
may we all be wise and loving,
Kay Anderson said:
So sorry to hear about your troubles, Earl. Your Blog has been an inspiration to us all. Interestingly my Thyroid also had to be removed about 10 years after my MOM. I also feel very hot a lot of the time, have unexplained rashes and sensitive skin at times and fatigue. Since my revision, 2years ago, my cobalt and chromium levels continue to rise and fall albeit within the so called acceptable levels. I’m so much better than you and so many others but I have this feeling that we will learn of even more side effects as time goes on. Earl, you deserve better so take care of yourself.
Thanks Kay – we could write a book between us. Most of the medical profession would dismiss it as ramblings of people who don’t appreciate their fine handiwork, but the facts remain that we are more complicated than they would have us believe – and it is not all in our heads. All the best, Earl
Paul Taylor said:
Sorry to hear you are still suffering like most of us.
I too am in terrible pain every day still, even after my revision surgery. Although its not joint pain like it was.
I have pain going down both my legs to my feet, and at times its very intense. First thing in the morning when I get up it can bring tears to my eyes.
I have been told its small nerve damage from my 2 Hip Replacements and 5 Arthroscopy operations.
This coming Friday I am about to have a “Lidocane Infusion”, and I am told this will almost totally remove my pain for approx. 9 months or more. We shall see.
I just hope it does not effect my ability to work.
All the best,
Paul Taylor. UK.
I will be mightily surprised if you are a dancer of many decades . . . ?
peace, may you be free from pain,
Hi Paul, I think pain is just a way of life for us. If I had no pain then I would know I was dead! But the trick is to distract yourself with other stuff which has meaning and purpose. Dwelling on your own shit just makes you feel worse. I hope the lidocane works – keep me posted.
To me, see someone run cuts deep. I ran for 30 years and hoped to continue to run after my metal-on-metal hip replacement. But after my hip popped out 6 or 8 times I know it’ll never happen again. I could have taken the pain for the love of exercise but after becoming addicted to prescription pain killers time and time again after 4 replacement operations and spending time in rehab again and again I know it will never happen. “never forget”
I think you hit the nail on the head – it won’t happen – and so we have to adapt and find other ways to keep ourselves on track. Not easy though.
John Charlillo said:
Thanks for sharing that Earl. We’ve emailed back and forth several times, I value your input greatly. I am only on the beginning of my odd hip journey. You are much further along. But I resonate with everything you have to say. I too was very athletic before arthritis stole my passion. Along with other life stressors, it does create depression. At least we can all discuss it and derive some comfort from our sharing. God bless you and thank you for your help. John.
Earl, as always an honest appraisal of your pain and experiences which mirror the majority of us all! I get the same reports on my blog but most write to me rather than sharing, must be an English thing:) Some of my readers have reported as suffering from a Vitamin B12 deficiency, as indeed I have, which may or not be due to the metal debacle.Following yet another bladder infection I was prescribed with an antibiotic ‘Nitrofurantoin’ which should not have been given to me and has led to me having peripheral neuropathy in my sensory nerves. Both legs are numb from mid thigh down, my fingers are numb as is the center of my face, I can no longer drive and need daily carers, I thought I was disabled before but now….! So I urge anyone who is B12 or folic acid deficient to make sure NOT to be given Nitrofurantoin it kills not cures! Cheer up they said, things could get worse, so I cheered up and sure enough…!
Hi Gayle, so sorry to hear about your further medical complications. I was just about killed by a anti-rheumatic drug before my first THR. It’s incredible what we manage to survive! Medicine? Yeah right!!! What’s the prognosis? Is recovery possible? I must say that my peripheral neuropathy is very painful, mostly at night, and something I would only wish on my worst enemies!!! Share and share alike!
This blog terrifies me…and also makes me hope that there is life after hip replacement even if things do not go well. I am now less than two weeks away from a bilateral hip replacement at the tender age of 44; I credit this blog and other reports I have read that have kept me from going the MoM resurfacing route that many sites promote as the best option for a male like me. I read the entries from you good people; people who were active, life loving and productive people prior to your ailments and even now, most of you are upbeat and attempting to handle your situations with good humor and grace.
I have an image in my mind of waking up after the operation, and seeing a stopwatch being activated: best case, how long do I have before a revision surgery is needed and, worse case, how long before problems surface.
You all have been in my position, and I am about to join the club. Hoping for the best, and I continue to follow this blog.
Again thanks to you all for your stories. I’m sure I will be visiting while I am recovering.
hopefully our experience is useful – your best option according to Dr Steve is ceramic on plastic and with this I would not expect any great complications!
Lee Mark said:
Mark, get in touch if you can. I’m 37 with similar issues. I hope all has gone well.
My fears are the same as yours. LeeMark.
John Charlillo said:
Mark and Lee, You both are so young to have to go through this. I wish you the very best. I concur with Earl, ceramic on poly is best for younger more active folks. That’s what I got. I would warn you away from DePuy Pinnacle. Not sure if I’m aloud to say that but it is the truth in my opinion. John