February 17, 2017

Exercises that Support Recovery from Hip Replacement Surgery

I got a new hip three and a half weeks ago. Now I'm working with a very good physical therapist on exercises recommended for people recovering from the hip replacement operation.

Setting aside 15 or 30 minutes every day to exercise just doesn’t work for me. I do best when I can make exercise part of my normal activities.

For example, I've adapted some exercises recommended by my therapist so I can do them with my walker. One of the routines,for example, involves rising up on my toes; another  is a half  squat. Now I do those exercises when using the walker. This coming week will be devoted to the standing exercises for hip recovery.  I will talk with my trainer on whether any of those could be adapted to the walker.

When I wake up in the morning, I spend lots of time just lying in bed, contemplating the day ahead. During this time, I now do the most important "after hip-replacement" exercises for ankles, thighs and buttocks.

My daughter forwarded some links she found online with exercise videos specifically designed for people recovering from hip replacement.

The exercises are broken into short segments according to the activities you’d like to address, like getting into and out of cars, in and out of bed, going upstairs and down… You’ll see that this first video (like others) recommends leading with the good foot going upstairs, and leading with the operated side going downstairs. Up with the good, down with the bad.
She included several other links to hip exercise videos:

February 15, 2017

It Looks Like a Drug to Treat Incontinence (NOT My Parkinson's) Caused My Fall and Broken Hip...

Here's the sequence of events leading up to the fall that broke my hip:

1/17/17:  I’d been dealing for months with a strange incontinence that struck only in the late afternoon. Dr. U (my urologist) and I had been reluctant to use any of the incontinence meds because each   has potential side effects that could be particularly difficult for me. But the problem got worse and worse, so I asked Dr. U to prescribe one of the meds. He chose tolterodine, which I began taking on this day.

1/19/17:  I went to the office of Dr. BP (my blood pressure doctor) for some blood work in advance of my appointment with him following week.

1/20/17:  Two major disasters. At about 10:30am, I got up from my desk chair, immediately fell to the floor, and ended up with a broken hip. The other disaster occurred at 12 noon at the U.S. Capitol.

1/23/23:  I underwent hip replacement surgery at Sibley Hospital.

What Caused the Fall?
One might assume that Parkinson’s disease caused my fall. But Dr. BP and I have concluded that the loss of balance that precipitated my fall was likely caused by the tolterodine I’d started taking for incontinence.

My 1/19 blood work showed surprisingly low sodium (129). Normal is 140.

At Sibley Hospital, my hip replacement surgery had been delayed because of concern about my low sodium (On admission, my sodium was 121. It rose to 124 and then fell back down to 121.)

February 8, 2017

Home Sweet Home

I was discharged from Sibley Hospital's rehab center on Sunday morning, in time to watch that incredible Super Bowl game at home on Sunday night.

I was even happier to be reunited with my girlfriend Nivah!

Doctors usually urge their patients who’ve undergone hip replacement surgery to have someone else on hand during their first week at home. I got lucky.

I’ve talked before about my good friend Joey, my on-call chauffeur, gardener, shopper, and all-around helper. As fate would have it, Joey’s wife Georgelyn is a nurse in the intensive care unit at Sibley Hospital.

Nurses typically work 12-hour shifts three days a week. Since Georgelyn usually works weekends, she’s been available to take care of me during the day through this first week at home. She leaves shortly before my housemates return from work. So, my serendipity strikes again.

Joey and Georgelyn are natives of the Philippines. Over these past few years, I’ve often seen Filipinos in caregiving roles. Many of the Sibley nurses are from the Philippines. About half of my Parkinson's support group members have Filipino caregivers. My own experience – and comments I’ve heard – suggest that Filipinos have a natural gift for this work.

Unfortunately, Joey and Georgelyn can't do my exercises for me. I need to step up my game here. Tomorrow, I start working with a physical therapist.

But for now, all is well.

February 4, 2017

T Minus ONE... and Counting

No, I don't mean the Super Bowl. Not exactly.

During my "care planning" meeting on Thursday, the hospital team agreed to my request -- that they release me on Sunday, in time for me to get home to watch the Super Bowl.


More soon.

January 31, 2017

My Fall, Hip, Operation, Rehab, and Schedule

With my friend David. His shirt reads “LIFEGUARD,” which -- 
as far as this narrative is concerned -- is just about right.

It’s been an interesting week and a half. Here’s a recap of events:

Friday, January 20
In the morning, I fell hard in my upstairs home office. I crawled over to get my cell phone on the desk and called my friend David, who arrived quickly. He wanted to call 911 and get me to Sibley Hospital’s emergency room, but I wanted to stay at home.

That night, wondering how I’d get into bed and manage to sleep, I finally relented and asked David to call 911. We arrived at the emergency room around 11pm. The medical team there decided to wait until morning to complete the necessary tests.

Saturday, January 21
No surprise -- the tests revealed a fractured hip. There were other issues, too. It looked like surgery would happen the next day.

Sunday, January 22
The schedule of surgeries was already full, and I was a late addition. By 3pm, the hospital team advised me that there was no way they could operate that day. The surgery would happen tomorrow.

Monday, January 23
It was another busy day of surgeries at Sibley. I was relieved when the pre-op unit team began the prep process around 3pm. I didn’t want to wait yet another day.