Hi Welcome to my blog.

I had intended it to be a blow by blow account of return or otherwise to running fitness. However life is very busy. So what you will find is quite a detailed account of my rehab and then the blog becomes more sporadic. It is now up to date as of October 2014 with my return to running following some walk run sessions in August that I have detailed.

I was diagnosed with severe arthritis in February 2011, at the age of 47, and advised to stop running, I had meant to start a blog at this point, as I went on the internet to see what advice might be on the world wide web and there was little. Most advice I found was don’t do it, although it was not obvious that many runners were contributing to the debate. I intended to chart my progress as a runner facing the problem of arthritis but failed to do so.  By charting my recovery and hopefully my return to running and am now rectifying this failure and hopefully will provide useful info to runners facing or dealing with similar issues.  

By way of background I had been racing and training seriously since 2005 with PBs of 37.22 for 10K and 18.00 for 5K, my aim had been to go sub 37 for 10K in 2011. Not generally a high distance runner, did four years of decent mileage between 2007 aand 2010 clocking between 1570 and 1700 over those four years. Weighed in at between 11 stone 2 and 5 over these years. It was the long steady distance training in the winter of 2010 that had created the stiff back that led to my referral to my GP. My chiropractor insisted after I had my biennial servicing. The GP referred me for an x-ray which identified severe athritis. NB my sister had two hips replaced at 50 and my nephew has had surgery at the age of thirty, so I believe it is as much congential as related to activity.  

All medical advice to date, GP, Specialist NHS phsio and my consultant has been don’t run. Obviously I ignored this advice, which I view as hardly holistic medicine, good idea to get someone to stop doing something they clearly love, that will do their mental health the world of good! not to mention the cardio-vascular side of things! I did start swimming benefiting from being an employee at the local pool, but boy was this hard work. I dragged myself down to the pool for 6 months before I felt I could cope with the sessions and enjoy them to any degree. So when any medico tells you to start swimming as an easy alternative, appreciate that the re is a heap of difference between run fitness and swim fitness, a hell of a lot more technique and expense involved.

In August 2011 I cut back my running to a once a week outing with the club as otherwise joint soreness was too much, and I stopped racing.. However I am aware of a number of club runners operating on full replacements. Of particular interest is Norman Lane, I spoke to him earlier last year and he advised me I that he is running 5 time a week on two full replacements and he is still competing for example see Glos AAA cross country league results for this season.  See the attached link to an NHS page using Norm as a case study http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Hip-replacement/Pages/Normansstory.aspx

So for the last two years I have been swimming twice a week pretty regularly at the local swim fit sessions, running 5-7miles once a week and over the summer made an effort to get bike fit regularly doing a couple of sessions a week and working up to 3 hour rides.

After a year of prefaricating, I spoke to a local physio who had had a recent hip operation and to Norm Lane who both advised to get it done asap. I then saw my consultant, having written him a personal letter, in April and he agreed to operate. I rather foolishly put the operation off with the intention of getting fit over the summer. I went for pre-med in August which gave an initial target for the end of October. I was subsequently advised this target would not be met and the op would likely to be in November or December. Meanwhile my movement was deteriorating, hence my foolishness. I was given an initial data on the 06th of December, this was cancelled, I was rebooked for 13th  this was also cancelled, I was then given a date for the 06th of January. If you drop to the bottom of the page this is where the blog begins. If youwish to contact me about any of this my e-mail is This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or via facebook

 

The Blog

 

Update 01.05.2017

Now over four years since the operation. Maximum mileage is around 30 a week but that is exceptional. average about 20. Generally enjoying running with some muscle soreness around the wound, and in 2016 stared noticing a bit of lower back pain. Never a good sign.  So I signed up to a 12 month physio package designed especially for Dursley Running Club by Matt Sherrington at the Courtyard Clinic. He dentified the need for stronger core, work on hip flexors and stretching!

I had started racing again in 2014, blagging an early start in the Club Handicap only to be beaten by another “bandit” I ran home at 06:15 pace. I then went  on to race in the 2104-15 Glos XC League.  In 2015 I  completed my first parkrun in 19:38, finishing the year with my first road race since the operation, Terry Haines' penultimate Boxing Day four miler completing it is 25:47 (06:26). 2016 saw me race 15 times including park runs, mainly off road.

2015/16 I had raced my first full cross country season. The major issue I had in crosss country was spraining my ankle!  

2016 saw my second Road Race after the operation at the Guy Fawkes Five and this race induced some soreness and lower back pain which I worked through. Now the reason for updating the blog is that despite seeing a physio and masseur I was still getting pain in my upper buttock and a tight adductor. I continued to work on backward lunges and Bulgarians to improve strength and condition. 

So fast forward to March, I am off to Aztec West Fast 5, which does what it says the tin, I completed it in sub 20 after a super fast (for me) sub six first mile, and low and behold very sore again! So after few recovery runs, very slow, I was able to run easy again. I followed this up with Chedworth 10, generally off road with a few fast downhill sections it finished with 0.7 on the road, with Stroud AC man in front and someone on my heels I caned this road section. Low and behold very sore again, super sore lower back and sciatic pain down my leg. Paranoia set in “have I f**ked” my hip up” was my thought as the pain would not go away. Pain killers not really helping, pain relieving gel assited somewhat. I then worked out that it was my periformis and started rolling this which helped. Fortunately, I had a physio appointment lined up. 

So the interesting thing is that having been concerned that my hip flxors where not strong enough the physio identified that they were super tight, probably a sign of

a. over work and

b. not enough stretching  

A couple of interesting points for me:  

  1. ensuring that my “natural”  side is working properly is vitally important, sometime I am too focused on sorting out the “bionic” side. Alignment a key word.
  2. My love of running is always tempered by the paranoia that all advice is don’t run on a replacement. This is despite me knowing an increasing number of competitive club runners who are doing the same as me. Just no data on it. This means always that fear that could be “f**king it up.

29.10.13

As I was a bit late getting up to the club, drove up. This forced me into running the whole route. At times could feel the muscles straining a bit and feeling sore, in particular calf muscles very tight by the end of the run. Distance was around 6 miles @ 08:18 pace. More muscle soreness form this run than previous efforts, which reflected the fact I was working harder NB average pace.

 

25.10.13

After a three hour session on bike yesterday decided to go for a second run before the weekend. Friends coming down so unlikely to do much exercise. Wind was blowing pretty hard. Ran up to to the car park at Cam Peak, first time for an absolute age, a run I used to do regularly, the climb to the second kissing gate was more of struggle than I remember! Dropped back to Long Street over some fields and road. First time I have run continuous distance runs twice in a week for a long long time. Today’s run 3.73 miles @ 09:43 pace. It is joy not to have the joint stiffness after the activity. I am ensuring that I do a range of exercises to maintain strength and mobility of both hip joints nearly every day. I feel that the muscles, particularly glutes are SO much stronger than when I was running before. My core is again much much stronger as a result of pilates style bridge exercises.

 

22.10.13

Another amble with Group 3, 5.5 miles in 49:16 08:59 pace. Around half way around felt a bit jaded so took a short cut for home. Ran back into group and joined for another mile of so. One purple patch when picked up the pace and form felt great. No gym this week

 

20.10.13

Royally brassed off at getting cold and wet every time I go out on my bike, so took myself down the gym today as weather forecast was miserable. However they got it wrong so I spent an hour and a half sweating my rocks off as opposed to being out in the fresh air. 20 minutes on bike as a warm up , followed by 20 min.s on treadmill and then 24 minutes on the running a machine with walk break at around 12 minutes. Apart from the boredom, even with an ipod in, the rhythm of running just felt so good, endorphins were singing around  the body, on a real high.

 

15.10.13

Second week running. Again ran up to club and then sauntered off with the third group. Easy running and chatting. 3.55 miles in just over 9 minute mile pace. Muscle soreness but joint feels okay and no nasty pains when running. Back to gym 10 minutes on cross trainer was all I could manage

 

08.10.13           

Winters arriving, darker nights so no chance of getting out on the bike. First run up to Running Club for an age 1.4 miles. As I was late leaving home bashed out 07:30 minute mile pace, felt good to be running again. Ran home MUCH slower though! Went down to gym and spent 20 minutes on the cross trainer, seeking to emulate time spent running without impact. God it’s boring! However with running 40 minute session. Prior to this I had run a gentle mile plus run.

 

24.08.13

Similar session to day before only 5.08k with two walk sections of 2 minutes in total. Focusing on being light on feet and an even pace. Using pool to cool down both swimming and also run drills in water, in particular high knee drill, trying to ensure I maintain range of movement.

 

23.08.13

Slightly less structured walk run, total distance 5.9K 06:50/km pace but that factors in the walking. Finding muscle soreness in glute, tried to work this out using pilates style exercises, generally felt better as a result of this.

 

22.08.13

Moved up to continuous run of 1.5k with a short rest, walking, and then same again.

 

20.08.13

Again stepping it up after 400/200 run walk completed with a further 1.5 km

 

14.08.13

Stepped up to a 400 run 200m walk set. Pace slowed to 06:04/km. It is not strange at all to find that it feels all a bit alien at the moment. Lots of muscle soreness particularly around the site of the wound.  

 

13.08.13

Second 200m walk run set, again twice, much steady pace 05:27  and 5:24 per kiolometer (over 8 minute mile pace).

 

12.08.13

On holiday in Turkey and a chance to return to running as have not got my bike to keep fit. Started with 200 walk run set x 2. After an initially quick set slowed right down to jog. Into pool afterwards to relax and stretch muscles.

 

August 2013 update

Life just is too busy to keep my log up to date. Sorry to anyone waiting with baited breath. From March I was on my bike and then from early May was trying to get out on the bike at least twice a week. Over the summer managed to get up to over 150 miles per week on my bike. Swimming between once and three time a week. At the end of July I started running. I started with a 400 meter jog around a cricket pitch. The following week I did 400 followed by 800. Felt a bit weird having not run for 7 months but apart from that just a bit of soreness in the muscles. August  saw me in Turkey for two weeks, I was there with some joggers so thought this was a chance to get going.

 

Day 84 27.03.13

Since returning to work and life returning to normal the key challenge has been doing the exercises. I suspect the average sports person who does a lot of aerobic exercise is often not very good at the little things like stretching-maybe this is projection-  I have found it easier to go swimming or go down the gym rather than spend time doing all the exercises I should. Hoping that the Easter break will give me the time to do this, children allowing! When I reflect on things I find it incredible to think the change in my range of movement since the operation and apart from the muscles soreness I would not know I have a chunk of metal in my hip!

 

 

Day 84 27.03.13

 

Since returning to work and life returning to normal the key challenge has been doing the exercises. I suspect the average sports person who does a lot of aerobic exercise is often not very good at the little things like stretching-maybe this is projection-  I have found it easier to go swimming or go down the gym rather than spend time doing all the exercises I should. Hoping that the Easter break will give me the time to do this, children allowing! When I reflect on things I find it incredible to think the change in my range of movement since the operation and apart from the muscles soreness I would not know I have a chunk of metal in my hip!

 

Day 83 26.03.13

Tuesday night's running club, getting itchy feet now the spring is here, well sort of. Whilst the club nip off for their session I walked over the golf course at Stinchcombe and down to Woodmancote and back to the gym. A walk of an hour plus a half hour to get up to the club. At the gym a went on the cross trainer for 18 minutes slightly lower resistance and higher reps than my normal Saturday session, then walked home. I am hoping these Tuesday sessions are getting a close tor replicating a club run as possible in terms of length of time spent on my feet.  I had done quite a lot of glute work in the morning and I think as a result the muscles were quite tired after the evening session causing me to limp a bit

 

Day 49 20.02.13

Had a day off as pert of managed return to work and I managed two swims, started breast stroke leg kick. Very interesting knee pain as a reaction. But early days yet! Kick seems to be fine no particularly twinges just does not feel the same as pre-op. Consultant very relaxed about me doing this particular exercise. Evening session in the pool tried left footed entry as per rescue test. Amazing how on side of body is so unused to being jumped on. Anyway can be done! Also tested egg beater kick on a spinal rescue which again worked well, no screaming muscles.  

 

 

Day 48 19.02.13

Time to see the docs. Second day back at work with an post-op appointment. Shown in to see a registrar. Basically it was a self assessment, how are you feeling and any questions. I mentioned the clickiness and was advised this is to be expected. I grin as I write, I had a number of questions, the two most pertinent being when can I breaststroke leg kick and when can I start running. Straight away the registrar disappears off to consult with “God” the consultant, who after a substantial wait came in. “God” was fairly adamant that I should not go back to running, his position had hardened from pre-op. Our discussion did not really get to the bottom of why the NHS have got Norm Lane (Bourton Road Runners) promoting the benefits of hip replacement and a return to running. Suffice to say it’s my call but watch out for early replacement and high iron count! The registrar managed an elegant volte-face moving from a discussion, prior to discussion with the consultant, about the benefits of taking holistic approach to patients health to, post consultant, warning me off doing anything that would require a revision! Got home went for a 5 mile walk. 

 

Day 47 18.02.13

Return to work. Key issue getting up early to do a set of exercises before going into work. Just about achieved this but had to cut out some exercises. I set my watch on timer for 50 minutes so that when alarm goes off I get up walk up five flights of stairs and back down again. Lunch time 30 minute walk. After got home went to Monday swim fit session. Cramp was setting in mid way through the set. The IM with fins on really kicked it off. Not unusual to suffer from cramp the difference at the moment is not doing breast stroke which is my go-to stroke when cramp strikes. In terms of returning to work I was fine. I think the fitness focus in my time off has prepared me for the impact of work. Having said that I think the stress will ramp up next week. The difficulty now is fitting in exercise routines.

 

 

Day 46.02.13

Another swim fit session general fitness is returning coped with session okay although doing breast stroke with a fly kick is getting me down. It may improve my fly but it’s doing nothing for the speed of my breaststroke

 

Day 45 16.02.13

Back down the gym today more cycling and abductor and adductor work. As I return to normal finding less time to do exercise routines. When I was tired post op. did not have the desire to get on PC and do stuff so easier to get myself to do routines.

 

 

Day 43 14.02.13

Started the day with exercises, still quite clicky! Which is really doing my head in. I reduced the resistance by using the resistance band around my knees instead of my ankles for the exercises where I am getting the clicking and it disappeared. Still cannot put my finger on where the clicking is coming from, whether from the hip joint or my back. It is not continuous just now and again! Went for a walk with the children, I didn’t really enjoy it as just getting a bit paranoid at present. After a few weeks of continual improvement the little niggles are worrying. Fortunately seeing the consultant on Tuesday so will find out the score then. This week as has been the hardest for  a while the sore adductor combined with eth clicking has got me down. After a number of week of continuous improvement it’s a little shock. The key I think is to pull back rather than ramp things up! 

 

Day 42 13.02.13

Felt quite tired and sore after walk and adductor is really giving me quite a lot of pain. It is really frustrating as prior to fiddling around with it on Monday it had been pretty good. Went to see the Hobbit and 3 hours sat around was not the best recipe in the world for improving my movement. The problem with being sore is that I don’t want to move but actually need to keep moving!  After an afternoon of doing nothing I went to down to the pool and did 60 lengths plus about 20 minutes aqua jogging, as per previous comment felt much better for this; in particular enjoyed the aqua jogging, I was joined by a lady and had a good old nattter whilst going up and down the half length. Seems to indicate that when I get back to work I need to ensure I move regularly. Planning on walking the stairs every hour!

 

Day 41 12.02.13

After a difficult day yesterday Decided to be a bit more focused, got on with my exercises and then in the evening drove up to the running club. Came back with John Delafield and then went walking for an hour and a half c5 miles.  Felt okay walking a little bit tired by the time I got home.

 

Day 40 11.02.13

Spent a lot of the day on the PC doing web site and organising pictures and article for the Gazette. As per yesterday’s blog I was pretty tired. Mean I didn’t do any exercises. Instead went down to the pool and did a swimfit session, c 2000m.

 

Day 39 10.02.13

Dursley Dozen today, not running but organising the catering. Standing up from 8am til about 2.30 when I got down to the pool to watch Rebecca swim. Boy was I glad to sit down. Hopefully the low impact but continual use of muscles to stand will have done me some good! Overall it has been a positive week, three swims and regular exercising. My only concern is the clicking sensation I am getting. 

 

Day 38 09.02.13

Down the gym, today! Started on the bike, very low resistance just focused on keeping the leg straight. After years of the knee popping out the right I expected to see the leg going up and down like a piston. I was sadly disappointed; the muscle wastage means I have difficultly controlling the sideways movement, especially when the resistance is cranked up. Also worked on abductor and adductor movement on weights machine. Big worry is selecting right weight, need some resistance but clearly not to much. Over did it on the knee raises , did these in mid air resting on arms and did not engage my core, very spore back muscles as a result. Managed a set of exercise during France Wales Match, wasn’t that exciting!

 

Day 37 08.02.13

Managed 40 lengths at pool today, nice and easy or should I say steady state swimming trying to focus on technique. Now I am getting back into other activities finding less time to do exercises, will need to look at how manage this went fully return to normal and back at work. 

 

Day 36 07.02.13

Busy day organising things for Dozen at the weekend meant some shopping and sitting at the PC recording things. Managed a set of exercises.

 

Day 35 06.02.13

Back down the pool again today. Managed 40 lengths nice and easy plus managed to get in a set of exercises as well.   

 

Day 34 05.02.12

Finding that still tired after a session down the pool and this is limiting the exercise routine to once a day. This is running contrary to advice a little and often! Walked up to running club and back again, taking a bit of a detour with Paul Wellings, walking well, stopped using walking poles as feeling good.  

 

Day 33 04.02.13

Compensating for yesterday did a full exercise routine (which mitigated knee pain) in the morning followed by session down the pool. I had to curtail the session as needed to get to Physio (NHS) for 1PM. That meant c120M aqua jogging and 4 or 5 sets of 100m fr/c off 3 minutes, I alwasy seem to lose count! The timing of the latter was quite generous, I was coming in on around 2:10 to 2:15 so getting quite a lot of rest. Physio generally impressed with progress but advised need to work more on adductor abductor strength as pretty weak on the RHS. Range of movement in joint is still limited but has suggested some gym work may assist. Oh yes I can go down the gym now! Bike, Rower (be sensible) and cross trainer beckon!  

 

Day 32 03.02.13

Didn't do much today, watched the boys a rugby training, got thoroughly cold in only 20 minutes and then warmed up down the  pool helping the coaches by taking pulse rates etc... Absolutely cream crackered and lots (that is lots) of knee pain. I am guessing it is because the buttock muscles had long work out on Saturday.  Combination of the pain and tiredness put me off doing exercise routine.

 

Day 31 02.02.13

Went for a long walk an hour 45 minutes with Ray along the Sharpness Canal, lovely sunny weather and very enjoyable walk chewing the fat. Muscles quite fatigued by the time I got home. Spent the afternoon watching the Rugby, did my exercise routine to England’s victory over Scotland. Absolutely cream crackered by about 6PM. The walked down to local Italian restaurant for a meal and topped up my low alcohol level after a month on the wagon. I am finding it difficult to muster the energy to do more than one set of exercises after I have done a sustained bout of exercise such as a walk or a swim. I think the answer is to pick a few to do when I am tired.

 

 

Day 30 01.02.13

Down the pool again today. Pulse rate still rather high in the morning c. 58-60, so taking it easy in the water. Started with 120m aqua jogging followed by some ½ lengths leg kick only. Then went over to the lane and started swimming 100m sets. Did 6 of these all front crawl and then finished with 8 50meters, swimming in 1 minute with 30 seconds rest. At swim fit we would do these routinely off 1:15 to 1:10, no where near on the cards at present! Finished off with 90m jogging. After this went for a physio appointment (private not NHS), I can know work with a resistance band. Interestingly the right hand glute wasn’t working when I was doing my bridges so now propping the left leg up to ensure right hand side is working. The other interesting issue is to ensure not over doing it because the physio wants certain muscles working again before engaging others. However my routines given the thumbs up and my technique on the bridge was okay possibly even good! The aqua jogging and range of movement sets has given me an idea for a water workout for runners, in particular the jogging element providing a really great range of movement. Also did exercises today.

.

Day 27 29.01.13 Started day with massage ball, by lying on it can get into the knots in the muscles in the buttock, touch of exquisite pain! The penance for yesterdays over exertions! I followed this up with a comprehensive set of exercises after getting back from school drop off. I am now managing to lift the leg at full extension both on back and side. Twenty five minutes Wii fit Yoga focusing on balance and core. Not huge improvements in scores but generally feeling more controlled. Ski jump scores are still pants, trying to work out why, is it the lack of stability and power on the push off? Walked to running club (with poles) took me half an hour to do 1.4 miles. Walked back with John Delafield which made the journey much more enjoyable, taking pilates and stretching as I suspect the more discerning (or is it knackered?) runner does. Lower back tight by the time got home and leg muscles aching. Listened and watched the “Joy of Essex” on BBC 4 which enabled me to do a second set of exercises before retiring to bed. Three and a half weeks in and starting to feel like normality is returning. Certain movements are quite stiff but range of movement is coming back.  Started with some egg beater action; high knee, calve vertical and foot rotating  around knee as an axis, in preparation for Lifeguard Qualification, joy!  Slightly better night than previous. Propped leg at an angle and was much more comfortable for a couple of hours. Then woke up at midnight. Spent a bit of time them readjusting position to find comfortable position. Really want to be able to sleep on my side as an alternative although the prospect of rolling is a little scary! Might pop an e-mail to my consultant vis a vis whether I can do do! Along with a bath and beer this is pretty high on my wish list at present! Couple of walks today the BIG one was after being dropped off at club night for a chat and a catch up. Good to seee everyone then a 1.4 mile walk home, nice and steady. Longer distances seem to allow me to get into more of a rhythm occasionally the movement almost feels natural! Exercise drills/stretches what ever you want to call them take about an hour and feel a bit jaded afterwards. Today movement was good and controlled. Working hard to engage core. Will aim to maintain a twice a day approach till the weekend and then re-evaluate.

 

Day 43 14.02.13

Started the day with exercises, still quite clicky. Which is really doing my head in! I reduced the resistance by using the resistance band around my knees instead of my ankles for the exercises where I am getting the clicking and it disappeared. Still cannot put my finger on where the clicking is coming from, whether from the hip joint or my back. It is not continuous just now and again! Went for a walk with the children, I didn’t really enjoy it as just getting a bit paranoid at present. After a few weeks of continual improvement the little niggles are worrying. Fortunately seeing the consultant on Tuesday so will find out the score then. This week as has been the hardest for  a while the sore adductor combined with eth clicking has got me down. After a number of week of continuous improvement it’s a little shock. The key I think is to pull back rather than ramp things up!  I need to relook at excercise routine so that I can do more often in the day. It seems a difficult task as the Physios are looking at 3 x 20 reps of most exercises, it wil be essential to revamp it to allow for going back to work.

 

Day 42 13.02.13 Felt quite tired and sore after walk and adductor is really giving me quite a lot of pain. It is really frustrating as prior to fiddling around with it on Monday it had been pretty good. Went to see the Hobbit and 3 hours sat around was not the best recipe in the world for improving my movement. The problem with being sore is that I don’t want to move but actually need to keep moving!  After an afternoon of doing nothing I went to down to the pool and did 60 lengths plus about 20 minutes aqua jogging, as per previous comment felt much better for this; in particular enjoyed the aqua jogging, I was joined by a lady and had a good old nattter whilst going up and down the half length. Seems to indicate that when I get back to work I need to ensure I move regularly. Planning on walking the stairs every hour!

 

Day 41 12.02.13 After a difficult day yesterday Decided to be a bit more focused, got on with my exercises and then in the evening drove up to the running club. Came back with John Delafield and then went walking for an hour and a half c5 miles.  Felt okay walking a little bit tired by the time I got home.

 

Day 40 11.02.13 Spent a lot of the day on the PC doing web site and organising pictures and article for the Gazette. As per yesterday’s blog I was pretty tired. Mean I didn’t do any exercises. Instead went down to the pool and did a swimfit session, c 2000m.

 

Day 39 10.02.13 Dursley Dozen today, not running but organising the catering. Standing up from 8am til about 2.30 when I got down to the pool to watch Rebecca swim. Boy was I glad to sit down. Hopefully the low impact but continual use of muscles to stand will have done me some good! Overall it has been a positive week, three swims and regular exercising. My only concern is the clicking sensation I am getting.  

 

Day 38 09.02.13 Down the gym, today! Started on the bike, very low resistance just focused on keeping the leg straight. After years of the knee popping out the right I expected to see the leg going up and down like a piston. I was sadly disappointed; the muscle wastage means I have difficultly controlling the sideways movement, especially when the resistance is cranked up. Also worked on abductor and adductor movement on weights machine. Big worry is selecting right weight, need some resistance but clearly not to much. Over did it on the knee raises , did these in mid air resting on arms and did not engage my core, very spore back muscles as a result. Managed a set of exercise during France Wales Match, wasn’t that exciting!

 

Day 37 08.02.13 Managed 40 lengths at pool today, nice and easy or should I say steady state swimming trying to focus on technique. Now I am getting back into other activities finding less time to do exercises, will need to look at how manage this went fully return to normal and back at work.  

 

Day 36 07.02.13 Busy day organising things for Dozen at the weekend meant some shopping and sitting at the PC recording things. Managed a set of exercises.

 

Day 35 06.02.13 Back down the pool again today. Managed 40 lengths nice and easy plus managed to get in a set of exercises as well.    

 

Day 34 05.02.12 Finding that still tired after a session down the pool and this is limiting the exercise routine to once a day. This is running contrary to advice a little and often! Walked up to running club and back again, taking a bit of a detour with Paul Wellings, walking well, stopped using walking poles as feeling good.   

 

Day 33 04.02.13 Compensating for yesterday did a full exercise routine (which mitigated knee pain) in the morning followed by session down the pool. I had to curtail the session as needed to get to Physio (NHS) for 1PM. That meant c120M aqua jogging and 4 or 5 sets of 100m fr/c off 3 minutes, I alwasy seem to lose count! The timing of the latter was quite generous, I was coming in on around 2:10 to 2:15 so getting quite a lot of rest. Physio generally impressed with progress but advised need to work more on adductor abductor strength as pretty weak on the RHS. Range of movement in joint is still limited but has suggested some gym work may assist. Oh yes I can go down the gym now! Bike, Rower (be sensible) and cross trainer beckon!  

Day 31 02.02.13 Pulse rate finally getting there 54 this morning. Went for a long walk an hour 45 minutes with Ray along the Sharpness Canal, lovely sunny weather and very enjoyable walk chewing the fat. Muscles quite fatigued by the time I got home. Spent the afternoon watching the Rugby, did my exercise routine to England’s victory over Scotland. Absolutely cream crackered by about 6PM. Then walked down to local Italian restaurant for a meal and topped up my low alcohol level after a month on the wagon. I am finding it difficult to muster the energy to do more than one set of exercises after I have done a sustained bout of exercise such as a walk or a swim. I think the answer is to pick a few to do when I am tired.

Day 32 03.02.13 Didn't do much today, watched the boys a rugby training, got thoroughly cold in only 20 minutes and then warmed up down the  pool helping the coaches by taking pulse rates etc... Absolutely cream crackered and lots (that is lots) of knee pain. I am guessing it is because the buttock muscles had long work out on Saturday.  Combination of the pain and tiredness put me off doing exercise routine.

 

Day 30 01.02.13 Down the pool again today. Pulse rate still rather high in the morning c. 58-60, so taking it easy in the water. Started with 120m aqua jogging followed by some ½ lengths leg kick only. Then went over to the lane and started swimming 100m sets. Did 6 of these all front crawl and then finished with 8 50meters, swimming in 1 minute with 30 seconds rest. At swim fit we would do these routinely off 1:15 to 1:10, no where near on the cards at present! Finished off with 90m jogging. After this went for a physio appointment (private not NHS), I can know work with a resistance band. Interestingly the right hand glute wasn’t working when I was doing my bridges so now propping the left leg up to ensure right hand side is working. The other interesting issue is to ensure not over doing it because the physio wants certain muscles working again before engaging others. However my routines given the thumbs up and my technique on the bridge was okay possibly even good! The aqua jogging and range of movement sets has given me an idea for a water workout for runners, in particular the jogging element providing a really great range of movement. Also did exercises today.

 

Day 29.31.01.13 Up early form XC club at school PR clocking 60BPM suggests not recovered from session yesterday, seems pretty pathetic. However one just has to appreciate where one is and deal with it. 

Day 28 30.01.13 Straight into exercise routine in the morning. Did a few leg lifts from a sideways position, Initially leg doesn’t want to move but after 3 attempts it gets going and did 15 of these. Went down to pool today. Warmed up with 10 half lengths aqua jogging, focusing on form today! Then did some 100s front crawl. Tried some back crawl felt okay but clearly struggling as veering off to the left. Managed 24 lengths with one 200m set towards the end. Also some Breaststroke with a fly kick, by no means the go to stroke that full breast stroke was for me! Then finished off with some more aqua jogging. Good session, didn’t feel so tired in the afternoon but it caught up with me by the evening. Last fragmin injection oh yes!

 

 Day 26 28.01.13 Weather improved so out for a walk after dropping James at School. Just over a mile. Walking with two poles. When I get into a rhythm feels it feels right and then at other times feels clunky again. Uphills really slow me down! Went down to the pool. Started with some aqua jogging again feeling good and then popped in the lane to do 3 sets of 100 metres. Swimming front crawl focusing on the arm action and length of stroke; just letting the legs do their own thing. After this walked back up to the island. Noticed all of a sudden that walking in the water is much easier than on dry land feels almost normal; so will have to do some more of this!  Did another set of aqua jogging. I then over did it! I tried to get some aerobic benefit out of it by moving faster. Big mistake! Tweaked loads of muscles. I didn’t notice until walking home, when I could feel the adductor tightening up. However the real pain kicked in later and was in the buttocks and then referring down into the knee! Classic ITB pain. I then noticed that the tweaked muscles where not supporting the leg as effectively as before so more pain entailed. Lesson learnt. To make up for this the bonus of the day is getting a message from God (consultant) that I can sleep on my side. Luxury! Session at the pool was about 30 to 35 minutes left me pretty tired in the afternoon! Its really strange after years of knowing more or less exactly what I can do in terms of physical activity I am know feeling my way everyday. Rest day tomorrow swim Wednesday is the plan.  

Day 25 27.01.13 Yesterday a bit of write off in terms of rehab exercises. So started off the morning with a set. Iced thigh and knee afterwards. Knee pain is improving but not out of woods by a long chalk. My concern is that hip problem has led to the knee joint being damaged, but guess need wait and see as I know that the muscles and ligaments around the knee are still sore and probably not fully supporting it (here’s hoping that’s true!). Had a moment of magic walking into the pool, without thinking I started climbing the steps normally, albeit with a little help form the stick. I know how we hardwire movements in i.e. go from conscious incompetence to conscious competence to unconscious competence. It’s just strange relearning these very basic activities.

 

Day 24 26.01.13 Up at 5am this morning and off to GL1 Gloucester day two of coaching course. On poolside at 6am. These swimmers are nuts! Limping around poolside, really mustn’t forget my stick! By the time I got home at about 2.45p absolutely exhausted. Managed a few exercises before bed.

Day 23 25.01.13 Taking it easy today have to be up in Gloucester at 6 from my level 1 Swimming Coaches Course, unsure how intellectually demanding it will be and how my concentration levels will be. One ste of excercises and time on Wii fit Yoga.

Day 22 24.01.13 After a rest from going down the pool did so again today. Bit more time today. 50m.s aqua jogging followed by 150m front crawl.  Hoping that this a a precursor for getting a few more metre in next week! The biggest problem is walking in this weather. The snow has been melting and this morning when I went into school at 7.50 for XC club the playground was like a skating rink. Had to gingerly walk around the parts still covered with snow. Again hoping that warmer weather will allow more walking.

Day 21 23.01.13 Just exercises today. Feel quite jaded from the last two days. The great news is I am reaching the end of the Fragmin injections, eight or so to go. Mostly now the needle is going in pretty smoothly but still my least favourite bit of rehab.

Day 20 22.01.13 Back down the pool today. I thought I was going to get  20 minutes in the pool but by the time I had changed etc managed to eke out an extra 5 minutes. Feels good aqua jogging, front crawl engages a few creaky buttock muscles, which I assume is good!

 

Day 19 21.01.13 Getting cabin fever with the snow! So walked down to town. The pavements were quite icy so took it very carefully/gingerly. Went to the pool and did 10 minutes oh yes 10 minutes in the water. Five minutes aqua jogging and five minutes half lengths front crawl. It felt nice being in the water. Also managed 10 rep.s standing from a sitting position. Still don’t feel that walking is nailed. Wento meet James who was walking back form school and felt quite tired and walking action felt like it was deteriorating. Spent 25 minutes on Wii fit, occasionally getting core to do all the work but too often I can feel leg muscles straining away to achieve balance

 

Day 18 20.01.13 Woke up feeling pretty nauseous today, suspect it’s the morphine. I will adjust dosage. However the benefit of taking the painkillers at night off sets the downside. I wake up feeling refreshed and the right leg is rested. If I have a restless night it’s because the leg is tense and then it feels really poor in the morning. Again didn’t get out today apart from the front steps, well salted, and to the garage.

 Day 17 19.01.13 Better nights sleep. Day in, feeling tired and lethargic. Don’t know whether this is done to an active week or just the fact I am not doing much!

 

 

Day 16 18.01.13 Getting really brassed off with sleep pattern. Go to bed absolutely exhausted sleep like a log for 2 hours then wake up c. midnight and then struggle to get comfortable or into a sound sleep for the rest of the night. Will try going back to the big daddy pain killers tonight see if that works! Snow has meant an enforced layoff from walking apart from around the house. Icing leg, buttock and knee. If I could do it again I think I would have gone for a really hard sports massage a few days before the operation so that everything was really relaxed and loose. I feel like the niggles I had before the operation are now just exacerbated. Will discuss with both consultant and local physios for their views

 

Day 15 19.01.13 Busy day today, off to run school cross country club plus 15 minutes reading with a pupil, then a walk home. Did my stretches, had lunch and back down to pool to help with school swimming lessons. Firmly ensconced in a chair with strict instructions from the pool manager not to move out of it; a trained assistant from the school waited in the wings in case of emergency. Fortunately we are at the shallow end with the non swimmers. As with everything you have to adapt to your limitations. By the time I was walking James to the pool for his swimming lesson I was pretty tired; could feel muscles in right leg straining even though just walking slowly. Gave my second lot of exercises a miss and got a lift back from the pool. Glad I have no commitments tomorrow morning.     

Day 13 16.01.13 Slightly more comfortable nights sleep, but still waking up fairly regularly through the night; I am putting this down to the body recovering and basically I am not doing enough in the day to get a full nights sleep. Had a leisurely morning in bed then showered and checked the diary to see when my wound appointment was to find out I had twenty minutes to get there! 10:40 not 12:30 as assumed PPPPPP! Legged it down gas works, well hobbled gingerly as it was quite icy. Got to the bottom at 10:40! Took be another 20 minutes to get to the surgery at a cracking pace. Icy patches super scary. When I went ski-ing last year I didn’t like falling over on my bad hip, now  the prospect of just slipping and pulling the muscles is bad enough; the thought falling on it or dislocating it at this stage does not even bear thinking about! Then again start over thinking things and it all goes pear shaped, be sensible keep calm and relaxed. Wound checked second nurse states its lovely! Had a closer look and the surgeon could have put a few more stitches in! However the wound is not as long as I though, just a little nick! New dressing on for a few more days and then good to go. Really just there to stop wound snagging on my clothes. Spoke to nurse about getting in the pool she says should be okay for next week. Yippee

 

Day 12 15.01.13

 

Day 11 14.01.13 Really bad night, I just could not get comfortable again more knee pain than anything else, plus this strange sensation akin to cramp that will move around the back of the knee and into the calf when I move the leg after some inactivity. The bad nights sleep might be due to standing up too long on Sunday, maybe over-cooking it? PR over 60 in the am again but difficult to judge whether this is good or bad. After long chat with a physio who happened to be at the pool  yesterday come up with 14 exercises. Managed to do this twice today. This has now given me a much more structured approach. Plus also had a go on Wii fit. Both look to be useful. The wider range of exercises is both more interesting but not overtaxing and is working a whole range of muscles in the leg. In particular the leg raise in the sitting position has dramatically improved from a c300 raise to around 400. Also a useful tip was to sit with back against the wall and engage the thigh muscles. My NHS booklet goes from some fairly basic exercises to standing from a sitting position. Quite an ask in my view without any previous development such as the “back against the wall exercise”. Wii fit is great because the yoga and some other exercises are about centring and balancing the body so great to measure how well I am doing in getting things ”even”. Any takers on designing a Wii Rehab game for the NHS! Walked down to Pool with James and Rebecca used two sticks which seemed to help create a more fluid walking movement with one I felt I was limping. Quite tried by the time I got home. Almost a mile walked! Caught up with e-mails in the evening read one from a running colleague who had had a hernia operation before Christmas. Interestingly enough very similar emotional reactions to the op, initial euphoria (certainly in my case drug related), then frustration linked to physical condition, tiredness and an inability to improve as quickly as desired. Neither one of us factored in the impact of the operation alone on the body; the bodies need to rest after the controlled trauma of the operation.  

 

Day 10 13.01.13 Really starting to appreciate the total lack of joint pain now that the muscle sorness is wearing off. Good twenty minutes of drills this am including a limited "bridge", trying to engage those glutes. Small circling action seems to be good as do knee raises either laying flat with towel under knee or sat in chair. Still cannot lift left leg off floor lying supine. Interestingly can do a flutter kick action lying on my front. So hopefully I will get the all clear to get into the swimming pool soon. Still living with knee pain, hoping this is going to recede(!)

 

Day 9 12.01.13 Pulse Rate below 60 for the first time for a while! Sleeping okay although still waking early morning and find RHS stiff, movement not initially helping, getting pain in need and calf. However moving ankle and foot seems to assist in reducing the pain/ feeling of swelling so assuming link to circulation. I walked back from Dursley, just under half a mile (770m) v slowly but fine.

 

Day 8 11.01.13 Woke with stonking headache, checked out the drug (Tramadol Chloride) I’m taking in the evening on Wiki; looking  to see if headaches are a side effect but doesn’t appear to be the case. Night was generally good, less sweaty, but very time I pilled my leg back my knee felt like it was filling up, a rather painful sensation. Good exercise session in the morning also did some press ups, placing my hands on a blanket box. Felt good doing a bit of vigorous exercise! Second attempt at car journey, much easier in and out of car, much more control. Placing my right hand on the inside of my right thigh prevents any uncontrolled movement inwards which seems to be the key trigger for pain. 

Saw local practice nurse who examined the wound. She liked what she saw, not too sure the feeling was mutual. Anyway should be good to come off in a couple of days.  Nurse advised can shower with the dressing on. However I suspect not showering has kept the dressing dry and helped the wound dry out as well. Have to admit not got to the stage of feeling comfortable touching the area of incision.

Spent the afternoon updating the blog interspersing time on PC with stretches/drills. Had the groceries delivered in the afternoon, by the time I had put these away I was cream crackered. I had thought about walking to meet James who was walking home from school but felt too jaded to do so. No lay downs today so when I got to bed at 9.45 I went out like a light. No doubting the general impact on the body of the operation. Woke up an hour and a half later and dropped some painkillers before going to sleep again.

 Got an appointment for physio 04th of February, unless I do something stupid which I don’t intend to, my money is that this will be my first and last! 

 

Found my “Understanding Hip and Knee Arthritis Surgery” part of the Family Doctor Books range, lent to me a by a friend, has a few more useful drills/stretches that I have been given, these  benefit from being gentle but stimulating a variety of muscles.

 

Day 7 10.01.13 Good day physically, poor day mentally. Walked up and down the road twice, did the stairs twice trying to use RHS to lift on, with the aid of the upperbody. After this I was cream cracked by 2.30 and went for a lay down. Exercises coming along ok getting more knee lift. However not expecting to have such poor movement, pretty p*ss*d off and frustrated. Wonder whether this is normal, after the high of the operation which seemed like a breeze (all those drugs dude!) and then initially rapid progress, to be depressed by the poor physical condition and about the long journey ahead? Perhaps it was due to tiredness due to over exertion, after all I walked up and down the road twice!

 

Day 6 09.01.13 Wednesday! almost a week after the operation, which seems amazing.  It has been a much more difficult and painful journey than I appreciated. I think denial has been a major part of my approach to my hip problem. Initially using the physio and chiropractor to keep me going when running with pain and stiffness (If you are not a runner you may not understand why I did this, but this is another story). Then when told to stop running I wanted to deny the need for surgery, and then having accepted the need for surgery to deny or minimise its impact. There is always a point at which reality kicks in! Having said this no-one I have seen has given me info on:

  • How much loss of movement will be experienced?
  • How quickly movement will be regained?
  • What is good progress?

It’s all very global 4 6—6 weeks back to work and driving, full recovery 12 weeks.

 

Anyone involved in sport is conscious about key milestones and particular measures. In te fisrt week what sort of movement might I expect, what is the trajectory of improvement. I wonder why doctors don’t take the same approach? If I was a surgeon I would want a database of all my patients and I am astounded that information on range of movement before and after is not routinely taken. How on earth to your understand the efficacy of treatments without measurement. Tracking age weight fitness and range of movement could provide guidelines for both professional and patients. So far efficacy seems to based around % of operation that require revision, and that is not easy to find. Will start monitoring range of movement.

The general impact of the operation was much greater than expected. The need for regular kips

And getting to bed early was not something I had factored in. Also not being able to do everyday things like put socks or trousers on with ease is frustrating. You might think that sort of thing is to be expected, yes but doesn’t stop it being frustrating.  

 

However today I have shown more muscular control able to get in and out of bed with little pain and even managed a small and very gentle scissor movement. Went of first walk outside. 220 metres end of the road and back

 

Day 5 08.01.13 Early morning start as G off to work. Sweaty and disturbed night, only took 1 Tramadol (morphine type drug). Still struggling to control movement of leg in and out of bed, got it in the wrong position this morning and was in excruciating a pain for a few seconds. Once got on floor in right position it was okay. Attempted to get a home visit for a wound check on Friday. As mother in Law Seeking to go home early am hoping the health visitors would do.  No way if you are not housebound i.e. can get in and out of car they are not coming. The fact that there were no appointments when Gillian was back from work was of course immaterial! However the surgery managed to fit me in the morning when my Mother –in Law could deliver me to the surgery.

 

Day 4 Rehab 07.01.13 Up and around the upstairs at 8.45, immediately feeling a bit queasy so retired back to bed! Overnight could feel leg loosening up and it wanted to stretch out. Slept with a pillow under it to protect it from any sudden movements which are still agony. Had a bit of radical movement getting out of bed. Went for a morning constitutional around the bedrooms of the house. Then checked I could sit on the toilet. Gillian had checked if a raised seat was required, but the Nurses reckoned that as a younger person I would be fine. I didn’t really want to be use the adapted seat given my experience in hospital but was worried about being able to get down on to the seat and back up again.  This was achieved by placing the end of my two sticks on the wall behind the toilet then with the sticks at a diagonal angle and lowering myself down with nearly all the weight  taken by my arms. A slow and soft landing was achieved, although preferring to favour my LHS was not too uncomfortable. Up and off, with a skip in my step! Off to get dressed shorts and one sock. The mother in law had provided a sock pull-er on-er but had not looked at yet. Had a potter and then a real coffee and then spend an agonising 10 minutes in the toilet trying to expel a number of canon balls. I cannot remember being offered senna by the nurses, whereas the other guys were constantly asked about their bowel movements the nurses did not seem so concerned about me. I had gone in hospital but this was probably before the morphine had worked its way through my system. I deeply regret not having something that might have softened that morphine hardened rock of a stool that I finally ejected. After the mornings excitement had some lunch and went for a lay down. In the afternoon and evening did a couple of exercise sessions and then to bed. Can do 10 adductor stretches, between fifteen and twenty stretches pushing the heel back with a straight leg. Knee lifts are more problematic and I can only do five standing. I have not been asked to do these lying in bed and they are obviously much easier in the supine position.

 

Day 3 Rehab 06.01.13 Work up feeling poorly, a dull ache in the hip, feverish symptoms and also feeling quite nauseous; took breakfast slowly as a result. The toast sat next to my two bottles of urine for some time which was nice! One would think “night soil” was would be the first priority. Eventually felt better after a cup of tea with a little sugar and then had a nap as I ad had quite a disturbed night sleep. Got up and went to the toilet, as long as everything stays straight and no sudden moves things are okay. Some more exercises at around 9.30. Just before lunch had a run ;-) to the toilet. Tried sitting on the commode. Absolute bloody agony and trying to pee on it was not the most comfortable experience. Talk about bog standard design.  I am not exactly a large person so good knows what they are like for other users. Another physio came to check me out, in partciualr my ability to do the stairs. She asked me if I wanted a wheelchair to get o the stirs(interesting approach!). I walked there, doing the stairs is just learning how to use your sticks to support yourself. I thought they might be expecting me to go up with no sticks, ha ha ha ha! Once that is achieved good to go from a physio perspective, all that was then required was the nurse’s approval. So with blood pressure okay, pulse rate suitably high and a normal temperature I was advised I could go. Getting home was interesting. Lifting the leg into the car was painful too much uncontrolled lateral movement and the same could be said of going around any roundabout at anything less than a slow crawl. However the best was saved to last. As I discovered the most excruciating pain was achieved by getting the hip/leg in the wrong position and the realisation that only more pain would get me to a pain free position. I got to stage one on trying to hitch my rigt leg out of the car. As I sat there in agony my better half, Gillian, took things into her own hands and moved the leg up and over to the ground aggghhhhh! A few deep breath and I was up and way back into the house and decent cup of tea! At 10pm I had my last medication and was feeling similar to day 2 slightly shaky and feverish. However movement is freer and stairs with sticks are not a problem.

 

Day 2 Rehab 05.01.13 Early bird start. Still feeling a bit queasy, mentally ready for physio to come. Movement of leg is slightly better. At 9.20 tried standing up a few times, again feeling queasy; I didn’t try to walk but lay back down. I could see I had lost quite a lot of colour in my hand. Mid morning I got a trip out, after two days stuck in a bed a trolley ride to x-ray seemed like an away day! Porters were great! Friendly and chatty, moaning about being called from one side of the hospital to the other to move a patient twenty metres. There does appear to lots of demarquation, Nurses nurse, Physios physio, Porters port and Doctors are rarely seen, at least by me. After this little bit of excitement, the physio returned, one length of the ward on the zimmer and I’m onto sticks. She also tells me I can bend my leg, all other instruction to date was keep it straight. Started doing stretches, adductor stretch a bit stiff, pushing heel backwards and keeping leg straight as stretch even harder. Late morning a couple more walks and some stretches. Ata quarter to eight had my final walk of the day feeling really tired. By nine thirty feeling really horrible, limped as fast as I could to the toilet and just about made, went back to bed feeling feverish. Pushed the button for Nursing attention. The nurse who came asked brusquely who was calling and what was the issue, I a said I was feeling feverish, she stuck a thermometer on one ear looked at the result said “no temperature” and b*gg*red off. My first experience up to that point of anyone failing to engage with my care needs. As a true Brit I thought about complaining but just put up with it. When you have limited mobility the thought of upsetting a “Nurse Ratchett” focuses the mind on ones choices! She came back later took my temperature and informed me it was high. I made do with my normal medication, a much more pleasant nurse ensured I had enough bottles to last the night!

 

Day 1 Rehab. 04.01.13 Woken at 6.45 feeling pain free, this followed a midnight and 3am routine pulse rate, temperature and blood pressure check up. At 9.30 the physios turned up with smiles on their faces. On getting up everything was painful and sore. Managed about 5 steps and then felt very nauseous and light headed. So back to bed for a lie down. They commented that I had low blood pressure results and I was advised to drink more.  By 1.15 I was sitting up in bed having taken all painkillers on offer, including oral morphine, in the hope of walking later. Left leg working normally – no surprise there! RHS not co-operating. At about 2.30 the physio turned up again with two walking sticks. I kindly demurred and said I would stick with the zimmer. Just moving to get up was pretty painful. It was the lateral movement as I continued to discover that caused the greatest rushes of pain, that left me feeling sick and sweaty. I set off and managed about 6 or 7 steps before I started to feel nauseous and giddy again, so I turned and headed for  the chair by my bed. I managed to get there and sit down. However the next thing I know I was on the deck with Nurses all around, asking me who I was etc..etc… Everyone was a lot more excited than me. I was just extremely p*ss*d off I had been expecting to walk without too much difficulty and with controlled pain.  After visiting I had a kip for about an hour, had a meal and the more medication, I had more morphine and although the dose was lower I still felt nauseous after it. As evening came the leg is becoming to feel less like a complete dead weight.

 

 

D-Day- Operation

 

Bit weird combination of seeing your GP and going on holiday. There you are with your overnight bag being checked in with other 5 or 6 patients. Popped into a cubicle and asked the same questions about three times then off to see the consultant and the anaesthetist. Consultant was in their for about a minute, asked which leg it was, always re-assuring, then marked it up, Asked if happy about everything! What did he expect? The anaesthetist was the “good cop” chattier and talking through the procedure. It was evident that epidurals are a big worry for most people, big needle near the spine. My research didn’t suggest that a major concern unless you are unlucky. For me there was no specific worry, it was the outcome of the whole thing; you know what in principle is going to happen but you have no idea in practice what it is going to be like. I guess in a sense that is why the rest of the procedure seemed a breeze. I walked into the recovery area  and got on a trolley, same questions asked again and the wheeled off to the theatre. It started feeling weirder then, I guess you realise that you have lost control as you lay on the trolley, now in the hands of other people. Again the anaesthetist was pleasant and kept me informed about what she was doing. The epidural was not particularly painful, dare I say “a small prick” and then a warm sensation comes over your lower body. Then wheeled into theatre, turned on to me LHS and then clamped in place. The clamps where assertively pushed in to place. I then had a space blanket placed over me and a blue paper screen meant I could not see what was happening on my hip. I would however feel in a deadened way the consultants fingers running over the hip and drawing the incision etc. upon me. My conversation continued with anaesthetist who had also put me on a local anaesthetic. I asked questions about the procedure and at what point we were at. I could feel hammering and drilling in same deadened way I had felt the surgeons fingers. At some point I passed out, probably boring the anaesthetist with my conversation so she turned up the juice! I came to as the operation concluded. Feeling a little bit sleepy they wheeled me off the the recovery area. In this area the nurses where getting concerned as my heart rate had drooped to 45, which of course was quite amusing as they were taking no notice in the admission suite when it had been upper 60s way over my norm! Clearly I was struggling though, as my temperature had dropped and was not recovering fast enough for their liking, as a result I had a space blanket put over me and warm air blown over my body.  Nursing staff were very pleasant and a had a chat with one of the Nurses about the best place to eat and drink in Dursley. Next stop was the ward and I was feeling peckish, my last meal had been a bowl of Ready Brek at 11.30 the previsou evening with two high energy drinks n the admissions suite that morning. Had missed food so all I got was a couple of cups of tea, one coffee and three biscuits. Consultant popped in later on in the day, very cursory chat, everything okay, any questions?  “Can I walk today?” “can’t see why not”, sadly this was not in my notes so the physio, much to her chagrin, had to leave me in bed with my legs tied together and separated by a triangular foam cushion. Around my calves I had had inflatable socks(?!), inflating alternately for the next day and a half. I was still pain free with effects of the epidural wearing off. One of the patients kindly warned me that that lack of feeling might mean that I wouldn’t know that I need to urinate and as a result wet the bed, this had happened to him. He also very kindly gave me a standard issues NHS cardboard bottle to pee into. This advice had me prodding my nether regions on a regular basis to see if there was any feeling as the sooner it returned I reckoned the sooner I could attempt to fill the bottle. By 7.30 that evening the Nurses required me to urinate the alterative didn’t’ bear thinking about about! Fortunately I was able to go under my own steam. After all that excitement I was able to setlle down to relaxing read and some more medication.