Sunday, 2 April 2017

Living with Osteogenises Imperfecta

I think most of my readers probably know me and are aware that I had a fall a month ago resulting in a broken hip and the need for a hip replacement.  For those of you used to checking in on my blog and wondering why I haven't been posting as frequently as I do, this is the reason why.  

I was born with a rare disease called Osteogenises Imperfecta - a disease that causes weak bones that break easily.  It has also caused problems with me having hyper-mobility in my joints, brittle teeth and hearing loss. 

It happened early Saturday on the 26th February.  I hadn't been long up and we had decided on going out.  I had literally just got out of my wheelchair and was heading to the front door on my walking sticks.  A few steps later and I was down on the floor.  My legs had given way on me and that was it. 

At first I hadn't realised that I had caused so much damage so I stayed at home for a few days before getting it checked out.  After all I had managed to get myself up and down the stairs shuffling on my bottom and assisted by my husband.  

It wasn't until I felt the bone moving a few days later that I realised things may be more serious than I first thought so I rang the NHS 111 service.  Out of concern and my prior history, they sent an ambulance to me.   I was quite surprised to learn following an X-Ray in the A&E that I had actually broken the neck of the femur and was going to be kept in hospital.

At first I was told the operation needed looked tricky and was offered the opportunity to be sent home and not have anything done and see how this went!  It was up to me to decide.

My husband managed to pass word to an orthopedic surgeon that had operated on me before that I had broken my hip and without hesitation he took over my care.   

Six days after the fall I was in surgery having a partial hip replacement.  My surgeon visited the next day and showed me an image of the new hip telling me all went well.

This was four weeks ago now and I am incarcerated at home until six weeks have gone by and things have time to heal.  I am somewhat limited in what I can do at the moment and this includes driving or travelling as a passenger as getting in and out of the car can risk straining the hip and stretching the healing tissues.

I have a list of dos and don'ts to abide by as follows:

The Don'ts

  • Don't cross your legs at the knees for at least 6 to 8 weeks.
  • Don't bring your knee up higher than your hip.
  • Don't lean forward while sitting or as you sit down.
  • Don't try to pick up something on the floor while you are sitting.
  • Don't turn your feet excessively inward or outward when you bend down.
  • Don't reach down to pull up blankets when lying in bed.
  • Don't bend at the waist beyond 90 degrees.

The Dos

  • Do keep the leg facing forward.
  • Do keep the affected leg in front as you sit or stand.
  • Do use a high kitchen or barstool in the kitchen.
  • Do kneel on the knee on the operated leg (the bad side).
  • Do use ice to reduce pain and swelling, but remember that ice will diminish sensation. Don't apply ice directly to the skin; use an ice pack or wrap it in a damp towel.
  • Do apply heat before exercising to assist with range of motion. Use a heating pad or hot, damp towel for 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Do cut back on your exercises if your muscles begin to ache, but don't stop doing them!
    All these are to prevent hip dislocation from occurring which would be very unpleasant.

I have two weeks remaining before I am free to travel in the car and the first thing I want to do is go swimming at Seale Hayne.  They have a lovely hydrotherapy pool there heated to a comfortable 32 degrees.  It will be so nice to take the weight of my "der·ri·√®re" and do some gentle walking exercises in the pool.  I haven't walked since the fall, just carried out the exercises provided.  

Progress seems slow but I will get there given the self determination I have.

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