Since having a left hip replacement 7 weeks ago, I seem to be suffering from reactive depression

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Until my recent hip replacement I was a fit, upbeat 55 year old, but now have feelings of helplessness and sadness. Anyone experiencing similar?

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  • Posted

    Me too. I am four weeks post RTH and have been feeling very low, even though I know logically I am doing fine.
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  • Posted

    I had a double hip replacement in 2002, I did exactly what I was told to do, plenty of walking and I haven't looked back. I was almost pain free post, before the op I was in pain, I had a bad limp, hunched over and twisted, bow legged and kipper footed, the hip replacements sorted me out and gave me something to look forward to. I feel very fortunate to have had this op done, the main thing for people who feel like you is not to think negative, start thinking positive about it and stop feeling sorry for yourself.

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  • Posted

    One thing that helped me was keeping a diary of the days following the op...and then look back at the progress I had made since the op.
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  • Posted

    I too had some reactive depression after my bilateral hip replacement back in December 2011. My GP informed me that it is quite common after years of pain for mild depression to set in once the operation has been performed. Something about the brain being programmed for the pain and now having to come to terms with the removal of that 'usual state'. Bizarre I know but it happens apparently.

    As has been said already, try to focus on the progress you've made so far and the improvement in life quality you've been given and try to avoid the negative thoughts. It isn't easy but persevere and things will improve...they did for me.

    Good luck with the recuperation.

    John, UK

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  • Posted

    Thank you to all who have replied to my questions. I am now 12 weeks post operative. I was due to have the other hip replaced now, but have decided to wait, until the left hip is fully restored. My experience in hospital was not a good experience, which I believe in part accounts for the reactive depression. Thank you John, your GP gave you well informed information. I am progressing and time is a great healer physiologically. Patricia I am sure many post operatives will feel as we have, but to speak it out and be reminded by those further on than us, that the situation does improve, and to focus on the positive as Meldrew commented is indeed the best way forward. Just to mention, it is not a case of feeling sorry for one's self rather than coming to terms with all that an implant of any kind impacts on your psychological attitude. I am very thankful that I was given a new hip
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  • Posted

    Kyvelli. It is your choice but why put off what needs to be done, you may just as well get it done now and be done with it. get over the depression bit once and for all, you don't want to keep feeling down. Get yourself out and start walking and enjoy the new found freedom of having two good hips. You are most probably walking with a slight limp now after having one done so when they do the other one make sure to tell them to level you up. Then walk tall and proud, you are still a young man/woman so make the most of it, a lot of people don't get the chance..
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  • Posted

    Hello everybody. I have had my six week check up and am now feeling much more positives The stockings have come off along with the tackier bottoms I had to wear and am now wearing my normal clothes. I am enjoying the sensation of being able to exercise properly again and have joined a gym and signed up with a personal trainer to help me get fit. I love walking now, even though at six weeks I have a slight limp due to the muscles not having healed yet. Good tip is to get a podiatrist around to the house to do your toenails as will not be able to bend down and did them for a few weeks. My podiatrist said that people normally regain a normal walking gait at about ten weeks and this is very encouraging. The only downside to all this is that I am not sleeping at all at night, just the odd hour here and there. Even though I have been told I can sleep on my side with a pillow between my legs I am just too tensed up and the pillow keeps slipping. Have ordered a slumber support pillow recommended by someone else on this blog. I would love to hear how other people cope with lack of sleep.
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  • Posted

    Hello Patricia, I graduated my pillows each night. I started off with 5, then reduced down during the night, a pillow at a time, every time I woke up. I found this helped ny back by changing the angle of my spine. I also started to sleep on the operated side 3 weeks post op, starting with 5 minutes, building up my own tolerance to the peculiar feeling of the hip and leg. I found that placing another pillow infront of my body, stopped the pillow between my knees from slipping and also gave me reassurance.

    Hello Meldrew, again thank you for your positive comments. Thankfully I am blessed that I am not limping and although I do not walk further than approx 3 miles at present I do strong rehab exercises daily and manage the pain tolerably well. May you continue from strength to strength.

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  • Posted

    Reading this has made me feel better.. I am having a hard time three weeks after surgery. The day of the op was dreadful as I had to wait from 7am until 5 pm before they started.. I couldn't pee until midday the next day. They made a hairline fracture in my femur during the op so had another op four days later to wire that.i was in hospital a week. I have yet to sleep six hours at night and often it is only four hours. I have felt very down and emotional ... I am a very active fit person but now can't put any weight on my leg until 13th jan.. I am stuck in the house as I am the only driver..
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  • Posted

    John, the first three weeks post-op had me going through an emotional rollercoaster of peaks and troughs.

    Some days I actually wished I'd not had the op...crazy and ungrateful as that sounds.

    Four hour sleep stints were a regular occurrence, coinciding with the painkiller regime I was on. There were times when I dreaded going to bed. It was a tough time but it did improve and by week five, I was getting some decent nights' sleep. It's amazing how much that brightened me up.

    Hang in there, grit your teeth and look forward to the increased mobility and, hopefully, pain-free time you're going to get. Fingers crossed for you for a pleasant Festive Season.

    John, UK

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  • Posted

    Hi John, thanks for the encouragement.I have tried really hard to be cheerful throughout and made all the hospital staff laugh etc etc. But now I am home and its so quiet and I can only look at the back garden..I find Saturdays tedious as the rubbish on TV is so awful and mind numbing.. As I am usually doing it all around the house and am the only driver its just these four walls. I cut out the painkillers after 4 days home as I don't like medication much.Only doing the blood thinner injections now. I wasn't in that much pain before as I suppose I had had this condition all my life and was just used to everything. Funny no one told me what it was until this year when I am 61. 4 years ago when I asked for advice from the Dr I was told it was painkillers and try to get to 70 before you get a new hip.. So I have been doing lots of exercise and going to the gym and its worn out....

    Coupled with the fact that I have had to fight for 8 days now for a district nurse to come and sort my dressing out.. That experience has also left me down-I ended up making 12 phonecalls over a period of 8 days until someone came last night at 7pm.. I could have screamed to be honest. I have a double scar after 2 ops and I think they just expected us to change it ourselves ...I havent the fight in me to make a serious complaint at the moment so forgive my ranting...

    I have had nights of dreading going to bed too.I fall asleep easily but once I wake that is it and I am lying there for hours in the dark.I did get 5 hours sleep last night so maybe it is starting to improve...Thanks again for listening John

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  • Posted

    Hi again John, they told you wrong anyway. I was 54 in 2001 when I had a double hip operation. One of the earliest was on a 28 year old man. So in reality they had you in pain etc for many years before they did your op.

    I was lucky in the fact that i had not one drop of blood loss or a wound that needed dressings. Your op must have been on a Friday afternoon by the sound of it.

    Go to bed early anf fall asleep in bed, it will get easier believe me.

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  • Posted

    Thanks again for posting support.. I was particularly down yesterday but did sleep until five. I must have got six hours sleep at last and no need to get up to go to the toilet until my normal time. I feel a lot better today and have put normal clothes on instead of a tracksuit. My wound seems really good so that is a real positive but it is a long wound.. Yeah I first had trouble when I was 52 and had six weeks off work.. They just said then that I had a funny shaped hip joint.. This year the physios threw their hands up in horror at my old X-rays and didn't even want to do anything but refer me straight for a replacement..everyone has asked me what problems I have had with since my childhood.. I suppose I have just been used to being achy like this.. My other hip is weak too and I realise now that I am relying on it that I can only stand still onn that good leg for a few minutes....

    John

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  • Posted

    What an interesting and supportive discussion this is! I've browsed these forums before - usually to see what I might be getting myself in for but have never contributed. I saw a consultant today (privately) and I need a ceramic THR. I can arrange the date to suit me and I've been factoring in the recovery and pain periods to fit in with what is going to be a busy year with lots of public events and organising to do. What I hadn't considered was the possibility of depression after the op. I was all for going for it ASAP until I read your messages but am thinking again as there isn't any great urgency.

    My husband died 9 months ago and despite soldiering on(as you do!) I suppose I'm still pretty vulnerable and hit the odd low days and nights. Your discussions here have helped me to realise that I should delay the op for a few months. I'm used to the physical pain and can tolerate it for a while longer. It's not unbearable. I don't think I could cope with any more sadness at the moment though!

    Thank you everyone and I do hope you all make really good recoveries. I'll probably post here when I've had my own hip done - hopefully with good news.

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  • Posted

    Hi i am now six weeks on after my operation and have to say hat i am continuing to feel very down. I am still not weight bearing for another week. I dont yet know how my new hip will be to walk on. It feels okay and my wound has healed really well. I am still having bad days and as its not yet 5.a.m you will see why. It had all of four hours sleep last night too. I still dread going to bed.This lack of sleep depresses me badly and the terrible boredom. I cant do any thing for myself either. No bending and no carrying anything.. I am reliant on my wife for most of everything. My right arm has been very painful for two weeks now from hauling myself up the stairs which i only do once a day mostly. Its not that i have no muscle tone. I was going to the gym a lot before and had good upper body strenght which has quickly gone.. I feel very tired most of the time and find it hard to read or concentrate on anything.. I would make sure if you are on your own that you have a good support network. Good luck when you do decide to have your hip done.
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