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Hip replacement surgery is a common medical procedure that anyone who is over-used their hip joint may want to consider and it’s not just for older people. Hip replacement surgery is a long recovery for most people and can take you out for months or even years but when you have Spina Bifida, and your hips are dislocated it’s a little bit of longer recovery than if you were to have a standard hip replacement. I had replacement about three years ago because my hips were giving me a lot of pain and I could barely move, and surgery was my only choice for less pain. I have talked a lot about how frustrating it is to lose mobility but have not talked a lot about some of the good things that have happened because of hip replacement surgery. Does hip replacement have any positives? Hip replacement most definitely has more negatives than positives but believe it or not it’s not all negative and there are some positives things that I have experienced because of my hip replacement surgery. In this post, I am going to talk about some positives things that I have experienced because of hip replacement surgery.
My doctor is amazing- If you are going to have a major surgery, I can’t stress enough how important it is to have a good doctor who knows what they are doing and tries to be understanding. When I was considering hip replacement, I had to go to a new doctor because the orthopedist I had seen as child was retired and I had to go to a new doctor. New doctors can be scary for anyone, but it can be especially nerve-racking for disabled people because you have a lot more challenges that not all doctors understand. The very first orthopedist I was referred to that did not do my surgery was a little insensitive and I was scared that the new specialist I was referred to that did my surgery would also act in a similar way but luckily, I had very positive experience and I am so glad I went to someone else. My doctor is incredible and although I have had some challenges with my hip I could not have asked for a better medical team and would totally recommend my doctor to anyone who is having hip problems!
It healed my relationship with exercise– Before hip replacement I had a very poor relationship with exercise because in high school I hung around a lot of people that struggled with eating disorders which had some negative impacts on me because everyone around me was restricting calories severely and exercising more than necessary so I thought I had to do that. After hip replacement surgery I was not able to exercise as much because I had limited mobility, but I think that was the best thing for me. I was forced to exercise less which helped me heal my poor relationship with exercise and not get so stressed when I skip a workout. I skip workouts all the time now, but the difference is I recognize I shouldn’t have done that and try to do better next time rather than sit and hate myself for an hour. I miss doing some of my older routines, but if I was never put in a situation where I was forced to exercise less I think I still would have a very stressful relationship with exercise and my body. Hip replacement surgery healed my unhealthy relationship with my body and exercise, and I am so glad it did because now I can exercise and enjoy rather than use it as a punishment which is what I was doing before.
I am stronger- People often assume that because I lost mobility that I must be weaker, but I would only say that is true for certain body parts. My upper body is stronger than it has ever been because I have had to rely more on my upper body to compensate for the lack of movement in my legs. Since having hip replacement surgery, I have been able to increase my weight twice and now lift fifteen pounds which usually would take me a good three or four years before I could increase it once. I have always wanted to lift between fifteen to twenty pounds, but throughout my fitness journey I have hit a lot of plateaus and never thought I would reach that goal. The strength I have now is so much more than I have ever had and that is all because hip replacement surgery has forced me to focus on strength training because that is all I can do.
I am learning different ways to move– As a disabled person I have always had to learn different ways to complete tasks because my disability makes some things more difficult if not impossible. Learning to work through barriers is nothing new to me and I have been doing it my whole life but since losing mobility it’s different because I have more challenges than I ever have and have had to make some changes to accommodate my lack of mobility. I have had to learn different ways to do tasks and move my body in general to make my life easier because the way I use to do things is not always possible. I am constantly learning different ways to do tasks and sometimes I would prefer to do things the old ways but a lot of the time I am realizing there is an easier way. Hip replacement surgery has forced me to look at mobility in a totally way that I don’t think I would have ever thought of if I didn’t have to.
I have less pain– Hip replacement surgery is not usually recommended for people with Spina Bifida who is not experiencing pain because surgery is not always as successful as you would have hoped it would be. When I decided to have to do hip replacement surgery, I was in a lot of pain and could barely move but since having surgery I have a lot less pain and can actually have a life. Some of the feeling in my leg that I had before surgery has still not returned and I still experience a little pain but most days it’s barely noticeable. If there is one positive thing that hip replacement surgery gave me, it would be less pain because without it I think my quality of life would have gone way down due to pain!
Hip replacement surgery is frustrating and most definitely has more negatives than positives but there is good that comes from most surgeries. Hip replacement surgery sometimes will set you back a few months or even years and it’s okay to be frustrated but if you only focus on the negatives, you will miss all the good things and probably become very unhappy and depressed. My hip replacement surgery recovery has a lot of negatives, but I try to not focus only on the negatives because there are positives. Hip replacement surgery has given me challenges that I never have experienced which is not all bad because these challenges have made me stronger. I am not a supporter of toxic positivity and think that it can be harmful when you tell people that they must be positive all the time because it’s unrealistic, but I do think we shouldn’t always be looking at the worst-case scenario. Hip replacement surgery is hard but even though something is difficult that doesn’t mean it’s all negative and a lot of the time there are more positives than you think. What are some positives of your hip replacement surgery?
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