So, my old, painful hip was replaced last Friday by a shiny new model. As you can imagine, it’s been painful, having all those muscles and tendons cut and stretched as they saw, rout, drill and hammer. I had spinal anaesthesia, which is amazing because you really don’t feel anything, and the sedation keeps you as drowsy as you want to be. And the miracle is that afterwards, you wake up feeling like you’ve had a good rest. No hangover. No nausea. No brain fog. It’s such an improvement over a general anaesthetic!
Anyway, you will recall that I spent a lot of the winter worrying that my bum hip was PsA, not garden variety OA. My GP pooh-poohed that, saying I was obsessive and should quit worrying so much. My rheumatologist (or should I say, ex-rheumatologist) had my disease sized up as mild. I worried about that too because my gut feeling was that my PsA was worse than she thought. I got myself a consult at Dr. Gladman’s PsA Clinic in Toronto, and they agreed with me: my disease is severe, and the damage it has done is considerable. Not nice to hear, but I was relieved to know that I was in the best hands I could possibly be, and that they were going to do everything possible to help me. So that’s how I headed into surgery.
I hadn’t expected PsA to follow me into the operating room, though. But Uncle Arthur snuck in there when somebody wasn’t looking. I came to, at one point, to see a bag of red stuff hanging over me. When I asked, I was told I’d lost a fair amount of blood. Not good. Over the next day, my blood pressure bounced back to normal, and I had good colour, despite the loss.
Yesterday, my surgeon came for a chat. Apparently, my blood loss was 2 l, which is probably about half my total blood volume. I asked him why that would have happened. Well, he explained that the entire hip joint was very badly inflamed, and when he went in to rout out the pelvis for the socket, the inflamed bone just welled up and poured blood that didn’t stop until the socket unit plugged it tight and got screwed in.
So Uncle Arthur scores again. My hip wasn’t garden-variety OA after all. And I doubt that my knees (also replaced by this same surgeon) were either. The surgeon is happy about my going on Enbrel, and he will OK me to start in two weeks, assuming things go well with the healing process.
I really like my surgeon: his specialty is knees and hips, and he’s done three of mine. He’s one of the best in the region, and a really nice guy too. I commented that, with all due respect to him, I was hoping we’d not get to number four. His comment? “Listen, I’ve seen the x-rays, and I wouldn’t be surprised if we have another close encounter.” Groan. Have I ever told you how much I HATE this disease?