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Where am I

I managed to slip over on 6-November-2015 and fracture the femoral head of my right hip. This blog is just to keep friends and relatives up-to-date with my recovery. It also will show where the NHS is good and where there is opportunity to improve. If you click the images tab (above) there are a few images of the break before and after the repair.

Update 10-June-2016 - sadly the femoral head has avascular necrosis and a total hip replacement will be carried out on 15-June-2016

I am home in Stoke Bruerne

Saturday, 20 August 2016

Going from strength to strength

I
noticed last Sunday that I no longer think about going up the stairs in my house - despite it being a Georgian design (Victorian built) with eight  inch risers on the treads I seem to be able to do it now without a backward look.  I am sure that is in the main due to my physio (still nothing provided by the NHS despite promises) and I think my walking helps a lot - see graph - the big spike is the day I spent in Woking for the 50th Anniversaries of the Basingstoke Canal Society and the Historic Narrowboat Club. My average is 3.4km (just over 2 miles) a day which I expect is greater than the average of the population.

I am not sure how accurate my iPhone is at recording my walking but I suppose the graph is recording like with like so that's a known quantity/quality.

Back to boating today too - we took Sculptor down to the A508 to wind her (only place we really can) and then I brought her back to Stoke Bruerne. Had the pleasure of passing Owl and Hampton at the top lock (after Jim on Owl had spent some time on the historic mooring in Stoke Bruerne removing a wedding dress from his propellor).

Wednesday, 10 August 2016

Things still going well

Although I am not back to doing everything I used to do I am still making, what I consider, good progress.  The day in Woking didn't set me back at all and I continue my walking every day - not always a great distance but as often as possible at least just above the long term average if I possibly can.

My physio, Liz, has left it to me to make the next appointment as she feels I am making such good progress but of course she has given me some fairly strenuous exercises to undertake!

Part of me wishes so much that I had been given a new hip all those months ago in November-2015 but I am assured the right decision was made (for me and the NHS) to try and make the Dynamic Hip Screw work.  However there's not much to be gained from looking backwards and saying 'I wish' and the right way is to look forward and take advantage of the work that was done for me.

Sunday, 7 August 2016

A Grand Day Out

Went to Woking yesterday to help celebrate the 50th Anniversaries of Basingstoke Canal Society and Historic Narrow Boat Club, both of which I am a member of.

It was just a wonderful day - seeing people I had worked with (and formed long-standing relationships with) over 25 years of living alongside the Basingstoke Canal. Some, of course sadly no longer with us but I hope that wherever they are they too can look down and share the pride of a wonderful day which continues today as well.

I did take my crutches, mainly because I was concerned I may fall over on the rough ground (and of course to garner sympathy) but at the same time managed to walk, according to my iPhone some 8.89km - a record.

Friday, 5 August 2016

Progressing well

Updated 'walking' graph
I am using my iPhone to measure and not sure it is 100% accurate
I seem to be going from strength to strength at the moment.  I managed almost 6km yesterday according to my iPhone. Up very early to facilitate ITV's weather broadcast from Stoke Bruerne in conjunction with friends Steph and Mike. 04:00 starts don't seem to be my most favourite pastime these days!

No consultant appointments until April although I'll continue with my physio with Liz in the meantime as I think it brings huge benefits and has been a great help in my recovery; it's just over seven weeks since the new hip was put in.

I have today received the most positive letter from the registrar to the consultant I have - my friend José.  Although this is mainly for my sister, all those tens of thousands of miles away it just makes good reading.

This lady is doing incredibly well.  I am so pleased to see her running into the room and even able to perform a little dance.  She says that the hip was not particularly pleasant for the first three or four days and then has been gradually improving to the point where she was driving her sports car into hospital today and whilst she is still using a walking stick whilst outdoors her general function and mobility is greatly improved.

I am pleased to say she is Trendelenburg negative although she does feel some weakness and a bit of an ache around the hip abductors and the wound has healed very well.  There are no distal neurovascular deficits and she is very pleased with the outcome.

We had a long discussion as to the biomechanics of her total hip replacement and the longevity of her implant selection.  Overall she is very happy with the explanations given and I am pleased to say that she has a good understanding of what is happening.

She is very keen to get back to her narrowboat and I have explained that while there is a small chance of fracture specifically of peri-prosthetic fracture should she have any falls or tumbles this is low risk and as long as she takes adequate and sensible precautions I would be quite happy for her to get back to doing the activities she enjoys.

I have not arranged to see her any sooner than about 9 to 10 months but of course I would be happy to do so should she run into any problems or you become concerned.

Monday, 1 August 2016

Another Little Milestone

Owl starting up after coming down Buckby
breasted to Sculptor in June-15
This afternoon I walked all the way down to the bottom of the Stoke Bruerne flight of locks where I met friends Jim and Sue with their historic boat Owl and also their son Tim and daughter-in-law Jo with Hampton.

I walked all the way down and then back again - about 2 miles I should think but it is another little milestone on the road to full recovery. I do feel a little bit stiff this evening!

Thursday, 28 July 2016

Blood Pressure

My blood,pressure has been all over the place recently from too low to too high.  I have been on some medication for that and today the practice nurse said that all was looking very good at 130/84 - not ideal but definately going in the right direction.

So what with a good report from the consultant on Tuesday and a good report on blood pressure today I feel as if I may be getting out of the (necessary I know) clutches of the medical profession who, on the whole, have done me proud.

Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Consultant Appointment

A record of my walking for 'physio' purposes
My consultant appointment originally scheduled for Monday was changed at the last minute to 14:00 today.  I saw José Blanco who undertook my original operation back in November 2015.  I walked in, spun around, and looked at him and he said that I could now go home as cured!

I had a lovely chat with José explaining in detail what had gone wrong with the original repair and how they had carried out their 'revision'; he showed me all the x-Rays and how the Dynamic Hip Screw had migrated vertically upwards - quite amazing to see.  We went into all sorts of detail about torsional, compression and shear loads; we seemed to have drawings everywhere of how things had been repaired (that's a revision); I am now very happy that I understand what has been done and the life expectancy of the replacement hip - José is rather hopeful that it may possibly see me into the long box - I don't suppose it will burn very well - but not to hesitate to shout if something doesn't seem to be right.
A Dynamic Hip Screw (bottom) in the
Fracture Clinic 'Museum'

José also explained why, in his opinion, it was right that I was prevented from weight-bearing for so long originally - 7-Nov to 21-Dec and it was all to do with the location of the original break.  He said that if I had been allowed to weight-bear earlier that repair would have failed earlier; preventing me from weight-bearing for the period they did gave, in his opinion, the repair the best possible chance. The fact that it failed was, with hindsight, almost inevitable.

I talked to José about the lack of physio.  He said that I should have been offered physio and a carer.  He kindly offered to arrange physio but as I had arranged my own and as I had made such good progress we decided fairly quickly that the moment had passed as it had for the need for a career.  I am so pleased I have Liz and can call on her to help when needed as it most certainly was when I was discharged from hospital on 21-June.

He finished up by giving me a big kiss and saying that seeing me so mobile after all these months made his job so very satisfying - that's good news. I must say in hindsight it has been a fairly tough eight and a half months.

My next appointment is not until sometime in April-2017 - I must say I am delighted at that because I am slightly heartily sick of being prodded, poked and interviewed by the medical profession.