Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Total Right Hip Replacement - Anterior Approach

I know it has been a year since my last blog, Simon relapsed, had a stem cell transplant, and as of today is heading for day 300. Then when I knew he was over the worst days of the Stem Cell Transplant (thanks to his beautiful, wonderful amazing sister Sam) I decided to take a look at my hip problem - this is my journey.
Thought I would share my experience with my recent TRH replacement. When I found out I had to have a TRH replacement, I knew nothing about this, so thought I would share my experience with my followers, or anyone who is interested.
Having had pain in my right groin, for around eight years, which then progressed to below my knee, followed by pain in my hip, I eventually went to a wonderful sports medicine doctor (Corry Cunningham) around the middle of 2014/15. After numerous cortisone injections it was off for an MRI!!
Horror of horrors I was told that my right hip was virtually shot! Did not believe this would happen to me. I am a ‘fitness freak’ been going to Yoga for around six to seven years, train twice a week as well as walking over my 10,000 steps per day. So as one does I thought, if I ignored this fact, it would go away. Guess what it did not!
Due to a family illness I put off doing anything about the hip for over 12 months and finally thought (after my Yoga teacher said her husband was having a hip replacement) may be it was time for me. To find a Doctor, was my next step.
So off to good ole Google went I –researched and research, and as I had promised Doctor Cunningham, that I would speak to him before I did anything, I went back to him. He recommended and gave me referral to two Doctors.
Once I made up my mind on possible hip replacement surgeons, (as I do, I wanted everything done yesterday), so due to my fabulous team of doctors I had referrals to three Doctors! In no time I had appointments to see all three. However once I spoke to Dr James Rohrsheim’s practise manager I was hooked. 
She did not talk about money or pensions; she immediately got me an appointment, (actually the Doctor squeezed me in early as he was going to his country practise the next week), and I did not want to wait!
I think I arrived with duplicate copies of a list of around 18 questions, one for the Doctor and one for me. I had decided on an Anterior approach, which is a cut in the front of the leg (as opposed to the side or through the back) Well James (as he said I was to call him) was amazing, so easy to talk to and quick point out my arthritic hip! He then went on to point out that he did not operate for the sake of operating; only doing so when one could not live with the pain anymore and the pain was impacting on your life style.
Having gone backwards over the previous 18 months in both my personal training and Yoga along with constant pain when walking, getting into bed and general exercising (along with not being able to sleep during the night due to pain) the decision was made and I was booked in for
March 29, 2016.
I needed one more visit to Dr Rohrsheim to be reassured, that I would be able to do such things as: more than touch my toes straight legged, sit cross legged, and get back to the gym and Yoga, as well as drive my sports car and walk up and down my multi-level house! He was assured me I would do it all in a matter of no time without pain! The only drawback he mentioned was an ugly scar – 'Ooh bother,' I commented, telling him I still wore a bikini!! Yes at my age. He also showed me what the implant would look like, showing me the ball insert and socket - an innovation of an Australian company: 
The following is how it all went for anyone who is thinking of having a THR operation:

Surgery day:        (terrified), awoke to no pain, no morphine pump or catheter. Good so far. Up the same day, and guess what, the first thing I did, on getting out of bed was to easily bend down and touched my toes. Upon looking for the ‘ugly scar’ to my amazement and joy, I had this 4in cut in the crease of the top of my leg – glued not stitched which one can now hardly see!!! What a clever surgeon I have!

Day one:      Up to go to go to Physio with frame –  rehab is physical and mental equally, – one has to see yourself doing the exercise and pushing on – no matter what!! This was done twice daily. Take all the drugs they offer you for the first few days!!
I could raise my right leg in a sitting position, and reach out and touch my toes, get up and down from a chair sitting position without using my hands to push up. March backwards and forwards in a sitting position. Also did squats holding on to a rail and up and down on tip toe!
Day two:     Two crutches, then one crutch, exercise more intense and walking distance longer.
Day three:  One crutch, stronger exercises and more of them.
Day four:    (five and six) No crutch with very vigorous exercise, 20 repeats of each one and really long walks. I easily climbed up and down stairs, something very essential for me, due to my multi-level home.

Day seven:  I chose not to go to rehab, so home I was going, but hair dresser first. Easily walked with no crutch and got in and out of a four wheel drive – sitting down on the car seat, back first, then manually lifting my right leg into the car first.

For the first two weeks home I had family members with me. However I could easily climb the stairs, get into my 84cm (33in) high bed, dress and shower myself (no chair), along with putting on my shoes and tying shoe laces. The only thing I had to hire was a pair of crutches (only used one for the next three weeks as my surgeon made me promise, to ‘slow me down’ he said!)
NOTE: My family members did mention (after the fact) that I did throw a few ‘hissy fits’ in the two weeks in which they had close contact with me, however I totally deny this, blaming any ‘mouth malfunctions’ on anaesthetic brain!!
I started walking on the street by myself around day nine – only a short walk and then a little more every day thereafter. I am not saying it was easy, but mind set got me there. In no time at all I was walking my 10,000 steps per day.
Knocked off all strong drugs on around day 12, choosing a drug I knew well, Mersyndol (night and day time strength). Remember the Opium based pain killers play havoc on you intestinal system, so the sooner you knock them off the better.
Week three:         Did not go to rehab, but chose to do it myself with the help of my fabulous physio David at C2K gym Castle Hill. Visited David regularly, doing his prescribed exercers. Also started driving in my little sports car, firstly lifting leg in, then one day miraculously it just lifted on its own without me thinking about it!
Week four: After follow up visit to my surgeon, the ‘magic’ James Rohrsheim, I had a permission to go back to the gym/Yoga letter in my hand, so I headed back to the gym, Yoga and training with great glee!
First training lesson immediately I immediately did wall squats along with working on TRX to get my arm muscles back on track along with waking up my core!
I also had my house totally recarpeted in week five, (a mammoth job, furniture had to be moved and everything boxed up.I had everything back in order in a couple of days. (Not saying I was not tired probably would be in trouble if James knew I was on my leg one day, non-stop for 13 hours)!
I guess around week six-seven I started sleeping right through the night, and could sleep on my good side (as opposed to back). I found sitting for extended periods uncomfortable due to the numbness/tightness from my knee up to the scar. Did have several large hematomas – however due to physio, massage, exercise and Hirudoid cream these are now gone, however, numbness (which seems to move, is still with me, along with very tight muscles in the upper leg, especially down outside and above the knee). Feeling is coming back however, a little each day.

The pictures below were taken by my PT Danni Demorgan (C2K personal trainer) at the end of week nine!!

Extended relaxing pose

 Camel Pose

Shoulder Stand

Left Leg  straight up, Right Leg back touching ground

Right Leg straight up, Left Leg back touching ground

I can do the last three pictures now better than before I had the surgery!!!
Every week in Yoga, I get better and better – despite the fact that another hip surgeon said, after a hip operation one could never do Yoga again!! Each week gets better and better, as of week 11 I can plank (straight arms, side planks), down dog, most of the stretches, sleep on my right side, walk easily 4K – up and down hill – easily static bike 5K, along with so many other things at the gym. From the end of week three, I lived on my own, and walked my puppy every day as well as totally looking after myself. I do not say that were some days that were hard, but ‘the will is stronger than the body’ and although I am not totally there, I am 95% there.
My advice (which is worth what one pays for it, never the less) is:
The longer one puts off hip/knee surgery the longer it will take to get your fitness back and in many cases, due to pain, people tend to be less active, due to pain and then put on weight, which impacts more on mobility. Choose a caring, progressive surgeon, such as Dr James Rohrsheim, follow his directions, and make the conscious decision that you will be fitter, happier and more mobile than you have been for a long time. ‘Feel the fear and do it anyway.’ So on that note, here is my scar today - thanks to my beautiful friend Catherine Heighton, who sent ment Mederma Advanced Scar cream from the US, prior to surgery. Thank you my friend.

Scar week 10

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

I am proud to present 'Simon's Modern Ambience' quilt

How amazing is Simon's latest quilt, aptly named - Simon's Modern Ambiance'. This quilt certainly takes foundation piecing, embroidery and quilting in the hoop to a new level, not to mention built-in-stitch cutting lines for all sections of the quilt.

Simon's amazing analytical mind has designed this queen sized quilt, so that anyone can make it, from a 130mm x 180mm hoop to a 350mm x 360mm hoop. This accommodates all hoop sizes, with directions written by his assistant - MUM.

Yes I am busy finishing off the detailed directions, with step-by-step pictures to guide you effortlessly through the quilt blocks, sashing, cornerstones and borders. Even a child could make this quilt, with perhaps a little help from mum or grandma.

The quilt is pieced with the Jenny Join for perfectly flat seams as well as an almost invisible piecing of the blocks that are done in four sections.

You are just going to love all the easy, easy techniques in this quilt, with amazing results. As 'Simon says:' this is the flattest and best quilt I have ever done.

Congratulations Simon, this is amazing. We plan to launch this quilt with a webinar, giving step-by-step directions and lots of fabulous tips. So please be patient - it is coming and you are going to love everything about SMA quilt, even if you only wish to make pillows, or a throw.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Never say Never - all things are possible if you believe you can do it!

When I first started Yoga, after my beautiful son Simon had nagged me for around two years, constantly reminding me that I should join a Yoga class. That was over five years ago now and I am doing poses I never thought possible!

No matter what your age, if you believe you can do something you can! My PT asked me once what was my secret to achieving so much and I told her that I saw myself doing it and eventually I did. You know if something doesn't challenge you, you will never change. No matter what age or your circumstances you can achieve anything, if you believe you can.

Everyday I challenge myself with something even if it is only small, I still do it. I see so many people who are my age or younger, who appear so much more older. When I told my Yoga teacher my age, she told me that she thought me 20 years younger - (I then told her if she told anyone my age I would have to kill her!) She laughed and promised not to.

Use it or lose it has so much more meaning as you get older, so for me challenging myself everyday is my goal. You know what we repeatedly do is not so much an act, but rather a habit.

Honey, my beautiful little companion puppy, and I walk everyday - come rain, hail or shine. I can never get away with out our walk, she knows when we go and is smiling up at me, wagging her tail and running down the stairs, as if to say, 'Hurry up mum, I am ready'. So off we go and the beautiful endorphins set in and my day starts with a great feeling.

So here is to the beautiful word exercise it truly keeps us going. Tried for over a month to do this and then one magical day it happened and my PT took this photo!!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Simon's 'Modern Ambience'

Today is a beautiful Autumn/Fall day with the temperature reaching 28 degrees Fahrenheit today - love sunny days and warm weather. Simon's latest magnificent quilt - Modern Ambiance is just that -- it reminds me of sunny days, warm weather and is totally glorious.

Simon is back being so creative and the above picture is of his latest quilt, with each section of the quilt being totally pieced, embroidered and quilted in the hoop. Simon chose to use Jenny's Invisa thread to quilt with, as in doing this the fabulous Japanese invisible thread takes on the color of the fabric it is quilting - so clever Cy. Simon exclaimed to me that this is the flattest and the best quilt he has ever made and piecing it with the Jenny Join meant that when it was pieced it was finished except for the binding.

This quilt is for everyone, no matter what level of sewing, quilting or embroidery you are at - at last there is an amazing quilt that is achievable by anyone - and do not worry about measuring quilt sections as each piece has built-in stitch cutting lines.

The design CD, eBook and an added bonus, will be available next month. They say anticipation is better than reality - let's hope that reality is at least if not more than reality!

Here is my thought for the day - I do love having one of these each day! Remember to  carry a big umbrella!!


Tuesday, April 14, 2015

It has been nearly 12 months since my last blog......

Simon has been nagging me to write my Blog, which has been sadly ‘found wanting’ as I had lost inspiration. He told me my Blog was about me, not always about sewing, quilting and embroidery but about me and what I do, am doing and want to do so here goes.
Life dealt my family a terrible blow, we were and are not unique, but we never imagined it happening it to us. When Simon got cancer, my mind, body and spirit went into over drive, not having him in my life was not an option, and taking one day at a time took on a whole new meaning. So for a year my life, body and spirit became and centered on Simon! My first thought in the morning, last at night, but now it is nearly two years since he was diagnosed and now he is finally coming back to his old self -  giving me orders – you know how it goes: ‘Simon says…’.
So regular blogging is my new challenge, my goal is to make this blog a record of my life, up front and honest – you may like it or not, be it as it may, it is my blog, my life and my challenge. My hope is that in sharing with you, my online friends, that maybe I will touch a chord in you and give you the courage to ‘live the life you imagined’ before it is too late.
I will deal only briefly with my life before ‘freedom’. For years I lived with fear, in so many ways and days, it sapped my soul with me living such a false persona – no one knew only me. It was only when a friend told me how ‘perfect’ I was in home, husband and children, that I faced the fact that this was only a show and that I was totally unhappy and the only person who could do anything about this was me – feel the fear and do it anyway and that ‘on the other side of fear is freedom’.
In the ensuing years, I recreated myself totally, became the person I always wanted to be and built and worked in my own business. Yes it was hard, challenging and demanding, but at no time did I consider giving up. Anything you do repeatedly becomes a habit, rather than an act, so I started the journey of ‘change’ in my 40’s would you believe.
You know I always thought I wanted to be that ‘helpless woman’ who needed to be looked after – I shared this with my doctor once and he laughed and replied: ‘Jenny you would only last a week.’ I think he was correct even if a little pampering doesn’t go astray, but becomes boring very quickly!  
‘Feel the Fear and do it anyway’ became my mission statement and a whole new life opened up to me. So today I am starting the journey of keeping a paper trail, in the form of a blog of my life, to prove I do exist and hopefully inspire, motivate and touch a chord with those who read this.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Pressed Tin Wall Paper Decorating

Webinars are now over for the month of June! Thank you everyone who sent us such great comments on how much they had learned and how much fun they had! We had fun also and explaining the download projects - 'Double the Luv' double-sided quilt and 'Cool Machine Disguise' (sewing machine cover) reminded me of how much Robbie and I enjoyed making these projects, so we hope you do too!! If you missed the webinar here is the link: http://jennyhaskins.com/wordpress/?post_type=videogallery&p=4414 you can view it on our website.

Now to my exciting new project. I just discovered 'Faux' Pressed Tin. It is actually a wall paper, that just looks like pressed tin - which I just love. And to prove we all assume no matter how much experience we have, my wall paper guy - who is just so nice by the way, was having problems and just came and told me that he he was putting the paste on the wall, and when he read the instructions it said - paste the paper. Just goes to show the old adage is true -'If all else fails read the directions' never assume, which I have been guilty of so many times. I have to admit that I have been guilty of this so many times and have paid the price, done a lot of unpicking in my day, not only on my own work, but on many a students as well. I have even stayed up all night fixing up a students project!!

These pictures - different exposures shows you the look. At present I am going to paint it - yes you have to paint this wall paper with several coats - well the color is China White, this is the color of my shutters. This is a work in progress so we will see where it leads! I do want to do a little 'Scumble and Wipe' but not sure how it will look, so will do some experimenting.

I am reminded of what I used to say in class, 'There is no such thing as a mistake, only a new creative opportunity' hence the name of my company - Unique Creative Opportunities.

So this wall paper is certainly that!

Off to Dinner and the Movies, so till next time when I will update you.