ASR Xray

A. Jones Story

Where do I begin? I am female and have arthritis. In 2005 I had both my hips replaced with metal on metal. I would be able to "put my ankles behind my ears" and they would last much longer. So far so good. Roll on four years. I began to experience some pain in my right hip. Two medical professionals told me that it would be coming from my back. I then read a tiny article in a magazine about problems with some metal on metal hips. Saw my surgeon's registrar who informed me that I was "wasting his time, been reading too much and there was nothing wrong with my hip, After consulting the surgeon it was decided to do the blood test. No follow up appointment given. I was given the news that I had high metal levels by my rheumatology nurse.

Fast forward again. In Sept 2010 I was having an op on my feet. The lady opposite was having a revision. Picked her brains. "don't let it rest" she said. I asked for a second opinion and in Feb saw a different surgeon who apologised because I had not received the recall over the hips. Had my first hip done in July 2011 and was told that the left hip was OK. I was still concerned because my metal levels were high and I couldn't lie on that hip. The day the surgeon said " knowing what we know now we'll take it out" I was thrilled! I had been worrying about the effects of high metal levels on the rest of my body and had had a run of infections. Were they connected?

What can I say? I am now getting over my second op. No driving again, feeling isolated as family and friends work, Guilty because I'm off work and there are so many things I can't do. My 9 month old grandson came for a visit and I couldn't pick him up and carry him. My daughter in law asked my daughter if I liked William because I didn't pick him up. Not easy on crutches. My shoulders and wrists have suffered. I was told they were shot in March before I went onto crutches!

I saw an article in the local paper saying that a hip support group was being set up and decided to go to the meeting. At that stage I knew very little about metal levels or what to expect from a  hip revision. It has been interesting to discover just how long some people were struggling to make others to realise that there was a problem with these hips and we owe them a bit debt of gratitude. It is helpful to talk to others who have had the op and to see just how different all our experiences have been. Everybody's story is different and every recovery rate differs too. Both my hip ops have been very different and it is only now nearly 4 months after my second op that I feel I am getting there. Through the hip group I am in contact with a lady in Wales who is waiting for her second revision and am also going with other members to take part in a conference in London. I know that with one click I can be in contact with others who can advise me and reassure me if that is what I need.This is the only such group in the country and people have come  from other areas to join us. Next meeting I'll be there!

Tips for survival:
Get a flask and an apron with a big pocket.
Stock up with things to do. I stockpiled books and craft things.
Buy some silky pyjama bottoms, you can move round the bed with comparative ease.

Good luck and keep smiling.

P.S. my husband has just reminded me of the no sex bit!


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