Wednesday – December 17th – Surgery Day:

For a 7:30 am registration – we left the house at 6:10 am.  I am glad that I made the decision to not commute into the City for work.  The drive was painful on many levels.  Registration was easy and well organized.  Those little hand held buzzers you get at restaurants, have many uses.

I was finally in one of those ridiculous hospital gowns with rear AC.  They did have a plastic “bathrobe” which made it a little better.  If my hip pain was not at the level it was, I could have walked to the OR – instead I rode in a wheel chair.  All of the personnel were nice – and took the attitude that this is just another day – very calming. When they asked about Latex, I mentioned that I get a small rash from Latex bandages, there was a slight hesitation and then a determination was made that they were going “Latex Free.”  Glad they asked.

In the OR, the rest of the surgical staff greeted me and they started the prep.  First – a shot in the back to turn off all feeling below the waist and eventually something administered through the IV to put me out.

And then I woke up.  I have vague memories of sounds such as electric saws.  Who knows.  Once I was stable – they brought me into recovery. That was about 11:30 am.  

The family came in to visit – I was feeling no pain.  The Physical Therapists arrived and stood me up.  Move to your left 3 steps then to your right.  OK back in bed.

Then the waiting began.  There was no open room.  I did not get into a room until close to 5:00 pm – happily – it was a private room.  I understand that things like this happen – I’ve been through it with other family members. They kept me aware of what was happening – no problems.  I never got dinner – in fact no food until the next morning.  A 36 hour fast – fun.  I was too wiped out to care and not hungry – actually thought of it as a positive.

Then the fun began – All those drugs that numbed my lower body – also disconnected my entire Urinary system. I felt like I had to go – but could not.  By that evening – I negotiated with the Nurses to allow me to get out of bed and help me use the toilet.  They were great – just worried about me. Every half hour – the urge – a dribble – back to bed – all night – I eventually stopped calling for assistance and just went back and forth to the toilet myself.  The entire staff was super helpful – I just felt a bit guilty about constantly pressing the button.

Thursday, December 18th – 1st day Post Op.  Early morning rounds by the Surgeon. I learned that my hip was made from Titanium, plastic and ceramics and weighed about 1 1/2 pounds.  When I asked about the Urine problem, the Doc said – “It happens – don’t worry.”

The positive – the PT was surprised at my ability to maneuver with the walker and actually climb the 5 step unit. That afternoon she came back to teach me to walk with a cane.  Did you know that the cane is held by the hand opposite the impaired leg – not me.  I walked and walked.  She was ready to give me a gold star – I was ready to use the toilet – neither happened.

Friday, December 19th – 2nd day Post Op.  This time I got the Doc’s #2 during morning rounds – nice guy. I asked about discharge – he said – yes – after therapy.  That triggered rounds of blood and urine tests to make sure they could release me.  The PT arrived and we walked with a cane – for miles – actually about one half of a city block.  I did well – worn out.  She called me a Poster Boy for Hip Replacement.  She said that the PT coming to the house was not really going to give me a helluva lot.  Still – I want to hear all the precautions.

The SW said – the main organizations that were going to provide Nursing and PT services were not available for at least 10 days – Merry Christmas.  The third group could have the Nurse here by Monday.  Fine by me.  That Nurse is needed for wound care – which will result in my being able to take a shower on Tuesday evening.  We also decided to order a commode.  No – I was not going to use it as such – but modify it to sit over the downstairs toilet and give me a raised toilet seat with arms to push up on – thus avoiding the installation of grab bars.

I was discharged.  Getting into the car was a trick and painful.  The hospital transport guy was super.  Getting that commode into the car – what a hoot.  

My body decided to normalize half way home.  Thankfully – there was a rest stop.  It would have made a great YouTube video – happily no one recorded it.  That was my one and only bowel movement. 

Saturday, December 20th – 3rd day Post Op.  2 Percocet tablets every 4 hours – feeling fine.

My daughter had flown in to be my Care Giver.  Between her and my wife – I am under 4 watchful eyes – and being pampered.  Lucky me. 

My daughter went out and bought all the secondary assistive devices I did not think I needed until I did.  She thought I was joking when I asked for a shoe horn on a stick.  Then the clerk showed her the different ones.

Most difficult – Compression Stockings.  Wow – getting them on and off is one nasty time.

Friends came over last evening to cheer me up.  Nice time – getting my mind off my bladder and my every 30 minute trip to the toilet.  They do a 7 fishes Christmas Eve Dinner.  If I’m still feeling OK, I’ll go – even with their 16 steps to the main floor.

Today, Sunday, December 21st – 4th day Post OP.  I decided to reduce the Percocet to one tablet in order to get my system “unstuck.” So far – all I’ve done is increased my level of pain.  Nothing is moving except my every 30 minute trip to the toilet.  May need to get some TNT. This has put a bit of a damper on being able to go out Christmas Eve.  Time will tell.

My daughter and wife are going to the gym this afternoon.  I am jealous.  My son will be over to make sure I don’t do anything too stupid.

ETA:  2 pm – After massive doses of Miralax, my bowels finally started complying.  Happiness – Oh Yes – Happiness.  It is the simple things in life that bring us joy.

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