For anyone who is interested, here is a brief and boring account of my surgery and hospital stay. I was in hospital from Monday the 17th to Saturday July 22.The actual sugary took an hour and a half, and went very well, thank God. No complications, and the anesthetist was completely agreeable with my desire for no narcotics and no sedative. It was kind of cool to hear them banging and clanging, and I KNEW when I heard a particular metallic clanging sound and felt my body being hammered, that they were hammering in the acetabular cup. <big grin>I had a spinal for the surgery and epidural for two or three days after that for pain control. When they removed the epidural, IV, and catheter, they used oxycontin every 12 hours and oxycodone every 4hours if needed for pain control. At first I was taking Tylenol 3 for pain but a clever nurse noticed after one dose that it was not working for me and switched me to oxycodone. Worked quite well, although I did find the second, third and maybe part of the fourth day, somewhat uncomfortable. Much of that discomfort was from the gas pains I had, not the hip. Stupid gas just stayed stuck up under my ribs and sneaked around my back. That hurt worse than the hip ever did!
Every day we would have a team of two nurses. One evening I was really getting sore from the gas and from being on my back for so long, and the pain was increasing, so I rang for the nurse. She said there was nothing they could do for me. I rang her again about half an hour later because the discomfort was increasing so much that I was getting to the point where I could not stand it any longer. She had the nerve to answer the call bell with, “What do you want? I was just in there.” And she still insisted there was nothing they could do for me. Luckily, shortly after that, the other nurse on that day’s team came in and by that time I was sobbing in pain. I told her what was wrong and she, bless her heart, went right away and brought me Diovol, a hot blanket to put on my stomach and ribs, and some pain meds. In about half an hour I felt like a new person, about 90% better. I don’t understand why the other one refused to help me and kept insisting that nothing could be done. What a witch. How frightening to voice your fears and not be listened to. Talk about being totally helpless and at someone else’s mercy!
They got me up walking the second day post op (as you know, they don’t count the day you have the surgery, they start counting from the next day) and that was SO not fun. I could not lift my leg so the physiotherapist had to walk behind me and shove my leg forward each time I took a step. So then the physio said she was very worried because I was not doing well and that she thought I would have to staying a rehab centre for anywhere from a week to a month before I went home! Gack! Needless to say, I got busy praying and the next day I was amazingly better;-)Lost 13 pounds if you can believe it, lol! I have been in three hospitals in my life and they all had fantastic food, lots of salads, fresh fruit, nicely cooked vegetables and lots of variety. This hospital messed up so badly with my diet (I have a zillion allergies and am diabetic) that I had only ice water and apple juice the whole time I was there. They kept sending me stuff like milk (don’t drink it) and Jell-O (don’t eat it, might be pork @@) Even though I am a diabetic and have multiple allergies, not once did they send a dietician or nutritionist to talk to me like other hospitals always do. They also took it upon themselves to decide that I had celiac disease (gluten intolerance) instead of the allergies to wheat and corn I told them I had. They repeatedly sent me stuff I was allergic to, stuff with sugar in it, sweetened fruit and sweetened fruit juice. Twice only I was sent a hot meal with instant mashed potatoes (straight out of the box for that good, wholesome cardboard taste lol), a tiny amount of mushy, terribly overcooked vegetables, and meat that was some kind of processed, sliced, cardboard…
Well, having said all that, I guess I will have some good horror stories to tell my grandkids. What an absolute comedy of errors. I am very happy with the surgeon that I chose. He is not only very skilled, but incredibly kind. No ego on him at all. He walked into the OR with me and I was sort of joking around that I had changed my mind and decided not to have surgery after all and he smiled at me, rubbed/patted my back in a sort of fatherly way, and quietly reassured me that while the OR was no one’s favorite place to be, I would feel so much better afterwards and be happy I had had the surgery.
Recovery is going well although I am feeling a bit frustrated at my lack of mobility and independence. It does have its funny moments, though. The other night I was in the washroom and my slippery satin pj pants fell down around my ankles and I could not pick them up, lol! talk about feeling helpless. Of course I did not have my reacher with me; I only take it in when I am going to change clothes. Had to call my husband to come and rescue me.
My 2nd surgery, left hip
I’m now officially a bilat hippy, and boy oh boy am I glad it’s all over! I hope to God I NEVER have to go through another hip surgery again in my life.
I had my surgery Friday morning at 8 AM (Feb. 9, 2007). I tried to get the same anesthetist but had no luck there. I explained to the one I got how what I used last time (spinal-only for surgery, local-anesthetic- only with no narcotics for pain control post op) worked really well for me, and she listened and smiled and agreed. Or so I thought. The spinal did not “take” very well-actually, it took fairly well on the other, non-op side and while it did not hurt (until they got to the staples), I felt EVERYTHING they did; all the drilling, all the movements, tugging, pulling, and so on. She turned the “juice” up once or twice when I told her I could feel it but since she kept telling me it was “normal to feel something during surgery as long as it was not painful”, I just gave up trying to explain that I had not felt ANYTHING last time. I said some prayers and…then it was over. Actually, I felt calm, it didn’t scare me or anything, but I would have preferred to not have felt anything physically and to be as numb as I was the first time. Oh well.
Even though I felt everything while they were working during this surgery, I can barely remember it, it is as if it happened to someone else. (I remember the first one much more clearly). This one feels now as if it was a dream. The doctor who had been in the OR for the first part of the operation with Dr. Smith told me later that I had had (at least) three large cysts and that Dr. Smith had done a bone graft. He implied that if I had not had such an experienced doctor I probably would have ended up with a THR. At least, that is how it sounded to me.
Because of the bone graft, I am on touch-weight bearing for 8 weeks (maybe longer? Not too sure on that, have to ask) on a walker (walking frame).Ugh. I feel as if I could just start in doing all kinds of normal activities, but that’s not to be! The pain this time was much worse for the first 2 days or so and my leg is HUGE; very, very swollen. I did the toes-above-the- nose thing this morning and it helped so will use it again. The afternoon of the op, for some reason, the pain got really bad, and went up to about a 9 on a scale of 0-10. Finally they got it under control, but I have no idea why it was allowed to get so out of control in the first place.
I have 23 staples and my incision is about 6 inches long (the one on my right hip had 18 staples and is 4 inches. I wonder if the reason this one is longer is because they had to do a bone graft?) On about the 2nd day post-op I developed a pressure sore, which hurt more than the incision or hip. It still hurts, but is getting better slowly. They had to bring in a special mattress for me because of it. I also began to get sore elbows and last night woke up feeling like my big toe on the operated foot was rubbed raw with sandpaper. I also had 2 blood transfusions (2 units, transfused one unit at a time)and was given several units of potassium by IV. On a happier note, I feel that this recovery is going much faster than the first, and I don’t have all the fatigue and stuff that I did the first time.
Caroline RC2K 17/07/06 LC2K 09/02/07 Dr. Frank Smith Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Six week checkup
I had my 6 week checkup with Dr. Smith on Monday, March 26, 2007.
I was given permission to start putting 25-30% weight on that leg (I had been on touch-weight- bearing only), which means I can now manage the crutches and go up and down stairs-I can have a SHOWER now, finally!!!!! !!! Yee haw!!!!! lol And even better than the shower is that I can go outside. I LOVE LOVE LOVE being outside, I am not an indoor-type of person, and now it is spring and my bulbs are all coming up…beautiful. So now I can get out on the porch and have my morning coffee and plan my flowerbeds and stuff. <<Bliss!>> I have to continue wearing the TEDS for another month or so, and have to observe the 90 degree rule until my next checkup (he is being so conservative this time around because of my multiple cysts and the bone graft he had to do) plus he said something about having done a reduction (not sure what that is exactly…). I saw my Xrays and this hip is really weird looking, much more vertical than horizontal, with a visibly shallow acetabulum, and he had to put the implant in on somewhat of an unusual angle (looks like a crooked dreidle lol) but he assured me that it was fine. I really believe that if I had had a less-skilled doctor, I would have had a THR on that side. I also asked him about my foot, which is at times varying-and alarming-shades of red and a bit swollen. One walk-in clinic doctor diagnosed me as having “very bad circulation” and said that “it’s not critical YET but you need more tests” and so on and so forth. Quite alarming news for a diabetic to be told, but thankfully Dr. Smith said he believes it is just something to do with a nerve or nerves, is related to the surgery, and should clear up over the next 2-3 months. He also said that I have “a pounding pulse” in that foot (meaning there is nothing wrong with it, it’s good and strong) and that I had gotten “quite a misdiagnosis” from the clinic doc. Thank God! I keep feeling like saying, life doesn’t get any better than this, but I guess it will, won’t it? lol. I’m doing well, and feel great.