Sunday, July 3, 2011

5 Days Post-Op...Unbelievable! July 3, 2011

Hello Dear Family and Friends,

Hard to believe, but I've had a partial hip replacement done on the right side. Hard to believe just how painful it has been. Debra, Melody and every hip patient I've ever taken care of...I had no idea. Yesterday, in a room across the hall from me, a really old lady (I've been called "young" with this diagnosis!) cried out when the PTs and nurses helped her stand up on her first day post-op. It's hard not to at least moan out loud.

It's been a fast slow journey:

June 16 - fell in Golfe Juan, France. Made my way 100 yards to friend's apartment to rest and have dinner.
June 17 - June 19 - walked around Antibes, Valbonne, the Cap, Cannes (with car support) to continue vacation and get leg to improve.
June 20 - to French public hospital (a whole story about the hospital and how different than US). Xray shows "pelvic" fracture. We decide to come home.
June 21 - 22: awaiting flights home. Mostly bed rest and wheelchair. Mourned loss of Belgium, and rest of England trip.
June 23: business class flight to London; overnight at Sofitel Hotel at Heathrow.
June 23 - 24: flight to San Francisco. 10 hours, business class with lay-down pods. Most excellent!
June 25: appointment with Dr. Krueger, orthopedic surgeon. He says hip, not pelvis, is broken! Spent the day in radiology at Penninsula Hospital: CT scans, x-rays, bone scan. Surgery set for Tuesday, June 28. No slots before then.
June 26: doc appointments - almost lost in the hip mess is the fact that I am still cancer free! Hard to celebrate right now, but I'm sure it will dawn on me soon. It is great news! Saw oncologist, as well as a primary care doc for pre-op clearance. Also pre-op visits for lab work, EKG and anesthesia. Finished with all this at 5:00 pm. A long day.
June 28: to Penninsula at 12:30 pm for 2:00 surgery. When the time came and went, knew another surgery had gone long. Dr. Krueger visited to say that the films showed that the hip had been moving and that there was reduced blood flow to ball of joint, possibly indicating that the pinning that had been planned would eventually fail and lead to a partial or full hip replacement. He recommended a partial hip replacement now. OK...

Anesthesiologist, Dr. Shaughnrssay, wants to do a spinal anesthesia! No surprise to you, maybe, but I hadn't even considered it. Spinals were on my "no thank you" list of medical procedures. However, with persuasive arguments - like no pain for up to six hours post-op, we agreed.

These days, almost all procedures start with patients in a pre-op holding area. Your operating room awaits, where you meet your scrub nurse, circulating nurse and get to see the instruments laid out for your operation (there are usually hundreds, big and little), the lights, the anesthesia equipment, the huge LCD panels to display vital signs, the x-ray can be overwhelming. And, all this with no sedation!

I think I'll pause in this blow-by-blow to get cleaned up for the day. A home health nurse I'd visiting in the hotel room in about an hour. Must be ready.

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