Tuesday, July 23, 2013

One Week Hip Replacement Post Op

This is going to be a long post. Please accept my apologies and feel free to come come back. I am not the strongest writer but this post might be even worse due to me still being heavily medicated.

I know that I have promised  a post explaining how I broke my hip and everything leading up to it. I've written several way too long posts that I can't figure out what is relevant and irrelevant. I'll let Abi deal with that or I can on another day. Just not today.

Hip Replacements are major surgeries. I don't give a rip what anyone says. Abi and I  have realized that anyone under age 60 is considered young. There is not a lot of information on how someone at the age of 30 deals with it. If I can answer any questions then this blog and all of its posts are worth it! Every time I turned around a hospital employee asked what was wrong with my hip because they don't get a lot of folks my age. At the end of the day my injury leading to replacement is very common. Basically I broke the the top of femur in my hip joint. At the time of the accident I had three rods put in the femur. Eventually the head of the femur died and shortened causing major amounts of pain. The hip replacement basically cut the top of the femur bone out and  the replacement is dropped into the bone.

I had my surgery at High Point Regional Hospital in High Point, NC. We didn't do a ton of research on the hospital because we were just happy to have a hospital so close and we also liked the fact that my sister worked there as an OT. There isn't enough positive things that I can say about the place. The staff was extremely nice and great overall. The staff on the eighth floor where I was have it down to a science when it comes down to dealing with knee and joint replacements. In a pre-op class I thought they were joking when they said that after two days I would either be sent home or to a nursing home. They didn't play around. Obviously I got to come home. In fact my Dr. was willing to consider letting me go home half a day early! However, I do have a major gripe and that is how the CNA's do all of the sponge bathing between 3-6am. Their goal was to have everyone done by 5:30am if not earlier. This is flat out inhumane. I have worked in the Patient Services business where I have learned the importance of keeping the patient happy. The least they could have done is give me the option of when to be bathed including before I attempt to fall asleep at night.

If you've been reading this blog you know that we have been getting ready for the surgery for a while now. When it came to the hospitalization the only thing we compare it to was was the week long stay I had after breaking my hip. That experience was also dramatically different due to it being an emergency situation coupled with being hospitalized 75 miles away and family being 75 miles away in a different direction. This time things were clearly much easier since it wasn't a surprise, we live four miles from the hospital, and we now live in the same town as a ton of family. Abi was so comfortable with things and relaxed since the hospital was so close that she actually spent every night at home (and not with Andy in the hospital like she needed to last time).

Time for the pictures...
Some of these pictures are from Abi.....
Most are from my iPhone, all with my usual commentary...

The morning of the surgery, the alarm went off at 4:30am. Not fun. We aren't exactly morning folks and having to be at the hospital before 5:30am wasn't exactly cool... 

We made it to the hospital at 5:15am and had to finish checking in to include making an insurance co-payment. They called my surgery an elective which meant everything had to be paid in advance.

Me chucking the deuces as I am about to be wheeled into Pre Op. This was the last time that I saw Abi for a couple of hours. By this point it was sinking in that I was having major surgery with no way to get out of it. 

  Abi and Rae my step mom thought this was a funny picture after I was wheeled out of the PACU about 11am. I don't remember jack but apparently I was very talkative. They thought I was very funny. I am just glad they weren't recording video because I have a feeling I could be a Youtube sensation...

 Apparently I was quite happy to eat my Chicken Broth lunch. I wasn't in a ton of pain but I was very miserable as the anesthesia wore off. The anesthesia didn't like my stomach as I would eventually throw it up. It also caused me major scratching fits. I would have given anything for a wire brush to scratch.

My lovely view from the bed. My first day in "Joint Camp" was to stay in bed! 

My lovely TV Remote and nurse call button. I certainly used it a bunch. Hopefully I wasn't too obnoxious with it...

My lovely jewelry to include my allergy bracelet for being allergic to Vicodin...

I got to wear a knee immobilizer to keep my hip in the proper position. I also wore a pair of fancy stockings with airbags on my legs to prevent blood clots. They weren't that uncomfortable...

My surgical bandage. I'll be curious to see what it looks like in a couple of weeks...

 My pain med button. Anytime the light was green I could get more meds. 

The nurses were obnoxious about making sure I used this evil contraption to prevent Pneumonia... After they took my vitals a couple of times and I had 100% oxygen saturation they didn't say another word about me using it. Although out of boredom I did use it on a regular basis...

Abi went home about 6:15pm Monday night. She came back Tuesday morning to find me eating the greasiest breakfast I could find. I figured if I was going to be sick to my stomach I might as well be comfortable. Luckily there were no more stomach issues.

This is what its all about! As promised I was told I would be walking by 9am on Tuesday. Here's the proof of my first steps on the new hip. It was nice to be walking on two legs that were the same length.

After the short walk I got wheeled into a joint class. It wasn't too painful...

My view for the rest of the day. They had me chill in the recliner wearing the stockings....

My PT stats for Tuesday. I don't have a clue what they mean other than everyone was impressed.

My parents dropped by only balloon/ flowers/ cards later in the day. I am not complaining about the lack of cards... 

Wednesday morning found me refreshed after 7 hours of sleep. It was the only amount of sleep I managed in three nights. I don't sleep very well in hospitals knowing that I am going to get woken up every couple of hours to take my vitals. I also got behind on my pain meds and was in severe pain because somehow once they removed my pain pack I managed to go 15 hours without meds. I was a miserable turkey but at least the hospital breakfast was on par with Waffle House...

Don't I look happy? 
Abi's fancy picture of me...

My view of the tights and socks in the recliner... Those tights were very tight...

Wednesday was just like Tuesday where I had several rounds of walking PT and group PT. When I wasn't in PT I was in the recliner. To make sure I behaved and stayed in the recliner they put an alarm on my chair. If the alarm went off it buzzed the nurses station and I got in trouble. It was a pretty low key day that Abi worked her normal work schedule of 1-7pm... My parents and Step Sister made an appearance so life was good...

 My stats for Wednesday...

Unlike when I broke my hip I was in far less pain. 
Most importantly I was in a better mood.

Thursday I had my final PT session where walking up and down stairs was no problem.

The view I had been waiting for quite a while! It took way too long to get released from the hospital due to two hours of red tape. Abi's father (FIL) came down late Wednesday night and was able to bust me out of the joint. Abi and I were certainly ready to get home...

While waiting for my prescription to be filled the FIL and I had lunch at the Promised Land known as Dickey's BBQ... He had never been to the place and was highly impressed with the food but the free dill pickle and ice cream helped him to like the place even more...

We finally made it home with the FIL using his Baltimore Ravens Flamingoes helping him know he was in the right place.  

I couldn't get comfortable in my recliner before Maggie attacked me. She was very excited to have me home. I was thrilled to have her back in my lap...

Proof that I am no longer a patient. The FIL even had to cut all of my bands off. 
He's been such a God Send...

It finally starting to sink in that my hip replacement is working because my legs are both straight in the recliner...

Maggie had to get used to the straight leg...

Having the FIL has been great! We couldn't be more appreciative for his help with everything. It's been a great visit. The only complaint is coming from Maggie because he's trying to stay in shape by walking 10k steps a day and poor Maggie is going with him on these long walks. She comes back from her multiple walks exhausted and its quite funny. We also need to thank Abi's momma Vicki for letting him come down...

The FIL is a huge Baltimore Orioles fan so we have watched a ton of baseball. The Picture in Picture feature has been great so I can watch the Atlanta Braves or Abi can watch something else...

All of the practice before the surgery with my adaptive equipment paid off. There is nothing that I can't reach using my skills. There are several key precautions that I have to deal with like like crossing my legs or reaching too far.

When Maggie hasn't been tortured with long walks by the FIL she has been chilling with me on the recliner. Anyone who's read this blog knows that Maggie is a huge part of our family. She has stayed next to me the entire time since I have been home.

Saturday night between rain showers the FIL grilled hamburgers and we had a great dinner on the back porch. We kept it low key this weekend following Dr's orders for me to relax.

All things considered this has been a long week. However, its been a good week. I am in some pain but it could be a lot worse. There are a ton of folks that have helped us that we need to recognize:

Stacey, my step sister who's an Occupational Therapist for getting us ready for everything. There is no doubt that we were ready.

Rae, my step mother - She was with Abi as I got wheeled into surgery and stayed with us during the week. In addition she stopped by the house to walk Maggie several times.

Larry, my Father in Law. He's spent a week with us and there's nothing more we can say to show our appreciation. He has been a tremendous blessing for us so that Abi could go back to work without burning all of her sick time.

The last group that we need to thank is everyone at Friendly Hill's Presbyterian Church. We started attending in early June, so we are still really new there, and yet they have taken us in. They have fixed plenty of meals for us so that we have not had to worry about fixing dinners. We sincerely appreciate all of the love they have shown us!

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