Hip Hip Horray!

Trip Start Oct 20, 2012
Trip End Jul 11, 2013

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Where I stayed
Dr P Phillips Hospital
4th Floor
What I did
Medical Personnel at ALL hours!

Flag of United States  , Florida
Wednesday, April 3, 2013

I'm OK I'm OK.... it's been 2 week since I was discharged from Dr Phillips Hospital where I had an anterior approach (only matters to others who have been there) total hip replacement. 
This is the 1st of 3 entries about me - because A)  there is too much to cover in one (and still keep your attention!) and B) Billy's not here to tell me I can't.
There's pre-op and then there's Pre-pre op! The last time I was in the hospital I was delivering triplets - so 20 years ago and granted I've been out of the loop but my Sweet Lord, they have these systems down to a science. The week before they give you an incredible array of requirements to prepare yourself and your home for surgery.  I dare say, if you do what you are asked/told you will be given braggin' rights.  (I've since been told NOBODY reads that literature OR heeds to instructions... (I NOT ONLY READ IT (several times! but) I MADE EVERYONE HERE READ IT TOO. (OK, so Billy gets some extra credit here for finding the best bargain on the ever-essential elevated toilet seat at HOME DEPOT.  Really?  Home Depot.

While I was being questioned and informed at the Pre-Pre-Op, Billy waited for me in the"Waiting Room" (aptly named) and told me when we were leaving that he was going to "like this place....they have valets with carts roving about offering (good) hot coffee and fresh cookies..."
It appeared to be a brand new hospital and a well trained, cordial and efficient staff all very specific in their duties. 

Because of my Social Security Disability I became eligible for Medicare on March 1st, making the exorbitant costs laid out before us (Doctor's office visits/consults, surgical teams,  anesthesiologists, in-patient Hospital requirements, round-the-clock nursing team, high-tech equipment, Physical Therapists, prescriptions, home and ambulatory equipment - and of course, those lovely gowns) a bit more palatable.)

I passed my first pre-pre-op tests with flying colors and we were heading home (by now our dear friends Diane and Pete Court our Orlando Hosts were used to us calling it that) to pack for a quick road trip to Ocala National Forest /more specifically Salt Springs (which Billy wrote about last).One last hurrah before becoming partially bionic. 

It had become increasingly painful and difficult to walk so I'd been relying on support of all kinds but particularly "loved" my rolling walker which had a built in seat and storage compartment for "my stuff."  It was remarkably utilitarian and functional... easy to maneuver and it fit in most of the places I needed and wanted to be. 

We had a GREAT time on our road trip... I've told some of you that the Kayak trip was my elixir... I hadn't been able to hike, or "walk" to speak of  (though believe me I wanted to and tried) so to be able to have fun with the "big kids" of my own autonomy and volition was heaven. I could do it all "my ownself" with less pain than almost any other activity in a couple of months. 

I'm feeling like a "Rock Star" been treated like a "Rock Star" and excited to share my experience. (More on this Rock Star action later!)

I had written to my family that the diagnosis of AVN (avascular necrosis) and thus the need for a Full or Total Hip Replacement was "the best worst news we could have gotten." My brother-in-law wanted to know what that could possibly mean. Well, when your mind is left to its own devices (particularly scary for me!) even in my Pollyanna world there are places your thoughts can go that will scare you out of your wits and between THOSE PLACES and a Total Hip Replacement?  You want the Total Hip Replacement!  EVERYONE KNOWS someone who has a Glory Story about hip replacements.. they are ALL GLORY STORIES! So I, too, will share my Glory Story.  

We  had very strict instructions on showering the night before and again the morning of, with this wild hospital issued "soap,"  fasting (no coffee? Really?) and clothing and medicine (told to stop my RA meds a week prior) and arrival time.  We were to be at Dr. Phillips Hospital (which I can see across Big Sand Lakefrom"Home" )at 7:30.  
"Mary" the receiving nurse/surgical coordinator took me to the prep area    where Billy would join me for photo ops (ha) and meet with Surgeon (Dr Travis Van Dyke) and Anesthesiologist (Dr. Feiner) before going into surgery.                                            

They confirmed what we had discussed about having an "anterior approach" which "is trickier but has much better recovery time and more practical post surgical mobility.
Every Doctor, every Nurse, every tech you encounter asks you your name and birth date in ad nauseam  and "in your our words, what are you having done today?"   By the second day I was telling people I was having a frontal lobotomy. Some thought it was funnier than others...

 Ha, and you thought I was kidding about the photo op...  

Dr. Dyke signed the hip that was to be replaced.... I thought it was pretty funny but I guess there have been "mistakes" that were not so funny.

 A NOTE OF THANKS:  I have to add here too, that once we knew this surgery was inevitable, I had offers from Montana to Maryland for Post-op care and housing depending on where we decided to have it done. We felt like "all the stars aligned" for it to be done here in Orlando and when our friend Dr. Krista said "well you ARE in the hip Mecca of the country"  it pretty much sealed our fate. Thank you for all the kind offers!
My sisters rallied immediately too, to stagger visits for home nursing care. This was (not a surprise if you know my sisters but) a HUGE, HUGE, HUGE deal - both of them are extremely busy but the peace of mind and comfort for me, knowing they would be here was the BEST PRESCRIPTION EVER!
For those who didn't know, Billy stayed through the surgery and hospital recovery then hit the road to Great Falls VA to do a remodel job for his cousin Cliff. He is there for about another week. He's been putting in (his normal!) long hard days, he's tired and sore (hmmmmmm) but for some much needed income and feel lucky the timing worked for everyone.

I also have to say, that although Billy would have been a good home health-care provider, the things that my sister Connie (aka Auntie Doods, Wheels, Conquest) did for me...volunteered to do for me...HAD to do for me... are the kinds of things you would rather not subject your spouse to even after 30 years together. (The next entry is about my Con-valescing as I call it and then one on my sister Carol's visit as well.  

The surgery (Wed, April 3rd) lasted about 2 hours. I was a bit out of sorts I guess - since I don't even remember being in the "Recovery Room" with Billy, Pete and Diane and don't remember "waking up" (which was a good sign) I was brought to my private room (ALL of the rooms in this Ortho wing are private accommodations and Billy joined me for a couple of meals as the food was remarkably good (and "Guests" meals no matter what you order are $5)  

Dr Travis stopped by in Thursday when Billy was there to check on me  and he offered to show us the video taken during my surgery.  I declined the viewing but Billy watched it. (We had consented to this in advance... I was trying to barter for his services for the marketing opportunity - telling him I would be his poster child (poster person?) for Hip Replacements!

Billy got to meet "Cory" my (gorgeous) private PT and see me "vertical" for the first time.  I have told some of you, this young man (aside from being gorgeous) was incredibly inspirational and I can't even explain why that is.   He somehow MADE you want to succeed and be strong and excel.  (My niece Sarah is in PT Med School right now I believe has that same quality)  There's some unidentifiable quality that is so powerful.

So Billy stopped by at 5:30 Friday morning (knowing I'd be up?) to say good bye on his way to Virginia.   Connie was due to  in that afternoon and Diane's Father, Bob Martin was a floor below me because of some pnuemonia related issue. I wanted to go visit him with Diane since I was
. feeling pretty spunky but I asked if we could I was told I was not allowed to leave the floor.  :o( 
I had 2 "blocks" done for the surgery and to this day one of them is still evident.  I remember my Mom saying, that the numbness from her MS was painful which never made sense to me until now. I know now that numbness is its own kind of pain.

I had a steady stream of nurses and techs in all all hours of the night and day each with their own style, personality and habits.  The day I was leaving there was a new set of  staff on duty I found it pretty interesting the the tech's name, who was assigned to accompanying me out of the hospital was Tao  (The Artful Odyssey????)   Diane picked Connie up at the airport and came straight to the Hospital as I was being discharged. Connie and I got to the front door Tao told us I was the 1st Orhto Surgery patient to "walk" out of those doors!

So like I said, I was feelin' pretty much like a Rock Star!

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ceci cole mcinturff on

So relieved, thrilled to hear and see all this. Three cheers an hugs for Mare! Can't quit giggling tho: anterior approach....it sounds kinky. Billy still in GF? I am right here, at Mason. Does he need a martini? Or anything? say word...xxx

Denny Sabo on

So Mary, I was trying to count how many days you spent in the hospital? How long was it before they had you "walking"(assisted) in the hospital?

janis on

Hey Mare!
your stories are great!
so glad you're surgery is over and the healing can begin.
best wishes for a speedy recovery
lots of love to you

Diane morris on

Mary and Billy..! what a cross-country journey you have been on!
i love getting the up-to-date photos and trying to stay current with
your personal adventures! you are a trooper,Mare!! having any hip
surgery out pf my home base would have challenged me! Billy, you
have been the strong force to weather all these experiences with Mary!
Kudos!! i am happily in Lakewood (outlying area of Dallas) and will be
in Montana around July !0.. keep me posted!! xo Diane Morris!

Ivan and Mariana on

Way to go, Mare.... Here is to a fast recovery and then to get into jogging...Hee Hee. Sounds like you had as good a time as it is possible to have regarding this surgery. Sounds like your kids are doing great as well, as we always expected. Can't wait to see you guys....Turners

Darlene Dobrocke on

Well, aren't you just full of surprises....had no idea this was going to happen when you left beautiful Bigfork, MT! I am so happy for you and your surgery success..and your sister's care, etc. How nice for you and Billie! Miss you being here, but glad all seems to be right with the world. God bless with continued speedy healing and great times! Love ya, Dar

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