Just What the Doctor Ordered.... Part I
Trip Start Oct 20, 2012
61Trip End Jul 11, 2013
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Where I stayed
I guess my inferences in the last post were not enough so I will say here that my the surgery was totally successful. During the brief 2 day stay at Dr. Phillips Hospital I was monitored closely for any signs of infection and blood clots - two of the most serious potential dangers in any surgery. I wore compression stockings and "radial tread" socks (as Connie dubbed them) to accent my lovely gown. I felt very safe and secure in my care there and as "comfortable" as I could have expected. I really struggled with the numbness from the nerve blocks used for the surgery but it gradually worked its way out and up from my toes but
took many days before I could feel anything above my knee. I was swollen and incised and only mildly bruised.
I drink a lot of water normally but I couldn't get enough in the hospital and if this, too, had been a competition, I would have won. I think I slept a lot and was poked and prodded and asked who I was another 20-30 times. I was up out of bed about 24 hours after getting to my room.. The nursing staff was spectacular (Susan, Jeanette, Martha, Michael, Cara and Tao) and I had visits
from various and sundry administrative folks to inquire of my experience at their establishment. I was a little concerned when the chaplain arrived...wondering if there was some "detail" they hadn't shared with me yet...
I was provided pain meds every 4 hours which was cutting it close. I am unquestionably a Hip Replacement fan and can attest to the rapid recovery when you go by the book but for the record, the first days... weeks...are no picnic. The pain comes in a number of forms but it seems like such a small window of time in the scheme of things. A ton of cliche's come to mind...darkest before the dawn...light at the end of the tunnel, no pain no gain...shit that hurts...
Anyway they continued to applaud my baby steps... some things required mobility and strength and some things "I" had no control over (innate body functions?) but were significant milestones for getting out of the hospital on time. Blood pressure, heart rate/pulse, temperature... all Perfect every time. (Okay this is unnecessary to share but one nurse told me "we're big fans of the Brown and Gold here). I don't know any cliches' that fit here...Do you? (oh wait how about "&$#@ Happens?"
I was so looking forward to being "home" and having my sister Connie there to care for me. Those who know Connie know that she does NOTHING half-way. She is determined, informed, focused, thorough, strong, aware, analytic, practical, logical (wow sounds like a Supertramp song...) Connie has a heart the size of Montana. She is also fun, and silly And
So while Diane and Pete and Billy had prepared the house for my rehab, Connie had read EVERYTHING on the internet about my Doctor, my hospital, my surgery, and my recovery instructions. (Thank God they didn't say I couldn't have coffee because I would have "cheated"... (I'm tellin' you right now...I'd have "snook" out into the garage or my shower...hidden in the corner and imbibed belted down, gulped, guzzled, knocked back, pounded, quaffed, sipped, slugged, slurped, swigged, and swilled that substance with a shit-eatin'
grin on my face!) And trust me, I know there'd have been hell to pay!
So as I said, Billy would have and could have managed my needs, but to be honest, Con-valescing (latin: growing strong) was exactly what I needed. She was always one step ahead of me... Left foot first going down a step, right foot first going up a step, don't bend this way, move the pillows that way, time for exercises, stretching, new dressings, my ever-craved ice water, and Ice bags, stockings on, stockings off... showers! (Heavens what an ordeal... She was the best Press & Sealer ever! (This ia a new modern medical marvel you may or may not know about. Press & Seal (GLAD?) is the order of the day for covering incisions that must stay dry. Con could work it like nobody's business! So just like Baby Bear, everything was JUST RIGHT.
And if I/we weren't already eating like kings between Di & Pete's daily delectables, Connie made sure we had an elegant sufficiency, and delighted us with delicately delicious culinary creation from HER rapturous repertoire.
So what else can I tell you? My surgeon prescribed follow-up care that was also covered by Medicare. I had In-Home Nurses 3 times a week. I had In-Home Physical Therapists 6 times a week. They were good back-up to Con.
Seriously, my discharge Nurse "Saint" was awesome and good continuity of care with Teresa and Robin. My home PT David was yet again the perfect style and personality at the perfect time. He was serious about therapy with a humorous inclination. He was intense with
sensitivity, he was all about progress with enthusiasm and motivation. We started slowly with basic exercises and repeated them daily and added new ones as he thought I could handle them. I would do at least one more set on my own each day and sometimes 2 more - which turns out to be the cause of my only (minor) set-backs... believing more is better.
David told me he was going to steal my term "progress pain" which I used to describe the intense muscle pain after the daily workouts. When I had my two week checkup with Dr. Travis I got my "Rock Star" status that I referenced earlier. He thought I was doing incredibly well for 4 weeks so when I told him it was only 2 weeks he was taken aback. I walked in tall and steady with my cane only... he kept staring at me. (Perhaps he was envisioning the next Hip Replacement Poster Child?)