Home again!!

July 20, 2009

Hurrah, how nice it is to be home and in one piece if a slightly swollen one!

So I’ll start at the beginning and work my way up to this point, it’ll be a long one but hang on in there!

Monday Morn;

Woke up at 1.30am, thought it was as good a time as any to chomp my last food intake – an Eat Natural bar. Went back to sleep til the alarm went off at 5.50am for me to have my last drink then get outta bed and into hospital. My man and I trundled off from our Travelodge and walked the 10 mins to Guys. Once in there I was seen pretty quick to wee in a pot and have a blood test then change into the very lovely hospital gowns. Luckily there was a nurse in the cubicle next door because I’d only been given one gown – therefore either flashing my bum or my boobs to all and sundry! Once another gown had been retrieved and the disposable knickers had been donned I was ready for action. Only prob was although I was first on the op list, they’d moved me to the afternoon. I did warn the surgeon that no food makes me a grumpy girl, but this didn’t seem to phase him!  Time seemed to go really quickly and before I knew it they were calling my name to go to the anesthetist. So a quick snog with my man and off a toddled (not only wearing disposable knickers and a hospital gown, but also a rather fetching stocking and some hospital slippers) what a sight to behold!

Once in the anesthetist room I had an needle put in the back of my hand and one in my wrist – well it was attempted to put one in my wrist, unfortunately it would seem that my artery, which is what the fella was looking for, is quite well hidden. So eventually he gave up and said he’d sort it when I was under. The next stage (whilst being hooked up to blood pressure, heart rate and oxygen saturation machines) was the epidural.  My hypnotherapist clearly did a fabulous job; the first attempt didn’t go too well as I kept feeling pressure in my lower back then a sharp pain in my hip, so after trying about 3 times it was decided to take it out and start again. Second time round was just dandy, a change in vertebrae was all that was needed and bob was my aunties lodger. Throughout this whole episode I felt relatively chilled about the whole thing, considering my previous panic at the mere mention of epidural this can only be testiment to the hypnotherapy and NLP techniques I had been taught.  Next came the general anesthetic, now I’ve heard many people talk about having to count down from 10, all the bloke said to me was “how are you feeling?”, I replied with “yuck that tastes gross!” and promptly fell asleep!

On waking up the first thing I felt was the needle in my neck, I’ve no idea how big it was or what it was for but it was rather uncomfortable,  they took that out pretty soon after I came to. Other than that I had an IV in the crook of my elbow feeding me fluids, a catheter, and the epidural in my back giving me painkillers.  I was lucid enough to ask if my boyfriend had been phoned, and he was waiting for me in the ward when I arrived – ahhhh lovely :0)    I generally felt pretty ok straight after the op, the odd thing was not being able to feel my legs as I was having 15ml of epidural pumped into me each hour.

Monday night;

 My boyfriend had left whilst I’d been in good spirits and drinking lots of water as encouraged by the nurses, then I was getting ready for a good night’s sleep, but to no avail. I am, it turns out, one of the many people with whom general anesthetic does not agree. I spent most of the night sipping water, then within about an hour or so throwing it back up again! This is not a good turn of events when your temperature is rising and your blood pressure is falling.  Anyway the nurses looking after me were fantastic, the events of the evening included; a leaking epidural which meant a change of bedsheets, a leaking wound which meant a change of bedsheets, not being able to keep water down, blood pressure too low, and temperature too high, and the fact that I had a leaking epidural but still couldn’t feel my legs clearly worried a few people as they decided to turn it off for a couple of hours to check everything was connected as it should be. 

Tuesday

I was keeping down water (thanks to some magic anti-sickness drug), my temperature wasn’t getting any higher, my blood pressure was creeping up and most importantly I could feel my toes!  The epidural was turned down to 8ml per hour and all was well. I was pretty much left to sleep.   My boyfriend came to  see me as did my Auntie which was fab – she caught me for just about the only hour I managed to stay awake, my poor man spent lots of time reading his book whilst listening to me snore!

Wednesday

They moved me into a room with a window that opened – funnily enough my temperature seemed to drop to a normal level then!     I was introduced to my new friend the walker;

Walker

I hobbled all the way to the door you can see in the pic, and back on wed morn whilst still being attached to the epidural, it felt brilliant, and knackering!   Later that day they removed the epidural and started me on morphine based painkillers – cue vomiting again!   I then tried the walker again in the afternoon and it was not nearly so successful, feeling a little despondent I shuffled back to be for yet another nap. My Pa and man came to visit and I was not the most entertaining patient ever it has to be said, too sleepy for words, though I did manage a game of Gin Rummy.

Thursday

Feeling more like myself again I began to read – yes really! I am an avid reader and had bought a massive two books in one volume novel, however my concentration was that poor over the first few days that I couldn’t even attempt to read it!   I had another bash on the walker and although this was fairly successful it wasn’t the triumphant voyage I’d hoped for. Most of the problem was being able to get my operated leg on and off the bed, it was at this point the OT angel delivered two of the best post op presents ever!  One is a leg lifter, it looks like a short dog lead with a loop at each end, you put your foot in one loop and use the other to lift your leg with your hand, BRILLIANT!  all the huffing and puffing and pain getting off the bed was sorted. The other tool is a grabber – absolutely indispensable when you can’t bend to pick stuff up. Just make sure you park it properly – it’s not much use when it’s fallen on the floor!  Mum and Dad came to visit and I was a little more entertaining.

Friday

Catheter out and freedom begins whoo hooo!  Feeling far more normal than ever before I was introduced to crutches and weeing all by myself!  I also managed to have a shower with the help of a nurse who put a chair in for me, and do my big unruly hair.  I had an X-ray in the morning and I have to say this is the most painful thing that happened during the week; having been propped up on pillows all week I had to lie flat. This was something my hip was not happy about, I could feel not only the incision pulling, but things in the joint and there was an almighty ‘clunk’ as something resettled itself.  Once I got up off the x-ray table all felt fine and I had a peek at my x-ray, I’ve seen lots of pics of post PAO, but it doesn’t prepare you for seeing your own hip kitted out with mammoth screws and massive gaps in your pelvis!  Hopefully on my next visit to hospital I’ll get a copy of the x-ray. In the afternoon mum and dad came to visit, we played cards, I gave and received lip, all was well with the world. I even went for a midnight hobble up the corridor I was so full of beans!

Saturday

There was some confusion as to whether I was spose to be going home or not, but after a lesson from the physio on going up and down stairs I was given the all clear. HURRAH!  Up until my departure the staff had been fab, really looking after me, but as soon as it was time to go I got shoved off with bags of drugs and that was that.  I was taken home by ‘patient transport’ aka a slightly battered ambulance with seats and what felt like naff all suspension!  The 2 and half hour journey took it’s toll on my leg and I looked a little more swollen;

elephant leg 2   It’s amazing the things that swell up! Obviously the operated leg is going to bear the brunt of the enlarging, but I also look like I’m about 4 months pregnant – not the kinda look I’m going for right now, hopefully I’ll deflate soon though!

 

Ok following is a pic of the scar – it’s pretty neat and has apparently been glued together rather than stitched or stapled.

Scar

Right enough waffle for now I’ll carry on banging on about various things now I’m home and able to access the net. Hope you’re still awake!

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Here we go…..

July 12, 2009

Well the day is almost upon me, tomorrow morning is Op time.  So far no coughs or colds to impeed my surgery and overall I’m feeling a lot more prepared than last time.  Positive thinking is the way forward – and if that fails prescription drugs will do!

Rather than scary needles and painful hobbling I’m going to attempt to focus on the fact that this is the first step to me being able to do a triathlon, this time next year I’ll be bionic and fit and healthy, so there!!

Next post might not be so chirpy – but in my defence that’ll be the drugs talking!


Still here…!

June 28, 2009

I didn’t realise how long it’d been since I’d done anything hippy related, until my mum pointed it out yesterday. So here I am waffling on again!

The last couple of months have been hectic with finishing off my course and I’ve only a week and a half to go – YIPPEE!  All being well I’ll be a qualified teacher and everything :0)

Whilst having the hectic life that revolves around school other things have taken a bit of a backseat. The biggest of these being exercise, which is definitely not a positive step.  I have managed to keep up Pilates, which is fantastic and I’d recommend it to anyone and everyone, especially if you find a great teacher who knows what alternatives to give to slightly broken people such as myself.  Anyway I’ve two sessions lined up the week before my op and as soon as I can get back to it I’m getting a couple of one to ones to get me back into doing the classes.

This weekend saw me having the first of two hypnotherapy sessions aimed at keeping me chilled about having an epidural. I’m not that bothered about needles, apart from, it seems, the one going into my spine. The last thing I want to be doing is fidgeting and twitching with nerves while the anesthetist is doing this. Anyway the first session was very positive, and anything that helps is a goer in my book!

Had a bit of a scare this week – bearing in mind the cancellation of my last op, I managed to get yet another cold! At first I thought it was hay fever, but it didn’t respond to the usual drugs and just felt like a cold.   Fortunately unlike the last 3 week lurker it seems to have dissipated, fingers crossed I’ll not be in snotsville for too much longer!

On the subject of runny noses I have a tendency for mild hay fever, but today managed to fall asleep in amongst lots of flowering clover – not the brightest choice on a warm, sunny, breezy day! DOH!   Another stupid thing that I do fairly frequently is to take out my contact lenses and then go looking for my glasses. Needless to say it takes me a lot of time stumbling about blindly to sort this particular issue out.  I really need to stop this, especially when hobbling about on crutches …. I sense tears of frustration would be the outcome and they certainly wouldn’t help me see any clearer!

I had my second Pre-op this week, it’s so long since the first one the hospital need to check I still have the same blood!  All went smoothly, the only mild trauma was getting weighed, I’m still in the ‘healthy’ category for my height, but right at the top of the scale – RUBBISH!  So much for living on rice cakes if that’s what they do for you BRING ON THE BISCUITS!  I’ve heard from a couple of people that the post op painkillers suppress your appetite as well as your pain, so I might yet be a bikini model, albeit one with one normal and one twiggy leg!

I’ve 2 weeks to go, and don’t feel half as panicked as before.  Perhaps now is just a better time mentally if not physically. Still it’s a bugger that we’ll have no summer holiday, but I intend to have as many outings as my hip can contend with. The other thing I’m looking forward to is having time to do exercise (mostly after the non-weight bearing time), it’s been ages since I had a really good heart pumping muscle aching work out – only a couple of months and I’ll have to make time if I want to get back on my feet, and I can’t wait.

Oh something else I’ve decided to aim for when both hips have been done is learn to play tennis. Not a surprise considering Wimbledon is on at the minute, but it’s something I fancy doing every summer, so next year the boy and I are hoping to get a couple of lessons then go play in the park with friends.  The last time I played tennis was at school, and I had plenty of power, but absolutely no control whatsoever!  I spent an inordinate amount of time retrieving the ball from over the fence and halfway across the hockey pitch which is where I’d managed to launch it during serving!  Hmm maybe tennis isn’t my game.

Right waffle over, better get back to planning lessons, Fractions anyone?!


News flash; Op cancelled due to runny nose!

March 31, 2009

So here I am again, I should now be in hospital re-cooperating from some hefty surgery with new shiny metalwork holding me together. Unfortunately this is not the case. I have a cold, and this coupled with my (very mild) asthma means I have a 10-20% chance of getting pneumonia post surgery. Both the anesthetist and surgeon decided that it’s not worth the risk and I am to have surgery later this year – probably around June time.

I’m pleased that the experts are looking after me and are not willing to risk my health any more than necessary. However I am not looking forward to facing reality again.  Over the last few months, I’ve become used to the idea of surgery, and talking about it and living with the idea has become second nature. What I haven’t really done is let it hit home too often. Yesterday I had a bit of a reality check – this isn’t something I can just talk about, it’s something that really will happen, twice.  It’s real and it’s happening to me. Now I realise there’s plenty of other people in the same situation, there’s others that have come out the other side and are happy and pain free, and there’s plenty of people with far more serious problems in their lives. My head hasn’t quite accepted any of this though.  The anesthetist I saw yesterday was straight down the line and very matter of fact about everything. This is where I had to do everything possible to not cry like a baby and run the hell outta there never looking back.  For those of you who would rather not know skip the next paragraph. It’s probably not so traumatic for those of you who have faced the reality better than me, but this is what I was told yesterday that made me want to run for the hills;

I will (as expected) need to have an epidural which will be left in for 3 days, this is to manage the pain after surgery which I was reminded is pretty horrid. The anesthetist said that sedation is possible before the epidural but he doesn’t usually do this as it increases the risk of nerve damage, (only a 1 in 10,000 chance without sedation).  He was telling me this whilst having the epidural needle on the desk in front of him.  Next he said that all the needles for drugs and IV etc will be on the left hand side of my body as the right hip is being done. I’ll have a needle inserted into my hand for the general anesthetic (administered after the epidural), then while I’m under they’ll attach the catheter and a few more bits and bobs including a needle in my neck! I have no idea what this one is for, but I really didn’t need to hear that… so far I have a big arse needle in my spine, one in my hand, one in my neck, I’m weeing into a bag, and there’ll be a drain somewhere too.  I’ve previously been told the surgery should be around 3 hours, apparently the one they did last week lasted 8 hours. HOLY CRAP! mind you I guess I’ll be asleep so the length of time shouldn’t be a problem.   Anyway when I wake up the needle in my neck will still be there for a while AARRRGGHHH!

So that lot freaked me out a bit, only a couple of things I didn’t expect, but these were enough to send me to the edge! That and the hunger of course – I hadn’t eaten since 8 the previous evening – I’m not a happy bunny when I’m hungry at the best of times! 

On a lighter note, you have to do a pregnancy test before surgery, so I had done my duty, peed in a pot and handed it to the nurse. Well after I’d seen the anesthetist and surgeon and they’d cancelled the op one of the nurses called me over; “it’s about your pregnancy test, it’s not shown up as urine”….. Urm right then. Which beggars the question “what the hell has it shown up as then – cos it sure as hell came outta me in the way that urine should!”  I will never understand the mystery of the urine, having cancelled my op I guess they just chucked away the mystery sample!  I aim to confuse them next time too – lots of jasmine tea the night before may have been the problem, I’ll try it again and see what happens!