It’s been a week since I had my hip surgery. I’m glad to report that I’m definitely on the road to a full recovery.
Last Friday, bright and early, J took me to The Mater for my surgery. We were told to arrive by 6.45am, and by the time we arrived, several other patients were also there waiting to be admitted. The admission part was easy – they asked a few questions, printed off a few things, got me to sign a couple of things and then took me to my bed. I was only suppose to be in for the day, but as Day Surgery was closed, I was admitted to a ward.
After helping me to settle in, J left to go to work with a promise to be back later in the day. I nervously waited to be attended to. Gargon the nurse came and took my blood pressure, and then I was visited by Dr Egan the anaesthetist, who told me to relax as I looked very nervous. Most of the next few hours were fairly uneventful. I had the pleasure of showering with the special scrub and then got into my beautiful backless blue gown – so sexy.
And I waited, nervously.
In the meantime, I chatted on and off with my roommate for the day, Phyllis who had had a hip replacement. She was in her 60s, from Wollongong, mother of 6 who had had 2 knee replacements already – a regular bionic woman. Phyllis was easy to chat with and our banter helped to keep my mind off the impending operation.
Around 10am, I was finally being prepped for my surgery. Noel the orderly took me for the short trip to the theatre, where I had to answer more questions before they placed the IV cannula. They wheeled me into another area where I waited some more. Dr O’Sullivan popped out of the theatre and had a quick 5 second chat with me before he disappeared. The chat did very little to make me less nervous, so a few tears were had at this time.
Thankfully, a few minutes later, Dr Cross popped out of the same theatre and had a long chat with me. He stayed for about 10 minutes, making sure I understood everything and answering all of my questions. Turned out I was having a bigger surgery than the "norm", which meant my recovery period would be a bit longer than the "norm" as well.
I don’t remember anything much after Dr Cross left me. I don’t remember being wheeled into the theatre, I don’t remember counting down to anything. I guess the drugs worked.
I must have cried when I came to, because I felt someone wipe the tears from my eyes, and then push the tissue into my hand. I felt the hard plastic oxygen mask on my face. The pain in my leg wasn’t that bad – it was sore, but manageable. I felt the big thick bandage over the incisions and tried to shift in the bed a little. A nurse sprang over to see if I was ok, and I looked around the room to see there were 3 others in Recovery with me.
For the next hour, I stayed in Recovery until they thought I was well enough to go back to my room. I was glad to see Noel when he came back for me.
Phyllis was dozing by the time I got back, so I read and listened to Jackson (my iPod) for a bit. Gargon came and took my blood pressure every half hour – it was pretty low for quite a while, so I understood why she kept coming back.
I watched a bit of TV for a while and read some more (got stuck into Twilight, which was a Christmas present). I had no idea what time I was suppose to be discharged, as no one seemed to know what the procedure was. Shift change saw Gargon leave and Sarah arrive. Dr O’Sullivan popped in for his express check up – 30 second pit stop and he was gone again. By the time Dad and Mum called to see how I was doing and what time I was being discharged, I had no further news and told them not to worry.
At 5pm, I was still no closer to being told about discharge. So I waited. J finished work and came back to wait with me for discharge instructions. By this time, I’d already asked Sarah twice about leaving the hospital, only to be told "I’ll just write up the paperwork". And then dinner arrived, so I thought I’d stay and eat the free meal. Note to self: free doesn’t necessarily mean good.
Finally, at 6.30pm, we got the paperwork and the all-clear to head home. I noted with a wry smile that I was being "discharged to Home, accompanied by Husband".
J got me home and settled comfortably before popping downstairs to grab us some real dinner. I had some trouble sleeping that night because of the pain, but the Panadeine Forte® helped.
I’m now off the painkillers, and have started physio. I am still using one of my crutches, but more for support than anything else. I still can’t fully bear weight on my right side as it is still painful, and I’m needing to learn how to walk again – apparently, I always had it wrong! Slowly but surely, I am getting better. The incisions are itching now, which is a good sign. Can’t wait to change the dressing!
My family has been wonderful throughout this whole ordeal. Dad and Mum have been calling every day and offering to bring me food – J and I accepted some takeaway once, but we’ve been quite self sufficient. My sisters have been checking on me too with text messages. And my friends have been fantastic – everyone has been a little worried about me and I feel so loved with all the messages and phone calls I’ve received.
J has been the most beautiful man. He moved in with me for the past week to look after me. The first couple of days were not fun for him, but he was patient and kind and loving. J moving in acted as our trial living together as well, and I’m happy to report that he is definitely comfortable with the idea. I’m really looking forward to June, which is the milestone we have set for moving in together.
The incisions are still a little sore, but I’m really looking forward to being able to curl up on my right side. A few more days and I think I’ll be able to do it!