Sunday, November 6, 2011

Surgery of a HIP mom -3 Times A Charm- Part 6

Dr. Saeed asked how I was feeling.  I explained to him the steroids did not work and my head was still pounding and the pain that ran from the base of my head down between shoulder blades was still there.  He told me I'd be having another blood patch in a few hours.

Breakfast was delivered and I tried to eat a bit.  I still couldn't raise myself up in bed, so eating was tricky.  I did something I always taught my boys not to do, eat with their hands. The bacon and english muffin were fine, it was the scrambled eggs that gave me a bit of trouble.  

Phil stopped in, before assisting Dr. Brooks in surgery, to see how my night went.  I told him Dr. Saeed came in and decided to perform a third patch, only this time, he and Dr. Rudolf discussed having a epidural blood patch under a fluoroscopic machine.  By using this machine, it would be a more accurate procedure and the doctor is not going in blind. It's an intermittent x-ray to insure proper placing of the needle.

Transport arrived and I was wheeled down to a small operating room.  Mr. Vince Elshaw, R.N. was the nurse taking care of me after I arrived.  He was very handsome, had the eyes of Richard Gear, and to boot, a wonderful bedside manner.  I have come to the conclusion there are no ugly people working within the Cleveland Clinic campus, at least at the Euclid Hospital.  I told my caregivers I felt like I was on a soap opera, everyone is good looking and some of the nurses are absolutely beautiful.  After 7 days of not showering, or washing my hair, I wanted to show them how good I cleaned up!

Vince, whose partner was Katherine, did everything they could to make me comfortable. Vince was going over my two previous patches and wished me much success on the third. I reminded him that "three times a charm".  I was soon wheeled into the operating room, which was like walking into a freezer.  Dr. Saeed wanted to know if I ate anything for breakfast, I told him yes.  Because I had a bite to eat, I was not able to be given anything to relax me or put me out.  Like I explained before, the first procedure was
accompanied by a wonderful drug, slipped into my IV to relax me, and the second blood patch was done after they knocked me out.   
Now I was worried.  The thought of feeling those needles in my back was not making me feel any better and no one offered me chocolate if I was a good girl.  Kelly Clarkson was on the radio singing 'Mister Know It All' and I tried to focus on that.

Dr. Saeed told me I would have to lie on my stomach with a bolster under me, just below my chest, this would spread my back and open it up.  Both Vince and Katherine told me it was going to be quite uncomfortable.  The uncomfortable part was having to roll to the left to get on the table.  I was not able to sleep on my surgical leg, let alone roll onto the incision to take the position.  The bolster was placed underneath me and Vince was right, it was very uncomfortable.  Katherine covered me with warm blankets as Dr. Saeed disinfected the area and positioned the fluoroscopic machine.  

A very large cover (like shown in the photo above) was placed over my back.  Because I had my head turned with my right ear on the table, I was lucky enough to see all the needles Vince was preparing for Dr. Saeed.  I was first given a very large dose, using a very big needle, of numbing solution in my back.  Then I was given a dose of solution to numb the area on my right arm where they'd be taking my blood.  That's when I really started to worry.  With the other procedures they drew my blood and were on their way, I wondered just how much blood were they going to be drawing this time.

15cc's were taken from my arm and inserted into the dura mater.  It looked like a whole lot of blood, in a very big syringe, but it only equaled 1 tablespoon. As in the past, when the needle was taken from my back, I had instant relief.  There was no relief after this third patch.

I was transferred back onto my transport bed and taken into recovery.  As I lay there talking with Katherine, I noticed an elderly women a few beds down from me.  Friday's are not surgical days where I was taken, so it was very quiet.  Like I said before, if you think your situation is bad, there is always someone worse off.  This elderly women was having trouble with her right leg.  When Dr. Saeed moved her leg into a certain position, she cried out.  A couple nurses took over and I heard them ask this women if she was ready for Hospice to come in to her home.  Her answer was no, I'm not ready to die just yet. I was thankful I only had to have hip resurfacing.

I was given strict orders to lie flat on my back for 48 hours, and that means no pillow.  The only pillow in my bed was placed under my knees to give relief to my hip and back.

Dr. Saeed paid me a visit at 4 p.m.  I had been back in my room, lying flat for 4 plus hours and he wanted to see how things were going.  He noticed my smile right away when he addressed me.  His first request was for me to sit at the edge of my bed with my feet dangling.  The pounding on the top of my head was gone, along with the pain in my neck and back, but my upper brow and eyelids still felt very heavy and there was a nagging at my right temple.  When I sat, I felt cautiously optimistic.  Once I accomplished the simple task of sitting, Dr. Saeed wanted me to stand.  This mission was accomplished and it felt good.

Dr. Saeed told me he believed a good size clot formed and the leakage of spinal fluid was finally taken care of.  Around 6:50 p.m. I knew I was cured.  It was as if someone had lifted a heavy veil from my face, the sky had opened up and the angels were singing a rendition of Hallelujah!  The rest of Friday evening was wonderful.  

Dr. Tamaskar saw me Saturday morning and was glad to see I was back to my old self.  He stayed for quite a while talking about life in America vs. India, his new Audi Ss Coupe, his children and wife, the prescription for a healthy lifestyle, mentally and physically.  During our hour together, I think we solved the worlds problems and came to realize how fortunate and blessed we all were.  He told me I wouldn't be leaving until Sunday afternoon, which was fine with me.  My last encounter with this fine doctor was Sunday morning, I was very surprised to see him.  He wanted to check on me one last time and wish me well with my new hip.

This is why I choose the Cleveland Clinic for my health care needs, as well as my families needs.  There are many inconveniences on the home front when we take the 9 hour trip, and are sometimes there for days or weeks, however, I cannot put a price on our health, our peace of mind, the level of care you get before, during and after your visit, or the amount of compassion you get from the doctors, nurses, aids and housekeeping during your treatment. 

President Obama paid a visit to the Cleveland Clinic back in 2009 and according to spokeswoman Amy Brundage "President Obama believes we can learn from places like the Cleveland Clinic and replicate their successes during this important time for our nation."

Brundage said Obama picked the hospital for today's visit to "see again, firsthand, the best practices that have made the Clinic successful in providing high-quality care using innovative new practices."

People come from all over the world for treatment at this facility.  I am very fortunate that in 2004 my hometown urologist directed me to the best doctor in the world, Dr. Inderbir Gill, who recently took a position USC Beverly Hills location.  Inderbir Gill M.D. leaves Cleveland Clinic  I wish him much success and am blessed to have had him lay hands on me.  People come into your lives at the right time for the right purpose.  Dr. Gill was there for me when I needed prayers answered.

I can call everyone at the Cleveland Clinic my family, for they truly have my best interests at hand and take care of me when I need them the most. 


Susan Tidwell said...

Wow, what an experience! I know you are glad that is over.

I need to catch up on all your blogging! Have family visiting this week, so computer time is less - a good thing!

Hope you continue to recover!

Barbara Morey said...

Susan, I am glad it's over. Physical Therapy can be done at home and I'm feeling great.


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