My head is clear and my notes are in order. I'm back and it feels good. My hip surgery went extremely well and I am very anxious to tell you of my great adventure.
The Cleveland Clinic is a very familiar place to me, because my family visits this hospital a few times a year, I have a comfort level with not only the physical aspect of the facility but a mental comfort as well. It gives me a sense of peace, for I know good things take place here, yet, when I arrived for my pre-op on the 20th, anxiety knocked on my door. I tried really hard not to let it in, but it entered without permission and barged right in. Like one of those pesky salesmen when they get their foot in the door and they don't allow you to close it on them until you hear their spiel.
The pre-op took about 2 hours. I first met with Phil who assists Dr. Brooks. Phil wears multiple hats and I must say, he wears them all very well. This visit was quick. Phil gave me a brief synopsis of what to expect the day of surgery, had me sign a few papers, reminded me to write "NO" on my good leg and told me if I wanted to change my mind about the surgery, I needed to phone by 9 p.m. There was only about a 30 second consideration on my part to cancel but I knew it was not an option.
I then moved to the registration desk giving all the proper information regarding insurance and was then swept away to the pre-op nurse. The one thing that astonishes me, is how quickly they move you from place to place at the clinic. I'm not sure if this is done so you have little time to think about your procedure and change your mind or they really are that proficient. After nurse Barb grabbed me, she checked me out from head to toe. The usual questions were asked, vitals taken, blood drawn, an EKG performed and lastly, I was asked to sit at a computer and answer questions that were already asked of me. I found this quite amusing, it was as if they were trying to trip me up. I'm sure this was more tactics to steer me away from my anxiety!
At the very end of the pre-op exam, nurse Barbara handed me these lovely little wipes. My instructions were to shower before bed, towel dry, air dry for one hour, then wipe your entire body down from head to toe. Each package had two sheets and comes with complete directions on the proper way of wiping your body down. She told me these wipes would leave a sticky substance on my body but they'd provide rapid bactericidal action against a broad spectrum of microorganisms. They'd significantly reduce the number of microorganisms on my skin, lasting up to 6 hours of full protection.
Barbara also told me not to shave anywhere on my body. They did not want any nicks or cuts on my body and if you were going to shave, you needed to perform the act 2 days prior to surgery. Also, if you shave before using the wipes you can break out in a rash. I took one look at my husband and rolled my eyes! Great, just great. That morning before pre-op I had a party with my razor in the shower, now I was really nervous. I think the only thing saved was the hair on my head!
As night rolled around, I took my pre-op shower, toweled dry and air dried for one hour. My husband was talking with his friend and he inquired whether I was nervous or not. My reply to his friend, "The only thing I'm nervous about right now is how I look in front of the mirror totally naked!" Bathroom lights and dressing room lights do nothing for ones body.
The wipes were very cold and very thick. After rubbing them, in the correct order all over my body, I felt like someone had just sprayed me with Aloe Vera and forgot to rub it in. As my skin dried, it tightened and I thought sometime during the night my skin was going to peel off like it does after you have a facial mask applied. No rash appeared and I obviously had no cuts because I felt no stinging on my body after my prep.
Surgery was scheduled for 11 a.m. I knew I'd have to arrive around 9:30 so I wasn't too concerned about making an early night of it. The morning plan was for my husband to have a leisurely breakfast while I slept in, seeing I couldn't shower or have breakfast, then head over to the hospital.
That all changed when his cell phone rang at 8 a.m. the next morning.
(to be continued)