Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Surgery of a HIP mom -The Big Day- Part 2

At 8 a.m. my husbands phone rings just as he was getting ready to go downstairs for breakfast. It was the hospital saying Dr. Brooks was ahead of schedule and he wanted me there ASAP.  Well, once again, I thinks it's their way of distracting the patient from their procedure because there was no time to think about anything other than getting to the hospital as soon as we could. My bag was packed from the night before and it felt like my water broke and the baby was going to be delivered any minute.

Once I arrived at the hospital I checked in at the main desk to report my arrival and was then escorted to pre-op. Dr. Brooks was waiting and the nurses had to hurry.  The nurse proceeded to hand me a hospital gown, bags to put my clothes in, place an ID tag on my wrist (along with a bright red allergy tag), told me to write NO on my good hip with a special marker and handed me 3 packages of Prep Checks!  I reminded her I did the prep last night and had the paperwork to prove it.  She said, "Good, I'll take the paperwork and you get going with the scrub down.  You'll enjoy these, they've been heated for your comfort!"  

From the nurses station I was wheeled into anesthesiology and was asked a barrage of questions about allergies I had to anesthesia or any other drugs.  Must be the red allergy bracelet tipped them off.  I explained if I received IVP Dye, my throat would close up and if I was given Demerol, I'd throw up.  Because I was having a spinal for this procedure, they explained I shouldn't have any problems once I came around. 

The IV was hooked up and the anesthesiologist came bedside to make sure I understood what a spinal was and explained a large does of numbing solution would be injected into the hip area during surgery to help with pain once the spinal wore off.  I only had one question .... how often does the patient end up with a spinal headache?  He explained it could happen, however, it is very rare and as scheduled, you'll be good to leave on Monday.  We had a very long and in depth discussion about this.

Just before I was wheeled into OR one of the male nurses came by, asked me my name and birthdate one more time, wanted me to point to the surgical leg and asked what procedure I was having done with Dr. Brooks.  I told him back in 2004 I was at the Crile Building for surgery, there had been a mix up because I went in for a tummy tuck and breast implants and came out with a new ureter.  So, I wanted him to make sure he knew I was back for the tummy tuck and implants this time.  He laughed and explained that I missed it again, that procedure is performed on Mondays and today is Friday, so...... which is it, hip resurfacing or hip replacement?  

Surgery took 1 hour and 15 minutes.  I woke in good spirits and felt great.  Dr. Brooks contacted my hubby after surgery and explained why my hip went south.  Once Dr. Brooks saw my hip he knew he had more work ahead of him.  He first asked my husband if my knees ached when I was younger and into my teens.  Mike told him yes, "I recollect my wife telling me how her mother would rub her knees at night due to constant aches and pains."  Dr. Brooks saw where my femoral head was somewhat turned.  This would make it look like I was a bit knock kneed.  Bingo!  I've never liked my walk just for that, I look like I'm knock kneed.  Now I don't mind so much knowing I have a medical excuse.
Meet my new hip! She's a real beauty.

Once I arrived in my room, the nurses were very accommodating.  I was hooked up from stem to stern.  I left post op with an IV bag, a catheter and an IPC device.  One of the biggest threats after hip surgery are blood clots.  IPC stands for Intermittent Pneumatic Compression.  For 2 weeks following surgery the patient is to ware these wraps to help prevent blood clots.  They are actually comfortable, it's almost like having a continual mini massage on your lower legs.  The only disadvantage, when you're in bed you get tangled up in the 5' cords that are connected to the mother board.  A small price to pay in order to prevent blood clots.

I can't say enough about the level of after care I received, it was outstanding.  I had no pain, just muscle soreness, so the nurses wanted me to stick to good old Tylenol and Skelaxin.  After the surgery, I felt like I had a good workout 2 days prior and it was hard for me to squat or sit.  Tylenol was fine with me.  They explained to me the reason my muscles were sore was Dr. Brooks had to stretch and move them out of the way so he could dislocate my hip and resurface it.

Saturday morning Pam and Candi came to get me for physical therapy.  They showed me the proper way to get in and out of bed, stand and walk with a walker, go from walker to chair and walker to toilet.  After that little bit of exertion the top of my head started to pound and I started throwing up.  Pam got me back in bed but the headache was getting worse.  Dr. Brooks, along with Dr. Tamaskar (internal medicine) came in to see how I was doing and they could see I was not in good shape.  I told them the hip was fine but my head was killing me.  Dr. Tamaskar contacted pain management and Lisa arrived a short time later with a cute little tool box.  They decided I was leaking spinal fluid and the hole had to be plugged.  She explained to me they would have to give me a blood patch.  I thought, hey, that's cool ...... just a small patch somewhere on my body to help out, I'll go for that.  Lisa explained what needed to be done, told me to think about it and she'd be back in 30 minutes to see what I wanted to do.

At 2 p.m. Lisa came back in with her 'tool box' and I gave her the go ahead.  She was going to give me a relaxer through my IV, draw blood from my arm, and inject the blood, that was drawn, into my spine.  By doing this the blood would coagulate, form a clot, press against the spine which would stop the leakage of spinal fluid.  I sat on the edge of the bed, bent over and she carefully placed the needle in my lower back.  The minute she pulled the needle out, the headache and pounding were gone.  I truly couldn't believe it.

Because I felt so good, I was able to get back to PT and do some exercises from my bed.  I was able to get back up and visit a few nurses in the hallway with aid of my walker.  It felt like they gave me a shot of Redbull in my back.  I had energy like you wouldn't believe, reading a bit and watching TV until midnight. I had a hard time going to sleep that night. 

Sunday rolled around and I once again started PT.  I wanted to learn how to use my crutches so I could be discharged on Sunday and head for home on Monday.  I not only learned how to use the crutches but learned how to go up and down a flight of stairs.  I was up, moving, feeling great and pain free until 5 p.m. when the head started aching once again.  It was coming fast and furious this time.  

I lay there in my bed and wondered, am I going to have to have another blood patch? 

                                                                                                                                 (to be continued)  

No comments:


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...