April 9, 2014

Blood and gore and drugs... (AKA part one of my hip replacement) *warning: some images not suitable for squeamish people...but they're in the second half

I'm now one full week post-op.

It hasn't been all roses and sunshine, but I'm very glad I had it done.

I checked into the hospital on Tuesday, April 1st at a little after 2 pm for an OR time of 5 pm.

Yay for clear labeling!
I had nothing to eat or drink starting at midnight the night before so I was hungry and dehydrated, which is always a winning combination. I was stoked on adrenaline, though, and it carried me through...for a while.

I used the bathroom...sadly, I only peed. Nervousness has a way of constipating me and so Saturday was the last time I had relieved my bowels. I followed this post and its comments and its follow-up fervently hoping for an answer to my problem, but to no avail :( Project ShitStorm was a covert op and I clearly did not know the password or have clearance.

I put on the gown and the pretty hairnet. They took my vitals and wrote on my hip to make sure they did the correct one. They asked me how I was doing. I told them I was kind of scared. I was actually covering. I was scared shitless (not literally...unfortunately). They smiled and said I was in the BEST hands and that it was going to be a really good thing and not to worry. I ignored that part of me that remembered that they're paid to say that.

R – right hip
THA – total hip anterior
RK – surgeon's initials
They started up an IV and hooked up a spinal block...no general anesthesia for this procedure. They got me high and asked me how I was doing. I laughed and said, "Great!" And then they wheeled me into the OR. The jovial atmosphere felt almost like a party. It all seemed to happen so fast. Drugs have a way of altering perspective and the passage of time.

I remember being in the OR and hearing soft music...Reggae. Among other things, I mentioned that I liked Reggae music. One person remarked, "You talk too much!" Yes, I was overly chatty...drugs and nervousness, but they then cranked the music and I was out.

I woke up and looked at the clock. It was 6:13. I was in recovery. I was hungry and thirsty and COLD. My teeth were chattering uncontrollably. My lower body was totally numb. I kept looking at my feet and laughing because in my mind I was making my toes move, but in reality they were going nowhere. I amused myself with this game for a bit.

The nurses were really nice and laughed at all my drug-induced musings. They packed my wounded leg in ice. I looked down at the surgical site.

All clean and pretty. And covered up.
Then my husband showed up to say "hi" before heading home to the kids who were with my mom. He showed me the photos of my femoral head.

This is the sawed-off end.
Note: big, juicy bone spur.
This is the eroded, contact end.
Note: complete absence of cartilage on the articular surface.
Note also: scraggly bone spur.
The articular surface was also flattened and just yucky. They said the joint was beyond done. How did I run 2 half-marathons and 2 distance relays with this? It's kind of blowing my mind.

I stabilized quickly and they took me to my private room, where they gave me some strawberries. And I just waited. Waited for the spinal block to wear off. Waited for the next phase.

Waited for Pain.

I contemplated writing the whole experience in one shot, but I'm really tired and physically uncomfortable so I have to check out now. If you want to know more before my next installment, consider following me on Instagram. My drug-addled, pain-exhausted body can handle posting little one-shot wonders there with regularity.

If you want to see what they did to me, here's a well-edited clip with excellent narration of someone performing a total hip replacement anterior approach. It's graphic and not for the squeamish. I found it fascinating and enlightening. It really put things in perspective for me.

36 comments:

  1. I hope that you are feeling ok post-op. The wait for the pain to set in? The worst. Wishing you a super speedy recovery and happy new hip.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The wait for Pain is part of the second installment. The. Worst. Thanks so much for your support and well-wishes :)

      Delete
  2. I'm scared to click everything...

    But I'm glad you are on the road to recovery.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The only really scary one is that video. I repeated the "O, NO! O GOD!" refrain over and over while watching it. It really helped put the pieces together for me as to why certain things REALLY hurt! Thanks for your support! You should come around more often ;-)

      Delete
  3. This is the best blog post ever. I particularly liked the hip photos. Very excited about coming to see you in a week or two so I can bring sunshines and rainbows to a total internet stranger and check out your scar! x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'll share the doped up pre-op video with you. Because you're special. Anyone else wanting to be special? Submit your audition tape via email at your convenience. I'm saving the juicy wound photo for the next installment. But my loyal IG followers are already in-the-know ;-) Thanks for all your kind words and upbeat ramblings :)

      Delete
  4. I know it only to well, I was in and out of the hospital visiting my wife when she had her hip op done... She was a brave girl and things went well at hospital and started well at home, but then she got tendonitis of the wrists from the crutchers, stopped moving much... this (well we think so) caused a pulmonary embolism on Friday the 13th!!! So it was back to hospital and rat poison for 6 months...

    So please look after yourself and when you can start moving, move lots... we think it was because she was fit and running (don't ask me how) daily to not doing anything for those weeks after the op...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Awesome advice! They also have me on serious blood thinners to help minimize clotting. Glad she made it through!

      Delete
  5. It sounds like everything went well! Good luck with your recovery!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Nice femoral head! ;)
    The post-op pain is the worst. Hope you're healing quickly and staying sane (relatively)!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Looks like things were a success! Hope you recover quickly.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Wow...hope you feel better soon. I was surprised your surgery was so late in the day. Didn't realize they did them so late .

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know! But apparently my surgeon is so booked and loves operating so much that on this particular day he was scheduled to be in the OR from 8 am until 10 pm. I went late because they put the youngsters at the end of the schedule.

      Delete
  9. I'm glad I was fully knocked out because I did NOT want to know what was going on and I didn't have to wait for the pain. It was waiting for me when I woke up :)

    Glad you're home and feeling a little better. It's a slow, non-linear road, but recovery is on the agenda! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have zero memory of what happened beyond being told I talk to much and then louder Reggae, so I was pretty damn out. They did mention that the onset of pain would be more gradual...the benefit of which is debatable, given my experience.

      A bit better every day. It's a slow road, but it is generally moving forward.

      Delete
  10. You are rockin recovery! I don't get how people can get addicted to narcotics for only the constipating factor. It's also a FACT that if you don't poop you die, I've seen it happen. I don't have any special remedies for you, but most docs put their patients on Colace/Senna right out of surgery. I like milk of mag in pill form....because I'm peri-menopausal.....but enough about me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Milk of mag in pill form...genius. I'm calling that in.

      Delete
  11. So if you only got photos of the femoral head, I guess they didn't let you take them home as a souvenir? :)
    That video... oh heck.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I didn't even get to see it :( Just the pictures. For all I know, they took pictures of someone else's :(

      Delete
  12. Lawd I'm glad you got that thing out, no bueno. Lighting virtual sparklers for your recovery!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Sounds like you're feeling better everyday. Is that a femoral head or a cheese danish? I am so checking out that video. And it sounds like I missed some valuable IG coverage.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Happy to hear surgery went well and you are on your way to recovery! I love you for including the gross pics. I am off to your instagram and hope to see more ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'll be showcasing the actual incision later in the week. But if you visit my IG, you'll get a preview ;-)

      Delete
  15. I'm glad to hear it's over and you are recovering! Hope you heal up fast!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Ack! No wonder you were in so much pain. Hope you recover quickly & are leaping around in no time!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It really is hard to believe that I was running around with that. Thanks for the well-wishes :)

      Delete
  17. Whoa...that picture. Fascinating, but also a bit creepy (I can honestly say I have never seen a picture of a sawed off femoral head before now). Amazing that you ran with your hip like that for so long. Glad the surgery seemed to be a success and you are on the road to recovery now! I know it won't be easy, but hope you're hanging in there and feeling a little better each day.

    ReplyDelete
  18. DId you ever get the password to Project #SS and if so, can you please share it with me?

    ReplyDelete
  19. Oh and those bone spur things, dang girl you're tough

    ReplyDelete
  20. I've heard ortho surgeries are quite...manly (for lack of a better term) with lots of blood and powerful things, so that video was more tame that I imagine! Still........ouch! I hope your recovery is going well and the pain isn't too terrible! Wear those compression socks!

    ReplyDelete

Say it. But if you can't own your shit, don't dump it on me.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...