Tuesday, June 18, 2013

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

So this hip thing... The Good: 1. I can walk down the stairs like a big kid. You know, right foot, left foot, repeat. 2. I can SOMETIMES walk up the stairs like a big kid too, but still sometimes have to go left/right on one step, left/right on the next step, repeat. 3. I'm sleeping in a bed again! 4. Rolling over in the bed (twisting my hips) doesn't usually bother me too much. 5. I haven't relied on my crutches since Friday. 6. The past two days, I haven't really noticed much of a limp to my walk. 7. I've been off all the pain meds for quite a while now. 8. I got Bridget's First Grade Scrapbook and a lot of school planning done the first two weeks of recovery since I didn't feel like doing much else. 9. The next two weeks should involve cleaning much clutter from the house. 10. Physical therapy should be starting any day now. The Bad: 1. I can't sleep on my bad side yet. Mainly it hurts the stitches, not necessarily the joint, but I like sleeping on my side, so I can't wait for this to change status. 2. I can't squat. Or maybe I'm just afraid to squat. I haven't tested the joint out that much. 3. Sitting upright on hard chairs for long periods of times = can't walk for at least 5 minutes, and the first few steps are painful. 4. I absolutely HATE not being able to do everything that I want to do. 5. Pretty sure I'll be going through the same thing with my left hip in 6-12 months. The Ugly: 1. Stitches come out tomorrow. At least the good outweighs the bad, so I'm pleased with my progress. I think as of this very moment, I'm no worse than I was the day before surgery. Considering that I'm not taking ANY medications for pain now, and pre-surgery I was taking 1000 mg of Naproxen a day, perhaps I'm doing even slightly better than the day before surgery. The doc says it could be 3-6 months before everything finally feels totally fixed, and I will trust his expertise. I can't wait for that day!

Bridget's First Grade Scrapbook

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Monday, June 10, 2013

Hip surgery: Day 7

I don't think I'm going to do daily posts anymore after this one. There's really not much more that will happen until next week when I start Physical Therapy.

I haven't took a Vicodin since yesterday evening. So I'm going on about 18 hours with nothing. I feel fine. The crutches are annoying. I can walk without them, I know that the doc wants me to use them for another week, so I will (most of the time) but they're just slowing me down. I don't limp that badly without them. My range of motion is improving, but what I struggle with most is control over the muscles that are in the top of my leg. I can lift my leg up better than I can control it when moving down. For example, when lifting my leg to get into the van seat, it doesn't hurt to lift my leg up, but I can't always do it under my own power. I usually have to use my arm to help bring my leg up. Now, trying to take my leg out of the van, it would kind of just fall due to gravity, and hurt a bit in the process. I can't really use my strength to control the moving down movement. That will be my number one concern addressed in physical therapy. I'm sure most of this is because I had difficulty with those movements prior to surgery. I had gotten so good at accommodating for my pain, that I was weakening my muscles in the process. Rotating my leg left and right is coming along slowly. Recall the first couple of days I could only move my leg an inch left/right. Now it's probably up to 6-8 inches sideways. That's the movement that is allowing me to sleep on the couch and/or on my bed.

I did take a test drive around the block this morning. I can drive just fine. My leg moves enough to use the pedals properly, without any concerns on my part. Believe me, I wouldn't try to drive my kids around unless I knew I'd be driving safely.  The only difficult part about driving was getting into the drivers seat. That normally requires you to put your right leg in first. So I have to adapt, and I figured out my best way to adapt.  Then we're good to go!

The kids are all at the Museum of Science And Industry today with summer camp. I can't wait to hear all about it when they get home. I'm sure they're going to have such a great time.

Until then, my goals are to put laundry away, maybe do another load of laundry, continue working on Bridget's scrapbook, take care of the dishes, and rest.

Hip Surgery: Day 6

I'm almost back to "normal".  I mean, I'll be limping for probably another week, but there's very little remaining that I can't do.

So today is Sunday. Bridget had a softball game at 9 am, so everyone was up early and out of the house by 8:20. Including me. It was so nice to be outside, the morning air was cool. Bridget played well, but the team lost. They didn't even score a run.

After the game, we took the kids to one of our neighborhood parks. This particular park had been closed for the past several weeks while it was being remodeled. We had noticed that it was open, so we wanted to check it out. It has a big playground area, a toddler playground area, a new monkey bar area, and some updated swings. It was fun watching them explore. Though there was more than a few times where I wanted to be near them as they climbed higher on the monkey bars, just in case they fell. Everyone did well, and there were no injuries.

Next up, lunch. Shawn has been doing a fantastic job holding down the fort and doing just about everything, so I can't complain that I haven't had a non-take-out meal since before surgery. That's just "dad's way of cooking." The kids certainly don't mind visiting all the local restaurants. Today we went to Smiley's, a hot dog stand near Plainfield Central High School. The kids must have been starving, because Megan and Holly each ate 3 big chicken strips and fries, AND they finished a good portion of my gyro meat. Bridget ate over half of a gyro and fries, and Liam also ate 2 chicken fingers and fries. We're going to go broke trying to feed them when they hit their teenage years!

After filling our bellies, we decided to do some shopping at Kohl's. Why not?!? I was hanging in there, and my leg was not hurting at all. Of course things never go according to plans. Shawn went in looking for some clothes, and ended up only buying two packages of socks. Bridget got some new PJs, Liam and Holly got new shoes, all of the triplets picked out new underpants, the little girls got new pj dresses with matching doll dress, Liam got pjs, a soccer outfit, an Angry Birds t-shirt, and I think that was it. It was just really nice being out as a family again. It was funny when Shawn would accidentally leave me with the basket. "Oh yah, you can't push that, can you?" I also laughed when Holly had her hands full with her new shoes and underpants in her arms. She looked up at me and asked, "Mom? Can you....? Forget it!" Megan was my little sweetie. She walked next to me and held my hand at times. So stinking sweet!

So after our big Kohl's shopping spree, it was time to go home. I guess it must have been too much family time, because once in the house, it was like everyone put themselves into time-out. Shawn rested in his room. I rested on the recliner, the triplets went downstairs to play, and Bridget to her room. After a bit, it went back to normal, and all the usual activities resumed. Holly and I put together her Lego Friends pool, Bridget, Megan and Liam watched a movie with Shawn.

The rest of the evening was really boring for me. The tv was on, I played too much Candy Crush, Facebooked and Pinterested, and waited for sleep to take over. Unfortunately, that wasn't until about 1 am. Ugh.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Hip Surgery: Day 5

1 tablet every 8 hours. I'd like to get off the meds as soon as possible, but I'm not stupid either. It's not worth being in pain just to be off the meds. So that's my appropriate dosage now.

The most amazing thing happened at 1:50 am today. I woke up, achy, since it was time for my next Vicodin. One of my cats, Isaak, was lying on the arm of the recliner. That's nothing special, since Isaak is usually the cat that will lay next to me at bedtime. So I took my meds, then slowly got myself out of the chair so that I could use the bathroom. Isaak hopped down from the chair and started meowing. Nonstop meownig. Meow. Meow. Meow! Then, with each step on my crutches, Isaak moved right along with me. He stayed only an inch or two from my crutch. Meowing the whole time. It was like he was telling me that he was going to stay with me and make sure I made it safely to the bathroom. Either that or he was trying to wake Shawn up so that Shawn could walk with me. It was really weird though, because cats aren't really ones for keeping pace with humans. They like to race you everywhere...race up and down the stairs, race to the living room, etc. But my dear Isaak paced me all the way to the bathroom. I made it just fine, and Isaak hopped up onto the sink and just watched me do my thing, again meowing non-stop. (odd, I know!) When I was done, he hopped off of the sink as I slowly stood up. Then he paced me to the bedroom. I wanted to tell Shawn what was going on, but he was dead to the world. I guess Isaak was happy that I was attempting to talk to Shawn, because he backed off.

"What do you need?" Shawn asked sleepily.
"Nothing. Just walking around a bit. I had to go to the bathroom."
"Ok." and Shawn was out again that quickly.

I thought about attempting to sleep an hour or two in our bed but recalling the last two attempts, thought that wouldn't be wise. Our bed sits very high up, and it's hard to swing my leg that high up, as well as it being terribly difficult to twist my hips to any degree. So I just sat for a minute to rest. When I got back up, Isaak came out from under the bed, and walked me right back to my recliner. Meowing the whole time. Once I got myself all tucked in, he hopped back onto the arm of the chair and drifted off to sleep along side of me.

So it's Saturday, and Bridget has a softball game. Not too many of them left. I would like to go see her play, but I fear being terribly uncomfortable sitting on the bleachers for a long period of time, and it's not like I can drive myself home if that happens. So I'm going to stay home.

I took a nice nap on the couch---yeay! Change of scenery in terms of my sleeping spots. I was able to sleep both on my stomach and on my left side. That's good too. My neck has been getting terribly stiff from sleeping in the recliner for all these days. So I'm pretty excited about being able to sleep on the couch.

The rest of the family came home in the late afternoon. The rest of the day was pretty uneventful. We watched television. The kids played out in the yard a bit. We had dinner. The usual. Liam and I made some key lime cupcakes. That was my excitement for the day.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Hip Surgery: Day 4

At 6:30 am I woke up, got out of my recliner unassisted (another minor victory), and washed my hair in the sink. Today is my big day out! We got the kids to camp at 9 am, then journeyed to Silver Cross for my 9:30 appointment with Dr. Dworsky.

Shawn got the pleasure of meeting Dr. Dworsky's hillbilly male nurse, who is quite the character and VERY out of place in a medical office. We both thought the question, "Do you have any joint pain?" was laughable. After the initial check-in by Cowboy Jack, the x-ray technician came in to bring me to the x-ray room. There I had to take two x-rays. One straight on from the top, and one side view. Now this lady was not very sympathetic. She's trying to tell me to roll onto my right hip...the hip that I just had surgery on. I told her that I couldn't quite do that. She didn't seem to care and rolled me onto it as I bit down on my lip. All the pressure must have been on one of those puncture wounds because it felt like a jolt of electricity surging down my entire leg. After the x-ray was taken, she yells to me, "Now don't move, I have to check this to make sure it turned out." Yah, right...I've got shooting pains going down the side of my leg, and I'll be damned if you're going to make me stay like this while you check your x-ray. I was angry! So I moved myself to a more comfortable position. The nurse came back, didn't say anything, but moved the machine around and indicated that I could get back up off the table. Remember, I'm moving slowly, and I can't really bend that right leg much. My right shoe had slipped off in the process, and she's like, "Oh your shoe came off." "I know. I'll just carry it back to the room. I can't put it on myself." "Can't you just slip it on?" the nurse asked. "Uh...no...my foot is all swollen, and I can't bend this leg. I just had surgery." I responded. "oh...ok. Let me see if I can help you." Gee, thanks!

I made it back to the room, and Shawn could tell I was angry. After briefly relaying the story of the x-ray room to him and laughing it off, the physical therapist came in. She's a young girl, who many months ago put me through the wringer by measuring all my range of motions at the time. She got the unpleasant job of ripping off the bandages. For the most part, it actually tickled, except for one really sticky part. I got my first look at the wounds. Boy are they ugly! There's no bruising around them, but basically, I've got three puncture wounds, sewn up with some really thick black sutures. It kind of looks like three farfalle (bowtie) pastas on my hip!  The PT replaced the big, huge, gauzy bandages with three regular sized band-aids and gave me a refill of the Vicodin. "Better to be safe than sorry." I totally agree! She also mentioned that I'll probably feel pretty good these next two weeks, then the aches and pains may set in again. That's good to know.

Dr. then arrived, and showed me some blurry images from the surgery. Whatever, dude. They make no sense to me, but you obviously think it's really cool to be able to show me them, so I'll nod and and "oooh" and "ahh" at your photos. I think even Shawn rolled his eyes at this. But at least my doctor is passionate about his job and he's thorough in his explanations, so that's why I like him. He even went to find the model of the hip so he could point to the model, but unfortunately, the model had "walked off."

Doc said I need to rest and do my own physical therapy for the next two weeks. Doing as much as I can within comfort. He wants me to try to extend my range of motion but not to overdo it. I was surprised when he said I wouldn't be starting PT for another two weeks. He said it'd be a waste of my time to go there now just to work on range of motion when I will naturally be doing that as I figure out life post-op. So in two weeks, he'll send me over to PT with a pretty aggressive plan. Great! Can't wait!

I scheduled my appointment to get the stitches removed, and Shawn and I headed to brunch. IHOP was terribly slow and I think I reached my limit for being out and about and sitting upright in chairs. Two to three hours on my first big day out isn't bad, and it will only get better from here.

My goal for today was to take a shower. That's all I wanted to accomplish. When I got home, I rested a bit then took that shower. I was so proud of myself. I attached a small tote bag to my crutch so that I could carry items with me. I mastered the staircase: both up and down the stairs. I was able to get dressed all by myself, which might not seem like much, but was a HUGE task since I can still only bend my right leg a little bit. After my shower, Shawn asked if I needed anything else. My response was, "About the only thing I can't do right now is carry a full cup of water while using my crutches." Shawn went to work, while I went to my little "home" in the living room. On my way up the stairs the response I gave Shawn about what I couldn't do was bothering me. Why CAN'T I do that?!?! The doctor said I could use just one crutch when I felt up to it. He did also say that I could hobble 10-15 feet if I needed to...just not to do it all the time. Challenge accepted. Upstairs I decided enough was enough. I'm bored. It's time to start doing things. So I unloaded the dishwasher and reloaded it, which gave me NO PAIN. I'm gonna carry a full cup of water with my crutch....so I filled my cup, and walked with one crutch back to my easy chair. Don't tell me I can't do something, self, because I just might do it! I'm feeling rather invincible right about now.

I've decreased my Vicodin to one tablet every 6 hours. I can probably space it out to 8 hours, but I don't want to be too eager. But then again, I feel like I should have a little bit of aches and pains only 4 days out of surgery.

The remainder of the evening was uneventful. It took the kids forever to clean up their toys from the floor, then they went to bed. Shawn and I turned in not too long after the kids. Ahh, Friday nights in the Morris house!

Friday, June 7, 2013

Hip Surgery: Day 3

So today is supposed to be the last "bad" day, then the pain should start residing. I'm going to trust the doctor and all his experience on this one.

I ended up sleeping until about 6 am. Took my meds, hobbled around a bit. Snuggled with the kids, who slowly began waking up before 7 am. Shawn went to the Donut Den for a free dozen donuts, thanks to their punch card reward system. The kids got ready for camp, and they were off.

I dozed off a bit while Shawn transported the kids to camp. When he got back, he cleaned up the kitchen and I was feeling pretty good, so I ended up washing my hair in the sink. Man did that feel good!

Late morning and early afternoon, Shawn and I hung out on the couch watching Pawn Stars and Master Chef. I don't remember the last time we got to "hang out" in our house with no children around! It was sort of nice. I cannot stress enough how wonderful Shawn has been. I'm trying to be reasonable with my requests of him, and he hasn't complained once. Last night, he had a migraine, and still made sure I was comfortable and had all the things I needed within arm's reach.

It is pretty amazing how quickly the body can heal. Yesterday I was in tears, my leg was so stiff and sore. I couldn't move my leg even one inch to the right or left. Today, though still a bit stiff, I can move more than an inch without flinching in pain. Yesterday tilting my hips even a tiny bit would send pain shooting down my leg. Today, I haven't felt any of that.  I'm also amazed that the actual incision points haven't been an issue. I haven't seen them, but the doctor said I'd have 3 small incision wounds, each with a few stitches. I haven't felt the stitches pull or itch. I think they're more towards the top of my thigh, and I'm surprised with all the movement that part of a body gets, that I haven't felt anything sore. (Give it time, right?!?)

Crutching around has been fun too. I've had a week or two to practice prior to surgery, and I knew I could do it, but I also knew a week ago that I could put my bad leg down and no damage would be done. I knew that I was probably crutching incorrectly last week because I wasn't putting my power through the crutch as the Physical Therapist suggested. Well, once you have to do it for real, you kind of figure it out. Although I'm slow, I feel like I'm doing it the correct way. My armpits are not sore, so I must be putting my power through the crutch. It feels good to be upright. It feels good getting that blood flowing throughout my whole leg. My right ankle is swollen even though I am doing my ankle stretches to keep the blood moving around. Five minutes of standing up helps alleviate some of that swelling.

Now that I'm feeling a ton better I want to do something productive. Silly me thought that I'd be finishing off Common Core State Standards precalculus assessments, planning out my lessons for the first chapter of CCSS Geometry Honors AND reading a couple of neglected books on my Kindle. I think I'll turn my attention to Bridget's digital scrapbook of her year in first grade.

I spent the evening working on the scrapbook, sleeping, and staring at the television. There is very little pain in my leg. I mean, my muscles are achy as if I've been through the toughest work-out of my lift, but that nerve pain hasn't come around. YEAY! The six hours between Vicodin passed easily. I wasn't counting the minutes until I could take another dose.

I did try to go sleep in my bed again. Bad idea. Remind me not to try that for another day or two. I was able to lay down, and SLOWLY rotate myself so that I was in the normal position, but being flat on my back did nothing for my leg. The triplets wanted to snuggle with me, so I stayed long enough to spend some precious snuggle time with them, then headed back to my recliner.

Sleep was good. I didn't wake up at all overnight...well, I slept from 9 pm until 1 am. Took my meds, then slept until 6:30 am. All in all, Day 3 was a GREAT day!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Hip Surgery: Day 2

According to Dr. Dworsky, days 2 and 3 will be the worst. After that, the pain should decrease. I'm holding you to that, Dr. D!

Day 2 started off rough. At 1:00 am, Shawn's alarm went off, and he made sure that I took my Vicodin. Since we were up, I figured I better hobble to the bathroom. Just a few hours ago, I could swing my legs over and off of the bed. Now it wasn't happening. Shawn had to help me move my leg, which now is super stiff and achy. That nerve and muscle pain that I had in the recovery room was back, and I knew that fastest way to alleviate that is by moving position. So I crutched to the bathroom and took a lap around the house and felt a bit better. I made my way back to the bed and sat at the edge of the bed. Pain. Shawn suggested I try sleeping in the recliner. I agreed. So he set me up there by bringing out my ICEMAN, a warm blanket and pillow and my water bottle.

I was awake for awhile until the Vicodin kicked in, then slept until about 6:30 am. Shawn helped me get out of the recliner, and I moved around. My right ankle feels sprained. I know they put me in traction for the surgery to give the doctor room to move the scope around the joint. I don't think he completely dislocated my leg, and I don't know how they hooked me up to the traction, but I'm guessing my sore ankle has something to do with that. My leg is still completely stiff, but once I move around a bit, it feels better. It's a double-edged sword: you want to sit and rest, but sitting and resting eventually leads to pain, so you move around to rid the pain, and risk over-doing it. I'm trying to find the proper rest to movement ratio that works for me. 3 hours of rest to 5 minutes of movement seems ok.

Shawn did a fabulous job of getting the kids up and ready for camp. He even got all four showered and was ready early! I helped as much as I could, which was basically cuddling with the little girls when they first woke up, and brushing hair after showers. My breakfast consisted of a little ice cream for my sore throat and a half cup of coffee.

Since then, I've been updating this blog all morning. Shawn's been working in his office and checking on me frequently. I think he's grateful that he can get some work done. He is swamped with work. Having the kids out of the house, and me being "not as bad as he expected" is allowing him some time to get things done. I'm trying not to bother him too much. I am struggling with getting up from a seated position, sometime I can do it, other times I can't. I can't bring a cup of coffee from the kitchen to my recliner while crutching. It's the little things...

I see Dr. Dworsky on Friday for my first follow-up. We set up PT and I get my bandages off. I can't shower until my bandages are off. I won't feel human again until I get a shower! It's the little things...

EVENING UPDATE: Shawn and the kids went to Bridget's softball game after dinner, so I was on my own. I was able to get myself up to walk around a bit, but from 6-7 pm was rough. That nerve pain down my thigh is really...unnerving! I had my 7 pm Vicodin but that really didn't offer any relief until about 8:30. I got a little sleep probably from about 9ish to 11:30ish. Then the pain woke me up. Shawn refilled my iceman, and helped me walk around a bit. I wanted to try laying in my bed. That was a very bad idea! My leg is pretty much dead weight. I can bend it backwards, and stretch it backwards, but I cannot lift it up or bring my knee up to a 90 degree angle in front of me (like when you're sitting down). So you can imagine how difficult trying to get into bed might be. All the movement just did me in. No sooner did Shawn get all my gear moved into the bedroom, and I was asking to be moved back to the recliner. I did take the Vicodin early, and got some sleep, sitting straight up in the recliner because laying down was just too painful. 

Hip Surgery: Day 1

So Tuesday morning 6 am, Uncle Marc comes over to do the morning routine of getting the kids up, dressed, fed, and off to camp. Today was their first Field Trip day. They were going to Cantigny, so they were all excited about getting to camp. Hopefully they behaved for Uncle Marc!

Shawn and I got to St. Joe's by 6:30, and got checked in to the Outpatient Surgery floor. I was taken back to my "room", took care of some paperwork, paid the bill, got my IV, and was rolled back to the surgery waiting room by 7:15. At 7:20 I saw Dr. Dworsky, who went over what he was going to do, and he signed my right hip so that he and I knew he'd be working on the correct body part. (LOL) Next up, I spoke with two anesthesiologists who went through some more basics and told me what to expect with the anesthesia. The second anesthesiologist put a sedative in my IV to take the edge off, and said it would work within 30-60 seconds. I didn't feel any different though. Immediately following the sedative, I was rolled back to the operating room. That was sometime between 7:30 and 7:45 am. Surgery was supposed to start at 8 am, and being the first patient, I guess they were going to start early.

This OR was nothing like the birthing OR. The birthing OR was nice...sterile...but nicely painted, nice ceilings, nice equipment. This OR seemed drab, I recall weird stainless ceiling grates, and I really didn't get a chance to look around much. The only people in the room was the nurse that rolled my bed and the anesthesiologist. I moved from the bed to the table, and was immediately given the mask and order to "take deep breaths". Within 10 breaths it was lights out for me!

Coming out of anesthesia in the recovery room was weird. It was like a movie. Everything seemed to be moving much too fast. The nurses looking in at me seemed to have awfully large heads, and my head was spinning. The first thing I saw was a big, blue number 5 on the wall in front of me. I was in recovery stall 5. I could tell there were other patients around me, but my head felt so heavy that I couldn't even turn my head to look around. I recall knowing that I had been through surgery, and I was aware that I was coming out of the anesthesia, and I remember trying to fight the effects of it. As I struggled to make sense of things, the drugs did their thing, and I was in and out of consciousness for probably over an hour. The first thing I recall saying to my nurse was, "What time is it?" She had said that it was 12:15. I was panicked. Surgery was supposed to be 1.5-2 hours, and recovery was about an hour. That puts me at 10:30 or 11 am tops. So what went wrong?!? I asked the nurse what time I had gotten out of surgery. She said 11:16. So that meant that it did take an hour to come out of the fog. But I still don't know why the actual surgery took much longer than anticipated. I will have to find that out on my follow-up visit on Friday.

The nurse took my vitals, checked if I could move my toes, asked me to speak, etc. I remember FREEZING, actually teeth-chattering FREEZING, and the nurse brought me a few warm blankets and said that it was the meds making me cold. As things got more clear for me, I remember trying to lift my right leg. I could move my toes and feet but lifting it up wasn't happening. My hip itself seemed fine. I felt no pain there. I lifted the blanket and could see the gauze bandage over my hip, but it felt completely numb. Then I noticed that my voice was horse and terribly sore. Ah, that was from the intubation! My brain was working...I felt like a detective asking myself questions and figuring out the answers.

The next thing that happened was the nerve pain running all along the front of my thigh. It was excruciating! I've had that pain before, and usually shifting my position helps to alleviate that pain. So I tried to shift around, but being numb and half-witted, it was difficult to do. I asked the nurse if she could help me shift, and she helped, but the pain was still there. Nurse Mary (it was her birthday today) could tell I was in pain, and asked me where I was at on the pain scale. I gave her an 8 or maybe a 9, and she pumped me with some sort of IV pain medication. Over the next period of time (I'm not sure how long it was) nurse Mary and I did this little dance: the pain in my leg would come back, she'd shoot me up some pain meds, I'd drift off to sleep, my O2 sats would dip to 86%, the monitor would go off, I'd startle awake, Mary would tell me to take deep breaths, my O2 % would come back up and we'd start the whole cycle over again.

I heard Mary on the phone with Shawn, telling him that I was in recovery and that she needed to get my pain under control before I went back to a room. I learned later that I had 3 injections of IV pain meds and 2 Norcos before my pain was under control. I think I got back to a room at about 1:30. Once there, Shawn was able to join me. He told me that Dworsky talked to him after the surgery. Dworsky said that the labrum was being impinged but there were no tears and it was not detached. That's great news! He also said there was no sign of arthritis (he thought there was a bit of arthritis from the MRI/xray). Even better news! So all he did was shave and contour the ball and socket to give my hip more mobility. There was quite a bit of bone spur built up to the point of it being bone-on-bone. He trimmed back the labrum that was being impinged. Since that was all that was done, I'd be able to be partial weight-bearing on the crutches. More great news!

So back to the room: I got this pretty cool ICEMAN machine. So no need to use my Pinterest moldable ice pack that I made the other day. This thing keeps me cool without all the watery mess. It also stays at a nice temperature. It's been on my hip, and will continue to be on my hip any time I'm not walking around. The nurse went over my discharge orders with me. I was able to get dressed, and the physical therapist came up to show me what partial weight-bearing meant with crutches. I had to crutch out of the room, down the hall and go up and down some steps. I was amazed at how decent I felt with very little pain. I was stiff. I had to keep reminding myself that I still had a lot of pain meds in me and I still had a local anesthetic on my hip. And doc kept telling me that day 2 and day 3 would be the worst days.

So after my visit with PT, Shawn left to swap the car for the van and to pick up the kids. Meanwhile, I was all dizzy from my walk and was hungry. The nurse brought me 4 saltines and 2 cookies. It took me a half hour to eat them because my throat was so sore. The little bit of food did take away my light-headedness. And a little after 4:00 Shawn was back to St. Joe's to pick me up. Of course the kids had a million questions. Some legitimate, some silly.
Holly: "Why are you talking all weird, Mommy?"
Me: "Because my throat is sore."
Holly: "Why is your throat sore?"
Me: "Because there was a tube in my throat to help me breathe."
 Holly: "Why?"
Me: "So I could breathe while the doctor operated on me."
Holly: "Well how did they get the tube out of your throat?"
Me: "They took it out."
Holly: "How?"
 Me: "They pulled it out."
Holly: "How?"
Me: "With their hands."
Holly: "Ewww!"
I don't know what picture was running through her mind about the tube in my throat, but she was all concerned about it.

At home, I pretty much went to bed. I was in and out of sleep the rest of the night. The kids played outside and checked in on me. One by one I got homemade Get Well Soon cards. Bridget's was the most funny. She drew me at the hospital in a skirt and purple dangling earrings with my crutches. She was also at the hospital dressed as a princess. Holly and Megan drew nice pictures too. Nothing from Liam but some hugs and kisses which is perfectly fine with me. They all enjoyed watching me crutch through the house and were helpful with moving their toys out of the way for me. Overall, the pain wasn't too bad. I could feel the numbing reside. I could move around on my crutches pretty well, but getting up and down from a chair or bed was still tricky. Shawn is a great nurse. He's been refilling my ICEMAN as the ice melts. He has a timer set on his phone for when I need to take my Vicodin. He's gotten me bottles of water, many refills, plugged in my electronics, and overall been a great husband...in sickness and in health!

Hip surgery: Background info

I know it's been forever since blogging but a friend of mine (Hi Kristen!) said I should blog about my hip surgery since she'll be going through the same thing soon. So here I am.

So here's the background info. When I was pregnant with Bridget 8 years ago, I started noticing that my knee would sometimes buckle when going upstairs. Scary! I didn't think much of it, I was pregnant, awkward, and thought it just was a part of pregnancy. Plus, after that split second of knee-buckling, everything went back to normal. That happened a few times while pregnant. After Bridget was born, all was well. A few times over the next few years I'd have that knee-buckling experience coupled with some mild hip pain but really nothing that alarmed me. Once pregnant with the triplets, things got WAY worse. I found myself limping at times, knee giving out on stairs and mild hip pain. Two summers ago I also took on the couch to 5K program, lost 25-30 lbs, but destroyed my hip. That's when I started seeing doctors.

The first doctor I was referred to was a back specialist. He was a moron and was basically asking me what I thought the diagnosis was! Seriously, he showed me my MRI and asked me what I thought of it. I high-tailed it out of his office and was referred to a orthopedic surgeon. This gal was very aggressive and was ready to schedule me for surgery right away. She thought there was a labral tear and was talking possible hip replacement. Well at the time, I wasn't ready to go the surgery route, so she referred me to a pain management doctor. I went through several injections of cortisone in order to pinpoint the exact location of the pain. Oddly enough, the location that gave me the most relief was an injection near the top-center of my thigh. So I spent about a year with that doc, never really getting complete relief from my pain.

 I hit my low point when Shawn and I went to Seattle for a wedding. We did a lot of walking, and the one night we were walking to our hotel and every step felt like a knife was being jabbed into my hip. It was horrible and the Naproxen gave me no relief. A couple days after returning from Seattle I got another injection and that helped. Then I got sick, and saw my regular doctor who asked if my hip was fixed yet, and when I told her my story, she referred me to a fourth doctor. He was supposed to be the best hip guy in our area. So I think it was in November when I started seeing Dr. Dworsky. New MRI and X-rays were ordered. He said I have bad bone structure. The ball of my hip sits about 90% into the socket when the average person is at about 50%. He sent me to consult with the back specialist just to be sure that my back wasn't playing into this at all. The back doctor said my back is good, even though I have a couple of compressed discs (he said almost everyone has compressed discs by 40), they weren't touching any nerves and that my back was in good shape. Yeah! So, back to Dr. Dworsky...we did two cortisone injections that helped quite a bit. He said the pain management doctor was injecting me with too little cortisone. He said the amount of cortisone I was given would be enough to stitch up a finger, not enough to reduce inflammation in a joint. Great! So Dworsky's injections took me to early May.

Then we decided to fix what's broke instead of trying to mask the pain. With the school year coming to an end, getting it done as soon as school was out would allow me to recover over the summer break. We also planned to have the kids in summer camp at the Joliet Park District for the entire month of June, so that we wouldn't have to worry about them being underfoot while I got back on my feet. Anyway, Dworsky's plan was to do a scope on my hip, shave off any bone spurs that might be there to allow more movement of the joint. He wasn't going to take me from 90% impacted to 50%, but he'd give my bones more room to move properly. He suspected that the labrum was being pinched between the bones as well, causing pain and inflammation. If the labrum was torn, he'd repair it. If the labrum was separated from the bone, he'd reattach it. Those were the things he'd have to see about once he got inside my leg. He also said that the separation would be the worst case scenario. If he had to reattach the labrum, I would have to be non-weight-bearing and no twisting for the first several days. He said recovery would be slower at first but the overall timeline of 6 weeks of Physical Therapy would stay the same. With any of the listed procedures, I should expect to pretty much do nothing the first few days, start 6 weeks of physical therapy within 5-7 days post-op, crutches for about 2 weeks, and stitches out at 2 weeks.

 I had to go a week prior to surgery without any pain medication. (I was taking 500 mg of Naproxen twice a day) That was tough, and each day got a little more painful. Saturday was the worst! But then Sunday and Monday were really good days, which was weird since Sunday we had the kids' birthday party and I wasn't exactly resting. Monday was busy too. I finished up all the laundry in the house and got things in order for my recovery. So I don't know why I wasn't in more pain, but hey, I'll take it. Monday was the kids' first day of camp. They go from 9 am to 4 pm. This was Bridget's 4th year of camp, and the triplet's first year of camp. They all said they had a lot of fun! Liam even thanked me for sending him to camp this summer. It was sweet! But boy were they TIRED when they got home. Allison spent the night since Uncle Marc was coming over to watch the kids while Shawn got me to the hospital Tuesday morning.