Wednesday, June 5, 2013

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 sickness and in health!

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