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. " 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 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!

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