Saturday, March 27, 2010

Millennial Crutches and More

These seriously are the best crutches....hands down! A few of my "hip" friends told me about them. I have had quite a lot of experience on crutches and this is the first time my body hasn't hurt from using them. If you are going to be on crutches this is definitely the way to go!!!!!   One of the best pieces of advice I got for this I wanted to share it w/ all my fellow hipsters :)

Here is a pic of me on mine millennials..taking them out for a spin (shiny

They were also the hit of both hospitals..everyone wanted to try them out...nurses, PT peeps, OT peeps, and even some of my visitors.

Other items I have also needed since I am now at home.  The transfer bench for showers it's the only way I can shower at this point and the transfer part is needed to stick w/ my precautions . I had to buy this on my own as well as my crutches, my toilet seat, and my grabber, because my insurance did not cover these items even though they are needed!!???.
My insurance did cover the my rental wheelchair, my hip kit of bath sponge, shoehorn, and "magic" sock helper (sock helper can also be used as a "party trick" in the hospital for your does entertain as well as being helpful)

Friday, March 26, 2010


Salem Hospital "2 pint Blood Transfusion..9 days post surgery..ugh! The guy who transferred me back to the rehab next door at 2:30am..called himself a vampire because he works the night shift..I said, "no offense buddy ,but I just had 2 pints of blood and haven't slept in 2 weeks so I think I trump you in being vampy ;-p"

To backtrack a moment I wasn't sure there was ever to be a Blood 3 ..since Blood 1 didn't go so well, Blood 2 was canceled, so Blood 3 actually was a total surprise in so many ways ;) For anyone who has not read my previous posts: Blood Part 1 was where I had to go to give my blood at Children's Hospital (my autologous donation) just in case I needed a blood transfusion during surgery... because of the few "incidences" in Blood #1 Children's Hospital and Dr. M canceled Blood "donation" #2.

During my nine days at Children's Hospital I never received my blood so I thought I was in the clear...guess what..I was wrong...hey there is always a first ;)

After my stay at the hospital my surgeon didn't feel I was "qualified" to go home yet, but I didn't need to be at he sent to me to rehab...(Physical Rehab)...pretty much another kind of hospital.  If it looks like a hospital, if you get woken up all night long to take vitals, if you are sleeping in a hospital bed, if a nurse brings you meds, if you are NOT allowed to do ANYTHING on your can wrap it up in a pretty new name like rehab center..but trust was just another hospital.

I arrived at my new home late Fri evening...So at this point I went from being the oldest patient at Children's Hospital to the YOUNGEST (by like 30 years) at the nursing home....oh I mean hospital..oh forgive me  I mean Rehab Center ;)  Lets just put it this way..I was missing being in the hospital when I arrived there.  To be honest I wasn't sure I was going to make it through the night... if I had both legs working I would have ran as fast as I could out of there..but that did not happen.

Saturday morning I was woken up by a man who wanted to take my blood  (and no it wasn't a hot vampire like Edward, Bill, or Erik..bummer) just a dude named Matt who was sent there to do it ,because it was his job. Matt also wanted to put an IV in me, so he jumped on that duty first. Lets says it didn't go according to plan..but we sure saw some BLOOD. Between my testy vein , the lady who was w/ him dropping the vial of blood, and my blood really started to become a horror movie..bloody bruised arm..blood on my comforters and sheets...ICK...(it was so icky...I didn't even want to take a picture of this mess) Great experience here at rehab so far! After they cleaned up that "bloody mess" Matt went for the other arm..promising better results..OK???
He kept his promise.

Awhile later my new Dr came in (well she was the covering Dr for the Dr I was going to have while I was at it) So Dr. New said she got back my blood results and my hematic rate was very low (22) blood count was low 7/12 and I was very anemic which meant in basic terms= you are getting a 2 pint blood transfusion..Have a good day!!  Hmmm...what did you just say????

So at that point I was not allowed out of bed..due to my dizziness and low blood pressure..I had some of my friends there distracting me while I was waiting (Thank you so much Nancy, Fanny, D, Mark, Mom, Carrie, and Pete..and "the magazine"  Then around 5:00pm (yes it took all day to get this going..I was wheeled over to the Salem Hospital...The Hospital was attached to the Rehab Center) They admitted me to one of the floors and gave me a room.  Then I was told it was going to take 8 HOURS..4 HOURS for each pint..huh? I guess this was going to be a long night.  They went over all the risks..I love that part... nothing like telling a nervous person in pain all the possibilities of what could go wrong. Then they brought in the BLOOD (bag one) and set it bad reactions..actually it didn't feel weird at all..It was like getting a regular IV..I started relaxing after the first half hour (they said most reactions happen w/in first half hour so I was standing guard..just in case) I thought hey this isn't going to be so bad until the moment my pain meds started to wear off, and I asked the nurse for more and she said..NO..."whatcha talkin about Willis" was the first line that came into my head..please explain nurse~  She then went on to tell me that I couldn't take the pain meds, because it could mask a reaction especially w/ a 2nd bag coming up. OK.. I was so NOT ok w/ this.  This was the first time since surgery where I was not totally medded up and was about to come off the morphine cold turkey and feel the pain of my massive surgery as well as getting a blood transfusion for another 4 hours where I could not move..I really did feel like I was in a horror movie and this was the torture scene.  D and the Nurse got tons of ice packs for me and covered my hip and leg to help w/ the pain..the next 4 hours were awful..enough said.

Thank You to my friends who kept me distracted during the day ..Thank You to my family for their encouragement and support because I was so scared ..Thank you to Carrie for the Indian food even though we now know Indian food and blood transfusions do not go hand in hand..LOL.."is it getting hot in here" Thank you to Carrie, Pete, and Mark for keeping me distracted during the first bag..and a very special Thank You to D for being w/ me every step of the way and sitting w/ me for the whole 8 hours..and for getting me through those last 4...can't ever thank you enough for that!

Conclusion: I got my pain meds the moment I got back to my room at Rehab...literally they were waiting in the room for me w/ them..D made some calls... and the next day I actually felt a little stronger due to my new BLOOD!!!!!  The End :)

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Children's Hospital

Hello again :)  It is strange blogging backwards..for most of my posts I am usually w/ in the moment so it is pretty easy to I am backtracking  while on Pain meds so it makes things lets just say a little more "interesting" I think I am going to change my format up for this post since it's a Flashback (sorry I love the show LOST so it's my shout out to it...haha..)

I spent 9 days in Children's Hospital most of it heavily medicated so memories are somewhat hazy..but I think for my fellow hipsters I will bullet point important hip things that happen in the hospital for the 411 and some quick stories that I do recall for the rest of my friends and readers of this lets see how this flows...

-3 days w/ catheter/ no getting out of bed/ heavily medicated/ in all honesty don't remember much of this time now/ I have heard from people around me that I wasn't feeling "to well".could have been some tears and pain.  I know I needed oxygen for the first 24 hours because of my lungs and the pain meds..every time I started falling asleep my oxygen level dropped I stayed awake the first 24 hours..D was by my side that whole night watching me and that stat machine..he wasn't going to let me stop breathing.. that's for sure!

-My push button medicine machine was the greatest invention in the world to me at first...every 7 minutes I pushed the button and no more pain...but what I did get in return was a bad case of the "itchies" my skin became so itchy after awhile they had to put in another IV line to give me meds to counteract the itchiness..I seriously was so out of it that I actually made myself bleed from all the scratching.  Not sure what you can take from this piece of info..maybe bring gloves to the hospital just in case..protect you from you kind of deal... .

-Once the catherter was out they had me sit up in a chair...supposedly my Mom and Karina came in about that time and found me asleep in the chair w/ a drink in my hand...which reminds me..I spilled almost everything I touched during my 9 days there..drinking and drugs do not go hand in hand ;-p I remember being extremely thirsty but had difficulty holding a cup w/ a straw w/ out dropping it or falling asleep while drinking.  Sidenote:  I normally do not have this problem :)

- I started PT I think on Day 4 or was it Day 5..either way it began. Usually I am a gentle, and sweet matured person, but I turned a little "meaner"every time my PT lady came into the room..I thought of her as my sworn enemy the moment she had me get up from the bed and made me realize how much pain I was truly in even through the morphine (short release and extended,) Toradol, and Valium.  First she brought me by wheelchair to the parallel bars (did they want me to start doing gymnastics????) I guess they wanted me to hold myself up w/ them and take a few steps..I think I personally got rid of that memory on my own. During my nine days we progressed from the parallel bars to crutches to learning how to use a wheelchair on my own. We decided at the end we had a love/hate relationship..I am ok w/ that. :)

-Started CPM machine right away..8 hours a day the whole 9 nine days I was there and that also continued at the rehab hospital. It wasn't as awful as I thought it would be but lets say if i never see a CPM machine again in my life I will be ok w/ that.

-Dr M was a great Surgeon..he came and visited me every day (never had a surgeon do that before) and was on top of all my health care needs.  We ended each visit by hugging it out..after sawing apart one's hip and seeing the inside a handshake just seems to impersonal...well that's just me ;)

- The Nurses there were great.. but definitely understaffed (which I have found in all my health care settings which is why mistakes happen and people don't get the right help or enough help) But they were even re-pierced my nose and it didn't hurt at all.... then again I was on a lot of pain meds :)

   -I had a triangle bar to help me sit up in worked. I think I may have "Sarah Connor Arms" by the end of this journey...BONUS!

-I had a lot of difficulty w/ the epidural..pretty much it didn't work that well...They had a pain team come in and try to make it work which in turn provided me w/  a short amount of time where I got no pain relief (still trying to block that memory out) as well as a 1 hour episode where I didn't feel anything in my body from the neck down..normally that would have been very concerning, but at that moment it was nice to have total pain relief.  They took it out after that it  and just loaded me up w/ heavy pain meds..I developed a spinal headache which could have been relieved by doing another form of epidural (how ironic) called a blood patch, but since I was already taking blood thinner injections at this point that couldn't happen.  Their next route was to keep me in bed, lights off ,and drink 5 red bulls and coffee (normally I am a decaf tea/coffee type a gal) I was thoroughly surprised that the red bulls did not give me wings and fly me my morphined out state I was kinda of looking forward to that ;) It did seem to help w/ the headache a bit but it took about a week to fully clear up.

-For this surgery they prescribed me a 4 week run of lovenox injections..A blood thinner (blood clots are a big risk w/ this surgery)  It was the first time I had to inject myself w/ a needle. So now they give drugged out Sarah a needle w/ important meds..clearly a wise move..and show me how to give myself this injection..I thought fainting could be a possibility but I  surprised myself and did it! The nurse then said to me afterwards,  "I am a nurse and I couldn't do that to myself"  Sarah "...uh..ok..glad you didn't tell me that beforehand at least..."     I will finally be done w/ these injections in 2 days..then I can start taking motrin to try to help w/ all the swelling..yay!  ps. For anyone who has to do this in the future your belly will look like you have a case of the chicken pox  as well as looking like someone has taken a beating on you and bruised your whole belly, but it really doesn't hurt that much...honestly :)

-Another helpful piece of advice!!! Noise Reduction Headphones..why didn't I think of this during all my other previous surgeries..what a difference it makes w/ "hospital life"  Thank You Dad so much for loaning me your "magical" headphones!!!

Thank you to everyone for phone calls, flowers, gifts, cards, visits, and most importantly support...I felt all your love and it meant so much to me and  it definitely got me through this XOXOX

Thank You to all my friends and family who came to visit me..I am sorry If I didn't remember all your visits....LOL...but I know your positivity  and support got me through the hardest 9 days of my life XOXO

Thank You to all my parents who were there by my side and advocated along side me every step of the way! Dad, Ellen, and Mom  ..I LOVE you all so much!!! Thank You for being there for every part of it!  XOXO

Thank You to Nicole and Mike for having "sleepover parties" w/ me on night 2 and 3 :) You guys are amazing friends for staying overnight in the hospital w/ out having to..LOL..It meant the world to me!

Thank You to D who spent the other 7 nights w/ me and was by my side through every difficult and scary moment words can ever express my gratitude and thanks for what you did for me!!!!! Thank you for keeping me strong and for giving me comfort when I needed it most !!!XOXOXOXO

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Third Times a Charm! (well it better be)!!

Ok so I am officially 3 weeks post surgery so I hope my memory is clear to back track on my blog because the last 3 weeks definitely have been "interesting" probably more interesting than anything else I have written on lets roll

Surgery Day...again ;) Since a lot happened I am going to bullet point the story..a "quickie" one may say..but there was lots happening so not sure how quick it really will be..ok enough of this..lets roll

-Get to Children's Hospital
-Support team of  Dad, Ellen, Mom, and D = go team
-Wait around to be called in for surgery...not the most fun waiting room
-yup that's me
-Get taken into room to get my official id pretty..not!
-Go back to waiting Room
-yup that's me
-sign some papers and told to remove nose piercing (much easier said than done)
-Go back to waiting room
-yup that's me
-Me and my support team now are taken out to the prep area..only two people allowed..that so didn't happen..all for one and one for all..but the family of 10 next to us distracted our #'s
-Given my new cool hospital apparel to match my fancy hospital bracelet..go to bathroom to change..gown broken..Got to walk back to bed area pretty much undressed to get new gown..I have only been in the hospital for an hour and already my modesty has flown out the window
-Hi To Nurse 1 2 and 3
-take vitals
-Meet My first anesthesiologist..go over my respiratory issues..Feel like I am in good me the option instead of GA I could do an epidural and be put under complete sedation...choices...pretty much all I could see was on one hand waking up in the middle of surgery w/ my hip in my Dr's hand and the other having my lungs fail and not waking choices
-Meet 2nd anesthesiologist..Hey it's Dr Max from pre-op..I guess he really wanted in on my surgery...I got two anesthesiologist for the price of one..well actually haven't seen the insurance bills yet so I can't claim he did this just because he wanted too ;) he is on board w/ epidural idea
-support team rally and also think epidural is best
-Epidural it is..please don't let me wake up during surgery, please don't let me wake up during surgery, please don't let  me wake up during surgery
-My two anesthesiologist promised if at any point I feel like I am awake or feel pain they will immediately put me under general anesthesia...
- Do you want some meds to help you relax...hells yes! No time for silly questions Doctor!
-DR M!!!
-introductions to the support team
-he asks me what I am having done today..I recite back to him my surgery..A+ for me..but concerned now that I have to remind him what we are doing..I really can't do everything ;)
-Give Dr M a hug and tell him to take care of me....or else!  He signs my leg..its for real now
-nebulizer treatment to clear lungs
-ok it's time for surgery..well that was fast.. didn't i just start this pre-op you decide to move quickly around here
-the dreaded ride to the OR
-medded but awake..lets do epidural...hmmmm starting to think G.A. would have been better choice..I like sleeping in the OR room
-first try no good..confidence in my dr's is now great...NOT
-lets do this again....I had to sit for about 2o minutes while they do this but relaxing drugs were definitely kicking in so I think I made some small talk w/ the nurses
-Awake in recovery (memory to blurry to give details sorry for you my readers that I can't tell you this part but happy for me that I can't remember it ;)
-Go to room..have catheter..don't feel it...have fixed hip/broken hip..don't feel it...have diloted medicine pump every 7 minutes..I am pretty sure I am feeling that
-Family stays around for moral support
-D stays over and pulls and all nighter w/ me(THANK YOU!!!!!!!)
-respiratory issues start...every time I started to sleep..oxygen levels oxygen and had to stay awake all night (they said my lungs partially collapsed)
-wish I could give more info but it really is all a I guess having no info is the info..If you are having this surgery w/ My Dr you won't remember much afterwords..and that is fine w/ me!

**** I am now at the rehab hospital..I have been in the hospital for 3 weeks..and I will be going home tomorrow..many stories to share on hopefully my final hip surgery ever..but I will be writing those during the next 4 weeks of my recovery so stay tuned...just wanted to get this out to let you know I am alive and ready to share my story!! g'nite

*****Extra Special Thank You to my support team that day ..Dad, Ellen, Mom, and D...You all are amazing and I couldn't have done it w/ out you..Thanks for you Love ,Support, and Positivity!!!!!! XOXOX