Wednesday, October 12, 2011

On The Other Side

My New Hip! This Xray was taken the same day as my surgery!
I HAVE A NEW HIP!!!! WOW! I still can't quite believe it myself. What a journey it has been to get to this actual point. Very surreal. I am writing this from my bed on my 2 weeks post surgery anniversary. Probably won't finish this blog piece tonight, but today was the first day I felt inspired to write,so I felt it was important to get started.
Not even sure where to begin with this post because the past two weeks have felt like two years, and I don't want to babble on forever, so I think I will seperate it into parts....don't worry short and to the point parts..well I will try my best! ;)

Surgery Day:
My surgery got bumped up from 2pm to 11am so I had to arrive at the hospital at 9:30am. I had my entourage of my dad, my stepmom, and D. To say I was nervous would be an understatement, but I still cannot put into words what was going on in my head. I checked in at the front desk at the hospital and they gave me a light up pager like the ones you get at The Cheesecake Factory, still not quite sure how I felt about that. When the buzzer went off they were ready to give me a new hip (yes, it was a little strange). While I was waiting for my table..I mean for my surgery.. I did some laps around the waiting room..a kind of farewell to my hip;taking it out for a final spin. There was a harpist in the waiting room which was actually relaxing and serene, but I still couldn't actually sit still. Buzzer went off and they took me to the pre-op room..on my OWN! Yes I am 36, but I really did'nt want to go anywhere by myself at the moment, but I did...I had to "woman up" ;) They got me into their beautiful hospital gown, put an IV in, met with Dr. A who autographed my right hip, and then got my epidural put in. It's strange during this 30 minute time period you feel like the most popular person in the world. You have about 40 people in and out asking you a million questions at the same time, putting blankets on you, trying to make you "comfortable'. Then they drug you( and you are ready and willing) nerves are in overload at this point. I got the epidural on board, then they put a anti naseau patch on behind my ear, got my hair up in a blue shower cap and now they let my "entourage" come say there goodbyes/ or goodlucks to me one by one. It was a surreal moment. My loving "entourage" was giving me positive advice to keep me strong up to the last second and then they were ready to roll...literally they move D out of the way and rolled my bed past him and down the hall we went.
Back in the OR again; Cold, noisy, lots of people you never met, cold, lots of "machinery", and oh yeah cold. The rest is kind of basic, they talked to you for a few seconds, you have a moment of panic, I look the people in there right in their eyes and tell them they better take good care of me, and then lights out.
Waking Up:
I woke up and remeber being cold and feeling pain, but it really is a hazy blur. I do remember my epidural was misbehaving and numbing the left side of my body and not my right (the injured part)..I guess I had a 50/50 shot on that one. I remember getting A LOT of medication, I remember a nice nurse who was with me the whole FOUR HOURS I was in there. I remember someone bringing an x-ray machine to my gurney, I vaguely remember Dr. A coming in twice telling me all went well, I remember getting a blood transfusion, and I most clearly remember that I wasn't allow to see anyone while I was in that room..which to be honest totally sucked! At 4 hours they let my mom come in and see me before she had to leave, but I can't remember the conversation we had just that I was happy to see her. Finially they rolled me on up to my PRIVATE room (yes I got the VIP plan this time). I figured after 5 surgeries I deserved some peace and quiet and DR. A agreed with me. When I got to the room my dad, stepmom, and D were there and it felt really good to see them.
Seven Days:
Me and My Hip
Blood Transfusion
Tackling The Stairs With PT
I spent the seven longest days of my life in that hospital room. Epidural came out on Day 1 they couldn't get it to work. Day 2 got a 102 fever (which was scary, but they got it down), and I also received a second blood transfusion that night. Catheter came out on Day 3. PT started on Day 4. Climbed 5 Stairs on Day 5. Walked the halls with a walker on Day 5 and 6. Went home using Crutches on Day 7. This was my roughest stay in the hospital. They tried every pain medicine uder the sun with me. I got every side effect they came with them except for actual pain relief. The pain was actually unbearable and at moments I didn't know how I would make it to the next moment. The swelling was extreme, I had to wear and still have to wear long "ted socks" to reduce blood clots (8 weeks). I went through an array of emotions, but the most important part is I got through it. I want to thank my friends and family who visited me, as well as the ones who couldn't, but sent me such encouraging texts, messages, and cards...they all helped so much in keeping me positive. Also thank you D for staying with me the whole time in the hospital no words could express my thanks for being there for me like that.
First time sitting up to eat in hospital.

Home Sweet Home:
Dorothy was so right.."there is no place like home". First I had to get there! It was a little strange that you could have a major surgery and spend seven days in the hospital and then when it's time to go..that's it. D wheeled me out of the room and I waited outside for him to bring the car around. No one told us how to actually get in to my low seated car. You would think there would at least be an escort out to help you not destroy your new hip before your even leave the parking lot (yes that was full blown sarcasm). Thank goodness there was a nice nurse outside with another patient who saw the situation asked what surgery I had an showed me how to get into my car. So If you are ever in this kind of spot and have a low to ground car (I have a Toyota Corolla) you adjust the seat in almost full recline than you put your bad leg forward and with the help of others you ease yourself into the seat backwards while holding bad leg out and then when seated you have someone lift bad leg up and help you swing it gently into car, seriously there should have been someone from the hospital there to help with that. Once in car I dispersed ice-packs that we took and spread them around hip and braced myself for car ride home. We were very lucky that there was no traffic,so 45 minutes later I was home and it felt amazing. I swear you just get healthier by entering your own home, plus it was the first time I got to be outdoors in a week nothing like some fresh air!
I slept pretty much the moment I hit my bed.
Adjusting to home life is different post surgery because you are not the same person physically you were when you left for the hospital. "Lucky" that I am a "surgery pro", so I knew kind of what to expect. I had a raised toilet seat already on toilet. I had a special pillow on my bed
for my legs to help with my hip precautions (legs can't touch for first four weeks...not easy to sleep like that). I had house cleaned, organized, and made handicap accessible. I had shower chair put in shower and grabber next to bed for hard to reach things. Had computer set up on table next to bed for entertainment and no wires or movable rugs on floor to prevent tripping. Home life this past week has not been very "exciting", so not much to write about. What I do want to point out is the major changes that happened from week one in hospital to week two at home.
First time walking outdoors and sitting outside post surgery
Had visiting Physical therapist 3 times so far and he has had me walk around apartment for 10 minutes every 2 hours. I have walked down my 5 stairs and walked down my sidewalk twice without tears. I can't even to begin to describe to you the pain I felt the first time I tried to walk post surgery in the hospital, it took to day 7 to do it without either crying or vomiting...for reals. There is still A LOT of pain, but walking doesn't bring it on like it did last week. It actually feels kind of good to walk with crutches around house because it help stretch things out, the only thing that gets hard is muscles are weak so you get exhausted with your "bad" leg quite quickly. I even sat outside for 10 minutes which was amazing thinking where I was just last week.
I also have a visiting nurse twice a week. Yesterday on my 2 week anniversary she removed the 28 staples that helped close my incision. I was a little nervous about the removal. I thought it was going to be done in a hospital with Novocaine, but that is not the case. They use pretty much a staple remover and no Novocaine. I closed my eyes for this "operation". It felt like the staples were breaking in half some hurt more than others, but no tears from me. She then applied steri- strips to the incision which she said would fall off on their own. It feels much better without the staples. The staples were getting sore and itchy and pulled on my skin. Now the area feels a little raw, but no pulling and weird little zings, plus they really grossed me out so I was happy to say buh-bye to them.
Staples/ No Staples!

There is so much to say, but at the same time not so much. It feels good to be on the other side of this, deep breathing is my friend, it is so important to keep your mind in a positive space or you can go downhill fast, and be proud of all your accomplishments..they may be small but they are so big at the same time. I have been through a lot, but I am very lucky because I hopefully will one day get a chance to be pain free ,and that I am very lucky to have great friends and family so I don't have to do this all on my own. I will try to update weekly to give status on my progress. I got a NEW HIP..WOW! Still can't believe it!


  1. Sarah, you are a warrior!!!!!!!

  2. Awwwwwwww! Thank you (said with warrior roar) ;)!!! xoxoxoxo