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Sunday, June 24, 2012

Surgery #5: 7 Days Post-Op

So much has happened since I have posted last.  I had surgery on 6/16/2012 on my left hip.  It was a rollercoaster and a half trying to organize surgery in a week.  But it was done.  Here's the scoop:

We left Friday, the 15th, at 4:00am, and we arrived in Vail, CO around 11:00am and had an appointment for pre-op at noon.  I ended up seeing Dr. P's PA.  I did not have a problem with this since I had seen Dr. P the week before.  All we did was fill out paper work and sign consent forms and pick up prescriptions.  It was fairly harmless.  We then went to Wal-Mart and picked up food for the week.  We planned out so that we could eat in every single day so as to eat better and save money.  This worked out nicely.  Friday evening was fairly low key, we ate dinner outside on the patio with a fantastic view of the mountain.  I was truly able to take this time and enjoy the beautiful scenery which surrounded us.  Surprisingly, I was not very nervous.

View from our condo

We got up at 8:00am on Saturday and was to check in to Vail Valley Surgical Center at 9:30am. We did this and then had to wait for hours and hours.  I was scheduled to be in surgery at noon, but it didn't end up being until 2:00pm when I got rolled into the operating room.  My mum and myself simply watched I Love Lucy reruns.  It was stupid but definitely passed the time.  Nobody operates on Saturdays there, but apparently Dr. P had another case before myself.  Everybody was confused as to why he was operating on a weekend.  So we had three nurses helping me out pre-op, very personalized care!!  I had my hip scrubbed with chlorhexidine, which did NOT go over well when it made me itchy and they had to wash it off.  I hated making a big deal about it, but it had to come off or else I'd scratch myself raw.  I also had to have them find the smallest blood pressure cuff they could find since my pipes aren't exactly standard size.  No biggie though.  The fellow then came in and signed my hip and we were off.  They gave me some, as the anesthesiologist called "anti-crying medication" aka Versed prior to be entering the OR.  Then they made me sit up and get an epidural.  This was the most easiest epidural I've ever had.  The OR nurse, Penny, did an amazing job of distracting me by talking with me, plus the surgeon popped his head in during the epidural placement and chatted a bit.  I literally didn't feel the needle even go in.  I was extremely worried about it working as last time the epidural didn't work.  The sensation was checked all over and they said it was good to go.  Next thing I knew I was groggy and trying to wake up, somebody was asking me to wiggle my toes.  It was over.  And I was numb from the belly button down.  Woohoo!

 Me before surgery showing off my pipes.  They were so big they had to go and find the smallest blood pressure cuff 

After the surgery.  Snoozing away after the dry heaves and shakes wore off.  Gosh I hate those.

I have a terrible time waking up from anesthetic.  I had the dry heaves and terrible shakes for about three hours.  I always make a scene.  I thought of apologizing to the PACU nurse prior to me having surgery!  After the nausea and shakes were under control with vast amounts of Zofran, Phennergan, and Toradol, I snoozed for the majority of the night.  I had to be woken up to have my vitals checked, H&H checked, and then at 3am the epidural turned off, and pain medication administration.  The standard order is Percocet, but I did not want this and wanted Vicodin, but the nurse couldn't give me less powerful pain pills until she called the fellow.  I felt bad bc nobody wants to be woke up in the middle of the night to ask for Vicodin vs. Percocet!  Ah well, got my meds. The night was relatively painless.  I had to be taken out of my CPM at midnight and had lovely blue shorts placed sometime in the middle of the night as well.  This was an ordeal since I was completely numb.  They had to roll me over one way, slip on the shorts, and then roll over on the other side and repeat the same procedure.  Overall the night was fine, no major upsets.

7:00am came, and I was pulled out of bed, epidural removed, and then put into a wheelchair and brought down to PT.  I was put on a table in the back and then basically snoozed there.  The athletic therapist and the fellow came in and changed my dressing and explained to me what they did.  I was fairly drugged, but I do remember them saying that my hip was a very angry hip.  And that practicing flexion was key:  before surgery I could do 85* voluntarily, they did 110* under anesthesia and then, after the surgery, could do 130* of flexion.  I will go into exactly what they did during my surgery, what they found, and the prognosis, but this post is detailing my experience.

After my first PT session, I was allowed to go home, where I slept until my next PT session.  We are required to do two PT sessions each day.  It was pretty intense since you have to ride the stationary bike twice a day for 20 minutes each time.  The first PT session I couldn't get to the bike due to nausea and the room tending to spin on me.  But the second time I go there without much hassle.  The therapists are all so encouraging and upbeat, it sure isn't a place where one can feel sorry for yourself.  I really loved my therapist too.  We got along well and worked out perfectly.

Basically I was there for  5 days post-op and then came home.  Each day I had two PT sessions with many hours on the CPM.  It was a full time job.  The first two days were kinda rough.  They are always not very much fun, but by the third day, I thought that I could feel a difference and by the fourth day, I could already flex my hip past 115*  Everybody was so excited.  The athletic therapist always happened to come down to PT just as I was there; he was checking up on me and how my flexion was.  I am sure that Dr. P sent him down to see how I was.  Anywho, that is about it.  I did have a follow-up with Dr. prior to leaving town, but that is another post completely.  Glad I got caught up, and will promise to give updates much more regularly.


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