Well, perhaps the "Hippee. Hippee Shake" may be a little premature right now but I am determined to do the twist again one day!! Yet it seems strange to have one of these contraptions inside me!!
"That should see you out!", said the consultant, laughing! as he inspected me after the operation. It all went very well and lasted just under two hours. We have fitted the most durable implant available to us and you are doing well."
By popular demand I am writing part 2 of my hospital experiences during my three day stay - not long for a major operation and you have all inspired me to write yet part three to round it all off.
First I thank you for all your kind wishes and prayers and suggestions as to how I might emulate Steve Austin as The Bionic Six Million Dollar Man. I will deal with this in the third episode but for now I will recall when I was a prisoner in my hospital bed, quite unable to move independently, wired up to all these gadgets and wearing that awful catheter, which I hated.
I was about to experience my first night after the operation. I was blissfully aware that there was no pain in my hip and I just could not understand this because I had been cut, sawn, chiseled, hammered, drilled, pulled about, sewn and stapled with 37 steel clips. I drifted in and out of consciousness and was awakened for my 2 hourly check ups for Blood Pressure, Pulse and Blood Oxygen tests.
"Breathe deep breaths Eddie!", said the night sister, "you're breathing only 14 breaths a minute!" I responded with deep breaths and the oxygen content shot up. "That's better! - you are a lazy breather!" My hearing aids were not adjusted correctly and I took this to mean, "You are a lazy bleeder!" I laughed aloud and thought how right she is. For some inexplicable reason a joke sprang to mind and I said as she was taking my temperature, a sensor in my ear for a few seconds. I had to remove my hearing aid first and said, "I have a joke for you!", to which she replied, "Yes?"
"What's the difference between an oral thermometer and a rectal thermometer?", to which she replied she had not the foggiest idea and "What might that be?". "The taste!" I replied and she went into hysterics saying she would tell her colleagues during the switch over. "Seriously", I said to her, "I really appreciate you looking after me. When can I get rid of this catheter?" "Maybe tomorrow! but it's doing a good job for now, so you do not have to get out of bed yet. The physio will get you up tomorrow." "Really!" I said. "Yes!", she nodded, "You're doing well but make sure you take deep breaths or we may have to consider giving you a blood transfusion to boost your oxygen blood count. "I'd rather not because I am a blood donor and I have donated 91 units and want to reach 100 if I can. If I have a transfusion I cannot donate any more." She was suitably impressed I think and said I would have to make sure I took deep breaths. Anyway my oxygen count improved significantly the next day so my fears were unfounded.
I drank copious amounts of water, as instructed, and it was a blessing really that I was catheterised, yet I would not agree that at the time of course. Until recently the procedure after a total hip replacement was for patients to wear graduated pressure stockings which helped to prevent Deep Vein Thrombosis, perceived as a serious risk after such surgery and this could lead to the possibility of a pulmonary embolism (a blockage of the circulatory system in the lungs, which could be fatal). In the last three months they changed this procedure and instead fitted pulsating slippers which must be worn for the first 72 hours. This radically reduced the risk of DVT because it simulated the action of walking and improved the circulatory system to the legs enormously. I was taking blood thinning drugs as well, which I continue and will do so for the next few weeks.
Sleeping on my back was the only option, as indeed it is to this day, because after a total hip replacement there are three things I must not do do prevent dislocation of the hip. I must not twist my torso in relation to my legs, I must not cross my legs and I must not let my torso to thigh bone decrease to less than a ninety degree angle. So sitting I have to make sure the angle is safe. These three rules must apply for at least two months until the cut muscles and tendons have repaired sufficiently to keep the joint together. That is all holding our natural joints together as well, which is interesting.
Next morning I woke hungry and and they sat me up and I enjoyed my breakfast of toast and then cornflakes. The physio arrived at 10.30 and got me up, drilling me with the three golden rules. I found getting out of bed very difficult - my left leg would not move too easily and I had to shunt myself round in a sitting position, making sure the angle always appeared with my injured leg slightly open. The physio presented me with a zimmer frame and hooked my catheter bad over it and asked me to stand up, locking my legs. There I was standing upright after just 18 hours. He helped me to take a few steps and I asked if I could go further and he accompanied me. I went into the next ward to see a lady patient who had her operation just after me. She was amazed when I said a quick hello and then headed back to my ward. The physio was well pleased and my confidence returned. The hardest thing I had to do was to get back into bed and get my injured leg into bed. I had to do it because they wanted to see if my technique was safe and it was.
Boy, didn't I feel hungry!! "Nurse, I could eat a horse!" "Eddie, your supposed to wait until there is something on your plate first! There's some cottage pie coming!! No need to eat the plate!!"
I ate meals regularly but was aware I had not yet been to the toilet. I knew my alimentary canal was completely empty and reasoned that it would take some time to work through.
On day two I was asked by a Staff Nurse, "Have you had your bowels opened?" To which I replied I felt I wanted to - so she assisted me to the bathroom and I managed to sit down. She left me there and said I should pull the alarm bell when I was ready so she could help me. My feelings were justified. There was a violent explosion! but no result. I pulled the bell cord as instructed. "Well", she said, "any result?" I replied in a humorous way and asked her if she had ever heard of The Four Elements, Earth, Wind, Fire and Water?" She smiled inquisitively and I proceeded, "Well it was All Wind and Water - lots of it, with no Earth yet but boy had there been a naked flame around you'd have all heard the explosion!" She laughed and I could detect her thinking she had a right one here!
On day two another physio called Ed got me out of bed and he liked my safe technique and watched me cruise around on the zimmer along the corridor. "Time for sticks!" he said. I said I had one and he found a matching stick. He taught me two ways of walking, the easy way, putting both sticks down as I put my bad leg down to take some weight off. I mastered this straight away and asked if I could do the other way. He was rather taken aback and agreed no harm would come of it and he was amazed I did it straight away and walked the full length of the corridor.
Next day Ed taught me two ways of going up and down stairs. The easy way, dragging the bad leg up after the good leg. The rule for this was "Good leg moves first up the Heaven" and going down, "Bad leg moves first following stick to Hell!" He said after a week I would be able to walk up the stairs one leg after the other. I asked him if we could try it now and he said, "Well, technically you can do no harm so if you are sure I'll follow you and make sure you don't fall."
I did it straight away and it was relatively painless. He was amazed I could stand the pain and I told him the real pain was before I had the operation - in comparison this is nothing.
That afternoon I was pleased because a sister removed the catheter which was a huge relief for any man. The problem now was that I had to get up in the night to visit the bathroom and before I could do that I had to ring the bell, rather apologetically, and ask the nurse to remove my pulsating slippers.
Next time - I leave the hospital, a setback at home followed by gradual improvement.
And for those who like blood and gore, like Ethel Mae LOL, I will include a YouTube of the operation (grab your sick bowls first though). See you soon and I shall try to get around to visit you soon.
For those who missed part one press HERE