I am writing a two-part account of my stay in hospital for my Total Hip Replacement Operation.
Just look what some kind person sent me!!!! . . . . and inside the cards was printed, "The term 'normal' is loosely used of course!" Gee thanks, Lynn. She is a nurse friend of mine who also wrote in the card, "Hope the Physio showed you how to run up a ladder!" Er thank you, so much, Lynn, and I did seem to remember you promised to visit me and give me a bed bath, but you never showed up! Promises!! Promises!!!Well folks! Life has been very eventful since I had my Total Hip Replacement on Saturday 13th February. Not being at all superstitious I am rather grateful it was not Friday 13th. After just a couple of post operation days I was so relieved of the Arthritic Pain I had to endure for the past 3 months - total agony on occasions. Quite frankly, all the post operative trauma of cut muscles and tendons, drilled pelvis and femur was a piece of cake for me in comparison to my pre-operative experience.
I remember smiling to myself on the Saturday morning just prior to departing to the hospital in Bath. Should I write on my leg, "This one!" to make sure they do the correct one. As it turned out I remember chatting to the anaesthetist just outside the operating theatre and he asked me to verify which leg!! I told him what I nearly did and he laughed and said, "Why didn't you? We are always game for a laugh, but had you done so and not drawn an arrow upwards we might have changed your left knee for an artificial one!" Laughing, he proceeded to take out the sort of pen I had in mind and drew an arrow pointing upwards on the correct leg, the left one, still grinning.
Earlier we had debated whether I should take my hearing aids with me to theatre so he could talk with me. We decided I would wear them and take a small container with me and he would take them out during the operation. I was rather surprised he wanted me to wear the hearing aids and he noted this, saying, "I mean we will talk pre-operation of course, I have no intention of discussing with you The Decline And Fall Of The Roman Empire during the operation!" My he was a character and I think he thought I was one as well for we got on like house on fire. I saw the surgeon and some of his henchmen and they waved to me and smiled.
The anaesthetic procedure was an Epidural plus strong sedation which meant I did not have a General Anasthetic which is much kinder to the system. They sat me up inside the operating theatre and I felt a feint prick in my spine and my body gradually froze from the waste down. They kept prodding me and asked if I could feel my legs which I could not but I was aware of someone inserting the dreaded catheter and I looked longingly at the anaesthetist and asked him to put me out for that, which mercifully he did.
The anesthetic was brilliant because I woke right at the end when they were pat sliding me in theatre onto a trolley. I was awake sufficiently to say a clear an audible thank you to everyone and they all nodded in appreciation. It seemed rather strange for me to be able to do this and I smiled to myself. They pat slid me again onto a bed in the recovery room and I was aware of someone holding my left leg very carefully and then I passed out again.
I was awakened in the recovery ward by a very charming and lovely nurse and I remember saying, "Am I in Heaven or are you Aphrodite?" She laughed and laughed remarking that no-one had ever said that before. I asked her to excuse my rather over-developed sense of humour. She was very anmused and did look after me very well. I observed that it felt as though my left leg was up in the air when it obviously was flat in bed. She explained that my brain remembered the position it was last in before I went unconscious and it was in the sitting position for the epijural injection. She said I would soon get used to the new position. And then I passed out again and woke up on my own ward. I was very pleased that I had remembered to thank her for her kindness before I became unconscious again and left the recovery ward.
I did see her again when she accompanied the next patient back onto my ward. She saw me and waved and that's the last I saw of her.
I must say everyone looked after me very well during my stay in hospital and I am very pleased with the high standard of patient care within the National Health Service. A lot of people knock it and in my opinion they should not do so - we are very lucky to have it.
Next time - some amusing incidents and getting to grips with walking again.