Hip Replacement Op

17 09 2018

22 August 2018
My first night in hospital – a night early because they wanted me there for 0745 on public transport for my operation the next day and all the way from Skipton, North Yorkshire – my hospital was in Blackburn in West Yorkshire – approximately 40 miles away and at least two trains and a taxi…

Unusually for me, I had a shocking night for pain from my sciatic nerve – one of the parts which gets severely abused by unstable hips! I was therefore looking forward to the anaesthetic…

The next morning, the anaesthetist came in to see me and also the surgeon prior to starting his list – I was number 3… The anaesthetist had asked how I wanted to deal with the operation – unlike many of today’s apparently gruesome folk, I wanted to know nothing at all about it otherwise, I said, there’d be real trouble if they were to start approaching me in a conscious state with power tools! He assured me I’d know nothing about it…

About half an hour before my operation I walked down to the theatre with the anaesthetist and a nurse for the start of my various anaesthetics. Firstly, you have a line fitted into your spine so that they can block your nerves to your legs completely. He said this would be unpleasant but, apart from a kind of ‘knock’ when it hit something like my spintal chord (weird rather than horrible), it was fine. Within seconds my legs did exactly as he said – my feet went red hot! I asked him about this as I found it very curious – he said the first thing which happens is the blood vessels dilate so your legs feel warmer. As someone with permanently frozen feet and ankles, this was pretty nice really.

Soon after, my legs went completely numb and they set about lying me on my side on the trolley. As my legs were now paralysed, I was no help whatsoever but I’m pretty lightweight so it didn’t take too many folk. The next thing I knew it was 2 hours later and I was checking the clock as I came around and feeling puzzled as to when he’d ‘done the deed’ to put me to sleep. I assume it must have gone down the spinal line…

As is always the case for me, even without it being a proper ‘general anaesthetic’ and just heavy sedation, I was totally unresponsive for the rest of the afternoon and most of the evening. People kept coming in to try to wake me and get me to eat or drink etc. but I just grunted and went back to sleep. At 1930, I woke enough to sit up and said perhaps I should eat something and try to go to the loo as I was due to be got out of bed for my first walk at 2030. I’ve a feeling they’d been wanting to do that for the last few hours but couldn’t get me to wake up enough.

They brought me a sandwich anyway and I munched mechanically through it with no enthusiasm as I wasn’t hungry…

The nurse got me a bedpan even though I didn’t feel I wanted to go. I’d been able to feel my feet and lower legs for a while now and had been moving my feet around doing ankles circles and suchlike whenever I awoke long enough. She pulled back the sheets and informed me I’d already been! I wondered how on earth totally paralysed folk deal with the toilet – obviously I hadn’t had any sensation of wanting to go or going! Luckily, they obviously expect this and had put waterproof pads under me. I had another go in the bedpan anyway.

By 2030, I was got out of bed – that was a work of art with only really one working leg. My operated leg felt like someone had attached some heavy metal thing to me instead of a leg – didn’t feel anything to do with me at all… I’d still be pretty numb around that area though. I walked to the door and back with a zimmer and was then put back into bed.

Although I hadn’t wanted the sandwich at all, I asked the nice male nurse if there was anything for pudding – I can always eat a pud! He said he’d see what he could do. He was back shortly with: a tub of ice cream, a small pack of biscuits and, best of all, a scrumptious-looking cup cake. I wolfed the lot!

I watched TV for the rest of the evening, managing to find a half-decent channel – I never normally watch TV and don’t have one at home – normally it’s mostly rubbish. This channel had lots of comedies. Eventually, around midnight, I fell asleep and woke briefly to switch the TV off.

The hospital beds are great for those having to sleep on their backs (which I’d have to do for at least another 6 weeks unfortunately) as the back props right up so you’re more or less sitting. I found that I was getting pretty bad pressure sores on the backs of my heels though by the end of a couple of nights. The first night or so you have socks which inflate and deflate all night to keep your blood circulating. Apparently some folk hate this but it was fine.

My breakfast was porridge which I didn’t really want as I don’t eat breakfasts. It was nice enough though. I then got out into my chair for the rest of the day. No visitors for me as I was too far from everyone I know and I don’t have friends who can drive! The physios came in with crutches in the afternoon and I did a lot of corridors and then up and down the stairs. I was walking fairly normally and they were apparently impressed. Walking was lovely as you could get your blood going around and you could unstiffen. The leg still belonged to someone else though…

I could do the standing exercises no problem but skipped most of the lying on the bed ones. Some of them duplicated the standing ones but were easier and some I just couldn’t do. Getting onto and off the bed was absolutely horrible – really difficult and usually led to being in pain for a while after and worrying whether you’d done any damage. Apparently it’s the same for everyone…

I had a worse night without the compressing socks as my feet were frozen and my heel pain worse from the pressure. Also, I’d hurt my leg quite badly getting into bed and the TV was rubbish. Next morning, I was woken for the usual painkillers and promptly went back to sleep until ‘Mrs Loud-and-Voluble’ started up next door. This woman could yack for England and had a really loud voice. Every morning around 0800, she’d get on Skype, on speaker, and yell at the phone while various kiddie noises gurgled loudly back at her from her grandkids. When this long call finished she’d then buzz the nurses whenever she didn’t have visitors (which wasn’t very often) and have really loud conversations completely non-stop. She literally didn’t stop wittering from morning till bedtime… I got plenty of exercise getting up and shutting my room door repeatedly.

One night, she had around 10 (I’m not joking) visitors having a loud party in there until 2200 hours! Luckily I’m not an early nighter but there were plenty of other rooms occupied by older folk who probably were. The nurses even shut her door once as you could hear her all around the corridors!

Appetite-wise I was now eating like a horse. I think that, really, my body was desperate for as much protein as it could get its hands on and it wasn’t getting enough so it kept badgering me to eat.

A day or so before I was due out, I was taken off the morphine. It had just started having very strange effects on me mentally. I was literally having 3 disjointed thoughts hitting me at exactly the same moment – I didn’t know you could think three things at exactly the same moment but, with the right drugs, you can! None of the thoughts made sense and they were pretty much non-stop. This didn’t bother me unduly as I knew it was the pills and, looking out of the window and deliberately searching for bunnies (I had the wildlife window) was enough of a distraction to quieten them for a while.

I only held onto one thought for an example of what I mean by disjointed – “his face is turning green” was one notable thought – completely unaccompanied by anything else relating to it and at the same time as two other unrelated thoughts! Some of the thoughts actually seemed to impinge on my eardrums – I suppose an auditory hallucination – strong stuff these drugs! At least this gave me an appreciation of what my paranoid-schizophrenic brother goes through regularly…

The day I came off the morphine they made the mistake of trying me on Codeine. First of all, about half an hour later, I was convinced I was fading away. My pulse seemed to have gone terribly weak, my breathing had gone down to almost nothing and I felt spaced-out and giddy. I eventually rang for the nurses and they checked my vitals but said I was fine. An hour or so later, I felt horribly sick for the rest of the day and couldn’t eat a thing. At suppertime I thought I’d best force some soup and toast down and, luckily, they went down and I was fine after that. I’d been taken straight back off the Codeine though and won’t try them again!

I should have left the hospital on the Sunday (the op was on the Thu) but there was no transport. They thought I’d be in until Tuesday as it was a Bank Holiday Monday. I therefore told Richard to make plans to go to my house on the Tuesday to get ready for me. Come Monday morning, straight after breakfast, the nurse came in and told me to get dressed as I was going home! I told her nothing was arranged and no-one would be there. They were insistent though and said the ambulance men were already waiting.

I couldn’t get Richard on the phone as he’d gone out so left him a message. He didn’t get it until hours later and I was dropped off at my freezing cold house, with no form of heating (storage heaters so have to be put on the night before or a fire which I couldn’t bend down and light) at midday. Richard arrived at 2000 hours by which time I was frozen to the bone. We were both pretty cross about it all. It takes another hour for the fire to warm the lounge when lit so I had another hour of suffering…

Of course, as per my last post on here, sitting was way too painful to type this up – this is my fourth week now post-op and I can sit comfortably for a couple of hours now. Haven’t had ANY physio yet though! The first lot, she said she’d made an appointment with me but I had no knowledge of it and didn’t get any letter – the second, the transport never turned up! So my first physio is just before I go back to work at around 5 and a bit weeks! Not good…

You’re reading a post by Mountain Coward. If you’ve enjoyed this post, be sure to follow The Mountain Coward from my homepage

Advertisements

Actions

Information

23 responses

21 09 2018
tessapark1969

Fingers crossed for a swift recovery.

Like

21 09 2018
mountaincoward

I don’t seem to be doing too badly – was out for a walk without any crutches yesterday for the first time. My unevenness of gait is very worrying with having a much longer leg on my operated side now though and it’s also giving me a bad back and knee (to be expected really). I can see I’m going to have to get those built-up shoes my mother has as there is between a one and two-inch difference in length – they were dead even before 😦

Like

20 09 2018
Simon Howlett

I hope the recovery from your operation progresses well and the physio is a success. Would be nice to do another walk with you and Richard when you are feeling better. Good to hear a decent pudding was available after the operation!

Like

20 09 2018
mountaincoward

or three! 😉 Went downhill after that though as the official menu was only offering things like fruit salad which I like but class as a starter or breakfast really, not a pud!

Liked by 1 person

19 09 2018
underswansea

All the best. Get well soon.

Liked by 1 person

19 09 2018
mountaincoward

Thanks – I’m trying, honest!

Like

20 09 2018
underswansea

Carol, can I ask you how long it was from the time it was decided you needed a new hip to the time of your operation? Just curious. Bob PS Here is a few pics of mountains while you get better. Of course my documentation of the hike is not as thorough or entertaining as yours. https://palliserpass.ca/2018/07/15/mid-july/

Like

20 09 2018
mountaincoward

I found that a great write-up and have left a comment. Not sure how, but I appear to have ‘unfollowed’ your blog – I’ve put that right now and am back following. Wasn’t deliberate that’s for sure.

I decided with the surgeon in around late April and the op was late August. I’m pretty sure he left me until last on his list though as I was definitely the most ‘able’ and wasn’t in much pain really. Just the stiffening up was stopping me going very far which didn’t suit me and, like he said, it wasn’t going to get better!

Like

19 09 2018
Blue Sky Scotland

You have been through the wars. I’m getting an unsafe site message visiting your blog Carol which I’ve never had before- something about KGdesign and media lifting personal data… hosting via your site. No idea why or if its just me getting it.

Like

19 09 2018
mountaincoward

Hmmm – just checked it’s coming up ‘green’ in Google for me so SHOULD be okay. I accidentally put in ‘www.WODpress.com’ the other day and AVG shut my session straight down as that was a malware infected imitation. Might depend how you’re accessing?

Like

18 09 2018
chrissiedixie

Get well soon, hope the physio gets sorted.

Like

18 09 2018
mountaincoward

I wish it was sooner and hope my next transport turns up! At least I’ve managed to get some taxi numbers now in case it doesn’t. The earlier you have physio though, the sooner you get better and the better you get!

Liked by 1 person

18 09 2018
chrissiedixie

Absolutely.

Like

18 09 2018
simplywendi

sending well wishes for a complete recovery………

Like

18 09 2018
mountaincoward

Thanks Wendi – I suppose recovery never goes as fast as you’d like really…

Liked by 1 person

18 09 2018
simplywendi

no, it never really does…….but you will get there.

Like

17 09 2018
Janice Drake

I love your writing and I feel I should say that you have written this very well and sharing your experience could help people who read it deal with similar things.

I hope your hip continues to improve and you can get back to walking soon.

Sending you home without notice was bad practice especially as no-one available to look after you. This sort of thing happens all the time though – it’s lack of organisation. No-one means any harm but harm might get done.

The NHS must strive to improve and your hip must also improve!

Janice Drake, interested reader

Get Outlook for iOS ________________________________

Like

18 09 2018
mountaincoward

I have to admit that, when I went down to the farm after arriving back to arrange for them to pick up Richard from the railway station (about 1/4 mile walk so quite ambitious for just out of hospital) she offered to come up and light my fire. But I wouldn’t really have been able to stoke it with logs so needed Richard really…

Like

17 09 2018
Jim R

What an interesting account of your experience. It was engrossing. You are good at describing things.

Keep getting better.

Like

18 09 2018
mountaincoward

Thanks Jim – I’m hoping it makes useful reading for others who have to have it done. I know the couple of detailed blogs I read beforehand helped me…

Like

18 09 2018
Jim R

Good idea.

Like

17 09 2018
markadams99

Get well!

Like

18 09 2018
mountaincoward

Thanks Mark – I’m improving. I’ve made lots of notes for my next post to give people an idea of the end of my first, second, third weeks’ progress etc.

Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.




%d bloggers like this: