Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The Story of a Sad Hip's Journey

On Monday, June 27th, my father had his 50th birthday. On Monday, June 27th, I began preparations for my first hip replacement surgery that was to be the following day. Talk about an exciting week for all!

That day I began packing and getting ready for the great journey ahead. All day, packing, making sure I had everything I needed, as well as Isaiah. All day waiting for that important phone call letting me know what time I needed to be at the hospital. Mom went shopping, I stayed home with Isaiah. Finally around 4pm I got the call, “Please be at the hospital by 8am!” Yay! I was thrilled! So we waited for Mom to get back from last minute shopping, packed up the car, and we were on our way.

It was a pretty good drive up to Baltimore. Traffic was decent, kiddo didn’t complain, all in all very nice. We all stayed up way to late, but had a good time. Before bed I had to do my first scrub down with the special sponge full of anit-germy soap. I kinda liked that stuff! Haha! I got about 4 hours of sleep between staying up late, then nerves, etc. I then woke up around 5:30am to take my second anti-germy shower, waited for everyone to get ready and then off we went to the University of Maryland Medical Center!

So we find some parking, get inside and checked in as visitors, then head on up to the 2nd floor where Same Day Surgery is. Once up there though, I find out that Isaiah isn’t even allowed in that waiting area, that he has to go up to the 3rd floor one if he’s planning on staying. Made me sad, but gotta follow the rules. So we waited for the nurse to call me back, and I gave the little guy a new toy from the new Tron movie, and lots of hugs and kisses before sending him off. My brother took him back to his place for the day while mom stayed with me. Once I got back, changed into my gown and all situated, Mom was able to come back and hang out with me for a bit. We were chatting and having a good morning when the anesthesiologist came back and had a little chit chat with us. I *loved* her. We talked about all kinds of stuff both related to my upcoming epidural and not. She was super nice. Now, one of the things we had to discuss was my prior epidural that I had when I was pregnant and giving birth to Isaiah. At the time, it took the guy then about 45 minutes to get the epidural in, not to mention he had to stick and restick me about 4 or 5 times. We just chalked it up to me having a giant preggo baby belly and not being able to arch my back right. Not to mention I have scoliosis, but I didn’t think that played much of a part in it at the time. So fast forward to me heading over to the epidural room and it was time for Mom to leave. We said our goodbyes, hugs & kisses and she was off. I, on the other hand, had to get ready for multiple needles in my back. I had a feeling things weren’t going to go right when the assistant was the one who came in to actually administer the epidural. I’m sure he was a student, and I know that they all have to learn sometime. This is about how it went. Poke #1 – numbing agent. Poke #2 – try and get into spinal cavity…BUZZ…wrong move, electric jolt down the right leg. Try again…BUZZ…wrong again. Try one more time…BUZZ…wrong yet again. Let’s try this yet ANOTHER time….ZING!!!! Searing pain straight up over my head turning into a sudden headache into my eyebrows. It was actually VERY scary, as I couldn’t lift my head up, cause if I did it was the most intense pain ever. So, he stopped (thank the Lord), and the original, more experienced lady comes back. They had given me pain killers in my IV plus other loopy meds that were beginning to kick in. She was a godsend because it only took her ONE TIME and she got it in just fine. At that point I was calmed down and feeling pretty nice from the stuff they shot me up with, plus the epidural was kicking in and numbing me up.

Time to go! Next thing I know, it’s time to head to the operating room and get the show on the road. All I remember is lots of people, bright lights, and lots of noise. They kept asking me if I my legs are getting heavier…and then there was nothing.

A few hours later I get woken up during the middle of surgery to see the bone they had cut out of me. It definitely was NOT what a bone should look like! It more looked like a chunk of coral from the depths of the sea. Then, fade to black. A few MORE hours, I’m back up. Mom is there trying to get words out of me, but all she is getting is a bunch of babble. I don’t remember much during this time, just in and out of it, a little pain, and waiting for a room. At this point, mom went ahead and went back to Chris’ house for the night, and shortly after I got to head up to my room. I have to say that my stay at the hospital was great. The first day I got to just rest. Day 2 – got up and walked a bit. They had to keep an eye on my hemoglobin levels because it was a bit low. Day 3 – I ended up getting a unit of blood cause those levels wouldn’t come up. Didn’t do any therapy that day due to being very weak from the low blood levels. Day 4 started off pretty darn rough. They waltz in at like 6am and give me 2 Percosets to pop…so I do. They’re doing this to prepare me for my epidural removal later that day. Well, next thing I know I’m knocked out and they’re coming back to check on me about an hour or so later. I felt horrible, I was insanely loopy and extremely sick to my stomach. They gave me some anti-sick belly meds, I felt better, and a few hours later started me on Tylenol 3’s and those were MUCH better. They made me sleepy, but that was tons better than what the other meds did to me. So the day goes on, they take out my epidural, take out my drain tubes, take out my IV, and I’m FREE of tubes and wires! It was really nice! I did a little therapy that day, worked on the stairs, then rested up. Day 5 – they came and took my full leg bandage off, put a simple dressing on and sent me on my way back home!!

It’s been a great experience. I’m now 3 weeks post op. I had my first check-up today and all is going well. I got my staples out today, so that means no more tape all over me keeping bandages on! I’m down to one Tylenol-3 about 3x a day, and getting around really well. I’m to continue using the walker for the next 3 weeks, no driving for the next 3 weeks, and I start physical therapy tomorrow. As for my next surgery, it looks like we’re going to be getting it done around mid to late August or early September!! I cannot wait…so super excited!!! This is the time of my life I’ve been waiting for!

1 comment:

  1. wow Jen I am super proud of you and you inspired me with your story I know you went so much with the hip pain since age 13.I understand your pain and all you have gone through just to feel normal and know what it is like to be able to walk and be pain free you are a strong woman and you will do fine with your next hip replacement you never allow this to get you down you stayed strong through out all the pain and once you get your left hip done you will be a double bionic woman like me and you will be able to accomplish so much and do thing that you were never able to do before, so keep it up stay positive and you will be fine.


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