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Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Apparently, I exist in a Universe of my own.

In the countdown to New Hip Time, I was required to attend a class at the medical center for all joint replacement candidates.  Securely masked and safe-distanced, the six of us sat - canes propped beside us - in a semi-circle, waiting to be enlightened.  Well.  

In my universe, I would awake on the appointed day, take a shower, check my toenails for chipped polish, pack a few things, and head to the hospital.  There, I would be sanitized, anesthetized, pain-relieved, fitted with a new hip joint, then wheeled to my sister's car and scooted home.

In reality, I need to see my doctor, get a special blood test, get tested (again) for Covid, get an okay from my dentist, take extra strength Tylenol for two days prior to surgery, change my sheets constantly, changed my jimjams daily, take a shower every day for the five days leading up to and including the day of surgery, using special soap, use additional special body wipes the morning of, use a special nasal spray the morning of, drink Gatorade (never!), and more.  More!  I am not allowed to have anyone with me, but cannot take my phone.  I suppose I am to use ESP with my sister.  It is such a complicated procedure that I have to make a chart so that I don't forget anything.  I suppose I should be thrilled that they take such precautions, but good golly.

As we all sat and listened in stunned silence, the other 'hip' piped up and said that she didn't HAVE that many pjs.  Amen, sister.  Then the RN went around the room asking, "do you live alone? Who will be caring for you the first week?"  There were two of us loners - me and a long-haired, bearded fellow, wearing voluminous brown sweats.  He was a 'knee'.  Two of the other knees were there for the second time, both men and both with long-suffering wives in tow, who were obviously not looking forward to reliving the recovery experience.  When she came to me, I chirped, "I am being tag-teamed by my sisters, who will each take a week to take care of me and anything I need."  You could feel the hostility and envy being generated in my direction.  Then it was revealed that I was going in as an outpatient.  One of the wives seemed very nervous that there was a chance that her husband would NOT be in the hospital for two days.  

My neighbor is building a temporary ramp for when I (and my new best friend, Walker - not Johnny...yet) perambulate into the house for two weeks of shameless pampering recuperation.  My surgeon does not start PT for two weeks.  After spending two weeks in the loving care of my wonderful sisters, I may cry copiously after they leave.  I am looking forward to getting my life back.

On  seasonal note, I hope that everyone had a quiet, safe and happy Christmas.  Ours was very small and quiet and just right, although we missed the NYC sisters.  We did some face-time, had a lovely meal and I tottered home at a decent hour.  It's looking like New Year's Day will be a repeat, which is fine and dandy by me, although I would really prefer to spend it at home with the kids.  Fingers crossed that 2021 is a year of kindness and healing.  And good gardening weather!

22 comments:

coffeeontheporchwithme said...

Oh boy. I'd have to make a check list as well. I love how you refer to the patients by their replaceable parts. How soon does all this happen? -Jenn

Susan said...

Jenn, surgery is scheduled for 1/26!

Mama Pea said...

Good golly! What a procedure you have to follow. (Wonder what they do with accident victims coming in with broken bones that need repairing? Prop them in a corner and hose them down with extra strength disinfectant?) Just keep thinking of how absolutely wonderful it will be to have gone through all of this, including the big day on the 26th, sailed through rehab (as I know you will) and have your life back! You'll be back to zooming around at your normal high speed before you know it. We're all supporting you through this from afar!

Susan said...

Oh, what a visual hoot! I wouldn’t be surprised if they actually did hose you down with disinfectant! I’m hoping to spring into spring!!!

susie @ persimmon moon cottage said...

I don't know if you will have the same soap provided for you at the meeting, for use at home, that I had when I had my pre knee surgery meeting 1 1/2 years ago, but the stuff I had made the shower so slippery that I was afraid to even move once I first tried to take a step, had to holler for my husband to come and put a towel on the shower floor as I rinsed soap off. Hopefully they have started using a special soap that is less slippery, unless they are trying to drum up more business. I didn't get special nose spray to use at home, but before the surgery they swabbed a giant soaking wet iodine swab up each nostril to where it may have touched my brain. My nose dripped iodine into a kleenex I was not allowed to blow it. And then I had to wash myself with little towlettes at the hospital pre-surgery. I think it would have been easier to have gone somewhere in the hospital, let them swab my nose, and then have them hose me off with a power washer. It would sure have been easier. Plus all of that shower taking at home was at 3:30 am in the morning, to get to hospital by 5:30 am.

May everything go perfectly during your surgery and after. Best wishes for quickest healing possible.

Take care,

Susie D

Susan said...

Thanks for the warning!!! I agree. It would be easier just to show up at the hospital and have them hold you down and do whatever. Iodine up the nose? Good grief! I guess I will not complain about my little nasal spray.

ellen abbott said...

holy cow and karumba! all I had to do was wash with antibacterial soap, a special kind if I could find it (ha, not in this podunk town) but any would do, the night before they threaded a zapper through the artery in my groin and into my heart to burn out a spot. nothing about clean sheets or pjs. and what is the purpose of taking tylenol for days in advance? everyone I know who had hip replacement they had up and walking the next day. I guess this all has to do with covid since they are kicking you out pronto. sorry lady, need the bed.

Marcia LaRue said...

Good Grief, Gertie ... I've had two full knee replacement surgeries and I never had to go through any of that obstacle course! Of course, we didn't have Covid-19 in 2009 and 2015 ... sooooo ... maybe that's why so many hoops to deal with! And, too, it could be about where you live ... I'm in S. Colorado ... and I don't hope to see what this area is doing when it comes to replacement surgeries right now!
Well ... here's hoping you can stick to the routine and it all goes well! So, I shall wish you a Happy Birthday now!

Steve Reed said...

Wow! I had no idea it would be so complicated, although I'm still impressed that an outpatient hip replacement is possible at all. Why do you have to change your clothes/sheets so frequently -- to make sure your skin is clean? As I said, Wow.

Florida Farm Girl said...

That check list would be enough to just about scare you away from the thing! Hope it all goes well and you're doing the cha cha soon. We are all ready for a new year which is nothing like 2020 has been, hopefully a whole lot better all around. Stay well.

Debra She Who Seeks said...

Wow! What a complex prep! And why do you need your dentist's okay? Is that because crowns/bridges may be loosened or knocked out when they stick those breathing tubes down your throat? Still, I don't see why that should need the dentist's permission.

Nancy @ Little Homestead In Boise said...

Hope I never have to go thru THAT! 2 foots surgeries (surgery) and a ruptured disc (Chiro and acupuncture) was enough for me! You'll feel so much better next spring!!!

Theresa Y said...

Happy New Year Sue!

linnellnickerson@gmail.com said...

good luck, Susan,, When you go in for your surgery. Sure doesn't sound very appealing! There seems to be so much more prep work now a days, which is for the good. You'll be up and running before you know it!! This will give you a lot of time to Knit! xo

jaz@octoberfarm said...

are they doing hip surgery through your mouth? why the hell do they need the dentist's approval?

Joanne Noragon said...

Well, make a diagram and keep ticking the boxes. I can see the reason for all those precautions; you have to go in armored against covid. Happy new year. You will appreciate your new joint.

Retired Knitter said...

Wow, I had absolutely NO IDEA that the run up to a hip replacement was so much! You certainly did described well.

Susan said...

Holy cow! You'll be asleep before the anesthetic after all those chores.

Yarrow said...

Best of luck with the operation and New Year blessings to you, lets hope it's better than the last! x

Goatldi said...

Here’s to feeling better. Gee if protocol was what it is now twenty to thirty years ago perhaps there wouldn’t have been so many patients who brought a little friend (staph infection) home with them that caused a number of knee patients to have a Second , third or fourth redo on their procedure. I was not one of them but it was a big deal for some.

Scratching head wonder what will they think of next?

Debby said...

It still amazes me that this surgery can be done on an outpatient basis, and I laughed out loud at the wives looking nervous that their husbands might not be staying in the hospital.

Sisters are a blessing, aren't they?

Good luck!

Ed said...

My uncle got a new hip and walked out the same day. Six months later he hiked from rim to rim on the Grand Canyon with my dad and word got out to the place that installed his hip and they made a commercial out of it that gained him some notoriety for awhile. Hopefully your experience is similar.