The Quiet Caretaker

In the morning, she wakes up with a headache and at night she goes to bed with a headache.  She’s been living with this condition for what seems like forever.   Yet, she doesn’t complain.  Instead she makes sure that our home is ready for me when I return from the hospital.  She makes sure that all of my needs are taken care of.  All meals….all meds….I’m covered.  But when I see her lay her head down on the pillow, her eyelids half open….I can see the pain of the day written across her face.  Yet she doesn’t complain.  This is not her time to complain.  She’s got a job to do and she is doing it.  I promised her that I would be a good patient, when really, I should have promised that I would take better care of her.  My wife Colleen.

Ain’t So Bad!

Ok.  So prior to the surgery I felt like the last great hope for the village to defeat the village monster….only I was the village AND the last great hope.  I was hopeful AND optimistic going in.   Then I had this crazy hip replacement procedure and now I feel like I’m returning to the village VERY defeated.  Instead of coming back saying “Is that all you got?”…”Ain’t so bad!” (I.E. Rocky – Very Motivational).  I’m whimpering and quietly wondering when I was run over by the MAC truck.   I have to  be positive again and realize that I AM recovering   I HAVE been doing my exercises.  My bum is getting firmer,  my ankles have never felt stronger.  it’s time to start looking at the glass half full again.  People of the village hear me!  The village monster has been defeated!  Ahem….by the way…I just took my meds 10 minutes ago!  Ain’t So Bad! I am returning to a state of hopeful optimism.

I will say this though.  I have new respect for my friend Missy who went through 2 of these.  Every time I’ve talked to her she’s had a smile on her face and is always very helpful.  She took down 2 village monsters!  Wow.  2 MAC trucks.  Amazing.

The Post Surgery Exercise Routine

Now that I’m home, I’ve been put on a physical therapy regimen that I must do 3 times each day.  These exercises are such a far cry from old me….but it’s a start.  This is the routine:

Ankle Pumps: Sitting or lying position, point your feet down and pull your feet up.  (10 Times)

Quad Sets (Thigh Tightening):  Lie on your back.  With hip and knee straight, tighten the muscles on top of the thigh, pushing the back of the knee into the bed.  Hold at least 5 counts, then relax. (10 Times)

Buttock Squeeze:  Squeeze your buttocks together.  Hold at least 5 counts, then relax.  (10 Times)

Heel Slides:  Lie on your back.  Slide your heel up toward your buttocks, then slide it back down.  Do not lift you heel from the bed.  (10 Times)

Hip Abduction:  Lie on your back.  Place a pillow or folded towel between your knees to rmind you to not cross midline.  Slide your entire leg out to one side and back to the pillow, keeping the knee straight. (10 Times)


Home at Last

Wow.  These hip replacements are a piece of cake. 🙂  Not really.  After going through surgery on Tuesday and the pain being completely masked by morphine for the remainder of the day…..I thought I was golden.  I had high hopes of being out the next day.  Then Wednesday came.  Ouch.  Reality set in and I realized I wouldn’t be running the day after tomorrow.  In fact, I didn’t know if I was ever going to be able to move again.  That combined with a pesky fever,  a plastic mattress and an inability to get comfortable led me to believe that my best days were behind me.  Enter Thursday.  A new day.  Fever was gone, I was able to move around on crutches and I got discharged.  It’s good to be out of the hospital.  One step closer to normalcy.

Nurses, Aides and PTs

So I’ve never flown first class on purpose (one time I got bumped into first class – imagine that).  The service and attention that I’m getting while I’m laid up is second to none.  The bedside manner of all of the nurses, aides and PTs is commendable.  I feel like a million bucks.  I spoke with Tamara Sheehan the fourth floor nurse manager and just wanted to let her know that I was very pleased with the care I am getting.  Everyone has been very responsive and very nice also.  So today I did PT (Or tried to do PT).  It didn’t go well.   I got 10 steps with the crutches, told them I felt dizzy and bam, the next thing I knew, I was sitting in a chair, completely drenched with sweat with tons of people around me.  I’m still amazed that they were able to move so quickly to prevent me from falling.  This truly is 5 star care.  Bedside manner is such an important thing and all of the Aides, PT’s and Nurses that I have come across have this quality nailed to a T.
Physical Therapist Carey Prepping me for PT

Aide Ana
Aide Ana chats with me while working to change the linens on my bed

NIght Nurse AngeeNight Nurse Angee and her cohort Brennon were very responsive to anything I needed. I feel like I’m flying first class.

Me trying to walk just before I passed out
Me trying to walk on crutches just before I passed out.

One small step for man, one GIANT leap for mankind.

This is me going for my first walk, (with a walker).  Hip felt great, but it might have been because I'm still hopped up on narcotics.  I went halfway down the hall, turned around, got into bed and promptly threw up.  Great first attemp (I think) :)
This is me going for my first walk, (with a walker). Hip felt great, but it might have been because I'm still hopped up on narcotics. I went halfway down the hall, turned around, got into bed and promptly threw up. Great first attempt (I think)

OK, I was on my feet for the first time.  Wow…felt really woozy but no pain.  I’m sure it was a combination of no food and lots of heavy duty drugs.  This nice lady (sorry forgot her name) gave me some exercises to do during rehab in the hospital.  Nothing compared to an SDP workout, but I must abide by Dr. Tim’s training plan for the next 3 months.  All is well so far…….

It’s Official – I am Bionic

 Wow!  Piece a Cake!  I’m hopped up on morphine and I’m wearing some funky compression socks.  A machine is taking my blood from the surgery site, cleaning it and then putting it back in.  Then another machine is compressing my calves and forcing circulation (vascular compression).  Life is good.  The anesthitists did a great job numbing me up.  I feel nothing.  Absolutely nothing…but I am completely alert.  Hanging with my wife Colleen.
These are the funky compressions socks I have to wear.
Nick and Cathy (Both in Blues) Nick is an intern and Kathy works with Dr. Stacie. The nurse in the back - I forgot her name. She too was very nice.
Nurse Tim will be taking care of me this afternoon.
Dr. Stacie – My Anesthesiologist – No Pain