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Yes, i'm slack but i'm back

Tuesday 24th January, 2006-01-24


It has been a while since i posted but that is not surprising when you consider that i have just nicely come home from having my HipOp on the 9th Jan.


i was due to go in on Sunday 8th and they sent a taxi [eventually! they forgot and i had to wait for over an hour until one turned up] for me.   Duly checked in and was offered a quick bite from the ‘short’ menu when i was ensconced in my room.   Nicole, one of the student nurses, took all my details, again, and check the list for the following day to see when it started and where i was on it.  She duly reported it stated at 8.00am and i was the first!  Ugh! and hooray! in the same breath.   Lynnie phoned to make sure all was going to plan, the little pet.

Had a disturbed night as my room was right next to the Nurses Station – i heard every ‘beep’ and three way conversation the nurses had throughout the night.


Day 0 - Monday morning, i had a shower and washed my hair and had just emerged when the Anaesthetist arrived.   Part way through drying my hair and Mr Grogan, my surgeon, popped in – nice man.    Finally got done and into the theatre gown and some of the tiniest pants i have ever seen.   But they covered the naughty bits!   Nurse came and we walked through to the theatre anteroom, all on the same floor, handy.   The level of expertise was immediately apparent from the guy who put the drip in my left hand, quick and no problem [ it can be difficult finding my veins ] – and seconds later, i was out for the count.


When i opened my eyes, Kath?, the Theatre Nurse who had introduced herself to me pre-op, said ‘hello, it all went well’  and i could see the clock behind her, about 10 mins past 11am – good time, just under three hours.    When my eyes were capable of staying open for a bit longer, i was taken back to the ward but don’t remember the trip.   When i surfaced a little later, i was in a different room – i had been moved when i was in theatre.  Ok but it meant that i had no idea where anything was *shrugs* no big deal – i was now well away from the Nurses Station.   

All the usual post-op checks for the rest of the day and i slept for most of the day.  i had a saline drip and the morphine self-administered-button in my left hand and oxygen tubes to my nose to match but no drains from the hip which was nice.  Mr Grogan doesn’t like them apparently, he’s not the only one.

That evening i sat up a bit and was allowed a couple of slices of bread & marmite with coffee – had to keep sipping the coffee as the morphine made my mouth so dry, i could barely swallow the bread but i managed ok.  i was well awake now and watched some tv and read my paper.

Allison, one of the Staff Nurses, told me Lynnie had rung – thank you.

Had a patchy night and uncomfortable until i got the hang of the morphine pump but peeing for Britain!


Day 1 - i was quite peckish next morning and Allison checked the night before to see what i was allowed – scrambled eggs, toast & marmalade and coffee, it was well received!   i was given a bed bath later and had the saline drip and morphine taken out [and the damned nasal tubes!], then was taken down to X-ray, to my surprise.   Usually they take them post-op when you are out or leave you for a day or so but no, down we went.   i had the monkey bar on the bed but even with that and two nurses, it was a bit of a gymnastic routine to take three x-rays and damned uncomfortable………  


Paul the porter was the only one who identified James’ picture [sitting on my bedside cabinet] and turned out he and Dave, the other porter were both sci-fi fans, although Dave was more of a Babylon 5 fan and was impressed i had met Claudia Christian!   Some of the nurses knew who he was when i said ‘Spike’ and all admired him and were envious of my meetings with him!!


The Food orderly had been before and i got to order it all – quite a choice too.  i ordered a ham omelette [bit rubbery & overcooked but not their fault, as X-ray took longer than expected] with side salad and a fruit sorbet! for afters.  i was put on some heavy duty pain pills, Tramadol, and they did the trick nicely.


Not long after lunch, the Physios arrived and i was allowed out of bed with a walking frame for support and the three of us squeezed into the loo to make sure i could manage!!   They said i could sit out of bed for a while and i did, although it was a little uncomfortable.  After about half an hour, i got back in bed.   Another of the Staff Nurses, Caroline, popped her head in to say Lynnie had phoned and would call again about 8pm.

i had a lot of trapped wind which was annoying but did manage to alleviate that later!  such is life!

Discovered no Channel 5 – so no CSI, damn…  Dinner served early here, starting at 5.30pm – melon & kiwi fruit, then scampi [all good] with salad (crappy) and vanilla ice cream!  get spoilt in here…  small portions which is good as i could not have faced a big dinner.


Mr Grogan came round and said he’d seen the x-rays and it was all good.  i asked him about the condition of the bones and he said bone was rubbing on bone and started some ramble about the cartilage, where he lost me.  He never seems to want to say what state they are in, which i find odd – almost as though – how can i put this?  initially he said my hip was nowhere near as bad as some he’d seen but that i did need it doing.  He looks sorta uneasy when i ask – but if it didn’t need doing, he would say so, wouldn’t he?  i can only judge by the pain i was in and the pain-blocker injection that i’d had done was so i could feel what the hip replacement would do – and the difference was pretty marked.  Now i have had it done, the absence of pain when i stand, sit and move is remarkable and Brilliant!!   All i can say is, if you needed the x-rays to show much more severe deterioration of the bones before they would operate, there would be a lot of people in some pretty damn horrible pain, all the time.


Lynnie did phone and i found that she had already phoned several times but they had put her through to the previous room we think, and so no response.  She got through when she just asked for me, not a room number.   We chatted for a bit and she said she had sent emails for me to Caz & Char, also Chris, Anna, Susie, Lene etc!!!  wow.  She had also posted on MOZ for me and let them know all was ok.  Sweet lady.  She read out the responses so far, nice.  She had also spoken to Susie on MSN and not long after we said goodnight, my next pills arrived and Susie phoned.   

She brought me up to date with all that was happening with her, a very welcome distraction!  Great to hear your friends care about you, isn’t it?


Day 2 - Bit disturbed but after 2am had a good sleep until just before 8am.  Mavis, night Staff nurse was a real poppet and we had a few giggles.   Had a wash and sat in the chair for breakfast and Porter Paul brought my paper and stayed for a chat.  Read paper and stayed in the chair until about 11am and popped to the loo and into bed again – by myself!  yay, me!

i closed my eyes for a quick nap, was disturbed but settled again and then just before 12pm, the Physios arrived.  Got me two sticks and we went down to the little gym room, not far from my room and started to show me what exercises i needed to do post-op at home, when the Lunch lady appeared in the doorway and said ‘Oi, lunch’ , so repaired back to room.  Fishcakes, not bad, warm at least – and coffee.

They duly returned and we went down again and i was shown all the stuff i needed to do.  Turns out it is more of a strain on my left leg, so do less repetitions but more often if you can.   We had gone back to my room and were discussing said exercises etc, when the Senior Staff in charge of the floor came in and very apologetically said ‘sorry, i have to move you’ .   Worse still, in with somebody else -  i was floored!   No option of course, someone will be down shortly to move you….   i’m not a betting person but i would have taken a small wager, this would not have happened if i had been a private patient….


That put paid to my using the little gym as it was right down the other end of the corridor apparently but Physios said, never mind exercise in your room – ok.   New Staff Nurse, Hilary [very good, mind you, they all were] got the move sorted by piling everything but my suitcase on the bed and i was duly wheeled down – i did get to choose which side i wanted and then waited for other lady to join me, as she was being moved too.   Phyllis, who i had actually met that morning in the little gym, was a day ahead of me with a knee-op, also Mr Grogan.


We got acquainted and i found her nicely acerbic and we got on quite nicely.  She chattered away quite happily about her family, bless her…  had two husbands both now dead, three grown-up kids with kids of their own…  asked her if she was going for a third husband and she laughed and said she thought two were plenty and anyway who would want her now?   well, stranger things have happened, sweetie…

She was hoping to go home the next day and when Mr Grogan popped in later, he said she might, if she felt she was up to it.  i think she is optimistic as she has nobody there to give her a hand…   hopefully she will let her neighbours give her a hand.


We had dinner and chatted for a bit, then Mark called.   Very nice to hear him and he told me some more details of his proposed holiday at the end of the month – a week in Goa, then two in NZ and then a few days in Thailand on the way home.   Should do him a world of good……...   We are still hopeful of having a dinner together before he goes.


i thought Lynnie would phone again but didn’t realise i had left the phone slightly off the hook, until a nurse came in at 9pm to check it out.  Replaced the handset and Lynnie was put through.  Apologised for that as she had phoned a couple of times.   We nattered and the Words & Music DVD had arrived and she was telling me about it.   We concluded that it was the evening performance and she said although it wasn’t perfect due to the fixed camera, she was quite happy with it.   She hadn’t watched the concert part so didn’t know if Himber was left in, filling in for James when his string broke.   She also read some more messages from MOZ, very sweet, but kept it short so’s not to tire me out.   i must have been good in a previous life to have earned a friend like Lynnie – what a woman!   She’s a bright little firecracker with a amazingly fertile and agile brain and is so firmly entrenched in my life, i couldn’t imagine it without her….  nor would i ever want to.


Phyllis turned in fairly early and as my light bothered her through the curtain, i turned it out.  Had a bit of a headache and hoped sleep would cure it.  It did but Phyllis had such a disturbed night, getting up to the loo several times in the night – more than i! – and in the morning did not feel very well.   i had left the window slightly ajar and the light was in my eyes from the carpark whenever i opened my eyes, must close it tomorrow.


Day 3 – cool and grey again.   Paper conspicuous by it’s absence, tho i saw Paul earlier [maybe the room change scotched that?].  Phyllis still not well and [it  turned out later she had a temperature] wanted to sleep all day.   i had a wash by myself in the bathroom, ambitious i know!  Had to sit down on the loo to brush my teeth but i managed and also to put on top and trousers.

Catering came in and took orders – prawn sandwich for lunch and turkey escalope & crème caramel for dinner, i could get used to this!

i was tired from last night so not inclined to do much but did some exercises.  The Physios turned up about 11am and we walked to the nearest staircase and i went up & down a flight, then back to room.   She professed herself so pleased with my progress that she signed me off/out.  Keep up with exercises 4 or 5 times a day if i can and comeback and see Mr G in six weeks.   Signed for sticks and they pushed off.   Did some more exercises and then popped into bed for a rest.


Stephen, Ralph’s youngest, phoned about midday and said he would come and see me in the evening – what could he bring me?   He also said Anna & Ralph had gone on the proposed holiday i already knew about but had not been sure when.   She must have meant she would visit me at the Hotel when she got back…  


Lunch was nice and the food lady was good and quietly removed the trays as Phyllis had drifted off again.   She spent most of the day doing that and i spent as much time, putting my finger to my lips to keep anyone who came in as quiet as they could.   i eventually joined her in a nap about 1.30pm

Hilary came in about 3pm – how would i like to go home that night?  waved her hand in the direction of the sleeping Phyllis and said, you will get a better night’s sleep at home…   Would i?!!  Oh yes, please… 

So i got out the mobile and switched it on – rang Stephen first, would he mind taking me home when he came round?  No probs, he would come earlier straight after work, would that do?  Bloody oath, boy!!  Great, see you about 6-6.30pm.

Rang and left messages for Karen Brown, Sandi, Lynnie [although she doesn’t check her mobile much and didn’t see the message until the next night], Susie and Caz [who texted back within 5 mins, saying ‘great!’] – Sandi phone back and will organise some milk tonight for me [and she did], see you tomorrow [which she didn’t as she had the flu].


Mr Grogan came on his rounds and looked very pleased & proud of me! and shook my hand, wishing me well and saying don’t do too much! and that he would see me in six weeks.   Hillary made sure i had everything i needed – the Hospital sick note and my medication – good woman, made a point of saying thank you to her and to say same to the rest of the crew.


Had dinner, then set too and made sure everything was packed and ready for Stephen’s arrival – just about done when he arrived.   Hilary got me a porter and chair and said cheerio and off we went.

Checked out with Reception and Stephen got the car.  Managed to get into front seat – he has Anna’s old Mgane, so back seat not an option – and off we went.  Totally marvellous to breath fresh air and be off!


We nattered away until we got back and Stephen parked by the staff entrance – which i just remembered would be locked!   And i needed the loo in the worst way!!   i sat on the window ledge and he shot off to the Library door and found his way to the right corridor – one of the Polish lads got Ronnie, one of our chefs who knows me well and he brought Stephen to the right door.  Thanks, lads!

Grabbed the lift and made it to the loo! – just!!  Stephen took the milk from Sarah, who delivered it, and set too and made us coffee.   


i discovered the fuse had blown in the extension lead for the fridge, so that was off – luckily not iced over, so no pool on the floor but not game to open the door until it gets fixed.  [Which it did the next day, thanks to Darrell, my work colleague] -  Stephen stayed and talked until about midnight, when i discovered he had indeed come straight from work and hadn’t had any dinner…  it did cross my mind earlier but he was in no rush to leave and seemed to like telling me what was happening in his life at the moment.   He also gave me his take on his brother, Craig’s wedding last August – i was supposed to go but i went to Toronto instead, didn’t i?   That was entertaining and he made me laugh a lot.


Well, that was two weeks ago on Thursday, time flying in retrospect…  though sometimes the days drag a little;  well, the nights more actually.   Days usually pass pretty quickly…    i must go for a stroll and do more exercise – my bum is getting flat! inspite of the little walk when the fire alarm went off again!!  second one in two days….   yes, the workmen are back, how did you know?


Gosh, isn’t life exciting?!!   *snorts*

later, loves


( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 24th, 2006 05:06 pm (UTC)
Glad it all went well, take care and get fully fit soon
Jan. 25th, 2006 12:02 am (UTC)
Thanks, honey, i'm working on it!!

Jan. 24th, 2006 06:23 pm (UTC)
Glad too see you're getting back to normal without any post-op glitches, and that you've got some back up on the home front-that's so important. Also, missed your posts, the way you let us see little glimpses of your day to day, so relaxed, as if you were chatting to each of us a bit on the phone, keeping us up to date. Being able to keep in touch is a gift-thanks for sharing.

Jan. 25th, 2006 12:10 am (UTC)
Hey baby
Nice to hear from you as always - yes, the girls here have been very kind and do shopping for me. Some say let me help and obviously hope you will never ask, just need to be able to hear that... but these girls are kosher, that's for sure.
Aww, she missed me - you sweetheart... but yes, sharing and communicating is the best, with the best. Hope you have got rid of that pesky cast completely now and maybe start your LJ again? i miss you too, love.
Horrible James-shaped gap in our lives but again some terrific people are helping fill it. Shammy has sent me a copy of SM 'Solitude' and that DVD sure helps...
Take care, petal
Jan. 24th, 2006 06:27 pm (UTC)
I'm so pleased it went so well for you. :D So, no more sticks then? Or is that too much to hope for? Hope you are as perky as can be anyway.
Jan. 25th, 2006 12:22 am (UTC)
Thanks babe, it did go very well - touch wood, continuing to do so...

i will stop using these sticks eventually but will go back to my old one for the left leg unfortunately, hopefully just for long hauls [if you know what i mean].

Perky, yup, working on it!
(Deleted comment)
Feb. 8th, 2006 09:12 am (UTC)
Have a wonderful holiday - 'friended' instantly!
(Deleted comment)
Feb. 8th, 2006 09:10 am (UTC)
Love ya too, honey!
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )