Tuesday, July 14, 2009

I put my pants on today, and other exciting news

It has breen almost a week since I (or Perry) posted. So much has happened that I don't really know where to begin. I've been meaning to post but kept putting it off because I was in the middle of a very good book ("Memoirs of a Geisha") and just couldn't put it down. When I did put it down it was usually because I fell asleep, or someone was taking my vitals, or a physicial therapist was torturing me. So I apologize for no news, but in this case it's good news.

I'll go back and discuss my experience day by day in a second, longer post after this one. For those of you without hip problems (my friends and family), reading this longer post may not be necessary since it's really just a lot of boring and gory details. For those of you awaiting PAO, I hope the details of my experience will help you prepare for your own surgery and recovery.

So here's all the good news in a nutshell for those of you who won't be reading post #2:

1. My surgeon said everything went really well. He is not a demonstrative person but he had a big smile on his face and I am certain that I will have the best possible result based on his positive attitude about the outcome. Of course, much of my success is now up to me ... and how hard I work at rehabiliation. But I know that Dr. Mayo did all he could for me surgically. He not only did the PAO, he shaved the top of my femur (the ball of the hip) which had a knob that was catching when my hip flexed. Now it's round and should work better. (Yes, that's probably why my hip hurt every time I tried to do a mohawk or a choctaw!)
2. I am in a lot less pain than I expected.
3. I had great pain management in the hospital, and most of the procedures I'd been dreading were not nearly as bad as I'd imagined.
4. The nursing staff at Tacoma General was mostly kind, caring and competent, with a few exceptions who were not. Overall the standard of care from the nursing staff was better than most hospitals, for which I am grateful.
5. I got to come home on the 5th day after surgery (yesterday), which is probably the earliest they would have let me come home in any case. I was very ready to leave!
6. The drive home was 2.5 hours and pretty uneventful.
7. It is great to be home. I have my hospital bed set up in my office and from the windows I can see beautiful green tree tops outside. It's very quiet here (not so much in the hospital of course) and I'm getting lots of rest.
8. Although my mom and sister checked in on me today, I'm home alone and able to get from bed to couch to bathroom using my walker just fine. I'm able to get my operated leg in and out of the continuous motion machine and on and off the bed myself (something I had trouble with in the hospital). My bed at home is much lower than the hospital bed and thus easier to get into and out of.
9. I am SO EXCITED that I was able to put my pajama pants on BY MYSELF this morning without any assistive devices. As expected, I was al fresco all week in the hospital and the first day home; this morning I wanted pants. My non-op leg is very mobile and strong so I was able to maneuver the pants onto the bad leg using the good one. You have no idea how exciting this is until you've had hip surgery.
10. I still haven't pooped. My family has started a betting pool called, "when will Terri poop." Estimates range from tomorrow at 7 AM to Friday at 8PM. I'm eating prunes and hoping it's sooner rather than later!
11. Spinal Tap fans --- the control on the CPM machine goes to ELEVEN. Of course, that means it's LOUDER.
12. My scar looks great. I could post a picture but will save that for later since I'm not sure where the camera is.

Thanks to all of my friends who've been such great support for so long. I am very grateful to have you all in my life. Terri


Marina said...

haha I remember how exciting it was to put on pants for the first time. Have you showered yet? That's the next big thing.

Louisa B said...

Hey well done terri!!! Can't help but follow you esp been one day behind you! I founf my camera so you can see my scars? Stunned how little there is to see and I have little pain too.
My op went from 1hr 40 to 3 and hallf but still feel ok, was just bit err WEIRD from the anesthetic I think.
see myfaihippain.blogspot.com for wounds which I know will be easy peasy next to your open one.