The Post-Op Adventures of Beth

So these past few days have certainly been an adventure for me. As many of you know,  I’ve been the lucky recipient of a new hip. As a nurse, I have both an advantage and disadvantage here. The advantage is that I knew what to expect in terms of the post-operative process, pain, fatigue, the need for pain medications and their side effects, and the disadvantage is that I knew what to expect….

Did I mention I also have no patience? I tell people that when babies are ready to be born, they get in the attributes lines to get the attributes they’ll have in life. I totally missed the line for patience. Saw a line, said “it’s too long, don’t wanna wait” and skipped it. So I came out of recovery and was ready to go directly to “I feel good and want to stand upright, have my leg straight and be pain free.” What I got instead was a dressing on my hip the size of Texas – because in your mid 50’s, doesn’t every woman want hips the size of Texas, FFS? – the ability to fall asleep in 2.3 nano-seconds thanks to Dr. Morphine, and a lovely wedge pillow to keep my legs in the correct but anatomically impossible position which will necessitate that this side sleeper sleeps flat on her back for several nights, a feat achieved ONLY with the assistance of the aforementioned Dr. Morphine and his lovely assistant Oxy. Cripes. (And don’t ask me to tell you anything more about FFS, other than it’s a little like “For Pete’s Sake” but a nearly safe for work variant on the ‘F-bomb’.)

Being a nurse, of course I know what’s best for me, and when I started feeling better I quit taking the drugs (‘cuz who needs em), and started using a cane instead of crutches the second the therapist told me I could…and promptly overdid it. Boy did I regret it about 24 hours later, as I laid in bed spasming at about 1:30 in the morning, poor hubby asking “what can I do?” I finally broke down and took the meds, and went back to crutches for a day to give my leg a rest. Time to take the nurse hat off and put the patient hat on, which is not an easy thing at all to do, especially when some of your closest friends are nurses too. They ask nursey questions, and holler at you in nursey tones, which are not unlike getting Catholic or Jewish mom guilt laid on you. You want to cringe, duck and cower in the corner. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying I didn’t deserve it, I’m did…I’m just saying I didn’t like it. But the payoff was worth it, and I do feel better today.

On a serious note, I’m as good as can be expected. No complications, I’m walking on my own with just a cane less than a week after outpatient surgery for a total hip replacement.  I should be ready to try driving in a couple of days, provided I am done with narcotics for the pain, and see the surgeon next week for a follow up visit. My Physical Therapist was pleased with where I’m at for a starting point today, which is all I can ask for. I no longer need the wedge at night as long as I keep an extra pillow handy for between my knees if I do try sleeping on my side. If this were 20 years ago, I would have been discharged about now from the hospital to a nursing home. Instead I’m comfortable in my own home. I feel blessed for just that, and even more so when I realize that there is one more thing from 20 years ago that I didn’t have to include as part of my post-op care:

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11 thoughts on “The Post-Op Adventures of Beth

  1. Good job, sista! Glad all the parts are working and flying in the same formation now. And the shiny thing at the bottom of the post? Yeah, like you can even get one of those things made out of stainless steel anymore. 🙂

    Welcome back!

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    • Thanks Diane, much appreciated! With Dr Morphine and his trusty assistant Oxy, I usually start feeling like I have temporary super-hero powers too. Good thing Mike is here to keep me from acting like I’ve taken “I’m not an agent” lessons from Aydan!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I should’ve mentioned earlier, we found the perfect thing to help with taking a nice shower sooner than the doctors might thing feasible.

    Press ‘n’ Seal!

    Yep, the self-adhesive plastic covering usually intended to cover leftovers in the fridge. Cover the affected area with the first piece that’s big enough to cover the wound/incision/whatever by three or four inches all the way around. Cover it with the next piece that’s big enough to cover the first piece by about the same amount. Maybe go for a third piece if necessary.

    Heck, if you have to, wrap it all the way around. I did that with my knee for a couple of days. My wife did it, too. I wrapped her completely around after breast surgery. The only downside is that it sounds like rain hitting a tin roof when you’re in the shower. But after you’re done, just peel it off, toss it, and you’re all clean everywhere else, and the affected area is bone freakin’ dry.

    I’m not kidding. Press ‘n’ Seal works great for this purpose. Give it a shot. One of my wife’s friends told her about it, we both used it, and it works perfectly. You’re welcome. 🙂

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  3. ha!, not quite ready to conga, but nearly ready to ditch the cane. Went all day yesterday without it, and am going to try to do the same today if I can. Right now the biggest problem is I’ve got a couple of muscles that shortened up over the last few years and I’m trying to teach them they need to remember they really should be LONGER again! So lots of uncomfortable stretching. But it’s coming along, and I plan to start work next week part time mid-week, then progress soon to full time.

    Liked by 1 person

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