After hip surgery

I had my left hip replaced last Tuesday, November 30, and am happy to report that the surgery went amazingly well. I’m going to be using the word “amazing” a lot in this post…I mean, just think that my wound was closed with some sort of super glue. Glue! No stitches, not even one. Isn’t that…amazing? 🙂 Well, it’s amazing to me, anyway.

On Friday, that is, just three days after surgery, I came home…walking! Sure, I was walking with two crutches, but using them as you use walking sticks when you’re on a hike. Ama…zing!

Okay, it wasn’t all a picnic in the park. I mean, something had to go wrong, right? And so, in spite of being oh so incredibly cautious!, I came down with a cold about four days before surgery, and, as if that weren’t enough, I developed a mild but productive (yuck) cough over the weekend. Darn! How did that happen? Well, Stefano had come home from work one day, all stuffed up, but we thought it was his usual allergies acting up so we didn’t take the precaution of sleeping in separate bedrooms. Bad decision: I caught what he had, although his was a much milder case. Different immune systems, duh.

So there I was, the weekend before surgery!!!, with a blasted cough. I couldn’t believe it. Drat! On Monday morning, figuring that we might have to postpone surgery, noooooo!, I called the clinic and was told to  to show up early in order to be checked out by a doctor. Luckily, that went well: my lungs were clear. I did have to have another Covid swab, which turned out negative like the swab I’d had two days earlier.

Result: I was given the okay for surgery, yay!, and so, a few hours later, I checked into the clinic. The following morning, I was the first patient in the operating room. Excellent.

I was awake for the entire procedure. I could have chosen to be sedated, but I decided against that, in part because I was afraid of coughing during surgery…For the record: that didn’t happen.

Thanks to the epidural, I didn’t feel a thing from my waist down, but boy oh boy, nothing, not even the Playlist I’d carefully put together the previous week (which included some AC/DC, not just classical music), could shut out the noise. I heard it all, loud and clear…all the hammering… Whack whack whack thump thump thump! But my interest in what was going on kept me from getting anxious. As I mentioned, this was my first surgery ever, and I was curious about it all.

Funny thing:  before and after surgery, and actually for the first 48 hours more or less, all the doctors and nurses checking my vitals kept asking me the same questions : my name, surname, place of birth, birthdate…innocent little questions like that. It happened a lot, especially before and after surgery. I was a bit puzzled at first, since they clearly had all my personal data in front of them, but I soon figured out that they must be making sure that I hadn’t had a stroke or whatnot.

Speaking of which, I have an anecdote. After surgery, I was wheeled out of the operating room into a sort of recovery room where a nurse monitored me for quite some time, at least a half hour, perhaps longer, who knows?, I’d lost track of time by then. We had a very nice chat…once I’d told him my name and surname, birthplace and birth date, of course, hehe.

Well, it was in that room that I looked down and saw my operated leg for the first time since surgery. HOLY CATS! What the…???? For a nanosecond I almost had a “stroke”: my entire left leg (foot included) was bright red! And by bright, I mean BRIGHT! RED! I thought it was blood, and that was soooo freaky!, but then my brain told me that that made no sense…I asked the nurse what had happened down there, and he explained that it was just the color of the disinfectant they’d painted all over my leg in the operating room.

Disinfectant??? Gee wiz, you guys…why didn’t you let me know that I’d be coming out of surgery with a BRIGHT RED LEG??? Hellooooo??? What’s the bloody point of asking me my name and taking my vitals if you’re planning to give me a heart attack by painting my leg bright red and not telling me? (I’m joking, of course…hehe!!!). I was much relieved and even amused at myself, at my first reaction of semi-horror. Anyway, until I’m able to take a shower–about 10 days from now–my leg will continue to be reddish, although a couple of my nurses tried to wipe  off the color. Didn’t really work. My leg is all spotty red now. Lovely. Anyway, a funny-in-retrospect moment at the clinic…one I will never forget!

Just a few hours after surgery, in the early afternoon, a physiotherapist came to teach me how to get out of bed. I even went to the bathroom by myself, well, on crutches of course, under his supervision (in respect of my privacy, he shut the door once I was safely inside). I also took a few steps outside my hospital door. All that, just hours after having surgery. Amazing!!!

By the following afternoon I was instructed to put my full weight on my operated leg. Wow! I am still amazed…amazed amazed amazed. Sorry, I’m over-using that word…but for me the entire experience has been really…well, you know. 😉

At the clinic, I was taught lots of things–from how to walk up and down a flight of stairs to how to get dressed by myself (putting on socks still isn’t easy, I tell ya…)–which I’ll have to put into practice and be careful about for the next couple of months, albeit less and less, of course, as my leg gets stronger. Also, no bending over and picking up anything that falls on the floor (fortunately, I found a pick-up-stuff gadget…fantastic!), no crossing my legs…the list goes on.

But, and this is a big BUT, the pain I had before surgery is gone. Sure, I had a bit of pain after the surgery, no point in denying that (pain for which I was given some lovely painkillers), but right now I have NO PAIN. What a wonderful change from my pre-operative state, when I was limping all over the place, grimacing with pain.

And now I’m now happily at home with Stefano (who took a week off from work to be with me) and the kitties…and lots of documentaries and TV series and movies to watch while I do my strengthening exercises. I’m doing very well. The physiotherapist who came to check on me yesterday was amazed at how well I’m walking. I will be using two crutches until my first checkup, week after next, after which I should be going down to one crutch for another 20 days. So by the middle of January I should be ready to fly on my own, which is good since the new kittens will be here, and I do not want to be on crutches with those two little fur balls running around the house! 🙂

Life is good. Take care, everyone!

4 Comments

  1. So happy it all went well; I’d been thinking about you and checking here frequently. How lovely you had the option of staying awake for the procedure. How many hours was it? I think I’d be more afraid of the epidural, LOL.
    Speedy rehab to you. Let us know how your labs for myeloma turn out after all of this.

  2. Glad you have a new hip. My husband has 2. I’m the one with MM and found your website. Waiting to hear more from you.
    Eileen

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