Monday, October 03, 2011

After the operation: Day 1

Today was the day of my hip replacement here and I thought a post or few on my experiences might help others facing this procedure..
We had to arrive at 6am as I was first on the list.  The first hour was spent completing essential paperwork, including the selection of foods for my meals today and tomorrow, then setting up my laptop to log onto the free wi-fi here.  I also donned my attractive open-backed gown and hospital dressing gown, cutely accessorized with foam theatre slippers and a white compression stocking on my good leg (top tip: a small plastic bag placed over the foot helps the stocking on).  I walked down to the lift and go up to the theatre suite and into the preparation ward. It felt much better than being wheeled up. I went all low blood pressured and faint in preparation so my shy veins (thanks to the low BP) presented an extreme challenge to the anaesthetic nurses caring for me.  The anesthetist succeeded where two failed attempts had not, and I had my pretty pink cannula in situ
Now things went faster and I was equipped with a catheter, then the spinal needle was introduced into the  subarachnoid or intrathecal space of my spine, and soon my legs felt warm and numb.  I was carefully positioned for surgery, using various supports bolted to my trolley, before something was injected via my cannula which sent me gratefully to sleep.

I woke up maybe two hours later in recovery, where I was cared for attentively as my blood pressure was low.  I was grateful to have water and tea to drink, as apart from a couple of sips of water to help me swallow my usual morning medication, I'd had nothing since yesterday.  I felt alert, cheerful and in no pain at all.  my operated-on leg was velcroed to a wedge shaped cushion, to prevent rolling onto my side, especially   in my sleep.  Two hours later, my bed and I were returned to my windowed bay.

This is what I can see around me in my bed bay - it will enlarge if you click on it.  I have a personal telephone and TV with headphones, an automatic monitor for blood pressure, pulse and blood oxygen saturation levels, an automatic foot and calf  intermittent pressure massager to assist blood circulation in my lower limbs, in addition to free access to wi fi broadband.  I also have a standard bed table on which I place my laptop, meal trays, water bottle and glass, etc.  I also feel very lucky to have the only bed bay with a window: it may not be an especially scenic but I can see daylight and feel less cut off from the world.  It
is very conducive to a high morale, as are the phone and internet access.  I returned to the ward to numerous messages of support in my in-box and on Facebook.  I spoke on the phone to my elder daughter and husband, Facebook-Skyped my younger daughter in Denmark, who had not managed to sleep at all last night, and also my son.  I knew my mother would be out today, but was able to phone her this evening, and she sounded so relieved to hear me sounding so perky, and sent e-mails and facebook messages to others.

Here I am looking soooo glamourous!

The food is excellent!  I had an omelette with tuna and salad for lunch, followed by a nice crunchy apple and a cup of tea, while dinner was a fricassee of pork and celery in a herbed cream sauce, with long grain rice followed by a banana and another cuppa,  I have since enjoyed a cup of hot chocolate..

I  was thrilled to see my elder daughter and son-in-love and  they came bearing gifts: sadly the fresh flowers were not allowed on the ward so they had to go away again, but some lovely fresh fruit was permitted so I have fresh pineapple pieces, ripe figs and some nectarines or peaches and some chocolate (for the iron!) and almonds (for calcium).  I feel very spoiled.  Then my lovely husband and son arrived, the former looking exhausted after only 2 hours sleep last night.  We enjoyed catching up on the days events, and then they went off for a quick evening meal out before going to their homes for an early night.

So far, so good..  Today is a day of bedrest: physiotherapy.  I am still experiencing no pain despite n top-up analgesia.  I'm now beginning to feel a bit sleepy so I'll finsh this post here.  Thanks so much to my frins and family for their love, support. good wishes, kind thoughts and prayers: all very welcome and appreciated,


Willow said...

Hurray for a successful surgery!

Anonymous said...

Well it sounds as if you're in the lap of luxury albeit a hospital! I'm glad it was all quick and efficient and hope you continue to make an equally speedy recovery.

Jackie said...

Is that an NHS hospital? It sounds absolutely amazing. Glad to hear you are in good hands and have had a successful op.