Monday, October 10, 2011

After the Operation - Day 4

So here I am, sitting in the Patients’ Lounge, waiting for my husband to arrive and take me home. My case and bags are beside me, and my bed bay Is being prepared for a new patient who is having a knee joint replacement this afternoon. I have my TTAs (prescribed medicines to take away), I’ve said my goodbyes to the lovely staff and my fellow ward-mates, and it’s like being in limbo! I am discharged but still in the care of the hospital until my husband arrives. For some reason I cannot connect to the hospital wi-fi any more so I’m typing this to post later.
Today I enjoyed another shower and dressed myself (apart from the compression socks, which I needed help with. A breakfast of very delicious vanilla flavoured prunes and a banana plus a mug of tea went down very well. I was a bit dozy and kept falling asleep, and I still experience a fair bit of pain after moving around, so was content to sit on my bed with my feet up. Ironically, I had finally learned how to use the bed controls yesterday evening, so could raise up the back as desired, and also the foot to help the circulation of my feet and legs, sticking carefully to the “no bending more than 90 degrees” rule to protect my healing hip. I wanted to rest while I could, in order to avoid my ankles swelling as they had yesterday after quite a lot of time on my feet.
My two fellow hip replacement on Monday patients are staying in a bit longer than me, probably to be discharged tomorrow. It was lovely to see them feeling much better and more mobile today. My next door neighbour managed the stairs with the supervision of the physiotherapist this morning, and thought she would go home today, but it was decided that the wound was still oozing enough to present a potential infection risk, and she would be better off in the hospital environment for another night. Both ladies had had blood transfusions last night, which really seemed to perk them up. The lady opposite me was today able to walk to the bathroom and back using a zimmer frame, so this meant that she no longer required catheterisation but she was not yet strong enough for walking further to perform the stairs test. The Consultant was hopeful that by tomorrow she would be able to do this and also maybe go home. She is 80 and my friend next door is in her sixties, so I guess I have age working in my favour.
Walking using the sticks has been going very well, and it feels so much more normal as I usually use two sticks outdoors due to my iffy balance. I’m happy not to have needed to learn how to use the crutches for support. The long reach grabber has been invaluable in helping me to retrieve various things which have gone flying, and the long-handled sponge certainly makes washing much easier. The other gadget I have found useful is the leg lifter, as it is hard to lift my operated-on leg still, but the long shoe horn and a device which I think helps to put on socks have not yet been necessary.
The ward seems a very safe and protected environment and it will be interesting to see how being at home feels, whether I will feel as safe and secure there or instead more vulnerable. Time will tell. I am expecting to feel very tired and to need a lot of rest for the first few days but might be wrong about this. Certainly being back in my own bed will be a delight.
The staff at the hospital have all been so delightful, charming and kind and all say they enjoy working there. Their assistance and attitude have contributed greatly to maintaining a positive attitude to recovery and I feel so fortunate to have been cared for here.

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