Surgery, hospital stay, and week 1

My intention was to write this blog post while still in the hospital, but only having my phone to blog on was tough, plus every time I tried to start it my eyes would drift shut and I would drop the phone.  The exhaustion I felt and still feel is crazy.

We left for Columbus last Monday, November 17th and stopped about 1/2 way down to grab some dinner.  We had decided on Chipotle and each got a burrito.  Those are SO big, wow!  I ate most of it, shoving it in despite being full 1/2 way through because I  knew I would not be eating any food for almost 24 hours after that.  We slept in a hotel 5 minutes from the hospital.  I was a bit nervous, but stayed up so late that eventually I crashed from exhaustion.  We arrived at the hospital at 6am and went straight to pre-op.  What was different about this hospital was that each pre-op bed had it’s own room where your family could stay with you until they take you back to surgery. That was a huge benefit for Yago and myself.  I only stayed about 40 minutes before they wheeled me to the OR. I met all the staff there before they put me under.

I woke up about 4 hours later in post op which had the same type of individual rooms as pre-op did, and Yago was able to come in with me about 10 minutes after I woke up.  We didn’t stay there too long, as I was pretty stable (with just my usual low blood pressure).

Dr. Elllis talked with Yago while I was still out, then came to talk to me in my room later that day.  He said my labrum was not re-torn, that I had some cartilage damage, but not enough to call it arthritis, that he was able to break the pelvic bones and make the socket in a good position, and that he tightened my hip capsule by stitching it multiple times.

Like last PAO I had pretty low blood pressure.  When PT came to get me up Wednesday morning, within 1-2 minutes of standing at the edge of the bed I felt the blackness surrounding my head like I was fainting so we sat me down quickly.  We took my blood pressure sitting and it was low 100’s over 60’s which isn’t bad for me.  We tried standing me again and it went down to 80/50 which is pretty low.  We also had lab blood work drawn on me and I was in the 8’s for hemoglobin (normal for women is 12.2-15.5), so being that I was so low and symptomatic I ended up receiving a blood transfusion that afternoon (of my own blood which I had previously donated).  After the blood transfusion I went up to 10.2 which helped.  That night however we had some stress start.  I realized that my IV (which had been placed in the back of my right hand) was no longer flowing.  The whole hand and arm was starting to swell and the IV site hurt really bad.  My nurse came and tried to start at a new spot, but after 3 attempts at sticking and digging around she couldn’t get a new IV in.  She called in the Nurse Manager who everyone calls for the “hard” IV people (which is not usually me, I have great veins, but we realized after losing a large amount of blood in surgery that I was now dehydrated and my veins had shriveled up).  He did several attempts as well, but could not get an IV in.  He called one of the charge Nurses he works with who is good at IV’s too, and he could not get one in.  I had been off fluids for 2 hours at this point, poked 7 times and still no result.  Finally I told them just to put the smaller needle in (which can be used for IV fluid’s, but not for blood transfusions-which it had been determined that evening that I was going to have a second one in the morning) to hydrate me and we could work on the bigger needle in the morning.  Finally the 2 male head nurse’s who were working together got the small needle in….8th times a charm I guess.  Meanwhile they had “blown” several veins and my arms are full of bruises still today from that night.

Anyways, the next morning (Thursday) we tried and were able to get the bigger IV in and I received the other bag of pre-donated blood.  I also got out my epidural (in which the pain got a lot worse) and the catheter.  I got up with PT and was able to walk some in the room.  Friday I was able to get rid of the drain bag that was hooked up inside the surgical site draining excess blood out.  I got up again 2 times with PT that day and walked partly down the hall and also did some stairs.  I was using the walker some and started practicing with my mobileg crutches too (since I was determined not to have to use the walker at home since it gave me such bad carpal tunnel last time).  Overall the hospital stay was good with the exception of 1 nurse who consistently gave me my meds late despite me telling her over and over again.  Yago stayed with me the whole time, and had his own sleeper/pull out couch in the private room with me.  On Friday my IV stopped working again, and the nurse had to poke me now my 10th time to put a new one in.  It was very frustrating!!

During my hospital stay I did very little.  Slept a lot, we watched a couple of movies on Netflix (although each movie we had to watch over the course of 2 days because I could not focus on anything too long).  I spent time on social media and texting a bit too.  I didn’t try and read this time, as I learned the previous PAO that there was no focus for reading.  Even as I sit here typing I am fighting my eyes to keep them open.

Saturday afternoon I was discharged and we arrived home around 5pm.  I’ve been taking it easy here at home, staying in bed most of the day, going downtairs only for a couple of hours at dinnertime.  My mom has been here helping a lot with both the kids and myself.  I am strictly using the crutches only, I am just pretty slow on them.  My pain fluctuates between tolerable (when I am laying still and not moving) to really  bad and intense (when trying to move in any direction).  I am taking the pain meds around the clock, and am extremely tired.  The past 2 days I wake up, eat breakfast, hang out in bed a little, get showered and dressed (with my mom’s help) and then am so exhausted I climb back into bed and take a 2-3 hour nap.  By bedtime 10:30 I am conked out and sleep until 7:30-8 when I hear the kids out in the hallway.

Pain wise I feel like someone is stabbing a knife into the back of my SI joint on the right side, and also I have a deep/sore/stabbing pain in the front of the hip socket too.  They seem to go together, as when 1 gets worse, the other one follows.  I will say though that my pain is a bit less and I can do more than the first time around with my left PAO surgery.  Everyone is surprised how much better I am doing and look this early out.  Now if I could just get rid of this stabbing SI joint pain I’d be really happy:)

I think that about sums up the first week.  I’m so glad it’s over and that hopefully this will be my last major hip surgery for a very very long time.  I’ll try and update weekly about any gains I make and things I learn.  Going through this the second time was easier in some ways, but harder in other ways (mainly mentally).  Thank you to all those who prayed for me, I really felt that God heard them and answered them, I felt very loved, very covered in prayer, and really blessed going into this.  Thank you again for reading!

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2 thoughts on “Surgery, hospital stay, and week 1

  1. Julie you are covered in prayer. You are loved by many. We would love to help in any way that you need us too. Just call. Have a blessed Thanksgiving. One of the blessings that I have thanked God for is knowing you.

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