Wednesday, November 27, 2013

A week post op

So, I am sorry that it has taken me so long to get an update here, its been a long week, but good, week post op!  I guess I will just start from the beginning as far as what I remember immediately post op :)

So my surgery was scheduled for Nov. 21st at 8:30 am at the Hospital for Special Surgery.  We had to be at the hospital at 5:30 am!!  When we arrived I checked in and got signed up and then pretty quickly they took me back for surgery.  In the surgery waiting room I changed into a gown, put on those lovely socks with the rubber on the bottom so that you do not fall sliding around, and then I was suppose to try and give a urine specimen to make sure that I was not pregnant.  Well, of course I could not pee, after an hour and a half of trying, I finally gave up and they tried to take blood instead.  I am notoriously bad at giving blood, so of course this turns into an ordeal of poking me three times just to get some blood.  Finally they do and that part is over.  Also during this time a nurse (who had a British accent and insisted on calling me Sarah Jane) was getting me prepped with an IV and 2 PA's came in to get some history and check my range of motion, etc.  Then the good stuff started, Dr. Buly showed up as well as the anesthesiologist.  Dr. Buly signed my hip and my wrist band and then after a few minutes we were off.  I was taken down into the OR (which is freezing) and I moved over onto the operating table, was asked a few questions by the anesthesiologist, medicine the stings was put into my IV and I was out.

When I woke up I was in the recovery area, which was basically like a really long, extra wide hallway, with something like 50 beds in it and a curtain separating each bed.  I woke up pretty quickly but in a lot of pain.  I had a pain pump that I could press a button and every 10 minutes it would give me medicine.  At the time every 10 minutes seemed like a lifetime!  I was surprised by how much pain I was in given that I thought that I was suppose to have an epidural.  It was unlike my last epidural with my scope that literally had me numb from the waist down when I woke up.  It took about an hour for my pain to get under control again.  My mom and Adam were able to visit me every 2 hours for 15 minutes while I was in recovery, which was nice, but did not seem long enough.  There was some trouble finding out if I would be able to get a room or not that night because I guess they were all full, but luckily around 9PM I got a room and was taken upstairs for the night.

The first night my pain was well controlled with the pain pump and I slept fairly well.  The next morning I was up around 6 am because thats when the hospital staff starts to really check on you and get things rolling for the day, like allowing you to bathe, etc.  I had a bunch of different people throughout the morning come into my room for various things, checking vitals, my pain pump/epidural, my wound drain, etc.  I tried to press the pain pump as little as possible because I wanted the epidural out as soon as possible because once that came out I could get my urinary catheter out, which was annoying me.  So I was started on oral pain medication later that morning and that evening, around 6 PM the epidural came out.  By late evening the first day I had everything unhooked except the urinary catheter, which was scheduled to come out the next morning, early.  I also had PT the first day too, which I was REALLY scared about getting out of bed and walking, especially being hooked up to all the machines that I was.  But it really was not too bad, my PT was amazing.  I was able to get out of bed and walk to the bathroom that first afternoon, without too much issue.  My mom and husband were there during all the visiting hours, which were from 11 am to 9 pm.

On the second day, I got my catheter removed at 6 am and at that point I was officially off all the machines!  I was able to sit up and eat breakfast in a chair that morning, as well as lunch, which was quite an accomplishment.  Most of the pain that I had was trying to sit up and scooch my butt over to the edge of the bed.  Whenever I tried to lift my pelvis off the bed, it felt like my right side was going to fall off!  Once I was standing I was fine and good to go.  Surprisingly enough, on the second day I passed PT (which consisted all of walking down the hall, going up and down some fake stairs, and then back to my room.  After PT, the ball started rolling for me to get discharged!!  We were super surprised how early I was getting discharged considering we were told it could be as many as 7 days in the hospital!  So about mid afternoon on my second day post op, I was released from the hospital!

I rested on day 3 at the apartment in NYC and then on day 4 we started our travels back to Michigan, which was about a 14 hour drive, since we had to stop every 2 hours for me to get out and walk to prevent blood clots.

So this post is getting pretty long already, but needless to say, we made it safely back home on day 4, just in time for my mothers 50th birthday and Thanksgiving, which is today :)

In the few days that we have been home, I have felt really good for the most part.  I have been getting some back headaches from some of the medication, but we were able to switch it up and the headaches seem to be getting better.  I am sleeping a lot and drinking a lot and thats about what my days consist of so far.  I will update more after I see PT later this week.

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

The day before surgery with Dr. Buly at the Hospital for Special Surgery

Hello Everyone!!

So tomorrow is the day, I will go under the knife for my first PAO and my 4th right hip surgery.  I am still in shock with how I got here, it all kind of seems like a bad dream, but in the end I hope that my long hip ordeal can provide a learning experience for anyone else suffering with hip pain.

Yesterday I had my pre-op appointments which were no big deal.  Basically they went over all the usual stuff with me (height, weight, blood pressure, etc.) and then I had to get some blood drawn.  I was worried that my surgery might be cancelled again due to high CRP and Sed. rates but the pre-op doctor that I saw said that my numbers from the end of Oct. were no big deal and he was not concerned so that made me feel better.  The only think different this time from my other pre-op's was that they did an EKG which I thought was pretty neat.  I guess it did not show anything bad cause I got my surgery time.....8:30 tomorrow morning (Thursday, Nov. 21st) and I have to be to the hospital at 5:30 am!  I am glad that its early though cause otherwise I would be up all morning just worrying about surgery.

Today my husband and my mom and I, we went on a boat tour of the statue of Liberty and lower Manhatten.  It was really amazing to see all these sights!  Its stunning the amount of people and the history that is here!  We had a great time, but its about 2 in the afternoon and my hip is pretty much done with sight seeing and ready for a rest.

So, thats the story so far.  New York is amazing and so far our trip has been great!  I hope surgery tomorrow follows that trend as well.  I will update my blog as soon as I get a chance after surgery.  Until then, safe hip travels everyone!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

1 week from PAO surgery!!

Here we are a week out from my PAO surgery with Dr. Buly at HSS in NYC!!  I thought that I would be getting really nervous, but I am not.  Life here at my parents house just keeps rolling along with the kids' basketball games, home work, and plays so there is not much time for me to freak out.  Adam (my husband) has been working a lot so I have not seen him much and he is normally the one that I would complain to about being nervous.  I suppose its a good thing that I have not had a lot of time to focus on the surgery itself!  Too much thought about things like this will drive a person mad.  So, in 4 days we will pack up the van and be off to NYC!!

Saturday, November 2, 2013

When the worst in life brings out the best in people

Its kind of funny how some of the worst things in life turn out to show you the best in people.  This upcoming PAO on the 21st will not be the worst, nor the hardest thing I have ever gone through in life, but its one of those really hard things that makes you wonder, why me?  Why is it that I am going through all these surgeries and all this pain?  But its also these moments that shows you the best from the people in your life.  I consider myself to be one of the luckiest people on earth when it comes to family.  I have known my entire life that my family will always be there for me, no matter what.  Wouldn't matter how big of a mistake I made, or how much I hurt the people I loved the most, they would always be there for me.  I know that not many people in the world can say that, so I am beyond lucky to always have this support system.  Then you add in my husband and his family, plus friends, and compiled are some of the best and most amazing people on this planet.

The prep for this surgery alone has brought out the absolute best in all the above mentioned people and I have not even had surgery yet!  Since my house in Houghton, MI is an older home with steep stairs and the bedrooms and bathrooms on the top floor, my mom and I knew as soon as we were told about needing a PAO that I would not be able to recuperate at my house.  So that meant moving in with my parents, for 3 months!  Now, for a normal family this would not be a big deal, but my family is far from normal.  Four years ago my parents took in three foster children who were left by their parents at the preschool my mother used to work at.  For the past four years my parents have cared for a loved these kids as if they were their own.  My sister and I too have welcomed them into our lives without missing a beat as if they were always our siblings.  To us, anyone in need was welcome, and these kids were in desperate need.  So obviously with 3 kids, my parents have a full house, but that did not matter.  Without missing a beat my mother started planning for my husband and I's stay at their home for a few months.  Moving around furniture, making 8 hour trips up to Houghton and back home with our clothes and dog, you name it, my parents did it.  Another saving grace for my husband and I is that my in-laws own some hardware stores in the area, thus my husband is able to work while I recover.

If these things were not enough to make you thankful for wonderful family, the next piece of amazing news will make you thankful for friends!  After I called my friend Chelsea, who lives far away, and had a good cry with her on the phone about my surgery situation, she also got to work seeing if some of her family's friends had a vacant place for us to stay in during the week of my surgery in NYC.  Amazingly enough, her father has a friend who has an apartment in NYC that she offered to me, my mother and my husband while we are in NYC for my surgery, FOR FREE!!!  I was literally in shock when Chelsea told me about this amazingly gracious person.  I mean, who offers their home to complete strangers for an entire week?!  I pretty much just started crying.

Since that time I have been in contact with the owner of the apartment and she is the nicest lady, even sending me pictures of the apartment and the view!  Its times like these that I realize, I am the luckiest person on earth.  Yeah, these surgeries suck and yes, I am not happy about it, but if there was ever a lesson to be learned here its that I am surrounded by one of the best support systems ever.  So this post is a shout out to all those in my life who have cared for me in ways that I can never repay.  Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, thank you.