Day 1 - operation day. Arrived at 7:30 having followed all the pre-op instructions regarding antibiotic showering (5days), carbohydrate drinks (2 the day before, one on the day at 6am), fasting. A phone call from the hospital the evening before freaked me out because I thought they were going to cancel because of the weather (snow, ice, minus temperatures) but they were just checking I could still get there. Three bowel movements the evening before and another four that morning while waiting to go into surgery. I won’t need to worry about constipation for a few days.
Once in hospital I was dressed in a hospital gown, special knickers and little red socks with non-slip rubber strips and various doctors and nurses appeared to do obs, take blood, measure me for a zimmer frame, fit a cannula to the back of my hand, give me useful equipment like a shoe horn and a grabber, sign consent forms, draw an arrow pointing to my right hip and discuss anaesthesia.
Walked down to theatre behind the bed at about 11am, very chilly.
Sat on a bed with feet up in a kick stool while the anaesthetist felt about for the right place to insert the spinal block. Paracetamol into the cannula followed by an icy spray in my back that made me jump, then local anaesthetic injected around the site of the spinal block which felt like little tiny electric shocks, then the spinal which I didn’t feel other than a bit of pressure and my legs started to tingle and feel warm and I was helped to lie in my side I heard them say they were putting a sterile patch around where the cut would be and they must have sedated me at that point.
Came round in Recovery just after 1pm and couldn’t stop talking, no idea what about.
By 2pm I was sitting up in bed with a cup of coffee and some biscuits and inflatable cuffs on my legs.
A bit of a blur but late in the afternoon when the feeling had come back to my lower half I needed a wee and was helped out of bed and onto the commode. I had wet the bed as I was told I probably would but the special pad had soaked it up. I suddenly came over all faint and needed oxygen, an open window, fanning, a wet towel on my forehead and three nurses to get me back into bed. Low blood pressure. Fluids, antibiotics and oxycodone given via the cannula, paracetamol and ibuprofen orally.
My partner came in that evening to say hello and I spoke in the phone to my three children. Sent messages to friends. So far a bit of discomfort of the type where you’d adjust position but no pain.
A bit of a lack of appetite but trying to eat and drink something. Didn’t sleep very well, the regular obs, meds, inflating cuffs all contributing factors.
Day 2 - blood pressure still low and another fainting episode on the commode but a successful one later wearing oxygen. Physio came mid morning to do some bed exercises, standing exercises and a short walk leading to feeling faint again. Feeling hungry but when food arrives I pick at it. I made it to the toilet today with oxygen, still felt a bit faint and my hip hurt afterwards.
Was helped to do the blood thinner injection myself. Asked about tablets being a bit in the needle phobic side but my consultant prefers the injections which I will be doing for a month! A bit of reading, lots of napping, a wet wipe bath and my own pjs.
Day 3 - still feeling faint and sick every time I try to get up and threw up my breakfast. Anti nausea medication given and that helped a bit. Physio exercises. Managed the loo mid morning without fainting or sickness. Taken to X-ray to check position of implant. Short walk down the corridor and some more exercises. Lots of gurgling in my stomach suggests things are getting back to normal. Pain being managed very well.
Day 4 - cannula removed, managing bathroom and getting in and out of bed in my own. Walked the corridor in sticks instead of frame and did the stairs. All ready for going home. Nurses striking today. They totally have my support although in fact I haven’t been affected yet. Beginning to eat a bit more at mealtimes. Pharmacist brought a big bag of meds to take home with what felt like minimal instructions.
Getting in and out of the car is a knack but easier than I thought with the cushion in a plastic bag trick. Went straight upstairs for a lie down! Minus 10 degrees tonight so I wrapped up warm. Took codeine as well as ibuprofen and paracetamol but it gives me horrible dreams.The raised toilet seat is a godsend.
TOP TIP for at home. We have sofas everywhere rather than armchairs and I was contemplating buying an armchair. However, we have some rather old plastic garden chairs that we cleaned up, covered in throws with a couple of cushions, placed in different rooms and they have been brilliant.
Day 5 - at home. Not sleeping more than a couple of hours at a time. Still need the bathroom every couple of hours. Leg feels very heavy and a bit swollen and bruised but paracetamol and ibuprofen are enough to keep the pain under control. Doing my exercises three times a day and walking up and down the corridor in the house. A beautiful sunny day but icy. My appetite is returning, perhaps it’s the home cooking helping. Lots of naps. Finally had a bowel movement, the stool softeners helped. Then had three more during the evening! Dropped the codeine.
Days 6 - 9 stitches pulling a bit and a bit itchy, otherwise all good and similar to day 5 except now doing 20 of each exercise. Dry shampoo a godsend and strip washes. Haven’t ventured into the shower yet. Tailbone a bit sore from sitting in bed. Some visitors - niece, daughter, granddaughter - to break up the day.
Day 10 - the solstice - a bit of tidying up, exercises going well except for one which I need help with. Continuing with a jigsaw puzzle, reading, sleeping, walking. Made some lunch but needed help to carry it to the table. I have a shoulder bag I use for carrying stuff up and down stairs. Friends dropped in for tea and cake mid afternoon which was lovely but I needed a rest afterwards.
Day 11 - more friends visited. Managed all the exercises by myself today. Physio appointment and wound check. Getting in and out of the car and walking all went smoothly. All going well. Still only sleeping in short bursts, still needing the bathroom every couple of hours.
Day 12 - first proper walk outside to deliver Xmas cards and stopped to chat to a neighbour. My phone registered 350 steps. More of an urge to turn over in bed at night but I am sticking to the cushion between my legs, lying in my back rule. For some reason, snuggling my head into a pillow on the right side helps. My son arrived home from London for Xmas and my niece, daughter and granddaughter came over for an early dinner. I was tired when they all left about 7:30.
Day 13 - 498 steps. Ditched the ibuprofen today without any ill effects. Made vegetarian gravy for tomorrow. Lots of chopping and stirring. Needed help to carry stuff from one place to another.
Day 14 - end of week 2 - Xmas Day. 6 adults and one child. 791 steps registered. A lovely breakfast (croissants and buck’s fizz), a walk (not for me), a lovely vegetarian Xmas dinner), presents, board games, less work than usual for me. I even had a glass of wine. A very excited granddaughter. Spoke to my son in Vietnam who was in the process of booking flights home for a holiday here in May. Was very tired after a busy day and a bit sore so I added the ibuprofen back in.