MUA Ruby's Tuesday--July 11th, 2017<

liam2015

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oh my goodness Ruby's Tuesday ~ what a nightmarish start to your recovery. glad you have the pain under control. i was also not offered ice in the hospital and told to keep my leg straight. i got ice on the 2nd day (last day) of my stay when my friend asked the nurse and my friend got it herself. funny but i heard the lady in the bed next to me asking for and getting ice; however, she had her other knee replaced years ago and knew what to ask for. there's a lot of ups and downs in this recovery, but you'll feel better being home. be good to yourself and reach out here if you need advice or to vent.:hi:
 
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Ruby9297

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Well, my friends, I just got moved to my private room. Today was a great day, in spite of the fact that my roommate must think she's the only person on the planet! She had completely taken over the bathroom by leaving all her stuff strewn in there. She had loud conversations when I was trying to nap.

But for me: my catheter was removed in the morning. I got out of bed twice today: the first time I made it to the bedside commode. I had never used one of these before, so when I went to wipe, I misjudged and dipped my hand in a pot of pee! I used one of those premoistened hospital bed bath cloths to wipe my hand, then I took my walker to the bathroom so I could wash hands with soap and water. My roommate admonished me to not use the toilet because her commode was sitting over it. I explained that my only wanted to wash my hands, so she told me that her stuff was in there and maybe I could wash my hands somewhere else. I went in to our SHARED bathroom and washed my hands anyway!

I had two PT sessions which consisted of me learning how to get into and out of bed, using the commode, walking a few steps with a walker, and doing ankle pumps, and other leg exercises in bed. I was thoroughly exhausted after both sessions and needed to nap. My husband and sons were present for the second session so the PT trained them as well.

My roommate received loud visitors, switched on lights, TV, talked on the phone, etc, unplugged my bedside light so she could charge her phone and generally had no regard for my needs. Maybe this evening when the hospital staff disturbs her again by taking another hour to sanitize the room and bringing yet another unsuspecting post surgical patient in, she might reflect on why she's had a new roommate every day since she had rotator cuff surgery two days ago!

I held my tongue because the charge nurse had already come to me around lunchtime to tell me that a private room was going to become available for me for the rest of my stay! I was estatic! My room is small, but MINE. It has a lovely view of the Sacramento skyline, but most of all if I want it quiet at 1:00 am, it will be quiet! No snoring, phone dings or rings, or sounds of southern explosions coming from the other their side of the curtain! If I want to close the blind at 2:00 pm and turn off lights to take a nap, I can do so without being disturbed! I'm hoping that I'll get to go home tomorrow afternoon or evening, but getting a good night's sleep tonight will do me the world of good! Some of you suggested earplugs, which the nurse did provide, but they didn't help.

Here's what I did wrong though: the nurse gave me a norco in a little cup to take with my dinner because I was starting to feel pain at around a 5. With the hustle and bustle of dinner being served, packing my things up to move rooms, and actually moving, I forgot to take the pill. By the time I got moved to my new room I began to feel the worst pain ever since the surgery yesterday and had to ask for additional meds. The staff were cleaning up my area and discovered my pill still in the cup. It was about an hour past when I should have taken it.

I just took the pill about 15 minutes ago, but it hasn't caught up with the pain yet. Now I'm suffering and I could have prevented it. This is the highest level of discomfort yet, about an 8 on a scale of 1-10. Not very smart of me! But also, the nurse should have ensured that I'd taken the pill by watching me take it when she gave it to me. I'm the one who's post-surgical and still processing narcotics through my system. Again, I've had to request every ice pack that I've received here. I think they should be given routinely. This is the orthopedic floor for goodness sakes! But all in all, I am so glad that I did this! I'm feeling great, all considered!
 

Jennszoo

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Yikes. What a selfish lady! Glad you have your own room tonight. Rest well.

I let the pain take over on day 3-4 when I, for no good reason, decided to stretch my meds to 5-6 hrs. By the end of that weekend, I was in tears. It took a whole day of basically staying in bed and setting an alarm every 4 hrs to get back on top of it. I hope you get back on top sooner since you figured it out sooner!
 

kmak81230

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OMG - the war stories you will be able to tell about this after it's in the rear view mirror. So glad you finally got your own space. Hope you can get the pain managed and also get some rest tonight without all the commotion.
 

knit2tog

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You have had a dramatic start to your journey. I cannot fathom seeing the surgical instruments lying in wait for me. I would have freaked to be sure. I am happy you were able to get a private room. Hopefully you will be home soon. Let the healing begin! :yes!:
 

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I'm glad you have your own room. You should rest much better tonight.

You've learned the hard way that playing catch-up with your medications is not fun at all. You won't make that mistake again.

Best wishes for tomorrow.
 

sistersinhim

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Oh, wonderful, peaceful solitude! I pray your night was much better in your nice, small room!
 
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Ruby9297

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Best of luck to you @RoseB137. Can't wait to hear how it all goes with you. Prayers going up for an uneventful, but successful procedure
 

Pheebs52

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Oh Ruby, there's just no place like your own space! I hope you catch those zzz's you so desperately need. As for the ex-roomie, well...there's a *special* place for her, ya know?
 
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Ruby9297

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Well, I'm home! Hallelujah! The one night in my own, private room was certainly an improvement from the night before, but I found that the nurses can be equally loud and annoying as a selfish roommate. They don't think twice about coming into your room in the middle of the night, switching every light on, and checking whatever.

I got a visit from the phlebotomist at 4:00 am because she had to do a blood draw on me. At FOUR o'clock in the morning! BTW: it looks like I'm a bit anemic. The doctor doesn't seem to be all that worried about it, because of the inevitable blood loss that occurs as a result of a TKR, but I am a bit concerned. Those of you who know more about this than I, what is "normal" I have the following readings that concern me: red blood cell count:3.52, Hemoglobin 10.3, Hematocrit 32. They were all at normal levels before surgery.

Getting into and out of the car was a huge painful challenge which made it clear that I would not be going out on frivolous outings for quite a while. The nurses who helped us were very sweet, but their methods for getting in and out of the car caused me excruciating pain that made me cry. I figured out a less painful way that works for me. I'm learning that this is all trial and error because none of us is the same. Also trial and error is where in my house is the most comfortable walker accessible place to camp out.

My bed is 32 inches high, so I won't be sleeping in my own bed quite yet. I spent part of the night in the guest bedroom, with a lower bed, but a longer walk to the closet bathroom. So I ended up using the bedside commode a couple of times. I moved to my own bedroom and slept part of the night in my recliner chair because my cat meowed incessantly for me. This is also a fairly comfortable arrangement.

My husband deserves a husband of the year award, setting his alarm around the clock to ensure that I get my medications in schedule, helping me in and out of the bed and following me to sleep in whichever room I'm sleeping in. Pain is tolerable, except when I get in or out of bed, or move. My husband helps me with the ice machine and everything I ask for. He's exhausted and sleep deprived, and I feel a bit guilty. But I also feel blessed to have such a wonderful man. I will get my first visit from the home health nurse today and my acupuncturist is coming over to give me a treatment.
 

kmak81230

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Congratulations on getting home Ruby!!! You will figure out the best places at home for comfort over the next few days. Many have slept in the recliner for long periods. It is certainly a blessing to have a support person these first couple of weeks to help us keep the pain managed, ice flowing, and moving safely from place to place in the house. I expect you will be catching up on some much needed rest over the next several days after your nightmarish hospital experience. :flwrysmile:
 

sistersinhim

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It's great that you are home. That's the best place for you. Be sure to follow the BS guidelines and you will have a much better, less painful recovery! I'm wishing you a restful day!
 

SusieShoes

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About anemia. I was severely anemic post-surgery. Bilateral blood loss is greater, I guess. My hemoglobin was 7.2. I was prescribed iron pills twice daily to build up the hemoglobin. Your body needs iron to make hemoglobin (and red blood cells). The iron pills wrecked my stomach, though, causing horrible nausea. If you can take iron pills, they're a good treatment. If you can't, or just prefer not to, you can do what I did when my doctor stopped the iron pills: eat lots of Cheerios (40% daily requirement per serving), Ensure protein drinks (also 40% daily requirement per bottle), veggies, and liver. My hemoglobin was nearly normal (12 to 14) after a couple more weeks.

It's great to be home, isn't it? So much more restful!
 

Pheebs52

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Yay, you're home! Sleeping arrangements are challenging the first few weeks. In my case, I had several sleeping quarters all set up with blankets, pillows etc. I'd start in the bed with hubby and dogs and maybe last about 2 hours. Then, it was time for a walk, some ice and more meds. I'd go to the sofa next, and do some sleep-reading, the opposite of speed-reading.:SUNsmile: I'd generally have about 2-3 hours on the sofa and *Bang*, it was time to get up again, walk, use the bathroom and get the ice on. It may also have been time for meds, which I took by the clock, every 4 hours. Lastly, I'd end up in my hubby's very old, but very comfortable recliner. I wish I had chosen that first! New knees really prefer you to back-sleep, even if it's not your preference. It wasn't my preference, but....it's there I found the sleep solution that brought me to the solid, 4-5 hour point. Needless to say, I used it for a few weeks until I could achieve that same goal in bed; takes awhile.

We're all different, so you'll have to experiment a bit, but my $$$ is on the recliner for a few weeks. My husband is still a worker-bee, and I wanted him to get some rest since he was taking on ALL household responsibilities for many weeks. He's also a worry-wart type, and I don't really enjoy being fussed over. As such, I just used my Smartphone to wake me for meds every 4 hours at first until it was evident my knees did that job for me; ugh! They really did it all too well; pffft.

Wishing you some really good, healing sleep, Mother Nature's best medicine.:sleep:
 

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I'm so glad to know how things are going for you at home, @Ruby9297. It sounds like you're a full participant in your recovery, which is the best role for The Patient. I commend you for requesting a private room and shopping around the house for the most comfy sleeping spot. I equate taking care of someone after knee replacement to taking care of an infant or let's say triplet infants! In a perfect world, folks would get some type of a doula to visit at home to do the laundry, give a foot rub, etc. It's an awful lot for just one caretaker. You'll probably get a chance to pay back your husband somewhere down the road, so don't let your hesitation about imposing lead you to doing more than you should this early on.

You are going to be surprised to see how quickly things get better!! Sometimes it even takes a second to notice yourself, as in "wow, I just got my own dead-log leg in bed much more comfortably than it's been", etc. Sending healing wishes....

Sara
 

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Hey there Ruby ! I had low hemaglobin after surgery (7) and had two units of blood transfused before being released from the hospital. That helped greatly with the dizziness.
It sounds like you are doing well coping with the sleep issues, it really is a matter of trial and error.
For your caregiver - it is really important for him to nap when you do ! It's like the golden rule for new moms - when the baby sleeps, the mom should too ! Not do the laundry, clean the house or get started on dinner, Nope! Take a nap.


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Ruby9297

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So, I'm pretty sure I'm not alone with this next issue: the dreaded C word--constipation due to anesthesia and narcotic pain medication. Well it took me 5 days to have a BM and I was taking stool softeners, milk of magnesia, all kinds of things, and then today it hit with a vengeance! As it's impossible for me to just get up on my own, I almost had an accident a couple of times today. My husband and I were both taking much needed naps, when I was woken up with terrible stomach cramps. I soon realized that all the laxatives I'd been taking over the past few days were coming through with their promises! I felt so bad waking my husband up to help me get to a standing position so I could make it to the bathroom, but I had no choice. I was sweating and felt ill. I also threw up, and had a bowel movement that could rival that of any proud elephant! No kidding. I've been "going" a lot since that time today. My stomach has felt off all day, so I skipped lunch . Isn't it enough that we're recovering from major orthopedic surgery that we now have to endure the pain and indignity of an upset stomach? This was not fun today!


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liam2015

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oh you poor thing ~ i had a very similar experience, along with constant nausea. it's too early for you to quit the narcotic drugs but once you do, things will go back to normal. i quit all meds at the 3 week mark; it took 2 more weeks to get out of my system, before i started eating again and feeling better. after quitting the anti-constipation meds, i started eating natural black liquorice and it did the job...gently. just reading the package today as i bought more (because i like them, don't need them lol) and they are made in finland!

i'm so sorry about your upset tummy ~ feel better soon.:console2:
 

Celle

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I'm glad the poop fairy visited you at last, @Ruby9297 , but I'm sorry she made such a dramatic entrance.
I hope she's a regular, but more considerate, visitor in the future. Maybe you can help her by using some of the measures suggested here:
Constipation and stool softeners
 

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