Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Home +7

I was discharged from the hospital a week ago today, and I'm making really good progress. No major setbacks. I had a slight fever for a day, high enough to call the doctor, but it was during the snowstorm and no one ever called back about it.

Dr. Office Fail, if you ask me.

Temperature went back to normal within 24 hours.

I'm doing my prescribed exercises several times daily. Two of them are helping increase range of motion (and they're working), the others are muscle strengthening.

I've gone to town once since I've been home, to the hospital for a blood test. I was started on a blood thinner in the hospital, and you have to monitor that carefully. Walking down long hospital corridors with the walker was no problem for me, but the FitBit didn't know how to count it and only gave me 130 steps.

I follow up with the surgeon next Tuesday. I'll be very happy to move from walker to cane.

The pain I'm having is quite manageable on 2 or 3 pain pills per day. I'll be very glad to not need those any more, and I'm hoping to discontinue completely by this weekend.

Still craving milk chocolate candy. The kind that comes in little paper cups, in a box. Soft centers. No nuts. Such a strange and very specific thing to want. My husband bought me a candy bar,but it just wasn't the same.

I ate it, though. Heh.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Home + 2

Surgery was Monday the 18th, spent Tuesday learning to walk with a walker, and was released Wednesday. I actually went up and down a flight of stairs Wednesday, which was a lot easier than getting in and out of bed.

The trip home was gruesome. Our normal hour-long trip took nearly two because of snow squalls. Nothing like what is predicted for today, though, and I'm very grateful I don't have to go anywhere through up to two feet of snow.

I have to do five exercises as many times a I want,  i can walk as much as I want, and there are no dressing changes to worry about.

I was sent home with prescriptions for Percocet (for pain) and coumadin (to prevent blood clots). No prescription for physical therapy, but that may happen later.

My husband has been a good nurse, especially after our chat about pain meds. I was taking 2 every 4 hours as needed in the hospital. The home prescription is one every 4 to 6 hours. I really do need them and am not afraid to take them. He's trying to have me stretch out the doses. Sometimes that's okay, but sometimes it isn't. I mean, SOMETIMES IT ISN'T!

He took my temperature yesterday and we discovered I had a slight fever, high enough to call the doctor per the after-care instructions. The doctor never called back, and my temperature went down, so I can assume it's nothing to worry about.

That's all for now. My sleep schedule is all messed up. I'm just counting on return to normal sometime in the future, as so many have assured me it happened to them. I appreciate all your messages, calls, texts, cards, and prayers. Thank you.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

24

So. Twenty-four hours from right about now (8:30-ish, Sunday, January 17, 2016), they'll be prepping me for surgery.

I wasn't going to write anything today, but I started it, and I guess it would be remiss not to continue the surgery saga.

I'm surprisingly calm. I have great confidence in my surgeon, in the hospital, and in my ability to understand and follow doctor's orders. Others I know who've had joint replacement surgery are doing fine today, and their experiences have been so valuable and helpful.

I'm fifth on the schedule, so I expect the actual procedure will happen somewhat later in the morning. I have no idea when I'll be able to update the blog again … but I expect only a day or so.

Have a good Sunday. And a good Monday. I'll be back in business in a couple of days.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Five

Today's Leap Year Photo Challenge prompt is "anticipation," and that's pretty much been my word of the year so far.

Five more days before I get my hip fixed.

I used to count down the days to a race. The times, they sure have changed.

Today is the day I'm to discontinue my daily Aleve. I'm not looking forward to several days of severe discomfort, but I'm definitely NOT going to defy doctor's orders.

I updated my living will – that makes it reallyreal – and it gets notarized today. Need to print a list of phone numbers so my husband can report that I survived the surgery Monday afternoon.

Trying to figure out what I should take to the hospital and what I can leave behind. I want to take every electronic device and charger I own, but I know that's not necessary and probably not encouraged. But … but … I hate the idea of being out of touch.

So silly.

I'm only going to be in the hospital for two or three days. Surely I can handle my digital life with just my phone. And the Kindle.

But what if I need Photoshop? Hahahahahahah. Better pack the laptop.

Friday, January 8, 2016

Ten

Don't worry, I'm not going to publish a daily countdown post. I've very little to write about these days, and I'm sure you don't want to read that I played umpteen million games of Scrabble on my phone while resting in bed for the next 10 days.

Because that's about what I do.

EXCEPT FOR YESTERDAY!

I went to the surgeon's office in the morning for an X-ray and to pick up orders for lab work. Then I went to the hospital to have the lab work done. Then I went to an internist (mine is not on staff at the hospital where my surgery will be done, so I had to establish a relationship with a new one) for an EKG and general physical, to make sure I was in good enough health to survive surgery.

I didn't actually see the internist, but I will after surgery, while I'm in the hospital. I saw a Nurse Practitioner, who was a hoot! She could be my family doctor anytime. (For anyone local looking for a health-care provider, her name is Beverly Whitt and she practices at Blue Ridge Internal Medicine in Princeton.)

It says a lot about my ego that what I liked about her was how many times she said I was so young and healthy and wow, I don't take any meds except a diuretic? Heh. She was very encouraging about post-surgery recovery, saying that my daily walking habit (up until July) was going to really help me with physical therapy. She felt like it wouldn't take long for me to get back to better-than-normal – three to four weeks.

That sounds optimistic to me, but it was great to hear.

So far this hip surgery experience has been very positive. Every medical professional I've had contact with has taken all the time I need to answer my questions, and all have been unfailingly reassuring. The waiting game begins in earnest today.

My favorite picture of my mother, taken
when she was maybe 7 or 8 years old.
On another note, my mother died 25 years ago today. I was with her when she died, watched her take her last breath. I still tear up thinking about it.

I've outlived her by 15 years. She was a yo-yo dieter all her life: Up and down and up and down. She didn't know much about nutrition, and when she was up (in weight), didn't care at all what she ate or drank.

She was diagnosed with colorectal cancer when she was 55, and lived 4 more years.

I know a little more about good food, and I feel like my diet is (mostly) better than hers was, but I'm a yo-yo dieter, as well. My hopewishdreamGOAL is to stop the cycle. This surgery will give me back the mobility and stamina and support I need to get back on track with exercise, which will elevate my mood and help me not eat my emotions.

I just wish she were here to help me through it.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Two

With surgery scheduled for two weeks from today, I'm beginning to get a little nervous.

I try to remind myself that this is routine, and not life-threatening, and I really need to get out of myself and quit focusing on it, but I wouldn't deny you your thoughts or feelings about anything regarding your health (or anything at all, really). So why would I deny me?

Well, I try to deny it because I don't think dwelling in despair is a good thing for my mental health.

But I gotta tell you … the idea of someone slicing and dicing me is not something I'm looking forward to. Being able to walk without pain and to bend over (wow, is not being able to a huge issue at times!)? Now that's something to look forward to!

And that's where I've been the last several weeks: Looking at the end game. The past couple days, however, I've been looking at the procedure itself.

I've read and heard that patients wake up from surgery simply amazed that the hip pain is gone. There's no describing this kind of bone-on-bone pain, really. And the sound it makes is almost nausea-inducing.

So post-surgical pain is limited to the incision itself, and that will be something new and wonderful to deal with. Heh. I've informed my surgeon I'm a recovering alcoholic and would prefer not to take narcotics. But I'm certainly open to it if it's necessary.

When I start feeling down about all of this, I try to remember that I have friends dealing with cancer and lung problems and depression and all kinds of health issues that are much more difficult to conquer. I feel better today than I did yesterday – yesterday was, for some reason, very rough on my emotions.

Soon it will all be over. Soon I'll have no excuse for unmopped floors and unswept porches. Soon I'll be able to walk, either outside or on the treadmill, pain-free.

Two weeks to go.