Very early on Thursday morning 3 am – I am awake though not really sure why……. Just can’t sleep. Because we are not very mobile around here at the moment post op, we have to wear these inflatable pads around our calf. They inflate and then with the noise of what I can only describe as an iron lung, deflate, and then the same happens on the other side and this goes on day and night to ensure that circulation is maintained and blood clots do not form. Until now, the sensation of a balloon suddenly forming around your lower leg and the noise of expelling air incessantly all night has not been a problem except for the fact that I believe there is an ulterior motive ……….. as you are not allowed to bend more than 90 degrees post operatively with a hip replacement, you are unable to wrench the Velcro lose and detach these from your lower extremities without the help of a nurse. So, you are confined to bed, they know exactly where you are and you cannot move unless they come and release you. Saying that, until now, it has not been a problem as I seem to have been able to live with the noise in the background but for some reason, tonite, I can’t block it out and each ‘breath’ the machine takes seems to be louder and louder.
I call for the nurse, I know she’ll be fine as it is the lovely Charlene who has so much patience and joy at any hour of the night and always up for a chat. She really is born to this work, I just feel that with her calm and gentle nature, it wouldn’t matter what happened, she would make sure everything was OK. I am duly released and Charlene says, let me know when you are ready to sleep again and I’ll come back and put these on. I explain the situation I find myself in, annoyance with the noise that is hampering my sleep and she agrees to let me sleep without them for the rest of the night.
Settled back in bed after a quick cuppa, I relax to try and get a couple more hours. That noise is still there! Immediately I think she has detached the pads but forgotten to switch off the machine, I sit up, listen for the noise and horror of horrors realise it’s not the machine at all but the man in the room next door snoring in sync with his machine so rather than sporadic noises of an iron lung it’s continuous – OMG, it’s so loud. I hobble out of bed to shut his bedroom door and then shut mine as well. Phew, at least now it only seems like a low-level drone and sleep does come again. I wake suddenly to a noise and look up from my bed, somebody is in my room. A voice says, I’m just dropping off the clean sheets and towels – what the hell??? It’s 6 am, he has come charging through the auto closing bedroom door and left it to close behind him, walked across the room to leave the sheets and towels on the chair furthest from the door and exited again leaving the door to auto close with a clank of metal behind him. Seriously, I know they have stuff to do at these hospitals but ………
I figure this is a sign I am on the mend, little annoyances and lack of fresh air are getting to me – I’d make an attempt at escape via the lift out to the front of the building to get some fresh air if it wasn’t raining so hard.
Nothing for it but to get up I suppose. Charlene comes around and takes my morning Blood Pressure which is all good and I decide to watch the news and read.
Lexi comes in and we are mid conversation when the porter turns up at the door – 7.45 am. He’s the same guy as the false start yesterday. I need to go for a scan to check there are no blood clots in my legs. It’s a long journey through the corridors of the hospitals across to the private clinic for this event. He wheels me along calling me ‘lady’ – a very strange term in a sentence of – so are you getting out today lady? Or is that just me? Scans completed, veins all clear, I am put back in the corridor on the trolley and told that they will order transport. So I lie there waiting for 20 minutes until Martin, the other porter turns up and wheels me back to my room.
In my absence, breakfast has been delivered – and now it’s cold congealed scrambled egg. I’ll pop along to the little kitchen and whack it in the microwave to nuke it warm again. Lexi obviously has departed for the office by now and taken with her the coffee I didn’t get to drink – that’s OK as I know that David will be along soon with a fresh cup. I hungrily eat the eggs, which doesn’t take long as I seem really hungry today so almost inhale them and sit back looking at my gluten free toast which I am trying to resist the temptation to eat until I have coffee to go with it.
After what seems like an absolute age, here’s David with the coffee – YAY!
Once we have had our morning rendezvous and David has gone, I have my shower and wash and dry my hair. I just return to the room to sit down and Dr Chen arrives. This is what I have been waiting for. Dr Chen announces that he doesn’t think there is anything too untoward in my blood and that it will correct itself. He feels that it may be a reaction by my body to the trauma (operation) and / or I was given a steroid during the operation that is not in my notes and that temporarily halted the operation of my adrenals. I am however a little anaemic but that is definitely just a post op thing. What a relief, let’s get on with life. He prescribes cortisol tablets for the next few weeks and a follow up with him after some blood test on 13 April. This means I am now cleared to go to rehab tomorrow.
I have been doing my daily walking around the floor and my prescribed exercises and now have a visit from the physio who says that they don’t need to see me so long as I keep doing the exercises and I will get an exercise plan when I get to rehab. However, she has had word from my surgeon that he does not want me walking without the aid of my stick for about another 10 days until we have ensured that there is some strength in the bone and muscles around the replacement. That’s fine, I have no issues with that at all.
After my shower this morning, I haven’t replaced my Ted stockings. Pressure stockings with holes in the toes – why, I am not sure but bloody annoying in the middle of the night when you can feel your toes poking through – I decide to call for a new pair. These are delivered by the AIN …Assistant in Nursing …and another junior member of the nursing staff. They are rolled up and then unceremoniously unrolled across my foot and leg – but they are not straight and my toes immediately reveal themselves – a long conversation ensues about where the reinforced heel piece should be – I thought it was obvious it should be on my heel but hey I’m happy to explain this. It fills a few moments of the day and off they go.
Morning turns to afternoon and as I am off to rehab tomorrow, I need more clothing. It’s difficult to explain one set of black leggings from another to somebody who is not inside your head so David makes a Face Time call so that I can talk him through my wardrobe to pick the right ones. Low and behold, before I know it, here he is. I thought he was going to get an Uber here or walk as he needed to bring the small suitcase and more clothes but he has learnt from me that you can transport a good deal of stuff in all sorts of shapes and sizes on a scooter so here he is.
As you know, yesterday I was treated to curry, today, it’s David’s homemade Bolognese sauce with garlic bread. He even brought some parmesan. Yum, something to look forward to for this evening.
Departure of David, I can walk him to the lift now, and arrival of Lexi who tells me about her day and shows me some amazing computerised walk through of a site she is working on as an interior designer – it’s incredible what you can do with computers these days.
Just after 7, she leaves or in her words, I throw her out! This is not the case but I do need to warm my dinner and settle for the evening. I’m moving to rehab tomorrow. Will be transported by the hospital and am quite keen to get there and see what they have in store for me.
Good night all
Hippy Times …🏋🏻♀️