The Longdogs

The Longdogs
Harley takes his role as navigator seriously!

2021-01-22 On to Hip Joint Replacement

So, here I was back at the Orthopedic Surgeons office, hobbling in on a walker. Everything went along fine until he said "we usually so surgery about 6 weeks after this appointment" I told him that if I had to wait another 6 weeks, I would be in a wheelchair and bedridden from the pain. He prescribed pain meds because, of course, the ones I had gotten for the partial hysterectomy were long gone and the arthritis strength Tylenol were not doing much for me. He told his coordinator to see what she could do for an earlier time.

Kimberly came back in after about 15 minutes later and asked if there was any way I could go to the hospital in an hour for Pre-Op Appointment. She said that it absolutely had to be done today to allow time for test results to come back in. I said "I'm on my way when I leave here". So.....I was scheduled for surgery at 0700 AM Friday morning which meant that I had to be there at 0530 AM.

Thursday night I did the shower with the antiseptic soap and then again the next morning which meant getting up at 0400 AM. Dave dropped me off at the entrance because no one is allowed to wait in the waiting room except for patients (Covid, you knnow). They said he could come back and go directly to my room once I was out of recovery. Dr Ursone was great because he called Dave and had to leave a message because Dave couldn't hear the phone ring but he also called my son and gave him all the same info because I had explained my husband's hearing problem ahead of time. His hearing aid (the master one) that connects with the TV and the phone by blue tooth has been in for repair for 3 weeks.

I woke up from surgery and got moved to my own room. Just as the nurse was getting me set up, the Physical Therapy guy showed up. They want you up and walking ASAP. Well, that was not happening since my whole leg was numb from hip to toes. He took one look and said "Okay, I will see you tomorrow." They usually only keep you overnight but I figured that probably meant I would be there two night. At the end of the day shift, the head nurse got with the night nurse and told her to make sure she had two people but she thought I would be okay to move from the bed to the commode chair since I had feeling back in my foot. I should mention that Dr Ursone used uses a complete nerve block as part of the surgery. Success. No more bedpan for me.

Friday night was okay. I had a great one patient room with a wall of windows and a private bathroom. Nice. Of course, it was the usual "I'm sorry to wake you but I need to take vitals, filling the cryo machine" etc. but just doing their jobs as quietly as they could. I slept well with little pain.

Saturday morning the PT guy showed up and we had a nice chat. We walked down the hallway and around the corner to the PT room. I told him that I had a two story house but we made a makeshift bed downstairs. He said we would practice stairs. So we walked in and I saw a staircase with 3 steps up and 3 steps down the other side. I laughed and told him I had 19 steps. "No problem, you are just going to learn how to do it." So I did. I also had a visit from a couple of house doctors that worked with my orthopedic doctor. I can't remember if I mentioned that this wing of the hospital is only for orthopedic patients. The doctors, nurses, and other staff members only work in this wing so pretty safe from Covid. The consensus was that I was going home as scheduled but it would be late afternoon. The nurse said it would be very late afternoon probably just after 5:00 so she could give me my last pain medicine dose. She was a great nurse. I told Dave not to come until very late afternoon. He is not much for chitchat so no point in him just sitting there. Dinner was delivered at 4:15PM, yes you got it 4:15PM. I laughed about the Early Bird Senior Special everyone jokes about. 

I got my meds at 5:05PM along with the paperwork. Dave started to gather things up but the nurse told him to just go down and move the car to the entrance. She had an orderly with a big cart load everything up and another LVN took me down in a wheelchair. And we were off. We made a stop at Walgreen's to pick up pain pills. My daughter-in-law had dinner made and son had picked up three bags of ice in a cooler to run the cryo machine when we got home. Glad that I only ate a tiny bit of the hospital dinner because it was awful (unlike all the other meals) and Helen's was great. We watched a movie and then I walked up to stairs and slept in my own bed. It was actually easier than it was the week before I had the surgery.

2021-01-22 What's Up Now?

 Most of the time, I talk about my love of RVing, trips and rallies I have been fortunate to attend, and a bit of family and friends thrown in. If you look back over the last few months, that's what you will see. But there has been something else going on. I have been having more and more trouble with my left hip. I was able to get around but it wasn't getting any better. Primary care doctor put me on Meloxicam about two  years ago but that was about the extent of it. The last visit with him resulted in his comment of "that's all I can do" when I said the Meloxicam wasn't really doing much for me. 

Last September, I did some online research and found myself an Orthopedic doctor who was really well rated and set up a visit. He took an x-ray and saw something on it in addition to the left hip joint with severe damage and the right hip hip joint with moderate damage. He said "you probably didn't expect to hear you needed a hip replacement on your first visit but your left hip is really bad." But he also said that we needed to find out what the other spot he could see was. So he sent me off to have a CT saying once we found out what the spot was, I would need to see a gynecologist or a gastroenterologist because it wasn't connected to the hip bones.

So, CT came back and I was off to see the gynecologist. She said she was 98% certain after doing an Ultrasound, it was nothing. But then, just in case, she sent me off to have an MRI. I had the MRI a few days later and then headed off to an RV rally. Two weeks later, I still hadn't heard back from her about the MRI and almost didn't call since she was so certain it was nothing. But that's not me, I had an expensive test and I wanted to hear the results so I called and talked to her nurse who said she would have her call me back. I think she had to call me back because she hadn't looked at the MRI results yet. 

Then I got the call back telling me that it might be nothing but it really needed to be removed. She sent me off to see a gynecologist oncologist who set me up for surgery a few days later. This doctor does laparoscopic robotic surgery. I ended up having a partial hysterectomy removing both tubes and ovaries. A few other little "amusing" things happened like the hospital nurse going over consent forms saying the doctor would be removing tubes/ovaries on the right side and a mass on the left. What???  No, that's not right. She decided that she would just wait "on having me sign" until the doctor arrived. Right, like I would have signed even if she wanted me to. Oops, doctor says no problem I'm doing a partial and the record is just wrong. Off to surgery. Surgery went well, took much longer than expected because the colon was wrapped around what turned out to be a "chocolate cyst" meaning filled with blood and it took him most of the time to separate it. Then the hospital screwed up and reported on their portal that I had a complete hysterectomy. Of course, that was really upsetting since the doctor had said he would only do a complete hysterectomy if he found cancer. It took until late the following day to get that straightened out. Of course, that record will never be corrected and I doubt the doctor's portal will ever get corrected even though I specifically requested it. So all future doctors will get wrong info....this is why I hate portals.

I went home the same day I had the surgery. Six weeks later the doctor released me via a telephone appointment, not even a video, just a regular phone call. 

So I called to get back to the Orthopedic Surgeon. It took a month to get an appointment. The week before I finally got back in to see him, I had to use a walker to get around because I was in such pain with my hip.

Sorry this was so long and boring but I want to be able to go back some time down the road and look and laugh at it all.