Saturday, April 5, 2008

Go Home Now!

I was afraid that I might be getting off to a bad start when the waiting room attendant called me back by pronouncing my name wrong. No big deal you say? Well… she heard my mom making fun of her!! I guess it ended up okay; the poor gal and my mother were good buddies by the end of the day! (Nice recovery, Mom!)

I waited for what seemed like FOREVER in pre-op, somewhere around 6 hours. It was quiet and I had a good book to finish so I didn't complain. (With four kids, a husband, a puppy, a blackberry, and a telephone, I rarely get to sit and read for more than 10 minutes uninterrupted!) I feel a bit guilty saying this, but I enjoyed the time to myself. Even I had to enjoy it in a room with 18 other people!

A couple of the dozen or so nurses, doctors, physician assistants, janitors and hospital administrators who stopped by my bed to query me about my current medications, allergies, pain and removable dental work mentioned that I would be spending the night in the hospital. Dr. Ellis had told me a few weeks before that I would go home the same day. Quite honestly, it didn't matter to me one way or the either. However, it was good to know that "most patients who have this surgery stay overnight."

I am told that the surgery went very well. I believe it lasted something like 14.3 seconds. I'm amazed at the total and complete loss of time during surgery. It's not that, “oh, I just took a quick nap” sort of feeling. It’s that the time is just absolutely GONE! It's the closest I've ever come to a time warp. I'm still trying to reconcile that I spent nearly 90 minutes in the OR.

In the recovery room there seemed to be a flurry of activity when I came to: people were poking, prodding, shaving, sticking, squeezing, taping, and blanketing me constantly! I was shivering as if I had been dropped in a deep freezer, so the nurses kept me supplied with warmed blankets. They pulled the blankets out of the warmer in pairs, tucking each new pair next to my body and beneath the previous pair. They did not remove the previous set of blankets, however! When we finally got rid of the blankies, I had eight of them piled upon me. In retrospect, this may explain my initial difficulty getting out of the bed. I had, quite literally, been buried alive!

The nurses kept asking me to try standing, but it was just futile each and every time. I had ZERO feeling in my right leg and it was not able to support my body. The spinal block had left me numb in my midsection down to my mid-thighs. My right leg was being pumped full off pain medication and I was still very cloudy in my head! Every 15-20 minutes they'd ask me to try again... I tried so hard to stand and I could tell they really wanted me to, but I just couldn't seem to do it.

Eventually, they sent my mom and dad to dinner and ordered me a tray of food. I asked my parents to bring me some food back, just in case the tray came with some jell-o and beef broth, as the recovery room trays aren’t usually enough to sustain a flea. Just as my parents strolled back in with cookies, my dinner arrived. I had polished off a can of Sprite and some Lorna Doones that the nurse brought but was dying for something real. The tray had turkey and gravy, vegetables, rice, a dinner roll, pound cake, iced tea, and grape juice! Yuhhhmmeeee!! I finished EVERTHING except the nasty cooked carrots and felt almost human again. The poor nurse told me jokingly that I had to finish my vegetables. I told her where to stick those gross cooked lumps of smooshie nastiness. She understood.

I could feel the full bladder up into my rib cage so I knew I needed to pee! The nurses came over and stood beside me to the bathroom. The minute my left foot and right tree stump hit the ground the bladder broke loose. I remember saying, "I have to pee... oh wait - I AM PEEING!" The nurse and anesthesiologist gave me some story about me not being able to feel that I have to go (yet they think I can WALK?!?!?)

As a reward for my efforts I was returned to the bed and given a shiny new catheter!! Just what I've always wanted...

Almost a half hour later I was the only one left in the recovery room and I pointed out to the nurse that my doctor said I could stay if I needed to. I thought maybe he didn’t tell anyone else. The nurse gave me a quick, “Yeah” and then ignored me.

Within a few minutes the nurses came over, held me up by my either arm, pronounced me "standing", put me in a wheelchair and SENT ME HOME! My dad got the car, my mom stood by speechless and they wheeled me out at 7:15 pm.

Yeah, it all happened that suddenly. Slam, bam thank you ma’am, now get the hell out! I was put out so fast that I didn’t have to time to protest or argue or anything. Who would’ve ever thought that I wouldn’t have time to argue! Ha ha ha!!

The night went downhill from there... more on that another time!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

The Journey Begins

At birth I was diagnosed with what the doctors called Congenital Hips, now commonly known as Developmental Dysplasia of the Hip. The doctors diagnosed my condition at birth and I was rewarded with a shiny new brace to wear for the next 12-18 months. Rumor has it that the doctors felt I might never walk. They were wrong! I have been walking, running, jogging, cycling, hopping, skipping, dancing, frolicking and jumping through life for almost 36 years now!

About a year ago I began experiencing a great deal of pain in my groin and right leg. I pretended it didn't exist for a while and then took Advil to hide the pain when I couldn't ignore it. Eventually my mom noticed the limping and we were off to her orthopedist! Dr. Keith Berend with
Joint Implant Surgeons in New Albany, Ohio reviewed my x-rays and diagnosed moderate dysplastic hips. This was obviously not news to me!

I then had an MRA (Magnetic Resonance Angiography), an MRI with the added bonus of dye injected into the hip! The MRA revealed some arthritis and a tear to my labrum. The labrum is a “gasket” that surrounds the rim of the hip socket. Dysplastic hips are characterized by shallow sockets and labral tears occur due to the way the femoral head (ball) sits at the edge of the acetabulum (socket). Due to the findings, Dr. B referred me Dr. Thomas Ellis at The Ohio State University.

Dr. Ellis and his PA, Stephanie, reviewed my x-rays and MRA then talked to me at great length about my options. After careful consideration I opted to schedule an arthroscopy (scope) of my hip then, at a late date, the Periacetabular Osteotomy. The scope would allow Dr. E to repair the torn labrum, debried (clean out) any arthritis chunks in my hip and determine the level of damage already done to my hip. Too much damage in there and I wouldn’t be a candidate for PAO at all. Then the only option would be to wait until I was old and crippled enough for a Total Hip Arthroscopy (replacement).

On March 19, 2008 I went under the knife at OSU East! Dr. E decided NOT to repair or debried my hip during the scope, but to just wait and fix it all when he opened me up for PAO. I have since scheduled my PAO for June 11, 2008.

For those of you still with me, thank you for reading all of this boring stuff!

Tomorrow I will tell you more about the hip scope experience. It is sure to be a thrilling post for those of you who get excited over people falling down, eating (almost) all of their vegetables and peeing on the floor!