Tuesday, November 5, 2013

And It's Been A While...

Did you catch that reference?  If you called yourself a rocker (insert a Sign of the Horns and Gene Simmons-esque show of the tongue here) in the early 2000s,  you know that song.  While this post is nowhere near as deep or dark as this Staind song, it has been quite a while since I've posted. 

I came back to work last week after my second hip surgery.  These last six weeks just FLEW.  I really enjoyed being home with my family and have been missing my naps Hubs and the kids every day since I came back. But I am glad to get back into a normal routine because I get a lot more stuff done when I'm in the office during the day.  I think it's simply due to the fact that I have less time at home, so by necessity, I use it more efficiently.  I pay bills, run errands at lunch, and spend time planning and organizing but when I get home, I just want to crash on the couch and snuggle up with my family.  Especially on the three nights per week that I have physical therapy.  It's very hard to get me off the couch on those nights because my legs are just exhausted.

But, since I haven't written anything about my second surgery, I'm going to back up and write down what I remember about it.  I'm hoping someone will stumble across this blog to find some encouragement about getting Femoral Acetabular Impingement (FAI) surgery. This photo from Mayo Clinic's website shows the hip joint which consists of the femur (leg bone), the acetabulum (hip joint) and the labrum (cartilage that sits in the joint).  I had bone spurs in the joint as well as pre-arthritis on my femur and labral damage. 

My right hip arthroscopy was performed in mid-July of this year and I have recovered very well from that surgery.  I decided I was ready to do the left side two months after the first surgery mainly because I was doing so well.  I was in physical therapy three times per week, gaining strength, and I could do a lot more than before the surgery.  But, my left side was deteriorating fast, so I knew I had to repair it soon.  My plan was to have it done while the weather was still nice so I didn't have to worry about pulling pants on and off (I wore mostly dresses post-op) or potentially slipping on ice while healing. 

At my four-week post-op checkup, I scheduled my left hip procedure for September 17th, precisely two months after my first surgery.  In the meantime, we planned and hosted Jo's 3rd birthday party and celebrated his actual birthday the next week (actually, it was the day before my surgery).  I worked for three weeks in between surgeries and the NFL season started up. 

On the night of the 16th, I had to do a Hibiclens shower and stop eating or drinking at midnight.  I was really nauseous for two-to-three days after my first surgery, so I decided I'd eat dinner and have a small snack around 8:00 to end my eating streak for the next 24 hours.  But, I did drink water all the way up to the end.  My surgery was scheduled for early afternoon and then they called me the night before to move it up to mid-morning.  Score! 

In the morning, I had to Hibiclens one more time, then we said bye to the kids, left them with grandpa, and went to the hospital.  I had to bring my ice machine, hip brace, compression hose, and crutches all to the hospital with me.  Other than that, I didn't bring anything else.  Hubs was with me in the room until they wheeled me down to the holding area, so I didn't need a book or anything to keep me entertained.  The doctor came in to my room and marked my left hip and told us it would probably be about 45 minutes, which was a little later than the "scheduled" time, but not by much.

I'm not kidding - FIVE minutes later, a nurse came in to the room with a very apologetic look on her face and said, "And you know that things are running behind right now and it will be about two more hours..." 

Wait, whaaaaa??  Hit the brakes, here, lady!   I said, "the doctor was just in here and told us about 45 minutes." 

Nurse: ::Deer in headlights::

After going back and forth a few times, trying to figure out the real story, it was probably another 45 minutes before they wheeled back to the holding area.  Once I was there, I waited for around 30 minutes before the anesthesiologist came to start the nerve block. Prior to that, several nurses and the nurse anesthetist came to check on me and I let them know that I get nauseous from anesthesia, so they put something in my IV to help along with the scopolamine patch behind my ear. 

In July, there were three or four people around me while they did the nerve block and they immediately knocked me out with an IV med.  This time, the anesthesiologist was the only one there and I was awake all the way into the O.R..

Side note: The damage to my left leg must be worse than I realized because back in May, when I had my MRI, they had a hard time injecting the dye into my left side and it hurt but the right side was super easy!  In the same way, the nerve block in July was uncomfortable but definitely tolerable but on my left side, it felt like what I imagine ECT feels like; a major electrical shock all the way down my leg.  My nerves felt like they were going to shoot out of my body!

Thankfully, that only lasted about a minute and then I could rest.  A few minutes later, they wheeled me into the O.R. and had me scoot myself onto the O.R. table.  Those tables always seem very small.  I guess they need to be so the doctors can get closer to the patient while operating but I felt like I was going to fall off of it! 

I'm a fairly calm person in situations like these, at least when it's happening to me, so I was just waiting for things to get started and all the nurses around me kept reassuring me and telling me they were going to take care of me.  I know they probably see their share of anxiety and fear in the O.R., so this is a normal thing for them to do but I was completely relaxed until they kept "reassuring" me.  So, I started joking around with them a little to shake off the nerves that were trying to creep up.  A few minutes later, I had a mask on my face that would put me to sleep and I remember having it on for less than a minute.

Next thing I remember was waking up in recovery and feeling pretty decent, meaning no headache, nausea, or super-drowsiness.  In July, I could barely keep my eyes open a couple hours after I "woke up" and just did what I had to so I could go home that night because I did NOT want to turn this into an overnight visit.  They got me onto one of these rolling carts to get me into the bathroom to change my clothes.  The nurse had to get my bottoms on for me because I couldn't bend at all.

Hubs came to see me in recovery and that's when he told me the doctor couldn't repair my labrum.  He tried several times but it was so deteriorated, the repair just would not "take".  He will have to reconstruct it at some point down the road; I don't know much about the details at this point but once I'm recovered from these two procedures, we'll start to talk about the timing, etc... 

The failed labral repair was a disappointment for sure.  When I got home that night (Tuesday), I slept really well on the couch and I woke up in the morning feeling pretty decent; no nausea and headaches.  Already this was a major improvement from the first surgery!  By Friday morning, at my post-op checkup, I was basically walking on it.  I used my crutches and my brace but I was putting full weight on it.  The only reason I could do that was due to my labrum's failed repair.  The bone resurfacing made things sore and I didn't have much range of motion, but it could bear my full weight. 

Needless to say, I was excited about that because I knew I'd be up and around much faster this time but I still needed the full 4-6 weeks off because I was now recovering from two surgeries so I had some other minor problems arise.  I've had some muscle soreness and fatigue, intermittent lower back pain, and a hard time sitting at a 90° angle for more than 15 minutes.  That made sitting at my desk difficult even though I could do just about everything else in my daily routine.

Getting down to the floor and standing back up is the only thing at this point that really hurts.  It takes a lot of controlled movement along with a solid object I can pull up on to get back up without any pain.  Overall, things went very well and continue to heal quickly. God must need me to get back up and running soon, because He is really at work on these hips!

I have a lot more to share about this and my family's activities over the past two months, but this is enough to get you sleeping at the computer started.

Glad to be back!

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