I am grateful for the surgeon, nurses, and the team who have the knowledge to fix these ol’ hips of mine that have hurt so badly from the time I was very,very little. Thank you, Dr. Clayton Conrad and his team at New Mexico Orthopaedics Associates here in Albuqueque, New Mexico. There is much right now – the day after “the election that should have been” – to be worried about and fearful of….but right now, for just a few minutes (before I fall alseep again!), I will give you a quick update on yesterday and today.
Operation Day, Tuesday, November 8, 2016:
Due to a genetic predisposition for Malignant Hyperthermia, I was first on the docket for Dr.Conrad’s surgery schedule at New Mexico Orhtopaedics Surgery Center. Before surgery we talked about pain medication options for after the surgery….I cannot take anything with codeine because I get horrific headaches, nausea and vomiting for several days after a dose….so, not oxy, no hydro for me. Usually I just muscle through with Tylenol but I was nervous about it with this surgery -fearing the intense pain. So, when he suggested Hydromorphone – a type of morphine – I said “okay”.
Mistake. More on that later.
Surgery went well – Arthroscopic Femoraplasty and Acetabuloplasty for impingement with Labral Tear Repair ….. about 3 hours to get in, repair torn labrum, repair fracture in acetabulum (that was a surprise!), and resection the femoral head. As I explained to my students- fix the puzzle pieces so they all fit together smoothly without pain on every step. Knowing about the possibility of Malignant Hyperthermia helps the anesthesiologist give me better knock-out drugs – Tiva method of administering anesthesia instead of gas. Two surgeries now with this method and waking up has been so much better than past surgeries. (If it sounds like I’ve had a lot surgeries, you’re right – this was #12.) I woke up easily and without a headache, nausea, or dizziness. It was amazing.
Generally, my waking up from surgery is a very long process and involves dizziness, passing out, throwing up, headaches. One time -years ago – it took so long to wake me up from a laparoscopic procedure for endometriosis that the staff sent me home before I was able to go to the bathroom…. I kept passing out and throwing up every time they tried to get me to the bathroom. Two hours later I was back in the emergency room and had to get a catheter so they could release my very full, very painful bladder. It was not pretty.
Anyway, yesterday’s wake-up was much better. Yay!! I was even actually awake on the drive home and got into the house with little trouble. Before leaving the hospital, they gave me my first dose of hydromorphone. Within a few hours, the headache began. I just thought it was a normal anesthesia headache so when it was time for the second dose of Hydomorphone, I took it.
Sigh. Mistake. Again.
By 4 pm, my headache was at a full-on “100” on a 10-point scale of pain. Horrifying, blinding, excruciating pain. And of course, with that pain comes the debilitating nausea. Until about 4 am, I was miserable – vomiting every hour…. Any vomiting is unpleasant, but repeatedly throwing up immediately following hip surgery is very, very, VERY unpleasant and quite uncomfortable. All of this resulted in weakness, dizziness, and just being flat out miserable. I kept my face and head covered in a cold washcloth for hours.
Oh! In all the misery, we learned a great trick from our neighbor Suzy, who is a PT with Rust Hospital. So glad she and her husband Steve stopped by to check on me. If you get frequent headaches, you know the value of cold wash cloth. You probably also know the pain of getting up from your bed and your sweet darkness to rinse the washcloth in cold water every hour or so. Well…. Did you know you can take the washcloth by the corner and swing it ’round and ’round and ’round and it will act like a swamp cooler and become cold again!? It’s an awesome trick!! If you already knew – good for you. It was a wonderful and welcome revelation for Toby and I. Suzy also suggested using their wheelchair for bathroom trips since two previous trips to the bathroom resulted in severe dizziness, nausea and more throwing up. Tell you what – later in the evening, we were very GRATEFUL for that wheelchair.
Finally, about 4 am my head seemed to start settling down. We had apparently figured out the right combination of meds to squelch the headache and dull the hip pain. And, I slept. For 2 straight hours. It was heaven. And when I woke – my head was not on fire. I slept again, for 2 more hours, and woke again with a weary head, but without the headache and thankfully, with greatly reduced nausea. Phew! Thank goodness.
Of course, then I was reminded of the election results and the nausea returned.
Post-Op Day 1:
After about 10 am, no headache at all. Woo!Hoo!
Able to eat a bit more food – boring and bland, but sustenance nonetheless – which is crucial to keeping the headaches at bay. Two bouts of dizziness and nausea before 2 pm but since then – smooth sailing with med, stomach, and head. Yay!
Oh yeah…. My hip! Hahaha
Yes… It hurts. But you know what? Other than a few movements, it doesn’t hurt any more than it has day in and day for years. I did some small range of movement exercises but today was mostly devoted to sleeping, getting in some calories, keeping my head calm, and making trips to the bathroom by myself. Tomorrow, I will start with the exercise routines my surgeon prescribed. All research points to movement being the key to a good recovery.
Movement is key to so much, don’t you think?
Toby will return to work tomorrow – but will be home again on Friday as it is Veteran’s Day and there is no school. Maybe tomorrow I will find a new show on Netflix….. We’ve kept the tv off for most of the last two days. TV is not conducive to quieting headaches, and besides, most of the television last night and today was focused on the sad results of the election. Stunned and shocked enough on my own, I don’t really need to listen to the media going on and on about it…… seeing as how the media was pretty much responsible for creating “The Donald” and spreading his “good news” far and wide.
Aargh…. Not gonna get started on that. Not now.
Thanks for checking in. Here’s to healthy hips!!! (And closer to getting back my yoga groove!)