The New ‘Normal’

Now that I am back in my own environment I am starting to get into the swing of a new routine.  My daily routine now revolves around my drug times and exercises.  I have written everything I need to take and do all down on a whiteboard in the hope that I can keep myself topped up with pain relief and spread out the physical demands on my body through the day.  My mum went to get me a drug organiser so I spent a good half an hour decanting the various drugs I am on into the little plastic cupboards.  I love a good bit of organisation and at least that way it is easier to keep track of what I am taking.  My exercises are hard work.  When I did them before the operation I could do the standing ones at work or whilst brushing my teeth, now I need to build up to each set and then have a good rest afterwards.

54AFE56B-C074-4E98-9DF5-55693FA4BCE2

The biggest challenge I am facing is that I am just so tired.  I went back to sleep this morning after one lot of drugs, woke up a few hours later and went back to sleep again.  I know my body is trying to cope with upheaval but as well as everything being so much effort because of my pain, stiffness and hip precautions, I literally feel like I could fall asleep at any moment.

I am almost too tired to be frustrated at how little I can do.  Mum helped me loads this morning by unpacking my hospital bags (and putting everything back where I told her it belonged) and setting me up for my ‘stagnant shower’ (new name for a strip wash – essentially scrubbing myself raw using soapy water from the sink and getting it all over the bathroom!)  She also washed my hair over the bath for me which felt so good and washed my lower legs and feet before putting my DVT socks back on.  It took pretty much all morning to get up and get ready for the day.  I hate being so dependent but equally I am so lucky that I have got the support I do.  I’m hoping I can get some energy back and will then be a bit safer to be more independent.  I’m too wobbly to do the stairs or basically any moving without someone close enough to save me if I need saving!

I really haven’t got my appetite back yet.  I don’t know if it is because I am so sendentary or because of the anaesthetic and drugs but I don’t really fancy anything and what I am eating just doesn’t taste normal.  I have never been a food orientated person but with so little else going on in my day, it would be nice to enjoy meals and if I’m not careful, my mum’s homemade chocolate cake will be gone before I’ve had any!  I know I have to eat as it is important for my recovery so I am.. it is just hard work!

I hope I don’t sound like I am moaning (although I’m pretty sure I am).  I haven’t forgotten I am very lucky to have had this operation in the first place, or how lucky I am to be so supported.  I am lucky to have a comfy chair to sit in and a little dog and guinea pigs to keep me entertained from my seat.  I am going to go to the yard to see Pea later when my chauffeur gets home from work which should cheer me up and I’m hoping that I can start enjoying some visitors before long.  Not sure how I would be coping without this outlet for my feelings.

76788D36-A3A2-4A37-B4FF-B97B2FBED08A

 

 

Home Sweet Home

I was so tired last night – not surprising really! I’m still reeling from my progress. I actually managed to sleep through until six o’clock this morning and then, after some much needed painkillers, back to sleep again until about eight. My family have always been ‘fresh air, exercise and sleep are the best healers’ kind of people as I totally stand by that.

I enjoyed my toast breakfast for the first time, the pain was managed and I didn’t feel sick AT ALL. I’m guessing that the anaesthetic or the morphine were responsible for the sickness and they’ve been kicked now. Such a massive relief.

The other young doctor (not the Scottish one) came to see me and told me that my X-ray looked great and so did my bloods. Felt rather smug actually! He said that from their point of view they were done with me too. I said I was worried that I was finding it hard to move my leg to the side when on the bed but he said that wasn’t a concern as I am allowed assistance to get me going and it is just because of the tissue affected when they went in. Ouch! He confirmed that they managed to do a ceramic implant in a ceramic socket which means they followed best case scenario plan A!

Although the doctor said I could have a shower when I went home, a healthcare assistant said absolutely not until my wound is properly healed as if steam lifts the dressing and anything gets into the wound I am in big trouble. I was allowed to give myself a wash in the bathroom this morning. It was a massive mission! With no one to help me, I had to somehow carry all my washing stuff, clothes and litter picker/‘helping hand’ into the bathroom and then negotiate the whole situation without dropping anything on the floor. Typically I managed to drop the ‘helping hand’ on the floor! It is a good job  I can pick things up with my right foot toes! For the first time I actually thought I would be better off at home now as I will have people around to make things like this a bit easier.

The nurse confirmed that once my drugs had come up from the pharmacy (and someone had come to pick me up) I could go home. Thankfully I don’t have to have the horrible tummy injections at home, I’ve got tablets instead to thin my blood. I don’t know who was more pleased, me or the boyfriend. When he arrived he did have to put a DVT stocking onto my bad leg though as apparently I should have had one there already! That was trust test number 1.

Trust test number 2 was wheeling me through the hospital and in and out of lifts and doors as carefully as he possibly could. Not a bad job. Trust test number 3 was somehow helping me into the truck without any bending or twisting followed closely by trust test number 4 – driving as smoothly as humanly possible which isn’t easy in a big truck. I told him to imagine he was towing precious Pea in the trailer! I could feel every bump in the road but aside from that the journey was pretty good.

E9D751F8-71A7-4010-A8A2-4617FE66118E.jpeg

Home is where the horse is so first stop was to the yard to see Pea. It took me a million times longer to get across the yard than normal but it felt so good to be out in the fresh air, with all my usual people and animals. I played it safe and cuddled Pea over the stable door – the best therapy there is.

59DBCCAC-C15C-4937-828F-D3B72ED71BC0

Next stop was actual home where my parents had already settled in. They are staying nearby (but not in the house) for the next six weeks. Considering I had to be completely independent this morning, suddenly having two active fussing supporters (Mum and boyfriend) and one more stationary one (Dad) is a bit strange (though obviously I appreciate it!)

I am so pleased to be back home. I can tell I am going to find it frustrating to be back in my normal environment but in a completely abnormal situation. Once I have established my new drug and exercise routine I suppose I can establish a new ‘normal’. I shall just keep counting my chickens that it is all temporary and that things will get better.

An Even Bigger Day!

Yesterday’s feelings of triumph and disbelief at what had been achieved got totally overwhelmed by feelings of major indignity and frustration in the evening. It is nearly impossible to do anything without moving my hip and I wasn’t allowed to do that. I took all the pain relief I was offered and asked for more but it didn’t seem to really be kicking the pain. I was hoping to be transported to rainbow unicorn land in my head but sadly it was still very much in reality despite all the morphine. I was absolutely desperate to be able to move, get up out of bed and use the en suite facilities but no such luck.

I managed to get to sleep after Love Island (got to keep a good bit of routine) and a pot of drugs but it was short lived. I thought my biggest struggle would be making sure I didn’t move my hip but since I felt pretty much paralysed, that hasn’t transpired. The struggle was staying asleep. The pain just wouldn’t go away and when morning came I felt absolutely knackered.  Thank goodness I had Peaberry to keep me company – if you aren’t familiar with Wilberry Wonder Pony and Hannah Francis, check out https://www.willberrywonderpony.org which completely puts my predicament in  perspective.

F4188C36-B30E-4C39-BC2B-9BB39C9ADAD5.jpeg

This morning a healthcare assistant came and put my taps on (not a euphemism, literally the taps in the sink which I frustratingly can’t get to). The nice Scottish doctor came in and said that it is an old school practice to clear the pipes of lead residue but they still seem to do it in the newly built Brunel building. Weird. He also told me that everything went to plan yesterday and they are pretty happy with my leg length though my left is still a bit shorter. I probably shouldn’t  have used a swear word to describe how I felt when he asked but I’m sure honesty is the best policy in hospital isn’t it?

Next challenge was breakfast, I had been really hungry but also petrified about being sick. The orange juice tasted amazing as did the piece of toast I tentatively nibbled.

93DCCB07-3A42-441A-9205-387CE2914654.jpeg

After that, the next visitor was a lovely student nurse with all the best intentions but who seemed to be getting a hard time from the ward nurse. I could totally relate, I remember being a student teacher on placement and my sister and sister in law went through midwife training, we have shared many a conversation about what it is like to be a student! She provided me with a bowl to wash with and I felt so much better for being cleaner and dressed in actual clothes (though people kept asking if my dress was a nightie – NO! I am the last person to want to be in a nightie!)

Washing was closely followed by the arrival of the physio and I was finally allowed to try out my hip exercises. I don’t know what I expected but I didn’t expect it to be so hard to move! Is it weird to say that it felt like my leg wasn’t mine? Funny that! Sitting up on the edge of the bed made my head spin but I did manage to get up using a zimmer frame and shuffle my way to the chair. Best.. feeling.. ever! Didn’t last long though as the much enjoyed toast made a reappearance. Gross!

Soon I had more visitors, two porters had arrived to whisk me off for an x-ray. Whilst I was parked in the corridor outside the x-ray rooms, I saw a couple of the men who had been at my hip education group. They both had their operations after me, so while I was pretty chirpy, they both seemed a bit more pained. It was quite nice to connect with some fellow new hip patients as when you are in your own room you don’t tend to see anyone else. It was also nice to be in a different part of the hospital, I felt a majestic sense of freedom! The blokes working in the X-ray room were very cheery and asked me if I’d fallen off my horse and if that was the reason for my op. They must have seen my farmers tan!

When I got back to my room, it had been invaded by the best sister in the world. She was armed with a goody bag of well thought out treats and toiletries. I was able to make my first trip to the real toilet and although it wasn’t a particularly comfortable sit, I have never been so pleased to be sat on a toilet in my life. My top sister treated me to a dry shampoo and an up-do. Although I looked like I had been up a chimney (thank you Batiste for brunettes) it felt amazing!

In true recovery style, just when I was feeling triumphant, I had another down hill turn. My lunch had arrived and with it came a wave of light headedness and nausea. As nurses put an oxygen tube back in my nose and tried to help me onto the bed, the retching started. Without going into details, it wasn’t great! I was given another different anti-sickness tablet and tasked with eating something (anything!) as my system was clearly empty. I managed a piece of bread and a bar of chocolate. Miraculously, even another trip to the toilet and the arrival of my boyfriend didn’t bring this up. Without wanting to count my chickens, I think this may have been me turning a corner.

An occupational therapist came to see me to check that I could independently get in and out of bed. I aced that test. I may have then heavily hinted that the physio had said she might come back and get me on crutches and that I would really like that to happen. She said she would see what she could do. Before long another occupational therapist came in and asked me if I had any other concerns about going home. HOME? I didn’t think it was time to talk about home yet.

Here’s where it got really exciting. True to my desires, the physio came back. She went through the proper procedure of getting up and down with the crutches, then I used them to walk to the bar in the corridor and there we went through the standing exercises. It still felt like my leg was not my own. It felt significantly longer than my old one, which means the length discrepancy must be better but I do believe that the spike of the new hip ball still has to settle into the bone! How grim is that!? As I was still feeling fairly with it, and if I’m honest, fairly ambitious, I then walked down the corridor and practiced going up and down stairs. I can’t quite believe that in the space of a day I have gone from completely immobile to what apparently is considered to be enough mobility to go home. HOME? I didn’t think it was time to talk about home yet?

5361B56A-1918-47C5-A53A-0230267BB68B.jpeg

Most recently, I have consumed some Pringles, had my cannula taken out, sat out in my chair more and had another nasty injection in my tummy. I must have been out of it yesterday, because it didn’t really hurt me then. Even my nurse is starting to talk about me going home tomorrow. HOME? I didn’t think it was time to talk about home yet?

FEB65200-4C24-4F49-97AD-9E79F3B8C33E.jpeg

Today has been quite a rollercoaster. I’m still worried about pain and sickness, but I feel a million times better for being dressed and mobile! I feel a bit apprehensive about tonight as I don’t know what it will bring. I don’t feel particularly ready to leave but if I keep progressing as I have today I should be ready to get back on my horse tomorrow.. NOT QUITE! I’m definitely going to take this at my own pace.

As ever, thank you so much for the support. It has made it feel a lot easier to know that other people are rooting for me. Big thanks go to my parents who have travelled up to my home town today and checked on my pony, my sister who has been the best nurse ever (though her hairdressing skills leave something to be desired) and my boyfriend, for putting up with yet more blog scribing.

 

%d bloggers like this: