Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Surgery Countdown: 7 Days to go

The Recovery from my Last Surgery was Awful
Not to scare anybody, but after my last scope I had a very difficult recovery.  I was just not prepared mentally for the recovery process and I had a lot of surprises along the way.  Let me walk you through my last recovery from my September 13, 2010 right hip scope.

Getting in the Car

After my surgery it was really hard to get into the car.  I was groggy and in a lot of pain and any slight movement to my hip was uncomfortable.  After a lot of help from Gavin and from the nurse I got in my car and I was ready to go home to recover in my own bed.

Going up and down Stairs

Next was going up the stairs.  This was a lot easier than I expected because I had practiced walking up and down stairs on crutches the week before.

Going to the bathroom

So getting home was pretty much the easy part.  The first big challenge I had was going to the bathroom.  You cant just plop down on the toilet like usual. Well, at least that is what I usually do.  I had to have Gavin pick me up and actually set me down carefully on the toilet.  Nothing brings a couple closer than surgery.  Seriously.

After the process of actually sitting on the toilet you can't pee because of all the medication you are taking.  Seriously, nothing is coming out of there.  I actually called my doctor because I couldn't pee and he said it was a normal side effect.  Phew, okay thats normal.

You also get constipated which is not very fun.  I didn't poop for a week and when I did, that was not fun.  The trick is to eat lots of small snacks throughout the day.  During my last surgery I didn't feel like eating very much of anything.  Note to self: remember to eat.


Okay the next challenge was the massive, huge, throbbing headache that the percocet gave me.  I didn't realize it was the percocet that was giving me the headache until about a week later after a couple of phone calls to the doctor.  Remind me never to take percocet again.

Sleeping Trouble

If all of the above wasn't difficult enough sleeping was something else to suffer through.  I had to sleep on my back and I am not a back sleeper but wait, it gets worse, I had to sleep with my feet tied to this device so my legs wouldn't move at all.  Every time I wanted to sleep Gavin would tie me down, and not in a fun sort of way ;).  If I tried to cheat and unstrap my legs Gavin would get really mad.  The device was sort of like this.

Not allowed to Shower

 Well Hello Handsome, I would love to join you but the doctor said I cant shower for a week.  Eww I know.  But I  don't think I was that stinky because I didn't leave the house of move around much.  And then after you can shower you only have one leg to stand on and you cant bend it. Therefore, you cant shave your legs or wash your feet.  Sexy, I know.  That is why I am waxing my legs before surgery.

 Hair Loss
Okay I made it through the first week.  Thank goodness.  After two weeks no more sleeping in the torture device.  I thought I was out of the woods, but then my hair started falling out in big clumps.  Like gross, disgusting, horror moving clumps of hair.

After talking to other surgery patients I guess this is normal too.  This is something I am really worried about for my upcoming surgery.  I don't think anyone would like it if their hair started falling out.

Can't Drive for 4 Months

I couldn't drive for four months.  This is really frustrating because I was stuck at home all day and felt like I had no freedom.  Staying home all the time got really boring and can honestly say I played a lot of solitaire.  I was happy to be able to drive again.

Its hard to Travel
I actually traveled a couple of times while on crutches.  It is so hard to navigate the airport on crutches and carry your luggage and once you get to your destination it is a whole different story.  Being on crutches in the comfort of your home is much easier than being on crutches in a foreign city.  Here is me in Hawaii, which was beautiful, but I was on crutches. 

Depression is common in post surgery patients.  It is especially common when the patient isn't getting better and is facing a problematic recovery.   I should have been better after the 4 month mark but I new something was wrong when I was in more pain than ever before, and my left hip started to give me problems. 

I was on crutches for 8 months, which is such a long time.  Recovering from surgery isn't just physically challenging it is mentally challenging as well.  It is so hard to stay positive when you have just faced such a huge failure.   No one wants their body to give out on them.

Well at least I know what to expect this time around and hopefully I will have a much smoother recovery.  I am not going to take percocet and hopefully this time I will get better and wont need to be on crutches for another 8 months.  Right now I am trying to stay positive.  Dr. Sampson is an excellent surgeon and he assured me this recovery would be a much different and a much more positive experience than my last surgery.

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