One Week and four days post surgery, and we hurt like hell. Well, not exactly a Capital “H”-I-Can’t-Stand-This kind of hell, but more like why does it still feel like I have a log rather than Harriet et al. attached to my hip and sleeping with it is like an exercise in pain management. I said to someone, “I was walking better in the hospital,” they just shrugged and said, “you were taking a lot more drugs in the hospital.” Harriet is still swathed in her humongous bandage that sports little spots of blood where the staples were put in. She gets weak-kneed — not a good thing at this stage of my existence — every time she thinks about the amazing Dr. M slicing her open and doing what he did and then taking his Streamline Stapler and closing her up again. I told her he did not use the desk variety for sure but she feels debased just the same.
Speaking of “God,” he tried to be all jolly and welcoming as Harriet and I were wheeled into his stainless-steel, icebox-cold Kingdom last Wednesday. The nurse was chatty, chatty about why they had to keep it so cold chiding Dr. M that really it was just because He liked it that way. I’m sure it was the same script they used every time a new patient was brought in. It didn’t matter at that point since there was no where to escape to. Harriet had been numbed from here to heaven and back again so she was just enjoying all the attention. The Good Doctor smiled down at Harriet and me as he adjusted his multi-colored lights to capture us in just the right focus. It’s the closest I’ll get to being in a Hollywood-like spotlight. Then the nurse put a blanket over me that was made of something like parachute material and starting pumping hot air into it to keep me toasty while they did what I knew they were going to do. The last thing I remember was the excellent Dr. M leaning over me and saying it was going to be good or something to that effect. Then I was gone, gone, gone. I woke up hours, or was it days, later in the recovery room. I was wrapped from head to toe in warm soft receiving blankets. I even had one wrapped around my head just like they do to babies when they come out of the womb. It felt good but then I was gone to la la land again.
They had told me ahead of time that the Serious Drugs from the spinal Block (yikes) would wear off about 12 hours after surgery. I had calculated, pre surgery, when my mind was not clogged up with these drugs, that that would be round 7 p.m. I had no idea what time it was when Harriet and I finally got to our room. Vaguely I remember finding Gorgeous Mexican Hilda there waiting and then later Internet-and-all-Things-Technical Guru, Sarah, was there. I think I had a coherent conversation with them but later Sarah told me it sure was interesting to talk to me totally stoned — me, not her, that is. Then little white cups with serious narcotics started to appear on my side table with the instructions to “Take When You Need.” Thinking about that report of “Yikes Terrible Pain” coming when the spinal wore off, I dutifully emptied the white cup during the night and it would be miraculously refilled. I was also drinking copious amounts of water when I took them. I later found out I had taken far more drugs than they expected and drank enough water to deplete my salt supply. A better eye was going to be kept on me from there on.
So Harriet and I made it through the five days of hospital noise and needle pokes and bad unsalted food, and the fellow down the hall screaming and lamenting into the wee hours of the night. We did have a lovely room mate in Mehta. This, dear soul, had gotten an infection behind her knee replacement from years past. She had already been in surgery to have the infection dealt with and then the old apparatus taken out and now and had to spend the next six weeks in physio to get stronger so that she could then have the operation all over again. I must keep her centered, calm positive attitude in mind when I want to succumb to my poor-me pity fest like the one I fell into this morning. But, gosh, it just hurt.
I definitely must work on being a more patient, patient. It’s hard but necessary. This week the staples get taken out. I haven’t told Harriet this yet, better to just surprise here on Wednesday rather than listen to her nervous rants about how much it is going to hurt her and what about her beauty?? I also start the serious, twice a week physio on Tuesday which will hopefully get my swollen leg moving in a way that resembles walkng rather than this monster mash it does now. But I got to go. Harriet is reminding me that she’s supposed to be propped up on a princess’ worth of pillows and not being used as a desk for this computer. She’s right so I’m finished.