I’m finally back home in my living room after my trip to the hospital. There’s no place like home! Here is how this week went:
11/3 – Wednesday
We had to be at the hospital at 10:00am. Michael and I took Cayden to daycare beforehand, and dropped off my rental car (since I can’t drive it anyway) and then headed to the hospital.
The nurse got me settled in. I changed into a beautiful (ha) gown and they started doing my IV. I warned her that all nurses always have a hard time finding a good vein for an IV. She started tapping on my left hand. And I don’t mean just tapping lightly. I mean almost flicking my hand. Normally this would be fine, but I’ve had several surgeries on that wrist and the nerves on the top of my hand will always be more sensitive there. So that nurse popping my hand was really uncomfortable. Then the next thing I knew she was sticking the needle right into the scar on my wrist! Ouch! They should know not to do that! The only good thing was that she got it in on the first try.
After they got my IV in, they brought in my family (Michael, my mom, dad, and grandmother). It seemed like we just sat around and waited until it was time for them to take me back. Anesthesiology came in and talked to me and I told them I wanted a spinal with IV sedation. They were ok with that, so that was good. The doctor came in and marked my hip to make sure they operated on the correct hip. That would be just my luck!
It finally came time for them to come get me. The nurse gave me a dose of the Versed IV medicine that makes you feel awesome. I remember sitting up on the table getting ready to get the spinal. A nurse was standing in front of me holding me up. He was joking about something and smiling but I can’t remember what they were talking about. I remember the Betadine being freezing cold on my back but don’t remember the actual needle stick of the spinal. Then I remember being put in the traction device and being uncomfortable but then was back asleep in seconds.
The next thing I knew, I was in recovery. I was feeling no pain, just sleepy. I felt great! The nurse asked me if I needed something for pain and I told her no. Shortly after I said that I could feel the pain starting. A few minutes later it started getting worse, very quickly. This spinal was wearing off much more quickly than I remember with my c-sections. I told the nurse that I actually did want some medicine. I was freezing in recovery so they brought in this little plastic thing that blows up with hot air. It was SO awesome! My husband would have loved to have one of those at home! The pain kept getting worse so I asked the nurse for more pain medicine. She mentioned that when I get to my room that they would start the PCA pain pump. We couldn’t get up to that room fast enough!
We got up to the room and my family was able to come in. They were finally able to hook up the PCA pain pump. The nurse that I had on this night was not very friendly. She didn’t smile at all over the course of her 12 hour shift. I don’t remember much from that evening but I do remember that the pain pump didn’t even touch my pain. Every time they asked I would say my pain is about an 8 on the pain scale. I told the nurse that the pain pump wasn’t working well so she went to try to get orders to increase it. She finally was able to increase the dose and then gave me a bolus of the medicine (Dilaudid). After that bolus I felt great for about 30 minutes. The nurse asked me my pain level and I said it was at a 4. Then after that I gradually returned to the way I felt earlier, which was barely any pain relief.
And, to add to that…they didn’t give me a catheter during surgery. Which meant I was going to have pee at some point but my legs were still numb and I was drugged on pain medicine. They said that I would have to use a bedpan. I have never used a bedpan before so that was quite an experience. It actually worked (I didn’t think it would actually work) but it was very difficult to get it situated. After I used it for the first time the nurse said that she will have to scan my bladder to see how much was left inside. She said that if it was over 250 (I don’t know if this was mL or what) that they would have to put in a catheter. I started to freak out because I had to have a catheter inserted right before I had Mackenzie (without pain medicine) and it was not a fun experience. So, I begged the nurse to give me 30 more minutes and I would drink a lot of water and try to pee again. I drank the whole little pitcher of water over the next 10 minutes, which made me really nauseous but I was determined not to have to get that catheter. She came back in to check on me, I did my business, and then there was only 200 left! Yahoo! But, after drinking all that water, I had to use the bedpan about 4 times that night.
11/4 – Thursday
So, over the course of that night I barely got any sleep. The pain, along with having to pee, kept me awake all night. When the nurse would come in, I would tell her my pain is about 7-8. Finally 7am came and I got a new nurse. The night nurse was giving the report to my day nurse and I heard her say, “I gave her a bolus last night and then her pain was at a 4 and she slept comfortably all night”. I couldn’t believe her! As soon as the night nurse walked out, I told my day nurse that that was not true at all…that I hardly slept at all and my pain was at a 4 for only about 30 minutes. She nodded her head and said, “I know”. So, I was glad she was on the same page as me.
The doctor came in around 8am and talked to me about the surgery. He said that the dead bone came out of the bone very nicely and everything went beautifully. He said that the screws shouldn’t give me a problem but if they did then they could be taken out. There are two screw holes and 1 drill hole. He said that he wanted to do another screw or drill hole (don’t remember which) but my bone was on the small side and he didn’t want to risk fracturing it more. Physical therapy came in and showed me a few bed exercises and we walked to the door of my room and then I sat in the chair for an hour. Getting up wasn’t as bad as I expected. Moving my leg around hurts the worst; like lifting it and letting it hang. Using the crutches while holding my leg up was ok, but it makes my leg really hurt after I rest it. One good thing about the physical therapy was that I could now get out of the bed to use the restroom and I didn’t have to use that stupid bedpan anymore.
That day was spent in the bed just laying around trying to control pain. I took a good two hour nap in the afternoon. They stopped the pain pump in the morning but still gave me IV medication, in addition to oral medication. She said I would get more pain relief that way with the medicine all at once instead of little doses throughout the day. That seemed to work better than the pain pump. I noticed that it didn’t really take the pain away; it just made me so tired that I could sleep a little. Nothing has taken all the pain away yet.
That afternoon another physical therapist came in and she said the goal was to walk 100 feet. That was the equivalent to my room down the hall and back. It was a lot compared to just the few steps that I had done that morning. But, if you know me, you know if I’m given a challenge I just have to do it. So, we walked that hallway all the way down and all the way back, even though it was pretty slow. I thought I did pretty good, but boy did I pay for it after getting back into bed. My next doses of meds did nothing at all!
That night Mackenzie had their last band performance and I really hated to miss it. All of the family went so I waited on them to come up to the hospital afterwards. I heard a knock on my door and see them come into my room. The first thing I notice is that Michael is in a wheelchair. I asked him what happened and he said that he was racing Ethan on the football field and tried to beat Ethan at the last minute by sliding into the finish line. Only he was on a turf field and he didn’t slide like he thought he would. The turf just made him come to a complete stop and somehow he hurt his leg/hip. When I say him stand up, I knew he was hurt because he was limping pretty badly. Michael never limps and never really says that something hurts but he said that he was hurting. My mom was taking pictures of them and got it on film. I couldn’t help but laugh!
He eventually went to the OrthoCarolina urgent care up near the hospital and got checked out. The doctor said it was probably just badly sprained and to come back in a week for a follow-up x-ray. He is on crutches until then. So, now we’re both on crutches. Awesome!
Michael left to take the kids home where his mom was waiting on them and then he came back up to the hospital. By this time, the nurse had given me my final IV dose of medicine; hoping that the pill would be enough relief. She woke me up every 4 hours to take the medicine just to make sure I stayed on a schedule, but other than that, I slept very peacefully.
That morning physical therapy came in and said that we would work on going up and down stairs. That went better than I thought and realized that it’s easier to go up and down on one crutch and hold the rail with the other hand. After that, PT cleared me for discharge and then we just waited on the doctor. He came to make sure I was doing ok getting around and doing well with the medicines. Then we spent a while just waiting for all the discharge paperwork to be completed and we finally left around 2:00pm.
My next pain pill dose was due at 2:15pm, so I knew I would probably be uncomfortable on the car ride home. I was right. My leg was absolutely killing me. I think it was from the position I had it in. It was bent like I was in a chair but I think my leg was being stretched too much when my leg was hanging. I got home, took my medicine, and stretched out on the couch. Home sweet home!