Thursday, October 22, 2015

Home from surgery

It happened!
The surgery went as planned. Up until the minute they took me in, though, we still weren't sure. All the discussions with infectious disease docs about prophylactic antibiotics, my allergies, MRSA, etc, all happened just before the time of surgery. The docs went away for a while to discuss it and call people. The decision was to give me an antibiotic before surgery, but not one I'd ever had before. That, in and of itself, was scary because of my allergies, but that is what was recommended, and I went with it. Thankfully, it worked out fine. :)

It was a three-hour surgery, as I had been told it would be. I went in a 3:45pm, and woke up at 7:45 from anesthesia (it took an hour to wake-up).

The surgery went a little differently than was expected. When they got in and saw my hip joint, the surprise was that it was completely calcified. There was no labrum tear, because there was *no labrum*. It had calcified and turned completely to bone. It was basically bone impinging on bone, no cartilage. It was an advanced case or osteo-arthritis. No wonder I was in so much pain.

So, instead of delicately stitching up the labrum, they had to shave and file bones so that the hip won't be impinged. Eventually I will need a hip replacement (likely on both sides), but my orthopedist said this should buy me more time before that needs to happen.

I woke up from anesthesia without Robert by my side. I think it is the first time he wasn't there when I woke up from a surgery. The staff and nurses didn't let him in until I was more awake. I guess that is their protocol.

The worst part of the entire experience was the awful after-effects I had from the anesthesia. When I woke up, I immediately started throwing up, and it lasted all through the night. The next morning I was still intensely nauseous, and had a migraine. NOT a happy camper. It was really, really awful. Apparently they had given me lots of straight morphine at the end of the surgery so I won't be in too much pain. Problem is, I know that straight morphine isn't good for me. I have had that reaction before to straight morphine. The Fentanyl I used to take is a morphine derivative. That is OK with my system, but straight morphine is bad. Now I know to add that to my list of meds to stay away from. It was about 18 hours before I got relief from the extreme nausea and migraine. Robert stayed by my side in the hospital room the entire time, bless him.

When that ordeal was over, I was finally ready to try out my new wheel. I got out of bed, the first time with a physical therapist, and walked around my hospital room with crutches. That was less than 24 hours after surgery.

first step on the ground after surgery
walking in the room... not even 24 hours after surgery!

Interestingly enough, because the surgery wasn't as delicate as it was meant to have been, ie fixing the labrum tear, the post-op instructions are different than they were with the two other times I had hip arthroscopy, on the left side. (that was a long and kind of crazy sentence! Never could have predicted that one.) I don't have to avoid sitting at a 90° angle. I can also step down with the leg, lightly, already, using the crutches. The other surgeries on my left hip were more delicate, and I was told not to bear any weight for quite a while. So, in a way, because the hip was in worse condition than was expected, the recovery will [hopefully] be a bit easier. Easier, also, on my left leg which doesn't have to bear all the weight now. Gd plans these things very wisely, don't you think?

I go back to Tel Aviv next week to get the stitches out.

Pain killers: over the counter analgesics, and a prescription NSAID. That's it. With Gd's help.

Now I am just sort of passively waiting for the 4-5 day window for post-operative infections. When that passes safely, I'll feel that much freer. I had three doses of antibiotics while in hospital, and that's all, and I'm sure things will be fine. ...and again I say, with Gd's help.


It is Thursday now, and I didn't get to post this yet. Just wanted to say that what they say about the third day after surgery being the hardest? Yeh, I had forgotten about that. It HURTS today. So much. Can't move much. It's a problem when a crutch falls, you know? One has to get creative. Other things I leave on the floors. Not very "me" to leave things on the floors!

Anyway, just like I got through the horrible after-effects from the anesthesia and morphine, telling myself that this will pass soon, I will keep telling myself that. The goal- to be out of pain with this leg. This will pass.


  1. Thinking about u. I have this tiny infected cut on my finger that hurts every time I bang it. I'm sure it's just like having hip surgery (not).

  2. רפואה שלמה ומהירה

  3. Sending warm thoughts for a good recovery!

  4. Just read your blog post. Wishing you a major reduction in pain. Hugs.

  5. Hope the pain passes quickly!!!!!

  6. So glad it is done. One less thing to decide...just keep healthy.

  7. May Hashem send you relief and healing.

  8. May you go from strength to strength !

  9. Wow, you made it through with a wonderfully upbeat demeanor, and with the vindication that your pain was affirmed by all the doctors ("bone on bone"). No one likes their pain threshold to be questioned, but it helps that you had evidence to prove that you had been walking in pain that most people could not fathom.
    Wishing you Lots of Love and a refuah shelaima. Miss you! Love, Dev from NJ

  10. Wishing you a speedy and full recovery! May you be pain-free very, very soon!!!!