Thursday, August 2, 2012

Day 9 Post Op Open SDD

Today is day 9 post op and I am feeling strong enough to sit up for a few minutes to write a post. It's funny because I started this post 2 days ago...added a few words and I had to lay down again! At the moment I am able to sit up for about 30-45 minute intervals, 3-4 times per day.

So let me update you....

I had my left open SDD at 12pm on July 24 at Mt. Sinai in Toronto.  I chose to be fully sedated over the spinal - I know there are pros to the spinal but the thought of conscious sedation worries me...maybe it's the word conscious...that doesn't sound too good when they're cutting my leg open! But...that's just me. The surgery lasted about 3 hours, and I was in recovery for 2 hours. I made it up to my room around 5:30pm. At that time my pain levels weren't too bad. I had a pain pump and was able to administer myself Dilaudid every 5 minutes.  I also I was also on Celebrex for pain and they started me on Lovenox for blood clots. Below is a photo of me the day of surgery post op up in my room attempting to smile for the camera!

The surgeon addressed CAM and pincer impingement, labral tears and he removed some inflamed bursa. He used 3 trochanter screws and a combination of sutures (internal) and staples to close the incision.

Another thing I didn't think of until the weekend before surgery was whether or not they were going to insert a catheter. (It's one of those last minute thoughts that turns into a worry....I think it was the unknown since I've never had a catheter before.) Turns out the answer was yes...and in fact you really don't even know it's in there!

Later that night, I woke with severe pain...probably an 8-9....I had fallen asleep and was therefore unable to administer any pain medication. The pain management team came to see me the next morning and we agreed to try dilaudid in a pill format since it would stay in my system longer (4 hours).

Shortly after I started taking the pills, I developed a strange symptom...I had a horrible pounding in my was almost as though I could hear my heart beating. It was so loud at times, I could barely hear people speaking. It almost reminded me of a MRI machine! I told the nurses, and they seemed unconcerned. After a sleepless night of pain and pounding in my head, the following morning I broke down when the ortho resident came in to check on me. He agreed that I was having a reaction to the Dilaudid and switched me to Percocets. Within hours the pounding stopped and I started to feel more like myself.

As you can see below, I also had a ton of swelling in my operated leg. It went from my thigh down to my ankle. It lasted for about 5-6 days.

The rest of the hospital visit was fairly uneventful. I did however have consistently low blood pressure and a fever off an on. Thankfully my bp wasn't low enough for a blood transfusion and my fevers dissipated.

I was in the hospital for 4 days....but it felt like an ETERNITY. During my stay, I was lucky enough to have my mom stay with me. It was so nice to have her company! I really wanted someone with me for the first couple of days in case I needed an advocate (sometimes you just never know). She decided to stay the whole week which was amazing! My mom isn't too good with city driving, and given my hospital was downtown Toronto, this didn't sit too well with her! Anyway, we were both troopers and managed the week! Finally, on Friday afternoon, it was time to release me. I was so excited to come home! Not that the food wasn't fabulous during my stay! last meal!

I was also very lucky to finally meet a couple fellow Toronto based Hip Chicks! It was so nice to finally put a face to their names. We had a wonderful visit and they each brought me some treats! Having people who understand what you're going through is priceless and I really appreciated them taking the time to come see me.

On Friday, August 27, my mom picked me up at the hospital and we made the trip home. I could barely wait to get home! Upon arrival, the first order of business was taking some pain meds. We got stuck in traffic so the drive home was a little over an hour - I found it very uncomfortable and the swelling in my leg increased...but it was TOTALLY worth it! The second was having a shower! With the help of my fancy new walker and my very patient mom, I was able to take what seemed like the best shower of my life. Finally, crawling into my own bed with all my kitties was like a dream come true. Below you can see Diego (on my leg) and Jinx keeping me company! <3

Each day is touch and go. The pain has been up and down, but I am definitely managing it by ice and medication. I find that I'm in bed for about 21 hours per day. I can manage short sessions of sitting for approximately 30-45 minutes a few times a day (totalling about 3 hours). Also, in case anyone is wondering, I am still taking Percocets, and need them every 5-6 hours. I think by the end of this week, I'll be able to start weaning myself and spacing them out. I have also compiled a list of things that I've found to be very helpful  during this recovery.

Another nice thing is the fact that I don't need home care nursing as we are doing all my dressing changes. I was also taught to give myself my blood thinner via needle (Lovenox - I need this for a total of 21 days). Therefore, there's no need for a nurse to come daily. That being said, I do have a physio therapist coming a couple times per week now until I'm strong enough to see my own.

This week, I am so lucky to have my mother in law stay with me. She has been keeping busy with cooking, laundry, dressing changes and feeding our zoo of cats! She even shaved my legs for me the other day!

The following image shows my incision at day 6 between dressing changes (If you look close, you can see 2 of my scope scars to the left). I will take some more photos as the healing progresses.

So far I am feeling quite positive. Although I'm really sore and have lots of limitations, I realize that it's still very early in my recovery. It's still way too soon to tell if this surgery has corrected my issues, but I am certain I have no major damage done as a result of it. I was really worried about nerve damage!

If you've come across this blog, and have any questions....please don't hesitate to ask! 

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