Yesterday’s feelings of triumph and disbelief at what had been achieved got totally overwhelmed by feelings of major indignity and frustration in the evening. It is nearly impossible to do anything without moving my hip and I wasn’t allowed to do that. I took all the pain relief I was offered and asked for more but it didn’t seem to really be kicking the pain. I was hoping to be transported to rainbow unicorn land in my head but sadly it was still very much in reality despite all the morphine. I was absolutely desperate to be able to move, get up out of bed and use the en suite facilities but no such luck.
I managed to get to sleep after Love Island (got to keep a good bit of routine) and a pot of drugs but it was short lived. I thought my biggest struggle would be making sure I didn’t move my hip but since I felt pretty much paralysed, that hasn’t transpired. The struggle was staying asleep. The pain just wouldn’t go away and when morning came I felt absolutely knackered. Thank goodness I had Peaberry to keep me company – if you aren’t familiar with Wilberry Wonder Pony and Hannah Francis, check out https://www.willberrywonderpony.org which completely puts my predicament in perspective.
This morning a healthcare assistant came and put my taps on (not a euphemism, literally the taps in the sink which I frustratingly can’t get to). The nice Scottish doctor came in and said that it is an old school practice to clear the pipes of lead residue but they still seem to do it in the newly built Brunel building. Weird. He also told me that everything went to plan yesterday and they are pretty happy with my leg length though my left is still a bit shorter. I probably shouldn’t have used a swear word to describe how I felt when he asked but I’m sure honesty is the best policy in hospital isn’t it?
Next challenge was breakfast, I had been really hungry but also petrified about being sick. The orange juice tasted amazing as did the piece of toast I tentatively nibbled.
After that, the next visitor was a lovely student nurse with all the best intentions but who seemed to be getting a hard time from the ward nurse. I could totally relate, I remember being a student teacher on placement and my sister and sister in law went through midwife training, we have shared many a conversation about what it is like to be a student! She provided me with a bowl to wash with and I felt so much better for being cleaner and dressed in actual clothes (though people kept asking if my dress was a nightie – NO! I am the last person to want to be in a nightie!)
Washing was closely followed by the arrival of the physio and I was finally allowed to try out my hip exercises. I don’t know what I expected but I didn’t expect it to be so hard to move! Is it weird to say that it felt like my leg wasn’t mine? Funny that! Sitting up on the edge of the bed made my head spin but I did manage to get up using a zimmer frame and shuffle my way to the chair. Best.. feeling.. ever! Didn’t last long though as the much enjoyed toast made a reappearance. Gross!
Soon I had more visitors, two porters had arrived to whisk me off for an x-ray. Whilst I was parked in the corridor outside the x-ray rooms, I saw a couple of the men who had been at my hip education group. They both had their operations after me, so while I was pretty chirpy, they both seemed a bit more pained. It was quite nice to connect with some fellow new hip patients as when you are in your own room you don’t tend to see anyone else. It was also nice to be in a different part of the hospital, I felt a majestic sense of freedom! The blokes working in the X-ray room were very cheery and asked me if I’d fallen off my horse and if that was the reason for my op. They must have seen my farmers tan!
When I got back to my room, it had been invaded by the best sister in the world. She was armed with a goody bag of well thought out treats and toiletries. I was able to make my first trip to the real toilet and although it wasn’t a particularly comfortable sit, I have never been so pleased to be sat on a toilet in my life. My top sister treated me to a dry shampoo and an up-do. Although I looked like I had been up a chimney (thank you Batiste for brunettes) it felt amazing!
In true recovery style, just when I was feeling triumphant, I had another down hill turn. My lunch had arrived and with it came a wave of light headedness and nausea. As nurses put an oxygen tube back in my nose and tried to help me onto the bed, the retching started. Without going into details, it wasn’t great! I was given another different anti-sickness tablet and tasked with eating something (anything!) as my system was clearly empty. I managed a piece of bread and a bar of chocolate. Miraculously, even another trip to the toilet and the arrival of my boyfriend didn’t bring this up. Without wanting to count my chickens, I think this may have been me turning a corner.
An occupational therapist came to see me to check that I could independently get in and out of bed. I aced that test. I may have then heavily hinted that the physio had said she might come back and get me on crutches and that I would really like that to happen. She said she would see what she could do. Before long another occupational therapist came in and asked me if I had any other concerns about going home. HOME? I didn’t think it was time to talk about home yet.
Here’s where it got really exciting. True to my desires, the physio came back. She went through the proper procedure of getting up and down with the crutches, then I used them to walk to the bar in the corridor and there we went through the standing exercises. It still felt like my leg was not my own. It felt significantly longer than my old one, which means the length discrepancy must be better but I do believe that the spike of the new hip ball still has to settle into the bone! How grim is that!? As I was still feeling fairly with it, and if I’m honest, fairly ambitious, I then walked down the corridor and practiced going up and down stairs. I can’t quite believe that in the space of a day I have gone from completely immobile to what apparently is considered to be enough mobility to go home. HOME? I didn’t think it was time to talk about home yet?
Most recently, I have consumed some Pringles, had my cannula taken out, sat out in my chair more and had another nasty injection in my tummy. I must have been out of it yesterday, because it didn’t really hurt me then. Even my nurse is starting to talk about me going home tomorrow. HOME? I didn’t think it was time to talk about home yet?
Today has been quite a rollercoaster. I’m still worried about pain and sickness, but I feel a million times better for being dressed and mobile! I feel a bit apprehensive about tonight as I don’t know what it will bring. I don’t feel particularly ready to leave but if I keep progressing as I have today I should be ready to get back on my horse tomorrow.. NOT QUITE! I’m definitely going to take this at my own pace.
As ever, thank you so much for the support. It has made it feel a lot easier to know that other people are rooting for me. Big thanks go to my parents who have travelled up to my home town today and checked on my pony, my sister who has been the best nurse ever (though her hairdressing skills leave something to be desired) and my boyfriend, for putting up with yet more blog scribing.