Speedy Recovery

(Originally published Feb. 27, 2008).

Last week, I gave myself permission to take a break from blog posting. If you’re reading this, you will realize I ignored my permission.

Here’s the thing. A week ago, I entered the hospital to receive a total hip replacement — titanium and cobalt with super-duper, top-of-the-line socket lining. Everything went so well, so smoothly, I’m back home and raring to go.

The actual surgery, done under a spinal anaesthetic where I mostly snoozed, was a blast. At my request, a friend acted as my anaesthesiologist, and she gave me a wondrous drug cocktail. I have a vague recollection of waking up in the middle of what sounded like construction work and had a surreal chat with my friend (something about her planning to ride an ostrich during an upcoming trip to South Africa?). Mainly, what I recall is that when I surfaced, they were playing my favourite song, “On the Wings of an Angel.” How cool is that? I fell asleep again and awoke in time for the stapling and stitch-up party. During the final touches, someone called my husband and put me on the line to talk to him, reassure him I was still alive and kicking. I had totally forgotten the phone call until my husband reminded me.

During my stay in the hospital, I experienced surprisingly little post-surgical pain (drugs are wondrous things). The day after surgery, I could put all my weight on my new hip without discomfort by scooting (okay, creeping) around on a walker and crutches. By day three, danger of death by constipation was averted. All’s well with the world.

Only when I arrived home, did the pain appear. Yikes! I hate it when that happens. However, I talked to the nurse assigned to my case, and he (yes, he’s a he) said most people experience pain when they return home, mainly because they are doing too many activities (read ‘Cut back and stay in bed, you idiot!’) and are not managing the pain properly with the medication they sent home with me. So — permission to veg out and pop drugs. How great is that? Today has been much better.

DH is working overtime caring for me while writing a proposal. He has prepared all meals, cleaned up, arranged all the equipment I need (raised, lowered, raised, lowered everything that my butt might come in contact with), added another mattress to the bed to elevate it to the required height. Today he went shopping, just returned home and came into my room with a bowl of cut-up strawberries and lite Cool-Whip for my snack.

Yesterday morning, I discovered that I am totally paranoid about being a ‘burden’ to my husband, or anyone else for that matter. My first hint that something might be wrong was when I started sobbing and couldn’t stop (post-surgical depression is also common). In the middle of my major crying jag, a good friend and energy healer phoned and delivered a 15 minute healing session around my ‘burden’ issue, gave me yoga positions to promote serenity.

I’m what they call an ‘early release’ patient. Hopefully, if I do the physio-therapy that lies ahead, I will continue the fast progress on the road to recovery, and everything will be healed enough so that I can attend the Romantic Times conference in April. Here’s the plan — RT in April, Mt. Everest in August. Just kidding!