Sunday, September 20, 2015

Surgery Report

On Me

I had the surgery to remove the pins and rods from my hip on Monday.

All went well but the doctor decided to keep me in the hospital overnight. That was a bit unexpected, but I was not totally unprepared. I did have to contact my horsesitter to feed the indoor kitties for me, but otherwise, it was OK.  The only annoyance was that my doctor had decided that before I got to the hospital so it would have been nice if he'd told me ahead of time.

Don't remember a thing after I got into the operating rooms. I must be a "cheap date." It was a spinal injection and I don't even recall getting it.

Woke up in recovery with a lovely, kind nurse, unable to move my legs.  That is a strange feeling for sure. Your brain sends to command to move, and nothing happens. The anesthesiologist had told me that might happen since she was giving me a little extra stuff since they didn't know how long the surgery would take--it's not a common procedure. I was told later it was an hour and a half.

Back in my room, I was soon able to order late lunch--3 PM or so--and then a dinner.

Now, people do complain about hospital food, but I may say, University of Princeton Medical Center at Plainsboro has some darn good chefs in the kitchen. Some of the dishes are downright delicious. My meatloaf could have used a bit more spice, but the roasted tomatoes and the sweet potatoes were wonderful. The next day I had some amazing chicken salad too. Wish I knew how they'd spiced that.

You can order food all day from 7AM to 7PM and there is an extensive menu if you are not on a restricted diet.

Nursing care there is wonderful as well.  The staff is very responsive and, since I make an effort to be friendly to them, they are really kind. As I did the last time I was hospitalized with the initial broken hip, I tried to get everyone to laugh before they left my room. It did make the frequent visits interesting.

I guess my only complaint is the typical hospital one. It seemed that every time I did manage to drift off to sleep, someone would come in to take my vitals signs or give me a pill of some sort.

The Physical Therapist insisted I get a walker, so now I have just about every assisting device I could need--shower seat, raised toilet seat, crutches (two kinds), walker, and a wheelchair I bought.  I am mostly using the wheelchair in the house as it's faster than trying to get around with the walker.

For now, I am not supposed to put more than 50% weight on my left leg. That is not easy. I fear I have cheated more than once. (The doctor's assistant kind of said it was OK...the doctor is rather more cautious.)  At any rate, I am being REALLY careful, honest.

The pain is minimal, actually. Certainly, the stapled area is sore, and when I flex the muscle, that hurts, but to be honest, considering how much the darn hardware hurt at times, this really isn't a whole lot worse.  Tylenol takes the edge off just fine, so no heavy duty painkiller needed.

All told, it will be a full six weeks before I am officially recovered, but it might be longer before I can ride again.

I start PT on Monday and this time, I am going to make sure we include exercises to stretch my legs so I will be able to sit astride a horse without pain. You bet.


  1. Anonymous6:33 AM

    Glad that, if you had to be in the hospital, it was a good one. Bet you were looking forward to having that pesky hardware gone for good - the 6 weeks should fly by.

  2. I'm happy to hear everything went successfully for you. That hardware sounds very painful, good riddance. The hospital and staff sound very nice. Good luck with the PT and keep us posted on your progress.

  3. Wow - that may be the best hospital hospitality review I've ever heard. :D
    SO glad you're on the downside of this process now. Can't wait to read the post about your first ride back. Take care!

  4. You are sounding determined and undaunted. Yay for good morale.

  5. So glad to hear the report of your surgery. I am not surprised it took 1.5 hours. What a long recovery though, for removal of hardware. Considering that you have all your mobility devices and, unfortunately, practice in this sort of non-activity, you are well prepared to weather the next 6 weeks. I just re-read Jane Eyre - one of my favorite books both for the quality of writing and just a great story. I bet it is in your book shelves too!