I’m happy to report that I’m now a post-op hip patient! My surgery was scheduled for 7:30 a.m. on Thursday, November 12, and it happened right on schedule. We had to be at Vanderbilt at 5:30 that morning, which worked out fine since I woke up a little before 3 and couldn’t go back to sleep. 🙂 When we got to the hospital, I checked in and then waited for about 15 minutes before being taken to a pre-op room. I changed into the super-attractive hospital gown and put all of my belongings into a plastic bag that lucky Stephen got to carry around with him the rest of the day. Then I met a host of different people who would be assisting with the surgery or anesthesia. I took about a half a dozen different medications, and they did some quick blood work. I was there by myself for a while before Stephen got to come back and see me before they took me to the operating room. I felt anxious about the surgery and wondered how it would go, but praying helped me, as did getting some texts from friends who were up at 6 a.m. and thinking about me!
Once in the OR, I received a spinal injection to numb my legs and make them easier to maneuver, and it was really weird to feel the effects of that slowly take over. I expected my legs to feel numb instantly, but instead they started to tingle and then gradually grew numb. The nurse and surgeon started to put these special booties on my feet to help with blood circulation, and the anesthesiologist told me he would be giving me something to help me sleep. Then the next thing I knew, I was waking up! The first thing I remember doing is crying and then saying to the nurse, “I don’t know why I’m crying.” She laughed and said it was probably the pain medicine I had been given that was causing that, and that I must be a lightweight. Thanks, I guess? There were a few other moments where I randomly started crying, which was weird, but I was so relieved I had made it through the surgery. The recovery room nurse I had was very kind and helpful, and I was so glad to have her there with me. Nurses are the best!
I don’t remember a lot of that time immediately after surgery, but I know I slept for a bit and that my surgeon and another doctor who had assisted him both came and saw me and went over the pictures they had taken of the procedure. (Don’t worry, I’m not going to post those!). I didn’t even have my glasses for the first part of recovery, so I was happy when Stephen got to come back and see me, so I could not only see him but could make out shapes in general.
The surgeon said that he had found exactly what he expected to find: a torn labrum and extra bone on my femur. He repaired the labrum with sutures and anchors and then shaved down the extra bone. All I have as evidence of the surgery are 3 small incisions at the top of my right thigh. I was in recovery for about 3-4 hours, and then around 3:00 p.m., they discharged me. It’s crazy that I underwent an operation involving such a major part of my anatomy and didn’t even have to stay overnight!
The drive home seemed long, but I used a cold compress for most of the way home, which helped immensely. I put the seat of the car as far back as it would go, and sat on a pillow while also reclining it far back. We stopped for a quick meal at Sonic because I was starving after having not eaten all day, and it was the best tater tots I’ve ever eaten. 🙂
I really wasn’t sure what to expect regarding how I would feel after the surgery, but it wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought it might be. I had a lot of pain medication still in my system and was pretty groggy. I think I went to bed around 8:20 p.m. that first night. Sleeping has been challenging because I’ve had a hard time finding a good position. The anesthesia also gave me wildly vivid and slightly scary dreams the first 2 nights, but I didn’t have any like that last night, so hopefully that’s all out of my system.
Now that I’m 3 days post-op, I’m really pleased with how I’m doing. I’m not great at getting around on the crutches, but fortunately for me, we have a small house, and I haven’t had to travel very far on them. I have a lot of things within easy reach of me, and my parents and husband have been excellent caretakers. The pain has been manageable, and I’m trying not to take the pain mediation too often and am keeping the area iced regularly.
I’m so thankful to have the surgery behind me and to be able to focus on healing. A huge thanks to all of you who have supported and encouraged me along the way!
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