Yesterday happened so fast, I didn’t even have time to write anything before surgery. A fax glitch left me without any pain meds the day before surgery, so I checked myself in for the day surgery in a pretty miserable state. Even after the surgery, the nurses joked that I looked worse before surgery than after.
I checked in at 6:30am and made my way to day surgery unit. I changed to a gown and was quickly prepped for surgery. We had issues with IV and it hurt so bad the first time they tried to do it. I warned her my veins jumped and after the nurse said “Holy – you weren’t kidding”. She had tried to do my right hand but the vein jumped and she hit bone instead. She wouldn’t try again and had another nurse who they called their IV queen do it and she did it no problem on my left hand.
The surgeon came by, chatted, and signed my left hip. I was told to bring something to do before surgery so I had brought headphones for audiobook, my kindle, and my journal but I had no time for any of it. I was given a cap for my hair and at 8:00am (surgery was schedule for 7:45), I was rolled to the operating room.
I had to move myself from the gurney to the bed as there was a special traction for my leg. I was starting to get anxious after seeing it but my surgeon came in and asked me for my name and date of birth, had me confirm it was my left hip they were doing, and then said have a nice nap.
I woke up in post op in some serious pain but they treated it with intravenous medication. Post op is a blur of seeing a blurry nurse face twice and of just moaning. Next thing I am aware of is being rolled back to day surgery unit. The nurses there let my boyfriend come in and say hi, then they said they wanted me to sleep more and closed the curtain some.
I woke up around noon and had to pee. The nurse asked if I could wait for physical therapist as she was just with another patient but I was next. I said I’d try. She said she could bring a bed pan but I wanted to use a real bathroom. In 10-15 minutes I couldn’t wait much longer. I was mentally aware of knowing it would take me longer to get up and get to bathroom so I knew I had to get up on it. I convinced them I felt like I could navigate with my crutches as I’d been using them for a couple weeks already so we went off to the bathroom which was about 30 feet away. A nurse had already put on an elevated chair for me. The therapist has come just as we started moving but she told me to go ahead and looked impressed. We got back and she wheeled me to a room with some practice stairs. Luckily our house only has 2 steps on a deck so unless I want to go to basement, I don’t have many stairs. Basement is mostly freezer for food, laundry, and my home fitness equipment. Brad can get our food, I can wait at least 10 days for laundry and Brad will do it until I can, and I won’t be needing that type of fitness equipment for some time.
The surgeon came by just as we were getting ready to go practice stairs. He told me that it went well. He was able to clean up the tear – debridement. There was fraying so he also did a capsular closure – I believe that means closing the socket where fraying was? But he didn’t have to shave off any of the hip femur bone which was a relief as that procedure can result in easier fracturing of the hip during recovery if too much weight is put on. Originally I was told I would be non weight bearing after surgery and now I’m partial weight bearing! It helps a lot with mobility. Surgeon warned it doesn’t mean putting weight on hip but that I can still put foot to floor with crutches taking most of the weight. It really makes a difference.
After we returned from practicing the stairs, my clothes were at my bed, and the nurse said she could help me or Brad, and Brad said he would. I had worn a comfy grey cotton dress. I put on my bra and slipped it overhead and went home commando. Brad wheeled me down to the front and the nurses followed (to get back their wheelchair haha) and we actually managed to get me into Brad’s Jeep with less problem than we had been worried about the day before. He had pulled it up to a curb and a boost – I’m short that I always have to climb into his Jeep. Somehow we figured it out easy but backing myself into the chair.
The drive home was short – luckily we lived just 8 minutes from the hospital the surgery was at. The angle of chair was not the most comfortable for this surgery so it was a bit hard but luckily a short drive. I managed myself inside with a happy dog to greet me. She was very calm and gentle which is unlike her when she sees me. We promptly got into bed, I grabbed my stash of digestive cookies I had in my bag for hospital and ate them while Brad went to get my 7 post op medications filled. When he got back he made me a turkey meat bun and it tasted amazing.
Mostly I’ve been sleeping or watching Netflix (right now decided on a Harry Potter Marathon using our DVD collection). My throat is mighty sore from the breathing tube and some congestion that I believe is from breathing tube too. Getting into and out of bed is the hardest part of my mobility. But once I’m in crutches it’s not too bad for about 5 minutes. More than that I start to hurt. I’m so thankful we did buy the post op recommendations such as a elevated toilet seat and a shower chair. The handles on the toilet seat have also been a huge help. They are wide enough that my big hip (because of bandage) can get in without bumping but really helps to sit down and get up with less pain. The biggest thing is making sure I get up when I need to go right away instead of waiting as it takes so long!
I can actually remove the bulky bandage tomorrow and shower if I cover the sutures.
The sutures are dissolvable too so they’ll go on their own! I asked when I can start going back to my physiotherapist and I thought he’d say a week but he said 2 weeks. I have some exercises at home that I’m excited to even have – though not like the typical exercise I do but something!
I am so glad I ordered about 80 bento boxes and 20 soup containers on Amazon for around $50. It’s going to help with less dishes. With my mom in law’s help, I meal prepped 28 breakfasts, lunches, and suppers to make it through a month. Already this has been a huge help – we don’t have to question what to make, or if we have the ingredients, and we’ve decided to just toss them even though reusable. One, we don’t really have the storage and two, having less dishes to do in this first month is a benefit to me and Brad. It feels good to have healthy options already made as the healthy food is going to be a benefit to my recovery. I even made over 90 snack bags labelled with inspirational quotes on them. Some quotes from friends and teammates and some I found myself. It’s been actually very motivating to read each time I have a snack. I’m saving each slip of paper and putting in my jar of messages I received from my team earlier during this injury.
So now it’s 5:15pm and 27 hours since I came home. I am dying for the first shower – I can’t have until tomorrow afternoon. But I will go wash up some soon. I don’t like this greasy feeling. I had just gotten up to get more ice, bathroom, make a tea (first tea since Monday!), and grab a banana (yay for lunch kit I clipped to crutches). But that excursion quickly wore me out so I had to lie back down.
I’ve been spoiled with puppy snuggles, and flowers from my parents in law and brother & sister in law. And a bag of Swedish berries because as my mom in law put it, if I remember right from yesterday, “I think what you went through deserves at least one whole bag of Swedish berries to eat.”
I’m excited for where this injury may take me. It’s been the hardest thing I’ve been through but even in my dark, hard days – I found my way through. I’m a fighter. A survivor. The surgeon said to me yesterday that keeping my weight low is going to help this type of injury. I’ve always wondered how I didn’t have more injuries during my previous obesity before I changed my life. But this injury could have been developed during those years and shovelling in that snow storm just tore it enough for pain. We will never know for sure but I’ll find my way back to fitness and keeping myself healthy.
When I meet with the surgeon at my 4 week follow up appointment, I will ask him his honest opinion about my OCR racing and even my running. I’m not a young kid. I’m not old by any means. But I know that I may have to reconsider some of my exercise options in order for not have this hip tear reoccur. I’d rather run 2-3 5k runs a week with Ginny for the rest of my life rather than run one half marathon that ends my running completely. I’m not sure how that conversation will go – he may have no limits for me or he suggest some. Either way – I’ll always be committed to a healthy lifestyle. I know I’ll continue to train with my team – even if it means some modifications and changes to goals and dreams. But my dream when I began this journey was never to collect a ton of medals or to see how many races I can do. My dream was to be healthier and happier. And I can still do that – that’s my reality regardless of how I do it. Here’s to a new chapter in this journey.