Hip Replacement Update
Dear diary...my brain's in a whirl with so much to do and focus on. People tell me not to worry so much, but there's so much to organize in two weeks, yes you heard right, just two weeks. There was me thinking I'd have to wait until October, then I get this letter through the door telling me I'll be coming in for the operation at the beginning of August.
I've only just managed to sort out a walk in shower which won't be installed until the middle of September, because again I thought I'd have a long wait, but I suppose having strip washes for six weeks, is better than three months, so It's a case of just coping.
Thursday July 20th I went for my Pre operative assessment at the hospital. It was to take about six hours and I would find out if I was fit and healthy enough to have the operation. They told me that if I didn't hear from the hospital before the date of my hip replacement, then everything would be okay to go ahead.
Luckily that morning the roads had hardly any traffic, and as I reached town there weren't that many people around for a week day. I passed Kiss gym and thought of all those hours spent working on my quads getting fit to teach dance aerobics, only to find myself in the present situation of an overworked hip which just happens to be my left side...yes I'm left handed and not ambidextrous, which is very frustrating.
Back to my bus ride. Everyone got off in town apart from little old me, so I had the bus all to myself for the rest of the journey. We passed stop after stop with nobody to pick up. Thankfully the weather was cool with clouds to hide the sun, just hate traveling with the heat glaring in my face.
Gazing at the letter, I was looking for Cherwell clinic. It was 11.20am when I reached the hospital, my appointment wasn't till noon. After approaching this friendly lady on reception, she gave me directions. With a half an hour to kill, yet again I made my way to the restaurant for a coffee and entertained myself by reading the information book they gave me.
I made my way down the many corridors and finally found Cherwell. Yet another reception greeted me. “I'm Jennifer Skinner, here for my appointment at 12.00pm,” I said in my cheeriest voice I could muster up considering the pain I was in.
The girl behind the desk seemed in robotic mode, I suppose they must see so many people every day and I'm just another product on her conveyor belt. After placing a band around my wrist with all my details on, she passed me a clipboard with about five sheets of A4 and a pen. “You will need to fill in this questionnaire and also produce a urine sample.” She gave me a small bottle to fill and a small plastic tray to wee in. “When you've finished, put it in the blue tray.” There was a small blue tray that sat on the reception desk for all and sundry to see as they passed by, I didn't really give it much thought until I came to type this. I'd only just been to the toilet, so the task would have to wait till later.
I sat down in the reception area and began looking over the forms which needed to know all my details. Hate filling in forms, but it wasn't too bad, at least I could answer the questions without too much of a problem.
There were five other women apart from me and two young student nurses that were sitting in on the meeting as we were called in and entered a classroom.
There was a screen on the wall and two rows of chairs, luckily I managed to get a front row seat. A nurse came in and introduced herself, she was firm but friendly and began to tell us what to expect during and after the operation. I can't remember her name, but she informed us that we should pay careful attention to everything we were told, and expect to be up and walking within hours of returning to the ward after the operation. “I would have you up and walking in no time,” she declared. “There's no room for nampy-pambies here,” she announced, to which we all smiled. “A positive attitude and a willing nature is all you need.”
She also produced the ball, socket and metal stem which would be planted down the shaft of the thigh bone. We passed it around, I was amazed at just how heavy the metal stem was, but the nurse assured us that it wouldn't be that heavy once it was in place.
The lecture took about an hour and ten minutes. When it was finished, a guy from Occupational Therapy team came in and discussed with us about the equipment we'd need and heights of chairs. He was so nice and made us laugh when he produced a pair of ladies knickers, showing us how best to put them on with the grabber, he made light of the situation which again put a smile on our faces.
That talk lasted another hour and lightened the mood, as we picked up our grabber and shoe horn to take home and practice with. Next me and another lady were told we'd need to go to x-ray for an update on our hips. So without further ado, we took our clipboards. Loaded up with forms and other paraphernalia, we were making our way down yet more corridors following the directions given.
Here we were at yet another reception, the smiling lady read our wristbands, then a nurse came and told me to go into a changing area, remove my trousers and put on a gown. Thankfully I only had to wait about five minutes. In the x-ray room I had to lay under a machine, the nurse told me to hold a sheet of clear white plastic between my legs, then she went off to take the x-ray. I stared at the ceiling and hoped everything would be fine. It was over in a couple of minutes. Went back into the room and got dressed. I felt so stupid when I came out, for some reason I was disorientated and couldn't find the waiting room, until the lady I came down with peered from behind a door and said, “it's okay I'm here.” Honestly it was so embarrassing cause all these people were staring at me as I looked bemused...”oh well, such is life.”
As we made our way back up to Cherwell, me and this lady got chatting and discovered we both had partners that were truck drivers. Her husband also smoked like my partner. I told her I wished he'd give it up and she agreed, but said she smoked too, though not as much. I'm just glad I never started which possibly could have happened when I was younger, but I never had the inclination, thankfully.
Back at Cherwell I was now ready to have a wee, so made my way to the toilet and did the business in the plastic tray, then poured it into the bottle, placing it in the blue tray. I was then told to wait back in reception for the nurse who gave us the lecture. This gave me time for a few bites of my sandwich I'd made. It wasn't long before I was being called into another room for yet more forms to fill out. They had a strict rota and asked for my name and date of birth, which seemed about a million times, I was very glad they did, at least it meant they kept a strict record of everyone and that eased my worries.
No sooner was I back in reception, than my name was being called out again, this time by the nurse. She was really nice and I remembered her name. “Hello, I'm Charlotte,” she said. The nurse led me to yet another room, sat me down and took some blood. Then she did my blood pressure, which thankfully was okay. Then she weighed me and measured my height. Next came monitors to check my heart rate.
Charlotte even asked me if I had a good birthday this month? I said yes it was brilliant. She told me she'd been to the Bahamas for her holidays and loved it so much she wanted to go back. I like it when people are open and friendly, it puts me at ease. She then told me I only had one more person to see, that was the consultant to sign what I call the death warrant...you know, the one that tells you that if anything goes wrong when performing the operation, that it isn't any fault of the surgeons, I think it's called a disclaimer.
That for me was the worst part of the day, making me realize just what could happen if anything should go wrong, even though it's a small percentage of chance that anything would go wrong, it's always at the back of my mind.
Now I was ready to go home with just one thought on my mind, to take great care of myself, eat plenty of fresh vegetables and salads, lots of fruit. Fill myself up with protein, iron and vitamin C, which I was told will help my body to heal quicker. All that's left for me to do now is prepare for the operation.