Well I’m home now and I thought I should probably bring this up to date! I spent two days in HDU, during which it became apparent that some of the nurses didn’t know what was involved in a PAO. On one occasion I had three of them asking me to roll on to my operated side – within 24 hours of the operation – I refused point blank. They wanted to change my sheets, but after my previous experience being rolled I wasn’t having any of it! So they had to sit me up and it worked fine that way. The second problem was a nurse (or health assistant, not sure) who thought it was enough to lift/ support my operated leg by the ankle only- despite my telling her different. All this resulted in a bit of a scene (well a major scene if I’m honest!), with me ringing my other half in tears, him not understanding a word and ringing the ward back, they explained it was down to some totally spurious unrelated reason, I explained the real issue by text and eventually we got it all sorted out (with one of the nurses then asking me what my operation had actually involved and, therefore, understanding why I had made an issue of it. From then on, she took charge and made sure I was looked after perfectly). Unfortunately, there was a chap in the other HDU bed by then, he’d just had surgery in his spine, and he had to listen to it all but he was very sweet and we had a chat through the curtain!
On the second day, my new friendly nurse removed the epidural (by sitting me up!) and the physio came by. I was able to stand with the aid of a walker and sit in a chair for a while, chatting with Kim, my daughter, and drinking a well deserved cup of tea! The physio was very impressed, said it was the best he’d ever seen after a PAO. Apparently they don’t really expect you to be able to stand on the first attempt, and if you can get to a chair and sit in it that’s a real bonus. Fortunately, I was able to do it without much problem.
So, on day three I was able to go to my own room, which was bliss! Funny how quickly I got back in to the routine! Got a shower the following morning and washed my hair – hair colour bled all over the towels and pillowcases – oops!
Made sure I got jollop right from the off, after my previous unpleasant experience of constipation. I did still have a problem (it seemed as if every nurse on the ward was talking about it!) but it was resolved within a couple of days and a suppository – enough said! The nurses were pretty fab, and this time I had a PCA (patient controlled analgesia) with my own morphine supply! I didn’t use it much – I was scared of it – and then one time I pressed the button and it leaked out all over my hand – the needle had come loose! The doctor (not my beloved consultant) was sent to deal with it and couldn’t replace it in the same hand as it was a bit bruised and swollen, so we had a heated discussion about putting one in my left hand – after my phobia I’ve always asked not to have needles in my left hand as I’m left-handed, but it seemed to be too complicated for her to understand. She actually left the room for 10 minutes – I think to go away and calm down! Anyway, I eventually agreed to have it in my left hand and see how it went, and the way she fitted it made it clear she still didn’t understand! Right in the middle of the back of my hand with the tube looped so it was across my fingers and interfered if I picked up a pen, a fork, tried to wipe my whatsit in the loo etc. D’oh!
Funnily enough, it was removed the next day, I didn’t really need the PCA by then anyway. Did my walk down the corridor with the physio, up the little flight of stairs and down again. Everybody happy, so I could come home on Monday just gone.
Monday morning I had an x-ray. It was very difficult to lay out flat on the x-ray table but the radiologist was very good and made sure it was only for a minimum amount of time. She also let me see the x-ray – for my RPAO I had 8 pins, for this one I have got another 7. FIFTEEN PINS!! Meccano woman!
Mr. Hussell came by late morning (he must have ducked out of consultations) and told me he was pleased with the x-ray results, take a week resting and then start hydrotherapy so off I went home with Gary (leaving my posh purple stick behind but we retrieved that later).