Saturday, April 18, 2009

Post-op, Day Three

I slept extremely well for several hours and woke up when the CNA came in to check vitals and see if I needed anything. I was hungry again and she brought me a snack a little later. Did I say how much I liked the night nurses? They rocked! I ran a bit of a fever again but it never got bad and broke again before morning. I guess it's a bit normal after surgeries, especially if you're active during the day. My body was sore and working hard to try to heal itself. That at least sounds logical and I think I've read something to that effect.

I slept on and off again during the night. I was really sore from walking the previous day. The nurse gave me another small dose of morphine before the shift change, thankfully, and I took another nap before breakfast.

I need to digress a bit. This was the first time I've ever had a catheter. I know some people have to be attached to these things permanently and that is a horrible thing. I would never, ever wish for that. That being said, it was nice to not have to worry about getting up to go pee or use a bed pan. Pretty amazing, actually. I never even had to think about it. Liquids got in the bladder and they went out. In layman's terms, of course. I would love to be able to use something like that in front of the TV on football weekends :-D

Anyway, my catheter drain box and overflow bag filled completely up overnight! I was drinking a ton of fluids, mostly water and some Sprite Zero. The CNA got a kick out of it. I was very well hydrated and the urine was virtually clear as water at one point. I was very cognizant about hydration when I was running a lot, so i was proud of this ;)

Pretty good night overall, a bit restless, but not as bad as the first night. The RN came in to change my dressing and remove the blood drain. The first night there was a lot of blood that drained from the incision area. The second day and night. Almost none. Not even measurable. When she pulled the tube out it was an odd feeling but not bad. This one was installed a couple of inches from the incision. For my previous surgery it was installed right at the incision but with a bigger tube. That one actually hurt. This one didn't. Felt good to get it out.

Breakfast arrived soon. It wasn't as good as the first morning but it was still good. Bacon, eggs, cinnamon roll, a banana and cheerios. The eggs were bland, but the bacon and cinnamon roll were awesome! I sliced some of the banana in my cheerios and put too much milk in so cheerios were flying everywhere, but it was good. I was nice and awake and ready to tackle the day.

Went through the final nursing change of my stay. Two totally new nurses given it was the start of the weekend. Both seemed very nice and friendly and I found them to be that way the entire duration of the day.

The OS came by during his rounds and was pleased with my status and progress with walking the day before. He said I could go home this afternoon after another round with the therapist. Woo hoo! This was what I was waiting to hear.

Since I was being released I also got clearance from the OS to have the IV and catheter removed. I wanted to get up and move around some more under supervision on the crutches, but it was so difficult with all that equipment attached.

I asked the RN if she had talked to the OS yet. She had not, but said she would go find him or read his discharge notes. In a few minutes she returned to remove my equipment! The IV was easy. She just unhooked it and left the needle in just in case I needed something else before I left. Then came the catheter. The moment I was most scared of. The prep-nurse had told me I would have a catheter installed but since my pre-op vitals were good they would install it while I was knocked out. The removal was a different story.

The RN told me about the balloon feature that was holding it in place and how she would relieve the air pressure and do a quick yank and that I would get an uncomfortable feeling for a few seconds. Yeah, right. Just uncomfortable. I was scared to death of what this was going to feel like. She showed me how she was letting the pressure out and then with no noticed just yanked! DAMN! It was extremely uncomfortable and felt like a whole bunch of urine came out.

She took care of emptying the tank and when I looked down not a drop was to be found. It just felt that way. I felt fine in just a few minutes. All things considered it was worth it. Only thing left was I'd have to prove that I could urinate normally on my own before I could be discharged. That would not be a problem, as I would later prove.

I was able to move myself to the bed to get the catheter removed and then back to the chair on my own with the nurse watching. I was feeling great at this point! Genuinely, great! I sat in the chair and read cycling magazines and waited for my wife to arrive.

My wife showed up mid-morning and that put another smile on my face. We just waited around for the therapist to show up. Pretty boring, but we had plenty to read.

The therapist arrived and took me for a walk around the floor. I went probably 3x the distance I had gone the day before with very little pain, but certainly weakness. Before the surgery I had a difficult time believing I would actually feel like this but I did. The pain was mostly, if not all, muscular. My hip seemed to be operating well. The therapist left and all that remained was lunch and being discharged.

We talked to the RN to see if my wife could get my prescriptions, so she could go pick everything up before I was discharged so I wouldn't have to wait in the vehicle. The RN obliged and my wife left.

Lunch arrived (albeit a bit small) and I ate quickly, like normal. It was spaghetti and a salad and a piece of chocolate pie. The spaghetti was okay, but bland. Salad was good and the pie was great. Yum! Now, I just had to wait.

Oh, I got permission to go ahead and dress in clothes and get out of the gown. I got to use some of my new tools to reach down without breaking the 90 degree rule. Took me a few minutes but I succeeded. I felt really proud, like a child riding a bike without training wheels.

Oh again, reverting back to the catheter moment - the nurse had left a bottle that I had to pee in to prove that my bladder was working. By lunch I had filled it up completely and even had to go in the toilet after that. Did I mention I was drinking a lot of water? The nurse was shocked, and of course laughed when I told her I thought things were working okay.

My wife showed up soon having got my prescriptions filled and eaten lunch herself. She brought me some of her leftover lunch, Chick-Fil-A nuggets! I couldn't turn those down. Best fast food chicken to be found! Now, just wait, wait, wait.

A little over an hour later the RN showed up with my discharge papers. Woo hoo! I signed some papers and they wheeled me out to the vehicle. 20 minutes later and I was home.

My wife got me settled in and I was pretty much down for the rest of the day. She is such a fantastic caretaker. Words can't express how good she is to me. Day 4, upcoming.

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