I will try to post on the regularly programmed themes I had going but I will also be posting about my recovery intermittently. I plan to document it here for you all the best I can not only for me to see my progress but also for anyone that wants to know more about this surgery. I am thankful to have found a couple people that helped tremendously by answering my questions before surgery because I had no clue what to expect. This is not that common of a surgery, so if me documenting my progress and experience helps anyone out, then that is great. Pay it forward.
The day came and went. On Wednesday, November 16th I successfully (finally) underwent a hip arthroscopy on my right hip to repair the torn labrum along with femuroplasty and acetuboplasty – fancy way of saying my acetubular and femur hip bones needed to be shaved down so that all this doesn’t happen again.
11:00 am: It was a very long day. I was scheduled to check in for surgery at 11 am to get prepped for surgery that was scheduled for 1 pm. I was not allowed to eat or drink (not even water) for 8 hours prior to surgery. So basically all day for me. The hanger struggle was too real. I think every nurse that attended to me heard me tell them I’m hungry. During the initial prep, my IV was inserted, vitals were taken, etc. My surgeon, Dr. Huber, was late – sigh. Way to add to my hanger, Doc.
12:30 pm: In the meantime, the nurses filled me on what’s going to happen, things to remember post op, etc. Then the anesthesiologist talked to me about putting me to sleep, the nerve block he’d be applying and that he’d be sending me home with a pain pump – which is basically a little plastic ball in a fanny pack that very slowly pumps out pain medication to me via a catheter on the surgical site. I was told that I’m to protect it with my life and to be super careful with the hair-thin tube on surgical site and to keep it in for three days.
1:30 pm: Hallelujah, Dr. Huber arrived! It was GO time. It all happened very quickly from that point on. The anesthesiologist came back and said it’s time to put me to sleep and put the anesthesia in my IV. Then all I remember is being moved to the surgery room, nurses moving me from current hospital bed to surgical bed and within seconds I was lights out.
5:00 pm: At the estimated time of about 5 pm – it may have been 5:30 pm – I woke up in the Surgery Recovery room with a different nurse next to me. She asked how I’m feeling and I told her I’m hungry. Ha! I was instantly thankful to not feel sick or nauseated as I heard this can all happen from the anesthesia. She explained that I can’t eat quite yet in case nausea hasn’t set in from anesthesia but she may be able to get me some crackers. Which after about half an hour of her looking me over and checking on other patients, finally scored a small pack of crackers, which I devoured. I was instructed to not remove the surgical bandages until Day 2 and catheter until Day 3. I am to ice regularly and use the CPM machine about three hours per day for mobility.
6:30 pm: I was finally moved to the Same Day surgery room which is where I was to get discharged…eventually. More nurses look me over and take my vitals and add preventative pain and anti-inflammatory meds into my IV. They finally call in my dad and brother who had been worried since I was due to be out of surgery at around 3:30pm according to the original schedule. Dr. Huber had briefed them on what I can and can’t do. They were a little bummed that I didn’t wake up loopy and out of it because they wanted to get that on video. Then the nurses briefed me on how to remove the bandages and catheter when the time comes. And then came time to learn to walk with crutches and the nurses were lost in the world on how to use them on stairs which took a solid 30 minutes of them trying to figure it out. Sigh.
7:45 pm: Finally get dressed and officially released to go home. Thankfully I only live about 3-5 minutes from the hospital. Getting used to moving with crutches first, then bad leg, flat footed, weight bear as tolerated, then good leg, was tough to remember at first so made me travel that much slower. Lucky me, I live upstairs. Joy. Thankfully, it was much easier than I thought it would be by holding onto my brother’s arm on one side, the railing on the other. Smart little me, had prepared a couple meals ready to just heat up so dad did just that right when I got home. The day was finally over and I was so glad to see the sir had just gotten to my place right as I got home.
First night: I mostly felt pressure and sore in the surgical site…minimal pain. I was instructed to take Percocet the first night regardless if I’m feeling pain as a precaution in case I start feeling pain overnight. Again, very thankful to not have had pain overnight. The worst part of the nights have been not being able to move having to lie still with leg elevated.
Post Op Week 1 Day 1&2 (POW1D1&2): These couple days have been similar. Not much change in how I feel physically. My family, the sir and my good friend, Zu, have been amazing help through all this. Zu has been around and staying with me the first few days to help me wherever I need it without complaint. Not sure how I’ll ever repay her for this. She did this without hesitation.
Very thankful that I still have not had much pain. I’m wondering if it is thanks to the pain pump (On-Q Pain System) attached to me that is still feeding me pain meds very slowly (5 ml/hr) because I have only taken the Percocet before bedtime as precaution and not during the day. I really, really, really hope that I don’t have pain once I remove the pain pump tomorrow afternoon.
I’m mostly sore in the surgical area. I’ve been icing for 40 minutes for about five sessions per day and using the CPM machine for three, one hour sessions per day. In case you’re not familiar with what a CPM machine is (I wasn’t before this surgery), it is a machine that you place your leg onto, and it is programmed to mobilize your leg into an angle for you to the degree set. I started with 40 degrees and today I’m at 50 degrees. So far it has felt fine and no pain.
Getting around on crutches is a little easier now. More so because I’ve gotten the hang of it and doesn’t take as much thinking (which leg goes first) as it did at first.
I encouraged Zu to take a break and go to the gym with the sir (we go to the same gym and she used to coach there when she lived here). I took the time by myself to remove the thick surgical bandages from the surgical site. Not sure what I was expecting when I removed it but dare I say it was not as scary or as swollen as I expected. If you’re grossed out easily, well, sorry I’m not sorry. It is the reality. This is the removed bandage:
The two blood spots is from the two ports Dr. Huber used for the arthroscopy. I was instructed to remove the bandages on POW1D2 and replace with waterproof bandages that I’m to keep on for 7 days. I had seen some post op photos of peoples hips and was horrified at how swollen so I was glad to see I’m not really swollen. And the ports don’t look too traumatizing either. I won’t expose you to the ports, but here is the surgical site with the waterproof bandages:
The white bandages on top of underwear line is where the catheter is taped onto me to keep it dry and secure. I can’t remove that until tomorrow (POW1D3). Mind you, to remove it, I have to slowly pull out the hair thin string that’s inside me until a last little tug and it’s out. I don’t get grossed out easily at all. But…come on! That should be a joy tomorrow (there needs to be a sarcasm font). But at least I get to take an actual shower tomorrow after that! I’ve only been taking ho baths (aka wiping down with wet wipes) these couple days.
Few things to note about post op:
- Vagina will be numb for a few days. Just saying. It’s weird. Mine still is numb in the frontal area. This will probably lessen after I remove pain pump.
- If you’re used to moving around while you sleep, this will suck. Sleeping with leg elevated with no external rotation sucks.
- If you have the pain pump, the pain will not be very noticeable for first few days. It probably will surprise you as it did me. Others I’ve talked to who have had this surgery didn’t have a pain pump so they had more pain directly after the nerve block wore off. Google My On-Q and read about it. It has been great so far. The only sucky part is having to carry the ball around in a little fanny pack.
- Since I haven’t been relying on pain pills, I have not been as sleepy during the day as I thought I’d be, which adds to the boredom.
- I have had to pee A LOT, which sucks because it’s a hassle to get around on crutches.
- I’ve been able to get around when necessary (to use bathroom and go from living room to bedroom and vice versa) but things I’ve definitely not been able to do on my own have been using the CPM machine. It’s heavy so I definitely can’t lift it and I can’t reach my foot to strap myself in.
- I had bought a little backpack to help in carrying things around if I’m by myself because with your hands on crutches you can’t carry things around.
That’s all for now! I’ll update in a couple days after more recovery to see where I’m at. Sorry, my post this time is really lacking in the gif department but I don’t have access to my laptop just yet (can’t sit upright for too long) and adding gifs through mobile on here hasn’t played nicely. Until next time!