"Step right up and play Whiz-A-Rama!"A year and a half earlier, I had had my right hip replaced. Same doctor, same procedure, same hospital. Back then, the post-op pressures I faced were related to bodily fluids:
1. Pee quickly, or get a catheter.
2. Produce red blood cells or get units of blood and extra hospital time for monitoring.

After my first hip replacement, I could do neither of these important tasks. The anesthesia apparently dries-up one’s urine flow, and my body was not about to bother with making some fresh red to replenish itself. Essentially my body was flipping me a big bird for hurting it (my body can be petty that way).

So, this go ‘round, I was determined to at least avoid the dreaded catheter. There wasn’t much I could do about giving my body a pep talk concerning the importance of rapid blood production. My body’s got a mind all its own.

So, I concentrated on ‘making water.’ No dice. Try as I may, and Lord knows I tried, I was dry. A drought of pee for me. The nurse even gave me overtime to see if I could score. Nothing.

I will not go into the details of receiving a catheter hook-up except to say it is probably an early initiation rite as one passes through the gates of hell. However, it was not as painful as my memory had portrayed it from last time (sometimes memory can be a drama queen). It was intense, yes, but it was over quickly, and once the deed is done, the issue is laid to rest as long as you’re tapped. My catheter was in for 48 hours.

A catheter is the ultimate lazy guy device. If getting one installed was not so painful, I imagine a catheter would be popular at football games, rock concerts and for long driving trips.
"Fill 'er up, please!"The other pressure, the blood production, well, I failed that also. I was apparently white as my hospital sheet on the second day. My hemoglobin count was low, about the same count one would find in a stick. The kind doctor ordered me two units of A+ blood. This vintage is one Count Dracula described as “Precocious and playful” while being “invigoratingly intriguing to the palate, with hints of currants, blackberries and earthy exuberance. A wonderful pick-me-up!”

Fluids were now going out, fluids were now coming in. I was on the road to recovery. All I had to do was serve my hospital time and survive physical therapy.