Entries tagged with “surgical staples”.

No one expects the soft cushions and comfy chair to hurt!

No one expects the soft cushions and comfy chair to hurt!

As you might imagine, any surgery that leaves behind a foot-long scar, 33-surgical staples and extensive bruising hurts as much as listening to the lesser works of Captain & Tennille.

What you might not have imagined is the pain of sitting. Just sitting. Not sitting on the surgical scar (that’s off to the side), but sitting as you’ve always sat– sitting cheek-to-cheek.

You must sit on pillows to keep your hip elevated and out of the danger zone for dislocation, but over time these cushy pillows do not comfort– they slowly torture. You spend so much time on your tush that eventually the comfy pillows chafe your butt. To counter this, you move about, do your exercise regimen and sit elsewhere. But your butt finds you, and it hurts– not a lot, but just enough to be a minor pain in the ass.

This too shall pass, this Spanish Inquisition of cushions and comfy chairs.

The last thing I remember was being wheeled into the operating room. I had been asked to answer the following questions on eight different occasions that morning in the hospital: What is your name, your birthdate, and what procedure are you having today?

My left hip and left foot were marked with a Sharpie Marker. All of this advanced technology was to alleviate mistakes, something like accidentally getting a lobotomy instead of a total hip replacement. Comforting, this modern medical science.

The Wedge of Truth, Strap On In!

The Wedge of Truth, Strap On In!

I remember the operating room being cold. I recall the operating table being metallic, cool and narrow. I remember someone saying something about... and I was out as the doc did his dirty deed for the next two hours, placed in the recovery area and monitored for an hour, and finally assigned my post-op home: room #405, Piedmont Hospital, Atlanta.

I awoke to numbness, a loving wife, my legs strapped to a foam wedge placed between my thighs (to keep my new ball joint at the proper angle, I guess), and a morphine drip. I was told that the operation was a success and my hip that had been replaced was “in bad shape.” Well, I could have told them that.

I was also told I could hit my morphine drip plunger every 8 minutes, if needed. I knew from past experience my brain is very good at calculating life in 8 minute intervals and issuing urgent commands to the right thumb to plunge away.

I was done. The nastiness was done. I had a 12-inch gash on my butt sealed with a row of 33 pretty surgical staples. Now came the really hard part– avoiding the catheter.