I don't know what is better -- having an IV removed, taking a much-needed shower, or just being HOME. Whatever -- I got all three today and they are, each one, special blessings.
Monday morning went fine. We got to the hospital just after 5:30 but the waiting was not as bad as I'd feared. One of the elders from church, Rex, came to visit and he helped make the time pass. I suppose the worst part was after they took me away from Bruce to the holding area -- it seemed like I was there a long time. The folks were quite nice, though -- especially the anesthesiologist. I've been told that it is difficult to intubate me and he looked around, had a few ideas, and seemed confident that he could handle the situation. When they wheeled me to the OR the only folks there were Dr. Williams (the anesthesiologist) and his assistant. As usual, I only remember being there for about ten seconds.
I don't remember where I was when I awakened -- I don't remember awakening at all, actually. At some point I was in my room and Bruce was there and I think there were multiple visitors -- Alex, Merrill (another elder), maybe that's it. All I did was sleep -- the physical therapy people came by to try to get me to do something but I was out like a light. So Monday passed pretty quickly.
Bruce came by at 6:00 a.m. on Tuesday and stayed for about an hour. Again -- all I really wanted to do was sleep (and it's mostly what I did for the entire time I was there). I didn't read a thing, didn't watch a single DVD. I usually listened to the baseball game, but I slept on and off while it was playing through my iPhone (I had a strong internet signal). I used my Kindle to check into Facebook, but it was very difficult for me to type on it so I kept that to a minimum (and still made a lot of mistakes). On this day I did my physical therapy. It wasn't too bad. I walked a bit -- my room was just two doors down from the "gym" so they walked me there so I could see where I was going to go the next day.
Bruce came by early on Wednesday, too, and we gave me a sponge bath and I used some dry shampoo. Unsatisfactory, but what are you gonna do? Physical therapy was horrible -- they added some exercises. The worst parts were when they have you on your back and tell you to lift your leg straight up. Twenty times. Hurts like I can't tell you. Then they shove a round pillow underneath your leg to make your knee bend (ouch) and make you lift it again (more ouch). The other exercises were not too bad, but those were awful.
When Bruce would come by in the evening all I really wanted to do was sleep, so I tried to get him to go home. He's been so good and I feel just terrible for taking up so much of his time.
Thursday was get-out-of-jail day. By this time the IV was killing me, so getting that taken out was one of the best things to happen all week. Wednesday night was typical: at midnight someone came in to check my blood pressure, temperature, and oxygenation level. At 3:30 someone came in to draw blood. At 5:00 someone came in to change the dressing on my surgery site. At 6:00 someone came in to make sure I was up. Not exactly a restful evening.
The worst part of the whole experience? I have a huge sore/bruise area on my fanny from bumping up against the part of the hospital bed that bends. The mattress was so thin that lying in that position (on my back) bruised me badly. I still cannot put any pressure on it. Bruce went by Walmart and bought a cheap foam pad and I was able to sleep Wednesday night (well, when they weren't coming to poke or prod me), but I can't sleep on our bed at home if I'm lying on my back. Unexpected and annoying.
Physical therapy on the last day was much better than the day before. The bad exercises were not quite as bad and the therapist was impressed. One of the other patients said, "Why can't I do what she's doing?" and I selfishly felt good about that. It is funny how simply lifting your leg feels impossible. Weird.
The pain (outside of therapy) has not been too terrible. I've just taken two pills a day for the last couple of days and I might wean down to two half-pills tomorrow.
Taking a shower was an interesting adventure. Bruce put on his bathing suit in case he had to get wet with me (he had to wash everything below my knees because I just couldn't reach). He plastic-wrapped and taped my surgical site to keep it dry. Having clean hair feels SO GOOD.
I'm not sure what the next few days are going to hold -- whether Bruce will take off work or Alisha will come over. Apparently there is some conflict there. I am staying out of it. They basically left me all alone in the hospital, so I'm not sure why I can't be all alone here. The only thing I need is for someone to bring me food. I'm not going to do anything foolish. And the home health nurse comes by tomorrow to do whatever she needs to do. I will take my pain meds after I eat and before I exercise. And I'll have my phone with me at all times.
Okay...this is a pretty incomplete list of what happened this week, but I'm hazy about a lot of it. Bruce has been really kind and I feel a little guilty about all the things he's had to do. Actually, I feel a lot guilty. :/