I was so excited the day had finally arrived! That means that I was one day closer to full recovery and moving forward pain free!! Yippee!
I was on the verge of tears most the morning. The kind and sweet messages that I received from friends, family and people that I had more recently met through my blog and Instagram just felt overwhelming; I could feel all the support.
Compared to the first hip I was much calmer waiting in the pre-op room. I was also 1 of several people waiting for various surgeries where last time there was only 1 or two of us.
How Pre-Op Works
I had to be at the hospital 3 hours prior to my surgery time. This time my surgery was set for 1 pm so I had to be there for 10 am. Which worked well as we did not have to fight rush hour traffic into Toronto.
When you arrive you check in with admissions on the main floor and then head up to the pre-op waiting room. This is where everything happens.
First, you’re taken into a change room. A nurse leads you into the changing area, provides you with a bag for your shoes and a separate one for your street clothes. He then hands you a bundle that includes 2 booties, a hair cap and two gowns (1 to be put on backwards and the second to be put on as a house coat). I’m then told to take EVERYTHING off and ensure all jewelry is removed (I did that at home and left is all there as I didn’t want to lose anything). After doing all this I put my bag of clothes and shoes into my designated locker, which he previously identified and written on my bags, and I locked it. I then head back to the pre-op waiting room to sit and wait with my boyfriend and parents.
Over the next several hours I meet with the people that will actually be in my surgery! A nurse (to go over all your info and provide you with the first round of pills – mine was 8 pills… nice breakfast I guess for someone who wasn’t allowed to eat that day), the Anesthesiologist, the O.R. Nurse and my surgeon. The surgeon signs the hip he’s going to operate on (the left in my case) to ensure that they are entering into the right hip.
Lots of waiting happens before I actually go into surgery. I get waives of tears and calmness and lots of bathroom trips for nervous pees. I’m just so thankful to have my boyfriend and parents to wait with me for support, otherwise I may have gone crazy on my own.
Eventually they call my name. I give everyone a big hug and tell them I’ll see them on the other side (Their excited that they can finally go eat lunch).
Now, I’ve had two different experiences once I’ve left my family and before I fully fall asleep. One wasn’t necessarily worse then the other but I could also see how someone would prefer one experience over another.
1st Surgery (Right Hip)
Whatever dose of stuff the Anesthesiologist gave me put me out fairly early. Once they put me on the table and placed the IV in my hand he gave me 1 1/2 glasses of wine (that’s how he described it). They then did the low back needle. They put some morphine in and then the nerve blocker (something similar to an epidural). They then lay me on my back, at which point the Anesthesiologist gave me something else to put me to sleep. All I really remember from that point is being rolled onto my side and then it was lights out! Note: Honestly I didn’t remember that I remembered being rolled onto my side until the second surgery happened.
2nd Surgery (Left Hip)
I was awake much longer through this one. So everything was the same leading up to me being rolled onto my side (except the Anesthesiologist was less charismatic but still super sweet). When they rolled me to my side I was still alert. I was slowly losing feeling in my legs. I could feel someone in the room holding up my leg and moving it around while they prepped everything. They put supports on the side of the table to keep me in place (big black blocks), they put my arms on separate little shelves to keep the IV lines clear and so they had easy access to them if needed and then they put the blue sheets above my face to cover it. I was alert through all of this.
Which honestly didn’t really bother me, but it would have the first time because I was way more scared about the entire process but this time around I was kinda interested in what was going on. I was just looking at the clock the entire time (there was a digital clock on the wall in front of me). At some point I asked the Anesthesiologist when she was putting me to sleep. She said that some people like to fall asleep slowly and others like to be put right out. Since I was kinda interested in what was happening I told her ‘Whatever works best for you.’ So I stayed awake a while longer.
It was just a couple minutes before 1 pm when I suddenly felt hammering. Now I didn’t really hear anything but I could feel the vibrations through my body (not through the table) and that’s why I am pretty sure they were putting in the measuring rod (the device for checking my length). I am speculating, and will perhaps ask my surgeon another time what they may have been doing. It could have also been something else they were attaching to the table (that is quit possible, and I may continue to tell myself that for a while). At that point I made sure the Anesthesiologist knew I was still awake and asked to put me to sleep. Cause while I was curious, I knew that I would not want to be awake for any more of it. I then fell asleep.
I woke up in the PACU (Post-Anesthesiology Care Unit). Last time I remember waking up and being so hungry! (Let’s be serious I was very hungry this time too). Once I woke up fully I was allowed visitors so my parents and boyfriend took turns coming in to see me. Your only allowed one visitor at a time but it was nice to see all of them. (I also asked them what they had for lunch as I was trying to live through them since I hadn’t eaten anything since dinner the night before)
My surgeon, Dr. P. Kuzyk, visited me following surgery. He would usually do this in my hospital room but since I wasn’t moved from the PACU yet he saw me there. Said that everything went just like last time and that they did all the same stuff (perfect!).
Unlike the first time around, I had to wait in the PACU for 6 hours! The room that I was suppose to be in was not ready, it was still occupied and the cleaning process of the hospital rooms, once the patient leaves, are intense and time consuming. My parents headed home before I got up to my room at 10 pm but my boyfriend hung around to keep me company. All I could eat in the PACU was 2 digestive cookies (they both ended up coming up but it was nice to eat something anyways). I’d have to wait until breakfast tomorrow to actually eat something! (if you know me well that’s very hard for me… but I was patient).