And so the big day arrives...
Well, this is it. REALLY it! The BIG day!
My memory may be a tad blurry in places, so here is as much of my day as I can remember...
5:45am - Wake up and wash with Hibiscrub (I had no idea there could be such detailed instructions for how to wash...but apparently so!)
6:25am - Drink slightly disgusting PreOp carb drinks through plastic (tut tut) straws and then take allowed tablets (after double checking instructions from pre-op appointment) with my final gulp of water for the day. (I bloody savoured that water like I was about to venture across the Sahara desert! )
7:10am - Double check my hospital bag before heading to hospital! Eeeek!!
7:30am - Check into Surgical Day Unit alongside the parade of elderly people hobbling around on their walking sticks. Ok, to be fair, there were one or two people in their 40s/50s, but still, comparatively, I felt like a child who had accidentally wandered into the wrong department.
I then made the typical error of going to the toilet at the exact moment the nurse called my name in the waiting room! Luckily my partner was there and got them to wait for me!
8:30- 10:30am - This period is a sleepy, boring, stressful blur...
As my long-suffering partner settled down on my day unit bed for a nice nap, I paced around nervously waiting for any possible updates on what was actually going to happen. First up to inspect/terrify the life out of me was the anesthetist. A lovely, if slightly...quirky....man who read out a long list of risks and then drew a fish on my left hand. I said he was quirky...haha. This was apparently his way of 'reserving' it and ensuring it wasn't used for blood tests before surgery. Next up was my amazing surgeon and his registrar. A quick visit to write THR and a big arrow on my left leg and inform me of even more potential risks (yay...) before getting me to sign to say they could do whatever they want to me during the op! Fun fun! Anyway, so they said I should be going into theatre at about midday and then were whisked away to see the next patient. Finally, a nurse did my blood pressure etc and gave me my wristbands (...not quite the same as Reading Festival, sadly...)
11am - The partner is moaning he is hungry. That's right. Moaning. To the girl who hasn't eaten in 14 hours. But anyway, I am bored stiff so I dutifully accompany him to the hospital cafe and watch him scoff down a full English breakfast...and coffee....(God how I missed coffee....)
12pm - Day unit nurse tells me to change into my robe as the porters are on the way!! It's happening! ARRRRGGGG! The terror kicks in. I go to the toilet for the millionth time (my desperate attempt to avoid catheterisation!!) and then put my robe, dressing gown and slippers on.
12:30pm - The porters arrive. And take the woman in the bed next to me......I glare at the nurse. She doesn't apologise. I continue to wait. Urgh.
...Many more hours of sleepy, boring, stressful blurriness... (and more watching the fiance eat and drink whilst my tummy rumbles...)
3pm - The porters finally arrive. FOR ME! (I am the last one left...haha) My partner is informed I should be back on the ward in about 3 hours after an hour in surgery and then around 1.5hrs in recovery. Let's do this!. A final hug goodbye to the fiance and off I go, shuffling down the corridor with a really kind surgical assistant desperately trying to entertain me and put me at ease. Inside the first room everything feels INCREDIBLY real! They lay me down on the bed and put me into a rather uncomfortable position on my right side (Just a heads up, if you have shoulder problems, please be aware that this is really not fun! So keep informing them when it hurts and they'll do their best to adjust your position/give you more pain relief!)
The spinal anesthetic....ok, so as previously mentioned, I was bloody bricking it when I found out I had to have this! But, as many people told me (not that I really believed them), it actually wasn't that bad. The hardest/scariest part was staying perfectly still so I didn't mess anything up/paralyze myself! Luckily, a very sweet assistant (who said to the anesthetist: "this is my first hip replacement", to which I replied "Don't worry, mine too!" haha) held my shoulder and my hip to ensure I didn't accidentally wobble! Once the semi-painful injection was done, he begun splashing me with freezing water spray until I could no longer feel anything below my waist and then wheeled me through to the surgeon. Here he gave me his "special gin and tonic" to help me feel more chilled, and then it begun!
During the surgery I was generally just chilling out, with the occasional moment of panic when my brain sobered up and realised that banging sound was someone hammering something into my pelvis...but a quick nod to the bartender fixed this and I was back to daydreaming and mostly just feeling a bit bored! I had one moment of feeling pretty sick, but they reacted very quickly and gave me anti-sickness stuff and a triple 'gin' that sent me to sleep for a bit. I had literally no idea of time passing until I finally went "So...how we doing guys...?" whilst attempting to peer over the cloth hiding the surgeons from me.
Then a rather unexpected response followed..."Well young lady, you have very stubborn bones!" This shouldn't really be unexpected as my whole body is stubborn...haha "But we got there in the end! Just putting your staples in then we're done."
I commented to the anesthetist that I could feel the staples going in slightly and he replied "I'm not surprised, you've been in here 3 hours so it's wearing off."
They then proceeded to tell me about the exciting journey they'd gone through whilst I'd been knocking back the gins...apparently my bones are incredibly small and the part they'd got in was too big to fit! So they had to send someone in A CAR to go to ANOTHER HOSPITAL to pick up a smaller part!! Haha! Nothing with my body is ever simple....but at least he is prepared for when I return for the right hip next year!
From there, I went to recovery where my Mum was allowed to come and sit with me and I was FINALLY allowed a cup of tea, as well as some tasty tasty morphine! Unsurprising, I'd lost a lot of blood so was closely monitored for quite a while before being taken to a ward and given the first taste of food in 24hours, and more tea of course - it was sooo good!
So that was my surgery day. Kinda boring, full of waiting, very unpredictable, a little painful, but overall no where near as bad as I had expected! :)