Wednesday, 16 May 2012


Had no sleep at all really, too much groaning by others (TIP take eyeshades and earplugs )!  Really wanted to visit the loo but still had catheter and drip so bed bound.  6am nurse came and took catheter away, hurrah I thought, bathroom here I come, but no, I was not to get out of bed until physio arrived to tell me how to do so, but I could have a bed pan.  Great.  Curtains drawn, bed pan arrived, but so did a new lady to occupy the bed across from me with a very vocal and attentive husband.  No bed pan action under those circumstances so I resigned myself to wait for physio and just lie there, waiting, in discomfort!

Physios arrived with frames and crutches and everyone was shown how to get out of bed and transport themselves a short distance from their bed.  I transported myself straight to the bathroom with enormous relief! They decided that as I was a 5* pupil on the frame, I could go to the top of the class and have the crutches, which were much better.  Wasn't aware of any major pain that prevented me from doing what they asked.  The staff explained that it is important to take the pain relief regularly to keep pain at bay all the time rather than just take it when the pain appears as then it is not as quickly effective, and prevents you from doing the strengthening exercises.

It was bliss being able to stand up and move off with none of the awful pain from before! The physios went through the four or five bed exercises they wanted us to do three times a day.  The abductor where you attempt to swing the operated leg out to the side was a killer, I could hardly move it an inch.  It was suggested I put a slippy carrier bag under the foot at home and that would make it easier in the beginning.  It became evident that none of the other ladies could get anywhere near me in terms of hot crutch action!  I was the star of the ward, and revelled in my fame as word spread along corridors!  Well, not quite, but I was keen, and took off a couple of times myself, just as a change from bed, and to get away from the inane conversations going on around me.  When in bed I took to putting the tv on radio 4 and putting on the headphones and pretending I couldn't hear anyone speaking to me!   I didn't mind chatting to the lady next door to me, but had no intention of broadcasting conversations across the entire ward, as were the others!

Lunch and supper were both hot and delicious and plenty of cups of tea, really whenever you wanted one.

I was advised by a friend to take in a bag of Tesco fruit and nut mix, as a healthy, easy to store snack for hungry moments, but I never felt like I needed them.  I thought the water might be awful and took in large bottle of Evian, but the water jug and glass were changed and filled frequently (TIP drink as much water as you can as it keeps your temperature down and helps with blood pressure apparently and thus aided a swift exit home).  The new incumbent in the bed opposite appeared to have come stocked up with rations to withstand a siege.  Packets of jaffa cakes and biscuits, huge amounts of fruit and god knows what.  Not needed at all I would say.  Apart from the fact that your appetite goes down anyway, you really dont want to be lying around eating unhealthy snacks all day.  Probably a couple of bananas and some washed grapes in a tupperware box is all that's needed.  Some fruit cordial to help with the water if you dont like the taste could be nice. 

Physio returned after lunch and wheelchaired me to a staircase with my crutches.  I went up twice and down twice - that was it she said - well done Jill, that's all we ask you to do here!!

I will make a few points here on how the smart hip replacement patient might be kitted out for frame/crutch activies:  I thought a lot about what to take in with me, in the end, too much, but I do like a choice!  If there are any men reading this, I do apologise, but I can only put the female angle!

What would have been ideal would have been something along the lines of the M&S striped nightshirt. This is pastel in colour, so blends nicely with all the blue and white around you; its a decent length, it looks smart when you are sitting up in bed and you can receive visitors without worrying about them seeing bits of you, that you normally keep covered up, in my case armpits and upper arms as I hate them.   When you get out of bed it's knee length so quite decent.  So why didn't I buy it?  Hmmm, because I am 5'8" it is shorter on me than I would like, I thought the long sleeves might be too hot and would have liked a short sleeved version. Also I  thought I might find something better, but having scoured all obvious sources of nightwear: Debenhams, House of Fraser, John Lewis, The White House on line, I found nothing suitable at all. Left it too late and in the end just took a light weight silky cobalt blue dressing gown, some pj bottoms and vest tops with coordinating cardies to act as a bedjacket type garment.

 Because while you are in hospital they want to come and look at the dressing of your wound several times a day, a nightshirt can be easily pulled up to reveal.  So can a nightie, but trust me, those in nighties looked so awful hunched over their frames shambling around in furry slippers that I was just so relieved I had given it some thought.

After my first go on the crutches I went off to the bathroom with my own nightwear and washing items.  I was glad of my dressing gown to cover up my back view as the hospital gown does not do up!  It felt fantastic to be clean and fresh and in my own clothes.  I thought I looked very together in my planned bedwear.  Some people might think 'what on earth is she on about' here, but I put a lot of thought into what I wear every day anyway, so it is second nature for me to plan ahead not to look an eyesore. At some point in this blog I will go through my own personal grooming preparation for the hospital stay, that would also see me through the first weeks convalescing at home.

By the end of this day, they had told me that if all my observations were ok the following day, then I could go home!  Eldest daughter came to visit which was lovely.  Cleaning was going on while she was there - I was surprised to have the same cloth smeared around the frame of the bed as they used on the floor and the table I eat from!  I wonder who I should tell about that?  Given that they are all wearing latex gloves, and when not, using the gel at the end of the bed, why then use one cloth for all these areas???

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