Wednesday, 16 May 2012


Woke around 6 and got myself up to visit bathroom.  Drugs came round and observations done, all ok.  Breakfast arrived: cereal, croissant, juice and tea.

Teams of physios arrived and got everyone up .  The two older ladies seemed to be in a lot of pain and struggling with their frames - no hope at all of progressing on to crutches.  Another lady has had her knee done and is now managing on crutches with a lot of groaning.  Sue opposite has had the same hip as me and today has got onto crutches, but not stairs.  She is feeling a lot better - and says seeing me flying around on the crutches yesterday really motivated her to get on too!  Apparently my achievement with up and down stairs yesterday meant they could sign me off and I could go home today if all else was fine, so no one came to talk to me from the physio dept.  I wanted more attention!

A doctor arrived and said I was definitely going home today and could I confirm that I would be collected asap.  They wanted to put me in a chair while I waited as there was a new lady already there and waiting for my bed!!  Apparently if I had not been ok to leave, she would have been sent home.  I would totally have hated that if it had happened to me - you get yourself all mentally geared up for it and then just to be told to go home would be awful.

I got myself dressed easily by dropping my elastic waisted skirt over my head and not bothering about knickers, and pulled on a long sleeved top, wrapped my scarf around me and there I was in the wheel chair waiting for N to arrive! All packed up!  I was brought a bag from the pharmacy containing:

Paracetamol (2 x 4 times a day)
Codeine (as above)
Senokot (2 at night)
Lactulose - bowel softener (15ml x 2 a day)
Dabigatran - anti blood clot (2 x 110mg at 6pm)

Also  a doctors note for 6 weeks.

I was surprised that there was nothing stronger in the bag, after all we take paracetamol for a headache and I have just had major surgery so I thought I should have had some morphine!  I will ask my brother what he is taking (the result of that is he has got Tramadol which is an opiate based painkiller, but he was prescribed this to help with bad pain before his op so it is ok for him to carry on with that, but not for me to start with it unless my pain becomes really bad. He is also taking his Dicloflenac as before.)

Nick arrived and wheeled me to the car.  I had left my cushion in a slippy Gap bag on the passenger seat and got in bum first and swung in my legs and felt fine.  We used my Focus as the seat seems higher and easier for me to access than his car.  I have had to get into a car this way for about 3 years now so I am used to this action.  Its also a very ladylike way of getting in and out of cars, particularly when wearing no knickers (!) as the knees can stay together.  Stopped at Waitrose, I waited in car, and bought sandwiches for lunch and few bits for later.

Once home, carefully made my way upstairs - so glad I had the rail fitted as there is no way I could have done it without.  Remember good to heaven (meaning lead with non operated leg) then follow onto same step with operated leg and crutch.  Going down: bad to hell (lead with operated leg and follow with good leg. Into bed and served a very delicious sandwich and fruit lunch!
I had prepared a few basic meals for the freezer, bolognese sauce, ratatouille, fish pie, beef in red wine, and plenty of assorted frozen veg, so that Nick could sort out meals for us easily for the first few days, and this has worked well.

Nick has done battle with two raised loo seats and one stool - all wrapped up in tubes and tape and then needing height adjustments - I read that Occupational Therapists came to your home and sorted all this out for you whilst helping you with chairs and getting in and out of bed but they just delivered the stuff and left.  More NHS economising.  The loo seats also have arms and make a huge difference, you could not possibly cope with a normal height loo.  I am wondering if disabled loos in restaurants will be this high.  If not you couldn't risk it because you would dislocate the hip in struggling to stand up from a below 18 in height - if indeed you could stand up at all.  Do not go anywhere without a tall loo. You could inadvertently sit down before realising you could not get up again.  How dreadful!   This could be limiting - I will have to give this some more consideration.

I have been doing my 5 lying down exercises:

 Clench buttocks, hold for 5.  10 repeats
 Bath towel rolled up placed under knee.  Lift leg hold for 5.  10 repeats
 Pull foot up towards ceiling, press down with knee.  Hold for 5.  10 repeats
 Plastic bag under foot slide up to bend knee.  Hold and repeat as above
 Plastic bag under foot and slide outwards.  Hold and repeat as above.  This is the most painful of all!

On Day 2 I could barely move my foot at all for the last exercise, but it gets easier each time you do it, as you'd expect!  I just breathe deeply through the pain and make it work!

It's been lovely getting lots of cards, texts and messages from friends and family, so I am occupied replying or telephone everyone!  I am however finding it hugely problematic getting around with the crutches as I dont have a free hand to carry anything with.  I keep leaving some essential item in the wrong place and feel like crying with frustration when I have manoeuvred myself onto the loo, only to find my trousers have fallen on the floor, and the grabber I need to pull them up is in another room!  If the crutch falls on the floor, and they do have a life of their own when not on your arm, then you cant pick that up either! In feel very dependent and its not a good feeling.  I am taking the pills to the hospital routine and feel quite sleepy, so I will sleep!

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