Skin & Bone: Operation Hip Replacement

(Constructed, reconstructed,  from notes in my Journal)

 Thursday, June 13, 2013

pin_alarm_clockAll set for my total hip replacement surgery tomorrow morning. Made leek and potato soup for supper. Lights out, now, listening to Leonard. Alarm set for 6:45.

Friday, June 14, 2013

I still find it disconcerting showing up for a major surgery on the same day. I make a critical error handing over all my medications to the duty nurse. Of the surgery, I remember very little, except being strapped to the narrow operating table, with my arms out. I imagine they will turn the table & me sideways to provide the best access for the surgeon. Spinal with other happy drugs, fading in and out of consciousness, feeling no pain.

Saturday, June 15, 2013Pain pumpo

 Pain, between 9 and 10, on a scale where 1 is very little pain and 10 is the most pain. Fentanyl helping, happy to have control of the pump.  Dr. Barron comes in  to talk about the surgery which went well, though they needed the largest replacement (ceramic) joint they could find which means my right leg is n ow 2 centimetres longer than my left. He said thbey would get to the left hip as quickly as possible to even things out. Between my feet with new arches and my lengthened legs, I will again be 6′ 1″.

 Sunday, June 16, 2013

Yesterday was all about pain, and begging for my medication to be restored. “They” insist on switching me from fentanyl (I’m allergic to morphine) which is only for temporary after surgery intensive pain (so yes it was time to switch), to hydromorphone, a synthetic morphine substitute which I believe is ineffective in reducing my pain levels. They also give me Celebrex, a much advertised anti-inflammatory, which, I argue from past experience, also does nothing for my pain. I ask for Nabumetone, an  NSAID (Non steroid anti-inflammatory drug), in my medicine bag I gave up when I came onto the ward.

NabumetoneContemporary doctors don’t know it, or don ‘t like it.  Approved for human use in  1991, many doctors say Nabumetone presents with an array of side effects they feel can be avoided with Celebrex. I know Nabumetone works for me, because I had to give it up for a week before surgery, and the difference was significant enough I had to increase my oxycodene dosage. My sister suggested I try this old school NSAID early on in my treatment for arthritis, because it worked for her, and she did not experience side effects. Fortunately my GP was willing to give Nabumetone a try, and hallelujah, it made a difference for me too.

Try convincing medical health professionals your own experience with medication trumps their much wider experience to treat your pain.  The nurses call the Doc covering for Barron who comes around with a couple of residents, sits and listens to my story. I am manic. He says “Do you know you are manic? You can hardly get the words and thoughts out fast enough.”  I beg for the restoration of my oxy and Nabumetone.  He agrees, making  sure I am getting my proper mental health meds and ads Atavan to calm me down. Turns out he assisted Hammond in my foot surgery.  I thank him for that surgery, and for authorizing a return to my regular daily medication regimen. He is a big guy. He says he will always remember me. I offer to write a poem about him as he leaves.

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