#8 The Room Where It Happened
My husband Adrian and I have dotted all our "i's" and crossed all our "t's" for the February 28, 2019 date of surgery. (Let me say no one could have asked for a more supportive partner!) I've followed the pre-surgical protocols for antibacterial showers and not taking any blood-thinning supplements or medications. I've kept up my exercises, in hopes that the rehabilitation process will be as swift as possible. We've booked a hotel room in Salem, New Hampshire for the night before the surgery, since we needed to show up at 7 AM. We get there with no problem, enjoy a night out before pre-surgical fasting needs to start. All good. We wake up to a fluffy pile of snow on the ground, and the sound of snowplows. Fortunately, no phone calls to say the surgery needs to be postponed!! We are on our way to the North Atlantic Surgical Suites, the Room(s) where the surgery will happen.
I'm a bit taken aback. The building looks like a standard office building in an industrial park, with other standard buildings nearby. We get to the right door, and yes, the receptionist is there with all the forms to sign. She assures me that the door behind her leads to a space that looks very like a brand new hospital. And, yes it does. I'm asked many times for my date of birth and which hip I'm expecting to be replaced! Even though I'm the only patient in the vicinity, I appreciate the attention to detail. . .
I meet the anesthesiologist and the nurses. Everyone looks competent, alert and ready to go. I begin to relax. Finally the familiar face and easy-going demeanor of my surgeon, Dr. Murphy appears. He looks great too, and I feel I am in good hands. I let go and let them do their work.
Three hours later, I could wish for some windows and natural light in the Room(s) Where It Happened, but there are probably good reasons for there not being any. Suffice it to say that in the Recovery area, I am waking up from the anesthesia, surprisingly quickly. I'm OK! I'm back in the land of the living! Everyone is watching me. I am thirsty. I drink cranberry juice. Too much cranberry juice, it turns out. I sit up fine, but when they show me how to take my first steps with a walker, and then some stairs (!) I get sick to my stomach. That delays things a bit. I know they are assessing if I am going to be able to go home to recover. We wait awhile, making small talk, and try everything again, and I am better. I walk a little farther, use the restroom, change my clothes, all on my own, with a walker. Amazing. I pass all their tests. I'm in no pain, with anesthesia and pain relievers still in my system, but I'm alert and I feel more or less like myself. (My husband may not agree!)
After explanations of what to do, another sheaf of papers, and some battery-powered calf-compressors and ice packs applied, my husband is told to bring the car around and I am wheeled to the passenger side and I'm off. I imagine Adrian is anxious, but he doesn't show it. I'm doing fine, and have no trouble with the 2 1/2 hour ride home. When we get there, I need to use both a walker on the snow-covered uphill walk to our house, and then some crutches to get up the stairs. With my new hip! It works -- and I'm still not feeling pain, just some exhaustion from everything I've been through. But, home!!