Thursday, February 18, 2016

Sixty hours

Well, Mom's hip replacement surgery went fine. It's what we all expected, but major surgery is major surgery, so there's always a lot of worry. That's behind us now. Big thanks to all you kind readers who chipped in with thoughts and prayers. That means a lot.
With her birthday cake on February 6.

The two-hour drive to Loveland was quite a trial. Mom was having a lot of pain and had been ordered not to take anything by mouth, including medicine, after 11 p.m. the night before.

She been able to kind of keep most of the pain at bay by moving around a bit and not letting her hip stay in one position for too long. In the car that was impossible. Once we reached the hospital and she was stumping around on her walker she felt better, and some of the chairs in the waiting room are designed to ease this kind of pain, so it was a relief to arrive.
Reading Agatha Christie in the waiting room.

Unfortunately, when she went into pre-op she had to lay down on a gurney, and the worst thing for her pain was laying down on her back. They finally let her sit up, but it was tough for a while.
Lots of pain.

She went into surgery on time and was out an hour and 50 minutes later. The surgeon reported that all had gone well and as expected. Two hours later, after the spinal block had worn off, she was delivered to her room.
Little kids playing in the waiting room.

Surgical center
The "Big Board." Mom is 326.
She was still a bit woozy from the meds but was very pleased to have the old, awful chronic pain replaced by surgical incision pain.
Chronic pain replaced by surgical pain.

In an interesting contrast to her previous hip surgery, she'd been awake throughout this round. Well, for some values of awake. She remembered talking with the surgeon and anesthetist, conversations between members of the surgical team, and the sound of sawing and pounding (shudder!). She also said that the operating room featured a collection of antique mason jars arranged atop the cabinets, just like the collection she has in her kitchen at home!

She was up and to the bathroom on her own within an hour of being delivered to her room. It was painful for her and hard work but she's determined to be in charge of her recovery, which is a good sign.

I'd planned to stay with her for a few hours before heading home for the night but I soon realized that I was a bit of a distraction. She was in a rather paradoxical condition -- really pleased and relieved to have the surgery behind her and the chronic pain gone but also exhausted, having surgical pain, and a bit loopy from the pain meds and anesthesia. As long as I was in the room she wanted to visit but she needed rest more than anything, so I bowed out and headed for home.

The next morning she texted me and said not to come over. "There's no need for you to drive all that way just to hold my hand." She also mentioned that she'd be in and out of the room with physical therapy and occupational therapy, and was concerned that if I visited I might be "left alone." 

So I stayed home on Tuesday.

Wednesday morning was a bit of a madhouse. It started with a call from the truck driver who was delivering a load of hay. He'd planned to come on Thursday, but the weather forecast called for very high winds across the region, and so he wanted to deliver a day early. Which I understood and agreed to.

Then Mom called. They'd planned to release her in the afternoon, but her blood pressure was quite low and they wanted to see it come back up before they'd let her go. She was disappointed and didn't want to spend another night in the hospital.

Then the hay showed up. Then the tractor -- which is equipped with a loader and is required to offload hay from the truck -- sprang (sprung? springed? spronged?) a hydraulic leak.
Floor-dry soaking up hydraulic fluid

It wasn't a terrible leak; an o ring had failed in the control level plumbing in the cab. The system was bleeding but not exactly bleeding out. Hydraulic fluid on the floor of the cab is a pesky menace though, extremely slippery and tending to coat everything. It's mostly a messy nuisance, but slippery clutch and brake pedals make for risky operation.
She's a good tractor.

I persevered though, and had 75 tons of hay offloaded in about 90 minutes. It wasn't pretty, but it was good enough.
Seventy-five tons of hay back there.

Another call from Mom brought the good news that she would be discharged at 4 p.m. It was quarter to two, so there was just enough time to make the trip.

My brother Justin and I hopped in the MKC and dashed on over.

Mom was in great spirits when we arrived, already dressed and rarin' to go. We fumbled through the usual blizzard of discharge paperwork and were quickly on the road.
Leaving the horsepistol.

As evidence of the taxing nature of major surgery, Mom quickly fell asleep and slept soundly and hard until we pulled up at the ranch. "We're here already?"

We'd left the ranch at 6 a.m. Monday morning and were returning at 6 p.m. Wednesday evening. That's sixty hours if my plutifier is working right. Quite amazing when you think about it. 
Home and on the mend.


  1. Glad everything went well, hope her recovery is swift and complete.

    Concur on the moving around part. Worst part of the Wife's episode was the first time she got out of bed after 48 hours confined to it. Pulled a muscle in her lower back (or that part lower than the back). We're in PT now dealing with that.

    1. Thanks Juvat. She's doing a lot of moving around! Hope the PERSO's back heals quickly!

  2. Good news about your Mom! Praying for her swift recovery.

    Moving around after being bed-ridden is a good thing, no matter how much it hurts. During my first 24 hours in the hospital after my most recent surgical adventure, getting up and about was interesting to say the least. Being hooked up to drip bags and such at least gave me something to hold onto. The Missus Herself was a huge help.

  3. With a "Doc" at home too.
    She's in good hands.

    1. Having a "doc" at home can be a two-edged sword! ;)


  4. Replies
    1. My plutifier was way out of whack. It was actually 20 tons or 40,000 lbs. Noit sure how I came up with 75 tons. Probably a partial explanation of why Smurf would never let me roger the weight board on my own.

  5. Just now catching up. Hope all has progressed well for your mom.

    1. Thanks Brighid! She's doing really well. Overdoes it a little some days and pays a price but she's determined to make full use of her regenerated mobility.