Empty my Hands, Tenth Avenue North

Monday, November 12, 2012

Day 11, Faulty Hips and Favorite Things

Now,  I know.  Today is November 12th so shouldn't this be the twelfth post?  Yes.  Yes, it should..  However I spent all of yesterday from 6:00 AM until 4:30 PM either in an ambulance or in the emergency room.  For those of you who do not know me: I have psoriatic arthritis and several years ago had bilateral hip replacements.  And for some unknown reason, the left hip has refused to stay in the socket.  It popped out three times in the first year and so the doctor did a revision.....surgically repeated the hip replacement.  And it worked: for six months.  And in the past six months, the sucker has popped out three more times---yesterday being the most recent.  Now I do not know if there is a pain scale rating for such things, but I would bet that a dislocated hip has got to be one of the  most painful of human experiences that exist.  In fact, short of being mowed over by a Mack truck, I doubt anything can hurt worse.  It makes childbirth look like a walk in the park.

So yesterday, sweating, shaking and crying (and let me tell you, I almost NEVER cry in pain) I lay on the stretcher for hours and hours.  I had excruciating Xrays and then finally the  moment came when they injected me with Propafanol and I was unconscious.  Unconscious while two doctors took turns twisting my leg into every imaginable contortion, trying to get it back into the socket.  My husband (who was there for the procedure) told me they even stood on the table with me in their efforts.  They did this for 45 minutes before admitting defeat.  I opened my eyes and ---if I thought I hurt before this, NOW I had a whole new definition for "hurt"...

Blessedly, the orthopedic surgeon didn't take too long to arrive.  He shot me up with more propafanol and in the hands of the pro, the hip popped in in a MERE 15 minutes.  When I woke up I knew the hip was in, from the diminished amount of pain, however as the hours passed, the consequences of being in a wrestling match with three doctors set in and by last night, I was miserable again. I was wearing a knee immobilizer--one of those bright blue, velcro strapped monstrosities that keeps your leg absolutely straight...and on crutches.  I tolerated the immobilizer until bedtime, then I couldn't stand it anymore and off it came (I have arthritis in my knees and they cannot go without bending for hours on end).

I had a miserable night...moving from recliner to bed every fifteen  minutes until finally, at 2:00, I got smart and took enough drugs to sedate an army and the pain finally subsided enough to get two hours of sleep.

So yesterday's topic was supposed to discuss something that I love which improves my quality of life.  Other than my prodigious tea collection, I would have to say my hospital bed....It changes positions, which is critical to someone with arthritis and it also has a mattress pad on it which is 3" of foam padding and 3" of memory foam:  6" of heaven.  Of course, I've had it now for close to two years and it has a decided hollow where I lay constantly and the padding is greatly diminished.  For the amount of improvement it brings to my life it ought to be a no-brainer to purchase another one, however if  you don't have $160, you don't have it.  But one day, I will save my pennies and purchase a new one.

As to my hip?  I will see my orthopedic surgeon this week and according to everyone at the hospital yesterday will likely have to have more surgery.  The last time this happened my surgeon admitted to being at a loss as to how to remedy it, shy of wiring the hip together, in effect, immobilizing it. He said this will greatly reduce the life of the prosthesis and as to whether or not I will be able to walk, I do not know.  Please pray for me (if you are on speaking terms with God) that he would grant the doctor wisdom.  I will try to write day 12's entry later on today to get myself caught up.
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