Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Holding Pattern ...

I am going really well; and I will write again as soon as Atilla the Physio gives me a break ... ahhhh, here he comes again ... run ... oh OK maybe not run ...

Friday, November 20, 2009

Wheelies … but it definitely ain’t hooning

Day 3

Day 2 might have been standing, but day 3 is moving on down the road!

Did you perhaps think that walking frames were only meant to be used by elderly people tottering carefully around nursing homes? I have a new found respect for those people. I must admit that the device was not something that I had considered would become my new best buddy. But, then I guess one would have to consider that a mushroom may need all the help it could to get moving.

Getting ones legs over the edge of the bed, while, at the same time, remembering to keep the body angle right, is reasonably difficult for the first time after hip surgery. Thank God for that monkey bar up there and the weight training I had got back into a while back to build up strength in the only part of my body which was (sort of) willing to get out there and do something. Push ups off the bench and bar bells must have helped. Next, get the order of action correct in your brain and then, just do it. Grab the walking frame with both (sweaty) hands and “ladies, start your engines!”

That first step took more faith than standing up the first time, but once it had been accomplished, the next several were easier. Freedom again! No longer locked to the bed and that dreaded hospital appliance – the bedpan. I will say no more on that subject!

There were no marathons to be run today, just short forays into the great unknown, with a return to base and rest, exercises, sustenance, exercises, rest, and on it goes.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Stand Tall ... and look the world right in the eye

Day 2

Mornings start early in a hospital.

For a person who doesn’t do mornings well, mornings start very early in a hospital!

High Dependency Units operate all the time at a much more intense rate than your average hospital room, but when there is a drip in your arm which is keeping you in just the correct state of wakefulness and low pain, a lot of it slips right on by. Blood pressure, blood oxygen levels and many other things are just monitored passively, with a tightness in your arm from the blood pressure cuff and the change of light sensation as staff move quietly around you, being the only changes you notice for awhile after major surgery.

But with hip surgery there is no rest for the wicked, and with me as bad as most, there was a strong possibility I was soon on the physiotherapist’s torture list!

The dulcet tones of the physio was heard not far away and the hint from the medical team to partake of a little painkilling assistance before he dragged me screaming from my bed to perform a half marathon, were remembered and heeded.

Surprisingly enough, once some of the machinery I was attached to, the oxygen, and I, were temporarily parted and drainage paraphernalia organized, it was not all that traumatic to stand, with the assistance of the physio and a walking frame. I feel that faith in the new prosthesis was a major issue. I just kept thinking that the new hip joint was about a million percent on the remains of the old one! I had done my homework prior to surgery and knew the moves of the monkey swing and the hippy hippy hop, and felt so pleased to be achieving that basic move – standing! That was it for now, so back onto bed, connections back in and then, I took in another breath.

Yes, I will win this one! With such an encouraging, happy support team, it would be hard not to be infected by their spirit.

Around lunchtime I was moved from the HDU back into my room. The rest of the day moved on with strict regularity; rest, pain reduction, exercise, sustenance, exercise etc.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The Saga begins

Day 1

Arrived at SportsMed Hospital just before 2pm. Reception staff were amazingly pleasant and checked me in efficiently and quickly. There was a comment in their handout mentioning that the process could be painful, I am sure it was not quite as I read it!

Short wait and I was shown to my room and helped to settle in. This involved “dressing” myself in an elegant pop fastened and tied surgery gown. At least it was baby blue and white stripe!

Then they checked that I was who I said I was and who they thought I was. Next I was painted from waist to knee on the side of my hip to be operated. Even more elegant, and cold.

The wait then began. Time seemed to slow right down.

Finally staff arrived to take me to theatre, so farewells were said and through the door to the theatre anteroom.

Quick introduction to the anesthetist’s assistant and the music headset with calming music and another short wait.

Next came the surgeon, armed with a black marker pen, to mark the correct leg … accompanied by the anesthetist for a short reassuring chat.

But I knew it was all going to be alright when they wheeled me into theatre #3 – my favourite number!

I slid over to the operating table and the anesthetist and his assistant went to work. A question from me “what time is it?” as I couldn’t see a clock. The answer “5.15” and that was it; lights out …….

Wake up in recovery, voices from a long way off, calling my name. Yep, I’m here, not nauseous, not fuzzy, feeling very good, but not on the ball enough to remember to ask what time it was. Dash!

I was looking for a cartoon ... I had found one, some time ago, which, at the time, I thought appropriate. However, after dealing with all the staff, and experiencing their professionalism and care, it no longer seemed at all appropriate.

So the following cartoon has no connection to My Team.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Flying south for surgery

I'll keep my seat belt fastened; arrive in one piece, so that they can take me apart and put me back together again, as a better model!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Who's Counting? I am!

To prepare for surgery I have to have three days without the pain medication that I have been using to keep me walking and not committing mass murder!

Ah well, I guess I will survive; but will the rest of those around me? Only time will tell.

I can hear Count Von Count in the distance ... I am only just a bit worried that it is rumoured that he is a distant relatative of Count Dracula

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Oh Sesame Street, you don't look that old

Thanks Google.

I once read that adults should watch Sesame Street once a month to keep themselves up with what is happening and to help their sanity. Might not be such a bad idea.

However, my advice for parents is to watch Shaun the Sheep as often as you can. Parent training at its best. Every show has a lesson for parents, if you just take the time to enjoy the show and then five minutes to think about it. Passive psychology I think I would call it.

That's Shaun and Timmy (the baby) below.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Here comes the rain!

Just the short relief from the oppressive heat is great!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Melbourne Cup 2009 - share the fun

Australians love a flutter, the fashion and the horses. It’s traditionally the race that stops a nation and the 149th Melbourne Cup Carnival on November 3 will be no exception. Aussie wonder-steed Phar Lap had a heart bigger than most, now let’s prove Australia has a big heart too by making this Melbourne Cup Day meaningful as well as memorable.

Melbourne’s Flemington racecourse is unquestionably the place for punters, racing enthusiasts, socialites and fashion aficionados to be on Melbourne Cup Day, but if you’re not lucky enough to be able to see the race in person, there are plenty of great events you can get to around Australia, and still feel good at the end of the day. At Super Living the people love the exhilaration of the day, but have come up with a way to mix up the frivolity with a meaningful activity as well.

If you haven’t already chosen your venue, and you’re not going to just rush to the office TV at the last moment, with a chicken leg in one hand, glass of bubbles in the other and a couple of horses names from the office sweep* tucked in your pocket; have a look at an option that has a bet each way. What I mean is, some option that has at least some of the takings go to a charity.

Or, with your hand full of winnings, just go to your favourite charity and give them a little Melbourne Cup cheer also.

My favourite is:

Just $25 can save a person’s sight, someone who would not have the $25 to spare to splash out on a new dress and some bubbly, or even the cost of the office luncheon and sweep. And then that someone has a whole new world ahead of them, a chance to live a little easier and perhaps even see their kids or grandkids.

It would be like winning at the Melbourne Cup wouldn’t it?

Part from