Man do they start the day early in a hospital.
At around 4 a.m. an alarm woke me up. My IV was nearing empty. When the nurse came in to turn the alarm off, she told me I was done with IV fluids and she would be able to take my IV out later.
While I was up, a tech came by to take my vitals.
I started to fall back asleep when the surgical intern came in to see how I was doing. I showed him how well I was wiggling my toes and he checked out my wound dressing and then he left.
I closed my eyes and began drifting off when my surgeon came in to see how I was doing. I showed off my toe wiggling ability again, he asked if I had any questions, and while I did want to ask details about the surgery and, most importantly, what they did with my old hip, more than anything I wanted to go back to sleep. So I told him I didn’t have any questions and he left and I closed my eyes.
But then the nurse was back to remove my IV. And then breakfast came. And then another nurse with a bowl filled with soapy water and wash-clothes. And while I was fine letting all these things sit while I slept, the first nurse came back and said PT was on their way. So now I had to get up, bathe and eat. On the plus side, they let me change into my own clothes.
At PT I was downgraded from the walker to a set of crutches. There was another hip patient in the gym, and my use of crutches inspired him to try them as well. I then learned to get in and out of a chair, up and down stairs, in and out of the shower and in and out of a car. I learned the exercises I would need to do twice a day for the next month and then graduated PT, was wheeled back to my room, and learned I was being discharged.
I felt like the world’s greatest hip replacement patient.
On our way home, my mom and I stopped for lunch at a bar near my house — they have the greatest tomato soup and like I said I was having no problem with my appetite. We parked about a block from the bar, even though my mom offered to drop me off right at the door, so I got to try out my crutching skills. I made it to the bar, but I was admittedly sore. My wound felt like it was on fire. But that was the worst pain I experienced and even that wasn’t as bad as it got when I was running.
At home, I showered — no shower has ever felt better — switched into comfy pajamas, made camp on my couch and had a glass of wine (another benefit of eschewing the heavy narcotics).