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Imagesacvalley
Jun 5, 2010 11:57 PM CST
Name: Jo Burcher
Wilton, CA
Married 40yrs. 2boys,2Gkids
Some 27 years ago while at work as an underground lineman, my husband, Steve tore the cartilage in his left knee. Even after surgery, he still had a bum knee.
Now here it is 2010 and he's old enough to qualify for a total joint replacement. He's had arthitis for years, so this will be wonderful!
Step 1: Go have a MRI, Chest X-ray, Urine test, & Blood test. He passes all the tests.
Step 2: Wait 3 weeks until the state-of-the-art knee system is ready to be implanted.
Step 3: Go to a 2 hour pre-op class. "You'll be up on your feet in two hours after surgery..using a walker." "You'll be taking stairs the follwing day". The pain will be controlled. You'll be Fine.
Step 4: We arrive at the hospital as instructed; 3 hours before surgery.
We're told that surgery has been set back an hour. I read all the Parents magazines in the room. Why Parent's magazine in a room for Joint Replacement patients? It's a bit late in life to worry about our parenting skills.
After 3 hours, they come in for Steve, I said "see you a in couple hours"; the nurse says, " no stay with him because you may have questions for the doctor". What questions would I have for the doctor? "What was your ranking in class"; Are you older than us? Do you have arthritis in your hands?. So I wait while Steve is given a fair amount of drugs and couldn't care less if I was there or not and certainly He's not going to be asking any questions. So 45 minutes later the Doctor arrives, marks his knee, asked if I have any questions. No.
They wheel him away.
It's now 1:45, as I'm leaving the area I ask the nurse where the cafeteria is; it's in the basement, through the double doors, down near the restrooms on the left. But it closes at 2:00. I'm on the third floor, I arrive at the door of the cafeteria at 1:55, I'm In! "we've dumped the coffee" God help me. Okay, can I eat, Yes! I have chicken and mixed veggies.
3:15 Steve's in recovery. 4:00 I visit long enough to say "see you tomorrow" He doesn't know I'm there.
Recovery Day 2. He's on a CPM machine, Continuous Passive Motion. He's taken a walk down the hall with his walker. His pain level is at a 8, but has the drip pain killer machine that he can Hit every 10 min. (is that what they mean about Joint replacement?)
Recovery Day 3. (today) I've got the bed and couch ready for him. I've taken away all the throw rugs, I've gotten his favorite foods, and I'm ready to be a Nurse. I'm to pick him up at 12:30. He calls at 9:30 and says he's not doing so well, bleeding pretty heavily, and can't believe how much the son-of-a-gun hurts. I don't mention to him that in reality they've cut his leg off and stuck it back together again with a rod and some glue, so yeah it probably hurts. Not like in the Westerns when they just gave the guy a shot of whiskey and piece of wood to bite down on; and then the next scene he's riding his horse. Probably not going to be like that.
So today the Doctor said he can't come home he doesn't like the bleeding. Duh. But Steve has done two stair steps and walked the halls of the Ambulatory Care Unit.


Imagekaglic
Jun 6, 2010 9:40 AM CST
Name: Kiska (Jackie)
Palmer, Alaska
aka Kiska at other sites
Jo~if it wasn't so serious, I'd be laughing so hard I couldn't type:)
Talk to you later,
love,
Jackie (Jo is my sister)...
aka Kiska at other sites
Imagesacvalley
Jun 6, 2010 10:12 AM CST
Name: Jo Burcher
Wilton, CA
Married 40yrs. 2boys,2Gkids
Steve. Recovery Day 4. 9:00am The CPM technician just arrived here at the house to set up the machine. "where's the patient?" ..In the hospital..."can't set the machine up w/o him". Something maybe she should have mentioned while making this appointment, I actually could have told her he wasn't here, saving her the obligatory "It's alright, no problem". She's now taking the 25 minute drive back to hospital to fit him for the machine, then I'll bring it home. Bring it home along with, a crippled man, a walker, a bag of useless hospital tupperware, a supply of bandages, and a bag of laundry.
10:00 The CPM lady just called from the hospital. News is that Steve's bleeding became a problem overnite, and they had to "open him back up", and has what she referred to as "massive swelling". She doesn't think he'll be coming home today. She says this is a worker comp claim so he has 30 days to use the machine..let her know when he gets home. Did I hear doubt in her voice?
No one from the hospital has called me, and Steve isn't able to reach the phone from his bed. I figure they can probably handle the situation w/o me and I'll be there at visiting time (1:30). I'm thinking now of some intelligent questions to ask, ..nope can't think of a one.
[Last edited Sep 5, 2010 2:24 PM CST]
Quote | Post #254248 (3)
ImageAKatheart
Jun 6, 2010 11:19 AM CST
Washington
Jo ~ Tell Steve we are thinking of him and sending "get well soon" wishes via ESP. Love you both!

Susan
Imagenap
Jun 6, 2010 12:01 PM CST
Name: Nancy
Buffalo NY
I'm glad Jackie sent me this link. I'm reading your story with much interest. It sounds like quite an ordeal. I'd like to know how Steve is feeling today. Still on "every 10 minutes" pain meds? I hope all will be well very soon! Waiting for the next installment.
ImageKvilleRider
Jun 6, 2010 1:29 PM CST
Name: Suzanne
Kelseyville, CA
Bottom line is he is where he needs to be and not at home where you have to drag his butt back to the hospital because it isn't going well.

Must be a family thing! Didn't Adam have swelling, etc. problems too with knee surgery?
\"If you do nothing there will be no result.\" Mahatma Gandhi
[Last edited Jun 6, 2010 1:40 PM CST]
Quote | Post #254478 (6)
Imagesacvalley
Jun 6, 2010 6:01 PM CST
Name: Jo Burcher
Wilton, CA
Married 40yrs. 2boys,2Gkids
Steve 4:45
I called the hospital at noon to see if he was actually coming home, Yes. okay then I need to get a move on, I've decided that I'll have a heck of a time getting him into my car, so Craig offers his mini-van and will take me. Great News.
We arrive at 12:30, No one but me seems to know that he's going home, the nurse cks the documents, Yes in deee-dee. I read and sign a pile of papers, things are on a roll. The nurse goes to get a wheel chair. Time passes, time stands still, 1:30 Craig goes to the nurses station asked about the wheel chair. She had forgotten us..."just be a minute." Time passes, at 2:00 the chair man arrives, 2:15 Steve's in the chair. We end up having to lay him down completely in the van. He's not doing so well, but he's in bed laying on a tower of pillows and wincing while even drinking water. Which I don't understand why That should hurt.
I went to the pharmacy told the 12 year old behind the counter that this is a workmans comp claim, so we don't pay, she asks me for the co-pay amount. No we aren't paying and then trying to get it back from WComp. 45 mintues later I have all the drugs I came for w/o charge.
So now we have 3 medications, a walker, and above all a toilet seat riser. The honeymoon is over.
I've made arrangements for the CPM lady to set up the machine tomorrow. Tomorrow I'll also have to set up the PT nurse and the visiting home nurse. I hope they both stay. If they stay, can I leave?
It's 5:00, I'm going outside and have a beer.. I drugged Steve, he's asleep.
Imagenap
Jun 6, 2010 6:10 PM CST
Name: Nancy
Buffalo NY
You ought to be over in the Writers' Cubit. Seriously. You have the gift. I'm sorry for Steve, really, but I'm so enjoying the telling of it. Especially the last sentence!
Imagesacvalley
Jun 6, 2010 6:50 PM CST
Name: Jo Burcher
Wilton, CA
Married 40yrs. 2boys,2Gkids
Thank you, Nancy. One of the most enjoyable things that my friend Cat & I did before her death 18 months ago, was play Scrabble and then make a story out of the words. Her stories were capsulated in the nights words, mine was a saga that went on until she could no longer play.
Imagekaglic
Jun 6, 2010 7:04 PM CST
Name: Kiska (Jackie)
Palmer, Alaska
aka Kiska at other sites
Hi Jo~Nancy's right; you do have the gift of an writer.
(AKatheart is my younger daughter, Susan). Hi Susan.
So sorry Steve's not doing as well as had planned. Will be a long night ahead, won't it?
Have the gkids seen him yet? Wyatt will be taking it all in and then, at some time, will
make a comment that will be right on....
Suzanne~nice to see you here~I recall as well, Adam's recovery.
aka Kiska at other sites
Imagesacvalley
Jun 7, 2010 8:43 AM CST
Name: Jo Burcher
Wilton, CA
Married 40yrs. 2boys,2Gkids
Last evening around 7 the CPM lady arrived w/the machine. She was wonderful. Could not believe that the hospital has released Steve. But we got him hooked up to the motion thing. She said his range of motion should be at about 90 degrees by now, his is at 40.
Moving his leg is such an ordeal. but by lifting it with a strap behind his foot and then pulling ever-so-gently we can get the leg from the bed up the 6 inches to the CPM.
6:00am; I woke to a furry of nursing duties. Unine thing to be dumped, move the leg off the machine, replace the ice, take all the pills, list them. Take his temperature. So it's 7:30 my coffee is cold, but the patient is resting comfortably, the cats are fed, & the dog wants in.
I've removed the top sheet and blanket because it's too awkward to bring up over the CPM. The night stand is too small for all the paraphernalia; need a another sheet to put under him, because he's sweating profusly. Love to get him in the shower, the hospital never even gave him a sponge bath or an opportunity to brush his teeth.
Solved the problem of the night stand being too small; pulled out the top drawer, topped it with a tray.
A friend is having this surgery on the 17th; I'll put on my happy face and say "go for it". It's just not the easy-in easy-out procedure that it was trouted to be. But in a couple weeks we'll both say it was worth it. But just be better prepared for the reality of post-op care.
Imagenap
Jun 7, 2010 8:46 AM CST
Name: Nancy
Buffalo NY
Glad things are running somewhat smoothly. Every day will be better, you'll see.
Imagekaglic
Jun 7, 2010 10:01 AM CST
Name: Kiska (Jackie)
Palmer, Alaska
aka Kiska at other sites
'morning, Jo and Nancy~ emailed you both before checking in here:))
Now, Jo, the reason for me not mentioning the aftercare/nurse role, is obvious; sorry though, learning the hard way is difficult.
I'll be calling after 9, your time.
Let Steve know we're sending warm wishes and can't wait to see him in September.
aka Kiska at other sites
Imagesacvalley
Jun 7, 2010 10:27 AM CST
Name: Jo Burcher
Wilton, CA
Married 40yrs. 2boys,2Gkids
Here's the CPM.
My first melt down. He didn't want warm water to wash up with, he didn't want the type of bowl I brought the water in, there's too much water in the bowl. Next I don't want this much oatmeal, can't you find a smaller pillow? The dog still can't figure out why he's not in, and is whining, I have to tell the kids that I just can't babysit tomorrow. I love babysitting.

Thumbnail by sacvalley

Imagekaglic
Jun 7, 2010 10:42 AM CST
Name: Kiska (Jackie)
Palmer, Alaska
aka Kiska at other sites
What a set-up~we see it's a "flex 400", Frank wondered if there's a "Turbo")
These first days will ease up and slowly the time will come when you can both "joke" about this.
aka Kiska at other sites
ImageKvilleRider
Jun 7, 2010 12:48 PM CST
Name: Suzanne
Kelseyville, CA
Jo, your camera has video....we need video of the CPM in use!

Smile, then say, "Yes, dear" and leave the room! You need to TRAIN HIM BETTER!

Borrow one of the gkids' blankets to put over Steve.

When Larry had the brain tumor removed I seriously believe he would have been in the hospital much longer if I hadn't been there to care for him....urine bottle, bed bath, hand wash (after using the urine bottle), pillowcase change, teeth, etc. - I know nursing staff is busy, but I think they should pay relatives to do this!

OMG - you know your friend's son isn't going to be any use in after care!

Everyone is correct - you have a talent for story telling!
\"If you do nothing there will be no result.\" Mahatma Gandhi
Imagesacvalley
Jun 7, 2010 4:27 PM CST
Name: Jo Burcher
Wilton, CA
Married 40yrs. 2boys,2Gkids
Thanks for the words of wisdom and encourgement.
I got him vertical for 15 mins. During which time I quickly stripped the bed and also removed the Memory Foam mattress. It was making him sink too far so he wasn't able to gain leverage to move his body up or down.
Note to whoever: you need to make a strap about 7 feet long..no not to hang someone...but to put around the foot to pull it up from the bed and over to the edge of the bed and then to the floor.
Bailey (the dog) realizing something has gone haywire in his life hasn't left the sun room. Bailey's happy that he's in the house and has stopped whining..unlike someone else I know.
I gave Steve a car magazine and I'm having a cup of coffee.
I wonder when being a Nurse changed from a vocation to a job. I know that as a kid nursing was an admired field. But the nurses that served Steve were women who seemed burnt out or simply doing as little as possible to get their shift over with. Steve missed one round of medicines because the nurse on duty didn't come into his room for 4 hours. He said he waited about 1/2 hour after his dosage time, rang the nurse; she did come in and acknowledged that it was meds time, but never returned w/them.
I wonder if the womens movement made the word Nurse taboo. Why be a Nurse when a woman Should be a doctor? But why not, why not let girls know that being a nurse is still a worthly and noble profession. There's more patient contact than being a doctor. So if you say you want to be a doctor "to help" people, you can be most helpful if you're a good nurse.
Imagekaglic
Jun 7, 2010 6:04 PM CST
Name: Kiska (Jackie)
Palmer, Alaska
aka Kiska at other sites
You'll be able to skip your work-out guilt-free, Jo. That's hard, awkward work you're now dedicated to; luckily for Steve:))
The first day home is nearly over-one down, that's a start.
Is the pain medication helping Steve? Can he sleep comfortably?
there's a world of "us" out here sending good thoughts to you/Steve.
aka Kiska at other sites
ImageKvilleRider
Jun 7, 2010 7:10 PM CST
Name: Suzanne
Kelseyville, CA
Have you seen what nurses are paid? Nothing to sneeze at. They may be over worked, but I don't see under paid.

Have thought about you all day....hoping you hadn't put yourself out of your misery.

The way Steve is going he isn't going to be walking around as quickly as he had intended.

When do Adam and Craig take their turn as nurse?
\"If you do nothing there will be no result.\" Mahatma Gandhi
Imagesacvalley
Jun 7, 2010 8:40 PM CST
Name: Jo Burcher
Wilton, CA
Married 40yrs. 2boys,2Gkids
7:30 He's having dinner, mine has a twist of lime.
PT lady will be out tomorrow afternoon. She told me that this surgery is one of the most painful surgeries there is. Well, that news is what? good, because now I'm thinking maybe he's not a whimp, or bad news because you're in for more that we were lead to believe. She said he won't really be up and around for 10 days. I said I had him up for 15 minutes today, and that, she said is enough for the day. Wow, one heck of a lot different than the pre-op class information. They painted a rosey picture of bicycling and hiking with in weeks. But yes, there are 52 weeks in a year.
I'm so glad that I raised great boys. Craig came over with a tv/dvd player for the bedroom and a stack of movies. Adam, who has had two surgeries, came by briefly to see if I needed anything, but not to bother his Dad. The DILaws are also wonderful to us. My blessings are many.
Photo 2 wks ago.
















Thumbnail by sacvalley

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Becoming Impromptu Nurse. My experience of my husband"s surgery and follow-up care.

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