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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.

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Total Joint Replacement

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

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