Saturday, November 22, 2008


It was a male nurse, Pall, with long full prematurely grey hair, gathered at the nape of his neck who kept calling me Becky. As he explained things to me I nodded or shook my head because I was still too groggy to speak. His kind round Polynesian face smiled and expressed concern easily. I had the feeling a butterfly was following him around in the room, and having a hard time keeping up with him.

"If you want anything, need anything at all, Becky, just let me know. I am here for you, Becky!" he declared brightly and left the room.

I looked at the clock high on the wall directly in front of me. 10:30 and it is light out so it must be morning. What happened to "starting to wake right about the time I went into recovery"? Why isn't my husband here to me tell how things went? I felt no pain, but I wanted to sob. That feeling is returning to me as I write this. I calculated that it had been three and a half hours since I went in to surgery. The surgery was suppose to take 45 minutes, which would mean it took me over two hours to wake up. Where is my husband? I felt alone and abandoned. I am sure it was all exacerbated by the drugz I had been given. And as I had been informed by Pall, I could get more every six minutes by pushing the button on the end of the cord that was wound around the railing on my bed.

While I was still groggy, Dr. P stopped by with his 'I am trying to smile' expression, and said,

"You did fine, just fine."

If he said anything else I don't remember it. I do remember what he was wearing, though! (I would link back to that description if I knew how)(I would also punctuate properly if I remembered how!)

Then I had to pee because you are encouraged to drink lots of water. And I do, and did, without being encouraged. I told the nurse's aid and she said,

"I'll get you a bedpan."

"I have never been able to use a bedpan, ever. Do you have a bedside potty?"

Dr. P had told me at our first visit that they would have me get out of bed as soon as three hours after surgery. So, I just assumed I could get up. The nurse's aid brought me a potty chair and another nurse's aid (they weren't called nurse's aids, but I forgot what they were called. Their names were written on a board on the wall under the clock in front of me along with the name of the nurse and the names were changed every shift.) to help me get out of bed. It was difficult getting all the tubes and machines I was connected to out of the way. And, oh boy, it hurt and was scary. It continued to be decreasingly painful to get out of bed for several weeks. At first I moved in small incriments to see what movement would hurt least. Then I would forget what worked least painfully by the time I needed to get out of bed the next time. But, I made it. It was only later that I learned that most of the nursing staff had never seen that even attempted so soon after a total hip replacement surgery. I was a star!

The next time Pall came into the room to attend to Karol in the bed next to me, on his way out of the room he asked me,

"Becky, do you need anything, anything at all?"

I shook my head and indicated with my hand that he should come closer to me. He did and I softly said to him,

"My name is Betty not Becky."

"Oh, my gosh, I am so sorry, Betty!", emphasizing the Betty.

"That's okay Pall", I said, emphasizing the Pall.

But, when my husband finally walked into the room, it wasn't okay. I was angry to have been left alone for so long. He explained that when I was brought to my room where he had been told he could wait for me, I had appeared to be awake with my eyes open and even told him,

"It hurts."

He says he said loving things to me; stroked my hair , kissed my nose and forehead", until I started drifting off after about forty five minutes. He told me he was going to go to Walm*rt to get me a CD player because the one we had previously purchased specifically to entertain me during my hospital stay, didn't work properly. He was then going to get something to eat. (HOW DARE HE?) He says he then "kissed your widdo forehead", said he loved me and that he would be back soon. At some point in time I think I dreamt the last sentence, but I do not remember any of the rest.

Especially not starting to wake up right about the time I went into recovery. It just makes me indignant that "they" don't believe me when I tell them about my sensitivity to anasthesia. If the dentist doesn't use less "stuff" when he numbs me I will be numb for four or more hours. Twenty years ago I had my gall bladder and apendix removed (The surgeon did not tell me it was routine to remove my appendix at the same time as my gall bladder). It took me a really long time (four or five hours) to wake up from that.

Starting to sound too much like whining. I'm going to take a break and come back to tell you all about my miraculous recovery.


  1. I've only once had an operation under anasthaetic. All I remember about waking up the first time is saying my feet were cold, repeatedly. When I woke up again, I thought I'd dreamt it until I saw the pile of blankets on my feet!

    Did you need crutches or a walking frame?

  2. Dr. P had told me I would use crutches first, but i never saw any, even. I think it was the next morning that someone brought me in a walker.

  3. Or perhaps it was the first night for support to get on the potty chair next to my bed.

  4. Holy SMOKES!!

    you've been awfully buisy with these posts... I just arrived, I'm gonna go catch up...

    Michelle :-)

  5. I'm looking forward to the next chapter. I'm glad to hear it involves miracles!

  6. Drugs do strange things! When my brother in law was drugged up after surgery, he cried and told the nurse how he was "sooo lonely for a girl-friend! Soooo LONEly!"




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