First outing…

Last night (day 9) was the first time I’ve left the house since my surgery. I needed to run by my house and get the mail and water my plants and we were going to grab dinner whilewe were down that way. We went to go to dinner and there was a 45 min wait, so we put our name in and the ran over to Cosco because my mom needed one thing (and I’m the one with the membership). So, we went in and I waited at the registers while they ran to get what she needed. We were in and out very quickly, but mom told me I was walking very funny.
We headed back over to the restaurant and got seated very quickly.  Sitting upright is still very difficult. I kept shifting and couldn’t get comfortable.  Our waitress was not very attentive so we ended up sitting way longer than we needed to.  I was beyond ready to go by the time we left.
Next we ran by my house and then headed back to my parents. The car ride wasn’t bad because the seats are reclined more than a restaurant.
Sleeping is still a challenge. I have tried to sleep in bed a few times, but I don’t make it. All I want to do is sleep on my side. I have tried everything to try and make this possible (propping pillows all around me,  in the recliner, etc) without success. So, I’m back to the chair for awhile.
I am going to try driving today (since I need to go in to work on Monday) and run a few errands so mom and I can batch cook for the week for when I go home tomorrow.
I see Dr. Leff and Dr. Ellis on Wednesday…..!


1 week post-op

I’ve made it to a week post-op.  It has been harder than I expected, but I am getting a little better each day.  I am still staying at my parents house and haven’t done much other than sitting in the recliner and watching Netflix.

I still get pain when standing and sitting upright, but each day I can tolerate a little bit longer each day.  I haven’t been able to taper the ibuprofen/tylenol.  I thought I would be able to drive at a week post-op, but not being able to tolerate sitting upright has prevented that.

I am so sick of sleeping in the recliner.  I so badly want to sleep on my side or stomach, but I can’t tolerate the pain.  For the last two nights I have started out in bed (it was nice to try and lay flat), but I didn’t last.  I ended up in the chair around 2:30am.

My post-op hip has really started to bother me.  It has been very achy, stiff, and sore.  I’ve also had some sharp pains right over the femoral vein (like pre-op).  Walking up stairs is difficult.  Being that this is my third surgery on this hip in less than a year I am very paranoid.  I messaged my PT last night for reassurance.  She said it all needs to rest another week and I should be ok in the long run.  She keeps telling me that the third time is the charm….that this time it worked.  I told her I don’t have her optimism yet, but I’m hopeful.

So, I have one more week until I see Dr. Ellis and Dr. Leff.  I need to get a copy of my surgical report to take to Dr. Ellis, since I see him before I see Dr. Leff.

Day 3

Today is about the same as yesterday. I can’t stand longer than 3-5 minutes without intense pain.  The only way to get the pain to subside is to sit in a reclined position.
I am still taking 800mg ibuprofen regularly with either tylenol, tramadol, or Norco depending on the intensity of the pain.
I did take a shower and then sat outside for a few hours reading  (it was 68 in Ohio in February).


The rest of the day I spent in the recliner with ice!

Day 2 Post op

Not much to report today.  I’m still in a good amount of pain, but getting in and out of the recliner is getting easier.  I will say that the incinsional pain is worse.  I’ve slept a lot today.  I thought I would’ve been more exhausted yesterday being my first full day post-op, but today I didn’t get up until 10am and then I took a two hour afternoon nap.

I did take a shower…not the most pleasant experience, but I feel better.  My appetite is better today.  I have eaten more today than yesterday and the Senokot and Colace did there job!  I’m still icing regularly.

I called Dr. Leff’s office to schedule my follow-up appointment.  They have been very accommodating for me because I am driving up from Dayton.  His nurse is fitting me in to see him in between surgeries since I’ll already be in Columbus to see Dr. Ellis.  She didn’t want me having to drive up again.  I really appreciate this!!!

That’s about it….!

Day 1 Post-op

OMG.  I would take hip surgery over laparscopic hernia repair any day.  I was under that assumption that this surgery/recovery would be an easier than my hip….NOT!  I don’t want to move let alone cough.

Yesterday was my surgery.  I was told to arrive at the surgery center at 8:30am for an expected surgery time of 10:30am.  When we got the surgery center we were told we were early and my arrival time should have been 9:30am (I re-listened to the message and it clearly says 8:30am….I could have slept in another hour…oh well), but they would get me back ASAP.  I filled out all my paperwork and then was taken back.  They weighed me and then I changed in to a gown, marked my surgery site, and peed in a cup to make sure that I wasn’t pregnant.  I was then taken to my bed.   They have five pre-op beds lined up along a wall and divided by curtains.  Once in bed my nurse brought me a warm blanket, put a temperature sensor on my forehead, took my blood pressure, and oxygen.  She then proceeded to start my IV.  She was successful without much pain.  She did say I have small veins that don’t like to come to the surface, but at least they are straight.  Once the IV was started she went and got IV fluids and antibiotics.  Since I have so many problems (allergic reactions) to antibiotics they ordered vancomyacin.  The nurse started it very slowly to make sure I didn’t have a reaction.  She made sure the call light was close and reminded me numerous times to call if I was itchy at all.  Luckily, no reaction.  After she made sure I wasn’t going to have an allergic reaction she turned it up.  Next, the anesthesiologist peaked in.  He asked me if I had any major medical problems.  I told him thyroid…he’s like that’s not major, lol.  He’s asked- no diabetes, no heart/blood pressure, etc.  Luckily, I don’t have any of those (although the nurse told me I am too young for all of my issues and I need to become more boring medically!).

After a little bit (around 10:20am) Dr. Leff popped in.  He made sure I had marked the surgical side (left).  He talked to mom and I about what he was going to do….left inguinal hernia repair with exparel injection to the adductor and needle tenotomy.  He told me I was going to have a long therapy road ahead of me.  All of these things he told me pre-op (but my mom got to hear it from him).  We talked about post-op plan. He didn’t prescribe any pain meds…he said take 600mg of ibuprofen every 6 hours and I can pair that with tylenol if needed for break through pain.  He asked if I had any narcotics left from my hip surgery (I do- tramadol and dilaudid)….he said I could take the tramadol if I needed to, but to stay away from dilaudid.  He said after 3-4 days I could go back to Mobic w/ tylenol for break through pain.   He said no driving for 1-2 weeks (no driving until pain free).   No PT for 2 weeks…but at 2 weeks I could start stationary bike paired with walking.  He wants to start gentle hip PT so I don’t lose my hip gains, but wants to hold off on aggressive PT until 6 weeks.  No swimming until 6 weeks (:-/).  I was bummed by this because I just got cleared for swimming at my 6 week hip post-op appointment.  He said to ice (40min on/20 off) until I see him at 2 weeks.  No lifting greater that 10 pounds for 2 weeks (the equivalent to a gallon of milk).

Right around 10:30-35 the OR nurse and nurse anesthetist came in to take me to OR.  We stopped by the bathroom (so they didn’t have to cath me during surgery) and then gave me some versed to mellow me out.  Once in the OR I moved from the cart to the table and the OR nurse wrapped my arms in blankets and placed them at my sides and the nurse anesthetist put a mask over my face and I was out.  The next thing I remember is waking up in the recovery room.  Surgery was right at an hour. At this point I wasn’t in too much pain, but my throat was very sore.  The nurse put some ice on my surgical sites.  I had to cough because of stuff in my throat….boy did that hurt!  At that point I was in pain.  The nurse gave me two vicodin.  I was in recovery for about an hour and then I was walked over to chair (walking was a challenge….I felt very wobbly)  and my mom came back.  The nurse went over post-op instructions with us and then mom helped me get dressed.  I have 3 incisions.  One in my belly button and two below…all centralized.  At that point the nurse walked me to the car and we headed back to Dayton.  I asked mom what Dr. Leff said.  She said my compensation was way worse than what he’d anticipated.  I asked her about the hernia…she said he really didn’t say much about it.  He did say that i’d be in therapy for 1-2 years to get back to baseline.  He also told her that I couldn’t run anymore….and that was a HUGE blow.  I’m still processing that and will talk to him at my two week appointment.

After I got to my parents I took up residents in the recliner and didn’t move the rest of the night.  I was in crazy pain.  They gave me IV ibuprofen in surgery so I couldn’t take anymore until 6:45pm.  So, I took tylenol when I got home and finally gave in to tramadol at 5pm (I can’t take it past 5pm because it keeps me up at night).  I’ve drank a lot of gatorade.  I had some soup (that I’d made and froze prior to surgery.  For dinner I had mashed potatoes and then almond yogurt/granola.  Nothing really sounded good.  The may be TMI, but going to the bathroom is way painful.  Sitting on the toilet alone is no fun let alone trying to pee.  I have been taking both Senokot and Colace in hopes of helping with having a BM.  I had problems with constipation with my hip surgeries and I can’t have that this time around.  I think a lot of the pain is gas pressure trying to escape from the CO2 they pump you full off to inflate your stomach to do the laparscopic surgery.

So, today I am hanging in the recliner with ice on (thankful for my Donjoy iceman from hip surgery).  I am continuing the ibuprofen/tylenol routine, but I had to take tramadol.  I haven’t eaten anything today.  I’ve had a cup of coffee (hopefully will help with BM, again sorry TMI) and some gatorade.  I’m not really hungry.  I am back to using crutches because my adductor is CRAZY sore.  I didn’t want to go back to crutches, but I am struggling to get around.  I need to call Dr. Leff’s office to schedule my two week post-op appointment….other than that I’m just hanging out.  I can take a shower today, but I don’t think I’m up to it!  I may work on dietetic internship applications….we’ll see what I’m up to!

I’ll write more when I have more to share!

Missing my mobic….

So, I had to stop all over the counter medications and NSAID’s after my appointment with Dr. Leff last Wednesday in preparation for surgery tomorrow.  I didn’t realize how much relief I was actually getting from the mobic.  Mobic is an anti-inflammatory medication (Naproxen) that also prevents bone regrowth.  Dr. Ellis prescribes it for 6 weeks post-op (but writes for refills up to 3 months).  I’ve been on Mobic almost the entire time since my first surgery (minus a month or so) because of it’s anti-inflammatory properties.  The pain and feeling of fullness is off the charts.  Tylenol is not cutting it.  I am so ready for tomorrow.

Tomorrow is surgery day.  Dr. Leff plans to do a laparoscopic inguinal hernia repair with adductor exparel injection and needle tenotomy.  He feels that I have developed some of the compensatory changes of a sports hernia with left adductor tendinopathy.

After talking about this in depth with my PT and doing a lot of research….this is the best possible course.  My PT is very happy that he is going to do the needle tenotomy.   We’ve been doing dry needling regularly, but this will be more intense- the area is repetitively needled to disrupt pathological tissue and induce bleeding. This turns a non-healing chronic injury into an acute injury with enhanced healing capability.  And to quote my PT, “So basically they are going to shoot you up really good and needle the heck out of the tendon, like dry needling to facilitate healing.”

I had PT this morning (my last visit for 2 weeks).  We have cut back on exercises, but today my PT did some strength tests to know where I stand before I get cut into again.  She wanted to know what my hip can handle now.  We did bird dogs and she tested my core so she will know what to focus on post-op.

Just got my phone call about surgery time….arrival time 8:30am with a planned surgery time of 10:30am.   We are going to wait and go to Columbus tomorrow morning rather than tonight.  I don’t sleep well the night before surgery anyway and would prefer to sleep in my bed one more night.  I’ll head up to my ‘rents tomorrow morning and we’ll leave around 7am.  More to come after surgery!

Hernia :-/

So,  I am very thankful that I have found amazing PT’s and surgeons….the only problem with being surrounded the best is that they are typically right, lol!  Dr. Ellis was right again!  I was really hoping he was wrong, but he is wickedly smart so I should’ve prepared myself a little more.  I am so very lucky that Dr. Ellis followed through on his concerns and that he has connections with other fantastic (and wickedly smart) specialists.  When I called to get in to see Dr. Leff, his earliest “new patient” appointment wasn’t until the first/second week of March (I’m on a tight time table due to approved leave for work).  I called Dr. Ellis’ office back and they were able to work their magic and get me in sooner.  Dr. Leff fit me in this morning in between surgeries (he had a cancellation).

I was very impressed with Dr. Leff.  He reminds me a lot of Dr. Ellis.  They are both very kind, compassionate, and take the time with their patients.

I’ve been through a lot over the last 8 months between two hip surgeries and lots and lots of PT.  So, needless to say I’ve become pretty desensitized to being examined, poked, needled, etc.  But I can say this appointment made me feel a little awkward.  After getting a very detailed history of my hip drama over the past year, Dr. Leff started his exam.  He had me stand up and (this is where it got awkward for me) pull my pants/underwear down to my knees so he could push on my abdomen, inguinal ring, etc.  He also checked my adductor/pectinius muscles.  He had me pull up my pants and lay down on the exam table.  He checked my right (good) leg for ROM and adduction.  He then gently did the same on my 7 week post-op left leg.  He was able to find my painful spots (and my very tight adductor).

At that point he said he thought I did have a hernia and wanted to do a lidocaine injection to see if he could get the area to relax and allow the hernia to “pop” out.  He left the room and came back in with a giant syringe and needle.  (Pants back down) He did surface injections around the area first to get the area to numb and then he started injecting deeper…..weirdest sensation ever!  The next thing I noticed was my whole leg (down to my knee) was numb.  Dr. Leff wanted me to just hang out for 10 minutes to allow the area to relax.  He left to go see another patient and then peeked in to check on me to make sure I was ok and could still wiggle my toes before he ran to pre-op to see his next surgery patient.  After about 10 minutes he was back.  And guess what….the hernia did “pop” out.  He feels it’s likely 40% sports hernia/60% inguinal hernia.

So, basically that means I need surgery (again :-/).  He started filling out the pre-op surgery paperwork and I stopped him briefly, just to see if he knew anyone in Dayton who he would recommend.  I obviously would prefer he does the surgery, but because I work for a hospital in Dayton and Columbus is out of network I had to ask.  He doesn’t know anyone…, my next question was how quickly could he get me on his surgery schedule…?!  I only have 5 more weeks of approved leave….so if we’re going to do this we’ve got to do it quickly.  He said he could get me in quickly.  He finished asking about medications (and what to stop ASAP), allergies, H&P, etc and asked if I had any other questions.  Then he was off to surgery and said his nurse would be in to schedule my surgery.  His nurse came back and then took me down the hall to Dr. Leff’s scheduler.  We looked at his schedule and she is able to get me in next Wednesday (exactly one week).  It’s outpatient.  He’ll repair the hernia and do an injection into the adductor.  Here’s hoping that this is the final answer and fixes all my remaining issues!!!!

Update: Thursday… took ~24hrs for me to get feeling back in my leg (weirdest 24 hrs)!  Now I can’t believe how sore I am.    I had to stop the Mobic and all my other over the counter medications today…..Tylenol isn’t going to cut it!  I tried a hot bath with epson salts tonight….holy soreness batman!!!  This is going to be a long week.