Arx Hereticus

Welcome to the ramblings of a merry heretic, an ex-pat (Tex-pat?) American living in Maryland after having spent six years in Germany. Arx Hereticus is part travelogue, part cooking, part budo, part socio-political commentary and mostly just me BSing.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Thursday, July 19 -- 1st day post-op

The mornings start early here, and I was awake and being poked, prodded and queried by about 5 am. "How are you feeling, having any pain?" Etc. Got to take a nice little spit bath and got my back rubbed with some soothing cooling gel stuff, too.

(HW: He was on super drugs and has always been able to get in and out of sleep effortlessly -- I, on the other hand am a deep and slightly fanatic sleeper... Nurses would come in, do things, and then I would get out of my bed, go over and check on him myself with cuddles and kisses. Touch is nothing when you really need morphine, but touch is great on top of excellent medical care.)

The staff are very attentive and responsive and very tolerant of my attempts to speak the language, and many of them speak quite excellent English, though some are quite shy about it.

I saw the surgeon before lunch. His assistant removed the bandages and took my leg out of the brace and MAN did that feel good.

They removed the first of two drains from the wound, and we got to see the actual incision. It's about 10 inches long, sutured up with bright blue nylon. Sort of festive, if it weren't for all the, um, pain. HW, of course, took a photo.

(HW: I'm not sure yet where to put that or what kind of cautions to put on it. Surgical scars aren't pretty to look at, but our friends are exceedingly tough-minded and, well, kinda morbidly curious.)

After lunch, I got my first physical therapy session.

Wow. I've never been so ragged out after doing so (apparently) little. Frau Winter is an intense compact woman with a brisk manner but a very caring touch. She taught me a handful of exercises I must do every hour, isometric contractions of the feet and legs, toe wiggling and deep breathing routines designed to keep circulation flowing and prevent bedsores.

She also did some assisted flexion and extension exercises that, truly felt wonderful

And, I got up and walked the first time. I was given crutches, helped to my feet and pointed at the door. I walked out of the room, made a circle in the hallway outside my door and walked back to bed.

I felt like I'd just run 5 miles. It was the first of three times, I'd be up on my new crutches that day,

Apparently, the implant I have is a titanium shaft in the thighbone, roughened to let the bone adhere to it. The more it's used, the stronger the bond is.

The rest of the days went pretty much like: Get up and crutch to the WC and back, take pain meds, nap. Get up and crutch to the WC and back, take pain meds and nap.

By 8 pm, I was exhausted. I had taken some meds, and the Pfleger came by with more. He said he wanted to be sure I slept well. I took the extras and was out like a light. Despite waking up to get temp taken, a small dose of antibiotics and such, I slept fairly well, though I'd kill to be able to curl up on my side.

Won't be able to do that for several weeks, I fear. I've got to 'sleep politely', as the Japanese say, on my back, feet and hands arranged just so. No crossing of feet, no rolling on the side.

It's a little frustrating, but almost do-able.

(HW: it's amazing how much a guy who's not supposed to be able to move around can thrash, flip blankets and drop things... )


Blogger Peter said...

Hi Chuck,
We're so glad you're doing well. I just rediscovered the blog.

Gee, the last time I had a spinal block, I could feel my legs the whole time. That was the weird part. I could feel them in the last position they'd been in before the block took effect. So when I was sitting up in bed, I could feel my legs and feet extending straight down, through the bottom of the bed. At the same time, I could seebr/>
I'm really glad everything is going well for you and Hedge Witch. I had some of her good jam this morning.

Love and Hugs from the Budo Bum, the world's greatest wife, and the littler ones say "Get Well Soon Uncle Bunny Rabbit!"

5:31 PM  

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