Bionic Woman

Muriel Hip surgery in hospital, 2017

One day after surgery, jazzy robe

Hey everyone. I’m a bionic woman! I’ve got a brand new hip. Those warnings at the airport will be ringing and clanging away, bringing on the guards en-mass next time I try to get through security.

I’m also a delicate flower. After knee-replacement surgery six years ago, I had a terrible allergic reaction to whatever they administered during the operation. It lead to my declaring to all who would listen that it would be over my dead body I’d submit to another such procedure. But the pain became so unendurable, the hip had to be replaced. But I told my surgeon in no uncertain terms I didn’t want anything but a spinal. Absolutely nothing!

So it happened I was totally awake during the procedure. I was unable to see what they were up to, but the sounds in the O/R were definitely intriguing. The first thing I heard was my surgeon giving a warning to his colleagues: “Watch what you say. She’s awake.’

What would they have said? Would they have gossiped about colleagues? Wondered who was sleeping with whom? Discussed politics? Commented about my imperfect body? I kind of wished he hadn’t said that. I love gossip. It might have been fun.

Old Lady with walker

Is this what I looked like  with the two-wheeled walker?

They tucked me in solidly on my side so I wouldn’t turn over or move during the

Mom in Hospital

Hospital gown, a fashion statement indeed

operation. Things sounded more like a furniture workshop than an O/R. I heard the whirring of a saw, the banging of hammers, and then more all over again. Maybe that’s what surgeons do on the side in the O/R — build dressers or desks, and fit drawers snugly into them while they fit a new hip snugly into your body.

Being awake during surgery wasn’t a problem, but since I was wide awake, I admit ‘recovery’ was uncomfortable. I trembled so uncontrollably, I was sure I’d break some teeth. (I didn’t.) The anesthesiologist, constantly by my side, said it was due to low blood pressure and that I could not control it — it was out of my control. That didn’t keep me from trying though. Still, recovery passed quickly enough and there were absolutely no bad side effects afterwards.

For me, it was well worth doing without all the drugs I seem allergic to. However, I worried about having to go home 3-4 days after surgery — which is what they said. My leg muscles were so weak after months of waiting, I couldn’t imagine how I would be able to make it on my own so soon.

Then, the most wonderful thing happened. I was sent to a ‘Transitional Care Unit’ at UBC Hospital (where my surgery took place). I had no idea it even existed. I want you to know about it too and shall write about it next time for sure.

Meanwhile, stay well.

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16 thoughts on “Bionic Woman

  1. You’re a brave woman, Muriel! I can’t imagine having hip replacement surgery without a general anesthetic, but you did it! I love your sense of humour, and your positive attitude.
    Wishing you an ongoing quick recovery…enjoy the springtime blossoms!

  2. I just want to say how AMAZING my mom was during this whole ordeal, and before, when she was dealing with unimaginable pain on a constant basis. Prior to this surgery, she was so brave and tried valiantly to stay upbeat and cheerful, despite disappointment after disappointment with various treatment attempts and shlepping (in agony) from doctor to doctor. Now, DURING the surgery, I thought she was insane not to even take a sedative–which the doctors and I both thought she would need–in addition to the spinal. Who could possibly stand to hear all the breaking, grinding, and sawing of their own bones??? Muriel, that’s who! She came out of it talking about how “interesting” it had been hearing all that…which I think would have freaked me (and most people) right out!

    After the surgery, Mom made the best of the very difficult, uncomfortable, dignity-challenging hospital stay with unrelenting good cheer, optimism, and practicality. She charmed every member of the hospital staff with her sense of humor and positive attitude. She also worked (and continues to work) VERY hard at her recovery, and thanks to all of her mental and physical discipline, she is doing so well that I have stopped being completely paranoid about her hurting herself every minute of every day.

    I was truly blessed to be able to spend time with her during the first week of her hospital stay, as I not only had the pleasure of her company for several hours a day, but also got to see first hand what courage and grace look like. Thanks for that example, Mom, which I will never forget and which I will try to emulate. I love you more than I can say.

    • Thank YOU Susan: For being there for me each and every day. How could I miss with your love and encouragement and support. Today is one month since the surgery. Hurrah! So far so good. Love, Maughm

  3. You are SO BRAVE for being awake for this!!! I would insist they knock me out. I wish you had heard the juicy gossip too. You probably got a bit bored laying still for so long!

  4. I wasn’t brave Vinson: I was chicken. Didn’t want to get as sick as I was after the knee surgery six years ago. It was easier to be awake during surgery than to suffer for four weeks afterwards being ill. Love ya, Muriel

  5. My mother was awake when she wasn’t supposed to be, she thought. Dosage not strong enough, and she couldn’t tell them so. The doctors were discussing
    what proceedures should be done, with a hysterectomy….”Should we take the ovaries too?”
    They did, and after she felt she lost her feminine self. I never knew that she was so fussy. Leonor

  6. I’m so glad to hear it went well, Muriel (or as well as can be expected!)
    They say every shift from one life situation to another, even leaving a party that you are having a good time at, is like a little death, from which a new life springs.

    I find that a really usefull way to look at life. Once we make the final decision to go thru a door, we lose our old life. And, hence, reborn, we start a new journey.

  7. Hi Muriel….My hope is that you should recover from the surgery as soon as possible, that the severe pain you had before the surgery should disappear forever, and that you should never have to undergo surgery again. Be well and keep blogging and soon you will be jogging. Fondly, Joe

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