Archive for the ‘Surgery’ Category

Life as we know it…

March 26, 2020

Who would have thought that world events would have such an impact on all of our lives. A lot, and I mean a lot, has happened over the past week since I was discharged from Auckland hospital.

The District Nurse visited last Friday to oversee the changing of my infusor (yes, that is the correct spelling) bottle of antibiotics and to ensure I have procedures, hygiene etc down. She was really happy with what I am doing and I went solo from Saturday onwards. However, she did pick up the fact that where the PICC line was located, that every time I bent my arm, I kinked the line, so I wasn’t getting the full daily dose. So we agreed that I would go in on Monday and they would reposition it for me, in the meantime, could I fashion a splint so that at least whilst I slept, my arm would be kept straight. A proper splint was found in the first aid kit, a malleable foam covered aluminium device that ended up working really well. However, it wasn’t pleasant to sleep with and I woke frequently through the nights.

Monday morning and events changing rapidly in NZ, we are at Level 2 Alert on the new Covid-19 system, with the prospect of going to full scale level 4 in a few days. I have my appointment with the District Nurse and she repositions the PICC line, changes the dressing and ports, and send me on my way, it’s so much more comfortable now. Meanwhile, Roy waits in the car for me…..he’s in isolation being over 70! Then I have to go for blood tests, the local Lab is closed so we have to go further afield, again, Roy waits in the car and I distance myself from everyone else. That done, we are on our way home again.

Once we get back we are told that the park is closing and everyone has to be out by midday tomorrow. Oh dear, what are we to do.

A very stressful rest of the day is spent sorting us out, and I can admit to a few tears shed by moi (in the privacy of the van) along the way, with my stress levels going through the roof. A lot of hard work, phone calls and talking ensues. But by early evening and we are sorted. We are parked up safely, in total isolation, and very happy where we are.

Tuesday morning I have to be at a Greenlane Hospital to see the surgeon and get the staples removed from my knee (ouch) plus get further instructions on what to do/not to do. I am basically told to rest as much as possible and let everything heal. With developments over the past 24hrs with emergency levels going to level 3 and level 4 coming into effect Wednesday evening, we tie everything up so I don’t have to go back to see him until 21st April, as they will do a once stop shop for me and remove the PICC line, check my knee, give me scripts for the course of oral antibiotics and anything else that needs doing. In these crazy times it’s sensible. Meanwhile I still have to go out once a week to get PICC line dressing and ports changed and to have blood tests but we can do both of these on the one day, Roy can stay in the car and I will sanitise, sanitise and sanitise before getting back into the car to protect carrying any germs with me.

As for me? I am slowly recovering, every day I feel a little better and a little stronger, Thursday was my first day of staying awake all day without having a nap or two. Tiny steps folks, tiny steps. Roy is well although I worry that he’s getting worn out as he’s also busy with his work and then running around after me. I’m trying not to be too demanding but I do need help with some things still.

So now we hunker down, I managed to get a click n collect slot for the supermarket this weekend and we have someone who has offered to pick up our “normal” grocery shopping……..with not a toilet roll on the list either!!! The shops will be open for the duration, we have plenty of good food supply lines in NZ so there is no need to panic folks!

We hope people will take this opportunity to learn a new skill or two; a new cooking skill, language, change a tap washer, knit, sew, garden, learn some handyman skills, get fit, read or whatever takes your fancy and connect with those who live in your “bubble”.

If we all do our bit, it will be over soon enough, but I am picking that this will last much longer than 4 weeks as there will be some *@#&$* out there who will muck it up for the majority of us.

Be kind, be nice, be strong, be safe. Stay Home!

It was all going so well…

March 16, 2020

The second week post surgery was going brilliantly, I was walking around the van easily without crutches, and outside with one. My pain levels were almost negligible with just a few meds at night time to ensure a good sleep. It also seemed my role in the kitchen was quickly handed over to me as well!

Then on the Sunday evening, I felt cold, as in shivery cold, went to bed early with an extra duvet on shivering but apparently feeling hot, took my temperature but it was normal. I fell into a deep sleep to be woken at around 2am boiling hot and sweaty, oh well I thought, at least the fever has broken and I’ll be ok.

We had friends visiting Monday and it was fabulous to see them, I decided to start the antibiotics I had been given for such an instance, however at around lunch time I excused myself as I did not feel well at all and went for a lie down. After Glennis & Robin left I decided to ring my surgeon, yes, he says, good for getting onto the antibiotics and come and see him tomorrow, Tuesday, early afternoon,

By 3pm Roy was delivering me to Auckland hospital A&E with a covering note from my surgeon to be processed and put under the care of his team. The next couple of days continued into a blur, with IV antibiotics being given as well as pain meds with Hugh, the specialist due in Thursday morning to see me. It seems I have an infection, a serious, deep seated one.

Hugh came in at some ungodly hour and said I’d be going for surgery, I have to say that at this stage all the staff from all the different departments were brilliant at keeping me up with the play, being kind and caring, and most helpful. Also a quick thank you here to fellow blogger John, who turned up on Wednesday with a lovely coffee in hand. Hope your treatment goes well mate x.

By 9.30am I was in pre op and being told by the anaesthetists what they were about to do and what was best for my future care then wheeled through fairly quickly into theatre, I came to in recovery at sometime around 2pm. At first I was completely bamboozled and asked where the hell I was? When they said hospital, I said ok but what the hell for?! I could not figure out what I was doing there or why. I was totally disoriented.

I was back in my room sometime after 3pm where I was told everything that they had done……..hmmm, best wait for anaesthetic and pain drugs to wear off first!!!

Roy and Antony were at the end of my bed that afternoon, it just so happened that poor Roy had to undergo a Colonoscopy at another facility earlier the same day. Antony came to the rescue and picked Roy up from the facilty, thanx mate. Good news for Roy though, all good just a checkup in a couple of years time.

That night, Thursday remains a complete blur, I have no idea what.was said, done to me, whatever, but apparently the next day I was told that I did ask the night staff if I could get out of my clothes and into my nightie and get into bed? All the while being in bed in a hospital gown! I bet they have a right laugh sometimes at the things said to them. Another of the night staff the following night told me I told her that I loved her hair and another nurse that I loved her!! They did laugh whilst retelling me.

Lovely friends Helen & Don were up in Auckland for a day so they came to see me on Friday, I have no idea if I made any sense, sorry guys, it’s all a bit of a blur but it was great to see you both. Roy was back for a short visit to bring some essential items and of course to see me, as it was our 38th Wedding Anniversary after all. Happy Anniversary babe, not an anniversary to remember kindly!!

Saturday dawned and I wanted to get a clear head so let’s forget those awful drugs, I managed on paracetamol all day, got up and changed into my nightie, walked unaided with my crutches, a huge relief not to have to call for the dreaded bedpan, horrid things that they are.

Steve and Les came up to visit, what a lovely interlude as well, they came bringing a goodie bag which included, among other very thoughtful things, some much welcome fruit. You see, the food here is pretty much not what is good for nourishment of very ill people. Very small, appetising meals or soups are what is required. I enjoyed picking at grapes and raspberries and I particular enjoyed the feijoa. Thanx guys, love you all to bits.

I have to mention again the staff here, they are all outstandingly amazing people whom every single Manager CEO or whomever else gets paid BIG bucks and bonuses, they should hang their heads in shame, and give their salaries to these underfunded nurses, because, by crikey, they are the ones that deserve it. I’ve see first hand how they have to deal with obnoxious, demanding, ungrateful people…and that is just the American woman with her whiney, grating, loud voice that is in the bed next to me. In frustration last night, I called out “a please or thank you wouldn’t go amiss occasionally!’ The staff of course, treat her the same as everyone else, I don’t know how they don’t say something but they do roll their eyes as they leave.

So that’s just about up to date, days trickle by. However, I’m having a PICC line put in which is a permanent line to deliver intravenous antibiotics which will be administered over the next 6-8weeks. That should be able to be done from home with visits by the district nurse which we will work on the logistics of that shortly but we know we are able to stay on at Shakespear. Hopefully that will work then they will retest but I may have to be on antibiotics for months.

Every day is a moving feast, I see teams of Doctors from different teams the orthopaedic teams, Infectious disease team, Allergic reaction team and goodness knows who else but we are getting there.

Of course this scuppers our plans to go to the UK but world events also seem to be scuppering that as well with events changing hourly its seems. Who knows how this is all going to play out, we shall wait and see. I think our world is about to change, and who knows if it will be for the better. Let’s hope so.

First week post surgery

February 27, 2020

True to his word, my lovely surgeon allowed me to go home on the third day after surgery seeing as though I was doing so well. I’ve got good range of motion, can put full weight on my leg and can even take a couple of steps without crutches (shhh, don’t tell anyone that, I’ll get into trouble!!).

But before I left hospital, I had a surprise visit from some lovely friends. It was a great visit breaking up my day and catching up on news. It was certainly a huge and very unexpected but welcome surprise and really made my day. You know who you are, you are both treasures. As well, I had lots of phone calls and messages from special people, thank you so much for your kind thoughts.

We are now happily back in the campground and the weather is just stunning, although we could desperately do with some rain. The weekends are full in the camp, during the week it is very quiet, but Roy still dons his hi-vis vest and goes off to check people in.

Roy heading off to do his duties whilst wearing his new vest emblazoned with Camp Host

We settled back into the campground, and I’ve settled into a semblance of a routine by doing my exercises, walking a little, and putting my leg up to rest. The latter is important due to having a very swollen foot and ankle.

One left foot and ankle very swollen. Note the lovely ice pack on the knee – it’s hiding the bruising too!

Just a bit of bruising

Some of the bruising at the back of the knee

Bruising down the leg and onto the foot, I thought initially that I had stepped into something and it had left a dirty mark!!!

Not that it stops me doing much. Did you know you can still vacuum with one crutch! Shhhh, don’t tell a Roy what I’ve been up to.

Vacuum in one hand, crutch in the other!

Meanwhile, my garden is growing well, I just need a bit more flex in the knee before I can get out there and give it a good weed. And just so that I don’t get my hands too dirty, Rangers Bruce & Emma found this toy on the beach and thought that it would be perfect for me!

Toy rake

All in all, everything is going really well, with the best thing being that I am not in any pain at all, just a bit of tenderness over the surgery site and a bit uncomfortable with the bruising and swelling however I consider myself very fortunate indeed.Long may it continue.

Knees up

February 19, 2020

Well, I am writing this just 36hours post surgery and it has all gone really really well. I am truly thankful to have such a very good surgeon accompanied by an even better anaesthetist whose expertise is really the key to good recovery.

I was back in my room by just after 6pm on Monday evening, and at 8.30pm I was up and walking with crutches to the toilet. Not bad going eh? Had an ok nights sleep, just waking up when being checked on by nursing staff. Tuesday morning and I was allowed to shower so off I went to shower whilst the nurses waited outside the door in case I needed help. I was fine, and just needed help drying off my feet.

After showering it was time for the physio to visit, she checked my range of movement and already had 90 degree bend, which is pretty amazing, they hope to get you to 90 degrees by the time you leave so I’m well ahead of the game. Then it was a long walk through a myriad of corridors to the gym area and a set of steps, went up and down no problems, so it was the walk back to my room and I’m done for a while.

Me, a very unflattering photo just an hour after surgery

The food here is very appetising and there seems to be a constant stream of food…breakfast, morning tea, lunch, afternoon tea, dinner and then supper. All of the staff are wonderful from the cleaners to the ancillary staff to the nurses, physio, and specialists. Southern Cross North Harbour is a very nice place to be if you have to be in hospital at all.

A days selection

I’m walking quite well and once the swelling and bruising goes down things will improve even more.

Bruising on the side of my knee

The surgeon, anaesthetist and physio are so pleased with my progress that I am allowed home tomorrow rather than at the weekend, which is great news. I just have to keep up the hard work and make sure I continue getting better and better.

Thank you to all who have sent messages and well wishes, I really appreciate it. And thank especially to the lovely Rangers from Shakespear for the great send off.

Visitors, surgery and stuff!

February 14, 2020

We had another busy weekend with visitors as well as a campground full of people. Antony came up for the weekend with the drawcard being the Friday night poker with Roy and others. Niece Fran came to visit for the day on Saturday with her eldest daughter Bea and cousin Finn. The kids had a great time at the beach playing in the water, even though the tide was waaaaaay out.

Fran standing at the waters edge, coaxing Bea and Finn back into the shallows!!

Bea and Finn…butter wouldn’t melt in their darling wee mouths!

They also had fun sliding down the hill on their boogie boards in the campground, it kept them amused for some time.

Sliding down the grass bank.

We’ve had incredible weather over the past couple of months and we are now officially in drought conditions. The situation further north is really serious as we know that in some places public access to water taps has been cut off, and some campgrounds have had to close due to lack of water. There are restrictions in place for householders and in some towns, the situation is extremely serious.

Here, we have put out water in shallow containers for the birds, which we seem to have to refill a couple of times a day for them, but they are desperate for water. The bigger problem is of course that the ground is so hard that birds like Kiwi cannot dig into the baked earth for food, and we know that in some areas further north, Kiwi are dying because of the lack of food and/or water.

But back to our visitors. Friends Pat & Steve called in and stayed for a night in their caravan on their way south, it was great to catch up with them again whilst spending a couple of days with them. Another friend John came to stay with his 3 sons for a few days R&R. John also writes a blog which you can read here. Of course I forgot to take photos didn’t I?

I also got confirmation of my surgery plans for Monday and the diagnosis from the MRI. Apparently I have “mild canal stenosis at the L4/L5 level due to disc bulging and severe hypertrophic facet joint osteoarthritis, particularly on the left side”. Dr Google helped with the understanding of all this, plus the explanation of “the trochanteric Avulsion fracture, non-union, of the left hip”. In a nutshell, it means that I’m a crock of rubbish bones….shoulda got better genes! However, it does mean that the knee replacement can go ahead on Monday and as long as everything goes to plan and I recover as well as last time, we will be on our way to the UK in April as planned.

We can’t wait to see this wee happy fellow again.

Callum.

Back to being kneedy

February 9, 2020

It’s all happening very quickly. I went to see my surgeon on Tuesday as my hip is still very painful and keeping me awake at nights. Actually it’s sort of my upper thigh and bum that is very sore, and I thought it was probably referred pain from my knee radiating to my hip. This is the left hip that was replaced 18 months ago, then I had the Avulsion fracture at the top of the femur on the trochanter, the right knee was replaced a year ago.

The surgeon suggested that the pain was more likely coming from my back, possibly a trapped nerve or something similar but to make sure an MRI is needed. That was scheduled for Friday morning with a follow up appointment with him later in the day. In the meantime we scheduled a full knee replacement for the 17th February, which would go ahead if the MRI came back ok. Yes, I know, it’s very quick but he knows we want to go to the UK in April so the sooner he could do it the better.

Friday morning was an early start as I had to be at the MRI at the Southern Cross Hospital Wairau Road on the North Shore for 7.00am and with traffic the way that it is, who knows how long it could possibly take so we set off before 6am! I am NOT a morning person at the best of times so it was a struggle to drag myself out of bed at some ungodly hour. With Waitangi Day (Public Holiday) the previous day, we hoped that many people will have taken the Friday off work so that the traffic would not be quite so hectic.

The MRI was, as usual, a test of my ability to contain myself from panicking from within such a confined space for the hour long procedure, and for some reason I felt things heating up much more this time and I remained heated for some hours afterwards.

We had a few hours to chillout before my appointment with the specialist across town in Remuera, so we amused ourselves for as long as we could but we still managed to get to the specialist over an hour before my scheduled appointment. Luckily he managed to see me almost straight away, with the upshot being that I have some condition of my lower, the name of which was a very long sentence and I’ve now forgotten, but basically means I have arthritic type growths/spurs on the hook shaped bones of the lower spine (possibly called the transverse processes), which, when I move around they have a tendency to trap and pinch the nerves that run through them. The good news is that it is not in the central column where the spinal cord runs. After much discussion, we decided to leave well alone at this stage.

Spinal anatomy

What I did learn though was that the Avulsion fracture of the trochanter, the top of the femur, does not heal as such, it’s just a broken off piece of bone that just sits there. If it continues to cause problems I will probably have to have the piece of bone removed.

Anyway, the upshot of all this is that I am having my left knee replacement done, which also may help to alleviate the back issues by balancing out the way I walk. The surgery will take place in just a week away, on the 17th February, which will mean that we should still be on schedule to go to the UK in April. Yippee!

Oh and after an epic day of travelling around Auckland, we arrived back to the van to find this on the doorstep.

A lovely pot of succulents, set inside a kete with flax flowers

The card

How nice is that?

We have been so spoilt this year by campers, which puts the odd negative event or camper out of the hundreds we meet into perspective and we have made some great friends over the years we have been here. We look forward to camp hosting for however-many-more years to come.

Hip hip boo hoo

February 15, 2019

Last week I had my follow up appointment after knee replacement surgery. I have to say that I found the knee replacement surgery a doddle and had full mobility after just a week or so, and the pain has been negligible, compared to my hip, but you will find out why that is shortly.

Here’s the X-ray of the said knee replacement, with a side view on the left and front view on the right and yes, I know the X-ray is reversed!

The knee is fully healed and I have full range of motion and what is more…no pain!

My hip replacement however, has not been all that I expected, for a start I have had continual pain, so much so that the past few months I have been unable to sleep and you know what that means? …yes, grumpy Bernice. We knew after the post op checkup X-ray and subsequent MRI that there was a probable crack in the trochanter which I was expecting it to have healed by now. There was also a suggestion at the time (and the reason I had the MRI) that something more sinister could be going on rather than a break.

There was apparently lots of discussion between radiologists and my surgeon as to what was going on but I was pretty confident that the surgeon was right and it was just a break.. did I really say that? “just” a break?

However, my surgeon was adamant that it was stress fracture, the talk of worse things he played down considerably so that I would not worry or panic. He now tells us that he discussed it with his wife, who just so happens to be a cancer specialist, and he was sure he was correct and that there was no need to put me through the trauma of a biopsy, which we discussed at the time of the first MRI when we considered having it done whilst I was under anaesthetic for the knee replacement. But the week before the knee surgery we discussed the biopsy possibilities again and I was more than comfortable with his recommendation that we don’t proceed with it. And at this stage the pain was not so bad and in fact had started to dissipate however, over the last two months the pain has increased, a lot.

Last week during the knee checkup I explained to the specialist that my hip was becoming excruciatingly painful, especially at night, and I was not a happy chappy. He quickly sent me back to the X-ray dept next door for another X-ray, this time of the hip.

And what do you know? It’s definitely fractured, with the offending piece having completely broken off at some stage! No wonder it’s been damn painful. The following pictures are of my X-ray on the lightbox so there is some shadowing and reflection.

the offending trochanter which is the knobbly piece at the top of the femur

The trochanter circled in red, the break is indicated by the yellow arrow. Not only has it completely broken off, it has moved a bit. Ouch!

So another MRI was booked and I had that on Tuesday as well as a follow up appointment with the specialist.

This latest MRI confirmed the specialists view, what has happened is that the stress fracture developed over time to become a full on fracture. I was relieved that a) it was nothing more serious and b) that I had a very reasonable excuse for being in such pain and I wasn’t just being pathetic!

We talked at length about what to do about it, coming to the conclusion that doing nothing for the trochanteric break was the only real option. It is now healing nicely albeit slower than I would like, and further surgery is definitely not in the scheme of things. The thought of them having to do further surgery to rebreak it, then reattach with screws, plates and wires is a daunting prospect particularly as everything I’ve read and studied all come to the same conclusion; the outcomes after 12 months are almost identical wether nothing is done or surgery is performed. So with good pain management the priority, we now have a plan in place and hopefully it will continue to heal and I just have to be patient (not one of my best qualities) and definitely no skydiving or other dangerous activities, even though I’ve been walking around on a fracture for months.

Apparently fractures occur in a very small number of replacements but they are the most common complication after total hip replacement surgery and of those small number of fractures about 5% are trocanteric fractures. So it’s just my shit luck to be part of the very, very small percentage to have this occur! I always knew I was a bit “special” 😉.

Knee update

January 18, 2019

A number of people have asked how my knee has been post surgery, so after 6 weeks here is an update.

It has been a breeze, pain has been negligible since day one, however it has been carefully managed and I have tried not to be a hero and go without the pain meds which I am sure is part of the reason why recovery has been so easy. I had full movement back after just a week post surgery and I was diligent in doing the exercises given to me by my physio.

I continued using crutches for about 4 weeks although I could have given them up long before then but I have been very mindful to take things carefully so as not to have any mishaps. My wound healed really well, helped I am sure by the Manuka Honey Wound Gel that my surgeon suggested I use. The scar is already becoming less and less visible, now assisted by the use of rosehip oil to reduce the evidence of scarring.

the scar isn’t looking too bad at all is it?

It has been so easy that I am wondering why I put it off for so long? In fact I asked the surgeon the day after the op if he could whip me down to theatre and do the other knee whilst I was there. Unfortunately his schedule was full.

I had been putting surgery off in the hope that the research into stem cell use would be done by now. Although some people are having stem cell therapy done and with some success, my very thorough research says that clinical trials are still ongoing with advances coming all the time however there have been too many incidences of rogue cells becoming cancerous. Hence my reticence in trying it out.

I am reliable told that advances in orthopaedic surgery in the past two years has been remarkable which has probably helped my recovery as well. But having a great surgeon and anaesthetist is also a huge factor in my quick recovery I am sure.

Now just the next one to be done, I think we may just postpone that one until we return from the UK as if I have it done before we go I am pretty sure that Sod’s law will kick in and something will go wrong and I definitely don’t want to do anything to jeopardise that exciting trip.

So to sum up, it’s been such an easy surgery and recovery I wish I had had it done years ago. I even enjoyed? (not sure that is the right word) my hospital stay pretending I was on a mini holiday break with the bed made for me, meals cooked for me, with lots of rest involved. Just keep your fingers crossed that the next one goes as well.

All done and dusted

November 23, 2018

Yay, I’m going home. I did try and convince my surgeon to keep me in and do the other knee on Monday but apparently he’s a bit busy! This experience of knee replacement surgery has so far been a relatively painless one, hence I have no hesitation in having the other knee done. I have to say that I was prepared for the worst, everyone had told me that hips were a doddle compared to knees, that the pain would be terrible and the physio daunting. Hugh, my surgeon, was at pains to tell me how hard it was going to be and how it wasn’t going to be pleasant etc. I can remember Mum telling me that she would rather have ten hips done rather than one knee, I wish I could tell her than the opposite is true for me. Perhaps I was really prepared for it to be relay really bad, but my expectations haven’t been met.

I have been totally surprised at the lack of pain, it has been well managed by staff and I don’t think I’m on any different painkillers to last time either. I have been really well cared for by all of the friendly nursing as well as ancillary staff at Southern Cross Hospital.

Today was time to remove the dressing….look away now if you are squeamish!!!…yeah right, I am the worst one for not wanting to know or see what is going on.

this is what the dressing post op looks like. It is called a Pico dressing which has a little sucky motor attached to it to ensure everything is airtight.

According to the blurb

PICO represents a unique way of treating patients who would benefit from the application of Negative Pressure Wound Therapy (NPWT). PICO has been shown to provide positive patient outcomes when applied to open wounds, closed surgical incisions and skin grafts.  

The PICO system is canister-free which means the pump is small enough to fit in the palm of your hand. This makes the system very discreet and portable for the patient to wear.

The PICO pump generates an effective negative pressure of -80mmHg and provides therapy for up to 7 days.

The PICO pump is connected to a conformable, innovatively designed dressing which:

  1. Is easily applied and removed, minimising skin trauma and delivers the negative pressure across the wound bed or closed incision
  2. Is designed to reduce the risk of pressure points and supports patient comfort.
  3. Manages the fluid away from the wound or closed incision through a unique combination of absorbency and evaporation.

Very clever stuff they have these days.

once the dressing was removed, this is all there is to see,

Still got that lovely pink stuff on my skin.

And redressed ready to go home.

Now I am just waiting for the final discharge notes and prescriptions to be delivered and then we will be off home. One knee done, one to go.

Knees up

November 20, 2018

The worst bit about going into hospital for surgery is the waiting time before you actually get taken into theatre. I had to check in at Southern Cross North Harbour Hospital at 11am and by 11.30 I was ready and waiting for the inevitable, I was wheeled down to the theatre at 1.35pm, left outside the door of the theatre once the anaesthetist had put in the needles ready for what comes next. As I was left by myself waiting (5 minutes seemed like an hour) wondering wether I should do a runner, actually that would be more of a limp, or just breathe in, breathe in, breathe in…….and out and calm myself down.

They were soon back to have me walk into theatre, this time I was very good and didn’t look around at all to see all the gory bits and pieces, I hopped onto the theatre bed which they have at the side so I could face the wall and not see anything behind me, the epidural was put in seamlessly and painlessly then the sedative injected. Next I knew I was in the recovery room. But what a weird sensation of having no feeling of anything below my waist. I tried desperately to move my feet and toes but I don’t think messages were getting through.

I was back in my room by 4pm where Roy was waiting for me.

my attempt at a selfie post op!!

After an hour or two, a light snack was brought in for me to try, jelly, ice cream and little sandwiches….I thought I was at a kids party! I haven’t had jelly on its own for years, and it was delicious. See, I qualified that Keith by saying jelly on its own, I know you made that lovely layered dessert for Debs birthday that included a jelly and fruit layer!!

The epidural eventually wore off over the evening but I had also apparently been given a femoral block. What does that do? well, you feel no pain at all and I can tell you it was bliss. For the first time in I don’t know how many months I actually slept for 5 hours straight, unlike my usual pattern of no sleep until the early hours of the morning and then for a maximum of 2 hours at a time.

I was put on the bending knee machine which you can gradually increase the incline of the bend. I eventually got it up to a 90 degree bend without too much trouble.

I don’t think it will get that far today now that the effects of the block are wearing off but I have to say that any pain i do have is being well managed unlike when I had my hip done and things were excruciatingly painful, until I realised I could ask for pain meds!! I have walked around the bed with crutches today, which is apparently pretty good, and I will have another couple of goes later this afternoon and evening.

So far this hospital experience has been very different from when I had my hip done, same surgeon and anaesthetist just different hospital and protocols. I have been made very comfortable and haven’t felt so terrible afterwards which means I have a better appetite, which of course makes you feel better too.

Well, that’s it, just over 24 hours since surgery was completed, and I think I’ve written this in some sort of sane manner! I’m sure someone will let me know if I haven’t .

Now comes the hard recovery work.