The first day after surgery…
I am officially bionic! The surgeon said it went very well, and already requested to book in a date to do the other hip in three months.
I’m having quite a bit of pain and stiffness. I’ve been lying down with both legs stretched out flat, which I haven’t been able to do for several years. But the muscles, tendons, and nerves are being stretched in unfamiluar ways, causing the pain. This means I can now have a regular slurp of liquid morphine (not gin, yet!)
I was really looking forward to standing up and walking to road test the new joint. Things didn’t quite work out. I’ve had low blood pressure, and when I tried standing up with the physios, nearly fainted, so haven’t yet taken a step. If I had to figure out new ways of standing up before, I’m having to work it all out again from scratch. But at least I did feel that the pain in my right hip had changed position, so hopefully this should mean once the muscles have healed and strengthened, things should be much easier, even if it means being in hospital for a few days more than planned until I’m less wobbly. As is warned in the ironically wonky ‘danger -falling person’ image on the sign by my bed.
No matter how many times I tell them it’s not ‘Mrs’, this seems to be the default option. They wouldn’t use Dr or Prof as they need to identify gender. Although I was admitted aa Ms., it seems easier for them to assume Mrs. I’m having to focus on other things at the moment, but still there are questions here about assumptions and ‘normalising’ of gender in a medical context. But the staff are all lovely, and already figured me out enough to say, when they’re moving me in a way that causes pain, ‘Focus on your breathing exercises’. Will do!
The operation yesterday was an interesting experience. I had a spinal injection, not quite the same as an epidural, but probably familiar to anyone who’s had one. The warm feeling moving down my legs into my feet, before it all turned numb. They decided to take me fully conscious into the operating theatre to find the best position for me to lie on my side (to avoid the shoulder dislocating – one joint per op is enough!). It’s unusual to do this and they were concerned that I wouldn’t like the sights and sounds, but they hadn’t figured on my fascination with bodies, so I was curious to see it. I explained I was more familiar with another type of theatre, and had also acted in ‘Casualty’. They found this hilarious, but may also explain why they sedated me pretty fully, so I only heard the first couple of songs on my playlist before sleeping through it. But with the spinal I came round quickly, feeling alert. They’d kept my earphones in and the playlist on, and I woke up listening to this song by Stevie Wonder – a nice way to come back into the world: