Saturday, June 15, 2019

Part 3: Hip, Hip, Hooray

Home sweet home!

It was SO nice actually sleeping in my own bed (even though my house is unrecognizable with the tons of medical equipment everywhere). Lots to learn when you go through this procedure.

I listened to an interview with Alec Baldwin after he had his hip replaced. He basically said, "You have pain before surgery, then you have pain after surgery and then you have pain in rehab ... basically its a smorgasbord of pain."

I'm in the smorg' part of the smorgasbord.

So here's what they give you at home to help ...

1. A Suck-In Thing (scientific term). This you use 10 times an hour until your lungs clear or you pass out. 

The purpose is to prevent pneumonia or respiratory infections (I guess) after surgery. The object is to take slow breaths and fill your lungs while you keep the little blue ball floating in the middle of the handle.

Gives new meaning to "This blue ball thing really SUCKS."

2. Cooling Machine.  This is used to continually ice the surgical site to prevent swelling and reduce pain.

It looks like a holster attached to a loud machine that circulates ice cold water.

Debbie wanted to save money on this one so I think ours came from 7-Eleven and twice a day a blue Slurpee drips out into my lap.

3. Support Hose. A real fashion statement..

To prevent blood clots and swelling, these support stockings are worn for 16 hours a day. One size and one color. No way in hell I could get these on or I'd bust open my sutures, so Debbie has to do this every day.

Yes, to get her to do it, I have to promise I'll do whatever she wants for the rest of my life. Typically, Debbie doesn't curse ... but lately she is speaking in tongues and can now move her head 360 degrees. 

4. Compression cuffs. Also used to prevent clots and reduce swelling, these strap-ons squeeze your calves every few seconds and cut off the circulation to your feet. I'm sure that's a good thing but I don't think that Debbie understands how to use them.

I caught her last night trying to strap them around my throat.

5. The Grabber. My favorite!

This is a tool that picks up stuff that you can't reach and keeps you from bending over. I love to pinch Debbie when she walks by.

Funny thing ... the night I took this picture was the same night she got confused about the compression cuff around my throat.

6. The Walker. Luckily we had two of these that we used as props for my SAMMY book signing.

How depressing that I have finally BECOME my Dad.

.... oh well ... beats the alternative (becoming my MOTHER!)


Friday, June 14, 2019

Part Two: Hip at Home

On the night of my hip replacement surgery, I should have slept for hours. After all, I had been awake for about ten hours and asleep for only two, Debbie was falling asleep in her chair next to me. 

I told her to go home and get some rest.

The pain killers I was getting could have killed an elephant  but couldn't put me to sleep. The night nurse told me her life story, which should have also worked. I even put on the most boring Hallmark movie I could find ... nothing.

Wide awake.

Anesthesia must have played havoc with my body. In the morning I was finally ready to go to sleep. But ironically, it was to be the the busiest morning yet.

I had visitors all morning who I dubbed the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, Future, Back to the Future (Part 1, 2 and 3) ... first came the Lab tech to draw blood, then came the Ortho Resident  who gave me instructions  about the care and handling of my hip, then came the Home Health person who told me about the care and handling of my hip then came the physical therapist who WANTED to handle my hip then came the nurse practitioner who told me about the care and handling of my hip then came the lab tech (a different one) to draw blood ... who didn't believe me when I said that blood had just been drawn.

FINALLY ... the transport lady picked me up and brought me downstairs. Debbie drove me home.

NEXT UP: Part 3: Hip, Hip, Hooray

The Old Man, Hobble Around, Drug Assisted Hip Replacement BLUES

When you're old you're automatically un-hip. Right? You know this because your kids tell you, your wife tells you and ... at some point ... your HIP tells you. My hip was the last to know. But when it got the word, it was PAINFUL.

So ... a new adventure in hip replacement was coming sooner than I expected. Some of you may have already had this special experience. For those who haven't ... here is your guide to "The Old Man, Hobble Around, Drug Assisted Hip Replacement BLUES (sung in the key of F)

The happy guy in the space hat with his thumbs up is me ... looking forward to getting a NEW PAIN FREE HIP and totally unaware of the pain that followed. How could I know? Everyone I talked to said "Oh wait until you have a hip replacement. No more pain ... you will love it".   

I'm still waiting.

Surgery was Tuesday. I had a great doctor. He must have been really excited about seeing me that morning at TGH because he requested that I arrive at 5:00 AM. Those who know me know I hate to get up early (especially Ray Smith who wants me to go fishing with him at that hour ... you can't tell me that fish HAVE to eat then) and will be shocked to know that I arrived there with Debbie right on time.

By the way ... surgery was scheduled for 10:30 (of course).

I was handed the usual 300 printed labels with my name and birthday. I carried them to each place I landed ... nursing stations, lab, surgery. I've been through this at least a dozen times on hospital visits but never quite understood what they were used for and why each person I met STILL asked me for my name and birthday.

Fast forward to surgery. I won't bore you with the gory details because ... well ... I was asleep. The important part was I WOKE UP! Had a great funny nurse who woke me up in Recovery and remembered me from another surgery and had become a reader of my blog. I love meeting my readers ... all six of them!

They took me up to my room, gave me a cool, yellow blanket with matching socks and strapped on these interesting compression leg things that pump and keep you from having blood clots.


(for now ... gotta get my sleep)

Sunday, March 10, 2019

Colonel Condo

This weekend, we are staying at our sweet little condo in Pass a Grille. Gorgeous day, clear water, not a care in the world ... we start on a walk to the Sea Horse for breakfast when all of a sudden ...

"Hellllooooo ..." The voice that instantly creates a dark cloud cover over the beach. There she was standing there with a baseball cap covering (let's see what color hair is it this week) blonde, I think. Last month was bright red, then black and even blue once.

I wanted to say, "Helloooo NEWMAN." But instead we exchanged pleasantries with Colonel Condo herself. Debbie was much nicer than me (not a big surprise). "Hi (name deleted to protect ... us) I didn't recognize you ... sorry ... your hair color is different."

"Blonde this month. Hahaha keeps my husband interested, you know?"

"Pretty day huh?" Debbie said.

"Oh yes it is." She paused and looked at me. "Glad I ran into you. You know that problem we've had in 205 with the water leak ... coming from your stack ... we have to fix that."

I jumped in. "You mean the air conditioning unit that you said was our fault because our pipes were dripping downstairs?" She glared over her sunglasses. "Remember our air conditioning guy came out a month ago and looked at the whole unit and said there is no way it was ours."

"I know I know,"She said. "I'm not pointing fingers."

"Really? You just said it was coming from our stack."

"Oh no. I am just saying its gotta be fixed. 205 is driving me crazy."

"Well maybe you should hire a contractor to check out the whole stack."

She just rolled her eyes and continued to talk to Debbie. "It's just one thing after another. You guys are fine. It's the old lady in 205 that will be gone soon thank God. Nursing home."

I couldn't stand it anymore. I had to cut this short. "Well we gotta run ... breakfast is calling"

"Okay! See you soon." To Debbie, "By the way we had to move your chairs back that you moved around the pool area."

I had so many comebacks ... but I was quiet (because Debbie was squeezing the blood out of my arm.)

By the way, as we were talking, this neighbor walks by. No one questions him about anything. Go and figure.

Friday, January 4, 2019

That’s What She Said

This past weekend, I made a casual remark to Debbie. I thought it was something like, “Honey, what do you think we should do about breakfast?”(Debbie heard it differently. She thought I said ... “Hey, get me breakfast, woman!”)

So she replied ... “Really? What am I ...  your breakfast bitch?”

“No ... I didn’t mean that you were ... or you had to ...” I stammered stupidly.

“Well if you find a breakfast bitch, send her to me.”

After groveling for a while longer, explaining that I would NEVER say something so callous. I had a great idea for a new business. Uber had created Uber Eats ... they pick up meals at select restaurants.

So ... what about creating Uber Bitch? For men and women.

Just think about it. You’d click on the app and order your Uber Bitch to make breakfast or pick up your dry cleaning or get you a beer or take the kids to soccer practice, or make excuses when you have to cancel appointments.

So I asked Deb. “Hey what do you think about Uber Bitch as a business line?”

She just stared at me and said after a few cold minutes ... “I might just create Uber Husband!” (Actually, I thought she said, “How about Uber Pool Boy? Much less stress and easier to use. “). 

Part 3: Hip, Hip, Hooray

Home sweet home! It was SO nice actually sleeping in my own bed (even though my house is unrecognizable with the tons of medical equipm...