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Borrego Springs, CA

Saturday, January 12, 2013

A little bit about my hospital stay, a couple of new experiences, Nurse Ratchet is challenged, and where we are staying.

As the title implies, this will probably be a rather long post.  First of all, I would like to thank everyone for their thoughts, prayers, words of encouragement, and concern.  The number of comments and emails I have received has been overwhelming.  What a great blogging community we have.

I was in the Mayo hospital for almost three days.  There’s not much I remember about that first surgery day.  I was pretty much out of it all day.  I was the first person in the operating room, and we had to leave the rig at 4:30 a.m. to get there!  The only thing I really remember is having to use a bed pan, and it overflowing several times.  (TMI?)

Wednesday, they got me out of bed so I could start to learn how to walk again.  Painful?  YES!, but the morphine helped zonk me out after each physical therapy session.  They had me take some pills to help with constipation, and also milk of magnesia.  Let’s just say that they more than worked, but at least I could use an elevated portable toilet rather than the bedpan.  The problem was I wasn’t very quick at getting out of bed in time.  I think I may have set a record for having the sheets changed more frequently than any other patient on record!  I was also cut off from the morphine since it plummeted my BP to very low levels.  Sad smile

By Thursday, I was ready to get out of Dodge!  I spoke to the Doctor about it, and he said it would depend on what the Physical Therapist had to say about my progress.  You can bet I did my best to impress her with my progress.  I had shown her the pictures of the stairs into the rig so we practiced stairs, and I passed!   A bit after 5:30 in the evening, I was released, and we boogied out of there for home.

On Friday, we had to drive to Kingsland to get three prescriptions filled.  One for pain, one for nausea from the pain meds, and one to help prevent blood clots.  First stop was Walgreen’s.  I used my handicapped tag for the first time, and we parked right next to the door.  Thank Goodness!  I used my walker to get inside the store, and as usual the prescription department was in the far back corner.  Kurt went ahead to give them the prescriptions while it took me about ten minutes to get there. 

They didn’t have the blood clot one, but called the CVS in town, and transferred the prescription there since I had to have it that day.  By the time I walked back out to the car, I was about done in.  We stopped at the Publix for a few things, and I had my first experience using one of those handicapped carts.  After Walgreens, Kurt had to go get it for me so I could drive from the car to the store and back.  As we approached the CVS, it dawned on me that these pharmacies have drive up windows.  Duh!  Why hadn’t I thought of that for Walgreens??

It turned out that the blood clot prescription was an injection!  Nurse Ratchet was a little nonplussed, as he had never given an injection before.  We read the directions a couple of times, and things went off without a hitch.  I think it was the least painful shot I’ve ever had!  He has nine more days to practice that skill on me.  Winking smile

I have been religiously doing my exercises every day since I’ve been home, and am impressed with my progress.  Getting in and out of the rig on those stairs is easier than walking, if you can believe that.  So I still get to sit outside whenever I want since we’re experiencing fantastically warm weather near 80*.

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At the beginning of the entrance road to Okefenokee NWR, there is a campground on the opposite side of the highway.  It is Okefenokee Pastimes.  The owners are a little different, but I eventually persuaded them to allow me to stay for the duration of my recovery.

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It is small, quiet, and very clean.  The workampers, C and Shawn, here are wonderful and very helpful.  Before I took Emma to the kennel, C came by a time or two each day to walk Emma for me.  As we pulled in from the hospital on Thursday night, they both came over to be of help getting me into the rig. 

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I’m able to do my walking exercises each day around the campground, and got this shot of my site, under Kurt’s watchful eye last night.  I have been blessed with my nurse, friends, and folks here at the campground to help boost my recovery.  It’s no wonder I haven’t needed any of the pain meds since arriving home.  ‘In rig’ visits from Charlton county home nursing will begin next week for further PT.  I’m maintaining my positive attitude and can envision being back on the trails in the not too distant future.

Thanks for stopping by… talk to you later,  Judy

63 comments:

  1. It's wonderful to hear you're doing so well. Keep it up.

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  2. Thank the Lord that all went well. . .so glad to have an update.

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  3. It sounds like you are doing great. That is such good news and we'll be keeping good thoughts for you.

    Mark

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  4. I am so glad you are doing fine. Best wishes for you and "the nurse". I love your positive attitude. Be well. Luis

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  5. I have been thinking about you all day. We were walking on the beach in Santa Barbara when I wondered out loud what one of the bird was.
    Craig said: "Take a picture" Judy will know what it is" I did, but the picture was so ba I deleted it. Next time.

    Glad to hear you are doing so well!

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  6. Working in hospitals, and mostly o surgical units most of my adult life, I loved your post, and it wasn't TMI for me. Glad to hear you are doing so well. Im sure your positive attitude helps, and thank the Lord for a wonderful brother who is so willing to help you.Is your Blood Clotting injections in the belly? Thats where they gave me mine and I didn't even feel them. Praying for a quick and complete recovery soon so you can start taking those great pictures again for us. Thank you for sharing. It was good to hear from you.

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  7. So glad to hear you are doing well. Seems like you chose the right nurse!! I can give myself injections but I don't like to inject someone else. That looks like a nice camp site and I'm glad you are having some warm weather to recuperate in.

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  8. When in the hospital, we lose all our inhibitions....and that is as it should be..Those nurses and docs are very use to all the pitfalls of surgical recovery...NEVER be embarr assed...:-)...Sounds like you are now on the road to recovery...Nurse Ratchet is to be commended for mastering the injection...He may want to go back to nursing school...Love, hugs and a big glass of Merlot...as soon as you can have one....The Caves

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  9. So glad that you are doing so well. I remember giving my son shots each day for allergies. Had to bribe him with Match Box cars.lol

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  10. So glad to hear you're doing so well so quickly. Really glad those nice warm temps are allowing you to be outside as well. Hope those warm days continue for you.

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  11. Oh Judy - so good to hear your sounding like yourself! You'll just get stronger every day. (Hey, I think that's my old spot).

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  12. Good to hear things are going well. A month from now you'll be jogging around that campground:-)

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  13. I am just so glad to hear how well you are doing!! Thanks for updating us and for this old nurse it wasn't TMI!! I was going to say something about the constipation and pain pills the other day in a comment but decided not to stick my nose in--glad the hospital was on top of it--that's a huge problem for some people when they take pain meds. Hope you and your nurse continue to do well!!

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  14. I am so happy to hear about your progress. Jim gives me my shots every month and does a great job. Sounds like your brother is doing a fantastic job. Hard to believe the steps are easier than the walking. You are going to love that new hip when you get down the road a couple of months.

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  15. So glad you updated! I think you are making stellar progress. Keep it up, but don't overdo. Sounds like you're well on the road to being on the trails! ;)

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  16. I'm glad to hear of your progress. you're doing great. Every day is another victory in your battle to return to full health. The birds are waiting to get their pictures taken.

    Your brother is a saint, so glad he was able to come and help you. Now you own him big time and I wonder what the payback will be? There are many good folks out there and it's nice to see even in the campground they are helping you. Sort of helps restore your faith in the human race.

    We're pulling for you, keep up the good work!

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  17. After all those other comments, there isn't much I can add except I have been thinking of you and sending good vibes your way. So glad the surgery is over and you are doing so well. I know we've all missed your wonderful photos and narratives... here's hoping for a speedy recovery!

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  18. It sounds like you are really responding well, and I'm so glad for you. When you need to be in a hospital then you need to be there, but I can relate to you wanting more than anything to get outta there. When my doctor told me I could leave when I walked the corridor with out a hitched, I power walked it faster than I have been able to duplicate since! Good luck with your PT.

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  19. Glad that you are doing so well. You will be doing marathons before you know it. Good luch

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  20. I can hear a bit of your old chipper self in this post. Good to read of your progress; keep up the good work ... carefully. By the time he's done with you Nurse Ratchet may just have a second career giving injections to those who are unable to leave home ;-)

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  21. It sounds like you are making excellent progress, Judy! Thanks so much for the update, and keep up the good work.

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  22. Happy to hear that you're making such good progress. Maybe that nurse isn't as tough as "she" looked. Now that the first shot is behind you (so to speak) your nurse will become more proficient with everything, I'm sure! Keep up the good work, and thanks for all the photos.

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  23. So glad things are going well for you!!! That is really good to hear. have been sending healing thoughts your way...

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  24. I bet Nurse Ratchet was more than happy to sock it to ya ! (giving you a shot might be getting even for childhood pranks.). Just kidding, sounds like you both have a great relationship! Keep moving, isn't the one no-no bending over, be careful to not dislocate. You're a Winner! Tom & Lynn

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  25. Looks like things are progressing nicely. It's always such a nice surprise when things go well and we do better than we expected. You have a positive, determined attitude, and I think that really helps. :)

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  26. Judy, you are doing just great! Don't worry about the sheet changes. With the knee replacement, when they decided that it was time to get out of bed, I told them I was sick to my stomach. They said, "couldn't be"....I barfed all over the one nurse!

    The PT is the key to recovery! Keep on keepin on!

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  27. You are doing great. If you can continue to function with minimal amounts of those horrible pain meds you'll be way ahead of the game, but don't hesitate to take what you need to get through the physical therapy. The manner in which the scar tissue forms is crucial to long term mobility.
    Walk, walk,walk,walk, walk!
    Oh, and Emma is going to act weird when you pick her up. Post-surgical people smell funny to most dogs.

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  28. I never had to take a shot for clots it was alway pills. But you are doing great keep up the good work. And tell your nurse he is going a great job.

    soon you will be walking the trails again pain free. :)

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  29. So glad to hear everything is going so well, hospital bedpans etc excluded. I am tickled pink that you are up and around as much as you are and that your nurse is so excellent. He deserves a raise. :-)) How's Emma doing?? Bet she's really missing you. I know I did.

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  30. Wonderful news, Judy. Glad to hear you are getting on so well!

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  31. Good news to hear all is going well for you. Boy that 80* weather should help. The sun is a great healer.

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  32. great news, Judy! One day at a time!

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  33. Wow, you're really up and at 'em! So great to hear you getting around so quickly and not needing to rely on pain meds. Pretty darn incredible!!! Glad you're in a good spot with lots of love and support!

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  34. Great reading about your recovery progress. I have been expecting a hospital hallway photo of your backside in a hospital gown for your THE END photo, but after reading your blog, it was probably good not to include such an image. Your description in words painted quite a visual.

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  35. Judy, I had both knees replaced in June and the worst part of the entire experience were those @#$%!! bedpans and the people that are supposed to empty them!

    Everything else was a piece of cake. And my new titanium knees area miracle!

    I hope your recovery is as easy as mine!


    Happy Trails, forever!
    Cyndi & Stumpy @ RVly Ever After/

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  36. Glad to hear you're doing so well. I also was wondering about those rv stairs and I'm glad they weren't a problem for you.

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  37. I believe the key to success with joint replacement surgery is PT and then continuing the exercises they give you once you are released from PT. It might seem like a PITA, but it seems to insure optimum results. Best wishes. LG

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  38. Prayers paid off again. So glad you are doing so well.

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  39. So pleased to read of your positive progress. You are giving us a great example. Keep on getting better.

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  40. Awesome, Judy! You are doing great! And so is your nurse! :-)

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  41. So glad to hear that you're improving with each passing day!!! I don't know about Nurse Rachet giving you injections though....... hmmm Hugs coming your way!!!

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  42. Thanks for the great update on your condition, Judy. I always close my eyes when I get a needle of any kind - don't know if it helps or not but I hate looking at those things. Keep up the good work.

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  43. Glad to hear how well you're doing! Have been thinking about you this week.

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  44. Good for you - I don't post much but have been sending my good thoughts and prayers. Keep up the good work!

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  45. A few years ago I had to stay off a recovering operated leg for 12 weeks. I used a scooter. I was so grateful for handicapped parking and for the cuts in the sidewalks that allowed me to get up the curb. Thank goodness for the Americans with Disabilities Act!

    Glad your experience was relatively short. Here's to a quick recovery.

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  46. butterbean carpenterJanuary 13, 2013 at 11:30 AM

    Howdy Judy, Emma & Nurse Bubba,
    HOOORAY FOR JUDY!!!!! From the sound of your writing you'll make it, girl!!!

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  47. Wow ... I've been out of touch a bit lately - had a brand new little g'son - so glad to read your surgery went well and your progress.

    Your positive attitude is inspirational, Judy.

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  48. Glad to hear the surgery went well and you are well on the road to recovery. Keep up the good work. Know Emma was glad to have you home.

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  49. No such thing as TMI, come to think of it, I'm missing a grisly detail: how many stitches? :)

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  50. Our home healthcare nursing experience was excellent, it is a nice feature.

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  51. I am so glad that is over for you and you are on the way to recovery. With your determination you'll be out walking the trails soon. :)

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  52. I am glad to hear your recovery is going well. Be sure to take pain meds when a therapist is due to arrive, though. You don't want to do those exercises without them.

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  53. Great to hear that your recovery is coming along good. We are thinking of you out here at Dogpound South and hope that it is not to long until you are back on those trais.

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  54. Judy, you are inspirational. Best of luck for a real quick recovery.

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  55. Glad things are going so well, prayers for quick and complete healing!

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  56. Wow, glad you are getting along so well... Sending good recovery vibes your way! Rod and Loyce

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  57. Sounds like it is going great! I wonder how many full timers can say that they had this procedure while remaining in their RV for the duration? Keep up the good work:))

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  58. Yeehaw! Won't it be grand to be out and about without pain? Looking forward to you "shooting" more birds!

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  59. So glad that everything is going smoothly. Well... except for those bedpan episodes. ;-) Sending good thoughts and prayers out to you for a speedy and complete recovery!

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  60. Glad you are progressing so well. Keep up the good work. Looking forward to your future posts.

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  61. So good to hear your wonderful progress.

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