Sunday, September 28, 2014

Monday, September 22, 2014

This is it!

Well, here I go.
My surgery is scheduled for 10:00 a.m.
Wish me luck.
I'll be indisposed for a while.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

One more day!

OMG now there's only one more day.
As it draws ever closer, I have to admit -- I am nervous!
Admittedly, not as nervous as last time, but nervous nevertheless.
It has certainly been affecting my sleep for the past week. But I think I can honestly say the anxiety stems more from worrying that I have forgotten to do something that needs doing (OK, that I want to have done) before I am temporarily sidelined.
My worry wheel is in overdrive!
That all comes to an end today though.
Because whatever I haven't taken care of, won't be taken care of.
Oh well.
Somehow, he'll manage.  I'm sure of it.
On Thursday, my massage therapist arrived bearing gifts for the kitchen to lighten the load while I'm incapacitated.
Earlier that day, our neighbour (Baby Briella's mom) was visiting with her darling daughter and offered to cook for us while I'm rehabbing.
Yes, I think he'll manage just fine.

Monday, September 15, 2014

One week to go!

Well folks, by this time next week, it will all be over but the rehab!
Yep, my right hip will have been replaced and I will be in post-surgical pain.
But I won't be having arthritic hip pain!
People have been asking me if I'm nervous or anxious about this surgery.
No, is the short answer.
Not like last time when I was truly scared about everything associated with the experience.
This time though, I know what to expect and I am more fit than I was then.  I'm also 25 pounds lighter than I was then.  Surely that has to account for something in terms of expected outcome.
I had my pre-admission session last Friday and everything was very positive.  Didn't even have to ask that I be given general anesthesia.  The anesthesiologist suggested it himself.  I quickly agreed of course.
My file has been clearly marked that I am NOT to be given Dilaudid following the surgery.  Morphine in the pump, or Codeine by mouth.  That's it.  
Hopefully they won't try to push any anti-inflammatories at me this time.
They don't always pay attention to the chart but my advocates will be there looking out for my welfare while I can't be.
This time, I also know what to do in preparation for the big day, in terms of packing and getting the various pieces of equipment ready for my arrival home.
The walker is assembled and ready to go.  (We'll put that in the car when we leave to go to the hospital, just so it's there when we need it to bring me home.)
I will put together the bathtub transfer bench later this week.
The reacher, long shoe horn and the sock aid are in place, ready for my use.
So now it's up to me to stay healthy for this last week, and to eat well and stay strong.
Can't have any wine though.  Bummer!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

My Hearing Aid saga

Saw my audiologist yesterday for the routine follow-up since getting my new digital hearing aids.
And I had issues to discuss!

  • My left hearing aid has what is called a "t-coil" which allows me to use the telephone.  At least it worked with my previous device. Didn't work worth a s**t in the new one.  Kept switching on and off, on and off, on and off the entire time I was on a call.
  • We also discussed the matter of my only having two volume level increases when there should be four.
  • And the fact that John found my comfort level for listening to the television much too loud.  (Now that's a switch!)
  • Plus, switching from one program to the other was very onerous indeed.  Should be much more simple than it is.  The button that allows for the switch just doesn't seem to respond as it should.
It was quickly determined that the unit needed to go back to the lab for repair.  Obviously there was something seriously wrong with it.  Fortunately, I went armed with my old device since I was anticipating exactly that outcome.
As soon as I put the older device in my ear, everybody was talking much too loud for me.  Unbelievable difference!  Took me a while to adjust even to my own voice again.
And when we got home, I found that my comfort level for the television now matches John's lower level.  The level I had been needing is now much too loud.
Go figure!
The repaired hearing aid likely won't be back before I have my surgery so John will be tasked with playing courier for me.  He might have to make a few trips back and forth before we get the programming just right but I'm confident we will get there.
Technology.  So much fun!

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Finally, a solution

Looks like the problem of my dry mouth with the CPAP machine has finally been solved.
After all this time!
I went for a pre-surgery check up on Thursday and asked a very specific question:  "What in hell is the trick to putting on the nasal mask anyway?"
I knew there had to be a simple solution but I couldn't figure out what I was supposed to do to get a secure fit.
Some nights I had it.  Others, not.  And even on the nights I did have a good fit, if I moved, I lost the fit and therein set the dry mouth.
I've only been struggling with this nasal mask for nine months!
Anyway, she had me show her how I put it on.  (I had the right process, just the wrong technique.)
Then she told me what I needed to do to correct the technique.
Voila, a secure fit!
I could feel the difference right away.
Now, after only two nights of wearing it with no disruptions to my sleep, I awoke this morning and realized that I've not had the dry mouth issue.
Three years later, problem solved.
Perhaps I'll actually start gaining some benefit from using the drasted machine now.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

For redheads everywhere

From one redhead, to all redheads.
I had no idea we had three days dedicated to us, but whatever.
Here's to us!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Argh the stress of it all!

So, I finally got that call from the hospital.
Nancy was very pleasant as she advised me what I need to do on September 12th, for my 1:15 pm appointment at the pre-admitting department.
  • Go to Admitting to sign forms (re Insurance etc)
  • Then go to Pre-Admitting.  Bring Health Card and Green Hospital Card as well as any medications I'm taking -- in original prescription bottles.  (Yeh right, I always bring my very detailed list of meds and they love it!)
  • No fasting is required for the appointment (Phew!)
  • If I have questions, prepare them in advance.  (Oh, you bet I'll be ready with my questions!)
Would I want the TV and phone connected?  Yes
I will be asked for a credit card # to secure payment.  Of course.
What type of room did I want for my stay?  Private room please (I'll pay extra!)  
A discussion ensued about it being "a cold day in hell" before I'd actually get a private room and Nancy suggested that sometimes it actually happens.  (That has not been my experience.)  She did have to warn me tough that rooms are now "mixed," meaning I could end up with a member of the opposite sex.  I asked her to please indicate that if there was any way to avoid that, please do.  After my experience in the "Apnea Room" following my tummy tuck, I really don't want to be in a room with a man!  Nothing against men, I just don't want to share my room with a strange one.  Or, not any stranger than my husband anyway.  Nancy recorded my preference.  I have no idea if it will be respected.
Was it OK for switchboard to give information to callers, should there be any?  Yes, only those who know me will be calling.   (Now, here's a hint folks.  If you do call, you must ask for me by my legal first name!  This is the health care world you know.)
The hospital will call me the day before the surgery to let me know what time my surgery is scheduled (I have to arrive at hospital two hours before the scheduled time).
Then I asked if I'm allowed to request the first surgery of the day.  "That's up to the surgeon," Nancy told me.  "Did I have his number?"  (Yes, and I have already left a message there with respect to the same matter.)
Nancy then gave me her number if I had any further questions about the process, and she wished me luck with my surgery.
Very nice lady indeed.
Later, Samantha from my surgeon's office returned my call.
While the surgeon has some say in the order of his surgeries, it is actually the OR that does the scheduling.  My surgeon prefers his longer surgeries be scheduled first and it just happens that there is a revision surgery slotted for the same date as my surgery.  Revisions take longer than replacements.  Hence, Dr. Kim would prefer that it be performed first.  That would put my best hope as second surgery which is at 10:00 am.
Samantha said she would speak to Dr. Kim on my behalf.  (Please do.  Tell him I'm a very nice lady.  I just have a really hard time going without my coffee in the morning!  Food I can manage, but coffee?)  She feels my pain.
While she can't make any promises, she will speak to him.
So, it would seem the stars are not aligning very well for me this time.
  • I may or may not get first surgery on the 22nd.
  • I may or may not get a private room.
  • If I don't get a private room, my roommate may or may not be a woman.
I love the uncertainty of it all.  (Not!  Do they not realize I'm a details person?)
I think our health care system has evolved into one of total lack of concern for the patient's comfort and well-being.
It's all about the bottom line.
And motivating the patient to get the hell out of Dodge as soon as possible!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Hospital Inefficiency

Twenty days to go, and still no word from the hospital.
Should have heard from them by now about all the pre-admission stuff that has to happen prior to a surgery.
I called the surgeon's office last week to question why I hadn't heard yet.
They were stymied.  A check with the Admissions Office revealed that my referral was missing one of the forms, so they hadn't bothered following up.
Ummmmm, you think maybe you should have?
Turns out my file had "fallen between the cracks," as it were.
So, the surgeon's assistant completed the form with me over the telephone.  Said she was taking it down to Admissions right then and I should hear from someone pronto.
That was last Thursday afternoon.
Still waiting.
Of course, it was a long week-end.
But really, if things don't get done soon, my surgery is at risk of being cancelled for lack of proper documentation.
Now, I know that they can get the ball rolling fairly quickly (some people are called very last minute when cancellations occur, and their surgery happens with only a week's notice).
But I prefer to have all my ducks in a row.
Gosh inefficiency annoys me!