I just found this while checking in with my fellow Hippies (Surfacehippy.info). This is what is in my hip. These guys have been making this implant for 10 years or more and they have the lion's share of the market. The parent company (Smith&Nephew) have been around since 1856 and they are the largest ortho prosthesis maker in the world. The designers of the BHR (Treacy and McMinn) are in Birmingham, England, thus the name Birmingham. Some of the other metal-on-metal prostheses are the Wright Medical Conserve Plus, ASR Resurfacing, Cormet by Biomet, Duron by Zimmer, and there are probably a few others out there, that I don't know of.
Monday, February 28, 2011
BTW - the kitchen, which we have dreamed of making bigger for 15 years, is the perfect size. I can pretty-much spin around on my good leg and grab what I need while supporting myself with the other hand.
An update on the leg - My quad feels like it was in a charlie horse competition with the Dropkick Murphies, and that part of my leg wasn't even really messed with. Actually, it probably was in a weird indirect way, though. Everything in my body is pretty much back to normal other than the hip and leg. That's really good. The pain is more like the pain you get in your muscles after a whole day of soccer. Not a horrible pain.
Saturday, February 26, 2011
So the quality of this photo is not so good, but as you can see, I'm 99.9% healed. Sort of, not really. However, who needs more than an easy chair, a warm fire, a cool grabber, plaid pants, pub hat, and a brewski?
BTW - Please do recall that I stopped the hard stuff about 48 hours prior to this photo. Acetaminophen does wonders for me.
Thursday, February 24, 2011
At the pre-admissions conference, the nurse asked me what I was coming to Swedish for and replied, "well you should know, didn't the surgeon tell you when he sent all the lab work over?", she kindly replied, "we KNOW what we are doing to you, you just need to tell us, so that everything lines up.", "oh, I see". Again, Double-checking is a good thing.
BTW - the cut is long so that the surgeon can have some room to work. When you do resurfacing you need some room to dislocate, get the tools in there to grind the femur top, grind the cup area in the acetabulum, and be able to sight the angles and make sure it all lines up right. None of the muscles below get cut, they just get moved over a little.
Here I am cruising the halls of the new Swedish Orthopedic Institute in Seattle. I had just been doped up with some Oxycodone and maybe Oxycontin, too. Can't remember. This was about 36 hours after surgery and I'm surprised I didn't get in trouble for cruising on my own. Sandy was nearby to help break my fall if I stumbled onto my new $40K hip. Yikes. In short, it felt great to not have a catheter in or be on the IV and be able to "walk" around a little, I think this may have been the morning we left Swedish.
Wednesday, February 23, 2011
So, the whole time, Sandy was feeling a little woozy and had to sit down, thinking she might pass out from watching me reel around like that. Hillary said she'd come back later. She did and then Sandy promptly went for a walk and stopped to get me some flowers. The second session was no where near as bad.
Tuesday, February 22, 2011
This photo shows the binder with one or two signatures from staff at the hospital. My friend Geoff suggested that I get the geeky notebook signed by all the staff that helped me, akin to a getting your cast signed. I even got a signature from the room cleaner. She was Laotian and I think she told me about the communist government and oppression at home in the 80s and why she came here, but I wasn't quite sure because I didn't really understand her. Needless to say, I ended up with a signature from pretty much everyone, even the nice nurse that yanked the catheter out of my hoozit. "Is this gonna hurt", I asked. She replied, "take a deep breath". You know its not gonna be so good when they tell you take a deep breath. "Now exhale".
Like I said, I was super anxious before surgery and blogging was not the first thing on my mind, so we simply did not record some of the pre-op stuff. I'll summarize it here:
When we got into the pre-op area, they gave me a prophylactic dose of Celebrex (for the joints), Oxycontin (for the pain in recovery), and some other things. I'm surprised they didn't give me any benzo's (i.e Vallium, Xanax). However, being a light-weight with heavy narcotics, I needed nothing more than the oxy to make me sing sea shanties as they rolled me into the OR. I had the choice of general or regional anesthesia with some heavy sedatives. I chose the regional (spinal) which is supposed provide an easier ride out of anesthesia than general. Surprised I did that, but I had total confidence in Don (my anesthesiologist), probably aided by the narcotics.
All the stress and anxiety and there I was rolling into the OR and the whole time I had an overwhelming sense of calm and confidence. Everyone was chatty and so was I. They were happily preparing instruments and pouring solutions into stainless steels bowls. The bench was not much different than mine, tools all marked and organizing nicely. Don and a nurse asked me to scooch over on the operating table, which was flat and thin and was more of a workbench than bed. I received the spinal and my feet began to tingle and fall asleep. Pritchett (my surgeon) was there setting things up. He got me on my side and clamped my pelvis into a, well, a clamp, a really big clamp. Don used a cold stethoscope to check on where my feeling was. I couldn't feel much below my navel, but I could tell that the surgeon and assistant were setting up my hip for surgery, probably looking down the length of leg, sizing up the angles. Don then gave me some benzo's in an IV, and then I think some form of another sedative. That was about all I remember. I was awfully chatty and it's possible the surgeon gave the Don the wink, "this guy is asking too many questions". Pritchett assured me later on that I wasn't bugging him.
When I came to or remembered coming to, I had an awful set of the shakes. My recovery nurse, named Beth, reminded me that I had asked her her name three times prior to me actually remembering her name. I kept asking for ice chips, who knew ice chips would taste so good. Warm blankets never felt so good, even though I didn't feel cold. Beth and I had a little discussion/argument on my BP. She had a bit of a tough outer shell but she was really sweet after you break through the shell. I kept putting my head up and looking around and she kept telling me to lay down and rest. I ate three cups of ice chips, probably because I was so dehydrated. She was a little concerned about the slow recovery of feeling in my legs. After she got the go-ahead from anesthesia to release me, I gave her a hug for being so troublesome.
Then Irving came to wheel me back to my room. He was a little more chatty. On the way out of the recovery room, I noticed the dude recovering next to me wasn't very talkative and wasn't lookin' too good, but he was awake. As we passed by, I was thinking "must've had the general". When we got to my room, Irving said there was a beautiful woman waiting in my room. Sandy suggested to me and Irving, that I should have replied, "don't tell my wife". Geez, even when I'm not all hopped up on goofballs, I'm not that witty.
On the other hand, I spent a year researching this topic, looked at all the options, participated in the Hip Talk Forum, created my own 3-ring binder on the topic that my coworkers harassed me about, and with all the questioning I was doing, I would always end up telling myself, "I wouldn't be here if it wasn't the right decision".
This is Sandy's friend's dog. She has 2 great danes. This is Jagger, and I think he is the biggest dog I have ever met. This was in Bremerton where we spent the night before admission to the hospital. Sandy's friend Sam, had 2 Great Danes and they had a very calming effect on me. We went out to dinner at a brewpub in Silverdale next to Bremerton with Sam and her boyfriend, Phil. It was great to get out and have some distraction from the anxiety. However, on the next hip, I'll try not to drink the high test IPAs prior to surgery. Sadly, since I had an afternoon surgery, I easily persuaded myself to drink more than less that night. I knew if I got up at 6:30 am, I could guzzle a gallon of water and be good to go for the day. Hey, they said I could eat and drink up to 8 hours prior to surgery. I was acting like it was just another day in the field working with the drillers. Mentally, that may have been good, but physically, it wore me down ahead of being quartered. Not good.
Monday, February 21, 2011
Night before surgery. I think I told Sam and others that I like the smell of dog feet. That sounds weird, but there really is supposed to be a normal, non-fetish reason for liking the smell of dog feet. Obviously that would be a dog foot that did not recently step in something. It's a bit like, liking the smell of fresh cut grass, maybe because it reminds us of our childhood or something. Anyway, I was relaxed (damn double IPAs) and so was Jagger (the dog). They also say that petting a dog will lower your BP. I know that one has a really/normal scientific following and you won't be considered weird for rubbing your dog's tummy.
Sunday, February 20, 2011
Here is the night before we embark to Seattle. I'm anxious and have not been heeding warnings to take it down on the beer prior to surgery. Stress kills! I spent most of the weekend prior to surgery working on a beefy wood and steel ship's ladder for the kid's room and every time I drilled into steel or wood, I'd remind myself of the surgery. Fun times.