Saturday, January 22, 2011

Wednesday 3rd day

At six o’clock I phoned in a breakfast order for French Toast with butter and maple syrup. About 6:45 the waiter brought it in. I was exhausted from the l-o-o-o-n-g night of insomnia and had fallen asleep, head dangling over my right chest. He gently awoke me and announced breakfast. I was momentarily confused, thought I had already eaten breakfast, but he insisted I hadn’t and when I uncovered it, it confirmed what I had ordered. I greedily chomped it all down.

There was a parade of “vitals” and ingestion of pain pills. My PT took me for another walk down the hall, and also confirmed that I could get up and down from the toilet. Rosita, Dr. Jessup’s assistant came in and told me that there were two more small hurdles to accomplish and if they were I would be going home today. Now that was a BIG surprise to Lib who was basking on the assumption that I would be spending another night at St. Francis. Rosita explained that 90 % of Dr. Jessup’s patients went home in two days after surgery day.

Another doctor entered the room and checked my vitals and my general progress. If I had contested leaving the hospital it would have been his word against mine. But I indicated all the right criteria for discharge that evening pending the completion of two more requirements.

Lib made a round of phone calls to Cathy so they could arrange for my transport back to our home. Lunch was chicken tenders, mashed potatoes and gravy, and green beans.

Around 3:00 I was wheeled down to the “gym” and given instructions on how to ascend and descend steps, using both the hand rail and a cane. With aids nearby to steady me so I wouldn’t fall I gingerly ascended 4 steps, each about 5 inches tall, and back down again. I also walked a 100 or so feet back to the room, where I sat in a chair.

The final test required some chemical prompting. I was given a suppository and waited for a half hour. No indication of any sort of action. Next I was given a choice of hot coffee or a cup of hot prune juice. Opted for the prune juice. In about a half hour I experienced success!

Nurses were so advised. At 5:00 the cafeteria called about the supper order and I was happy to tell them I would soon be leaving.

It took another hour for the nurse on my case to gather up the requisite paper work and get my signature on all the release papers.

By 6:00 Cathy and Lib had all the transportation together as well as the clothes and stuff necessary to a protracted hospital stay. I was put in a wheel chair and we made a parade down to valet parking where Lib had them leave our car.

As per instructions, I lowered my posterior onto the passenger front seat, and with some assistance my two legs were swung into the car and we were on our way home.

Our house has two steps, each about 3-4 inches tall. We arrived, my walker and cane were placed within easy reach and my legs were gently swung around. I grasped the handles of the walker and walking in the prescribed way I came to the steps. Using the cane the left foot stepped up to the first step. Grasping the railing, the operated leg was lifted up. Then the operation was repeated for the second step. Once again and I was on the stoop! I was home!

What a great feeling. Jeff and Cathy bought us a nice grilled chicken supper which we wolfed down at about 8:30. We visited awhile and then I was ready for bed. The toughest part was getting into bed. Lib helped me swing my legs up. There was a momentary sharp pain because of stiffness in the operated leg. She pulled up the covers, got herself ready for sleep and we slept a happy but fitful night.

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