Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Children's Hospitals

I have decided that I want to receive my medical care at a children's hospital from now on....for the rest of my days.  Little old lady with her walker and hearing aids at the kiddie hospital??  Yep.  Sign me up!  For one thing, they're colorful.  I mean, literally every wall is splashed with some beautiful bright color...reds, blues, yellows.  How anyone could possibly ever be in a bad mood with all those pretty colors is beyond me.  Aaaand they have fish tanks everywhere..... c'mon, who doesn't LOVE looking at fishies?!  And they play awesome Disney movies all day (need I say more on that one?  Hello?!  Disney rocks!!!)  But, my absolute favorite part is how NICE everyone is!!!  I mean, from the moment you walk in the door, everyone has a smile on their face (probably all the bright colors and the Disney soundtracks in the background)  Seriously, genuinely, honestly NICE!  They love their job and they are happy to be there (or they're all really, really good actors) and they go above and beyond to make me AND my family feel at home and comforted.  They offer lots of praise and encouragement, like leg and arm pats and "good job" and "you're doing great, almost done" and "thanks for being so still, you're such a good patient"....a girl could get used to that, ya know!  So, this time Mom came with me again.  Are you seeing a pattern here?  Personally I think Mom's in it for the free Disney movies and juice boxes, but don't tell her I said that.  

Mom...lookin' like a PRO! 
I had a hip CT first.  No big deal.  In, out and done in about 15 minutes.  The poor CT tech was clearly uncomfortable asking about my "pregnancy status" and "last menstrual period" and "are you sure, like REALLY sure?" ....poor dude probably only has to encounter such discussions, on average, maybe twice a year.  My adamant reply "mister, if I'm pregnant, we've got bigger problems here than these broken hips" *wink*  He got the picture.  Next stop, radiology for my hip arthrogram and then on to MRI.  Hip Arthrogram (Amy's definition):  where you lay face-up on a cold, hard table with your "bum side of choice" exposed, but they keep a sheet to cover your "girlie bits"....hip area is scrubbed and draped in a surgical/sterile fashion, and then injected with lidocaine on the surface of the skin and then deeper into the tissue and then again deeper into the hip joint until it is all relatively numb.  Feels like that "swollen lip" feeling you get at the dentist...only it's inside your hip joint.  Then the doc injects contrast, or "dye" directly into the joint space, all under the guide of an xray machine.  This feels like you are being filled with glue, or sand....or glue mixed with sand.  No matter how numb you are, it is still very painful...not gonna lie.  THEN, you sit up, swing around (with only one working leg, mind you) and lay the opposite direction, so they can do it all over again on the other hip.  Mom got to watch the whole time (something that is typically only allowed at children's hospitals too)....she says she lost count of all the needles used.  After both hips were thoroughly filled with "sandy glue" I was taken to MRI, where I had to lie perfectly still for....an hour and a half!!  Yes, you read that right.  So, not only are my joints filled with a horribly painful substance, the lidocaine starts to wear off after about 30 minutes or so, and I can't move my legs.  Worse still, whenever I have any kind of imaging done, they always have to tape my feet together so that my legs are perfectly straight.  You see, with the retroversion and the unnatural way my hip sockets are angled, my legs naturally rotate out, like "frog legs".  It is not only uncomfortable, but downright painful, to have my legs parallel and straight because the "cup and saucer" of the hip joint is literally rubbing against one another and pinching bone against bone.  Yeah....ouch!  About an hour of the MRI, I did alright...took a little nap, glanced back and forth at all the "Finding Nemo" stickers all over the giant machine only 2 inches from my nose...not too bad.  Those last 30 minutes were rough, though...REAL rough.  Lots of deep breathing and relaxing and imaging and all that crap they teach you in nursing school for you to use with your patients.  When the MRI tech released me from the magnetic beast he said, quote "Wow, you are one tough woman.  There's no way I'd be able to be that still, in that much pain, for that long"  Thanks darlin'....now gimme the narcs!!!  By the time they wheeled me into the recovery area where Mom was, I was shaking.  Very weird, I've never done that before....  Anyway, all done and ready to get home!!!  I had my son meet me at the door with my crutches, fully knowing I wouldn't be able to walk for the rest of the day without them.  Little did I know, I wouldn't be able to walk the next THREE days without them!  Just warming them up for surgery I guess....

Still no definite surgery date yet, folks.  We're looking at a date in May, but we all have to coordinate our schedules first.  Otherwise, possibly June (seems like an eternity away)  But as promised, you'll be the first to know!  Until then.... xoxo

Big smile under that mask :-D  This is me, BEFORE the needles....obviously!