Saturday, January 15, 2011

The day after

Tuesday the 11h of Jan, the day after the operation. 2nd night of no sleep. When you enter the hospital system under A&E, if your not a celebrity or super star; your going to have to manage the best you can. The reality of being a racing cyclist with a hip injury, is that most other people in your ward will be 70-90 years old. not a problem, but in my case, the guy opposite had some very real mental issues.

His party piece every night  was to climb over the barriers of his bed, dragging his cafeter bag behind him. He had a major leg op the day before. The staff would run in.. No Mr Walk-about-late... ( yes his name did contain 2 of these parts..) .. you must stay in bed you will hurt yourself, full volume conversation.. they would drag him back in bed, apply more dressing and then return to where ever they went.  10 mins later, there he was again, climbing over the rails of the bed  and repeat..  No No Mr Walk... you get the idea.. Yes all night.. he would pull out the cafeter bag too, great UTI patient empties bladder on floor along with a day full of piss...

Yet they would still leave him with the words.. Please stay in bed.. yeah sure he will..

He was opposite me, so I felt obligated to press my buzzer each time this started.  So my night was progressing with me keeping an eye on him.. Buzzzzzz .. No No Mr Walk...

Sleep Deprivation is not known as a proven recovery technique.. after A few days of this type of behaviour your basic survival instincts surface. The combination of pain, drugs, and no sleep drive self preservation.

In the day Mr Walk... wife would come in.." Have you been behaving for the Nurses..? Oh yes dear.. Have you been resting.. Yes.. The temptation to throw my 3 bottles of urine at them were building..

By the following night still with no sleep.. The dark side...  That day a nurse who was trying to fix my bed that was stuck in a zigzag for an hour, had kicked over a urine bottle on my private water bottles and I could not get anyone to sort that.. I had swelling in my leg big time and my tempreture was up, I had been asking for an hour to speak to someone about my temp and swelling. The doctors answer was to prescribe me Codine with my already large dose of Tramadol and Ibruprofen.. Remember the bit about me being allergic to morphine? Well Codine metabolises in the body as Morphine.. Great.. So then I needed an antihistamine,

I spent the night scratching from the histine being so high.. And Mr Walk... was on full song.. so now you start thinking what If I don't buzz..  They had bought out a chair to watch him, some even bought a newspaper for their shift on watch.. oh good nice noisy newspaper. I had an Iphone and listed to my tunes, but this just put a soundtrack to the chaos..

At one point he was backwards in bed, holding his cafeter bag pulling the tubes out.. Not Buzzing..., the next time i looked up from surfing the net on my iphone he was standing next to my bed..  SHHHHHHH.....  Buzzer BUZZEERRRRRRR>>>>  BUZZZZZZZZZZZZ...

Wednesday Morning..  It's like this Miss Physio.. I'm going home today.. stairs, no stairs no matter I'm out of here, I packed and was ready to go by 10.00..

The 90 year old ex para' next to me 'Ray' had been there 12 days, and was staying longer.. nice guy, it's coming to us all i guess.., So enjoy every sunny day on the road.

Things to consider about surviving hospital

99% of the staff are fantastic. That's a great ratio. I am very grateful for the care I got, It's a hard job. I got to go home, they are probably dealing with it again tonight..

Looking after yourself.  The same principles that apply to training recovery apply in hospital. the quality of what you eat and drink will determine your recovery along with sleep, care and hygiene.

Your stomach will suffer, you will have been laying down, the drugs, the first meal will probably be a vacuum packed garage quality sandwich.. all this will have an impact.

Linseed is something I have every morning in a fruit berry blend great to keep your stomach working
Cherry juice is a natural anti inflammatory - the Brit. Olympic cycling team use it. you can only take so many tablets.
Hygiene, get your own bottle of alcohol gel, not the shared one on your bed that 20 people use an hour.
Blood ox' monitors, - if they drag round equipment from bed to bed, putting the pulse ox' on your finger after 6 other sick patients use the gel after before you touch anything.
I had Bupa - but couldn't switch mid treatment

things to add -
I wish i had noise cancelling earphones..
I wish i had DHL'd in a care package day one and had a personnel attendant, lucky for me my wife who was sick bought me essential quality food and drink in. if not call someone and get them to bring you your survival pack. Create your own outcome.

So I  went into A&E Sunday around 11.00 and I left hospital post operation with dynamic hip screw in place Wednesday lunchtime on crutches, partial weight bearing.

I am home, work .. yes i have a job.. have been great, now recovery at home starts. I am experimenting with some things that speed recovery. I will write about these and let you know how that goes.

High level milestones from here

2 weeks stitches out - swim / weights
4 weeks weight bearing and physio start, spinning on a static bike, inflammation providing - follow up with consultant surgeon. discuss plan - swim
8 weeks riding bike outside
12 weeks training ramp build
9-12 months possible removal of hip screw
4 weeks off bike,
8 weeks spin trainer
18 months return to full racing

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