BACK FROM SURGERY - LATER THAN EXPECTED!!

Back at last. We thought we’d be away 7-10 days but apparently, the doctors thought longer…

Thurs 25 Oct - Surgery for Proximal Femoral Replacement. The tumour had spread out further than they had thought, so their original idea of taking the part of my bone that my muscles are attached to aside, putting the implant in then attaching the bone onto the implant (thus reducing the impact on my muscles and therefore recovery) was scrapped and my muscles were removed and more of my bone taken out. The implant they used has tiny holes in it, which they sewed my muscles onto.

I woke up screaming in agony, as the epidural they had ‘installed’ wasn’t working. Cue lots of frantic shouting and pinning me down. I have flashbacks of the nurse telling me it was going to be oKay and that they were putting me to sleep again, and the anaesthetist feeling around for my femoral nerve. I since discovered that he gave me a femoral nerve block immediately, before sorting out the opiate based epidural.

I woke up a few hours later, crying for my husband. Once M had arrived my blood pressure reduced and I felt calmer. I was kept in the High Dependency Unit for 36 hours under observation, because the operation was not as routine as they had first thought. Having an epidural is very weird - not being able to feel the lower half of your body is very strange.

Back down on the ward I was in for another surprise. We had intinally been told that I would be up and around on Monday 29 Oct, with physio etc. Due to the complications, I was to be bed-bound for a full 7 days. At first I thought Woohoo - 7 days in bed!! But then reality stuck - I was confined to that small space for 7 days, and people would have to do the most basic tasks for me.

I was bedbathed, had my hair shampooed over a weird contraption, had a catheter and was basically imobilised. It was horrible, and I wouldn’t wish it on anyone.

My pain levels were also on the increase, as the opiate based epidural was a controlled drug, I had the epidural changed to a local anaesthetic when I was moved onto the ward. This meant that my good leg was completely numb, and my bad leg was numb from the knee down. So the painful bit wasn’t touched by it. Everytime the nurses turned me on my side (to rub down my back and bottom to prevent bed sores) it was like my thigh had hot knives being dragged down it. I was in agony. After a couple of days on the epidural it was removed at my request - it was not doing me any good.

The PCA (morphine drip) that was attached to my foot had not been working, but as my foot was numb due to the epidural, I hadn’t noticed that all around the cannula was tissuing. The PCA was removed and installed on my right hand, but almost instantly it stopped working and backed up. It was as if all my veins had just packed up and given up!!

I was then put onto MST (slow release morphine tablets) which I still have. I’ve also been put on a nerve blocker drug, Pregabalin, which has basically stopped the hot knives pain and reduced it all to a dull ache. I take a cocktail of drugs, including those 2, my Tamoxifen, voltoral, tramadol and paracetamol. Nice. I’ve got to set my day out, with alarms at regular intervals for the right combination of tablets.

Getting out of bed and standing up for the first time in 7 days was crazy. My good leg hardly had any strength in it either, so a little wobble and a zimmer frame later, I was sat in my chair with my legs up. I felt like I had conquered a new country or climbed an undiscovered mountain - I WAS OUT OF BED GODAMMIT!!

The physio said that I should take a few more steps each day and by Monday they would have me climbing in and out of a car, getting in the bath and climbing stairs. The main goal was to have me ready for going home by Tues 6 Nov.

Well kids, I beat them by a day - they let me home today.

I’m still unsteady on my feet, and in a considerable amount of (tolerable) pain, but I’m home. I have had my stitches taken out today as my wound has healed brilliantly (according to the ward sister) I’ve been told it may be 6 months before I know what my leg shape and total walking capacity will be for the future, but I’m taking it each day as it comes.

The biggest thanks of all has to go to my husband for without his love, support and total understanding nature, I would not have been able to make it through all this. I have been at my lowest days just recently throughout all my cancer battle so far, and it has been M’s love and support that has dragged me back to reality. I truly beleive that I would not still be here today if it wasn’t for him, for I would have given up on everything and stopped fighting.

I hope that everyone is getting on as well as they can be - it’s a tough fight but we can do it.

1 Like

Crumbs Poannie you don’t do anything by halves!
Your operation sounds like an absolute nightmare, glad to hear that you are safely at home now. Keep up the good work.
Allie

Oh poor you - it sounds quite horrific. It is hard lsoing your independence and everything that goes with it when you are stuck in a hospital bed as well as having to put up with the pain.
You’re a brave gutsy lady and I hope you improve very quickly.
Kate

Hi Poannie - so glad you are home - what a nightmare you are having - I can’t begin to imagine how it has been for you. You are amazing how you are coping so you and M keep going.
Lots of Love and hugs
Sarah x x x

Hi Poannie

Glad to hear you are home. It sounds like a terrible ordeal, but hopefully you are through the worst and can now concentrate on getting better. M sounds absolutely amazing and your tower of support.

You are, as the others have said, a very brave lady and have been through so much and yet sound like you still manage to smile. You are an inspiration to all of us on here, and I wish you a speedy recovery from the op.

Keep us up to date with your progress and take good care. Say Hi to M too.

Lots of love and tender cuddles
Dawn
xx

Hi poannie…I nearly posted a message yesterday…I wondered how you were.
What a time you had of it…good to hear you are now home. I got the start of some bed sores after I was back at home in my own bed, from not being able to sleep on my side…sudocream is good if it starts to happen to you too plus the district nurse can let you have a lilo type mattress sounds horrible but it’s comfortable and helped at the time.
You take care now!
Belinda.
xx