I’ve often heard it said, “When man plans, God Laughs.” I’m inclined to agree whole-heartedly.
After getting the all clear to return to work on a reduced schedule, my first week back went well. Very well. December 7th was great. It was wonderful to be back in my office and working. It was tiring but pretty much normal. Happy as a clam. Being producing again. Seeing all my coworkers. Totally cool.
Beginning of second week of reduced schedule began on Monday, December, 14th and seemed to be going well…until it didn’t.
I went into work on Tuesday but after three hours, everything went to hell. Teeth-chattering chills, fever, aches, pains…all hit at once and like the wrath of hell. I drove home although I still am not sure how I managed that, immediately turned the furnace to 85 in my house, crawled into bed and burrowed under every blanket I could grab around the bed. Two hours later, I could not even make it to the bathroom. I could put absolutely no weight on my left leg with the new hip. None, It was like it was no longer a part of me and the pain was extreme.
The squad took me to the hospital with my son following behind.
I thought I had torn a muscle in the groin but it didn’t take long for the docs to see the infection I refused to believe was there. When tests were done, it was more than obvious I was very lucky to not have been completely septic. The infection of the hip was massive and totally unforgiving. The bacteria count, according to the doctor was 26000plus.
So there is was. I had no control over any of it. No matter that I had done everything I had been told to do, I was one of the 1 in whatever odds that developed late hip replacement infection.
My first fear was it would go into the bone and I would lose more of my leg. An amputees worst nightmare. The surgeon assured me that would not happen but the options were still not pretty. The surgeon felt the best course for recovery was a total do-over. Like the first implant had never happened.
I was in no shape to argue.
After isolating the type of infection they were dealing with, I was taken into surgery, the implant completely removed, the area cleaned with any infected tissue removed and washed out with something akin to OR Draino. I was removed from the OR until the room could be scrubbed down, sterilized and then I was brought back in and a brand new prosthetic hip was put in me. I was in the OR 2.5 hours more than the first time and lost more blood which made a transfusion necessary later on in recovery. I was immediately put on antibiotic, IV drip 24/7.
I can feel a lot more was done to the leg. There is much more pain and I am not walking as well as I did after the first recovery. I’m a lot weaker.
But that isn’t what bothers me the most. I’m pissed as hell. To not know how the infection happened is frustrating. If I don’t know how it happened, I can’t make sure it won’t happen again. I’m powerless and have no control over it. That to me is so scary.
I’m home now, complete with a portable IV infusion pump still giving me the 24/7 antibiotic. I’ll be on that until at least February and when the infectious disease docs decide I can stop the drip, I’ll be on oral antibiotics for 1 to 1 and a half years.
In hindsight, there were tiny signs. I was tired. Very tired. But I was also back to work so I thought nothing of it. I also remember kind of slipping backwards in the way I walked. It was a little more difficult, a little pain once in a while, not as strong but again, I thought it was being back at work. Other than that, there were no other signs. The whole thing was as sudden as a lightning bolt. and just as devastating to me.
That’s where things stand now. I’m thankful to be home and to be walking but I can tell the leg is a lot weaker and will take much longer to get back to where I was.
Worst of all, I hated missing Christmas. But my son and his family brought presents to the hospital and we exchanged gifts. I was so drugged from surgery, I really don’t remember much of it.
My tree and other decorations are still up. I have the tree lights on right now. I’m thinking, with a few minor adjustment, it might make a nice 4th of July tree!
I know this isn’t a very upbeat post. I’m sorry about that but my emotions are still pretty much still in the toilet.
I will come out of it. I know I will. I’m just tired of having to do it and I’m praying with all my might that there is no third time.