When you hear the phrase "please go to gate 36" you would like you are boarding a plane right? Or at least I do. But not this time as in Southmead Hospital this is how you get to the right place for your appointments.
Today I am going for my Pre-Operative Assessment which from memory consists of the following:
Height and weight check
Swabs for MRSA
Sometimes a blood test
A game of 20 questions about your general health
Seeing the Surgeon
Seeing the Anaesthetist (had to google that word to spell it mind!)
All sounds like a conveyor belt of things really but hospitals can get behind and there is a lot of waiting around. Don't get me wrong I do understand that happens but it can just get a little boring while you wait. Luckily for me my Mum is coming with me to keep me company!
It's odd you know! Up until this operation my Mum has been with me every time on the big day itself (and I don't mean my wedding day because that hasn't happened yet). Every operation I have had my Mum has been there from the moment we arrive at the Hospital until the moment we leave it to go home. But this doesn't happen in the adults hospital - and she works now too!
So from the research I have done visiting hours are 10am - 8pm with a restricted lunch time so my Mum can come straight from work to visit me for the evening which will be lovely but it's so different.
On the day of the operation this time my Nan and Boyfriend, Dom, will be coming to the hospital with me but even then it will get to 8pm and they have to leave before they turn into Pumpkins! Yes I know I am 22 years old so I am old enough to be okay with this of course I am. But! It's just so different to the previous times I have been in for surgery - and thats been a lot of times!
But anyway back to today! My mum is coming with me to keep me company but also to still play a part of the support network I have. She's actually taken the afternoon off work to be able to come with me - Isn't she a star! But that's what people like my Mum do. They are there for you when you need it as much as they can be.
Well the Pre-Op was actually plan sailing for once which was nice. Bloods were taken easily for once and it was just a conveyor belt from Nurse to Pharmacists to Anaesthetist to Surgeon allowing me and my Mum to go and get Spaghetti Carbonara together which was nice!
Occupational Therapist and Hip Group Session
As if being in Southmead for the afternoon on the Monday wasn't enough I was back the following morning with my Nan for what was wrote down as a Hip Group so I wasn't sure what to expect.
Basically it was a chance for physios and Occupational Therapists (OT's) to explain to a number of us having hip replacements what to expect pre, during and post surgery and I am not too sure how to feel about it actually.
Good news is it shouldn't be too long until I can get out of hospital and start working on recovering at home where I want to be - but it sounds like the bad news could be that I am stuck in that house for 12 weeks because thats how long it will be until I can use my own wheelchair again. Even the idea of 6 weeks was bad enough but to practically double that time is heartbreaking really.
Luckily I have a very good guy who sorts out my wheelchair for me who may have a chair I can borrow that I can be pushed in to at least get me out of the house during those few months when I can't be independent.
So what between now and the big day itself? It's just a case of making the most of the time and trying not to get stressed out about it.
I am going to enjoy spending time with friends and family going out and doing things before I will be a little stuck for a while. I know I complain - I am only human after all but I know that it will all be worth it and I have a few things I am working on which will be good motivation for me during the coming months!
It's also a good excuse to binge watch lots of TV and Films so has anybody got any suggestions for me so I can start writing a list?
Sorry for those of you who already know this but I was born with a condition called Arthrogryposis which basically means I had deformed hips and feet which has required more operations than I can count over the years. Being diagnosed with Muscular Dystrophy at four only added to the complexity as you can imagine!
I have done well and managed to avoid any surgery on my legs for 7 years but the time has come to replace my right hip … at 22! So the first thing I do of course is google it to see whats what to find that all the information available is for how should I put it … the more mature patients! There also isn't any information out there for someone having a hip replacement who is a wheelchair user. Now I can “walk” a little with the help of things like people and crutches but 99% of the time I am in my chair which for about 6 weeks at least I won’t be able to sit in so I believe - There’s this thing about being able to sit at 90 degrees or something?
So I thought the best thing I could do would be to bore you all which a series of blogs about what this experience is like for someone younger and who already has a medical condition which will play a part in the surgery itself and the recovery.
I am going to dive straight in …
I was told my surgery would be about September time so when the letter came a couple of weeks ago telling me it was 19th March I said a few naughty words I must admit - naughty Chlo - but it was a real shock! A good shock I think …
My head instantly went to the fact that I am a Freelance Journalist now so theres no sick pay as such for my time off so I have had to start being a scrooge with my money to be able to get through the next couple of months when I won’t be able to get out the house much let alone get to work.
Then I starting thinking about the things I needed to get for being in hospital and there was only one place to start for me - PRIMARK!
So here is my list of things to buy (based on what I got) for when you are staying in hospital (if you are a female):
Basic Jogging Bottoms - £5 a pair
Basic T-shirts/Jumpers - £5 each
Buttoned Up Night Shirt - £11 (Had to be the Beauty and the Beast one for me!)
Comfy and Modest Panties (I went for boxer style) - £5 for pack of 3
Slipper (Memory Foam) - £4
Trainers (With a good sole that are easy to get on/off and happened to have a memory foam insole) - £8
This is a good starting point because time flies by … I had a month to get ready from when I got my letter in the post and it’s already down to two weeks! So this is where to start. Get your basis bag sorted ahead of time - the less you can stress about in the lead up to the big day the better.
Anything you think I have missed? Let me know ... A few already have so thank you for the feedback!