23 July 2007

Hip surgery plans

I saw the surgeon today and liked both him and the private hospital. He confirmed that both hips need replacement, and opined that the pain in the left knee is probably caused by problems in the left hip, so most likely replacing that hip would fix the knee as well. I liked the surgeon: he was very straightforward, no nonsense, but pleasant. Not a hint of "talking down" to me, and answered questions with what I considered an appropriate level of technicality (not too much nor too little). And there was no delay getting in to see him at the time of my appointment -- somewhat unusual in my experience with specialists. The hospital is small and does mostly day surgery. Most of the 25 or 30 rooms are private. It does not have any cafeteria or food service other than what the hospital provides, so Eric will have to pack a lunch when he comes to visit. I am having the first operation (on the right hip) on Monday, 27 August (5 weeks from today), and the date for the other one will be decided later. I may be able to have that 2-3 months after the first, depending on how quickly I recover. I am going to be very impatient for the next 5 weeks to pass! One reason that I can't have the first operation sooner is that they want to stockpile 3 units of my own blood to use in transfusions during the operation, and I can only give 1 unit each week. This means Eric will have to drive me to Mackay (2 hours each way) one day a week for the 3 weeks before the operation, to have blood taken. Unfortunately there are no facilities closer to home to handle this type of blood donation. I received a packet of information from the company that produces the replacement hip. This info included a DVD of post-surgery exercises, which I am still going through, and a credit-card-sized card with the patient's and surgeon's names, date of operation, etc, for me to keep in my wallet to show to security people at airports and other checkpoints. Eric and I stayed Sunday night with friends in Mackay. Turns out that K had built the surgeon's swimming pool last year. Small town!