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First Day of Recovery
May 16th, 2008 by Mike

Mrs. Major had her ups and downs today. Around 4am the morphine from her spinal began to wear off. She failed to tell the nurse so by 7am her pain was beginning to get severe. They started he on a morphine on-demand drip, but since she’d been 3 hrs without pain meds, things got worse before they got better. By 9am she was feeling better.

The result was that they moved her first physical therapy session to around 10:30 from 8:00 am. The PT session consisted of getting a briefing on some exercises for her to do and then standing up from the bed, walking a few steps with a walker and sitting down in a chair. The standing up turned out to be: Ahhhhh! But she was determined, and with help, stood up, walked, and sat down.

Around noon the occupational therapist came in, set Mrs. Major up to wash herself, get into new gowns and. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! Get up and move back to bed. Wow. Mrs. Major hollered so loudly that nurses came running from all over the place. She was getting half way up out of the chair and kept saying she couldn’t get any further. The OT wouldn’t let her sit down. The crew finally got her to stand up (with the walker) and she was much better. Later analysis by Mrs. Major concluded that getting up quickly and straightening her legs quickly would avoid much of the pain.

That was the downs. The ups were:

She was right. At around 3pm the PT’s came back to get her out of bed, walk her to the door and back, and put her back in bed. That went very well with a minimum of pain. Getting up quickly and getting the legs under her quickly did the trick. Also, I think a couple more hours of healing and pain meds helped considerably.

They also put her on a machine1 that moved her legs from 0º knee flex to 70º and back slowly. She was supposed to start that in the morning but some piece was missing or broken so they finally got her on it by 4pm. She promptly fell asleep and slept off and on2 until I left. I think that was the most she’s slept since the surgery.3

On a personal note, those of you who know Mrs. Major know that she runs hot. When we lived in Indy we could easily hang meat in our house. Visitors4 had to bundle up to keep warm. Since moving to Florida, I’ve weaned her from the practice for the most part. We keep the thermostat set at 76º, much warmer than Indy, but still below the 80 that most Floridians keep their thermos. Well, Mrs. Major convinced the nurses to turn down her room thermo to 68. She was very comfortable, but the icicles were hanging from my ears. I even donned a sweater of hers that she packed for the hospital stay, but I was still freezing. I’m taking my winter coat tomorrow.

© 2008, J. M. Erickson. All rights reserved.

- - - - - footnotes - - - - -
  1. actually two, one for each leg []
  2. she even nodded off several times while eating dinner []
  3. Today there must have been at least 25 different people in to have some business with Mrs. Major today []
  4. and The Major []

4 Responses  
  • Mandy writes:
    May 16th, 200822:36at

    Put some clothes on. That’s what I tell my kids. 😉

  • Pam writes:
    May 17th, 200806:11at

    It is easy to work up a sweat when you are working hard!

  • Old Dad writes:
    May 17th, 200812:35at

    My guess—this will all be well worth it!

  • Scoop writes:
    May 18th, 200805:59at

    Sounds like a hard-learned practical lesson – the nurses and doctors warned me to “stay ahead” of the pain. It sounds like they are very responsive though and that is wonderful. This was a just a speed bump. It will all keep getting better.


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