Saturday, November 21, 2020

Hip Surgery

Talking about diseases is annoying and a killer of any good conversation. So, you are welcome to ignore this blog about my hip surgery at Loretto Hospital in Freiburg last Monday afternoon.

At my age, I didn‘t want to have done anything anymore to my body, but the operation became unavoidable. I have been struggling with my joint since 2007.

On October 23, a Friday afternoon – bad things always happen on the weekend - on my way home, the pain in my right leg suddenly became unbearable so that I could barely make it to my apartment. Over the following long weekend, moving around in my apartment, supported by a walking stick, I completed my medical record, prepared my patient file, informed my orthopedist, and contacted my health insurance.

The following Monday at 8 a.m., I took a taxi to the nearby Loretto hospital. Still, when I announced my desire to be taken in charge, the lady at the reception of the orthopedics department told me, ”If you have pain, you must go to the outpatient clinic.”

When I insisted, a doctor came from behind, “This week there are school holidays in Baden-Württemberg. I am alone in the department. Let the receptionist give you an appointment.” She offered me to come to a first examination on October 28, at 2 p.m. This was early.

The x-ray showed the devastated condition of my right hip that I discussed with Dr. Rütschi, the specialist who is not only well known in Freiburg as the master of artificial hips. People come to the Lorettokrankenhaus from all over Germany to get defective joints replaced.

Rütschi, the *real stable genius looked at his schedule hanging from the wall, found a slot that had become free due to the Corona pandemic, and said, „I’ll fit you in.“ He then determined the date of my surgery for Monday, November 16. This was late but the earliest date that I could get.

On the one hand, many people being afraid of going to a hospital in times of Corona have their surgery canceled or postponed thus opening slots for other suffering people like me. On the other hand, during the following two weeks, Red Baron lived in a mounting feeling of angst that the replacement of his right hip might be postponed due to hospitalisations of Corona patients. Their number was and still is steadily increasing as new cases surge in Germany.

Eventually, my tension dropped when I underwent my entrance examination at the Lorettokrankenhaus on November 12. They wouldn’t let me suffer four long hours for nothing? And so it was.

I entered the hospital on November 15, a lazy Sunday afternoon, but suddenly on Monday morning Dr. Rütschi entered my room with the shocking message, „We have to postpone your operation. Your blood value is not good enough yet. Maybe in the afternoon.“ At home I had brought down my haemodilution-value to 1.4 on Saturday morning assuming that the INR would have decreased to 1.0 valid for a normal person by Monday morning. The medical poeple administered me vitamin K to accelerate the degradation of the blood thinner.

Eventually, at 1 p.m. - my hair covered by a thin net - the anestaesists rolled me into the vestibule of the operating room … around 4 p.m. I awoke at the recovery room. 

My new hip
I could move my torso. Around me in the dim light I distinguished four other people on stretchers and waved to them. I could not sens my lower-body though and had the feel of bended legs with my soles firmly posed on the srtretcher. I reality my legs were fully stretched as I saw for myself.

Me and my walking buck
After the first night with my new hip I had a good feeling, for the pain was quite bearable. Now five days after surgery I only notice postoperative pains in my leg when I am walking leaning heavily on a Gehbock (walking buck). This support is safer than a walker with wheels. The annoying part is that one has to carry the buck in front of the body displacing it when advancing.

The coming Monday I shall be transferred to a REHA, a rehabilitation clinic in a Freiburg suburb, for three weeks. For re-learning walking the method of choice are crutches but suffering from balance problems Red Baron has ordered a Hochrollator, i e., a high walker with arm supports. Placing the forearms into them while walking will relief weight from the body on my legs.

1 comment:

  1. Wir wünschen Dir beste Genesung und alles Gute, Deine "Berliner".
    Best wishes from Kerstin, Magnus, Justus and Martin.