Today was the 6 month checkup for my new hip. Well not so new – 6 months old now! If my hip were a baby, it would be able to sit up on its own and rollover by now.
I dressed smartly…was pretty certain I’d have x-rays and not wanting to strip down on a cold x-ray table, I wore a dress with no zippers. Was called back pretty quickly for a series of x-rays and while they focused on my new hip she did take some of both hips.
She escorted me to the exam room, a few minutes after my intake by the nurse where I was asked about medication changes and such, there was a knock on the door followed by a face I’d never seen before poking in.
“You’re not my surgeon.” I said.
He smiled and said he wasn’t, introduced himself as one of the Fellows at the clinic (sidenote, I miss Dr. Perkinson the previous fellow I saw all the time). He asked how I was doing and I said everything was fine. He looked at my x-rays quickly and then asked me to give him the story…he saw my wound vac and didn’t know my history. Figures. Actually the X-ray tech mentioned my wound. She said “Aren’t you the one that got an infection?” Like…are they sitting around talking about me and am I the problem child patient? I’m about 20 years younger than their average patient but I’m the one that got sick. So wrong.
Anyway we talked about my plastic surgeon closing it up, and how I didn’t want him to because I didn’t know anything about him…he said he knew him and he was a ‘good guy’ whatever that means. I guess it means he doesn’t aim to run over squirrels in the street. He asked to see my hip and said it looked good but then all he could see was the wound vac really. I offered to show him a picture of my wound taken on Tuesday. He excitedly looked at it and said it did look good and ready to close. Oh and while examining my x-ray he confirmed most of the tunneling was closed up. Excellent!
He left and a few minutes later my surgeon came in. He shook my hand and asked how things were going. He looked at my x-ray, talked about my wound and asked me to walk and stand on my right leg. My right leg…champ that it is…I was able to stand relatively balanced for a lot longer than the previous time he saw me. So, yay! He cautioned some of the exercises I do because it could be affecting my wound healing (I already knew that though). He will come in during surgery when the plastic surgeon closes me up…he also asked if the surgeon was planning to remove any excess tissue. We hadn’t discussed it. I mean, sure it would be great to have smaller hips (somewhat) but I don’t want to be all lopsided…so…yea.
Showed him the picture of the wound and he said it was ready and I told him my thought that the wound vac was supposed to fix all that…turns out no. The wound vac closes up internally, but will never close up the skin. So….he teased me by saying *maybe the plastic surgeon will do this outpatient*. Told him I already knew I’d be in the hospital, he laughed. He explained I’d probably have drains and possibly an incisional wound vac to help it initially heal. I guess all this will be confirmed when I further discuss with the wound care surgeon. But he felt like it was ready so this is good. I seriously still don’t trust my wound vac doctor. Can you tell?
He asked about my antibiotics, I’m on my last refill and don’t have any appointments with the Infectious Disease doctor scheduled. I’ve got maybe a week of antibiotics left. He told me he wanted me on them for a full year!!!! He wrote orders for me to give to her saying he wanted me on them through February of next year “As long as your body tolerates them”. Good lord. Then he said started clicking things on the computer and spoke of labwork…well guess who was smart enough to bring her newest bloodwork? This girl. That’s right. He reviewed my latest blood work, then chastised my protein intake and told me I have to eat. I KNOW. He wanted more blood work anyway – I think this is just to check my infection levels and make sure I’m clear. He said the ID doctor would want them anyway. Also, some of my blood cell counts were off and so I *could* still have an infection – although I really thought I was free and clear. Some of this stuff gets so mixed up.
He shook my hand again (he has enormous hands, whats with surgeons and enormous hands?) and asked me to see him in a few months, December or January after I’ve been closed up and have healed.
Lastly, he asked about my left hip and the degree of pain I’ve been in with it. I said it didn’t really matter since I couldn’t have anything done about it. He said we’d work on it (yay!) but first I needed “closure. And then closure.” I laughed at that, exactly. Wound must close and so must this right hip file.
He stood, I hopped off the table and followed him out as he still spoke, and reaffirming things he’d already said. I stood there awkwardly waiting for the lab work papers and finally asked him for them, he must have thought I was a weirdo just staring at him. He handed me the paper, shook my hand again (wtf?) and I said bye to him and his nurse.
Overall it was a great appointment. I’m so happy Bionica is doing well. I’d had some weird pain in my hip last week on that side and I was slightly concerned I’d done something stupid and loosened the prosthesis. Nope, I’m all good. Guess my next big deal will be getting this damn thing sewn up…stitched, stapled, superglued. Whatever they can use to seal something I want them to use. No more openings in my body. Please.