Wednesday, November 16, 2011

... he called me Nurse Ratched!

Total Knee Replacement
My father is currently working his way through his fourth week of recovery from his total knee replacement.  Working being the operative word, since for him to get the most out of his surgery he needs to be in a constant rotation of walking, physical therapy, and icing the joint to keep the swelling down.

The surgery and hospital stay occurred at Kaiser Permanente's Sand Canyon facility in Irvine.  Despite replacing parts of his femur and tibia, they had him walk away from the operating table.  No rest for the wicked, eh?  Due to some complications that came as a result from an anti-nausea medication he stayed in the hospital a few days longer than originally anticipated.  I have no idea why, but dear old dad was in a lather to get back home.  When I visited him in the hospital, he had his own room.  Everyone that came in was warm and friendly, even the woman who maintained the cleanliness of the room.  While I was there he had a visit from a Golden Retriever named Meggie.

Hospital Harpist?
If that weren't enough later on soft music began drifting into the room.  I glanced out into the hallway from his room and said "Dad, there's a harpist in the hallway."  Not a sentence you anticipate hearing, let alone in a hospital.  My father felt the same way, replying with, "You're kidding."  I think that he, even like me, didn't quite believe his eyes.  The lovely harpist even nodded a consent to let me photograph her.  When she had finished her song my father thanked her, and she replied quietly and shyly that Kaiser had asked people from the local symphony to come volunteer and play for people in intensive care.  Again... why he was in such a hurry to get home I'll never know.

Where'd they put that 3"?
Unlike most patients, my father was replacing his knee not due to constant pervasive pain in the joint, but rather because he had so little range of motion.  This is largely a result of a motorcycle accident he was involved in during 1997 ( I remember it was April-ish of my Sophomore year), where they placed some serious hardware in his knee.  The total knee replacement made the hardware unnecessary, but don't worry, the pops has maintained it as a souvenir/trophy.

Nurse Shirley on duty
Once he was home my Dad and I had some serious bonding time; aided by Doc Martin on Netflix and some gnarly pain killers they prescribed to him.  With the pain killers being on a four hour rotation, my father's physical therapy two to three times a day, and the required elevation of his leg and icing; for the first two weeks my dad and I were busy most of the day everyday with his recovery.  Oh!  Great tip:   make your own gel-ice bags with a gallon ziploc and 3 parts water to 1 part rubbing alcohol.  So, due to my nagging ways, my father sometimes called me his Jiminy Cricket or Nurse Ratched; depending on his mood.  Of course I maintain that the negative comments were caused solely by the pain killers wearing off; and never by my own poking and prodding.

No comments: