Good as new – well, almost

It’s five weeks now with my new hip and time for me to catch up in the blog-o-sphere. Thank you all for your wonderful comments and well wishes prior to my surgery. The surgery was a complete success and the hospital stay, thanks to the private upgrade, was actually not bad at all. It was a long wait to get this particular surgeon but it was well worth it since he performs the most joint surgeries in Boston, operates out of the Brigham & Women’s Hospital, and performs the newer anterior hip replacement approach which is much less traumatic leading to faster recovery time and no restrictions on movement after – well other than the pain of having the top of your leg sawed off. But really, I’d rather wait for a surgeon who’s done hundreds of these and not just watched a Youtube video before cutting.

The Brigham’s is a world renowned hospital with people coming from all over the world. As I was leaving, someone from the Saudi royal family was coming in and had taken three suites in the private Pavilion – one for the patient, one for family, and a another for a contingent of security. The hospital really does try to make an unpleasant experience as comfortable as possible but I did have a rather disconcerting experience when they were wheeling me down to pre-op. In an effort to enhance the ambiance and relax patients, they have people from the Boston Conservatory of Music play soothing melodies. I’m really glad that I was PRE-op and not any medications when I was wheeled around the corner to see a lady on a stool playing a harp!

Denver Harp Player FAQ

Seriously, harps are very relaxing to listen to, but can you imagine coming OUT of surgery, all groggy and seeing a lady with a harp? I mean…come on folks, even if she didn’t have wings,  would it not cross your mind that something went wrong in surgery? I suppose it’s better than being wheeled through the boiler room though and wishing that you’d maybe made some different life choices.

devil : The Devil who is about to welcome someone Illustration

Unfortunately, yes unfortunately because I couldn’t eat the day after surgery and went home on the 3rd day, I wasn’t able to taste test many of the culinary options.  I know, I know, hospital food is yucky except by booking myself into The Pavilion which is privately run and has it’s own kitchen, I had food options that rivaled the best of Boston restaurants

You may not be able to read the entrée selections on the five page menu, but they included: filet mignon, oven roasted turkey, baked stuffed chicken, spinach stuffed salmon, baked stuffed shrimp as well as a page of make your own burgers, salads and a great desert selection!

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I started with a fabulous home made chicken soup, better than what I’ve ever made…

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Not being in the coronary unit, I was able to order lobster stuffed ravioli in a delicious cream sauce…

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with a beautiful caprese salad…

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Since I could order anything I wanted at any hour day or night, my daughter couldn’t understand why I didn’t just start at the top of the menu and work my way down.  I think the kitchen might have suspected that I was feeding my family though.  I was released late in the afternoon on Friday and the kitchen very nicely made me up a great chicken salad sandwich with cranberry sauce and stuffing to take home.  All in all, no complaints on the hospital stay other than, well it being a hospital stay and they do love waking you up every 2 hours to make sure you’re still alive.

It’s great being back home although I haven’t been doing much cooking to date.  Every now and then I get bursts of energy but they don’t last long before it’s nap time.  As my friend reminded me – “you were just in a knife fight at the wrong end of the knife”.  Hopefully I’ll have more to post as recovery takes place and I do want you all to know that I’m doing my best to keep up with your posts – I’ve loved reading them all even if I haven’t had the brain in gear to respond to all of them, please know that I’m loving hearing what you’re all up to and hope to be tip top soon.

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28 thoughts on “Good as new – well, almost

  1. Oh I’m SO glad to hear you’re doing so well!! We’ve all been thinking about you – I’m glad the shock you had was the lady with a harp and not the other kind! 😀 The food sounds amazing – I’ve never heard of hospital food being so good! Hope the rest of your recovery is swift and uncomplicated! Take care! 🙂 xxx

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    • Thank you so much Celia. I did mention to the anesthesiologist that I’d like it if they could make sure the harp lady wasn’t in the corridor when they wheeled me out – you know just in case I forgot.
      I asked the nurses about the regular hospital food & they said “no way! half the time they can’t even figure out what people are eating”. Thing is this is sort of a new thing the Boston hospitals are doing where they’re basically renting out this wing to a private company. It’s attached to the hospital & Brigham’s doctors & nurses staff it but the kitchen is run by a private company with it’s own chef. Nice concept & actually it was cheaper than getting a private room within the hospital itself. It’s basically a hotel suite – with a pull out coach if you want anyone to stay over.

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  2. What a blessing you were able to be in such a wonderful hospital and the food sounds top class! Hmm, must say, not sure I would enjoy the harp lady either – although a very nice gesture.
    Have a beautiful weekend and please no more walking up that steep hill until you are a little stronger.
    🙂 Mandy xoxo

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    • I’m lucky to live in the right area and have access to many great options although I’d rather not need to use those options. But am I right? Being wheeled out while you’re all medicated and seeing a lady with a 5 foot harp might be somewhat disconcerting! And I did learn my lesson about my little walk up the street – got put on bed rest for 3 days for that bright idea.

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  3. Hi Diane, Glad to hear you are well and on the road to recovery. I know it is not your issue but it is amazing to hear that such a hospital exists when, from our understanding in Australia, so many US citizens can’t afford health cover. In Australia we used to have universal health cover, alas it is being eroded by successive governments, but what a wonderful ideal – free health care for everyone.

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    • Thanks Glenda but I am very lucky in many ways. You’ve certainly hit on the hot button here regarding healthcare and there’s nothing that makes me more angry than to hear politicians try to convince people that healthcare for everyone is a bad idea! Unfortunately a lot of people buy their line of bull and end up voting against their own good. I live in Massachusetts which is the state that was used as the model for the current federal program. It’s worked out fine here and the new requirements have improved it somewhat. Thing is, it’s handled by insurance companies and making them richer while a national, universal model would be cheaper and as you point out, cover everyone. I’m lucky in that I’ve been covered under my husband’s company’s plan which is excellent because they’re so large they have negotiating power. Because I have major health conditions, if my husband had lost his job I would never have been able to buy insurance at any price. As it is, he’s well past retirement age but hanging in for a little while longer just to keep the insurance until I’m eligible for Medicare (national elderly healthcare). Someday I really hope that we can have universal coverage for everyone which actually benefits us all. Sorry…good discussion for us to sit over some cheese and wine to talk about.

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      • Diane, At least in Australia the middle class can afford health insurance but the poor, who can’t, have to wait months for non life threatening operations. Come life threatening illnesses, however, we all end up in the public hospitals. You are right, it is a perfect discussion for wine and cheese 🙂

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    • Well, I didn’t see any hunky guys in bathing suits and apparently they didn’t allow Mojitos to be served, but if ya gotta get a new part put in, the Brigham’s not a bad place to go.
      Follow doctors orders? Oh-oh…already messed that one up.

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  4. Wow. a lady with a harp. I guess I would think, “at least I didn’t end up in hell.” my girlfriend had a hip replacement in May, and I can hardly keep up with her. You’ll do great. Nice to see you again!

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    • It’s wonderful to hear from you Mimi & it’s also really amazing how great the hip feels – I mean I do feel the incision but the joint itself is gliding along without any crunching noises which I think is a very good sign 🙂 Harp music is pleasant, I just don’t want to hear it right after surgery!

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  5. Great to hear from you, Diane! I’ve been thinking of you and sending my best wishes from the west coast. You inspire me with your humor and wit, both of which are thriving (and contagious!) even after being cut and sawed. I’m so glad it was a real, live, human harp player and not one with wings…

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    • Thank you so much. I figure you’ve always got to find some humor in something every day so I take it when I can – even if it is a lady with a 5′ harp! I did verify with the nurse who was pushing me & my husband that it was a real person & not a hallucination.

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  6. Amazing descriptions of the Pavilion patient experiences—not like any other *hospital* stay I’ve heard described, as you obviously would guess—but most of all, I’m glad to hear that you’re on the mend. Good health to you!
    Kathryn

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    • Thanks Kathryn – as hospital stays go this was a far better experience than I had the last time with a roommate. Thing is, it’s not just the roommate & the nurses checking on her that you have to deal with but sometimes their company can be a little too much. I’m slowly mending & hope to be fully mobile soon.

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  7. I’m so happy that you are home from the hospital even though it sounds like they tried to make your stay as nice as they could. I even noticed flowers on your food tray. Your posts always make me laugh and this one about the harp is so typical of your humor. Hope you are dancing real soon. 🙂

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    • Thanks Karen. Yes, I did get flowers on my tray and frankly if I didn’t have nurses poking at me and waking me up all night, I could have stay longer just for the food. I just heard about a new dance that I’ve got to try…it’s called the stanky leg dance and I understand that it’s going to be on the playlist for my daughter’s wedding next August. Plenty of time to practice.

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  8. So happy that you are feeling good enough to write a post. This is awesome news. I know it is a long recovery but your a very strong lady. Have you started physical therapy? How is it going? Wow this is ultra luxurious food almost like a hotel more than a hospital. I worked for over 25 years at the University of Michigan Hospital in Ann Arbor and I used to always tell my families patients about the great canteens nearby they might want to order from as things that came from the hospital cafeteria were usually unidentifiable. Miss you! BAM

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    • Thanks so much Bobbi. I feel pretty good overall, although my body does know that it met a high speed saw. I’ve been having a physical therapist come to the house twice a week and starting next week will be doing just one session/week. The main problem I have is building those muscles back up again & trying to get my knee to point forward. It’s harder than you might think.
      I have to tell you though that when I asked the nurses if the meals in the regular hospital wing were as good as what I was getting, they just laughed & said most of the time the couldn’t even tell what was on the plate!

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  9. I’m so glad to hear that you are alive and almost kicking! Sounds like you made it through unscathed……well other than those knife wounds…..lol! Surely Lola is a big help to you in the healing process, since dog lick cures just about everything!

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    • I can’t believe how great it feels to be able to move without all that grumpy pain and crunching noise from my hip! Lola does want to help with the healing process but tripping over a bearskin rug can set me back. She’s been good though and not giving me the hip checks.

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      • It is amazing that once you get “used to” being in pain, then it’s gone, how good it feels to NOT be in pain! Funny how doggies know that we are healing, and take good care to be careful around their 2 Legged crew!

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    • You are so right about dog’s instincts. Usually Lola is one big bouncing moose but one time we brought her to my sister-in-law’s when her mother was there. A very frail, 4′ nothing woman & Lola just very gently went over and put her head in her lap for a scratch behind the ears.
      I am definitely kicking now…finally got out in the yard to work although I think you’ve sent up some of your Atlanta heat & humidity to us….want it back?

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      • We’ve apparently got a cold? Front moving in which is causing bad thunder noises all around us – so on top of the regular humidity, I’ve got a panting drooling ‘bear’ draped over me. I think we need to build a safe room for Lola!

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