Home Again, Home Again, Jiggety Jig, 6-24-23

Not asleep till 2 am, up at 5 am, at the hospital by 8 am and we just got home at 6:30 pm. What??? I thought we’d be home by noon at the latest so I didn’t even put on any makeup – just threw on some clothes and left by 7 am.

I have never experienced so many directions and instructions yet I know many many people have had hip replacements. Hours of physical and occupational therapy today! And a schedule of therapy, pills, ice treatment, walker instruction, putting on socks, pants, sitting down, getting up, walking, bending, getting in and out of the car, the shower, his chair, the kitchen stool – and everything else in between. I am exhausted! And not only because I haven’t had much sleep – I am overwhelmed at the moment.

I’ve had two knee replacements and I don’t remember anything like this. There’s been someone talking in my face for over 12 hours! AND we discovered why I didn’t know my of this information – like I was supposed to be there yesterday and didn’t know it. All of the instructions were sent out last October when the previous surgery was cancelled at the last minute and they didn’t repeat any of it for this new date the following June because records show it had been done. Ugh. They would say things like “if you had been here yesterday” and “this is why we want the spouse here”. And I thought Rick had missed it – nope, he hadn’t. Grrrrr……It wasn’t our fault at all.

Thunderstorms hit the town repeatedly throughout the day – I’ll bet they got 3” of rain! We feel lucky to have gotten .7.

My schedule will have to adjust according to Rick’s therapy schedule – I’ve already cancelled three things. Thankfully Becky stayed with the dogs – I almost didn’t ask her to come because I thought we’d be home by 11-noon. Yikes – so glad she came especially since it thundered and Hazel was in her lap immediately.

The porch is too chilly tonight and I don’t think I can concentrate on sewing. Maybe a book instead.

Looking out from Rick’s hospital room – rain!

66 thoughts on “Home Again, Home Again, Jiggety Jig, 6-24-23

  1. Chris in Alaska

    I feel your pain . My husband is looking at an ankle replacement and we’re in Alaska so might have to travel and stay in the lower 48 for months !! Good juju going your way Mary ❤️

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Chris – any chance he’d be coming to Mayo in Rochester, MN?

  2. Cheryl in St. Paul

    Mary, you’ve got this! My husband has had both hips done. 5he very worst was getting those socks on him. A sock puller is a great help. Hod bless you both. Remember to keep a sense of h7mor.

  3. Anita

    Having been married 50 years and having friends married for similar lengths of time, I always smile when I think of our wedding vows – “in sickness and health”. We had no way of knowing what we were saying. Sounded innocent enough when I was 20 something. But those were our vows, and you are honoring them now. Bless you, Mary. Know this isn’t easy, but He will get you through. You are strong. Just be sure to take care of yourself too.

  4. Debbie Miller

    Sounds like a very rigid recovery time schedule to me also. I’ve had both knees replaced and I didn’t have that kind of instructions either. I do remember when I was in the hospital both times for my knees-the physical therapist kept telling me a hip replacement was a piece of cake and that knee replacement was much harder. Thoughts and prayers for you both-Rick as a patient and you as a caregiver!

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Debbie – you’re right – knees are much more painful replacements than hips but I didn’t realize all the rest of it.

  5. Jo in Wyoming

    Hang on Mary. Most of this ride will be over next week.
    The rains came just in time. Now you will be mowing again. Do you still have your week to mow at the church?

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Jo – no, I had to give up mowing at the church two years ago when Rick couldn’t help at home. I’m going to hang on our words “most of this ride will be over next week” – really? How can that be? Why do you say that?

  6. Elaine Kopischke-Trejo

    What a job for caretakers. When my husband had his replaced he went to transitional care for 8 days each time! Now they just send you home and pray there is someone to take care of you!! It is a huge job, even for someone much younger. I am so sorry you have all this yourself. Is any health care coming to help or at least check? Good grief!!!!

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Elaine – going to Athletico on Monday to start therapy – otherwise his next Dr. Appt is not until August 4. I think I’m on my own.

      1. Kathy in western NY

        Geepers Mary, I know there is a shortage of PT workers in health care but seems a bit of a stretch to think 2 days after his release you have to drive him rather than home care for a week or two. Especially if you aren’t trained medically. We were blessed even during pandemic era to have health care nurses, two physical therapists and a speech therapist come to our home three times a week to work with my husband. Ours wasn’t a hip replacement so I don’t know the extent of expectations but I really need to be thankful when I hear what your situation involves. Yes there was care but I had someone to assure me and be my advocate when I didn’t know how to care for him. How long before Rick can drive himself to PT do they say?

  7. Rita in Iowa

    Mary I feel your pain with all the information and medications. I ended writing everything down for each day when I had my knee replacement in January. Between icing, medications, PT, and using a walker and then a cane it’s a lot to take in. I now have a spread sheet for all the exercises I continue to do, but as of now with all the outside work I haven’t done the exercises everyday.

    It will take a few days to get into the routine of things but you will get there. And so will Rick, he has waited so long to get this done. Have patience and say a lot of things silently as this too will pass. It amazing when you voice things silently and know you have vented but have hurt nobody’s feelings.

    We are getting some rain right now. Hope it will help!

    Your in my thoughts as the healing begins.

  8. Maureen

    Up with the good down with the bad. The only thing I remember when my husband his hip replacements!

    1. Beryl BC

      Maureen, I remembered that saying, too, from when I some hip issues. I still think of it when one of the joints is complaining a bit.

  9. MaureenHP

    Yikes! No wonder you are overwhelmed. How silly if the hospital to think you would still have all that info. Take a deep breath….you can only do so much.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Billie – and you know I will, don’t you? I use you guys to vent all the time! Just now he went into the bathroom where I moved a small table, two rugs, and a book holder on the wall just to get him up to the toilet! Sigh.

      1. Diane and the gang

        Mary. Do you have one of those raised toilet seats that you put on top of the regular seat? It was a God send to my husband who is 6’5” and had his knees replaced. . Also, he out in grab bars on each side of the toilet. They are still there and will probably be used again.

        1. Mary Etherington Post author

          Diane – yes, to both questions. You’re right, they’re very welcome additions to the bathroom Rick uses. Rick is 6’3”

  10. Lynn

    Mary I remember when they tried to send my husband home after hip surgery the day after. He is 6′ 4″ and was 72. I learned from my sister, a nurse, how to work with these medical people. I told them he was a fall risk. He is not ready to go home and need an occupational therapist to come to my house to help with all that stuff you mentioned. Hospitals do not like fall risks. The person that came several times was a great help. Keep this in mind if you need help but hope everything goes well.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Lynn – when I got to his room I saw he was wearing a huge bright yellow wristband that says FALL RISK. Rick is 6’3” and 75 years old. We’ll do the best we can and pray he doesn’t fall!

  11. Nancy Wines

    So glad Rick is home although it sounds like you two will be quite busy with his recovery. What a shame the hospital dropped the ball with postoperative care and instructions – definitely not your fault! It makes NO sense that they did not resend the instructions to you. It has rained every day here in north eastern Florida for the past week and although it has been welcome and the grass is growing like crazy we do miss our sunshine. Great weather for getting sewing done! Good luck with nursing Rick thru his postoperative care!

  12. Bonnie McKee

    Hang in there! Try to get some sleep and take Rick’s care an hour at a time.
    We are here to listen when you need to vent.
    Praying for both of you!

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Bonnie – and you know I like to vent to you guys! Haha!!!

  13. Rosie Westerhold

    That just STINKS about the hospital ASSUMING you didn’t read any of the pertinent info😱😱😱!! Then it became clear it was THEIR fault😡😡😡. I would have assumed it would have been my husband’s fault, too. I don’t remember my brother having to go through all that “stuff” when he had his hip replaced about 5 years ago. He used a crutch for a few weeks, and seemed fine after that. But, I’m sure he didn’t tell me all the pertinent details, either!!! MEN, right? I hope things go smoothly from here on out🙏🙏🙏!!

    I just scheduled my second knee replacement yesterday. WooHoo🙌🙌🙌🙌🙌!! It won’t happen until August 15 as that was his FIRST opening😳😳. I know that sounds crazy to be happy about having someone cut you open, but I’m just tired of not being as mobile as I want to be. My issue is more kneecap arthritis than a worn out joint. I’ve been doing cortisone injections and OrthoVisc injections in between cortisone. And it only helps for a few weeks now. I just decided to GO for it. It will be so different this time as I live alone since my husband passed. I thought I could go to a rehab facility for a few days until I’m off narcotic pain relievers. Au contraire. Knee replacement is now considered an “out-patient” procedure by Medicare. So, they won’t cover a stay in rehab!!! What the?!? I’m pretty dang independent, but even I know I will need help for a few days. I asked my sister-in-law if she could come babysit me for a couple of days. My brother thinks I am NUTS because “you can’t go up and down stairs on crutches.” How on earth did he think I did it 7 years ago? Yes,my husband was still alive, but he didn’t get me up and down all the stairs we have!! Um, I used a walker for about a week last time, and learned how to do stairs from PT while I was in the hospital. Last time (7 years ago), Medicare allowed 2 nights in the hospital. NOW, you can only stay ONE night unless there are pretty serious complications following the surgery. But, there are newer techniques, and newer prosthetic parts. So, I am confident this will go just fine. I have all my quilting sisters who will help me out, getting me to and from PT until I’m off narcotics. Since it’s my left knee, I should be able to drive within 2 weeks🤞🤞🙏🙏🙌🙌!! I had a “little” complication following my first replacement. I was completely NUMB from my incision to the tips of my toes following surgery. Couldn’t drive for almost 8 weeks😱😱!! Because I couldn’t flex my foot. Boy, did THAT put me into a deep depression after a month when I saw no improvement in the numbness. Although my knee was recovering nicely. Dr “thinks” he knows what caused it so he will use a different approach this time to avoid that problem🤞🤞🤞🙏🙏🙏. Hope he’s right about the numbness part. Ugh. That’s the only part that makes me nervous. Have a large EPP project to help me get stitching as soon as possible after surgery. I didn’t sew for a good 6 months after my first surgery, and that made me MORE depressed. I will not let that happen again. Planning to go to the AQS Show in Des Moines at the end of September so that is a bit of extra motivation for me to get back to normal👍👍. Last time I had a childhood friend and her hubby coming about 2 months after my surgery. My goal was to be able to walk the HUGE Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha without pain. And I did it!! Always helps to have goals, right?

    Hope the rest of your weekend goes well. And hoping Rick recovers EASILY🤞🤞🙏🙏.

    Not sure I will actually DO The Dirty Dozen as I’m trying to declutter and clean and reorganize my studio. All needed in order for me to eventually sell my property. Not happening for awhile, but the clutter and extra “stuff” has got to go. Making good progress, too, while working on finishing up a few projects. Have one more foundation-pieced Pineapple Log Cabin block to make. Hoping I can start assembly tomorrow🤞🤞🙏🙏. That project has been sitting and waiting for my attention for MORE than 15 years. All strips were cut, foundations prepped, and I had only one block partially sewn. Took it to my annual spring quilting retreat, and it got my SewJo going about working on it. That was the first weekend in May. So, I’ve been making good progress since then. WooHoo🤗🤗👍👍!! ALMOST to the finish line, but some squirrels have been jumping in my way. Just have to keep fighting them off so I can get to the finish line😉😉.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Rosie – what a great goal – a quilt show!!! My only regret about having both knees done is I cannot get down on my knees or anywhere close and it’s very inconvenient for gardening or cleaning at floor level. I hope you have some friends to call if you need help – wish I were closer ! Keep sorting and de-cluttering!

      1. Rosie Westerhold

        Yeah, I haven’t been able to get on my knees for YEARS!! Really tricky when my dog knocked my glasses off the table by my bed, and they were under the bed, farther than I could reach😱😱!! Got multiple pillows and blankets to get “down”, and hooked my hands over a drawer on my dresser. And prayed it didn’t break!! Pretty dang scary being all alone and trying to retrieve something I needed. Aaaccckk. Getting older is NOT for sissies🙄🙄🤦🏻‍♀️🤦🏻‍♀️!!

        1. Mary Etherington Post author

          Rosie – just this afternoon Rick’s power bed needed new batteries and I, too, had to get down on my knees – with padding of course!

  14. Judy Andersen

    Hang in there. I know it is all so frustrating. I had a shoulder replacement 7 weeks ago and am still recovering. I think people thought it was arthroscopic surgery so they don’t understand. No, they cut my shoulder open 6.5” and took out bone to put in a plastic/metal shoulder joint.
    The medical world has all their own lingo too, and wonder why we are not following what they say! Getting older is not for whimps- their day is coming!

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Judy – I’ve known two other women who have had shoulder replacements – not arthroscopic – and it’s a tough one. I had only rotator cuff repair and I think it was my most painful surgery. 7 weeks out and it sounds like you’re doing great!!

  15. Susan K in Texas

    Oh my what a day! Up early after not much sleep, a long drive, and then medical instructions! I’d have a migraine by noon with a day like that. It sure seems they would have gone over what to expect with the surgery and the after care before it happened.
    I’m glad you and Rick are home. And glad you had Becky to be with the dogs. You would have been so upset and worried about them if she didn’t come.
    Take care. Get some rest. Sending hugs!

  16. Sandy McPherson

    Hi Mary, l hope Rick is going to be a good patient!l had to retire and look after my husband when he had a triple bypass 12 years ago as he had diabetes too,ready to throttle him on day 3! Fortunately the heart care nurse came and told him to behave!
    I ent to my quilt meeting on Saturday and met the daughter of a girl l started quilting with 30 years ago,have found photos of her. Mum for her. Take care everyone, best wishes from Sandy

  17. Lynette in Orlando

    What a long and stressful day! Oh my. Mary, you should get some kind of survey from the hospital and be constructively honest. Speaking as a nurse, there is no excuse that the assumptions were made and this got missed. Rule #1 — assume nothing! We all know what happens when one assumes……… Glad Rick is home and hopefully he will cooperate!!!! Praying all goes well for you and for Rick. It is never easy is it?? Wish I lived closer and I’d be happy to give you a hand. Xx

  18. Sandra Pierson

    Oh Mary, what a day for you! I know bionic hops take more care so they don’t pop out of joint but oh my! At least you are back in the comfort of your beautiful home. Take a deep breath and remember, “ This is The day The Lord hath made. Rejoice and be glad in it.
    Keeping you and Rick in my prayers,
    Sandy Pierson

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Sandy – that verse was our wedding verse – it’s my favorite! After a good night ‘s sleep things look easier this morning! Yes, it’s probably just being back home where things are familiar and comfortable.

  19. Diane in Colorado

    Glad to hear you are safely home. Sorry there was a mix-up in terms of expectations/instructions. Sounds very overwhelming to be managing care at home with all you already have to do. Glad you could sit down and read last night—wondering what you are reading. I am finishing Demon Copperhead by Barbara Kingsolver. This is the first of hers I have read. May have to go back and read Poisonwood Bible.
    Hope you got good rest last night!

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Diane – tell me what you think of Demon Copperhead – I have also read P.Bible. I am finishing An American Beauty by Shana Abe and I’ve enjoyed it but like many “large” books it drug in the middle. I will finish today and last night I actually cut out a block I’ve been wanting to make. I have cancelled everything on my calendar for 3-4 days which actually feels good.

      1. Beryl BC

        I’ve started reading Demon Copperhead this week. My in-laws came from that part of the country and we read from a local newspaper of that area. I’ll keep at it as I likely won’t be able to renew the book as someone else will want it.

        1. Mary Etherington Post author

          Beryl BC – both Diane and I want to hear what you thought about the book – it’s a big one to finish in a week!

      2. Diane in Colorado

        I am about 100 pages to the end of Demon Copperhead right now and expect I’ll finish it this evening. Not having read anything else by her (Barbara Kingsolver), I can’t compare style-wise. I have liked it—won’t say enjoyed because it’s a rather dark book. It is told from the voice of a boy born to a teenaged single mom in a single-wide trailer in Appalachia (read poor/poverty). Foster care is not an easy life and his is harder and harsher than most—at least I hope this is true. Apparently David Copperfield is the inspiration and I’m not sure I’ve ever read that, though that’s not a prerequisite, but if you have, that might give you some idea of the flavor. The drug addiction part is horrifying for me (says the girl who has never even smoked weed). Jenica lost a childhood riding buddy to overdose a few years ago so that part is too close to home to be even remotely comfortable, but at the same time feels like something I should read and have some exposure to. All that said, I have liked it well enough to consider I may need to go back and read Poisonwood Bible, but I will be needing something a bit lighter after this one.

        1. Mary Etherington Post author

          Diane – I talked about this book last winter at our book club and I started out by saying I didn’t like it but what I really meant was it was such a depressing story that it was hard to read. Foster care and drug addiction are both foreign to me – it was an eye opener for sure.

          1. Diane in Colorado

            Yes, exactly.
            It is well written and has been a page turner. Did I like it? Hmmm. Not sure I can say I actually liked it.

      3. Diane in Colorado

        I think I replied to Beryl rather than you, so read further down!

  20. Jennifer Mattoon-Anderson

    Glad you are home and send the rain our way. Have no idea how the farmers will survive if they don’t get more rain. So sad when instruction mix ups happen.

  21. Tama

    Mary, You’ve got this! One step at a time, one day at a time. Sending good vibes to you and Rick. Take care, Tama

  22. NancyTD

    Best wishes to you both during this time of recovery. It is hard to be a caregiver when we don’t have the training. Patience is the name of the game! Don’t be afraid to ask for help to get you both through this, HUGS!!!

  23. Glenda Fletcher

    Glad you are back at home but what a day you had. Wow. Hurray, for Becky to be there to help you. I will also say take one day at a time but take care of yourself.
    Reading is very calming and enjoyable. Keep venting to us. We are here to listen. We had 7/8″ of rain.
    Hurray, it really helps.

  24. Kim

    This is quite the adventure for you and Rick. I suspect the difference in the amount of care and the length of it is related to the fact that patients were kept in the hospital for a longer period of time and during that time much of the risk, pain management, physical therapy and special needs to accommodate mobility were seen to during the hospital stay. Insurance companies are very much driving the early release situation. I know of one other who’s husband was released late the same day of his hip replacement surgery. She had a month to prepare their home and to brace herself for what was to come. Her husband had in home physical and occupational therapy services in addition to a nurse visit in the first couple of weeks post surgery. There were also trips to a clinic for rehab. All of this puts tremendous stress in the caregiver and the patient may also be feeling uncertain about the outcome of this care management situation. Considering the majority of hip replacements are done for elderly folks, it would seem prudent to consider the physical ability of the caregiver not to mention the fact that some spouses can be less cooperative with their caregiver at home than they would be with hospital staff. The emotional fatigue can be significant. I believe you’ll be on top of this and all will turn out well in spite of the glitches and miscommunication at release prep time. Even if you had been there it’s a lot to take in in a short time. I wonder what would have happened of you were not able to take care of Rick at home in the next month. If you can, call on people nearby for help this week to help you around the farm. I know, it’s easier said than done.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Kim – we’ve managed pretty well on our first day home – I’m pretty able bodied so that’s a good thing. Becky is coming tomorrow afternoon to help me with a couple things however and I welcome the help.

  25. Jeanie S, Central Illinois

    Oh Mary, what a terrible day! I hope they sent you home with written instructions; one should not be expected to remember all that info thrown at you. I am glad you slept well last night. How did it go with your canine kids welcoming Rick home? Take Care, 🥰

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Jeanie – I had a plan! We drove in the yard, all three dogs ran out of the house so I simply stopped the van and opened the side door so they could jump in. They hadn’t seen Rick for 3 days so I knew they’d knock him down if he got out before their excitement died down. They all greeted him, I gave them the empty milkshake containers and lids and then I drove the van across the sidewalk so Rick could step out at sidewalk level with his walker. No problem. Becky and I got him in the house and seated on his kitchen stool before the dogs finished with their containers. You gotta think like a dog! Haha!

  26. Joy in NW Iowa

    Medical facilities are exhausting! No matter whether you or your spouse are the patient. I guess it’s the stress and the anxiety that exhausts us. Glad you have that behind you both!

    W had some egressing rain .. about an inch all together! Nice and cool today (Sunday).

    Take care!

  27. Beryl BC

    I’m sorry to hear the hospital didn’t resend the information. Weekends can be a difficult time in hospitals, too. Also, information given when the patient is still partly under influence of anesthesia.

    You will do fine. After my husband had major surgery, I told him I was sticking to him like glue for the first few days. We got through it; it did leave several memorable stories in our minds.

  28. Lorraine

    What a long day for you but you have your patient home and now the work begins. I think you will do just fine with all of the different therapy and instructions you have to follow. Just take it easy and slow and you both will get thru this with flying colors. Prayers to you both

  29. Fiona at Ice Bear Quilts

    Mary, what an exhausting and frustrating day for you both! I am sure once you both get used to the new ‘routine’ thing will feel less stressful. Keep your eyes on the goal: Rick fully mobile and pain-free. Take cre and cut yourself a break every now and then. Goid luck, and hopefully it will look less daunting in the morning! 🌸

  30. Vicki Ibarra

    I am glad you cancelled everything for 3-4 days. Once you both get the routines down, you will feel much better and find it not as overwhelming. Be kind to yourself, do less around the farm so as YOU don’t get too tired, and make time for quiet moments – those moments that restore the spirits.

  31. Diane, Squeak and Buddy in Central Ohio

    Oh Mary. That is so frustrating! Another part of the problem is that no one there really cares. Why didn’t they ask Rick or you if you had all the info? Another problem is that rural, bad weather areas have trouble getting doctors. Rural areas in NY, Iowa, etc. are hit hard by that. I hope everything goes more smoothly after Rick is home. Good luck🍀. I just took my Mary “Purses” quilt diwn. I usually have it up
    In May for Mother’s Day, but I love it so it stayed for Father’s Day. No, my dad did not collect purses😹. I did notice it does not have a label so I am going to make one. Did you and Connie both make it? Is it a Country Threads pattern? I think it is, but just checking. I love it❤️❤️ Hotter here today, but bad storms coming tonight. Poor Buddy😿

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Diane – It’s not a Country Threads pattern but I did make it. I can’t remember the designer – possibly Debbie Mumm? Don’t test my memory like this, Diane! Haha!

      1. Diane, Squeak, and Buddy in the basement

        Tooo funny, Mary!! I do love it whoever designed it:) Sleep well tonight.
        Hugs, Diane

  32. Joy in NW Iowa

    Mary you may vent all you want! We all need to do that once in a while! Stuff happens and vent away! When I had back surgery we used our phones as a ‘call for help’ thing. Worked great in the middle of the night, if he was outside, or just wherever! He will be needing help for a bit, but I bet he will be riding in the golf cart before you know it.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Joy – we, too, use our phones – especially when I’m outside, sleeping upstairs or working in the quilt shop. How did we live without our phones? Haha!!

Comments are closed.