Thursday, April 3, 2008

It didn't even come close to déjà vu!

Boy (or, to be both politically correct and gender-neutral, Boy and Girl), was I ever wrong about Ellie's latest hospital stay being déjà vu all over again. As the kids used to say, "Not!" Here are some of the ways in which Ellie's two hospitalizations for knee replacements (referred to as "H1" and "H2" in the remainder of this post) have differed so far.

H1 -- On Day 1, Ellie spent several hours in a groggy, loopy, coming-out-of-narcotics state known as "recovery."
H2 -- On Day 1, Ellie became lucid immediately after her surgery because no narcotics were used. (How the medical people managed to block the femoral nerve and the sciatic nerve, not to mention replace Ellie's knee, without using narcotics is a mystery to me.)

H1 -- On Day 2, with help from the people from Physical Therapy, Ellie took a few steps around her room in the morning and a few steps down the hall in the afternoon. The dreaded "buckling of the knee" possibility we were warned about did not occur.
H2 -- On Day 2, Ellie's knee buckled, she became dizzy, and nearly fell. A few minutes later she passed out in the bathroom. The people from Physical Therapy, plus a registered nurse, helped Ellie get back in bed. No physical therapy occurred on Day 2. Ellie slept most of the day after receiving pain medication intravenously for pain in her leg. After the pain medication took effect, Ellie said, "Two brown dogs jumped out of the back of that truck over there. They're coming this way."

H1 -- On the morning of Day 3, Ellie went to her first physical therapy session in the gym around the corner from the Joint Replacement Unit. In the afternoon, she went to her second physical therapy session.
H2 -- On the morning of Day 3, Ellie went to X-ray and then to Ultrasound to determine whether a blood clot had formed in her leg. Thank God, there was no blood clot. Since the results of the tests were not known until the afternoon, no physical therapy occurred on Day 3.

H1 -- On Day 4, Ellie went to her third physical therapy session in the gym in the morning and to her fourth physical therapy session in the afternoon.
H2 -- On Day 4, Ellie developed severe stomach pain after being given her morning medications on an empty stomach. Her stomach was empty because she did not eat her breakfast. She did not eat her breakfast because she was nauseated from pain medication administered intravenously. (Mea culpa: Both of us had neglected to tell the nurse that Ellie hadn't eaten any breakfast.) The physical therapy people took Ellie to the gym in the morning but decided she was too sick to try to exercise; they returned her to her room. In the afternoon, Ellie went to her first physical therapy session in the gym.

H1 -- On the evening of Day 4, Ellie was discharged from the hospital after attending four post-surgery physical therapy sessions.
H2 -- On the evening of Day 4 (that would be today), Ellie prepared to spend another night in the hospital after having attended one physical therapy session. Perhaps she will be discharged on Day 5. Perhaps she will be discharged on Day 6.

So much for thinking I knew what would occur during Ellie's second hospital stay. The truth, despite what meteorologists think, is that we never know what is about to occur. The words of an old gospel song should have reminded me: "I know not what the future holds, but I know Who holds the future; it's a secret known only to Him." And another song says it even better: "If we could see, if we could know, we often say. But God in love a veil doth throw across our way. We cannot see what lies before, and so we cling to Him the more, He leads us till this life is o'er. Trust and obey."

Next time (if there is a next time), I'll try to remember those gospel songs.

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