So here we are it’s 2.25 am on Tuesday morning and sleep seems hard to come by. Watched a couple of episodes of Scandal on Foxtel on Demand and had a couple of hours sleep but am feeling wide awake now so thought I would finish off Monday. During the latter part of the afternoon, my surgeon, Dr Nick Vertzyas visits. He looks pretty dapper in his chinos, shirt and jacket and is accompanied by another assistant whose job it seems is to take notes of what is said.
Dr Nick, as I now call him as I’m never quite sure of the right pronunciation of his name, checks on my hip dressing and advises that he has looked at the X-rays taken earlier and all is good. However, he wants to talk a bit about the lack of cortisol and now potassium in my blood. Lack of cortisol production can be caused by taking steroids – not something I have ever done, but the Dr relays a story about a patient he had recently who had been taking protein supplements which unbeknown to him contained steroids and his knees had been so badly effected that he could no longer walk. This was the side effect of taking something sold over the counter that did not list all ingredients. As I understand it, it can also be a side effect of drugs taken for asthma and diabetes along with some Chinese herbal remedies.
I found this news upsetting as this can affect your bone density and a myriad of other things – life is not plain sailing and sometimes an illness is obvious, such as my hip replacement and then due to something that happens during the process of rectifying the known illness, something else is discovered. I am ‘lucky’ that Dr Nick picked this up I am told – hmm I’m thinking, define lucky. But, one of Dr Nick’s passions at Uni was a fascination with endocrinology and when he heard about my blood pressure over the weekend, just knew there must be something else wrong. It is quite common for your blood pressure to be low after a spinal injection, but it should come back up once that is worn off and mine wasn’t so he decided to investigate a little further. Well, apparently it can be fixed and the endocrinologist will be the one to do this. I am waiting to see her and hope this is not going to cause any or too much delay in my recovery.
Nurse comes to give me my injections and once again take my blood pressure. I almost feel like celebrating when she tells me it’s up to 102 / 67. Oxygen saturation is 96 and pulse is 80 – gee I seem quite healthy. It did get to me a bit earlier in the evening. When Lexi visited I was teary and had a shoulder to cry on. It’s not like me to wallow in self pity as although all this is not straight forward, I am still better off than millions of other people around the world and very lucky to have access to such attentive medical brilliance.
Change of shift for nurses and now I have Charlene. A beautiful young lady from Singapore who immediately instils confidence with her presence and demeanour. She also smells delicious – it’s Chanel she says. Where I had an injection in the cannula (which has been in my arm since pre-op) it feels very hot and there is an underlying red ‘rash’ running up my arm. Is this OK I ask Charlene? It feels really hot. No, it’s not OK she says and so proceeds to remove it explaining that a new one will be inserted in the morning – that’s something to look forward to!
Bloating and constipation have also set in, probably through the complete change of meal plan and lack of activity. My stomach is rock hard so now we have to sort out my digestion. It’s one thing after another, but the mind needs to stay strong and positive that we will overcome all these little additional hurdles as well as the one we were originally here for – the hip replacement.
I hope that all this detail isn’t a bore and you feel that you are trawling through stuff to see where there’s anything fitness related but I feel it’s important to share the thoughts and processes that go on when we experience these ups and downs and are sidelined by things we really don’t expect. Being physically fit has a core foundation in being mentally fit and this, I know, will be a determining factor on my speed of recovery and return to the gym!
Hippy Times … 🏋🏻♀️