Total Knee Replacement Surgery
Report from Kansas University Medical Center: Husband Glenn had surgery Wednesday. It is ugly surgery, lots of bloody bone cutting, implants, and drains. The doctors said the surgery went well though they forgot to come out and tell me that. At bedtime, he had whopper of a problem with Respiratory Therapy. The next day, the patient advocate came in, took a report, said she would do something about it, and apologized. She gave us her card and left.
Day two went a little better. Glenn’s doctor used a neuro block which was meant to keep the pain level low for the first two days. Glenn’s leg is in a CPM (continuous Passive Motion) machine that bends and extends the knee to keep the joint flexible. The supervisor of Respiratory Therapy came in to hear about the incident the night before. She apologized, also. Respiratory Therapy has been great ever since.
There have been the usual assortment of aggregations that go along with hospital stays, hurry up and wait moments and an overabundance of pressed turkey sandwiches. With few notable exceptions, the nursing care has been good.
Day three: Not eating. Supposed to be up and walking more, (so far not doing much of that.) The automatic pain injector has been discontinued. Glenn is now on pain medication by mouth and injection. He has lost a considerable amount of blood so needs a couple of transfusions. That’s next and requires a member of a team called I. V. Specialists. The RN put in a request at 11:30 AM.
3:30 PM and still no I.V. Specialist. The RN has paged them a number of times, but she seems powerless and frustrated. I picked up the patient advocate’s card and called her. No one answered but I left a calm but irate message. Ten minutes later, the I.V. Specialist appeared, inserted the I.V. line, and wordlessly left. The patient advocate’s office called to verify the I.V. specialist had shown up. The nurse ordered up the blood and at last, the blood transfusions began. I hope it will make Glenn feel better.
It is really hard to sleep in the hospital because the patient is awakened every four hours for routine but necessary monitoring. If you and your nurse can’t communicate with each other, it is doubly hard. Glenn couldn’t make his foreign-born night aide understand what he wanted so by day four, when I arrived, he was exhausted, in pain, and very much out of sorts. His doctor had been in and ordered enough pain medications, but for some reason, they weren’t controlling his discomfort. Working with the nursing staff, we set up a reasonable schedule and got that fixed. Finally, he’s been able to get out of bed and sit in a chair. That’s progress but he will need to stay here a bit longer than expected.
Note: All the above are good reasons why everyone who goes into the hospital as a patient needs to take along an advocate.
Today is Sunday. We’re still here. Hope to go home soon.