My Right Knee

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A total knee replacement was not as painful as I was led to believe by others. Within two days after surgery I was cruising around the hospital room on the surgical floor with a walker. So, off to Acute Rehab, 7th floor, I went, and there I met the enemy: NURSE.

Each Nurse sang the same old tune–call for backup. The walker and I were not allowed to walk without assistance. Such a nuisance it was. Naturally, I ignored them.

Soon after arriving at Acute Rehab, I awoke in the wee hours of the morning as a Tech was installing an alarm to my bed. I was outraged: “what simpleton ordered this?” I shouted at the indifferent Tech. There stood the one who so blatantly insinuated her rules on a paying customer. The Ogre Nurse, while bathed in the light of the vanity sink, radiated cocky satisfaction as she reminded me of her earlier warnings. I was labeled “difficult”, “stubborn”. It was not my first rodeo.

No one was sympathetic nor shared my contempt for the effrontery of the Ogre Nurse. Not the Techs, Therapists, Doctors or other Nurses. I worked hard in physical therapy–pushing myself beyond human limits. I was the “shining star” of the 7th floor. Still, the Ogre would not relent. The walker and I were still sneaking around the room. I used my powers of persuasion and a Tech released me from the alarm only to be quickly discovered by the Ogre. Shouting and castigation ensued. I took the blame, of course. Later that night I was nauseated by too much chocolate pudding. The Ogre checked on me. Suddenly, projectile vomiting flew from my churning stomach–traveling through space and time–only to bombard Ogre Nurse–head on. It was glorious. There was applause from my elderly roommate who had sunken into a hole in her bed.

The day of my release was upon me. Then it happened. My lengthy, stitched wound was bleeding. The fluids emitted were swabbed and sent to the lab. In no time there were preliminary results: STAPH infection. Almost immediately Ogre Nurse had my roommate removed to another room. A sign was on the door of my room and gowns and gloves provided for those who would enter. I was in ISOLATION and I couldn’t go home. I unpacked. Ogre had the alarm put back on my bed.

Luckily, the next set of lab results showed it wasn’t MRSA (long phrase for staph bacteria resistant to antibiotics). The antibiotic I was on was doing the trick–so far. Ogre Nurse removed the bed alarm and the next day Physical Therapy presented me with the green wristband, indicating that I could walk around my room with the assistance of only my walker. Big freaking deal–I was scheduled to be discharged the next day.

What have I learned from my stay in the antiseptic halls of the “gulag”?

There’s something wrong about pudding that does not require refrigeration….

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18 thoughts on “My Right Knee

  1. That projectile committing scene reminded me of the Exorcist, but with chocolate vomit instead of split pea soup vomit. Sounds like Ogre Nurse got her just desserts, pun intended.

  2. You are funny and I enjoyed this immensely!
    I’m having knee surgery in two weeks. While the procedure will be less complicated than yours, I’ll be watching for the ever-vigilant Nurse Ogre. Thanks for the heads up!
    (and I hope that you are healing!!)

    • I’m doing just fine. Seems Ogre Nurse jumped the gun on the staph issue. Really. The surgery wasn’t bad at all. They give you plenty of painkillers to get ahead of the pain rather than wait until you’re hurting to give them to you. You’ll be up and walking in no time at all. Good luck. Lucy

  3. OMG! They don’t want you to walk alone only cos of their risk, when my son was in the hospital, we ended up ignoring everyone and took him outside cos he couldn’t recover without being outdoors (we spend 90% of our time outside). It was very restorative for him to have fresh air and sunshine. My mom was a RN and not like your bad nurses at all! An ALARM is so cruel. Oh, my son got an infection too, and it wasn’t MRSA but it was bad and they gave him augmentin which helped a bit, but then the augmenting caused a REAL problem and his organs were shutting down (he was home with us at the time) and if we hadn’t taken him to our doc who took him off that immediately and put him on something to fix what augmentin did, he might not have survived. Luckily, all is ok now, he’s surfing and hiking and running. Best wishes for speedy recovery and be careful of augmentin!

    • Thanks, Sweetie. They have me on clindamycin. The surgeon doesn’t take chances when replacing a joint or whatever. It’s hard on my stomach, though. Thanks for the heads up about augmentin. I’m glad you son is doing great. I still use a walker and will for a few more weeks–it’s just to protect the new knee. Thanks again. Lucy

  4. Ouch, that’s not good. After suffering from infection from a few of my past injuries, I know that an infection hurts more than anything. I hope you’re better soon.

    • Thanks, Sister. Missed you, too. It’s been weird not pounding away at the keyboard but relaxing in many ways. I looked forward to therapy and mealtime. I actually gained 4 pounds in hospital. My knee was quite swollen and still is so I may easily lose the poundage. I miss breakfast in bed, though. Lucy

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