Prema’s Hospital Update

Sarah Hospital is a modern, archetectural wonder. Long gleaming hallways, with subtle artistic flourishes

Outside Sarah looking up at my room at the far left, the green boxes are part of the solar water system and also direct natural lighting into the building

Well, it has been a wild ride, getting this stubborn hip polished by the most excellent Dr. Claudio…..waking up in the ICU of Sarah Hospital with tubes running into and out of my body….surrounded by adorable nurses, aides, therapists and of course Myri….always there to help me through every hurdle.

Dr. Claudio

So here’s the story as best as I can understand it. It took three visits from Dr. Claudio for me to get a clear picture of what he faced when he cut a foot length incision through skin, and muscle to wrestle my right hip j

oint free and observe that things had deteriorated more than we all expected. The cartilage on both femur and acetabulum (socket) was cracked and there were two pieces of extra bone that had tried to form around the ends of the socket and had broken off and were floating around. So….they polished off the cracked cartilage on both accounts…..the good doc described in detail the

challenges and decisions that he had to make and I was so grateful I was in his excellent care. They removed the “stones” called in Portuguese ‘parrot beaks’ , a kind of bone spur, and then placed a cap on both ends that should ride smoothly and allow me free movement.

The operation took four and a half hours. I woke in the recovery room ….. though I was not given a general anesthetic the sedative they did give me knocked me out….I don’t remember them placing the epidural in my spine, and the doctor was wondering when he was hammering one piece of the prosthesis in place if I didn’t remember it, he was certain that no one could sleep through that….but I did, thanks the goddess for that one.

Waking up with tubes and attendants.

I was soon whisked to the ICU…..where everything was carefully monitored….the tubes…..let’s see, I had oxygen, that was a cute lit

tle green clip in my nostrils, a fat tube draining blood out of the wound, a catheter for my pee pee, an IV going into the back of my hand carrying both pain killers and electrolytes, a band around my arm for blood pressure that went off every hour on the hour, a clip on my finger that measured the level of oxygen in my blood, four flat discs pasted on my chest to monitor my pulse, a narrow tube going into my spine delivering painkillers directly to the surgical area.

One of the many gorgeous nurses and attendants working with me. Roselaine.

….  am I forgetting anything…..

oh yes, the second IV delivering my own blood that I had given six days ago in readiness for this moment….I had lost a lot of blood during the operation and they were very concerned about my low blood pressure.

Things moved quickly….I was “graduated” to the third floor when my blood pressure got high enough for them to remove the transfusion IV. There still was not enough oxygen in my blood so they sent an adorable physical therapist to teach me some deep breathing yogic exercises….. they planted me right across from the nurses station where they could keep an eye on all the monitors. It was a noisy scene, about 8 beds on either side of the station, TVs roaring, but I was pretty out of it……and then….they moved us to our private “apartment” where our email hook up was waiting.

The tubes started coming out Friday as I showed rapid improvement, they even got me out of bed to shuffle a few feet across the room. It is excruciatingly painful to walk at all and this first venture left me dizzy and breathless. I went back on the oxygen and passed out.

Full moon from my balcony, the city sparkling below

Friday night was special….full moon blazing into the room. Zenia, one of our Brasilia Taras, took Myri’s place. Myri had to lead a circle of full moon dancing at her studio, Om Tare!!!  Zenia is a sincere student of the dharma and entertained me with some great stories of her visit with Kalu Rinpoche the last couple of years.

This is Myri's domain. Take away the pillow supports and the couch becomes a bed.

Saturday was Dr. Claudio’s day off so I enjoyed a morning visit from his subs….I laughed so hard at these guys….they seemed so young and boisterous these doctors, rather like two Doberman yearlings…all long legs….they bounced in, and because the language thing had them flummoxed they started pulling at the sheet covering my leg and squeezing it and in general showing a lack of propriety. There was a little shouting match in Portuguese as Myri came back into the room off the veranda and I was laughing so hard as they bounced back out…..they even waved.

And then, the lights went out. Yep….we were without electricity for most of Saturday which was fine because the sliding glass doors give plenty of light and it was a good excuse to ignore my computer and just read off the kindle (that was a major good move) Exciting moments were ….  removing the spinal tube, sitting on the toilet, taking a shower, getting the dressing changed on the cut so we could see what it looked like…..and…dragging myself down the hall with my new best friend, a shiny blue walker.

This is the view from my bed. Every morning I see the sun rise bathe the sky with glorious color. the weather is perfect, cool but not cold.

Saturday night was a nightmare. I was in a lot of pain, couldn’t find a comfortable position, my skin was covered with some irritation due to the withdrawal from the opiate they had been dripping into my system with the spinal……I couldn’t sleep, I was buzzing with energy, and of course poor Myri was up and down all night trying to pacify me. The nurses kept giving me pain pills and sleeping pills and finally around 4 AM I was able to pass out. Myri and I slept almost all day Sunday and all night. It was remarkable. We ate and slept…..but this was excellent….today, Monday we both woke up refreshed. I finally feel capable to posting this bit of news. I know so many of you have been asking…..I simply didn’t have it in me to write more than a few words until now.

Physical therapy (also known as moderate torture) started today. Myri is off to the bank leaving me on my own for an hour or so and the nurses feel confident that we can all manage the challenge.

My Beloved friend, thanks so much for keeping me in the circle of your prayers and loving concern.

Sending much love from the heart of Brazil,

prema

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