Just to show how Scleroderma spreads it's tentacles; I have just undergone surgery for a Total Hip Replacement (THR). The reason for this is because I've been taking steroids (Prednisolone) for the last five and a half years, and unfortunately one of the side effects it can cause is Avascular Necrosis (another cause can be excessive alcohol; I like a drink with the best of them, but I don't think this is what triggered it in my case! ;) ) Unfortunately, both my hips have been affected and so both will have to be replaced, but I'm only just recovering from the trauma of the first.
I don't intend to bore you all with the tedious details of trying to get the operation organised in the first place (further complicated by the necessity of coming off immune suppressants before and after the operation) as having to liaise between the three hospitals I consult for Scleroderma and the hospital dealing with the operation is a logistical nightmare, for which a tenacious and determined personality is required. Briefly, if I hadn't made a complete pest of myself, it wouldn't have happened.
However, on the required date for my operation (having successfully been through the pre-med procedure) I presented myself at the hospital and was prepared for surgery. Gruesome as it may seem, I was very keen to watch the whole thing (having seen it on a video on the internet) and felt sure that it might prove interesting. However, unfortunately, after a spinal anesthetic, I found that there was still sensation in my leg when the surgeon tested it and so I had to have a light sedative and missed the whole thing! Ah well, I'll have another chance with the next one!
The first day after the surgery was miserable; I was in a lot of pain and felt that I'd gone through all this trouble for nothing; however, they tinkered around with the pain medication and that did help. I was doing quite well and was due to come home after four days; however, I noticed on the fourth day that I had a hot red rash coming from my wound to my groin. At that stage I was on crutches, so hobbled out to find a nurse to inform her (pressing the buzzer by the bed was a rather hit and miss affair; I once waited ten minutes to be taken to the bathroom!) She was rather dismissive and gave me the impression that I was making an unnecessary fuss; however, I persisted and she sent a doctor to have a look at it. Having already had a DVT on another occasion I was worried that it might happen again and the doctor took a blood test to check my inflammatory markers and after consulting with her senior colleague, they decided it was cellulitis and put me on a course of strong oral antibiotics, which thankfully did the trick.
I was a little concerned that if I hadn't noticed it and made a fuss, I would have been sent home with raging cellulitis, which is very difficult to get rid of, once it gets going. However, that does seem to have been the pattern throughout the whole procedure; a sort of do it yourself situation, so therefore I wasn't surprised really. The actual surgery and immediate after care was excellent; I can't fault the treatment I received. It tailed off a little afterwards and the hospital food was "interesting"; I took a photo of the jelly they served up one evening......it was still in lumps!! I'm not quite sure how anyone can mess up making jelly, but there you are!!
Suffice to say I'm very pleased to be home; I was very surprised at how much the whole operation has taken out of me, as I'm normally very resilient and bounce back fairly quickly ( the human rubber ball, that's me! ) Thank goodness for my long suffering husband, what a complete star he's been at looking after me!
Ah well, one down, one to go!!