|The day after the operation was the low point. I knew they liked to get people up early, so when the physical therapist came at noon I was ready to get up and walk. I sat up, stood up... and practically fainted back on the bed. We did a few exercises lying down, but it was a let-down.
That night I tried sitting up and even standing up on my own. It felt dizzy at first, but soon less so.
The next morning I stood with no problem, and was tempted to try to walk, but decided to wait for the PT. She started me on crutches, and it went great - out the door, down the hall, up a flight of stairs, then back down, and back to the room. No pain, right leg bearing weight, and I noticed in a mirror as I went by that I was standing up straight again, without the hunch forward that the stiff hip had given me for several years.
From that point it was great. They only gave me one painkiller shot, the first day, and the second day cancelled it. The pills they stopped giving me day 4, since I had no pain at all (I wonder if there are even nerves in that leg: the arthritis didn't hurt, the incision didn't hurt...)
Physical therapy was almost fun, it went so well. For most exercises I would start off unable to do them, as if the muscle had forgotten how to work. After a few seconds of trying suddenly the leg would move, and then it would be easy.
There isn't much to say past this. Dr. Brockwell was in every day to warn me not to do too much for fear of a stress fracture in the femoral neck. It took 3 days, but I think it finally sunk in. My blood pressure remained low, but did climb slowly up to around 100/60, and didn't affect me after the second day.
The hospital was great. First suggestion, always schedule surgery for over a holiday, if possible. The place was empty - my semiprivate room had just me for all but one day. The nurses were underused and bored, so I got as much attention as I wanted. My room had a large window next to my bed overlooking the South China Sea, with eagles constantly soaring and hunting outside my window, sometimes coming as close as only a few meters from the glass. The food was wonderful. Perhaps "gourmet" would be an exaggeration, but you could order it any time you wanted from a fairly extensive menu of Chinese and western dishes.
The building next to the hospital is Sharp House, the serviced apartments attached to the hospital. There was some confusion at first as we were told they were fully booked for the entire period, but then we got someone who actually checked, and got us the Rose Suite, a 1-bedroom suite, for the entire time. Sharp House is cheaper than a Hong Kong hotel room, has cooking and laundry facilities, and the same great view I had from my room. There is a free shuttle bus downtown that takes about 20 minutes, and it is only a 10-minute walk to Victoria Peak with shopping, restaurants, and supermarkets. It is hard to see how it could have been more convenient for them or for me.
Lin and Aaron had a great time. They went shopping, visited Disney World, the Science Museum, Art Museum, hiked the Peak, and in general had a good vacation. They did stop in to see me every day or so, usually to tell me what fun they had been having. Her cousin who lives in Hong Kong also stopped by one day with her husband, so I had some visitors.
The fourth day they talked about discharging me, but Lin and Aaron were out at Disney World. Day 5 they wanted to discharge me but the doctor never came in - he was on a cable TV show, which ran over. day 6 I finally got out, to spend a day and a half in Sharp House before returning to Beijing.
Aaron and Hua Lin worrying about my recovery