On Monday, the day before my scheduled surgery on Tuesday, I received a call from the surgical center giving me my time and going over some last minute details.
First of all, she said that I had to be there at noon, and my procedure, if on schedule, would be at 1:15. Um, excuse me, that means I have to go the entire morning without food or coffee? (I was to stop drinking and eating, cold turkey, at midnight the night prior.) At that point I may have started hyperventilating.
Then she reminded me to wear rather room pants so that they would fit over the ample dressing and drain. DRAIN? DRAIN? FOR WHAT?
I figured that since this was to be arthroscopic surgery, I would be sent home with 3 Curads. Tops. A DRAIN? This is about when I began to think about backing out. So I’d have a limp for the rest of my life.
Clearer heads prevailed, and Fiddledaddy drove me to the appointment. While I sat quietly wringing my hands and making out my last verbal will and testament.
We arrived and the first thing I was told was that I needed to pee into a cup.
YEAH. GOOD LUCK WITH THAT! You people cut me off at midnight last night.
For each of my pregnancies, I always performed the ritual of peeing in the cup at home, and I brought it with me. BECAUSE I DO NOT DO WELL UNDER PRESSURE. Especially when you don’t let me drink anything. They told me that I’d have to have blood work sent over to the hospital and that would delay everything for about an hour.
GIVE ME THE FREAKING CUP AGAIN. I managed 2 drops, which was all that was needed. I asked what it was for. “To make sure you’re not pregnant.”
I could have just saved us both a lot of time and agony.
Imagine my relief when the results came back negative…
Then they gave me a marker and told me to write on my knees. “Yes” for the knee to be worked on, and “No” for the good knee. And I was to initial both. Seriously? Allrightythen. So I added a happy face to my good knee, and a sad face on the one with no discernible knee cap.
After I donned the requisite hospital gown, blue hair net, and lovely brown socks, I cozied into the chair, and Fiddledaddy and I awaited the anesthesiologist. Who was working on the guy next door. When the guy next door was asked if he would like a little something to calm his nerves, he declined. I, however, spoke up from behind curtain #2. “Um, I’LL TAKE IT!”
When ever nervous, it is a safe bet that I’m going to do or say something inappropriate.
When my turn came, I mentioned that I had A LITTLE HEADACHE THAT WOULD KILL MOST MEN. So, the nice anesthesiologist slipped me a little somethin’ somethin’ that made my headache go away. Along with my memory. And ability to speak in complete sentences.
We’ll just put the lady behind curtain #2 out of our misery.
It was lights out for me pretty much. I vaguely remember the operating room. I tried to count the bolts holding up the light above me, but I only got to ONE.
When it was all over, and the recovery room nurse was trying to wake me up, I just thought, “Dear God, one good nap, it’s all I ask.”
When I was semi-coherent, I was wracked with nausea. So they gave me a little somethin’ for that. By the time Fiddledaddy poured me into the van, I am certain I was drooling.
And still nauseous. For the rest of the day and on into the night I really thought I was going to die. Seriously. I still couldn’t eat or drink, my head hurt, my knee was killing me, AND THERE WAS A DRAIN HANGING OFF OF MY LEG. Oh, and I dared not take any more pain killers.
I had to wait it out. And this is where my sweet husband took the part of our vows “for better OR WORSE” to heart. He took such good care of me.
Somewhere in the night, I got up and realized that the nausea was gone. All the pain was still there, but I found out that pain does not compare to the drug induced nausea.
By morning, I was on Tylenol and Motrin, with good results. I enjoyed the best cup of coffee I’ve ever had, and OATMEAL IS SO DELICIOUS. Who knew?
My first Physical Therapy appointment was today. The drain was to be removed. I was warned that there was about a foot of tubing in my knee that would simply be pulled out. The P.T. told me to let him know if I got nauseous or thought I was going to faint. I said YES to both, before he even touched me. I held my breath and it was over in 2 seconds. Not too bad. He said he’s had grown men pass out.
I am brave.
He gently took me through some exercises to do at home AND HE DID NOT MAKE ME CRY. I have about 3 weeks of P.T. ahead of me. He said I’ll be fully back on my feet next week, and be back to normal in 3 to 4 weeks.
Whatever normal is.
One thing that I’ll be working up to is an exercise regime that will include walking, elliptical, and weights to build my leg muscles. But nothing high impact. Ever. No running.
If you know me at all, you know that I’m not all that broken up about that last thing. Since I only run while being chased.
I’m feeling so much better now. The worse is behind me. I would jump for joy, if that wouldn’t land me in traction.
Thank you so much for all of your concern, your well wishes, and most of all your prayers!
This is the interior of my knee. In the last image, it’s all fixed. Cool, no?