The Surgical Post

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?

March 31, 2010

16 Responses to The Surgical Post

  • Very cool. Stick like glue to your therapy and do EVERYTHING they tell you, even though you will be thinking they are sadistic heathens. Trust me.

  • Normal? When you find out what that is, will you let the rest of us know? 😀

    Happy to hear they, I mean you made it through ok!

  • My hubs is recovering from shoulder surgery and has similar pictures to brag about. Seriously. He carries them around and shows people. I told him to warn me first because I tend to get a little woozy.

    Glad that you are brave. I’m a big chikin! I’d have to have enough knock-out pills to last throughout rehab if it were me.

  • Glad it went well, and keep us posted!

  • Congrats! The scary part is over!!! Make sure you do all the exercises they tell you to at home. The faster you recover the less your kids will be able to torture you in your helpless state!!!!

  • Wishing you much luck in your recovery.

  • I am so glad you made it through, I’ve been waiting for the update! Oh as for pictures, my husband begged the surgeon for pics of his colonoscopy, needless to say when I kept finding them lying around I had to put them out of sight! Some things don’t need to be seen continually! Take care

  • I recently had a colonoscopy at age 33. On the morning on the procedure, I arrived at the hospital and was told to pee in the cup. I looked at them and said that was not happening and did they know what I had just been through. All fluid was not leaving my body in its intended way. Also, I just went to the bathroom before leaving the house and it wasn’t going to happen again. They begged for a few drops. I assured them I wasn’t pregnant, but still tried to ‘perform’. I came out of the bathroom requesting the waiver. They were still reluctant and seemed to suggest that once they got the IV going, I could try again. At this point, I announced to the room that there was no way I could be pregant (and explained why) and to just give me the waiver.

  • Reading your surgery blog made me think that I was reading “This Is Your Life”. I have been through these very steps numerous times. I have very bad knee joints. I laughed when you mentioned writing yes and no on your knees. I remember thinking, what have I done……………do they often “fix” the wrong knee???? serioursly??? too funny
    I am so glad they were able to fix yours. The pic looks good as new!
    Get well soon.

  • At least you didn’t do anything too embarrassing while intoxicated. I had all four wisdom teeth pulled at the same time and the dr said I would have to be knocked out…fine with me. However, dh says that after surgery I kept trying to TAKE OFF MY CLOTHES!! No one knows why. He had to drive one-handed home as he tried to use his other hand to keep me from completely stripping off and scarring poor unsuspecting drivers in traffic with us. Glad you’re better.

  • So glad you are feeling better!!! I think the pharmaceutical companies deliberately put things in our meds so that we will do crazy things. I mean seriously what would the surgical teams talk about if we did not entertain them. 🙂

  • Glad it was worth it! I’m still waiting to feel the results of my sinus surgery working. No PT for sinuses 😉

  • Oh my, DeeDee, I feel a little woozy just reading about it! So glad that’s over and done with for you! Watch out for rogue dishwashers from now on, ‘K? 🙂

  • My hubs went through the same procedure. Your version sounds much more entertaining. 🙂

  • Well as a survivor of knee surgery myself, I had to stop by and see how you are doing. Sounds good, the first day is the PITS, but that is behind you now!!!
    Rest and take it easy…….yea right….but I had to say it anyway!

  • Hooray! Sorry for the lateness of joy…I’m just now catching up.