Surgery Day

9-30-16

Typical stuff – not food or drink after midnight.I slept ok, but 4:30am came too early!

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Had to dress loosely, as I was going to come home bandaged and swollen.

Had to arrive 7:15 downtown but surgery would be 8:15. We made it down there early to avoid traffic, so arrived around 6:30. Checked in and waited. and waited ! It wasn’t until almost 7:45 or 8:00 that they even called me in to prep.

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I did my own prep, but it proved unnecessary as both the Dr and Anesthesiologist had to autograph the “bad side”.

Prep involved involved shaving my leg, getting an IV going, remove the wedding ring (which was tough it never leaves my hand!) and going over everything again. finally they let Liz back to sit with me a while… and more… and I swear it wasn’t until 10 that I saw the Doc (I could be wrong but it was a long time).

I met the anesthesiologist who went over everything. Thankfully he didn’t even ask to shave my beard, I think the plan was a incubate me from the start.

I met the Doc who went over everything again. Expected time was 1hr 30 min to  2hrs 30min.

Then some more waiting, kisses, and off to la-la land I went.

What I didn’t know then was that once the Doc got in there, it was a lot worse than the imagining showed.

4 hours and 30 minutes later, I’m done and wheeled to recovery.

In short, it was a freaking mess, it took forever, and it is going to mean an even longer recovery. I was so stoned from the anesthesia, Narco, and nerve block that really I didn’t know much more than “surgery took 4.5 hours”. My brain tried to attach information to that, but I really struggled while coming out of the haze.

I always struggle with breathing deeply after anesthesia and this time was no different. It was HIGHLY annoying to be told to breathe deeply while I just wanted them to leave me be. I even got this cute little ball game I had to breathe in deep enough to get the ball to a certain level. It helped, but I was still annoyed. The nurses did a good job and didn’t hesitate keep me working at it (deep breaths apparently are the best way to clear the anesthesia) and popping Narcos, saltines, and apple juice in me because I was in a LOT of pain. I swear I felt like I was hit by a truck. Luckily with the drugs I didn’t care too much, but the list was long

  • My hip felt like I was shot, like literally shot
  • My right shoulder was burning
  • My left foot felt like someone punched it
  • My right foot felt like someone stabbed it

They wanted me to pee, but I really didn’t have the energy to stand let alone crutch over to the toilet. Also, I didn’t have to. I think they wanted to go home too. Even though I felt like we were the first to arrive, it seemed like we were the 2nd to last to leave.

We had a friend (thanks Susan!) come and pick us up in a minivan and take us home. I think it was probably 4:30pm? I am SO glad the nurses strongly encouraged me to arrange for a minivan and not a normal car, we were able to make plenty of room for me to get in – my leg was absolutely useless and I didn’t want to bend it. So I was able to get strapped in and have my leg out, it was about as comfortable as it could be. Getting in the van was tricky, but I don’t remember much about how tricky – just tricky and a bit scary for all.

I remember I was alert during the ride, but I was wishing I could just lie down. The pain meds were doing their job. But I was getting hungry. The few saltines in recovery just didn’t do it. Even though I have no idea if it was smart, I wanted PIZZA. That is the ultimate comfort food for me and I wanted it and wanted it BAD. I rationalized that hey, I had anti-nausea meds, so hopefully I could keep it down. Nothing else sounded good. We ordered from the car 🙂

Once we got home, I realized it was approximately 140.6 miles to get to my chair (ok, really it was maybe 50ft but there was a Bump and a single Step!). That was a real chore. Soon as I got into my chair I was HUNGRY! Thankfully as Liz went to get my REAL pain meds (Oxy) Susan went and got the pizza (THANK YOU AGAIN!!) .

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It drives me crazy that the pain med prescription cannot be given to you BEFORE the surgery. Just like my surgery in 2009, Liz had to go all over the darn place (Jewel Osco didn’t have any, Walgreens did but they had to call insurance, etc). She ended up doing 2 trips, paying cash (AGAIN!) and finally I got my pills around 9.

Before I crashed I got into the CPM (continuous passive motion) machine for an hour or so. Maybe. I think so. I was so stoned. But they said I had to start right away.

Finally, I got strapped into my ice machine, setup for bed, and off I went to sleep.

PT Would be 12 hours later. Ug.

Days 1 – 3 the Fog

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