Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Day Zero - Surgery

I looked forward to this day with excitement.  I'd waited two weeks to get to this point.  Two weeks with a knee that had zero stability, pain, swelling, crutches, a couple different knee braces...  It was a challenge.  So when the surgery date was set about 5 days prior, I was pretty relieved and anxious.

I decided to spend the final days before surgery in bed.  I was getting obnoxious swelling in my ankle from moving around too much.  I'd weight my knee by accident and cause myself awful pain.  The knee brace (a DonJoy velcro brace) was helpful, but it put immense pressure on the damaged LCL.  That would cause my knee to ache for the following 24 hours, making sleep restless.

I arrived at the surgery center around 6am with my husband, Steve.  By the way, I cannot imagine going through all this again without him.  He's an amazing supporter and took excellent care at each step.  They prepped me for surgery, which started around 7am.  I decided not to accept the femoral block.  The anesthesiologist explained that I'd need more pain meds w/o the block but that I could decide after the surgery and she could give me the block then.  That seemed like a good option to me.  When I came out of surgery, if the pain was excruciating, I'd accept the block.  Unfortunately, the amount of anesthesia used during the procedure meant I would take nearly 2 hours to come back to the living.  The anesthesiologist was not available then.  The femoral block was no longer a real option, unless I wanted to wait 2 more hours for another anesthesiologist to become available.  I just wanted to go home (sorta - I was pretty out of it).  Hindsight... should have gotten the block.  It works for 12-18 hours, so the first day would have been a little more comfortable.

It was tough getting home.  I was still so groggy and had to make my way up the stairs to my bedrom where I would convalesce.  That was a solid 8 minute trip.  Once in my bed, my husband and my sister hooked me up to the compression/ice machine (loved this machine) and off to la-la land I went.

I got up to pee once the first day.  The pain was excruciating!  I took my first Percocet after that short and hellish trip to the bathroom.  And then, back to la-la land.  The anastesia and pain meds administered during surgery seemed to be in my system for the entirety of the first day, but the pain was unexpected and quite severe.

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