My surgery went well and I got home from the hospital mid day yesterday.Â The doctor did more then just an ACL reconstruction so the pain and recovery stage is a touch harder/longer/more painful than I anticipated.Â I currently am running a fever (have been since Friday) and have quite a bit of swelling.Â A bit of a blow by blow:
Thursday i entered the hospital a little nervous but ready to go.Â After six years (almost to the day) of dealing with the fall out of the original injury and dealing with the pain I was ready to have this over and done with.
Check in at the hospital went smoothly.Â We had just missed someone freaking out about not getting a private room – just our luck.Â So I registered for my surgery and provided my insurance information so I could apply for a private or semi private room (I got neither – ended up in a four person ward roomÂ because they ran out of rooms- ahh well).Â After checking in we went up to the surgery prep area and I got out of my clothes and into the hospital robes.Â At this point it really hits home that you are about to go in for surgery and I found myself walking around saying to myself “it’ll be a long time before you can walk like this again”.
My time finally came and I was wheeled into the surgery area where I ended up having to wait for a bit.Â My surgery was delayed by 30 minutes because it took longer to clean up after the previous surgery then anticipated.Â When I got into the room I was surprised at how big the team was taking part in the operation.Â I also thanked my lucky stars that I live in Canada and didn’t have to pay for this – looking around the internet it looks like I would have paid around 35k in the US for this operation.Â My team consisted of 3 doctors, a med student and 2 nurses.
While they were getting everything setup I lay on my back and the anesthesiologist came over and started talking to me.Â Next thing I knew I was out cold.
I started to wake up slowly but surely and had very little pain coming out of the surgery a few hours later (surgery took the full slotted two hours).Â There was a lady who was dying (she died that night while getting an MRI) and the doctor was talking to her and the conversation was interesting so I focused on that to try and force myself awake.Â After that conversation ended I focused on the clock and had a “wow it can’t be 5pm” argument with myself in my head.Â At this point I was more or less awake and shortly I was off to my room.
I didn’t mind being put in a ward room – my four neighbors when I first moved in were great.Â The first night Tammy, my dad and my grandparents came to visit me (my mom was watching Paige).Â Tammy stuck around until after visiting hours and her keeping me company really helped me get adjusted to m temporary home in the hospital.
The first day was pretty much pain free courtesy of morphine.
Day two I got my introduction to morning stiffness – when you don’t take meds over night PLUS don’t move at all your knee is going to rebel and do some screaming.Â It took a couple doses of morphine to “catch up” to my pain and get rid of the stiffness that morning.Â Once I had control of the pain the physio guy came and got me out of bed and walking for the first time.Â Let me just say – it wasn’t easy!Â He also showed me a bunch of exercises that I need to do a few times a day to get my movement back.
My doctor dropped in shortly after my walk and gave me a run down of how the surgery went.Â Basically when he opened up the knee he discovered it was even more of a mess then once believed.Â So he fixed my ACL and then rebuilt several muscle groups and cut out some cartilage that was “flapping around in there”.Â Apparently he even tried to save me the cartilage but the nurses must have thrown it out (boo – I would have liked to keep it).Â So he did about an extra 45 minutes worth of surgery in what essentially was a complete rebuild of the muscles in my left knee.
We also discussed recovery times and I think I might have to take more time off from work then originally anticipated.Â I had planned on likely being off for 2 weeks but he wants me off an absolute minimum of four weeks with a preference for six weeks off(!).Â I still need to figure all this out but ya – wow a long, slow and painful recovery is ahead of me.
Late day two one of my room mates checked out (after trying to get them to give him more and more drugs – was entertaining) and his replacement was less then desirable.Â We knew we were in trouble when the new room mate’s family showed up hours before he got into the room and started making a tonne of noise.Â You are only supposed to have 2 family members in the room at a given time and he had at least 6!Â They were young, noisy and super annoying.Â We didn’t realize that was just the beginning.
When he finally did show up he was yelling and screaming in pain and it got old about as fast as you’d expect something like that to get old – in about 10 seconds.Â We found out the next morning when the nurses checked his morphine why he was in so much pain… he had only taken 7 doses of morphine the whole time he was there since his surgery (we were all on self medicating morphine machines – basically the machine limits how much you can get but you press a button and it administers your dose through your IV).Â One of my room mates checked himself out of the hospital a day early because of this guy – he was just brutal.Â I was lucky enough to have my bed right beside him! Go me!
Day three my third and final day was a pretty quick as far as the hospital goes.Â I woke up pretty early in the morning mostly because of Mr Idiot so I listened to my iPod quite a bit (to block him out) and I drifted in and out of sleep.Â After breakfast the physio people dropped by again this time to show me how to use crutches (which I’m absolutely useless with) and how to walk up stairs.Â The lesson was good but was super draining.
After that it was pretty much home time.Â Getting into the van to get home took me about an hour and was probably the most pain I’ve been in since the surgery.
I’m home now and Tammy is doing a wonderful job taking care of me.Â There have been some complications post surgery (not with the knee luckily).Â I have a lot of swelling and I have had a fever since Friday – so we are monitoring all of that closely.
I’m on orders to get back in touch with my doctor and the hospital if the fever isn’t gone by tomorrow – so we’re going to have to see how that goes.
(My apologies if any of this post doesn’t make sense – I’m very heavily medicated at the moment and I’ve been falling asleep the last half of this post )