Sunday, September 30, 2007

Surgery Recovery - Day 3

Christ - is it really only the third day?


Sunday...well I woke up feeling the knee was slightly less painful than Saturday - progress! Plus, the Bills play the Jets today and we'll get the game on TV so I can watch it! I can't wait for stupid Direct TV to lose the deal on the NFL package so cable can get it too.

I was actually able to crutch into the shower today. Ari wrapped the bandages well in saran wrap and I was able to wash my hair and body (mostly, its hard to bend over - I definitely recommend having someone help you with this part, falling in the shower would SUUUUCK). After rinsing away the hospital and/or sty stench I moved to the couch and proceeded with usual Game Ready/pee routine. The knee was definitely more sore after the shower, however it also seemed to react a little quicker to the ice from the Game Ready.

Late in the day I decided to try getting up and sitting down by myself - after all it was Sunday, Ari couldn't stick around forever helping me stand up and sit down. I was able to maneuver around a bit by using my good leg, holding the band on the knee brace and moving the leg that way also helped a lot. I'm still not stable enough (the knee cap feels like its swimming around waiting for its chance to escape if I move too much) but Monday I am going to try moving around some more.

I also started really working on the projects I had lined up for my stint on the couch. I am knitting a sweater now, I finished a scarf earlier and am looking around for good hat & baby mitten patterns to get rid of some left over yarn. I highly recommend finding some projects before you head into surgery. I also have some books set aside, but let me tell you - its really hard to concentrate on reading when your leg is throbbing and you are kind of drooling...

I spoke to my doctor today as well, I sent him an email on Friday night because they had indicated I should contact him if there was pain that the medication was not addressing. I described the pain to him and he assured me that the pain level I was experiencing was expected given the level of reconstruction I underwent. I guess that makes me feel better....

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Surgery Recovery - Day 2

Its Saturday, here are some things I learned from Friday:

  • My boyfriend is the best. Not only did he wait at the hospital all day Thursday, take me home and wait on me, he has continued to do so since then. He's been outside maybe 5 times with the exciting goal of grabbing ice, diet ginger ale, and various other items I might want at some point. He wakes up in the middle of the night to give me medicine and refresh my ice, encourages me when I'm being pissy and depressed, insists I don't smell (I'm certain he is lying, but don't want to dwell on whether I smell more like a sty or a hospital) and has been really supportive and generally amazing.
  • If you have Game Ready and a brace, when they send you home you will have both on at the same time. This turned out to be way too much for me. The pressure and weight made any attempts at bathroom breaks excruciating. Instead, Saturday I kept the game ready on all day unless I had to pee break. For pee breaks I remove the game ready and put the stabilizer brace back on. Switch em back when you are finished.
  • Supporting your busted leg with your good leg helps a lot when you are trying to move and no one is there to help or when you are switching braces and just need to lift it a couple inches. For me, supporting my right leg by sticking my left foot under it and lifting when switching braces helped a lot.
  • I am using the term pee break for a reason. Check your medication, peeing is all you may be able to do. As I'm sure you can imagine, this becomes most uncomfortable. Stock up on stool softeners (sorry, it's gross, I know).
  • Your back is going to hurt. This particularly sucks when you wake up in the middle of the night with knee and back pain. Why the hell can't it only be the knee? To remedy this I sit on the couch during the day - its firmer and the pillows support my back well. At night I made sure I was using a really low pillow just under my head and that my hips were in the same position, even though my right leg was up on a pillow. Yes its awkward.
Saturday was much of the same - the pain had reduced by a little so I was happy - or at least not as cranky and miserable as Friday. I was still unable to move around - couldn't get out of bed or off the couch, definitely couldn't stand on the crutches for more than a couple minutes. We sat around watching college football while I ate meds and used Game Ready (I love that thing). We also realized the resident who prescribed the pain meds for me hadn't prescribed enough to take me through the weekend. Awesome. Since the hospital was closed and the on call person told us the Dr. was not to be bothered for prescriptions I had to cut back on pain meds, which totally sucks. I highly recommend you have whoever is taking you home check your prescription before you get discharged and make them give you more if you don't have enough to make it through to your post-op appointment.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Surgery Recovery - Day 1


As the Anesthesiologist explained, the goal was to manage the pain - the meds wouldn't take care of it completely. Translation: I still felt pain and it totally sucks. I was up much of the night Thursday trying to get a little comfortable and also because I had to take the meds every 4 hours. Thank god my boyfriend Ari was able to help me so much. Otherwise I would be a pile of knee braces, clothing and pee laying on the floor somewhere in my apartment.

Going to the bathroom: it is completely impossible for me to get my leg out of the bed (or off of the couch) and onto the floor without significant amounts of pain (actually, my knee cap feels like its going to pop out the side of my leg) . Ari helps me by holding my leg straight out, off the bed or couch, until I have the crutches then slowly lowering it. Sitting down to pee is also nearly impossible - I would imagine boys have it way easier. Fortunately my bathroom is embarrassingly small; I can reach the wall, the door, the towel rack and the sink all without moving. I use one or many of those items to lower myself into "position". This still sucks on the knee - but if you keep your crutches close, you can prop the busted leg up on one while you do your thing and the support actually feels better than just leaving it on the floor.

Friday was the hardest day so far - the blocker had worn off and the pain medication, while helping, didn't completely alleviate the pain which unfortunately still felt like someone was stabbing the upper left corner of my knee, made worse by a general deep aching all through my knee. The pain subsided during the day, although it became particularly bad if I had to move to do something (like go to the bathroom, which is literally all I would force myself up to do). Friday night was by far the worst. I was in extreme pain, the pain meds didn't seem to be working, and of course the doctor was not available and the hospital was closed. I kept the Game Ready and pain medicine routine up all night, taking deep breaths sometimes helped take the focus off of the pain, but don't expect much.