Friday, February 06, 2009

Still alive

Thursday went well, all things considered. I got up around 8 a.m., and between then and when I left to pick my sister up to go to the surgical center at 11, I almost ate something approximately 6 times. Every time it was a situation like, "Hrm, I'm kind of hungry, I should have a granola bar," or, "My mouth is really dry. I need a glass of water." Then, every time without fail, as I started to do that thing, I would literally say, "Son of a bitch!" and stomp away from sweet, delicious food.

So at 11, I left, picked up Sherri, and off to the surgical center we go. It was like 25 degrees out, but I had to wear shorts, which was fun. Got there, filled out the forms, and apparently the normal banter between my sister and I greatly amused the receptionist who was laughing for the 10 minutes we were in the waiting room. I went into the back, and found that almost everyone I spoke with was a runner. The nurse in her 40s or early 50s who took care of prepping me was telling me about some sprint tri that she's doing in September. One of the other nurses who was wandering around tried to do Chicago a few years ago but had IT band tendinitis and had to drop out, but is doing the Country Music Half in Nashville this April. Her only question for me about that race was how hilly it was, because her husband is a total baby.

The nurse who was prepping me told me that my doc is not only a team doctor for DC United, but he was also one for the Pittsburgh Steelers, and the Steelers head guy recommended him to be the doc for the Redskins, too (so yeah, my doc apparently is a big sports medicine guy). Once she had my IV in, asked what was getting worked on. "My right knee." "Please point to it." So I did. And then she colored a big green dot on the leg right above the knee, which the Doc signed when he came in to talk to me before surgery. (So yes, Glaven, they did draw a "cut this leg" mark on me)

The doc finished his surgery prior to mine really quickly and he showed up before the nurses had me fully prepped. They went through setting up the IV, getting the anesthesiologist, etc, nice and quick and we were ready to go. The anesthesiologist asked me if I wanted to be awake to watch the surgery, but the doc clearly would rather have had me asleep, as I'm sure it's much easier for him to not have to explain it all, etc, so I just said no, knock me out. The last question I answered before rolling into the surgical suite was the Doc's resident asking me how I hurt my leg. My answer, "Oh, 20 mile long run." He just looked confused. Everyone else already knew I was a runner so that answer didn't seem odd. Doc was talking about the options he might perform depending on what he saw, so the last thing I said to him before he headed to prep was that I want to run another marathon when I'm healed, so do what he thinks is best, I trust him.

They rolled me into the suite, and the last thing I remember was the anesthesiologist saying they didn't have a blood pressure cuff and sending someone to get one. Then I woke up in post-op. Things are a little hazy for a while. There was a nurse who kept laughing at me because she kept telling me the exact opposite of what the Doc had told me in the last few weeks, so I kept asking her to clarify if she really meant the opposite of what he said and she just laughed and said, "The anesthesia is making you forgetful. You already asked me that." I also have a habit of shaking my head really hard to try to "clear the cobwebs" when I get tired at work or whatever, so I did that a couple times to shake the anesthesia off. She was really worried I was going to throw up from doing that, so kept asking me to stop, but it was helping a lot. I was starving and thirsty as crap, so I asked for a drink. She gave me some apple juice, which I downed. At this point, Sherri was back with me, so I told her how I couldn't wait to get to the car to be able to eat. The nurse said I didn't have to wait, so I grabbed a granola bar from my bag (I brought 2) and ate it in like 3 bites. Again, nurse is concerned I'll puke from anesthesia, but I am fine, so 5 min later, I ask for more juice and eat the other granola bar. She's still worried, but after I finished the 2nd one and the juice, her comment was, "Damn, you handle anesthesia really well!"

So, final results: Only one tear, on the medial side. Turns out whatever he saw on the lateral meniscus on the MRI wasn't a tear. He repaired the medial tear, so I have 4 sutures in it. I have to wear the big immobilizer pictured in the post from Monday. However, the good news is that I can put weight on the knee as long as I wear the immobilizer. I only use the crutches as long as I feel I need to use them and then I gimp around with the brace. I will be starting home exercises Saturday, and PT starts Tuesday. Doc says he doesn't want me to run for 4 months, because he wants to make sure the repair can heal. There's only a 70% chance of a meniscus tear repair healing, so he wants to give it the best chance (apparently, if you tear your meniscus while also rupturing your ACL, you have a much higher chance of the meniscus repair healing because of the amount of bleeding that happens when fixing a ruptured ACL). However, when my sister spoke with him after surgery, she told him I had been swimming and using a pull buoy to immobilize my legs. He said that I should be able to start that within a couple weeks, so it looks like between now and June, I'll be all swimming. I'll be a fish by the end of this thing.

Overall, things went extremely well. The pain is really setting in now (Friday night), so I'm staring with the painkillers, but that's what they're there for I guess. The next few days will almost assuredly be a blur of Percocet, Vicodin, and sleep. :)

The drug form they gave me when I left the surgical center was awesome, and I include it here for your entertainment. The header of column 3 is what really makes this!


MissAllycat said...

I tore my ACL two years ago and had surgery...I feel your pain. My advice: do EVERYTHING your PT says, and follow the VITALS method...



Happy healing!

Joe said...

Ally, that's awesome advice! Hopefully if I follow this, I'll be ready for WWR. :)

AKA Alice said...

Anytime I see the word "Orally" I giggle...hee hee hee

Love your blog!

Amy said...

Glad to hear things went well... an also glad that your pain meds are to be taken orally... although, if it were to be "routed" some other way... might make for an interesting blog post.

Here's to a speedy recovery!