Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The Day After Yesterday

This time yesterday I was looking up from my place on the table into the kind but intense eyes of the nice older lady about to put me to sleep.  It would be two hours later that I'd wake up in the recovery, drowsy, disoriented, and just overall feeling like I got hit by a Mack truck.  In fact, I'd just had an ACL (Anterior Cruciate Ligament) Hamstring reconstruction and a medial meniscus repair on my right knee.

A nurse popped a pill in my mouth and held up a disposable plastic cup with a bendy straw and said, "Drink."  Pill #1 was Oxycontin.  About an hour passed and they finally wheeled me back into my 'room' (just a curtained-off area with a bed, chair and one of those clever rolling tables for your gimpy convenience). They paged Eric and between my anesthetic and oxycontin hazes I think I vaguely recall him showing up, trying to smile at me but he's a man and I could practically smell the worry mingled with relief dripping off him.

Some time over the next several house, the local anesthetic began to wear off.  It was also about this time that those busy bee nurses decided they needed to see me navigate around on my crutches.  Sure! And for my next trick I'll pull a rainbow out of my ear and marry a water buffalo!

Well it was about this time as well that one of the students working asked me to rate my pain on a scale of 1 to 10 (1 being no pain, 10 being the worst pain you'd ever felt in your life).  Well wasn't I pleased as punch that she asked because I was in fact teetering on the edge between a 7 and 8 and about to chew my own leg off bear-trap style.  So the student ran off to find me some of my other new best friend, Percocet, and I began staring hatefully at the crutches leaning against the side of the bed.  Thankfully, they gave me about 30 minutes for the Percocet to start taking the edge off and then the two nurses descended on me, ushering me off the bed and onto the crutches.  Well imagine my surprise when I realize that for me to get off the bed, these women were going to have pick up my stapled, screwed, bruised, and sutured leg and hold it for me while I got up.  I can't even begin to explain the excruciating pain that spread through my leg as the one nurse tried to help me to the edge of the bed.  All I can say is I started to hyperventilate and tears were pouring down my cheeks as profanities vomited from my throat...  They set my leg back down and the student nurse tactfully handed me a box of tissues to help me compose myself.

Now, just take a moment, if you will, to consider that I had had about 3 hours of sleep from the night before, hadn't eaten anything since 7:30 the day before, had just had serious, extensive and incredibly painful surgery, and I was medicated to the gills with pain meds and on top of that these women wanted me to do WHAT.

Well eventually I managed to stop crying long enough to do what they wanted, and I even managed a couple very pathetic looking hops with my good leg while my bad leg just sort of hung there.  Once I had that finished to the nurses' satisfaction I was able to start dressing and making plans to head home.

I'll spare you the details of how awkward and painful that whole ordeal was, but suffice it to say that we got to the apartment  building with little incident.

I will share a somewhat funny quip about how the only reason I'm even in the apartment at all is due to my brilliant plan of navigating the 3 flights of stairs to the top.  Crutches weren't gonna work... using Eric as a brace wasn't gonna work... so eventually I sat down on the step, bad leg completely supported, sticking straight out in Eric's hands, and I scooted up all those damned stairs.  I really REALLY hope none of my neighbors saw how pathetically humbled I was scooting up the stairs on my bum... but even that wasn't as bad as when I got inside and realized I had to pee.  Let me tell ya... there is really nothing as humbling as having someone hold your leg for you while you pee... (lol).

So now it's the day after surgery.  I can move around on the crutches a bit better but I still can't hold the weight of my leg, so whenever I need to get up or go to the bathroom or even shift in bed, I need someone here to hold my leg while I maneuver around.  I've got three total ice packs on rotation on my knee, I've got my laptop, my blackberry, water, gatorade, coffee, tissue and a bowl just in case the Percocet betrays me again like it did at 2am this morning.

All in all, this is the worst experience of my life and I am very anxious to get past all this.  Thanks to everyone for all the well-wishes and words of encouragement.  I'll keep everyone updated as often as my meds allow me.


  1. Ah yes, the good o'l pain scale. Oxys and percs can always help lower it a bit. When my dad was recovering from his ACL surgery..or was it MCL...can’t remember, he was on pain meds for a little bit, then he switched over to J&B, lol.

  2. You will never be this person again.


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