Quickie Health Update

I just now realized that my weekly email goes out in five minutes, and my previous health update is long and rambling and circuitous. Maybe not a great idea to write a blog post right after surgery! Here’s a faster read.

Surgery went well, 8-hr trip back to the trailer in Brownsville was bearable, recovery has been mostly smooth sailing.

On the operating table I was placed in this leg immobilizer, which is an oversized beast. It restricts how much I can bend the knee as it heals, but mine seems to have been built for Wilt Chamberlain. My angel physical therapist agrees that the hospital simply gave me the wrong one. Walking with this thing is exactly like having a toddler cling to your leg as you try to cook dinner. A heavy toddler, made out of metal and Velcro.

Oh well. We adjusted it as best as we could, and I’m taking it off when I’m lying down (but, per PT orders keeping it on for sleeping, because who needs sleep, right?). The good news is that my PT gives me an A for strength and mobility going into post-surgery recovery.

Tracy’s continuing to care for me 24/7. My fav nurse duty: cooking high-protein meals (there’s a bed of quinoa and black lentils under that grilled fish). He really deserves a medal.

I’ve been called each day by the anesthesiologist’s nurse, who asks about my pain and commends me on the smooth sailing. More like grills me, actually, because, when I spoke with her last, she said I’m doing better than anyone she’s ever spoken to. What is my secret to pain-free recovery she wants to know? We’ve identified these factors:

  • The IV drip I received during surgery of a steroid. It was ordered by the endocronologist, but the side effects seem to be less inflammation from the get-go.
  • Continued steroid tablets, ditto.
  • Nearly constant ice, elevation, rest. I’m lucky I don’t have a job or kids at home or anything at all keeping me from constant knee duty.
  • Adherence to the pain meds schedule exactly.

I was a star student, until Thursday, three days after surgery. That’s when I started to get cocky.

I’d had very little pain so far, so I halved the dose of narcotics during the day. And then I ventured away from the sofa. Maybe I could have done one or the other successfully, but together, duh. Mistake.

All we did was ride the golf cart to the clubhouse for happy hour. Tracy grabbed a recliner from the pool, and I stretched out on it with my faux cocktail and listened to the DJ play classic rock and ate from the on-site taco truck. Until, pain. Red Alert! I’d lasted five hours on half a dose, but the final three are a blur.

Once back in the trailer, I was frantic. Teeth grinding, silent tears running down my face, manic attempts to distract myself while waiting for the next dose to kick in.

Lesson learned. Today we visit Finn on the island, and I’m gonna stick to the pain meds exactly. Every A student has a set-back at some point, right? Overall, though, this truly has been a success.

12 thoughts to “Quickie Health Update”

  1. Shelly, here to agree… bone pain is its Own Thing. Nothing like soft tissue discomfort which of course you have as well. Steroids can make you feel on-top-of-the-world cocky, pride goeth before a fall was never so apt 🙁 Take good care, and take it slooowly <3

    1. For sure I’m aware of every bit of bone that was drilled through and anchored onto. Egads. Thanks for the encouragement and reminder!!

  2. I like the idea of a steroid drip during surgery. Knocking out that inflammation before it starts sounds like the way to go.
    Very glad to hear your recovery is going well, cockiness aside. As they say, live and learn. Your body will tell you when it’s ready for happy hour, no sense pushing it.
    Hoping they didn’t give you any heavy hitting addicting opioids, just something to take the edge off.

        1. I second this. I lost a close friend to an addiction, and had things gone differently, I’m convinced I would have been a victim myself. Sounds like you know your limits and won’t be pushing it anymore for awhile.

          1. Man, I am sorry to hear that. Yeah, I’ve a friend who may not even be talking with me right now because of my choice to take these at all. I am definitely getting off of them asap.

  3. Shelly What happened?? I e-mailed you thinking something wasn’t right. Sounds like you have gone thru something horrific. My prayers to you. Maryg