It has been awhile since my last blog posting. Well, as some of you know, I have been in recovery from total knee replacement surgery. And now I am going to update all of you on how things went.
As always, I am going to keep it real - very real.
The day of surgery began at 8AM. My sister and I went to the hospital ahead of the surgery. I have to say that I was quite surprised by the beauty of the lounge where we were seated. This was my pre-surgical lounge, as well as where my sister waited during my surgery.
Below, are a couple of pictures I took while waiting to 'go in'. Click on images for enlarged viewing.
At approximately 10:30AM, I was taken into the first prep-room, where I changed into the ever-popular johnny gown. Was asked a thousand questions about my medical and surgical history and was given an I.V. prior to being wheeled into the stage two prep-room.
The second room was significantly more procedural feeling than the first. It was in this room where I was given the nerve blocker, which was placed into my femoral vein. I have to say that when the doctor stimulated the muscle in my thigh, and it began to pulsate - without my control - it was .... shall we say .... trippy!!
Following the nerve blocker, I was then given the spinal. This is essentially a glorified epidural. Those of you who have children are probably familiar with the epidural. Well, this spinal was like the epidurals big brother. Instantly I was paralyzed from the waste down. My legs felt like a thousand pounds each. It was such a surreal feeling. And kind of scary to be honest. I literally felt nothing below my waste.
At that point - approximately Noon - I was wheeled into surgery, where I was given Propofol - and was knocked out.
I came to, approximately 2 hours later. Now, when I say that I came to, I was technically conscious, however, I was slipping 'in and out'. I recall waking up in the operating room. I recall moments of the transport to post-op, I recall moments in post-op. But I was in post-op for about four hours before I really was able to stay conscious for any amount of time.
Long enough really to vito a boot that was placed on my non-surgical foot. It felt like it was made of Sherpa and had a steel soul. It was extremely uncomfortable and I begged the nurse to remove it. Thankfully, she did. However, on my surgical leg, was a long, thick, pressure stocking that went from the top of my thigh down to my ankle. And it HURT!
This stocking could not be removed for 24 hours.
Sometime later that evening, I was transported up to my room. It was a semi-private room, but I was had it to myself for the majority of my stay. Another plus, was that it was the only room on the floor with its own air conditioning. SCORE!!
The surgery was done on Friday, September 5th, and needless to say, the first 24 hours were hell. To say it was painful is a gross understatement. I had a wonderful nurse that night; Beth, who told me it would be better the next day once my stocking could be removed.
For pain control, I was on a Morphine pump. I was able to hit the pump every five minutes - as needed. And let me tell you .... it was needed.
On Saturday, the stocking was removed, and as promised, the the pressure was lessened by the removal of the compression garment. My family came to visit me on the Saturday, and my beautiful daughter brought me some beautiful flowers.
Let me stop here and say that although the surgery in and of itself, was a total success. The recovery has been a nightmare. Particularly the first three weeks.
If you recall in my pre-surgical posting, the plan was that I would be released from hospital on the Monday or Tuesday. Well, it did not go as planned. I could not even get out of bed until the Monday. Turns out that I had a reaction to the Morphine. I was sick and could hardly lift my head off of the pillow. It truly felt like the world's worst hangover. Monday I was switched over to Hydromorphone, which is derivative of Morphine, but much stronger. The pain relief was wonderful and I did not feel the same side effects as with the Morphine.
I was able to get out of bed on the Monday and take my first couple of steps. I was able to hold my head up and keep my eyes open. I was in love with the Hydromorphone.
During one of my bandage changes, I asked the nurse to snap a picture of my knee. Below is a picture I took with the bandaging, as well as the picture the nurse took of the unbandaged incision - complete with staples, bruising and surgical swelling. Which, I am told will not go down for months.
The first picture is taken while I was in the CPM Machine. (Continuous Passive Movement) Which was a part of my inpatient physio therapy. I was in this machine for a couple of hours each day. And to be honest. I was wonderful! My leg felt better after each session with the CPM. I really wish I had one at home. This machine got my range of motion to go from 40 degrees to 60 degrees in two days.
Below is another shot I took while in my CPM Machine.